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Sample records for mammalian ancestor reconstruction

  1. Virtual ancestor reconstruction: Revealing the ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals.

    PubMed

    Mounier, Aurélien; Mirazón Lahr, Marta

    2016-02-01

    The timing and geographic origin of the common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals remain controversial. A poor Pleistocene hominin fossil record and the evolutionary complexities introduced by dispersals and regionalisation of lineages have fuelled taxonomic uncertainty, while new ancient genomic data have raised completely new questions. Here, we use maximum likelihood and 3D geometric morphometric methods to predict possible morphologies of the last common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals from a simplified, fully resolved phylogeny. We describe the fully rendered 3D shapes of the predicted ancestors of humans and Neandertals, and assess their similarity to individual fossils or populations of fossils of Pleistocene age. Our results support models of an Afro-European ancestral population in the Middle Pleistocene (Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato) and further predict an African origin for this ancestral population. PMID:26852813

  2. Reconstructing the ancestor of Mycobacterium leprae: The dynamics of gene loss and genome reduction

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Valero, Laura; Rocha, Eduardo P.C.; Latorre, Amparo; Silva, Francisco J.

    2007-01-01

    We have reconstructed the gene content and order of the last common ancestor of the human pathogens Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. During the reductive evolution of M. leprae, 1537 of 2977 ancestral genes were lost, among which we found 177 previously unnoticed pseudogenes. We find evidence that a massive gene inactivation took place very recently in the M. leprae lineage, leading to the loss of hundreds of ancestral genes. A large proportion of their nucleotide content (∼89%) still remains in the genome, which allowed us to characterize and date them. The age of the pseudogenes was computed using a new methodology based on the rates and patterns of substitution in the pseudogenes and functional orthologous genes of closely related genomes. The position of the genes that were lost in the ancestor’s genome revealed that the process of function loss and degradation mainly took place through a gene-to-gene inactivation process, followed by the gradual loss of their DNA. This suggests a scenario of massive genome reduction through many nearly simultaneous pseudogenization events, leading to a highly specialized pathogen. PMID:17623808

  3. Ancestors of modern plant crops.

    PubMed

    Salse, Jérôme

    2016-04-01

    Recent accumulation of plant genomic resources offers the opportunity to compare modern genomes and model their evolutionary history from their reconstructed Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCAs) that can be used as a guide to unveil the forces driving the evolutionary success of angiosperms and ultimately to perform applied translational research from models to crops. This article reviews the current state of art of recent structural comparative genomics studies through ancestral genome reconstruction, that is, the field of in silico paleogenomics. PMID:26985732

  4. Algorithms for improved 3-D reconstruction of live mammalian embryo vasculature from optical coherence tomography data

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Prathamesh M.; Rey-Villamizar, Nicolas; Merouane, Amine; Sudheendran, Narendran; Wang, Shang; Garcia, Monica; Larina, Irina V.; Roysam, Badrinath

    2015-01-01

    Background Robust reconstructions of the three-dimensional network of blood vessels in developing embryos imaged by optical coherence tomography (OCT) are needed for quantifying the longitudinal development of vascular networks in live mammalian embryos, in support of developmental cardiovascular research. Past computational methods [such as speckle variance (SV)] have demonstrated the feasibility of vascular reconstruction, but multiple challenges remain including: the presence of vessel structures at multiple spatial scales, thin blood vessels with weak flow, and artifacts resulting from bulk tissue motion (BTM). Methods In order to overcome these challenges, this paper introduces a robust and scalable reconstruction algorithm based on a combination of anomaly detection algorithms and a parametric dictionary based sparse representation of blood vessels from structural OCT data. Results Validation results using confocal data as the baseline demonstrate that the proposed method enables the detection of vessel segments that are either partially missed or weakly reconstructed using the SV method. Finally, quantitative measurements of vessel reconstruction quality indicate an overall higher quality of vessel reconstruction with the proposed method. Conclusions Results suggest that sparsity-integrated speckle anomaly detection (SSAD) is potentially a valuable tool for performing accurate quantification of the progression of vascular development in the mammalian embryonic yolk sac as imaged using OCT. PMID:25694962

  5. Identification of Teleost Skin CD8α+ Dendritic-like Cells, Representing a Potential Common Ancestor for Mammalian Cross-Presenting Dendritic Cells.

    PubMed

    Granja, Aitor G; Leal, Esther; Pignatelli, Jaime; Castro, Rosario; Abós, Beatriz; Kato, Goshi; Fischer, Uwe; Tafalla, Carolina

    2015-08-15

    Although fish constitute the most ancient animal group in which an acquired immune system is present, the presence of dendritic cells (DCs) in teleosts has been addressed only briefly, and the identification of a specific DC subset in teleosts remained elusive because of the lack of specific Abs. In mice, DCs expressing CD8α(+) in lymphoid tissues have the capacity to cross-present extracellular Ags to T cells through MHC I, similarly to tissue-derived CD103(+) DCs and the human CD141(+) DC population. In the current study, we identified a large and highly complex subpopulation of leukocytes coexpressing MHC class II and CD8α. This CD8α(+) MHC II(+) DC-like subpopulation constituted ∼1.2% of the total leukocyte population in the skin, showing phenotypical and functional characteristics of semimature DCs that seem to locally regulate mucosal immunity and tolerance in a species lacking lymph nodes. Furthermore, we identified trout homologs for CD141 and CD103 and demonstrated that, in trout, this skin CD8(+) DC-like subpopulation expresses both markers. To our knowledge, these results provide the first evidence of a specific DC-like subtype in nonimmune tissue in teleosts and support the hypothesis of a common origin for all mammalian cross-presenting DCs. PMID:26179908

  6. The last common bilaterian ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, Douglas H.; Davidson, Eric H.

    2002-01-01

    Many regulatory genes appear to be utilized in at least superficially similar ways in the development of particular body parts in Drosophila and in chordates. These similarities have been widely interpreted as functional homologies, producing the conventional view of the last common protostome-deuterostome ancestor (PDA) as a complex organism that possessed some of the same body parts as modern bilaterians. Here we discuss an alternative view, in which the last common PDA had a less complex body plan than is frequently conceived. This reconstruction alters expectations for Neoproterozoic fossil remains that could illustrate the pathways of bilaterian evolution.

  7. The universal ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C.

    1998-01-01

    A genetic annealing model for the universal ancestor of all extant life is presented; the name of the model derives from its resemblance to physical annealing. The scenario pictured starts when "genetic temperatures" were very high, cellular entities (progenotes) were very simple, and information processing systems were inaccurate. Initially, both mutation rate and lateral gene transfer levels were elevated. The latter was pandemic and pervasive to the extent that it, not vertical inheritance, defined the evolutionary dynamic. As increasingly complex and precise biological structures and processes evolved, both the mutation rate and the scope and level of lateral gene transfer, i.e., evolutionary temperature, dropped, and the evolutionary dynamic gradually became that characteristic of modern cells. The various subsystems of the cell "crystallized," i.e., became refractory to lateral gene transfer, at different stages of "cooling," with the translation apparatus probably crystallizing first. Organismal lineages, and so organisms as we know them, did not exist at these early stages. The universal phylogenetic tree, therefore, is not an organismal tree at its base but gradually becomes one as its peripheral branchings emerge. The universal ancestor is not a discrete entity. It is, rather, a diverse community of cells that survives and evolves as a biological unit. This communal ancestor has a physical history but not a genealogical one. Over time, this ancestor refined into a smaller number of increasingly complex cell types with the ancestors of the three primary groupings of organisms arising as a result.

  8. The Universal Ancestor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woese, Carl

    1998-06-01

    A genetic annealing model for the universal ancestor of all extant life is presented; the name of the model derives from its resemblance to physical annealing. The scenario pictured starts when ``genetic temperatures'' were very high, cellular entities (progenotes) were very simple, and information processing systems were inaccurate. Initially, both mutation rate and lateral gene transfer levels were elevated. The latter was pandemic and pervasive to the extent that it, not vertical inheritance, defined the evolutionary dynamic. As increasingly complex and precise biological structures and processes evolved, both the mutation rate and the scope and level of lateral gene transfer, i.e., evolutionary temperature, dropped, and the evolutionary dynamic gradually became that characteristic of modern cells. The various subsystems of the cell ``crystallized,'' i.e., became refractory to lateral gene transfer, at different stages of ``cooling,'' with the translation apparatus probably crystallizing first. Organismal lineages, and so organisms as we know them, did not exist at these early stages. The universal phylogenetic tree, therefore, is not an organismal tree at its base but gradually becomes one as its peripheral branchings emerge. The universal ancestor is not a discrete entity. It is, rather, a diverse community of cells that survives and evolves as a biological unit. This communal ancestor has a physical history but not a genealogical one. Over time, this ancestor refined into a smaller number of increasingly complex cell types with the ancestors of the three primary groupings of organisms arising as a result.

  9. The placentation of eulipotyphla-reconstructing a morphotype of the Mammalian placenta.

    PubMed

    Ferner, Kirsten; Siniza, Swetlana; Zeller, Ulrich

    2014-10-01

    Placentation determines the developmental status of the neonate, which can be considered as the most vulnerable stage in the mammalian life cycle. In this respect, the different evolutionary and ecological adaptations of marsupial and placental mammals have most likely been associated with the different reproductive strategies of the two therian clades. The morphotypes of marsupial and placental neonates, as well as the placental stem species pattern of Marsupialia, have already been reconstructed. To contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of Placentalia, a histological and ultrastructural investigation of the placenta in three representatives of Eulipotyphla, that is, core insectivores, has been carried out in this study. We studied the Musk shrew (Suncus murinus), the four-toed hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), and the Iberian mole (Talpa occidentalis). As a result, a eulipotyphlan placental morphotype consisting of a compact and invasive placenta was reconstructed. This supports the widely accepted hypothesis that the stem lineage of Placentalia is characterized by an invasive, either endothelio- or hemochorial placenta. Evolutionary transformations toward a diffuse, noninvasive placenta occurred in the stem lineages of lower primates and cetartiodactyles and were associated with prolonged gestation and the production of few and highly precocial neonates. Compared to the choriovitelline placenta of Marsupialia, the chorioallantoic placenta of Placentalia allows for a more intimate contact and is associated with more advanced neonates. PMID:24797275

  10. Pleistocene paleoenvironmental reconstructions and mammalian evolution in South-East Asia: focus on fossil faunas from Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tougard, C.; Montuire, S.

    2006-01-01

    Mammalian faunal studies have provided various clues for a better reconstruction of hominid Quaternary paleoenvironments. In this work, two methods were used: (1) the cenogram method, based on a graphical representation of the mammalian community structure, and (2) the species richness of murine rodents to estimate climatic parameters. These methods were applied to Middle and Late Pleistocene mammalian faunas of South-East Asia, from South China to Indonesia. Special emphasis was laid on a fauna from north-east Thailand dated back to approximately 170,000 years (i.e. a glacial period). This Thai fauna seems characteristic of a slightly open forested environment intermediate between those of present-day central Myanmar and the northern part of South China. In the Thai fauna, the occurrence of both cool-loving mammalian taxa, currently living further north, and species of larger body size than their living counterparts, indicates cooler and probably drier climatic conditions than present-day climates in Thailand. These results are quite consistent with Middle Pleistocene palynological records from South China and eastern Java. From other less well-documented Pleistocene faunas, taken into account in this work, humid climatic conditions of interglacial periods were revealed from large mammalian taxa.

  11. The galaxy ancestor problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Disney, M. J.; Lang, R. H.

    2012-11-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) findsgalaxies whose Tolman dimming exceeds 10 mag. Could evolution alone explain these as our ancestor galaxies or could they be representatives of quite a different dynasty whose descendants are no longer prominent today? We explore the latter hypothesis and argue that surface brightness selection effects naturally bring into focus quite different dynasties from different redshifts. Thus, the HST z = 7 galaxies could be examples of galaxies whose descendants are both too small and too choked with dust to be recognizable in our neighbourhood easily today. Conversely, the ancestors of the Milky Way and its obvious neighbours would have completely sunk below the sky at z > 1.2, unless they were more luminous in the past, although their diffused light could account for the missing re-ionization flux. This Succeeding Prominent Dynasties Hypothesis (SPDH) fits the existing observations both naturally and well even without evolution, including the bizarre distributions of galaxy surface brightness found in deep fields, the angular size ˜(1 + z)-1 law, 'downsizing' which turns out to be an 'illusion' in the sense that it does not imply evolution, 'infant mortality', that is, the discrepancy between stars born and stars seen, the existence of 'red nuggets', and finally the recently discovered and unexpected excess of quasar absorption line damped Lyα systems at high redshift. If galaxies were not significantly brighter in the past and the SPDH were true, then a large proportion of galaxies could remain sunk from sight, possibly at all redshifts, and these sunken galaxies could supply the missing re-ionization flux. We show that fishing these sunken galaxies out of the sky by their optical emissions alone is practically impossible, even when they are nearby. More ingenious methods are needed to detect them. It follows that disentangling galaxy evolution through studying ever higher redshift galaxies may be a forlorn hope because one could

  12. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis. PMID:22949523

  13. Unbiased reconstruction of a mammalian transcriptional network mediating the differential response to pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Amit, Ido; Garber, Manuel; Chevrier, Nicolas; Leite, Ana Paula; Donner, Yoni; Eisenhaure, Thomas; Guttman, Mitchell; Grenier, Jennifer K.; Li, Weibo; Zuk, Or; Schubert, Lisa A.; Birditt, Brian; Shay, Tal; Goren, Alon; Zhang, Xiaolan; Smith, Zachary; Deering, Raquel; McDonald, Rebecca C.; Cabili, Moran; Bernstein, Bradley E; Rinn, John L.; Meissner, Alex; Root, David E.; Hacohen, Nir; Regev, Aviv

    2010-01-01

    Models of mammalian regulatory networks controlling gene expression have been inferred from genomic data, yet have largely not been validated. We present an unbiased strategy to systematically perturb candidate regulators and monitor cellular transcriptional responses. We apply this approach to derive regulatory networks that control the transcriptional response of mouse primary dendritic cells (DCs) to pathogens. Our approach revealed the regulatory functions of 125 transcription factors, chromatin modifiers, and RNA binding proteins and constructed a network model consisting of two dozen core regulators and 76 fine-tuners that help explain how pathogen-sensing pathways achieve specificity. This study establishes a broadly-applicable, comprehensive and unbiased approach to reveal the wiring and functions of a regulatory network controlling a major transcriptional response in primary mammalian cells. PMID:19729616

  14. The costs of breed reconstruction from cryopreserved material in mammalian livestock species

    PubMed Central

    Gandini, Gustavo; Pizzi, Flavia; Stella, Alessandra; Boettcher, Paul J

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this work was to compare costs, in the horse, cattle, sheep, swine, and rabbit species, for the creation of gene banks for reconstruction of an extinct breed, using different strategies: embryos-only, embryos in combination with semen, and semen-only. Three cost measures were used: time required for population reconstruction, cost for creation of the gene bank, number of years-keeping-female to reach reconstruction. Semen costs were estimated across four scenarios: the presence or absence of a commercial market for semen, purchase of semen donors, and semen extracted from the epididymus. The number of cells were doubled to take into account the creation of two storage sites. The strategy embryos-only required the shortest time to reach reconstruction. With the strategy embryos + semen, time increased with decreasing proportions of embryos. With semen-only, reconstruction time varied from 2 to 21 years. A high variation of costs was observed across species and strategies, from 360 Euros in the rabbit to 1 092 300 in the horse. In all species, the embryos-only strategy was about 10% more expensive than using 90% embryos + semen. Decreasing the percentage of embryos further diminished costs. The number of years-keeping-female ranged across strategies, from 2 in the rabbit, to a maximum of 12 878 in the horse. PMID:17612484

  15. Assessing the prediction fidelity of ancestral reconstruction by a library approach.

    PubMed

    Bar-Rogovsky, Hagit; Stern, Adi; Penn, Osnat; Kobl, Iris; Pupko, Tal; Tawfik, Dan S

    2015-11-01

    Ancestral reconstruction is a powerful tool for studying protein evolution as well as for protein design and engineering. However, in many positions alternative predictions with relatively high marginal probabilities exist, and thus the prediction comprises an ensemble of near-ancestor sequences that relate to the historical ancestor. The ancestral phenotype should therefore be explored for the entire ensemble, rather than for the sequence comprising the most probable amino acid at all positions [the most probable ancestor (mpa)]. To this end, we constructed libraries that sample ensembles of near-ancestor sequences. Specifically, we identified positions where alternatively predicted amino acids are likely to affect the ancestor's structure and/or function. Using the serum paraoxonases (PONs) enzyme family as a test case, we constructed libraries that combinatorially sample these alternatives. We next characterized these libraries, reflecting the vertebrate and mammalian PON ancestors. We found that the mpa of vertebrate PONs represented only one out of many different enzymatic phenotypes displayed by its ensemble. The mammalian ancestral library, however, exhibited a homogeneous phenotype that was well represented by the mpa. Our library design strategy that samples near-ancestor ensembles at potentially critical positions therefore provides a systematic way of examining the robustness of inferred ancestral phenotypes. PMID:26275856

  16. Using Isotopes to Reconstruct Mammalian Diet, Migration and Paleoenvironment for Hominin Sites in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wershow, H.; Janssen, R.; Vonhof, H.; Lubbe, J. V. D.; Joordens, J. J.; Koutamanis, D. S.; Puspaningrum, M. R.; de Vos, J.; Reijmer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate plays a prominent role in ecosystem development in the biodiversity hotspot Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) throughout the Quaternary. Recurrent isolation and connection of the islands to mainland Asia due to sea level fluctuations has enabled repeated biotic migrations and encouraged genetic speciation. These migration waves also brought Homo erectus to Java. Together with extensive and well-documented collections of other terrestrial species, these hominin fossils form faunal assemblages of which the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical background is poorly known. Using carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes, we have reconstructed the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of several Holocene and Pleistocene fossil sites on Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. Carbon (∂13C) and oxygen (∂18O) isotope analysis of well-preserved herbivore teeth enamel reveals a marked contrast between C3-dominated diets in warmer periods, and C4-dominated diets in cooler periods, reflecting the distinct changes in Sundaland vegetation cover between glacials and interglacials. These isotope patterns allow us to assign the appropriate climatic background to some of the older fossil assemblages from Java, for which dating uncertainty does not allow direct assignment to glacial or interglacial conditions. The stable isotope signatures of herbivores from Trinil and Sangiran, sites well-known for the fossil occurrence of Homo erectus, indicate glacial conditions. The isotope data of several H. erectus fossils from these sites seem to be in line with such an interpretation. Furthermore, we applied strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses to a sample subset. The preliminary data show distinct Sr-isotope ratios for different sites, providing clues for the applicability of this isotope technique in detecting climate-related mobility of Sundaland fossil faunas.

  17. Non-Darwinian estimation: My ancestors, my genes' ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Kenneth M.; Long, Jeffrey C.

    2009-01-01

    There is widespread interest in characterizing the organization of human genetic variation around the world from a population perspective. Related to this are attempts to describe the pattern of genetic variation in the human species generally, including “recreational” genomics, the genome-based estimation of the ancestry of individuals. These approaches rest on subtle concepts of variation, time, and ancestry that are perhaps not widely appreciated. They share the idea that there are, or were, discrete panmictic human populations such that every person is either a member of such a population or is an admixed descendant of them. Ancestry fraction estimation is biased by assumptions about past and present human population structure, as when we trace ancestry to hypothetical unmixed ancestral populations, or assign an individual's ancestry to continental populations that are indistinguishable from classical “races.” Attempts to identify even individuals' local subpopulations are less precise than most (geneticists included) expect, because that is usually based on a small portion of a person's ancestry, relative to the much larger pool of comparably related ancestors. It is easier to show that two people have some relationship than to show who or where the actual ancestor was. There is an important distinction between individuals' demographic ancestry and the ancestry of their genes. Despite superficial appearances, these interpretations of genetic data are often based on typological rather than Darwinian thinking, raising important issues about the questions that are actually being asked. PMID:19411595

  18. Yeast Ancestral Genome Reconstructions: The Possibilities of Computational Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannier, Eric

    In 2006, a debate has risen on the question of the efficiency of bioinformatics methods to reconstruct mammalian ancestral genomes. Three years later, Gordon et al. (PLoS Genetics, 5(5), 2009) chose not to use automatic methods to build up the genome of a 100 million year old Saccharomyces cerevisiae ancestor. Their manually constructed ancestor provides a reference genome to test whether automatic methods are indeed unable to approach confident reconstructions. Adapting several methodological frameworks to the same yeast gene order data, I discuss the possibilities, differences and similarities of the available algorithms for ancestral genome reconstructions. The methods can be classified into two types: local and global. Studying the properties of both helps to clarify what we can expect from their usage. Both methods propose contiguous ancestral regions that come very close (> 95% identity) to the manually predicted ancestral yeast chromosomes, with a good coverage of the extant genomes.

  19. Technical comment on "The placental mammal ancestor and the post-K-Pg radiation of placentals".

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S; Meredith, Robert W; Teeling, Emma C; Murphy, William J

    2013-08-01

    O'Leary et al. (Research Article, 8 February 2013, p. 662) examined mammalian relationships and divergence times and concluded that a single placental ancestor crossed the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. This conclusion relies on phylogenetic analyses that fail to discriminate between homology and homoplasy and further implies virus-like rates of nucleotide substitution in early Paleocene placentals. PMID:23929967

  20. What did our ancestors eat?

    PubMed

    Garn, S M; Leonard, W R

    1989-11-01

    Over the millennia various hominoids and hominids have subsisted on very different dietaries, depending on climate, hunting proficiency, food-processing technology, and available foods. The Australopithecines were not browsers and fruit-eaters with very high intakes of vitamin C; rather they were scavengers of kills made by other animals. The hominids who followed did include some cold-climate hunters of large game, but the amount of animal protein decreased with the advent of grain-gathering and decreased further with the introduction of cereal agriculture, with a concomitant decrease in body size. From what we know about food adequacy, preparation, and storage, the notion that the postulated "primitive" diet was generally adequate, safe, and prudent can be rejected. Over evolutionary time, many of our ancestors ate poorly, especially during climate extremes, and they were often at risk for vitamin deficiencies, food-borne diseases, and neurotoxins. Until the advent of modern processing technologies, dirt, grit, and fiber constituted a large part of most early diets. PMID:2689923

  1. Apparatus Named After Our Academic Ancestors, III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenslade, Thomas B.

    2014-09-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  2. Apparatus Named after Our Academic Ancestors, III

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  3. The Five Ancestors--Book 1: Tiger

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Jeff

    2004-01-01

    Losing a job is an awfully low point--until it turns into the opportunity to pursue writing full time, and a book like "The Five Ancestors: Tiger" results. Jeff Stone looks back to his own experience as a young reader and taps that experience to help frame his own writing. An intriguing snapshot of his new book follows.

  4. Mammalian development in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronca, April E.

    2003-01-01

    Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young

  5. Markov-chain approach to the distribution of ancestors in species of biparental reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caruso, M.; Jarne, C.

    2014-08-01

    We studied how to obtain a distribution for the number of ancestors in species of sexual reproduction. Present models concentrate on the estimation of distributions repetitions of ancestors in genealogical trees. It has been shown that it is not possible to reconstruct the genealogical history of each species along all its generations by means of a geometric progression. This analysis demonstrates that it is possible to rebuild the tree of progenitors by modeling the problem with a Markov chain. For each generation, the maximum number of possible ancestors is different. This presents huge problems for the resolution. We found a solution through a dilation of the sample space, although the distribution defined there takes smaller values with respect to the initial problem. In order to correct the distribution for each generation, we introduced the invariance under a gauge (local) group of dilations. These ideas can be used to study the interaction of several processes and provide a new approach on the problem of the common ancestor. In the same direction, this model also provides some elements that can be used to improve models of animal reproduction.

  6. The physiology and habitat of the last universal common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Madeline C; Sousa, Filipa L; Mrnjavac, Natalia; Neukirchen, Sinje; Roettger, Mayo; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Martin, William F

    2016-01-01

    The concept of a last universal common ancestor of all cells (LUCA, or the progenote) is central to the study of early evolution and life's origin, yet information about how and where LUCA lived is lacking. We investigated all clusters and phylogenetic trees for 6.1 million protein coding genes from sequenced prokaryotic genomes in order to reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA. Among 286,514 protein clusters, we identified 355 protein families (∼0.1%) that trace to LUCA by phylogenetic criteria. Because these proteins are not universally distributed, they can shed light on LUCA's physiology. Their functions, properties and prosthetic groups depict LUCA as anaerobic, CO2-fixing, H2-dependent with a Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, N2-fixing and thermophilic. LUCA's biochemistry was replete with FeS clusters and radical reaction mechanisms. Its cofactors reveal dependence upon transition metals, flavins, S-adenosyl methionine, coenzyme A, ferredoxin, molybdopterin, corrins and selenium. Its genetic code required nucleoside modifications and S-adenosyl methionine-dependent methylations. The 355 phylogenies identify clostridia and methanogens, whose modern lifestyles resemble that of LUCA, as basal among their respective domains. LUCA inhabited a geochemically active environment rich in H2, CO2 and iron. The data support the theory of an autotrophic origin of life involving the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway in a hydrothermal setting. PMID:27562259

  7. The existence and abundance of ghost ancestors in biparental populations.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Simon; Steel, Mike

    2015-05-01

    In a randomly-mating biparental population of size N there are, with high probability, individuals who are genealogical ancestors of every extant individual within approximately log2(N) generations into the past. We use this result of J. Chang to prove a curious corollary under standard models of recombination: there exist, with high probability, individuals within a constant multiple of log2(N) generations into the past who are simultaneously (i) genealogical ancestors of each of the individuals at the present, and (ii) genetic ancestors to none of the individuals at the present. Such ancestral individuals-ancestors of everyone today that left no genetic trace-represent 'ghost' ancestors in a strong sense. In this short note, we use simple analytical argument and simulations to estimate how many such individuals exist in finite Wright-Fisher populations. PMID:25703300

  8. The Hunt for Dwarf Galaxies' Ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out.Ancient CounterpartsDwarf galaxies are a hot topic right now, especially as we discover more and more of them nearby. Besides being great places to investigate a variety of astrophysical processes, local group dwarf galaxies are also representative of the most common type of galaxy in the universe. For many of these dwarf galaxies, their low masses and typically old stellar populations suggest that most of their stars were formed early in the universes history, and further star formation was suppressed when the universe was reionized at redshifts of z ~ 610. If this is true, most dwarf galaxies are essentially fossils: theyve evolved little since that point.To test this theory, wed like to find counterparts to our local group dwarf galaxies at these higher redshifts of z = 6 or 7. But dwarf galaxies, since they dont exhibit lots of active star formation, have very low surface brightnesses making them very difficult to detect. What are the chances that current or future telescope sensitivities will allow us to detect these? Thats the question Anna Patej and Abraham Loeb, two theorists at Harvard University, have addressed in a recent study.Entering a New RegimeThe surface brightness vs. size for 73 local dwarf galaxies scaled back to redshifts of z=6 (top) and z=7 (bottom). So far weve been able to observe high-redshift galaxies within the boxed region of the parameter space. JWST will open the shaded region of the parameter space, which includes some of the dwarf galaxies. [Patej Loeb 2015]Starting from observational data for 87 Local-Group dwarf galaxies, Patej and Loeb used a stellar population synthesis code to evolve the galaxies backward in time to redshifts of z = 6 and 7. Next, they narrowed this sample to only those dwarfs for which most star

  9. Mammalian pheromones.

    PubMed

    Liberles, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

  10. Mammalian Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d ) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

  11. Ancestral state reconstruction of body size in the Caniformia (Carnivora, Mammalia): the effects of incorporating data from the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Finarelli, John A; Flynn, John J

    2006-04-01

    A recent molecular phylogeny of the mammalian order Carnivora implied large body size as the ancestral condition for the caniform subclade Arctoidea using the distribution of species mean body sizes among living taxa. "Extant taxa-only" approaches such as these discount character state observations for fossil members of living clades and completely ignore data from extinct lineages. To more rigorously reconstruct body sizes of ancestral forms within the Caniformia, body size and first appearance data were collected for 149 extant and 367 extinct taxa. Body sizes were reconstructed for four ancestral nodes using weighted squared-change parsimony on log-transformed body mass data. Reconstructions based on extant taxa alone favored large body sizes (on the order of 10 to 50 kg) for the last common ancestors of both the Caniformia and Arctoidea. In contrast, reconstructions incorporating fossil data support small body sizes (< 5 kg) for the ancestors of those clades. When the temporal information associated with fossil data was discarded, body size reconstructions became ambiguous, demonstrating that incorporating both character state and temporal information from fossil taxa unambiguously supports a small ancestral body size, thereby falsifying hypotheses derived from extant taxa alone. Body size reconstructions for Caniformia, Arctoidea, and Musteloidea were not sensitive to potential errors introduced by uncertainty in the position of extinct lineages relative to the molecular topology, or to missing body size data for extinct members of an entire major clade (the aquatic Pinnipedia). Incorporating character state observations and temporal information from the fossil record into hypothesis testing has a significant impact on the ability to reconstruct ancestral characters and constrains the range of potential hypotheses of character evolution. Fossil data here provide the evidence to reliably document trends of both increasing and decreasing body size in several

  12. The extended Price equation quantifies species selection on mammalian body size across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Brian D; Fox, Jeremy W; Barrón-Ortiz, Christian R; Chew, Amy E; Holroyd, Patricia A; Ludtke, Joshua A; Yang, Xingkai; Theodor, Jessica M

    2015-08-01

    Species selection, covariation of species' traits with their net diversification rates, is an important component of macroevolution. Most studies have relied on indirect evidence for its operation and have not quantified its strength relative to other macroevolutionary forces. We use an extension of the Price equation to quantify the mechanisms of body size macroevolution in mammals from the latest Palaeocene and earliest Eocene of the Bighorn and Clarks Fork Basins of Wyoming. Dwarfing of mammalian taxa across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an intense, brief warming event that occurred at approximately 56 Ma, has been suggested to reflect anagenetic change and the immigration of small bodied-mammals, but might also be attributable to species selection. Using previously reconstructed ancestor-descendant relationships, we partitioned change in mean mammalian body size into three distinct mechanisms: species selection operating on resident mammals, anagenetic change within resident mammalian lineages and change due to immigrants. The remarkable decrease in mean body size across the warming event occurred through anagenetic change and immigration. Species selection also was strong across the PETM but, intriguingly, favoured larger-bodied species, implying some unknown mechanism(s) by which warming events affect macroevolution. PMID:26224712

  13. The Ancestor Project: Aboriginal Computer Education through Storytelling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weston, Marla; Biin, Dianne

    2013-01-01

    The goal of the ANCESTOR program is to use digital storytelling as a means of promoting an interest in technology careers for Aboriginal learners, as well as increasing cultural literacy. A curriculum was developed and first tested with Aboriginal students at the LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Based on feedback…

  14. A proposal of the proteome before the last universal common ancestor (LUCA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Farias, Sávio Torres; Rêgo, Thais Gaudêncio; José, Marco V.

    2016-01-01

    The search for understanding the biological nature of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) has been a theoretical challenge and has sparked intense debate in the scientific community. We reconstructed the ancestral sequences of tRNAs in order to test the hypothesis that these molecules originated the first genes. The results showed that the proteome before LUCA may have been composed of basal energy metabolism, namely, compounds with three carbons in the glycolytic pathway, which operated as a distribution centre of substrates for the development of metabolic pathways of nucleotides, lipids and amino acids. Thus, we present a proposal for metabolism in organisms before LUCA that was the initial core for the assembly of further metabolic pathways.

  15. Mammalian sleep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staunton, Hugh

    2005-05-01

    This review examines the biological background to the development of ideas on rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), so-called paradoxical sleep (PS), and its relation to dreaming. Aspects of the phenomenon which are discussed include physiological changes and their anatomical location, the effects of total and selective sleep deprivation in the human and animal, and REM sleep behavior disorder, the latter with its clinical manifestations in the human. Although dreaming also occurs in other sleep phases (non-REM or NREM sleep), in the human, there is a contingent relation between REM sleep and dreaming. Thus, REM is taken as a marker for dreaming and as REM is distributed ubiquitously throughout the mammalian class, it is suggested that other mammals also dream. It is suggested that the overall function of REM sleep/dreaming is more important than the content of the individual dream; its function is to place the dreamer protagonist/observer on the topographical world. This has importance for the developing infant who needs to develop a sense of self and separateness from the world which it requires to navigate and from which it is separated for long periods in sleep. Dreaming may also serve to maintain a sense of ‘I’ness or “self” in the adult, in whom a fragility of this faculty is revealed in neurological disorders.

  16. Deciding Termination for Ancestor Match- Bounded String Rewriting Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geser, Alfons; Hofbauer, Dieter; Waldmann, Johannes

    2005-01-01

    Termination of a string rewriting system can be characterized by termination on suitable recursively defined languages. This kind of termination criteria has been criticized for its lack of automation. In an earlier paper we have shown how to construct an automated termination criterion if the recursion is aligned with the rewrite relation. We have demonstrated the technique with Dershowitz's forward closure criterion. In this paper we show that a different approach is suitable when the recursion is aligned with the inverse of the rewrite relation. We apply this idea to Kurth's ancestor graphs and obtain ancestor match-bounded string rewriting systems. Termination is shown to be decidable for this class. The resulting method improves upon those based on match-boundedness or inverse match-boundedness.

  17. A Universal Trend among Proteomes Indicates an Oily Last Common Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Mannige, Ranjan V.; Brooks, Charles L.; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2012-01-01

    Despite progresses in ancestral protein sequence reconstruction, much needs to be unraveled about the nature of the putative last common ancestral proteome that served as the prototype of all extant lifeforms. Here, we present data that indicate a steady decline (oil escape) in proteome hydrophobicity over species evolvedness (node number) evident in 272 diverse proteomes, which indicates a highly hydrophobic (oily) last common ancestor (LCA). This trend, obtained from simple considerations (free from sequence reconstruction methods), was corroborated by regression studies within homologous and orthologous protein clusters as well as phylogenetic estimates of the ancestral oil content. While indicating an inherent irreversibility in molecular evolution, oil escape also serves as a rare and universal reaction-coordinate for evolution (reinforcing Darwin's principle of Common Descent), and may prove important in matters such as (i) explaining the emergence of intrinsically disordered proteins, (ii) developing composition- and speciation-based “global” molecular clocks, and (iii) improving the statistical methods for ancestral sequence reconstruction. PMID:23300421

  18. Photochemical etiology of promising ancestors of the RNA nucleobases.

    PubMed

    Brister, M M; Pollum, M; Crespo-Hernández, C E

    2016-07-27

    RNA is a product of chemical and biological evolution and the identification of its heterocyclic ancestors is essential for understanding the molecular origins of life. Among a diverse array of selection pressures thought to have shaped the composition of the nucleobases on prebiotic Earth, protection against intense ultraviolet radiation must have been essential. In this contribution, a detailed spectroscopic and photophysical investigation of barbituric acid and 2,4,6-triaminopyrimidine, two promising candidates for the prebiotic ancestors of RNA nucleobases, is presented in aqueous solution. It is shown that although these pyrimidine derivatives absorb ultraviolet radiation strongly, both compounds possess efficient electronic relaxation mechanisms for dissipating most of the absorbed ultraviolet energy to their aqueous environment as heat within hundreds of femtoseconds, thus safeguarding their chemical integrity. In fact, these two heterocyclic compounds rival the photostability observed in the canonical nucleobases in aqueous solution, thus supporting the recent proposal that both barbituric acid and 2,4,6-triaminopyrimidine are promising ancestors of the RNA nucleobases. PMID:26898746

  19. Evolutionary paths to mammalian cochleae.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2012-12-01

    Evolution of the cochlea and high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz; ultrasonic to humans) in mammals has been a subject of research for many years. Recent advances in paleontological techniques, especially the use of micro-CT scans, now provide important new insights that are here reviewed. True mammals arose more than 200 million years (Ma) ago. Of these, three lineages survived into recent geological times. These animals uniquely developed three middle ear ossicles, but these ossicles were not initially freely suspended as in modern mammals. The earliest mammalian cochleae were only about 2 mm long and contained a lagena macula. In the multituberculate and monotreme mammalian lineages, the cochlea remained relatively short and did not coil, even in modern representatives. In the lineage leading to modern therians (placental and marsupial mammals), cochlear coiling did develop, but only after a period of at least 60 Ma. Even Late Jurassic mammals show only a 270 ° cochlear coil and a cochlear canal length of merely 3 mm. Comparisons of modern organisms, mammalian ancestors, and the state of the middle ear strongly suggest that high-frequency hearing (>20 kHz) was not realized until the early Cretaceous (~125 Ma). At that time, therian mammals arose and possessed a fully coiled cochlea. The evolution of modern features of the middle ear and cochlea in the many later lineages of therians was, however, a mosaic and different features arose at different times. In parallel with cochlear structural evolution, prestins in therian mammals evolved into effective components of a new motor system. Ultrasonic hearing developed quite late-the earliest bat cochleae (~60 Ma) did not show features characteristic of those of modern bats that are sensitive to high ultrasonic frequencies. PMID:22983571

  20. Mammalian aromatases.

    PubMed

    Conley, A; Hinshelwood, M

    2001-05-01

    Aromatase is the enzyme complex that catalyses the synthesis of oestrogens from androgens, and therefore it has unique potential to influence the physiological balance between the sex steroid hormones. Both aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) and NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (reductase), the two essential components of the enzyme complex, are highly conserved among mammals and vertebrates. Aromatase expression occurs in the gonads and brain, and is essential for reproductive development and fertility. Of interest are the complex mechanisms involving alternative promoter utilization that have evolved to control tissue-specific expression in these tissues. In addition, in a number of species, including humans, expression of aromatase has a broader tissue distribution, including placenta, adipose and bone. The relevance of oestrogen synthesis and possibly androgen metabolism in these peripheral sites of expression is now becoming clear from studies in P450arom knockout (ArKO) mice and from genetic defects recognized recently in both men and women. Important species differences in the physiological roles of aromatase expression are also likely to emerge, despite the highly conserved nature of the enzyme system. The identification of functionally distinct, tissue-specific isozymes of P450arom in at least one mammal, pigs, and several species of fish indicates that there are additional subtle, but physiologically significant, species-specific roles for aromatase. Comparative studies of mammalian and other vertebrate aromatases will expand understanding of the role played by this ancient enzyme system in the evolution of reproduction and the adaptive influence of oestrogen synthesis on general health and well being. PMID:11427156

  1. Reconstruction of the ancestral marsupial karyotype from comparative gene maps

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The increasing number of assembled mammalian genomes makes it possible to compare genome organisation across mammalian lineages and reconstruct chromosomes of the ancestral marsupial and therian (marsupial and eutherian) mammals. However, the reconstruction of ancestral genomes requires genome assemblies to be anchored to chromosomes. The recently sequenced tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) genome was assembled into over 300,000 contigs. We previously devised an efficient strategy for mapping large evolutionarily conserved blocks in non-model mammals, and applied this to determine the arrangement of conserved blocks on all wallaby chromosomes, thereby permitting comparative maps to be constructed and resolve the long debated issue between a 2n = 14 and 2n = 22 ancestral marsupial karyotype. Results We identified large blocks of genes conserved between human and opossum, and mapped genes corresponding to the ends of these blocks by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A total of 242 genes was assigned to wallaby chromosomes in the present study, bringing the total number of genes mapped to 554 and making it the most densely cytogenetically mapped marsupial genome. We used these gene assignments to construct comparative maps between wallaby and opossum, which uncovered many intrachromosomal rearrangements, particularly for genes found on wallaby chromosomes X and 3. Expanding comparisons to include chicken and human permitted the putative ancestral marsupial (2n = 14) and therian mammal (2n = 19) karyotypes to be reconstructed. Conclusions Our physical mapping data for the tammar wallaby has uncovered the events shaping marsupial genomes and enabled us to predict the ancestral marsupial karyotype, supporting a 2n = 14 ancestor. Futhermore, our predicted therian ancestral karyotype has helped to understand the evolution of the ancestral eutherian genome. PMID:24261750

  2. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Young, Nathan M.; Capellini, Terence D.; Roach, Neil T.; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6–7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo–Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  3. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Young, Nathan M; Capellini, Terence D; Roach, Neil T; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-09-22

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6-7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo-Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  4. Origin and Evolution of Water Oxidation before the Last Common Ancestor of the Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Tanai; Murray, James W.; Rutherford, A. William

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II, the water oxidizing enzyme, altered the course of evolution by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Here, we reconstruct the origin and evolution of water oxidation at an unprecedented level of detail by studying the phylogeny of all D1 subunits, the main protein coordinating the water oxidizing cluster (Mn4CaO5) of Photosystem II. We show that D1 exists in several forms making well-defined clades, some of which could have evolved before the origin of water oxidation and presenting many atypical characteristics. The most ancient form is found in the genome of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS-1 and this has a C-terminus with a higher sequence identity to D2 than to any other D1. Two other groups of early evolving D1 correspond to those expressed under prolonged far-red illumination and in darkness. These atypical D1 forms are characterized by a dramatically different Mn4CaO5 binding site and a Photosystem II containing such a site may assemble an unconventional metal cluster. The first D1 forms with a full set of ligands to the Mn4CaO5 cluster are grouped with D1 proteins expressed only under low oxygen concentrations and the latest evolving form is the dominant type of D1 found in all cyanobacteria and plastids. In addition, we show that the plastid ancestor had a D1 more similar to those in early branching Synechococcus. We suggest each one of these forms of D1 originated from transitional forms at different stages toward the innovation and optimization of water oxidation before the last common ancestor of all known cyanobacteria. PMID:25657330

  5. Reptiles and Mammals Have Differentially Retained Long Conserved Noncoding Sequences from the Amniote Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Janes, D.E.; Chapus, C.; Gondo, Y.; Clayton, D.F.; Sinha, S.; Blatti, C.A.; Organ, C.L.; Fujita, M.K.; Balakrishnan, C.N.; Edwards, S.V.

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation. PMID:21183607

  6. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors.

    PubMed

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Bromage, Timothy G; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived. PMID:26639346

  7. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Teaford, Mark F.; Ungar, Peter S.

    2000-01-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations. PMID:11095758

  8. Looking for the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)

    PubMed Central

    Koskela, Minna; Annila, Arto

    2012-01-01

    Genomic sequences across diverse species seem to align towards a common ancestry, eventually implying that eons ago some universal antecedent organism would have lived on the face of Earth. However, when evolution is understood not only as a biological process but as a general thermodynamic process, it becomes apparent that the quest for the last universal common ancestor is unattainable. Ambiguities in alignments are unavoidable because the driving forces and paths of evolution cannot be separated from each other. Thus tracking down life’s origin is by its nature a non-computable task. The thermodynamic tenet clarifies that evolution is a path-dependent process of least-time consumption of free energy. The natural process is without a demarcation line between animate and inanimate. PMID:24704844

  9. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Bromage, Timothy G.; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived. PMID:26639346

  10. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-01

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations. PMID:11095758

  11. Chemostratigraphic reconstruction of biofacies: Molecular evidence linking cyst-forming dinoflagellates with pre-Triassic ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moldowan, J. Michael; Dahl, Jeremy; Jacobson, Stephen R.; Huizinga, Bradley J.; Fago, Frederick J.; Shetty, Rupa; Watt, David S.; Peters, Kenneth E.

    1996-02-01

    New data from numerous detailed mass-spectrometric studies have detected triaromatic dinosteroids in Precambrian to Cenozoic rock samples. Triaromatic dinosteroids are organic geochemicals derived from dinosterols, compounds known in modern organisms to be the nearly exclusive widely occurring products of dinoflagellates. We observed the ubiquitous occurrence of these dinosteroids in 49 Late Triassic through Cretaceous marine source rocks and the absence of them in 13 Permian-Carboniferous source rocks synergistic with the dinoflagellate cyst record. However, finding dinosteroids in lower Paleozoic and Precambrian strata presents challenging results for molecular paleontologists, evolutionary biologists, palynologists, and especially for those concerned with the food web at various times of biological crisis. Other than the few species known as parasites and symbionts, many other dinoflagellate species are important as primary producers. The presence of Precambrian to Devonian triaromatic dinosteroids gives chemostratigraphic evidence of dinoflagellates (or other organisms with similar chemosynthetic capabilities) in rocks significantly older than the oldest undisputed dinoflagellate fossils (dinoflagellate cysts from the Middle Triassic, ˜ 240 Ma), and older than the putative Silurian ˜ 420 Ma) dinocyst,Arpylorus antiquus (Calandra) Sargent, from Tunisia. This systematic chemostratigraphic approach can shed light not only on lineages of dinoflagellates and their precursors, but potentially on many other lineages, especially bacteria, algae, plants, and possibly some metazoans.

  12. Evolutionary tree reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheeseman, Peter; Kanefsky, Bob

    1990-01-01

    It is described how Minimum Description Length (MDL) can be applied to the problem of DNA and protein evolutionary tree reconstruction. If there is a set of mutations that transform a common ancestor into a set of the known sequences, and this description is shorter than the information to encode the known sequences directly, then strong evidence for an evolutionary relationship has been found. A heuristic algorithm is described that searches for the simplest tree (smallest MDL) that finds close to optimal trees on the test data. Various ways of extending the MDL theory to more complex evolutionary relationships are discussed.

  13. Mammalian phylogeny reveals recent diversification rate shifts.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Tanja

    2011-04-12

    Phylogenetic trees of present-day species allow investigation of the rate of evolution that led to the present-day diversity. A recent analysis of the mammalian phylogeny challenged the view of explosive mammalian evolution after the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary (65 Mya). However, due to lack of appropriate methods, the diversification (speciation minus extinction) rates in the more recent past of mammalian evolution could not be determined. In this paper, I provide a method that reveals that the tempo of mammalian evolution did not change until ∼ 33 Mya. This constant period was followed by a peak of diversification rates between 33 and 30 Mya. Thereafter, diversification rates remained high and constant until 8.55 Mya. Diversification rates declined significantly at 8.55 and 3.35 Mya. Investigation of mammalian subgroups (marsupials, placentals, and the six largest placental subgroups) reveals that the diversification rate peak at 33-30 Mya is mainly driven by rodents, cetartiodactyla, and marsupials. The recent diversification rate decrease is significant for all analyzed subgroups but eulipotyphla, cetartiodactyla, and primates. My likelihood approach is not limited to mammalian evolution. It provides a robust framework to infer diversification rate changes and mass extinction events in phylogenies, reconstructed from, e.g., present-day species or virus data. In particular, the method is very robust toward noise and uncertainty in the phylogeny and can account for incomplete taxon sampling. PMID:21444816

  14. The backbone of the post-synaptic density originated in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Comparative genomics of the early diverging metazoan lineages and of their unicellular sister-groups opens new window to reconstructing the genetic changes which preceded or accompanied the evolution of multicellular body plans. A recent analysis found that the genome of the nerve-less sponges encodes the homologues of most vertebrate post-synaptic proteins. In vertebrate excitatory synapses, these proteins assemble to form the post-synaptic density, a complex molecular platform linking membrane receptors, components of their signalling pathways, and the cytoskeleton. Newly available genomes from Monosiga brevicollis (a member of Choanoflagellata, the closest unicellular relatives of animals) and Trichoplax adhaerens (a member of Placozoa: besides sponges, the only nerve-less metazoans) offer an opportunity to refine our understanding of post-synaptic protein evolution. Results Searches for orthologous proteins and reconstruction of gene gains/losses based on the taxon phylogeny indicate that post-synaptic proteins originated in two main steps. The backbone scaffold proteins (Shank, Homer, DLG) and some of their partners were acquired in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans. A substantial additional set appeared in an exclusive ancestor of the Metazoa. The placozoan genome contains most post-synaptic genes but lacks some of them. Notably, the master-scaffold protein Shank might have been lost secondarily in the placozoan lineage. Conclusions The time of origination of most post-synaptic proteins was not concomitant with the acquisition of synapses or neural-like cells. The backbone of the scaffold emerged in a unicellular context and was probably not involved in cell-cell communication. Based on the reconstructed protein composition and potential interactions, its ancestral function could have been to link calcium signalling and cytoskeleton regulation. The complex later became integrated into the evolving synapse through the

  15. Crops gone wild: evolution of weeds and invasives from domesticated ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Ellstrand, Norman C; Heredia, Sylvia M; Leak-Garcia, Janet A; Heraty, Joanne M; Burger, Jutta C; Yao, Li; Nohzadeh-Malakshah, Sahar; Ridley, Caroline E

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of problematic plants, both weeds and invasives, is a topic of increasing interest. Plants that have evolved from domesticated ancestors have certain advantages for study. Because of their economic importance, domesticated plants are generally well-characterized and readily available for ecogenetic comparison with their wild descendants. Thus, the evolutionary history of crop descendants has the potential to be reconstructed in some detail. Furthermore, growing crop progenitors with their problematic descendants in a common environment allows for the identification of significant evolutionary differences that correlate with weediness or invasiveness. We sought well-established examples of invasives and weeds for which genetic and/or ethnobotanical evidence has confirmed their evolution from domesticates. We found surprisingly few cases, only 13. We examine our list for generalizations and then some selected cases to reveal how plant pests have evolved from domesticates. Despite their potential utility, crop descendants remain underexploited for evolutionary study. Promising evolutionary research opportunities for these systems are abundant and worthy of pursuit. PMID:25567942

  16. The facial skeleton of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Cobb, Samuel N

    2008-01-01

    This review uses the current morphological evidence to evaluate the facial morphology of the hypothetical last common ancestor (LCA) of the chimpanzee/bonobo (panin) and human (hominin) lineages. Some of the problems involved in reconstructing ancestral morphologies so close to the formation of a lineage are discussed. These include the prevalence of homoplasy and poor phylogenetic resolution due to a lack of defining derived features. Consequently the list of hypothetical features expected in the face of the LCA is very limited beyond its hypothesized similarity to extant Pan. It is not possible to determine with any confidence whether the facial morphology of any of the current candidate LCA taxa (Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugenensis and Sahelanthropus tchadensis) is representative of the LCA, or a stem hominin, or a stem panin or, in some cases, a hominid predating the emergence of the hominin lineage. The major evolutionary trends in the hominin lineage subsequent to the LCA are discussed in relation to the dental arcade and dentition, subnasal morphology and the size, position and prognathism of the facial skeleton. PMID:18380866

  17. Scapular shape of extant hominoids and the African ape/modern human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Green, David J; Spiewak, Ted A; Seitelman, Brielle; Gunz, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered early hominin fossil scapulae have bolstered investigations of scapular shape, which have long been used to interpret behavioral variation among primates. However, unexpected similarities between Pongo and Homo - particularly in scapular spine orientation - have raised questions about the functional utility of scapular morphology and its phylogenetic context in the hominin lineage. Not surprisingly, significant disagreement surrounds disparate morphological reconstructions of the modern human/African ape last common ancestor (LCA). Our study utilizes geometric morphometric (GM) approaches - two employing homologous, anatomical landmarks and a "spine-free" alternative using 98 sliding semilandmarks along the boundary of the subscapular fossa. The landmark-based "wireframe" GM analysis principally sorted groups by spine orientation: Homo and Pongo were similar to one another with more transversely-oriented spines as compared to Hylobates and the African apes. In contrast, Homo and Gorilla clustered together in our semilandmark analysis with superoinferiorly broad blades. Pan scapulae were similar, but had more mediolaterally compressed blades and laterally-positioned superior angles. Hylobates was superoinferiorly narrow, yet obliquely expanded relative to the vertebral border. Pongo scapulae were unique among hominoids in being nearly as broad as they were long. Previously documented 'convergence' of Homo and Pongo scapulae appears to be principally driven by similarities in spine orientation, rather than overall blade shape. Therefore, we contend that it is more parsimonious to reconstruct the African ape/Homo LCA scapula as being Gorilla-like, especially in light of similar characterizations of certain fossil hominin scapulae. Accordingly, the evolution of Pan (highly oblique spine and laterally-situated superior angle) and Homo (transversely-oriented spine) scapular morphology would have involved relatively minor shifts from this ancestral

  18. DUPCAR: Reconstructing Contiguous Ancestral Regions with Duplications

    PubMed Central

    Ratan, Aakrosh; Raney, Brian J.; Suh, Bernard B.; Zhang, Louxin; Miller, Webb; Haussler, David

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Accurately reconstructing the large-scale gene order in an ancestral genome is a critical step to better understand genome evolution. In this paper, we propose a heuristic algorithm, called DUPCAR, for reconstructing ancestral genomic orders with duplications. The method starts from the order of genes in modern genomes and predicts predecessor and successor relationships in the ancestor. Then a greedy algorithm is used to reconstruct the ancestral orders by connecting genes into contiguous regions based on predicted adjacencies. Computer simulation was used to validate the algorithm. We also applied the method to reconstruct the ancestral chromosome X of placental mammals and the ancestral genomes of the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia. PMID:18774902

  19. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  20. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V.; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D.; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J.; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R.; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J.; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  1. Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenquan; Feng, Binxiao; Xiao, Jingfa; Xia, Zhiqiang; Zhou, Xincheng; Li, Pinghua; Zhang, Weixiong; Wang, Ying; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Xiao, Gong; Liu, Jingxing; Yang, Jun; Chen, Songbi; Rabinowicz, Pablo D.; Chen, Xin; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Ceballos, Henan; Lou, Qunfeng; Zou, Meiling; Carvalho, Luiz J.C.B.; Zeng, Changying; Xia, Jing; Sun, Shixiang; Fu, Yuhua; Wang, Haiyan; Lu, Cheng; Ruan, Mengbin; Zhou, Shuigeng; Wu, Zhicheng; Liu, Hui; Kannangara, Rubini Maya; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Neale, Rebecca Louise; Bonde, Maya; Heinz, Nanna; Zhu, Wenli; Wang, Shujuan; Zhang, Yang; Pan, Kun; Wen, Mingfu; Ma, Ping-An; Li, Zhengxu; Hu, Meizhen; Liao, Wenbin; Hu, Wenbin; Zhang, Shengkui; Pei, Jinli; Guo, Anping; Guo, Jianchun; Zhang, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhengwen; Ye, Jianqiu; Ou, Wenjun; Ma, Yaqin; Liu, Xinyue; Tallon, Luke J.; Galens, Kevin; Ott, Sandra; Huang, Jie; Xue, Jingjing; An, Feifei; Yao, Qingqun; Lu, Xiaojing; Fregene, Martin; López-Lavalle, L. Augusto Becerra; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank M.; Chen, Meili; Hu, Songnian; Wu, Guojiang; Zhong, Silin; Ling, Peng; Chen, Yeyuan; Wang, Qinghuang; Liu, Guodao; Liu, Bin; Li, Kaimian; Peng, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology. PMID:25300236

  2. Structure–Function Relationships of Glycoprotein Hormones and Their Subunits’ Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Cahoreau, Claire; Klett, Danièle; Combarnous, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Glycoprotein hormones (GPHs) are the most complex molecules with hormonal activity. They exist only in vertebrates but the genes encoding their subunits’ ancestors are found in most vertebrate and invertebrate species although their roles are still unknown. In the present report, we review the available structural and functional data concerning GPHs and their subunits’ ancestors. PMID:25767463

  3. The Malthusian parameter of ascents: What prevents the exponential increase of one’s ancestors?

    PubMed Central

    Ohno, Susumu

    1996-01-01

    The reason that the indefinite exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors does not take place is found in the law of sibling interference, which can be expressed by the following simple equation:\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} \\begin{equation*}\\begin{matrix}{\\mathit{N}}_{{\\mathit{n}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{{\\blacksquare}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{ASZ}} \\enskip & \\end{matrix} {\\mathrm{\\hspace{.167em}{\\times}\\hspace{.167em}2\\hspace{.167em}=\\hspace{.167em}}}{\\mathit{N_{n+1},}}\\end{equation*}\\end{document} where Nn is the number of ancestors in the nth generation, ASZ is the average sibling size of these ancestors, and Nn+1 is the number of ancestors in the next older generation (n + 1). Accordingly, the exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors is an initial anomaly that occurs while ASZ remains at 1. Once ASZ begins to exceed 1, the rate of increase in the number of ancestors is progressively curtailed, falling further and further behind the exponential increase rate. Eventually, ASZ reaches 2, and at that point, the number of ancestors stops increasing for two generations. These two generations, named AN SA and AN SA + 1, are the most critical in the ancestry, for one’s ancestors at that point come to represent all the progeny-produced adults of the entire ancestral population. Thereafter, the fate of one’s ancestors becomes the fate of the entire population. If the population to which one belongs is a successful, slowly expanding one, the number of ancestors would slowly decline as you move toward the remote past. This is because ABZ would exceed 2. Only when ABZ is less than 2 would the number of ancestors increase beyond the AN SA and AN SA + 1 generations. Since the above is an indication of a failing population on the way to

  4. Accelerated Evolution of Enhancer Hotspots in the Mammal Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Holloway, Alisha K.; Bruneau, Benoit G.; Sukonnik, Tatyana; Rubenstein, John L.; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Mammals have evolved remarkably different sensory, reproductive, metabolic, and skeletal systems. To explore the genetic basis for these differences, we developed a comparative genomics approach to scan whole-genome multiple sequence alignments to identify regions that evolved rapidly in an ancestral lineage but are conserved within extant species. This pattern suggests that ancestral changes in function were maintained in descendants. After applying this test to therian mammals, we identified 4,797 accelerated regions, many of which are noncoding and located near developmental transcription factors. We then used mouse transgenic reporter assays to test if noncoding accelerated regions are enhancers and to determine how therian-specific substitutions affect their activity in vivo. We discovered enhancers with expression specific to the therian version in brain regions involved in the hormonal control of milk ejection, uterine contractions, blood pressure, temperature, and visual processing. This work underscores the idea that changes in developmental gene expression are important for mammalian evolution, and it pinpoints candidate genes for unique aspects of mammalian biology. PMID:26715627

  5. Accelerated Evolution of Enhancer Hotspots in the Mammal Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Holloway, Alisha K; Bruneau, Benoit G; Sukonnik, Tatyana; Rubenstein, John L; Pollard, Katherine S

    2016-04-01

    Mammals have evolved remarkably different sensory, reproductive, metabolic, and skeletal systems. To explore the genetic basis for these differences, we developed a comparative genomics approach to scan whole-genome multiple sequence alignments to identify regions that evolved rapidly in an ancestral lineage but are conserved within extant species. This pattern suggests that ancestral changes in function were maintained in descendants. After applying this test to therian mammals, we identified 4,797 accelerated regions, many of which are noncoding and located near developmental transcription factors. We then used mouse transgenic reporter assays to test if noncoding accelerated regions are enhancers and to determine how therian-specific substitutions affect their activity in vivo. We discovered enhancers with expression specific to the therian version in brain regions involved in the hormonal control of milk ejection, uterine contractions, blood pressure, temperature, and visual processing. This work underscores the idea that changes in developmental gene expression are important for mammalian evolution, and it pinpoints candidate genes for unique aspects of mammalian biology. PMID:26715627

  6. Reconstructing the Auditory Apparatus of Therapsids by Means of Neutron Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laaß, Michael; Schillinger, Burkhard

    The internal cranial structure of mammalian ancestors, i.e. the therapsids or "mammal-like reptiles", is crucial for understanding the early mammalian evolution. In the past therapsid skulls were investigated by mechanical sectioning or serial grinding, which was a very time-consuming and destructive process and could only be applied to non-valuable or poorly preserved specimens. As most therapsid skulls are embedded in terrestrial iron-rich sediments of Late Permian or Triassic age, i.e. so called "Red beds", a successful investigation with X-Rays is often not possible. We successfully investigated therapsid skulls by means of neutron tomography at the facility ANTARES at FRM II in Munich using cold neutron radiation. This kind of radiation is able to penetrate iron-rich substances in the range between 5 and 15 cm and produces a good contrast between matrix and bones, which enables segmentation of internal cranial structures such as bones, cavities and canals of nerves and blood vessels. In particular, neutron tomography combined with methods of 3D modeling was used here for the investigation and reconstruction of the auditory apparatus of therapsids.

  7. Experimental evolution of a facultative thermophile from a mesophilic ancestor.

    PubMed

    Blaby, Ian K; Lyons, Benjamin J; Wroclawska-Hughes, Ewa; Phillips, Grier C F; Pyle, Tyler P; Chamberlin, Stephen G; Benner, Steven A; Lyons, Thomas J; Crécy-Lagard, Valérie de; Crécy, Eudes de

    2012-01-01

    Experimental evolution via continuous culture is a powerful approach to the alteration of complex phenotypes, such as optimal/maximal growth temperatures. The benefit of this approach is that phenotypic selection is tied to growth rate, allowing the production of optimized strains. Herein, we demonstrate the use of a recently described long-term culture apparatus called the Evolugator for the generation of a thermophilic descendant from a mesophilic ancestor (Escherichia coli MG1655). In addition, we used whole-genome sequencing of sequentially isolated strains throughout the thermal adaptation process to characterize the evolutionary history of the resultant genotype, identifying 31 genetic alterations that may contribute to thermotolerance, although some of these mutations may be adaptive for off-target environmental parameters, such as rich medium. We undertook preliminary phenotypic analysis of mutations identified in the glpF and fabA genes. Deletion of glpF in a mesophilic wild-type background conferred significantly improved growth rates in the 43-to-48°C temperature range and altered optimal growth temperature from 37°C to 43°C. In addition, transforming our evolved thermotolerant strain (EVG1064) with a wild-type allele of glpF reduced fitness at high temperatures. On the other hand, the mutation in fabA predictably increased the degree of saturation in membrane lipids, which is a known adaptation to elevated temperature. However, transforming EVG1064 with a wild-type fabA allele had only modest effects on fitness at intermediate temperatures. The Evolugator is fully automated and demonstrates the potential to accelerate the selection for complex traits by experimental evolution and significantly decrease development time for new industrial strains. PMID:22020511

  8. Phylogenetic analysis of a newfound bat-borne hantavirus supports a laurasiatherian host association for ancestral mammalian hantaviruses.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Drexler, Jan F; Kallies, René; Ličková, Martina; Bokorová, Silvia; Mananga, Gael D; Szemes, Tomáš; Leroy, Eric M; Krüger, Detlev H; Drosten, Christian; Klempa, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Until recently, hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) were believed to originate from rodent reservoirs. However, genetically distinct hantaviruses were lately found in shrews and moles, as well as in bats from Africa and Asia. Bats (order Chiroptera) are considered important reservoir hosts for emerging human pathogens. Here, we report on the identification of a novel hantavirus, provisionally named Makokou virus (MAKV), in Noack's Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros ruber) in Gabon, Central Africa. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomic l-segment showed that MAKV was the most closely related to other bat-borne hantaviruses and shared a most recent common ancestor with the Asian hantaviruses Xuan Son and Laibin. Breakdown of the virus load in a bat animal showed that MAKV resembles rodent-borne hantaviruses in its organ distribution in that it predominantly occurred in the spleen and kidney; this provides a first insight into the infection pattern of bat-borne hantaviruses. Ancestral state reconstruction based on a tree of l gene sequences of all relevant hantavirus lineages was combined with phylogenetic fossil host hypothesis testing, leading to a statistically significant rejection of the mammalian superorder Euarchontoglires (including rodents) but not the superorder Laurasiatheria (including shrews, moles, and bats) as potential hosts of ancestral hantaviruses at most basal tree nodes. Our data supports the emerging concept of bats as previously overlooked hantavirus reservoir hosts. PMID:27051047

  9. Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Koumandou, V. Lila; Wickstead, Bill; Ginger, Michael L.; van der Giezen, Mark; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryogenesis, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, represents one of the fundamental evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth. This event, which is estimated to have occurred over one billion years ago, remains rather poorly understood. While some well-validated examples of fossil microbial eukaryotes for this time frame have been described, these can provide only basic morphology and the molecular machinery present in these organisms has remained unknown. Complete and partial genomic information has begun to fill this gap, and is being used to trace proteins and cellular traits to their roots and to provide unprecedented levels of resolution of structures, metabolic pathways and capabilities of organisms at these earliest points within the eukaryotic lineage. This is essentially allowing a molecular paleontology. What has emerged from these studies is spectacular cellular complexity prior to expansion of the eukaryotic lineages. Multiple reconstructed cellular systems indicate a very sophisticated biology, which by implication arose following the initial eukaryogenesis event but prior to eukaryotic radiation and provides a challenge in terms of explaining how these early eukaryotes arose and in understanding how they lived. Here, we provide brief overviews of several cellular systems and the major emerging conclusions, together with predictions for subsequent directions in evolution leading to extant taxa. We also consider what these reconstructions suggest about the life styles and capabilities of these earliest eukaryotes and the period of evolution between the radiation of eukaryotes and the eukaryogenesis event itself. PMID:23895660

  10. Opossum carboxylesterases: sequences, phylogeny and evidence for CES gene duplication events predating the marsupial-eutherian common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    residues previously reported for human CES1 involved in catalysis, ligand binding, tertiary structure and organelle localization. Phylogenetic studies indicated the gene duplication events which generated ancestral mammalian CES genes predated the common ancestor for marsupial and eutherian mammals, and appear to coincide with the early diversification of tetrapods. PMID:18289373

  11. The proteomic complexity and rise of the primordial ancestor of diversified life

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The last universal common ancestor represents the primordial cellular organism from which diversified life was derived. This urancestor accumulated genetic information before the rise of organismal lineages and is considered to be either a simple 'progenote' organism with a rudimentary translational apparatus or a more complex 'cenancestor' with almost all essential biological processes. Recent comparative genomic studies support the latter model and propose that the urancestor was similar to modern organisms in terms of gene content. However, most of these studies were based on molecular sequences, which are fast evolving and of limited value for deep evolutionary explorations. Results Here we engage in a phylogenomic study of protein domain structure in the proteomes of 420 free-living fully sequenced organisms. Domains were defined at the highly conserved fold superfamily (FSF) level of structural classification and an iterative phylogenomic approach was used to reconstruct max_set and min_set FSF repertoires as upper and lower bounds of the urancestral proteome. While the functional make up of the urancestral sets was complex, they represent only 5-11% of the 1,420 FSFs of extant proteomes and their make up and reuse was at least 5 and 3 times smaller than proteomes of free-living organisms, repectively. Trees of proteomes reconstructed directly from FSFs or from molecular functions, which included the max_set and min_set as articial taxa, showed that urancestors were always placed at their base and rooted the tree of life in Archaea. Finally, a molecular clock of FSFs suggests the min_set reflects urancestral genetic make up more reliably and confirms diversified life emerged about 2.9 billion years ago during the start of planet oxygenation. Conclusions The minimum urancestral FSF set reveals the urancestor had advanced metabolic capabilities, was especially rich in nucleotide metabolism enzymes, had pathways for the biosynthesis of membrane sn1

  12. 76 FR 20802 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Ancestors of the Lake...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-13

    ... Sentani and Humboldt Bay'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to... the exhibition ``Ancestors of the Lake: Art from Lake Sentani and Humboldt Bay,'' imported from...

  13. The Dispersed Archaeal Eukaryome and the Complex Archaeal Ancestor of Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Yutin, Natalya

    2014-01-01

    The ancestral set of eukaryotic genes is a chimera composed of genes of archaeal and bacterial origins thanks to the endosymbiosis event that gave rise to the mitochondria and apparently antedated the last common ancestor of the extant eukaryotes. The proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont is confidently identified as an α-proteobacterium. In contrast, the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes remains elusive, although evidence is accumulating that it could have belonged to a deep lineage within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea. Recent surveys of archaeal genomes show that the apparent ancestors of several key functional systems of eukaryotes, the components of the archaeal “eukaryome,” such as ubiquitin signaling, RNA interference, and actin-based and tubulin-based cytoskeleton structures, are identifiable in different archaeal groups. We suggest that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was a complex form, rooted deeply within the TACK superphylum, that already possessed some quintessential eukaryotic features, in particular, a cytoskeleton, and perhaps was capable of a primitive form of phagocytosis that would facilitate the engulfment of potential symbionts. This putative group of Archaea could have existed for a relatively short time before going extinct or undergoing genome streamlining, resulting in the dispersion of the eukaryome. This scenario might explain the difficulty with the identification of the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes despite the straightforward detection of apparent ancestors to many signature eukaryotic functional systems. PMID:24691961

  14. Sources of variation in ancestral sequence reconstruction for HIV-1 envelope genes

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Howard A.; Nickle, David C.; Liu, Yi; Heath, Laura; Jensen, Mark A.; Rodrigo, Allen G.; Mullins, James I.

    2007-01-01

    We characterized the variation in the reconstructed ancestor of 118 HIV-1 envelope gene sequences arising from the methods used for (a) estimating and (b) rooting the phylogenetic tree, and (c) reconstructing the ancestor on that tree, from (d) the sequence format, and from (e) the number of input sequences. The method of rooting the tree was responsible for most of the sequence variation both among the reconstructed ancestral sequences and between the ancestral and observed sequences. Variation in predicted 3-D structural properties of the ancestors mirrored their sequence variation. The observed sequence consensus and ancestral sequences from center-rooted trees were most similar in all predicted attributes. Only for the predicted number of N-glycosylation sites was there a difference between MP and ML methods of reconstruction. Taxon sampling effects were observed only for outgroup-rooted trees, not center-rooted, reflecting the occurrence of several divergent basal sequences. Thus, for sequences exhibiting a radial phylogenetic tree, as does HIV-1, most of the variation in the estimated ancestor arises from the method of rooting the phylogenetic tree. Those investigating the ancestors of genes exhibiting such a radial tree should pay particular attention to alternate rooting methods in order to obtain a representative sample of ancestors. PMID:19455202

  15. Mammalian cardiolipin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Mejia, Edgard M; Nguyen, Hieu; Hatch, Grant M

    2014-04-01

    Cardiolipin is a major phospholipid in mitochondria and is involved in the generation of cellular energy in the form of ATP. In mammalian and eukaryotic cells it is synthesized via the cytidine-5'-diphosphate-1,2-diacyl-sn-glycerol phosphate pathway. This brief review will describe some of the more recent studies on mammalian cardiolipin biosynthesis and provide an overview of regulation of cardiolipin biosynthesis. In addition, the important role that this key phospholipid plays in disease processes including heart failure, diabetes, thyroid hormone disease and the genetic disease Barth Syndrome will be discussed. PMID:24144810

  16. Mammalian genes induce partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells in non-mammalian vertebrate and invertebrate species

    PubMed Central

    Rosselló, Ricardo Antonio; Chen, Chun-Chun; Dai, Rui; Howard, Jason T; Hochgeschwender, Ute; Jarvis, Erich D

    2013-01-01

    Cells are fundamental units of life, but little is known about evolution of cell states. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are once differentiated cells that have been re-programmed to an embryonic stem cell-like state, providing a powerful platform for biology and medicine. However, they have been limited to a few mammalian species. Here we found that a set of four mammalian transcription factor genes used to generate iPSCs in mouse and humans can induce a partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cell (PRPSCs) state in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms, in mammals, birds, fish, and fly, which span 550 million years from a common ancestor. These findings are one of the first to show cross-lineage stem cell-like induction, and to generate pluripotent-like cells for several of these species with in vivo chimeras. We suggest that the stem-cell state may be highly conserved across a wide phylogenetic range. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00036.001 PMID:24015354

  17. Comparative analysis of the primate X-inactivation center region and reconstruction of the ancestral primate XIST locus

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Julie E.; Sheedy, Christina B.; Merrett, Stephanie L.; Diallo, Abdoulaye Banire; Swofford, David L.; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program; Green, Eric D.; Willard, Huntington F.

    2011-01-01

    Here we provide a detailed comparative analysis across the candidate X-Inactivation Center (XIC) region and the XIST locus in the genomes of six primates and three mammalian outgroup species. Since lemurs and other strepsirrhine primates represent the sister lineage to all other primates, this analysis focuses on lemurs to reconstruct the ancestral primate sequences and to gain insight into the evolution of this region and the genes within it. This comparative evolutionary genomics approach reveals significant expansion in genomic size across the XIC region in higher primates, with minimal size alterations across the XIST locus itself. Reconstructed primate ancestral XIC sequences show that the most dramatic changes during the past 80 million years occurred between the ancestral primate and the lineage leading to Old World monkeys. In contrast, the XIST locus compared between human and the primate ancestor does not indicate any dramatic changes to exons or XIST-specific repeats; rather, evolution of this locus reflects small incremental changes in overall sequence identity and short repeat insertions. While this comparative analysis reinforces that the region around XIST has been subject to significant genomic change, even among primates, our data suggest that evolution of the XIST sequences themselves represents only small lineage-specific changes across the past 80 million years. PMID:21518738

  18. Globin-coupled sensors, protoglobins, and the last universal common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Tracey Allen K; Saito, Jennifer A; Hou, Shaobin; Alam, Maqsudul

    2005-01-01

    The strategy for detecting oxygen, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and sulfides is predominantly through heme-based sensors utilizing either a globin domain or a PAS domain. Whereas PAS domains bind various cofactors, globins bind only heme. Globin-coupled sensors (GCSs) were first described as regulators of the aerotactic responses in Bacillus subtilis and Halobacterium salinarum. GCSs were also identified in diverse microorganisms that appear to have roles in regulating gene expression. Functional and evolutionary analyses of the GCSs, their protoglobin ancestor, and their relationship to the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) are discussed in the context of globin-based signal transduction. PMID:15598488

  19. The artiodactyl APOBEC3 innate immune repertoire shows evidence for a multi-functional domain organization that existed in the ancestor of placental mammals

    PubMed Central

    LaRue, Rebecca S; Jónsson, Stefán R; Silverstein, Kevin AT; Lajoie, Mathieu; Bertrand, Denis; El-Mabrouk, Nadia; Hötzel, Isidro; Andrésdóttir, Valgerdur; Smith, Timothy PL; Harris, Reuben S

    2008-01-01

    Background APOBEC3 (A3) proteins deaminate DNA cytosines and block the replication of retroviruses and retrotransposons. Each A3 gene encodes a protein with one or two conserved zinc-coordinating motifs (Z1, Z2 or Z3). The presence of one A3 gene in mice (Z2–Z3) and seven in humans, A3A-H (Z1a, Z2a-Z1b, Z2b, Z2c-Z2d, Z2e-Z2f, Z2g-Z1c, Z3), suggests extraordinary evolutionary flexibility. To gain insights into the mechanism and timing of A3 gene expansion and into the functional modularity of these genes, we analyzed the genomic sequences, expressed cDNAs and activities of the full A3 repertoire of three artiodactyl lineages: sheep, cattle and pigs. Results Sheep and cattle have three A3 genes, A3Z1, A3Z2 and A3Z3, whereas pigs only have two, A3Z2 and A3Z3. A comparison between domestic and wild pigs indicated that A3Z1 was deleted in the pig lineage. In all three species, read-through transcription and alternative splicing also produced a catalytically active double domain A3Z2-Z3 protein that had a distinct cytoplasmic localization. Thus, the three A3 genes of sheep and cattle encode four conserved and active proteins. These data, together with phylogenetic analyses, indicated that a similar, functionally modular A3 repertoire existed in the common ancestor of artiodactyls and primates (i.e., the ancestor of placental mammals). This mammalian ancestor therefore possessed the minimal A3 gene set, Z1-Z2-Z3, required to evolve through a remarkable series of eight recombination events into the present day eleven Z domain human repertoire. Conclusion The dynamic recombination-filled history of the mammalian A3 genes is consistent with the modular nature of the locus and a model in which most of these events (especially the expansions) were selected by ancient pathogenic retrovirus infections. PMID:19017397

  20. Mammalian Septins Nomenclature

    PubMed Central

    Macara, Ian G.; Baldarelli, Richard; Field, Christine M.; Glotzer, Michael; Hayashi, Yasuhide; Hsu, Shu-Chan; Kennedy, Mary B.; Kinoshita, Makoto; Longtine, Mark; Low, Claudia; Maltais, Lois J.; McKenzie, Louise; Mitchison, Timothy J.; Nishikawa, Toru; Noda, Makoto; Petty, Elizabeth M.; Peifer, Mark; Pringle, John R.; Robinson, Phillip J.; Roth, Dagmar; Russell, S.E. Hilary; Stuhlmann, Heidi; Tanaka, Manami; Tanaka, Tomoo; Trimble, William S.; Ware, Jerry; Zeleznik-Le, Nancy J.; Zieger, Barbara

    2002-01-01

    There are 10 known mammalian septin genes, some of which produce multiple splice variants. The current nomenclature for the genes and gene products is very confusing, with several different names having been given to the same gene product and distinct names given to splice variants of the same gene. Moreover, some names are based on those of yeast or Drosophila septins that are not the closest homologues. Therefore, we suggest that the mammalian septin field adopt a common nomenclature system, based on that adopted by the Mouse Genomic Nomenclature Committee and accepted by the Human Genome Organization Gene Nomenclature Committee. The human and mouse septin genes will be named SEPT1–SEPT10 and Sept1–Sept10, respectively. Splice variants will be designated by an underscore followed by a lowercase “v” and a number, e.g., SEPT4_v1. PMID:12475938

  1. Mammalian sweet taste receptors.

    PubMed

    Nelson, G; Hoon, M A; Chandrashekar, J; Zhang, Y; Ryba, N J; Zuker, C S

    2001-08-10

    The sense of taste provides animals with valuable information about the quality and nutritional value of food. Previously, we identified a large family of mammalian taste receptors involved in bitter taste perception (the T2Rs). We now report the characterization of mammalian sweet taste receptors. First, transgenic rescue experiments prove that the Sac locus encodes T1R3, a member of the T1R family of candidate taste receptors. Second, using a heterologous expression system, we demonstrate that T1R2 and T1R3 combine to function as a sweet receptor, recognizing sweet-tasting molecules as diverse as sucrose, saccharin, dulcin, and acesulfame-K. Finally, we present a detailed analysis of the patterns of expression of T1Rs and T2Rs, thus providing a view of the representation of sweet and bitter taste at the periphery. PMID:11509186

  2. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    PubMed Central

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  3. No known hominin species matches the expected dental morphology of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Polly, P. David

    2013-01-01

    A central problem in paleoanthropology is the identity of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans ([N-MH]LCA). Recently developed analytical techniques now allow this problem to be addressed using a probabilistic morphological framework. This study provides a quantitative reconstruction of the expected dental morphology of the [N-MH]LCA and an assessment of whether known fossil species are compatible with this ancestral position. We show that no known fossil species is a suitable candidate for being the [N-MH]LCA and that all late Early and Middle Pleistocene taxa from Europe have Neanderthal dental affinities, pointing to the existence of a European clade originated around 1 Ma. These results are incongruent with younger molecular divergence estimates and suggest at least one of the following must be true: (i) European fossils and the [N-MH]LCA selectively retained primitive dental traits; (ii) molecular estimates of the divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans are underestimated; or (iii) phenotypic divergence and speciation between both species were decoupled such that phenotypic differentiation, at least in dental morphology, predated speciation. PMID:24145426

  4. Analyzing the Rate at Which Languages Lose the Influence of a Common Ancestor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafferty, Anna N.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Klein, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the rate at which languages change can clarify whether similarities across languages are solely the result of cognitive biases or might be partially due to descent from a common ancestor. To demonstrate this approach, we use a simple model of language evolution to mathematically determine how long it should take for the distribution over…

  5. Integration of Morphological Data into Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis: Toward the Identikit of the Stylasterid Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Puce, Stefania; Pica, Daniela; Schiaparelli, Stefano; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Stylasteridae is a hydroid family including 29 worldwide-distributed genera, all provided with a calcareous skeleton. They are abundant in shallow and deep waters and represent an important component of marine communities. In the present paper, we studied the evolution of ten morphological characters, currently used in stylasterid taxonomy, using a phylogenetic approach. Our results indicate that stylasterid morphology is highly plastic and that many events of independent evolution and reversion have occurred. Our analysis also allows sketching a possible identikit of the stylasterid ancestor. It had calcareous skeleton, reticulate-granular coenosteal texture, polyps randomly arranged, gastrostyle, and dactylopore spines, while lacking a gastropore lip and dactylostyles. If the ancestor had single or double/multiple chambered gastropore tube is uncertain. These data suggest that the ancestor was similar to the extant genera Cyclohelia and Stellapora. Our investigation is the first attempt to integrate molecular and morphological information to clarify the stylasterid evolutionary scenario and represents the first step to infer the stylasterid ancestor morphology. PMID:27537333

  6. Integration of Morphological Data into Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis: Toward the Identikit of the Stylasterid Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Puce, Stefania; Pica, Daniela; Schiaparelli, Stefano; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Stylasteridae is a hydroid family including 29 worldwide-distributed genera, all provided with a calcareous skeleton. They are abundant in shallow and deep waters and represent an important component of marine communities. In the present paper, we studied the evolution of ten morphological characters, currently used in stylasterid taxonomy, using a phylogenetic approach. Our results indicate that stylasterid morphology is highly plastic and that many events of independent evolution and reversion have occurred. Our analysis also allows sketching a possible identikit of the stylasterid ancestor. It had calcareous skeleton, reticulate-granular coenosteal texture, polyps randomly arranged, gastrostyle, and dactylopore spines, while lacking a gastropore lip and dactylostyles. If the ancestor had single or double/multiple chambered gastropore tube is uncertain. These data suggest that the ancestor was similar to the extant genera Cyclohelia and Stellapora. Our investigation is the first attempt to integrate molecular and morphological information to clarify the stylasterid evolutionary scenario and represents the first step to infer the stylasterid ancestor morphology. PMID:27537333

  7. Genome sequence and annotation of Trichoderma parareesei, the ancestor of the cellulase producer Trichoderma reesei

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Dongqing; Pomraning, Kyle; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Karimi, Aghcheh Razieh; Atanasova, Lea; Chenthamara, Komal; Baker, Scott E.; Zhang, Ruifu; Shen, Qirong; Freitag, Michael; et al

    2015-08-13

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma parareesei is the asexually reproducing ancestor of Trichoderma reesei, the holomorphic industrial producer of cellulase and hemicellulase. Here, we present the genome sequence of the T. parareesei type strain CBS 125925, which contains genes for 9,318 proteins.

  8. Sugarcane yellow leaf virus: an emerging virus that has evolved by recombination between luteoviral and poleroviral ancestors.

    PubMed

    Moonan, F; Molina, J; Mirkov, T E

    2000-03-30

    We have derived the genomic nucleotide sequence of an emerging virus, the Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (ScYLV), and shown that it produces one to two subgenomic RNAs. The family Luteoviridae currently includes the Luteovirus, Polerovirus, and Enamovirus genera. With the new ScYLV nucleotide sequence and existing Luteoviridae sequence information, we have utilized new phylogenetic and evolutionary methodologies to identify homologous regions of Luteoviridae genomes, which have statistically significant altered nucleotide substitution ratios and have produced a reconstructed phylogeny of the Luteoviridae. The data indicate that Pea enation mosaic virus-1 (PEMV-1), Soybean dwarf virus (SbDV), and ScYLV exhibit spatial phylogenetic variation (SPV) consistent with recombination events that have occurred between poleroviral and luteoviral ancestors, after the divergence of these two progenitor groups. The reconstructed phylogeny confirms a contention that a continuum in the derived sequence evolution of the Luteoviridae has been established by intrafamilial as well as extrafamilial RNA recombination and expands the database of recombinant Luteoviridae genomes that are currently needed to resolve better defined means for generic discrimination in the Luteoviridae (D'Arcy, C. J. and Mayo, M. 1997. Arch. Virol. 142, 1285-1287). The analyses of the nucleotide substitution ratios from a nucleotide alignment of Luteoviridae genomes substantiates the hypothesis that hot spots for RNA recombination in this virus family are associated with the known sites for the transcription of subgenomic RNAs (Miller et al. 1995. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 14, 179-211), and provides new information that might be utilized to better design more effective means to generate transgene-mediated host resistance. PMID:10725208

  9. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo

    PubMed Central

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-01-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan–Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  10. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo.

    PubMed

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-04-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan-Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  11. Mammalian Evolution May not Be Strictly Bifurcating

    PubMed Central

    Hallström, Björn M.; Janke, Axel

    2010-01-01

    The massive amount of genomic sequence data that is now available for analyzing evolutionary relationships among 31 placental mammals reduces the stochastic error in phylogenetic analyses to virtually zero. One would expect that this would make it possible to finally resolve controversial branches in the placental mammalian tree. We analyzed a 2,863,797 nucleotide-long alignment (3,364 genes) from 31 placental mammals for reconstructing their evolution. Most placental mammalian relationships were resolved, and a consensus of their evolution is emerging. However, certain branches remain difficult or virtually impossible to resolve. These branches are characterized by short divergence times in the order of 1–4 million years. Computer simulations based on parameters from the real data show that as little as about 12,500 amino acid sites could be sufficient to confidently resolve short branches as old as about 90 million years ago (Ma). Thus, the amount of sequence data should no longer be a limiting factor in resolving the relationships among placental mammals. The timing of the early radiation of placental mammals coincides with a period of climate warming some 100–80 Ma and with continental fragmentation. These global processes may have triggered the rapid diversification of placental mammals. However, the rapid radiations of certain mammalian groups complicate phylogenetic analyses, possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting and introgression. These speciation-related processes led to a mosaic genome and conflicting phylogenetic signals. Split network methods are ideal for visualizing these problematic branches and can therefore depict data conflict and possibly the true evolutionary history better than strictly bifurcating trees. Given the timing of tectonics, of placental mammalian divergences, and the fossil record, a Laurasian rather than Gondwanan origin of placental mammals seems the most parsimonious explanation. PMID:20591845

  12. Common circuit design in fly and mammalian motion vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander; Helmstaedter, Moritz

    2015-08-01

    Motion-sensitive neurons have long been studied in both the mammalian retina and the insect optic lobe, yet striking similarities have become obvious only recently. Detailed studies at the circuit level revealed that, in both systems, (i) motion information is extracted from primary visual information in parallel ON and OFF pathways; (ii) in each pathway, the process of elementary motion detection involves the correlation of signals with different temporal dynamics; and (iii) primary motion information from both pathways converges at the next synapse, resulting in four groups of ON-OFF neurons, selective for the four cardinal directions. Given that the last common ancestor of insects and mammals lived about 550 million years ago, this general strategy seems to be a robust solution for how to compute the direction of visual motion with neural hardware. PMID:26120965

  13. One ancestor for two codes viewed from the perspective of two complementary modes of tRNA aminoacylation

    PubMed Central

    Rodin, Andrei S; Szathmáry, Eörs; Rodin, Sergei N

    2009-01-01

    Background The genetic code is brought into action by 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. These enzymes are evenly divided into two classes (I and II) that recognize tRNAs from the minor and major groove sides of the acceptor stem, respectively. We have reported recently that: (1) ribozymic precursors of the synthetases seem to have used the same two sterically mirror modes of tRNA recognition, (2) having these two modes might have helped in preventing erroneous aminoacylation of ancestral tRNAs with complementary anticodons, yet (3) the risk of confusion for the presumably earliest pairs of complementarily encoded amino acids had little to do with anticodons. Accordingly, in this communication we focus on the acceptor stem. Results Our main result is the emergence of a palindrome structure for the acceptor stem's common ancestor, reconstructed from the phylogenetic trees of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. In parallel, for pairs of ancestral tRNAs with complementary anticodons, we present updated evidence of concerted complementarity of the second bases in the acceptor stems. These two results suggest that the first pairs of "complementary" amino acids that were engaged in primordial coding, such as Gly and Ala, could have avoided erroneous aminoacylation if and only if the acceptor stems of their adaptors were recognized from the same, major groove, side. The class II protein synthetases then inherited this "primary preference" from isofunctional ribozymes. Conclusion Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that the genetic code per se (the one associated with the anticodons) and the operational code of aminoacylation (associated with the acceptor) diverged from a common ancestor that probably began developing before translation. The primordial advantage of linking some amino acids (most likely glycine and alanine) to the ancestral acceptor stem may have been selective retention in a protocell surrounded by a leaky membrane for use in nucleotide and coenzyme

  14. Mammalian Endogenous Retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Mager, Dixie L; Stoye, Jonathan P

    2015-02-01

    Over 40% of mammalian genomes comprise the products of reverse transcription. Among such retrotransposed sequences are those characterized by the presence of long terminal repeats (LTRs), including the endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are inherited genetic elements closely resembling the proviruses formed following exogenous retrovirus infection. Sequences derived from ERVs make up at least 8 to 10% of the human and mouse genomes and range from ancient sequences that predate mammalian divergence to elements that are currently still active. In this chapter we describe the discovery, classification and origins of ERVs in mammals and consider cellular mechanisms that have evolved to control their expression. We also discuss the negative effects of ERVs as agents of genetic disease and cancer and review examples of ERV protein domestication to serve host functions, as in placental development. Finally, we address growing evidence that the gene regulatory potential of ERV LTRs has been exploited multiple times during evolution to regulate genes and gene networks. Thus, although recently endogenized retroviral elements are often pathogenic, those that survive the forces of negative selection become neutral components of the host genome or can be harnessed to serve beneficial roles. PMID:26104559

  15. RNase MRP and the RNA processing cascade in the eukaryotic ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Woodhams, Michael D; Stadler, Peter F; Penny, David; Collins, Lesley J

    2007-01-01

    Background Within eukaryotes there is a complex cascade of RNA-based macromolecules that process other RNA molecules, especially mRNA, tRNA and rRNA. An example is RNase MRP processing ribosomal RNA (rRNA) in ribosome biogenesis. One hypothesis is that this complexity was present early in eukaryotic evolution; an alternative is that an initial simpler network later gained complexity by gene duplication in lineages that led to animals, fungi and plants. Recently there has been a rapid increase in support for the complexity-early theory because the vast majority of these RNA-processing reactions are found throughout eukaryotes, and thus were likely to be present in the last common ancestor of living eukaryotes, herein called the Eukaryotic Ancestor. Results We present an overview of the RNA processing cascade in the Eukaryotic Ancestor and investigate in particular, RNase MRP which was previously thought to have evolved later in eukaryotes due to its apparent limited distribution in fungi and animals and plants. Recent publications, as well as our own genomic searches, find previously unknown RNase MRP RNAs, indicating that RNase MRP has a wide distribution in eukaryotes. Combining secondary structure and promoter region analysis of RNAs for RNase MRP, along with analysis of the target substrate (rRNA), allows us to discuss this distribution in the light of eukaryotic evolution. Conclusion We conclude that RNase MRP can now be placed in the RNA-processing cascade of the Eukaryotic Ancestor, highlighting the complexity of RNA-processing in early eukaryotes. Promoter analyses of MRP-RNA suggest that regulation of the critical processes of rRNA cleavage can vary, showing that even these key cellular processes (for which we expect high conservation) show some species-specific variability. We present our consensus MRP-RNA secondary structure as a useful model for further searches. PMID:17288571

  16. The mammalian blastocyst.

    PubMed

    Frankenberg, Stephen R; de Barros, Flavia R O; Rossant, Janet; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2016-01-01

    The blastocyst is a mammalian invention that carries the embryo from cleavage to gastrulation. For such a simple structure, it exhibits remarkable diversity in its mode of formation, morphology, longevity, and intimacy with the uterine endometrium. This review explores this diversity in the light of the evolution of viviparity, comparing the three main groups of mammals: monotremes, marsupials, and eutherians. The principal drivers in blastocyst evolution were loss of yolk coupled with evolution of the placenta. An important outcome of blastocyst development is differentiation of two extraembryonic lineages (trophoblast and hypoblast) that contribute to the placenta. While in many species trophoblast segregation is often coupled with blastocyst formation, in marsupials and at least some Afrotherians, these events do not coincide. Thus, many questions regarding the conservation of molecular mechanisms controlling these events are of great interest but currently unresolved. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26799266

  17. Mammalian phospholipase C.

    PubMed

    Kadamur, Ganesh; Ross, Elliott M

    2013-01-01

    Phospholipase C (PLC) converts phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) and diacylglycerol (DAG). DAG and IP(3) each control diverse cellular processes and are also substrates for synthesis of other important signaling molecules. PLC is thus central to many important interlocking regulatory networks. Mammals express six families of PLCs, each with both unique and overlapping controls over expression and subcellular distribution. Each PLC also responds acutely to its own spectrum of activators that includes heterotrimeric G protein subunits, protein tyrosine kinases, small G proteins, Ca(2+), and phospholipids. Mammalian PLCs are autoinhibited by a region in the catalytic TIM barrel domain that is the target of much of their acute regulation. In combination, the PLCs act as a signaling nexus that integrates numerous signaling inputs, critically governs PIP(2) levels, and regulates production of important second messengers to determine cell behavior over the millisecond to hour timescale. PMID:23140367

  18. Heterokont Predator Develorapax marinus gen. et sp. nov. – A Model of the Ochrophyte Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Aleoshin, Vladimir V.; Mylnikov, Alexander P.; Mirzaeva, Gulnara S.; Mikhailov, Kirill V.; Karpov, Sergey A.

    2016-01-01

    Heterotrophic lineages of Heterokonta (or stramenopiles), in contrast to a single monophyletic group of autotrophs, Ochrophyta, form several clades that independently branch off the heterokont stem lineage. The nearest neighbors of Ochrophyta in the phylogenetic tree appear to be almost exclusively bacterivorous, whereas the hypothesis of plastid acquisition by the ancestors of the ochrophyte lineage suggests an ability to engulf eukaryotic alga. In line with this hypothesis, the heterotrophic predator at the base of the ochrophyte lineage may be regarded as a model for the ochrophyte ancestor. Here, we present a new genus and species of marine free-living heterotrophic heterokont Develorapax marinus, which falls into an isolated heterokont cluster, along with the marine flagellate Developayella elegans, and is able to engulf eukaryotic cells. Together with environmental sequences D. marinus and D. elegans form a class-level clade Developea nom. nov. represented by species adapted to different environmental conditions and with a wide geographical distribution. The position of Developea among Heterokonta in large-scale phylogenetic tree is discussed. We propose that members of the Developea clade represent a model for transition from bacterivory to a predatory feeding mode by selection for larger prey. Presumably, such transition in the grazing strategy is possible in the presence of bacterial biofilms or aggregates expected in eutrophic environment, and has likely occurred in the ochrophyte ancestor. PMID:27536283

  19. Heterokont Predator Develorapax marinus gen. et sp. nov. - A Model of the Ochrophyte Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Aleoshin, Vladimir V; Mylnikov, Alexander P; Mirzaeva, Gulnara S; Mikhailov, Kirill V; Karpov, Sergey A

    2016-01-01

    Heterotrophic lineages of Heterokonta (or stramenopiles), in contrast to a single monophyletic group of autotrophs, Ochrophyta, form several clades that independently branch off the heterokont stem lineage. The nearest neighbors of Ochrophyta in the phylogenetic tree appear to be almost exclusively bacterivorous, whereas the hypothesis of plastid acquisition by the ancestors of the ochrophyte lineage suggests an ability to engulf eukaryotic alga. In line with this hypothesis, the heterotrophic predator at the base of the ochrophyte lineage may be regarded as a model for the ochrophyte ancestor. Here, we present a new genus and species of marine free-living heterotrophic heterokont Develorapax marinus, which falls into an isolated heterokont cluster, along with the marine flagellate Developayella elegans, and is able to engulf eukaryotic cells. Together with environmental sequences D. marinus and D. elegans form a class-level clade Developea nom. nov. represented by species adapted to different environmental conditions and with a wide geographical distribution. The position of Developea among Heterokonta in large-scale phylogenetic tree is discussed. We propose that members of the Developea clade represent a model for transition from bacterivory to a predatory feeding mode by selection for larger prey. Presumably, such transition in the grazing strategy is possible in the presence of bacterial biofilms or aggregates expected in eutrophic environment, and has likely occurred in the ochrophyte ancestor. PMID:27536283

  20. Mitochondria, the Cell Cycle, and the Origin of Sex via a Syncytial Eukaryote Common Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sriram G; Martin, William F

    2016-01-01

    Theories for the origin of sex traditionally start with an asexual mitosing cell and add recombination, thereby deriving meiosis from mitosis. Though sex was clearly present in the eukaryote common ancestor, the order of events linking the origin of sex and the origin of mitosis is unknown. Here, we present an evolutionary inference for the origin of sex starting with a bacterial ancestor of mitochondria in the cytosol of its archaeal host. We posit that symbiotic association led to the origin of mitochondria and gene transfer to host's genome, generating a nucleus and a dedicated translational compartment, the eukaryotic cytosol, in which-by virtue of mitochondria-metabolic energy was not limiting. Spontaneous protein aggregation (monomer polymerization) and Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP)-dependent macromolecular movement in the cytosol thereby became selectable, giving rise to continuous microtubule-dependent chromosome separation (reduction division). We propose that eukaryotic chromosome division arose in a filamentous, syncytial, multinucleated ancestor, in which nuclei with insufficient chromosome numbers could complement each other through mRNA in the cytosol and generate new chromosome combinations through karyogamy. A syncytial (or coenocytic, a synonym) eukaryote ancestor, or Coeca, would account for the observation that the process of eukaryotic chromosome separation is more conserved than the process of eukaryotic cell division. The first progeny of such a syncytial ancestor were likely equivalent to meiospores, released into the environment by the host's vesicle secretion machinery. The natural ability of archaea (the host) to fuse and recombine brought forth reciprocal recombination among fusing (syngamy and karyogamy) progeny-sex-in an ancestrally meiotic cell cycle, from which the simpler haploid and diploid mitotic cell cycles arose. The origin of eukaryotes was the origin of vertical lineage inheritance, and sex was required to keep vertically

  1. A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wu, Shaoyuan; Martin, Thomas; Luo, Zhe-Xi

    2013-08-01

    The earliest evolution of mammals and origins of mammalian features can be traced to the mammaliaforms of the Triassic and Jurassic periods that are extinct relatives to living mammals. Here we describe a new fossil from the Middle Jurassic that has a mandibular middle ear, a gradational transition of thoracolumbar vertebrae and primitive ankle features, but highly derived molars with a high crown and multiple roots that are partially fused. The upper molars have longitudinal cusp rows that occlude alternately with those of the lower molars. This specialization for masticating plants indicates that herbivory evolved among mammaliaforms, before the rise of crown mammals. The new species shares the distinctive dental features of the eleutherodontid clade, previously represented only by isolated teeth despite its extensive geographic distribution during the Jurassic. This eleutherodontid was terrestrial and had ambulatory gaits, analogous to extant terrestrial mammals such as armadillos or rock hyrax. Its fur corroborates that mammalian integument had originated well before the common ancestor of living mammals. PMID:23925238

  2. Evolutionary history and metabolic insights of ancient mammalian uricases.

    PubMed

    Kratzer, James T; Lanaspa, Miguel A; Murphy, Michael N; Cicerchi, Christina; Graves, Christina L; Tipton, Peter A; Ortlund, Eric A; Johnson, Richard J; Gaucher, Eric A

    2014-03-11

    Uricase is an enzyme involved in purine catabolism and is found in all three domains of life. Curiously, uricase is not functional in some organisms despite its role in converting highly insoluble uric acid into 5-hydroxyisourate. Of particular interest is the observation that apes, including humans, cannot oxidize uric acid, and it appears that multiple, independent evolutionary events led to the silencing or pseudogenization of the uricase gene in ancestral apes. Various arguments have been made to suggest why natural selection would allow the accumulation of uric acid despite the physiological consequences of crystallized monosodium urate acutely causing liver/kidney damage or chronically causing gout. We have applied evolutionary models to understand the history of primate uricases by resurrecting ancestral mammalian intermediates before the pseudogenization events of this gene family. Resurrected proteins reveal that ancestral uricases have steadily decreased in activity since the last common ancestor of mammals gave rise to descendent primate lineages. We were also able to determine the 3D distribution of amino acid replacements as they accumulated during evolutionary history by crystallizing a mammalian uricase protein. Further, ancient and modern uricases were stably transfected into HepG2 liver cells to test one hypothesis that uricase pseudogenization allowed ancient frugivorous apes to rapidly convert fructose into fat. Finally, pharmacokinetics of an ancient uricase injected in rodents suggest that our integrated approach provides the foundation for an evolutionarily-engineered enzyme capable of treating gout and preventing tumor lysis syndrome in human patients. PMID:24550457

  3. Evolution and development of the mammalian cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Molnár, Zoltán; Kaas, Jon H.; de Carlos, Juan A.; Hevner, Robert F.; Lein, Ed; Němec, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    Comparative developmental studies of the mammalian brain can identify key changes that can generate the diverse structures and functions of brains. We have studied how the neocortex of early mammals became organized into functionally distinct areas, and how the current level of cortical cellular and laminar specialization arose from the simpler premammalian cortex. We demonstrate the neocortical organization in early mammals that is most informative for an understanding of how the large, complex human brain evolved from a long line of ancestors. The radial and tangential enlargement of the cortex was driven by changes in the patterns of cortical neurogenesis, including alterations in the proportions of distinct progenitor types. Some cortical cell populations travel to the cortex through tangential migration, others migrate radially. A number of recent studies have begun to characterize the chick, mouse, human and non-human primate cortical transcriptome to help us understand how gene expression relates to the development, and to the anatomical and functional organization of the adult neocortex. Although all mammalian forms share the basic layout of cortical areas, the areal proportions and distributions are driven by distinct evolutionary pressures acting on sensory and motor experiences during the individual ontogenies. PMID:24776993

  4. Evolutionary history and metabolic insights of ancient mammalian uricases

    PubMed Central

    Kratzer, James T.; Lanaspa, Miguel A.; Murphy, Michael N.; Cicerchi, Christina; Graves, Christina L.; Tipton, Peter A.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Johnson, Richard J.; Gaucher, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    Uricase is an enzyme involved in purine catabolism and is found in all three domains of life. Curiously, uricase is not functional in some organisms despite its role in converting highly insoluble uric acid into 5-hydroxyisourate. Of particular interest is the observation that apes, including humans, cannot oxidize uric acid, and it appears that multiple, independent evolutionary events led to the silencing or pseudogenization of the uricase gene in ancestral apes. Various arguments have been made to suggest why natural selection would allow the accumulation of uric acid despite the physiological consequences of crystallized monosodium urate acutely causing liver/kidney damage or chronically causing gout. We have applied evolutionary models to understand the history of primate uricases by resurrecting ancestral mammalian intermediates before the pseudogenization events of this gene family. Resurrected proteins reveal that ancestral uricases have steadily decreased in activity since the last common ancestor of mammals gave rise to descendent primate lineages. We were also able to determine the 3D distribution of amino acid replacements as they accumulated during evolutionary history by crystallizing a mammalian uricase protein. Further, ancient and modern uricases were stably transfected into HepG2 liver cells to test one hypothesis that uricase pseudogenization allowed ancient frugivorous apes to rapidly convert fructose into fat. Finally, pharmacokinetics of an ancient uricase injected in rodents suggest that our integrated approach provides the foundation for an evolutionarily-engineered enzyme capable of treating gout and preventing tumor lysis syndrome in human patients. PMID:24550457

  5. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    Wax monoesters are synthesized by the esterification of fatty alcohols and fatty acids. A mammalian enzyme that catalyzes this reaction has not been isolated. We used expression cloning to identify cDNAs encoding a wax synthase in the mouse preputial gland. The wax synthase gene is located on the X chromosome and encodes a member of the acyltransferase family of enzymes that synthesize neutral lipids. Expression of wax synthase in cultured cells led to the formation of wax monoesters from straight chain saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty alcohols and acids. Polyisoprenols also were incorporated into wax monoesters by the enzyme. The wax synthase had little or no ability to synthesize cholesteryl esters, diacylglycerols, or triacylglycerols, whereas other acyltransferases, including the acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes and the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes, exhibited modest wax monoester synthesis activities. Confocal light microscopy indicated that the wax synthase was localized in membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Wax synthase mRNA was abundant in tissues rich in sebaceous glands such as the preputial gland and eyelid and was present at lower levels in other tissues. Coexpression of cDNAs specifying fatty acyl-CoA reductase 1 and wax synthase led to the synthesis of wax monoesters. The data suggest that wax monoester synthesis in mammals involves a two step biosynthetic pathway catalyzed by fatty acyl-CoA reductase and wax synthase enzymes. PMID:15220349

  6. Structure of mammalian metallothionein

    SciTech Connect

    Kaegi, J.H.R.; Vasak, M.; Lerch, K.; Gilg, D.E.O.; Hunziker, P.; Bernhard, W.R.; Good, M.

    1984-03-01

    All mammalian metallothioneins characterized contain a single polypeptide chain of 61 amino acid residues, among them 20 cysteines providing the ligands for seven metal-binding sites. Native metallothioneins are usually heterogeneous in metal composition, with Zn, Cd, and Cu occurring in varying proportions. However, forms containing only a single metal species, i.e., Zn, Cd, Ni, Co, Hg, Pb, Bi, have now been prepared by in vitro reconstitution from the metal-free apoprotein. By spectroscopic analysis of such derivatives it was established that all cysteine residues participate in metal binding, that each metal ion is bound to four thiolate ligands, and that the symmetry of each complex is close to that of a tetrahedron. To satisfy the requirements of the overall Me/sub 7/(Cys/sup -/)/sub 20/ stoichiometry, the complexes must be combined to form metal-thiolate cluster structures. The actual spatial organization of the clusters and the polypeptide chain remains to be established. An attractive possibility is the arrangement of the tetrahedral metal-thiolates in adamantane-like structures surrounded by properly folded segments of the chain providing the ligands. /sup 1/H-NMR data and infrared absorption measurements are consistent with a tightly folded structure rich in ..beta..-type conformation. 79 references, 11 figures, 4 tables.

  7. Mammalian Sirtuins and Energy Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaoling; Kazgan, Nevzat

    2011-01-01

    Sirtuins are highly conserved NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases and/or ADP-ribosyltransferases that can extend the lifespan of several lower model organisms including yeast, worms and flies. The seven mammalian sirtuins, SIRT1 to SIRT7, have emerged as key metabolic sensors that directly link environmental signals to mammalian metabolic homeostasis and stress response. Recent studies have shed light on the critical roles of sirtuins in mammalian energy metabolism in response to nutrient signals. This review focuses on the involvement of two nuclear sirtuins, SIRT1 and SIRT6, and three mitochondrial sirtuins, SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5, in regulation of diverse metabolic processes. PMID:21614150

  8. Penile Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Salgado, Christopher J.; Chim, Harvey; Tang, Jennifer C.; Monstrey, Stan J.; Mardini, Samir

    2011-01-01

    A variety of surgical options exists for penile reconstruction. The key to success of therapy is holistic management of the patient, with attention to the psychological aspects of treatment. In this article, we review reconstructive modalities for various types of penile defects inclusive of partial and total defects as well as the buried penis, and also describe recent basic science advances, which may promise new options for penile reconstruction. PMID:22851914

  9. A Comparative Study of Airflow and Odorant Deposition in the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, Joseph; Rumple, Christopher; Ranslow, Allison; Quigley, Andrew; Pang, Benison; Neuberger, Thomas; Krane, Michael; van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Craven, Brent

    2013-11-01

    The complex structure of the mammalian nasal cavity provides a tortuous airflow path and a large surface area for respiratory air conditioning, filtering of inspired contaminants, and olfaction. Due to the small and contorted structure of the nasal turbinals, nasal anatomy and function remains poorly understood in most mammals. Here, we utilize high-resolution MRI scans to reconstruct anatomically-accurate models of the mammalian nasal cavity. These data are used to compare the form and function of the mammalian nose. High-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of nasal airflow and odorant deposition are presented and used to compare olfactory function across species (primate, rodent, canine, feline, ungulate).

  10. Comparing salt tolerance of beet cultivars and their halophytic ancestor: consequences of domestication and breeding programmes

    PubMed Central

    Rozema, Jelte; Cornelisse, Danny; Zhang, Yuancheng; Li, Hongxiu; Bruning, Bas; Katschnig, Diana; Broekman, Rob; Ji, Bin; van Bodegom, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Salt tolerance of higher plants is determined by a complex set of traits, the timing and rate of evolution of which are largely unknown. We compared the salt tolerance of cultivars of sugar beet and their ancestor, sea beet, in hydroponic studies and evaluated whether traditional domestication and more recent breeding have changed salt tolerance of the cultivars relative to their ancestor. Our comparison of salt tolerance of crop cultivars is based on values of the relative growth rate (RGR) of the entire plant at various salinity levels. We found considerable salt tolerance of the sea beet and slightly, but significantly, reduced salt tolerance of the sugar beet cultivars. This indicates that traditional domestication by selection for morphological traits such as leaf size, beet shape and size, enhanced productivity, sugar content and palatability slightly affected salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars. Salt tolerance among four sugar beet cultivars, three of which have been claimed to be salt tolerant, did not differ. We analysed the components of RGR to understand the mechanism of salt tolerance at the whole-plant level. The growth rate reduction at higher salinity was linked with reduced leaf area at the whole-plant level (leaf area ratio) and at the individual leaf level (specific leaf area). The leaf weight fraction was not affected by increased salinity. On the other hand, succulence and leaf thickness and the net assimilation per unit of leaf area (unit leaf rate) increased in response to salt treatment, thus partially counteracting reduced capture of light by lower leaf area. This compensatory mechanism may form part of the salt tolerance mechanism of sea beet and the four studied sugar beet cultivars. Together, our results indicate that domestication of the halophytic ancestor sea beet slightly reduced salt tolerance and that breeding for improved salt tolerance of sugar beet cultivars has not been effective. PMID:25492122

  11. Mammalian DNA Repair. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    2003-01-24

    The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mammalian DNA Repair was held at Harbortown Resort, Ventura Beach, CA. Emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field.

  12. Ether-à-go-go family voltage-gated K+ channels evolved in an ancestral metazoan and functionally diversified in a cnidarian–bilaterian ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaofan; Martinson, Alexandra S.; Layden, Michael J.; Diatta, Fortunay H.; Sberna, Anna P.; Simmons, David K.; Martindale, Mark Q.; Jegla, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the evolutionary origins of the ether-à-go-go (EAG) family of voltage-gated K+ channels, which have a strong influence on the excitability of neurons. The bilaterian EAG family comprises three gene subfamilies (Eag, Erg and Elk) distinguished by sequence conservation and functional properties. Searches of genome sequence indicate that EAG channels are metazoan specific, appearing first in ctenophores. However, phylogenetic analysis including two EAG family channels from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi indicates that the diversification of the Eag, Erg and Elk gene subfamilies occurred in a cnidarian/bilaterian ancestor after divergence from ctenophores. Erg channel function is highly conserved between cnidarians and mammals. Here we show that Eag and Elk channels from the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (NvEag and NvElk) also share high functional conservation with mammalian channels. NvEag, like bilaterian Eag channels, has rapid kinetics, whereas NvElk activates at extremely hyperpolarized voltages, which is characteristic of Elk channels. Potent inhibition of voltage activation by extracellular protons is conserved between mammalian and Nematostella EAG channels. However, characteristic inhibition of voltage activation by Mg2+ in Eag channels and Ca2+ in Erg channels is reduced in Nematostella because of mutation of a highly conserved aspartate residue in the voltage sensor. This mutation may preserve sub-threshold activation of Nematostella Eag and Erg channels in a high divalent cation environment. mRNA in situ hybridization of EAG channels in Nematostella suggests that they are differentially expressed in distinct cell types. Most notable is the expression of NvEag in cnidocytes, a cnidarian-specific stinging cell thought to be a neuronal subtype. PMID:25696816

  13. A hominid from the lower Pleistocene of Atapuerca, Spain: possible ancestor to Neandertals and modern humans.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Arsuaga, J L; Carbonell, E; Rosas, A; Martínez, I; Mosquera, M

    1997-05-30

    Human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the lower Pleistocene cave site of Gran Dolina, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, exhibit a unique combination of cranial, mandibular, and dental traits and are suggested as a new species of Homo-H. antecessor sp. nov. The fully modern midfacial morphology of the fossils antedates other evidence of this feature by about 650, 000 years. The midfacial and subnasal morphology of modern humans may be a retention of a juvenile pattern that was not yet present in H. ergaster. Homo antecessor may represent the last common ancestor for Neandertals and modern humans. PMID:9162001

  14. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  15. Life cycle evolution: was the eumetazoan ancestor a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Two theories for the origin of animal life cycles with planktotrophic larvae are now discussed seriously: The terminal addition theory proposes a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea as the ancestor of the eumetazoans with addition of benthic adult stages and retention of the planktotrophic stages as larvae, i.e. the ancestral life cycles were indirect. The intercalation theory now proposes a benthic, deposit-feeding gastraea as the bilaterian ancestor with a direct development, and with planktotrophic larvae evolving independently in numerous lineages through specializations of juveniles. Results Information from the fossil record, from mapping of developmental types onto known phylogenies, from occurrence of apical organs, and from genetics gives no direct information about the ancestral eumetazoan life cycle; however, there are plenty of examples of evolution from an indirect development to direct development, and no unequivocal example of evolution in the opposite direction. Analyses of scenarios for the two types of evolution are highly informative. The evolution of the indirect spiralian life cycle with a trochophora larva from a planktotrophic gastraea is explained by the trochophora theory as a continuous series of ancestors, where each evolutionary step had an adaptational advantage. The loss of ciliated larvae in the ecdysozoans is associated with the loss of outer ciliated epithelia. A scenario for the intercalation theory shows the origin of the planktotrophic larvae of the spiralians through a series of specializations of the general ciliation of the juvenile. The early steps associated with the enhancement of swimming seem probable, but the following steps which should lead to the complicated downstream-collecting ciliary system are without any advantage, or even seem disadvantageous, until the whole structure is functional. None of the theories account for the origin of the ancestral deuterostome (ambulacrarian) life cycle. Conclusions All

  16. Mammalian Interphase Cdks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) drive cell cycle progression in all eukaryotes. Yeasts have a single major Cdk that mediates distinct cell cycle transitions via association with different cyclins. The closest homolog in mammals, Cdk1, drives mitosis. Mammals have additional Cdks—Cdk2, Cdk4, and Cdk6—that represent the major Cdks activated during interphase (iCdks). A large body of evidence has accrued that suggests that activation of iCdks dictates progression though interphase. In apparent contradiction, deficiency in each individual iCdk, respectively, in knockout mice proved to be compatible with live birth and in some instances fertility. Moreover, murine embryos could be derived with Cdk1 as the only functional Cdk. Thus, none of the iCdks is strictly essential for mammalian cell cycle progression, raising the possibility that Cdk1 is the dominant regulator in interphase. However, an absence of iCdks has been accompanied by major shifts in cyclin association to Cdk1, suggesting gain in function. After considerable tweaking, a chemical genetic approach has recently been able to examine the impact of acute inhibition of Cdk2 activity without marked distortion of cyclin/Cdk complex formation. The results suggest that, when expressed at its normal levels, Cdk2 performs essential roles in driving human cells into S phase and maintaining genomic stability. These new findings appear to have restored order to the cell cycle field, bringing it full circle to the view that iCdks indeed play important roles. They also underscore the caveat in knockdown and knockout approaches that protein underexpression can significantly perturb a protein interaction network. We discuss the implications of the new synthesis for future cell cycle studies and anti–Cdk-based therapy of cancer and other diseases. PMID:23634250

  17. Isotope Labeling in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Arpana; Saxena, Krishna; Klein-Seetharaman, Judith

    2011-01-01

    Isotope labeling of proteins represents an important and often required tool for the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to investigate the structure and dynamics of proteins. Mammalian expression systems have conventionally been considered to be too weak and inefficient for protein expression. However, recent advances have significantly improved the expression levels of these systems. Here, we provide an overview of some of the recent developments in expression strategies for mammalian expression systems in view of NMR investigations. PMID:22167668

  18. Penile reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Garaffa, Giulio; Sansalone, Salvatore; Ralph, David J

    2013-01-01

    During the most recent years, a variety of new techniques of penile reconstruction have been described in the literature. This paper focuses on the most recent advances in male genital reconstruction after trauma, excision of benign and malignant disease, in gender reassignment surgery and aphallia with emphasis on surgical technique, cosmetic and functional outcome. PMID:22426595

  19. Image reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Defrise, Michel; Gullberg, Grant T.

    2006-04-05

    We give an overview of the role of Physics in Medicine andBiology in development of tomographic reconstruction algorithms. We focuson imaging modalities involving ionizing radiation, CT, PET and SPECT,and cover a wide spectrum of reconstruction problems, starting withclassical 2D tomogra tomography in the 1970s up to 4D and 5D problemsinvolving dynamic imaging of moving organs.

  20. Duplication of the gamma-globin gene mediated by L1 long interspersed repetitive elements in an early ancestor of simian primates.

    PubMed Central

    Fitch, D H; Bailey, W J; Tagle, D A; Goodman, M; Sieu, L; Slightom, J L

    1991-01-01

    Regions surrounding the single gamma-globin gene of galago and the duplicated gamma 1- and gamma 2-globin genes of gibbon, rhesus monkey, and spider monkey were sequenced and aligned with those from humans. Contrary to previous studies, spider monkey was found to have not one but two gamma-globin genes, only one of which (gamma 2) is functional. The reconstructed evolutionary history of the gamma-globin genes and their flanking sequences traces their origin to a tandem duplication of a DNA segment approximately 5.5 kilobases long that occurred before catarrhine primates (humans, apes, and Old World monkeys) diverged from platyrrhines (New World monkeys), much earlier than previously thought. This reconstructed molecular history also reveals that the duplication resulted from an unequal homologous crossover between two related L1 long interspersed repetitive elements, one upstream and one downstream of the single ancestral gamma-globin gene. Perhaps facilitated by the redundancy resulting from the duplication, the gamma-globin genes escaped the selective constraints of embryonically functioning genes and evolved into fetally functioning genes. This view is supported by the finding that a burst of nonsynonymous substitutions occurred in the gamma-globin genes while they became restructured for fetal expression in the common ancestor of platyrrhines and catarrhines. PMID:1908094

  1. Did Viruses Evolve As a Distinct Supergroup from Common Ancestors of Cells?

    PubMed Central

    Harish, Ajith; Abroi, Aare; Gough, Julian; Kurland, Charles

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of viruses according to marker gene phylogenies, as well as their relationships to the ancestors of host cells remains unclear. In a recent article Nasir and Caetano-Anollés reported that their genome-scale phylogenetic analyses based on genomic composition of protein structural-domains identify an ancient origin of the “viral supergroup” (Nasir et al. 2015. A phylogenomic data-driven exploration of viral origins and evolution. Sci Adv. 1(8):e1500527.). It suggests that viruses and host cells evolved independently from a universal common ancestor. Examination of their data and phylogenetic methods indicates that systematic errors likely affected the results. Reanalysis of the data with additional tests shows that small-genome attraction artifacts distort their phylogenomic analyses, particularly the location of the root of the phylogenetic tree of life that is central to their conclusions. These new results indicate that their suggestion of a distinct ancestry of the viral supergroup is not well supported by the evidence. PMID:27497315

  2. Did Viruses Evolve As a Distinct Supergroup from Common Ancestors of Cells?

    PubMed

    Harish, Ajith; Abroi, Aare; Gough, Julian; Kurland, Charles

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of viruses according to marker gene phylogenies, as well as their relationships to the ancestors of host cells remains unclear. In a recent article Nasir and Caetano-Anollés reported that their genome-scale phylogenetic analyses based on genomic composition of protein structural-domains identify an ancient origin of the "viral supergroup" (Nasir et al. 2015. A phylogenomic data-driven exploration of viral origins and evolution. Sci Adv. 1(8):e1500527.). It suggests that viruses and host cells evolved independently from a universal common ancestor. Examination of their data and phylogenetic methods indicates that systematic errors likely affected the results. Reanalysis of the data with additional tests shows that small-genome attraction artifacts distort their phylogenomic analyses, particularly the location of the root of the phylogenetic tree of life that is central to their conclusions. These new results indicate that their suggestion of a distinct ancestry of the viral supergroup is not well supported by the evidence. PMID:27497315

  3. Breast reconstruction.

    PubMed

    DellaCroce, Frank J; Wolfe, Emily T

    2013-04-01

    As diagnostic technology has progressed and the understanding of the disease process has evolved, the number of mastectomies performed in the United States has increased. Breast reconstructive techniques have commensurately become more sophisticated along the same timeline. The result is that those facing mastectomy have the potential to simultaneously retain physical beauty and wholeness. Only 33% of women who are otherwise candidates for immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy choose reconstruction. Patients generally have a high level of satisfaction with the option they choose, contributing to a feeling of overall recovery and physical and emotional wholeness. PMID:23464695

  4. Lung development of monotremes: evidence for the mammalian morphotype.

    PubMed

    Ferner, Kirsten; Zeller, Ulrich; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2009-02-01

    The reproductive strategies and the extent of development of neonates differ markedly between the three extant mammalian groups: the Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Eutheria. Monotremes and marsupials produce highly altricial offspring whereas the neonates of eutherian mammals range from altricial to precocial. The ability of the newborn mammal to leave the environment in which it developed depends highly on the degree of maturation of the cardio-respiratory system at the time of birth. The lung structure is thus a reflection of the metabolic capacity of neonates. The lung development in monotremes (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Tachyglossus aculeatus), in one marsupial (Monodelphis domestica), and one altricial eutherian (Suncus murinus) species was examined. The results and additional data from the literature were integrated into a morphotype reconstruction of the lung structure of the mammalian neonate. The lung parenchyma of monotremes and marsupials was at the early terminal air sac stage at birth, with large terminal air sacs. The lung developed slowly. In contrast, altricial eutherian neonates had more advanced lungs at the late terminal air sac stage and postnatally, lung maturation proceeded rapidly. The mammalian lung is highly conserved in many respects between monotreme, marsupial, and eutherian species and the structural differences in the neonatal lungs can be explained mainly by different developmental rates. The lung structure of newborn marsupials and monotremes thus resembles the ancestral condition of the mammalian lung at birth, whereas the eutherian newborns have a more mature lung structure. PMID:19051249

  5. ACL reconstruction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tissue taken from a donor is called an allograft. The procedure is usually performed with the help ... This increases the chance you may have a meniscus tear. ACL reconstruction may be used for these ...

  6. [Eyebrow reconstruction].

    PubMed

    Baraër, F; Darsonval, V; Lejeune, F; Bochot-Hermouet, B; Rousseau, P

    2013-10-01

    The eyebrow is an essential anatomical area, from a social point of view, so its reconstruction, in case of skin defect, must be as meticulous as possible, with the less residual sequela. Capillary density extremely varies from one person to another and the different methods of restoration of this area should absolutely take this into consideration. We are going to review the various techniques of reconstruction, according to the sex and the surface to cover. PMID:23896574

  7. Sirtuins: Guardians of Mammalian Healthspan

    PubMed Central

    Giblin, William; Skinner, Mary E.; Lombard, David B.

    2014-01-01

    The first link between sirtuins and longevity was made 15 years ago in yeast. These initial studies sparked efforts by many laboratories working in diverse model organisms to elucidate the relationships between sirtuins, lifespan, and age-associated dysfunction. Here we discuss the current understanding of how sirtuins relate to aging. We focus primarily on mammalian sirtuins SIRT1, SIRT3, and SIRT6, the three sirtuins for which the most relevant data are available. Strikingly, a large body of evidence now indicates that these and other mammalian sirtuins suppress a variety of age-related pathologies and promote healthspan. Moreover, increased expression of SIRT1 or SIRT6 extends mouse lifespan. Overall, these data point to important roles for sirtuins in promoting mammalian health, and perhaps in modulating the aging process. PMID:24877878

  8. Electroporation into Cultured Mammalian Embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Takahashi, Masanori; Osumi, Noriko

    Over the last century, mammalian embryos have been used extensively as a common animal model to investigate fundamental questions in the field of developmental biology. More recently, the establishment of transgenic and gene-targeting systems in laboratory mice has enabled researchers to unveil the genetic mechanisms under lying complex developmental processes (Mak, 2007). However, our understanding of cell—cell interactions and their molecular basis in the early stages of mammalian embryogenesis is still very fragmentary. One of the major problems is the difficulty of precise manipulation and limited accessibility to mammalian embryos via uterus wall. Unfortunately, existing tissue and organotypic culture systems per se do not fully recapitulate three-dimensional, dynamic processes of organogenesis observed in vivo. Although transgenic animal technology and virus-mediated gene delivery are useful to manipulate gene expression, these techniques take much time and financial costs, which limit their use.

  9. Mammalian development does not recapitulate suspected key transformations in the evolutionary detachment of the mammalian middle ear.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Chaves, Héctor E; Wroe, Stephen W; Selwood, Lynne; Hinds, Lyn A; Leigh, Chris; Koyabu, Daisuke; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Weisbecker, Vera

    2016-01-13

    The ectotympanic, malleus and incus of the developing mammalian middle ear (ME) are initially attached to the dentary via Meckel's cartilage, betraying their origins from the primary jaw joint of land vertebrates. This recapitulation has prompted mostly unquantified suggestions that several suspected--but similarly unquantified--key evolutionary transformations leading to the mammalian ME are recapitulated in development, through negative allometry and posterior/medial displacement of ME bones relative to the jaw joint. Here we show, using µCT reconstructions, that neither allometric nor topological change is quantifiable in the pre-detachment ME development of six marsupials and two monotremes. Also, differential ME positioning in the two monotreme species is not recapitulated. This challenges the developmental prerequisites of widely cited evolutionary scenarios of definitive mammalian middle ear (DMME) evolution, highlighting the requirement for further fossil evidence to test these hypotheses. Possible association between rear molar eruption, full ME ossification and ME detachment in marsupials suggests functional divergence between dentary and ME as a trigger for developmental, and possibly also evolutionary, ME detachment. The stable positioning of the dentary and ME supports suggestions that a 'partial mammalian middle ear' as found in many mammaliaforms--probably with a cartilaginous Meckel's cartilage--represents the only developmentally plausible evolutionary DMME precursor. PMID:26763693

  10. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut.

    PubMed

    Bertioli, David John; Cannon, Steven B; Froenicke, Lutz; Huang, Guodong; Farmer, Andrew D; Cannon, Ethalinda K S; Liu, Xin; Gao, Dongying; Clevenger, Josh; Dash, Sudhansu; Ren, Longhui; Moretzsohn, Márcio C; Shirasawa, Kenta; Huang, Wei; Vidigal, Bruna; Abernathy, Brian; Chu, Ye; Niederhuth, Chad E; Umale, Pooja; Araújo, Ana Cláudia G; Kozik, Alexander; Kim, Kyung Do; Burow, Mark D; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wang, Xingjun; Zhang, Xinyou; Barkley, Noelle; Guimarães, Patrícia M; Isobe, Sachiko; Guo, Baozhu; Liao, Boshou; Stalker, H Thomas; Schmitz, Robert J; Scheffler, Brian E; Leal-Bertioli, Soraya C M; Xun, Xu; Jackson, Scott A; Michelmore, Richard; Ozias-Akins, Peggy

    2016-04-01

    Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid with closely related subgenomes of a total size of ∼2.7 Gb. This makes the assembly of chromosomal pseudomolecules very challenging. As a foundation to understanding the genome of cultivated peanut, we report the genome sequences of its diploid ancestors (Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis). We show that these genomes are similar to cultivated peanut's A and B subgenomes and use them to identify candidate disease resistance genes, to guide tetraploid transcript assemblies and to detect genetic exchange between cultivated peanut's subgenomes. On the basis of remarkably high DNA identity of the A. ipaensis genome and the B subgenome of cultivated peanut and biogeographic evidence, we conclude that A. ipaensis may be a direct descendant of the same population that contributed the B subgenome to cultivated peanut. PMID:26901068

  11. The effect of inbreeding constraints and offspring distribution on time to the most recent common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Campbell, R B

    2015-10-01

    The expected time to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of two alleles in a diploid individual is 4N+2 under random mating with a Poisson progeny distribution, but 8N-2 under maximum avoidance of inbreeding, which entails two progeny per mating pair. (N is the number of mating pairs, hence 2N is the number of individuals, hence 4N is the number of alleles.) The interrelationship of inbreeding constraints and offspring distribution is investigated by varying the level of sib mating: prohibiting sib mating increases the time to MRCA by four generations and decreases the variance of the offspring distribution by 2/N. With two progeny per mating pair, the expected time to the MRCA is 8N-2 under both random mating and sib mating prohibited, as well as under maximum avoidance of inbreeding, but this result does not hold for all mating structures with two progeny per mating pair. PMID:26144024

  12. Upd3--an ancestor of the four-helix bundle cytokines.

    PubMed

    Oldefest, Mirja; Nowinski, Jana; Hung, Chien-Wen; Neelsen, Denis; Trad, Ahmad; Tholey, Andreas; Grötzinger, Joachim; Lorenzen, Inken

    2013-06-21

    The unpaired-like protein 3 (Upd3) is one of the three cytokines of Drosophila melanogaster supposed to activate the JAK/STAT signaling pathway (Janus tyrosine kinases/signal transducer and activator of transcription). This activation occurs via the type-I cytokine receptor domeless, an orthologue of gp130, the common signal transducer of all four-helix bundle interleukin-6 (IL-6) type cytokines. Both receptors are known to exist as preformed dimers in the plasma membrane and initiate the acute-phase response. These facts indicate an evolutionary relation between vertebrate IL-6 and the Drosophila protein Upd3. Here we presented data which strengthen this notion. Upd3 was recombinantly expressed, a renaturation and purification protocol was established which allows to obtain high amounts of biological active protein. This protein is, like human IL-6, a monomeric-α helical cytokine, implicating that Upd3 is an "ancestor" of the four-helix bundle cytokines. PMID:23707937

  13. Age of the last common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasite lineages.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Hikosaka, Kenji; Arisue, Nobuko; Matsui, Atsushi; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-07-01

    Parasites of the genus Plasmodium infect all classes of amniotes (mammals, birds and reptiles) and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore generally believed that Plasmodium parasites co-evolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we report that based on an evolutionary analysis using 22 genes in the nuclear genome, extant lineages of Plasmodium parasites originated roughly in the Oligocene epoch after the emergence of their hosts. This timing on the age of the common ancestor of extant Plasmodium parasites suggest the importance of host switches and lends support to the evolutionary scenario of a "malaria big bang" that was proposed based on the evolutionary analysis using the mitochondrial genome. PMID:22555021

  14. Mobile elements reveal small population size in the ancient ancestors of Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Huff, Chad D.; Xing, Jinchuan; Rogers, Alan R.; Witherspoon, David; Jorde, Lynn B.

    2010-01-01

    The genealogies of different genetic loci vary in depth. The deeper the genealogy, the greater the chance that it will include a rare event, such as the insertion of a mobile element. Therefore, the genealogy of a region that contains a mobile element is on average older than that of the rest of the genome. In a simple demographic model, the expected time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) is doubled if a rare insertion is present. We test this expectation by examining single nucleotide polymorphisms around polymorphic Alu insertions from two completely sequenced human genomes. The estimated TMRCA for regions containing a polymorphic insertion is two times larger than the genomic average (P < <10−30), as predicted. Because genealogies that contain polymorphic mobile elements are old, they are shaped largely by the forces of ancient population history and are insensitive to recent demographic events, such as bottlenecks and expansions. Remarkably, the information in just two human DNA sequences provides substantial information about ancient human population size. By comparing the likelihood of various demographic models, we estimate that the effective population size of human ancestors living before 1.2 million years ago was 18,500, and we can reject all models where the ancient effective population size was larger than 26,000. This result implies an unusually small population for a species spread across the entire Old World, particularly in light of the effective population sizes of chimpanzees (21,000) and gorillas (25,000), which each inhabit only one part of a single continent. PMID:20133859

  15. Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Crompton, R H; Vereecke, E E; Thorpe, S K S

    2008-01-01

    Based on our knowledge of locomotor biomechanics and ecology we predict the locomotion and posture of the last common ancestors of (a) great and lesser apes and their close fossil relatives (hominoids); (b) chimpanzees, bonobos and modern humans (hominines); and (c) modern humans and their fossil relatives (hominins). We evaluate our propositions against the fossil record in the context of a broader review of evolution of the locomotor system from the earliest hominoids of modern aspect (crown hominoids) to early modern Homo sapiens. While some early East African stem hominoids were pronograde, it appears that the adaptations which best characterize the crown hominoids are orthogrady and an ability to abduct the arm above the shoulder – rather than, as is often thought, manual suspension sensu stricto. At 7–9 Ma (not much earlier than the likely 4–8 Ma divergence date for panins and hominins, see Bradley, 2008) there were crown hominoids in southern Europe which were adapted to moving in an orthograde posture, supported primarily on the hindlimb, in an arboreal, and possibly for Oreopithecus, a terrestrial context. By 7 Ma, Sahelanthropus provides evidence of a Central African hominin, panin or possibly gorilline adapted to orthogrady, and both orthogrady and habitually highly extended postures of the hip are evident in the arboreal East African protohominin Orrorin at 6 Ma. If the traditional idea that hominins passed through a terrestrial ‘knuckle-walking’ phase is correct, not only does it have to be explained how a quadrupedal gait typified by flexed postures of the hindlimb could have preadapted the body for the hominin acquisition of straight-legged erect bipedality, but we would have to accept a transition from stem-hominoid pronogrady to crown hominoid orthogrady, back again to pronogrady in the African apes and then back to orthogrady in hominins. Hand-assisted arboreal bipedality, which is part of a continuum of orthograde behaviours, is used by

  16. DNA repair in mammalian embryos.

    PubMed

    Jaroudi, Souraya; SenGupta, Sioban

    2007-01-01

    Mammalian cells have developed complex mechanisms to identify DNA damage and activate the required response to maintain genome integrity. Those mechanisms include DNA damage detection, DNA repair, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis which operate together to protect the conceptus from DNA damage originating either in parental gametes or in the embryo's somatic cells. DNA repair in the newly fertilized preimplantation embryo is believed to rely entirely on the oocyte's machinery (mRNAs and proteins deposited and stored prior to ovulation). DNA repair genes have been shown to be expressed in the early stages of mammalian development. The survival of the embryo necessitates that the oocyte be sufficiently equipped with maternal stored products and that embryonic gene expression commences at the correct time. A Medline based literature search was performed using the keywords 'DNA repair' and 'embryo development' or 'gametogenesis' (publication dates between 1995 and 2006). Mammalian studies which investigated gene expression were selected. Further articles were acquired from the citations in the articles obtained from the preliminary Medline search. This paper reviews mammalian DNA repair from gametogenesis to preimplantation embryos to late gestational stages. PMID:17141556

  17. Evolution of mammalian sensorimotor cortex: thalamic projections to parietal cortical areas in Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Franca, João G.; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Cooke, Dylan F.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    The current experiments build upon previous studies designed to reveal the network of parietal cortical areas present in the common mammalian ancestor. Understanding this ancestral network is essential for highlighting the basic somatosensory circuitry present in all mammals, and how this basic plan was modified to generate species specific behaviors. Our animal model, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), is a South American marsupial that has been proposed to have a similar ecological niche and morphology to the earliest common mammalian ancestor. In this investigation, we injected retrograde neuroanatomical tracers into the face and body representations of primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the rostral and caudal somatosensory fields (SR and SC), as well as a multimodal region (MM). Projections from different architectonically defined thalamic nuclei were then quantified. Our results provide further evidence to support the hypothesized basic mammalian plan of thalamic projections to S1, with the lateral and medial ventral posterior thalamic nuclei (VPl and VPm) projecting to S1 body and S1 face, respectively. Additional strong projections are from the medial division of posterior nucleus (Pom). SR receives projections from several midline nuclei, including the medial dorsal, ventral medial nucleus, and Pom. SC and MM show similar patterns of connectivity, with projections from the ventral anterior and ventral lateral nuclei, VPm and VPl, and the entire posterior nucleus (medial and lateral). Notably, MM is distinguished from SC by relatively dense projections from the dorsal division of the lateral geniculate nucleus and pulvinar. We discuss the finding that S1 of the short-tailed opossum has a similar pattern of projections as other marsupials and mammals, but also some distinct projections not present in other mammals. Further we provide additional support for a primitive posterior parietal cortex which receives input from multiple modalities. PMID

  18. How difficult is inference of mammalian causal gene regulatory networks?

    PubMed

    Djordjevic, Djordje; Yang, Andrian; Zadoorian, Armella; Rungrugeecharoen, Kevin; Ho, Joshua W K

    2014-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a central role in systems biology, especially in the study of mammalian organ development. One key question remains largely unanswered: Is it possible to infer mammalian causal GRNs using observable gene co-expression patterns alone? We assembled two mouse GRN datasets (embryonic tooth and heart) and matching microarray gene expression profiles to systematically investigate the difficulties of mammalian causal GRN inference. The GRNs were assembled based on > 2,000 pieces of experimental genetic perturbation evidence from manually reading > 150 primary research articles. Each piece of perturbation evidence records the qualitative change of the expression of one gene following knock-down or over-expression of another gene. Our data have thorough annotation of tissue types and embryonic stages, as well as the type of regulation (activation, inhibition and no effect), which uniquely allows us to estimate both sensitivity and specificity of the inference of tissue specific causal GRN edges. Using these unprecedented datasets, we found that gene co-expression does not reliably distinguish true positive from false positive interactions, making inference of GRN in mammalian development very difficult. Nonetheless, if we have expression profiling data from genetic or molecular perturbation experiments, such as gene knock-out or signalling stimulation, it is possible to use the set of differentially expressed genes to recover causal regulatory relationships with good sensitivity and specificity. Our result supports the importance of using perturbation experimental data in causal network reconstruction. Furthermore, we showed that causal gene regulatory relationship can be highly cell type or developmental stage specific, suggesting the importance of employing expression profiles from homogeneous cell populations. This study provides essential datasets and empirical evidence to guide the development of new GRN inference methods for

  19. Reconstruction and Function of Ancestral Center-of-Tree Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Proteins▿

    PubMed Central

    Rolland, Morgane; Jensen, Mark A.; Nickle, David C.; Yan, Jian; Learn, Gerald H.; Heath, Laura; Weiner, David; Mullins, James I.

    2007-01-01

    The extensive diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and its capacity to mutate and escape host immune responses are major challenges for AIDS vaccine development. Ancestral sequences, which minimize the genetic distance to circulating strains, provide an opportunity to design immunogens with the potential to elicit broad recognition of HIV epitopes. We developed a phylogenetics-informed algorithm to reconstruct ancestral HIV sequences, called Center of Tree (COT). COT sequences have potentially significant benefits over isolate-based strategies, as they minimize the evolutionary distances to circulating strains. COT sequences are designed to surmount the potential pitfalls stemming from sampling bias with the consensus method and outlier bias with the most-recent-common-ancestor approach. We computationally derived COT sequences from circulating HIV-1 subtype B sequences for the genes encoding the major viral structural protein (Gag) and two regulatory proteins, Tat and Nef. COT genes were synthesized de novo and expressed in mammalian cells, and the proteins were characterized. COT Gag was shown to generate virus-like particles, while COT Tat transactivated gene expression from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat and COT Nef mediated downregulation of cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I. Thus, retrodicted ancestral COT proteins can retain the biological functions of extant HIV-1 proteins. Additionally, COT proteins were immunogenic, as they elicited antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in mice. These data support the utility of the COT approach to create novel and biologically active ancestral proteins as a starting point for studies of the structure, function, and biological fitness of highly variable genes, as well as for the rational design of globally relevant vaccine candidates. PMID:17537854

  20. Amplification of an ancestral mammalian L1 family of long interspersed repeated DNA occurred just before the murine radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Pascale, E.; Valle, E.; Furano, A.V. )

    1990-12-01

    Each mammalian genus examined so far contains 50,000-100,000 members of an L1 (LINE 1) family of long interspersed repeated DNA elements. Current knowledge on the evolution of L1 families presents a paradox because, although L1 families have been in mammalian genomes since before the mammalian radiation {approximately}80 million years ago, most members of the L1 families are only a few million years old. Accordingly it has been suggested either that the extensive amplification that characterizes present-day L1 families did not occur in the past or that old members were removed as new one were generated. However, the authors show here that an ancestral rodent L1 family was extensively amplified {approximately}10 million years ago and that the relics of this amplification have persisted in modern murine genomes. This amplification occurred just before the divergence of modern murine genera from their common ancestor and identifies the murine node in the lineage of modern muroid rodents The results suggest that repeated amplification of L1 elements is a feature of the evaluation of mammalian genomes and that ancestral amplification events could provide a useful tool for determining mammalian lineages.

  1. Amplification of an ancestral mammalian L1 family of long interspersed repeated DNA occurred just before the murine radiation.

    PubMed Central

    Pascale, E; Valle, E; Furano, A V

    1990-01-01

    Each mammalian genus examined so far contains 50,000-100,000 members of an L1 (LINE 1) family of long interspersed repeated DNA elements. Current knowledge on the evolution of L1 families presents a paradox because, although L1 families have been in mammalian genomes since before the mammalian radiation approximately 80 million years ago, most members of the L1 families are only a few million years old. Accordingly it has been suggested either that the extensive amplification that characterizes present-day L1 families did not occur in the past or that old members were removed as new ones were generated. However, we show here that an ancestral rodent L1 family was extensively amplified approximately 10 million years ago and that the relics (approximately 60,000 copies) of this amplification have persisted in modern murine genomes (Old World rats and mice). This amplification occurred just before the divergence of modern murine genera from their common ancestor and identifies the murine node in the lineage of modern muroid rodents. Our results suggest that repeated amplification of L1 elements is a feature of the evolution of mammalian genomes and that ancestral amplification events could provide a useful tool for determining mammalian lineages. Images PMID:2251288

  2. Reconstructing Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moss, Pamela A.

    2007-01-01

    In response to Lissitz and Samuelsen (2007), the author reconstructs the historical arguments for the more comprehensive unitary concept of validity and the principles of scientific inquiry underlying it. Her response is organized in terms of four questions: (a) How did validity in educational measurement come to be conceptualized as unitary, and…

  3. Vaginal reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Lesavoy, M.A.

    1985-05-01

    Vaginal reconstruction can be an uncomplicated and straightforward procedure when attention to detail is maintained. The Abbe-McIndoe procedure of lining the neovaginal canal with split-thickness skin grafts has become standard. The use of the inflatable Heyer-Schulte vaginal stent provides comfort to the patient and ease to the surgeon in maintaining approximation of the skin graft. For large vaginal and perineal defects, myocutaneous flaps such as the gracilis island have been extremely useful for correction of radiation-damaged tissue of the perineum or for the reconstruction of large ablative defects. Minimal morbidity and scarring ensue because the donor site can be closed primarily. With all vaginal reconstruction, a compliant patient is a necessity. The patient must wear a vaginal obturator for a minimum of 3 to 6 months postoperatively and is encouraged to use intercourse as an excellent obturator. In general, vaginal reconstruction can be an extremely gratifying procedure for both the functional and emotional well-being of patients.

  4. Project Reconstruct.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helisek, Harriet; Pratt, Donald

    1994-01-01

    Presents a project in which students monitor their use of trash, input and analyze information via a database and computerized graphs, and "reconstruct" extinct or endangered animals from recyclable materials. The activity was done with second-grade students over a period of three to four weeks. (PR)

  5. ACL reconstruction - discharge

    MedlinePlus

    Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction - discharge; ACL reconstruction - discharge ... had surgery to reconstruct your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The surgeon drilled holes in the bones of ...

  6. Studies in Historical Replication in Psychology VII: The Relative Utility of "Ancestor Analysis" from Scientific and Educational Vantages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ranney, Michael Andrew

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses, from various vantages, Ryan Tweney's (this issue) pedagogical technique of employing historical replications of psychological experiments with graduate students in psychology. A "prima facie" perspective suggests great promise for this sort of academic "ancestor analysis," particularly given the enthusiasm and skill…

  7. The Last Universal Common Ancestor: emergence, constitution and genetic legacy of an elusive forerunner

    PubMed Central

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    Background Since the reclassification of all life forms in three Domains (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya), the identity of their alleged forerunner (Last Universal Common Ancestor or LUCA) has been the subject of extensive controversies: progenote or already complex organism, prokaryote or protoeukaryote, thermophile or mesophile, product of a protracted progression from simple replicators to complex cells or born in the cradle of "catalytically closed" entities? We present a critical survey of the topic and suggest a scenario. Results LUCA does not appear to have been a simple, primitive, hyperthermophilic prokaryote but rather a complex community of protoeukaryotes with a RNA genome, adapted to a broad range of moderate temperatures, genetically redundant, morphologically and metabolically diverse. LUCA's genetic redundancy predicts loss of paralogous gene copies in divergent lineages to be a significant source of phylogenetic anomalies, i.e. instances where a protein tree departs from the SSU-rRNA genealogy; consequently, horizontal gene transfer may not have the rampant character assumed by many. Examining membrane lipids suggest LUCA had sn1,2 ester fatty acid lipids from which Archaea emerged from the outset as thermophilic by "thermoreduction," with a new type of membrane, composed of sn2,3 ether isoprenoid lipids; this occurred without major enzymatic reconversion. Bacteria emerged by reductive evolution from LUCA and some lineages further acquired extreme thermophily by convergent evolution. This scenario is compatible with the hypothesis that the RNA to DNA transition resulted from different viral invasions as proposed by Forterre. Beyond the controversy opposing "replication first" to metabolism first", the predictive arguments of theories on "catalytic closure" or "compositional heredity" heavily weigh in favour of LUCA's ancestors having emerged as complex, self-replicating entities from which a genetic code arose under natural selection. Conclusion Life

  8. Mechanisms of mammalian iron homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Pantopoulos, Kostas; Porwal, Suheel Kumar; Tartakoff, Alan; Devireddy, L.

    2012-01-01

    Iron is vital for almost all organisms because of its ability to donate and accept electrons with relative ease. It serves as a cofactor for many proteins and enzymes necessary for oxygen and energy metabolism, as well as for several other essential processes. Mammalian cells utilize multiple mechanisms to acquire iron. Disruption of iron homeostasis is associated with various human diseases: iron deficiency resulting from defects in acquisition or distribution of the metal causes anemia; whereas iron surfeit resulting from excessive iron absorption or defective utilization causes abnormal tissue iron deposition, leading to oxidative damage. Mammals utilize distinct mechanisms to regulate iron homeostasis at the systemic and cellular levels. These involve the hormone hepcidin and iron regulatory proteins, which collectively ensure iron balance. This review outlines recent advances in iron regulatory pathways, as well as in mechanisms underlying intracellular iron trafficking, an important but less-studied area of mammalian iron homeostasis. PMID:22703180

  9. An overview of mammalian pluripotency.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jun; Yamauchi, Takayoshi; Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos

    2016-05-15

    Mammalian pluripotency is the ability to give rise to all somatic cells as well as the germ cells of an adult mammal. It is a unique feature of embryonic epiblast cells, existing only transiently, as cells pass through early developmental stages. By contrast, pluripotency can be captured and stabilized indefinitely in cell culture and can also be reactivated in differentiated cells via nuclear reprogramming. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are the in vitro carriers of pluripotency and they can inhabit discrete pluripotent states depending on the stage at which they were derived and their culture conditions. Here, and in the accompanying poster, we provide a summary of mammalian pluripotency both in vivo and in vitro, and highlight recent and future applications of PSCs for basic and translational research. PMID:27190034

  10. Olfactory sensitivity in mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Wackermannová, M; Pinc, L; Jebavý, L

    2016-07-18

    Olfaction enables most mammalian species to detect and discriminate vast numbers of chemical structures called odorants and pheromones. The perception of such chemical compounds is mediated via two major olfactory systems, the main olfactory system and the vomeronasal system, as well as minor systems, such as the septal organ and the Grueneberg ganglion. Distinct differences exist not only among species but also among individuals in terms of their olfactory sensitivity; however, little is known about the mechanisms that determine these differences. In research on the olfactory sensitivity of mammals, scientists thus depend in most cases on behavioral testing. In this article, we reviewed scientific studies performed on various mammalian species using different methodologies and target chemical substances. Human and non-human primates as well as rodents and dogs are the most frequently studied species. Olfactory threshold studies on other species do not exist with the exception of domestic pigs. Olfactory testing performed on seals, elephants, and bats focused more on discriminative abilities than on sensitivity. An overview of olfactory sensitivity studies as well as olfactory detection ability in most studied mammalian species is presented here, focusing on comparable olfactory detection thresholds. The basics of olfactory perception and olfactory sensitivity factors are also described. PMID:27070753

  11. Polyploids with different origins and ancestors form a single sexual polyploid species.

    PubMed

    Holloway, Alisha K; Cannatella, David C; Gerhardt, H Carl; Hillis, David M

    2006-04-01

    Polyploidization is one of the few mechanisms that can produce instantaneous speciation. Multiple origins of tetraploid lineages from the same two diploid progenitors are common, but here we report the first known instance of a single tetraploid species that originated repeatedly from at least three diploid ancestors. Parallel evolution of advertisement calls in tetraploid lineages of gray tree frogs has allowed these lineages to interbreed, resulting in a single sexually interacting polyploid species despite the separate origins of polyploids from different diploids. Speciation by polyploidization in these frogs has been the source of considerable debate, but the various published hypotheses have assumed that polyploids arose through either autopolyploidy or allopolyploidy of extant diploid species. We utilized molecular markers and advertisement calls to infer the origins of tetraploid gray tree frogs. Previous hypotheses did not sufficiently account for the observed data. Instead, we found that tetraploids originated multiple times from extant diploid gray tree frogs and two other, apparently extinct, lineages of tree frogs. Tetraploid lineages then merged through interbreeding to result in a single species. Thus, polyploid species may have complex origins, especially in systems in which isolating mechanisms (such as advertisement calls) are affected directly through hybridization and polyploidy. PMID:16670990

  12. An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe ~39,000–41,000 years ago but they have contributed one to three percent of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia1. Here, we analyze DNA from a 37,000–42,000-year-old2 modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of six to nine percent of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe. PMID:26098372

  13. How Old Is the Most Recent Ancestor of Two Copies of an Allele?

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Nick J.

    2005-01-01

    An important clue to the evolutionary history of an allele is the structure of the neighboring region of the genome, which we term the genomic background of the allele. Consider two copies of the allele. How similar we expect their genomic background to be is strongly influenced by the age of their most recent common ancestor (MRCA). We apply diffusion theory, first used by Motoo Kimura as a tool for predicting the changes in allele frequencies over time and developed by him in many articles in this journal, to prove a variety of new results on the age of the MRCA under the simplest demographic assumptions. In particular, we show that the expected age of the MRCA of two copies of an allele with population frequency f is just 2Nf generations, where N is the effective population size. Our results are a first step in running exact coalescent simulations, where we also simulate the history of the population frequency of an allele. PMID:15520271

  14. Buoyancy differences among two deepwater ciscoes from the Great Lakes and their putative ancestor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krause, A.E.; Eshenroder, R.L.; Begnoche, L.J.

    2002-01-01

    We analyzed buoyancy in two deepwater ciscoes, Coregonus hoyi and C. kiyi, and in C. artedi, their putative ancestor, and also analyzed how variations in fish weight, water content, and lipid content affected buoyancy. Buoyancy was significantly different among the three species (p < 0.0001). Estimates of percent buoyancy (neutral buoyancy = 0.0%) were: kiyi, 3.8%; hoyi, 4.7%; and artedi, 5.7%. Buoyancy did not change with fish weight alone (p = 0.38). Fish weight was negatively related to water content for all three species (p = 0.037). Lipid content was not significantly different between hoyi and kiyi, but artedi had significantly fewer lipids than hoyi and kiyi (p < 0.10). When artedi was removed from the analysis, fish weight and lipids accounted for 48% of the variation in buoyancy (p = 0.003), fatter hoyi were less dense than leaner hoyi, but fatter and leaner kiyi were no different in density. Our findings provide additional evidence that buoyancy regulation was a speciating mechanism in deepwater ciscoes and that kiyi is more specialized than hoyi for diel-vertical migration in deep water.

  15. Ectomycorrhizal fungi decompose soil organic matter using oxidative mechanisms adapted from saprotrophic ancestors.

    PubMed

    Shah, Firoz; Nicolás, César; Bentzer, Johan; Ellström, Magnus; Smits, Mark; Rineau, Francois; Canbäck, Björn; Floudas, Dimitrios; Carleer, Robert; Lackner, Gerald; Braesel, Jana; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Henrissat, Bernard; Ahrén, Dag; Johansson, Tomas; Hibbett, David S; Martin, Francis; Persson, Per; Tunlid, Anders

    2016-03-01

    Ectomycorrhizal fungi are thought to have a key role in mobilizing organic nitrogen that is trapped in soil organic matter (SOM). However, the extent to which ectomycorrhizal fungi decompose SOM and the mechanism by which they do so remain unclear, considering that they have lost many genes encoding lignocellulose-degrading enzymes that are present in their saprotrophic ancestors. Spectroscopic analyses and transcriptome profiling were used to examine the mechanisms by which five species of ectomycorrhizal fungi, representing at least four origins of symbiosis, decompose SOM extracted from forest soils. In the presence of glucose and when acquiring nitrogen, all species converted the organic matter in the SOM extract using oxidative mechanisms. The transcriptome expressed during oxidative decomposition has diverged over evolutionary time. Each species expressed a different set of transcripts encoding proteins associated with oxidation of lignocellulose by saprotrophic fungi. The decomposition 'toolbox' has diverged through differences in the regulation of orthologous genes, the formation of new genes by gene duplications, and the recruitment of genes from diverse but functionally similar enzyme families. The capacity to oxidize SOM appears to be common among ectomycorrhizal fungi. We propose that the ancestral decay mechanisms used primarily to obtain carbon have been adapted in symbiosis to scavenge nutrients instead. PMID:26527297

  16. Structural Similarities between Thiamin-Binding Protein and Thiaminase-I Suggest a Common Ancestor

    SciTech Connect

    Soriano, Erika V.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Hanes, Jeremiah W.; Bale, Shridhar; Begley, Tadhg P.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2008-06-30

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are responsible for the transport of a wide variety of water-soluble molecules and ions into prokaryotic cells. In Gram-negative bacteria, periplasmic-binding proteins deliver ions or molecules such as thiamin to the membrane-bound ABC transporter. The gene for the thiamin-binding protein tbpA has been identified in both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Here we report the crystal structure of TbpA from E. coli with bound thiamin monophosphate. The structure was determined at 2.25 {angstrom} resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiments, despite the presence of nonmerohedral twinning. The crystal structure shows that TbpA belongs to the group II periplasmic-binding protein family. Equilibrium binding measurements showed similar dissociation constants for thiamin, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin pyrophosphate. Analysis of the binding site by molecular modeling demonstrated how TbpA binds all three forms of thiamin. A comparison of TbpA and thiaminase-I, a thiamin-degrading enzyme, revealed structural similarity between the two proteins, especially in domain 1, suggesting that the two proteins evolved from a common ancestor.

  17. Wild mallards have more "goose-like" bills than their ancestors: a case of anthropogenic influence?

    PubMed

    Söderquist, Pär; Norrström, Joanna; Elmberg, Johan; Guillemain, Matthieu; Gunnarsson, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Wild populations of the world's most common dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), run the risk of genetic introgression by farmed conspecifics released for hunting purposes. We tested whether bill morphology of free-living birds has changed since large-scale releases of farmed mallards started. Three groups of mallards from Sweden, Norway and Finland were compared: historical wild (before large-scale releases started), present-day wild, and present-day farmed. Higher density of bill lamellae was observed in historical wild mallards (only males). Farmed mallards had wider bills than present-day and historical wild ones. Present-day wild and farmed mallards also had higher and shorter bills than historical wild mallards. Present-day mallards thus tend to have more "goose-like" bills (wider, higher, and shorter) than their ancestors. Our study suggests that surviving released mallards affect morphological traits in wild population by introgression. We discuss how such anthropogenic impact may lead to a maladapted and genetically compromised wild mallard population. Our study system has bearing on other taxa where large-scale releases of conspecifics with 'alien genes' may cause a cryptic invasive process that nevertheless has fitness consequences for individual birds. PMID:25514789

  18. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors.

    PubMed

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T; Corral, José M; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A; Aliyu, Olawale M; Sharbel, Timothy F

    2015-05-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale. PMID:25902513

  19. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T.; Corral, José M.; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A.; Aliyu, Olawale M.; Sharbel, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale. PMID:25902513

  20. Punctuated Emergences of Genetic and Phenotypic Innovations in Eumetazoan, Bilaterian, Euteleostome, and Hominidae Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic traits derive from the selective recruitment of genetic materials over macroevolutionary times, and protein-coding genes constitute an essential component of these materials. We took advantage of the recent production of genomic scale data from sponges and cnidarians, sister groups from eumetazoans and bilaterians, respectively, to date the emergence of human proteins and to infer the timing of acquisition of novel traits through metazoan evolution. Comparing the proteomes of 23 eukaryotes, we find that 33% human proteins have an ortholog in nonmetazoan species. This premetazoan proteome associates with 43% of all annotated human biological processes. Subsequently, four major waves of innovations can be inferred in the last common ancestors of eumetazoans, bilaterians, euteleostomi (bony vertebrates), and hominidae, largely specific to each epoch, whereas early branching deuterostome and chordate phyla show very few innovations. Interestingly, groups of proteins that act together in their modern human functions often originated concomitantly, although the corresponding human phenotypes frequently emerged later. For example, the three cnidarians Acropora, Nematostella, and Hydra express a highly similar protein inventory, and their protein innovations can be affiliated either to traits shared by all eumetazoans (gut differentiation, neurogenesis); or to bilaterian traits present in only some cnidarians (eyes, striated muscle); or to traits not identified yet in this phylum (mesodermal layer, endocrine glands). The variable correspondence between phenotypes predicted from protein enrichments and observed phenotypes suggests that a parallel mechanism repeatedly produce similar phenotypes, thanks to novel regulatory events that independently tie preexisting conserved genetic modules. PMID:24065732

  1. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon. PMID:19084408

  2. An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante

    2015-08-13

    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe approximately 39,000-41,000 years ago but they have contributed 1-3% of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia. Here we analyse DNA from a 37,000-42,000-year-old modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of 6-9% of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe. PMID:26098372

  3. Divergent genetic mechanisms underlie reversals to radial floral symmetry from diverse zygomorphic flowered ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wenheng; Steinmann, Victor W.; Nikolov, Lachezar; Kramer, Elena M.; Davis, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    Malpighiaceae possess flowers with a unique bilateral symmetry (zygomorphy), which is a hypothesized adaptation associated with specialization on neotropical oil bee pollinators. Gene expression of two representatives of the CYC2 lineage of floral symmetry TCP genes, CYC2A and CYC2B, demarcate the adaxial (dorsal) region of the flower in the characteristic zygomorphic flowers of most Malpighiaceae. Several clades within the family, however, have independently lost their specialized oil bee pollinators and reverted to radial flowers (actinomorphy) like their ancestors. Here, we investigate CYC2 expression associated with four independent reversals to actinomorphy. We demonstrate that these reversals are always associated with alteration of the highly conserved CYC2 expression pattern observed in most New World (NW) Malpighiaceae. In NW Lasiocarpus and Old World (OW) Microsteria, the expression of CYC2-like genes has expanded to include the ventral region of the corolla. Thus, the pattern of gene expression in these species has become radialized, which is comparable to what has been reported in the radial flowered legume clade Cadia. In striking contrast, in NW Psychopterys and OW Sphedamnocarpus, CYC2-like expression is entirely absent or at barely detectable levels. This is more similar to the pattern of CYC2 expression observed in radial flowered Arabidopsis. These results collectively indicate that, regardless of geographic distribution, reversals to similar floral phenotypes in this large tropical angiosperm clade have evolved via different genetic changes from an otherwise highly conserved developmental program. PMID:23970887

  4. Estimating time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA): comparison and application of eight methods.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jin; Teo, Yik-Ying

    2016-08-01

    Investigating how an ancestral population diverges to give rise to distinct subpopulations remains a fundamental pursuit in population genetics. There is broad consensus for the 'Out-of-Africa' hypothesis that states that modern humans arose ∼200 000 years ago in Africa and spread throughout the continent ∼100 000 years ago. This was followed by several waves of major population dispersals across the globe, although the exact nature of the population divergence remains debatable. Existing methods to estimate population divergence time differ in their methodological frameworks and demographic assumptions, and require different types of genetic data as input. These fundamental differences often result in the methods producing inconsistent estimates of the population divergence time, further confounding attempts to robustly uncover the history of human migration, especially when most population genetic studies do not employ multiple methods to estimate the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA). Here, we chose eight popular methods for estimating TMRCA and evaluated their robustness and accuracy in correctly identifying the true TMRCA through a series of simulations that mimicked different evolutionary scenarios. We subsequently applied all eight methods to estimate the population divergence time between Southeast Asian Malays and South Asian Indians using deep whole-genome sequencing data. PMID:26669663

  5. The Distribution and Most Recent Common Ancestor of the 17q21 Inversion in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, Michael P.; Paschou, Peristera; Grigorenko, Elena; Gurwitz, David; Mehdi, Syed Qasim; Kajuna, Sylvester L.B.; Barta, Csaba; Kungulilo, Selemani; Karoma, N.J.; Lu, Ru-Band; Zhukova, Olga V.; Kim, Jong-Jin; Comas, David; Siniscalco, Marcello; New, Maria; Li, Peining; Li, Hui; Manolopoulos, Vangelis G.; Speed, William C.; Rajeevan, Haseena; Pakstis, Andrew J.; Kidd, Judith R.; Kidd, Kenneth K.

    2010-01-01

    The polymorphic inversion on 17q21, sometimes called the microtubular associated protein tau (MAPT) inversion, is an ∼900 kb inversion found primarily in Europeans and Southwest Asians. We have identified 21 SNPs that act as markers of the inverted, i.e., H2, haplotype. The inversion is found at the highest frequencies in Southwest Asia and Southern Europe (frequencies of ∼30%); elsewhere in Europe, frequencies vary from < 5%, in Finns, to 28%, in Orcadians. The H2 inversion haplotype also occurs at low frequencies in Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, and the Americas, though the East Asian and Amerindian alleles may be due to recent gene flow from Europe. Molecular evolution analyses indicate that the H2 haplotype originally arose in Africa or Southwest Asia. Though the H2 inversion has many fixed differences across the ∼900 kb, short tandem repeat polymorphism data indicate a very recent date for the most recent common ancestor, with dates ranging from 13,600 to 108,400 years, depending on assumptions and estimation methods. This estimate range is much more recent than the 3 million year age estimated by Stefansson et al. in 2005.1 PMID:20116045

  6. The evolution of air resonance power efficiency in the violin and its ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Nia, Hadi T.; Jain, Ankita D.; Liu, Yuming; Alam, Mohammad-Reza; Barnas, Roman; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2015-01-01

    The fact that acoustic radiation from a violin at air-cavity resonance is monopolar and can be determined by pure volume change is used to help explain related aspects of violin design evolution. By determining the acoustic conductance of arbitrarily shaped sound holes, it is found that air flow at the perimeter rather than the broader sound-hole area dominates acoustic conductance, and coupling between compressible air within the violin and its elastic structure lowers the Helmholtz resonance frequency from that found for a corresponding rigid instrument by roughly a semitone. As a result of the former, it is found that as sound-hole geometry of the violin's ancestors slowly evolved over centuries from simple circles to complex f-holes, the ratio of inefficient, acoustically inactive to total sound-hole area was decimated, roughly doubling air-resonance power efficiency. F-hole length then slowly increased by roughly 30% across two centuries in the renowned workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri, favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power, through a corresponding power increase of roughly 60%. By evolution-rate analysis, these changes are found to be consistent with mutations arising within the range of accidental replication fluctuations from craftsmanship limitations with subsequent selection favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power. PMID:25792964

  7. Ascomatal morphogenesis in Myxotrichum arcticum supports the derivation of the Myxotrichaceae from a discomycetous ancestor.

    PubMed

    Tsuneda, A; Currah, R S

    2004-01-01

    Electron microscopy shows that ascomata of Myxotricum arcticum bear a striking resemblance to discocarps in morphogenesis and in previously overlooked aspects of gross morphology. Although mature ascomata of M. arcticum superficially resemble reticuloperidial cleistothecia common in the Onygenales, the bramble-like aggregation of thick-walled hyphae, previously considered to represent a closed peridium, forms a basket-like apothecium that overarches a distinct hymenium of stipitate, protunicate asci interspersed with paraphyses. There is no evidence of asci developing in chains and at different levels as is characteristic of the centrum of many Eurotiomycetes. Instead, more or less globose, stipitate and evanescent asci arise individually from penultimate cells of croziers and develop almost synchronously across a distinct hymenial layer derived from a richly branched network of crozier-bearing hyphae. After dissolution of the ascus wall, ascospores adhere to a membranous sheath that underlies the hymenium. These observations provide strong support for prior suggestions based on molecular phylogenetic comparisons that the Myxotrichaceae recently are derived from a helotialean ancestor. Observations of conidiogenesis show that the typical Oidiodendron anamorph is accompanied by a second conidiogenous form with ampullae and botryose clusters of blastic conidia. PMID:21148882

  8. In search of the last common ancestor: new findings on wild chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    McGrew, W. C.

    2010-01-01

    Modelling the behaviour of extinct hominins is essential in order to devise useful hypotheses of our species' evolutionary origins for testing in the palaeontological and archaeological records. One approach is to model the last common ancestor (LCA) of living apes and humans, based on current ethological and ecological knowledge of our closest living relations. Such referential modelling is based on rigorous, ongoing field studies of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). This paper reviews recent findings from nature, focusing on those with direct implications for hominin evolution, e.g. apes, using elementary technology to access basic resources such as food and water, or sheltering in caves or bathing as thermoregulatory adaptations. I give preference to studies that directly address key issues, such as whether stone artefacts are detectible before the Oldowan, based on the percussive technology of hammer and anvil use by living apes. Detailed comparative studies of chimpanzees living in varied habitats, from rainforest to savannah, reveal that some behavioural patterns are universal (e.g. shelter construction), while others show marked (e.g. extractive foraging) or nuanced (e.g. courtship) cross-populational variation. These findings allow us to distinguish between retained, primitive traits of the LCA versus derived ones in the human lineage. PMID:20855301

  9. Progress Towards Mammalian Whole-Brain Cellular Connectomics

    PubMed Central

    Mikula, Shawn

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are the fundamental structural units of the nervous system—i.e., the Neuron Doctrine—as the pioneering work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in the 1880’s clearly demonstrated through careful observation of Golgi-stained neuronal morphologies. However, at that time sample preparation, imaging methods and computational tools were either nonexistent or insufficiently developed to permit the precise mapping of an entire brain with all of its neurons and their connections. Some measure of the “mesoscopic” connectional organization of the mammalian brain has been obtained over the past decade by alignment of sparse subsets of labeled neurons onto a reference atlas or via MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging. Neither method, however, provides data on the complete connectivity of all neurons comprising an individual brain. Fortunately, whole-brain cellular connectomics now appears within reach due to recent advances in whole-brain sample preparation and high-throughput electron microscopy (EM), though substantial obstacles remain with respect to large volume electron microscopic acquisitions and automated neurite reconstructions. This perspective examines the current status and problems associated with generating a mammalian whole-brain cellular connectome and argues that the time is right to launch a concerted connectomic attack on a small mammalian whole-brain. PMID:27445704

  10. Progress Towards Mammalian Whole-Brain Cellular Connectomics.

    PubMed

    Mikula, Shawn

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are the fundamental structural units of the nervous system-i.e., the Neuron Doctrine-as the pioneering work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal in the 1880's clearly demonstrated through careful observation of Golgi-stained neuronal morphologies. However, at that time sample preparation, imaging methods and computational tools were either nonexistent or insufficiently developed to permit the precise mapping of an entire brain with all of its neurons and their connections. Some measure of the "mesoscopic" connectional organization of the mammalian brain has been obtained over the past decade by alignment of sparse subsets of labeled neurons onto a reference atlas or via MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging. Neither method, however, provides data on the complete connectivity of all neurons comprising an individual brain. Fortunately, whole-brain cellular connectomics now appears within reach due to recent advances in whole-brain sample preparation and high-throughput electron microscopy (EM), though substantial obstacles remain with respect to large volume electron microscopic acquisitions and automated neurite reconstructions. This perspective examines the current status and problems associated with generating a mammalian whole-brain cellular connectome and argues that the time is right to launch a concerted connectomic attack on a small mammalian whole-brain. PMID:27445704

  11. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... around the cancer removed (lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery) might not need reconstruction, but sometimes they do. Breast reconstruction is done by a plastic surgeon. Should I have breast reconstruction? Breast reconstruction ...

  12. The eukaryotic ancestor had a complex ubiquitin signaling system of archaeal origin.

    PubMed

    Grau-Bové, Xavier; Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki

    2015-03-01

    The origin of the eukaryotic cell is one of the most important transitions in the history of life. However, the emergence and early evolution of eukaryotes remains poorly understood. Recent data have shown that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) was much more complex than previously thought. The LECA already had the genetic machinery encoding the endomembrane apparatus, spliceosome, nuclear pore, and myosin and kinesin cytoskeletal motors. It is unclear, however, when the functional regulation of these cellular components evolved. Here, we address this question by analyzing the origin and evolution of the ubiquitin (Ub) signaling system, one of the most important regulatory layers in eukaryotes. We delineated the evolution of the whole Ub, Small-Ub-related MOdifier (SUMO), and Ub-fold modifier 1 (Ufm1) signaling networks by analyzing representatives from all major eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaeal lineages. We found that the Ub toolkit had a pre-eukaryotic origin and is present in three extant archaeal groups. The pre-eukaryotic Ub toolkit greatly expanded during eukaryogenesis, through massive gene innovation and diversification of protein domain architectures. This resulted in a LECA with essentially all of the Ub-related genes, including the SUMO and Ufm1 Ub-like systems. Ub and SUMO signaling further expanded during eukaryotic evolution, especially labeling and delabeling enzymes responsible for substrate selection. Additionally, we analyzed protein domain architecture evolution and found that multicellular lineages have the most complex Ub systems in terms of domain architectures. Together, we demonstrate that the Ub system predates the origin of eukaryotes and that a burst of innovation during eukaryogenesis led to a LECA with complex posttranslational regulation. PMID:25525215

  13. The vertebral formula of the last common ancestor of African apes and humans.

    PubMed

    McCollum, Melanie A; Rosenman, Burt A; Suwa, Gen; Meindl, Richard S; Lovejoy, C Owen

    2010-03-15

    The modal number of lumbar vertebrae in modern humans is five. It varies between three and four in extant African apes (mean=3.5). Because both chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) possess the same distributions of thoracic, lumbar, and sacral vertebrae, it has been assumed from parsimony that the last common ancestor (LCA) of African apes and humans possessed a similarly short lower back. This "short-backed LCA" scenario has recently been viewed favorably in an analysis of the intra- and interspecific variation in axial formulas observed among African apes and humans (Pilbeam, 2004. J Exp Zool 302B:241-267). However, the number of bonobo (Pan paniscus) specimens in that study was small (N=17). Here we reconsider vertebral type and number in the LCA in light of an expanded P. paniscus sample as well as evidence provided by the human fossil record. The precaudal (pre-coccygeal) axial column of bonobos differs from those of chimpanzees and gorillas in displaying one additional vertebra as well as significantly different combinations of sacral, lumbar, and thoracic vertebrae. These findings, along with the six-segmented lumbar column of early Australopithecus and early Homo, suggest that the LCA possessed a long axial column and long lumbar spine and that reduction in the lumbar column occurred independently in humans and in each ape clade, and continued after separation of the two species of Pan as well. Such an explanation is strongly congruent with additional details of lumbar column reduction and lower back stabilization in African apes. PMID:19688850

  14. The compact Brachypodium genome conserves centromeric regions of a common ancestor with wheat and rice.

    PubMed

    Qi, Lili; Friebe, Bernd; Wu, Jiajie; Gu, Yongqiang; Qian, Chen; Gill, Bikram S

    2010-11-01

    The evolution of five chromosomes of Brachypodium distachyon from a 12-chromosome ancestor of all grasses by dysploidy raises an interesting question about the fate of redundant centromeres. Three independent but complementary approaches were pursued to study centromeric region homologies among the chromosomes of Brachypodium, wheat, and rice. The genes present in pericentromeres of the basic set of seven chromosomes of wheat and the Triticeae, and the 80 rice centromeric genes spanning the CENH3 binding domain of centromeres 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 were used as "anchor" markers to identify centromere locations in the B. distachyon chromosomes. A total of 53 B. distachyon bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones anchored by wheat pericentromeric expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were used as probes for BAC-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of B. distachyon mitotic chromosomes. Integrated sequence alignment and BAC-FISH data were used to determine the approximate positions of active and inactive centromeres in the five B. distachyon chromosomes. The following syntenic relationships of the centromeres for Brachypodium (Bd), rice (R), and wheat (W) were evident: Bd1-R6, Bd2-R5-W1, Bd3-R10, Bd4-R11-W4, and Bd5-R4. Six rice centromeres syntenic to five wheat centromeres were inactive in Brachypodium chromosomes. The conservation of centromere gene synteny among several sets of homologous centromeres of three species indicates that active genes can persist in ancient centromeres with more than 40 million years of shared evolutionary history. Annotation of a BAC contig spanning an inactive centromere in chromosome Bd3 which is syntenic to rice Cen8 and W7 pericentromeres, along with BAC FISH data from inactive centromeres revealed that the centromere inactivation was accompanied by the loss of centromeric retrotransposons and turnover of centromere-specific satellites during Bd chromosome evolution. PMID:20842403

  15. Molecular Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Nepal: Specific Ancestor Root

    PubMed Central

    Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Sharma, Rabi Prakash; Shrestha, Pradeep Krishna; Suzuki, Rumiko; Uchida, Tomohisa; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Nepal, a low-risk country for gastric cancer, is debatable. To our knowledge, no studies have examined H. pylori virulence factors in Nepal. We determined the prevalence of H. pylori infection by using three different tests, and the genotypes of virulence factors were determined by PCR followed by sequencing. Multilocus sequence typing was used to analyze the population structure of the Nepalese strains. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in dyspeptic patients was 38.4% (56/146), and was significantly related with source of drinking water. In total, 51 strains were isolated and all were cagA-positive. Western-type-cagA (94.1%), cagA pre-EPIYA type with no deletion (92.2%), vacA s1a (74.5%), and m1c (54.9%) were the predominant genotypes. Antral mucosal atrophy levels were significantly higher in patients infected with vacA s1 than in those infected with s2 genotypes (P = 0.03). Several Nepalese strains were H. pylori recombinants with genetic features of South Asian and East Asian genotypes. These included all East-Asian-type-cagA strains, with significantly lesser activity and inflammation in the corpus than the strains of the specific South Asian genotype (P = 0.03 and P = 0.005, respectively). Although the population structure confirmed that most Nepalese strains belonged to the hpAsia2 population, some strains shared hpEurope- and Nepalese-specific components. Nepalese patients infected with strains belonging to hpEurope showed higher inflammation in the antrum than strains from the Nepalese specific population (P = 0.05). These results support that ancestor roots of Kathmandu`s people not only connected with India alone. PMID:26226153

  16. Evidence of a chimeric genome in the cyanobacterial ancestor of plastids

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a vexing fact of life for microbial phylogeneticists. Given the substantial rates of HGT observed in modern-day bacterial chromosomes, it is envisaged that ancient prokaryotic genomes must have been similarly chimeric. But where can one find an ancient prokaryotic genome that has maintained its ancestral condition to address this issue? An excellent candidate is the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that was harnessed over a billion years ago by a heterotrophic protist, giving rise to the plastid. Genetic remnants of the endosymbiont are still preserved in plastids as a highly reduced chromosome encoding 54 – 264 genes. These data provide an ideal target to assess genome chimericism in an ancient cyanobacterial lineage. Results Here we demonstrate that the origin of the plastid-encoded gene cluster for menaquinone/phylloquinone biosynthesis in the extremophilic red algae Cyanidiales contradicts a cyanobacterial genealogy. These genes are relics of an ancestral cluster related to homologs in Chlorobi/Gammaproteobacteria that we hypothesize was established by HGT in the progenitor of plastids, thus providing a 'footprint' of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition to menB, four components of the original gene cluster (menF, menD, menC, and menH) are now encoded in the nuclear genome of the majority of non-Cyanidiales algae and plants as the unique tetra-gene fusion named PHYLLO. These genes are monophyletic in Plantae and chromalveolates, indicating that loci introduced by HGT into the ancestral cyanobacterium were moved over time into the host nucleus. Conclusion Our study provides unambiguous evidence for the existence of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition we show genes that originated via HGT in the cyanobacterial ancestor of the plastid made their way to the host nucleus via endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). PMID:18433492

  17. Molecular Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Nepal: Specific Ancestor Root.

    PubMed

    Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Sharma, Rabi Prakash; Shrestha, Pradeep Krishna; Suzuki, Rumiko; Uchida, Tomohisa; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Nepal, a low-risk country for gastric cancer, is debatable. To our knowledge, no studies have examined H. pylori virulence factors in Nepal. We determined the prevalence of H. pylori infection by using three different tests, and the genotypes of virulence factors were determined by PCR followed by sequencing. Multilocus sequence typing was used to analyze the population structure of the Nepalese strains. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in dyspeptic patients was 38.4% (56/146), and was significantly related with source of drinking water. In total, 51 strains were isolated and all were cagA-positive. Western-type-cagA (94.1%), cagA pre-EPIYA type with no deletion (92.2%), vacA s1a (74.5%), and m1c (54.9%) were the predominant genotypes. Antral mucosal atrophy levels were significantly higher in patients infected with vacA s1 than in those infected with s2 genotypes (P = 0.03). Several Nepalese strains were H. pylori recombinants with genetic features of South Asian and East Asian genotypes. These included all East-Asian-type-cagA strains, with significantly lesser activity and inflammation in the corpus than the strains of the specific South Asian genotype (P = 0.03 and P = 0.005, respectively). Although the population structure confirmed that most Nepalese strains belonged to the hpAsia2 population, some strains shared hpEurope- and Nepalese-specific components. Nepalese patients infected with strains belonging to hpEurope showed higher inflammation in the antrum than strains from the Nepalese specific population (P = 0.05). These results support that ancestor roots of Kathmandu`s people not only connected with India alone. PMID:26226153

  18. Comparative Genomic Evidence for a Complete Nuclear Pore Complex in the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Nadja; Lundin, Daniel; Poole, Anthony M.

    2010-01-01

    Background The Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC) facilitates molecular trafficking between nucleus and cytoplasm and is an integral feature of the eukaryote cell. It exhibits eight-fold rotational symmetry and is comprised of approximately 30 nucleoporins (Nups) in different stoichiometries. Nups are broadly conserved between yeast, vertebrates and plants, but few have been identified among other major eukaryotic groups. Methodology/Principal Findings We screened for Nups across 60 eukaryote genomes and report that 19 Nups (spanning all major protein subcomplexes) are found in all eukaryote supergroups represented in our study (Opisthokonts, Amoebozoa, Viridiplantae, Chromalveolates and Excavates). Based on parsimony, between 23 and 26 of 31 Nups can be placed in LECA. Notably, they include central components of the anchoring system (Ndc1 and Gp210) indicating that the anchoring system did not evolve by convergence, as has previously been suggested. These results significantly extend earlier results and, importantly, unambiguously place a fully-fledged NPC in LECA. We also test the proposal that transmembrane Pom proteins in vertebrates and yeasts may account for their variant forms of mitosis (open mitoses in vertebrates, closed among yeasts). The distribution of homologues of vertebrate Pom121 and yeast Pom152 is not consistent with this suggestion, but the distribution of fungal Pom34 fits a scenario wherein it was integral to the evolution of closed mitosis in ascomycetes. We also report an updated screen for vesicle coating complexes, which share a common evolutionary origin with Nups, and can be traced back to LECA. Surprisingly, we find only three supergroup-level differences (one gain and two losses) between the constituents of COPI, COPII and Clathrin complexes. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicate that all major protein subcomplexes in the Nuclear Pore Complex are traceable to the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA). In contrast to previous screens

  19. [The saga of aspirin: centuries-old ancestors of an old lady who doesn't deserve to die].

    PubMed

    Queneau, P

    2001-01-01

    Where do analgics come from? If their ancestors are many centuries old, we observe that the four main drugs of modern analgesia, morphine (1816), codeine (1832), paracetamol (1893) and aspirin (1897) were discovered during the 19th century. And through what 'sagas'! The first known prescriptions, written on earthenware shelves in Mesopotamia 3 centuries BC, already mentioned medications derived from willow to cure headaches. The Greeks dedicated to Asclepios, god of therapeutics, a statue carved in a willow trunk as a symbol! Thus, before becoming a drug, aspirin was born from the willow, which grows with its feet in water 'without suffering', as the ancestors put it. But before it walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong in 1969, the discovery of aspirin as a drug was the consequence of the filial love of a young researcher, Felix Hoffmann, who wanted to decrease the resistant pain of his rheumatic old father. PMID:11878097

  20. The origin of life and the last universal common ancestor: do we need a change of perspective?

    PubMed

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2009-09-01

    A complete tree with roots, trunk and crown remains an appropriate model to represent all steps of life's development, from the emergence of a unique genetic code up to the last universal common ancestor and its further radiation. Catalytic closure of a mixture of prebiotic polymers is a heuristic alternative to the RNA world. Conjectures about emergence of life in an infinite multiverse should not confuse probability with possibility. PMID:19524037

  1. Tracheal reconstructions.

    PubMed

    Srikrishna, S V; Shekar, P S; Shetty, N

    1998-12-01

    Surgical reconstruction of the trachea is a relatively complex procedure. We had 20 cases of tracheal stenosis. We have a modest experience of 16 tracheal reconstructions for acquired tracheal stenosis. Two patients underwent laser treatment while another two died before any intervention. The majority of these cases were a result of prolonged ventilation (14 cases), following organophosphorous poisoning (11 cases), Guillain-Barré syndrome, bullet injury, fat embolism and surprisingly only one tumor, a case of mucoepidermoid carcinoma, who had a very unusual presentation. There were 12 males and 4 females in this series, age ranging from 12-35 years. The duration of ventilation ranged from 1-21 days and the interval from decannulation to development of stridor was between 5-34 days. Six of them were approached by the cervical route, 5 by thoracotomy and cervical approach, 2 via median sternotomy and 3 by thoracotomy alone. Five of them required an additional laryngeal drop and 1 required pericardiotomy and release of pulmonary veins to gain additional length. The excised segments of trachea measured 3 to 5 cms in length. All were end to end anastomosis with interrupted Vicryl sutures. We have had no experience with stents or prosthetic tubes. Three patients developed anastomotic leaks which were controlled conservatively. Almost all of them required postoperative tracheo-bronchial suctioning with fibreoptic bronchoscope. We had one death in this series due to sepsis. PMID:9914459

  2. Mast cells in mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Dropp, J J

    1976-01-01

    Mast cells, which had until recently been believed to be not present in the mammalian brain, were studied in the brains of 29 mammalian species. Although there was considerable intraspecific and interspecific variation, mast cells were most numerous within the leptomeninges (especially in those overlying the cerebrum and the dorsal thalamus - most rodents, most carnivores, chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys and elephant), the cerebral cortex (most rodents, tiger, fox, chimpanzee, tarsier, and elephant) and in many nuclei of the dorsal thalamus (most rodents, tiger, lion, and fox). In some mammals, mast cells were also numerous in the stroma of the telencephalic choroid plexuses (chimpanzee, squirrel monkey), the putamen and the claustrum (chimpanzee), the subfornical organ (pack rat, tiger, chimpanzee), the olfactory peduncles (hooded rat, albino rat), the stroma of the diencephalic choroid plexus (lion, chimpanzee, squirrel monkey), the pineal organ (chimpanzee, squirrel monkey), some nuclei of the hypothalamus (tiger), the infundibulum (hooded rat, tiger, fox) the area postrema (pack rat, chinchilla, lion, spider monkey, chimpanzee, fox) and some nuclei and tracts of the metencephalon and the myelencephalon (tiger). Neither the sex of the animal nor electrolytic lesions made in the brains of some of the animals at various times prior to sacrifice appeared to effect the number and the distribution of mast cells. Age-related changes in mast cell number and distribution were detected in the albino rat. PMID:961335

  3. DNA modifications in the mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jaehoon; Ming, Guo-li; Song, Hongjun

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation is a crucial epigenetic mark in mammalian development, genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, chromosomal stability and suppressing parasitic DNA elements. DNA methylation in neurons has also been suggested to play important roles for mammalian neuronal functions, and learning and memory. In this review, we first summarize recent discoveries and fundamental principles of DNA modifications in the general epigenetics field. We then describe the profiles of different DNA modifications in the mammalian brain genome. Finally, we discuss roles of DNA modifications in mammalian brain development and function. PMID:25135973

  4. Dynamic Ising model: reconstruction of evolutionary trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Oliveira, P. M. C.

    2013-09-01

    An evolutionary tree is a cascade of bifurcations starting from a single common root, generating a growing set of daughter species as time goes by. ‘Species’ here is a general denomination for biological species, spoken languages or any other entity which evolves through heredity. From the N currently alive species within a clade, distances are measured through pairwise comparisons made by geneticists, linguists, etc. The larger is such a distance that, for a pair of species, the older is their last common ancestor. The aim is to reconstruct the previously unknown bifurcations, i.e. the whole clade, from knowledge of the N(N - 1)/2 quoted distances, which are taken for granted. A mechanical method is presented and its applicability is discussed.

  5. Genomic and Proteomic Analyses Indicate that Banchine and Campoplegine Polydnaviruses Have Similar, if Not Identical, Viral Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Béliveau, Catherine; Cohen, Alejandro; Stewart, Don; Periquet, Georges; Djoumad, Abdelmadjid; Kuhn, Lisa; Stoltz, Don; Boyle, Brian; Volkoff, Anne-Nathalie; Herniou, Elisabeth A.; Drezen, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Polydnaviruses form a group of unconventional double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses transmitted by endoparasitic wasps during egg laying into caterpillar hosts, where viral gene expression is essential to immature wasp survival. A copy of the viral genome is present in wasp chromosomes, thus ensuring vertical transmission. Polydnaviruses comprise two taxa, Bracovirus and Ichnovirus, shown to have distinct viral ancestors whose genomes were “captured” by ancestral wasps. While evidence indicates that bracoviruses derive from a nudivirus ancestor, the identity of the ichnovirus progenitor remains unknown. In addition, ichnoviruses are found in two ichneumonid wasp subfamilies, Campopleginae and Banchinae, where they constitute morphologically and genomically different virus types. To address the question of whether these two ichnovirus subgroups have distinct ancestors, we used genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic analyses to characterize particle proteins of the banchine Glypta fumiferanae ichnovirus and the genes encoding them. Several proteins were found to be homologous to those identified earlier for campoplegine ichnoviruses while the corresponding genes were located in clusters of the wasp genome similar to those observed previously in a campoplegine wasp. However, for the first time in a polydnavirus system, these clusters also revealed sequences encoding enzymes presumed to form the replicative machinery of the progenitor virus and observed to be overexpressed in the virogenic tissue. Homology searches pointed to nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses as the likely source of these genes. These data, along with an analysis of the chromosomal form of five viral genome segments, provide clear evidence for the relatedness of the banchine and campoplegine ichnovirus ancestors. IMPORTANCE Recent work indicates that the two recognized polydnavirus taxa, Bracovirus and Ichnovirus, are derived from distinct viruses whose genomes integrated into the genomes

  6. Genome sequence of the brown Norway rat yields insights into mammalian evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbs, Richard A.; Weinstock, George M.; Metzker, Michael L.; Muzny, Donna M.; Sodergren, Erica J.; Scherer, Steven; Scott, Graham; Steffen, David; Worley, Kim C.; Burch, Paula E.; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Hines, Sandra; Lewis, Lora; DeRamo, Christine; Delgado, Oliver; Dugan-Rocha, Shannon; Miner, George; Morgan, Margaret; Hawes, Alicia; Gill, Rachel; Holt, Robert A.; Adams, Mark D.; Amanatides, Peter G.; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Barnstead, Mary; Chin, Soo; Evans, Cheryl A.; Ferriera, Steven; Fosler, Carl; Glodek, Anna; Gu, Zhiping; Jennings, Don; Kraft, Cheryl L.; Nguyen, Trixie; Pfannkoch, Cynthia M.; Sitter, Cynthia; Sutton, Granger G.; Venter, J. Craig; Woodage, Trevor; Smith, Douglas; Lee, Hong-Maei; Gustafson, Erik; Cahill, Patrick; Kana, Arnold; Doucette-Stamm, Lynn; Weinstock, Keith; Fechtel, Kim; Weiss, Robert B.; Dunn, Diane M.; Green, Eric D.; Blakesley, Robert W.; Bouffard, Gerard G.; de Jong, Pieter J.; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Zhu, Baoli; Marra, Marco; Schein, Jacqueline; Bosdet, Ian; Fjell, Chris; Jones, Steven; Krzywinski, Martin; Mathewson, Carrie; Siddiqui, Asim; Wye, Natasja; McPherson, John; Zhao, Shaying; Fraser, Claire M.; Shetty, Jyoti; Shatsman, Sofiya; Geer, Keita; Chen, Yixin; Abramzon, Sofyia; Nierman, William C.; Havlak, Paul H.; Chen, Rui; Durbin, K. James; Egan, Amy; Ren, Yanru; Song, Xing-Zhi; Li, Bingshan; Liu, Yue; Qin, Xiang; Cawley, Simon; Cooney, A.J.; D'Souza, Lisa M.; Martin, Kirt; Wu, Jia Qian; Gonzalez-Garay, Manuel L.; Jackson, Andrew R.; Kalafus, Kenneth J.; McLeod, Michael P.; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Virk, Davinder; Volkov, Andrei; Wheeler, David A.; Zhang, Zhengdong; Bailey, Jeffrey A.; Eichler, Evan E.; Tuzun, Eray; Birney, Ewan; Mongin, Emmanuel; Ureta-Vidal, Abel; Woodwark, Cara; Zdobnov, Evgeny; Bork, Peer; Suyama, Mikita; Torrents, David; Alexandersson, Marina; Trask, Barbara J.; Young, Janet M.; et al.

    2004-02-02

    The laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus) is an indispensable tool in experimental medicine and drug development, having made inestimable contributions to human health. We report here the genome sequence of the Brown Norway (BN) rat strain. The sequence represents a high-quality 'draft' covering over 90 percent of the genome. The BN rat sequence is the third complete mammalian genome to be deciphered, and three-way comparisons with the human and mouse genomes resolve details of mammalian evolution. This first comprehensive analysis includes genes and proteins and their relation to human disease, repeated sequences, comparative genome-wide studies of mammalian orthologous chromosomal regions and rearrangement breakpoints, reconstruction of ancestral karyotypes and the events leading to existing species, rates of variation, and lineage-specific and lineage-independent evolutionary events such as expansion of gene families, orthology relations and protein evolution.

  7. Producing Newborn Synchronous Mammalian Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonda, Steve R.; Helmstetter, Charles E.; Thornton, Maureen

    2008-01-01

    A method and bioreactor for the continuous production of synchronous (same age) population of mammalian cells have been invented. The invention involves the attachment and growth of cells on an adhesive-coated porous membrane immersed in a perfused liquid culture medium in a microgravity analog bioreactor. When cells attach to the surface divide, newborn cells are released into the flowing culture medium. The released cells, consisting of a uniform population of synchronous cells are then collected from the effluent culture medium. This invention could be of interest to researchers investigating the effects of the geneotoxic effects of the space environment (microgravity, radiation, chemicals, gases) and to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies involved in research on aging and cancer, and in new drug development and testing.

  8. Body Size in Mammalian Paleobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damuth, John; MacFadden, Bruce J.

    1990-11-01

    This valuable collection of essays presents and evaluates techniques of body-mass estimation and reviews current and potential applications of body-size estimates in paleobiology. Papers discuss explicitly the errors and biases of various regression techniques and predictor variables, and the identification of functionally similar groups of species for improving the accuracy of estimates. At the same time other chapters review and discuss the physiological, ecological, and behavioral correlates of body size in extant mammals; the significance of body-mass distributions in mammalian faunas; and the ecology and evolution of body size in particular paleofaunas. Coverage is particularly detailed for carnivores, primates, and ungulates, but information is also presented on marsupials, rodents, and proboscideans.

  9. Determinants of Mammalian Nucleolar Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Katherine I.; Surovtseva, Yulia; Merkel, Janie; Baserga, Susan J.

    2015-01-01

    The nucleolus is responsible for the production of ribosomes, essential machines which synthesize all proteins needed by the cell. The structure of human nucleoli is highly dynamic and is directly related to its functions in ribosome biogenesis. Despite the importance of this organelle, the intricate relationship between nucleolar structure and function remains largely unexplored. How do cells control nucleolar formation and function? What are the minimal requirements for making a functional nucleolus? Here we review what is currently known regarding mammalian nucleolar formation at nucleolar organizer regions (NORs), which can be studied by observing the dissolution and reformation of the nucleolus during each cell division. Additionally, the nucleolus can be examined by analyzing how alterations in nucleolar function manifest in differences in nucleolar architecture. Furthermore, changes in nucleolar structure and function are correlated with cancer, highlighting the importance of studying the determinants of nucleolar formation. PMID:25670395

  10. Development of the Mammalian Kidney.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Andrew P

    2016-01-01

    The basic unit of kidney function is the nephron. In the mouse, around 14,000 nephrons form in a 10-day period extending into early neonatal life, while the human fetus forms the adult complement of nephrons in a 32-week period completed prior to birth. This review discusses our current understanding of mammalian nephrogenesis: the contributing cell types and the regulatory processes at play. A conceptual developmental framework has emerged for the mouse kidney. This framework is now guiding studies of human kidney development enabled in part by in vitro systems of pluripotent stem cell-seeded nephrogenesis. A near future goal will be to translate our developmental knowledge-base to the productive engineering of new kidney structures for regenerative medicine. PMID:26969971

  11. Evolutionary history of mammalian sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) are obligate, permanent ectoparasites of eutherian mammals, parasitizing members of 12 of the 29 recognized mammalian orders and approximately 20% of all mammalian species. These host specific, blood-sucking insects are morphologically adapted for life on mammals: they are wingless, dorso-ventrally flattened, possess tibio-tarsal claws for clinging to host hair, and have piercing mouthparts for feeding. Although there are more than 540 described species of Anoplura and despite the potential economical and medical implications of sucking louse infestations, this study represents the first attempt to examine higher-level anopluran relationships using molecular data. In this study, we use molecular data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of 65 sucking louse taxa with phylogenetic analyses and compare the results to findings based on morphological data. We also estimate divergence times among anopluran taxa and compare our results to host (mammal) relationships. Results This study represents the first phylogenetic hypothesis of sucking louse relationships using molecular data and we find significant conflict between phylogenies constructed using molecular and morphological data. We also find that multiple families and genera of sucking lice are not monophyletic and that extensive taxonomic revision will be necessary for this group. Based on our divergence dating analyses, sucking lice diversified in the late Cretaceous, approximately 77 Ma, and soon after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (ca. 65 Ma) these lice proliferated rapidly to parasitize multiple mammalian orders and families. Conclusions The diversification time of sucking lice approximately 77 Ma is in agreement with mammalian evolutionary history: all modern mammal orders are hypothesized to have diverged by 75 Ma thus providing suitable habitat for the colonization and radiation of sucking lice. Despite the concordant timing of diversification events

  12. Recent advances in mammalian protein production

    PubMed Central

    Bandaranayake, Ashok D.; Almo, Steven C.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian protein production platforms have had a profound impact in many areas of basic and applied research, and an increasing number of blockbuster drugs are recombinant mammalian proteins. With global sales of these drugs exceeding US$120 billion per year, both industry and academic research groups continue to develop cost effective methods for producing mammalian proteins to support preclinical and clinical evaluations of potential therapeutics. While a wide range of platforms have been successfully exploited for laboratory use, the bulk of recent biologics have been produced in mammalian cell lines due to the requirement for post translational modification and the biosynthetic complexity of the target proteins. In this review we highlight the range of mammalian expression platforms available for recombinant protein production, as well as advances in technologies for the rapid and efficient selection of highly productive clones. PMID:24316512

  13. Photodynamic Inactivation of Mammalian Viruses and Bacteriophages

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Liliana; Faustino, Maria Amparo F.; Neves, Maria Graça P. M. S.; Cunha, Ângela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2012-01-01

    Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i) summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii) discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process. PMID:22852040

  14. The society of our “out of Africa” ancestors (I)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The “out of Africa” hypothesis proposes that a small group of Homo sapiens left Africa 80,000 years ago, spreading the mitochondrial haplotype L3 throughout the Earth.1–10 Little effort has been made to try to reconstruct the society and culture of the tribe that left Africa to populate the rest of the world.1 Here, I find that hunter-gatherers that belong to mitochondrial haplotypes L0, L1 and L2 do not have a culture of ritualized fights. In contrast to this, almost all L3 derived hunter-gatherers have a more belligerent culture that includes ritualized fights such as wrestling, stick fights or headhunting expeditions. This appears to be independent of their environment because ritualized fights occur in all climates, from the tropics to the arctic. There is also a correlation between mitochondrial haplotypes and warfare propensity or the use of murder and suicide to resolve conflicts. The data implicate that the original human population outside Africa is descended from only two closely related sub-branches that practiced ritual fighting and had a higher propensity towards warfare and the use of murder for conflict resolution. This warfare culture may have given the out of Africa migrants a competitive advantage to colonize the world. But it could also have crucially influenced the subsequent history of The Earth. In the future, it would be interesting to see how we could further reconstruct the society and culture of the “Out of Africa Tribe.” PMID:21655430

  15. Maize Domestication and Anti-Herbivore Defences: Leaf-Specific Dynamics during Early Ontogeny of Maize and Its Wild Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Maag, Daniel; Erb, Matthias; Bernal, Julio S.; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Glauser, Gaétan

    2015-01-01

    As a consequence of artificial selection for specific traits, crop plants underwent considerable genotypic and phenotypic changes during the process of domestication. These changes may have led to reduced resistance in the cultivated plant due to shifts in resource allocation from defensive traits to increased growth rates and yield. Modern maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) was domesticated from its ancestor Balsas teosinte (Z. mays ssp. parviglumis) approximately 9000 years ago. Although maize displays a high genetic overlap with its direct ancestor and other annual teosintes, several studies show that maize and its ancestors differ in their resistance phenotypes with teosintes being less susceptible to herbivore damage. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we addressed the question to what extent maize domestication has affected two crucial chemical and one physical defence traits and whether differences in their expression may explain the differences in herbivore resistance levels. The ontogenetic trajectories of 1,4-benzoxazin-3-ones, maysin and leaf toughness were monitored for different leaf types across several maize cultivars and teosinte accessions during early vegetative growth stages. We found significant quantitative and qualitative differences in 1,4-benzoxazin-3-one accumulation in an initial pairwise comparison, but we did not find consistent differences between wild and cultivated genotypes during a more thorough examination employing several cultivars/accessions. Yet, 1,4-benzoxazin-3-one levels tended to decline more rapidly with plant age in the modern maize cultivars. Foliar maysin levels and leaf toughness increased with plant age in a leaf-specific manner, but were also unaffected by domestication. Based on our findings we suggest that defence traits other than the ones that were investigated are responsible for the observed differences in herbivore resistance between teosinte and maize. Furthermore, our results indicate

  16. Phylogenomic reconstruction supports supercontinent origins for Leishmania.

    PubMed

    Harkins, Kelly M; Schwartz, Rachel S; Cartwright, Reed A; Stone, Anne C

    2016-03-01

    Leishmania, a genus of parasites transmitted to human hosts and mammalian/reptilian reservoirs by an insect vector, is the causative agent of the human disease complex leishmaniasis. The evolutionary relationships within the genus Leishmania and its origins are the source of ongoing debate, reflected in conflicting phylogenetic and biogeographic reconstructions. This study employs a recently described bioinformatics method, SISRS, to identify over 200,000 informative sites across the genome from newly sequenced and publicly available Leishmania data. This dataset is used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of this genus. Additionally, we constructed a large multi-gene dataset, using it to reconstruct the phylogeny and estimate divergence dates for species. We conclude that the genus Leishmania evolved at least 90-100 million years ago, supporting a modified version of the Multiple Origins hypothesis that we call the Supercontinent hypothesis. According to this scenario, separate Leishmania clades emerged prior to, and during, the breakup of Gondwana. Additionally, we confirm that reptile-infecting Leishmania are derived from mammalian forms and that the species that infect porcupines and sloths form a clade long separated from other species. Finally, we firmly place the guinea-pig infecting species, Leishmaniaenriettii, the globally dispersed Leishmaniasiamensis, and the newly identified Australian species from a kangaroo, as sibling species whose distribution arises from the ancient connection between Australia, Antarctica, and South America. PMID:26708057

  17. DNA INTERSTRAND CROSSLINK REPAIR IN MAMMALIAN CELLS: STEP BY STEP

    PubMed Central

    Muniandy, Parameswary; Liu, Jia; Majumdar, Alokes; Liu, Su-ting; Seidman, Michael M.

    2009-01-01

    Interstrand DNA crosslinks (ICLs) are formed by natural products of metabolism and by chemotherapeutic reagents. Work in E. coli identified a two cycle repair scheme involving incisions on one strand on either side of the ICL (unhooking) producing a gapped intermediate with the incised oligonucleotide attached to the intact strand. The gap is filled by recombinational repair or lesion bypass synthesis. The remaining monoadduct is then removed by Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER). Despite considerable effort, our understanding of each step in mammalian cells is still quite limited. In part this reflects the variety of crosslinking compounds, each with distinct structural features, used by different investigators. Also, multiple repair pathways are involved, variably operative during the cell cycle. G1 phase repair requires functions from NER, although the mechanism of recognition has not been determined. Repair can be initiated by encounters with the transcriptional apparatus, or a replication fork. In the case of the latter, the reconstruction of a replication fork, stalled or broken by collision with an ICL, adds to the complexity of the repair process. The enzymology of unhooking, the identity of the lesion bypass polymerases required to fill the first repair gap, and the functions involved in the second repair cycle are all subjects of active inquiry. Here we will review current understanding of each step in ICL repair in mammalian cells. PMID:20039786

  18. Mammalian reproduction: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Bronson, F H

    1985-02-01

    The objectives of this paper are to organize our concepts about the environmental regulation of reproduction in mammals and to delineate important gaps in our knowledge of this subject. The environmental factors of major importance for mammalian reproduction are food availability, ambient temperature, rainfall, the day/night cycle and a variety of social cues. The synthesis offered here uses as its core the bioenergetic control of reproduction. Thus, for example, annual patterns of breeding are viewed as reflecting primarily the caloric costs of the female's reproductive effort as they relate to the energetic costs and gains associated with her foraging effort. Body size of the female is an important consideration since it is correlated with both potential fat reserves and life span. Variation in nutrient availability may or may not be an important consideration. The evolutionary forces that have shaped the breeding success of males usually are fundamentally different from those acting on females and, by implication, the environmental controls governing reproduction probably also often differ either qualitatively or quantitatively in the two sexes. Mammals often live in habitats where energetic and nutrient challenges vary seasonally, even in the tropics. When seasonal breeding is required, a mammal may use a predictor such as photoperiod or a secondary plant compound to prepare metabolically for reproduction. A reasonable argument can be made, however, that opportunistic breeding, unenforced by a predictor, may be the most prevalent strategy extant among today's mammals. Social cues can have potent modulating actions. They can act either via discrete neural and endocrine pathways to alter specific processes such as ovulation, or they can induce nonspecific emotional states that secondarily affect reproduction. Many major gaps remain in our knowledge about the environmental regulation of mammalian reproduction. For one, we have a paucity of information about the

  19. Mammalian Carboxylesterase 5: Comparative Biochemistry and Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Roger S; Cox, Laura A; VandeBerg, John L

    2008-01-01

    Carboxylesterase 5 (CES5) (also called cauxin or CES7) is one of at least five mammalian CES gene families encoding enzymes of broad substrate specificity and catalysing hydrolytic and transesterification reactions. In silico methods were used to predict the amino acid sequences, secondary structures and gene locations for CES5 genes and gene products. Amino acid sequence alignments of mammalian CES5 enzymes enabled identification of key CES sequences previously reported for human CES1, as well as other sequences that are specific to the CES5 gene family, which were consistent with being monomeric in subunit structure and available for secretion into body fluids. Predicted secondary structures for mammalian CES5 demonstrated significant conservation with human CES1 as well as distinctive mammalian CES5 like structures. Mammalian CES5 genes are located in tandem with the CES1 gene(s), are transcribed on the reverse strand and contained 13 exons. CES5 has been previously reported in high concentrations in the urine (cauxin) of adult male cats, and within a protein complex of mammalian male epididymal fluids. Roles for CES5 may include regulating urinary levels of male cat pheromones; catalysing lipid transfer reactions within mammalian male reproductive fluids; and protecting neural tissue from drugs and xenobiotics. PMID:19727319

  20. Fate Mapping Mammalian Corneal Epithelia.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Alexander; Wakefield, Denis; Di Girolamo, Nick

    2016-04-01

    The anterior aspect of the cornea consists of a stratified squamous epithelium, thought to be maintained by a rare population of stem cells (SCs) that reside in the limbal transition zone. Although migration of cells that replenish the corneal epithelium has been studied for over a century, the process is still poorly understood and not well characterized. Numerous techniques have been employed to examine corneal epithelial dynamics, including visualization by light microscopy, the incorporation of vital dyes and DNA labels, and transplantation of genetically marked cells that have acted as cell and lineage beacons. Modern-day lineage tracing utilizes molecular methods to determine the fate of a specific cell and its progeny over time. Classically employed in developmental biology, lineage tracing has been used more recently to track the progeny of adult SCs in a number of organs to pin-point their location and understand their movement and influence on tissue regeneration. This review highlights key discoveries that have led researchers to develop cutting-edge genetic tools to effectively and more accurately monitor turnover and displacement of cells within the mammalian corneal epithelium. Collating information on the basic biology of SCs will have clinical ramifications in furthering our knowledge of the processes that govern their role in homeostasis, wound-healing, transplantation, and how we can improve current unsatisfactory SC-based therapies for patients suffering blinding corneal disease. PMID:26774909

  1. Possible mechanisms of mammalian immunocontraception.

    PubMed

    Barber, M R; Fayrer-Hosken, R A

    2000-03-01

    Ecological and conservation programs in ecosystems around the world have experienced varied success in population management. One of the greatest problems is that human expansion has led to the shrinking of wildlife habitat and, as a result, the overpopulation of many different species has occurred. The pressures exerted by the increased number of animals has caused environmental damage. The humane and practical control of these populations has solicited the scientific community to arrive at a safe, effective, and cost-efficient means of population control. Immunocontraception using zona pellucida antigens, specifically porcine zona pellucida (pZP), has become one of the most promising population control tools in the world today, with notable successes in horses and elephants. A conundrum has risen where pZP, a single vaccine, successfully induces an immunocontraceptive effect in multiple species of mammals. This review describes the most current data pertaining to the mammalian zona pellucida and immunocontraception, and from these studies, we suggest several potential mechanisms of immunocontraception. PMID:10706942

  2. Mammalian cell cultivation in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gmünder, Felix K.; Suter, Robert N.; Kiess, M.; Urfer, R.; Nordau, C.-G.; Cogoli, A.

    Equipment used in space for the cultivation of mammalian cells does not meet the usual standard of earth bound bioreactors. Thus, the development of a space worthy bioreactor is mandatory for two reasons: First, to investigate the effect on single cells of the space environment in general and microgravity conditions in particular, and second, to provide researchers on long term missions and the Space Station with cell material. However, expertise for this venture is not at hand. A small and simple device for animal cell culture experiments aboard Spacelab (Dynamic Cell Culture System; DCCS) was developed. It provides 2 cell culture chambers, one is operated as a batch system, the other one as a perfusion system. The cell chambers have a volume of 200 μl. Medium exchange is achieved with an automatic osmotic pump. The system is neither mechanically stirred nor equipped with sensors. Oxygen for cell growth is provided by a gas chamber that is adjacent to the cell chambers. The oxygen gradient produced by the growing cells serves to maintain the oxygen influx by diffusion. Hamster kidney cells growing on microcarriers were used to test the biological performance of the DCCS. On ground tests suggest that this system is feasible.

  3. Mammalian mitochondrial beta-oxidation.

    PubMed Central

    Eaton, S; Bartlett, K; Pourfarzam, M

    1996-01-01

    The enzymic stages of mammalian mitochondrial beta-oxidation were elucidated some 30-40 years ago. However, the discovery of a membrane-associated multifunctional enzyme of beta-oxidation, a membrane-associated acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and characterization of the carnitine palmitoyl transferase system at the protein and at the genetic level has demonstrated that the enzymes of the system itself are incompletely understood. Deficiencies of many of the enzymes have been recognized as important causes of disease. In addition, the study of these disorders has led to a greater understanding of the molecular mechanism of beta-oxidation and the import, processing and assembly of the beta-oxidation enzymes within the mitochondrion. The tissue-specific regulation, intramitochondrial control and supramolecular organization of the pathway is becoming better understood as sensitive analytical and molecular techniques are applied. This review aims to cover enzymological and organizational aspects of mitochondrial beta-oxidation together with the biochemical aspects of inherited disorders of beta-oxidation and the intrinsic control of beta-oxidation. PMID:8973539

  4. Cell death in mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Penaloza, C; Orlanski, S; Ye, Y; Entezari-Zaher, T; Javdan, M; Zakeri, Z

    2008-01-01

    During embryogenesis there is an exquisite orchestration of cellular division, movement, differentiation, and death. Cell death is one of the most important aspects of organization of the developing embryo, as alteration in timing, level, or pattern of cell death can lead to developmental anomalies. Cell death shapes the embryo and defines the eventual functions of the organs. Cells die using different paths; understanding which path a dying cell takes helps us define the signals that regulate the fate of the cell. Our understanding of cell death in development stems from a number of observations indicating genetic regulation of the death process. With today's increased knowledge of the pathways of cell death and the identification of the genes whose products regulate the pathways we know that, although elimination of some of these gene products has no developmental phenotype, alteration of several others has profound effects. In this review we discuss the types and distributions of cell death seen in developing mammalian embryos as well as the gene products that may regulate the process. PMID:18220829

  5. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  6. Spatial and temporal arrival patterns of Madagascar's vertebrate fauna explained by distance, ocean currents, and ancestor type

    PubMed Central

    Samonds, Karen E.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Ali, Jason R.; Goodman, Steven M.; Vences, Miguel; Sutherland, Michael R.; Irwin, Mitchell T.; Krause, David W.

    2012-01-01

    How, when, and from where Madagascar's vertebrates arrived on the island is poorly known, and a comprehensive explanation for the distribution of its organisms has yet to emerge. We begin to break that impasse by analyzing vertebrate arrival patterns implied by currently existing taxa. For each of 81 clades, we compiled arrival date, source, and ancestor type (obligate freshwater, terrestrial, facultative swimmer, or volant). We analyzed changes in arrival rates, with and without adjusting for clade extinction. Probability of successful transoceanic dispersal is negatively correlated with distance traveled and influenced by ocean currents and ancestor type. Obligate rafters show a decrease in probability of successful transoceanic dispersal from the Paleocene onward, reaching the lowest levels after the mid-Miocene. This finding is consistent with a paleoceanographic model [Ali JR, Huber M (2010) Nature 463:653–656] that predicts Early Cenozoic surface currents periodically conducive to rafting or swimming from Africa, followed by a reconfiguration to present-day flow 15–20 million years ago that significantly diminished the ability for transoceanic dispersal to Madagascar from the adjacent mainland. PMID:22431643

  7. Clonal Species Trichoderma parareesei sp. nov. Likely Resembles the Ancestor of the Cellulase Producer Hypocrea jecorina/T. reesei▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Atanasova, Lea; Jaklitsch, Walter M.; Komoń-Zelazowska, Monika; Kubicek, Christian P.; Druzhinina, Irina S.

    2010-01-01

    We have previously reported that the prominent industrial enzyme producer Trichoderma reesei (teleomorph Hypocrea jecorina; Hypocreales, Ascomycota, Dikarya) has a genetically isolated, sympatric sister species devoid of sexual reproduction and which is constituted by the majority of anamorphic strains previously attributed to H. jecorina/T. reesei. In this paper we present the formal taxonomic description of this new species, T. parareesei, complemented by multivariate phenotype profiling and molecular evolutionary examination. A phylogenetic analysis of relatively conserved loci, such as coding fragments of the RNA polymerase B subunit II (rpb2) and GH18 chitinase (chi18-5), showed that T. parareesei is genetically invariable and likely resembles the ancestor which gave raise to H. jecorina. This and the fact that at least one mating type gene of T. parareesei has previously been found to be essentially altered compared to the sequence of H. jecorina/T. reesei indicate that divergence probably occurred due to the impaired functionality of the mating system in the hypothetical ancestor of both species. In contrast, we show that the sexually reproducing and correspondingly more polymorphic H. jecorina/T. reesei is essentially evolutionarily derived. Phenotype microarray analyses performed at seven temperature regimens support our previous speculations that T. parareesei possesses a relatively high opportunistic potential, which probably ensured the survival of this species in ancient and sustainable environment such as tropical forests. PMID:20817800

  8. Enhancer Evolution across 20 Mammalian Species

    PubMed Central

    Villar, Diego; Berthelot, Camille; Aldridge, Sarah; Rayner, Tim F.; Lukk, Margus; Pignatelli, Miguel; Park, Thomas J.; Deaville, Robert; Erichsen, Jonathan T.; Jasinska, Anna J.; Turner, James M.A.; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Murchison, Elizabeth P.; Flicek, Paul; Odom, Duncan T.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The mammalian radiation has corresponded with rapid changes in noncoding regions of the genome, but we lack a comprehensive understanding of regulatory evolution in mammals. Here, we track the evolution of promoters and enhancers active in liver across 20 mammalian species from six diverse orders by profiling genomic enrichment of H3K27 acetylation and H3K4 trimethylation. We report that rapid evolution of enhancers is a universal feature of mammalian genomes. Most of the recently evolved enhancers arise from ancestral DNA exaptation, rather than lineage-specific expansions of repeat elements. In contrast, almost all liver promoters are partially or fully conserved across these species. Our data further reveal that recently evolved enhancers can be associated with genes under positive selection, demonstrating the power of this approach for annotating regulatory adaptations in genomic sequences. These results provide important insight into the functional genetics underpinning mammalian regulatory evolution. PMID:25635462

  9. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    PubMed Central

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  10. Mammalian Response to Cenozoic Climatic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blois, Jessica L.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.

    2009-05-01

    Multiple episodes of rapid and gradual climatic changes influenced the evolution and ecology of mammalian species and communities throughout the Cenozoic. Climatic change influenced the abundance, genetic diversity, morphology, and geographic ranges of individual species. Within communities these responses interacted to catalyze immigration, speciation, and extinction. Combined they affected long-term patterns of community stability, functional turnover, biotic turnover, and diversity. Although the relative influence of climate on particular evolutionary processes is oft debated, an understanding of processes at the root of biotic change yields important insights into the complexity of mammalian response. Ultimately, all responses trace to events experienced by populations. However, many such processes emerge as patterns above the species level, where shared life history traits and evolutionary history allow us to generalize about mammalian response to climatic change. These generalizations provide the greatest power to understand and predict mammalian responses to current and future global change.

  11. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Jie; Tachedjian, Gilda; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2015-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general. PMID:26548564

  12. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jie; Tachedjian, Gilda; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2015-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general. PMID:26548564

  13. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    PubMed

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  14. The origin of GPCRs: identification of mammalian like Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Glutamate and Frizzled GPCRs in fungi.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Almén, Markus Sällman; Fredriksson, Robert; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in humans are classified into the five main families named Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled and Secretin according to the GRAFS classification. Previous results show that these mammalian GRAFS families are well represented in the Metazoan lineages, but they have not been shown to be present in Fungi. Here, we systematically mined 79 fungal genomes and provide the first evidence that four of the five main mammalian families of GPCRs, namely Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Glutamate and Frizzled, are present in Fungi and found 142 novel sequences between them. Significantly, we provide strong evidence that the Rhodopsin family emerged from the cAMP receptor family in an event close to the split of Opisthokonts and not in Placozoa, as earlier assumed. The Rhodopsin family then expanded greatly in Metazoans while the cAMP receptor family is found in 3 invertebrate species and lost in the vertebrates. We estimate that the Adhesion and Frizzled families evolved before the split of Unikonts from a common ancestor of all major eukaryotic lineages. Also, the study highlights that the fungal Adhesion receptors do not have N-terminal domains whereas the fungal Glutamate receptors have a broad repertoire of mammalian-like N-terminal domains. Further, mining of the close unicellular relatives of the Metazoan lineage, Salpingoeca rosetta and Capsaspora owczarzaki, obtained a rich group of both the Adhesion and Glutamate families, which in particular provided insight to the early emergence of the N-terminal domains of the Adhesion family. We identified 619 Fungi specific GPCRs across 79 genomes and revealed that Blastocladiomycota and Chytridiomycota phylum have Metazoan-like GPCRs rather than the GPCRs specific for Fungi. Overall, this study provides the first evidence of the presence of four of the five main GRAFS families in Fungi and clarifies the early evolutionary history of the GPCR superfamily. PMID:22238661

  15. The Origin of GPCRs: Identification of Mammalian like Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Glutamate and Frizzled GPCRs in Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Fredriksson, Robert; Schiöth, Helgi B.

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in humans are classified into the five main families named Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled and Secretin according to the GRAFS classification. Previous results show that these mammalian GRAFS families are well represented in the Metazoan lineages, but they have not been shown to be present in Fungi. Here, we systematically mined 79 fungal genomes and provide the first evidence that four of the five main mammalian families of GPCRs, namely Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Glutamate and Frizzled, are present in Fungi and found 142 novel sequences between them. Significantly, we provide strong evidence that the Rhodopsin family emerged from the cAMP receptor family in an event close to the split of Opisthokonts and not in Placozoa, as earlier assumed. The Rhodopsin family then expanded greatly in Metazoans while the cAMP receptor family is found in 3 invertebrate species and lost in the vertebrates. We estimate that the Adhesion and Frizzled families evolved before the split of Unikonts from a common ancestor of all major eukaryotic lineages. Also, the study highlights that the fungal Adhesion receptors do not have N-terminal domains whereas the fungal Glutamate receptors have a broad repertoire of mammalian-like N-terminal domains. Further, mining of the close unicellular relatives of the Metazoan lineage, Salpingoeca rosetta and Capsaspora owczarzaki, obtained a rich group of both the Adhesion and Glutamate families, which in particular provided insight to the early emergence of the N-terminal domains of the Adhesion family. We identified 619 Fungi specific GPCRs across 79 genomes and revealed that Blastocladiomycota and Chytridiomycota phylum have Metazoan-like GPCRs rather than the GPCRs specific for Fungi. Overall, this study provides the first evidence of the presence of four of the five main GRAFS families in Fungi and clarifies the early evolutionary history of the GPCR superfamily. PMID:22238661

  16. Reverse genetics for mammalian reovirus.

    PubMed

    Boehme, Karl W; Ikizler, Miné; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Dermody, Terence S

    2011-10-01

    Mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) are highly tractable models for studies of viral replication and pathogenesis. The versatility of reovirus as an experimental model has been enhanced by development of a plasmid-based reverse genetics system. Infectious reovirus can be recovered from cells transfected with plasmids encoding cDNAs of each reovirus gene segment using a strategy that does not require helper virus and is independent of selection. In this system, transcription of each gene segment is driven by bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase, which can be supplied transiently by recombinant vaccinia virus (rDIs-T7pol) or by cells that constitutively express the enzyme. Reverse genetics systems have been developed for two prototype reovirus strains, type 1 Lang (T1L) and type 3 Dearing (T3D). Each reovirus cDNA was encoded on an independent plasmid for the first-generation rescue system. The efficiency of virus recovery was enhanced in a second-generation system by combining the cDNAs for multiple reovirus gene segments onto single plasmids to reduce the number of plasmids from 10 to 4. The reduction in plasmid number and the use of baby hamster kidney cells that express T7 RNA polymerase increased the efficiency of viral rescue, reduced the incubation time required to recover infectious virus, and eliminated potential biosafety concerns associated with the use of recombinant vaccinia virus. Reovirus reverse genetics has been used to introduce mutations into viral capsid and nonstructural components to study viral protein-structure activity relationships and can be exploited to engineer recombinant reoviruses for vaccine and oncolytic applications. PMID:21798351

  17. Chemosignals, Hormones and Mammalian Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Petrulis, Aras

    2013-01-01

    Many mammalian species use chemosignals to coordinate reproduction by altering the physiology and behavior of both sexes. Chemosignals prime reproductive physiology so that individuals become sexually mature and active at times when mating is most probable and suppress it when it is not. Once in reproductive condition, odors produced and deposited by both males and females are used to find and select individuals for mating. The production, dissemination and appropriate responses to these cues are modulated heavily by organizational and activational effects of gonadal sex steroids and thereby intrinsically link chemical communication to the broader reproductive context. Many compounds have been identified as “pheromones” but very few have met the expectations of that term: a unitary, species-typical substance that is both necessary and sufficient for an experience-independent behavioral or physiological response. In contrast, most responses to chemosignals are dependent or heavily modulated by experience, either in adulthood or during development. Mechanistically, chemosignals are perceived by both main and accessory (vomeronasal) olfactory systems with the importance of each system tied strongly to the nature of the stimulus rather than to the response. In the central nervous system, the vast majority of responses to chemosignals are mediated by cortical and medial amygdala connections with hypothalamic and other forebrain structures. Despite the importance of chemosignals in mammals, many details of chemical communication differ even among closely related species and defy clear categorization. Although generating much research and public interest, strong evidence for the existence of a robust chemical communication among humans is lacking. PMID:23545474

  18. Hacking the genetic code of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, Dirk

    2009-07-01

    A genetic shuttle: The highlighted article, which was recently published by Schultz, Geierstanger and co-workers, describes a straightforward scheme for enlarging the genetic code of mammalian cells. An orthogonal tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pair specific for a new amino acid can be evolved in E. coli and subsequently transferred into mammalian cells. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated by adding a photocaged lysine derivative to the genetic repertoire of a human cell line. PMID:19533721

  19. Simplified Bioreactor For Growing Mammalian Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spaulding, Glenn F.

    1995-01-01

    Improved bioreactor for growing mammalian cell cultures developed. Designed to support growth of dense volumes of mammalian cells by providing ample, well-distributed flows of nutrient solution with minimal turbulence. Cells relatively delicate and, unlike bacteria, cannot withstand shear forces present in turbulent flows. Bioreactor vessel readily made in larger sizes to accommodate greater cell production quantities. Molding equipment presently used makes cylinders up to 30 centimeters long. Alternative sintered plastic techniques used to vary pore size and quantity, as necessary.

  20. Mammalian skull heterochrony reveals modular evolution and a link between cranial development and brain size

    PubMed Central

    Koyabu, Daisuke; Werneburg, Ingmar; Morimoto, Naoki; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.; Forasiepi, Analia M.; Endo, Hideki; Kimura, Junpei; Ohdachi, Satoshi D.; Truong Son, Nguyen; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2014-01-01

    The multiple skeletal components of the skull originate asynchronously and their developmental schedule varies across amniotes. Here we present the embryonic ossification sequence of 134 species, covering all major groups of mammals and their close relatives. This comprehensive data set allows reconstruction of the heterochronic and modular evolution of the skull and the condition of the last common ancestor of mammals. We show that the mode of ossification (dermal or endochondral) unites bones into integrated evolutionary modules of heterochronic changes and imposes evolutionary constraints on cranial heterochrony. However, some skull-roof bones, such as the supraoccipital, exhibit evolutionary degrees of freedom in these constraints. Ossification timing of the neurocranium was considerably accelerated during the origin of mammals. Furthermore, association between developmental timing of the supraoccipital and brain size was identified among amniotes. We argue that cranial heterochrony in mammals has occurred in concert with encephalization but within a conserved modular organization. PMID:24704703

  1. Neuromagnetic source reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, P.S.; Mosher, J.C.; Leahy, R.M.

    1994-12-31

    In neuromagnetic source reconstruction, a functional map of neural activity is constructed from noninvasive magnetoencephalographic (MEG) measurements. The overall reconstruction problem is under-determined, so some form of source modeling must be applied. We review the two main classes of reconstruction techniques-parametric current dipole models and nonparametric distributed source reconstructions. Current dipole reconstructions use a physically plausible source model, but are limited to cases in which the neural currents are expected to be highly sparse and localized. Distributed source reconstructions can be applied to a wider variety of cases, but must incorporate an implicit source, model in order to arrive at a single reconstruction. We examine distributed source reconstruction in a Bayesian framework to highlight the implicit nonphysical Gaussian assumptions of minimum norm based reconstruction algorithms. We conclude with a brief discussion of alternative non-Gaussian approachs.

  2. Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor Max; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Maganga, Gael Darren; Vallo, Peter; Binger, Tabea; Gloza-Rausch, Florian; Rasche, Andrea; Yordanov, Stoian; Seebens, Antje; Oppong, Samuel; Sarkodie, Yaw Adu; Pongombo, Célestin; Lukashev, Alexander N.; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Stöcker, Andreas; Carneiro, Aroldo José Borges; Erbar, Stephanie; Maisner, Andrea; Fronhoffs, Florian; Buettner, Reinhard; Kalko, Elisabeth K.V.; Kruppa, Thomas; Franke, Carlos Roberto; Kallies, René; Yandoko, Emmanuel R.N.; Herrler, Georg; Reusken, Chantal; Hassanin, Alexandre; Krüger, Detlev H.; Matthee, Sonja; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Leroy, Eric M.; Drosten, Christian

    2012-01-01

    The large virus family Paramyxoviridae includes some of the most significant human and livestock viruses, such as measles-, distemper-, mumps-, parainfluenza-, Newcastle disease-, respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumoviruses. Here we identify an estimated 66 new paramyxoviruses in a worldwide sample of 119 bat and rodent species (9,278 individuals). Major discoveries include evidence of an origin of Hendra- and Nipah virus in Africa, identification of a bat virus conspecific with the human mumps virus, detection of close relatives of respiratory syncytial virus, mouse pneumonia- and canine distemper virus in bats, as well as direct evidence of Sendai virus in rodents. Phylogenetic reconstruction of host associations suggests a predominance of host switches from bats to other mammals and birds. Hypothesis tests in a maximum likelihood framework permit the phylogenetic placement of bats as tentative hosts at ancestral nodes to both the major Paramyxoviridae subfamilies (Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae). Future attempts to predict the emergence of novel paramyxoviruses in humans and livestock will have to rely fundamentally on these data. PMID:22531181

  3. Bats host major mammalian paramyxoviruses.

    PubMed

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor Max; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Maganga, Gael Darren; Vallo, Peter; Binger, Tabea; Gloza-Rausch, Florian; Cottontail, Veronika M; Rasche, Andrea; Yordanov, Stoian; Seebens, Antje; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Oppong, Samuel; Adu Sarkodie, Yaw; Pongombo, Célestin; Lukashev, Alexander N; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Stöcker, Andreas; Carneiro, Aroldo José Borges; Erbar, Stephanie; Maisner, Andrea; Fronhoffs, Florian; Buettner, Reinhard; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Kruppa, Thomas; Franke, Carlos Roberto; Kallies, René; Yandoko, Emmanuel R N; Herrler, Georg; Reusken, Chantal; Hassanin, Alexandre; Krüger, Detlev H; Matthee, Sonja; Ulrich, Rainer G; Leroy, Eric M; Drosten, Christian

    2012-01-01

    The large virus family Paramyxoviridae includes some of the most significant human and livestock viruses, such as measles-, distemper-, mumps-, parainfluenza-, Newcastle disease-, respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumoviruses. Here we identify an estimated 66 new paramyxoviruses in a worldwide sample of 119 bat and rodent species (9,278 individuals). Major discoveries include evidence of an origin of Hendra- and Nipah virus in Africa, identification of a bat virus conspecific with the human mumps virus, detection of close relatives of respiratory syncytial virus, mouse pneumonia- and canine distemper virus in bats, as well as direct evidence of Sendai virus in rodents. Phylogenetic reconstruction of host associations suggests a predominance of host switches from bats to other mammals and birds. Hypothesis tests in a maximum likelihood framework permit the phylogenetic placement of bats as tentative hosts at ancestral nodes to both the major Paramyxoviridae subfamilies (Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae). Future attempts to predict the emergence of novel paramyxoviruses in humans and livestock will have to rely fundamentally on these data. PMID:22531181

  4. Wnt signalling pathway parameters for mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chin Wee; Gardiner, Bruce S; Hirokawa, Yumiko; Layton, Meredith J; Smith, David W; Burgess, Antony W

    2012-01-01

    Wnt/β-catenin signalling regulates cell fate, survival, proliferation and differentiation at many stages of mammalian development and pathology. Mutations of two key proteins in the pathway, APC and β-catenin, have been implicated in a range of cancers, including colorectal cancer. Activation of Wnt signalling has been associated with the stabilization and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and consequential up-regulation of β-catenin/TCF gene transcription. In 2003, Lee et al. constructed a computational model of Wnt signalling supported by experimental data from analysis of time-dependent concentration of Wnt signalling proteins in Xenopus egg extracts. Subsequent studies have used the Xenopus quantitative data to infer Wnt pathway dynamics in other systems. As a basis for understanding Wnt signalling in mammalian cells, a confocal live cell imaging measurement technique is developed to measure the cell and nuclear volumes of MDCK, HEK293T cells and 3 human colorectal cancer cell lines and the concentrations of Wnt signalling proteins β-catenin, Axin, APC, GSK3β and E-cadherin. These parameters provide the basis for formulating Wnt signalling models for kidney/intestinal epithelial mammalian cells. There are significant differences in concentrations of key proteins between Xenopus extracts and mammalian whole cell lysates. Higher concentrations of Axin and lower concentrations of APC are present in mammalian cells. Axin concentrations are greater than APC in kidney epithelial cells, whereas in intestinal epithelial cells the APC concentration is higher than Axin. Computational simulations based on Lee's model, with this new data, suggest a need for a recalibration of the model.A quantitative understanding of Wnt signalling in mammalian cells, in particular human colorectal cancers requires a detailed understanding of the concentrations of key protein complexes over time. Simulations of Wnt signalling in mammalian cells can be initiated with the parameters

  5. Newcastle Disease Virus in Madagascar: Identification of an Original Genotype Possibly Deriving from a Died Out Ancestor of Genotype IV

    PubMed Central

    Maminiaina, Olivier F.; Gil, Patricia; Briand, François-Xavier; Albina, Emmanuel; Keita, Djénéba; Andriamanivo, Harentsoaniaina Rasamoelina; Chevalier, Véronique; Lancelot, Renaud; Martinez, Dominique; Rakotondravao, R.; Rajaonarison, Jean-Joseph; Koko, M.; Andriantsimahavandy, Abel A.; Jestin, Véronique; Servan de Almeida, Renata

    2010-01-01

    In Madagascar, Newcastle disease (ND) has become enzootic after the first documented epizootics in 1946, with recurrent annual outbreaks causing mortality up to 40%. Four ND viruses recently isolated in Madagascar were genotypically and pathotypically characterised. By phylogenetic inference based on the F and HN genes, and also full-genome sequence analyses, the NDV Malagasy isolates form a cluster distant enough to constitute a new genotype hereby proposed as genotype XI. This new genotype is presumably deriving from an ancestor close to genotype IV introduced in the island probably more than 50 years ago. Our data show also that all the previously described neutralising epitopes are conserved between Malagasy and vaccine strains. However, the potential implication in vaccination failures of specific amino acid substitutions predominantly found on surface-exposed epitopes of F and HN proteins is discussed. PMID:21085573

  6. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501–490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans. PMID:21976685

  7. Ancestors of two-spirits: Historical depictions of Native North American gender-crossing women through critical discourse analysis.

    PubMed

    Hemmilä, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Letters written by Christian men of European origin during the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries contain brief descriptions of gender-crossing individuals among indigenous Americans. Although now considered ethnocentrically biased because of the etic positioning of their authors, these historical sources are invaluable because they offer a glimpse of the ancestors of modern-day two-spirits. An application of critical discourse analysis to three depictions of gender-crossing females from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries demonstrates that such women were favorably portrayed. These results differ dramatically from those obtained from my similar analysis of depictions of gender-crossing males. It also became evident that the three descriptions of gender-crossing women were not based on actual observations, but only on hearsay, which makes their use as primary sources questionable. PMID:27254764

  8. Buds from the tree of life: linking compartmentalized prokaryotes and eukaryotes by a non-hyperthermophile common ancestor and implications for understanding Archaean microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuerst, John A.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2004-07-01

    The origin of the first nucleated eukaryote and the nature of the last common ancestor of the three domains of life are major questions in the evolutionary biology of cellular life on Earth, the solutions to which may be linked. Planctomycetes are unusual compartmentalized bacteria that include a membrane-bounded nucleoid. The possibility that they constitute a very deep branch of the domain Bacteria suggests a model for the evolution of the three domains of life from a last common ancestor that was a mesophile or moderate thermophile with a compartmentalized eukaryote-like cell plan. Planctomycetes and some members of the domain Archaea may have retained cell compartmentalization present in an original eukaryote-like last common ancestor of the three domains of life. The implications of this model for possible habitats of the early evolution of domains of cellular life and for interpretation of geological evidence relating to those habitats and the early emergence of life are examined here.

  9. Mammalian Cell-Based Sensor System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Pratik; Franz, Briana; Bhunia, Arun K.

    Use of living cells or cellular components in biosensors is receiving increased attention and opens a whole new area of functional diagnostics. The term "mammalian cell-based biosensor" is designated to biosensors utilizing mammalian cells as the biorecognition element. Cell-based assays, such as high-throughput screening (HTS) or cytotoxicity testing, have already emerged as dependable and promising approaches to measure the functionality or toxicity of a compound (in case of HTS); or to probe the presence of pathogenic or toxigenic entities in clinical, environmental, or food samples. External stimuli or changes in cellular microenvironment sometimes perturb the "normal" physiological activities of mammalian cells, thus allowing CBBs to screen, monitor, and measure the analyte-induced changes. The advantage of CBBs is that they can report the presence or absence of active components, such as live pathogens or active toxins. In some cases, mammalian cells or plasma membranes are used as electrical capacitors and cell-cell and cell-substrate contact is measured via conductivity or electrical impedance. In addition, cytopathogenicity or cytotoxicity induced by pathogens or toxins resulting in apoptosis or necrosis could be measured via optical devices using fluorescence or luminescence. This chapter focuses mainly on the type and applications of different mammalian cell-based sensor systems.

  10. A Comparative Study of Mammalian Diversification Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenhua; Xu, Junxiao; Wu, Yi; Yang, Guang

    2012-01-01

    Although mammals have long been regarded as a successful radiation, the diversification pattern among the clades is still poorly known. Higher-level phylogenies are conflicting and comprehensive comparative analyses are still lacking. Using a recently published supermatrix encompassing nearly all extant mammalian families and a novel comparative likelihood approach (MEDUSA), the diversification pattern of mammalian groups was examined. Both order- and family-level phylogenetic analyses revealed the rapid radiation of Boreoeutheria and Euaustralidelphia in the early mammalian history. The observation of a diversification burst within Boreoeutheria at approximately 100 My supports the Long Fuse model in elucidating placental diversification progress, and the rapid radiation of Euaustralidelphia suggests an important role of biogeographic dispersal events in triggering early Australian marsupial rapid radiation. Diversification analyses based on family-level diversity tree revealed seven additional clades with exceptional diversification rate shifts, six of which represent accelerations in net diversification rate as compared to the background pattern. The shifts gave origin to the clades Muridae+Cricetidae, Bovidae+Moschidae+Cervidae, Simiiformes, Echimyidae, Odontoceti (excluding Physeteridae+Kogiidae+Platanistidae), Macropodidae, and Vespertilionidae. Moderate to high extinction rates from background and boreoeutherian diversification patterns indicate the important role of turnovers in shaping the heterogeneous taxonomic richness observed among extant mammalian groups. Furthermore, the present results emphasize the key role of extinction on erasing unusual diversification signals, and suggest that further studies are needed to clarify the historical radiation of some mammalian groups for which MEDUSA did not detect exceptional diversification rates. PMID:22457604

  11. Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy

    PubMed Central

    Schmauss, Daniel; Machens, Hans-Günther; Harder, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. Its surgical approach has become less and less mutilating in the last decades. However, the overall number of breast reconstructions has significantly increased lately. Nowadays, breast reconstruction should be individualized at its best, first of all taking into consideration not only the oncological aspects of the tumor, neo-/adjuvant treatment, and genetic predisposition, but also its timing (immediate versus delayed breast reconstruction), as well as the patient’s condition and wish. This article gives an overview over the various possibilities of breast reconstruction, including implant- and expander-based reconstruction, flap-based reconstruction (vascularized autologous tissue), the combination of implant and flap, reconstruction using non-vascularized autologous fat, as well as refinement surgery after breast reconstruction. PMID:26835456

  12. Head and face reconstruction

    MedlinePlus

    Head and face reconstruction is surgery to repair or reshape deformities of the head and face (craniofacial). ... How surgery for head and face deformities (craniofacial reconstruction) ... and the person's condition. Surgical repairs involve the ...

  13. Head and face reconstruction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Birth defects and deformities from conditions such as cleft lip or palate , craniosynostosis , Apert syndrome Deformities caused by ... Orbital-craniofacial surgery; Facial reconstruction Images Skull Skull Cleft lip repair - series Craniofacial reconstruction - series References Baker SR. ...

  14. Methods of Voice Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hung-Chi; Kim Evans, Karen F.; Salgado, Christopher J.; Mardini, Samir

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews methods of voice reconstruction. Nonsurgical methods of voice reconstruction include electrolarynx, pneumatic artificial larynx, and esophageal speech. Surgical methods of voice reconstruction include neoglottis, tracheoesophageal puncture, and prosthesis. Tracheoesophageal puncture can be performed in patients with pedicled flaps such as colon interposition, jejunum, or gastric pull-up or in free flaps such as perforator flaps, jejunum, and colon flaps. Other flaps for voice reconstruction include the ileocolon flap and jejunum. Laryngeal transplantation is also reviewed. PMID:22550443

  15. Reoperative midface reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Acero, Julio; García, Eloy

    2011-02-01

    Reoperative reconstruction of the midface is a challenging issue because of the complexity of this region and the severity of the aesthetic and functional sequela related to the absence or failure of a primary reconstruction. The different situations that can lead to the indication of a reoperative reconstructive procedure after previous oncologic ablative procedures in the midface are reviewed. Surgical techniques, anatomic problems, and limitations affecting the reoperative reconstruction in this region of the head and neck are discussed. PMID:21126882

  16. Capacitation-Associated Glycocomponents of Mammalian Sperm.

    PubMed

    Liu, Min

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian fertilization is a series of events that are mostly carbohydrate mediated. The male gamete glycocomponents are extensively synthesized and modified during sperm development and sperm transport in the reproductive tracts. Freshly ejaculated mammalian sperm are required to undergo capacitation, which takes place in the female reproductive system, in order to become fully fertilizable. Several lines of evidence reveal changes in glycosylated sperm constituents during capacitation. Although the contributions of these molecular changes to capacitation are not completely understood, the presence, rearrangement, and/or modification of these sperm glycocomponents have been demonstrated to be important for fertilization. The following review summarizes mammalian sperm glycoconstituents, with emphasis on their molecular changes during capacitation. PMID:26363036

  17. Involvement of opsins in mammalian sperm thermotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cerezales, Serafín; Boryshpolets, Sergii; Afanzar, Oshri; Brandis, Alexander; Nevo, Reinat; Kiss, Vladimir; Eisenbach, Michael

    2015-01-01

    A unique characteristic of mammalian sperm thermotaxis is extreme temperature sensitivity, manifested by the capacity of spermatozoa to respond to temperature changes of <0.0006 °C as they swim their body-length distance. The identity of the sensing system that confers this exceptional sensitivity on spermatozoa is not known. Here we show that the temperature-sensing system of mammalian spermatozoa involves opsins, known to be G-protein-coupled receptors that act as photosensors in vision. We demonstrate by molecular, immunological, and functional approaches that opsins are present in human and mouse spermatozoa at specific sites, which depend on the species and the opsin type, and that they are involved in sperm thermotaxis via two signalling pathways—the phospholipase C and the cyclic-nucleotide pathways. Our results suggest that, depending on the context and the tissue, mammalian opsins act not only as photosensors but also as thermosensors. PMID:26537127

  18. Toward predictive models of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Ma'ayan, Avi; Blitzer, Robert D; Iyengar, Ravi

    2005-01-01

    Progress in experimental and theoretical biology is likely to provide us with the opportunity to assemble detailed predictive models of mammalian cells. Using a functional format to describe the organization of mammalian cells, we describe current approaches for developing qualitative and quantitative models using data from a variety of experimental sources. Recent developments and applications of graph theory to biological networks are reviewed. The use of these qualitative models to identify the topology of regulatory motifs and functional modules is discussed. Cellular homeostasis and plasticity are interpreted within the framework of balance between regulatory motifs and interactions between modules. From this analysis we identify the need for detailed quantitative models on the basis of the representation of the chemistry underlying the cellular process. The use of deterministic, stochastic, and hybrid models to represent cellular processes is reviewed, and an initial integrated approach for the development of large-scale predictive models of a mammalian cell is presented. PMID:15869393

  19. Effect of Microgravity on Mammalian Lymphocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerjee, H.; Blackshear, M.; Mahaffey, K.; Knight, C.; Khan, A. A.; Delucas, L.

    2004-01-01

    The effect of microgravity on mammalian system is an important and interesting topic for scientific investigation, since NASA s objective is to send manned flights to planets like Mars and eventual human colonization.The Astronauts will be exposed to microgravity environment for a long duration of time during these flights.Our objective of research is to conduct in vitro studies for the effect of microgravity on mammalian immune system.We did our preliminary investigations by exposing mammalian lymphocytes to a microgravity simulator cell bioreactor designed by NASA and manufactured at Synthecon Inc (USA).Our initial results showed no significant change in cytokine expression in these cells for a time period of forty eight hours exposure.Our future experiments will involve exposure for a longer period of time.

  20. Effect of Microgravity on Mammalian Lymphocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerjee, H.; Blackshear, M.; Mahaffey, K.; Khan, A. A.; Delucas, L.

    2004-01-01

    The effect of microgravity on mammalian system is an important and interesting topic for scientific investigation, since NASA s objective is to send manned flights to planets like Mars and eventual human colonization. The Astronauts will be exposed to microgravity environment for a long duration of time during these flights. Our objective of research is to conduct in vitro studies for the effect of microgravity on mammalian immune system and nervous system. We did our preliminary investigations by exposing mammalian lymphocytes and astrocyte cells to a microgravity simulator cell bioreactor designed by NASA and manufactured at Synthecon, Inc. (USA).Our initial results showed no significant change in cytokine expression in these cells up to a time period of 120 hours exposure. Our future experiments will involve exposure for a longer period of time.

  1. Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in an Anatomically-Accurate Scaled Model of the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumple, Christopher; Krane, Michael; Richter, Joseph; Craven, Brent

    2013-11-01

    The mammalian nose is a multi-purpose organ that houses a convoluted airway labyrinth responsible for respiratory air conditioning, filtering of environmental contaminants, and chemical sensing. Because of the complexity of the nasal cavity, the anatomy and function of these upper airways remain poorly understood in most mammals. However, recent advances in high-resolution medical imaging, computational modeling, and experimental flow measurement techniques are now permitting the study of respiratory airflow and olfactory transport phenomena in anatomically-accurate reconstructions of the nasal cavity. Here, we focus on efforts to manufacture an anatomically-accurate transparent model for stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) measurements. Challenges in the design and manufacture of an index-matched anatomical model are addressed. PIV measurements are presented, which are used to validate concurrent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of mammalian nasal airflow. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  2. Red Light-Regulated Reversible Nuclear Localization of Proteins in Mammalian Cells and Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Hannes M; Juillot, Samuel; Herbst, Kathrin; Samodelov, Sophia L; Müller, Konrad; Schamel, Wolfgang W; Römer, Winfried; Schäfer, Eberhard; Nagy, Ferenc; Strähle, Uwe; Weber, Wilfried; Zurbriggen, Matias D

    2015-09-18

    Protein trafficking in and out of the nucleus represents a key step in controlling cell fate and function. Here we report the development of a red light-inducible and far-red light-reversible synthetic system for controlling nuclear localization of proteins in mammalian cells and zebrafish. First, we synthetically reconstructed and validated the red light-dependent Arabidopsis phytochrome B nuclear import mediated by phytochrome-interacting factor 3 in a nonplant environment and support current hypotheses on the import mechanism in planta. On the basis of this principle we next regulated nuclear import and activity of target proteins by the spatiotemporal projection of light patterns. A synthetic transcription factor was translocated into the nucleus of mammalian cells and zebrafish to drive transgene expression. These data demonstrate the first in vivo application of a plant phytochrome-based optogenetic tool in vertebrates and expand the repertoire of available light-regulated molecular devices. PMID:25803699

  3. The mammalian blastema: regeneration at our fingertips

    PubMed Central

    Simkin, Jennifer; Sammarco, Mimi C.; Dawson, Lindsay A.; Schanes, Paula P.; Yu, Ling

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In the mouse, digit tip regeneration progresses through a series of discrete stages that include inflammation, histolysis, epidermal closure, blastema formation, and redifferentiation. Recent studies reveal how each regenerative stage influences subsequent stages to establish a blastema that directs the successful regeneration of a complex mammalian structure. The focus of this review is on early events of healing and how an amputation wound transitions into a functional blastema. The stepwise formation of a mammalian blastema is proposed to provide a model for how specific targeted treatments can enhance regenerative performance in humans.

  4. Epigenetic Regulation of Mammalian Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuekun

    2008-01-01

    Two critical properties of stem cells are self-renewal and multipotency. The maintenance of their “stemness” state and commitment to differentiation are therefore tightly controlled by intricate molecular networks. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling and the noncoding RNA-mediated process, have profound regulatory roles in mammalian gene expression. Recent studies have shown that epigenetic regulators are key players in stem cell biology and their dysfunction can result in human diseases such as cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we review the recent evidences that advance our knowledge in epigenetic regulations of mammalian stem cells, with focus on embryonic stem cells and neural stem cells. PMID:18393635

  5. Detection of apoptosis in mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Lin, Lin; Penaloza, Carlos; Ye, Yixia; Lockshin, Richard A; Zakeri, Zahra

    2009-01-01

    Mammalian development is dependent on an intricate orchestration of cell proliferation and death. Deregulation in the levels, localization, and type of cell death can lead to disease and even death of the developing embryo. The mechanisms involved in such deregulation are many; alterations and or manipulations of these can aid in the detection, prevention and possible treatments of any effects this de-regulation may have. Here we describe how cell death can be detected during mammalian development, using diverse staining and microscopy methods, while taking advantage of the advancements in cell death mechanisms, derived from biochemical and teratological studies in the field. PMID:19609762

  6. Autologous Microvascular Breast Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Venkat

    2013-01-01

    Autologous microvascular breast reconstruction is widely accepted as a key component of breast cancer treatment. There are two basic donor sites; the anterior abdominal wall and the thigh/buttock region. Each of these regions provides for a number of flaps that are successfully utilised in breast reconstruction. Refinement of surgical technique and the drive towards minimising donor site morbidity whilst maximising flap vascularity in breast reconstruction has seen an evolution towards perforator based flap reconstructions, however myocutaneous flaps are still commonly practiced. We review herein the current methods of autologous microvascular breast reconstruction. PMID:23362474

  7. The cytogenetics of mammalian autosomal rearrangements

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel, A.

    1988-01-01

    Combining data from animal and clinical studies with classical cytogenetic observations, the volume provides information on various aspects of mammalian autosomal rearrangements. Topics range from the reproductive consequences to carriers of autosomal rearrangements to the application of structural rearrangements and DNA probes to gene mapping. In addition, the book presents an overview of new perspectives and future directions for research.

  8. Mammalian PGRPs also mind the fort.

    PubMed

    Rubino, Stephen; Lee, Jooeun; Girardin, Stephen E

    2010-08-19

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs or Pglyrps) regulate antibacterial responses in Drosophila, yet their functions in humans remain unclear. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Saha and colleagues report that mammalian PGRPs can prevent aberrant interferon-gamma--induced inflammatory damage in vivo by modulating the composition of the intestinal bacterial flora. PMID:20709290

  9. Architecture of mammalian respiratory complex I

    PubMed Central

    Hirst, Judy

    2014-01-01

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is essential for oxidative phosphorylation in mammalian mitochondria. It couples electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone with proton translocation across the energy-transducing inner membrane, providing electrons for respiration and driving ATP synthesis. Mammalian complex I contains 44 different nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded subunits, with a combined mass of 1 MDa. The fourteen conserved ‘core’ subunits have been structurally defined in the minimal, bacterial complex, but the structures and arrangement of the 30 ‘supernumerary’ subunits are unknown. Here, we describe a 5 Å resolution structure of complex I from Bos taurus heart mitochondria, a close relative of the human enzyme, determined by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy. We present the structures of the mammalian core subunits that contain eight iron-sulphur clusters and 60 transmembrane helices, identify 18 supernumerary transmembrane helices, and assign and model 14 supernumerary subunits. Thus, we significantly advance knowledge of the structure of mammalian complex I and the architecture of its supernumerary ensemble around the core domains. Our structure provides insights into the roles of the supernumerary subunits in regulation, assembly and homeostasis, and a basis for understanding the effects of mutations that cause a diverse range of human diseases. PMID:25209663

  10. Crossroads between Bacterial and Mammalian Glycosyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Brockhausen, Inka

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial glycosyltransferases (GT) often synthesize the same glycan linkages as mammalian GT; yet, they usually have very little sequence identity. Nevertheless, enzymatic properties, folding, substrate specificities, and catalytic mechanisms of these enzyme proteins may have significant similarity. Thus, bacterial GT can be utilized for the enzymatic synthesis of both bacterial and mammalian types of complex glycan structures. A comparison is made here between mammalian and bacterial enzymes that synthesize epitopes found in mammalian glycoproteins, and those found in the O antigens of Gram-negative bacteria. These epitopes include Thomsen–Friedenreich (TF or T) antigen, blood group O, A, and B, type 1 and 2 chains, Lewis antigens, sialylated and fucosylated structures, and polysialic acids. Many different approaches can be taken to investigate the substrate binding and catalytic mechanisms of GT, including crystal structure analyses, mutations, comparison of amino acid sequences, NMR, and mass spectrometry. Knowledge of the protein structures and functions helps to design GT for specific glycan synthesis and to develop inhibitors. The goals are to develop new strategies to reduce bacterial virulence and to synthesize vaccines and other biologically active glycan structures. PMID:25368613

  11. A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Regulated transcription controls the diversity, developmental pathways and spatial organization of the hundreds of cell types that make up a mammal. Using single-molecule cDNA sequencing, we mapped transcription start sites (TSSs) and their usage in human and mouse primary cells, cell lines and tissues to produce a comprehensive overview of mammalian gene expression across the human body. We find that few genes are truly ‘housekeeping’, whereas many mammalian promoters are composite entities composed of several closely separated TSSs, with independent cell-type-specific expression profiles. TSSs specific to different cell types evolve at different rates, whereas promoters of broadly expressed genes are the most conserved. Promoter-based expression analysis reveals key transcription factors defining cell states and links them to binding-site motifs. The functions of identified novel transcripts can be predicted by coexpression and sample ontology enrichment analyses. The functional annotation of the mammalian genome 5 (FANTOM5) project provides comprehensive expression profiles and functional annotation of mammalian cell-type-specific transcriptomes with wide applications in biomedical research. PMID:24670764

  12. Isolation of genomic DNA from mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Koh, Cheryl M

    2013-01-01

    The isolation of genomic DNA from mammalian cells is a routine molecular biology laboratory technique with numerous downstream applications. The isolated DNA can be used as a template for PCR, cloning, and genotyping and to generate genomic DNA libraries. It can also be used for sequencing to detect mutations and other alterations, and for DNA methylation analyses. PMID:24011044

  13. [Placental developmental defects in cloned mammalian animals].

    PubMed

    Ao, Zheng; Liu, Dewu; Cai, Gengyuan; Wu, Zhenfang; Li, Zicong

    2016-05-01

    The cloning technique, also called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), has been successfully established and gradually applied to various mammalian species. However, the developmental rate of SCNT mammalian embryos is very low, usually at 1% to 5%, which limits the application of SCNT. Placental developmental defects are considered as the main cause of SCNT embryo development inhibition. Almost all of SCNT-derived mammalian placentas exhibit various abnormalities, such as placental hyperplasia, vascular defects and umbilical cord malformation. Mechanistically, these abnormalities result from failure of establishment of correct epigenetic modification in the trophectoderm genome, which leads to erroneous expression of important genes for placenta development-related, particularly imprinted genes. Consequently, aberrant imprinted gene expression gives rise to placental morphologic abnormalities and functional defects, therefore decreases developmental competence of cloned embryos. Currently, although numerous methods that can improve the developmental ability of SCNT-derived embryos have been reported, most of them are unable to substantially enhance the success rate of SCNT due to failure to eliminate the placental development defects. In this review, we summarize placental abnormalities and imprinted gene expression in mammalian cloning, and propose directions for the future research aiming to improve the cloning efficiency. PMID:27232488

  14. MAMMALIAN CELL MUTAGENESIS, BANBURY CONFERENCE (JOURNAL VERSION)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A conference on mammalian cell mutagenesis was held at the Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA, March 22-25, 1987. The objective of the conference was to provide a forum for discussions concerning the genetic, biochemical, and molecular basis of induced mutations in stand...

  15. Structure of mammalian respiratory complex I.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiapeng; Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Hirst, Judy

    2016-08-18

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), one of the largest membrane-bound enzymes in the cell, powers ATP synthesis in mammalian mitochondria by using the reducing potential of NADH to drive protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Mammalian complex I (ref. 1) contains 45 subunits, comprising 14 core subunits that house the catalytic machinery (and are conserved from bacteria to humans) and a mammalian-specific cohort of 31 supernumerary subunits. Knowledge of the structures and functions of the supernumerary subunits is fragmentary. Here we describe a 4.2-Å resolution single-particle electron cryomicroscopy structure of complex I from Bos taurus. We have located and modelled all 45 subunits, including the 31 supernumerary subunits, to provide the entire structure of the mammalian complex. Computational sorting of the particles identified different structural classes, related by subtle domain movements, which reveal conformationally dynamic regions and match biochemical descriptions of the 'active-to-de-active' enzyme transition that occurs during hypoxia. Our structures therefore provide a foundation for understanding complex I assembly and the effects of mutations that cause clinically relevant complex I dysfunctions, give insights into the structural and functional roles of the supernumerary subunits and reveal new information on the mechanism and regulation of catalysis. PMID:27509854

  16. Erythropoietin binding protein from mammalian serum

    DOEpatents

    Clemons, G.K.

    1997-04-29

    Purified mammalian erythropoietin binding-protein is disclosed, and its isolation, identification, characterization, purification, and immunoassay are described. The erythropoietin binding protein can be used for regulation of erythropoiesis by regulating levels and half-life of erythropoietin. A diagnostic kit for determination of level of erythropoietin binding protein is also described. 11 figs.

  17. Erythropoietin binding protein from mammalian serum

    DOEpatents

    Clemons, Gisela K.

    1997-01-01

    Purified mammalian erythropoietin binding-protein is disclosed, and its isolation, identification, characterization, purification, and immunoassay are described. The erythropoietin binding protein can be used for regulation of erythropoiesis by regulating levels and half-life of erythropoietin. A diagnostic kit for determination of level of erythropoietin binding protein is also described.

  18. Cold shock response in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Fujita, J

    1999-11-01

    Compared to bacteria and plants, the cold shock response has attracted little attention in mammals except in some areas such as adaptive thermogenesis, cold tolerance, storage of cells and organs, and recently, treatment of brain damage and protein production. At the cellular level, some responses of mammalian cells are similar to microorganisms; cold stress changes the lipid composition of cellular membranes, and suppresses the rate of protein synthesis and cell proliferation. Although previous studies have mostly dealt with temperatures below 20 degrees C, mild hypothermia (32 degrees C) can change the cell's response to subsequent stresses as exemplified by APG-1, a member of the HSP110 family. Furthermore, 32 degrees C induces expression of CIRP (cold-inducible RNA-binding protein), the first cold shock protein identified in mammalian cells, without recovery at 37 degrees C. Remniscent of HSP, CIRP is also expressed at 37 degrees C and developmentary regulated, possibly working as an RNA chaperone. Mammalian cells are metabolically active at 32 degrees C, and cells may survive and respond to stresses with different strategies from those at 37 degrees C. Cellular and molecular biology of mammalian cells at 32 degrees C is a new area expected to have considerable implications for medical sciences and possibly biotechnology. PMID:10943555

  19. AMMONIA REMOVAL FROM MAMMALIAN CELL CULTURE MEDIUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metabolites such as ammonia and lactic formed during mammalian cell culture can frequently be toxic to the cells themselves beyond a threshold concentration of the metabolites. ell culture conducted in the presence of such accumulated metabolites is therefore limited in productiv...

  20. Medical and experimental mammalian genetics: A perspective

    SciTech Connect

    McKusick, V.A.; Roderick, T.H.; Mori, J.; Paul, N.W.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 14 papers. Some of the titles are: Structure and Organization of Mammalian Chromosomes: Normal and Abnormal; Globin Gene Structure and the Nature of Mutation; Retroviral DNA Content of the Mouse Genome; Maternal Genes: Mitochondrial Diseases; Human Evolution; and Prospects for Gene Replacement Therapy.

  1. Ticks Take Cues from Mammalian Interferon.

    PubMed

    de Silva, Aravinda M

    2016-07-13

    Interferons are considered a first line of immune defense restricted to vertebrates. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Smith et al. (2016) demonstrate that mammalian interferon γ activates an antimicrobial response within ticks feeding on blood. The study suggests that arthropods have a parallel interferon-like defense system. PMID:27414493

  2. Genomics in mammalian cell culture bioprocessing

    PubMed Central

    Wuest, Diane M.; Harcum, Sarah W.; Lee, Kelvin H.

    2013-01-01

    Explicitly identifying the genome of a host organism including sequencing, mapping, and annotating its genetic code has become a priority in the field of biotechnology with aims at improving the efficiency and understanding of cell culture bioprocessing. Recombinant protein therapeutics, primarily produced in mammalian cells, constitute a $108 billion global market. The most common mammalian cell line used in biologic production processes is the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, and although great improvements have been made in titer production over the past 25 years, the underlying molecular and physiological factors are not well understood. Confident understanding of CHO bioprocessing elements (e.g. cell line selection, protein production, and reproducibility of process performance and product specifications) would significantly improve with a well understood genome. This review describes mammalian cell culture use in bioprocessing, the importance of obtaining CHO cell line genetic sequences, and the current status of sequencing efforts. Furthermore, transcriptomic techniques and gene expression tools are presented, and case studies exploring genomic techniques and applications aimed to improve mammalian bioprocess performance are reviewed. Finally, future implications of genomic advances are surmised. PMID:22079893

  3. Cultured normal mammalian tissue and process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, Thomas J. (Inventor); Prewett, Tacey L. (Inventor); Wolf, David A. (Inventor); Spaulding, Glenn F. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    Normal mammalian tissue and the culturing process has been developed for the three groups of organ, structural and blood tissue. The cells are grown in vitro under microgravity culture conditions and form three dimensional cell aggregates with normal cell function. The microgravity culture conditions may be microgravity or simulated microgravity created in a horizontal rotating wall culture vessel.

  4. Genetic diversity in morphological characters and phenolic acids content resulting from an interspecific cross between eggplant (Solanum melongena) and its wild ancestor (S. incanum)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solanum incanum, the wild ancestor of eggplant (S. melongena) has been considered as a source of variation for high phenolic acids content in breeding programs aimed at improving the functional quality of eggplant. We have evaluated the morphological and phenolic acids content in an interspecific fa...

  5. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information-content-fingerprinting: the distal region of the wheat ancestor Aegilops tauschii chromosome 3DS.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Physical maps employing libraries of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones are essential for comparative genomics and sequencing of large and repetitive genomes such as those of the hexaploid bread wheat. The diploid ancestor of wheat genome, Aegilops tauschii, is used as a resource for wheat...

  6. Genome sequence and annotation of Trichoderma parareesei, the ancestor of the cellulase producer Trichoderma reesei

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Dongqing; Pomraning, Kyle; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Karimi, Aghcheh Razieh; Atanasova, Lea; Chenthamara, Komal; Baker, Scott E.; Zhang, Ruifu; Shen, Qirong; Freitag, Michael; Kubicek, Christian P.; Druzhinina, Irina S.

    2015-08-13

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma parareesei is the asexually reproducing ancestor of Trichoderma reesei, the holomorphic industrial producer of cellulase and hemicellulase. Here, we present the genome sequence of the T. parareesei type strain CBS 125925, which contains genes for 9,318 proteins.

  7. The life history of retrocopies illuminates the evolution of new mammalian genes

    PubMed Central

    Carelli, Francesco Nicola; Hayakawa, Takashi; Go, Yasuhiro; Imai, Hiroo; Warnefors, Maria; Kaessmann, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    New genes contribute substantially to adaptive evolutionary innovation, but the functional evolution of new mammalian genes has been little explored at a broad scale. Previous work established mRNA-derived gene duplicates, known as retrocopies, as models for the study of new gene origination. Here we combine mammalian transcriptomic and epigenomic data to unveil the processes underlying the evolution of stripped-down retrocopies into complex new genes. We show that although some robustly expressed retrocopies are transcribed from preexisting promoters, most evolved new promoters from scratch or recruited proto-promoters in their genomic vicinity. In particular, many retrocopy promoters emerged from ancestral enhancers (or bivalent regulatory elements) or are located in CpG islands not associated with other genes. We detected 88–280 selectively preserved retrocopies per mammalian species, illustrating that these mechanisms facilitated the birth of many functional retrogenes during mammalian evolution. The regulatory evolution of originally monoexonic retrocopies was frequently accompanied by exon gain, which facilitated co-option of distant promoters and allowed expression of alternative isoforms. While young retrogenes are often initially expressed in the testis, increased regulatory and structural complexities allowed retrogenes to functionally diversify and evolve somatic organ functions, sometimes as complex as those of their parents. Thus, some retrogenes evolved the capacity to temporarily substitute for their parents during the process of male meiotic X inactivation, while others rendered parental functions superfluous, allowing for parental gene loss. Overall, our reconstruction of the “life history” of mammalian retrogenes highlights retroposition as a general model for understanding new gene birth and functional evolution. PMID:26728716

  8. The life history of retrocopies illuminates the evolution of new mammalian genes.

    PubMed

    Carelli, Francesco Nicola; Hayakawa, Takashi; Go, Yasuhiro; Imai, Hiroo; Warnefors, Maria; Kaessmann, Henrik

    2016-03-01

    New genes contribute substantially to adaptive evolutionary innovation, but the functional evolution of new mammalian genes has been little explored at a broad scale. Previous work established mRNA-derived gene duplicates, known as retrocopies, as models for the study of new gene origination. Here we combine mammalian transcriptomic and epigenomic data to unveil the processes underlying the evolution of stripped-down retrocopies into complex new genes. We show that although some robustly expressed retrocopies are transcribed from preexisting promoters, most evolved new promoters from scratch or recruited proto-promoters in their genomic vicinity. In particular, many retrocopy promoters emerged from ancestral enhancers (or bivalent regulatory elements) or are located in CpG islands not associated with other genes. We detected 88-280 selectively preserved retrocopies per mammalian species, illustrating that these mechanisms facilitated the birth of many functional retrogenes during mammalian evolution. The regulatory evolution of originally monoexonic retrocopies was frequently accompanied by exon gain, which facilitated co-option of distant promoters and allowed expression of alternative isoforms. While young retrogenes are often initially expressed in the testis, increased regulatory and structural complexities allowed retrogenes to functionally diversify and evolve somatic organ functions, sometimes as complex as those of their parents. Thus, some retrogenes evolved the capacity to temporarily substitute for their parents during the process of male meiotic X inactivation, while others rendered parental functions superfluous, allowing for parental gene loss. Overall, our reconstruction of the "life history" of mammalian retrogenes highlights retroposition as a general model for understanding new gene birth and functional evolution. PMID:26728716

  9. Phylogenetic reconstruction of South American felids defined by protein electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Slattery, J P; Johnson, W E; Goldman, D; O'Brien, S J

    1994-09-01

    Phylogenetic associations among six closely related South American felid species were defined by changes in protein-encoding gene loci. We analyzed proteins isolated from skin fibroblasts using two-dimensional electrophoresis and allozymes extracted from blood cells. Genotypes were determined for multiple individuals of ocelot, margay, tigrina, Geoffroy's cat, kodkod, and pampas cat at 548 loci resolved by two-dimensional electrophoresis and 44 allozyme loci. Phenograms were constructed using the methods of Fitch-Margoliash and neighbor-joining on a matrix of Nei's unbiased genetic distances for all pairs of species. Results of a relative-rate test indicate changes in two-dimensional electrophoresis data are constant among all South American felids with respect to a hyena outgroup. Allelic frequencies were transformed to discrete character states for maximum parsimony analysis. Phylogenetic reconstruction indicates a major split occurred approximately 5-6 million years ago, leading to three groups within the ocelot lineage. The earliest divergence led to Leopardus tigrina, followed by a split between an ancestor of an unresolved trichotomy of three species (Oncifelis guigna, O. geoffroyi, and Lynchailuris colocolo) and a recent common ancestor of Leopardus pardalis and L. wiedii. The results suggest that modern South American felids are monophyletic and evolved rapidly after the formation of the Panama land bridge between North and South America. PMID:7932791

  10. The Calmodulin-Binding, Short Linear Motif, NSCaTE Is Conserved in L-Type Channel Ancestors of Vertebrate Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 Channels

    PubMed Central

    Taiakina, Valentina; Boone, Adrienne N.; Fux, Julia; Senatore, Adriano; Weber-Adrian, Danielle

    2013-01-01

    NSCaTE is a short linear motif of (xWxxx(I or L)xxxx), composed of residues with a high helix-forming propensity within a mostly disordered N-terminus that is conserved in L-type calcium channels from protostome invertebrates to humans. NSCaTE is an optional, lower affinity and calcium-sensitive binding site for calmodulin (CaM) which competes for CaM binding with a more ancient, C-terminal IQ domain on L-type channels. CaM bound to N- and C- terminal tails serve as dual detectors to changing intracellular Ca2+ concentrations, promoting calcium-dependent inactivation of L-type calcium channels. NSCaTE is absent in some arthropod species, and is also lacking in vertebrate L-type isoforms, Cav1.1 and Cav1.4 channels. The pervasiveness of a methionine just downstream from NSCaTE suggests that L-type channels could generate alternative N-termini lacking NSCaTE through the choice of translational start sites. Long N-terminus with an NSCaTE motif in L-type calcium channel homolog LCav1 from pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis has a faster calcium-dependent inactivation than a shortened N-termini lacking NSCaTE. NSCaTE effects are present in low concentrations of internal buffer (0.5 mM EGTA), but disappears in high buffer conditions (10 mM EGTA). Snail and mammalian NSCaTE have an alpha-helical propensity upon binding Ca2+-CaM and can saturate both CaM N-terminal and C-terminal domains in the absence of a competing IQ motif. NSCaTE evolved in ancestors of the first animals with internal organs for promoting a more rapid, calcium-sensitive inactivation of L-type channels. PMID:23626724

  11. The calmodulin-binding, short linear motif, NSCaTE is conserved in L-type channel ancestors of vertebrate Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 channels.

    PubMed

    Taiakina, Valentina; Boone, Adrienne N; Fux, Julia; Senatore, Adriano; Weber-Adrian, Danielle; Guillemette, J Guy; Spafford, J David

    2013-01-01

    NSCaTE is a short linear motif of (xWxxx(I or L)xxxx), composed of residues with a high helix-forming propensity within a mostly disordered N-terminus that is conserved in L-type calcium channels from protostome invertebrates to humans. NSCaTE is an optional, lower affinity and calcium-sensitive binding site for calmodulin (CaM) which competes for CaM binding with a more ancient, C-terminal IQ domain on L-type channels. CaM bound to N- and C- terminal tails serve as dual detectors to changing intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations, promoting calcium-dependent inactivation of L-type calcium channels. NSCaTE is absent in some arthropod species, and is also lacking in vertebrate L-type isoforms, Cav1.1 and Cav1.4 channels. The pervasiveness of a methionine just downstream from NSCaTE suggests that L-type channels could generate alternative N-termini lacking NSCaTE through the choice of translational start sites. Long N-terminus with an NSCaTE motif in L-type calcium channel homolog LCav1 from pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis has a faster calcium-dependent inactivation than a shortened N-termini lacking NSCaTE. NSCaTE effects are present in low concentrations of internal buffer (0.5 mM EGTA), but disappears in high buffer conditions (10 mM EGTA). Snail and mammalian NSCaTE have an alpha-helical propensity upon binding Ca(2+)-CaM and can saturate both CaM N-terminal and C-terminal domains in the absence of a competing IQ motif. NSCaTE evolved in ancestors of the first animals with internal organs for promoting a more rapid, calcium-sensitive inactivation of L-type channels. PMID:23626724

  12. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution. PMID:26013195

  13. Isolation, promoter analysis and expression profile of Dreb2 in response to drought stress in wheat ancestors.

    PubMed

    Tavakol, Elahe; Sardaro, Maria Luisa Savo; Shariati, J Vahid; Rossini, Laura; Porceddu, Enrico

    2014-10-01

    Drought is one of the most important abiotic stresses, constraining crop production seriously. The dehydration responsive element binding proteins (DREBs) are important plant-specific transcription factors that respond to various abiotic stresses and consequently induce abiotic stress-related genes that impart stress endurance in plants. Wild species are naturally exposed to various abiotic stresses and potentially harbor suitable alleles through natural selection. In this study we isolated and characterized Dreb2 from Triticum urartu (GenBank: KF731664), Aegilops speltoides (GenBank: KF731665) and Aegilops tauschii (GenBank: KF731663), the A, B and D genome ancestors of bread wheat, respectively. Analysis of over 1.3 kb upstream region of the gene revealed the presence of several conserved cis-acting regulatory elements including ABA-responsive elements, low temperature responsive elements, and several light and environmental signaling related motifs potentially vindicate Dreb2 responses to environmental signals. Moreover, the gene exhibited an alternative splicing, conserved among orthologous genes in grasses, and produced a non-functional isoform due to splicing in an exon resulted frame-shift creating an early stop codon before the functional domain. The expression analysis of Dreb2 under normal and different levels of dehydration stress conditions indicated that the two active spliced isoforms are upregulated when the plant exposed to drought stress whereas the non-functional isoform is downregulated in severe drought. PMID:25017054

  14. Responses of parasitoids to volatiles induced by Chilo partellus oviposition on teosinte, a wild ancestor of maize.

    PubMed

    Mutyambai, Daniel M; Bruce, Toby J A; Midega, Charles A O; Woodcock, Christine M; Caulfield, John C; Van Den Berg, Johnnie; Pickett, John A; Khan, Zeyaur R

    2015-04-01

    Maize, a genetically diverse crop, is the domesticated descendent of its wild ancestor, teosinte. Recently, we have shown that certain maize landraces possess a valuable indirect defense trait not present in commercial hybrids. Plants of these landraces release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that attract both egg [Trichogramma bournieri Pintureau & Babault (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)] and larval [Cotesia sesamiae Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)] parasitoids in response to stemborer egg deposition. In this study, we tested whether this trait also exists in the germplasm of wild Zea species. Headspace samples were collected from plants exposed to egg deposition by Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) moths and unexposed control plants. Four-arm olfactometer bioassays with parasitic wasps, T. bournieri and C. sesamiae, indicated that both egg and larval parasitoids preferred HIPVs from plants with eggs in four of the five teosinte species sampled. Headspace samples from oviposited plants released higher amounts of EAG-active compounds such as (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene. In oviposition choice bioassays, plants without eggs were significantly preferred for subsequent oviposition by moths compared to plants with prior oviposition. These results suggest that this induced indirect defence trait is not limited to landraces but occurs in wild Zea species and appears to be an ancestral trait. Hence, these species possess a valuable trait that could be introgressed into domesticated maize lines to provide indirect defense mechanisms against stemborers. PMID:25943860

  15. Comparative genomic de-convolution of the cotton genome revealed a decaploid ancestor and widespread chromosomal fractionation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiyin; Guo, Hui; Wang, Jinpeng; Lei, Tianyu; Liu, Tao; Wang, Zhenyi; Li, Yuxian; Lee, Tae-Ho; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Jin, Dianchuan; Paterson, Andrew H

    2016-02-01

    The 'apparently' simple genomes of many angiosperms mask complex evolutionary histories. The reference genome sequence for cotton (Gossypium spp.) revealed a ploidy change of a complexity unprecedented to date, indeed that could not be distinguished as to its exact dosage. Herein, by developing several comparative, computational and statistical approaches, we revealed a 5× multiplication in the cotton lineage of an ancestral genome common to cotton and cacao, and proposed evolutionary models to show how such a decaploid ancestor formed. The c. 70% gene loss necessary to bring the ancestral decaploid to its current gene count appears to fit an approximate geometrical model; that is, although many genes may be lost by single-gene deletion events, some may be lost in groups of consecutive genes. Gene loss following cotton decaploidy has largely just reduced gene copy numbers of some homologous groups. We designed a novel approach to deconvolute layers of chromosome homology, providing definitive information on gene orthology and paralogy across broad evolutionary distances, both of fundamental value and serving as an important platform to support further studies in and beyond cotton and genomics communities. PMID:26756535

  16. Studies in Historical Replication in Psychology VII: The Relative Utility of ``Ancestor Analysis'' from Scientific and Educational Vantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranney, Michael Andrew

    2008-05-01

    This article discusses, from various vantages, Ryan Tweney’s (this issue) pedagogical technique of employing historical replications of psychological experiments with graduate students in psychology. A prima facie perspective suggests great promise for this sort of academic “ancestor analysis,” particularly given the enthusiasm and skill represented in the activities that culminated in the replicators’ articles. It is suggested that such activities might be enhanced by requiring a contextualization that makes contact with more modern psychological research—particularly regarding expositions of the replications. From a scientific/cognitive methods perspective, the original experimenters’ inexplicit, ambiguous, descriptions provide both challenges and opportunities for students seeking to improve their understandings of their field. Three practical questions are posed herein regarding the general utility of this—or any—proposed instructional intervention. Ultimately, determining and integrating the diverse objectives that essential stakeholders have in graduate psychological training represent critical prerequisites in comprehensively assessing the relative advantages of such historical replications with respect to alternative experiences.

  17. Strong Selective Sweeps on the X Chromosome in the Human-Chimpanzee Ancestor Explain Its Low Divergence.

    PubMed

    Dutheil, Julien Y; Munch, Kasper; Nam, Kiwoong; Mailund, Thomas; Schierup, Mikkel H

    2015-08-01

    The human and chimpanzee X chromosomes are less divergent than expected based on autosomal divergence. We study incomplete lineage sorting patterns between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas to show that this low divergence can be entirely explained by megabase-sized regions comprising one-third of the X chromosome, where polymorphism in the human-chimpanzee ancestral species was severely reduced. We show that background selection can explain at most 10% of this reduction of diversity in the ancestor. Instead, we show that several strong selective sweeps in the ancestral species can explain it. We also report evidence of population specific sweeps in extant humans that overlap the regions of low diversity in the ancestral species. These regions further correspond to chromosomal sections shown to be devoid of Neanderthal introgression into modern humans. This suggests that the same X-linked regions that undergo selective sweeps are among the first to form reproductive barriers between diverging species. We hypothesize that meiotic drive is the underlying mechanism causing these two observations. PMID:26274919

  18. Transcriptome analysis in Coffea eugenioides, an Arabica coffee ancestor, reveals differentially expressed genes in leaves and fruits.

    PubMed

    Yuyama, Priscila Mary; Reis Júnior, Osvaldo; Ivamoto, Suzana Tiemi; Domingues, Douglas Silva; Carazzolle, Marcelo Falsarella; Pereira, Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães; Charmetant, Pierre; Leroy, Thierry; Pereira, Luiz Filipe Protasio

    2016-02-01

    Studies in diploid parental species of polyploid plants are important to understand their contributions to the formation of plant and species evolution. Coffea eugenioides is a diploid species that is considered to be an ancestor of allopolyploid Coffea arabica together with Coffea canephora. Despite its importance in the evolutionary history of the main economic species of coffee, no study has focused on C. eugenioides molecular genetics. RNA-seq creates the possibility to generate reference transcriptomes and identify coding genes and potential candidates related to important agronomic traits. Therefore, the main objectives were to obtain a global overview of transcriptionally active genes in this species using next-generation sequencing and to analyze specific genes that were highly expressed in leaves and fruits with potential exploratory characteristics for breeding and understanding the evolutionary biology of coffee. A de novo assembly generated 36,935 contigs that were annotated using eight databases. We observed a total of ~5000 differentially expressed genes between leaves and fruits. Several genes exclusively expressed in fruits did not exhibit similarities with sequences in any database. We selected ten differentially expressed unigenes in leaves and fruits to evaluate transcriptional profiles using qPCR. Our study provides the first gene catalog for C. eugenioides and enhances the knowledge concerning the mechanisms involved in the C. arabica homeologous. Furthermore, this work will open new avenues for studies into specific genes and pathways in this species, especially related to fruit, and our data have potential value in assisted breeding applications. PMID:26334613

  19. RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants.

    PubMed

    Proust, Hélène; Honkanen, Suvi; Jones, Victor A S; Morieri, Giulia; Prescott, Helen; Kelly, Steve; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Dolan, Liam

    2016-01-11

    The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1-3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions-from nutrient acquisition to reproduction-derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6-9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10-12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water. PMID:26725198

  20. Formal Comment to Pettengill: The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor Does Not (Usually) Approximate the Date of Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Achtman, Mark; Zhou, Zhemin; Didelot, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    In 2013 Zhou et al. concluded that Salmonella enterica serovar Agona represents a genetically monomorphic lineage of recent ancestry, whose most recent common ancestor existed in 1932, or earlier. The Abstract stated ‘Agona consists of three lineages with minimal mutational diversity: only 846 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have accumulated in the non-repetitive, core genome since Agona evolved in 1932 and subsequently underwent a major population expansion in the 1960s.’ These conclusions have now been criticized by Pettengill, who claims that the evolutionary models used to date Agona may not have been appropriate, the dating estimates were inaccurate, and the age of emergence of Agona should have been qualified by an upper limit reflecting the date of its divergence from an outgroup, serovar Soerenga. We dispute these claims. Firstly, Pettengill’s analysis of Agona is not justifiable on technical grounds. Secondly, an upper limit for divergence from an outgroup would only be meaningful if the outgroup were closely related to Agona, but close relatives of Agona are yet to be identified. Thirdly, it is not possible to reliably date the time of divergence between Agona and Soerenga. We conclude that Pettengill’s criticism is comparable to a tempest in a teapot. PMID:26274924

  1. Genealogical correspondence of a forebrain centre implies an executive brain in the protostome-deuterostome bilaterian ancestor.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Gabriella H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2016-01-01

    Orthologous genes involved in the formation of proteins associated with memory acquisition are similarly expressed in forebrain centres that exhibit similar cognitive properties. These proteins include cAMP-dependent protein kinase A catalytic subunit (PKA-Cα) and phosphorylated Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKII), both required for long-term memory formation which is enriched in rodent hippocampus and insect mushroom bodies, both implicated in allocentric memory and both possessing corresponding neuronal architectures. Antibodies against these proteins resolve forebrain centres, or their equivalents, having the same ground pattern of neuronal organization in species across five phyla. The ground pattern is defined by olfactory or chemosensory afferents supplying systems of parallel fibres of intrinsic neurons intersected by orthogonal domains of afferent and efferent arborizations with local interneurons providing feedback loops. The totality of shared characters implies a deep origin in the protostome-deuterostome bilaterian ancestor of elements of a learning and memory circuit. Proxies for such an ancestral taxon are simple extant bilaterians, particularly acoels that express PKA-Cα and pCaMKII in discrete anterior domains that can be properly referred to as brains. PMID:26598732

  2. RSL Class I Genes Controlled the Development of Epidermal Structures in the Common Ancestor of Land Plants

    PubMed Central

    Proust, Hélène; Honkanen, Suvi; Jones, Victor A.S.; Morieri, Giulia; Prescott, Helen; Kelly, Steve; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Dolan, Liam

    2016-01-01

    Summary The colonization of the land by plants, sometime before 470 million years ago, was accompanied by the evolution tissue systems [1, 2, 3]. Specialized structures with diverse functions—from nutrient acquisition to reproduction—derived from single cells in the outermost layer (epidermis) were important sources of morphological innovation at this time [2, 4, 5]. In extant plants, these structures may be unicellular extensions, such as root hairs or rhizoids [6, 7, 8, 9], or multicellular structures, such as asexual propagules or secretory hairs (papillae) [10, 11, 12]. Here, we show that a ROOTHAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) class I basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor positively regulates the development of the unicellular and multicellular structures that develop from individual cells that expand out of the epidermal plane of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha; mutants that lack MpRSL1 function do not develop rhizoids, slime papillae, mucilage papillae, or gemmae. Furthermore, we discovered that RSL class I genes are also required for the development of multicellular axillary hairs on the gametophyte of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Because class I RSL proteins also control the development of rhizoids in mosses and root hairs in angiosperms [13, 14], these data demonstrate that the function of RSL class I genes was to control the development of structures derived from single epidermal cells in the common ancestor of the land plants. Class I RSL genes therefore controlled the generation of adaptive morphological diversity as plants colonized the land from the water. PMID:26725198

  3. Wild Mallards Have More “Goose-Like” Bills Than Their Ancestors: A Case of Anthropogenic Influence?

    PubMed Central

    Söderquist, Pär; Norrström, Joanna; Elmberg, Johan; Guillemain, Matthieu; Gunnarsson, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Wild populations of the world’s most common dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), run the risk of genetic introgression by farmed conspecifics released for hunting purposes. We tested whether bill morphology of free-living birds has changed since large-scale releases of farmed mallards started. Three groups of mallards from Sweden, Norway and Finland were compared: historical wild (before large-scale releases started), present-day wild, and present-day farmed. Higher density of bill lamellae was observed in historical wild mallards (only males). Farmed mallards had wider bills than present-day and historical wild ones. Present-day wild and farmed mallards also had higher and shorter bills than historical wild mallards. Present-day mallards thus tend to have more “goose-like” bills (wider, higher, and shorter) than their ancestors. Our study suggests that surviving released mallards affect morphological traits in wild population by introgression. We discuss how such anthropogenic impact may lead to a maladapted and genetically compromised wild mallard population. Our study system has bearing on other taxa where large-scale releases of conspecifics with ‘alien genes’ may cause a cryptic invasive process that nevertheless has fitness consequences for individual birds. PMID:25514789

  4. Formal Comment to Pettengill: The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor Does Not (Usually) Approximate the Date of Divergence.

    PubMed

    Achtman, Mark; Zhou, Zhemin; Didelot, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    In 2013 Zhou et al. concluded that Salmonella enterica serovar Agona represents a genetically monomorphic lineage of recent ancestry, whose most recent common ancestor existed in 1932, or earlier. The Abstract stated 'Agona consists of three lineages with minimal mutational diversity: only 846 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have accumulated in the non-repetitive, core genome since Agona evolved in 1932 and subsequently underwent a major population expansion in the 1960s.' These conclusions have now been criticized by Pettengill, who claims that the evolutionary models used to date Agona may not have been appropriate, the dating estimates were inaccurate, and the age of emergence of Agona should have been qualified by an upper limit reflecting the date of its divergence from an outgroup, serovar Soerenga. We dispute these claims. Firstly, Pettengill's analysis of Agona is not justifiable on technical grounds. Secondly, an upper limit for divergence from an outgroup would only be meaningful if the outgroup were closely related to Agona, but close relatives of Agona are yet to be identified. Thirdly, it is not possible to reliably date the time of divergence between Agona and Soerenga. We conclude that Pettengill's criticism is comparable to a tempest in a teapot. PMID:26274924

  5. Strong Selective Sweeps on the X Chromosome in the Human-Chimpanzee Ancestor Explain Its Low Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Dutheil, Julien Y.; Munch, Kasper; Nam, Kiwoong; Mailund, Thomas; Schierup, Mikkel H.

    2015-01-01

    The human and chimpanzee X chromosomes are less divergent than expected based on autosomal divergence. We study incomplete lineage sorting patterns between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas to show that this low divergence can be entirely explained by megabase-sized regions comprising one-third of the X chromosome, where polymorphism in the human-chimpanzee ancestral species was severely reduced. We show that background selection can explain at most 10% of this reduction of diversity in the ancestor. Instead, we show that several strong selective sweeps in the ancestral species can explain it. We also report evidence of population specific sweeps in extant humans that overlap the regions of low diversity in the ancestral species. These regions further correspond to chromosomal sections shown to be devoid of Neanderthal introgression into modern humans. This suggests that the same X-linked regions that undergo selective sweeps are among the first to form reproductive barriers between diverging species. We hypothesize that meiotic drive is the underlying mechanism causing these two observations. PMID:26274919

  6. Lower Eyelid Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Holds, John B

    2016-05-01

    Lower eyelid defects are common, and a systematic approach to reconstruction of the lower eyelid is required. Attention to the bilaminar eyelid anatomy and canthal support structures, with efforts to maintain functionally important structures, such as the lacrimal canalicular system, is vital to appropriate lower eyelid reconstruction. Techniques of advancement and rotation flaps and grafting of skin and mucosa are mainstays of lower eyelid reconstruction. An appropriate armamentarium of techniques allows for optimal surgical results. PMID:27105804

  7. Plate tectonics of virus shell assembly and reorganization in phage φ8, a distant relative of mammalian reoviruses.

    PubMed

    El Omari, Kamel; Sutton, Geoff; Ravantti, Janne J; Zhang, Hanwen; Walter, Thomas S; Grimes, Jonathan M; Bamford, Dennis H; Stuart, David I; Mancini, Erika J

    2013-08-01

    The hallmark of a virus is its capsid, which harbors the viral genome and is formed from protein subunits, which assemble following precise geometric rules. dsRNA viruses use an unusual protein multiplicity (120 copies) to form their closed capsids. We have determined the atomic structure of the capsid protein (P1) from the dsRNA cystovirus Φ8. In the crystal P1 forms pentamers, very similar in shape to facets of empty procapsids, suggesting an unexpected assembly pathway that proceeds via a pentameric intermediate. Unlike the elongated proteins used by dsRNA mammalian reoviruses, P1 has a compact trapezoid-like shape and a distinct arrangement in the shell, with two near-identical conformers in nonequivalent structural environments. Nevertheless, structural similarity with the analogous protein from the mammalian viruses suggests a common ancestor. The unusual shape of the molecule may facilitate dramatic capsid expansion during phage maturation, allowing P1 to switch interaction interfaces to provide capsid plasticity. PMID:23891291

  8. NON-MAMMALIAN ESTROGENICITY SCREEN: RAINBOW TROUT ESTROGEN RECEPTOR BINDING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. EPA has been mandated to screen industrial chemicals and pesticides for potential endocrine activity. Current assays for measuring endocrine activity are primarily mammalian-based. The appropriateness of extrapolating mammalian results to non-mammalian species is uncert...

  9. Flexor pulley reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Dy, Christopher J; Daluiski, Aaron

    2013-05-01

    Flexor pulley reconstruction is a challenging surgery. Injuries often occur after traumatic lacerations or forceful extension applied to an acutely flexed finger. Surgical treatment is reserved for patients with multiple closed pulley ruptures, persistent pain, or dysfunction after attempted nonoperative management of a single pulley rupture, or during concurrent or staged flexor tendon repair or reconstruction. If the pulley cannot be repaired primarily, pulley reconstruction can be performed using graft woven into remnant pulley rim or looping graft around the phalanx. Regardless of the reconstructive technique, the surgeon should emulate the length, tension, and glide of the native pulley. PMID:23660059

  10. Head and neck reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Prabha

    2013-01-01

    Whatever is excisable, is reconstructable! “You excise, we will reconstruct” are the confident words of reconstructive surgeons today. Reconstruction with multiple flaps has become routine. Radial artery (FRAF), Antero lateral thigh (ALT) and Fibula osteo cutaneous flap (FFOCF) are three most popular free flaps which can reconstruct any defect with excellent asthetics and performance. Radial Artery provides thin, pliable innervated skin; ALT large amount of skin & bulk; and FFOCF strong 22 to 25 centimetres of bone and reliable skin paddle. Free flap survival has gone to 98% in most of the renouned institutes and is an established escalator in management of defects. PMID:24501464

  11. Evaluating purifying selection in the mitochondrial DNA of various mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Soares, Pedro; Abrantes, Diogo; Rito, Teresa; Thomson, Noel; Radivojac, Predrag; Li, Biao; Macaulay, Vincent; Samuels, David C; Pereira, Luísa

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the circular DNA molecule inside the mitochondria of all eukaryotic cells, has been shown to be under the effect of purifying selection in several species. Traditional testing of purifying selection has been based simply on ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations, without considering the relative age of each mutation, which can be determined by phylogenetic analysis of this non-recombining molecule. The incorporation of a mutation time-ordering from phylogeny and of predicted pathogenicity scores for nonsynonymous mutations allow a quantitative evaluation of the effects of purifying selection in human mtDNA. Here, by using this additional information, we show that purifying selection undoubtedly acts upon the mtDNA of other mammalian species/genera, namely Bos sp., Canis lupus, Mus musculus, Orcinus orca, Pan sp. and Sus scrofa. The effects of purifying selection were comparable in all species, leading to a significant major proportion of nonsynonymous variants with higher pathogenicity scores in the younger branches of the tree. We also derive recalibrated mutation rates for age estimates of ancestors of these various species and proposed a correction curve in order to take into account the effects of selection. Understanding this selection is fundamental to evolutionary studies and to the identification of deleterious mutations. PMID:23533597

  12. Palaeoenvironmental significance of the mammalian faunas of Italy since the Pliocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montuire, Sophie; Marcolini, Federica

    2002-01-01

    The evolution of mammalian communities is a significant tool for reconstructing past environments and climate. In this paper, a palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction based on the study of the Italian mammal faunas ranging from Middle Pliocene to the Holocene is presented using the cenogram method and quantification of temperatures based on arvicolid species richness. These analyses reveal open and arid conditions during glacial periods and less open and more humid conditions during interglacials, with some differences between north and central-south Italy. Northern and Southern communities reflect similar trends in the evolution of palaeoenvironments and in the variation of the temperatures, but differences in estimated temperatures, which indicate a more temperate climate for southern Italy throughout the period, are considered here.

  13. Speckle variance OCT imaging of the vasculature in live mammalian embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudheendran, N.; Syed, S. H.; Dickinson, M. E.; Larina, I. V.; Larin, K. V.

    2011-03-01

    Live imaging of normal and abnormal vascular development in mammalian embryos is important tool in embryonic research, which can potentially contribute to understanding, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular birth defects. Here, we used speckle variance analysis of swept source optical coherence tomography (OCT) data sets acquired from live mouse embryos to reconstruct the 3-D structure of the embryonic vasculature. Both Doppler OCT and speckle variance algorithms were used to reconstruct the vascular structure. The results demonstrates that speckle variance imaging provides more accurate representation of the vascular structure, as it is not sensitive to the blood flow direction, while the Doppler OCT imaging misses blood flow component perpendicular to the beam direction. These studies suggest that speckle variance imaging is a promising tool to study vascular development in cultured mouse embryos.

  14. [Using inter-SINE-PCR to study mammalian phylogeny].

    PubMed

    Bannikova, A A; Matveev, V A; Kramerov, D A

    2002-06-01

    Results of the use of the fingerprinting method related to short interspersed elements (SINEs), inter-SINE-PCR, in the study of phylogenetic and taxonomic relationship in mammals from orders Chiroptera (family Vespertilionidae) and Lipotyphla (family Erinaceidae) are reported. The inter-SINE-PCR method is based on the amplification of fragments situated between copies of SINEs, which are short retroposons spaced 100 to 1000 bp apart. Specifically selected primers were used, which are complementary to consensus sequences of two short retroposons: the mammalian interspersed repeat (MIR), which is typical of all mammals and some other vertebrates, was used in the cases of bats and Erinaceidae, and the ERI-1 element recently isolated from the genome of the Daurian hedgehog was used in the case of Erinaceidae. The results support the current view on phylogenetic relationship between hedgehogs belonging to genera Erinaceus, Hemiechinus, and Paraechinus (but not the genus Atelerix). In bats, the phylogenetic reconstruction revealed a statistically valid topology only at lower taxonomic levels, whereas the topology for the genus and supragenus ranks was unresolved and fan-shaped. The benefits and limitations of the inter-SINE-PCR method are discussed. PMID:12138785

  15. Firefly luciferase gene: structure and expression in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    de Wet, J R; Wood, K V; DeLuca, M; Helinski, D R; Subramani, S

    1987-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the luciferase gene from the firefly Photinus pyralis was determined from the analysis of cDNA and genomic clones. The gene contains six introns, all less than 60 bases in length. The 5' end of the luciferase mRNA was determined by both S1 nuclease analysis and primer extension. Although the luciferase cDNA clone lacked the six N-terminal codons of the open reading frame, we were able to reconstruct the equivalent of a full-length cDNA using the genomic clone as a source of the missing 5' sequence. The full-length, intronless luciferase gene was inserted into mammalian expression vectors and introduced into monkey (CV-1) cells in which enzymatically active firefly luciferase was transiently expressed. In addition, cell lines stably expressing firefly luciferase were isolated. Deleting a portion of the 5'-untranslated region of the luciferase gene removed an upstream initiation (AUG) codon and resulted in a twofold increase in the level of luciferase expression. The ability of the full-length luciferase gene to activate cryptic or enhancerless promoters was also greatly reduced or eliminated by this 5' deletion. Assaying the expression of luciferase provides a rapid and inexpensive method for monitoring promoter activity. Depending on the instrumentation employed to detect luciferase activity, we estimate this assay to be from 30- to 1,000-fold more sensitive than assaying chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression. Images PMID:3821727

  16. Helium Ion Microscopy Visualizes Lipid Nanodomains in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Matthias; Frese, Natalie; Beyer, André; Heimann, Peter; Widera, Darius; Mönkemöller, Viola; Huser, Thomas; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Gölzhäuser, Armin

    2015-11-18

    Cell membranes are composed of 2D bilayers of amphipathic lipids, which allow a lateral movement of the respective membrane components. These components are arranged in an inhomogeneous manner as transient micro- and nanodomains, which are believed to be crucially involved in the regulation of signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells. Because of their small size (diameter 10-200 nm), membrane nanodomains cannot be directly imaged using conventional light microscopy. Here, direct visualization of cell membrane nanodomains by helium ion microscopy (HIM) is presented. It is shown that HIM is capable to image biological specimens without any conductive coating and that HIM images clearly allow the identification of nanodomains in the ultrastructure of membranes with 1.5 nm resolution. The shape of these nanodomains is preserved by fixation of the surrounding unsaturated fatty acids while saturated fatty acids inside the nanodomains are selectively removed. Atomic force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, 3D structured illumination microscopy, and direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy provide additional evidence that the structures in the HIM images of cell membranes originate from membrane nanodomains. The nanodomains observed by HIM have an average diameter of 20 nm and are densely arranged with a minimal nearest neighbor distance of ≈ 15 nm. PMID:26436577

  17. An Ode to Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kallanian, Susanne

    2005-01-01

    The Fon live in the southern part of the People's Republic of Benin. They inhabit an area about the size of Connecticut. To this day, many Fon are farmers. They plant yams, corn, and cotton, and cultivate palm trees that produce palm oil. Ancient beliefs in spirits and natural powers (called vodun) that govern the world and provide a spiritual…

  18. Commemorating the Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, Stevie; Williams, Kathleen

    2010-01-01

    The festivals of Mexico are renowned for their colorful decorations, energetic music, exuberant parades, and cultural significance. "Los Dias de los Muertos," the Days of the Dead, is no exception. Often misunderstood by those who live elsewhere, this festival commemorating the dead is one of Mexico's most important holidays. As Americans prepare…

  19. Aping our ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ennos, Roland

    2014-08-01

    Roland Ennos argues that the abilities of the great apes to cope in the dangerous mechanical environment of the forest canopy are part of the human species' intellectual inheritance and are intimately connected with our abilities as physicists.

  20. Phylogenomic and biogeographic reconstruction of the Trichinella complex.

    PubMed

    Korhonen, Pasi K; Pozio, Edoardo; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Chang, Bill C H; Koehler, Anson V; Hoberg, Eric P; Boag, Peter R; Tan, Patrick; Jex, Aaron R; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W; Young, Neil D; Gasser, Robin B

    2016-01-01

    Trichinellosis is a globally important food-borne parasitic disease of humans caused by roundworms of the Trichinella complex. Extensive biological diversity is reflected in substantial ecological and genetic variability within and among Trichinella taxa, and major controversy surrounds the systematics of this complex. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of 16 draft genomes representing all 12 recognized Trichinella species and genotypes, define protein-coding gene sets and assess genetic differences among these taxa. Using thousands of shared single-copy orthologous gene sequences, we fully reconstruct, for the first time, a phylogeny and biogeography for the Trichinella complex, and show that encapsulated and non-encapsulated Trichinella taxa diverged from their most recent common ancestor ∼21 million years ago (mya), with taxon diversifications commencing ∼10-7 mya. PMID:26830005

  1. Reconstructing the evolution of laughter in great apes and humans.

    PubMed

    Davila Ross, Marina; Owren, Michael J; Zimmermann, Elke

    2009-07-14

    Human emotional expressions, such as laughter, are argued to have their origins in ancestral nonhuman primate displays. To test this hypothesis, the current work examined the acoustics of tickle-induced vocalizations from infant and juvenile orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos, as well as tickle-induced laughter produced by human infants. Resulting acoustic data were then coded as character states and submitted to quantitative phylogenetic analysis. Acoustic outcomes revealed both important similarities and differences among the five species. Furthermore, phylogenetic trees reconstructed from the acoustic data matched the well-established trees based on comparative genetics. Taken together, the results provide strong evidence that tickling-induced laughter is homologous in great apes and humans and support the more general postulation of phylogenetic continuity from nonhuman displays to human emotional expressions. Findings also show that distinctively human laughter characteristics such as predominantly regular, stable voicing and consistently egressive airflow are nonetheless traceable to characteristics of shared ancestors with great apes. PMID:19500987

  2. Phylogenomic and biogeographic reconstruction of the Trichinella complex

    PubMed Central

    Korhonen, Pasi K.; Pozio, Edoardo; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Chang, Bill C. H.; Koehler, Anson V.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Boag, Peter R.; Tan, Patrick; Jex, Aaron R.; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W.; Young, Neil D.; Gasser, Robin B.

    2016-01-01

    Trichinellosis is a globally important food-borne parasitic disease of humans caused by roundworms of the Trichinella complex. Extensive biological diversity is reflected in substantial ecological and genetic variability within and among Trichinella taxa, and major controversy surrounds the systematics of this complex. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of 16 draft genomes representing all 12 recognized Trichinella species and genotypes, define protein-coding gene sets and assess genetic differences among these taxa. Using thousands of shared single-copy orthologous gene sequences, we fully reconstruct, for the first time, a phylogeny and biogeography for the Trichinella complex, and show that encapsulated and non-encapsulated Trichinella taxa diverged from their most recent common ancestor ∼21 million years ago (mya), with taxon diversifications commencing ∼10−7 mya. PMID:26830005

  3. The Africa Madagascar connection and mammalian migrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabinowitz, Philip D.; Woods, Stephen

    2006-03-01

    Madagascar separated from Africa in the Middle-Late Jurassic and has been in its present position relative to Africa since the Early Cretaceous (˜120-130 my). Several Early Eocene to Late Oligocene (˜50-26 my) terrestrial mammalian groups are observed on Madagascar that have a similar ancestral lineage to those found in Africa. These mammalian groups means of transport across the Mozambique Channel from Africa to Madagascar was either by traversing on exposed land masses across a land bridge or by swimming/rafting, since (1) Madagascar has been separated from mainland Africa for at least 70 my before their arrival, and (2) it is unlikely that similar ancestral lineage's evolved simultaneously in separated regions. No evidence has been found for a land bridge across the Mozambique Channel. The mammals thus either swam or have been swept away on vegetation mats from rivers flowing out of Mozambique or Tanzania.

  4. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaffney, E. A.; Gadêlha, H.; Smith, D. J.; Blake, J. R.; Kirkman-Brown, J. C.

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian spermatozoa motility is a subject of growing importance because of rising human infertility and the possibility of improving animal breeding. We highlight opportunities for fluid and continuum dynamics to provide novel insights concerning the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian sperm through the numerous environments of the female reproductive tract. This process demands certain specific changes to flagellar movement and motility for which further mechanical insight would be valuable, although this requires improved modeling capabilities, particularly to increase our understanding of sperm progression in vivo. We summarize current theoretical studies, highlighting the synergistic combination of imaging and theory in exploring sperm motility, and discuss the challenges for future observational and theoretical studies in understanding the underlying mechanics.

  5. Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain; Girard, Vincent; Azar, Dany; Néraudeau, Didier

    2010-07-01

    Two mammalian hairs have been found in association with an empty puparium in a ˜100-million-year-old amber (Early Cretaceous) from France. Although hair is known to be an ancestral, ubiquitous feature in the crown Mammalia, the structure of Mesozoic hair has never been described. In contrast to fur and hair of some Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals preserved as carbonized filaments, the exceptional preservation of the fossils described here allows for the study of the cuticular structure. Results show the oldest direct evidence of hair with a modern scale pattern. This discovery implies that the morphology of hair cuticula may have remained unchanged throughout most of mammalian evolution. The association of these hairs with a possible fly puparium provides paleoecological information and indicates peculiar taphonomic conditions.

  6. Mammalian Sirtuins: Biological Insights and Disease Relevance

    PubMed Central

    Haigis, Marcia C.; Sinclair, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is accompanied by a decline in the healthy function of multiple organ systems, leading to increased incidence and mortality from diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Historically, researchers have focused on investigating individual pathways in isolated organs as a strategy to identify the root cause of a disease, with hopes of designing better drugs. Studies of aging in yeast led to the discovery of a family of conserved enzymes known as the sirtuins, which affect multiple pathways that increase the life span and the overall health of organisms. Since the discovery of the first known mammalian sirtuin, SIRT1, 10 years ago, there have been major advances in our understanding of the enzymology of sirtuins, their regulation, and their ability to broadly improve mammalian physiology and health span. This review summarizes and discusses the advances of the past decade and the challenges that will confront the field in the coming years. PMID:20078221

  7. Mammalian lipoxygenases and their biological relevance

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Hartmut; Banthiya, Swathi; van Leyen, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) form a heterogeneous class of lipid peroxidizing enzymes, which have been implicated in cell proliferation and differentiation but also in the pathogenesis of various diseases with major public health relevance. As other fatty acid dioxygenases LOX oxidize polyunsaturated fatty acids to their corresponding hydroperoxy derivatives, which are further transformed to bioactive lipid mediators (eicosanoids and related substances). On the other hand, lipoxygenases are key players in regulation of the cellular redox homeostasis, which is an important element in gene expression regulation. Although the first mammalian lipoxygenases were discovered 40 years ago and although the enzymes have been well characterized with respect to their structural and functional properties the biological roles of the different lipoxygenase isoforms are not completely understood. This review is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge on the physiological roles of different mammalian LOX-isoforms and their patho-physiological function in inflammatory, metabolic, hyperproliferative, neurodegenerative and infectious disorders. PMID:25316652

  8. Freezing mammalian cells for production of biopharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Seth, Gargi

    2012-03-01

    Cryopreservation techniques utilize very low temperatures to preserve the structure and function of living cells. Various strategies have been developed for freezing mammalian cells of biological and medical significance. This paper highlights the importance and application of cryopreservation for recombinant mammalian cells used in the biopharmaceutical industry to produce high-value protein therapeutics. It is a primer that aims to give insight into the basic principles of cell freezing for the benefit of biopharmaceutical researchers with limited or no prior experience in cryobiology. For the more familiar researchers, key cell banking parameters such as the cell density and hold conditions have been reviewed to possibly help optimize their specific cell freezing protocols. It is important to understand the mechanisms underlying the freezing of complex and sensitive cellular entities as we implement best practices around the techniques and strategies used for cryopreservation. PMID:22226818

  9. Evolution of Mitochondria Reconstructed from the Energy Metabolism of Living Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Degli Esposti, Mauro; Chouaia, Bessem; Comandatore, Francesco; Crotti, Elena; Sassera, Davide; Lievens, Patricia Marie-Jeanne; Daffonchio, Daniele; Bandi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    The ancestors of mitochondria, or proto-mitochondria, played a crucial role in the evolution of eukaryotic cells and derived from symbiotic α-proteobacteria which merged with other microorganisms - the basis of the widely accepted endosymbiotic theory. However, the identity and relatives of proto-mitochondria remain elusive. Here we show that methylotrophic α-proteobacteria could be the closest living models for mitochondrial ancestors. We reached this conclusion after reconstructing the possible evolutionary pathways of the bioenergy systems of proto-mitochondria with a genomic survey of extant α-proteobacteria. Results obtained with complementary molecular and genetic analyses of diverse bioenergetic proteins converge in indicating the pathway stemming from methylotrophic bacteria as the most probable route of mitochondrial evolution. Contrary to other α-proteobacteria, methylotrophs show transition forms for the bioenergetic systems analysed. Our approach of focusing on these bioenergetic systems overcomes the phylogenetic impasse that has previously complicated the search for mitochondrial ancestors. Moreover, our results provide a new perspective for experimentally re-evolving mitochondria from extant bacteria and in the future produce synthetic mitochondria. PMID:24804722

  10. Evolution of mitochondria reconstructed from the energy metabolism of living bacteria.

    PubMed

    Degli Esposti, Mauro; Chouaia, Bessem; Comandatore, Francesco; Crotti, Elena; Sassera, Davide; Lievens, Patricia Marie-Jeanne; Daffonchio, Daniele; Bandi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    The ancestors of mitochondria, or proto-mitochondria, played a crucial role in the evolution of eukaryotic cells and derived from symbiotic α-proteobacteria which merged with other microorganisms - the basis of the widely accepted endosymbiotic theory. However, the identity and relatives of proto-mitochondria remain elusive. Here we show that methylotrophic α-proteobacteria could be the closest living models for mitochondrial ancestors. We reached this conclusion after reconstructing the possible evolutionary pathways of the bioenergy systems of proto-mitochondria with a genomic survey of extant α-proteobacteria. Results obtained with complementary molecular and genetic analyses of diverse bioenergetic proteins converge in indicating the pathway stemming from methylotrophic bacteria as the most probable route of mitochondrial evolution. Contrary to other α-proteobacteria, methylotrophs show transition forms for the bioenergetic systems analysed. Our approach of focusing on these bioenergetic systems overcomes the phylogenetic impasse that has previously complicated the search for mitochondrial ancestors. Moreover, our results provide a new perspective for experimentally re-evolving mitochondria from extant bacteria and in the future produce synthetic mitochondria. PMID:24804722

  11. Structure and function of mammalian aldehyde oxidases.

    PubMed

    Terao, Mineko; Romão, Maria João; Leimkühler, Silke; Bolis, Marco; Fratelli, Maddalena; Coelho, Catarina; Santos-Silva, Teresa; Garattini, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    Mammalian aldehyde oxidases (AOXs; EC1.2.3.1) are a group of conserved proteins belonging to the family of molybdo-flavoenzymes along with the structurally related xanthine dehydrogenase enzyme. AOXs are characterized by broad substrate specificity, oxidizing not only aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes into the corresponding carboxylic acids, but also hydroxylating a series of heteroaromatic rings. The number of AOX isoenzymes expressed in different vertebrate species is variable. The two extremes are represented by humans, which express a single enzyme (AOX1) in many organs and mice or rats which are characterized by tissue-specific expression of four isoforms (AOX1, AOX2, AOX3, and AOX4). In vertebrates each AOX isoenzyme is the product of a distinct gene consisting of 35 highly conserved exons. The extant species-specific complement of AOX isoenzymes is the result of a complex evolutionary process consisting of a first phase characterized by a series of asynchronous gene duplications and a second phase where the pseudogenization and gene deletion events prevail. In the last few years remarkable advances in the elucidation of the structural characteristics and the catalytic mechanisms of mammalian AOXs have been made thanks to the successful crystallization of human AOX1 and mouse AOX3. Much less is known about the physiological function and physiological substrates of human AOX1 and other mammalian AOX isoenzymes, although the importance of these proteins in xenobiotic metabolism is fairly well established and their relevance in drug development is increasing. This review article provides an overview and a discussion of the current knowledge on mammalian AOX. PMID:26920149

  12. Glia in mammalian development and disease.

    PubMed

    Zuchero, J Bradley; Barres, Ben A

    2015-11-15

    Glia account for more than half of the cells in the mammalian nervous system, and the past few decades have witnessed a flood of studies that detail novel functions for glia in nervous system development, plasticity and disease. Here, and in the accompanying poster, we review the origins of glia and discuss their diverse roles during development, in the adult nervous system and in the context of disease. PMID:26577203

  13. Mammalian cells contain a second nucleocytoplasmic hexosaminidase.

    PubMed

    Gutternigg, Martin; Rendić, Dubravko; Voglauer, Regina; Iskratsch, Thomas; Wilson, Iain B H

    2009-04-01

    Some thirty years ago, work on mammalian tissues suggested the presence of two cytosolic hexosaminidases in mammalian cells; one of these has been more recently characterized in a recombinant form and has an important role in cellular function due to its ability to cleave beta-N-acetylglucosamine residues from a variety of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. However, the molecular nature of the second cytosolic hexosaminidase, named hexosaminidase D, has remained obscure. In the present study, we molecularly characterize for the first time the human and murine recombinant forms of enzymes, encoded by HEXDC genes, which appear to correspond to hexosaminidase D in terms of substrate specificity, pH dependency and temperature stability. Furthermore, a Myc-tagged form of this novel hexosaminidase displays a nucleocytoplasmic localization. Transcripts of the corresponding gene are expressed in a number of murine tissues. On the basis of its sequence, this enzyme represents, along with the lysosomal hexosaminidase subunits encoded by the HEXA and HEXB genes, the third class 20 glycosidase to be identified from mammalian sources. PMID:19040401

  14. [Telomere Recombination in Normal Mammalian Cells].

    PubMed

    Zhdanova, N S; Rubtsov, N B

    2016-01-01

    Two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance are known to date. The first includes the use of a special enzymatic telomerase complex to solve the problems that arise during the replication of linear DNA in a normal diploid and part of tumor cells. Alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), which is based on the homologous recombination of telomere DNA, represents the second mechanism. Until recently, ALT was assumed to be expressed only in 15-20% of tumors lacking active telomerase and, together with telomerase reactivation represented one of two possibilities to overcome the replicative senescence observed in somatic mammalian cells due to aging or during cell culturing in vitro. Previously described sporadic cases of combinations of the two mechanisms of telomere length maintenance in several cell lines in vitro were attributed to the experimental design rather than to a real biological phenomenon, since active cellular division without active telomerase was considered to be the "gold standard" of ALT. The present review describes the morphological and functional reorganizations of mammalian telomeres observed with ALT activation, as well as recently observed,and well-documented cases of combinations between ALT-like and telomerase-dependent mechanisms in mammalian cells. The possible role of telomere recombination in telomerase-dependent cells is discussed. PMID:27183789

  15. Aneuploidy in mammalian somatic cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Cimino, M C; Tice, R R; Liang, J C

    1986-01-01

    Aneuploidy is an important potential source of human disease and of reproductive failure. Nevertheless, the ability of chemical agents to induce aneuploidy has been investigated only sporadically in intact (whole-animal) mammalian systems. A search of the available literature from the EMCT Aneuploidy File (for years 1970-1983) provided 112 papers that dealt with aneuploidy in mammalian somatic cells in vivo. 59 of these papers did not meet minimal criteria for analysis and were rejected from subsequent review. Of the remaining 53 papers that dealt with aneuploidy induction by chemical agents in mammalian somatic cells in vivo, only 3 (6%) contained data that were considered to be supported conclusively by adequate study designs, execution, and reporting. These 3 papers dealt with 2 chemicals, one of which, mercury, was negative for aneuploidy induction in humans, and the other, pyrimethamine, was positive in an experimental rodent study. The majority of papers (94%) were considered inconclusive for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for calling a study inconclusive were (a) combining data on hyperploidy with those on hypoploidy and/or polyploidy, (b) an inadequate or unspecified number of animals and/or cells per animal scored per treatment group, and (c) poor data presentation such that animal-to-animal variability could not be assessed. Suggestions for protocol development are made, and the future directions of research into aneuploidy induction are discussed. PMID:3941670

  16. Education for Reconstruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, David; And Others

    This report describes the main questions that various international agencies must address in order to reconstruct education in countries that have experienced crisis. "Crisis" is defined as war, natural disaster, and extreme political and economic upheaval. Many of the problems of educational reconstruction with which the Allies contended in…

  17. Bitzer's Model Reconstructed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lybarger, Scott; Smith, Craig R.

    1996-01-01

    Reconstructs Lloyd Bitzer's situational model to serve as a guide for the generation of multiperspectival critical assessments of rhetorical discourse. Uses two of President Bush's speeches on the drug crisis to illustrate how the reconstructed model can account for such modern problems as multiple audiences, perceptions, and exigencies. (PA)

  18. Full-Length Enriched cDNA Libraries and ORFeome Analysis of Sugarcane Hybrid and Ancestor Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Scott; Pörtner-Taliana, Antje; Souza, Glaucia Mendes

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane is a major crop used for food and bioenergy production. Modern cultivars are hybrids derived from crosses between Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum. Hybrid cultivars combine favorable characteristics from ancestral species and contain a genome that is highly polyploid and aneuploid, containing 100–130 chromosomes. These complex genomes represent a huge challenge for molecular studies and for the development of biotechnological tools that can facilitate sugarcane improvement. Here, we describe full-length enriched cDNA libraries for Saccharum officinarum, Saccharum spontaneum, and one hybrid genotype (SP803280) and analyze the set of open reading frames (ORFs) in their genomes (i.e., their ORFeomes). We found 38,195 (19%) sugarcane-specific transcripts that did not match transcripts from other databases. Less than 1.6% of all transcripts were ancestor-specific (i.e., not expressed in SP803280). We also found 78,008 putative new sugarcane transcripts that were absent in the largest sugarcane expressed sequence tag database (SUCEST). Functional annotation showed a high frequency of protein kinases and stress-related proteins. We also detected natural antisense transcript expression, which mapped to 94% of all plant KEGG pathways; however, each genotype showed different pathways enriched in antisense transcripts. Our data appeared to cover 53.2% (17,563 genes) and 46.8% (937 transcription factors) of all sugarcane full-length genes and transcription factors, respectively. This work represents a significant advancement in defining the sugarcane ORFeome and will be useful for protein characterization, single nucleotide polymorphism and splicing variant identification, evolutionary and comparative studies, and sugarcane genome assembly and annotation. PMID:25222706

  19. Classification of pmoA amplicon pyrosequences using BLAST and the lowest common ancestor method in MEGAN

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, Marc G.; Lüke, Claudia; Deng, Yongcui; Frenzel, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The classification of high-throughput sequencing data of protein-encoding genes is not as well established as for 16S rRNA. The objective of this work was to develop a simple and accurate method of classifying large datasets of pmoA sequences, a common marker for methanotrophic bacteria. A taxonomic system for pmoA was developed based on a phylogenetic analysis of available sequences. The taxonomy incorporates the known diversity of pmoA present in public databases, including both sequences from cultivated and uncultivated organisms. Representative sequences from closely related genes, such as those encoding the bacterial ammonia monooxygenase, were also included in the pmoA taxonomy. In total, 53 low-level taxa (genus-level) are included. Using previously published datasets of high-throughput pmoA amplicon sequence data, we tested two approaches for classifying pmoA: a naïve Bayesian classifier and BLAST. Classification of pmoA sequences based on BLAST analyses was performed using the lowest common ancestor (LCA) algorithm in MEGAN, a software program commonly used for the analysis of metagenomic data. Both the naïve Bayesian and BLAST methods were able to classify pmoA sequences and provided similar classifications; however, the naïve Bayesian classifier was prone to misclassifying contaminant sequences present in the datasets. Another advantage of the BLAST/LCA method was that it provided a user-interpretable output and enabled novelty detection at various levels, from highly divergent pmoA sequences to genus-level novelty. PMID:22558000

  20. Origin of the genetic components of the vomeronasal system in the common ancestor of all extant vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Grus, Wendy E; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2009-02-01

    Comparative genomics provides a valuable tool for inferring the evolutionary history of physiological systems, particularly when this information is difficult to ascertain by morphological traits. One such example is the vomeronasal system (VNS), a vertebrate nasal chemosensory system that is responsible for detecting intraspecific pheromonal cues as well as environmental odorants. The morphological components of the VNS are found only in tetrapods, but the genetic components of the system have been found in teleost fish, in addition to tetrapods. To determine when the genetic components of the VNS originated, we searched for the VNS-specific genes in the genomes of two early diverging vertebrate lineages: the sea lamprey from jawless fishes and the elephant shark from cartilaginous fishes. Genes encoding vomeronasal type 1 receptors (V1Rs) and Trpc2, two components of the vomeronasal signaling pathway, are present in the sea lamprey genome, and both are expressed in the olfactory organ, revealing that the genetic components of the present-day VNS existed in the common ancestor of all extant vertebrates. Additionally, all three VNS genes, Trpc2, V1Rs, and vomeronasal type 2 receptors (V2Rs), are found in the elephant shark genome. Because V1Rs and V2Rs are related to two families of taste receptors, we also searched the early diverging vertebrate genomes for taste system genes and found them in the shark genome but not in the lamprey. Coupled with known distributions of the genetic components of the vertebrate main olfactory system, our results suggest staggered origins of vertebrate sensory systems. These findings are important for understanding the evolution of vertebrate sensory systems and illustrate the utility of the genome sequences of early diverging vertebrates for uncovering the evolution of vertebrate-specific traits. PMID:19008528

  1. Genome sequence of the fish pathogen Renibacterium salmoninarum suggests reductive evolution away from an environmental Arthrobacter ancestor.

    PubMed

    Wiens, Gregory D; Rockey, Daniel D; Wu, Zaining; Chang, Jean; Levy, Ruth; Crane, Samuel; Chen, Donald S; Capri, Gina R; Burnett, Jeffrey R; Sudheesh, Ponnerassery S; Schipma, Matthew J; Burd, Henry; Bhattacharyya, Anamitra; Rhodes, Linda D; Kaul, Rajinder; Strom, Mark S

    2008-11-01

    Renibacterium salmoninarum is the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease and a significant threat to healthy and sustainable production of salmonid fish worldwide. This pathogen is difficult to culture in vitro, genetic manipulation is challenging, and current therapies and preventative strategies are only marginally effective in preventing disease. The complete genome of R. salmoninarum ATCC 33209 was sequenced and shown to be a 3,155,250-bp circular chromosome that is predicted to contain 3,507 open-reading frames (ORFs). A total of 80 copies of three different insertion sequence elements are interspersed throughout the genome. Approximately 21% of the predicted ORFs have been inactivated via frameshifts, point mutations, insertion sequences, and putative deletions. The R. salmoninarum genome has extended regions of synteny to the Arthrobacter sp. strain FB24 and Arthrobacter aurescens TC1 genomes, but it is approximately 1.9 Mb smaller than both Arthrobacter genomes and has a lower G+C content, suggesting that significant genome reduction has occurred since divergence from the last common ancestor. A limited set of putative virulence factors appear to have been acquired via horizontal transmission after divergence of the species; these factors include capsular polysaccharides, heme sequestration molecules, and the major secreted cell surface antigen p57 (also known as major soluble antigen). Examination of the genome revealed a number of ORFs homologous to antibiotic resistance genes, including genes encoding beta-lactamases, efflux proteins, macrolide glycosyltransferases, and rRNA methyltransferases. The genome sequence provides new insights into R. salmoninarum evolution and may facilitate identification of chemotherapeutic targets and vaccine candidates that can be used for prevention and treatment of infections in cultured salmonids. PMID:18723615

  2. Comparative analysis of the gonadal transcriptomes of the all-female species Poecilia formosa and its maternal ancestor Poecilia mexicana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa (Teleostei: Poeciliinae) is an unisexual, all-female species. It evolved through the hybridisation of two closely related sexual species and exhibits clonal reproduction by sperm dependent parthenogenesis (or gynogenesis) where the sperm of a parental species is only used to activate embryogenesis of the apomictic, diploid eggs but does not contribute genetic material to the offspring. Here we provide and describe the first de novo assembled transcriptome of the Amazon molly in comparison with its maternal ancestor, the Atlantic molly Poecilia mexicana. The transcriptome data were produced through sequencing of single end libraries (100 bp) with the Illumina sequencing technique. Results 83,504,382 reads for the Amazon molly and 81,625,840 for the Atlantic molly were assembled into 127,283 and 78,961 contigs for the Amazon molly and the Atlantic molly, respectively. 63% resp. 57% of the contigs could be annotated with gene ontology terms after sequence similarity comparisons. Furthermore, we were able to identify genes normally involved in reproduction and especially in meiosis also in the transcriptome dataset of the apomictic reproducing Amazon molly. Conclusions We assembled and annotated the transcriptome of a non-model organism, the Amazon molly, without a reference genome (de novo). The obtained dataset is a fundamental resource for future research in functional and expression analysis. Also, the presence of 30 meiosis-specific genes within a species where no meiosis is known to take place is remarkable and raises new questions for future research. PMID:24742317

  3. The CMS Reconstruction Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, David J.; CMS Collaboration

    2011-12-01

    We report on the status and plans for the event reconstruction software of the CMS experiment. The CMS reconstruction algorithms are the basis for a wide range of data analysis approaches currently under study by the CMS collaboration using the first high-energy run of the LHC. These algorithms have been primarily developed and validated using simulated data samples, and are now being commissioned with LHC proton-proton collision data samples. The CMS reconstruction is now operated routinely on all events triggered by the CMS detector, both in a close to real-time prompt reconstruction processing and in frequent passes over the full recorded CMS data set. We discuss the overall software design, development cycle, computational requirements and performance, recent operational performance, and planned improvements of the CMS reconstruction software.

  4. Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in Anatomically-Accurate Models of the Mammalian Nasal Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumple, C.; Richter, J.; Craven, B. A.; Krane, M.

    2012-11-01

    A summary of the research being carried out by our multidisciplinary team to better understand the form and function of the nose in different mammalian species that include humans, carnivores, ungulates, rodents, and marine animals will be presented. The mammalian nose houses a convoluted airway labyrinth, where two hallmark features of mammals occur, endothermy and olfaction. Because of the complexity of the nasal cavity, the anatomy and function of these upper airways remain poorly understood in most mammals. However, recent advances in high-resolution medical imaging, computational modeling, and experimental flow measurement techniques are now permitting the study of airflow and respiratory and olfactory transport phenomena in anatomically-accurate reconstructions of the nasal cavity. Here, we focus on efforts to manufacture transparent, anatomically-accurate models for stereo particle image velocimetry (SPIV) measurements of nasal airflow. Challenges in the design and manufacture of index-matched anatomical models are addressed and preliminary SPIV measurements are presented. Such measurements will constitute a validation database for concurrent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of mammalian respiration and olfaction. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  5. Effects of Global Warming on Ancient Mammalian Communities and Their Environments

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.; Feranec, Robert S.; MacFadden, Bruce J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Current global warming affects the composition and dynamics of mammalian communities and can increase extinction risk; however, long-term effects of warming on mammals are less understood. Dietary reconstructions inferred from stable isotopes of fossil herbivorous mammalian tooth enamel document environmental and climatic changes in ancient ecosystems, including C3/C4 transitions and relative seasonality. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we use stable carbon and oxygen isotopes preserved in fossil teeth to document the magnitude of mammalian dietary shifts and ancient floral change during geologically documented glacial and interglacial periods during the Pliocene (∼1.9 million years ago) and Pleistocene (∼1.3 million years ago) in Florida. Stable isotope data demonstrate increased aridity, increased C4 grass consumption, inter-faunal dietary partitioning, increased isotopic niche breadth of mixed feeders, niche partitioning of phylogenetically similar taxa, and differences in relative seasonality with warming. Conclusion/Significance Our data show that global warming resulted in dramatic vegetation and dietary changes even at lower latitudes (∼28°N). Our results also question the use of models that predict the long term decline and extinction of species based on the assumption that niches are conserved over time. These findings have immediate relevance to clarifying possible biotic responses to current global warming in modern ecosystems. PMID:19492043

  6. Rapid evolution and diversification of mammalian alpha-defensins as revealed by comparative analysis of rodent and primate genes.

    PubMed

    Patil, Amar; Hughes, Austin L; Zhang, Guolong

    2004-12-15

    Mammalian alpha-defensins constitute a family of cysteine-rich, cationic antimicrobial peptides produced by phagocytes and intestinal Paneth cells, playing an important role in innate host defense. Following comprehensive computational searches, here we report the discovery of complete repertoires of the alpha-defensin gene family in the human, chimpanzee, rat, and mouse with new genes identified in each species. The human genome was found to encode a cluster of 10 distinct alpha-defensin genes and pseudogenes expanding 132 kb continuously on chromosome 8p23. Such alpha-defensin loci are also conserved in the syntenic chromosomal regions of chimpanzee, rat, and mouse. Phylogenetic analyses showed formation of two distinct clusters with primate alpha-defensins forming one cluster and rodent enteric alpha-defensins forming the other cluster. Species-specific clustering of genes is evident in nonprimate species but not in the primates. Phylogenetically distinct subsets of alpha-defensins also exist in each species, with most subsets containing multiple members. In addition, natural selection appears to have acted to diversify the functionally active mature defensin region but not signal or prosegment sequences. We concluded that mammalian alpha-defensin genes may have evolved from two separate ancestors originated from beta-defensins. The current repertoires of the alpha-defensin gene family in each species are primarily a result of repeated gene duplication and positive diversifying selection after divergence of mammalian species from each other, except for the primate genes, which were evolved prior to the separation of the primate species. We argue that the presence of multiple, divergent subsets of alpha-defensins in each species may help animals to better cope with different microbial challenges in the ecological niches which they inhabit. PMID:15494476

  7. Shadows on a changing landscape: comparing nesting patterns of hominids and chimpanzees since their last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Sept, J

    1998-01-01

    Studying the evolution of nesting behavior within the human-chimpanzee clade is problematic because evidence is sparse and difficult to interpret. Lacking a fossil or archaeological record for proto-chimpanzees, reconstructions of the antecedents of modern chimp nesting patterns can be reconstructed only from careful studies of variation in current chimpanzee and bonobo nesting patterns within the context of spatial and temporal landscape parameters. The ethology of nesting also provides an important frame of reference for reconstructions of early hominid nesting behavior. If the contemporary contrast between human and chimpanzee nesting patterns is seen as an evolutionary dichotomy, then African prehistoric landmarks that mark the origin of this split might include bipedalism and the origins of the hominidae, the first stone tools and the origins of Homo, the developmental and behavioral adaptations of Homo ergaster, shifts in Late Acheulian settlement patterns, and the origins of anatomically modern humans and the Middle Stone Age. The issue of whether Early Stone Age archaeological sites were used for nesting is unresolved because potential markers of such behavior, such as hearths, structures, or bedding, are not unambiguously recognizable in the archaeological record until the Middle Stone Age. PMID:9730215

  8. Keyhole Flap Nipple Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Cash, Camille G.; Iman, Al-Haj; Spiegel, Aldona J.; Cronin, Ernest D.

    2016-01-01

    Summary: Nipple-areola reconstruction is often one of the final but most challenging aspects of breast reconstruction. However, it is an integral and important component of breast reconstruction because it transforms the mound into a breast. We performed 133 nipple-areola reconstructions during a period of 4 years. Of these reconstructions, 76 of 133 nipple-areola complexes were reconstructed using the keyhole flap technique. The tissue used for the keyhole dermoadipose flap technique include transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flaps (60/76), latissimus dorsi flaps (15/76), or mastectomy skin flaps after tissue expanders (1/76). The average patient follow-up was 17 months. The design of the flap is based on a keyhole configuration. The base of the flap determines the width of the future nipple, whereas the length of the flap determines the projection. We try to match the projection of the contralateral nipple if present. The keyhole flap is simple to construct yet reliable. It provides good symmetry and projection and avoids the creation of new scars. The areola is then tattooed approximately 3 months after the nipple reconstruction.

  9. Keyhole Flap Nipple Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Chen, Joseph I; Cash, Camille G; Iman, Al-Haj; Spiegel, Aldona J; Cronin, Ernest D

    2016-05-01

    Nipple-areola reconstruction is often one of the final but most challenging aspects of breast reconstruction. However, it is an integral and important component of breast reconstruction because it transforms the mound into a breast. We performed 133 nipple-areola reconstructions during a period of 4 years. Of these reconstructions, 76 of 133 nipple-areola complexes were reconstructed using the keyhole flap technique. The tissue used for the keyhole dermoadipose flap technique include transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flaps (60/76), latissimus dorsi flaps (15/76), or mastectomy skin flaps after tissue expanders (1/76). The average patient follow-up was 17 months. The design of the flap is based on a keyhole configuration. The base of the flap determines the width of the future nipple, whereas the length of the flap determines the projection. We try to match the projection of the contralateral nipple if present. The keyhole flap is simple to construct yet reliable. It provides good symmetry and projection and avoids the creation of new scars. The areola is then tattooed approximately 3 months after the nipple reconstruction. PMID:27579228

  10. Nasal reconstruction after epithelioma.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Camps, S

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we present our procedure for the treatment, histopathological diagnosis, and resection of skin cancer in the nasal pyramid and its subsequent reconstruction. Because we are dealing with the most important anatomical feature of the face our goal is an aesthetic reconstruction [2,4] according to the anatomical subunits criterion of Burget [3]. First, a histopathological diagnosis is made to determine the nature of the tumor. Then, we proceed with the resection according to the Mohs Micrographic Surgery [1,5,7]. Then we begin with the first step of the nasal reconstruction. PMID:11568830

  11. Evolutionary reconstruction of networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipsen, Mads; Mikhailov, Alexander S.

    2002-10-01

    Can a graph specifying the pattern of connections of a dynamical network be reconstructed from statistical properties of a signal generated by such a system? In this model study, we present a Metropolis algorithm for reconstruction of graphs from their Laplacian spectra. Through a stochastic process of mutations and selection, evolving test networks converge to a reference graph. Applying the method to several examples of random graphs, clustered graphs, and small-world networks, we show that the proposed stochastic evolution allows exact reconstruction of relatively small networks and yields good approximations in the case of large sizes.

  12. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhengting; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees reconstructed from molecular sequences are often considered more reliable than those reconstructed from morphological characters, in part because convergent evolution, which confounds phylogenetic reconstruction, is believed to be rarer for molecular sequences than for morphologies. However, neither the validity of this belief nor its underlying cause is known. Here comparing thousands of characters of each type that have been used for inferring the phylogeny of mammals, we find that on average morphological characters indeed experience much more convergences than amino acid sites, but this disparity is explained by fewer states per character rather than an intrinsically higher susceptibility to convergence for morphologies than sequences. We show by computer simulation and actual data analysis that a simple method for identifying and removing convergence-prone characters improves phylogenetic accuracy, potentially enabling, when necessary, the inclusion of morphologies and hence fossils for reliable tree inference. PMID:27585543

  13. A new method for estimating species age supports the coexistence of malaria parasites and their Mammalian hosts.

    PubMed

    Silva, Joana C; Egan, Amy; Arze, Cesar; Spouge, John L; Harris, David G

    2015-05-01

    Species in the genus Plasmodium cause malaria in humans and infect a variety of mammals and other vertebrates. Currently, estimated ages for several mammalian Plasmodium parasites differ by as much as one order of magnitude, an inaccuracy that frustrates reliable estimation of evolutionary rates of disease-related traits. We developed a novel statistical approach to dating the relative age of evolutionary lineages, based on Total Least Squares regression. We validated this lineage dating approach by applying it to the genus Drosophila. Using data from the Drosophila 12 Genomes project, our approach accurately reconstructs the age of well-established Drosophila clades, including the speciation event that led to the subgenera Drosophila and Sophophora, and age of the melanogaster species subgroup. We applied this approach to hundreds of loci from seven mammalian Plasmodium species. We demonstrate the existence of a molecular clock specific to individual Plasmodium proteins, and estimate the relative age of mammalian-infecting Plasmodium. These analyses indicate that: 1) the split between the human parasite Plasmodium vivax and P. knowlesi, from Old World monkeys, occurred 6.1 times earlier than that between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi, parasites of humans and chimpanzees, respectively; and 2) mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated 22 times earlier than the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi. Calibrating the absolute divergence times for Plasmodium with eukaryotic substitution rates, we show that the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi occurred 3.0-5.5 Ma, and that mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated over 64 Ma. Our results indicate that mammalian-infecting Plasmodium evolved contemporaneously with their hosts, with little evidence for parasite host-switching on an evolutionary scale, and provide a solid timeframe within which to place the evolution of new Plasmodium species. PMID:25589738

  14. A New Method for Estimating Species Age Supports the Coexistence of Malaria Parasites and Their Mammalian Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Joana C.; Egan, Amy; Arze, Cesar; Spouge, John L.; Harris, David G.

    2015-01-01

    Species in the genus Plasmodium cause malaria in humans and infect a variety of mammals and other vertebrates. Currently, estimated ages for several mammalian Plasmodium parasites differ by as much as one order of magnitude, an inaccuracy that frustrates reliable estimation of evolutionary rates of disease-related traits. We developed a novel statistical approach to dating the relative age of evolutionary lineages, based on Total Least Squares regression. We validated this lineage dating approach by applying it to the genus Drosophila. Using data from the Drosophila 12 Genomes project, our approach accurately reconstructs the age of well-established Drosophila clades, including the speciation event that led to the subgenera Drosophila and Sophophora, and age of the melanogaster species subgroup. We applied this approach to hundreds of loci from seven mammalian Plasmodium species. We demonstrate the existence of a molecular clock specific to individual Plasmodium proteins, and estimate the relative age of mammalian-infecting Plasmodium. These analyses indicate that: 1) the split between the human parasite Plasmodium vivax and P. knowlesi, from Old World monkeys, occurred 6.1 times earlier than that between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi, parasites of humans and chimpanzees, respectively; and 2) mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated 22 times earlier than the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi. Calibrating the absolute divergence times for Plasmodium with eukaryotic substitution rates, we show that the split between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi occurred 3.0–5.5 Ma, and that mammalian Plasmodium parasites originated over 64 Ma. Our results indicate that mammalian-infecting Plasmodium evolved contemporaneously with their hosts, with little evidence for parasite host-switching on an evolutionary scale, and provide a solid timeframe within which to place the evolution of new Plasmodium species. PMID:25589738

  15. Specific mutations in the HEXA gene among Iraqi Jewish Tay-Sachs disease carriers: dating of founder ancestor.

    PubMed

    Karpati, Mazal; Gazit, Ephraim; Goldman, Boleslaw; Frisch, Amos; Colombo, Roberto; Peleg, Leah

    2004-02-01

    The incidence of Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) carriers, as defined by enzyme assay, is 1:29 among Ashkenazi Jews and 1:110 among Moroccan Jews. An elevated carrier frequency of 1:140 was also observed in the Iraqi Jews (IJ), while in other Israeli populations the world's pan-ethnic frequency of approximately 1:280 has been found. Recently a novel mutation, G749T, has been reported in 38.7% of the IJ carriers (24/62). Here we report a second novel HEXA mutation specific to the IJ TDS carriers: a substitution of cytosine 1351 by guanosine (C1351G), resulting in the change of leucine to valine in position 451. This mutation was found in 33.9% (21/62) of the carriers and in none of 100 non-carrier IJ. In addition to the two specific mutations, 14.5% (9/62) of the IJ carriers bear a known "Jewish" mutation (Ashkenazi or Moroccan) and 11.3% (7/62) carry a known "non-Jewish" mutation. In 1 DNA sample no mutation has yet been detected. To investigate the genetic history of the IJ-specific mutations (C1351G and G749T), the allelic distribution of four polymorphic markers (D15S131, D15S1025, D15S981, D15S1050) was analyzed in IJ heterozygotes and ethnically matched controls. Based on linkage disequilibrium, recombination factor (theta) between the markers and mutated loci, and the population growth correction, we deduced that G749T occurred in a founder ancestor 44.8 +/- 14.2 generations (g) ago [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.0-72.6 g] and C1351G arose 80.4 +/- 35.9 g ago (95% CI 44.5-116.3 g). Thus, the estimated dates for introduction of mutations are: 626 +/- 426 A.D. (200-1052 A.D.) for G749T and 442 +/- 1077 B.C. (1519 B.C. to 635 A.D.) for C1351G. PMID:14648242

  16. SARS-Coronavirus ancestor's foot-prints in South-East Asian bat colonies and the refuge theory.

    PubMed

    Gouilh, Meriadeg Ar; Puechmaille, Sébastien J; Gonzalez, Jean-Paul; Teeling, Emma; Kittayapong, Pattamaporn; Manuguerra, Jean-Claude

    2011-10-01

    phylogeny and the host/pathogen ecological interactions in the description and the understanding of pathogen emergence. The host's phylogeny, biogeography and behaviour, combined with already described roles of pathogen plasticity and anthropic changes are likely to be co-factors of disease emergence. Elucidating the common ancestor of Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae is key to understanding the evolutionary history of actual betacoronaviruses and therefore to get an insight of the deep origin of SARS-CoV. PMID:21763784

  17. Flow cytometric sexing of mammalian sperm.

    PubMed

    Garner, Duane L

    2006-03-15

    This review reexamines parameters needed for optimization of flow cytometric sexing mammalian sperm and updates the current status of sperm sexing for various species where this technology is currently being applied. Differences in DNA content have provided both a method to differentiate between these sex-determining gametes and a method to sort them that can be used for predetermining sex in mammals. Although the DNA content of all cells for each mammalian species is highly conserved, slight but measurable DNA content differences of sperm occur within species even among cattle breeds due to different sizes of Y-chromosomes. Most mammals produce flattened, oval-headed sperm that can be oriented within a sorter using hydrodynamic forces. Multiplying the percentage the difference in DNA content of the X- or Y-chromosome bearing sperm times the area of the flat profile of the sperm head gives a simple sorting index that suggests that bull and boar sperm are well suited for separation in a flow sorter. Successful sperm sexing of various species must take into account the relative susceptibilities of gametes to the stresses that occur during sexing. Sorting conditions must be optimized for each species to achieve acceptable sperm sexing efficiency, usually at 90% accuracy. In the commercial application of sperm sexing to cattle, fertility of sex-sorted bull sperm at 2 x 10(6)/dose remains at 70-80% of unsexed sperm at normal doses of 10 to 20 x 10(6) sperm. DNA content measurements have been used to identify the sex-chromosome bearing sperm populations with good accuracy in semen from at least 23 mammalian species, and normal-appearing offspring have been produced from sexed sperm of at least seven species. PMID:16242764

  18. Structure of transcribing mammalian RNA polymerase II.

    PubMed

    Bernecky, Carrie; Herzog, Franz; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Cramer, Patrick

    2016-01-28

    RNA polymerase (Pol) II produces messenger RNA during transcription of protein-coding genes in all eukaryotic cells. The Pol II structure is known at high resolution from X-ray crystallography for two yeast species. Structural studies of mammalian Pol II, however, remain limited to low-resolution electron microscopy analysis of human Pol II and its complexes with various proteins. Here we report the 3.4 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of mammalian Pol II in the form of a transcribing complex comprising DNA template and RNA transcript. We use bovine Pol II, which is identical to the human enzyme except for seven amino-acid residues. The obtained atomic model closely resembles its yeast counterpart, but also reveals unknown features. Binding of nucleic acids to the polymerase involves 'induced fit' of the mobile Pol II clamp and active centre region. DNA downstream of the transcription bubble contacts a conserved 'TPSA motif' in the jaw domain of the Pol II subunit RPB5, an interaction that is apparently already established during transcription initiation. Upstream DNA emanates from the active centre cleft at an angle of approximately 105° with respect to downstream DNA. This position of upstream DNA allows for binding of the general transcription elongation factor DSIF (SPT4-SPT5) that we localize over the active centre cleft in a conserved position on the clamp domain of Pol II. Our results define the structure of mammalian Pol II in its functional state, indicate that previous crystallographic analysis of yeast Pol II is relevant for understanding gene transcription in all eukaryotes, and provide a starting point for a mechanistic analysis of human transcription. PMID:26789250

  19. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    PubMed

    DeSantis, Larisa R G; Beavins Tracy, Rachel A; Koontz, Cassandra S; Roseberry, John C; Velasco, Matthew C

    2012-01-01

    Climate change alters species distributions, causing plants and animals to move north or to higher elevations with current warming. Bioclimatic models predict species distributions based on extant realized niches and assume niche conservation. Here, we evaluate if proxies for niches (i.e., range areas) are conserved at the family level through deep time, from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. We analyze the occurrence of all mammalian families in the continental USA, calculating range area, percent range area occupied, range area rank, and range polygon centroids during each epoch. Percent range area occupied significantly increases from the Oligocene to the Miocene and again from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; however, mammalian families maintain statistical concordance between rank orders across time. Families with greater taxonomic diversity occupy a greater percent of available range area during each epoch and net changes in taxonomic diversity are significantly positively related to changes in percent range area occupied from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, gains and losses in generic and species diversity are remarkably consistent with ~2.3 species gained per generic increase. Centroids demonstrate southeastern shifts from the Eocene through the Pleistocene that may correspond to major environmental events and/or climate changes during the Cenozoic. These results demonstrate range conservation at the family level and support the idea that niche conservation at higher taxonomic levels operates over deep time and may be controlled by life history traits. Furthermore, families containing megafauna and/or terminal Pleistocene extinction victims do not incur significantly greater declines in range area rank than families containing only smaller taxa and/or only survivors, from the Pliocene to Pleistocene. Collectively, these data evince the resilience of families to climate and/or environmental change in deep time, the absence of terminal Pleistocene

  20. Stochastic resonance in mammalian neuronal networks

    SciTech Connect

    Gluckman, B.J.; So, P.; Netoff, T.I.; Spano, M.L.; Schiff, S.J. |

    1998-09-01

    We present stochastic resonance observed in the dynamics of neuronal networks from mammalian brain. Both sinusoidal signals and random noise were superimposed into an applied electric field. As the amplitude of the noise component was increased, an optimization (increase then decrease) in the signal-to-noise ratio of the network response to the sinusoidal signal was observed. The relationship between the measures used to characterize the dynamics is discussed. Finally, a computational model of these neuronal networks that includes the neuronal interactions with the electric field is presented to illustrate the physics behind the essential features of the experiment. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  1. Site of Mammalian Sperm Acrosome Reaction.

    PubMed

    Hirohashi, Noritaka

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, no special attention has been paid to the question of the site of mammalian sperm acrosome reaction (AR) in the female reproductive tract. Because AR is an essential process that enables the spermatozoon to fertilize, it is generally believed that it occurs at a specific step during sperm-egg interaction. It is generally thought that "the site of action coincides with the site of commitment." Thus, understanding the roles of AR and acrosomal substances is needed to gain insight into the site of the sperm commitment to undergo AR. PMID:27194354

  2. Mammalian cell culture capacity for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

    PubMed

    Ecker, Dawn M; Ransohoff, Thomas C

    2014-01-01

    : With worldwide sales of biopharmaceuticals increasing each year and continuing growth on the horizon, the manufacture of mammalian biopharmaceuticals has become a major global enterprise. We describe the current and future industry wide supply of manufacturing capacity with regard to capacity type, distribution, and geographic location. Bioreactor capacity and the use of single-use products for biomanufacturing are also profiled. An analysis of the use of this capacity is performed, including a discussion of current trends that will influence capacity growth, availability, and utilization in the coming years. PMID:23748352

  3. Mammalian Developmental Genetics in the Twentieth Century

    PubMed Central

    Artzt, Karen

    2012-01-01

    This Perspectives is a review of the breathtaking history of mammalian genetics in the past century and, in particular, of the ways in which genetic thinking has illuminated aspects of mouse development. To illustrate the power of that thinking, selected hypothesis-driven experiments and technical advances are discussed. Also included in this account are the beginnings of mouse genetics at the Bussey Institute, Columbia University, and The Jackson Laboratory and a retrospective discussion of one of the classic problems in developmental genetics, the T/t complex and its genetic enigmas. PMID:23212897

  4. Apoptotic processes during mammalian preimplantation development.

    PubMed

    Fabian, Dusan; Koppel, Juraj; Maddox-Hyttel, Poul

    2005-07-15

    The paper provides a review of the current state of knowledge on apoptosis during normal preimplantation development based on the literature and on the authors' own findings. Information is focused on the occurrence and the characteristics of spontaneous apoptotic processes. Reports concerning the chronology and the incidence of programmed cell death in mouse, cow, pig and human embryos in early preimplantation stages up to the blastocyst stage are summarized. In addition, specific attributes of the apoptotic process in mammalian preimplantation development are provided, including the description of both morphological and biochemical features of cell death. PMID:15955348

  5. Mammalian Kidney Development: Principles, Progress, and Projections

    PubMed Central

    Little, Melissa H.; McMahon, Andrew P.

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian kidney is a vital organ with considerable cellular complexity and functional diversity. Kidney development is notable for requiring distinct but coincident tubulogenic processes involving reciprocal inductive signals between mesenchymal and epithelial progenitor compartments. Key molecular pathways mediating these interactions have been identified. Further, advances in the analysis of gene expression and gene activity, coupled with a detailed knowledge of cell origins, are enhancing our understanding of kidney morphogenesis and unraveling the normal processes of postnatal repair and identifying disease-causing mechanisms. This article focuses on recent insights into central regulatory processes governing organ assembly and renal disease, and predicts future directions for the field. PMID:22550230

  6. Tension tests on mammalian collagen fibrils.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yehe; Ballarini, Roberto; Eppell, Steven J

    2016-02-01

    A brief overview of isolated collagen fibril mechanics testing is followed by presentation of the first results testing fibrils isolated from load-bearing mammalian tendons using a microelectromechanical systems platform. The in vitro modulus (326 ± 112 MPa) and fracture stress (71 ± 23 MPa) are shown to be lower than previously measured on fibrils extracted from sea cucumber dermis and tested with the same technique. Scanning electron microscope images show the fibrils can fail with a mechanism that involves circumferential rupture, whereas the core of the fibril stays at least partially intact. PMID:26855757

  7. Light-sheet imaging of mammalian development.

    PubMed

    de Medeiros, Gustavo; Balázs, Bálint; Hufnagel, Lars

    2016-07-01

    Tackling modern cell and developmental biology questions requires fast 3D imaging with sub-cellular resolution over extended periods of time. Fluorescence microscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to image biological samples with high spatial and temporal resolution with molecular specificity. In particular, the highly efficient illumination and detection scheme of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy is starting to revolutionize the way we can monitor cellular and developmental processes in vivo. Here we summarize the state-of-the art of light-sheet imaging with a focus on mammalian development - from instrumentation, mounting and sample handling to data processing. PMID:27288888

  8. Mammalian Gravity Receptors: Structure and Metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    Calcium metabolism in mammalian gravity receptors is examined. To accomplish this objective it is necessary to study both the mineral deposits of the receptors, the otoconia, and the sensory areas themselves, the saccular and utricular maculas. The main focus was to elucidate the natures of the organic and inorganic phases of the crystalline masses, first in rat otoconia but more recently in otoliths and otoconia of a comparative series of vertebrates. Some of the ultrastructural findings in rat maculas, however, have prompted a more thorough study of the organization of the hair cells and innervation patterns in graviceptors.

  9. Derivation of the mammalian skull vault

    PubMed Central

    MORRISS-KAY, GILLIAN M.

    2001-01-01

    This review describes the evolutionary history of the mammalian skull vault as a basis for understanding its complex structure. Current information on the developmental tissue origins of the skull vault bones (mesoderm and neural crest) is assessed for mammals and other tetrapods. This information is discussed in the context of evolutionary changes in the proportions of the skull vault bones at the sarcopterygian-tetrapod transition. The dual tissue origin of the skull vault is considered in relation to the molecular mechanisms underlying osteogenic cell proliferation and differentiation in the sutural growth centres and in the proportionate contributions of different sutures to skull growth. PMID:11523816

  10. Advances in Tracheal Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Salna, Michael; Waddell, Thomas K.; Hofer, Stefan O.

    2014-01-01

    Summary: A recent revival of global interest for reconstruction of long-segment tracheal defects, which represents one of the most interesting and complex problems in head and neck and thoracic reconstructive surgery, has been witnessed. The trachea functions as a conduit for air, and its subunits including the epithelial layer, hyaline cartilage, and segmental blood supply make it particularly challenging to reconstruct. A myriad of attempts at replacing the trachea have been described. These along with the anatomy, indications, and approaches including microsurgical tracheal reconstruction will be reviewed. Novel techniques such as tissue-engineering approaches will also be discussed. Multiple attempts at replacing the trachea with synthetic scaffolds have been met with failure. The main lesson learned from such failures is that the trachea must not be treated as a “simple tube.” Understanding the anatomy, developmental biology, physiology, and diseases affecting the trachea are required for solving this problem. PMID:25426361

  11. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Women who have autologous tissue reconstruction may need physical therapy to help them make up for weakness experienced ... 127(1):15–22. [PubMed Abstract] Monteiro M. Physical therapy implications following the TRAM procedure. Physical Therapy. 1997; ...

  12. Breast Reconstruction and Prosthesis

    MedlinePlus

    ... feel of the breast after a mastectomy. A plastic surgeon can do it at the same time ... want breast reconstruction. • Have you talked with your plastic surgeon about your options? You may not be ...

  13. Reconstruction of Mandibular Defects

    PubMed Central

    Chim, Harvey; Salgado, Christopher J.; Mardini, Samir; Chen, Hung-Chi

    2010-01-01

    Defects requiring reconstruction in the mandible are commonly encountered and may result from resection of benign or malignant lesions, trauma, or osteoradionecrosis. Mandibular defects can be classified according to location and extent, as well as involvement of mucosa, skin, and tongue. Vascularized bone flaps, in general, provide the best functional and aesthetic outcome, with the fibula flap remaining the gold standard for mandible reconstruction. In this review, we discuss classification and approach to reconstruction of mandibular defects. We also elaborate upon four commonly used free osteocutaneous flaps, inclusive of fibula, iliac crest, scapula, and radial forearm. Finally, we discuss indications and use of osseointegrated implants as well as recent advances in mandibular reconstruction. PMID:22550439

  14. Overview of Image Reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Marr, R. B.

    1980-04-01

    Image reconstruction (or computerized tomography, etc.) is any process whereby a function, f, on Rn is estimated from empirical data pertaining to its integrals, ∫f(x) dx, for some collection of hyperplanes of dimension k < n. The paper begins with background information on how image reconstruction problems have arisen in practice, and describes some of the application areas of past or current interest; these include radioastronomy, optics, radiology and nuclear medicine, electron microscopy, acoustical imaging, geophysical tomography, nondestructive testing, and NMR zeugmatography. Then the various reconstruction algorithms are discussed in five classes: summation, or simple back-projection; convolution, or filtered back-projection; Fourier and other functional transforms; orthogonal function series expansion; and iterative methods. Certain more technical mathematical aspects of image reconstruction are considered from the standpoint of uniqueness, consistency, and stability of solution. The paper concludes by presenting certain open problems. 73 references. (RWR)

  15. Cosmic tidal reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Hong-Ming; Pen, Ue-Li; Yu, Yu; Er, Xinzhong; Chen, Xuelei

    2016-05-01

    The gravitational coupling of a long-wavelength tidal field with small-scale density fluctuations leads to anisotropic distortions of the locally measured small-scale matter correlation function. Since the local correlation function is known to be statistically isotropic in the absence of such tidal interactions, the tidal distortions can be used to reconstruct the long-wavelength tidal field and large-scale density field in analogy with the cosmic microwave background lensing reconstruction. In this paper we present the theoretical framework of cosmic tidal reconstruction and test the reconstruction in numerical simulations. We find that the density field on large scales can be reconstructed with good accuracy and the cross-correlation coefficient between the reconstructed density field and the original density field is greater than 0.9 on large scales (k ≲0.1 h /Mpc ), with the filter scale ˜1.25 Mpc /h . This is useful in the 21 cm intensity mapping survey, where the long-wavelength radial modes are lost due to a foreground subtraction process.

  16. Microsurgical breast reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Avraham, Tomer; Clavin, Nicolas; Mehrara, Babak J

    2008-01-01

    Breast cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in American women, often necessitates mastectomy. Many studies have demonstrated improved quality of life and well-being after breast reconstruction. Numerous techniques are available for breast reconstruction including tissue expander implants and autologous tissues. Microsurgical tissue transfer involves the use of excess skin and fat (flaps) from a remote location to reconstruct the breast. Most often, tissues are transferred from the abdomen and buttocks. Less commonly, thigh flaps are used. These operations can provide durable, esthetic reconstructions. In addition, advances in microsurgical techniques have improved operative success rates to the range of 99%. The selection of an appropriate flap for microsurgical breast reconstruction is multifactorial and is based on patient and oncologic factors. These factors include patient comorbidities, body habitus/availability of donor tissues, cancer stage, and the need for postoperative adjuvant radiation therapy, as well as the risk of cancer in the contralateral breast. Appropriate choice of flap and surgical technique can minimize the risk of operative complications. Additionally, several large series have established that microsurgical breast reconstruction has no impact on survival, or locoregional/distant recurrence rates. PMID:18677132

  17. The Reconstruction Problem Revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suresh, Ambaby

    1999-01-01

    The role of reconstruction in avoiding oscillations in upwind schemes is reexamined, with the aim of providing simple, concise proofs. In one dimension, it is shown that if the reconstruction is any arbitrary function bounded by neighboring cell averages and increasing within a cell for increasing data, the resulting scheme is monotonicity preserving, even though the reconstructed function may have overshoots and undershoots at the cell edges and is in general not a monotone function. In the special case of linear reconstruction, it is shown that merely bounding the reconstruction between neighboring cell averages is sufficient to obtain a monotonicity preservinc,y scheme. In two dimensions, it is shown that some ID TVD limiters applied in each direction result in schemes that are not positivity preserving, i.e. do not give positive updates when the data are positive. A simple proof is given to show that if the reconstruction inside the cell is bounded by the neighboring cell averages (including corner neighbors), then the scheme is positivity preserving. A new limiter that enforces this condition but is not as dissipative as the Minmod limiter is also presented.

  18. Redox regulation of mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    O’Flaherty, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Capacitation is a series of morphological and metabolic changes necessary for the spermatozoon to achieve fertilizing ability. One of the earlier happenings during mammalian sperm capacitation is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that will trigger and regulate a series of events including protein phosphorylation, in a time-dependent fashion. The identity of the sperm oxidase responsible for the production of ROS involved in capacitation is still elusive, and several candidates are discussed in this review. Interestingly, ROS-induced ROS formation has been described during human sperm capacitation. Redox signaling during capacitation is associated with changes in thiol groups of proteins located on the plasma membrane and subcellular compartments of the spermatozoon. Both, oxidation of thiols forming disulfide bridges and the increase on thiol content are necessary to regulate different sperm proteins associated with capacitation. Reducing equivalents such as NADH and NADPH are necessary to support capacitation in many species including humans. Lactate dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phospohate dehydrogenase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase are responsible in supplying NAD (P) H for sperm capacitation. Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are newly described enzymes with antioxidant properties that can protect mammalian spermatozoa; however, they are also candidates for assuring the regulation of redox signaling required for sperm capacitation. The dysregulation of PRDXs and of enzymes needed for their reactivation such as thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase system and glutathione-S-transferases impairs sperm motility, capacitation, and promotes DNA damage in spermatozoa leading to male infertility. PMID:25926608

  19. The Mammalian Ovary from Genesis to Revelation

    PubMed Central

    Edson, Mark A.; Nagaraja, Ankur K.; Matzuk, Martin M.

    2009-01-01

    Two major functions of the mammalian ovary are the production of germ cells (oocytes), which allow continuation of the species, and the generation of bioactive molecules, primarily steroids (mainly estrogens and progestins) and peptide growth factors, which are critical for ovarian function, regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, and development of secondary sex characteristics. The female germline is created during embryogenesis when the precursors of primordial germ cells differentiate from somatic lineages of the embryo and take a unique route to reach the urogenital ridge. This undifferentiated gonad will differentiate along a female pathway, and the newly formed oocytes will proliferate and subsequently enter meiosis. At this point, the oocyte has two alternative fates: die, a common destiny of millions of oocytes, or be fertilized, a fate of at most approximately 100 oocytes, depending on the species. At every step from germline development and ovary formation to oogenesis and ovarian development and differentiation, there are coordinated interactions of hundreds of proteins and small RNAs. These studies have helped reproductive biologists to understand not only the normal functioning of the ovary but also the pathophysiology and genetics of diseases such as infertility and ovarian cancer. Over the last two decades, parallel progress has been made in the assisted reproductive technology clinic including better hormonal preparations, prenatal genetic testing, and optimal oocyte and embryo analysis and cryopreservation. Clearly, we have learned much about the mammalian ovary and manipulating its most important cargo, the oocyte, since the birth of Louise Brown over 30 yr ago. PMID:19776209

  20. Production of small RNAs by mammalian Dicer.

    PubMed

    Svobodova, Eliska; Kubikova, Jana; Svoboda, Petr

    2016-06-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) pathways employ RNase III Dicer for the biogenesis of small RNAs guiding post-transcriptional repression. Requirements for Dicer activity differ in the two pathways. The biogenesis of miRNAs requires a single Dicer cleavage of a short hairpin precursor to produce a small RNA with a precisely defined sequence, while small RNAs in RNAi come from a processive cleavage of a long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into a pool of small RNAs with different sequences. While Dicer is generally conserved among eukaryotes, its substrate recognition, cleavage, and biological roles differ. In Metazoa, a single Dicer can function as a universal factor for RNAi and miRNA pathways or as a factor adapted specifically for one of the pathways. In this review, we focus on the structure, function, and evolution of mammalian Dicer. We discuss key structural features of Dicer and other factors defining Dicer substrate repertoire and biological functions in mammals in comparison with invertebrate models. The key for adaptation of Dicer for miRNA or RNAi pathways is the N-terminal helicase, a dynamically evolving Dicer domain. Its functionality differs between mammals and invertebrates: the mammalian Dicer is well adapted to produce miRNAs while its ability to support RNAi is limited. PMID:27048428

  1. Ballistic transfection of mammalian cells in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Kolesnikov, V.A.; Zelenin, A.V.; Zelenina, I.A.

    1995-11-01

    The method of ballistic transfection initially proposed for genetic transformation of plants was used for animal cells in vitro and in situ. The method consists in bombarding the transfected cells with microparticles of heavy metals carrying foreign DNA. Penetrating the cell nucleus, the microparticles transport the introduced gene. Successful genetic transformation of the cultured mouse cells and fish embryos was realized, and this allowed the study of mammalian cells in situ. The performed studies allowed us to demonstrate expression of the reporter genes of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, galactosidase, and neomycin phosphotransferase in the mouse liver, mammary gland and kidney explants, in the liver and cross-striated muscle of mouse and rat in situ, and in developing mouse embryos at the stages of two-cell embryo, morula, and blastocyst. All these genes were introduced by ballistic transfection. In the liver and cross-striated muscle the transgene activity was detected within two to three months after transfection. Thus, the ballistic introduction of the foreign genes in the cells in situ was demonstrated, and this opens possibilities for the use of this method in gene therapy. Methodical aspects of the bombarding and transfection are considered in detail, and the published data on transfection and genetic transformation of mammalian cells are discussed. 41 refs., 13 figs., 1 tab.

  2. An Adaptive Threshold in Mammalian Neocortical Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kalinka, Alex T.; Tomancak, Pavel; Huttner, Wieland B.

    2014-01-01

    Expansion of the neocortex is a hallmark of human evolution. However, determining which adaptive mechanisms facilitated its expansion remains an open question. Here we show, using the gyrencephaly index (GI) and other physiological and life-history data for 102 mammalian species, that gyrencephaly is an ancestral mammalian trait. We find that variation in GI does not evolve linearly across species, but that mammals constitute two principal groups above and below a GI threshold value of 1.5, approximately equal to 109 neurons, which may be characterized by distinct constellations of physiological and life-history traits. By integrating data on neurogenic period, neuroepithelial founder pool size, cell-cycle length, progenitor-type abundances, and cortical neuron number into discrete mathematical models, we identify symmetric proliferative divisions of basal progenitors in the subventricular zone of the developing neocortex as evolutionarily necessary for generating a 14-fold increase in daily prenatal neuron production, traversal of the GI threshold, and thus establishment of two principal groups. We conclude that, despite considerable neuroanatomical differences, changes in the length of the neurogenic period alone, rather than any novel neurogenic progenitor lineage, are sufficient to explain differences in neuron number and neocortical size between species within the same principal group. PMID:25405475

  3. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  4. Catabolic flexibility of mammalian-associated lactobacilli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic flexibility may be generally defined as “the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability”. The metabolic diversification strategies used by individual bacteria vary greatly from the use of novel or acquired enzymes to the use of plasmid-localised genes and transporters. In this review, we describe the ability of lactobacilli to utilise a variety of carbon sources from their current or new environments in order to grow and survive. The genus Lactobacillus now includes more than 150 species, many with adaptive capabilities, broad metabolic capacity and species/strain variance. They are therefore, an informative example of a cell factory capable of adapting to new niches with differing nutritional landscapes. Indeed, lactobacilli naturally colonise and grow in a wide variety of environmental niches which include the roots and foliage of plants, silage, various fermented foods and beverages, the human vagina and the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT; including the mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine). Here we primarily describe the metabolic flexibility of some lactobacilli isolated from the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, and we also describe some of the food-associated species with a proven ability to adapt to the GIT. As examples this review concentrates on the following species - Lb. plantarum, Lb. acidophilus, Lb. ruminis, Lb. salivarius, Lb. reuteri and Lb. sakei, to highlight the diversity and inter-relationships between the catabolic nature of species within the genus. PMID:23680304

  5. Focusing on RISC assembly in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hong Junmei; Wei Na; Chalk, Alistair; Wang Jue; Song, Yutong; Yi Fan; Qiao Renping; Sonnhammer, Erik L.L.; Wahlestedt, Claes; Liang Zicai Du, Quan

    2008-04-11

    RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex) is a central protein complex in RNAi, into which a siRNA strand is assembled to become effective in gene silencing. By using an in vitro RNAi reaction based on Drosophila embryo extract, an asymmetric model was recently proposed for RISC assembly of siRNA strands, suggesting that the strand that is more loosely paired at its 5' end is selectively assembled into RISC and results in target gene silencing. However, in the present study, we were unable to establish such a correlation in cell-based RNAi assays, as well as in large-scale RNAi data analyses. This suggests that the thermodynamic stability of siRNA is not a major determinant of gene silencing in mammalian cells. Further studies on fork siRNAs showed that mismatch at the 5' end of the siRNA sense strand decreased RISC assembly of the antisense strand, but surprisingly did not increase RISC assembly of the sense strand. More interestingly, measurements of melting temperature showed that the terminal stability of fork siRNAs correlated with the positions of the mismatches, but not gene silencing efficacy. In summary, our data demonstrate that there is no definite correlation between siRNA stability and gene silencing in mammalian cells, which suggests that instead of thermodynamic stability, other features of the siRNA duplex contribute to RISC assembly in RNAi.

  6. Catabolic flexibility of mammalian-associated lactobacilli.

    PubMed

    O'Donnell, Michelle M; O'Toole, Paul W; Ross, Reynolds Paul

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic flexibility may be generally defined as "the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability". The metabolic diversification strategies used by individual bacteria vary greatly from the use of novel or acquired enzymes to the use of plasmid-localised genes and transporters. In this review, we describe the ability of lactobacilli to utilise a variety of carbon sources from their current or new environments in order to grow and survive. The genus Lactobacillus now includes more than 150 species, many with adaptive capabilities, broad metabolic capacity and species/strain variance. They are therefore, an informative example of a cell factory capable of adapting to new niches with differing nutritional landscapes. Indeed, lactobacilli naturally colonise and grow in a wide variety of environmental niches which include the roots and foliage of plants, silage, various fermented foods and beverages, the human vagina and the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT; including the mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine). Here we primarily describe the metabolic flexibility of some lactobacilli isolated from the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, and we also describe some of the food-associated species with a proven ability to adapt to the GIT. As examples this review concentrates on the following species - Lb. plantarum, Lb. acidophilus, Lb. ruminis, Lb. salivarius, Lb. reuteri and Lb. sakei, to highlight the diversity and inter-relationships between the catabolic nature of species within the genus. PMID:23680304

  7. Ecological adaptation determines functional mammalian olfactory subgenomes

    PubMed Central

    Hayden, Sara; Bekaert, Michaël; Crider, Tess A.; Mariani, Stefano; Murphy, William J.; Teeling, Emma C.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to smell is governed by the largest gene family in mammalian genomes, the olfactory receptor (OR) genes. Although these genes are well annotated in the finished human and mouse genomes, we still do not understand which receptors bind specific odorants or how they fully function. Previous comparative studies have been taxonomically limited and mostly focused on the percentage of OR pseudogenes within species. No study has investigated the adaptive changes of functional OR gene families across phylogenetically and ecologically diverse mammals. To determine the extent to which OR gene repertoires have been influenced by habitat, sensory specialization, and other ecological traits, to better understand the functional importance of specific OR gene families and thus the odorants they bind, we compared the functional OR gene repertoires from 50 mammalian genomes. We amplified more than 2000 OR genes in aquatic, semi-aquatic, and flying mammals and coupled these data with 48,000 OR genes from mostly terrestrial mammals, extracted from genomic projects. Phylogenomic, Bayesian assignment, and principle component analyses partitioned species by ecotype (aquatic, semi-aquatic, terrestrial, flying) rather than phylogenetic relatedness, and identified OR families important for each habitat. Functional OR gene repertoires were reduced independently in the multiple origins of aquatic mammals and were significantly divergent in bats. We reject recent neutralist views of olfactory subgenome evolution and correlate specific OR gene families with physiological requirements, a preliminary step toward unraveling the relationship between specific odors and respective OR gene families. PMID:19952139

  8. Larger Mammalian Body Size Leads to Lower Retroviral Activity

    PubMed Central

    Katzourakis, Aris; Magiorkinis, Gkikas; Lim, Aaron G.; Gupta, Sunetra; Belshaw, Robert; Gifford, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Retroviruses have been infecting mammals for at least 100 million years, leaving descendants in host genomes known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). The abundance of ERVs is partly determined by their mode of replication, but it has also been suggested that host life history traits could enhance or suppress their activity. We show that larger bodied species have lower levels of ERV activity by reconstructing the rate of ERV integration across 38 mammalian species. Body size explains 37% of the variance in ERV integration rate over the last 10 million years, controlling for the effect of confounding due to other life history traits. Furthermore, 68% of the variance in the mean age of ERVs per genome can also be explained by body size. These results indicate that body size limits the number of recently replicating ERVs due to their detrimental effects on their host. To comprehend the possible mechanistic links between body size and ERV integration we built a mathematical model, which shows that ERV abundance is favored by lower body size and higher horizontal transmission rates. We argue that because retroviral integration is tumorigenic, the negative correlation between body size and ERV numbers results from the necessity to reduce the risk of cancer, under the assumption that this risk scales positively with body size. Our model also fits the empirical observation that the lifetime risk of cancer is relatively invariant among mammals regardless of their body size, known as Peto's paradox, and indicates that larger bodied mammals may have evolved mechanisms to limit ERV activity. PMID:25033295

  9. Using digital inline holographic microscopy and quantitative phase contrast imaging to assess viability of cultured mammalian cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Missan, Sergey; Hrytsenko, Olga

    2015-03-01

    Digital inline holographic microscopy was used to record holograms of mammalian cells (HEK293, B16, and E0771) in culture. The holograms have been reconstructed using Octopus software (4Deep inwater imaging) and phase shift maps were unwrapped using the FFT-based phase unwrapping algorithm. The unwrapped phase shifts were used to determine the maximum phase shifts in individual cells. Addition of 0.5 mM H2O2 to cell media produced rapid rounding of cultured cells, followed by cell membrane rupture. The cell morphology changes and cell membrane ruptures were detected in real time and were apparent in the unwrapped phase shift images. The results indicate that quantitative phase contrast imaging produced by the digital inline holographic microscope can be used for the label-free real time automated determination of cell viability and confluence in mammalian cell cultures.

  10. Coracoclavicular Ligament Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qi; Hsueh, Pei-ling; Chen, Yun-feng

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Operative intervention is recommended for complete acromioclavicular (AC) joint dislocation to restore AC stability, but the best operative technique is still controversial. Twelve fresh-frozen male cadaveric shoulders (average age, 62.8 ± 7.8 years) were equally divided into endobutton versus the modified Weaver-Dunn groups. Each potted scapula and clavicle was fixed in a custom made jig to allow translation and load to failure testing using a Zwick BZ2.5/TS1S material testing machine (Zwick/Roell Co, Germany). A systematic review of 21 studies evaluating reconstructive methods for coracoclavicular or AC joints using a cadaveric model was also performed. From our biomechanical study, after ligament reconstruction, the triple endobutton technique demonstrated superior, anterior, and posterior displacements similar to that of the intact state (P > 0.05). In the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction group, however, there was significantly greater anterior (P < 0.001) and posterior (P = 0.003) translation after ligament reconstruction. In addition, there was no significant difference after reconstruction between failure load of the triple endobutton group and that of the intact state (686.88 vs 684.9 N, P > 0.05), whereas the failure load after the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction was decreased compared with the intact state (171.64 vs 640.86 N, P < 0.001). From our systematic review of 21 studies, which involved comparison of the modified Weaver-Dunn technique with other methods, the majority showed that the modified Weaver-Dunn procedure had significantly (P < .05) greater laxity than other methods including the endobutton technique. The triple endobutton reconstruction proved superior to the modified Weaver-Dunn technique in restoration of AC joint stability and strength. Triple endobutton reconstruction of the coracoclavicular ligament is superior to the modified Weaver-Dunn reconstruction in controlling both superior and

  11. Augmented Likelihood Image Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Stille, Maik; Kleine, Matthias; Hägele, Julian; Barkhausen, Jörg; Buzug, Thorsten M

    2016-01-01

    The presence of high-density objects remains an open problem in medical CT imaging. Data of projections passing through objects of high density, such as metal implants, are dominated by noise and are highly affected by beam hardening and scatter. Reconstructed images become less diagnostically conclusive because of pronounced artifacts that manifest as dark and bright streaks. A new reconstruction algorithm is proposed with the aim to reduce these artifacts by incorporating information about shape and known attenuation coefficients of a metal implant. Image reconstruction is considered as a variational optimization problem. The afore-mentioned prior knowledge is introduced in terms of equality constraints. An augmented Lagrangian approach is adapted in order to minimize the associated log-likelihood function for transmission CT. During iterations, temporally appearing artifacts are reduced with a bilateral filter and new projection values are calculated, which are used later on for the reconstruction. A detailed evaluation in cooperation with radiologists is performed on software and hardware phantoms, as well as on clinically relevant patient data of subjects with various metal implants. Results show that the proposed reconstruction algorithm is able to outperform contemporary metal artifact reduction methods such as normalized metal artifact reduction. PMID:26208310

  12. Genome size evolution: sizing mammalian genomes.

    PubMed

    Redi, C A; Capanna, E

    2012-01-01

    The study of genome size (GS) and its variation is so fascinating to the scientific community because it constitutes the link between the present-day analytical and molecular studies of the genome and the old trunk of the holistic and synthetic view of the genome. The GS of several taxa vary over a broad range and do not correlate with the complexity of the organisms (the C-value paradox). However, the biology of transposable elements has let us reach a satisfactory view of the molecular mechanisms that give rise to GS variation and novelties, providing a less perplexing view of the significance of the GS (C-enigma). The knowledge of the composition and structure of a genome is a pre-requisite for trying to understand the evolution of the main genome signature: its size. The radiation of mammals provides an approximately 180-million-year test case for theories of how GS evolves. It has been found from data-mining GS databases that GS is a useful cyto-taxonomical instrument at the level of orders/superorders, providing genomic signatures characterizing Monotremata, Marsupialia, Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Laurasiatheria, and Euarchontoglires. A hypothetical ancestral mammalian-like GS of 2.9-3.7 pg has been suggested. This value appears compatible with the average values calculated for the high systematic levels of the extant Monotremata (∼2.97 pg) and Marsupialia (∼4.07 pg), suggesting invasion of mobile DNA elements concurrently with the separation of the older clades of Afrotheria (∼5.5 pg) and Xenarthra (∼4.5 pg) with larger GS, leaving the Euarchontoglires (∼3.4 pg) and Laurasiatheria (∼2.8 pg) genomes with fewer transposable elements. However, the paucity of GS data (546 mammalian species sized from 5,488 living species) for species, genera, and families calls for caution. Considering that mammalian species may be vanished even before they are known, GS data are sorely needed to phenotype the effects brought about by their variation and to validate any

  13. Dental microwear textures: reconstructing diets of fossil mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.

    2016-06-01

    Dietary information of fossil mammals can be revealed via the analysis of tooth morphology, tooth wear, tooth geochemistry, and the microscopic wear patterns on tooth surfaces resulting from food processing. Although dental microwear has long been used by anthropologists and paleontologists to clarify diets in a diversity of mammals, until recently these methods focused on the counting of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) from two-dimensional surfaces (typically via scanning electron microscopes or low-magnification light microscopes). The analysis of dental microwear textures can instead reveal dietary information in a broad range of herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous mammals by characterizing microscopic tooth surfaces in three-dimensions, without the counting of individual surface features. To date, dental microwear textures in ungulates, xenarthrans, marsupials, carnivorans, and primates (including humans and their ancestors) are correlated with known dietary behavior in extant taxa and reconstruct ancient diets in a diversity of prehistoric mammals. For example, tough versus hard object feeding can be characterized across disparate phylogenetic groups and can distinguish grazers, folivorous, and flesh consumers (tougher food consumers) from woody browsers, frugivores, and bone consumers (harder object feeders). This paper reviews how dental microwear textures can be useful to reconstructing diets in a broad array of living and extinct mammals, with commentary on areas of future research.

  14. Reconstructed Ancestral Enzymes Impose a Fitness Cost upon Modern Bacteria Despite Exhibiting Favourable Biochemical Properties.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Joanne K; Prentice, Erica J; Groussin, Mathieu; Arcus, Vickery L

    2015-10-01

    Ancestral sequence reconstruction has been widely used to study historical enzyme evolution, both from biochemical and cellular perspectives. Two properties of reconstructed ancestral proteins/enzymes are commonly reported--high thermostability and high catalytic activity--compared with their contemporaries. Increased protein stability is associated with lower aggregation rates, higher soluble protein abundance and a greater capacity to evolve, and therefore, these proteins could be considered "superior" to their contemporary counterparts. In this study, we investigate the relationship between the favourable in vitro biochemical properties of reconstructed ancestral enzymes and the organismal fitness they confer in vivo. We have previously reconstructed several ancestors of the enzyme LeuB, which is essential for leucine biosynthesis. Our initial fitness experiments revealed that overexpression of ANC4, a reconstructed LeuB that exhibits high stability and activity, was only able to partially rescue the growth of a ΔleuB strain, and that a strain complemented with this enzyme was outcompeted by strains carrying one of its descendants. When we expanded our study to include five reconstructed LeuBs and one contemporary, we found that neither in vitro protein stability nor the catalytic rate was correlated with fitness. Instead, fitness showed a strong, negative correlation with estimated evolutionary age (based on phylogenetic relationships). Our findings suggest that, for reconstructed ancestral enzymes, superior in vitro properties do not translate into organismal fitness in vivo. The molecular basis of the relationship between fitness and the inferred age of ancestral LeuB enzymes is unknown, but may be related to the reconstruction process. We also hypothesise that the ancestral enzymes may be incompatible with the other, contemporary enzymes of the metabolic network. PMID:26349578

  15. Chemical analysis of individual mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, W.; Yeung, E.S.

    1994-12-31

    The extremely small size of mammalian cells creates an unusual challenge for the analytical chemist, both in terms of separation and detection. Under a microscope, it is possible to confirm the injection of individual cells such as erythrocyte into capillaries with 10-{mu}m i.d. by hydrostatic pressure. The ionic contents can then be separated by capillary electrophoresis after the cell lyses. Enzymes at the zeptomole level can be monitored by on-column fluorescence enzyme assay. On-column particle-counting immunoassay can be applied to a broad range of analytes (antigens), also at the zeptomole level. The authors report here the simultaneous determination of the amounts of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and their activities in individual erythrocytes by using a combination of the two detection schemes. Insights into the degradation of proteins as a function of cell age can be derived.

  16. Crystal structure of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase.

    PubMed

    Gorelik, Alexei; Illes, Katalin; Heinz, Leonhard X; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Nagar, Bhushan

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase, ASM, SMPD1) converts sphingomyelin into ceramide, modulating membrane properties and signal transduction. Inactivating mutations in ASMase cause Niemann-Pick disease, and its inhibition is also beneficial in models of depression and cancer. To gain a better understanding of this critical therapeutic target, we determined crystal structures of mammalian ASMase in various conformations. The catalytic domain adopts a calcineurin-like fold with two zinc ions and a hydrophobic track leading to the active site. Strikingly, the membrane interacting saposin domain assumes either a closed globular conformation independent from the catalytic domain, or an open conformation, which establishes an interface with the catalytic domain essential for activity. Structural mapping of Niemann-Pick mutations reveals that most of them likely destabilize the protein's fold. This study sheds light on the molecular mechanism of ASMase function, and provides a platform for the rational development of ASMase inhibitors and therapeutic use of recombinant ASMase. PMID:27435900

  17. Crystal structure of mammalian acid sphingomyelinase

    PubMed Central

    Gorelik, Alexei; Illes, Katalin; Heinz, Leonhard X.; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Nagar, Bhushan

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase, ASM, SMPD1) converts sphingomyelin into ceramide, modulating membrane properties and signal transduction. Inactivating mutations in ASMase cause Niemann–Pick disease, and its inhibition is also beneficial in models of depression and cancer. To gain a better understanding of this critical therapeutic target, we determined crystal structures of mammalian ASMase in various conformations. The catalytic domain adopts a calcineurin-like fold with two zinc ions and a hydrophobic track leading to the active site. Strikingly, the membrane interacting saposin domain assumes either a closed globular conformation independent from the catalytic domain, or an open conformation, which establishes an interface with the catalytic domain essential for activity. Structural mapping of Niemann–Pick mutations reveals that most of them likely destabilize the protein's fold. This study sheds light on the molecular mechanism of ASMase function, and provides a platform for the rational development of ASMase inhibitors and therapeutic use of recombinant ASMase. PMID:27435900

  18. Hysteresis in a synthetic mammalian gene network.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Beat P; Fussenegger, Martin

    2005-07-01

    Bistable and hysteretic switches, enabling cells to adopt multiple internal expression states in response to a single external input signal, have a pivotal impact on biological systems, ranging from cell-fate decisions to cell-cycle control. We have designed a synthetic hysteretic mammalian transcription network. A positive feedback loop, consisting of a transgene and transactivator (TA) cotranscribed by TA's cognate promoter, is repressed by constitutive expression of a macrolide-dependent transcriptional silencer, whose activity is modulated by the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin. The antibiotic concentration, at which a quasi-discontinuous switch of transgene expression occurs, depends on the history of the synthetic transcription circuitry. If the network components are imbalanced, a graded rather than a quasi-discontinuous signal integration takes place. These findings are consistent with a mathematical model. Synthetic gene networks, which are able to emulate natural gene expression behavior, may foster progress in future gene therapy and tissue engineering initiatives. PMID:15972812

  19. Nomenclature for mammalian soluble glutathione transferases.

    PubMed

    Mannervik, Bengt; Board, Philip G; Hayes, John D; Listowsky, Irving; Pearson, William R

    2005-01-01

    The nomenclature for human soluble glutathione transferases (GSTs) is extended to include new members of the GST superfamily that have been discovered, sequenced, and shown to be expressed. The GST nomenclature is based on primary structure similarities and the division of GSTs into classes of more closely related sequences. The classes are designated by the names of the Greek letters: Alpha, Mu, Pi, etc., abbreviated in Roman capitals: A, M, P, and so on. (The Greek characters should not be used.) Class members are distinguished by Arabic numerals and the native dimeric protein structures are named according to their subunit composition (e.g., GST A1-2 is the enzyme composed of subunits 1 and 2 in the Alpha class). Soluble GSTs from other mammalian species can be classified in the same manner as the human enzymes, and this chapter presents the application of the nomenclature to the rat and mouse GSTs. PMID:16399376

  20. Trapping mammalian protein complexes in viral particles

    PubMed Central

    Eyckerman, Sven; Titeca, Kevin; Van Quickelberghe, Emmy; Cloots, Eva; Verhee, Annick; Samyn, Noortje; De Ceuninck, Leentje; Timmerman, Evy; De Sutter, Delphine; Lievens, Sam; Van Calenbergh, Serge; Gevaert, Kris; Tavernier, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Cell lysis is an inevitable step in classical mass spectrometry–based strategies to analyse protein complexes. Complementary lysis conditions, in situ cross-linking strategies and proximal labelling techniques are currently used to reduce lysis effects on the protein complex. We have developed Virotrap, a viral particle sorting approach that obviates the need for cell homogenization and preserves the protein complexes during purification. By fusing a bait protein to the HIV-1 GAG protein, we show that interaction partners become trapped within virus-like particles (VLPs) that bud from mammalian cells. Using an efficient VLP enrichment protocol, Virotrap allows the detection of known binary interactions and MS-based identification of novel protein partners as well. In addition, we show the identification of stimulus-dependent interactions and demonstrate trapping of protein partners for small molecules. Virotrap constitutes an elegant complementary approach to the arsenal of methods to study protein complexes. PMID:27122307

  1. Fundamentals of Expression in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    Expression of proteins in mammalian cells is a key technology important for many functional studies on human and higher eukaryotic genes. Studies include the mapping of protein interactions, solving protein structure by crystallization and X-ray diffraction or solution phase NMR and the generation of antibodies to enable a range of studies to be performed including protein detection in vivo. In addition the production of therapeutic proteins and antibodies, now a multi billion dollar industry, has driven major advances in cell line engineering for the production of grams per liter of active proteins and antibodies. Here the key factors that need to be considered for successful expression in HEK293 and CHO cells are reviewed including host cells, expression vector design, transient transfection methods, stable cell line generation and cultivation conditions. PMID:27165328

  2. Mammalian telomeres and their partnership with lamins

    PubMed Central

    Burla, Romina; La Torre, Mattia; Saggio, Isabella

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chromosome ends are complex structures, which require a panel of factors for their elongation, replication, and protection. We describe here the mechanics of mammalian telomeres, dynamics and maintainance in relation to lamins. Multiple biochemical connections, including association of telomeres to the nuclear envelope and matrix, of telomeric proteins to lamins, and of lamin-associated proteins to chromosome ends, underline the interplay between lamins and telomeres. Paths toward senescence, such as defective telomere replication, altered heterochromatin organization, and impaired DNA repair, are common to lamins' and telomeres' dysfunction. The convergence of phenotypes can be interpreted through a model of dynamic, lamin-controlled functional platforms dedicated to the function of telomeres as fragile sites. The features of telomeropathies and laminopathies, and of animal models underline further overlapping aspects, including the alteration of stem cell compartments. We expect that future studies of basic biology and on aging will benefit from the analysis of this telomere-lamina interplay. PMID:27116558

  3. Global Epigenomic Reconfiguration During Mammalian Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Nery, Joseph R.; Urich, Mark; Puddifoot, Clare A.; Johnson, Nicholas D.; Lucero, Jacinta; Huang, Yun; Dwork, Andrew J.; Schultz, Matthew D.; Yu, Miao; Tonti-Filippini, Julian; Heyn, Holger; Hu, Shijun; Wu, Joseph C.; Rao, Anjana; Esteller, Manel; He, Chuan; Haghighi, Fatemeh G.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Behrens, M. Margarita; Ecker, Joseph R.

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation is implicated in mammalian brain development and plasticity underlying learning and memory. We report the genome-wide composition, patterning, cell specificity, and dynamics of DNA methylation at single-base resolution in human and mouse frontal cortex throughout their lifespan. Widespread methylome reconfiguration occurs during fetal to young adult development, coincident with synaptogenesis. During this period, highly conserved non-CG methylation (mCH) accumulates in neurons, but not glia, to become the dominant form of methylation in the human neuronal genome. Moreover, we found an mCH signature that identifies genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation. Last, whole-genome single-base resolution 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC) maps revealed that hmC marks fetal brain cell genomes at putative regulatory regions that are CG-demethylated and activated in the adult brain and that CG demethylation at these hmC-poised loci depends on Tet2 activity. PMID:23828890

  4. New consensus nomenclature for mammalian keratins

    PubMed Central

    Schweizer, Jürgen; Bowden, Paul E.; Coulombe, Pierre A.; Langbein, Lutz; Lane, E. Birgitte; Magin, Thomas M.; Maltais, Lois; Omary, M. Bishr; Parry, David A.D.; Rogers, Michael A.; Wright, Mathew W.

    2006-01-01

    Keratins are intermediate filament–forming proteins that provide mechanical support and fulfill a variety of additional functions in epithelial cells. In 1982, a nomenclature was devised to name the keratin proteins that were known at that point. The systematic sequencing of the human genome in recent years uncovered the existence of several novel keratin genes and their encoded proteins. Their naming could not be adequately handled in the context of the original system. We propose a new consensus nomenclature for keratin genes and proteins that relies upon and extends the 1982 system and adheres to the guidelines issued by the Human and Mouse Genome Nomenclature Committees. This revised nomenclature accommodates functional genes and pseudogenes, and although designed specifically for the full complement of human keratins, it offers the flexibility needed to incorporate additional keratins from other mammalian species. PMID:16831889

  5. Cenozoic climate change influences mammalian evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Figueirido, Borja; Janis, Christine M.; Pérez-Claros, Juan A.; De Renzi, Miquel; Palmqvist, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on the natural world. However, climate influence on faunal dynamics at macroevolutionary scales remains poorly understood. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate over deep time on the diversity patterns of Cenozoic North American mammals. We use factor analysis to identify temporally correlated assemblages of taxa, or major evolutionary faunas that we can then study in relation to climatic change over the past 65 million years. These taxa can be grouped into six consecutive faunal associations that show some correspondence with the qualitative mammalian chronofaunas of previous workers. We also show that the diversity pattern of most of these chronofaunas can be correlated with the stacked deep-sea benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ18O) curve, which strongly suggests climatic forcing of faunal dynamics over a large macroevolutionary timescale. This study demonstrates the profound influence of climate on the diversity patterns of North American terrestrial mammals over the Cenozoic. PMID:22203974

  6. Sequence Evolution and Expression of the Androgen Receptor and Other Pathway-Related Genes in a Unisexual Fish, the Amazon Molly, Poecilia formosa, and Its Bisexual Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Fangjun; Schlupp, Ingo; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    The all-female Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) originated from a single hybridization of two bisexual ancestors, Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana) and sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna). As a gynogenetic species, the Amazon molly needs to copulate with a heterospecific male, but the genetic information of the sperm-donor does not contribute to the next generation, as the sperm only acts as the trigger for the diploid eggs’ embryogenesis. Here, we study the sequence evolution and gene expression of the duplicated genes coding for androgen receptors (ars) and other pathway-related genes, i.e., the estrogen receptors (ers) and cytochrome P450, family19, subfamily A, aromatase genes (cyp19as), in the Amazon molly, in comparison to its bisexual ancestors. Mollies possess–as most other teleost fish—two copies of the ar, er, and cyp19a genes, i.e., arα/arβ, erα/erβ1, and cyp19a1 (also referred as cyp19a1a)/cyp19a2 (also referred to as cyp19a1b), respectively. Non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the ancestral bisexual species were generally predicted not to alter protein function. Some derived substitutions in the P. mexicana and one in P. formosa are predicted to impact protein function. We also describe the gene expression pattern of the ars and pathway-related genes in various tissues (i.e., brain, gill, and ovary) and provide SNP markers for allele specific expression research. As a general tendency, the levels of gene expression were lowest in gill and highest in ovarian tissues, while expression levels in the brain were intermediate in most cases. Expression levels in P. formosa were conserved where expression did not differ between the two bisexual ancestors. In those cases where gene expression levels significantly differed between the bisexual species, P. formosa expression was always comparable to the higher expression level among the two ancestors. Interestingly, erβ1 was expressed neither in brain nor in gill in the analyzed

  7. Signal transduction in mammalian oocytes during fertilization.

    PubMed

    Machaty, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian embryo development begins when the fertilizing sperm triggers a series of elevations in the oocyte's intracellular free Ca(2+) concentration. The elevations are the result of repeated release and re-uptake of Ca(2+) stored in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Ca(2+) release is primarily mediated by the phosphoinositide signaling system of the oocyte. The system is stimulated when the sperm causes the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) into inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) and diacylglycerol (DAG); IP3 then binds its receptor on the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum that induces Ca(2+) release. The manner in which the sperm generates IP3, the Ca(2+) mobilizing second messenger, has been the subject of extensive research for a long time. The sperm factor hypothesis has eventually gained general acceptance, according to which it is a molecule from the sperm that diffuses into the ooplasm and stimulates the phosphoinositide cascade. Much evidence now indicates that the sperm-derived factor is phospholipase C-zeta (PLCζ) that cleaves PIP2 and generates IP3, eventually leading to oocyte activation. A recent addition to the candidate sperm factor list is the post-acrosomal sheath WW domain-binding protein (PAWP), whose role at fertilization is currently under debate. Ca(2+) influx across the plasma membrane is also important as, in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+), the oscillations run down prematurely. In pig oocytes, the influx that sustains the oscillations seems to be regulated by the filling status of the stores, whereas in the mouse other mechanisms might be involved. This work summarizes the current understanding of Ca(2+) signaling in mammalian oocytes. PMID:26453398

  8. Roles for learning in mammalian chemosensory responses.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Philip R; Brennan, Peter A

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". A rich variety of chemosignals have been identified that influence mammalian behaviour, including peptides, proteins and volatiles. Many of these elicit innate effects acting either as pheromones within species or allelochemicals between species. However, even innate pheromonal responses in mammals are not as hard-wired as the original definition of the term would suggest. Many, if not most mammalian pheromonal responses are only elicited in certain behavioural or physiological contexts. Furthermore, certain pheromones are themselves rewarding and act as unconditioned stimuli to link non-pheromonal stimuli to the pheromonal response, via associative learning. The medial amygdala, has emerged as a potential site for this convergence by which learned chemosensory input is able to gain control over innately-driven output circuits. The medial amygdala is also an important site for associating social chemosensory information that enables recognition of conspecifics and heterospecifics by association of their complex chemosensory signatures both within and across olfactory chemosensory systems. Learning can also influence pheromonal responses more directly to adapt them to changing physiological and behavioural context. Neuromodulators such as noradrenaline and oxytocin can plasticise neural circuits to gate transmission of chemosensory information. More recent evidence points to a role for neurogenesis in this adaptation, both at the peripheral level of the sensory neurons and via the incorporation of new neurons into existing olfactory bulb circuits. The emerging picture is of integrated and flexible responses to chemosignals that adapt them to the environmental and physiological context in which they occur. PMID:25200200

  9. Sensory Feedback Control of Mammalian Vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    Smotherman, Michael S.

    2007-01-01

    Somatosensory and auditory feedback mechanisms are dynamic components of the vocal motor pattern generator in mammals. This review explores how sensory cues arising from central auditory and somatosensory pathways actively guide the production of both simple sounds and complex phrases in mammals. While human speech is a uniquely sophisticated example of mammalian vocal behavior, other mammals can serve as examples of how sensory feedback guides complex vocal patterns. Echolocating bats in particular are unique in their absolute dependence on voice control for survival: these animals must constantly adjust the acoustic and temporal patterns of their orientation sounds to efficiently navigate and forage for insects at high speeds under the cover of darkness. Many species of bats also utter a broad repertoire of communication sounds. The functional neuroanatomy of the bat vocal motor pathway is basically identical to other mammals, but the acute significance of sensory feedback in echolocation has made this a profitable model system for studying general principles of sensorimotor integration with regard to vocalizing. Bats and humans are similar in that they both maintain precise control of many different voice parameters, both exhibit a similar suite of responses to altered auditory feedback, and for both the efficacy of sensory feedback depends upon behavioral context. By comparing similarities and differences in the ways sensory feedback influences voice in humans and bats, we may shed light on the basic architecture of the mammalian vocal motor system and perhaps be able to better distinguish those features of human vocal control that evolved uniquely in support of speech and language. PMID:17449116

  10. Sensory feedback control of mammalian vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Smotherman, Michael S

    2007-09-01

    Somatosensory and auditory feedback mechanisms are dynamic components of the vocal motor pattern generator in mammals. This review explores how sensory cues arising from central auditory and somatosensory pathways actively guide the production of both simple sounds and complex phrases in mammals. While human speech is a uniquely sophisticated example of mammalian vocal behavior, other mammals can serve as examples of how sensory feedback guides complex vocal patterns. Echolocating bats in particular are unique in their absolute dependence on voice control for survival: these animals must constantly adjust the acoustic and temporal patterns of their orientation sounds to efficiently navigate and forage for insects at high speeds under the cover of darkness. Many species of bats also utter a broad repertoire of communication sounds. The functional neuroanatomy of the bat vocal motor pathway is basically identical to other mammals, but the acute significance of sensory feedback in echolocation has made this a profitable model system for studying general principles of sensorimotor integration with regard to vocalizing. Bats and humans are similar in that they both maintain precise control of many different voice parameters, both exhibit a similar suite of responses to altered auditory feedback, and for both the efficacy of sensory feedback depends upon behavioral context. By comparing similarities and differences in the ways sensory feedback influences voice in humans and bats, we may shed light on the basic architecture of the mammalian vocal motor system and perhaps be able to better distinguish those features of human vocal control that evolved uniquely in support of speech and language. PMID:17449116

  11. Engineered Trehalose Permeable to Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Abazari, Alireza; Meimetis, Labros G.; Budin, Ghyslain; Bale, Shyam Sundhar; Weissleder, Ralph; Toner, Mehmet

    2015-01-01

    Trehalose is a naturally occurring disaccharide which is associated with extraordinary stress-tolerance capacity in certain species of unicellular and multicellular organisms. In mammalian cells, presence of intra- and extracellular trehalose has been shown to confer improved tolerance against freezing and desiccation. Since mammalian cells do not synthesize nor import trehalose, the development of novel methods for efficient intracellular delivery of trehalose has been an ongoing investigation. Herein, we studied the membrane permeability of engineered lipophilic derivatives of trehalose. Trehalose conjugated with 6 acetyl groups (trehalose hexaacetate or 6-O-Ac-Tre) demonstrated superior permeability in rat hepatocytes compared with regular trehalose, trehalose diacetate (2-O-Ac-Tre) and trehalose tetraacetate (4-O-Ac-Tre). Once in the cell, intracellular esterases hydrolyzed the 6-O-Ac-Tre molecules, releasing free trehalose into the cytoplasm. The total concentration of intracellular trehalose (plus acetylated variants) reached as high as 10 fold the extracellular concentration of 6-O-Ac-Tre, attaining concentrations suitable for applications in biopreservation. To describe this accumulation phenomenon, a diffusion-reaction model was proposed and the permeability and reaction kinetics of 6-O-Ac-Tre were determined by fitting to experimental data. Further studies suggested that the impact of the loading and the presence of intracellular trehalose on cellular viability and function were negligible. Engineering of trehalose chemical structure rather than manipulating the cell, is an innocuous, cell-friendly method for trehalose delivery, with demonstrated potential for trehalose loading in different types of cells and cell lines, and can facilitate the wide-spread application of trehalose as an intracellular protective agent in biopreservation studies. PMID:26115179

  12. Mechanoaccumulative Elements of the Mammalian Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Schiffhauer, Eric S; Luo, Tianzhi; Mohan, Krithika; Srivastava, Vasudha; Qian, Xuyu; Griffis, Eric R; Iglesias, Pablo A; Robinson, Douglas N

    2016-06-01

    To change shape, divide, form junctions, and migrate, cells reorganize their cytoskeletons in response to changing mechanical environments [1-4]. Actin cytoskeletal elements, including myosin II motors and actin crosslinkers, structurally remodel and activate signaling pathways in response to imposed stresses [5-9]. Recent studies demonstrate the importance of force-dependent structural rearrangement of α-catenin in adherens junctions [10] and vinculin's molecular clutch mechanism in focal adhesions [11]. However, the complete landscape of cytoskeletal mechanoresponsive proteins and the mechanisms by which these elements sense and respond to force remain to be elucidated. To find mechanosensitive elements in mammalian cells, we examined protein relocalization in response to controlled external stresses applied to individual cells. Here, we show that non-muscle myosin II, α-actinin, and filamin accumulate to mechanically stressed regions in cells from diverse lineages. Using reaction-diffusion models for force-sensitive binding, we successfully predicted which mammalian α-actinin and filamin paralogs would be mechanoaccumulative. Furthermore, a "Goldilocks zone" must exist for each protein where the actin-binding affinity must be optimal for accumulation. In addition, we leveraged genetic mutants to gain a molecular understanding of the mechanisms of α-actinin and filamin catch-bonding behavior. Two distinct modes of mechanoaccumulation can be observed: a fast, diffusion-based accumulation and a slower, myosin II-dependent cortical flow phase that acts on proteins with specific binding lifetimes. Finally, we uncovered cell-type- and cell-cycle-stage-specific control of the mechanosensation of myosin IIB, but not myosin IIA or IIC. Overall, these mechanoaccumulative mechanisms drive the cell's response to physical perturbation during proper tissue development and disease. PMID:27185555

  13. Adaptive iterative reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruder, H.; Raupach, R.; Sunnegardh, J.; Sedlmair, M.; Stierstorfer, K.; Flohr, T.

    2011-03-01

    It is well known that, in CT reconstruction, Maximum A Posteriori (MAP) reconstruction based on a Poisson noise model can be well approximated by Penalized Weighted Least Square (PWLS) minimization based on a data dependent Gaussian noise model. We study minimization of the PWLS objective function using the Gradient Descent (GD) method, and show that if an exact inverse of the forward projector exists, the PWLS GD update equation can be translated into an update equation which entirely operates in the image domain. In case of non-linear regularization and arbitrary noise model this means that a non-linear image filter must exist which solves the optimization problem. In the general case of non-linear regularization and arbitrary noise model, the analytical computation is not trivial and might lead to image filters which are computationally very expensive. We introduce a new iteration scheme in image space, based on a regularization filter with an anisotropic noise model. Basically, this approximates the statistical data weighting and regularization in PWLS reconstruction. If needed, e.g. for compensation of the non-exactness of backprojector, the image-based regularization loop can be preceded by a raw data based loop without regularization and statistical data weighting. We call this combined iterative reconstruction scheme Adaptive Iterative Reconstruction (AIR). It will be shown that in terms of low-contrast visibility, sharpness-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratio, PWLS and AIR reconstruction are similar to a high degree of accuracy. In clinical images the noise texture of AIR is also superior to the more artificial texture of PWLS.

  14. MAMMALIAN CELL GENE MUTATION ASSAYS WORKING GROUP REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mammalian cell gene mutation assays have been used for many years and the diversity of the available systems attests to the varied methods found to grow mammalian dells and detect mutations. s part of the International Workshop on Standardization of Genotoxicity Test Procedures, ...

  15. An Analytical Study of Mammalian Bite Wounds Requiring Inpatient Management

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Young-Geun; Kim, Woo-Kyung

    2013-01-01

    Background Mammalian bite injuries create a public health problem because of their frequency, potential severity, and increasing number. Some researchers have performed fragmentary analyses of bite wounds caused by certain mammalian species. However, little practical information is available concerning serious mammalian bite wounds that require hospitalization and intensive wound management. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to perform a general review of serious mammalian bite wounds. Methods We performed a retrospective review of the medical charts of 68 patients who were referred to our plastic surgery department for the treatment of bite wounds between January 2003 and October 2012. The cases were analyzed according to the species, patient demographics, environmental factors, injury characteristics, and clinical course. Results Among the 68 cases of mammalian bite injury, 58 (85%) were caused by dogs, 8 by humans, and 2 by cats. Most of those bitten by a human and both of those bitten by cats were male. Only one-third of all the patients were children or adolescents. The most frequent site of injury was the face, with 40 cases, followed by the hand, with 16 cases. Of the 68 patients, 7 were treated with secondary intention healing. Sixty-one patients underwent delayed procedures, including delayed direct closure, skin graft, composite graft, and local flap. Conclusions Based on overall findings from our review of the 68 cases of mammalian bites, we suggest practical guidelines for the management of mammalian bite injuries, which could be useful in the treatment of serious mammalian bite wounds. PMID:24286042

  16. Adult Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Hippocampus: Why the Dentate Gyrus?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drew, Liam J.; Fusi, Stefano; Hen, René

    2013-01-01

    In the adult mammalian brain, newly generated neurons are continuously incorporated into two networks: interneurons born in the subventricular zone migrate to the olfactory bulb, whereas the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus integrates locally born principal neurons. That the rest of the mammalian brain loses significant neurogenic capacity…

  17. Chemical sensing in mammalian host-bacterial commensal associations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract is colonized by a complex consortium of bacterial species. Bacteria engage in chemical signaling to coordinate population-wide behavior. However, it is unclear if chemical sensing plays a role in establishing mammalian host–bacterial commensal relationships....

  18. Upper Eyelid Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Espinoza, Gabriela Mabel; Prost, Angela Michelle

    2016-05-01

    Reconstruction of the upper eyelid is complicated because the eyelid must retain mobility, flexibility, function, and a suitable mucosal surface over the delicate cornea. Defects of the upper eyelid may be due to congenital defects or traumatic injury or follow oncologic resection. This article focuses on reconstruction due to loss of tissue. Multiple surgeries may be needed to reach the desired results, addressing loss of tissue and then loss of function. Each defect is unique and the laxity and availability of surrounding tissue vary. Knowing the most common techniques for repair assists surgeons in the multifaceted planning that takes place. PMID:27105803

  19. Rapid evolution of mammalian X-linked testis-expressed homeobox genes.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoxia; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2004-01-01

    Homeobox genes encode transcription factors that function in various developmental processes and are usually evolutionarily conserved in their sequences. However, two X-chromosome-linked testis-expressed homeobox genes, one from rodents and the other from fruit flies, are known to evolve rapidly under positive Darwinian selection. Here we report yet another case, from primates. TGIFLX is an X-linked homeobox gene that originated by retroposition of the autosomal gene TGIF2, most likely in a common ancestor of rodents and primates. While TGIF2 is ubiquitously expressed, TGIFLX is exclusively expressed in adult testis. A comparison of the TGIFLX sequences among 16 anthropoid primates revealed a significantly higher rate of nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution (d(N)) than synonymous substitution (d(S)), strongly suggesting the action of positive selection. Although the high d(N)/d(S) ratio is most evident outside the homeobox, the homeobox has a d(N)/d(S) of approximately 0.89 and includes two codons that are likely under selection. Furthermore, the rate of radical amino acid substitutions that alter amino acid charge is significantly greater than that of conservative substitutions, suggesting that the selection promotes diversity of the protein charge profile. More interestingly, an analysis of 64 orthologous homeobox genes from humans and mice shows substantially higher rates of amino acid substitution in X-linked testis-expressed genes than in other genes. These results suggest a general pattern of rapid evolution of mammalian X-linked testis-expressed homeobox genes. Although the physiological function of and the exact selective agent on TGIFLX and other rapidly evolving homeobox genes are unclear, the common expression pattern of these transcription factor genes led us to conjecture that the selection is related to one or more aspects of male reproduction and may contribute to speciation. PMID:15238536

  20. USE OF NON-MAMMALIAN ALTERNATIVE MODELS FOR NEUROTOXICOLOGICAL STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Randall T.; Nass, Richard; Boyd, Windy A.; Freedman, Jonathan H.; Dong, Ke; Narahashi, Toshio

    2009-01-01

    The field of neurotoxicology needs to satisfy two opposing demands: the testing of a growing list of chemicals, and resource limitations and ethical concerns associated with testing using traditional mammalian species. National and international government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace mammalian species in toxicological testing with alternative testing methods and non-mammalian models. Toxicological assays using alternative animal models may relieve some of this pressure by allowing testing of more compounds while reducing expense and using fewer mammals. Recent advances in genetic technologies and the strong conservation between human and non-mammalian genomes allows for the dissection of the molecular pathways involved in neurotoxicological responses and neurological diseases using genetically tractable organisms. In this review, applications of four non-mammalian species, Zebrafish, cockroach, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans, in the investigation of neurotoxicology and neurological diseases are presented. PMID:18538410

  1. Towards regenerating the mammalian heart: challenges in evaluating experimentally induced adult mammalian cardiomyocyte proliferation.

    PubMed

    Zebrowski, David C; Becker, Robert; Engel, Felix B

    2016-05-01

    In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in research aimed at regenerating the mammalian heart by promoting endogenous cardiomyocyte proliferation. Despite many encouraging successes, it remains unclear if we are any closer to achieving levels of mammalian cardiomyocyte proliferation for regeneration as seen during zebrafish regeneration. Furthermore, current cardiac regenerative approaches do not clarify whether the induced cardiomyocyte proliferation is an epiphenomena or responsible for the observed improvement in cardiac function. Moreover, due to the lack of standardized protocols to determine cardiomyocyte proliferation in vivo, it remains unclear if one mammalian regenerative factor is more effective than another. Here, we discuss current methods to identify and evaluate factors for the induction of cardiomyocyte proliferation and challenges therein. Addressing challenges in evaluating adult cardiomyocyte proliferation will assist in determining 1) which regenerative factors should be pursued in large animal studies; 2) if a particular level of cell cycle regulation presents a better therapeutic target than another (e.g., mitogenic receptors vs. cyclins); and 3) which combinatorial approaches offer the greatest likelihood of success. As more and more regenerative studies come to pass, progress will require a system that not only can evaluate efficacy in an objective manner but can also consolidate observations in a meaningful way. PMID:26921436

  2. Reconstructing Community History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Amy

    2004-01-01

    History is alive and well in Lebanon, Missouri. Students in this small town in the southwest region of the state went above and beyond the community's expectations on this special project. This article describes this historical journey which began when students in a summer mural class reconstructed a mural that was originally created by a…

  3. Reconstructing Glaciers on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Brough, S.; Hubbard, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Mars' mid-latitudes host a substantial volume of ice, equivalent to a ~1 - 2.5 m-thick global layer or the sum of Earth's glaciers and ice caps outside of Antarctica and Greenland. These deposits are the remnants of what is believed to have been a once far larger 'ice age', culminating in a last martian glacial maximum. Despite the identification of >1,300 glacier-like forms (GLFs) - the first order component of Mars' glacial landsystem - in Mars' mid-latitudes, little is known about their composition, dynamics or former extent. Here, we reconstruct the former 3D extent of a well-studied GLF located in eastern Hellas Planitia. We combine high-resolution geomorphic and topographic data, obtained from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, to reconstruct the GLF's former limits. We then apply a perfect plasticity rheological model, to generate multiple flow-parallel ice-surface transects. These are combined with the GLF's boundary to guide interpolation using ArcGIS' 'Topo to Raster' function to produce a continuous 3D surface for the reconstructed former GLF. Our results indicate that, since its reconstructed 'recent maximum' extent, the GLF's volume has reduced by 0.31 km3 and its area by 6.85 km2, or 70%. On-going research is addressing the degree to which this change is typical of Mars' full GLF population.

  4. Reconstructive Middle Ear Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Ruby, R.R.F.; Ballagh, R.H.

    1992-01-01

    Conductive hearing loss is a common cause of deafness and disability, particularly in children and young adults. This article presents a brief overview of the various methods currently available for reconstructing the tympanic membrane and middle ear ossicular chain, including some comments as to their indications and limitations. Schematic diagrams showing these techniques illustrate the various types of repair described. PMID:21221356

  5. Breast reconstruction - natural tissue

    MedlinePlus

    ... muscle flap; TRAM; Latissimus muscle flap with a breast implant; DIEP flap; DIEAP flap; Gluteal free flap; ... If you are having breast reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy, the surgeon may do either of the following: Skin-sparing mastectomy. This means ...

  6. Reconstructing Playschool Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Einarsdottir, Johanna

    2011-01-01

    The current study was conducted with groups of first grade children (aged six years) in two primary schools in Reykjavik in an endeavour to ascertain how they recalled and reconstructed their playschool experiences. The children's playschool teachers were co-researchers participating in the data generation; they were, at the same time participants…

  7. Reconstruction of the auricle

    PubMed Central

    Siegert, Ralf; Magritz, Ralph

    2008-01-01

    Reconstructive and aesthetic surgery of the auricle is one of the most challenging and diverse tasks in plastic head and neck surgery. Injuries, defects and malformations require multiple different techniques, some of which are standardized, other situations require huge experience and artistic creativity. It is a specialty that will never become monotone. PMID:22073078

  8. Reconstructing Progressive Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Andy

    2013-01-01

    The work of Colonel Francis W. Parker, the man whom Dewey called "the father of progressive education," provides a starting point for reconstructing the loose ambiguities of progressive education into a coherent social and educational philosophy. Although progressives have claimed their approach is more humane and sensitive to children, we need…

  9. Stability of climate reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohmann, Gerrit; Rimbu, Norel; Wagner, Axel; Dima, Mihai

    2014-05-01

    Reconstruction of climate mode indices using proxy data as predictors is limited due to non-stationarity in atmospheric teleconnections. In this paper a method is presented to identify stable predictors for the reconstruction of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index. Using the 20th Century reanalysis data, the AO index is calculated for the last 140 years and correlated with global two meter temperature, precipitation, and sea surface temperature anomalies in various moving windows. The stability of the correlation was checked in every point of the global grids. Anomalies from the regions where the correlation of the AO index is stable are used as stable predictors for the AO index. It is shown that the predictors identified through our analysis lead to proper AO reconstructions. Statistical analysis of a global climate simulation covering the last millennium reveals that the stability correlation map of model AO and temperature are very similar to the corresponding observed correlation stability map. It is shown that the stability correlation maps of the AO, as derived from the model, are insensitive to different climate forcing and can be used to systematically select stable predictors for the AO reconstruction during the last millennium and most likely for the late Holocene. Finally, several high resolution proxy data from the stable regions are selected and used for a reconstruction of the AO index during the last three centuries. We argue that selection of proxy data from the stable regions of AO teleconnections leads to a suitable AO reconstruction. Furthermore, the hypothesis of stable teleconnections is tested using atmospheric circulation model experiments. For climate conditions with other ice sheet distributions on the Northern Hemisphere, such as the last glacial maximum climate, considerable changes are detected in the atmospheric variability pattern compared to the present day. Correlation maps of pseudo proxy records over Europe, the Red Sea area, and

  10. Identification of radically different variants of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in Eastern Europe: towards a common ancestor for European and American viruses.

    PubMed

    Stadejek, T; Stankevicius, A; Storgaard, T; Oleksiewicz, M B; Belák, S; Drew, T W; Pejsak, Z

    2002-08-01

    We determined 22 partial porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) ORF5 sequences, representing pathogenic field strains mainly from Poland and Lithuania, and two currently available European-type live PRRSV vaccines. Also, the complete ORF7 of two Lithuanian and two Polish strains was sequenced. We found that Polish, and in particular Lithuanian, PRRSV sequences were exceptionally different from the European prototype, the Lelystad virus, and in addition showed a very high national diversity. The most diverse present-day European-type PRRSV sequences were from Poland (2000) and Lithuania (2000), and exhibited only 72.2% nucleotide identity in the investigated ORF5 sequence. While all sequences determined in the present study were clearly of European type, inclusion of the new Lithuanian sequences in the genealogy resulted in a common ancestor for the European type virus significantly closer to the American-type PRRSV than previously seen. In addition, the length of the ORF7 of the Lithuanian strains was 378 nucleotides, and thus intermediate between the sizes of the prototypical EU-type (387 nucleotides) and US-type (372 nucleotides) ORF7 lengths. These findings for the Lithuanian PRRSV sequences provide support for the hypothesis that the EU and US genotypes of PRRSV evolved from a common ancestor. Also, this is the first report of ORF7 protein size polymorphism in field isolates of EU-type PRRSV. PMID:12124450

  11. On the tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee last common ancestor, and the origins of hominine stone tool use.

    PubMed

    Haslam, Michael

    2014-10-01

    The last common ancestor (LCA) shared by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (P. paniscus) was an Early Pleistocene African ape, which, based on the behavior of modern chimpanzees, may be assumed to be a tool-using animal. However, the character of tool use in the Pan lineage prior to the 20th century is largely unknown. Here, I use available data on wild bonobo tool use and emerging molecular estimates of demography during Pan evolution to hypothesise the plausible tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee LCA (or "Pancestor") at the start of the Pleistocene, over 2 million years ago. This method indicates that the common ancestor of living Pan apes likely used plant tools for probing, sponging, and display, but it did not use stone tools. Instead, stone tool use appears to have been independently invented by Western African chimpanzees (P. t. verus) during the Middle Pleistocene in the region of modern Liberia-Ivory Coast-Guinea, possibly as recently as 200,000-150,000 years ago. If this is the case, then the LCA of humans and chimpanzees likely also did not use stone tools, and this trait probably first emerged among hominins in Pliocene East Africa. This review also suggests that the consistently higher population sizes of Central African chimpanzees (P. t. troglodytes) over the past million years may have contributed to the increased complexity of wild tool use seen in this sub-species today. PMID:24710771

  12. Protein Evolution by Molecular Tinkering: Diversification of the Nuclear Receptor Superfamily from a Ligand-Dependent Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Bridgham, Jamie T.; Eick, Geeta N.; Larroux, Claire; Deshpande, Kirti; Harms, Michael J.; Gauthier, Marie E. A.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Degnan, Bernard M.; Thornton, Joseph W.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how protein structures and functions have diversified is a central goal in molecular evolution. Surveys of very divergent proteins from model organisms, however, are often insufficient to determine the features of ancestral proteins and to reveal the evolutionary events that yielded extant diversity. Here we combine genomic, biochemical, functional, structural, and phylogenetic analyses to reconstruct the early evolution of nuclear receptors (NRs), a diverse superfamily of transcriptional regulators that play key roles in animal development, physiology, and reproduction. By inferring the structure and functions of the ancestral NR, we show—contrary to current belief—that NRs evolved from a ligand-activated ancestral receptor that existed near the base of the Metazoa, with fatty acids as possible ancestral ligands. Evolutionary tinkering with this ancestral structure generated the extraordinary diversity of modern receptors: sensitivity to different ligands evolved because of subtle modifications of the internal cavity, and ligand-independent activation evolved repeatedly because of various mutations that stabilized the active conformation in the absence of ligand. Our findings illustrate how a mechanistic dissection of protein evolution in a phylogenetic context can reveal the deep homology that links apparently “novel” molecular functions to a common ancestral form. PMID:20957188

  13. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca2+ signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community. PMID:27215692

  14. The lateral enamel lamina--component of tooth primordia in selected mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Witter, K; Matulová, P; Mísek, I

    2002-01-01

    The lateral enamel lamina (LEL) is a part of the enamel organ, which is probably not involved in tooth formation. It represents, besides the "stalk" of the tooth primordium, a second interconnection between enamel organ and oral epithelium or vestibular lamina. We detected the LEL in the sheep (Ovis aries), the dolphin (Stenella attenuata), and the vole (Microtus agrestis) by light microscopy and computer-aided three-dimensional reconstruction. The LEL could be found in cap to bell stage tooth primordia, most clearly in slowly developing tooth germs. LEL-like structures have been furthermore described or depicted in tooth germs of the mouse, the elk (Alces alces), the dugong (Dugong dugong), the elephant (Loxodonta africana), and the human. Probably it is a part of all mammalian tooth primordia that undergoes regression during morphogenesis of the enamel organ. As a reducing structure, it should be considered in studies of tooth development. PMID:12494916

  15. The pattern of mammalian evolution and the relative rate of molecular evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Easteal, S. )

    1990-01-01

    The rates of nucleotide substitution at four genes in four orders of eutherian mammals are compared in relative rate tests using marsupial orthologs for reference. There is no evidence of systematic variation in evolutionary rate among the orders. The sequences are used to reconstruct the phylogeny of the orders using maximum likelihood, parsimony and compatibility methods. A branching order of rodent then ungulate then primate and lagomorph is overwhelmingly indicated. The nodes of the nucleotide based cladograms are widely separated in relation to the total lengths of the branches. The assumption of a star phylogeny that underlies Kimura's test for molecular evolutionary rate variation is shown to be invalid for eutherian mammals. Excess variance in nucleotide or amino acid differences between mammalian orders, above that predicted by neutral theory is explained better by variation in divergence time than by variation in evolutionary rate.

  16. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-05-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca2+ signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community.

  17. A compact light-sheet microscope for the study of the mammalian central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhengyi; Haslehurst, Peter; Scott, Suzanne; Emptage, Nigel; Dholakia, Kishan

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca(2+) signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community. PMID:27215692

  18. Retroposed SNOfall--a mammalian-wide comparison of platypus snoRNAs.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Jürgen; Zemann, Anja; Churakov, Gennady; Kuhl, Heiner; Grützner, Frank; Reinhardt, Richard; Brosius, Jürgen

    2008-06-01

    Diversification of mammalian species began more than 160 million years ago when the egg-laying monotremes diverged from live bearing mammals. The duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and echidnas are the only potential contemporary witnesses of this period and, thereby, provide a unique insight into mammalian genome evolution. It has become clear that small RNAs are major regulatory agents in eukaryotic cells, and the significant role of non-protein-coding (npc) RNAs in transcription, processing, and translation is now well accepted. Here we show that the platypus genome contains more than 200 small nucleolar (sno) RNAs among hundreds of other diverse npcRNAs. Their comparison among key mammalian groups and other vertebrates enabled us to reconstruct a complete temporal pathway of acquisition and loss of these snoRNAs. In platypus we found cis- and trans-duplication distribution patterns for snoRNAs, which have not been described in any other vertebrates but are known to occur in nematodes. An exciting novelty in platypus is a snoRNA-derived retroposon (termed snoRTE) that facilitates a very effective dispersal of an H/ACA snoRNA via RTE-mediated retroposition. From more than 40,000 detected full-length and truncated genomic copies of this snoRTE, at least 21 are processed into mature snoRNAs. High-copy retroposition via multiple host gene-promoted transcription units is a novel pathway for combining housekeeping function and SINE-like dispersal and reveals a new dimension in the evolution of novel snoRNA function. PMID:18463303

  19. Channeled spectropolarimetry using iterative reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dennis J.; LaCasse, Charles F.; Craven, Julia M.

    2016-05-01

    Channeled spectropolarimeters (CSP) measure the polarization state of light as a function of wavelength. Conventional Fourier reconstruction suffers from noise, assumes the channels are band-limited, and requires uniformly spaced samples. To address these problems, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm. We develop a mathematical model of CSP measurements and minimize a cost function based on this model. We simulate a measured spectrum using example Stokes parameters, from which we compare conventional Fourier reconstruction and iterative reconstruction. Importantly, our iterative approach can reconstruct signals that contain more bandwidth, an advancement over Fourier reconstruction. Our results also show that iterative reconstruction mitigates noise effects, processes non-uniformly spaced samples without interpolation, and more faithfully recovers the ground truth Stokes parameters. This work offers a significant improvement to Fourier reconstruction for channeled spectropolarimetry.

  20. Preparing for Breast Reconstruction Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... after breast reconstruction surgery Preparing for breast reconstruction surgery Your surgeon can help you know what to ... The plan for follow-up Costs Understanding your surgery costs Health insurance policies often cover most or ...

  1. Four-dimensional live imaging of hemodynamics in mammalian embryonic heart with Doppler optical coherence tomography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shang; Lakomy, David S; Garcia, Monica D; Lopez, Andrew L; Larin, Kirill V; Larina, Irina V

    2016-08-01

    Hemodynamic analysis of the mouse embryonic heart is essential for understanding the functional aspects of early cardiogenesis and advancing the research in congenital heart defects. However, high-resolution imaging of cardiac hemodynamics in mammalian models remains challenging, primarily due to the dynamic nature and deep location of the embryonic heart. Here we report four-dimensional micro-scale imaging of blood flow in the early mouse embryonic heart, enabling time-resolved measurement and analysis of flow velocity throughout the heart tube. Our method uses Doppler optical coherence tomography in live mouse embryo culture, and employs a post-processing synchronization approach to reconstruct three-dimensional data over time at a 100 Hz volume rate. Experiments were performed on live mouse embryos at embryonic day 9.0. Our results show blood flow dynamics inside the beating heart, with the capability for quantitative flow velocity assessment in the primitive atrium, atrioventricular and bulboventricular regions, and bulbus cordis. Combined cardiodynamic and hemodynamic analysis indicates this functional imaging method can be utilized to further investigate the mechanical relationship between blood flow dynamics and cardiac wall movement, bringing new possibilities to study biomechanics in early mammalian cardiogenesis. Four-dimensional live hemodynamic imaging of the mouse embryonic heart at embryonic day 9.0 using Doppler optical coherence tomography, showing directional blood flows in the sinus venosus, primitive atrium, atrioventricular region and vitelline vein. PMID:26996292

  2. Association of immunophilins with mammalian TRPC channels.

    PubMed

    Sinkins, William G; Goel, Monu; Estacion, Mark; Schilling, William P

    2004-08-13

    Drosophila photoreceptor channels TRP and TRPL are held in a large signalplex by the scaffolding protein, INAD. Immunophilin FKBP59, another member of the signalplex, binds to both INAD and TRPL. Mutation P702Q or P709Q in the highly conserved TRPL sequence (701)LPPPFNVLP(709), eliminates TRPL interaction with FKBP59. The first leucylprolyl (LP) dipeptide in this region is conserved in mammalian TRPC channel proteins. However, the second LP is changed to isoleucylprolyl (IP) in TRPC1, -C4, and -C5, and valylprolyl (VP) in TRPC3, -C6, and -C7. The purpose of the present study was to determine if mammalian FKBP12 or FKBP52 interact with TRPC channel proteins. Using TRPC-specific antibodies, immunoprecipitations from Sf9 cells individually co-expressing each of the TRPC proteins along with the immunophilins showed that TRPC3, -C6, and -C7 interact with FKBP12, whereas TRPC1, -C4, and -C5 interact with FKBP52. The binding of FKBP12 and FKBP52 was specific and could be displaced by the immunosuppressant drug FK506, at concentrations of 0.5 and 10 microm, respectively. To evaluate TRPC-immunophilin interactions in vivo, immunoprecipitations were performed using membrane lysates of rat cerebral cortex. FKBP12 co-immunoprecipitated with TRPC3, -C6, and -C7 from rat brain, whereas FKBP52 was found to associate with TRPC1, -C4, and -C5. The association of immunophilins with the TRPC channels in rat brain lysates could be displaced by FK506. Receptor-mediated activation of TRPC6, stably expressed in HEK cells, was significantly inhibited by FK506, which also disrupted interaction between TRPC6 and the endogenous immunophilin found in HEK cells. Pro to Gln mutations in the first LP dipeptide in the putative FKBP binding domain eliminated FKBP12 and FKBP52 interaction with TRPC3 and -C6, and TRPC1 and -C4, respectively. However, mutual swap of VP and IP in TRPC3 and TRPC5 did not alter the association or the selectivity of the channels for their respective immunophilin binding

  3. Mammalian ion-coupled solute transporters.

    PubMed Central

    Hediger, M A; Kanai, Y; You, G; Nussberger, S

    1995-01-01

    Active transport of solutes into and out of cells proceeds via specialized transporters that utilize diverse energy-coupling mechanisms. Ion-coupled transporters link uphill solute transport to downhill electrochemical ion gradients. In mammals, these transporters are coupled to the co-transport of H+, Na+, Cl- and/or to the countertransport of K+ or OH-. By contrast, ATP-dependent transporters are directly energized by the hydrolysis of ATP. The development of expression cloning approaches to select cDNA clones solely based on their capacity to induce transport function in Xenopus oocytes has led to the cloning of several ion-coupled transporter cDNAs and revealed new insights into structural designs, energy-coupling mechanisms and physiological relevance of the transporter proteins. Different types of mammalian ion-coupled transporters are illustrated by discussing transporters isolated in our own laboratory such as the Na+/glucose co-transporters SGLT1 and SGLT2, the H(+)-coupled oligopeptide transporters PepT1 and PepT2, and the Na(+)- and K(+)-dependent neuronal and epithelial high affinity glutamate transporter EAAC1. Most mammalian ion-coupled organic solute transporters studied so far can be grouped into the following transporter families: (1) the predominantly Na(+)-coupled transporter family which includes the Na+/glucose co-transporters SGLT1, SGLT2, SGLT3 (SAAT-pSGLT2) and the inositol transporter SMIT, (2) the Na(+)- and Cl(-)-coupled transporter family which includes the neurotransmitter transporters of gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glycine and proline as well as transporters of beta-amino acids, (3) the Na(+)- and K(+)-dependent glutamate/neurotransmitter family which includes the high affinity glutamate transporters EAAC1, GLT-1, GLAST, EAAT4 and the neutral amino acid transporters ASCT1 and SATT1 reminiscent of system ASC and (4) the H(+)-coupled oligopeptide transporter family which includes the intestinal H

  4. Controversies in Parotid Defect Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Tamplen, Matthew; Knott, P Daniel; Fritz, Michael A; Seth, Rahul

    2016-08-01

    Reconstruction of the parotid defect is a complex topic that encompasses restoration of both facial form and function. The reconstructive surgeon must consider facial contour, avoidance of Frey syndrome, skin coverage, tumor surveillance, potential adjuvant therapy, and facial reanimation when addressing parotid defects. With each defect there are several options within the reconstructive ladder, creating controversies regarding optimal management. This article describes surgical approaches to reconstruction of parotid defects, highlighting areas of controversy. PMID:27400838

  5. Positive Selection Linked with Generation of Novel Mammalian Dentition Patterns.

    PubMed

    Machado, João Paulo; Philip, Siby; Maldonado, Emanuel; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E; Antunes, Agostinho

    2016-01-01

    A diverse group of genes are involved in the tooth development of mammals. Several studies, focused mainly on mice and rats, have provided a detailed depiction of the processes coordinating tooth formation and shape. Here we surveyed 236 tooth-associated genes in 39 mammalian genomes and tested for signatures of selection to assess patterns of molecular adaptation in genes regulating mammalian dentition. Of the 236 genes, 31 (∼13.1%) showed strong signatures of positive selection that may be responsible for the phenotypic diversity observed in mammalian dentition. Mammalian-specific tooth-associated genes had accelerated mutation rates compared with older genes found across all vertebrates. More recently evolved genes had fewer interactions (either genetic or physical), were associated with fewer Gene Ontology terms and had faster evolutionary rates compared with older genes. The introns of these positively selected genes also exhibited accelerated evolutionary rates, which may reflect additional adaptive pressure in the intronic regions that are associated with regulatory processes that influence tooth-gene networks. The positively selected genes were mainly involved in processes like mineralization and structural organization of tooth specific tissues such as enamel and dentin. Of the 236 analyzed genes, 12 mammalian-specific genes (younger genes) provided insights on diversification of mammalian teeth as they have higher evolutionary rates and exhibit different expression profiles compared with older genes. Our results suggest that the evolution and development of mammalian dentition occurred in part through positive selection acting on genes that previously had other functions. PMID:27613398

  6. Maintenance and Expression of Mammalian Mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Gustafsson, Claes M; Falkenberg, Maria; Larsson, Nils-Göran

    2016-06-01

    Mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes 13 proteins that are essential for the function of the oxidative phosphorylation system, which is composed of four respiratory-chain complexes and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase. Remarkably, the maintenance and expression of mtDNA depend on the mitochondrial import of hundreds of nuclear-encoded proteins that control genome maintenance, replication, transcription, RNA maturation, and mitochondrial translation. The importance of this complex regulatory system is underscored by the identification of numerous mutations of nuclear genes that impair mtDNA maintenance and expression at different levels, causing human mitochondrial diseases with pleiotropic clinical manifestations. The basic scientific understanding of the mechanisms controlling mtDNA function has progressed considerably during the past few years, thanks to advances in biochemistry, genetics, and structural biology. The challenges for the future will be to understand how mtDNA maintenance and expression are regulated and to what extent direct intramitochondrial cross talk between different processes, such as transcription and translation, is important. PMID:27023847

  7. Sources of Error in Mammalian Genetic Screens

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Laura Magill; Davoli, Teresa; Xu, Qikai; Li, Mamie Z.; Elledge, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic screens are invaluable tools for dissection of biological phenomena. Optimization of such screens to enhance discovery of candidate genes and minimize false positives is thus a critical aim. Here, we report several sources of error common to pooled genetic screening techniques used in mammalian cell culture systems, and demonstrate methods to eliminate these errors. We find that reverse transcriptase-mediated recombination during retroviral replication can lead to uncoupling of molecular tags, such as DNA barcodes (BCs), from their associated library elements, leading to chimeric proviral genomes in which BCs are paired to incorrect ORFs, shRNAs, etc. This effect depends on the length of homologous sequence between unique elements, and can be minimized with careful vector design. Furthermore, we report that residual plasmid DNA from viral packaging procedures can contaminate transduced cells. These plasmids serve as additional copies of the PCR template during library amplification, resulting in substantial inaccuracies in measurement of initial reference populations for screen normalization. The overabundance of template in some samples causes an imbalance between PCR cycles of contaminated and uncontaminated samples, which results in a systematic artifactual depletion of GC-rich library elements. Elimination of contaminating plasmid DNA using the bacterial endonuclease Benzonase can restore faithful measurements of template abundance and minimize GC bias. PMID:27402361

  8. Myocardial ischemic protection in natural mammalian hibernation

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Lin; Kudej, Raymond K.; Vatner, Dorothy E.

    2015-01-01

    Hibernating myocardium is an important clinical syndrome protecting the heart with chronic myocardial ischemia, named for its assumed resemblance to hibernating mammals in winter. However, the effects of myocardial ischemic protection have never been studied in true mammalian hibernation, which is a unique strategy for surviving extreme winter environmental stress. The goal of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that ischemic stress may also be protected in woodchucks as they hibernate in winter. Myocardial infarction was induced by coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion in naturally hibernating woodchucks in winter with and without hibernation and in summer, when not hibernating. The ischemic area at risk was similar among groups. Myocardial infarction was significantly less in woodchucks in winter, whether hibernating or not, compared with summer, and was similar to that resulting after ischemic preconditioning. Whereas several genes were up or downregulated in both hibernating woodchuck and with ischemic preconditioning, one mechanism was unique to hibernation, i.e., activation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). When CREB was upregulated in summer, it induced protection similar to that observed in the woodchuck heart in winter. The cardioprotection in hibernation was also mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, rather than inducible nitric oxide synthase. Thus, the hibernating woodchuck heart is a novel model to study cardioprotection for two major reasons: (1) powerful cardioprotection occurs naturally in winter months in the absence of any preconditioning stimuli, and (2) it resembles ischemic preconditioning, but with novel mechanisms, making this model potentially useful for clinical translation. PMID:25613166

  9. From Immunity and Vaccines to Mammalian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Heber-Katz, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Our current understanding of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mediated antigen presentation in self and nonself immune recognition was derived from immunological studies of autoimmunity and virus-host interactions, respectively. The trimolecular complex of the MHC molecule, antigen, and T-cell receptor accounts for the phenomena of immunodominance and MHC degeneracy in both types of responses and constrains vaccine development. Out of such considerations, we developed a simple peptide vaccine construct that obviates immunodominance, resulting in a broadly protective T-cell response in the absence of antibody. In the course of autoimmunity studies, we identified the MRL mouse strain as a mammalian model of amphibian-like regeneration. A significant level of DNA damage in the cells from this mouse pointed to the role of the cell cycle checkpoint gene CDKN1a, or p21cip1/waf1. The MRL mouse has highly reduced levels of this molecule, and a genetic knockout of this single gene in otherwise nonregenerating strains led to an MRL-type regenerative response, indicating that the ability to regenerate has not been lost during evolution. PMID:26116734

  10. Mammalian meiotic silencing exhibits sexually dimorphic features.

    PubMed

    Cloutier, J M; Mahadevaiah, S K; ElInati, E; Tóth, A; Turner, James

    2016-06-01

    During mammalian meiotic prophase I, surveillance mechanisms exist to ensure that germ cells with defective synapsis or recombination are eliminated, thereby preventing the generation of aneuploid gametes and embryos. Meiosis in females is more error-prone than in males, and this is in part because the prophase I surveillance mechanisms are less efficient in females. A mechanistic understanding of this sexual dimorphism is currently lacking. In both sexes, asynapsed chromosomes are transcriptionally inactivated by ATR-dependent phosphorylation of histone H2AFX. This process, termed meiotic silencing, has been proposed to perform an important prophase I surveillance role. While the transcriptional effects of meiotic silencing at individual genes are well described in the male germ line, analogous studies in the female germ line have not been performed. Here we apply single- and multigene RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA FISH) to oocytes from chromosomally abnormal mouse models to uncover potential sex differences in the silencing response. Notably, we find that meiotic silencing in females is less efficient than in males. Within individual oocytes, genes located on the same asynapsed chromosome are silenced to differing extents, thereby generating mosaicism in gene expression profiles across oocyte populations. Analysis of sex-reversed XY female mice reveals that the sexual dimorphism in silencing is determined by gonadal sex rather than sex chromosome constitution. We propose that sex differences in meiotic silencing impact on the sexually dimorphic prophase I response to asynapsis. PMID:26712235

  11. ORC proteins in the mammalian zygote.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Michael A; Nguyen, Hieu; Ward, W Steven

    2016-01-01

    The origin recognition complex (ORC) proteins, ORC1-6, are the first known proteins that bind DNA replication origins to mark the competency for the initiation of DNA synthesis. These proteins have complex mechanisms of assembly into the ORC complex and unexpected localizations in the mitotic chromosomes, cytoplasm, and nuclear structures. The mammalian zygote is a potentially important model that may contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms and features influencing origin establishment and in the identification of other functions of the ORC proteins. Together with expected localizations to the chromatin during G1, we found an unexpected distribution in the cytoplasm that appeared to accumulate ORC proteins suggesting potential roles for ORC subunits in mitosis and chromatin segregation. ORC1, 2, 3, and 5 all localize to the area between the separating maternal chromosomes shortly after fertilization. ORC4 forms a cage around the set of chromosomes that will be extruded during polar body formation before it binds to the chromatin shortly before zygotic DNA replication. These data suggest that the ORC proteins may also play roles in preparing the cell for DNA replication in addition to their direct role in establishing functional replication origins. PMID:26453397

  12. Mammalian cells defective in DNA mismatch correction

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, P.; Aquilina, G.; Hess, P.

    1994-12-31

    Mammalian cells counteract the cytotoxicity of methylating agents, including some used in antitumor chemotherapy, by removing the methylated base, O{sup 6}-methylguanine (O{sup 6}-meG) from their DNA. This removal is normally effected by a specific DNA repair enzyme (O{sup 6}-meG-DNA methyltransferase) that is expressed constitutively. In addition, an alternative type of resistance to methylating agents can be acquired after exposure of cells to the drug. This acquired resistance is highly specific for O{sup 6}-meG and is unusual in that alkylation of DNA is normal and there is no increase in the rate of repair of O{sup 6}-meG or any other damaged base. Instead, the cell is able to tolerate the presence of the usually cytotoxic O{sup 6}-meG and to replicate its DNA normally. The ambiguity of base pairing by O{sup 6}-meG and the observation that tolerant cells are also cross-resistant to the structurally similar 6-thioguanine in DNA has led to the suggestion that the cytotoxicity of O{sup 6}-meG (and 6-thioguanine) arises from ineffective attempts at DNA mismatch correction. This model postulates that tolerance arises as a consequence of loss of this important pathway.

  13. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies. PMID:21540868

  14. RNAi microarray analysis in cultured mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Mousses, Spyro; Caplen, Natasha J; Cornelison, Robert; Weaver, Don; Basik, Mark; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Elkahloun, Abdel G; Lotufo, Roberto A; Choudary, Ashish; Dougherty, Edward R; Suh, Ed; Kallioniemi, Olli

    2003-10-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is a powerful new tool for analyzing gene knockdown phenotypes in living mammalian cells. To facilitate large-scale, high-throughput functional genomics studies using RNAi, we have developed a microarray-based technology for highly parallel analysis. Specifically, siRNAs in a transfection matrix were first arrayed on glass slides, overlaid with a monolayer of adherent cells, incubated to allow reverse transfection, and assessed for the effects of gene silencing by digital image analysis at a single cell level. Validation experiments with HeLa cells stably expressing GFP showed spatially confined, sequence-specific, time- and dose-dependent inhibition of green fluorescence for those cells growing directly on microspots containing siRNA targeting the GFP sequence. Microarray-based siRNA transfections analyzed with a custom-made quantitative image analysis system produced results that were identical to those from traditional well-based transfection, quantified by flow cytometry. Finally, to integrate experimental details, image analysis, data display, and data archiving, we developed a prototype information management system for high-throughput cell-based analyses. In summary, this RNAi microarray platform, together with ongoing efforts to develop large-scale human siRNA libraries, should facilitate genomic-scale cell-based analyses of gene function. PMID:14525932

  15. Sources of Error in Mammalian Genetic Screens.

    PubMed

    Sack, Laura Magill; Davoli, Teresa; Xu, Qikai; Li, Mamie Z; Elledge, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    Genetic screens are invaluable tools for dissection of biological phenomena. Optimization of such screens to enhance discovery of candidate genes and minimize false positives is thus a critical aim. Here, we report several sources of error common to pooled genetic screening techniques used in mammalian cell culture systems, and demonstrate methods to eliminate these errors. We find that reverse transcriptase-mediated recombination during retroviral replication can lead to uncoupling of molecular tags, such as DNA barcodes (BCs), from their associated library elements, leading to chimeric proviral genomes in which BCs are paired to incorrect ORFs, shRNAs, etc This effect depends on the length of homologous sequence between unique elements, and can be minimized with careful vector design. Furthermore, we report that residual plasmid DNA from viral packaging procedures can contaminate transduced cells. These plasmids serve as additional copies of the PCR template during library amplification, resulting in substantial inaccuracies in measurement of initial reference populations for screen normalization. The overabundance of template in some samples causes an imbalance between PCR cycles of contaminated and uncontaminated samples, which results in a systematic artifactual depletion of GC-rich library elements. Elimination of contaminating plasmid DNA using the bacterial endonuclease Benzonase can restore faithful measurements of template abundance and minimize GC bias. PMID:27402361

  16. The First Mammalian Aldehyde Oxidase Crystal Structure

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, Catarina; Mahro, Martin; Trincão, José; Carvalho, Alexandra T. P.; Ramos, Maria João; Terao, Mineko; Garattini, Enrico; Leimkühler, Silke; Romão, Maria João

    2012-01-01

    Aldehyde oxidases (AOXs) are homodimeric proteins belonging to the xanthine oxidase family of molybdenum-containing enzymes. Each 150-kDa monomer contains a FAD redox cofactor, two spectroscopically distinct [2Fe-2S] clusters, and a molybdenum cofactor located within the protein active site. AOXs are characterized by broad range substrate specificity, oxidizing different aldehydes and aromatic N-heterocycles. Despite increasing recognition of its role in the metabolism of drugs and xenobiotics, the physiological function of the protein is still largely unknown. We have crystallized and solved the crystal structure of mouse liver aldehyde oxidase 3 to 2.9 Å. This is the first mammalian AOX whose structure has been solved. The structure provides important insights into the protein active center and further evidence on the catalytic differences characterizing AOX and xanthine oxidoreductase. The mouse liver aldehyde oxidase 3 three-dimensional structure combined with kinetic, mutagenesis data, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics studies make a decisive contribution to understand the molecular basis of its rather broad substrate specificity. PMID:23019336

  17. Cell fate regulation in early mammalian development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oron, Efrat; Ivanova, Natalia

    2012-08-01

    Preimplantation development in mammals encompasses a period from fertilization to implantation and results in formation of a blastocyst composed of three distinct cell lineages: epiblast, trophectoderm and primitive endoderm. The epiblast gives rise to the organism, while the trophectoderm and the primitive endoderm contribute to extraembryonic tissues that support embryo development after implantation. In many vertebrates, such as frog or fish, maternally supplied lineage determinants are partitioned within the egg. Cell cleavage that follows fertilization results in polarization of these factors between the individual blastomeres, which become restricted in their developmental fate. In contrast, the mouse oocyte and zygote lack clear polarity and, until the eight-cell stage, individual blastomeres retain the potential to form all lineages. How are cell lineages specified in the absence of a maternally supplied blueprint? This is a fundamental question in the field of developmental biology. The answer to this question lies in understanding the cell-cell interactions and gene networks involved in embryonic development prior to implantation and using this knowledge to create testable models of the developmental processes that govern cell fates. We provide an overview of classic and contemporary models of early lineage development in the mouse and discuss the emerging body of work that highlights similarities and differences between blastocyst development in the mouse and other mammalian species.

  18. Myocardial ischemic protection in natural mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Lin; Kudej, Raymond K; Vatner, Dorothy E; Vatner, Stephen F

    2015-03-01

    Hibernating myocardium is an important clinical syndrome protecting the heart with chronic myocardial ischemia, named for its assumed resemblance to hibernating mammals in winter. However, the effects of myocardial ischemic protection have never been studied in true mammalian hibernation, which is a unique strategy for surviving extreme winter environmental stress. The goal of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that ischemic stress may also be protected in woodchucks as they hibernate in winter. Myocardial infarction was induced by coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion in naturally hibernating woodchucks in winter with and without hibernation and in summer, when not hibernating. The ischemic area at risk was similar among groups. Myocardial infarction was significantly less in woodchucks in winter, whether hibernating or not, compared with summer, and was similar to that resulting after ischemic preconditioning. Whereas several genes were up or downregulated in both hibernating woodchuck and with ischemic preconditioning, one mechanism was unique to hibernation, i.e., activation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). When CREB was upregulated in summer, it induced protection similar to that observed in the woodchuck heart in winter. The cardioprotection in hibernation was also mediated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, rather than inducible nitric oxide synthase. Thus, the hibernating woodchuck heart is a novel model to study cardioprotection for two major reasons: (1) powerful cardioprotection occurs naturally in winter months in the absence of any preconditioning stimuli, and (2) it resembles ischemic preconditioning, but with novel mechanisms, making this model potentially useful for clinical translation. PMID:25613166

  19. Evidence for compartmentalization of mammalian carotenoid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Palczewski, Grzegorz; Amengual, Jaume; Hoppel, Charles L.; von Lintig, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    The critical role of retinoids (vitamin A and its derivatives) for vision, reproduction, and survival has been well established. Vitamin A is produced from dietary carotenoids such as β-carotene by centric cleavage via the enzyme BCO1. The biochemical and molecular identification of a second structurally related β-carotene metabolizing enzyme, BCO2, has led to a prolonged debate about its relevance in vitamin A biology. While BCO1 cleaves provitamin A carotenoids, BCO2 is more promiscuous and also metabolizes nonprovitamin A carotenoids such as zeaxanthin into long-chain apo-carotenoids. Herein we demonstrate, in cell lines, that human BCO2 is associated with the inner mitochondrial membrane. Different human BCO2 isoforms possess cleavable N-terminal leader sequences critical for mitochondrial import. Subfractionation of murine hepatic mitochondria confirmed the localization of BCO2 to the inner mitochondrial membrane. Studies in BCO2-knockout mice revealed that zeaxanthin accumulates in the inner mitochondrial membrane; in contrast, β-carotene is retained predominantly in the cytoplasm. Thus, we provide evidence for a compartmentalization of carotenoid metabolism that prevents competition between BCO1 and BCO2 for the provitamin and the production of noncanonical β-carotene metabolites.—Palczewski, G., Amengual, J., Hoppel, C. L., von Lintig, J. Evidence for compartmentalization of mammalian carotenoid metabolism. PMID:25002123

  20. Mammalian oocyte growth and development in vitro.

    PubMed

    Eppig, J J; O'Brien, M; Wigglesworth, K

    1996-06-01

    This paper is a review of the current status of technology for mammalian oocyte growth and development in vitro. It compares and contrasts the characteristics of the various culture systems that have been devised for the culture of either isolated preantral follicles or the oocyte-granulosa cell complexes form preantral follicles. The advantages and disadvantages of these various systems are discussed. Endpoints for the evaluation of oocyte development in vitro, including oocyte maturation and embryogenesis, are described. Considerations for the improvement of the culture systems are also presented. These include discussions of the possible effects of apoptosis and inappropriate differentiation of oocyte-associated granulosa cells on oocyte development. Finally, the potential applications of the technology for oocyte growth and development in vitro are discussed. For example, studies of oocyte development in vitro could help to identify specific molecules produced during oocyte development that are essential for normal early embryogenesis and perhaps recognize defects leading to infertility or abnormalities in embryonic development. Moreover, the culture systems may provide the methods necessary to enlarge the populations of valuable agricultural, pharmaceutical product-producing, and endangered animals, and to rescue the oocytes of women about to undergo clinical procedures that place oocytes at risk. PMID:9115726

  1. Presence of thiamine pyrophosphate in mammalian peroxisomes

    PubMed Central

    Fraccascia, Patrizia; Sniekers, Mieke; Casteels, Minne; Van Veldhoven, Paul P

    2007-01-01

    Background Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) is a cofactor for 2-hydroxyacyl-CoA lyase 1 (HACL1), a peroxisomal enzyme essential for the α-oxidation of phytanic acid and 2-hydroxy straight chain fatty acids. So far, HACL1 is the only known peroxisomal TPP-dependent enzyme in mammals. Little is known about the transport of metabolites and cofactors across the peroxisomal membrane and no peroxisomal thiamine or TPP carrier has been identified in mammals yet. This study was undertaken to get a better insight into these issues and to shed light on the role of TPP in peroxisomal metabolism. Results Because of the crucial role of the cofactor TPP, we reanalyzed its subcellular localization in rat liver. In addition to the known mitochondrial and cytosolic pools, we demonstrated, for the first time, that peroxisomes contain TPP (177 ± 2 pmol/mg protein). Subsequently, we verified whether TPP could be synthesized from its precursor thiamine, in situ, by a peroxisomal thiamine pyrophosphokinase (TPK). However, TPK activity was exclusively recovered in the cytosol. Conclusion Our results clearly indicate that mammalian peroxisomes do contain TPP but that no pyrophosphorylation of thiamine occurs in these organelles, implying that thiamine must enter the peroxisome already pyrophosphorylated. Consequently, TPP entry may depend on a specific transport system or, in a bound form, on HACL1 translocation. PMID:17596263

  2. Hibernation and daily torpor minimize mammalian extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Turbill, Christopher

    2009-10-01

    Small mammals appear to be less vulnerable to extinction than large species, but the underlying reasons are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that almost all (93.5%) of 61 recently extinct mammal species were homeothermic, maintaining a constant high body temperature and thus energy expenditure, which demands a high intake of food, long foraging times, and thus exposure to predators. In contrast, only 6.5% of extinct mammals were likely heterothermic and employed multi-day torpor (hibernation) or daily torpor, even though torpor is widespread within more than half of all mammalian orders. Torpor is characterized by substantial reductions of body temperature and energy expenditure and enhances survival during adverse conditions by minimizing food and water requirements, and consequently reduces foraging requirements and exposure to predators. Moreover, because life span is generally longer in heterothermic mammals than in related homeotherms, heterotherms can employ a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy to withstand adverse periods and then repopulate when circumstances improve. Thus, torpor is a crucial but hitherto unappreciated attribute of small mammals for avoiding extinction. Many opportunistic heterothermic species, because of their plastic energetic requirements, may also stand a better chance of future survival than homeothermic species in the face of greater climatic extremes and changes in environmental conditions caused by global warming.

  3. Nitric oxide negatively regulates mammalian adult neurogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Packer, Michael A.; Stasiv, Yuri; Benraiss, Abdellatif; Chmielnicki, Eva; Grinberg, Alexander; Westphal, Heiner; Goldman, Steven A.; Enikolopov, Grigori

    2003-08-01

    Neural progenitor cells are widespread throughout the adult central nervous system but only give rise to neurons in specific loci. Negative regulators of neurogenesis have therefore been postulated, but none have yet been identified as subserving a significant role in the adult brain. Here we report that nitric oxide (NO) acts as an important negative regulator of cell proliferation in the adult mammalian brain. We used two independent approaches to examine the function of NO in adult neurogenesis. In a pharmacological approach, we suppressed NO production in the rat brain by intraventricular infusion of an NO synthase inhibitor. In a genetic approach, we generated a null mutant neuronal NO synthase knockout mouse line by targeting the exon encoding active center of the enzyme. In both models, the number of new cells generated in neurogenic areas of the adult brain, the olfactory subependyma and the dentate gyrus, was strongly augmented, which indicates that division of neural stem cells in the adult brain is controlled by NO and suggests a strategy for enhancing neurogenesis in the adult central nervous system.

  4. Apoptosis in mammalian oocytes: a review.

    PubMed

    Tiwari, Meenakshi; Prasad, Shilpa; Tripathi, Anima; Pandey, Ashutosh N; Ali, Irfan; Singh, Arvind K; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K

    2015-08-01

    Apoptosis causes elimination of more than 99% of germ cells from cohort of ovary through follicular atresia. Less than 1% of germ cells, which are culminated in oocytes further undergo apoptosis during last phases of oogenesis and depletes ovarian reserve in most of the mammalian species including human. There are several players that induce apoptosis directly or indirectly in oocytes at various stages of meiotic cell cycle. Premature removal of encircling granulosa cells from immature oocytes, reduced levels of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate, increased levels of calcium (Ca(2+)) and oxidants, sustained reduced level of maturation promoting factor, depletion of survival factors, nutrients and cell cycle proteins, reduced meiotic competency, increased levels of proapoptotic as well as apoptotic factors lead to oocyte apoptosis. The BH3-only proteins also act as key regulators of apoptosis in oocyte within the ovary. Both intrinsic (mitochondria-mediated) as well as extrinsic (cell surface death receptor-mediated) pathways are involved in oocyte apoptosis. BID, a BH3-only protein act as a bridge between both apoptotic pathways and its cleavage activates cell death machinery of both the pathways inside the follicular microenvironment. Oocyte apoptosis leads to the depletion of ovarian reserve that directly affects reproductive outcome of various mammals including human. In this review article, we highlight some of the important players and describe the pathways involved during oocyte apoptosis in mammals. PMID:25958165

  5. Repair of radiation damage in mammalian cells

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1981-01-01

    The responses, such as survival, mutation, and carcinogenesis, of mammalian cells and tissues to radiation are dependent not only on the magnitude of the damage to macromolecular structures - DNA, RNA, protein, and membranes - but on the rates of macromolecular syntheses of cells relative to the half-lives of the damages. Cells possess a number of mechanisms for repairing damage to DNA. If the repair systems are rapid and error free, cells can tolerate much larger doses than if repair is slow or error prone. It is important to understand the effects of radiation and the repair of radiation damage because there exist reasonable amounts of epidemiological data that permits the construction of dose-response curves for humans. The shapes of such curves or the magnitude of the response will depend on repair. Radiation damage is emphasized because: (a) radiation dosimetry, with all its uncertainties for populations, is excellent compared to chemical dosimetry; (b) a number of cancer-prone diseases are known in which there are defects in DNA repair and radiation results in more chromosomal damage in cells from such individuals than in cells from normal individuals; (c) in some cases, specific radiation products in DNA have been correlated with biological effects, and (d) many chemical effects seem to mimic radiation effects. A further reason for emphasizing damage to DNA is the wealth of experimental evidence indicating that damages to DNA can be initiating events in carcinogenesis.

  6. Angiogenesis is inhibitory for mammalian digit regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ling; Yan, Mingquan; Simkin, Jennifer; Ketcham, Paulina D.; Leininger, Eric; Han, Manjong

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The regenerating mouse digit tip is a unique model for investigating blastema formation and epimorphic regeneration in mammals. The blastema is characteristically avascular and we previously reported that blastema expression of a known anti‐angiogenic factor gene, Pedf, correlated with a successful regenerative response (Yu, L., Han, M., Yan, M., Lee, E. C., Lee, J. & Muneoka, K. (2010). BMP signaling induces digit regeneration in neonatal mice. Development, 137, 551–559). Here we show that during regeneration Vegfa transcripts are not detected in the blastema but are expressed at the onset of differentiation. Treating the amputation wound with vascular endothelial growth factor enhances angiogenesis but inhibits regeneration. We next tested bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9), another known mediator of angiogenesis, and found that BMP9 is also a potent inhibitor of digit tip regeneration. BMP9 induces Vegfa expression in the digit stump suggesting that regenerative failure is mediated by enhanced angiogenesis. Finally, we show that BMP9 inhibition of regeneration is completely rescued by treatment with pigment epithelium‐derived factor. These studies show that precocious angiogenesis is inhibitory for regeneration, and provide compelling evidence that the regulation of angiogenesis is a critical factor in designing therapies aimed at stimulating mammalian regeneration.

  7. The Nucleosome Map of the Mammalian Liver

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhaoyu; Schug, Jonathan; Tuteja, Geetu; White, Peter; Kaestner, Klaus H.

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian genomes contain billions of basepairs of DNA that must be highly compacted as chromatin to fit into the nano-scale of the nucleus, but yet be accessible to allow for transcription to occur. Binding to nucleosomal DNA is critical for ‘pioneer’ transcription factors such as the winged helix transcription factors Foxa1 and Foxa2 to regulate chromatin structure and gene activation. Here we report the genome-wide map of nucleosome positions in the mouse liver, with emphasis on transcriptional start sites, CpG islands, Foxa2 binding sites, and their correlation with gene expression. Despite the heterogeneity of liver tissue, we could clearly discern the nucleosome pattern of the predominant liver cell, the hepatocyte. By analyzing nucleosome occupancy and the distributions of heterochromatin protein 1 (Hp1), CBP (also known as Crebbp), and p300 (Ep300) in Foxa1/2-deficient livers we find, surprisingly, that the maintenance of nucleosome position and chromatin structure surrounding Foxa2 binding sites is independent of Foxa1/2. PMID:21623366

  8. Functions of miRNAs during Mammalian Heart Development

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Shun; Jiao, Kai

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles during mammalian heart development and have emerged as attractive therapeutic targets for cardiovascular diseases. The mammalian embryonic heart is mainly derived from four major cell types during development. These include cardiomyocytes, endocardial cells, epicardial cells, and neural crest cells. Recent data have identified various miRNAs as critical regulators of the proper differentiation, proliferation, and survival of these cell types. In this review, we briefly introduce the contemporary understanding of mammalian cardiac development. We also focus on recent developments in the field of cardiac miRNAs and their functions during the development of different cell types. PMID:27213371

  9. Fishing for mammalian paradigms in the teleost immune system

    PubMed Central

    Sunyer, J Oriol

    2013-01-01

    Recent years have witnessed a renaissance in the study of fish immune systems. Such studies have greatly expanded the knowledge of the evolution and diversification of vertebrate immune systems. Several findings in those studies have overturned old paradigms about the immune system and led to the discovery of novel aspects of mammalian immunity. Here I focus on how findings pertaining to immunity in teleost (bony) fish have led to major new insights about mammalian B cell function in innate and adaptive immunity. Additionally, I illustrate how the discovery of the most ancient mucosal immunoglobulin described thus far will help resolve unsettled paradigms of mammalian mucosal immunity. PMID:23507645

  10. Algebraic reconstruction techniques for spectral reconstruction in diffuse optical tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Brendel, Bernhard; Ziegler, Ronny; Nielsen, Tim

    2008-12-01

    Reconstruction in diffuse optical tomography (DOT) necessitates solving the diffusion equation, which is nonlinear with respect to the parameters that have to be reconstructed. Currently applied solving methods are based on the linearization of the equation. For spectral three-dimensional reconstruction, the emerging equation system is too large for direct inversion, but the application of iterative methods is feasible. Computational effort and speed of convergence of these iterative methods are crucial since they determine the computation time of the reconstruction. In this paper, the iterative methods algebraic reconstruction technique (ART) and conjugated gradients (CGs) as well as a new modified ART method are investigated for spectral DOT reconstruction. The aim of the modified ART scheme is to speed up the convergence by considering the specific conditions of spectral reconstruction. As a result, it converges much faster to favorable results than conventional ART and CG methods.

  11. Stochastic reconstruction of sandstones

    PubMed

    Manwart; Torquato; Hilfer

    2000-07-01

    A simulated annealing algorithm is employed to generate a stochastic model for a Berea sandstone and a Fontainebleau sandstone, with each a prescribed two-point probability function, lineal-path function, and "pore size" distribution function, respectively. We find that the temperature decrease of the annealing has to be rather quick to yield isotropic and percolating configurations. A comparison of simple morphological quantities indicates good agreement between the reconstructions and the original sandstones. Also, the mean survival time of a random walker in the pore space is reproduced with good accuracy. However, a more detailed investigation by means of local porosity theory shows that there may be significant differences of the geometrical connectivity between the reconstructed and the experimental samples. PMID:11088546

  12. Reconstruction of an ancestral Yersinia pestis genome and comparison with an ancient sequence

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background We propose the computational reconstruction of a whole bacterial ancestral genome at the nucleotide scale, and its validation by a sequence of ancient DNA. This rare possibility is offered by an ancient sequence of the late middle ages plague agent. It has been hypothesized to be ancestral to extant Yersinia pestis strains based on the pattern of nucleotide substitutions. But the dynamics of indels, duplications, insertion sequences and rearrangements has impacted all genomes much more than the substitution process, which makes the ancestral reconstruction task challenging. Results We use a set of gene families from 13 Yersinia species, construct reconciled phylogenies for all of them, and determine gene orders in ancestral species. Gene trees integrate information from the sequence, the species tree and gene order. We reconstruct ancestral sequences for ancestral genic and intergenic regions, providing nearly a complete genome sequence for the ancestor, containing a chromosome and three plasmids. Conclusion The comparison of the ancestral and ancient sequences provides a unique opportunity to assess the quality of ancestral genome reconstruction methods. But the quality of the sequencing and assembly of the ancient sequence can also be questioned by this comparison. PMID:26450112

  13. Hominin life history: reconstruction and evolution.

    PubMed

    Robson, Shannen L; Wood, Bernard

    2008-04-01

    In this review we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominin life history from extant and fossil evidence. We utilize demographic life history theory and distinguish life history variables, traits such as weaning, age at sexual maturity, and life span, from life history-related variables such as body mass, brain growth, and dental development. The latter are either linked with, or can be used to make inferences about, life history, thus providing an opportunity for estimating life history parameters in fossil taxa. We compare the life history variables of modern great apes and identify traits that are likely to be shared by the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and those likely to be derived in hominins. All great apes exhibit slow life histories and we infer this to be true of the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and the stem hominin. Modern human life histories are even slower, exhibiting distinctively long post-menopausal life spans and later ages at maturity, pointing to a reduction in adult mortality since the Pan-Homo split. We suggest that lower adult mortality, distinctively short interbirth intervals, and early weaning characteristic of modern humans are derived features resulting from cooperative breeding. We evaluate the fidelity of three life history-related variables, body mass, brain growth and dental development, with the life history parameters of living great apes. We found that body mass is the best predictor of great ape life history events. Brain growth trajectories and dental development and eruption are weakly related proxies and inferences from them should be made with caution. We evaluate the evidence of life history-related variables available for extinct species and find that prior to the transitional hominins there is no evidence of any hominin taxon possessing a body size, brain size or aspects of dental development much different from what we assume to be the primitive life history pattern for the Pan-Homo clade. Data for

  14. Hominin life history: reconstruction and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Robson, Shannen L; Wood, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    In this review we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominin life history from extant and fossil evidence. We utilize demographic life history theory and distinguish life history variables, traits such as weaning, age at sexual maturity, and life span, from life history-related variables such as body mass, brain growth, and dental development. The latter are either linked with, or can be used to make inferences about, life history, thus providing an opportunity for estimating life history parameters in fossil taxa. We compare the life history variables of modern great apes and identify traits that are likely to be shared by the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and those likely to be derived in hominins. All great apes exhibit slow life histories and we infer this to be true of the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and the stem hominin. Modern human life histories are even slower, exhibiting distinctively long post-menopausal life spans and later ages at maturity, pointing to a reduction in adult mortality since the Pan-Homo split. We suggest that lower adult mortality, distinctively short interbirth intervals, and early weaning characteristic of modern humans are derived features resulting from cooperative breeding. We evaluate the fidelity of three life history-related variables, body mass, brain growth and dental development, with the life history parameters of living great apes. We found that body mass is the best predictor of great ape life history events. Brain growth trajectories and dental development and eruption are weakly related proxies and inferences from them should be made with caution. We evaluate the evidence of life history-related variables available for extinct species and find that prior to the transitional hominins there is no evidence of any hominin taxon possessing a body size, brain size or aspects of dental development much different from what we assume to be the primitive life history pattern for the Pan-Homo clade. Data for

  15. LOFAR sparse image reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garsden, H.; Girard, J. N.; Starck, J. L.; Corbel, S.; Tasse, C.; Woiselle, A.; McKean, J. P.; van Amesfoort, A. S.; Anderson, J.; Avruch, I. M.; Beck, R.; Bentum, M. J.; Best, P.; Breitling, F.; Broderick, J.; Brüggen, M.; Butcher, H. R.; Ciardi, B.; de Gasperin, F.; de Geus, E.; de Vos, M.; Duscha, S.; Eislöffel, J.; Engels, D.; Falcke, H.; Fallows, R. A.; Fender, R.; Ferrari, C.; Frieswijk, W.; Garrett, M. A.; Grießmeier, J.; Gunst, A. W.; Hassall, T. E.; Heald, G.; Hoeft, M.; Hörandel, J.; van der Horst, A.; Juette, E.; Karastergiou, A.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Kramer, M.; Kuniyoshi, M.; Kuper, G.; Mann, G.; Markoff, S.; McFadden, R.; McKay-Bukowski, D.; Mulcahy, D. D.; Munk, H.; Norden, M. J.; Orru, E.; Paas, H.; Pandey-Pommier, M.; Pandey, V. N.; Pietka, G.; Pizzo, R.; Polatidis, A. G.; Renting, A.; Röttgering, H.; Rowlinson, A.; Schwarz, D.; Sluman, J.; Smirnov, O.; Stappers, B. W.; Steinmetz, M.; Stewart, A.; Swinbank, J.; Tagger, M.; Tang, Y.; Tasse, C.; Thoudam, S.; Toribio, C.; Vermeulen, R.; Vocks, C.; van Weeren, R. J.; Wijnholds, S. J.; Wise, M. W.; Wucknitz, O.; Yatawatta, S.; Zarka, P.; Zensus, A.

    2015-03-01

    Context. The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope is a giant digital phased array interferometer with multiple antennas distributed in Europe. It provides discrete sets of Fourier components of the sky brightness. Recovering the original brightness distribution with aperture synthesis forms an inverse problem that can be solved by various deconvolution and minimization methods. Aims: Recent papers have established a clear link between the discrete nature of radio interferometry measurement and the "compressed sensing" (CS) theory, which supports sparse reconstruction methods to form an image from the measured visibilities. Empowered by proximal theory, CS offers a sound framework for efficient global minimization and sparse data representation using fast algorithms. Combined with instrumental direction-dependent effects (DDE) in the scope of a real instrument, we developed and validated a new method based on this framework. Methods: We implemented a sparse reconstruction method in the standard LOFAR imaging tool and compared the photometric and resolution performance of this new imager with that of CLEAN-based methods (CLEAN and MS-CLEAN) with simulated and real LOFAR data. Results: We show that i) sparse reconstruction performs as well as CLEAN in recovering the flux of point sources; ii) performs much better on extended objects (the root mean square error is reduced by a factor of up to 10); and iii) provides a solution with an effective angular resolution 2-3 times better than the CLEAN images. Conclusions: Sparse recovery gives a correct photometry on high dynamic and wide-field images and improved realistic structures of extended sources (of simulated and real LOFAR datasets). This sparse reconstruction method is compatible with modern interferometric imagers that handle DDE corrections (A- and W-projections) required for current and future instruments such as LOFAR and SKA.

  16. Reconstruction of vaginal agenesis.

    PubMed

    Ozkan, Ozlenen; Erman Akar, Münire; Ozkan, Omer; Doğan, N Utku

    2011-06-01

    Vaginal ageneses are by no means rare anomalies. Complete Mullerian agenesis is the most common reason for vaginal agenesis requiring reconstruction. Patients usually present with pain, hematocolpos, or hematometra in puberty, and later with amenorrhea and dyspareunia. Detailed information is given here regarding etiologies, timing of surgery, and current treatment options for vaginal agenesis. Outcomes and short- and long-term complications of recent treatment options are also discussed. PMID:21372677

  17. [Reconstruction of pulpectomized teeth].

    PubMed

    Colon, P; Picard, B

    1990-04-01

    The general principles governing the choice of materials for reconstruction of devitalized teeth are determined on the basis of mechanical and biological imperatives as well as degradation phenomena. In describing the various techniques for clinical implementation, particular emphasis is placed on the imperatives and limitations of each protocol. A decisive factor in the durability of restorations is their homogeneity, as well as the clinical conditions under which they are performed. PMID:2135782

  18. Secondary femoropopliteal reconstruction.

    PubMed Central

    Whittemore, A D; Clowes, A W; Couch, N P; Mannick, J A

    1981-01-01

    Retrospective analysis of the authors' experience with 109 primary femoropopliteal bypass vein grafts that failed allows description of three distinct modes of failure. Within 30 days of surgery, failure resulted primarily from technical or judgmental errors. The development of stenotic lesions within the vein graft caused a second group of failures during the first year after bypass. The third group most commonly failed due to progression of peripheral atherosclerosis a year or more following original bypass. No correlation was found, however, between the mode of failure and results of secondary femoropopliteal-tibial reconstruction, which yielded an overall 50% five-year cumulative limb salvage rate. The results indicate that this salvage rate can be anticipated regardless of the number of secondary operations required. The highest long-term patency rate was achieved when frequent postoperative follow-up examinations allowed recognition of graft failure prior to total occlusion. Under such circumstances a simple vein patch of stenotic lesions yielded an 85% five-year graft patency. Following actual thrombosis, however, the highest five-year patency rate was achieved when reconstruction was performed using a new vein graft; saphenous vein and arm vein were equally effective. When prosthetic material was used, no secondary graft remained patent beyond three years. Finally, when a proximal or distal portion of the original vein graft proved adequate in caliber following thrombectomy, it could be successfully incorporated in a secondary reconstruction with the expectation of a 50% five-year limb salvage rate. No statistically significant difference was found in salvage rates among each of the patient groups representing the three common modes of graft failure. This finding, coupled with an acceptable 2.5% operative mortality rate, provides justification for an aggressive approach toward secondary femoropopliteal reconstruction. Images Fig. 1a. Fig. 1c. PMID:7458449

  19. Kinky tomographic reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, K.M.; Cunningham, G.S.; Bilisoly, R.L.

    1996-05-01

    We address the issue of how to make decisions about the degree of smoothness demanded of a flexible contour used to model the boundary of a 2D object. We demonstrate the use of a Bayesian approach to set the strength of the smoothness prior for a tomographic reconstruction problem. The Akaike Information Criterion is used to determine whether to allow a kink in the contour.

  20. Paleoproductivity Reconstructions Using Radiolarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarus, D. B.

    2003-12-01

    This talk reviews the use of radiolarian assemblages in paleoproductivity reconstruction. Molina-Cruz and CLIMAP co-workers first identified a distinct radiolarian assemblage whose modern geographic distribution closely matched that of an upwelling region (eastern Pacific Peru-Chile). Nigrini and Caulet subsequently identified additional species largely endemic to various upwelling environments. They applied this in the form of an Upwelling Radiolarian Index (URI) in down-core studies of upwelling history. Recently, Jacot des Combes and Weinheimer have used published distributions of living radiolarians in the water-column to assign fossil taxa to surface vs subsurface groups. They used ratios of thermocline to surface taxa (e.g., the Thermocline to Surface Radiolarian Index, or TSRI), which measures relative enhancement of thermocline to surface radiolarian production in regions of upwelling, to reconstruct past ocean productivity. Both methods appear to perform well, although neither is always reliable. Both the URI and TSRI methods are based on a small number of taxa (ca. 10 each), although biogeographic and water depth information are now available for ca. 100 living species. The use of additional taxa should make reconstructions more robust by reducing the effects of single species ecology, and making index values less sensitive to evolutionary changes in taxa over Neogene time intervals. Taxonomic assemblage reconstructions of productivity have some inherent advantages over bulk flux proxies, being less sensitive to preservation problems or the age model employed. Radiolarian assemblages are particularly useful in upwelling regions where carbonate fossils are poorly preserved. All are however limited by our sparse knowledge of the ecology of the various species used. Among the major microfossil groups, radiolarian ecology and biology are in particular relatively poorly known; even the descriptive taxonomy of living species is not yet complete. Despite these

  1. Bayesian image reconstruction in astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunez, Jorge; Llacer, Jorge

    1990-09-01

    This paper presents the development and testing of a new iterative reconstruction algorithm for astronomy. A maximum a posteriori method of image reconstruction in the Bayesian statistical framework is proposed for the Poisson-noise case. The method uses the entropy with an adjustable 'sharpness parameter' to define the prior probability and the likelihood with 'data increment' parameters to define the conditional probability. The method makes it possible to obtain reconstructions with neither the problem of the 'grey' reconstructions associated with the pure Bayesian reconstructions nor the problem of image deterioration, typical of the maximum-likelihood method. The present iterative algorithm is fast and stable, maintains positivity, and converges to feasible images.

  2. Neuroanatomy: connectome connects fly and mammalian brain networks.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-05-18

    A recent study shows that brain connectivity in Drosophila melanogaster follows a small-world, modular and rich-club organisation that facilitates information processing. This organisation shows a striking similarity with the mammalian brain. PMID:25989081

  3. GENE EXPRESSION IN PRE-IMPLANTATION MAMMALIAN EMBRYOS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The pre-implantation mammalian embryo is initially under the control of maternal informational macromolecules that are accumulated during oogenesis. ubsequently, the genetic program of development becomes dependent upon new transcription derived from activation of the embryonic g...

  4. Profiling Signaling Peptides in Single Mammalian Cells Using Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Churchill, James D.; Greenough, William T.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2008-01-01

    The peptide content of individual mammalian cells is profiled using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Both enzymatic and non-enzymatic procedures, including a glycerol cell stabilization method, are reported for the isolation of individual mammalian cells in a manner compatible with MALDI MS measurements. Guided microdeposition of MALDI matrix allows samples to be created with suitable analyte-to-matrix ratios. More than fifteen peptides are observed in individual rat intermediate pituitary cells. The combination of accurate mass data, expected cleavages by proteolytic enzymes, and post-source decay sequencing allows identification of fourteen of these peptides as pro-opiomelanocortin prohormone-derived molecules. These protocols permit the classification of individual mammalian cells by peptide profile, the elucidation of cell-specific prohormone processing, and the discovery of new signaling peptides on a cell-to-cell basis in a wide variety of mammalian cell types. PMID:17037931

  5. The extended Price equation quantifies species selection on mammalian body size across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, Brian D.; Fox, Jeremy W.; Barrón-Ortiz, Christian R.; Chew, Amy E.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Ludtke, Joshua A.; Yang, Xingkai; Theodor, Jessica M.

    2015-01-01

    Species selection, covariation of species’ traits with their net diversification rates, is an important component of macroevolution. Most studies have relied on indirect evidence for its operation and have not quantified its strength relative to other macroevolutionary forces. We use an extension of the Price equation to quantify the mechanisms of body size macroevolution in mammals from the latest Palaeocene and earliest Eocene of the Bighorn and Clarks Fork Basins of Wyoming. Dwarfing of mammalian taxa across the Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), an intense, brief warming event that occurred at approximately 56 Ma, has been suggested to reflect anagenetic change and the immigration of small bodied-mammals, but might also be attributable to species selection. Using previously reconstructed ancestor–descendant relationships, we partitioned change in mean mammalian body size into three distinct mechanisms: species selection operating on resident mammals, anagenetic change within resident mammalian lineages and change due to immigrants. The remarkable decrease in mean body size across the warming event occurred through anagenetic change and immigration. Species selection also was strong across the PETM but, intriguingly, favoured larger-bodied species, implying some unknown mechanism(s) by which warming events affect macroevolution. PMID:26224712

  6. Theria-Specific Homeodomain and cis-Regulatory Element Evolution of the Dlx3–4 Bigene Cluster in 12 Different Mammalian Species

    PubMed Central

    SUMIYAMA, KENTA; MIYAKE, TSUTOMU; GRIMWOOD, JANE; STUART, ANDREW; DICKSON, MARK; SCHMUTZ, JEREMY; RUDDLE, FRANK H.; MYERS, RICHARD M.; AMEMIYA, CHRIS T.

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian Dlx3 and Dlx4 genes are configured as a bigene cluster, and their respective expression patterns are controlled temporally and spatially by cis-elements that largely reside within the intergenic region of the cluster. Previous work revealed that there are conspicuously conserved elements within the intergenic region of the Dlx3–4 bigene clusters of mouse and human. In this paper we have extended these analyses to include 12 additional mammalian taxa (including a marsupial and a monotreme) in order to better define the nature and molecular evolutionary trends of the coding and non-coding functional elements among morphologically divergent mammals. Dlx3–4 regions were fully sequenced from 12 divergent taxa of interest. We identified three theria-specific amino acid replacements in homeodomain of Dlx4 gene that functions in placenta. Sequence analyses of constrained nucleotide sites in the intergenic non-coding region showed that many of the intergenic conserved elements are highly conserved and have evolved slowly within the mammals. In contrast, a branchial arch/craniofacial enhancer I37-2 exhibited accelerated evolution at the branch between the monotreme and therian common ancestor despite being highly conserved among therian species. Functional analysis of I37-2 in transgenic mice has shown that the equivalent region of the platypus fails to drive transcriptional activity in branchial arches. These observations, taken together with our molecular evolutionary data, suggest that theria-specific episodic changes in the I37-2 element may have contributed to craniofacial innovation at the base of the mammalian lineage. PMID:22951979

  7. Theria-specific homeodomain and cis-regulatory element evolution of the Dlx3-4 bigene cluster in 12 different mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Sumiyama, Kenta; Miyake, Tsutomu; Grimwood, Jane; Stuart, Andrew; Dickson, Mark; Schmutz, Jeremy; Ruddle, Frank H; Myers, Richard M; Amemiya, Chris T

    2012-12-01

    The mammalian Dlx3 and Dlx4 genes are configured as a bigene cluster, and their respective expression patterns are controlled temporally and spatially by cis-elements that largely reside within the intergenic region of the cluster. Previous work revealed that there are conspicuously conserved elements within the intergenic region of the Dlx3-4 bigene clusters of mouse and human. In this paper we have extended these analyses to include 12 additional mammalian taxa (including a marsupial and a monotreme) in order to better define the nature and molecular evolutionary trends of the coding and non-coding functional elements among morphologically divergent mammals. Dlx3-4 regions were fully sequenced from 12 divergent taxa of interest. We identified three theria-specific amino acid replacements in homeodomain of Dlx4 gene that functions in placenta. Sequence analyses of constrained nucleotide sites in the intergenic non-coding region showed that many of the intergenic conserved elements are highly conserved and have evolved slowly within the mammals. In contrast, a branchial arch/craniofacial enhancer I37-2 exhibited accelerated evolution at the branch between the monotreme and therian common ancestor despite being highly conserved among therian species. Functional analysis of I37-2 in transgenic mice has shown that the equivalent region of the platypus fails to drive transcriptional activity in branchial arches. These observations, taken together with our molecular evolutionary data, suggest that theria-specific episodic changes in the I37-2 element may have contributed to craniofacial innovation at the base of the mammalian lineage. PMID:22951979

  8. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT) ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes. PMID:22655747

  9. Genome exposure and regulation in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Puck, T T; Webb, P; Johnson, R

    1998-09-01

    A method of measurement of exposed DNA (i.e. hypersensitive to DNase I hydrolysis) as opposed to sequestered (hydrolysis resistant) DNA in isolated nuclei of mammalian cells is described. While cell cultures exhibit some differences in behavior from day to day, the general pattern of exposed and sequestered DNA is satisfactorily reproducible and agrees with results previously obtained by other methods. The general pattern of DNA hydrolysis exhibited by all cells tested consists of a curve which at first rises sharply with increasing DNase I, and then becomes almost horizontal, indicating that roughly about half of the nuclear DNA is highly sequestered. In 4 cases where transformed cells (Raszip6, CHO, HL60 and PC12) were compared, each with its more normal homolog (3T3, and the reverse transformed versions of CHO, HL60 and PC12, achieved by dibutyryl cyclic AMP [DBcAMP], retinoic acid, and nerve growth factor [NGF] respectively), the transformed form displayed less genome exposure than the nontransformed form at every DNase I dose tested. When Ca++ was excluded from the hydrolysis medium in both the Raszip6-3T3 and the CHO-DBcAMP systems, the normal cell forms lost their increased exposure reverting to that of the transformed forms. Therefore Ca++ appears necessary for maintenance of the DNA in the more highly exposed state characteristic of the nontransformed phenotype. LiCl increases the DNA exposure of all transformed cells tested. Dextran sulfate and heparin each can increase the DNA exposure of several different cancers. Colcemid prevents the increase of exposure of CHO by DBcAMP but it must be administered before or simultaneously with the latter compound. Measurements on mouse biopsies reveal large differences in exposure in different normal tissues. Thus, the exposure from adult liver cells was greater than that of adult brain, but both fetal liver and fetal brain had significantly greater exposure than their adult counterparts. Exposure in normal human

  10. Cell lineage in mammalian craniofacial mesenchyme.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Toshiyuki; Vivatbutsiri, Philaiporn; Morriss-Kay, Gillian; Saga, Yumiko; Iseki, Sachiko

    2008-01-01

    We have analysed the contributions of neural crest and mesoderm to mammalian craniofacial mesenchyme and its derivatives by cell lineage tracing experiments in mouse embryos, using the permanent genetic markers Wnt1-cre for neural crest and Mesp1-cre for mesoderm, combined with the Rosa26 reporter. At the end of neural crest cell migration (E9.5) the two patterns are reciprocal, with a mutual boundary just posterior to the eye. Mesodermal cells expressing endothelial markers (angioblasts) are found not to respect this boundary; they are associated with the migrating neural crest from the 5-somite stage, and by E9.5 they form a pre-endothelial meshwork throughout the cranial mesenchyme. Mesodermal cells of the myogenic lineage also migrate with neural crest cells, as the branchial arches form. By E17.5 the neural crest-mesoderm boundary in the subectodermal mesenchyme becomes out of register with that of the underlying skeletogenic layer, which is between the frontal and parietal bones. At E13.5 the primordia of these bones lie basolateral to the brain, extending towards the vertex of the skull during the following 4-5 days. We used DiI labelling of the bone primordia in ex-utero E13.5 embryos to distinguish between two possibilities for the origin of the frontal and parietal bones: (1) recruitment from adjacent connective tissue or (2) proliferation of the original primordia. The results clearly demonstrated that the bone primordia extend vertically by intrinsic growth, without detectable recruitment of adjacent mesenchymal cells. PMID:18617001

  11. Evolution of the mammalian dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Hevner, Robert F

    2016-02-15

    The dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation, has important functions in learning, memory, and adult neurogenesis. Compared with homologous areas in sauropsids (birds and reptiles), the mammalian DG is larger and exhibits qualitatively different phenotypes: 1) folded (C- or V-shaped) granule neuron layer, concave toward the hilus and delimited by a hippocampal fissure; 2) nonperiventricular adult neurogenesis; and 3) prolonged ontogeny, involving extensive abventricular (basal) migration and proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). Although gaps remain, available data indicate that these DG traits are present in all orders of mammals, including monotremes and marsupials. The exception is Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), in which DG size, convolution, and adult neurogenesis have undergone evolutionary regression. Parsimony suggests that increased growth and convolution of the DG arose in stem mammals concurrently with nonperiventricular adult hippocampal neurogenesis and basal migration of NSPCs during development. These traits could all result from an evolutionary change that enhanced radial migration of NSPCs out of the periventricular zones, possibly by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, to colonize and maintain nonperiventricular proliferative niches. In turn, increased NSPC migration and clonal expansion might be a consequence of growth in the cortical hem (medial patterning center), which produces morphogens such as Wnt3a, generates Cajal-Retzius neurons, and is regulated by Lhx2. Finally, correlations between DG convolution and neocortical gyrification (or capacity for gyrification) suggest that enhanced abventricular migration and proliferation of NSPCs played a transformative role in growth and folding of neocortex as well as archicortex. PMID:26179319

  12. Ontogenetic development of the mammalian circadian system.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Dietmar

    2005-01-01

    This review summarizes the current knowledge about the ontogenetic development of the circadian system in mammals. The developmental changes of overt rhythms are discussed, although the main focus of the review is the underlying neuronal and molecular mechanisms. In addition, the review describes ontogenetic development, not only as a process of morpho-functional maturation. The need of repeated adaptations and readaptations due to changing developmental stage and environmental conditions is also considered. The review analyzes mainly rodent data, obtained from the literature and from the author's own studies. Results from other species, including humans, are presented to demonstrate common features and species-dependent differences. The review first describes the development of the suprachiasmatic nuclei as the central pacemaker system and shows that intrinsic circadian rhythms are already generated in the mammalian fetus. As in adult organisms, the period length is different from 24 h and needs continuous correction by environmental periodicities, or zeitgebers. The investigation of the ontogenetic development of the mechanisms of entrainment reveals that, at prenatal and early postnatal stages, non-photic cues deriving from the mother are effective. Light-dark entrainment develops later. At a certain age, both photic and non-photic zeitgebers may act in parallel, even though the respective time information is 12 h out of phase. That leads to a temporary internal desynchronization. Because rhythmic information needs to be transferred to effector organs, the corresponding neural and humoral signalling pathways are also briefly described. Finally, to be able to transform a rhythmic signal into an overt rhythm, the corresponding effector organs must be functionally mature. As many of these organs are able to generate their own intrinsic rhythms, another aspect of the review is dedicated to the development of peripheral oscillators and mechanisms of their entrainment

  13. Assays for mammalian tyrosinase: a comparative study

    SciTech Connect

    Jara, J.R.; Solano, F.; Lozano, J.A.

    1988-01-01

    This work describes a comparative study of the tyrosinase activity determined using three methods which are the most extensively employed; two radiometric assays using L-tyrosine as substrate (tyrosine hydroxylase and melanin formation activities) and one spectrophotometric assay using L-dopa (dopa oxidase activity). The three methods were simultaneously employed to measure the activities of the soluble, melanosomal, and microsomal tyrosinase isozymes from Harding-Passey mouse melanoma through their purification processes. The aim of this study was to find any correlation among the tyrosinase activities measured by the three different assays and to determine whether that correlation varied with the isozyme and its degree of purification. The results show that mammalian tyrosinase has a greater turnover number for L-dopa than for L-tyrosine. Thus, enzyme activity, expressed as mumol of substrate transformed per min, is higher in assays using L-dopa as substrate than those using L-tyrosine. Moreover, the percentage of hydroxylated L-tyrosine that is converted into melanin is low and is affected by several factors, apparently decreasing the tyrosinase activity measured by the melanin formation assay. Bearing these considerations in mind, average interassay factors are proposed. Their values are 10 to transform melanin formation into tyrosine hydroxylase activity, 100 to transform tyrosine hydroxylase into dopa oxidase activity, and 1,000 to transform melanin formation into dopa oxidase activity. Variations in these values due to the presence in the tyrosinase preparations of either inhibitors or regulatory factors in melanogenesis independent of tyrosinase are also discussed.

  14. Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation Analysis of Mammalian Endogenous Retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, Rita; Mager, Dixie L

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses are repetitive sequences found abundantly in mammalian genomes which are capable of modulating host gene expression. Nevertheless, most endogenous retrovirus copies are under tight epigenetic control via histone-repressive modifications and DNA methylation. Here we describe a common method used in our laboratory to detect, quantify, and compare mammalian endogenous retrovirus DNA methylation. More specifically we describe methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) followed by quantitative PCR. PMID:26895065

  15. Hypergravity signal transduction and gene expression in cultured mammalian cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumei, Y.; Whitson, P. A.

    1994-01-01

    A number of studies have been conducted during space flight and with clinostats and centrifuges, suggesting that gravity effects the proliferation and differentiation of mammalian cells in vitro. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which mammalian cells respond to changes in gravitational stress. This paper summarizes studies designed to clarify the effects of hypergravity on the cultured human HeLa cells and to investigate the mechanism of hypergravity signal transduction in these cells.

  16. Multi-cellular, three-dimensional living mammalian tissue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, Thomas J. (Inventor); Wolf, David A. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    The present invention relates to a multicellular, three-dimensional, living mammalian tissue. The tissue is produced by a co-culture process wherein two distinct types of mammalian cells are co-cultured in a rotating bioreactor which is completely filled with culture media and cell attachment substrates. As the size of the tissue assemblies formed on the attachment substrates changes, the rotation of the bioreactor is adjusted accordingly.

  17. Mammalian Tribbles Homologs at the Crossroads of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Cunard, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    In 2000, investigators discovered Tribbles, a Drosophila protein that coordinates morphogenesis by inhibiting mitosis. Further work has delineated Xenopus (Xtrb2), Nematode (Nipi-3), and mammalian homologs of Drosophila tribbles, which include TRB1, TRB2, and TRB3. The sequences of tribbles homologs are highly conserved, and despite their protein kinase structure, to date they have not been shown to have kinase activity. TRB family members play a role in the differentiation of macrophages, lymphocytes, muscle cells, adipocytes, and osteoblasts. TRB isoforms also coordinate a number of critical cellular processes including glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, cellular stress, survival, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis. TRB family members modulate multiple complex signaling networks including mitogen activated protein kinase cascades, protein kinase B/AKT signaling, mammalian target of rapamycin, and inflammatory pathways. The following review will discuss metazoan homologs of Drosophila tribbles, their structure, expression patterns, and functions. In particular, we will focus on TRB3 function in the kidney in podocytes. This review will also discuss the key signaling pathways with which tribbles proteins interact and provide a rationale for developing novel therapeutics that exploit these interactions to provide better treatment options for both acute and chronic kidney disease. PMID:24490110

  18. Analysis of the coding-complete genomic sequence of groundnut ringspot virus suggests a common ancestor with tomato chlorotic spot virus.

    PubMed

    de Breuil, Soledad; Cañizares, Joaquín; Blanca, José Miguel; Bejerman, Nicolás; Trucco, Verónica; Giolitti, Fabián; Ziarsolo, Peio; Lenardon, Sergio

    2016-08-01

    Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) share biological and serological properties, so their identification is carried out by molecular methods. Their genomes consist of three segmented RNAs: L, M and S. The finding of a reassortant between these two viruses may complicate correct virus identification and requires the characterization of the complete genome. Therefore, we present for the first time the complete sequences of all the genes encoded by a GRSV isolate. The high level of sequence similarity between GRSV and TCSV (over 90 % identity) observed in the genes and proteins encoded in the M RNA support previous results indicating that these viruses probably have a common ancestor. PMID:27260536

  19. The c.859G>C variant in the SMN2 gene is associated with types II and III SMA and originates from a common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Bernal, S; Alías, L; Barceló, M J; Also-Rallo, E; Martínez-Hernández, R; Gámez, J; Guillén-Navarro, E; Rosell, J; Hernando, I; Rodríguez-Alvarez, F J; Borrego, S; Millán, J M; Hernández-Chico, C; Baiget, M; Fuentes-Prior, P; Tizzano, E F

    2010-09-01

    Homozygous mutations of the telomeric SMN1 gene lead to degeneration of motor neurons causing spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). A highly similar centromeric gene (SMN2) can only partially compensate for SMN1 deficiency. The c.859G>C variant in SMN2 has been recently reported as a positive disease modifier. We identified the variant in 10 unrelated chronic SMA patients with a wide spectrum of phenotypes ranging from type II patients who can only sit to adult walkers. Haplotype analysis strongly suggests that the variant originated from a common ancestor. Our results confirm that the c.859G>C variant is a milder SMN2 allele and predict a direct correlation between SMN activity and phenotypic severity. PMID:20577007

  20. [[The apothecaries of the district of Les Halles in Paris in the 17th century. Molière's ancestors in Les Halles].

    PubMed

    Warolin, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Les Halles were created by King Louis VI at the begining of the 12th century as a central market for food and trade. Apothecaries conducted their trade there from that time. In the 17th century, eleven apothecaries were established in this district, bordered on the south by the rue Saint-Honoré, on the east by the rue Saint-Denis, on the west by the rue de la Tonnellerie, and the north by the rue Montmartre. Their biographies have been analysed, and the data that has been collected has enabled their précise location to be fixed on a map of 1700. Molière's ancestors, both maternal (the Cressé family) and paternal (the Pocquelin's), lived in this district. Details of their relationships with their apothecary neighbours have been revealed. PMID:27281935

  1. A multidisciplinary reconstruction of Palaeolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation.

    PubMed

    Kuipers, Remko S; Joordens, Josephine C A; Muskiet, Frits A J

    2012-06-01

    Evolutionary medicine acknowledges that many chronic degenerative diseases result from conflicts between our rapidly changing environment, our dietary habits included, and our genome, which has remained virtually unchanged since the Palaeolithic era. Reconstruction of the diet before the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions is therefore indicated, but hampered by the ongoing debate on our ancestors' ecological niche. Arguments and their counterarguments regarding evolutionary medicine are updated and the evidence for the long-reigning hypothesis of human evolution on the arid savanna is weighed against the hypothesis that man evolved in the proximity of water. Evidence from various disciplines is discussed, including the study of palaeo-environments, comparative anatomy, biogeochemistry, archaeology, anthropology, (patho)physiology and epidemiology. Although our ancestors had much lower life expectancies, the current evidence does neither support the misconception that during the Palaeolithic there were no elderly nor that they had poor health. Rather than rejecting the possibility of 'healthy ageing', the default assumption should be that healthy ageing posed an evolutionary advantage for human survival. There is ample evidence that our ancestors lived in a land-water ecosystem and extracted a substantial part of their diets from both terrestrial and aquatic resources. Rather than rejecting this possibility by lack of evidence, the default assumption should be that hominins, living in coastal ecosystems with catchable aquatic resources, consumed these resources. Finally, the composition and merits of so-called 'Palaeolithic diets', based on different hominin niche-reconstructions, are evaluated. The benefits of these diets illustrate that it is time to incorporate this knowledge into dietary recommendations. PMID:22894943

  2. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Paves, Heiti; Truve, Erkki

    2004-01-01

    Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area. PMID:15102327

  3. Analytical framework for reconstructing heterogeneous environmental variables from mammal community structure.

    PubMed

    Louys, Julien; Meloro, Carlo; Elton, Sarah; Ditchfield, Peter; Bishop, Laura C

    2015-01-01

    We test the performance of two models that use mammalian communities to reconstruct multivariate palaeoenvironments. While both models exploit the correlation between mammal communities (defined in terms of functional groups) and arboreal heterogeneity, the first uses a multiple multivariate regression of community structure and arboreal heterogeneity, while the second uses a linear regression of the principal components of each ecospace. The success of these methods means the palaeoenvironment of a particular locality can be reconstructed in terms of the proportions of heavy, moderate, light, and absent tree canopy cover. The linear regression is less biased, and more precisely and accurately reconstructs heavy tree canopy cover than the multiple multivariate model. However, the multiple multivariate model performs better than the linear regression for all other canopy cover categories. Both models consistently perform better than randomly generated reconstructions. We apply both models to the palaeocommunity of the Upper Laetolil Beds, Tanzania. Our reconstructions indicate that there was very little heavy tree cover at this site (likely less than 10%), with the palaeo-landscape instead comprising a mixture of light and absent tree cover. These reconstructions help resolve the previous conflicting palaeoecological reconstructions made for this site. PMID:25480104

  4. Photometric Lunar Surface Reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nefian, Ara V.; Alexandrov, Oleg; Morattlo, Zachary; Kim, Taemin; Beyer, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate photometric reconstruction of the Lunar surface is important in the context of upcoming NASA robotic missions to the Moon and in giving a more accurate understanding of the Lunar soil composition. This paper describes a novel approach for joint estimation of Lunar albedo, camera exposure time, and photometric parameters that utilizes an accurate Lunar-Lambertian reflectance model and previously derived Lunar topography of the area visualized during the Apollo missions. The method introduced here is used in creating the largest Lunar albedo map (16% of the Lunar surface) at the resolution of 10 meters/pixel.

  5. Line profile reconstruction: validation and comparison of reconstruction methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Ming-Yi; Yost, Michael G.; Wu, Chang-Fu; Hashmonay, Ram A.; Larson, Timothy V.

    Currently, open path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectrometers have been applied in some fenceline monitoring, but their use has been limited because path-integrated concentration measurements typically only provide an estimate of the average concentration. We present a series of experiments that further explore the use of path-integrated measurements to reconstruct various pollutant distributions along a linear path. Our experiments were conducted in a ventilation chamber using an OP-FTIR instrument to monitor a tracer-gas release over a fenceline configuration. These experiments validate a line profile method (1-D reconstruction). Additionally, we expand current reconstruction techniques by applying the Bootstrap to our measurements. We compared our reconstruction results to our point samplers using the concordance correlation factor (CCF). Of the four different release types, three were successfully reconstructed with CCFs greater than 0.9. The difficult reconstruction involved a narrow release where the pollutant was limited to one segment of the segmented beampath. In general, of the three reconstruction methods employed, the average of the bootstrapped reconstructions was found to have the highest CCFs when compared to the point samplers. Furthermore, the bootstrap method was the most flexible and allowed a determination of the uncertainty surrounding our reconstructions.

  6. Mandibular Reconstruction Based on the Concept of Double Arc Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Sarukawa, Shunji; Noguchi, Tadahide; Kamochi, Hideaki; Sunaga, Ataru; Uda, Hirokazu; Nishino, Hiroshi; Sugawara, Yasushi

    2015-09-01

    The natural mandible has 2 arcs, the marginal arc and the occlusal arc. The marginal arc is situated along the lower margin of the mandible and affects the contour of the lower third of the face. The occlusal arc is situated along the dental arc and affects the stability of prosthodontics. The gap between these 2 arcs widens in the molar area. Our developed concept of "double arc reconstruction" involves making these 2 arcs for the reconstructed mandible. For the double-barrel fibula reconstruction, 2 bone segments are used to make both arcs. For reconstructions using the iliac crest, the double arc is made by inclination of the top of the bone graft toward the lingual side. Ten patients underwent double arc reconstruction: 2 underwent reconstruction with the double-barrel fibula, and 8 underwent reconstruction with the iliac crest. Four patients had a removable denture prosthesis, 1 had an osseointegrated dental implant, and 5 did not require further prosthodontic treatment. The shape of the reconstructed mandible after double arc reconstruction resembles the native mandible, and masticatory function is good with the use of a dental implant or removable denture prosthesis, or even without prosthodontics. PMID:26335321

  7. Computational Modeling of Mammalian Signaling Networks

    PubMed Central

    Hughey, Jacob J; Lee, Timothy K; Covert, Markus W

    2011-01-01

    One of the most exciting developments in signal transduction research has been the proliferation of studies in which a biological discovery was initiated by computational modeling. Here we review the major efforts that enable such studies. First, we describe the experimental technologies that are generally used to identify the molecular components and interactions in, and dynamic behavior exhibited by, a network of interest. Next, we review the mathematical approaches that are used to model signaling network behavior. Finally, we focus on three specific instances of “model-driven discovery”: cases in which computational modeling of a signaling network has led to new insights which have been verified experimentally. Signal transduction networks are the bridge between the extraordinarily complex extracellular environment and a carefully orchestrated cellular response. These networks are largely composed of proteins which can interact, move to specific cellular locations, or be modified or degraded. The integration of these events often leads to the activation or inactivation of transcription factors, which then induce or repress the expression of thousands of genes. Because of this critical role in translating environmental cues to cellular behaviors, malfunctioning signaling networks can lead to a variety of pathologies. One example is cancer, in which many of the key genes found to be involved in cancer onset and development are components of signaling pathways [1, 2]. A detailed understanding of the cellular signaling networks underlying such diseases would likely be extremely useful in developing new treatments. However, the complexity of signaling networks is such that their integrated functions cannot be determined without computational simulation. In recent years, mathematical modeling of signal transduction has led to some exciting new findings and biological discoveries. Here, we review the work that has enabled computational modeling of mammalian

  8. Molecular identification of ancient and modern mammalian magnesium transporters.

    PubMed

    Quamme, Gary A

    2010-03-01

    A large number of mammalian Mg(2+) transporters have been hypothesized on the basis of physiological data, but few have been investigated at the molecular level. The recent identification of a number of novel proteins that mediate Mg(2+) transport has enhanced our understanding of how Mg(2+) is translocated across mammalian membranes. Some of these transporters have some similarity to those found in prokaryocytes and yeast cells. Human Mrs2, a mitochondrial Mg(2+) channel, shares many of the properties of the bacterial CorA and yeast Alr1 proteins. The SLC41 family of mammalian Mg(2+) transporters has a similarity with some regions of the bacterial MgtE transporters. The mammalian ancient conserved domain protein (ACDP) Mg(2+) transporters are found in prokaryotes, suggesting an ancient origin. However, other newly identified mammalian transporters, including TRPM6/7, MagT, NIPA, MMgT, and HIP14 families, are not represented in prokaryotic genomes, suggesting more recent development. MagT, NIPA, MMgT, and HIP14 transporters were identified by differential gene expression using microarray analysis. These proteins, which are found in many different tissues and subcellular organelles, demonstrate a diversity of structural properties and biophysical functions. The mammalian Mg(2+) transporters have no obvious amino acid similarities, indicating that there are many ways to transport Mg(2+) across membranes. Most of these proteins transport a number of divalent cations across membranes. Only MagT1 and NIPA2 are selective for Mg(2+). Many of the identified mammalian Mg(2+) transporters are associated with a number of congenital disorders encompassing a wide range of tissues, including intestine, kidney, brain, nervous system, and skin. It is anticipated that future research will identify other novel Mg(2+) transporters and reveal other diseases. PMID:19940067

  9. Mammalian lipocalin allergens--insights into their enigmatic allergenicity.

    PubMed

    Virtanen, T; Kinnunen, T; Rytkönen-Nissinen, M

    2012-04-01

    Most of the important mammal-derived respiratory allergens, as well as a milk allergen and a few insect allergens, belong to the lipocalin protein family. As mammalian lipocalin allergens are found in dander, saliva and urine, they disperse effectively and are widely present in the indoor environments. Initially, lipocalins were characterized as transport proteins for small, principally hydrophobic molecules, but now they are known to be involved in many other biological functions. Although the amino acid identity between lipocalins is generally at the level of 20-30%, it can be considerably higher. Lipocalin allergens do not exhibit any known physicochemical, functional or structural property that would account for their allergenicity, that is, the capacity to induce T-helper type 2 immunity against them. A distinctive feature of mammalian lipocalin allergens is their poor capacity to stimulate the cellular arm of the human or murine immune system. Nevertheless, they induce IgE production in a large proportion of atopic individuals exposed to the allergen source. The poor capacity of mammalian lipocalin allergens to stimulate the cellular immune system does not appear to result from the function of regulatory T cells. Instead, the T cell epitopes of mammalian lipocalin allergens are few and those examined have proved to be suboptimal. Moreover, the frequency of mammalian lipocalin allergen-specific CD4(+) T cells is very low in the peripheral blood. Importantly, recent research suggests that the lipocalin allergen-specific T cell repertoires differ considerably between allergic and healthy subjects. These observations are compatible with our hypothesis that the way CD4(+) T-helper cells recognize the epitopes of mammalian lipocalin allergens may be implicated in their allergenicity. Indeed, as several lipocalins exhibit homologies of 40-60% over species, mammalian lipocalin allergens may be immunologically at the borderline of self and non-self, which would not

  10. Reconstructing Cctv, Beijing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forcella, V.; Mussio, L.

    2011-09-01

    This paper deals with the reconstruction of a building, starting from a point cloud. The shape of this building is a non-stellar concave and multi-connected structure, composed of sowns and chains. A sown is the representation of a horizontal plane formed by dense points. A chain is a planar loop modeled by rare points. CCTV structure is defined only by the three orthogonal Cartesian coordinates. The reconstruction uses a sequence of procedures and the desired output is a consistent 3D model. The first procedure is devoted to attributing points to their voxel and to estimating the three values needed afterwards. The second procedure is devoted to analyzing clusters vertically and horizontally, to preliminarily distinguishing chains from sowns and to generating relational matching. The third procedure is devoted to building closed loops between all chains and all their projections on sowns. The fourth procedure is devoted to connecting points with triangles. The fifth procedure, still being implemented, is devoted to interpolating triangles with triangular splines.

  11. Reconstruction in Fourier space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burden, A.; Percival, W. J.; Howlett, C.

    2015-10-01

    We present a fast iterative fast Fourier transform (FFT) based reconstruction algorithm that allows for non-parallel redshift-space distortions (RSDs). We test our algorithm on both N-body dark matter simulations and mock distributions of galaxies designed to replicate galaxy survey conditions. We compare solenoidal and irrotational components of the redshift distortion and show that an approximation of this distortion leads to a better estimate of the real-space potential (and therefore faster convergence) than ignoring the RSD when estimating the displacement field. Our iterative reconstruction scheme converges in two iterations for the mock samples corresponding to Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey CMASS Data Release 11 when we start with an approximation of the RSD. The scheme takes six iterations when the initial estimate, measured from the redshift-space overdensity, has no RSD correction. Slower convergence would be expected for surveys covering a larger angle on the sky. We show that this FFT based method provides a better estimate of the real-space displacement field than a configuration space method that uses finite difference routines to compute the potential for the same grid resolution. Finally, we show that a lognormal transform of the overdensity, used as a proxy for the linear overdensity, is beneficial in estimating the full displacement field from a dense sample of tracers. However, the lognormal transform of the overdensity does not perform well when estimating the displacements from sparser simulations with a more realistic galaxy density.

  12. Biomaterials for craniofacial reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Andreas; Kevenhoerster, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Biomaterials for reconstruction of bony defects of the skull comprise of osteosynthetic materials applied after osteotomies or traumatic fractures and materials to fill bony defects which result from malformation, trauma or tumor resections. Other applications concern functional augmentations for dental implants or aesthetic augmentations in the facial region. For ostheosynthesis, mini- and microplates made from titanium alloys provide major advantages concerning biocompatibility, stability and individual fitting to the implant bed. The necessity of removing asymptomatic plates and screws after fracture healing is still a controversial issue. Risks and costs of secondary surgery for removal face a low rate of complications (due to corrosion products) when the material remains in situ. Resorbable osteosynthesis systems have similar mechanical stability and are especially useful in the growing skull. The huge variety of biomaterials for the reconstruction of bony defects makes it difficult to decide which material is adequate for which indication and for which site. The optimal biomaterial that meets every requirement (e.g. biocompatibility, stability, intraoperative fitting, product safety, low costs etc.) does not exist. The different material types are (autogenic) bone and many alloplastics such as metals (mainly titanium), ceramics, plastics and composites. Future developments aim to improve physical and biological properties, especially regarding surface interactions. To date, tissue engineered bone is far from routine clinical application. PMID:22073101

  13. Parallel ptychographic reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Nashed, Youssef S. G.; Vine, David J.; Peterka, Tom; Deng, Junjing; Ross, Rob; Jacobsen, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Ptychography is an imaging method whereby a coherent beam is scanned across an object, and an image is obtained by iterative phasing of the set of diffraction patterns. It is able to be used to image extended objects at a resolution limited by scattering strength of the object and detector geometry, rather than at an optics-imposed limit. As technical advances allow larger fields to be imaged, computational challenges arise for reconstructing the correspondingly larger data volumes, yet at the same time there is also a need to deliver reconstructed images immediately so that one can evaluate the next steps to take in an experiment. Here we present a parallel method for real-time ptychographic phase retrieval. It uses a hybrid parallel strategy to divide the computation between multiple graphics processing units (GPUs) and then employs novel techniques to merge sub-datasets into a single complex phase and amplitude image. Results are shown on a simulated specimen and a real dataset from an X-ray experiment conducted at a synchrotron light source. PMID:25607174

  14. Stardust Entry Reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Qualls, Garry D.

    2008-01-01

    An overview of the reconstruction analyses performed for the Stardust capsule entry is described. The results indicate that the actual entry was very close to the pre-entry predictions. The capsule landed 8.1 km north-northwest of the desired target at Utah Test and Training Range. Analyses of infrared video footage and radar range data (obtained from tracking stations) during the descent show that drogue parachute deployment was 4.8 s later than the pre-entry prediction, while main parachute deployment was 19.3 s earlier than the pre-set timer indicating that main deployment was actually triggered by the backup baroswitch. Reconstruction of a best estimated trajectory revealed that the aerodynamic drag experienced by the capsule during hypersonic flight was within 1% of pre-entry predications. Observations of the heatshield support the pre-entry estimates of small hypersonic angles of attack, since there was very little, if any, charring of the shoulder region or the aftbody. Through this investigation, an overall assertion can be made that all the data gathered from the Stardust capsule entry were consistent with flight performance close to nominal pre-entry predictions. Consequently, the design principles and methodologies utilized for the flight dynamics, aerodynamics, and aerothermodynamics analyses have been corroborated.

  15. Stereoscopic liver surface reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Karwan, Adam; Rudnicki, Jerzy; Wróblewski, Tadeusz

    2012-01-01

    The paper presents a practical approach to measuring liver motion, both respiratory and laparoscopic, with a tool guided in the operating room. The presented method is based on standard operating room equipment, i.e. rigid laparoscopic cameras and a single incision laparoscopic surgery trocar. The triangulation algorithm is used and stereo correspondence points are marked manually by two independent experts. To calibrate the cameras two perpendicular chessboards, a pinhole camera model and a Tsai algorithm are used. The data set consists of twelve real liver surgery video sequences: ten open surgery and two laparoscopic, gathered from different patients. The setup equipment and methodology are presented. The proposed evaluation method based on both calibration points of the chessboard reconstruction and measurements made by the Polaris Vicra tracking system are used as a reference system. In the analysis stage we focused on two specific goals, measuring respiration and laparoscopic tool guided liver motions. We have presented separate examples for left and right liver lobes. It is possible to reconstruct liver motion using the SILS trocar. Our approach was made without additional position or movement sensors. Diffusion of cameras and laser for distance measurement seems to be less practical for in vivo laparoscopic data, but we do not exclude exploring such sensors in further research. PMID:23256023

  16. Accurate reconstruction of insertion-deletion histories by statistical phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Westesson, Oscar; Lunter, Gerton; Paten, Benedict; Holmes, Ian

    2012-01-01

    The Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA) is a computational abstraction that represents a partial summary either of indel history, or of structural similarity. Taking the former view (indel history), it is possible to use formal automata theory to generalize the phylogenetic likelihood framework for finite substitution models (Dayhoff's probability matrices and Felsenstein's pruning algorithm) to arbitrary-length sequences. In this paper, we report results of a simulation-based benchmark of several methods for reconstruction of indel history. The methods tested include a relatively new algorithm for statistical marginalization of MSAs that sums over a stochastically-sampled ensemble of the most probable evolutionary histories. For mammalian evolutionary parameters on several different trees, the single most likely history sampled by our algorithm appears less biased than histories reconstructed by other MSA methods. The algorithm can also be used for alignment-free inference, where the MSA is explicitly summed out of the analysis. As an illustration of our method, we discuss reconstruction of the evolutionary histories of human protein-coding genes. PMID:22536326

  17. A platform for brain-wide imaging and reconstruction of individual neurons

    PubMed Central

    Economo, Michael N; Clack, Nathan G; Lavis, Luke D; Gerfen, Charles R; Svoboda, Karel

    2016-01-01

    The structure of axonal arbors controls how signals from individual neurons are routed within the mammalian brain. However, the arbors of very few long-range projection neurons have been reconstructed in their entirety, as axons with diameters as small as 100 nm arborize in target regions dispersed over many millimeters of tissue. We introduce a platform for high-resolution, three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of complete tissue volumes that enables the visualization and reconstruction of long-range axonal arbors. This platform relies on a high-speed two-photon microscope integrated with a tissue vibratome and a suite of computational tools for large-scale image data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by reconstructing the axonal arbors of multiple neurons in the motor cortex across a single mouse brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10566.001 PMID:26796534

  18. In silico reconstruction of the viral evolutionary lineage yields a potent gene therapy vector

    PubMed Central

    Zinn, Eric; Pacouret, Simon; Khaychuk, Vadim; Turunen, Heikki T.; Carvalho, Livia S.; Andres-Mateos, Eva; Shah, Samiksha; Shelke, Rajani; Maurer, Anna C.; Plovie, Eva; Xiao, Ru; Vandenberghe, Luk H.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) have emerged as a gene delivery platform with demonstrated safety and efficacy in a handful of clinical trials for monogenic disorders. However, limitations of the current generation vectors often prevent broader application of AAV gene therapy. Efforts to engineer AAV have been hampered by a limited understanding of the structure-function relationship of the complex multimeric icosahedral architecture of the particle. To develop additional reagents pertinent to further our insight into AAV, we inferred evolutionary intermediates of the viral capsid using ancestral sequence reconstruction. In silico derived sequences were synthesized de novo and characterized for biological properties relevant to clinical applications. This effort led to the generation of 9 functional putative ancestral AAVs and the identification of Anc80, the predicted ancestor of the widely studied AAV serotypes 1, 2, 8 and 9 as a highly potent in vivo gene therapy vector for targeting liver, muscle, and retina. PMID:26235624

  19. New reconstruction of the Wiwaxia scleritome, with data from Chengjiang juveniles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhifei; Smith, Martin R.; Shu, Degan

    2015-10-01

    Wiwaxiids are a problematic group of scale-covered lophotrochozoans known from Cambrian Stages 3-5. Their imbricating dorsal scleritome of leaf-like scales has prompted comparison with various annelids and molluscs, and has been used as a template to reconstruct the articulation pattern of isolated Small Shelly Fossils. The first articulated specimens of Wiwaxia from the Cambrian Stage 3 Chengjiang Konservat-Lagerstätte show that the Wiwaxia scleritome comprised nine equivalent transverse rows associated with outgrowths of soft tissue, but did not possess a separate zone of anterior sclerites. This serial construction is fundamentally incompatible with the circumferential disposition of sclerites in early molluscs, but does closely resemble the armature of certain annelids. A deep homology with the annelid scleritome must be reconciled with Wiwaxia’s mollusc-like mouthparts and foot; together these point to a deep phylogenetic position, close to the common ancestor of annelids and molluscs.

  20. The Paleozoic origin of enzymatic mechanisms for lignin degradation reconstructed using 31 fungal genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Floudas, Dimitrios; Binder, Manfred; Riley, Robert; Barry, Kerrie; Blanchette, Robert A; Henrissat, Bernard; Martinez, Angel T.; Otillar, Robert; Spatafora, Joseph W.; Yadav, Jagit S.; Aerts, Andrea; Benoit, Isabelle; Boyd, Alex; Carlson, Alexis; Copeland, Alex; Coutinho, Pedro M.; de Vries, Ronald P.; Ferreira, Patricia; Findley, Keisha; Foster, Brian; Gaskell, Jill; Glotzer, Dylan; Gorecki, Pawel; Heitman, Joseph; Hesse, Cedar; Hori, Chiaki; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Jurgens, Joel A.; Kallen, Nathan; Kersten, Phil; Kohler, Annegret; Kues, Ursula; Kumar, T. K. Arun; Kuo, Alan; LaButti, Kurt; Larrondo, Luis F.; Lindquist, Erika; Ling, Albee; Lombard, Vincent; Lucas, Susan; Lundell, Taina; Martin, Rachael; McLaughlin, David J.; Morgenstern, Ingo; Morin, Emanuelle; Murat, Claude; Nagy, Laszlo G.; Nolan, Matt; Ohm, Robin A.; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Rokas, Antonis; Ruiz-Duenas, Francisco J.; Sabat, Grzegorz; Salamov, Asaf; Samejima, Masahiro; Schmutz, Jeremy; Slot, Jason C.; John, Franz; Stenlid, Jan; Sun, Hui; Sun, Sheng; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Tsang, Adrian; Wiebenga, Ad; Young, Darcy; Pisabarro, Antonio; Eastwood, Daniel C.; Martin, Francis; Cullen, Dan; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Hibbett, David S.

    2012-03-12

    Wood is a major pool of organic carbon that is highly resistant to decay, owing largely to the presence of lignin. The only organisms capable of substantial lignin decay are white rot fungi in the Agaricomycetes, which also contains non?lignin-degrading brown rot and ectomycorrhizal species. Comparative analyses of 31 fungal genomes (12 generated for this study) suggest that lignin-degrading peroxidases expanded in the lineage leading to the ancestor of the Agaricomycetes, which is reconstructed as a white rot species, and then contracted in parallel lineages leading to brown rot and mycorrhizal species. Molecular clock analyses suggest that the origin of lignin degradation might have coincided with the sharp decrease in the rate of organic carbon burial around the end of the Carboniferous period.