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Sample records for accelerated molecular evolution

  1. Antagonistic coevolution accelerates molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Steve; Vogwill, Tom; Buckling, Angus; Benmayor, Rebecca; Spiers, Andrew J.; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Quail, Mike; Smith, Frances; Walker, Danielle; Libberton, Ben; Fenton, Andrew; Hall, Neil; Brockhurst, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that coevolution of interacting species (such as hosts and parasites) should drive molecular evolution through continual natural selection for adaptation and counter-adaptation1–3. Although the divergence observed at some host-resistance4–6 and parasite-infectivity7–9 genes is consistent with this, the long time periods typically required to study coevolution have so far prevented any direct empirical test. Here we show, using experimental populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and its viral parasite, phage Φ2 (refs 10, 11), that the rate of molecular evolution in the phage was far higher when both bacterium and phage coevolved with each other than when phage evolved against a constant host genotype. Coevolution also resulted in far greater genetic divergence between replicate populations, which was correlated with the range of hosts that coevolved phage were able to infect. Consistent with this, the most rapidly evolving phage genes under coevolution were those involved in host infection. These results demonstrate, at both the genomic and phenotypic level, that antagonistic coevolution is a cause of rapid and divergent evolution, and is likely to be a major driver of evolutionary change within species. PMID:20182425

  2. Molecular co-catalyst accelerating hole transfer for enhanced photocatalytic H2 evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Wentuan; Li, Xiaogang; Zhang, Lei; Jin, Tao; Zhang, Lidong; Zhang, Qun; Luo, Yi; Wu, Changzheng; Xie, Yi

    2015-01-01

    In artificial photocatalysis, sluggish kinetics of hole transfer and the resulting high-charge recombination rate have been the Achilles' heel of photocatalytic conversion efficiency. Here we demonstrate water-soluble molecules as co-catalysts to accelerate hole transfer for improved photocatalytic H2 evolution activity. Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), by virtue of its reversible redox couple TFA·/TFA−, serves as a homogeneous co-catalyst that not only maximizes the contact areas between co-catalysts and reactants but also greatly promotes hole transfer. Thus K4Nb6O17 nanosheet catalysts achieve drastically increased photocatalytic H2 production rate in the presence of TFA, up to 32 times with respect to the blank experiment. The molecular co-catalyst represents a new, simple and highly effective approach to suppress recombination of photogenerated charges, and has provided fertile new ground for creating high-efficiency photosynthesis systems, avoiding use of noble-metal co-catalysts. PMID:26486863

  3. Molecular co-catalyst accelerating hole transfer for enhanced photocatalytic H2 evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Wentuan; Li, Xiaogang; Zhang, Lei; Jin, Tao; Zhang, Lidong; Zhang, Qun; Luo, Yi; Wu, Changzheng; Xie, Yi

    2015-10-01

    In artificial photocatalysis, sluggish kinetics of hole transfer and the resulting high-charge recombination rate have been the Achilles' heel of photocatalytic conversion efficiency. Here we demonstrate water-soluble molecules as co-catalysts to accelerate hole transfer for improved photocatalytic H2 evolution activity. Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), by virtue of its reversible redox couple TFA./TFA-, serves as a homogeneous co-catalyst that not only maximizes the contact areas between co-catalysts and reactants but also greatly promotes hole transfer. Thus K4Nb6O17 nanosheet catalysts achieve drastically increased photocatalytic H2 production rate in the presence of TFA, up to 32 times with respect to the blank experiment. The molecular co-catalyst represents a new, simple and highly effective approach to suppress recombination of photogenerated charges, and has provided fertile new ground for creating high-efficiency photosynthesis systems, avoiding use of noble-metal co-catalysts.

  4. Evolution on neutral networks accelerates the ticking rate of the molecular clock

    PubMed Central

    Manrubia, Susanna; Cuesta, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Large sets of genotypes give rise to the same phenotype, because phenotypic expression is highly redundant. Accordingly, a population can accept mutations without altering its phenotype, as long as the genotype mutates into another one on the same set. By linking every pair of genotypes that are mutually accessible through mutation, genotypes organize themselves into neutral networks (NNs). These networks are known to be heterogeneous and assortative, and these properties affect the evolutionary dynamics of the population. By studying the dynamics of populations on NNs with arbitrary topology, we analyse the effect of assortativity, of NN (phenotype) fitness and of network size. We find that the probability that the population leaves the network is smaller the longer the time spent on it. This progressive ‘phenotypic entrapment’ entails a systematic increase in the overdispersion of the process with time and an acceleration in the fixation rate of neutral mutations. We also quantify the variation of these effects with the size of the phenotype and with its fitness relative to that of neighbouring alternatives. PMID:25392402

  5. Accelerated rate of molecular evolution for vittarioid ferns is strong and not driven by selection.

    PubMed

    Rothfels, Carl J; Schuettpelz, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Molecular evolutionary rate heterogeneity-the violation of a molecular clock-is a prominent feature of many phylogenetic data sets. It has particular importance to systematists not only because of its biological implications, but also for its practical effects on our ability to infer and date evolutionary events. Here we show, using both maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches, that a remarkably strong increase in substitution rate in the vittarioid ferns is consistent across the nuclear and plastid genomes. Contrary to some expectations, this rate increase is not due to selective forces acting at the protein level on our focal loci. The vittarioids bear no signature of the change in the relative strengths of selection and drift that one would expect if the rate increase was caused by altered post-mutation fixation rates. Instead, the substitution rate increase appears to stem from an elevated supply of mutations, perhaps limited to the vittarioid ancestral branch. This generalized rate increase is accompanied by extensive fine-scale heterogeneity in rates across loci, genomes, and taxa. Our analyses demonstrate the effectiveness and flexibility of trait-free investigations of rate heterogeneity within a model-selection framework, emphasize the importance of explicit tests for signatures of selection prior to invoking selection-related or demography-based explanations for patterns of rate variation, and illustrate some unexpected nuances in the behavior of relaxed clock methods for modeling rate heterogeneity, with implications for our ability to confidently date divergence events. In addition, our data provide strong support for the monophyly of Adiantum, and for the position of Calciphilopteris in the cheilanthoid ferns, two relationships for which convincing support was previously lacking.

  6. Mistakes and Molecular Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trevors, J. T.

    1998-01-01

    Examines the role mistakes play in the molecular evolution of bacteria. Discusses the interacting physical, chemical, and biological factors that cause changes in DNA and play a role in prokaryotic evolution. (DDR)

  7. Workshop on Molecular Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cummings, Michael P.

    2004-01-01

    Molecular evolution has become the nexus of many areas of biological research. It both brings together and enriches such areas as biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, population genetics, systematics, developmental biology, genomics, bioinformatics, in vitro evolution, and molecular ecology. The Workshop provides an important contribution to these fields in that it promotes interdisciplinary research and interaction, and thus provides a glue that sticks together disparate fields. Due to the wide range of fields addressed by the study of molecular evolution, it is difficult to offer a comprehensive course in a university setting. It is rare for a single institution to maintain expertise in all necessary areas. In contrast, the Workshop is uniquely able to provide necessary breadth and depth by utilizing a large number of faculty with appropriate expertise. Furthermore, the flexible nature of the Workshop allows for rapid adaptation to changes in the dynamic field of molecular evolution. For example, the 2003 Workshop included recently emergent research areas of molecular evolution of development and genomics.

  8. Evolution of molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sevenster, M.

    1993-01-01

    The evolution of interstellar molecular hydrogen was studied, with a special interest for the formation and evolution of molecular clouds and star formation within them, by a two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulation performed on a rectangular grid of physical sizes on the order of 100 pc. It is filled with an initial density of approx. 1 cm(exp -3), except for one cell (approx. 1 pc(exp 2)) at the center of the grid where an accretion core of 1-10(exp 3) solar masses is placed. The grid is co-moving with the gridcenter that is on a circular orbit around the Galactic center and that also is the guiding center of epicyclic approximation of orbits of the matter surrounding it. The initial radial velocity is zero; to account for differential rotation the initial tangential velocity (i.e. the movement around the galactic center) is proportional to the radial distance to the grid center. The rate is comparable to the rotation rate at the Local Standard of Rest. The influence of galactic rotation is noticed by spiral or elliptical forms, but on much longer time scales than self gravitation and cooling processes. Density and temperature are kept constant at the boundaries and no inflow is allowed along the tangential boundaries.

  9. The Molecular Basis of Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Allan C.

    1985-01-01

    Discovery that mutations accumulate at steady rates over time in the genes of all lineages of plants and animals has led to new insights into evolution at the molecular and organismal levels. Discusses molecular evolution, examining deoxyribonuclei acid (DNA) sequences, morphological distances, and codon rate of change. (DH)

  10. Distributed Representations Accelerate Evolution of Adaptive Behaviours

    PubMed Central

    Stone, James V

    2007-01-01

    Animals with rudimentary innate abilities require substantial learning to transform those abilities into useful skills, where a skill can be considered as a set of sensory–motor associations. Using linear neural network models, it is proved that if skills are stored as distributed representations, then within-lifetime learning of part of a skill can induce automatic learning of the remaining parts of that skill. More importantly, it is shown that this “free-lunch” learning (FLL) is responsible for accelerated evolution of skills, when compared with networks which either 1) cannot benefit from FLL or 2) cannot learn. Specifically, it is shown that FLL accelerates the appearance of adaptive behaviour, both in its innate form and as FLL-induced behaviour, and that FLL can accelerate the rate at which learned behaviours become innate. PMID:17676948

  11. GPU-Accelerated Molecular Modeling Coming Of Age

    PubMed Central

    Stone, John E.; Hardy, David J.; Ufimtsev, Ivan S.

    2010-01-01

    Graphics processing units (GPUs) have traditionally been used in molecular modeling solely for visualization of molecular structures and animation of trajectories resulting from molecular dynamics simulations. Modern GPUs have evolved into fully programmable, massively parallel co-processors that can now be exploited to accelerate many scientific computations, typically providing about one order of magnitude speedup over CPU code and in special cases providing speedups of two orders of magnitude. This paper surveys the development of molecular modeling algorithms that leverage GPU computing, the advances already made and remaining issues to be resolved, and the continuing evolution of GPU technology that promises to become even more useful to molecular modeling. Hardware acceleration with commodity GPUs is expected to benefit the overall computational biology community by bringing teraflops performance to desktop workstations and in some cases potentially changing what were formerly batch-mode computational jobs into interactive tasks. PMID:20675161

  12. Introduction to Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Perez, Danny

    2012-07-10

    Molecular Dynamics is the numerical solution of the equations of motion of a set of atoms, given an interatomic potential V and some boundary and initial conditions. Molecular Dynamics is the largest scale model that gives unbiased dynamics [x(t),p(t)] in full atomistic detail. Molecular Dynamics: is simple; is 'exact' for classical dynamics (with respect to a given V); can be used to compute any (atomistic) thermodynamical or dynamical properties; naturally handles complexity -- the system does the right thing at the right time. The physics derives only from the interatomic potential.

  13. Accelerated Evolution in the Death Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Robert; Tung, Chih-Kuan; Gong, Xiu-Quing; Lambert, Guillaume; Liao, David

    2010-03-01

    We recall 4 main guiding principles of evolution: 1) instability of defections, 2) stress induced non-random mutations, 3) genetic heterogeneity, and 4) fragmented populations. Our previous preliminary experiments have been relatively simple 1-D stress experiments. We are proceeding with 2-D experiments whose design is guided by these principles. Our new experiment we have dubbed the Death Galaxy because of it's use of these design principles. The ``galaxy'' name comes from the fact that the structure is designed as an interconnected array of micro-ecologies, these micro-ecologies are similar to the stars that comprise an astronomical galaxy, and provide the fragmented small populations. A gradient of the antibiotic Cipro is introduced across the galaxy, and we will present results which show how bacterial evolution resulting in resistance to Cipro is accelerated by the physics principles underlying the device.

  14. Chemical evolution of molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Sheo S.; Tarafdar, Sankar P.; Villere, Karen R.; Huntress, Wesley T., Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The principles behind the coupled chemical-dynamical evolution of molecular clouds are described. Particular attention is given to current problems involving the simplest species (i.e., C. CO, O2, and H2) in quiescent clouds. The results of a comparison made between the molecular abundances in the Orion ridge and the hot core (Blake, 1986) are presented.

  15. Accelerating molecular modeling applications with graphics processors.

    PubMed

    Stone, John E; Phillips, James C; Freddolino, Peter L; Hardy, David J; Trabuco, Leonardo G; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-12-01

    Molecular mechanics simulations offer a computational approach to study the behavior of biomolecules at atomic detail, but such simulations are limited in size and timescale by the available computing resources. State-of-the-art graphics processing units (GPUs) can perform over 500 billion arithmetic operations per second, a tremendous computational resource that can now be utilized for general purpose computing as a result of recent advances in GPU hardware and software architecture. In this article, an overview of recent advances in programmable GPUs is presented, with an emphasis on their application to molecular mechanics simulations and the programming techniques required to obtain optimal performance in these cases. We demonstrate the use of GPUs for the calculation of long-range electrostatics and nonbonded forces for molecular dynamics simulations, where GPU-based calculations are typically 10-100 times faster than heavily optimized CPU-based implementations. The application of GPU acceleration to biomolecular simulation is also demonstrated through the use of GPU-accelerated Coulomb-based ion placement and calculation of time-averaged potentials from molecular dynamics trajectories. A novel approximation to Coulomb potential calculation, the multilevel summation method, is introduced and compared with direct Coulomb summation. In light of the performance obtained for this set of calculations, future applications of graphics processors to molecular dynamics simulations are discussed.

  16. The evolution of molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shu, Frank H.; Lizano, Susana

    1988-01-01

    The problem of the structure and evolution of molecular clouds is reviewed, with particular emphasis given to the relationship with star formation. The basic hypothesis is that magnetic fields are the primary agents for supporting molecular clouds, although damped Alfven waves may play an important role in the direction parallel to the field lines. This picture naturally leads to a conception of 'bimodal star formation'. It is proposed that high-mass stars form from the overall gravitational collapse of a supercritical cloud, whereas low-mass stars form from small individual cores that slowly condense by ambipolar diffusion from a more extended envelope until they pass the brink of graviational instability and begin to collapse dynamically from 'inside-out'. The evidence that the infall stage of protostellar evolution is terminated by the development of a powerful stellar wind is reviewed.

  17. Adaptive evolution of molecular phenotypes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Held, Torsten; Nourmohammad, Armita; Lässig, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Molecular phenotypes link genomic information with organismic functions, fitness, and evolution. Quantitative traits are complex phenotypes that depend on multiple genomic loci. In this paper, we study the adaptive evolution of a quantitative trait under time-dependent selection, which arises from environmental changes or through fitness interactions with other co-evolving phenotypes. We analyze a model of trait evolution under mutations and genetic drift in a single-peak fitness seascape. The fitness peak performs a constrained random walk in the trait amplitude, which determines the time-dependent trait optimum in a given population. We derive analytical expressions for the distribution of the time-dependent trait divergence between populations and of the trait diversity within populations. Based on this solution, we develop a method to infer adaptive evolution of quantitative traits. Specifically, we show that the ratio of the average trait divergence and the diversity is a universal function of evolutionary time, which predicts the stabilizing strength and the driving rate of the fitness seascape. From an information-theoretic point of view, this function measures the macro-evolutionary entropy in a population ensemble, which determines the predictability of the evolutionary process. Our solution also quantifies two key characteristics of adapting populations: the cumulative fitness flux, which measures the total amount of adaptation, and the adaptive load, which is the fitness cost due to a population's lag behind the fitness peak.

  18. Maternal Effects in Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, Claus O.

    2002-02-01

    We introduce a model of molecular evolution in which the fitness of an individual depends both on its own and on the parent's genotype. The model can be solved by means of a nonlinear mapping onto the standard quasispecies model. The dependency on the parental genotypes cancels from the mean fitness, but not from the individual sequence concentrations. For finite populations, the position of the error threshold is very sensitive to the influence from parent genotypes. In addition to biological applications, our model is important for understanding the dynamics of self-replicating computer programs.

  19. The evolution of high energy accelerators

    SciTech Connect

    Courant, E.D.

    1989-10-01

    In this lecture I would like to trace how high energy particle accelerators have grown from tools used for esoteric small-scale experiments to gigantic projects being hotly debated in Congress as well as in the scientific community.

  20. Early Milestones in the Evolution of Accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courant, E. D.

    About 80 years ago Rutherford [1] expressed the hope that particles could be accelerated to energies exceeding those occurring in radioactivity, enabling the study of nuclei and their constituents. Physicists and engineers have more than met this challenge, and today the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN, Geneva is about to accelerate protons to 7 trillion (7 × 1012) eV. Here we describe some of the crucial steps that have gotten us there.

  1. The evolution of high energy accelerators

    SciTech Connect

    Courant, E.D.

    1994-08-01

    Accelerators have been devised and built for two reasons: In the first place, by physicists who needed high energy particles in order to have a means to explore the interactions between particles that probe the fundamental elementary forces of nature. And conversely, sometimes accelerator builders produce new machines for higher energy than ever before just because it can be done, and then challenge potential users to make new discoveries with the new means at hand. These two approaches or motivations have gone hand in hand. This lecture traces how high energy particle accelerators have grown from tools used for esoteric small-scale experiments to the gigantic projects of today. So far all the really high-energy machines built and planned in the world--except the SLC--have been ring accelerators and storage rings using the strong-focusing method. But this method has not removed the energy limit, it has only pushed it higher. It would seem unlikely that one can go beyond the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)--but in fact a workshop was held in Sicily in November 1991, concerned with the question of extrapolating to 100 TeV. Other acceleration and beam-forming methods are now being discussed--collective fields, laser acceleration, wake-field accelerators etc., all aimed primarily at making linear colliders possible and more attractive than with present radiofrequency methods. So far it is not entirely clear which of these schemes will dominate particle physics in the future--maybe something that has not been thought of as yet.

  2. The status and evolution of plasma Wakefield particle accelerators.

    PubMed

    Joshi, C; Mori, W B

    2006-03-15

    The status and evolution of the electron beam-driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration scheme is described. In particular, the effects of the radial electric field of the wake on the drive beam such as multiple envelope oscillations, hosing instability and emission of betatron radiation are described. Using ultra-short electron bunches, high-density plasmas can be produced by field ionization by the electric field of the bunch itself. Wakes excited in such plasmas have accelerated electrons in the back of the drive beam to greater that 4 G eV in just 10 cm in experiments carried out at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre.

  3. Molecular evolution and the latitudinal biodiversity gradient

    PubMed Central

    Dowle, E J; Morgan-Richards, M; Trewick, S A

    2013-01-01

    Species density is higher in the tropics (low latitude) than in temperate regions (high latitude) resulting in a latitudinal biodiversity gradient (LBG). The LBG must be generated by differential rates of speciation and/or extinction and/or immigration among regions, but the role of each of these processes is still unclear. Recent studies examining differences in rates of molecular evolution have inferred a direct link between rate of molecular evolution and rate of speciation, and postulated these as important drivers of the LBG. Here we review the molecular genetic evidence and examine the factors that might be responsible for differences in rates of molecular evolution. Critical to this is the directionality of the relationship between speciation rates and rates of molecular evolution. PMID:23486082

  4. Molecular evolution and thermal adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Peiqiu

    2011-12-01

    In this thesis, we address problems in molecular evolution, thermal adaptation, and the kinetics of adaptation of bacteria and viruses to elevated environmental temperatures. We use a nearly neutral fitness model where the replication speed of an organism is proportional to the copy number of folded proteins. Our model reproduces the distribution of stabilities of natural proteins in excellent agreement with experiment. We find that species with high mutation rates tend to have less stable proteins compared to species with low mutation rate. We found that a broad distribution of protein stabilities observed in the model and in experiment is the key determinant of thermal response for viruses and bacteria. Our results explain most of the earlier experimental observations: striking asymmetry of thermal response curves, the absence of evolutionary trade-off which was expected but not found in experiments, correlation between denaturation temperature for several protein families and the Optimal Growth Temperature (OGT) of their carrier organisms, and proximity of bacterial or viral OGTs to their evolutionary temperatures. Our theory quantitatively and with high accuracy described thermal response curves for 35 bacterial species. The model also addresses the key to adaptation is in weak-link genes (WLG), which encode least thermodynamically stable essential proteins in the proteome. We observe, as in experiment, a two-stage adaptation process. The first stage is a Luria-Delbruck type of selection, whereby rare WLG alleles, whose proteins are more stable than WLG proteins of the majority of the population (either due to standing genetic variation or due to an early acquired mutation), rapidly rise to fixation. The second stage constitutes subsequent slow accumulation of mutations in an adapted population. As adaptation progresses, selection regime changes from positive to neutral: Selection coefficient of beneficial mutations scales as a negative power of number of

  5. Model of evolution of molecular sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Liaofu; Tsai, Lu; Lee, Weijiang

    1990-05-01

    A simplified model of the evolution of molecular sequences is proposed. An ensemble of strings is considered that consists of two letters and undergoes random point mutations and natural selections. A set of evolution equations is deduced. From the solution it is found that the first-order (second-order) informational parameters (redundancies) D1 decrease (D2 increase) in the course of evolution. Furthermore, the statistical correlations of the letters (bases) in the sequences are investigated in detail and the short-distance correlation is demonstrated. These results give a preliminary explanation of some physical aspects in the evolution of nucleic acid sequences.

  6. A biophysical perspective on molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, Claus

    2014-03-01

    The field of molecular evolution investigates how genes and genomes evolve over time. It has its origin in the late 1960s, when the first DNA and protein sequences were becoming available. With rapid progress in sequencing technologies came ever increasing demand for computational tools to study molecular evolution. Today, molecular evolution is among the largest subfields of evolutionary biology, and arguably one of the most computationally advanced. A side effect of the strong emphasis on developing sophisticated methods for sequence analysis has been that the underlying biophysical objects represented by the sequences, DNA molecules, RNA molecules, and proteins, have taken a back-seat in much computational molecular-evolution work. The vast majority of algorithms for sequence analysis, for example, operate purely on strings of letters, and don't incorporate any information of the biophysical reality that these letters represent. However, DNA, RNA, and proteins are three-dimensional physical objects composed of many interacting particles. We thus expect that their genetic evolution over time is shaped to some extent by these physical properties. Here, I will discuss the extent to which biophysical properties of proteins shape genetic evolution, and how we can use these properties to improve evolutionary analyses.

  7. Non-Markovian time evolution of an accelerated qubit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moustos, Dimitris; Anastopoulos, Charis

    2017-01-01

    We present a new method for evaluating the response of a moving qubit detector interacting with a scalar field in Minkowski spacetime. We treat the detector as an open quantum system, but we do not invoke the Markov approximation. The evolution equations for the qubit density matrix are valid at all times, for all qubit trajectories, and they incorporate non-Markovian effects. We analyze in detail the case of uniform acceleration, providing a detailed characterization of all regimes where non-Markovian effects are significant. We argue that the most stable characterization of acceleration temperature refers to the late time behavior of the detector because interaction with the field vacuum brings the qubit to a thermal state at the Unruh temperature. In contrast, the early-time transition rate, that is invoked in most discussions of acceleration temperature, does not exhibit a thermal behavior when non-Markovian effects are taken into account. Finally, we note that the non-Markovian evolution derived here also applies to the mathematically equivalent problem of a static qubit interacting with a thermal field bath.

  8. JavaGenes Molecular Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohn, Jason; Smith, David; Frank, Jeremy; Globus, Al; Crawford, James

    2007-01-01

    JavaGenes is a general-purpose, evolutionary software system written in Java. It implements several versions of a genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, stochastic hill climbing, and other search techniques. This software has been used to evolve molecules, atomic force field parameters, digital circuits, Earth Observing Satellite schedules, and antennas. This version differs from version 0.7.28 in that it includes the molecule evolution code and other improvements. Except for the antenna code, JaveGenes is available for NASA Open Source distribution.

  9. Molecular evolution tracks macroevolutionary transitions in Cetacea.

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R; Gatesy, John; Wildman, Derek E

    2014-06-01

    Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is a model group for investigating the molecular signature of macroevolutionary transitions. Recent research has begun to reveal the molecular underpinnings of the remarkable anatomical and behavioral transformation in this clade. This shift from terrestrial to aquatic environments is arguably the best-understood major morphological transition in vertebrate evolution. The ancestral body plan and physiology were extensively modified and, in many cases, these crucial changes are recorded in cetacean genomes. Recent studies have highlighted cetaceans as central to understanding adaptive molecular convergence and pseudogene formation. Here, we review current research in cetacean molecular evolution and the potential of Cetacea as a model for the study of other macroevolutionary transitions from a genomic perspective.

  10. Molecular evolution of cyclin proteins in animals and fungi

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The passage through the cell cycle is controlled by complexes of cyclins, the regulatory units, with cyclin-dependent kinases, the catalytic units. It is also known that cyclins form several families, which differ considerably in primary structure from one eukaryotic organism to another. Despite these lines of evidence, the relationship between the evolution of cyclins and their function is an open issue. Here we present the results of our study on the molecular evolution of A-, B-, D-, E-type cyclin proteins in animals and fungi. Results We constructed phylogenetic trees for these proteins, their ancestral sequences and analyzed patterns of amino acid replacements. The analysis of infrequently fixed atypical amino acid replacements in cyclins evidenced that accelerated evolution proceeded predominantly during paralog duplication or after it in animals and fungi and that it was related to aromorphic changes in animals. It was shown also that evolutionary flexibility of cyclin function may be provided by consequential reorganization of regions on protein surface remote from CDK binding sites in animal and fungal cyclins and by functional differentiation of paralogous cyclins formed in animal evolution. Conclusions The results suggested that changes in the number and/or nature of cyclin-binding proteins may underlie the evolutionary role of the alterations in the molecular structure of cyclins and their involvement in diverse molecular-genetic events. PMID:21798004

  11. Accelerating ab initio molecular dynamics simulations by linear prediction methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herr, Jonathan D.; Steele, Ryan P.

    2016-09-01

    Acceleration of ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations can be reliably achieved by extrapolation of electronic data from previous timesteps. Existing techniques utilize polynomial least-squares regression to fit previous steps' Fock or density matrix elements. In this work, the recursive Burg 'linear prediction' technique is shown to be a viable alternative to polynomial regression, and the extrapolation-predicted Fock matrix elements were three orders of magnitude closer to converged elements. Accelerations of 1.8-3.4× were observed in test systems, and in all cases, linear prediction outperformed polynomial extrapolation. Importantly, these accelerations were achieved without reducing the MD integration timestep.

  12. Molecular Crowding Accelerates Ribozyme Docking and Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    All biological processes take place in highly crowded cellular environments. However, the effect that molecular crowding agents have on the folding and catalytic properties of RNA molecules remains largely unknown. Here, we have combined single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) and bulk cleavage assays to determine the effect of a molecular crowding agents on the folding and catalysis of a model RNA enzyme, the hairpin ribozyme. Our single-molecule data reveal that PEG favors the formation of the docked (active) structure by increasing the docking rate constant with increasing PEG concentrations. Furthermore, Mg2+ ion-induced folding in the presence of PEG occurs at concentrations ∼7-fold lower than in the absence of PEG, near the physiological range (∼1 mM). Lastly, bulk cleavage assays in the presence of the crowding agent show that the ribozyme’s activity increases while the heterogeneity decreases. Our data is consistent with the idea that molecular crowding plays an important role in the stabilization of ribozyme active conformations in vivo. PMID:25399908

  13. Molecular Evolution of Grass Stomata.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhong-Hua; Chen, Guang; Dai, Fei; Wang, Yizhou; Hills, Adrian; Ruan, Yong-Ling; Zhang, Guoping; Franks, Peter J; Nevo, Eviatar; Blatt, Michael R

    2017-02-01

    Grasses began to diversify in the late Cretaceous Period and now dominate more than one third of global land area, including three-quarters of agricultural land. We hypothesize that their success is likely attributed to the evolution of highly responsive stomata capable of maximizing productivity in rapidly changing environments. Grass stomata harness the active turgor control mechanisms present in stomata of more ancient plant lineages, maximizing several morphological and developmental features to ensure rapid responses to environmental inputs. The evolutionary development of grass stomata appears to have been a gradual progression. Therefore, understanding the complex structures, developmental events, regulatory networks, and combinations of ion transporters necessary to drive rapid stomatal movement may inform future efforts towards breeding new crop varieties.

  14. Proteins, exons and molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Holland, S K; Blake, C C

    1987-01-01

    The discovery of the eukaryotic gene structure has prompted research into the potential relationship between protein structure and function and the corresponding exon/intron patterns. The exon shuffling hypothesis put forward by Gilbert and Blake suggests the encodement of structural and functional protein elements by exons which can recombine to create novel proteins. This provides an explanation for the relatively rapid evolution of proteins from a few primordial molecules. As the number of gene and protein structures increases, evidence of exon shuffling is becoming more apparent and examples are presented both from modern multi-domain proteins and ancient proteins. Recent work into the chemical properties and catalytic functions of RNA have led to hypotheses based upon the early existence of RNA. These theories suggest that the split gene structure originated in the primordial soup as a result of random RNA synthesis. Stable regions of RNA, or exons, were utilised as primitive enzymes. In response to selective pressures for information storage, the activity was directly transferred from the RNA enzymes or ribozymes, to proteins. These short polypeptides fused together to create larger proteins with a wide range of functions. Recent research into RNA processing and exon size, discussed in this review, provides a clearer insight into the evolutionary development of the gene and protein structure.

  15. Molecular cloud evolution and star formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, J.

    1985-01-01

    The present state of knowledge of the relationship between molecular clouds and young stars is reviewed. The determination of physical parameters from molecular line observations is summarized, and evidence for fragmentation of molecular clouds is discussed. Hierarchical fragmentation is reviewed, minimum fragment scales are derived, and the stability against fragmentation of both spherically and anisotropically collapsing clouds is discussed. Observational evidence for high-velocity flows in clouds is summarized, and the effects of winds from pre-main sequence stars on molecular gas are discussed. The triggering of cloud collapse by enhanced pressure is addressed, as is the formation of dense shells by spherical outflows and their subsequent breakup. A model for low-mass star formation is presented, and constraints on star formation from the initial mass function are examined. The properties of giant molecular clouds and massive star formation are described. The implications of magnetic fields for cloud evolution and star formation are addressed.

  16. Harnessing the crowd to accelerate molecular medicine research.

    PubMed

    Smith, Robert J; Merchant, Raina M

    2015-07-01

    Crowdsourcing presents a novel approach to solving complex problems within molecular medicine. By leveraging the expertise of fellow scientists across the globe, broadcasting to and engaging the public for idea generation, harnessing a scalable workforce for quick data management, and fundraising for research endeavors, crowdsourcing creates novel opportunities for accelerating scientific progress.

  17. Accelerated evolution after gene duplication: a time-dependent process affecting just one copy.

    PubMed

    Pegueroles, Cinta; Laurie, Steve; Albà, M Mar

    2013-08-01

    Gene duplication is widely regarded as a major mechanism modeling genome evolution and function. However, the mechanisms that drive the evolution of the two, initially redundant, gene copies are still ill defined. Many gene duplicates experience evolutionary rate acceleration, but the relative contribution of positive selection and random drift to the retention and subsequent evolution of gene duplicates, and for how long the molecular clock may be distorted by these processes, remains unclear. Focusing on rodent genes that duplicated before and after the mouse and rat split, we find significantly increased sequence divergence after duplication in only one of the copies, which in nearly all cases corresponds to the novel daughter copy, independent of the mechanism of duplication. We observe that the evolutionary rate of the accelerated copy, measured as the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions, is on average 5-fold higher in the period spanning 4-12 My after the duplication than it was before the duplication. This increase can be explained, at least in part, by the action of positive selection according to the results of the maximum likelihood-based branch-site test. Subsequently, the rate decelerates until purifying selection completely returns to preduplication levels. Reversion to the original rates has already been accomplished 40.5 My after the duplication event, corresponding to a genetic distance of about 0.28 synonymous substitutions per site. Differences in tissue gene expression patterns parallel those of substitution rates, reinforcing the role of neofunctionalization in explaining the evolution of young gene duplicates.

  18. DNA and RNA editing of retrotransposons accelerate mammalian genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Knisbacher, Binyamin A; Levanon, Erez Y

    2015-04-01

    Genome evolution is commonly viewed as a gradual process that is driven by random mutations that accumulate over time. However, DNA- and RNA-editing enzymes have been identified that can accelerate evolution by actively modifying the genomically encoded information. The apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzymes, catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBECs) are potent restriction factors that can inhibit retroelements by cytosine-to-uridine editing of retroelement DNA after reverse transcription. In some cases, a retroelement may successfully integrate into the genome despite being hypermutated. Such events introduce unique sequences into the genome and are thus a source of genomic innovation. adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs) catalyze adenosine-to-inosine editing in double-stranded RNA, commonly formed by oppositely oriented retroelements. The RNA editing confers plasticity to the transcriptome by generating many transcript variants from a single genomic locus. If the editing produces a beneficial variant, the genome may maintain the locus that produces the RNA-edited transcript for its novel function. Here, we discuss how these two powerful editing mechanisms, which both target inserted retroelements, facilitate expedited genome evolution.

  19. Accelerated molecular dynamics methods: introduction and recent developments

    SciTech Connect

    Uberuaga, Blas Pedro; Voter, Arthur F; Perez, Danny; Shim, Y; Amar, J G

    2009-01-01

    A long-standing limitation in the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is that it can only be applied directly to processes that take place on very short timescales: nanoseconds if empirical potentials are employed, or picoseconds if we rely on electronic structure methods. Many processes of interest in chemistry, biochemistry, and materials science require study over microseconds and beyond, due either to the natural timescale for the evolution or to the duration of the experiment of interest. Ignoring the case of liquids xxx, the dynamics on these time scales is typically characterized by infrequent-event transitions, from state to state, usually involving an energy barrier. There is a long and venerable tradition in chemistry of using transition state theory (TST) [10, 19, 23] to directly compute rate constants for these kinds of activated processes. If needed dynamical corrections to the TST rate, and even quantum corrections, can be computed to achieve an accuracy suitable for the problem at hand. These rate constants then allow them to understand the system behavior on longer time scales than we can directly reach with MD. For complex systems with many reaction paths, the TST rates can be fed into a stochastic simulation procedure such as kinetic Monte Carlo xxx, and a direct simulation of the advance of the system through its possible states can be obtained in a probabilistically exact way. A problem that has become more evident in recent years, however, is that for many systems of interest there is a complexity that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine all the relevant reaction paths to which TST should be applied. This is a serious issue, as omitted transition pathways can have uncontrollable consequences on the simulated long-time kinetics. Over the last decade or so, we have been developing a new class of methods for treating the long-time dynamics in these complex, infrequent-event systems. Rather than trying to guess in advance what

  20. Accelerating molecular docking calculations using graphics processing units.

    PubMed

    Korb, Oliver; Stützle, Thomas; Exner, Thomas E

    2011-04-25

    The generation of molecular conformations and the evaluation of interaction potentials are common tasks in molecular modeling applications, particularly in protein-ligand or protein-protein docking programs. In this work, we present a GPU-accelerated approach capable of speeding up these tasks considerably. For the evaluation of interaction potentials in the context of rigid protein-protein docking, the GPU-accelerated approach reached speedup factors of up to over 50 compared to an optimized CPU-based implementation. Treating the ligand and donor groups in the protein binding site as flexible, speedup factors of up to 16 can be observed in the evaluation of protein-ligand interaction potentials. Additionally, we introduce a parallel version of our protein-ligand docking algorithm PLANTS that can take advantage of this GPU-accelerated scoring function evaluation. We compared the GPU-accelerated parallel version to the same algorithm running on the CPU and also to the highly optimized sequential CPU-based version. In terms of dependence of the ligand size and the number of rotatable bonds, speedup factors of up to 10 and 7, respectively, can be observed. Finally, a fitness landscape analysis in the context of rigid protein-protein docking was performed. Using a systematic grid-based search methodology, the GPU-accelerated version outperformed the CPU-based version with speedup factors of up to 60.

  1. Evolution of molecular phenotypes under stabilizing selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nourmohammad, Armita; Schiffels, Stephan; Lässig, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Molecular phenotypes are important links between genomic information and organismic functions, fitness, and evolution. Complex phenotypes, which are also called quantitative traits, often depend on multiple genomic loci. Their evolution builds on genome evolution in a complicated way, which involves selection, genetic drift, mutations and recombination. Here we develop a coarse-grained evolutionary statistics for phenotypes, which decouples from details of the underlying genotypes. We derive approximate evolution equations for the distribution of phenotype values within and across populations. This dynamics covers evolutionary processes at high and low recombination rates, that is, it applies to sexual and asexual populations. In a fitness landscape with a single optimal phenotype value, the phenotypic diversity within populations and the divergence between populations reach evolutionary equilibria, which describe stabilizing selection. We compute the equilibrium distributions of both quantities analytically and we show that the ratio of mean divergence and diversity depends on the strength of selection in a universal way: it is largely independent of the phenotype’s genomic encoding and of the recombination rate. This establishes a new method for the inference of selection on molecular phenotypes beyond the genome level. We discuss the implications of our findings for the predictability of evolutionary processes.

  2. Molecular evolution in bacterial endosymbionts of fungi.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Dean M; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-03-01

    The prediction that progressive coupling of host and symbiont metabolic and reproductive interests leads to reduced mixing of symbiont lineages has been verified extensively in maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbionts of insects. To test whether this prediction is also applicable to associations of bacteria with fungi, we explored patterns of molecular evolution in two lineages of mutualistic endosymbionts of fungi: the Burkholderia endosymbionts of Rhizopus microsporus (Mucormycotina) and Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum endosymbionts of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota). We compared these two lineages with the closely related Candidatus Tremblaya princeps endosymbionts of mealybugs (Hemiptera, Coccoidea, Pseudococcidae) and to free-living Burkholderia species. To make inferences about the life histories of the endosymbionts, we relied on the empirically validated predictions of the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution that a reduction of the effective population size increases the rate of fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. Our analyses showed that the slightly deleterious mutation accumulation patterns in the Burkholderia endosymbionts of Rhizopus were nearly indistinguishable from those in their free-living relatives. In contrast, Ca. Glomeribacter showed unique patterns of molecular evolution that differentiated them from both the Burkholderia endosymbionts of Rhizopus and from the Ca. Tremblaya endosymbionts of insects. These findings imply that reduced mixing of symbiont lineages is not a universal feature of symbioses between fungi and endocellular bacteria.

  3. 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.

  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 FoxP2 Evolution in Echolocating Bats

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gang; Wang, Jinhong; Rossiter, Stephen J.; Jones, Gareth; Zhang, Shuyi

    2007-01-01

    FOXP2 is a transcription factor implicated in the development and neural control of orofacial coordination, particularly with respect to vocalisation. Observations that orthologues show almost no variation across vertebrates yet differ by two amino acids between humans and chimpanzees have led to speculation that recent evolutionary changes might relate to the emergence of language. Echolocating bats face especially challenging sensorimotor demands, using vocal signals for orientation and often for prey capture. To determine whether mutations in the FoxP2 gene could be associated with echolocation, we sequenced FoxP2 from echolocating and non-echolocating bats as well as a range of other mammal species. We found that contrary to previous reports, FoxP2 is not highly conserved across all nonhuman mammals but is extremely diverse in echolocating bats. We detected divergent selection (a change in selective pressure) at FoxP2 between bats with contrasting sonar systems, suggesting the intriguing possibility of a role for FoxP2 in the evolution and development of echolocation. We speculate that observed accelerated evolution of FoxP2 in bats supports a previously proposed function in sensorimotor coordination. PMID:17878935

  6. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of dermatophytes.

    PubMed

    Cafarchia, Claudia; Iatta, Roberta; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Gräser, Yvonne; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-12-01

    Dermatophytes are fungi that invade and propagate in the keratinized skin of mammals, including humans, often causing contagious infections. The species of medical concern belong to the genera Microsporum, Trichophyton, Epidermophyton (in their anamorphic state) and Arthroderma (in their telomorphic state), which were traditionally identified based on their morphology and biochemical characters. Nonetheless, limitations linked to the differentiation of closely related agents at species and strains level have been recently overcome by molecular studies. Indeed, an accurate identification of dermatophytes is pivotal for the establishment of effective control and prevention programs as well as for determining the most appropriate and effective antifungal therapies to be applied. This article reviews the DNA techniques and the molecular markers used to identify and to characterize dermatophyte species, as well as aspects of their phylogeny and evolution. The applications of typing molecular strain to both basic and applied research (e.g., taxonomy, ecology, typing of infection, antifungal susceptibility) have also been discussed.

  7. Selectionism and Neutralism in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nei, Masatoshi

    2006-01-01

    Charles Darwin proposed that evolution occurs primarily by natural selection, but this view has been controversial from the beginning. Two of the major opposing views have been mutationism and neutralism. Early molecular studies suggested that most amino acid substitutions in proteins are neutral or nearly neutral and the functional change of proteins occurs by a few key amino acid substitutions. This suggestion generated an intense controversy over selectionism and neutralism. This controversy is partially caused by Kimura's definition of neutrality, which was too strict (|2Ns| ≤ 1). If we define neutral mutations as the mutations that do not change the function of gene products appreciably, many controversies disappear because slightly deleterious and slightly advantageous mutations are engulfed by neutral mutations. The ratio of the rate of nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution to that of synonymous substitution is a useful quantity to study positive Darwinian selection operating at highly variable genetic loci, but it does not necessarily detect adaptively important codons. Previously, multigene families were thought to evolve following the model of concerted evolution, but new evidence indicates that most of them evolve by a birth-and-death process of duplicate genes. It is now clear that most phenotypic characters or genetic systems such as the adaptive immune system in vertebrates are controlled by the interaction of a number of multigene families, which are often evolutionarily related and are subject to birth-and-death evolution. Therefore, it is important to study the mechanisms of gene family interaction for understanding phenotypic evolution. Because gene duplication occurs more or less at random, phenotypic evolution contains some fortuitous elements, though the environmental factors also play an important role. The randomness of phenotypic evolution is qualitatively different from allele frequency changes by random genetic drift. However, there is

  8. Enhancing Protein Adsorption Simulations by Using Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mücksch, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M.

    2013-01-01

    The atomistic modeling of protein adsorption on surfaces is hampered by the different time scales of the simulation ( s) and experiment (up to hours), and the accordingly different ‘final’ adsorption conformations. We provide evidence that the method of accelerated molecular dynamics is an efficient tool to obtain equilibrated adsorption states. As a model system we study the adsorption of the protein BMP-2 on graphite in an explicit salt water environment. We demonstrate that due to the considerably improved sampling of conformational space, accelerated molecular dynamics allows to observe the complete unfolding and spreading of the protein on the hydrophobic graphite surface. This result is in agreement with the general finding of protein denaturation upon contact with hydrophobic surfaces. PMID:23755156

  9. Evaluation of an Accelerated ELDRS Test Using Molecular Hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pease, Ronald L.; Adell, Philippe C.; Rax, Bernard; McClure, Steven; Barnaby, Hugh J.; Kruckmeyer, Kirby; Triggs, B.

    2011-01-01

    An accelerated total ionizing dose (TID) hardness assurance test for enhanced low dose rate sensitive (ELDRS) bipolar linear circuits, using high dose rate tests on parts that have been exposed to molecular hydrogen, has been proposed and demonstrated on several ELDRS part types. In this study several radiation-hardened "ELDRS-free" part types have been tested using this same approach to see if the test is overly conservative.

  10. Jet acceleration of the fast molecular outflows in the Seyfert galaxy IC 5063.

    PubMed

    Tadhunter, C; Morganti, R; Rose, M; Oonk, J B R; Oosterloo, T

    2014-07-24

    Massive outflows driven by active galactic nuclei are widely recognized to have a key role in the evolution of galaxies, by heating the ambient gas, expelling it from the nuclear regions, and thereby affecting the star-formation histories of the galaxy bulges. It has been proposed that the powerful jets of relativistic particles (such as electrons) launched by some active nuclei can both accelerate and heat the molecular gas, which often dominates the mass budgets of the outflows. Clear evidence for this mechanism, in the form of detailed associations between the molecular gas kinematics and features in the radio-emitting jets, has however been lacking. Here we report that the warm molecular hydrogen gas in the western radio lobe of the Seyfert galaxy IC 5063 is moving at high velocities-up to about 600 kilometres per second-relative to the galaxy disk. This suggests that the molecules have been accelerated by fast shocks driven into the interstellar medium by the expanding radio jets. These results demonstrate the general feasibility of accelerating molecular outflows in fast shocks driven by active nuclei.

  11. Integrating influenza antigenic dynamics with molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bedford, Trevor; Suchard, Marc A; Lemey, Philippe; Dudas, Gytis; Gregory, Victoria; Hay, Alan J; McCauley, John W; Russell, Colin A; Smith, Derek J; Rambaut, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Influenza viruses undergo continual antigenic evolution allowing mutant viruses to evade host immunity acquired to previous virus strains. Antigenic phenotype is often assessed through pairwise measurement of cross-reactivity between influenza strains using the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. Here, we extend previous approaches to antigenic cartography, and simultaneously characterize antigenic and genetic evolution by modeling the diffusion of antigenic phenotype over a shared virus phylogeny. Using HI data from influenza lineages A/H3N2, A/H1N1, B/Victoria and B/Yamagata, we determine patterns of antigenic drift across viral lineages, showing that A/H3N2 evolves faster and in a more punctuated fashion than other influenza lineages. We also show that year-to-year antigenic drift appears to drive incidence patterns within each influenza lineage. This work makes possible substantial future advances in investigating the dynamics of influenza and other antigenically-variable pathogens by providing a model that intimately combines molecular and antigenic evolution. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01914.001 PMID:24497547

  12. Molecular Evolution of Phosphoprotein Phosphatases in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miskei, Márton; Ádám, Csaba; Kovács, László; Karányi, Zsolt; Dombrádi, Viktor

    2011-01-01

    Phosphoprotein phosphatases (PPP), these ancient and important regulatory enzymes are present in all eukaryotic organisms. Based on the genome sequences of 12 Drosophila species we traced the evolution of the PPP catalytic subunits and noted a substantial expansion of the gene family. We concluded that the 18–22 PPP genes of Drosophilidae were generated from a core set of 8 indispensable phosphatases that are present in most of the insects. Retropositons followed by tandem gene duplications extended the phosphatase repertoire, and sporadic gene losses contributed to the species specific variations in the PPP complement. During the course of these studies we identified 5, up till now uncharacterized phosphatase retrogenes: PpY+, PpD5+, PpD6+, Pp4+, and Pp6+ which are found only in some ancient Drosophila. We demonstrated that all of these new PPP genes exhibit a distinct male specific expression. In addition to the changes in gene numbers, the intron-exon structure and the chromosomal localization of several PPP genes was also altered during evolution. The G−C content of the coding regions decreased when a gene moved into the heterochromatic region of chromosome Y. Thus the PPP enzymes exemplify the various types of dynamic rearrangements that accompany the molecular evolution of a gene family in Drosophilidae. PMID:21789237

  13. Evolution, phylogeny, and molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Alexandra; Gomes, João P

    2014-04-01

    The Chlamydiaceae are a family of obligate intracellular bacteria characterized by a unique biphasic developmental cycle. It encompasses the single genus Chlamydia, which involves nine species that affect a wide range of vertebral hosts, causing infections with serious impact on human health (mainly due to Chlamydia trachomatis infections) and on farming and veterinary industries. It is believed that Chlamydiales originated ∼700mya, whereas C. trachomatis likely split from the other Chlamydiaceae during the last 6mya. This corresponds to the emergence of modern human lineages, with the first descriptions of chlamydial infections as ancient as four millennia. Chlamydiaceae have undergone a massive genome reduction, on behalf of the deletional bias "use it or lose it", stabilizing at 1-1.2Mb and keeping a striking genome synteny. Their phylogeny reveals species segregation according to biological properties, with huge differences in terms of host range, tissue tropism, and disease outcomes. Genome differences rely on the occurrence of mutations in the >700 orthologous genes, as well as on events of recombination, gene loss, inversion, and paralogous expansion, affecting both a hypervariable region named the plasticity zone, and genes essentially encoding polymorphic and transmembrane head membrane proteins, type III secretion effectors and some metabolic pathways. Procedures for molecular typing are still not consensual but have allowed the knowledge of molecular epidemiology patterns for some species as well as the identification of outbreaks and emergence of successful clones for C. trachomatis. This manuscript intends to provide a comprehensive review on the evolution, phylogeny, and molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia.

  14. The chemical evolution of molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iglesias, E.

    1977-01-01

    The nonequilibrium chemistry of dense molecular clouds (10,000 to 1 million hydrogen molecules per cu cm) is studied in the framework of a model that includes the latest published chemical data and most of the recent theoretical advances. In this model the only important external source of ionization is assumed to be high-energy cosmic-ray bombardment; standard charge-transfer reactions are taken into account as well as reactions that transfer charge from molecular ions to trace-metal atoms. Schemes are proposed for the synthesis of such species as NCO, HNCO, and CN. The role played by adsorption and condensation of molecules on the surface of dust grains is investigated, and effects on the chemical evolution of a dense molecular cloud are considered which result from varying the total density or the elemental abundances and from assuming negligible or severe condensation of gaseous species on dust grains. It is shown that the chemical-equilibrium time scale is given approximately by the depletion times of oxygen and nitrogen when the condensation efficiency is negligible; that this time scale is probably in the range from 1 to 4 million years, depending on the elemental composition and initial conditions in the cloud; and that this time scale is insensitive to variations in the total density.

  15. Non-adiabatic molecular dynamics by accelerated semiclassical Monte Carlo

    SciTech Connect

    White, Alexander J.; Gorshkov, Vyacheslav N.; Tretiak, Sergei; Mozyrsky, Dmitry

    2015-07-07

    Non-adiabatic dynamics, where systems non-radiatively transition between electronic states, plays a crucial role in many photo-physical processes, such as fluorescence, phosphorescence, and photoisomerization. Methods for the simulation of non-adiabatic dynamics are typically either numerically impractical, highly complex, or based on approximations which can result in failure for even simple systems. Recently, the Semiclassical Monte Carlo (SCMC) approach was developed in an attempt to combine the accuracy of rigorous semiclassical methods with the efficiency and simplicity of widely used surface hopping methods. However, while SCMC was found to be more efficient than other semiclassical methods, it is not yet as efficient as is needed to be used for large molecular systems. Here, we have developed two new methods: the accelerated-SCMC and the accelerated-SCMC with re-Gaussianization, which reduce the cost of the SCMC algorithm up to two orders of magnitude for certain systems. In many cases shown here, the new procedures are nearly as efficient as the commonly used surface hopping schemes, with little to no loss of accuracy. This implies that these modified SCMC algorithms will be of practical numerical solutions for simulating non-adiabatic dynamics in realistic molecular systems.

  16. Non-adiabatic molecular dynamics by accelerated semiclassical Monte Carlo

    DOE PAGES

    White, Alexander J.; Gorshkov, Vyacheslav N.; Tretiak, Sergei; ...

    2015-07-07

    Non-adiabatic dynamics, where systems non-radiatively transition between electronic states, plays a crucial role in many photo-physical processes, such as fluorescence, phosphorescence, and photoisomerization. Methods for the simulation of non-adiabatic dynamics are typically either numerically impractical, highly complex, or based on approximations which can result in failure for even simple systems. Recently, the Semiclassical Monte Carlo (SCMC) approach was developed in an attempt to combine the accuracy of rigorous semiclassical methods with the efficiency and simplicity of widely used surface hopping methods. However, while SCMC was found to be more efficient than other semiclassical methods, it is not yet as efficientmore » as is needed to be used for large molecular systems. Here, we have developed two new methods: the accelerated-SCMC and the accelerated-SCMC with re-Gaussianization, which reduce the cost of the SCMC algorithm up to two orders of magnitude for certain systems. In many cases shown here, the new procedures are nearly as efficient as the commonly used surface hopping schemes, with little to no loss of accuracy. This implies that these modified SCMC algorithms will be of practical numerical solutions for simulating non-adiabatic dynamics in realistic molecular systems.« less

  17. Rhodopsin Molecular Evolution in Mammals Inhabiting Low Light Environments

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huabin; Ru, Binghua; Teeling, Emma C.; Faulkes, Christopher G.; Zhang, Shuyi; Rossiter, Stephen J.

    2009-01-01

    The ecological radiation of mammals to inhabit a variety of light environments is largely attributed to adaptive changes in their visual systems. Visual capabilities are conferred by anatomical features of the eyes as well as the combination and properties of their constituent light sensitive pigments. To test whether evolutionary switches to different niches characterized by dim-light conditions coincided with molecular adaptation of the rod pigment rhodopsin, we sequenced the rhodopsin gene in twenty-two mammals including several bats and subterranean mole-rats. We compared these to thirty-seven published mammal rhodopsin sequences, from species with divergent visual ecologies, including nocturnal, diurnal and aquatic groups. All taxa possessed an intact functional rhodopsin; however, phylogenetic tree reconstruction recovered a gene tree in which rodents were not monophyletic, and also in which echolocating bats formed a monophyletic group. These conflicts with the species tree appear to stem from accelerated evolution in these groups, both of which inhabit low light environments. Selection tests confirmed divergent selection pressures in the clades of subterranean rodents and bats, as well as in marine mammals that live in turbid conditions. We also found evidence of divergent selection pressures among groups of bats with different sensory modalities based on vision and echolocation. Sliding window analyses suggest most changes occur in transmembrane domains, particularly obvious within the pinnipeds; however, we found no obvious pattern between photopic niche and predicted spectral sensitivity based on known critical amino acids. This study indicates that the independent evolution of rhodopsin vision in ecologically specialised groups of mammals has involved molecular evolution at the sequence level, though such changes might not mediate spectral sensitivity directly. PMID:20016835

  18. Turbulence Evolution and Shock Acceleration of Solar Energetic Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chee, Ng K.

    2007-01-01

    We model the effects of self-excitation/damping and shock transmission of Alfven waves on solar-energetic-particle (SEP) acceleration at a coronal-mass-ejection (CME) driven parallel shock. SEP-excited outward upstream waves speedily bootstrap acceleration. Shock transmission further raises the SEP-excited wave intensities at high wavenumbers but lowers them at low wavenumbers through wavenumber shift. Downstream, SEP excitation of inward waves and damping of outward waves tend to slow acceleration. Nevertheless, > 2000 km/s parallel shocks at approx. 3.5 solar radii can accelerate SEPs to 100 MeV in < 5 minutes.

  19. Pervasive Cryptic Epistasis in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lunzer, Mark; Golding, G. Brian; Dean, Antony M.

    2010-01-01

    The functional effects of most amino acid replacements accumulated during molecular evolution are unknown, because most are not observed naturally and the possible combinations are too numerous. We created 168 single mutations in wild-type Escherichia coli isopropymalate dehydrogenase (IMDH) that match the differences found in wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa IMDH. 104 mutant enzymes performed similarly to E. coli wild-type IMDH, one was functionally enhanced, and 63 were functionally compromised. The transition from E. coli IMDH, or an ancestral form, to the functional wild-type P. aeruginosa IMDH requires extensive epistasis to ameliorate the combined effects of the deleterious mutations. This result stands in marked contrast with a basic assumption of molecular phylogenetics, that sites in sequences evolve independently of each other. Residues that affect function are scattered haphazardly throughout the IMDH structure. We screened for compensatory mutations at three sites, all of which lie near the active site and all of which are among the least active mutants. No compensatory mutations were found at two sites indicating that a single site may engage in compound epistatic interactions. One complete and three partial compensatory mutations of the third site are remote and lie in a different domain. This demonstrates that epistatic interactions can occur between distant (>20Å) sites. Phylogenetic analysis shows that incompatible mutations were fixed in different lineages. PMID:20975933

  20. Molecular epidemiology and evolution of fish Novirhabdoviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, Gael

    2014-01-01

    The genus Novirhabdoviridae contains several of the important rhabdoviruses that infect fish hosts. There are four established virus species: Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), Hirame rhabdovirus(HIRRV), and Snakehead rhabdovirus (SHRV). Viruses of these species vary in host and geographic range, and they have all been studied at the molecular and genomic level. As globally significant pathogens of cultured fish, IHNV and VHSV have been particularly well studied in terms of molecular epidemiology and evolution. Phylogenic analyses of hundreds of field isolates have defined five major genogroups of IHNV and four major genotypes of VHSV worldwide. These phylogenies are informed by the known histories of IHNV and VHSV, each involving a series of viral emergence events that are sometimes associated with host switches, most often into cultured rainbow trout. In general, IHNV has relatively low genetic diversity and a narrow host range, and has been spread from its endemic source in North American to Europe and Asia due to aquaculture activities. In contrast, VHSV has broad host range and high genetic diversity, and the source of emergence events is virus in widespread marine fish reservoirs in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Common mechanisms of emergence and host switch events include use of raw feed, proximity to wild fish reservoirs of virus, and geographic translocations of virus or naive fish hosts associated with aquaculture.

  1. Whole-genome duplication and molecular evolution in Cornus L. (Cornaceae) – Insights from transcriptome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yan; Xiang, Qiuyun; Manos, Paul S.; Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Song, Bao-Hua; Cheng, Shifeng; Liu, Xin; Wong, Gane

    2017-01-01

    The pattern and rate of genome evolution have profound consequences in organismal evolution. Whole-genome duplication (WGD), or polyploidy, has been recognized as an important evolutionary mechanism of plant diversification. However, in non-model plants the molecular signals of genome duplications have remained largely unexplored. High-throughput transcriptome data from next-generation sequencing have set the stage for novel investigations of genome evolution using new bioinformatic and methodological tools in a phylogenetic framework. Here we compare ten de novo-assembled transcriptomes representing the major lineages of the angiosperm genus Cornus (dogwood) and relevant outgroups using a customized pipeline for analyses. Using three distinct approaches, molecular dating of orthologous genes, analyses of the distribution of synonymous substitutions between paralogous genes, and examination of substitution rates through time, we detected a shared WGD event in the late Cretaceous across all taxa sampled. The inferred doubling event coincides temporally with the paleoclimatic changes associated with the initial divergence of the genus into three major lineages. Analyses also showed an acceleration of rates of molecular evolution after WGD. The highest rates of molecular evolution were observed in the transcriptome of the herbaceous lineage, C. canadensis, a species commonly found at higher latitudes, including the Arctic. Our study demonstrates the value of transcriptome data for understanding genome evolution in closely related species. The results suggest dramatic increase in sea surface temperature in the late Cretaceous may have contributed to the evolution and diversification of flowering plants. PMID:28225773

  2. Angular-momentum evolution in laser-plasma accelerators.

    PubMed

    Thaury, C; Guillaume, E; Corde, S; Lehe, R; Le Bouteiller, M; Ta Phuoc, K; Davoine, X; Rax, J M; Rousse, A; Malka, V

    2013-09-27

    The transverse properties of an electron beam are characterized by two quantities, the emittance which indicates the electron beam extent in the phase space and the angular momentum which allows for nonplanar electron trajectories. Whereas the emittance of electron beams produced in a laser-plasma accelerator has been measured in several experiments, their angular momentum has been scarcely studied. It was demonstrated that electrons in a laser-plasma accelerator carry some angular momentum, but its origin was not established. Here we identify one source of angular-momentum growth and we present experimental results showing that the angular-momentum content evolves during the acceleration.

  3. Domain loss facilitates accelerated evolution and neofunctionalization of duplicate snake venom metalloproteinase toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Renjifo, Camila; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Gene duplication is a key mechanism for the adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of gene families. Large multigene families often exhibit complex evolutionary histories as a result of frequent gene duplication acting in concordance with positive selection pressures. Alterations in the domain structure of genes, causing changes in the molecular scaffold of proteins, can also result in a complex evolutionary history and has been observed in functionally diverse multigene toxin families. Here, we investigate the role alterations in domain structure have on the tempo of evolution and neofunctionalization of multigene families using the snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) as a model system. Our results reveal that the evolutionary history of viperid (Serpentes: Viperidae) SVMPs is repeatedly punctuated by domain loss, with the single loss of the cysteine-rich domain, facilitating the formation of P-II class SVMPs, occurring prior to the convergent loss of the disintegrin domain to form multiple P-I SVMP structures. Notably, the majority of phylogenetic branches where domain loss was inferred to have occurred exhibited highly significant evidence of positive selection in surface-exposed amino acid residues, resulting in the neofunctionalization of P-II and P-I SVMP classes. These results provide a valuable insight into the mechanisms by which complex gene families evolve and detail how the loss of domain structures can catalyze the accelerated evolution of novel gene paralogues. The ensuing generation of differing molecular scaffolds encoded by the same multigene family facilitates gene neofunctionalization while presenting an evolutionary advantage through the retention of multiple genes capable of encoding functionally distinct proteins.

  4. Molecular Evolution of PTEN Pseudogenes in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jingsi; Ning, Ruihong; Zeng, Bo; Li, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a tumor-suppressor gene. PTEN pseudogene (PTENp) acts as an endogenous RNA, which regulates its parental gene by competitively binding to the 3’ UTR of PTEN gene in the human. Despite the importance of this pseudogene, little is known about the molecular evolution of PTENp in mammals. In this study, we identified 37 pseudogenes from 65 mammalian genomes. Among them, 32 were from rodents or primates. Phylogenetic analyse showed a complex evolutionary history of this gene family. Some PTENps were shared both in primates and rodents. However, some PTENps were shown to be species-specific, such as the tasmanian devil PTENp1, nine banded armadillo PTENp1 and gibbon PTENp1. Most interestingly, the naked mole rat (NMR), an anticancer model organism, possessed 17 copies of PTENps, which were classified into four clades based on the phylogenetic analyses. Furthermore, we found that all the 3’UTR of PTEN and PTENps shared common microRNA (MicroRNA) binding sites in NMR, based on our prediction of specific MicroRNA binding sites. Our findings suggested that multiple gene duplications have occurred in the formation of PTEN/PTENp gene family during the evolution of mammals. Some PTENps were relatively ancient and were shared by primates and rodents; others were newly originated through species- specific gene duplications. PTENps in NMR may function as competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) to regulate their counterpart genes by competing for common MicroRNAs, which may be one of the interpretations for the cancer resistance in NMR. PMID:27936183

  5. Accelerated GPU simulation of compressible flow by the discontinuous evolution Galerkin method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Block, B. J.; Lukáčová-Medvid'ová, M.; Virnau, P.; Yelash, L.

    2012-08-01

    The aim of the present paper is to report on our recent results for GPU accelerated simulations of compressible flows. For numerical simulation the adaptive discontinuous Galerkin method with the multidimensional bicharacteristic based evolution Galerkin operator has been used. For time discretization we have applied the explicit third order Runge-Kutta method. Evaluation of the genuinely multidimensional evolution operator has been accelerated using the GPU implementation. We have obtained a speedup up to 30 (in comparison to a single CPU core) for the calculation of the evolution Galerkin operator on a typical discretization mesh consisting of 16384 mesh cells.

  6. Molecular musings in microbial ecology and evolution

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    A few major discoveries have influenced how ecologists and evolutionists study microbes. Here, in the format of an interview, we answer questions that directly relate to how these discoveries are perceived in these two branches of microbiology, and how they have impacted on both scientific thinking and methodology. The first question is "What has been the influence of the 'Universal Tree of Life' based on molecular markers?" For evolutionists, the tree was a tool to understand the past of known (cultured) organisms, mapping the invention of various physiologies on the evolutionary history of microbes. For ecologists the tree was a guide to discover the current diversity of unknown (uncultured) organisms, without much knowledge of their physiology. The second question we ask is "What was the impact of discovering frequent lateral gene transfer among microbes?" In evolutionary microbiology, frequent lateral gene transfer (LGT) made a simple description of relationships between organisms impossible, and for microbial ecologists, functions could not be easily linked to specific genotypes. Both fields initially resisted LGT, but methods or topics of inquiry were eventually changed in one to incorporate LGT in its theoretical models (evolution) and in the other to achieve its goals despite that phenomenon (ecology). The third and last question we ask is "What are the implications of the unexpected extent of diversity?" The variation in the extent of diversity between organisms invalidated the universality of species definitions based on molecular criteria, a major obstacle to the adaptation of models developed for the study of macroscopic eukaryotes to evolutionary microbiology. This issue has not overtly affected microbial ecology, as it had already abandoned species in favor of the more flexible operational taxonomic units. This field is nonetheless moving away from traditional methods to measure diversity, as they do not provide enough resolution to uncover what lies

  7. Accelerated evolution of morph-biased genes in pea aphids.

    PubMed

    Purandare, Swapna R; Bickel, Ryan D; Jaquiery, Julie; Rispe, Claude; Brisson, Jennifer A

    2014-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the production of alternative phenotypes (or morphs) from the same genotype due to environmental factors, results in some genes being expressed in a morph-biased manner. Theoretically, these morph-biased genes experience relaxed selection, the consequence of which is the buildup of slightly deleterious mutations at these genes. Over time, this is expected to result in increased protein divergence at these genes between species and a signature of relaxed purifying selection within species. Here we test these theoretical expectations using morph-biased genes in the pea aphid, a species that produces multiple morphs via polyphenism. We find that morph-biased genes exhibit faster rates of evolution (in terms of dN/dS) relative to unbiased genes and that divergence generally increases with increasing morph bias. Further, genes with expression biased toward rarer morphs (sexual females and males) show faster rates of evolution than genes expressed in the more common morph (asexual females), demonstrating that the amount of time a gene spends being expressed in a morph is associated with its rate of evolution. And finally, we show that genes expressed in the rarer morphs experience decreased purifying selection relative to unbiased genes, suggesting that it is a relaxation of purifying selection that contributes to their faster rates of evolution. Our results provide an important empirical look at the impact of phenotypic plasticity on gene evolution.

  8. Accelerated Evolution of Morph-Biased Genes in Pea Aphids

    PubMed Central

    Purandare, Swapna R.; Bickel, Ryan D.; Jaquiery, Julie; Rispe, Claude; Brisson, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the production of alternative phenotypes (or morphs) from the same genotype due to environmental factors, results in some genes being expressed in a morph-biased manner. Theoretically, these morph-biased genes experience relaxed selection, the consequence of which is the buildup of slightly deleterious mutations at these genes. Over time, this is expected to result in increased protein divergence at these genes between species and a signature of relaxed purifying selection within species. Here we test these theoretical expectations using morph-biased genes in the pea aphid, a species that produces multiple morphs via polyphenism. We find that morph-biased genes exhibit faster rates of evolution (in terms of dN/dS) relative to unbiased genes and that divergence generally increases with increasing morph bias. Further, genes with expression biased toward rarer morphs (sexual females and males) show faster rates of evolution than genes expressed in the more common morph (asexual females), demonstrating that the amount of time a gene spends being expressed in a morph is associated with its rate of evolution. And finally, we show that genes expressed in the rarer morphs experience decreased purifying selection relative to unbiased genes, suggesting that it is a relaxation of purifying selection that contributes to their faster rates of evolution. Our results provide an important empirical look at the impact of phenotypic plasticity on gene evolution. PMID:24770714

  9. Exploring the Photophysical Properties of Molecular Systems Using Excited State Accelerated ab Initio Molecular Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Bucher, Denis; Pierce, Levi C T; Markwick, Phineus R L; McCammon, J Andrew

    2012-08-14

    In the present work, we employ excited state accelerated ab initio molecular dynamics (A-AIMD) to efficiently study the excited state energy landscape and photophysical topology of a variety of molecular systems. In particular, we focus on two important challenges for the modeling of excited electronic states: (i) the identification and characterization of conical intersections and crossing seams, in order to predict different and often competing radiationless decay mechanisms, and (ii) the description of the solvent effect on the absorption and emission spectra of chemical species in solution. In particular, using as examples the Schiff bases formaldimine and salicylidenaniline, we show that A-AIMD can be readily employed to explore the conformational space around crossing seams in molecular systems with very different photochemistry. Using acetone in water as an example, we demonstrate that the enhanced configurational space sampling may be used to accurately and efficiently describe both the prominent features and line-shapes of absorption and emission spectra.

  10. Niche divergence accelerates evolution in Asian endemic Procapra gazelles

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Junhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Qiao, Huijie

    2015-01-01

    Ecological niche divergence and adaptation to new environments are thought to play important roles in driving speciation. Whether recently evolved species show evidence for niche divergence or conservation is vital towards understanding the role of ecology in the process of speciation. The genus Procapra is an ancient, monophyletic lineage endemic to Asia that contains three extant species (P. gutturosa, P. przewalskii and P. picticaudata). These species mainly inhabit the Qinghai-Tibetan and Mongolian Plateaus, and today have primarily allopatric distributions. We applied a series of geographic information system–based analyses to test for environmental variation and niche divergence among these three species. We found substantial evidence for niche divergence in species’ bioclimatic preferences, which supports the hypothesis that niche divergence accelerates diversification in Procapra. Our results provide important insight into the evolutionary history of ungulates in Asia and help to elucidate how environmental changes accelerate lineage diversification. PMID:25951051

  11. Programming cells by multiplex genome engineering and accelerated evolution

    PubMed Central

    Carr, Peter A.; Sun, Zachary Z.; Xu, George; Forest, Craig R.; Church, George M.

    2015-01-01

    The breadth of genomic diversity found among organisms in nature allows populations to adapt to diverse environments1,2. However, genomic diversity is difficult to generate in the laboratory and new phenotypes do not easily arise on practical timescales3. Although in vitro and directed evolution methods4–9 have created genetic variants with usefully altered phenotypes, these methods are limited to laborious and serial manipulation of single genes and are not used for parallel and continuous directed evolution of gene networks or genomes. Here, we describe multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE) for large-scale programming and evolution of cells. MAGE simultaneously targets many locations on the chromosome for modification in a single cell or across a population of cells, thus producing combinatorial genomic diversity. Because the process is cyclical and scalable, we constructed prototype devices that automate the MAGE technology to facilitate rapid and continuous generation of a diverse set of genetic changes (mismatches, insertions, deletions). We applied MAGE to optimize the 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate (DXP) biosynthesis pathway in Escherichia coli to overproduce the industrially important isoprenoid lycopene. Twenty-four genetic components in the DXP pathway were modified simultaneously using a complex pool of synthetic DNA, creating over 4.3 billion combinatorial genomic variants per day. We isolated variants with more than fivefold increase in lycopene production within 3 days, a significant improvement over existing metabolic engineering techniques. Our multiplex approach embraces engineering in the context of evolution by expediting the design and evolution of organisms with new and improved properties. PMID:19633652

  12. Transcriptomic insights into human brain evolution: acceleration, neutrality, heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Somel, Mehmet; Rohlfs, Rori; Liu, Xiling

    2014-12-01

    Primate brain transcriptome comparisons within the last 12 years have yielded interesting but contradictory observations on how the transcriptome evolves, and its adaptive role in human cognitive evolution. Since the human-chimpanzee common ancestor, the human prefrontal cortex transcriptome seems to have evolved more than that of the chimpanzee. But at the same time, most expression differences among species, especially those observed in adults, appear as consequences of neutral evolution at cis-regulatory sites. Adaptive expression changes in the human brain may be rare events involving timing shifts, or heterochrony, in specific neurodevelopmental processes. Disentangling adaptive and neutral expression changes, and associating these with human-specific features of the brain require improved methods, comparisons across more species, and further work on comparative development.

  13. Theory of recombination in directed molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Weiqun; Hwa, Terence; Levine, Herbert; Kessler, David A.

    2003-03-01

    Recombination is a fundamental process driving the evolution of biological organisms in nature. It is also a very efficient method being used in in vitro directed evolution of molecules. Here we propose a simple model for the directed evolution of protein-binding DNA sequences subject to recombination, substitution, and competitive selection. This turns out to be a rare model of involving recombination which is analytically tractable. We characterize the dynamical and steady-state behaviors of this model and verify them numerically. We discuss the manner in which recombination drastically speeds up the evolutionary process.

  14. Evolution of dispersal and life history interact to drive accelerating spread of an invasive species.

    PubMed

    Perkins, T Alex; Phillips, Benjamin L; Baskett, Marissa L; Hastings, Alan

    2013-08-01

    Populations on the edge of an expanding range are subject to unique evolutionary pressures acting on their life-history and dispersal traits. Empirical evidence and theory suggest that traits there can evolve rapidly enough to interact with ecological dynamics, potentially giving rise to accelerating spread. Nevertheless, which of several evolutionary mechanisms drive this interaction between evolution and spread remains an open question. We propose an integrated theoretical framework for partitioning the contributions of different evolutionary mechanisms to accelerating spread, and we apply this model to invasive cane toads in northern Australia. In doing so, we identify a previously unrecognised evolutionary process that involves an interaction between life-history and dispersal evolution during range shift. In roughly equal parts, life-history evolution, dispersal evolution and their interaction led to a doubling of distance spread by cane toads in our model, highlighting the potential importance of multiple evolutionary processes in the dynamics of range expansion.

  15. Imaging the Temporal Evolution of Molecular Orbitals during Ultrafast Dissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sann, H.; Havermeier, T.; Müller, C.; Kim, H.-K.; Trinter, F.; Waitz, M.; Voigtsberger, J.; Sturm, F.; Bauer, T.; Wallauer, R.; Schneider, D.; Weller, M.; Goihl, C.; Tross, J.; Cole, K.; Wu, J.; Schöffler, M. S.; Schmidt-Böcking, H.; Jahnke, T.; Simon, M.; Dörner, R.

    2016-12-01

    We investigate the temporal evolution of molecular frame angular distributions of Auger electrons emitted during ultrafast dissociation of HCl following a resonant single-photon excitation. The electron emission pattern changes its shape from that of a molecular σ orbital to that of an atomic p state as the system evolves from a molecule into two separated atoms.

  16. Ridge-based bias potentials to accelerate molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Penghao; Duncan, Juliana; Zhang, Liang; Henkelman, Graeme

    2015-12-01

    An effective way to accelerate rare events in molecular dynamics simulations is to apply a bias potential which destabilizes minima without biasing the transitions between stable states. This approach, called hyperdynamics, is limited by our ability to construct general bias potentials without having to understand the reaction mechanisms available to the system, a priori. Current bias potentials are typically constructed in terms of a metric which quantifies the distance that a trajectory deviates from the reactant state minimum. Such metrics include detection of negative curvatures of the potential, an energy increase, or deviations in bond lengths from the minimum. When one of these properties exceeds a critical value, the bias potentials are constructed to approach zero. A problem common to each of these schemes is that their effectiveness decreases rapidly with system size. We attribute this problem to a diminishing volume defined by the metrics around a reactant minimum as compared to the total volume of the reactant state basin. In this work, we mitigate the dimensionality scaling problem by constructing bias potentials that are based upon the distance to the boundary of the reactant basin. This distance is quantified in two ways: (i) by following the minimum mode direction to the reactant boundary and (ii) by training a machine learning algorithm to give an analytic expression for the boundary to which the distance can be calculated. Both of these ridge-based bias potentials are demonstrated to scale qualitatively better with dimensionality than the existing methods. We attribute this improvement to a greater filling fraction of the reactant state using the ridge-based bias potentials as compared to the standard potentials.

  17. Tropics accelerate the evolution of hybrid male sterility in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yukilevich, Roman

    2013-06-01

    Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms that facilitate speciation and explain global patterns of species diversity has remained a challenge for decades. The most general pattern of species biodiversity is the latitudinal gradient, whereby species richness increases toward the tropics. Although such a global pattern probably has a multitude of causes, recent attention has focused on the hypothesis that speciation and the evolution of reproductive isolation occur faster in the tropics. Here, I tested this prediction using a dataset on premating and postzygotic isolation between recently diverged Drosophila species. Results showed that while the evolution of premating isolation was not greater between tropical Drosophila relative to nontropical species, postzygotic isolation evolved faster in the tropics. In particular, hybrid male sterility was much greater among tropical Drosophila compared to nontropical species pairs of similar genetic age. Several testable explanations for the novel pattern are discussed, including greater role for sterility-inducing bacterial endosymbionts in the tropics and more intense sperm-sperm competition or sperm-egg sexual conflict in the tropics. The results imply that processes of speciation in the tropics may evolve at different rates or may even be somewhat different from those at higher latitudes.

  18. Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Reactive Hydrocarbon Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Stuart, Steven J.

    2014-02-25

    The research activities in this project consisted of four different sub-projects. Three different accelerated dynamics techniques (parallel replica dynamics, hyperdynamics, and temperature-accelerated dynamics) were applied to the modeling of pyrolysis of hydrocarbons. In addition, parallel replica dynamics was applied to modeling of polymerization.

  19. Automatic Evolution of Molecular Nanotechnology Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Globus, Al; Lawton, John; Wipke, Todd; Saini, Subhash (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    This paper describes strategies for automatically generating designs for analog circuits at the molecular level. Software maps out the edges and vertices of potential nanotechnology systems on graphs, then selects appropriate ones through evolutionary or genetic paradigms.

  20. Molecular clouds. [significance in stellar evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaddeus, P.

    1977-01-01

    An attempt is made to understand star formation in the context of the dense interstellar molecular gas from which stars are made. Attention is given to how molecular observations (e.g., UV spectroscopy and radio 21-cm and recombination line observations) provide data on the physical state of the dense interstellar gas; observations of H II regions, stellar associations, and dark nebulae are discussed. CO clouds are studied with reference to radial velocity, temperature, density, ionization, magnetic field.

  1. Instability evolution in shock-accelerated inclined heavy gas cylinder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olmstead, Dell; Wayne, Patrick; Vorobieff, Peter; Davis, Daniel; Truman, C. Randall

    2014-11-01

    A heavy gas cylinder interacts with a normal or oblique shockwave at Mach numbers M ranging from 1.13 to 2.0. The angle between the shock front and cylinder axis is varied between 0 and 30°, while the Atwood numbers A range from 0.25 (SF6-N2 mix) to 0.67 (pure SF6). The evolution of the column is imaged in two perpendicular planes with Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF). For oblique shock interactions, the nature of the flow is fully three-dimensional, with several instabilities developing in separate directions. In the plane that captures a cross-section of the column, Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI) leads to formation of a pair of counter-rotating vortex columns. A uniform scaling appears to govern the primary instability growth in this plane across the M and A ranges, when the length scale is normalized by a product of the minimum streamwise scale after shock compression and M0.5. In the vertical plane through the column, Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices form with regular spacing along the column. The dominant wavelength of the structures in the vertical plane also appears to scale with the minimum compressed streamwise length. This research is supported by the US DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Grant DE-NA0002220.

  2. Molecular Evolution of Threonine Dehydratase in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xuefei; Li, Ye; Wang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-01-01

    Threonine dehydratase converts L-threonine to 2-ketobutyrate. Several threonine dehydratases exist in bacteria, but their origins and evolutionary pathway are unknown. Here we analyzed all the available threonine dehydratases in bacteria and proposed an evolutionary pathway leading to the genes encoding three different threonine dehydratases CTD, BTD1 and BTD2. The ancestral threonine dehydratase might contain only a catalytic domain, but one or two ACT-like subdomains were fused during the evolution, resulting BTD1 and BTD2, respectively. Horizontal gene transfer, gene fusion, gene duplication, and gene deletion may occur during the evolution of this enzyme. The results are important for understanding the functions of various threonine dehydratases found in bacteria. PMID:24324624

  3. Simplified models for the evolution of supernova remnants including particle acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drury, L. O'C.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Voelk, H. J.

    1989-11-01

    A system of coupled ordinary differential equations is presented which models the dynamical evolution of a supernova remnant including the acceleration of the Galactic cosmic rays. In contrast to earlier two-fluid models the closure parameters needed for a hydrodynamic approximation of the cosmic ray 'gas' are not taken as prescribed constants but are estimated dynamically within the model. Diffusive coupling between the outer shock and the remnant interior is introduced; this is shown to be an important moderator of the acceleration as is heating of the thermal plasma by Alfven wave dissipation. For reasonable estimates of the suprathermal particle injection rate into the acceleration process, of the diffusion coefficient appropriate to the accelerated particles, of the coupling between interior and shock, and of wave heating, solutions are found which appear consistent both with observations of young remnants and the idea that the bulk of the Galactic cosmic rays are produced in supernova remnants.

  4. Temperature Evolution of Molecular Clouds in the Central Molecular Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krieger, Nico; Ott, Jürgen; Walter, Fabian; Kruijssen, J. M. Diederik; Beuther, Henrik

    2017-01-01

    We infer the absolute time dependence of kinematic gas temperature along a proposed orbit of molecular clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Galactic Center (GC). Ammonia gas temperature maps are one of the results of the ``Survey of Water and Ammonia in the Galactic Center'' (SWAG, PI: J. Ott); the dynamical model of molecular clouds in the CMZ was taken from Kruijssen et al. (2015). We find that gas temperatures increase as a function of time in both regimes before and after the cloud passes pericenter on its orbit in the GC potential. This is consistent with the recent proposal that pericenter passage triggers gravitational collapse. Other investigated quantities (line width, column density, opacity) show no strong sign of time dependence but are likely dominated by cloud-to-cloud variations.

  5. Analytical Biases Associated with GC-Content in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Roux, Camille

    2017-01-01

    Molecular evolution is being revolutionized by high-throughput sequencing allowing an increased amount of genome-wide data available for multiple species. While base composition summarized by GC-content is one of the first metrics measured in genomes, its genomic distribution is a frequently neglected feature in downstream analyses based on DNA sequence comparisons. Here, we show how base composition heterogeneity among loci and taxa can bias common molecular evolution analyses such as phylogenetic tree reconstruction, detection of natural selection and estimation of codon usage. We then discuss the biological, technical and methodological causes of these GC-associated biases and suggest approaches to overcome them. PMID:28261263

  6. Slow rate of molecular evolution in high-elevation hummingbirds.

    PubMed

    Bleiweiss, R

    1998-01-20

    Estimates of relative rates of molecular evolution from a DNA-hybridization phylogeny for 26 hummingbird species provide evidence for a negative association between elevation and rate of single-copy genome evolution. This effect of elevation on rate remains significant even after taking into account a significant negative association between body mass and molecular rate. Population-level processes do not appear to account for these patterns because (i) all hummingbirds breed within their first year and (ii) the more extensive subdivision and speciation of bird populations living at high elevations predicts a positive association between elevation and rate. The negative association between body mass and molecular rate in other organisms has been attributed to higher mutation rates in forms with higher oxidative metabolism. As ambient oxygen tensions and temperature decrease with elevation, the slow rate of molecular evolution in high-elevation hummingbirds also may have a metabolic basis. A slower rate of single-copy DNA change at higher elevations suggests that the dynamics of molecular evolution cannot be separated from the environmental context.

  7. Molecular evolution of cryptochromes in fishes.

    PubMed

    Mei, Qiming; Sadovy, Yvonne; Dvornyk, Volodymyr

    2015-12-10

    Circadian rhythmicity is an endogenous biological cycle of about 24h, which exists in cyanobacteria and fungi, plants and animals. Circadian rhythms improve the adaptability of organisms in both constant and changing environments. The cryptochrome (CRY) is a key element of the circadian system in various animal groups including fishes. We studied evolution of cryptochromes in the phylogenetically and ecologically diverse fish taxa. The phylogenetic tree of fish Cry features two major clades: Cry1 and Cry2. Teleosts possess extra copies of Cry1 due to the genome duplication, which resulted in 3 main paralogous subfamilies (1A, 1B and 1C). Cry1 experienced further diversification through additional duplications in some taxa. 1A of Cry1 is more conserved than the other paralogs (dN=0.010 ± 0.003, π=0.119 ± 0.058). The analysis of selection indicated that, while the Cry homologs in fish evolved under the different levels of selection pressure, strong purifying selection (average ω=0.017) dominated in their evolution.

  8. Wakefield evolution and electron acceleration in interaction of frequency-chirped laser pulse with inhomogeneous plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezaei-Pandari, M.; Niknam, A. R.; Massudi, R.; Jahangiri, F.; Hassaninejad, H.; Khorashadizadeh, S. M.

    2017-02-01

    The nonlinear interaction of an ultra-short intense frequency-chirped laser pulse with an underdense plasma is studied. The effects of plasma inhomogeneity and laser parameters such as chirp, pulse duration, and intensity on plasma density and wakefield evolutions, and electron acceleration are examined. It is found that a properly chirped laser pulse could induce a stronger laser wakefield in an inhomogeneous plasma and result in higher electron acceleration energy. It is also shown that the wakefield amplitude is enhanced by increasing the slope of density in the inhomogeneous plasma.

  9. Mimosoid legume plastome evolution: IR expansion, tandem repeat expansions, and accelerated rate of evolution in clpP.

    PubMed

    Dugas, Diana V; Hernandez, David; Koenen, Erik J M; Schwarz, Erika; Straub, Shannon; Hughes, Colin E; Jansen, Robert K; Nageswara-Rao, Madhugiri; Staats, Martijn; Trujillo, Joshua T; Hajrah, Nahid H; Alharbi, Njud S; Al-Malki, Abdulrahman L; Sabir, Jamal S M; Bailey, C Donovan

    2015-11-23

    The Leguminosae has emerged as a model for studying angiosperm plastome evolution because of its striking diversity of structural rearrangements and sequence variation. However, most of what is known about legume plastomes comes from few genera representing a subset of lineages in subfamily Papilionoideae. We investigate plastome evolution in subfamily Mimosoideae based on two newly sequenced plastomes (Inga and Leucaena) and two recently published plastomes (Acacia and Prosopis), and discuss the results in the context of other legume and rosid plastid genomes. Mimosoid plastomes have a typical angiosperm gene content and general organization as well as a generally slow rate of protein coding gene evolution, but they are the largest known among legumes. The increased length results from tandem repeat expansions and an unusual 13 kb IR-SSC boundary shift in Acacia and Inga. Mimosoid plastomes harbor additional interesting features, including loss of clpP intron1 in Inga, accelerated rates of evolution in clpP for Acacia and Inga, and dN/dS ratios consistent with neutral and positive selection for several genes. These new plastomes and results provide important resources for legume comparative genomics, plant breeding, and plastid genetic engineering, while shedding further light on the complexity of plastome evolution in legumes and angiosperms.

  10. Mimosoid legume plastome evolution: IR expansion, tandem repeat expansions, and accelerated rate of evolution in clpP

    PubMed Central

    Dugas, Diana V.; Hernandez, David; Koenen, Erik J.M.; Schwarz, Erika; Straub, Shannon; Hughes, Colin E.; Jansen, Robert K.; Nageswara-Rao, Madhugiri; Staats, Martijn; Trujillo, Joshua T.; Hajrah, Nahid H.; Alharbi, Njud S.; Al-Malki, Abdulrahman L.; Sabir, Jamal S. M.; Bailey, C. Donovan

    2015-01-01

    The Leguminosae has emerged as a model for studying angiosperm plastome evolution because of its striking diversity of structural rearrangements and sequence variation. However, most of what is known about legume plastomes comes from few genera representing a subset of lineages in subfamily Papilionoideae. We investigate plastome evolution in subfamily Mimosoideae based on two newly sequenced plastomes (Inga and Leucaena) and two recently published plastomes (Acacia and Prosopis), and discuss the results in the context of other legume and rosid plastid genomes. Mimosoid plastomes have a typical angiosperm gene content and general organization as well as a generally slow rate of protein coding gene evolution, but they are the largest known among legumes. The increased length results from tandem repeat expansions and an unusual 13 kb IR-SSC boundary shift in Acacia and Inga. Mimosoid plastomes harbor additional interesting features, including loss of clpP intron1 in Inga, accelerated rates of evolution in clpP for Acacia and Inga, and dN/dS ratios consistent with neutral and positive selection for several genes. These new plastomes and results provide important resources for legume comparative genomics, plant breeding, and plastid genetic engineering, while shedding further light on the complexity of plastome evolution in legumes and angiosperms. PMID:26592928

  11. The Jukes-Cantor Model of Molecular Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Keith

    2010-01-01

    The material in this module introduces students to some of the mathematical tools used to examine molecular evolution. This topic is standard fare in many mathematical biology or bioinformatics classes, but could also be suitable for classes in linear algebra or probability. While coursework in matrix algebra, Markov processes, Monte Carlo…

  12. Molecular characterization of the evolution of phagosomes

    PubMed Central

    Boulais, Jonathan; Trost, Matthias; Landry, Christian R; Dieckmann, Régis; Levy, Emmanuel D; Soldati, Thierry; Michnick, Stephen W; Thibault, Pierre; Desjardins, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Amoeba use phagocytosis to internalize bacteria as a source of nutrients, whereas multicellular organisms utilize this process as a defense mechanism to kill microbes and, in vertebrates, initiate a sustained immune response. By using a large-scale approach to identify and compare the proteome and phosphoproteome of phagosomes isolated from distant organisms, and by comparative analysis over 39 taxa, we identified an ‘ancient' core of phagosomal proteins around which the immune functions of this organelle have likely organized. Our data indicate that a larger proportion of the phagosome proteome, compared with the whole cell proteome, has been acquired through gene duplication at a period coinciding with the emergence of innate and adaptive immunity. Our study also characterizes in detail the acquisition of novel proteins and the significant remodeling of the phagosome phosphoproteome that contributed to modify the core constituents of this organelle in evolution. Our work thus provides the first thorough analysis of the changes that enabled the transformation of the phagosome from a phagotrophic compartment into an organelle fully competent for antigen presentation. PMID:20959821

  13. Molecular clocks and the early evolution of metazoan nervous systems

    PubMed Central

    Wray, Gregory A.

    2015-01-01

    The timing of early animal evolution remains poorly resolved, yet remains critical for understanding nervous system evolution. Methods for estimating divergence times from sequence data have improved considerably, providing a more refined understanding of key divergences. The best molecular estimates point to the origin of metazoans and bilaterians tens to hundreds of millions of years earlier than their first appearances in the fossil record. Both the molecular and fossil records are compatible, however, with the possibility of tiny, unskeletonized, low energy budget animals during the Proterozoic that had planktonic, benthic, or meiofaunal lifestyles. Such animals would likely have had relatively simple nervous systems equipped primarily to detect food, avoid inhospitable environments and locate mates. The appearance of the first macropredators during the Cambrian would have changed the selective landscape dramatically, likely driving the evolution of complex sense organs, sophisticated sensory processing systems, and diverse effector systems involved in capturing prey and avoiding predation. PMID:26554040

  14. Molecular clocks and the early evolution of metazoan nervous systems.

    PubMed

    Wray, Gregory A

    2015-12-19

    The timing of early animal evolution remains poorly resolved, yet remains critical for understanding nervous system evolution. Methods for estimating divergence times from sequence data have improved considerably, providing a more refined understanding of key divergences. The best molecular estimates point to the origin of metazoans and bilaterians tens to hundreds of millions of years earlier than their first appearances in the fossil record. Both the molecular and fossil records are compatible, however, with the possibility of tiny, unskeletonized, low energy budget animals during the Proterozoic that had planktonic, benthic, or meiofaunal lifestyles. Such animals would likely have had relatively simple nervous systems equipped primarily to detect food, avoid inhospitable environments and locate mates. The appearance of the first macropredators during the Cambrian would have changed the selective landscape dramatically, likely driving the evolution of complex sense organs, sophisticated sensory processing systems, and diverse effector systems involved in capturing prey and avoiding predation.

  15. Molecular evolution of the gamma-Herpesvirinae.

    PubMed Central

    McGeoch, D J

    2001-01-01

    Genomic sequences available for members of the gamma-Herpesvirinae allow analysis of many aspects of the group's evolution. This paper examines four topics: (i) the phylogeny of the group; (ii) the histories of gamma-herpesvirus-specific genes; (iii) genomic variation of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8); and (iv) the relationship between Epstein-Barr virus types 1 and 2 (EBV-1 and EBV-2). A phylogenetic tree based on eight conserved genes has been constructed for eight gamma-herpesviruses and extended to 14 species with smaller gene sets. This gave a generally robust assignment of evolutionary relationships, with the exception of murine herpesvirus 4 (MHV-4), which could not be placed unambiguously on the tree and which has evidently experienced an unusually high rate of genomic change. The gamma-herpesviruses possess a variable complement of genes with cellular homologues. In the clearest cases these virus genes were shown to have originated from host genome lineages in the distant past. HHV-8 possesses at its left genomic terminus a highly diverse gene (K1) and at its right terminus a gene (K15) having two diverged alleles. It was proposed that the high diversity of K1 results from a positive selection on K1 and a hitchhiking effect that reduces diversity elsewhere in the genome. EBV-1 and EBV-2 differ in their alleles of the EBNA-2, EBNA-3A, EBNA-3B and EBNA-3C genes. It was suggested that EBV-1 and EBV-2 may recombine in mixed infections so that their sequences outside these genes remain homogeneous. Models for genesis of the types, by recombination between diverged parents or by local divergence from a single lineage, both present difficulties. PMID:11313003

  16. [Recent progress in protist virology--molecular ecology, taxonomy, molecular evolution].

    PubMed

    Nagasaki, Keizo; Tomaru, Yuji

    2009-06-01

    At present, more than 40 protist-infecting viruses have been isolated and characterized. From the viewpoints of molecular ecology, taxomony and molecular evolution, several new discoveries were made within the last five years. In this minireview, three topics of interest on protist-infecting viruses are introduced: 1) molecular ecological relationships between a bloom-forming dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama and its ssRNA virus (HcRNAV); 2) findings of new ssRNA- and ssDNA-virus groups infecting diatoms; 3) establishment of a hypothesis concerning the evolution of picornaviruses. The potential of aquatic virus studies is far-reaching and inestimable.

  17. Giant Molecular Cloud Structure and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, David (Technical Monitor); Bodenheimer, P. H.

    2003-01-01

    Bodenheimer and Burkert extended earlier calculations of cloud core models to study collapse and fragmentation. The initial condition for an SPH collapse calculation is the density distribution of a Bonnor-Ebert sphere, with near balance between turbulent plus thermal energy and gravitational energy. The main parameter is the turbulent Mach number. For each Mach number several runs are made, each with a different random realization of the initial turbulent velocity field. The turbulence decays on a dynamical time scale, leading the cloud into collapse. The collapse proceeds isothermally until the density has increased to about 10(exp 13) g cm(exp -3). Then heating is included in the dense regions. The nature of the fragmentation is investigated. About 15 different runs have been performed with Mach numbers ranging from 0.3 to 3.5 (the typical value observed in molecular cloud cores is 0.7). The results show a definite trend of increasing multiplicity with increasing Mach number (M), with the number of fragments approximately proportional to (1 + M). In general, this result agrees with that of Fisher, Klein, and McKee who published three cases with an AMR grid code. However our results show that there is a large spread about this curve. For example, for M=0.3 one case resulted in no fragmentation while a second produced three fragments. Thus it is not only the value of M but also the details of the superposition of the various velocity modes that play a critical role in the formation of binaries. Also, the simulations produce a wide range of separations (10-1000 AU) for the multiple systems, in rough agreement with observations. These results are discussed in two conference proceedings.

  18. HIV-1 evolution: frustrating therapies, but disclosing molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Das, Atze T.; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-01-01

    Replication of HIV-1 under selective pressure frequently results in the evolution of virus variants that replicate more efficiently under the applied conditions. For example, in patients on antiretroviral therapy, such evolution can result in variants that are resistant to the HIV-1 inhibitors, thus frustrating the therapy. On the other hand, virus evolution can help us to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-1 replication. For example, evolution of a defective virus mutant can result in variants that overcome the introduced defect by restoration of the original sequence or by the introduction of additional mutations in the viral genome. Analysis of the evolution pathway can reveal the requirements of the element under study and help to understand its function. Analysis of the escape routes may generate new insight in the viral life cycle and result in the identification of unexpected biological mechanisms. We have developed in vitro HIV-1 evolution into a systematic research tool that allows the study of different aspects of the viral replication cycle. We will briefly review this method of forced virus evolution and provide several examples that illustrate the power of this approach. PMID:20478891

  19. HIV-1 evolution: frustrating therapies, but disclosing molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Das, Atze T; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-06-27

    Replication of HIV-1 under selective pressure frequently results in the evolution of virus variants that replicate more efficiently under the applied conditions. For example, in patients on antiretroviral therapy, such evolution can result in variants that are resistant to the HIV-1 inhibitors, thus frustrating the therapy. On the other hand, virus evolution can help us to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-1 replication. For example, evolution of a defective virus mutant can result in variants that overcome the introduced defect by restoration of the original sequence or by the introduction of additional mutations in the viral genome. Analysis of the evolution pathway can reveal the requirements of the element under study and help to understand its function. Analysis of the escape routes may generate new insight in the viral life cycle and result in the identification of unexpected biological mechanisms. We have developed in vitro HIV-1 evolution into a systematic research tool that allows the study of different aspects of the viral replication cycle. We will briefly review this method of forced virus evolution and provide several examples that illustrate the power of this approach.

  20. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation.

  1. Does vocal learning accelerate acoustic diversification? Evolution of contact calls in Neotropical parrots.

    PubMed

    Medina-García, A; Araya-Salas, M; Wright, T F

    2015-10-01

    Learning has been traditionally thought to accelerate the evolutionary change of behavioural traits. We evaluated the evolutionary rate of learned vocalizations and the interplay of morphology and ecology in the evolution of these signals. We examined contact calls of 51 species of Neotropical parrots from the tribe Arini. Parrots are ideal subjects due to their wide range of body sizes and habitats, and their open-ended vocal learning that allows them to modify their calls throughout life. We estimated the evolutionary rate of acoustic parameters of parrot contact calls and compared them to those of morphological traits and habitat. We also evaluated the effect of body mass, bill length, vegetation density and species interactions on acoustic parameters of contact calls while controlling for phylogeny. Evolutionary rates of acoustic parameters did not differ from those of our predictor variables except for spectral entropy, which had a significantly slower rate of evolution. We found support for correlated evolution of call duration, and fundamental and peak frequencies with body mass, and of fundamental frequency with bill length. The degree of sympatry between species did not have a significant effect on acoustic parameters. Our results suggest that parrot contact calls, which are learned acoustic signals, show evolutionary rates similar to those of morphological traits. This is the first study to our knowledge to provide evidence that change through cultural evolution does not necessarily accelerate the evolutionary rate of traits acquired through life-long vocal learning.

  2. Social parasitism and the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution

    PubMed Central

    Cini, Alessandro; Patalano, Solenn; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Busby, George B. J.; Cervo, Rita; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Contrasting phenotypes arise from similar genomes through a combination of losses, gains, co-option and modifications of inherited genomic material. Understanding the molecular basis of this phenotypic diversity is a fundamental challenge in modern evolutionary biology. Comparisons of the genes and their expression patterns underlying traits in closely related species offer an unrivaled opportunity to evaluate the extent to which genomic material is reorganized to produce novel traits. Advances in molecular methods now allow us to dissect the molecular machinery underlying phenotypic diversity in almost any organism, from single-celled entities to the most complex vertebrates. Here we discuss how comparisons of social parasites and their free-living hosts may provide unique insights into the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution. Social parasites evolve from a eusocial ancestor and are specialized to exploit the socially acquired resources of their closely-related eusocial host. Molecular comparisons of such species pairs can reveal how genomic material is re-organized in the loss of ancestral traits (i.e., of free-living traits in the parasites) and the gain of new ones (i.e., specialist traits required for a parasitic lifestyle). We define hypotheses on the molecular basis of phenotypes in the evolution of social parasitism and discuss their wider application in our understanding of the molecular basis of phenotypic diversity within the theoretical framework of phenotypic plasticity and shifting reaction norms. Currently there are no data available to test these hypotheses, and so we also provide some proof of concept data using the paper wasp social parasite/host system (Polistes sulcifer—Polistes dominula). This conceptual framework and first empirical data provide a spring-board for directing future genomic analyses on exploiting social parasites as a route to understanding the evolution of phenotypic specialization. PMID:25741361

  3. Social parasitism and the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution.

    PubMed

    Cini, Alessandro; Patalano, Solenn; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Busby, George B J; Cervo, Rita; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Contrasting phenotypes arise from similar genomes through a combination of losses, gains, co-option and modifications of inherited genomic material. Understanding the molecular basis of this phenotypic diversity is a fundamental challenge in modern evolutionary biology. Comparisons of the genes and their expression patterns underlying traits in closely related species offer an unrivaled opportunity to evaluate the extent to which genomic material is reorganized to produce novel traits. Advances in molecular methods now allow us to dissect the molecular machinery underlying phenotypic diversity in almost any organism, from single-celled entities to the most complex vertebrates. Here we discuss how comparisons of social parasites and their free-living hosts may provide unique insights into the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution. Social parasites evolve from a eusocial ancestor and are specialized to exploit the socially acquired resources of their closely-related eusocial host. Molecular comparisons of such species pairs can reveal how genomic material is re-organized in the loss of ancestral traits (i.e., of free-living traits in the parasites) and the gain of new ones (i.e., specialist traits required for a parasitic lifestyle). We define hypotheses on the molecular basis of phenotypes in the evolution of social parasitism and discuss their wider application in our understanding of the molecular basis of phenotypic diversity within the theoretical framework of phenotypic plasticity and shifting reaction norms. Currently there are no data available to test these hypotheses, and so we also provide some proof of concept data using the paper wasp social parasite/host system (Polistes sulcifer-Polistes dominula). This conceptual framework and first empirical data provide a spring-board for directing future genomic analyses on exploiting social parasites as a route to understanding the evolution of phenotypic specialization.

  4. Molecular Diversity and Functional Evolution of Scorpion Potassium Channel Toxins*

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shunyi; Peigneur, Steve; Gao, Bin; Luo, Lan; Jin, Di; Zhao, Yong; Tytgat, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Scorpion toxins affecting K+ channels (KTxs) represent important pharmacological tools and potential drug candidates. Here, we report molecular characterization of seven new KTxs in the scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus by cDNA cloning combined with biochemical approaches. Comparative modeling supports that all these KTxs share a conserved cysteine-stabilized α-helix/β-sheet structural motif despite the differences in protein sequence and size. We investigated functional diversification of two orthologous α-KTxs (MeuTXKα1 from M. eupeus and BmP01 from Mesobuthus martensii) by comparing their K+ channel-blocking activities. Pharmacologically, MeuTXKα1 selectively blocked Kv1.3 channel with nanomolar affinity (IC50, 2.36 ± 0.9 nm), whereas only 35% of Kv1.1 currents were inhibited at 3 μm concentration, showing more than 1271-fold selectivity for Kv1.3 over Kv1.1. This peptide displayed a weak effect on Drosophila Shaker channel and no activity on Kv1.2, Kv1.4, Kv1.5, Kv1.6, and human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channels. Although BmB01 and MeuTXKα1 have a similar channel spectrum, their affinity and selectivity for these channels largely varies. In comparison with MeuTXKα1, BmP01 only exhibits a submicromolar affinity (IC50, 133.72 ± 10.98 nm) for Kv1.3, showing 57-fold less activity than MeuTXKα1. Moreover, it lacks the ability to distinguish between Kv1.1 and Kv1.3. We also found that MeuTXKα1 inhibited the proliferation of activated T cells induced by phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin at micromolar concentrations. Our results demonstrate that accelerated evolution drives affinity variations of orthologous α-KTxs on Kv channels and indicate that MeuTXKα1 is a promising candidate to develop an immune modulation agent for human autoimmune diseases. PMID:20889474

  5. Refuting the hypothesis that the acquisition of germ plasm accelerates animal evolution

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, Carrie A.; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the germ line in animals. PGCs are specified during embryogenesis either by an ancestral mechanism of cell–cell signalling (induction) or by a derived mechanism of maternally provided germ plasm (preformation). Recently, a hypothesis was set forth purporting that germ plasm liberates selective constraint and accelerates an organism's protein sequence evolution, especially for genes from early developmental stages, thereby leading to animal species radiations; empirical validation has been claimed in vertebrates. Here we present findings from global rates of protein evolution in vertebrates and invertebrates refuting this hypothesis. Contrary to assertions of the hypothesis, we find no effect of preformation on protein sequence evolution, the evolutionary rates of early-stage developmental genes, or on species diversification. We conclude that the hypothesis is mechanistically implausible, and our multi-faceted analysis shows no empirical support for any of its predictions. PMID:27577604

  6. Acceleration of peanut breeding programs by molecular marker assisted selection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Peanut breeding has played a significant role in yield increases and disease control. Conventional breeding focuses on field selection and phenotypic analysis and it typically takes 12-15 years before a new cultivar can be released. Molecular markers developed from sequencing data can be of great ...

  7. Widespread convergence in toxin resistance by predictable molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Ujvari, Beata; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Sunagar, Kartik; Arbuckle, Kevin; Wüster, Wolfgang; Lo, Nathan; O’Meally, Denis; Beckmann, Christa; King, Glenn F.; Deplazes, Evelyne; Madsen, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The question about whether evolution is unpredictable and stochastic or intermittently constrained along predictable pathways is the subject of a fundamental debate in biology, in which understanding convergent evolution plays a central role. At the molecular level, documented examples of convergence are rare and limited to occurring within specific taxonomic groups. Here we provide evidence of constrained convergent molecular evolution across the metazoan tree of life. We show that resistance to toxic cardiac glycosides produced by plants and bufonid toads is mediated by similar molecular changes to the sodium-potassium-pump (Na+/K+-ATPase) in insects, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. In toad-feeding reptiles, resistance is conferred by two point mutations that have evolved convergently on four occasions, whereas evidence of a molecular reversal back to the susceptible state in varanid lizards migrating to toad-free areas suggests that toxin resistance is maladaptive in the absence of selection. Importantly, resistance in all taxa is mediated by replacements of 2 of the 12 amino acids comprising the Na+/K+-ATPase H1–H2 extracellular domain that constitutes a core part of the cardiac glycoside binding site. We provide mechanistic insight into the basis of resistance by showing that these alterations perturb the interaction between the cardiac glycoside bufalin and the Na+/K+-ATPase. Thus, similar selection pressures have resulted in convergent evolution of the same molecular solution across the breadth of the animal kingdom, demonstrating how a scarcity of possible solutions to a selective challenge can lead to highly predictable evolutionary responses. PMID:26372961

  8. Clostridium difficile infection: Evolution, phylogeny and molecular epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Briony; Androga, Grace O; Knight, Daniel R; Riley, Thomas V

    2017-04-01

    Over the recent decades, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has emerged as a global public health threat. Despite growing attention, C. difficile remains a poorly understood pathogen, however, the exquisite sensitivity offered by next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has enabled analysis of the genome of C. difficile, giving us access to massive genomic data on factors such as virulence, evolution, and genetic relatedness within C. difficile groups. NGS has also demonstrated excellence in investigations of outbreaks and disease transmission, in both small and large-scale applications. This review summarizes the molecular epidemiology, evolution, and phylogeny of C. difficile, one of the most important pathogens worldwide in the current antibiotic resistance era.

  9. Contrasting Levels of Molecular Evolution on the Mouse X Chromosome.

    PubMed

    Larson, Erica L; Vanderpool, Dan; Keeble, Sara; Zhou, Meng; Sarver, Brice A J; Smith, Andrew D; Dean, Matthew D; Good, Jeffrey M

    2016-08-01

    The mammalian X chromosome has unusual evolutionary dynamics compared to autosomes. Faster-X evolution of spermatogenic protein-coding genes is known to be most pronounced for genes expressed late in spermatogenesis, but it is unclear if these patterns extend to other forms of molecular divergence. We tested for faster-X evolution in mice spanning three different forms of molecular evolution-divergence in protein sequence, gene expression, and DNA methylation-across different developmental stages of spermatogenesis. We used FACS to isolate individual cell populations and then generated cell-specific transcriptome profiles across different stages of spermatogenesis in two subspecies of house mice (Mus musculus), thereby overcoming a fundamental limitation of previous studies on whole tissues. We found faster-X protein evolution at all stages of spermatogenesis and faster-late protein evolution for both X-linked and autosomal genes. In contrast, there was less expression divergence late in spermatogenesis (slower late) on the X chromosome and for autosomal genes expressed primarily in testis (testis-biased). We argue that slower-late expression divergence reflects strong regulatory constraints imposed during this critical stage of sperm development and that these constraints are particularly acute on the tightly regulated sex chromosomes. We also found slower-X DNA methylation divergence based on genome-wide bisulfite sequencing of sperm from two species of mice (M. musculus and M. spretus), although it is unclear whether slower-X DNA methylation reflects development constraints in sperm or other X-linked phenomena. Our study clarifies key differences in patterns of regulatory and protein evolution across spermatogenesis that are likely to have important consequences for mammalian sex chromosome evolution, male fertility, and speciation.

  10. Cryogenic molecular separation system for radioactive (11)C ion acceleration.

    PubMed

    Katagiri, K; Noda, A; Suzuki, K; Nagatsu, K; Boytsov, A Yu; Donets, D E; Donets, E D; Donets, E E; Ramzdorf, A Yu; Nakao, M; Hojo, S; Wakui, T; Noda, K

    2015-12-01

    A (11)C molecular production/separation system (CMPS) has been developed as part of an isotope separation on line system for simultaneous positron emission tomography imaging and heavy-ion cancer therapy using radioactive (11)C ion beams. In the ISOL system, (11)CH4 molecules will be produced by proton irradiation and separated from residual air impurities and impurities produced during the irradiation. The CMPS includes two cryogenic traps to separate specific molecules selectively from impurities by using vapor pressure differences among the molecular species. To investigate the fundamental performance of the CMPS, we performed separation experiments with non-radioactive (12)CH4 gases, which can simulate the chemical characteristics of (11)CH4 gases. We investigated the separation of CH4 molecules from impurities, which will be present as residual gases and are expected to be difficult to separate because the vapor pressure of air molecules is close to that of CH4. We determined the collection/separation efficiencies of the CMPS for various amounts of air impurities and found desirable operating conditions for the CMPS to be used as a molecular separation device in our ISOL system.

  11. [A group of new experiments on molecular evolution].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xin-Yu; Xie, Xiao-Ling; Chen, Pei-Lin

    2004-07-01

    This paper presents a group of new experiments on molecular evolution. It allows students to get acquaint with the basic process of the reconstruction of phylogenetic tree using DNA or protein sequences, and to acquire the correct viewpoint how to affect the result of reconstruction when different tree-building methods, materials and parameters were used. This group of experiments are also characteristic of the opening and exploring, which accords with the direction and demand of experimental teaching reform.

  12. Giant molecular clouds as regions of particle acceleration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dogiel, V. A.; Gurevich, A. V.; Istomin, Y. N.; Zybin, K. A.

    1985-01-01

    One of the most interesting results of investigations carried out on the satellites SAS-II and COS-B is the discovery of unidentified discrete gamma sources. Possibly a considerable part of them may well be giant molecular clouds. Gamma emission from clouds is caused by the processes with participation of cosmic rays. The estimation of the cosmic ray density in clouds has shown that for the energy E approx. = I GeV their density can 10 to 1000 times exceed the one in intercloud space. We have made an attempt to determine the mechanism which could lead to the increase in the cosmic ray density in clouds.

  13. Reconstructing phylogenies and phenotypes: a molecular view of human evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Brenda J

    2008-01-01

    This review broadly summarizes how molecular biology has contributed to our understanding of human evolution. Molecular anthropology began in the 1960s with immunological comparisons indicating that African apes and humans were closely related and, indeed, shared a common ancestor as recently as 5 million years ago. Although initially dismissed, this finding has proven robust and numerous lines of molecular evidence now firmly place the human-ape divergence at 4–8 Ma. Resolving the trichotomy among humans, chimpanzees and gorillas took a few more decades. Despite the readily apparent physical similarities shared by African apes to the exclusion of modern humans (body hair, knuckle-walking, thin tooth enamel), the molecular support for a human–chimpanzee clade is now overwhelming. More recently, whole genome sequencing and gene mapping have shifted the focus of molecular anthropology from phylogenetic analyses to phenotypic reconstruction and functional genomics. We are starting to identify the genetic basis of the morphological, physiological and behavioural traits that distinguish modern humans from apes and apes from other primates. Most notably, recent comparative genomic analyses strongly indicate that the marked differences between modern humans and chimpanzees are likely due more to changes in gene regulation than to modifications of the genes themselves, an idea first proposed over 30 years ago. Almost weekly, press releases describe newly identified genes and regulatory elements that seem to have undergone strong positive selection along the human lineage. Loci involved in speech (e.g. FOXP2), brain development (e.g. ASPM), and skull musculature (e.g. MYH16) have been of particular interest, but some surprising candidate loci (e.g. those involved in auditory capabilities) have emerged as well. Exciting new research avenues, such as the Neanderthal Genome Project, promise that molecular analyses will continue to provide novel insights about our evolution

  14. Temporal evolution of the electric field accelerating electrons away from the auroral ionosphere.

    PubMed

    Marklund, G T; Ivchenko, N; Karlsson, T; Fazakerley, A; Dunlop, M; Lindqvist, P A; Buchert, S; Owen, C; Taylor, M; Vaivalds, A; Carter, P; André, M; Balogh, A

    2001-12-13

    The bright night-time aurorae that are visible to the unaided eye are caused by electrons accelerated towards Earth by an upward-pointing electric field. On adjacent geomagnetic field lines the reverse process occurs: a downward-pointing electric field accelerates electrons away from Earth. Such magnetic-field-aligned electric fields in the collisionless plasma above the auroral ionosphere have been predicted, but how they could be maintained is still a matter for debate. The spatial and temporal behaviour of the electric fields-a knowledge of which is crucial to an understanding of their nature-cannot be resolved uniquely by single satellite measurements. Here we report on the first observations by a formation of identically instrumented satellites crossing a beam of upward-accelerated electrons. The structure of the electric potential accelerating the beam grew in magnitude and width for about 200 s, accompanied by a widening of the downward-current sheet, with the total current remaining constant. The 200-s timescale suggests that the evacuation of the electrons from the ionosphere contributes to the formation of the downward-pointing magnetic-field-aligned electric fields. This evolution implies a growing load in the downward leg of the current circuit, which may affect the visible discrete aurorae.

  15. Graphics processing units accelerated semiclassical initial value representation molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Tamascelli, Dario; Dambrosio, Francesco Saverio; Conte, Riccardo; Ceotto, Michele

    2014-05-07

    This paper presents a Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) implementation of the Semiclassical Initial Value Representation (SC-IVR) propagator for vibrational molecular spectroscopy calculations. The time-averaging formulation of the SC-IVR for power spectrum calculations is employed. Details about the GPU implementation of the semiclassical code are provided. Four molecules with an increasing number of atoms are considered and the GPU-calculated vibrational frequencies perfectly match the benchmark values. The computational time scaling of two GPUs (NVIDIA Tesla C2075 and Kepler K20), respectively, versus two CPUs (Intel Core i5 and Intel Xeon E5-2687W) and the critical issues related to the GPU implementation are discussed. The resulting reduction in computational time and power consumption is significant and semiclassical GPU calculations are shown to be environment friendly.

  16. Immune evasion and the evolution of molecular mimicry in parasites.

    PubMed

    Hurford, Amy; Day, Troy

    2013-10-01

    Parasites that are molecular mimics express proteins which resemble host proteins. This resemblance facilitates immune evasion because the immune molecules with the specificity to react with the parasite also cross-react with the host's own proteins, and these lymphocytes are rare. Given this advantage, why are not most parasites molecular mimics? Here we explore potential factors that can select against molecular mimicry in parasites and thereby limit its occurrence. We consider two hypotheses: (1) molecular mimics are more likely to induce autoimmunity in their hosts, and hosts with autoimmunity generate fewer new infections (the "costly autoimmunity hypothesis"); and (2) molecular mimicry compromises protein functioning, lowering the within-host replication rate and leading to fewer new infections (the "mimicry trade-off hypothesis"). Our analysis shows that although both hypotheses may select against molecular mimicry in parasites, unique hallmarks of protein expression identify whether selection is due to the costly autoimmunity hypothesis or the mimicry trade-off hypothesis. We show that understanding the relevant selective forces is necessary to predict how different medical interventions will affect the proportion of hosts that experience the different infection types, and that if parasite evolution is ignored, interventions aimed at reducing infection-induced autoimmunity may ultimately fail.

  17. Adaptive radiation of venomous marine snail lineages and the accelerated evolution of venom peptide genes

    PubMed Central

    Olivera, Baldomero M.; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip; Imperial, Julita S.; de la Cotera, Edgar P. Heimer; Aguilar, Manuel B.; Vera, Estuardo López; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Lluisma, Arturo

    2012-01-01

    An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, containing ca. 100 biologically active, disulfide-rich peptides. In the genus Conus, the most intensively investigated toxoglossan lineage (~500 species), a small set of venom gene superfamilies undergo rapid sequence hyperdiversification within their mature toxin regions. Each major lineage of Toxoglossa has its own distinct set of venom gene superfamilies. Two recently identified venom gene superfamilies are expressed in the large Turridae clade, but not in Conus. Thus, as major venomous molluscan clades expand, a small set of lineage specific venom gene superfamilies undergo accelerated evolution. The juxtaposition of extremely conserved signal sequences with hypervariable mature peptide regions is unprecedented and raises the possibility that in these gene superfamilies, the signal sequences are conserved as a result of an essential role they play in enabling rapid sequence evolution of the region of the gene that encodes the active toxin. PMID:22954218

  18. SUPERNOVA REMNANT KES 17: AN EFFICIENT COSMIC RAY ACCELERATOR INSIDE A MOLECULAR CLOUD

    SciTech Connect

    Gelfand, Joseph D.; Castro, Daniel; Slane, Patrick O.; Temim, Tea; Hughes, John P.; Rakowski, Cara E-mail: cara.rakowski@gmail.com

    2013-11-10

    The supernova remnant Kes 17 (SNR G304.6+0.1) is one of a few but growing number of remnants detected across the electromagnetic spectrum. In this paper, we analyze recent radio, X-ray, and γ-ray observations of this object, determining that efficient cosmic ray acceleration is required to explain its broadband non-thermal spectrum. These observations also suggest that Kes 17 is expanding inside a molecular cloud, though our determination of its age depends on whether thermal conduction or clump evaporation is primarily responsible for its center-filled thermal X-ray morphology. Evidence for efficient cosmic ray acceleration in Kes 17 supports recent theoretical work concluding that the strong magnetic field, turbulence, and clumpy nature of molecular clouds enhance cosmic ray production in supernova remnants. While additional observations are needed to confirm this interpretation, further study of Kes 17 is important for understanding how cosmic rays are accelerated in supernova remnants.

  19. Molecular hyperdiversity and evolution in very large populations

    PubMed Central

    Cutter, Asher D.; Jovelin, Richard; Dey, Alivia

    2014-01-01

    The genomic density of sequence polymorphisms critically affects the sensitivity of inferences about ongoing sequence evolution, function, and demographic history. Most animal and plant genomes have relatively low densities of polymorphisms, but some species are hyperdiverse with neutral nucleotide heterozygosity exceeding 5%. Eukaryotes with extremely large populations, mimicking bacterial and viral populations, present novel opportunities for studying molecular evolution in sexually-reproducing taxa with complex development. In particular, hyperdiverse species can help answer controversial questions about the evolution of genome complexity, the limits of natural selection, modes of adaptation, and subtleties of the mutation process. However, such systems have some inherent complications and here we identify topics in need of theoretical developments. Close relatives of the model organisms Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster provide known examples of hyperdiverse eukaryotes, encouraging functional dissection of resulting molecular evolutionary patterns. We recommend how best to exploit hyperdiverse populations for analysis, for example, in quantifying the impact of non-crossover recombination in genomes and for determining the identity and micro-evolutionary selective pressures on non-coding regulatory elements. PMID:23506466

  20. Epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and evolution of bovine respiratory syncytial virus.

    PubMed

    Sarmiento-Silva, Rosa Elena; Nakamura-Lopez, Yuko; Vaughan, Gilberto

    2012-11-30

    The bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is an enveloped, negative sense, single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the pneumovirus genus within the family Paramyxoviridae. BRSV has been recognized as a major cause of respiratory disease in young calves since the early 1970s. The analysis of BRSV infection was originally hampered by its characteristic lability and poor growth in vitro. However, the advent of numerous immunological and molecular methods has facilitated the study of BRSV enormously. The knowledge gained from these studies has also provided the opportunity to develop safe, stable, attenuated virus vaccine candidates. Nonetheless, many aspects of the epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and evolution of the virus are still not fully understood. The natural course of infection is rather complex and further complicates diagnosis, treatment and the implementation of preventive measures aimed to control the disease. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms by which BRSV is able to establish infection is needed to prevent viral and disease spread. This review discusses important information regarding the epidemiology and molecular epidemiology of BRSV worldwide, and it highlights the importance of viral evolution in virus transmission.

  1. Detection of biological threats. A challenge for directed molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Petrenko, Valery A; Sorokulova, Iryna B

    2004-08-01

    The probe technique originated from early attempts of Anton van Leeuwenhoek to contrast microorganisms under the microscope using plant juices, successful staining of tubercle bacilli with synthetic dyes by Paul Ehrlich and discovery of a stain for differentiation of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria by Hans Christian Gram. The technique relies on the principle that pathogens have unique structural features, which can be recognized by specifically labeled organic molecules. A hundred years of extensive screening efforts led to discovery of a limited assortment of organic probes that are used for identification and differentiation of bacteria. A new challenge--continuous monitoring of biological threats--requires long lasting molecular probes capable of tight specific binding of pathogens in unfavorable conditions. To respond to the challenge, probe technology is being revolutionized by utilizing methods of combinatorial chemistry, phage display and directed molecular evolution. This review describes how molecular evolution methods are applied for development of peptide, antibody and phage probes, and summarizes the author's own data on development of landscape phage probes against Salmonella typhimurium. The performance of the probes in detection of Salmonella is illustrated by a precipitation test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and fluorescent, optical and electron microscopy.

  2. Molecular evolution of communication signals in electric fish.

    PubMed

    Zakon, Harold H; Zwickl, Derrick J; Lu, Ying; Hillis, David M

    2008-06-01

    Animal communication systems are subject to natural selection so the imprint of selection must reside in the genome of each species. Electric fish generate electric organ discharges (EODs) from a muscle-derived electric organ (EO) and use these fields for electrolocation and communication. Weakly electric teleosts have evolved at least twice (mormyriforms, gymnotiforms) allowing a comparison of the workings of evolution in two independently evolved sensory/motor systems. We focused on the genes for two Na(+) channels, Nav1.4a and Nav1.4b, which are orthologs of the mammalian muscle-expressed Na(+) channel gene Nav1.4. Both genes are expressed in muscle in non-electric fish. Nav1.4b is expressed in muscle in electric fish, but Nav1.4a expression has been lost from muscle and gained in the evolutionarily novel EO in both groups. We hypothesized that Nav1.4a might be evolving to optimize the EOD for different sensory environments and the generation of species-specific communication signals. We obtained the sequence for Nav1.4a from non-electric, mormyriform and gymnotiform species, estimated a phylogenetic tree, and determined rates of evolution. We observed elevated rates of evolution in this gene in both groups coincident with the loss of Nav1.4a from muscle and its compartmentalization in EO. We found amino acid substitutions at sites known to be critical for channel inactivation; analyses suggest that these changes are likely to be the result of positive selection. We suggest that the diversity of EOD waveforms in both groups of electric fish is correlated with accelerations in the rate of evolution of the Nav1.4a Na(+) channel gene due to changes in selection pressure on the gene once it was solely expressed in the EO.

  3. Molecular Evolution of Freshwater Snails with Contrasting Mating Systems.

    PubMed

    Burgarella, Concetta; Gayral, Philippe; Ballenghien, Marion; Bernard, Aurélien; David, Patrice; Jarne, Philippe; Correa, Ana; Hurtrez-Boussès, Sylvie; Escobar, Juan; Galtier, Nicolas; Glémin, Sylvain

    2015-09-01

    Because mating systems affect population genetics and ecology, they are expected to impact the molecular evolution of species. Self-fertilizing species experience reduced effective population size, recombination rates, and heterozygosity, which in turn should decrease the efficacy of natural selection, both adaptive and purifying, and the strength of meiotic drive processes such as GC-biased gene conversion. The empirical evidence is only partly congruent with these predictions, depending on the analyzed species, some, but not all, of the expected effects have been observed. One possible reason is that self-fertilization is an evolutionary dead-end, so that most current selfers recently evolved self-fertilization, and their genome has not yet been strongly impacted by selfing. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of two groups of freshwater snails in which mating systems have likely been stable for several millions of years. Analyzing coding sequence polymorphism, divergence, and expression levels, we report a strongly reduced genetic diversity, decreased efficacy of purifying selection, slower rate of adaptive evolution, and weakened codon usage bias/GC-biased gene conversion in the selfer Galba compared with the outcrosser Physa, in full agreement with theoretical expectations. Our results demonstrate that self-fertilization, when effective in the long run, is a major driver of population genomic and molecular evolutionary processes. Despite the genomic effects of selfing, Galba truncatula seems to escape the demographic consequences of the genetic load. We suggest that the particular ecology of the species may buffer the negative consequences of selfing, shedding new light on the dead-end hypothesis.

  4. Evolution of molecular crystal optical phonons near structural phase transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michki, Nigel; Niessen, Katherine; Xu, Mengyang; Markelz, Andrea

    Molecular crystals are increasingly important photonic and electronic materials. For example organic semiconductors are lightweight compared to inorganic semiconductors and have inexpensive scale up processing with roll to roll printing. However their implementation is limited by their environmental sensitivity, in part arising from the weak intermolecular interactions of the crystal. These weak interactions result in optical phonons in the terahertz frequency range. We examine the evolution of intermolecular interactions near structural phase transitions by measuring the optical phonons as a function of temperature and crystal orientation using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. The measured orientation dependence of the resonances provides an additional constraint for comparison of the observed spectra with the density functional calculations, enabling us to follow specific phonon modes. We observe crystal reorganization near 350 K for oxalic acid as it transforms from dihydrate to anhydrous form. We also report the first THz spectra for the molecular crystal fructose through its melting point.

  5. Crossover accelerates evolution in GAs with a Babel-like fitness landscape: mathematical analyses.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, H; Iwasa, Y

    1999-01-01

    The effectiveness of crossover in accelerating evolution in genetic algorithms (GAs) is studied with a haploid finite population of bit sequences. A Babel-like fitness landscape is assumed. There is a single bit sequence (schema) that is significantly more advantageous than all the others. We study the time until domination of the advantageous schema (Τ&subd;). Evolution proceeds with appearance, spread, and domination of the advantageous schema. The most important process determining Τ&subd; is the appearance (creation) of the advantageous schema. Crossover helps this creation process and enhances the rate of evolution. To study this effect, we first establish an analytical method to estimate Τ&subd; with or without crossover. Then, we conduct a numerical analysis using the frequency vector representation of the population with the recurrence relations formulated after GA operations. Finally, we carry out direct computer simulations with simple GAs operating on a population of binary strings directly prepared in the computer memory to examine the performance of the two analytical methods. It is shown that Τ&subd; is reduced greatly by crossover with a mildly high rate when the mutation rate is adjusted to a moderate value and that an advantageous schema has a fairly larger order (the number of bits). From these observations, we can determine implementation criteria for GAs, which are useful when we are applying GAs to engineering problems having a conspicuously discontinuous fitness landscape.

  6. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the cone snails (Gastropoda, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    Puillandre, N; Bouchet, P; Duda, T F; Kauferstein, S; Kohn, A J; Olivera, B M; Watkins, M; Meyer, C

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper.

  7. Molecular Evolution of Cytochrome bd Oxidases across Proteobacterial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Degli Esposti, Mauro; Rosas-Pérez, Tania; Servín-Garcidueñas, Luis Eduardo; Bolaños, Luis Manuel; Rosenblueth, Monica; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza

    2015-01-01

    This work is aimed to resolve the complex molecular evolution of cytochrome bd ubiquinol oxidase, a nearly ubiquitous bacterial enzyme that is involved in redox balance and bioenergetics. Previous studies have created an unclear picture of bd oxidases phylogenesis without considering the existence of diverse types of bd oxidases. Integrated approaches of genomic and protein analysis focused on proteobacteria have generated a molecular classification of diverse types of bd oxidases, which produces a new scenario for interpreting their evolution. A duplication of the original gene cluster of bd oxidase might have occurred in the ancestors of extant α-proteobacteria of the Rhodospirillales order, such as Acidocella, from which the bd-I type of the oxidase might have diffused to other proteobacterial lineages. In contrast, the Cyanide-Insensitive Oxidase type may have differentiated into recognizable subtypes after another gene cluster duplication. These subtypes are widespread in the genomes of α-, β-, and γ-proteobacteria, with occasional instances of lateral gene transfer. In resolving the evolutionary pattern of proteobacterial bd oxidases, this work sheds new light on the basal taxa of α-proteobacteria from which the γ-proteobacterial lineage probably emerged. PMID:25688108

  8. Molecular evolution of Pediculus humanus and the origin of clothing.

    PubMed

    Kittler, Ralf; Kayser, Manfred; Stoneking, Mark

    2003-08-19

    The human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) and body louse (P. humanus corporis or P. h. humanus) are strict, obligate human ectoparasites that differ mainly in their habitat on the host : the head louse lives and feeds exclusively on the scalp, whereas the body louse feeds on the body but lives in clothing. This ecological differentiation probably arose when humans adopted frequent use of clothing, an important event in human evolution for which there is no direct archaeological evidence. We therefore used a molecular clock approach to date the origin of body lice, assuming that this should correspond with the frequent use of clothing. Sequences were obtained from two mtDNA and two nuclear DNA segments from a global sample of 40 head and body lice, and from a chimpanzee louse to use as an outgroup. The results indicate greater diversity in African than non-African lice, suggesting an African origin of human lice. A molecular clock analysis indicates that body lice originated not more than about 72,000 +/- 42,000 years ago; the mtDNA sequences also indicate a demographic expansion of body lice that correlates with the spread of modern humans out of Africa. These results suggest that clothing was a surprisingly recent innovation in human evolution.

  9. Integrating fossils with molecular phylogenies improves inference of trait evolution.

    PubMed

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-12-01

    Comparative biologists often attempt to draw inferences about tempo and mode in evolution by comparing the fit of evolutionary models to phylogenetic comparative data consisting of a molecular phylogeny with branch lengths and trait measurements from extant taxa. These kinds of approaches ignore historical evidence for evolutionary pattern and process contained in the fossil record. In this article, we show through simulation that incorporation of fossil information dramatically improves our ability to distinguish among models of quantitative trait evolution using comparative data. We further suggest a novel Bayesian approach that allows fossil information to be integrated even when explicit phylogenetic hypotheses are lacking for extinct representatives of extant clades. By applying this approach to a comparative dataset comprising body sizes for caniform carnivorans, we show that incorporation of fossil information not only improves ancestral state estimates relative to those derived from extant taxa alone, but also results in preference of a model of evolution with trend toward large body size over alternative models such as Brownian motion or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes. Our approach highlights the importance of considering fossil information when making macroevolutionary inference, and provides a way to integrate the kind of sparse fossil information that is available to most evolutionary biologists.

  10. Statistical mechanics of quasispecies theories of molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz Tavera, Enrique

    This thesis presents a statistical mechanical analysis of different formulations of quasispecies theory of molecular evolution. These theories, characterized by two different families of models, the Crow-Kimura and the Eigen model, constitute a microscopie description of evolution. These models are most often used for RNA viruses, where a phase transition is predicted, in agreement with experiments, between an organized or quasispecies phase, and a disordered non-selective phase when the mutation rate exceeds a critical value. The methods of statistical mechanics, in particular field-theoretic methods, are employed to obtain analytic solutions to four problems relevant to biological interest. The first chapter presents the study of evolution under a multiple-peak fitness landscape, with biological applications in the study of the proliferation of viruses or cancer under the control of drugs or the immune system. The second chapter studies the effect of incorporating different forms of horizontal gene transfer and two-parent recombination to the classical formulation of quasispecies models. As an example, we study the effect of the sign of epistasis of the fitness landscape on the advantage or disadvantage of recombination for the mean fitness. The third chapter considers the relaxation of the purine/pyrimidine assumption in the classical formulation of the models, by formulating and solving the parallel and Eigen models in the context of a four-letter alphabet. The fourth and final chapter studies finite population effects, both in the presence and in the absence of horizontal gene transfer.

  11. Comprehensive transcriptome analysis reveals accelerated genic evolution in a Tibet fish, Gymnodiptychus pachycheilus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liandong; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Zhaolei; He, Shunping

    2014-12-26

    Elucidating the genetic mechanisms of organismal adaptation to the Tibetan Plateau at a genomic scale can provide insights into the process of adaptive evolution. Many highland species have been investigated and various candidate genes that may be responsible for highland adaptation have been identified. However, we know little about the genomic basis of adaptation to Tibet in fishes. Here, we performed transcriptome sequencing of a schizothoracine fish (Gymnodiptychus pachycheilus) and used it to identify potential genetic mechanisms of highland adaptation. We obtained totally 66,105 assembled unigenes, of which 7,232 were assigned as putative one-to-one orthologs in zebrafish. Comparative gene annotations from several species indicated that at least 350 genes lost and 41 gained since the divergence between G. pachycheilus and zebrafish. An analysis of 6,324 orthologs among zebrafish, fugu, medaka, and spotted gar identified consistent evidence for genome-wide accelerated evolution in G. pachycheilus and only the terminal branch of G. pachycheilus had an elevated Ka/Ks ratio than the ancestral branch. Many functional categories related to hypoxia and energy metabolism exhibited rapid evolution in G. pachycheilus relative to zebrafish. Genes showing signature of rapid evolution and positive selection in the G. pachycheilus lineage were also enriched in functions associated with energy metabolism and hypoxia. The first genomic resources for fish in the Tibetan Plateau and evolutionary analyses provided some novel insights into highland adaptation in fishes and served as a foundation for future studies aiming to identify candidate genes underlying the genetic bases of adaptation to Tibet in fishes.

  12. Comprehensive Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Accelerated Genic Evolution in a Tibet Fish, Gymnodiptychus pachycheilus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Liandong; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Zhaolei; He, Shunping

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the genetic mechanisms of organismal adaptation to the Tibetan Plateau at a genomic scale can provide insights into the process of adaptive evolution. Many highland species have been investigated and various candidate genes that may be responsible for highland adaptation have been identified. However, we know little about the genomic basis of adaptation to Tibet in fishes. Here, we performed transcriptome sequencing of a schizothoracine fish (Gymnodiptychus pachycheilus) and used it to identify potential genetic mechanisms of highland adaptation. We obtained totally 66,105 assembled unigenes, of which 7,232 were assigned as putative one-to-one orthologs in zebrafish. Comparative gene annotations from several species indicated that at least 350 genes lost and 41 gained since the divergence between G. pachycheilus and zebrafish. An analysis of 6,324 orthologs among zebrafish, fugu, medaka, and spotted gar identified consistent evidence for genome-wide accelerated evolution in G. pachycheilus and only the terminal branch of G. pachycheilus had an elevated Ka/Ks ratio than the ancestral branch. Many functional categories related to hypoxia and energy metabolism exhibited rapid evolution in G. pachycheilus relative to zebrafish. Genes showing signature of rapid evolution and positive selection in the G. pachycheilus lineage were also enriched in functions associated with energy metabolism and hypoxia. The first genomic resources for fish in the Tibetan Plateau and evolutionary analyses provided some novel insights into highland adaptation in fishes and served as a foundation for future studies aiming to identify candidate genes underlying the genetic bases of adaptation to Tibet in fishes. PMID:25543049

  13. TALENs-Assisted Multiplex Editing for Accelerated Genome Evolution To Improve Yeast Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guoqiang; Lin, Yuping; Qi, Xianni; Li, Lin; Wang, Qinhong; Ma, Yanhe

    2015-10-16

    Genome editing is an important tool for building novel genotypes with a desired phenotype. However, the fundamental challenge is to rapidly generate desired alterations on a genome-wide scale. Here, we report TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases)-assisted multiplex editing (TAME), based on the interaction of designed TALENs with the DNA sequences between the critical TATA and GC boxes, for generating multiple targeted genomic modifications. Through iterative cycles of TAME to induce abundant semirational indels coupled with efficient screening using a reporter, the targeted fluorescent trait can be continuously and rapidly improved by accumulating multiplex beneficial genetic modifications in the evolving yeast genome. To further evaluate its efficiency, we also demonstrate the application of TAME for significantly improving ethanol tolerance of yeast in a short amount of time. Therefore, TAME is a broadly generalizable platform for accelerated genome evolution to rapidly improve yeast phenotypes.

  14. Mid-Infrared Evidence for Accelerated Evolution in Compact Group Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, L. M.; Johnson, K. E.; Gallagher, S. C.; Hibbard, J. E.; Hornschemeier, A. E.; Charlton, J. C.; Jarrett, T. H.

    2010-06-01

    We find evidence for accelerated evolution in compact group galaxies from the distribution in mid-infrared colorspace of 42 galaxies from 12 Hickson Compact Groups (HCGs) compared to the distributions of several other samples including the LVL+SINGS galaxies, interacting galaxies, and galaxies from the Coma Cluster. We find that the HCG galaxies are not uniformly distributed in colorspace, as well as quantitative evidence for a gap. Galaxies in the infall region of the Coma cluster also exhibit a non-uniform distribution and a less well defined gap, which may reflect a similarity with the compact group environment. Neither the Coma Center or interacting samples show evidence of a gap, leading us to speculate that the gap is unique to the environment of high galaxy density where gas has not been fully processed or stripped.

  15. Mid-Infrared Evidence for Accelerated Evolution in Compact Group Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Lisa May; Johnson, K. E.; Gallagher, S. C.; Hibbard, J. E.; Hornschemeier, A. E.; Charlton, J. C.; Jarrett, T. H.

    2010-01-01

    We find evidence for accelerated evolution in compact group galaxies from the mid-infrared distribution in colorspace of 42 galaxies from 12 Hickson Compact Groups (HCGs) and the distributions of several comparison samples including the LVL+SINGS galaxies, interacting galaxies, and galaxies from the Coma Cluster. We find that the HCG galaxies are not uniformly distributed in colorspace, as well as quantitative evidence for a gap. Galaxies in the infall region of the Coma cluster also exhibit a non-uniform distribution and a less well defined gap, which may reflect a similarity with the compact group environment. None of the other samples we studied show evidence of a gap, leading us to speculate that it is unique to the environment present in compact groups and clusters; one of high density where gas has not been fully processed or stripped.

  16. Determination of molecular-ion structures through the use of accelerated beams

    SciTech Connect

    Gemmell, D.S.

    1987-01-01

    In this talk we report on recent research on molecular-ion structures using fast molecular-ion beams provided by Argonne's 5-MV Dynamitron accelerator. The method has become known as the ''Coulomb-explosion'' technique. When molecular-ion projectiles travelling at velocities of a few percent of the velocity of light strike a foil, the electrons that bind the molecular projectiles are almost always totally stripped off within the first few Angstroms of penetration into the solid target. This leaves a cluster of bare (or nearly bare) nuclei which separate rapidly as a result of their mutual Coulomb repulsion. This violent dissociation process in which the initial electrostatic potential energy is converted into kinetic energy of relative motion in the center-of-mass, has been termed a ''Coulomb explosion.'' 4 refs., 2 figs.

  17. Identification of the Imprinted KLF14 Transcription Factor Undergoing Human-Specific Accelerated Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Parker-Katiraee, Layla; Carson, Andrew R; Yamada, Takahiro; Arnaud, Philippe; Feil, Robert; Abu-Amero, Sayeda N; Moore, Gudrun E; Kaneda, Masahiro; Perry, George H; Stone, Anne C; Lee, Charles; Meguro-Horike, Makiko; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Nakabayashi, Kazuhiko; Scherer, Stephen W

    2007-01-01

    Imprinted genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin manner and are located in clusters throughout the genome. Aberrations in the expression of imprinted genes on human Chromosome 7 have been suggested to play a role in the etiologies of Russell-Silver Syndrome and autism. We describe the imprinting of KLF14, an intronless member of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors located at Chromosome 7q32. We show that it has monoallelic maternal expression in all embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues studied, in both human and mouse. We examine epigenetic modifications in the KLF14 CpG island in both species and find this region to be hypomethylated. In addition, we perform chromatin immunoprecipitation and find that the murine Klf14 CpG island lacks allele-specific histone modifications. Despite the absence of these defining features, our analysis of Klf14 in offspring from DNA methyltransferase 3a conditional knockout mice reveals that the gene's expression is dependent upon a maternally methylated region. Due to the intronless nature of Klf14 and its homology to Klf16, we suggest that the gene is an ancient retrotransposed copy of Klf16. By sequence analysis of numerous species, we place the timing of this event after the divergence of Marsupialia, yet prior to the divergence of the Xenarthra superclade. We identify a large number of sequence variants in KLF14 and, using several measures of diversity, we determine that there is greater variability in the human lineage with a significantly increased number of nonsynonymous changes, suggesting human-specific accelerated evolution. Thus, KLF14 may be the first example of an imprinted transcript undergoing accelerated evolution in the human lineage. PMID:17480121

  18. Identification of the imprinted KLF14 transcription factor undergoing human-specific accelerated evolution.

    PubMed

    Parker-Katiraee, Layla; Carson, Andrew R; Yamada, Takahiro; Arnaud, Philippe; Feil, Robert; Abu-Amero, Sayeda N; Moore, Gudrun E; Kaneda, Masahiro; Perry, George H; Stone, Anne C; Lee, Charles; Meguro-Horike, Makiko; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Nakabayashi, Kazuhiko; Scherer, Stephen W

    2007-05-04

    Imprinted genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin manner and are located in clusters throughout the genome. Aberrations in the expression of imprinted genes on human Chromosome 7 have been suggested to play a role in the etiologies of Russell-Silver Syndrome and autism. We describe the imprinting of KLF14, an intronless member of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors located at Chromosome 7q32. We show that it has monoallelic maternal expression in all embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues studied, in both human and mouse. We examine epigenetic modifications in the KLF14 CpG island in both species and find this region to be hypomethylated. In addition, we perform chromatin immunoprecipitation and find that the murine Klf14 CpG island lacks allele-specific histone modifications. Despite the absence of these defining features, our analysis of Klf14 in offspring from DNA methyltransferase 3a conditional knockout mice reveals that the gene's expression is dependent upon a maternally methylated region. Due to the intronless nature of Klf14 and its homology to Klf16, we suggest that the gene is an ancient retrotransposed copy of Klf16. By sequence analysis of numerous species, we place the timing of this event after the divergence of Marsupialia, yet prior to the divergence of the Xenarthra superclade. We identify a large number of sequence variants in KLF14 and, using several measures of diversity, we determine that there is greater variability in the human lineage with a significantly increased number of nonsynonymous changes, suggesting human-specific accelerated evolution. Thus, KLF14 may be the first example of an imprinted transcript undergoing accelerated evolution in the human lineage.

  19. Transient Hypermutagenesis Accelerates the Evolution of Legume Endosymbionts following Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Remigi, Philippe; Capela, Delphine; Clerissi, Camille; Tasse, Léna; Torchet, Rachel; Bouchez, Olivier; Batut, Jacques; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.; Masson-Boivin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important mode of adaptation and diversification of prokaryotes and eukaryotes and a major event underlying the emergence of bacterial pathogens and mutualists. Yet it remains unclear how complex phenotypic traits such as the ability to fix nitrogen with legumes have successfully spread over large phylogenetic distances. Here we show, using experimental evolution coupled with whole genome sequencing, that co-transfer of imuABC error-prone DNA polymerase genes with key symbiotic genes accelerates the evolution of a soil bacterium into a legume symbiont. Following introduction of the symbiotic plasmid of Cupriavidus taiwanensis, the Mimosa symbiont, into pathogenic Ralstonia solanacearum we challenged transconjugants to become Mimosa symbionts through serial plant-bacteria co-cultures. We demonstrate that a mutagenesis imuABC cassette encoded on the C. taiwanensis symbiotic plasmid triggered a transient hypermutability stage in R. solanacearum transconjugants that occurred before the cells entered the plant. The generated burst in genetic diversity accelerated symbiotic adaptation of the recipient genome under plant selection pressure, presumably by improving the exploration of the fitness landscape. Finally, we show that plasmid imuABC cassettes are over-represented in rhizobial lineages harboring symbiotic plasmids. Our findings shed light on a mechanism that may have facilitated the dissemination of symbiotic competency among α- and β-proteobacteria in natura and provide evidence for the positive role of environment-induced mutagenesis in the acquisition of a complex lifestyle trait. We speculate that co-transfer of complex phenotypic traits with mutagenesis determinants might frequently enhance the ecological success of HGT. PMID:25181317

  20. Supernova feedback in molecular clouds: global evolution and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Körtgen, Bastian; Seifried, Daniel; Banerjee, Robi; Vázquez-Semadeni, Enrique; Zamora-Avilés, Manuel

    2016-07-01

    We use magnetohydrodynamical simulations of converging warm neutral medium flows to analyse the formation and global evolution of magnetized and turbulent molecular clouds subject to supernova feedback from massive stars. We show that supernova feedback alone fails to disrupt entire, gravitationally bound, molecular clouds, but is able to disperse small-sized (˜10 pc) regions on time-scales of less than 1 Myr. Efficient radiative cooling of the supernova remnant as well as strong compression of the surrounding gas result in non-persistent energy and momentum input from the supernovae. However, if the time between subsequent supernovae is short and they are clustered, large hot bubbles form that disperse larger regions of the parental cloud. On longer time-scales, supernova feedback increases the amount of gas with moderate temperatures (T ≈ 300-3000 K). Despite its inability to disrupt molecular clouds, supernova feedback leaves a strong imprint on the star formation process. We find an overall reduction of the star formation efficiency by a factor of 2 and of the star formation rate by roughly factors of 2-4.

  1. Hepatitis A virus: host interactions, molecular epidemiology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Gilberto; Goncalves Rossi, Livia Maria; Forbi, Joseph C; de Paula, Vanessa S; Purdy, Michael A; Xia, Guoliang; Khudyakov, Yury E

    2014-01-01

    Infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV) is the commonest viral cause of liver disease and presents an important public health problem worldwide. Several unique HAV properties and molecular mechanisms of its interaction with host were recently discovered and should aid in clarifying the pathogenesis of hepatitis A. Genetic characterization of HAV strains have resulted in the identification of different genotypes and subtypes, which exhibit a characteristic worldwide distribution. Shifts in HAV endemicity occurring in different parts of the world, introduction of genetically diverse strains from geographically distant regions, genotype displacement observed in some countries and population expansion detected in the last decades of the 20th century using phylogenetic analysis are important factors contributing to the complex dynamics of HAV infections worldwide. Strong selection pressures, some of which, like usage of deoptimized codons, are unique to HAV, limit genetic variability of the virus. Analysis of subgenomic regions has been proven useful for outbreak investigations. However, sharing short sequences among epidemiologically unrelated strains indicates that specific identification of HAV strains for molecular surveillance can be achieved only using whole-genome sequences. Here, we present up-to-date information on the HAV molecular epidemiology and evolution, and highlight the most relevant features of the HAV-host interactions.

  2. Accelerated protein evolution and origins of human-specific features: Foxp2 as an example.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianzhi; Webb, David M; Podlaha, Ondrej

    2002-12-01

    Genes responsible for human-specific phenotypes may have been under altered selective pressures in human evolution and thus exhibit changes in substitution rate and pattern at the protein sequence level. Using comparative analysis of human, chimpanzee, and mouse protein sequences, we identified two genes (PRM2 and FOXP2) with significantly enhanced evolutionary rates in the hominid lineage. PRM2 is a histone-like protein essential to spermatogenesis and was previously reported to be a likely target of sexual selection in humans and chimpanzees. FOXP2 is a transcription factor involved in speech and language development. Human FOXP2 experienced a >60-fold increase in substitution rate and incorporated two fixed amino acid changes in a broadly defined transcription suppression domain. A survey of a diverse group of placental mammals reveals the uniqueness of the human FOXP2 sequence and a population genetic analysis indicates possible adaptive selection behind the accelerated evolution. Taken together, our results suggest an important role that FOXP2 may have played in the origin of human speech and demonstrate a strategy for identifying candidate genes underlying the emergences of human-specific features.

  3. Evolution of the microstructure of unmodified and polymer modified asphalt binders with aging in an accelerated weathering tester.

    PubMed

    Menapace, Ilaria; Masad, Eyad

    2016-09-01

    This paper presents findings on the evolution of the surface microstructure of two asphalt binders, one unmodified and one polymer modified, directly exposed to aging agents with increasing durations. The aging is performed using an accelerated weathering tester, where ultraviolet radiation, oxygen and an increased temperature are applied to the asphalt binder surface. Ultraviolet and dark cycles, which simulated the succession of day and night, alternated during the aging process, and also the temperature varied, which corresponded to typical summer day and night temperatures registered in the state of Qatar. Direct aging of an exposed binder surface is more effective in showing microstructural modifications than previously applied protocols, which involved the heat treatment of binders previously aged with standardized methods. With the new protocol, any molecular rearrangements in the binder surface after aging induced by the heat treatment is prevented. Optical photos show the rippling and degradation of the binder surface due to aging. Microstructure images obtained by means of atomic force microscopy show gradual alteration of the surface due to aging. The original relatively flat microstructure was substituted with a profoundly different microstructure, which significantly protrudes from the surface, and is characterized by various shapes, such as rods, round structures and finally 'flower' or 'leaf' structures.

  4. Endoreplication: a molecular trick during animal neuron evolution.

    PubMed

    Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia; Cuoghi, Barbara; Sonetti, Dario

    2010-06-01

    The occurrence of endoreplication has been repeatedly reported in many organisms, including protists, plants, worms, arthropods, molluscs, fishes, and mammals. As a general rule, cells possessing endoreplicated genomes are large-sized and highly metabolically active. Endoreplication has not been frequently reported in neuronal cells that are typically considered to be fully differentiated and non-dividing, and which normally contain a diploid genome. Despite this general statement, various papers indicate that giant neurons in molluscs, as well as supramedullary and hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in fishes, contain DNA amounts larger than 2C. In order to study this issue in greater detail here, we review the available data about endoreplication in invertebrate and vertebrate neurons, and discuss its possible functional significance. As a whole, endoreplication seems to be a sort of molecular trick used by neurons in response to the high functional demands that they experience during evolution.

  5. The evolution of endothermy: role for membranes and molecular activity.

    PubMed

    Else, Paul L; Turner, N; Hulbert, A J

    2004-01-01

    On the basis of the comparative approach and three models of metabolism (endothermic and ectothermic vertebrates, body mass, and mammalian development), we suggest that a few common cellular processes, linked either directly or indirectly to membranes, consume the majority of energy used by most organisms; that membranes act as pacemakers of metabolism through changes in lipid composition, altering membrane characteristics and the working environment of membrane proteins--specifically, that changes in the membrane environment similarly affect the molecular activities (specific rates of activity) of membrane-bound proteins; and that polyunsaturation of membranes increases whereas monounsaturation decreases the activity of membrane proteins. Experiments designed to test this theory using the sodium pump support this supposition. Potential mechanisms considered include fluidity, electrical fields, and related surface area requirements of lipids. In considering the evolution of endothermy in mammals, for example, if the first mammals were small, possibly nocturnal and active organisms, all these factors would favour increased polyunsaturation of membranes. Such changes (from monounsaturated to polyunsaturated membranes) would allow membranes to set the pace of metabolism in the evolution of endothermy.

  6. Extraordinary molecular evolution in the PRDM9 fertility gene.

    PubMed

    Thomas, James H; Emerson, Ryan O; Shendure, Jay

    2009-12-30

    Recent work indicates that allelic incompatibility in the mouse PRDM9 (Meisetz) gene can cause hybrid male sterility, contributing to genetic isolation and potentially speciation. The only phenotype of mouse PRDM9 knockouts is a meiosis I block that causes sterility in both sexes. The PRDM9 gene encodes a protein with histone H3(K4) trimethyltransferase activity, a KRAB domain, and a DNA-binding domain consisting of multiple tandem C2H2 zinc finger (ZF) domains. We have analyzed human coding polymorphism and interspecies evolutionary changes in the PRDM9 gene. The ZF domains of PRDM9 are evolving very rapidly, with compelling evidence of positive selection in primates. Positively selected amino acids are predominantly those known to make nucleotide specific contacts in C2H2 zinc fingers. These results suggest that PRDM9 is subject to recurrent selection to change DNA-binding specificity. The human PRDM9 protein is highly polymorphic in its ZF domains and nearly all polymorphisms affect the same nucleotide contact residues that are subject to positive selection. ZF domain nucleotide sequences are strongly homogenized within species, indicating that interfinger recombination contributes to their evolution. PRDM9 has previously been assumed to be a transcription factor required to induce meiosis specific genes, a role that is inconsistent with its molecular evolution. We suggest instead that PRDM9 is involved in some aspect of centromere segregation conflict and that rapidly evolving centromeric DNA drives changes in PRDM9 DNA-binding domains.

  7. Molecular evolution of GPCRs: Kisspeptin/kisspeptin receptors.

    PubMed

    Pasquier, Jérémy; Kamech, Nédia; Lafont, Anne-Gaëlle; Vaudry, Hubert; Rousseau, Karine; Dufour, Sylvie

    2014-06-01

    Following the discovery of kisspeptin (Kiss) and its receptor (GPR54 or KissR) in mammals, phylogenetic studies revealed up to three Kiss and four KissR paralogous genes in other vertebrates. The multiplicity of Kiss and KissR types in vertebrates probably originated from the two rounds of whole-genome duplication (1R and 2R) that occurred in early vertebrates. This review examines compelling recent advances on molecular diversity and phylogenetic evolution of vertebrate Kiss and KissR. It also addresses, from an evolutionary point of view, the issues of the structure-activity relationships and interaction of Kiss with KissR and of their signaling pathways. Independent gene losses, during vertebrate evolution, have shaped the repertoire of Kiss and KissR in the extant vertebrate species. In particular, there is no conserved combination of a given Kiss type with a KissR type, across vertebrate evolution. The striking conservation of the biologically active ten-amino-acid C-terminal sequence of all vertebrate kisspeptins, probably allowed this evolutionary flexibility of Kiss/KissR pairs. KissR mutations, responsible for hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in humans, mostly occurred at highly conserved amino acid positions among vertebrate KissR. This further highlights the key role of these amino acids in KissR function. In contrast, less conserved KissR regions, notably in the intracellular C-terminal domain, may account for differential intracellular signaling pathways between vertebrate KissR. Cross talk between evolutionary and biomedical studies should contribute to further understanding of the Kiss/KissR structure-activity relationships and biological functions.

  8. Accelerated evolution of mitochondrial but not nuclear genomes of Hymenoptera: new evidence from crabronid wasps.

    PubMed

    Kaltenpoth, Martin; Showers Corneli, Patrice; Dunn, Diane M; Weiss, Robert B; Strohm, Erhard; Seger, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial genes in animals are especially useful as molecular markers for the reconstruction of phylogenies among closely related taxa, due to the generally high substitution rates. Several insect orders, notably Hymenoptera and Phthiraptera, show exceptionally high rates of mitochondrial molecular evolution, which has been attributed to the parasitic lifestyle of current or ancestral members of these taxa. Parasitism has been hypothesized to entail frequent population bottlenecks that increase rates of molecular evolution by reducing the efficiency of purifying selection. This effect should result in elevated substitution rates of both nuclear and mitochondrial genes, but to date no extensive comparative study has tested this hypothesis in insects. Here we report the mitochondrial genome of a crabronid wasp, the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum, Hymenoptera, Crabronidae), and we use it to compare evolutionary rates among the four largest holometabolous insect orders (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) based on phylogenies reconstructed with whole mitochondrial genomes as well as four single-copy nuclear genes (18S rRNA, arginine kinase, wingless, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase). The mt-genome of P. triangulum is 16,029 bp in size with a mean A+T content of 83.6%, and it encodes the 37 genes typically found in arthropod mt genomes (13 protein-coding, 22 tRNA, and two rRNA genes). Five translocations of tRNA genes were discovered relative to the putative ancestral genome arrangement in insects, and the unusual start codon TTG was predicted for cox2. Phylogenetic analyses revealed significantly longer branches leading to the apocritan Hymenoptera as well as the Orussoidea, to a lesser extent the Cephoidea, and, possibly, the Tenthredinoidea than any of the other holometabolous insect orders for all mitochondrial but none of the four nuclear genes tested. Thus, our results suggest that the ancestral parasitic lifestyle of Apocrita is unlikely

  9. Sex Speeds Adaptation by Altering the Dynamics of Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Michael J.; Rice, Daniel P.; Desai, Michael M.

    2016-01-01

    Sex and recombination are pervasive throughout nature despite their substantial costs1. Understanding the evolutionary forces that maintain these phenomena is a central challenge in biology2,3. One longstanding hypothesis argues that sex is beneficial because recombination speeds adaptation4. Theory has proposed a number of distinct population genetic mechanisms that could underlie this advantage. For example, sex can promote the fixation of beneficial mutations either by alleviating interference competition (the Fisher-Muller effect)5,6 or by separating them from deleterious load (the ruby in the rubbish effect)7,8. Previous experiments confirm that sex can increase the rate of adaptation9–17, but these studies did not observe the evolutionary dynamics that drive this effect at the genomic level. Here, we present the first comparison between the sequence-level dynamics of adaptation in experimental sexual and asexual populations, which allows us to identify the specific mechanisms by which sex speeds adaptation. We find that sex alters the molecular signatures of evolution by changing the spectrum of mutations that fix, and confirm theoretical predictions that it does so by alleviating clonal interference. We also show that substantially deleterious mutations hitchhike to fixation in adapting asexual populations. In contrast, recombination prevents such mutations from fixing. Our results demonstrate that sex both speeds adaptation and alters its molecular signature by allowing natural selection to more efficiently sort beneficial from deleterious mutations. PMID:26909573

  10. Karyotype evolution in the Pinaceae: implication with molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Nkongolo, K K; Mehes-Smith, M

    2012-11-01

    The family Pinaceae is made up mostly of diploid species (2n = 24). Systematization of karyotype analysis was developed to make comparison of intra- and interspecific karyotypes among the Pinaceae more accurate and reliable. Considering all parameters, the genera Pseudotsuga and Pseudolarix have the "most derived" (or advanced) and asymmetric karyotypes in the Pinaceae, followed by Larix, Picea, Abies, and Cedrus. The genus Pinus was the "least derived" (or ancestral) of all the genera of the Pinaceae analyzed. Differences in karyotype formulae and asymmetry indices were found among species within the same genera, suggesting that structural changes may have contributed to the diversification of the genus. This review is a detailed analysis of comparative karyotyping based on similar parameters, including numeric data and cytogenetic information. Telomeric sequence repeats and rDNA distribution in the Pinaceae were surveyed. The role of transposition in rDNA chromosome distribution is analyzed. Cytogenetic implications of hybridization between related species are reported. Likewise, the relationships between molecular phylogenetic and karyotype evolution is discussed in light of several reports. Within many genera, chromosomal organization was conserved despite independent molecular divergence and adaptation through the evolutionary history of the species of the Pinaceae.

  11. Sex speeds adaptation by altering the dynamics of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Michael J; Rice, Daniel P; Desai, Michael M

    2016-03-10

    Sex and recombination are pervasive throughout nature despite their substantial costs. Understanding the evolutionary forces that maintain these phenomena is a central challenge in biology. One longstanding hypothesis argues that sex is beneficial because recombination speeds adaptation. Theory has proposed several distinct population genetic mechanisms that could underlie this advantage. For example, sex can promote the fixation of beneficial mutations either by alleviating interference competition (the Fisher-Muller effect) or by separating them from deleterious load (the ruby in the rubbish effect). Previous experiments confirm that sex can increase the rate of adaptation, but these studies did not observe the evolutionary dynamics that drive this effect at the genomic level. Here we present the first, to our knowledge, comparison between the sequence-level dynamics of adaptation in experimental sexual and asexual Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations, which allows us to identify the specific mechanisms by which sex speeds adaptation. We find that sex alters the molecular signatures of evolution by changing the spectrum of mutations that fix, and confirm theoretical predictions that it does so by alleviating clonal interference. We also show that substantially deleterious mutations hitchhike to fixation in adapting asexual populations. In contrast, recombination prevents such mutations from fixing. Our results demonstrate that sex both speeds adaptation and alters its molecular signature by allowing natural selection to more efficiently sort beneficial from deleterious mutations.

  12. GPU-accelerated Tersoff potentials for massively parallel Molecular Dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Trung Dac

    2017-03-01

    The Tersoff potential is one of the empirical many-body potentials that has been widely used in simulation studies at atomic scales. Unlike pair-wise potentials, the Tersoff potential involves three-body terms, which require much more arithmetic operations and data dependency. In this contribution, we have implemented the GPU-accelerated version of several variants of the Tersoff potential for LAMMPS, an open-source massively parallel Molecular Dynamics code. Compared to the existing MPI implementation in LAMMPS, the GPU implementation exhibits a better scalability and offers a speedup of 2.2X when run on 1000 compute nodes on the Titan supercomputer. On a single node, the speedup ranges from 2.0 to 8.0 times, depending on the number of atoms per GPU and hardware configurations. The most notable features of our GPU-accelerated version include its design for MPI/accelerator heterogeneous parallelism, its compatibility with other functionalities in LAMMPS, its ability to give deterministic results and to support both NVIDIA CUDA- and OpenCL-enabled accelerators. Our implementation is now part of the GPU package in LAMMPS and accessible for public use.

  13. Linking the molecular evolution of avian beta (β) keratins to the evolution of feathers.

    PubMed

    Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2011-12-15

    Feathers of today's birds are constructed of beta (β)-keratins, structural proteins of the epidermis that are found solely in reptiles and birds. Discoveries of "feathered dinosaurs" continue to stimulate interest in the evolutionary origin of feathers, but few studies have attempted to link the molecular evolution of their major structural proteins (β-keratins) to the appearance of feathers in the fossil record. Using molecular dating methods, we show that before the appearance of Anchiornis (∼155 Million years ago (Ma)) the basal β-keratins of birds began diverging from their archosaurian ancestor ∼216 Ma. However, the subfamily of feather β-keratins, as found in living birds, did not begin diverging until ∼143 Ma. Thus, the pennaceous feathers on Anchiornis, while being constructed of avian β-keratins, most likely did not contain the feather β-keratins found in the feathers of modern birds. Our results demonstrate that the evolutionary origin of feathers does not coincide with the molecular evolution of the feather β-keratins found in modern birds. More likely, during the Late Jurassic, the epidermal structures that appeared on organisms in the lineage leading to birds, including early forms of feathers, were constructed of avian β-keratins other than those found in the feathers of modern birds. Recent biophysical studies of the β-keratins in feathers support the view that the appearance of the subfamily of feather β-keratins altered the biophysical nature of the feather establishing its role in powered flight.

  14. Molecular dynamics-based virtual screening: accelerating the drug discovery process by high-performance computing.

    PubMed

    Ge, Hu; Wang, Yu; Li, Chanjuan; Chen, Nanhao; Xie, Yufang; Xu, Mengyan; He, Yingyan; Gu, Xinchun; Wu, Ruibo; Gu, Qiong; Zeng, Liang; Xu, Jun

    2013-10-28

    High-performance computing (HPC) has become a state strategic technology in a number of countries. One hypothesis is that HPC can accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation. Our experimental data demonstrate that HPC can significantly accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation by employing molecular dynamics-based virtual screening (MDVS). Without using HPC, MDVS for a 10K compound library with tens of nanoseconds of MD simulations requires years of computer time. In contrast, a state of the art HPC can be 600 times faster than an eight-core PC server is in screening a typical drug target (which contains about 40K atoms). Also, careful design of the GPU/CPU architecture can reduce the HPC costs. However, the communication cost of parallel computing is a bottleneck that acts as the main limit of further virtual screening improvements for drug innovations.

  15. The First Molecular Phylogeny of Strepsiptera (Insecta) Reveals an Early Burst of Molecular Evolution Correlated with the Transition to Endoparasitism

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, Dino P.; Hayward, Alexander; Kathirithamby, Jeyaraney

    2011-01-01

    A comprehensive model of evolution requires an understanding of the relationship between selection at the molecular and phenotypic level. We investigate this in Strepsiptera, an order of endoparasitic insects whose evolutionary biology is poorly studied. We present the first molecular phylogeny of Strepsiptera, and use this as a framework to investigate the association between parasitism and molecular evolution. We find evidence of a significant burst in the rate of molecular evolution in the early history of Strepsiptera. The evolution of morphological traits linked to parasitism is significantly correlated with the pattern in molecular rate. The correlated burst in genotypic-phenotypic evolution precedes the main phase of strepsipteran diversification, which is characterised by the return to a low and even molecular rate, and a period of relative morphological stability. These findings suggest that the transition to endoparasitism led to relaxation of selective constraint in the strepsipteran genome. Our results indicate that a parasitic lifestyle can affect the rate of molecular evolution, although other causal life-history traits correlated with parasitism may also play an important role. PMID:21738621

  16. Mid-infrared Evidence for Accelerated Evolution in Compact Group Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Lisa May; Johnson, Kelsey E.; Gallagher, Sarah C.; Hibbard, John E.; Hornschemeier, Ann E.; Tzanavaris, Panayiotis; Charlton, Jane C.; Jarrett, Thomas H.

    2010-11-01

    Compact galaxy groups are at the extremes of the group environment, with high number densities and low velocity dispersions that likely affect member galaxy evolution. To explore the impact of this environment in detail, we examine the distribution in the mid-infrared (MIR) 3.6-8.0 μm color space of 42 galaxies from 12 Hickson compact groups (HCGs) in comparison with several control samples, including the LVL+SINGS galaxies, interacting galaxies, and galaxies from the Coma Cluster. We find that the HCG galaxies are strongly bimodal, with statistically significant evidence for a gap in their distribution. In contrast, none of the other samples show such a marked gap, and only galaxies in the Coma infall region have a distribution that is statistically consistent with the HCGs in this parameter space. To further investigate the cause of the HCG gap, we compare the galaxy morphologies of the HCG and LVL+SINGS galaxies, and also probe the specific star formation rate (SSFR) of the HCG galaxies. While galaxy morphology in HCG galaxies is strongly linked to position with MIR color space, the more fundamental property appears to be the SSFR, or star formation rate normalized by stellar mass. We conclude that the unusual MIR color distribution of HCG galaxies is a direct product of their environment, which is most similar to that of the Coma infall region. In both cases, galaxy densities are high, but gas has not been fully processed or stripped. We speculate that the compact group environment fosters accelerated evolution of galaxies from star-forming and neutral gas-rich to quiescent and neutral gas-poor, leaving few members in the MIR gap at any time.

  17. MID-INFRARED EVIDENCE FOR ACCELERATED EVOLUTION IN COMPACT GROUP GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Lisa May; Johnson, Kelsey E.; Gallagher, Sarah C.; Hibbard, John E.; Hornschemeier, Ann E.; Tzanavaris, Panayiotis; Charlton, Jane C.; Jarrett, Thomas H.

    2010-11-15

    Compact galaxy groups are at the extremes of the group environment, with high number densities and low velocity dispersions that likely affect member galaxy evolution. To explore the impact of this environment in detail, we examine the distribution in the mid-infrared (MIR) 3.6-8.0 {mu}m color space of 42 galaxies from 12 Hickson compact groups (HCGs) in comparison with several control samples, including the LVL+SINGS galaxies, interacting galaxies, and galaxies from the Coma Cluster. We find that the HCG galaxies are strongly bimodal, with statistically significant evidence for a gap in their distribution. In contrast, none of the other samples show such a marked gap, and only galaxies in the Coma infall region have a distribution that is statistically consistent with the HCGs in this parameter space. To further investigate the cause of the HCG gap, we compare the galaxy morphologies of the HCG and LVL+SINGS galaxies, and also probe the specific star formation rate (SSFR) of the HCG galaxies. While galaxy morphology in HCG galaxies is strongly linked to position with MIR color space, the more fundamental property appears to be the SSFR, or star formation rate normalized by stellar mass. We conclude that the unusual MIR color distribution of HCG galaxies is a direct product of their environment, which is most similar to that of the Coma infall region. In both cases, galaxy densities are high, but gas has not been fully processed or stripped. We speculate that the compact group environment fosters accelerated evolution of galaxies from star-forming and neutral gas-rich to quiescent and neutral gas-poor, leaving few members in the MIR gap at any time.

  18. Is the Size Evolution of Massive Galaxies Accelerated in Cluster Environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Gillian

    2013-10-01

    At z 1.6 the main progenitors of present-day massive clusters are undergoing rapid collapse, and have the highest rates of galaxy merging and assembly. Recent observational studies have hinted at accelerated galaxy evolution in dense environments at this epoch, including increased merger rates and rapid growth in galaxy size relative to the field. We propose WFC3 G102 spectroscopy and F125W {Broad J} imaging of a sample of four massive spectroscopically-confirmed clusters at z = 1.6. Our primary scientific goal is to leverage the CANDELS Wide Legacy dataset to carry out a head-to-head comparison of the sizes of cluster members relative to the field {as a function of stellar mass and Sersic index}, and quantify the role of environment in the observed rapid evolution in galaxy sizes since z = 2. These clusters are four of the highest significance overdensities in the 50 square degree SWIRE fields, and will evolve over time to have present-day masses similar to Coma. They were detected using IRAC [3.6]-[4.5] color, which identifies galaxy overdensities regardless of optically red or blue color. A heroic ground-based spectroscopic campaign has resulted in 44 spectroscopically-confirmed members. However this sample is heavily biased toward star-forming {SF} galaxies, and WFC3 spectroscopy is essential to definitively determine cluster membership for 200 members, without bias with respect to quiescent or SF type. The F125W {rest-frame V-band} imaging is necessary to measure the sizes and morphologies of cluster members. 17-passband broadband imaging spanning UV, optical, near-IR, Spitzer IR and Herschel far-IR is already in hand.

  19. Alternative splicing modulated by genetic variants demonstrates accelerated evolution regulated by highly conserved proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Yun-Hua Esther; Bahn, Jae Hoon; Lin, Xianzhi; Chan, Tak-Ming; Wang, Rena; Xiao, Xinshu

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional genetic variants and elucidation of their regulatory mechanisms represent significant challenges of the post-genomic era. A poorly understood topic is the involvement of genetic variants in mediating post-transcriptional RNA processing, including alternative splicing. Thus far, little is known about the genomic, evolutionary, and regulatory features of genetically modulated alternative splicing (GMAS). Here, we systematically identified intronic tag variants for genetic modulation of alternative splicing using RNA-seq data specific to cellular compartments. Combined with our previous method that identifies exonic tags for GMAS, this study yielded 622 GMAS exons. We observed that GMAS events are highly cell type independent, indicating that splicing-altering genetic variants could have widespread function across cell types. Interestingly, GMAS genes, exons, and single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) all demonstrated positive selection or accelerated evolution in primates. We predicted that GMAS SNVs often alter binding of splicing factors, with SRSF1 affecting the most GMAS events and demonstrating global allelic binding bias. However, in contrast to their GMAS targets, the predicted splicing factors are more conserved than expected, suggesting that cis-regulatory variation is the major driving force of splicing evolution. Moreover, GMAS-related splicing factors had stronger consensus motifs than expected, consistent with their susceptibility to SNV disruption. Intriguingly, GMAS SNVs in general do not alter the strongest consensus position of the splicing factor motif, except the more than 100 GMAS SNVs in linkage disequilibrium with polymorphisms reported by genome-wide association studies. Our study reports many GMAS events and enables a better understanding of the evolutionary and regulatory features of this phenomenon. PMID:26888265

  20. Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life history.

    PubMed

    Pontzer, Herman; Brown, Mary H; Raichlen, David A; Dunsworth, Holly; Hare, Brian; Walker, Kara; Luke, Amy; Dugas, Lara R; Durazo-Arvizu, Ramon; Schoeller, Dale; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Bovet, Pascal; Forrester, Terrence E; Lambert, Estelle V; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Shumaker, Robert W; Ross, Stephen R

    2016-05-19

    Humans are distinguished from the other living apes in having larger brains and an unusual life history that combines high reproductive output with slow childhood growth and exceptional longevity. This suite of derived traits suggests major changes in energy expenditure and allocation in the human lineage, but direct measures of human and ape metabolism are needed to compare evolved energy strategies among hominoids. Here we used doubly labelled water measurements of total energy expenditure (TEE; kcal day(-1)) in humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans to test the hypothesis that the human lineage has experienced an acceleration in metabolic rate, providing energy for larger brains and faster reproduction without sacrificing maintenance and longevity. In multivariate regressions including body size and physical activity, human TEE exceeded that of chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas and orangutans by approximately 400, 635 and 820 kcal day(-1), respectively, readily accommodating the cost of humans' greater brain size and reproductive output. Much of the increase in TEE is attributable to humans' greater basal metabolic rate (kcal day(-1)), indicating increased organ metabolic activity. Humans also had the greatest body fat percentage. An increased metabolic rate, along with changes in energy allocation, was crucial in the evolution of human brain size and life history.

  1. Evolution of the solar wind acceleration region during 1990-1994

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokumaru, M.; Kondo, T.; Takaba, H.; Mori, H.; Tanaka, T.

    1995-01-01

    The single-station measurements of interplanetary scintillation (IPS) at 2 and 8 GHz have been made at the Kashima Space Research Center of the Communications Research Laboratory in the period from 1990 to 1994. These IPS data are used to study the radial distribution of solar wind velocity and density fluctuations near the sun (i.e. 10-70 Rs), and the long-term variation in these properties. The IPS co-spectrum technique is applied here to estimate the solar wind velocity. Derived velocities show that the solar wind gains a speed significantly in the radial range from 10 to 30 Rs (solar radii). which is much farther than the source surface of the thermally driven solar wind model. From the scintillation index analysis. it is found that the radial fall of density fluctuations is well described by the power-law function. A series of IPS observations reveals that a pronounced change in velocity and turbulence level for this radial range occurs at the polar region of the sun during 1990-1994. That is, the high speed wind and the reduced turbulence region develop there as the solar activity declines. On the other hand, little long-term variation is observed for the solar wind acceleration region at a low latitude. From the comparison with He 1O83 nm observations. it is demonstrated that the change of the solar wind structure is closely linked with the evolution of the coronal hole on the solar surface.

  2. Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life history

    PubMed Central

    Pontzer, Herman; Brown, Mary H.; Raichlen, David A.; Dunsworth, Holly; Hare, Brian; Walker, Kara; Luke, Amy; Dugas, Lara R.; Durazo-Arvizu, Ramon; Schoeller, Dale; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Bovet, Pascal; Forrester, Terrence E.; Lambert, Estelle V.; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Shumaker, Robert W.; Ross, Stephen R.

    2016-01-01

    Humans are distinguished from the other living apes in having larger brains and an unusual life history that combines high reproductive output with slow childhood growth and exceptional longevity1. This suite of derived traits suggests major changes in energy expenditure and allocation in the human lineage, but direct measures of human and ape metabolism are needed to compare evolved energy strategies among hominoids. Here we used doubly labelled water measurements of total energy expenditure (TEE; kcal day−1) in humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans to test the hypothesis that the human lineage has experienced an acceleration in metabolic rate, providing energy for larger brains and faster reproduction without sacrificing maintenance and longevity. In multivariate regressions including body size and physical activity, human TEE exceeded that of chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas and orangutans by approximately 400, 635 and 820 kcal day−1, respectively, readily accommodating the cost of humans' greater brain size and reproductive output. Much of the increase in TEE is attributable to humans' greater basal metabolic rate (kcal day−1), indicating increased organ metabolic activity. Humans also had the greatest body fat percentage. An increased metabolic rate, along with changes in energy allocation, was crucial in the evolution of human brain size and life history. PMID:27144364

  3. Evolution in Fast Forward: a Potential Role for Mutators in Accelerating Staphylococcus aureus Pathoadaptation

    PubMed Central

    Canfield, Gregory S.; Schwingel, Johanna M.; Foley, Matthew H.; Vore, Kelly L.; Boonanantanasarn, Kanitsak; Gill, Ann L.; Sutton, Mark D.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogen evolution and subsequent phenotypic heterogeneity during chronic infection are proposed to enhance Staphylococcus aureus survival during human infection. We tested this theory by genetically and phenotypically characterizing strains with mutations constructed in the mismatch repair (MMR) and oxidized guanine (GO) system, termed mutators, which exhibit increased spontaneous-mutation frequencies. Analysis of these mutators revealed not only strain-dependent increases in the spontaneous-mutation frequency but also shifts in mutational type and hot spots consistent with loss of GO or MMR functions. Although the GO and MMR systems are relied upon in some bacterial species to prevent reactive oxygen species-induced DNA damage, no deficit in hydrogen peroxide sensitivity was found when either of these DNA repair pathways was lost in S. aureus. To gain insight into the contribution of increased mutation supply to S. aureus pathoadaptation, we measured the rate of α-hemolysin and staphyloxanthin inactivation during serial passage. Detection of increased rates of α-hemolysin and staphyloxanthin inactivation in GO and MMR mutants suggests that these strains are capable of modifying virulence phenotypes implicated in mediating infection. Accelerated derivation of altered virulence phenotypes, combined with the absence of increased ROS sensitivity, highlights the potential of mutators to drive pathoadaptation in the host and serve as catalysts for persistent infections. PMID:23204459

  4. Chemical evolution of giant molecular clouds in simulations of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richings, Alexander J.; Schaye, Joop

    2016-08-01

    We present an analysis of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) within hydrodynamic simulations of isolated, low-mass (M* ˜ 109 M⊙) disc galaxies. We study the evolution of molecular abundances and the implications for CO emission and the XCO conversion factor in individual clouds. We define clouds either as regions above a density threshold n_{H, min} = 10 {cm}^{-3}, or using an observationally motivated CO intensity threshold of 0.25 {K} {km} {s}^{-1}. Our simulations include a non-equilibrium chemical model with 157 species, including 20 molecules. We also investigate the effects of resolution and pressure floors (i.e. Jeans limiters). We find cloud lifetimes up to ≈ 40 Myr, with a median of 13 Myr, in agreement with observations. At one-tenth solar metallicity, young clouds ( ≲ 10-15 Myr) are underabundant in H2 and CO compared to chemical equilibrium, by factors of ≈3 and one to two orders of magnitude, respectively. At solar metallicity, GMCs reach chemical equilibrium faster (within ≈ 1 Myr). We also compute CO emission from individual clouds. The mean CO intensity, ICO, is strongly suppressed at low dust extinction, Av, and possibly saturates towards high Av, in agreement with observations. The ICO-Av relation shifts towards higher Av for higher metallicities and, to a lesser extent, for stronger UV radiation. At one-tenth solar metallicity, CO emission is weaker in young clouds ( ≲ 10-15 Myr), consistent with the underabundance of CO. Consequently, XCO decreases by an order of magnitude from 0 to 15 Myr, albeit with a large scatter.

  5. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the genus Neoerysiphe (Erysiphaceae, Ascomycota).

    PubMed

    Takamatsu, Susumu; Havrylenko, Maria; Wolcan, Silvia M; Matsuda, Sanae; Niinomi, Seiko

    2008-06-01

    The genus Neoerysiphe belongs to the tribe Golovinomyceteae of the Erysiphaceae together with the genera Arthrocladiella and Golovinomyces. This is a relatively small genus, comprising only six species, and having ca 300 species from six plant families as hosts. To investigate the molecular phylogeny and evolution of the genus, we determined the nucleotide sequences of the rDNA ITS regions and the divergent domains D1 and D2 of the 28S rDNA. The 30 ITS sequences from Neoerysiphe are divided into three monophyletic groups that are represented by their host families. Groups 1 and 3 consist of N. galeopsidis from Lamiaceae and N. galii from Rubiaceae, respectively, and the genetic diversity within each group is extremely low. Group 2 is represented by N. cumminsiana from Asteraceae. This group also includes Oidium baccharidis, O. maquii, and Oidium spp. from Galinsoga (Asteraceae) and Aloysia (Verbenaceae), and is further divided into four subgroups. N. galeopsidis is distributed worldwide, but is especially common in western Eurasia from Central Asia to Europe. N. galii is also common in western Eurasia. In contrast, the specimens of group 2 were all collected in the New World, except for one specimen that was collected in Japan; this may indicate a close relationship of group 2 with the New World. Molecular clock calibration demonstrated that Neoerysiphe split from other genera of the Erysiphaceae ca 35-45M years ago (Mya), and that the three groups of Neoerysiphe diverged between 10 and 15Mya, in the Miocene. Aloysia citriodora is a new host for the Erysiphaceae and the fungus on this plant is described as O. aloysiae sp. nov.

  6. Accelerated molecular dynamics and equation-free methods for simulating diffusion in solids.

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, Jie; Zimmerman, Jonathan A.; Thompson, Aidan Patrick; Brown, William Michael; Plimpton, Steven James; Zhou, Xiao Wang; Wagner, Gregory John; Erickson, Lindsay Crowl

    2011-09-01

    Many of the most important and hardest-to-solve problems related to the synthesis, performance, and aging of materials involve diffusion through the material or along surfaces and interfaces. These diffusion processes are driven by motions at the atomic scale, but traditional atomistic simulation methods such as molecular dynamics are limited to very short timescales on the order of the atomic vibration period (less than a picosecond), while macroscale diffusion takes place over timescales many orders of magnitude larger. We have completed an LDRD project with the goal of developing and implementing new simulation tools to overcome this timescale problem. In particular, we have focused on two main classes of methods: accelerated molecular dynamics methods that seek to extend the timescale attainable in atomistic simulations, and so-called 'equation-free' methods that combine a fine scale atomistic description of a system with a slower, coarse scale description in order to project the system forward over long times.

  7. Molecular evolution of the Sorghum Maturity Gene Ma3.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Tan, Lubin; Fu, Yongcai; Zhu, Zuofeng; Liu, Fengxia; Sun, Chuanqing; Cai, Hongwei

    2015-01-01

    Time to maturity is a critical trait in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) breeding, as it determines whether a variety can be grown in a particular cropping system or ecosystem. Understanding the nucleotide variation and the mechanisms of molecular evolution of the maturity genes would be helpful for breeding programs. In this study, we analyzed the nucleotide diversity of Ma3, an important maturity gene in sorghum, using 252 cultivated and wild sorghum materials from all over the world. The nucleotide variation and diversity were analyzed based both on race- and usage-based groups. We also sequenced 12 genes around the Ma3 gene in 185 of these materials to search for a selective sweep and found that purifying selection was the strongest force on Ma3, as low nucleotide diversity and low-frequency amino acid variants were observed. However, a very special mutation, described as ma3R, seemed to be under positive selection, as indicated by dramatically reduced nucleotide variation not only at the loci but also in the surrounding regions among individuals carrying the mutations. In addition, in an association study using the Ma3 nucleotide variations, we detected 3 significant SNPs for the heading date at a high-latitude environment (Beijing) and 17 at a low-latitude environment (Hainan). The results of this study increases our understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms of the maturity genes in sorghum and will be useful in sorghum breeding.

  8. Long-time atomistic dynamics through a new self-adaptive accelerated molecular dynamics method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, N.; Yang, L.; Gao, F.; Kurtz, R. J.; West, D.; Zhang, S.

    2017-04-01

    A self-adaptive accelerated molecular dynamics method is developed to model infrequent atomic-scale events, especially those events that occur on a rugged free-energy surface. Key in the new development is the use of the total displacement of the system at a given temperature to construct a boost-potential, which is slowly increased to accelerate the dynamics. The temperature is slowly increased to accelerate the dynamics. By allowing the system to evolve from one steady-state configuration to another by overcoming the transition state, this self-evolving approach makes it possible to explore the coupled motion of species that migrate on vastly different time scales. The migrations of single vacancy (V) and small He-V clusters, and the growth of nano-sized He-V clusters in Fe for times in the order of seconds are studied by this new method. An interstitial-assisted mechanism is first explored for the migration of a helium-rich He-V cluster, while a new two-component Ostwald ripening mechanism is suggested for He-V cluster growth.

  9. Targeting electrostatic interactions in accelerated molecular dynamics with application to protein partial unfolding.

    PubMed

    Flores-Canales, Jose C; Kurnikova, Maria

    2015-06-09

    Accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) is a promising sampling method to generate an ensemble of conformations and to explore the free energy landscape of proteins in explicit solvent. Its success resides in its ability to reduce barriers in the dihedral and the total potential energy space. However, aMD simulations of large proteins can generate large fluctuations of the dihedral and total potential energy with little conformational changes in the protein structure. To facilitate wider conformational sampling of large proteins in explicit solvent, we developed a direct intrasolute electrostatic interactions accelerated MD (DISEI-aMD) approach. This method aims to reduce energy barriers within rapidly changing electrostatic interactions between solute atoms at short-range distances. It also results in improved reconstruction quality of the original statistical ensemble of the system. Recently, we characterized a pH-dependent partial unfolding of diphtheria toxin translocation domain (T-domain) using microsecond long MD simulations. In this work, we focus on the study of conformational changes of a low-pH T-domain model in explicit solvent using DISEI-aMD. On the basis of the simulations of the low-pH T-domain model, we show that the proposed sampling method accelerates conformational rearrangement significantly faster than multiple standard aMD simulations and microsecond long conventional MD simulations.

  10. Long-time atomistic dynamics through a new self-adaptive accelerated molecular dynamics method.

    PubMed

    Gao, N; Yang, L; Gao, F; Kurtz, R J; West, D; Zhang, S

    2017-04-12

    A self-adaptive accelerated molecular dynamics method is developed to model infrequent atomic-scale events, especially those events that occur on a rugged free-energy surface. Key in the new development is the use of the total displacement of the system at a given temperature to construct a boost-potential, which is slowly increased to accelerate the dynamics. The temperature is slowly increased to accelerate the dynamics. By allowing the system to evolve from one steady-state configuration to another by overcoming the transition state, this self-evolving approach makes it possible to explore the coupled motion of species that migrate on vastly different time scales. The migrations of single vacancy (V) and small He-V clusters, and the growth of nano-sized He-V clusters in Fe for times in the order of seconds are studied by this new method. An interstitial-assisted mechanism is first explored for the migration of a helium-rich He-V cluster, while a new two-component Ostwald ripening mechanism is suggested for He-V cluster growth.

  11. Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulations with the AMOEBA Polarizable Force Field on Graphics Processing Units.

    PubMed

    Lindert, Steffen; Bucher, Denis; Eastman, Peter; Pande, Vijay; McCammon, J Andrew

    2013-11-12

    The accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) method has recently been shown to enhance the sampling of biomolecules in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, often by several orders of magnitude. Here, we describe an implementation of the aMD method for the OpenMM application layer that takes full advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs) computing. The aMD method is shown to work in combination with the AMOEBA polarizable force field (AMOEBA-aMD), allowing the simulation of long time-scale events with a polarizable force field. Benchmarks are provided to show that the AMOEBA-aMD method is efficiently implemented and produces accurate results in its standard parametrization. For the BPTI protein, we demonstrate that the protein structure described with AMOEBA remains stable even on the extended time scales accessed at high levels of accelerations. For the DNA repair metalloenzyme endonuclease IV, we show that the use of the AMOEBA force field is a significant improvement over fixed charged models for describing the enzyme active-site. The new AMOEBA-aMD method is publicly available (http://wiki.simtk.org/openmm/VirtualRepository) and promises to be interesting for studying complex systems that can benefit from both the use of a polarizable force field and enhanced sampling.

  12. Molecular evolution of SRP cycle components: functional implications.

    PubMed

    Althoff, S; Selinger, D; Wise, J A

    1994-06-11

    Signal recognition particle (SRP) is a cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein that targets a subset of nascent presecretory proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. We have considered the SRP cycle from the perspective of molecular evolution, using recently determined sequences of genes or cDNAs encoding homologs of SRP (7SL) RNA, the Srp54 protein (Srp54p), and the alpha subunit of the SRP receptor (SR alpha) from a broad spectrum of organisms, together with the remaining five polypeptides of mammalian SRP. Our analysis provides insight into the significance of structural variation in SRP RNA and identifies novel conserved motifs in protein components of this pathway. The lack of congruence between an established phylogenetic tree and size variation in 7SL homologs implies the occurrence of several independent events that eliminated more than half the sequence content of this RNA during bacterial evolution. The apparently non-essential structures are domain I, a tRNA-like element that is constant in archaea, varies in size among eucaryotes, and is generally missing in bacteria, and domain III, a tightly base-paired hairpin that is present in all eucaryotic and archeal SRP RNAs but is invariably absent in bacteria. Based on both structural and functional considerations, we propose that the conserved core of SRP consists minimally of the 54 kDa signal sequence-binding protein complexed with the loosely base-paired domain IV helix of SRP RNA, and is also likely to contain a homolog of the Srp68 protein. Comparative sequence analysis of the methionine-rich M domains from a diverse array of Srp54p homologs reveals an extended region of amino acid identity that resembles a recently identified RNA recognition motif. Multiple sequence alignment of the G domains of Srp54p and SR alpha homologs indicates that these two polypeptides exhibit significant similarity even outside the four GTPase consensus motifs, including a block of nine contiguous amino acids in a location

  13. Accelerated evolution of the Prdm9 speciation gene across diverse metazoan taxa.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Peter L; Goodstadt, Leo; Bayes, Joshua J; Birtle, Zoë; Roach, Kevin C; Phadnis, Nitin; Beatson, Scott A; Lunter, Gerton; Malik, Harmit S; Ponting, Chris P

    2009-12-01

    The onset of prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to gene flow between populations is a hallmark of speciation. One of the earliest postzygotic isolating barriers to arise between incipient species is the sterility of the heterogametic sex in interspecies' hybrids. Four genes that underlie hybrid sterility have been identified in animals: Odysseus, JYalpha, and Overdrive in Drosophila and Prdm9 (Meisetz) in mice. Mouse Prdm9 encodes a protein with a KRAB motif, a histone methyltransferase domain and several zinc fingers. The difference of a single zinc finger distinguishes Prdm9 alleles that cause hybrid sterility from those that do not. We find that concerted evolution and positive selection have rapidly altered the number and sequence of Prdm9 zinc fingers across 13 rodent genomes. The patterns of positive selection in Prdm9 zinc fingers imply that rapid evolution has acted on the interface between the Prdm9 protein and the DNA sequences to which it binds. Similar patterns are apparent for Prdm9 zinc fingers for diverse metazoans, including primates. Indeed, allelic variation at the DNA-binding positions of human PRDM9 zinc fingers show significant association with decreased risk of infertility. Prdm9 thus plays a role in determining male sterility both between species (mouse) and within species (human). The recurrent episodes of positive selection acting on Prdm9 suggest that the DNA sequences to which it binds must also be evolving rapidly. Our findings do not identify the nature of the underlying DNA sequences, but argue against the proposed role of Prdm9 as an essential transcription factor in mouse meiosis. We propose a hypothetical model in which incompatibilities between Prdm9-binding specificity and satellite DNAs provide the molecular basis for Prdm9-mediated hybrid sterility. We suggest that Prdm9 should be investigated as a candidate gene in other instances of hybrid sterility in metazoans.

  14. Massive thermal acceleration of the emergence of primordial chemistry, the incidence of spontaneous mutation, and the evolution of enzymes.

    PubMed

    Wolfenden, Richard

    2014-10-31

    Kelvin considered it unlikely that sufficient time had elapsed on the earth for life to have reached its present level of complexity. In the warm surroundings in which life first appeared, however, elevated temperatures would have reduced the kinetic barriers to reaction. Recent experiments disclose the profound extent to which very slow reactions are accelerated by elevated temperatures, collapsing the time that would have been required for early events in primordial chemistry before the advent of enzymes. If a primitive enzyme, like model catalysts and most modern enzymes, accelerated a reaction by lowering its enthalpy of activation, then the rate enhancement that it produced would have increased automatically as the environment cooled, quite apart from any improvements in catalytic activity that arose from mutation and natural selection. The chemical events responsible for spontaneous mutation are also highly sensitive to temperature, furnishing an independent mechanism for accelerating evolution.

  15. Massive Thermal Acceleration of the Emergence of Primordial Chemistry, the Incidence of Spontaneous Mutation, and the Evolution of Enzymes*

    PubMed Central

    Wolfenden, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Kelvin considered it unlikely that sufficient time had elapsed on the earth for life to have reached its present level of complexity. In the warm surroundings in which life first appeared, however, elevated temperatures would have reduced the kinetic barriers to reaction. Recent experiments disclose the profound extent to which very slow reactions are accelerated by elevated temperatures, collapsing the time that would have been required for early events in primordial chemistry before the advent of enzymes. If a primitive enzyme, like model catalysts and most modern enzymes, accelerated a reaction by lowering its enthalpy of activation, then the rate enhancement that it produced would have increased automatically as the environment cooled, quite apart from any improvements in catalytic activity that arose from mutation and natural selection. The chemical events responsible for spontaneous mutation are also highly sensitive to temperature, furnishing an independent mechanism for accelerating evolution. PMID:25210030

  16. Acceleration of Semiempirical Quantum Mechanical Calculations by Extended Lagrangian Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kwangho

    2013-08-13

    The implementation and performance of the atom-centered density matrix propagation (ADMP) [J. Chem. Phys. 2001, 114, 9758] and the curvy-steps (CURV) methods [J. Chem. Phys. 2004, 121, 1152] are described. These methods solve the electronic Schrödinger equation approximately by propagating the electronic degrees of freedom using the extended Lagrangian molecular dynamics (ELMD) simulation approach. The ADMP and CURV methods are implemented and parallelized to accelerate semiempirical quantum mechanical (QM) methods (such as the MNDO, AM1, PM3, MNDO/d, and AM1/d methods). Test calculations show that both the ADMP and the CURV methods are 2∼4 times faster than the Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics (BOMD) method and conserve the total energy well. The accuracy of the ADMP and CURV simulations is comparable to the BOMD simulations. The parallel implementation accelerates the MD simulation by up to 28 fold for the ADMP method and 25 fold for the CURV method, respectively, relative to the speed of the single core BOMD. In addition, a multiple time scale (MTS) approach is introduced to further speed up the semiempirical QM and QM/MM ELMD simulations. Since a larger integration time step is used for the propagation of the nuclear coordinates than that for the electronic degrees of freedom, the MTS approach allows the ELMD simulation to be carried out with a time step that is larger than the time step accessible by the original ADMP and CURV methods. It renders MD simulation to be carried out about 20 times faster than the BOMD simulation, and yields results that are comparable to the single time scale simulation results. The use of the methods introduced in the present work provides an efficient way to extend the length of the QM and QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations beyond the length accessible by BOMD simulation.

  17. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    McManus, Brenda A; Coleman, David C

    2014-01-01

    A small number of Candida species form part of the normal microbial flora of mucosal surfaces in humans and may give rise to opportunistic infections when host defences are impaired. Candida albicans is by far the most prevalent commensal and pathogenic Candida species. Several different molecular typing approaches including multilocus sequence typing, multilocus microsatellite typing and DNA fingerprinting using C. albicans-specific repetitive sequence-containing DNA probes have yielded a wealth of information regarding the epidemiology and population structure of this species. Such studies revealed that the C. albicans population structure consists of multiple major and minor clades, some of which exhibit geographical or phenotypic enrichment and that C. albicans reproduction is predominantly clonal. Despite this, losses of heterozygosity by recombination, the existence of a parasexual cycle, toleration of a wide range of aneuploidies and the recent description of viable haploid strains have all demonstrated the extensive plasticity of the C. albicans genome. Recombination and gross chromosomal rearrangements are more common under stressful environmental conditions, and have played a significant role in the evolution of this opportunistic pathogen. Surprisingly, Candida dubliniensis, the closest relative of C. albicans exhibits more karyotype variability than C. albicans, but is significantly less adaptable to unfavourable environments. This disparity most likely reflects the evolutionary processes that occurred during or soon after the divergence of both species from their common ancestor. Whilst C. dubliniensis underwent significant gene loss and pseudogenisation, C. albicans expanded gene families considered to be important in virulence. It is likely that technological developments in whole genome sequencing and data analysis in coming years will facilitate its routine use for population structure, epidemiological investigations, and phylogenetic analyses of

  18. Using experimental evolution to probe molecular mechanisms of protein function.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Marlies; Kang, Mandeep; Brindle, Nicholas Pj

    2016-02-01

    Directed evolution is a powerful tool for engineering protein function. The process of directed evolution involves iterative rounds of sequence diversification followed by assaying activity of variants and selection. The range of sequence variants and linked activities generated in the course of an evolution are a rich information source for investigating relationships between sequence and function. Key residue positions determining protein function, combinatorial contributors to activity and even potential functional mechanisms have been revealed in directed evolutions. The recent application of high throughput sequencing substantially increases the information that can be retrieved from directed evolution experiments. Combined with computational analysis this additional sequence information has allowed high-resolution analysis of individual residue contributions to activity. These developments promise to significantly enhance the depth of insight that experimental evolution provides into mechanisms of protein function.

  19. Graphene Nanocomposites with High Molecular Weight Poly(ε-caprolactone) Grafts: Controlled Synthesis and Accelerated Crystallization

    DOE PAGES

    Mondal, Titash; Ashkar, Rana; Butler, Paul; ...

    2016-02-08

    Grafting of high molecular weight polymers to graphitic nanoplatelets is a critical step toward the development of high performance graphene nanocomposites. However, designing such a grafting route has remained a major impediment. Herein, we report a "grafting to" synthetic pathway by which high molecular weight polymer, poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL), is tethered, at high grafting density, to highly anisotropic graphitic nanoplatelets. The efficacy of this tethering route and the resultant structural arrangements within the composite are confirmed by neutron and X-ray scattering measurements in the melt and solution phase. In the semicrystalline state, Xray analysis indicates that chain tethering onto the graphiticmore » nanoplatelets results in conformational changes of the polymer chains, which enhance the nucleation process and aid formation of PCL crystallites. This is corroborated by the superior thermal properties of the composite, manifested in accelerated crystallization kinetics and a significant increase in the thermal degradation temperature. Lastly, in principle, this synthesis route can be extended to a variety of high molecular weight polymers, which can open new avenues to solution-based processing of graphitic nanomaterials and the fabrication of complex 3D patterned graphitic nanocomposites.« less

  20. Graphene Nanocomposites with High Molecular Weight Poly(ε-caprolactone) Grafts: Controlled Synthesis and Accelerated Crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Mondal, Titash; Ashkar, Rana; Butler, Paul; Bhowmick, Anil K.; Krishnamoorti, Ramanan

    2016-02-08

    Grafting of high molecular weight polymers to graphitic nanoplatelets is a critical step toward the development of high performance graphene nanocomposites. However, designing such a grafting route has remained a major impediment. Herein, we report a "grafting to" synthetic pathway by which high molecular weight polymer, poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL), is tethered, at high grafting density, to highly anisotropic graphitic nanoplatelets. The efficacy of this tethering route and the resultant structural arrangements within the composite are confirmed by neutron and X-ray scattering measurements in the melt and solution phase. In the semicrystalline state, Xray analysis indicates that chain tethering onto the graphitic nanoplatelets results in conformational changes of the polymer chains, which enhance the nucleation process and aid formation of PCL crystallites. This is corroborated by the superior thermal properties of the composite, manifested in accelerated crystallization kinetics and a significant increase in the thermal degradation temperature. Lastly, in principle, this synthesis route can be extended to a variety of high molecular weight polymers, which can open new avenues to solution-based processing of graphitic nanomaterials and the fabrication of complex 3D patterned graphitic nanocomposites.

  1. Phylogenetic characterization and molecular evolution of bacterial endosymbionts in psyllids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha).

    PubMed

    Spaulding, A W; von Dohlen, C D

    1998-11-01

    Most sternorrhynchan insects harbor endosymbiotic bacteria in specialized cells (bacteriocytes) near the gut which provide essential nutrients for hosts. In lineages investigated so far with molecular methods (aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies), endosymbionts apparently have arisen from independent infections of common host ancestors and co-speciated with their hosts. Some endosymbionts also exhibit putatively negative genetic effects from their symbiotic association. In this study, the identity of endosymbionts in one major sternorrhynchan lineage, psyllids (Psylloidea), was investigated to determine their position in eubacterial phylogeny and their relationship to other sternorrhynchan endosymbionts. Small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S rDNA) from bacteria in three psyllid species (families Psyllidae and Triozidae) were sequenced and incorporated into an alignment including other insect endosymbionts and free-living bacteria. In phylogenetic analysis, all sequences were placed within the gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria. Three sequences, one from each psyllid species, formed a highly supported monophyletic group whose branching order matched the host phylogeny, and also exhibited accelerated rates of evolution and mutational bias toward A and T nucleotides. These attributes, characteristic of primary (P) bacteriocyte-dwelling endosymbionts, suggested that these sequences were from the putative psyllid P endosymbiont. Two other sequences were placed within the gamma-3 subgroup of Proteobacteria and were hypothesized to be secondary endosymbionts. The analysis also suggested a sister relationship between P endosymbionts of psyllids and whiteflies. Thus, a continuous mutualistic association between bacteria and insects may have existed since the common ancestor of psyllids and whiteflies. Calculations using a universal substitution rate in bacteria corrected for endosymbiont rate acceleration support the idea that this common ancestor was also the ancestor of

  2. Patterns of molecular evolution of RNAi genes in social and socially parasitic bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Helbing, Sophie; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2016-08-01

    The high frequency of interactions amongst closely related individuals in social insect colonies enhances pathogen transmission. Group-mediated behavior supporting immune defenses tends to decrease selection acting on immune genes. Along with low effective population sizes this might result in relaxed constraint and rapid evolution of immune system genes. Here, we show that antiviral siRNA genes show high rates of molecular evolution with argonaute 2, armitage and maelstrom evolving faster in social bumblebees compared to their socially parasitic cuckoo bumblebees that lack a worker caste. RNAi genes show frequent positive selection at the codon level additionally supported by the occurrence of parallel evolution. Their evolutionary rate is linked to their pathway specific position with genes directly interacting with viruses showing the highest rates of molecular evolution. We suggest that higher pathogen load in social insects indeed drives the molecular evolution of immune genes including antiviral siRNA, if not compensated by behavior.

  3. Accelerating ab initio Molecular Dynamics and Probing the Weak Dispersive Forces in Dense Liquid Hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzola, Guglielmo; Sorella, Sandro

    2017-01-01

    We propose an ab initio molecular dynamics method, capable of dramatically reducing the autocorrelation time required for the simulation of classical and quantum particles at finite temperatures. The method is based on an efficient implementation of a first order Langevin dynamics modified by means of a suitable, position dependent acceleration matrix S . Here, we apply this technique to both Lennard-Jones models, to demonstrate the accuracy and speeding-up of the sampling, and within a quantum Monte Carlo based wave function approach, for determining the phase diagram of high-pressure hydrogen with simulations much longer than the autocorrelation time. With the proposed method, we are able to equilibrate in a few hundred steps even close to the liquid-liquid phase transition (LLT). Within our approach, we find that the LLT transition is consistent with recent density functionals predicting a much larger transition pressure when the long range dispersive forces are taken into account.

  4. New methods for accelerating the convergence of molecular electronic integrals over exponential type orbitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safouhi, Hassan; Hoggan, Philip

    2003-01-01

    This review on molecular integrals for large electronic systems (MILES) places the problem of analytical integration over exponential-type orbitals (ETOs) in a historical context. After reference to the pioneering work, particularly by Barnett, Shavitt and Yoshimine, it focuses on recent progress towards rapid and accurate analytic solutions of MILES over ETOs. Software such as the hydrogenlike wavefunction package Alchemy by Yoshimine and collaborators is described. The review focuses on convergence acceleration of these highly oscillatory integrals and in particular it highlights suitable nonlinear transformations. Work by Levin and Sidi is described and applied to MILES. A step by step description of progress in the use of nonlinear transformation methods to obtain efficient codes is provided. The recent approach developed by Safouhi is also presented. The current state of the art in this field is summarized to show that ab initio analytical work over ETOs is now a viable option.

  5. SPFP: Speed without compromise—A mixed precision model for GPU accelerated molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Grand, Scott; Götz, Andreas W.; Walker, Ross C.

    2013-02-01

    A new precision model is proposed for the acceleration of all-atom classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on graphics processing units (GPUs). This precision model replaces double precision arithmetic with fixed point integer arithmetic for the accumulation of force components as compared to a previously introduced model that uses mixed single/double precision arithmetic. This significantly boosts performance on modern GPU hardware without sacrificing numerical accuracy. We present an implementation for NVIDIA GPUs of both generalized Born implicit solvent simulations as well as explicit solvent simulations using the particle mesh Ewald (PME) algorithm for long-range electrostatics using this precision model. Tests demonstrate both the performance of this implementation as well as its numerical stability for constant energy and constant temperature biomolecular MD as compared to a double precision CPU implementation and double and mixed single/double precision GPU implementations.

  6. LeuT conformational sampling utilizing accelerated molecular dynamics and principal component analysis.

    PubMed

    Thomas, James R; Gedeon, Patrick C; Grant, Barry J; Madura, Jeffry D

    2012-07-03

    Monoamine transporters (MATs) function by coupling ion gradients to the transport of dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin. Despite their importance in regulating neurotransmission, the exact conformational mechanism by which MATs function remains elusive. To this end, we have performed seven 250 ns accelerated molecular dynamics simulations of the leucine transporter, a model for neurotransmitter MATs. By varying the presence of binding-pocket leucine substrate and sodium ions, we have sampled plausible conformational states representative of the substrate transport cycle. The resulting trajectories were analyzed using principal component analysis of transmembrane helices 1b and 6a. This analysis revealed seven unique structures: two of the obtained conformations are similar to the currently published crystallographic structures, one conformation is similar to a proposed open inward structure, and four conformations represent novel structures of potential importance to the transport cycle. Further analysis reveals that the presence of binding-pocket sodium ions is necessary to stabilize the locked-occluded and open-inward conformations.

  7. MOLECULAR CLOUDS AS A PROBE OF COSMIC-RAY ACCELERATION IN A SUPERNOVA REMNANT

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, Yutaka; Ohira, Yutaka; Tanaka, Shuta J.; Takahara, Fumio

    2009-12-20

    We study cosmic-ray acceleration in a supernova remnant (SNR) and the escape from it. We model nonthermal particle and photon spectra for the hidden SNR in the open cluster Westerlund 2, and the old-age mixed-morphology SNR W 28. We assume that the SNR shock propagates in a low-density cavity, which is created and heated through the activities of the progenitor stars and/or previous supernova explosions. We indicate that the diffusion coefficient for cosmic rays around the SNRs is less than approx1% of that away from them. We compare our predictions with the gamma-ray spectra of molecular clouds illuminated by the cosmic rays (Fermi and H.E.S.S.). We found that the spectral indices of the particles are approx2.3. This may be because the particles were accelerated at the end of the Sedov phase, and because energy-dependent escape and propagation of particles did not much affect the spectrum.

  8. Merging metadynamics into hyperdynamics: accelerated molecular simulations reaching time scales from microseconds to seconds.

    PubMed

    Bal, Kristof M; Neyts, Erik C

    2015-10-13

    The hyperdynamics method is a powerful tool to simulate slow processes at the atomic level. However, the construction of an optimal hyperdynamics potential is a task that is far from trivial. Here, we propose a generally applicable implementation of the hyperdynamics algorithm, borrowing two concepts from metadynamics. First, the use of a collective variable (CV) to represent the accelerated dynamics gives the method a very large flexibility and simplicity. Second, a metadynamics procedure can be used to construct a suitable history-dependent bias potential on-the-fly, effectively turning the algorithm into a self-learning accelerated molecular dynamics method. This collective variable-driven hyperdynamics (CVHD) method has a modular design: both the local system properties on which the bias is based, as well as the characteristics of the biasing method itself, can be chosen to match the needs of the considered system. As a result, system-specific details are abstracted from the biasing algorithm itself, making it extremely versatile and transparent. The method is tested on three model systems: diffusion on the Cu(001) surface and nickel-catalyzed methane decomposition, as examples of “reactive” processes with a bond-length-based CV, and the folding of a long polymer-like chain, using a set of dihedral angles as a CV. Boost factors up to 109, corresponding to a time scale of seconds, could be obtained while still accurately reproducing correct dynamics.

  9. A molecular description of the evolution of resistance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ordoukhanian, P.; Joyce, G. F.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In vitro evolution has been used to obtain nucleic acid molecules with interesting functional properties. The evolution process usually is carried out in a stepwise manner, involving successive rounds of selection, amplification and mutation. Recently, a continuous in vitro evolution system was devised for RNAs that catalyze the ligation of oligonucleotide substrates, allowing the evolution of catalytic function to be studied in real time. RESULTS: Continuous in vitro evolution of an RNA ligase ribozyme was carried out in the presence of a DNA enzyme that was capable of cleaving, and thereby inactivating, the ribozyme. The DNA concentration was increased steadily over 33.5 hours of evolution, reaching a final concentration that would have been sufficient to inactivate the starting population in one second. The evolved population of ribozymes developed resistance to the DNA enzyme, reducing their vulnerability to cleavage by 2000-fold but retaining their own catalytic function. Based on sequencing and kinetic analysis of the ribozymes, two mechanisms are proposed for this resistance. One involves three nucleotide substitutions, together with two compensatory mutations, that alter the site at which the DNA enzyme binds the ribozyme. The other involves enhancement of the ribozyme's ability to bind its own substrate in a way that protects it from cleavage by the DNA enzyme. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to direct the evolution of an enzyme's biochemical properties in response to the behavior of another macromolecule provides insight into the evolution of resistance and may be useful in developing enzymes with novel or enhanced function.

  10. The Diversity and Molecular Evolution of B-Cell Receptors during Infection.

    PubMed

    Hoehn, Kenneth B; Fowler, Anna; Lunter, Gerton; Pybus, Oliver G

    2016-05-01

    B-cell receptors (BCRs) are membrane-bound immunoglobulins that recognize and bind foreign proteins (antigens). BCRs are formed through random somatic changes of germline DNA, creating a vast repertoire of unique sequences that enable individuals to recognize a diverse range of antigens. After encountering antigen for the first time, BCRs undergo a process of affinity maturation, whereby cycles of rapid somatic mutation and selection lead to improved antigen binding. This constitutes an accelerated evolutionary process that takes place over days or weeks. Next-generation sequencing of the gene regions that determine BCR binding has begun to reveal the diversity and dynamics of BCR repertoires in unprecedented detail. Although this new type of sequence data has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of infection dynamics, quantitative analysis is complicated by the unique biology and high diversity of BCR sequences. Models and concepts from molecular evolution and phylogenetics that have been applied successfully to rapidly evolving pathogen populations are increasingly being adopted to study BCR diversity and divergence within individuals. However, BCR dynamics may violate key assumptions of many standard evolutionary methods, as they do not descend from a single ancestor, and experience biased mutation. Here, we review the application of evolutionary models to BCR repertoires and discuss the issues we believe need be addressed for this interdisciplinary field to flourish.

  11. Regional differences in rates of plant speciation and molecular evolution: a comparison between eastern Asia and eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Qiu-Yun Jenny; Zhang, Wen Heng; Ricklefs, Robert E; Qian, Hong; Chen, Zhi Duan; Wen, Jun; Hua, Jian L

    2004-10-01

    The eastern Asian (EAS)-eastern North American (ENA) floristic disjunction is one of the best-known biogeographic patterns in the Northern Hemisphere. Recent paleontological and molecular analyses have illuminated the origins of the biogeographic pattern, but subsequent diversification and evolution of the disjunct floras in each of the two continents after isolation remains poorly understood. Although similar in climate and floristic composition, EAS has twice as many species as ENA in genera occurring in both regions. Explaining such differences in species diversity between regions with similar environmental conditions (diversity anomalies) is an important goal of the study of the global patterns of biodiversity. We used a phylogenetic approach to compare rates of net speciation and molecular evolution between the two regions. We first identified EAS-ENA disjunct sister clades from ten genera (Asarum, Buckleya, Carpinus, Carya, Cornus, Hamamelis, Illicium, Panax, Stewartia, and Styrax) that represent diverse angiosperm lineages using phylogenetic analyses of ITS (internal transcribed spacer of nuclear ribosomal DNA) sequence data. Species richness and substitution rate of ITS between sister clades were compared. The results revealed a pattern of greater species diversity in the EAS counterparts. A positive relationship between species diversity and ITS substitution rate was also documented. These results suggest greater net speciation and accelerated molecular evolution in EAS. The data support the idea that a regional difference in net speciation rate related to topographic heterogeneity contributes to the diversity anomaly between EAS and ENA. The close relationship between rates of ITS evolution and species richness further suggests that species production may be directly linked to rate of nucleotide substitution.

  12. Molecular evolution of the ependymin protein family: a necessary update

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-Castillo, Edna C; García-Arrarás, José E

    2007-01-01

    Background Ependymin (Epd), the predominant protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of teleost fishes, was originally associated with neuroplasticity and regeneration. Ependymin-related proteins (Epdrs) have been identified in other vertebrates, including amphibians and mammals. Recently, we reported the identification and characterization of an Epdr in echinoderms, showing that there are ependymin family members in non-vertebrate deuterostomes. We have now explored multiple databases to find Epdrs in different metazoan species. Using these sequences we have performed genome mapping, molecular phylogenetic analyses using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian methods, and statistical tests of tree topologies, to ascertain the phylogenetic relationship among ependymin proteins. Results Our results demonstrate that ependymin genes are also present in protostomes. In addition, as a result of the putative fish-specific genome duplication event and posterior divergence, the ependymin family can be divided into four groups according to their amino acid composition and branching pattern in the gene tree: 1) a brain-specific group of ependymin sequences that is unique to teleost fishes and encompasses the originally described ependymin; 2) a group expressed in non-brain tissue in fishes; 3) a group expressed in several tissues that appears to be deuterostome-specific, and 4) a group found in invertebrate deuterostomes and protostomes, with a broad pattern of expression and that probably represents the evolutionary origin of the ependymins. Using codon-substitution models to statistically assess the selective pressures acting over the ependymin protein family, we found evidence of episodic positive Darwinian selection and relaxed selective constraints in each one of the postduplication branches of the gene tree. However, purifying selection (with among-site variability) appears to be the main influence on the evolution of each subgroup within the family. Functional divergence among the

  13. The Eyes Have It: A Problem-Based Learning Exercise in Molecular Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Harold B.

    2007-01-01

    Molecular evolution provides an interesting context in which to use problem-based learning because it integrates a variety of topics in biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. This three-stage problem for advanced students deals with the structure, multiple functions, and properties of lactate dehydrogenase isozymes, and the related…

  14. Evidence of accelerated evolution and ectodermal-specific expression of presumptive BDS toxin cDNAs from Anemonia viridis.

    PubMed

    Nicosia, Aldo; Maggio, Teresa; Mazzola, Salvatore; Cuttitta, Angela

    2013-10-30

    Anemonia viridis is a widespread and extensively studied Mediterranean species of sea anemone from which a large number of polypeptide toxins, such as blood depressing substances (BDS) peptides, have been isolated. The first members of this class, BDS-1 and BDS-2, are polypeptides belonging to the β-defensin fold family and were initially described for their antihypertensive and antiviral activities. BDS-1 and BDS-2 are 43 amino acid peptides characterised by three disulfide bonds that act as neurotoxins affecting Kv3.1, Kv3.2 and Kv3.4 channel gating kinetics. In addition, BDS-1 inactivates the Nav1.7 and Nav1.3 channels. The development of a large dataset of A. viridis expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and the identification of 13 putative BDS-like cDNA sequences has attracted interest, especially as scientific and diagnostic tools. A comparison of BDS cDNA sequences showed that the untranslated regions are more conserved than the protein-coding regions. Moreover, the KA/KS ratios calculated for all pairwise comparisons showed values greater than 1, suggesting mechanisms of accelerated evolution. The structures of the BDS homologs were predicted by molecular modelling. All toxins possess similar 3D structures that consist of a triple-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and an additional small antiparallel β-sheet located downstream of the cleavage/maturation site; however, the orientation of the triple-stranded β-sheet appears to differ among the toxins. To characterise the spatial expression profile of the putative BDS cDNA sequences, tissue-specific cDNA libraries, enriched for BDS transcripts, were constructed. In addition, the proper amplification of ectodermal or endodermal markers ensured the tissue specificity of each library. Sequencing randomly selected clones from each library revealed ectodermal-specific expression of ten BDS transcripts, while transcripts of BDS-8, BDS-13, BDS-14 and BDS-15 failed to be retrieved, likely due to under-representation in our

  15. Evidence of Accelerated Evolution and Ectodermal-Specific Expression of Presumptive BDS Toxin cDNAs from Anemonia viridis

    PubMed Central

    Nicosia, Aldo; Maggio, Teresa; Mazzola, Salvatore; Cuttitta, Angela

    2013-01-01

    Anemonia viridis is a widespread and extensively studied Mediterranean species of sea anemone from which a large number of polypeptide toxins, such as blood depressing substances (BDS) peptides, have been isolated. The first members of this class, BDS-1 and BDS-2, are polypeptides belonging to the β-defensin fold family and were initially described for their antihypertensive and antiviral activities. BDS-1 and BDS-2 are 43 amino acid peptides characterised by three disulfide bonds that act as neurotoxins affecting Kv3.1, Kv3.2 and Kv3.4 channel gating kinetics. In addition, BDS-1 inactivates the Nav1.7 and Nav1.3 channels. The development of a large dataset of A. viridis expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and the identification of 13 putative BDS-like cDNA sequences has attracted interest, especially as scientific and diagnostic tools. A comparison of BDS cDNA sequences showed that the untranslated regions are more conserved than the protein-coding regions. Moreover, the KA/KS ratios calculated for all pairwise comparisons showed values greater than 1, suggesting mechanisms of accelerated evolution. The structures of the BDS homologs were predicted by molecular modelling. All toxins possess similar 3D structures that consist of a triple-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and an additional small antiparallel β-sheet located downstream of the cleavage/maturation site; however, the orientation of the triple-stranded β-sheet appears to differ among the toxins. To characterise the spatial expression profile of the putative BDS cDNA sequences, tissue-specific cDNA libraries, enriched for BDS transcripts, were constructed. In addition, the proper amplification of ectodermal or endodermal markers ensured the tissue specificity of each library. Sequencing randomly selected clones from each library revealed ectodermal-specific expression of ten BDS transcripts, while transcripts of BDS-8, BDS-13, BDS-14 and BDS-15 failed to be retrieved, likely due to under-representation in our

  16. Efficient numerical modelling of the emittance evolution of beams with finite energy spread in plasma wakefield accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehrling, T. J.; Robson, R. E.; Erbe, J.-H.; Osterhoff, J.

    2016-09-01

    This paper introduces a semi-analytic numerical approach (SANA) for the rapid computation of the transverse emittance of beams with finite energy spread in plasma wakefield accelerators in the blowout regime. The SANA method is used to model the beam emittance evolution when injected into and extracted from realistic plasma profiles. Results are compared to particle-in-cell simulations, establishing the accuracy and efficiency of the procedure. In addition, it is demonstrated that the tapering of vacuum-to-plasma and plasma-to-vacuum transitions is a viable method for the mitigation of emittance growth of beams during their injection and extraction from and into plasma cells.

  17. Evolution of high-repetition-rate induction accelerators through advancements in switching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirbie, H. C.; Caporaso, G. J.; Newton, M. A.; Yu, S. S.

    1992-08-01

    Future applications of linear and recirculating induction accelerators include microwave sources for plasma heating and linear colliders, industrial manufacturing processes, and heavy ion fusion. These applications require pulsed sources capable of sustained operation at high pulse-repetition rates. Powering these new accelerators places severe switching demands on the source, demands that often can not be met withcommercially-available technology. Consequently, several new accelerator switching schemes have been developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Our transition from spark-gap technology to magnetic switching has merged the formerly independent roles of source and cell into a single system and reshaped our design methods to emphasize high efficiency. Treatment of the accelerator as a system has also enabled us to optimize new accelerator designs based on cost considerations. Presently, we are developing a technology for driving a heavy-ion induction recirculator at pulse rates exceeding 100 kHz. In this case, the switching method is all solid state and the source and cell have evolved into a unified device.

  18. Accelerated body size evolution during cold climatic periods in the Cenozoic.

    PubMed

    Clavel, Julien; Morlon, Hélène

    2017-04-03

    How ecological and morphological diversity accumulates over geological time is much debated. Adaptive radiation theory has been successful in testing the effects of biotic interactions on the rapid divergence of phenotypes within a clade, but this theory ignores abiotic effects. The role of abiotic drivers on the tempo of phenotypic evolution has been tested only in a few lineages or small clades from the fossil record. Here, we develop a phylogenetic comparative framework for testing if and how clade-wide rates of phenotypic evolution vary with abiotic drivers. We apply this approach to comprehensive bird and mammal phylogenies, body size data for 9,465 extant species, and global average temperature trends over the Cenozoic. Across birds and mammals, we find that the rate of body size evolution is primarily driven by past climate. Unexpectedly, evolutionary rates are inferred to be higher during periods of cold rather than warm climates in most groups, suggesting that temperature influences evolutionary rates by modifying selective pressures rather than through its effect on energy availability and metabolism. The effect of climate on the rate of body size evolution seems to be a general feature of endotherm evolution, regardless of wide differences in species' ecology and evolutionary history. These results suggest that climatic changes played a major role in shaping species' evolution in the past and could also play a major role in shaping their evolution in the future.

  19. Evolution of photoelectron vibrational coupling with molecular complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poliakoff, E. D.; Lucchese, R. R.

    2006-11-01

    We review how electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom become coupled in molecular photoionization, and describe effects that emerge as the molecular complexity increases. Molecular photoionization is frequently influenced by the temporary trapping of the continuum electron in the field of the target molecules, which is referred to as a shape resonance, as it depends on the shape of the potential experienced by the exiting photoelectron. Such resonances couple electronic and vibrational motion, and the nature of the coupling can vary widely for polyatomic molecules. We show how vibrationally resolved photoelectron spectra acquired as a function of energy can be used to elucidate such coupling. The experiments are analysed using physically realistic and computationally tractable Schwinger variational theory, and the systems studied to date can be well understood using an independent-particle, adiabatic nuclei framework. As a result, simple and intuitive pictures emerge, even when dealing with scattering phenomena involving complex molecular targets and potentials.

  20. The evolution of tooling, techniques, and quality control for accelerator dipole magnet cables

    SciTech Connect

    Scanlan, R.M.

    1992-08-01

    The present generation of particle accelerators are utilizing the flattened, compacted, single layer cable design introduced nearly 20 years ago at Rutherford Laboratory. However, the requirements for current density, filament size, dimensional control long lengths, and low current degradation are much more stringent for the present accelerators compared with the earlier Tevatron and HERA accelerators. Also, in order to achieve higher field strengths with efficient use of superconductor, the new designs require wider cables with more strands. These requirements have stimulated an active research effort which has led to significant improvements in critical current density and conductor manufacturing. In addition they have stimulated the development of new cabling techniques, improved tooling, and better measurement techniques. The need to produce over 20 million meters of cable has led to the development of high speed cabling machines and on-line quality assurance measurements. These new developments will be discussed, and areas still requiring improvement will be identified.

  1. On the Stability and Evolution of Isolated Molecular Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langer, W.; Nelson, R.

    1998-01-01

    We present the results of three dimensional hydrodynamic models of evolving, isolated, low mass, quiescent clouds and Bok gobules, where the interstellar radiation field plays an important role in the thermal and chemical evolution, and thermal pressure provides dominant support against gravitational collapse.

  2. "Eve" in Africa: Human Evolution Meets Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seager, Robert D.

    1990-01-01

    Presented is a discussion of recent evidence on the evolution of human forms on earth gathered and evaluated using mitochondrial DNA techniques. Theories regarding the possibility that a common female ancestor existed in Africa about 200,000 years ago are discussed. A list of teaching aids is provided. (CW)

  3. Accelerating ab initio path integral molecular dynamics with multilevel sampling of potential surface

    SciTech Connect

    Geng, Hua Y.

    2015-02-15

    A multilevel approach to sample the potential energy surface in a path integral formalism is proposed. The purpose is to reduce the required number of ab initio evaluations of energy and forces in ab initio path integral molecular dynamics (AI-PIMD) simulation, without compromising the overall accuracy. To validate the method, the internal energy and free energy of an Einstein crystal are calculated and compared with the analytical solutions. As a preliminary application, we assess the performance of the method in a realistic model—the FCC phase of dense atomic hydrogen, in which the calculated result shows that the acceleration rate is about 3 to 4-fold for a two-level implementation, and can be increased up to 10 times if extrapolation is used. With only 16 beads used for the ab initio potential sampling, this method gives a well converged internal energy. The residual error in pressure is just about 3 GPa, whereas it is about 20 GPa for a plain AI-PIMD calculation with the same number of beads. The vibrational free energy of the FCC phase of dense hydrogen at 300 K is also calculated with an AI-PIMD thermodynamic integration method, which gives a result of about 0.51 eV/proton at a density of r{sub s}=0.912.

  4. Accelerating MP2C dispersion corrections for dimers and molecular crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yuanhang; Shao, Yihan; Beran, Gregory J. O.

    2013-06-01

    The MP2C dispersion correction of Pitonak and Hesselmann [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 6, 168 (2010)], 10.1021/ct9005882 substantially improves the performance of second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory for non-covalent interactions, albeit with non-trivial computational cost. Here, the MP2C correction is computed in a monomer-centered basis instead of a dimer-centered one. When applied to a single dimer MP2 calculation, this change accelerates the MP2C dispersion correction several-fold while introducing only trivial new errors. More significantly, in the context of fragment-based molecular crystal studies, combination of the new monomer basis algorithm and the periodic symmetry of the crystal reduces the cost of computing the dispersion correction by two orders of magnitude. This speed-up reduces the MP2C dispersion correction calculation from a significant computational expense to a negligible one in crystals like aspirin or oxalyl dihydrazide, without compromising accuracy.

  5. Accelerating ab initio path integral molecular dynamics with multilevel sampling of potential surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Hua Y.

    2015-02-01

    A multilevel approach to sample the potential energy surface in a path integral formalism is proposed. The purpose is to reduce the required number of ab initio evaluations of energy and forces in ab initio path integral molecular dynamics (AI-PIMD) simulation, without compromising the overall accuracy. To validate the method, the internal energy and free energy of an Einstein crystal are calculated and compared with the analytical solutions. As a preliminary application, we assess the performance of the method in a realistic model-the FCC phase of dense atomic hydrogen, in which the calculated result shows that the acceleration rate is about 3 to 4-fold for a two-level implementation, and can be increased up to 10 times if extrapolation is used. With only 16 beads used for the ab initio potential sampling, this method gives a well converged internal energy. The residual error in pressure is just about 3 GPa, whereas it is about 20 GPa for a plain AI-PIMD calculation with the same number of beads. The vibrational free energy of the FCC phase of dense hydrogen at 300 K is also calculated with an AI-PIMD thermodynamic integration method, which gives a result of about 0.51 eV/proton at a density of rs = 0.912.

  6. Examining the limits of time reweighting and Kramers' rate theory to obtain correct kinetics from accelerated molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Xin, Yao; Doshi, Urmi; Hamelberg, Donald

    2010-06-14

    Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations are routinely being used to recover the correct canonical probability distributions corresponding to the original potential energy landscape of biomolecular systems. However, the limits of time reweighting, based on transition state theory, in obtaining true kinetic rates from accelerated molecular dynamics for biomolecular systems are less obvious. Here, we investigate this issue by studying the kinetics of cis-trans isomerization of peptidic omega bond by accelerated molecular dynamics. We find that time reweighting is valid for obtaining true kinetics when the original potential is not altered at the transition state regions, as expected. When the original potential landscape is modified such that the applied boost potential alters the transition state regions, time reweighting fails to reproduce correct kinetics and the reweighted rate is much slower than the true rate. By adopting the overdamped limit of Kramers' rate theory, we are successful in recovering correct kinetics irrespective of whether or not the transition state regions are modified. Furthermore, we tested the validity of the acceleration weight factor from the path integral formalism for obtaining the correct kinetics of cis-trans isomerization. It was found that this formulation of the weight factor is not suitable for long time scale processes such as cis-trans isomerization with high energy barriers.

  7. Extracellular Matrix Molecular Remodeling in Human Liver Fibrosis Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Baiocchini, Andrea; Montaldo, Claudia; Conigliaro, Alice; Grimaldi, Alessio; Correani, Virginia; Mura, Francesco; Ciccosanti, Fabiola; Rotiroti, Nicolina; Brenna, Alessia; Montalbano, Marzia; D’Offizi, Gianpiero; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; Alessandro, Riccardo; Piacentini, Mauro; Schininà, Maria Eugenia; Maras, Bruno; Del Nonno, Franca; Tripodi, Marco; Mancone, Carmine

    2016-01-01

    Chronic liver damage leads to pathological accumulation of ECM proteins (liver fibrosis). Comprehensive characterization of the human ECM molecular composition is essential for gaining insights into the mechanisms of liver disease. To date, studies of ECM remodeling in human liver diseases have been hampered by the unavailability of purified ECM. Here, we developed a decellularization method to purify ECM scaffolds from human liver tissues. Histological and electron microscopy analyses demonstrated that the ECM scaffolds, devoid of plasma and cellular components, preserved the three-dimensional ECM structure and zonal distribution of ECM components. This method has been then applied on 57 liver biopsies of HCV-infected patients at different stages of liver fibrosis according to METAVIR classification. Label-free nLC-MS/MS proteomics and computation biology were performed to analyze the ECM molecular composition in liver fibrosis progression, thus unveiling protein expression signatures specific for the HCV-related liver fibrotic stages. In particular, the ECM molecular composition of liver fibrosis was found to involve dynamic changes in matrix stiffness, flexibility and density related to the dysregulation of predominant collagen, elastic fibers and minor components with both structural and signaling properties. This study contributes to the understanding of the molecular bases underlying ECM remodeling in liver fibrosis and suggests new molecular targets for fibrolytic strategies. PMID:26998606

  8. A Redox Shuttle Accelerates O2 Evolution of Photocatalysts Formed In Situ under Visible Light.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia-Xin; Ye, Chen; Li, Xu-Bing; Li, Zhi-Jun; Gao, Xue-Wang; Chen, Bin; Tung, Chen-Ho; Wu, Li-Zhu

    2017-02-20

    A redox shuttle strategy is demonstrated to be a promising approach to accelerate hole removal for efficient O2 production with mesoporous graphitic carbon nitride, WO3 , BiVO4 , NiTi-LDH, and Ag3 PO4 water-oxidation catalysts under visible-light irradiation.

  9. Structural limits for evolutive capacities in complex molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Bergareche, A M; Ostolaza, J F

    1990-01-01

    The possibilities of evolution for a system with and without a code of translation from nucleic acids into proteins are evaluated. Our interest is mainly centred on the enzymatic RNA case since this molecule has, at the same time, reproductive and functional properties. After scanning the evolutive capacities of the enzymatic RNAs, including the possibility to play the role of "synthetase" which would match nucleic acids with amino acids as a transition step towards a code, we will try to show that due to their own functional limitative factors, the matching system (code) is necessary. This would be the only way to transform the formal complexity--complexity which has not entered into action before the translation process--into functional information to drive the instructive self-reproductive process. Once this stage is reached, the system could evolve without a limit.

  10. Evolution and Molecular Control of Hybrid Incompatibility in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chen; E, Zhiguo; Lin, Hong-Xuan

    2016-01-01

    Postzygotic reproductive isolation (RI) plays an important role in speciation. According to the stage at which it functions and the symptoms it displays, postzygotic RI can be called hybrid inviability, hybrid weakness or necrosis, hybrid sterility, or hybrid breakdown. In this review, we summarized new findings about hybrid incompatibilities in plants, most of which are from studies on Arabidopsis and rice. Recent progress suggests that hybrid incompatibility is a by-product of co-evolution either with “parasitic” selfish elements in the genome or with invasive microbes in the natural environment. We discuss the environmental influences on the expression of hybrid incompatibility and the possible effects of environment-dependent hybrid incompatibility on sympatric speciation. We also discuss the role of domestication on the evolution of hybrid incompatibilities. PMID:27563306

  11. Primer and interviews: molecular mechanisms of morphological evolution.

    PubMed

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2010-12-01

    The beauty of the developing embryo, and the awe that it inspires, lure many scientists into the field of developmental biology. What compels cells to divide, migrate, and morph into a being with a complex body plan? Evolutionary developmental biologists hold similar fascinations, with dynamics that take place on a grander timescale. How do phenotypic traits diverge over evolutionary time? This primer illustrates how a deep understanding of the basic principles that underlie developmental biology have changed how scientists think about the evolution of body form. The primer culminates in a conversation with David Stern, PhD, and Michael Shapiro, PhD, who discuss current topics in morphological evolution, why the field should be of interest to classic developmental biologists, and what lies ahead.

  12. Primer and interviews: Molecular mechanisms of morphological evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2010-01-01

    The beauty of the developing embryo, and the awe that it inspires, lure many scientists into the field of developmental biology. What compels cells to divide, migrate, and morph into a being with a complex body plan? Evolutionary developmental biologists hold similar fascinations, with dynamics that take place on a grander timescale. How do phenotypic traits diverge over evolutionary time? This primer illustrates how a deep understanding of the basic principles that underlie developmental biology have changed how scientists think about the evolution of body form. The primer culminates in a conversation with David Stern, PhD, and Michael Shapiro, PhD, who discuss current topics in morphological evolution, why the field should be of interest to classic developmental biologists, and what lies ahead. Developmental Dynamics 239:3497–3505, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:21069831

  13. Abrupt deceleration of molecular evolution linked to the origin of arborescence in ferns.

    PubMed

    Korall, Petra; Schuettpelz, Eric; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2010-09-01

    Molecular rate heterogeneity, whereby rates of molecular evolution vary among groups of organisms, is a well-documented phenomenon. Nonetheless, its causes are poorly understood. For animals, generation time is frequently cited because longer-lived species tend to have slower rates of molecular evolution than their shorter-lived counterparts. Although a similar pattern has been uncovered in flowering plants, using proxies such as growth form, the underlying process has remained elusive. Here, we find a deceleration of molecular evolutionary rate to be coupled with the origin of arborescence in ferns. Phylogenetic branch lengths within the “tree fern” clade are considerably shorter than those of closely related lineages, and our analyses demonstrate that this is due to a significant difference in molecular evolutionary rate. Reconstructions reveal that an abrupt rate deceleration coincided with the evolution of the long-lived tree-like habit at the base of the tree fern clade. This suggests that a generation time effect may well be ubiquitous across the green tree of life, and that the search for a responsible mechanism must focus on characteristics shared by all vascular plants. Discriminating among the possibilities will require contributions from various biological disciplines,but will be necessary for a full appreciation of molecular evolution.

  14. Exploring inhibitor release pathways in histone deacetylases using random acceleration molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Kalyaanamoorthy, Subha; Chen, Yi-Ping Phoebe

    2012-02-27

    Molecular channel exploration perseveres to be the prominent solution for eliciting structure and accessibility of active site and other internal spaces of macromolecules. The volume and silhouette characterization of these channels provides answers for the issues of substrate access and ligand swapping between the obscured active site and the exterior of the protein. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are metal-dependent enzymes that are involved in the cell growth, cell cycle regulation, and progression, and their deregulations have been linked with different types of cancers. Hence HDACs, especially the class I family, are widely recognized as the important cancer targets, and the characterizations of their structures and functions have been of special interest in cancer drug discovery. The class I HDACs are known to possess two different protein channels, an 11 Å and a 14 Å (named channels A and B1, respectively), of which the former is a ligand or substrate occupying tunnel that leads to the buried active site zinc ion and the latter is speculated to be involved in product release. In this work, we have carried out random acceleration molecular dynamics (RAMD) simulations coupled with the classical molecular dynamics to explore the release of the ligand, N-(2-aminophenyl) benzamide (LLX) from the active sites of the recently solved X-ray crystal structure of HDAC2 and the computationally modeled HDAC1 proteins. The RAMD simulations identified significant structural and dynamic features of the HDAC channels, especially the key 'gate-keeping' amino acid residues that control these channels and the ligand release events. Further, this study identified a novel and unique channel B2, a subchannel from channel B1, in the HDAC1 protein structure. The roles of water molecules in the LLX release from the HDAC1 and HDAC2 enzymes are also discussed. Such structural and dynamic properties of the HDAC protein channels that govern the ligand escape reactions will provide

  15. Acceleration and transport of anomalous cosmic rays: Investigating the spectral evolution at Voyager 1 beyond the termination shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senanayake, Udara K.

    Interstellar neutral atoms entering the heliosphere could become ionized by photo-ionization or charge exchange with solar-wind ions. These newly created ions are picked up by the solar wind and carried to the termination shock (TS) where they are believed to be accelerated by the diffusive shock acceleration process to high energies (˜1-100 MeV n-1). The accelerated ions are known as anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs). When NASA's space probe, Voyager 1 crossed the TS in 2004, the measured ACR spectra did not match the theoretical prediction of a continuous power law, and the source of the high-energy ACRs was not observed. However, over the next few years, in the declining phase of the solar cycle, the spectra began to evolve into the expected power-law profile. The model developed here is based on the suggestion that ACRs are still accelerated at the shock, but away from the Voyager crossing points. First, we study ACR acceleration using a three-dimensional, non-spherical model of the heliosphere that is axisymmetric with respect to the interstellar flow direction. A semi-analytic model of the plasma and magnetic field backgrounds is developed to permit an investigation over a wide range of parameters under controlled conditions. The model is applied to helium ACRs, whose phase-space trajectories are stochastically integrated backward in time until a pre-specified, low-energy boundary of 0.5 MeV n-1, is reached. Next, we propose that the solar cycle had an important effect on the evolving of the spectra in the heliosheath. To investigate this, a magnetohydrodynamic background model with stationary solar-wind inner boundary conditions was used to model the transport of helium and oxygen ions. In addition, we developed a charge consistent stochastic model to simulate multiply charged oxygen ACRs. It is shown that the spectral evolution of ACRs in the heliosheath at Voyager 1 could be explained by combining intermediate-energy particles arriving from the heliotail

  16. Speeding up evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, Wouter

    Proteins and cells offer great opportunities for green chemistry and renewable energy. However, few of these possible applications have been put into practice because of details that turn out to be major barriers to cost-efficient implementation and that prove difficult to solve by genetic engineering. A better understanding of molecular evolution promises a novel approach to addressing these important challenges. While major advances have been made, major gaps remain in understanding the evolution of proteins. Different approaches to accelerating molecular evolution into targeted directions will be discussed, including recent progress on evolution in non-homogeneous environments.

  17. Evolution & Phylogenetic Analysis: Classroom Activities for Investigating Molecular & Morphological Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Wilfred A.

    2010-01-01

    In a flexible multisession laboratory, students investigate concepts of phylogenetic analysis at both the molecular and the morphological level. Students finish by conducting their own analysis on a collection of skeletons representing the major phyla of vertebrates, a collection of primate skulls, or a collection of hominid skulls.

  18. Molecular evolution of monotreme and marsupial whey acidic protein genes.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Julie A; Lefèvre, Christophe; Nicholas, Kevin R

    2007-01-01

    Whey acidic protein (WAP), a major whey protein present in milk of a number of mammalian species has characteristic cysteine-rich domains known as four-disulfide cores (4-DSC). Eutherian WAP, expressed in the mammary gland throughout lactation, has two 4-DSC domains, (DI-DII) whereas marsupial WAP, expressed only during mid-late lactation, contains an additional 4-DSC (DIII), and has a DIII-D1-DII configuration. We report the expression and evolution of echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and platypus (Onithorhynchus anatinus) WAP cDNAs. Predicted translation of monotreme cDNAs showed echidna WAP contains two 4-DSC domains corresponding to DIII-DII, whereas platypus WAP contains an additional domain at the C-terminus with homology to DII and has the configuration DIII-DII-DII. Both monotreme WAPs represent new WAP protein configurations. We propose models for evolution of the WAP gene in the mammalian lineage either through exon loss from an ancient ancestor or by rapid evolution via the process of exon shuffling. This evolutionary outcome may reflect differences in lactation strategy between marsupials, monotremes, and eutherians, and give insight to biological function of the gene products. WAP four-disulfide core domain 2 (WFDC2) proteins were also identified in echidna, platypus and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) lactating mammary cells. WFDC2 proteins are secreted proteins not previously associated with lactation. Mammary gland expression of tammar WFDC2 during the course of lactation showed WFDC2 was elevated during pregnancy, reduced in early lactation and absent in mid-late lactation.

  19. Molecular evolution and genetics of postzygotic reproductive isolation in plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In just the last few years, plant geneticists have made tremendous progress in identifying the molecular genetic basis of postzygotic reproductive isolation. With more than a dozen genes now cloned, it is clear that plant hybrid incompatibilities usually evolve via two or more mutational steps, as is predicted by the Dobzhansky-Muller model. There is evidence that natural selection or random genetic drift can be responsible for these incompatibilities. PMID:23236340

  20. Molecular phylogeny, biogeography, and habitat preference evolution of marsupials.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Pratt, Renae C; Watson, Laura N; Gibb, Gillian C; Llamas, Bastien; Kasper, Marta; Edson, Janette; Hopwood, Blair; Male, Dean; Armstrong, Kyle N; Meyer, Matthias; Hofreiter, Michael; Austin, Jeremy; Donnellan, Stephen C; Lee, Michael S Y; Phillips, Matthew J; Cooper, Alan

    2014-09-01

    Marsupials exhibit great diversity in ecology and morphology. However, compared with their sister group, the placental mammals, our understanding of many aspects of marsupial evolution remains limited. We use 101 mitochondrial genomes and data from 26 nuclear loci to reconstruct a dated phylogeny including 97% of extant genera and 58% of modern marsupial species. This tree allows us to analyze the evolution of habitat preference and geographic distributions of marsupial species through time. We found a pattern of mesic-adapted lineages evolving to use more arid and open habitats, which is broadly consistent with regional climate and environmental change. However, contrary to the general trend, several lineages subsequently appear to have reverted from drier to more mesic habitats. Biogeographic reconstructions suggest that current views on the connectivity between Australia and New Guinea/Wallacea during the Miocene and Pliocene need to be revised. The antiquity of several endemic New Guinean clades strongly suggests a substantially older period of connection stretching back to the Middle Miocene and implies that New Guinea was colonized by multiple clades almost immediately after its principal formation.

  1. Cytonuclear interactions and relaxed selection accelerate sequence evolution in organelle ribosomes.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Daniel B; Triant, Deborah A; Wu, Martin; Taylor, Douglas R

    2014-03-01

    Many mitochondrial and plastid protein complexes contain subunits that are encoded in different genomes. In animals, nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins often exhibit rapid sequence evolution, which has been hypothesized to result from selection for mutations that compensate for changes in interacting subunits encoded in mutation-prone animal mitochondrial DNA. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed nuclear genes encoding cytosolic and organelle ribosomal proteins in flowering plants. The model angiosperm genus Arabidopsis exhibits low organelle mutation rates, typical of most plants. Nevertheless, we found that (nuclear-encoded) subunits of organelle ribosomes in Arabidopsis have higher amino acid sequence polymorphism and divergence than their counterparts in cytosolic ribosomes, suggesting that organelle ribosomes experience relaxed functional constraint. However, the observed difference between organelle and cytosolic ribosomes was smaller than in animals and could be partially attributed to rapid evolution in N-terminal organelle-targeting peptides that are not involved in ribosome function. To test the role of organelle mutation more directly, we used transcriptomic data from an angiosperm genus (Silene) with highly variable rates of organelle genome evolution. We found that Silene species with unusually fast-evolving mitochondrial and plastid DNA exhibited increased amino acid sequence divergence in ribosomal proteins targeted to the organelles but not in those that function in cytosolic ribosomes. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that rapid organelle genome evolution has selected for compensatory mutations in nuclear-encoded proteins. We conclude that coevolution between interacting subunits encoded in different genomic compartments within the eukaryotic cell is an important determinant of variation in rates of protein sequence evolution.

  2. Alleles versus mutations: Understanding the evolution of genetic architecture requires a molecular perspective on allelic origins.

    PubMed

    Remington, David L

    2015-12-01

    Perspectives on the role of large-effect quantitative trait loci (QTL) in the evolution of complex traits have shifted back and forth over the past few decades. Different sets of studies have produced contradictory insights on the evolution of genetic architecture. I argue that much of the confusion results from a failure to distinguish mutational and allelic effects, a limitation of using the Fisherian model of adaptive evolution as the lens through which the evolution of adaptive variation is examined. A molecular-based perspective reveals that allelic differences can involve the cumulative effects of many mutations plus intragenic recombination, a model that is supported by extensive empirical evidence. I discuss how different selection regimes could produce very different architectures of allelic effects under a molecular-based model, which may explain conflicting insights on genetic architecture from studies of variation within populations versus between divergently selected populations. I address shortcomings of genome-wide association study (GWAS) practices in light of more suitable models of allelic evolution, and suggest alternate GWAS strategies to generate more valid inferences about genetic architecture. Finally, I discuss how adopting more suitable models of allelic evolution could help redirect research on complex trait evolution toward addressing more meaningful questions in evolutionary biology.

  3. Graphics Processing Unit Acceleration and Parallelization of GENESIS for Large-Scale Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jaewoon; Naurse, Akira; Kobayashi, Chigusa; Sugita, Yuji

    2016-10-11

    The graphics processing unit (GPU) has become a popular computational platform for molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of biomolecules. A significant speedup in the simulations of small- or medium-size systems using only a few computer nodes with a single or multiple GPUs has been reported. Because of GPU memory limitation and slow communication between GPUs on different computer nodes, it is not straightforward to accelerate MD simulations of large biological systems that contain a few million or more atoms on massively parallel supercomputers with GPUs. In this study, we develop a new scheme in our MD software, GENESIS, to reduce the total computational time on such computers. Computationally intensive real-space nonbonded interactions are computed mainly on GPUs in the scheme, while less intensive bonded interactions and communication-intensive reciprocal-space interactions are performed on CPUs. On the basis of the midpoint cell method as a domain decomposition scheme, we invent the single particle interaction list for reducing the GPU memory usage. Since total computational time is limited by the reciprocal-space computation, we utilize the RESPA multiple time-step integration and reduce the CPU resting time by assigning a subset of nonbonded interactions on CPUs as well as on GPUs when the reciprocal-space computation is skipped. We validated our GPU implementations in GENESIS on BPTI and a membrane protein, porin, by MD simulations and an alanine-tripeptide by REMD simulations. Benchmark calculations on TSUBAME supercomputer showed that an MD simulation of a million atoms system was scalable up to 256 computer nodes with GPUs.

  4. Gibberellin Receptor GID1: Gibberellin Recognition and Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, Hiroaki; Sato, Tomomi; Ueguchi-Tanaka, Miyako

    Gibberellins (GAs) are phytohormones essential for many developmental processes in plants. We analyzed the crystal structure of a nuclear GA receptor, GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF 1 (GID1) from Oryza sativa. As it was proposed from the sequence similarity, the overall structure of GID1 shows an α/β-hydrolase fold similar to that of the hormone-sensitive lipases (HSLs) except for an amino-terminal lid. The GA-binding site corresponds to the substrate-binding site of HSLs. Almost residues assigned for GA binding showed very little or no activity when they were replaced with Ala. The substitution of the residues corresponding to those of the lycophyte GID1s caused an increase in the binding affinity for GA34, a 2β-hydroxylated GA4. These findings indicate that GID1 originated from HSL and was tinkered to have the specificity for bioactive GAs in the course of plant evolution.

  5. Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agent Database (MICAD): evolution and progress.

    PubMed

    Chopra, Arvind; Shan, Liang; Eckelman, W C; Leung, Kam; Latterner, Martin; Bryant, Stephen H; Menkens, Anne

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of writing this review is to showcase the Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agent Database (MICAD; www.micad.nlm.nih.gov ) to students, researchers, and clinical investigators interested in the different aspects of molecular imaging. This database provides freely accessible, current, online scientific information regarding molecular imaging (MI) probes and contrast agents (CA) used for positron emission tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray/computed tomography, optical imaging and ultrasound imaging. Detailed information on >1,000 agents in MICAD is provided in a chapter format and can be accessed through PubMed. Lists containing >4,250 unique MI probes and CAs published in peer-reviewed journals and agents approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as well as a comma separated values file summarizing all chapters in the database can be downloaded from the MICAD homepage. Users can search for agents in MICAD on the basis of imaging modality, source of signal/contrast, agent or target category, pre-clinical or clinical studies, and text words. Chapters in MICAD describe the chemical characteristics (structures linked to PubChem), the in vitro and in vivo activities, and other relevant information regarding an imaging agent. All references in the chapters have links to PubMed. A Supplemental Information Section in each chapter is available to share unpublished information regarding an agent. A Guest Author Program is available to facilitate rapid expansion of the database. Members of the imaging community registered with MICAD periodically receive an e-mail announcement (eAnnouncement) that lists new chapters uploaded to the database. Users of MICAD are encouraged to provide feedback, comments, or suggestions for further improvement of the database by writing to the editors at micad@nlm.nih.gov.

  6. Isolation of Hox Cluster Genes from Insects Reveals an Accelerated Sequence Evolution Rate

    PubMed Central

    Hadrys, Heike; Simon, Sabrina; Kaune, Barbara; Schmitt, Oliver; Schöner, Anja; Jakob, Wolfgang; Schierwater, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Among gene families it is the Hox genes and among metazoan animals it is the insects (Hexapoda) that have attracted particular attention for studying the evolution of development. Surprisingly though, no Hox genes have been isolated from 26 out of 35 insect orders yet, and the existing sequences derive mainly from only two orders (61% from Hymenoptera and 22% from Diptera). We have designed insect specific primers and isolated 37 new partial homeobox sequences of Hox cluster genes (lab, pb, Hox3, ftz, Antp, Scr, abd-a, Abd-B, Dfd, and Ubx) from six insect orders, which are crucial to insect phylogenetics. These new gene sequences provide a first step towards comparative Hox gene studies in insects. Furthermore, comparative distance analyses of homeobox sequences reveal a correlation between gene divergence rate and species radiation success with insects showing the highest rate of homeobox sequence evolution. PMID:22685537

  7. Molecular tools in understanding the evolution of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Rahaman, Md. Habibur; Islam, Tarequl; Colwell, Rita R.; Alam, Munirul

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, has been a scourge for centuries. Cholera remains a serious health threat for developing countries and has been responsible for millions of deaths globally over the past 200 years. Identification of V. cholerae has been accomplished using a variety of methods, ranging from phenotypic strategies to DNA based molecular typing and currently whole genomic approaches. This array of methods has been adopted in epidemiological investigations, either singly or in the aggregate, and more recently for evolutionary analyses of V. cholerae. Because the new technologies have been developed at an ever increasing pace, this review of the range of fingerprinting strategies, their relative advantages and limitations, and cholera case studies was undertaken. The task was challenging, considering the vast amount of the information available. To assist the study, key references representative of several areas of research are provided with the intent to provide readers with a comprehensive view of recent advances in the molecular epidemiology of V. cholerae. Suggestions for ways to obviate many of the current limitations of typing techniques are also provided. In summary, a comparative report has been prepared that includes the range from traditional typing to whole genomic strategies. PMID:26500613

  8. The molecular evolution of the vertebrate behavioural repertoire

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    How the sophisticated vertebrate behavioural repertoire evolved remains a major question in biology. The behavioural repertoire encompasses the set of individual behavioural components that an organism uses when adapting and responding to changes in its external world. Although unicellular organisms, invertebrates and vertebrates share simple reflex responses, the fundamental mechanisms that resulted in the complexity and sophistication that is characteristic of vertebrate behaviours have only recently been examined. A series of behavioural genetic experiments in mice and humans support a theory that posited the importance of synapse proteome expansion in generating complexity in the behavioural repertoire. Genome duplication events, approximately 550 Ma, produced expansion in the synapse proteome that resulted in increased complexity in synapse signalling mechanisms that regulate components of the behavioural repertoire. The experiments demonstrate the importance to behaviour of the gene duplication events, the diversification of paralogues and sequence constraint. They also confirm the significance of comparative proteomic and genomic studies that identified the molecular origins of synapses in unicellular eukaryotes and the vertebrate expansion in proteome complexity. These molecular mechanisms have general importance for understanding the repertoire of behaviours in different species and for human behavioural disorders arising from synapse gene mutations. PMID:26598730

  9. Structure, molecular evolution, and hydrolytic specificities of largemouth bass pepsins.

    PubMed

    Miura, Yoko; Suzuki-Matsubara, Mieko; Kageyama, Takashi; Moriyama, Akihiko

    2016-02-01

    The nucleotide sequences of largemouth bass pepsinogens (PG1, 2 and 3) were determined after molecular cloning of the respective cDNAs. Encoded PG1, 2 and 3 were classified as fish pepsinogens A1, A2 and C, respectively. Molecular evolutionary analyses show that vertebrate pepsinogens are classified into seven monophyletic groups, i.e. pepsinogens A, F, Y (prochymosins), C, B, and fish pepsinogens A and C. Regarding the primary structures, extensive deletion was obvious in S'1 loop residues in fish pepsin A as well as tetrapod pepsin Y. This deletion resulted in a decrease in hydrophobic residues in the S'1 site. Hydrolytic specificities of bass pepsins A1 and A2 were investigated with a pepsin substrate and its variants. Bass pepsins preferred both hydrophobic/aromatic residues and charged residues at the P'1 sites of substrates, showing the dual character of S'1 sites. Thermodynamic analyses of bass pepsin A2 showed that its activation Gibbs energy change (∆G(‡)) was lower than that of porcine pepsin A. Several sites of bass pepsin A2 moiety were found to be under positive selection, and most of them are located on the surface of the molecule, where they are involved in conformational flexibility. The broad S'1 specificity and flexible structure of bass pepsin A2 are thought to cause its high proteolytic activity.

  10. Molecular tools in understanding the evolution of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Rahaman, Md Habibur; Islam, Tarequl; Colwell, Rita R; Alam, Munirul

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, has been a scourge for centuries. Cholera remains a serious health threat for developing countries and has been responsible for millions of deaths globally over the past 200 years. Identification of V. cholerae has been accomplished using a variety of methods, ranging from phenotypic strategies to DNA based molecular typing and currently whole genomic approaches. This array of methods has been adopted in epidemiological investigations, either singly or in the aggregate, and more recently for evolutionary analyses of V. cholerae. Because the new technologies have been developed at an ever increasing pace, this review of the range of fingerprinting strategies, their relative advantages and limitations, and cholera case studies was undertaken. The task was challenging, considering the vast amount of the information available. To assist the study, key references representative of several areas of research are provided with the intent to provide readers with a comprehensive view of recent advances in the molecular epidemiology of V. cholerae. Suggestions for ways to obviate many of the current limitations of typing techniques are also provided. In summary, a comparative report has been prepared that includes the range from traditional typing to whole genomic strategies.

  11. Future evolution and finite-time singularities in F(R) gravity unifying inflation and cosmic acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Nojiri, Shin'ichi; Odintsov, Sergei D.

    2008-08-15

    We study the future evolution of quintessence/phantom-dominated epoch in modified F(R) gravity which unifies the early-time inflation with late-time acceleration and which is consistent with observational tests. Using the reconstruction technique it is demonstrated that there are models where any known (big rip, II, III, or IV type) singularity may classically occur. From another side, in Einstein frame (scalar-tensor description) only IV type singularity occurs. Near the singularity the classical description breaks up, and it is demonstrated that quantum effects act against the singularity and may prevent its appearance. The realistic F(R) gravity which is future singularity free is proposed. We point out that additional modification of any F(R) gravity by the terms relevant at the early universe is possible, in such a way that future singularity does not occur even classically.

  12. Molecular Evolution of Insect Sociality: An Eco-Evo-Devo Perspective.

    PubMed

    Toth, Amy L; Rehan, Sandra M

    2017-01-31

    The evolution of eusociality is a perennial issue in evolutionary biology, and genomic advances have fueled steadily growing interest in the genetic changes underlying social evolution. Along with a recent flurry of research on comparative and evolutionary genomics in different eusocial insect groups (bees, ants, wasps, and termites), several mechanistic explanations have emerged to describe the molecular evolution of eusociality from solitary behavior. These include solitary physiological ground plans, genetic toolkits of deeply conserved genes, evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes, cis regulation, and the structure of gene networks, epigenetics, and novel genes. Despite this proliferation of ideas, there has been little synthesis, even though these ideas are not mutually exclusive and may in fact be complementary. We review available data on molecular evolution of insect sociality and highlight key biotic and abiotic factors influencing social insect genomes. We then suggest both phylogenetic and ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspectives for a more synthetic view of molecular evolution in insect societies.

  13. Molecular Evolution of the Oxygen-Binding Hemerythrin Domain

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Carreño, Claudia; Becerra, Arturo; Lazcano, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background The evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis during Precambrian times entailed the diversification of strategies minimizing reactive oxygen species-associated damage. Four families of oxygen-carrier proteins (hemoglobin, hemerythrin and the two non-homologous families of arthropodan and molluscan hemocyanins) are known to have evolved independently the capacity to bind oxygen reversibly, providing cells with strategies to cope with the evolutionary pressure of oxygen accumulation. Oxygen-binding hemerythrin was first studied in marine invertebrates but further research has made it clear that it is present in the three domains of life, strongly suggesting that its origin predated the emergence of eukaryotes. Results Oxygen-binding hemerythrins are a monophyletic sub-group of the hemerythrin/HHE (histidine, histidine, glutamic acid) cation-binding domain. Oxygen-binding hemerythrin homologs were unambiguously identified in 367/2236 bacterial, 21/150 archaeal and 4/135 eukaryotic genomes. Overall, oxygen-binding hemerythrin homologues were found in the same proportion as single-domain and as long protein sequences. The associated functions of protein domains in long hemerythrin sequences can be classified in three major groups: signal transduction, phosphorelay response regulation, and protein binding. This suggests that in many organisms the reversible oxygen-binding capacity was incorporated in signaling pathways. A maximum-likelihood tree of oxygen-binding hemerythrin homologues revealed a complex evolutionary history in which lateral gene transfer, duplications and gene losses appear to have played an important role. Conclusions Hemerythrin is an ancient protein domain with a complex evolutionary history. The distinctive iron-binding coordination site of oxygen-binding hemerythrins evolved first in prokaryotes, very likely prior to the divergence of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, and spread into many bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic species. The later

  14. Molecular evolution of urea amidolyase and urea carboxylase in fungi

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Urea amidolyase breaks down urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide in a two-step process, while another enzyme, urease, does this in a one step-process. Urea amidolyase has been found only in some fungal species among eukaryotes. It contains two major domains: the amidase and urea carboxylase domains. A shorter form of urea amidolyase is known as urea carboxylase and has no amidase domain. Eukaryotic urea carboxylase has been found only in several fungal species and green algae. In order to elucidate the evolutionary origin of urea amidolyase and urea carboxylase, we studied the distribution of urea amidolyase, urea carboxylase, as well as other proteins including urease, across kingdoms. Results Among the 64 fungal species we examined, only those in two Ascomycota classes (Sordariomycetes and Saccharomycetes) had the urea amidolyase sequences. Urea carboxylase was found in many but not all of the species in the phylum Basidiomycota and in the subphylum Pezizomycotina (phylum Ascomycota). It was completely absent from the class Saccharomycetes (phylum Ascomycota; subphylum Saccharomycotina). Four Sordariomycetes species we examined had both the urea carboxylase and the urea amidolyase sequences. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these two enzymes appeared to have gone through independent evolution since their bacterial origin. The amidase domain and the urea carboxylase domain sequences from fungal urea amidolyases clustered strongly together with the amidase and urea carboxylase sequences, respectively, from a small number of beta- and gammaproteobacteria. On the other hand, fungal urea carboxylase proteins clustered together with another copy of urea carboxylases distributed broadly among bacteria. The urease proteins were found in all the fungal species examined except for those of the subphylum Saccharomycotina. Conclusions We conclude that the urea amidolyase genes currently found only in fungi are the results of a horizontal gene transfer event from

  15. Vibration-mediated Kondo transport in molecular junctions: conductance evolution during mechanical stretching

    PubMed Central

    Rakhmilevitch, David

    2015-01-01

    Summary The vibration-mediated Kondo effect attracted considerable theoretical interest during the last decade. However, due to lack of extensive experimental demonstrations, the fine details of the phenomenon were not addressed. Here, we analyze the evolution of vibration-mediated Kondo effect in molecular junctions during mechanical stretching. The described analysis reveals the different contributions of Kondo and inelastic transport. PMID:26734532

  16. Molecular phylogenetic study on the origin and evolution of Mustelidae.

    PubMed

    Yonezawa, Takahiro; Nikaido, Masato; Kohno, Naoki; Fukumoto, Yukio; Okada, Norihiro; Hasegawa, Masami

    2007-07-01

    The family Mustelidae, which consists of Mustelinae, Lutrinae, Melinae, and Taxidiinae, is the largest family among Carnivora and is a highly diverse group. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have clarified the phylogenetic relations among Mustelidae, but there remain several unresolved problems, particularly concerning the deep branchings. Whereas many studies support the monophyly of Mustelidae+Procyonidae among Musteloidea, the relations between Mustelidae+Procyonidae, Ailuridae, and Miphitidae are still unclear. To address these problems, we inferred a tree on the basis of the sequences of mitochondrial genomes and of multiple nuclear genes using the maximum likelihood method. Our results strongly support the hypothesis that the Taxidiinae branched at first, followed by the branching of the Melinae. After that, Mustelinae diversified, and Lutrinae evolved within Mustelinae. With respect to the deep branchings in Musteloidea, the Ailuridae/Mephitidae monophyly tree and the Mephitidae-basal tree are indistinguishable in log-likelihood score, and this problem remains unresolved.

  17. Molecular evolution of toxin genes in Elapidae snakes.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Toru; Fujimi, Takahiko J

    2006-11-01

    The venom of the sea krait, Laticauda semifasciata, consists primarily of two toxic proteins, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) and a three-finger-structure toxin. We have cloned both toxic protein genes, including the upstream region. PLA(2) genes contain three types of inserted sequences: an AG-rich region, a chicken repeat 1-like long interspersed nucleotide element sequence and an intron II 3' side repeat sequence. The molecular divergence of L. semifasciata PLA(2) genes was defined on the basis of the inserted sequences and their sequence homology. The length of intron I in the three-finger-structure toxin genes differs from species to species. The alignment analysis of intron I of the three-finger-structure toxin genes revealed that the intron I sequence of the ancestral gene comprised ten genetic regions. A hypothetical evolutionary process for the three-finger-structure toxin genes has also been developed.

  18. Promiscuity in alkaline phosphatase superfamily. Unraveling evolution through molecular simulations.

    PubMed

    López-Canut, Violeta; Roca, Maite; Bertrán, Juan; Moliner, Vicent; Tuñón, Iñaki

    2011-08-10

    We here present a theoretical study of the alkaline hydrolysis of a phosphodiester (methyl p-nitrophenyl phosphate or MpNPP) in the active site of Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase (AP), a monoesterase that also presents promiscuous activity as a diesterase. The analysis of our simulations, carried out by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) potentials, shows that the reaction takes place through a D(N)A(N) or dissociative mechanism, the same mechanism employed by AP in the hydrolysis of monoesters. The promiscuous activity observed in this superfamily can be then explained on the basis of a conserved reaction mechanism. According to our simulations the specialization in the hydrolysis of phosphomonoesters or phosphodiesters, developed in different members of the superfamily, is a consequence of the interactions established between the protein and the oxygen atoms of the phosphate group and, in particular, with the oxygen atom that bears the additional alkyl group when the substrate is a diester. A water molecule, belonging to the coordination shell of the Mg(2+) ion, and residue Lys328 seem to play decisive roles stabilizing a phosphomonoester substrate, but the latter contributes to increase the energy barrier for the hydrolysis of phosphodiesters. Then, mutations affecting the nature or positioning of Lys328 lead to an increased diesterase activity in AP. Finally, the capacity of this enzymatic family to catalyze the reaction of phosphoesters having different leaving groups, or substrate promiscuity, is explained by the ability of the enzyme to stabilize different charge distributions in the leaving group using different interactions involving either one of the zinc centers or residues placed on the outer side of the catalytic site.

  19. A mitogenomic timescale for birds detects variable phylogenetic rates of molecular evolution and refutes the standard molecular clock.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Sergio L; Baker, Allan J

    2006-09-01

    Current understanding of the diversification of birds is hindered by their incomplete fossil record and uncertainty in phylogenetic relationships and phylogenetic rates of molecular evolution. Here we performed the first comprehensive analysis of mitogenomic data of 48 vertebrates, including 35 birds, to derive a Bayesian timescale for avian evolution and to estimate rates of DNA evolution. Our approach used multiple fossil time constraints scattered throughout the phylogenetic tree and accounts for uncertainties in time constraints, branch lengths, and heterogeneity of rates of DNA evolution. We estimated that the major vertebrate lineages originated in the Permian; the 95% credible intervals of our estimated ages of the origin of archosaurs (258 MYA), the amniote-amphibian split (356 MYA), and the archosaur-lizard divergence (278 MYA) bracket estimates from the fossil record. The origin of modern orders of birds was estimated to have occurred throughout the Cretaceous beginning about 139 MYA, arguing against a cataclysmic extinction of lineages at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. We identified fossils that are useful as time constraints within vertebrates. Our timescale reveals that rates of molecular evolution vary across genes and among taxa through time, thereby refuting the widely used mitogenomic or cytochrome b molecular clock in birds. Moreover, the 5-Myr divergence time assumed between 2 genera of geese (Branta and Anser) to originally calibrate the standard mitochondrial clock rate of 0.01 substitutions per site per lineage per Myr (s/s/l/Myr) in birds was shown to be underestimated by about 9.5 Myr. Phylogenetic rates in birds vary between 0.0009 and 0.012 s/s/l/Myr, indicating that many phylogenetic splits among avian taxa also have been underestimated and need to be revised. We found no support for the hypothesis that the molecular clock in birds "ticks" according to a constant rate of substitution per unit of mass-specific metabolic energy rather

  20. Low-molecular-weight carbon nitrides for solar hydrogen evolution.

    PubMed

    Lau, Vincent Wing-hei; Mesch, Maria B; Duppel, Viola; Blum, Volker; Senker, Jürgen; Lotsch, Bettina V

    2015-01-28

    This work focuses on the control of the polymerization process for melon ("graphitic carbon nitride"), with the aim of improving its photocatalytic activity intrinsically. We demonstrate here that reduction of the synthesis temperature leads to a mixture of the monomer melem and its higher condensates. We show that this mixture can be separated and provide evidence that the higher condensates are isolated oligomers of melem. On evaluating their photocatalytic activity for hydrogen evolution, the oligomers were found to be the most active species, having up to twice the activity of the monomer/oligomer mixture of the as-synthesized material, which in turn has 3 times the activity of the polymer melon, the literature benchmark. These results highlight the role of "defects", i.e., chain terminations, in increasing the catalytic activity of carbon nitrides and at the same time point to the ample potential of intrinsically improving the photocatalytic activity of "carbon nitride", especially through the selective synthesis of the active phase.

  1. Origin of noncoding DNA sequences: molecular fossils of genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Naora, H; Miyahara, K; Curnow, R N

    1987-09-01

    The total amount of noncoding sequences on chromosomes of contemporary organisms varies significantly from species to species. We propose a hypothesis for the origin of these noncoding sequences that assumes that (i) an approximately equal to 0.55-kilobase (kb)-long reading frame composed the primordial gene and (ii) a 20-kb-long single-stranded polynucleotide is the longest molecule (as a genome) that was polymerized at random and without a specific template in the primordial soup/cell. The statistical distribution of stop codons allows examination of the probability of generating reading frames of approximately equal to 0.55 kb in this primordial polynucleotide. This analysis reveals that with three stop codons, a run of at least 0.55-kb equivalent length of nonstop codons would occur in 4.6% of 20-kb-long polynucleotide molecules. We attempt to estimate the total amount of noncoding sequences that would be present on the chromosomes of contemporary species assuming that present-day chromosomes retain the prototype primordial genome structure. Theoretical estimates thus obtained for most eukaryotes do not differ significantly from those reported for these specific organisms, with only a few exceptions. Furthermore, analysis of possible stop-codon distributions suggests that life on earth would not exist, at least in its present form, had two or four stop codons been selected early in evolution.

  2. Phylogeography and molecular evolution of potato virus Y.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, José M; Delaunay, Agnès; Visser, Johan C; Bellstedt, Dirk U; Jacquot, Emmanuel; Elena, Santiago F

    2012-01-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is an important plant pathogen, whose host range includes economically important crops such as potato, tobacco, tomato, and pepper. PVY presents three main strains (PVY(O), PVY(N) and PVY(C)) and several recombinant forms. PVY has a worldwide distribution, yet the mechanisms that promote and maintain its population structure and genetic diversity are still unclear. In this study, we used a pool of 77 complete PVY genomes from isolates collected worldwide. After removing the effect of recombination in our data set, we used bayesian techniques to study the influence of geography and host species in both PVY population structure and dynamics. We have also performed selection and covariation analyses to identify evolutionarily relevant amino acid residues. Our results show that both geographic and host-driven adaptations explain PVY diversification. Furthermore, purifying selection is the main force driving PVY evolution, although some indications of positive selection accounted for the diversification of the different strains. Interestingly, the analysis of P3N-PIPO, a recently described gene in potyviruses, seems to show a variable length among the isolates analyzed, and this variability is explained, in part, by host-driven adaptation.

  3. Molecular evolution of GPCRs: GLP1/GLP1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jong-Ik; Yun, Seongsik; Moon, Mi Jin; Park, Cho Rong; Seong, Jae Young

    2014-06-01

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) is an intestinal incretin that regulates glucose homeostasis through stimulation of insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells and inhibits appetite by acting on the brain. Thus, it is a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Studies using synteny and reconstructed ancestral chromosomes suggest that families for GLP1 and its receptor (GLP1R) have emerged through two rounds (2R) of whole genome duplication and local gene duplications before and after 2R. Exon duplications have also contributed to the expansion of the peptide family members. Specific changes in the amino acid sequence following exon/gene/genome duplications have established distinct yet related peptide and receptor families. These specific changes also confer selective interactions between GLP1 and GLP1R. In this review, we present a possible macro (genome level)- and micro (gene/exon level)-evolution mechanisms of GLP1 and GLP1R, which allows them to acquire selective interactions between this ligand-receptor pair. This information may provide critical insight for the development of potent therapeutic agents targeting GLP1R.

  4. Molecular genetics and evolution of melanism in the cat family.

    PubMed

    Eizirik, Eduardo; Yuhki, Naoya; Johnson, Warren E; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Hannah, Steven S; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2003-03-04

    Melanistic coat coloration occurs as a common polymorphism in 11 of 37 felid species and reaches high population frequency in some cases but never achieves complete fixation. To investigate the genetic basis, adaptive significance, and evolutionary history of melanistic variants in the Felidae, we mapped, cloned, and sequenced the cat homologs of two putative candidate genes for melanism (ASIP [agouti] and MC1R) and identified three independent deletions associated with dark coloration in three different felid species. Association and transmission analyses revealed that a 2 bp deletion in the ASIP gene specifies black coloration in domestic cats, and two different "in-frame" deletions in the MC1R gene are implicated in melanism in jaguars and jaguarundis. Melanistic individuals from five other felid species did not carry any of these mutations, implying that there are at least four independent genetic origins for melanism in the cat family. The inferred multiple origins and independent historical elevation in population frequency of felid melanistic mutations suggest the occurrence of adaptive evolution of this visible phenotype in a group of related free-ranging species.

  5. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the extinct bovid Myotragus balearicus.

    PubMed

    Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Shapiro, Beth; Bover, Pere; Alcover, Josep Antoni; Bertranpetit, Jaume

    2002-12-01

    Myotragus balearicus was a dwarf artiodactyl endemic to the Eastern Balearic Islands, where it evolved in isolation for more than 5 million years before becoming extinct between 3640 and 2135 cal BC (calibrated years BC). Numerous unusual apomorphies obscure the relationship between Myotragus and the extant Caprinae. Therefore, genetic data for this species would significantly contribute to the clarification of its taxonomic position. In this study, we amplify, sequence, and clone a 338-base pair (bp) segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene from a >9Kyr Myotragus subfossil from la Cova des Gorgs (Mallorca). Our results confirm the phylogenetic affinity of Myotragus with the sheep (Ovis) and the takin (Budorcas). In each tree, the Myotragus branch is long in comparison with the other taxa, which may be evidence of a local change in the rate of evolution in cyt b. This rate change may be due to in part to an early age of first reproduction and short generation time in Myotragus, factors that are potentially related to the extreme reduction in size of the adult Myotragus as compared to the other Caprinae.

  6. Nonlinear evolution of Buneman instability and its implication for electron acceleration in high Mach number collisionless perpendicular shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amano, Takanobu; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2009-10-01

    Nonlinear evolution of the Buneman instability and its application to electron acceleration in collisionless shocks are discussed. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show that the saturation level of the instability is reduced from one-dimensional simulation results. It is demonstrated that the reduced saturation level is due to the resonant wave-particle interactions with large amplitude obliquely propagating waves. A new estimate for the saturation level is given by considering the interactions with oblique modes. The effects of the large amplitude oblique modes on electron shock surfing acceleration that is mainly controlled by the Buneman instability are also investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of the shock transition region are performed by adopting a local model with the periodic boundary condition. The results indicate that the presence of oblique modes introduces a stochastic behavior to the trajectories of energetic electrons. The maximum energy is limited by the finite lifetime of the instability in the present periodic model. However, this will not be the case in the realistic shock transition region. The application to realistic shocks with Mach numbers typical of supernova remnants is also discussed.

  7. Nonlinear evolution of Buneman instability and its implication for electron acceleration in high Mach number collisionless perpendicular shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Amano, Takanobu; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2009-10-15

    Nonlinear evolution of the Buneman instability and its application to electron acceleration in collisionless shocks are discussed. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show that the saturation level of the instability is reduced from one-dimensional simulation results. It is demonstrated that the reduced saturation level is due to the resonant wave-particle interactions with large amplitude obliquely propagating waves. A new estimate for the saturation level is given by considering the interactions with oblique modes. The effects of the large amplitude oblique modes on electron shock surfing acceleration that is mainly controlled by the Buneman instability are also investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of the shock transition region are performed by adopting a local model with the periodic boundary condition. The results indicate that the presence of oblique modes introduces a stochastic behavior to the trajectories of energetic electrons. The maximum energy is limited by the finite lifetime of the instability in the present periodic model. However, this will not be the case in the realistic shock transition region. The application to realistic shocks with Mach numbers typical of supernova remnants is also discussed.

  8. [Modern evolutional developmental biology: mechanical and molecular genetic or phenotypic approaches?].

    PubMed

    Vorob'eva, É I

    2010-01-01

    Heightened interest in the evolutionary problems of developmental biology in the 1980s was due to the success of molecular genetics and disappointment in the synthetic theory of evolution, where the chapters of embryology and developmental biology seem to have been left out. Modern evo-devo, which turned out to be antipodean to the methodology of the synthetic theory of evolution, propagandized in the development of evolutionary problems only the mechanical and molecular genetic approach to the evolution of ontogenesis, based on cellular and intercellular interactions. The phonotypical approach to the evaluation of evolutionary occurrences in ontogenesis, which aids in the joining of the genetic and epigenetic levels of research, the theory of natural selection, the nomogenetic conception, and the problem of the wholeness of the organism in onto- and phylogenesis may be against this. The phenotypic approach to ontogenesis is methodologically the most perspective for evolutionary developmental biology.

  9. Karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes: an examination of the process of karyotypic evolution by comparison of the molecular cytogenetic findings with the molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Shibusawa, M; Nishibori, M; Nishida-Umehara, C; Tsudzuki, M; Masabanda, J; Griffin, D K; Matsuda, Y

    2004-01-01

    To define the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes on a molecular basis, we conducted genome-wide comparative chromosome painting for eight species, i.e. silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Chinese bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracica) and common peafowl (Pavo cristatus) of the Phasianidae, and plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) of the Cracidae, with chicken DNA probes of chromosomes 1-9 and Z. Including our previous data from five other species, chicken (Gallus gallus), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis) of the Phasianidae, guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) of the Numididae and California quail (Callipepla californica) of the Odontophoridae, we represented the evolutionary changes of karyotypes in the 13 species of the Galliformes. In addition, we compared the cytogenetic data with the molecular phylogeny of the 13 species constructed with the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and discussed the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes. Comparative chromosome painting confirmed the previous data on chromosome rearrangements obtained by G-banding analysis, and identified several novel chromosome rearrangements. The process of the evolutionary changes of macrochromosomes in the 13 species was in good accordance with the molecular phylogeny, and the ancestral karyotype of the Galliformes is represented.

  10. Are Molecular Alphabets Universal Enabling Factors for the Evolution of Complex Life?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Ian S.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial biosystems depend on macromolecules, and this feature is often considered as a likely universal aspect of life. While opinions differ regarding the importance of small-molecule systems in abiogenesis, escalating biological functional demands are linked with increasing complexity in key molecules participating in biosystem operations, and many such requirements cannot be efficiently mediated by relatively small compounds. It has long been recognized that known life is associated with the evolution of two distinct molecular alphabets (nucleic acid and protein), specific sequence combinations of which serve as informational and functional polymers. In contrast, much less detailed focus has been directed towards the potential universal need for molecular alphabets in constituting complex chemically-based life, and the implications of such a requirement. To analyze this, emphasis here is placed on the generalizable replicative and functional characteristics of molecular alphabets and their concatenates. A primary replicative alphabet based on the simplest possible molecular complementarity can potentially enable evolutionary processes to occur, including the encoding of secondarily functional alphabets. Very large uniquely specified (`non-alphabetic') molecules cannot feasibly underlie systems capable of the replicative and evolutionary properties which characterize complex biosystems. Transitions in the molecular evolution of alphabets can be related to progressive bridging of barriers which enable higher levels of biosystem organization. It is thus highly probable that molecular alphabets are an obligatory requirement for complex chemically-based life anywhere in the universe. In turn, reference to molecular alphabets should be usefully applied in current definitions of life.

  11. Community-level education accelerates the cultural evolution of fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2014-03-22

    Explaining why fertility declines as populations modernize is a profound theoretical challenge. It remains unclear whether the fundamental drivers are economic or cultural in nature. Cultural evolutionary theory suggests that community-level characteristics, for example average education, can alter how low-fertility preferences are transmitted and adopted. These assumptions have not been empirically tested. Here, we show that community-level education accelerates fertility decline in a way that is neither predicted by individual characteristics, nor by the level of economic modernization in a population. In 22 high-fertility communities in Poland, fertility converged on a smaller family size as average education in the community increased-indeed community-level education had a larger impact on fertility decline than did individual education. This convergence was not driven by educational levels being more homogeneous, but by less educated women having fewer children than expected, and more highly educated social networks, when living among more highly educated neighbours. The average level of education in a community may influence the social partners women interact with, both within and beyond their immediate social environments, altering the reproductive norms they are exposed to. Given a critical mass of highly educated women, less educated neighbours may adopt their reproductive behaviour, accelerating the pace of demographic transition. Individual characteristics alone cannot capture these dynamics and studies relying solely on them may systematically underestimate the importance of cultural transmission in driving fertility declines. Our results are inconsistent with a purely individualistic, rational-actor model of fertility decline and suggest that optimization of reproduction is partly driven by cultural dynamics beyond the individual.

  12. Can Accelerators Accelerate Learning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, A. C. F.; Fonseca, P.; Coelho, L. F. S.

    2009-03-01

    The 'Young Talented' education program developed by the Brazilian State Funding Agency (FAPERJ) [1] makes it possible for high-schools students from public high schools to perform activities in scientific laboratories. In the Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratory at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the students are confronted with modern research tools like the 1.7 MV ion accelerator. Being a user-friendly machine, the accelerator is easily manageable by the students, who can perform simple hands-on activities, stimulating interest in physics, and getting the students close to modern laboratory techniques.

  13. Advances on molecular mechanism of the adaptive evolution of Chiroptera (bats).

    PubMed

    Yunpeng, Liang; Li, Yu

    2015-01-01

    As the second biggest animal group in mammals, Chiroptera (bats) demonstrates many unique adaptive features in terms of flight, echolocation, auditory acuity, feeding habit, hibernation and immune defense, providing an excellent system for understanding the molecular basis of how organisms adapt to the living environments encountered. In this review, we summarize the researches on the molecular mechanism of the adaptive evolution of Chiroptera, especially the recent researches at the genome levels, suggesting a far more complex evolutionary pattern and functional diversity than previously thought. In the future, along with the increasing numbers of Chiroptera species genomes available, new evolutionary patterns and functional divergence will be revealed, which can promote the further understanding of this animal group and the molecular mechanism of adaptive evolution.

  14. Comprehensive analysis of animal TALE homeobox genes: new conserved motifs and cases of accelerated evolution.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Krishanu; Bürglin, Thomas R

    2007-08-01

    TALE homeodomain proteins are an ancient subgroup within the group of homeodomain transcription factors that play important roles in animal, plant, and fungal development. We have extracted the full complement of TALE superclass homeobox genes from the genome projects of seven protostomes, seven deuterostomes, and Nematostella. This was supplemented with TALE homeobox genes from additional species and phylogenetic analyses were carried out with 276 sequences. We found 20 homeobox genes and 4 pseudogenes in humans, 21 genes in mouse, 8 genes in Drosophila, and 5 genes plus one truncated gene in Caenorhabditis elegans. Apart from the previously identified TALE classes MEIS, PBC, IRO, and TGIF, a novel class is identified, termed MOHAWK (MKX). Further, we show that the MEIS class can be divided into two families, PREP and MEIS. Prep genes have previously only been described in vertebrates but are lacking in Drosophila. Here we identify orthologues in other insect taxa as well as in the cnidarian Nematostella. In C. elegans, a divergent Prep protein has lost the homeodomain. Full-length multiple sequence alignment of the protostome and deuterostome sequences allowed us to identify several novel conserved motifs within the MKX, TGIF, and MEIS classes. Phylogenetic analyses revealed fast-evolving PBC class genes; in particular, some X-linked PBC genes in nematodes are subject to rapid evolution. In addition, several instances of gene loss were identified. In conclusion, our comprehensive analysis provides a defining framework for the classification of animal TALE homeobox genes and the understanding of their evolution.

  15. Accelerating Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation by differential evolution with self-adaptive randomized subspace sampling

    SciTech Connect

    Vrugt, Jasper A; Hyman, James M; Robinson, Bruce A; Higdon, Dave; Ter Braak, Cajo J F; Diks, Cees G H

    2008-01-01

    Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods have found widespread use in many fields of study to estimate the average properties of complex systems, and for posterior inference in a Bayesian framework. Existing theory and experiments prove convergence of well constructed MCMC schemes to the appropriate limiting distribution under a variety of different conditions. In practice, however this convergence is often observed to be disturbingly slow. This is frequently caused by an inappropriate selection of the proposal distribution used to generate trial moves in the Markov Chain. Here we show that significant improvements to the efficiency of MCMC simulation can be made by using a self-adaptive Differential Evolution learning strategy within a population-based evolutionary framework. This scheme, entitled DiffeRential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis or DREAM, runs multiple different chains simultaneously for global exploration, and automatically tunes the scale and orientation of the proposal distribution in randomized subspaces during the search. Ergodicity of the algorithm is proved, and various examples involving nonlinearity, high-dimensionality, and multimodality show that DREAM is generally superior to other adaptive MCMC sampling approaches. The DREAM scheme significantly enhances the applicability of MCMC simulation to complex, multi-modal search problems.

  16. Accelerated evolution of developmentally biased genes in the tetraphenic ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

    PubMed

    Schrader, Lukas; Helanterä, Heikki; Oettler, Jan

    2016-12-20

    Plastic gene expression underlies phenotypic plasticity and plastically expressed genes evolve under different selection regimes compared to ubiquitously expressed genes. Social insects are well-suited models to elucidate the evolutionary dynamics of plastic genes for their genetically and environmentally induced discrete polymorphisms. Here, we study the evolution of plastically expressed genes in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior - a species that produces two discrete male morphs in addition to the typical female polymorphism of workers and queens. Based on individual-level gene expression data from 28 early third instar larvae, we test whether the same evolutionary dynamics that pertain to plastically expressed genes in adults also pertain to genes with plastic expression during development. In order to quantify plasticity of gene expression over multiple contrasts, we develop a novel geometric measure. For genes expressed during development, we show that plasticity of expression is positively correlated with evolutionary rates. We furthermore find a strong correlation between expression plasticity and expression variation within morphs, suggesting a close link between active and passive plasticity of gene expression. Our results support the notion of relaxed selection and neutral processes as important drivers in the evolution of adaptive plasticity.

  17. Tolerance whole of genome doubling propagates chromosomal instability and accelerates cancer genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Burrell, Rebecca A; Rowan, Andrew J; Grönroos, Eva; Endesfelder, David; Joshi, Tejal; Mouradov, Dmitri; Gibbs, Peter; Ward, Robyn L.; Hawkins, Nicholas J.; Szallasi, Zoltan; Sieber, Oliver M.; Swanton, Charles

    2015-01-01

    The contribution of whole genome doubling to chromosomal instability (CIN) and tumour evolution is unclear. We use long-term culture of isogenic tetraploid cells from a stable diploid colon cancer progenitor to investigate how a genome-doubling event affects genome stability over time. Rare cells that survive genome doubling demonstrate increased tolerance to chromosome aberrations. Tetraploid cells do not exhibit increased frequencies of structural or numerical CIN per chromosome. However, the tolerant phenotype in tetraploid cells, coupled with a doubling of chromosome aberrations per cell, allows chromosome abnormalities to evolve specifically in tetraploids, recapitulating chromosomal changes in genomically complex colorectal tumours. Finally, a genome-doubling event is independently predictive of poor relapse-free survival in early stage disease in two independent cohorts in multivariate analyses (discovery data: HR=4.70, 95% CI 1.04-21.37, validation data: HR=1.59, 95% CI 1.05-2.42). These data highlight an important role for the tolerance of genome doubling in driving cancer genome evolution. PMID:24436049

  18. Molecular evolution of the mammalian ribosomal protein gene, RPS14.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, D D; Roufa, D J

    1991-07-01

    Ribosomal protein S14 genes (RPS14) in eukaryotic species from protozoa to primates exhibit dramatically different intron-exon structures yet share homologous polypeptide-coding sequences. To recognize common features of RPS14 gene architectures in closely related mammalian species and to evaluate similarities in their noncoding DNA sequences, we isolated the intron-containing S14 locus from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell DNA by using a PCR strategy and compared it with human RPS14. We found that rodent and primate S14 genes are composed of identical protein-coding exons interrupted by introns at four conserved DNA sites. However, the structures of corresponding CHO and human RPS14 introns differ significantly. Nonetheless, individual intron splice donor, splice acceptor, and upstream flanking motifs have been conserved within mammalian S14 homologues as well as within RPS14 gene fragments PCR amplified from other vertebrate genera (birds and bony fish). Our data indicate that noncoding, intronic DNA sequences within highly conserved, single-copy ribosomal protein genes are useful molecular landmarks for phylogenetic analysis of closely related vertebrate species.

  19. Mesoamerican tree squirrels evolution (Rodentia: Sciuridae): a molecular phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Federico; Gutierrez-Espeleta, Gustavo

    2014-06-01

    The tribe Sciurini comprehends the genera Sciurus, Syntheosiurus, Microsciurus, Tamiasciurus and Rheinthrosciurus. The phylogenetic relationships within Sciurus have been only partially done, and the relationship between Mesoamerican species remains unsolved. The phylogenetic relationships of the Mesoamerican tree squirrels were examined using molecular data. Sequence data publicly available (12S, 16S, CYTB mitochondrial genes and IRBP nuclear gene) and cytochrome B gene sequences of four previously not sampled Mesoamerican Sciurus species were analyzed under a Bayesian multispecies coalescence model. Phylogenetic analysis of the multilocus data set showed the neotropical tree squirrels as a monophyletic clade. The genus Sciurus was paraphyletic due to the inclusion of Microsciurus species (M. alfari and M. flaviventer). The South American species S. aestuans and S. stramineus showed a sister taxa relationship. Single locus analysis based on the most compact and complete data set (i.e. CYTB gene sequences), supported the monophyly of the South American species and recovered a Mesoamerican clade including S. aureogaster, S. granatensis and S. variegatoides. These results corroborated previous findings based on cladistic analysis of cranial and post-cranial characters. Our data support a close relationship between Mesoamerican Sciurus species and a sister relationship with South American species, and corroborates previous findings in relation to the polyphyly of Microsciurus and Syntheosciurus paraphyly.

  20. Two Types of Molecular Evolution. Evidence from Studies of Interspecific Hybridization

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, A. C.; Maxson, L. R.; Sarich, V. M.

    1974-01-01

    To assess the significance of macromolecular sequence differences among species, we compared the serum albumins of 81 pairs of vertebrate species capable of producing viable hybrids. Micro-complement fixation experiments showed that the average difference between the albumins within such pairs was only 3 immunological distance units for placental mammals (31 pairs), but 36 units for frogs (50 pairs). Albumin immunological distance is strongly correlated with other measures of genetic distance, including those made with DNA annealing techniques. It therefore seems likely that mammalian species pairs capable of hybridization are far more similar at the macromolecular sequence level than is the case for most hybridizable frogs. We think the most likely explanation for the marked molecular restriction on hybridization among mammals is that the ratio of regulatory evolution to protein evolution is higher for mammals than for frogs. Mammals may have experienced unusually rapid regulatory evolution; indeed, this could be the factor responsible for their unusually rapid anatomical evolution. Images PMID:4212492

  1. Parasitic plants have increased rates of molecular evolution across all three genomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Theoretical models and experimental evidence suggest that rates of molecular evolution could be raised in parasitic organisms compared to non-parasitic taxa. Parasitic plants provide an ideal test for these predictions, as there are at least a dozen independent origins of the parasitic lifestyle in angiosperms. Studies of a number of parasitic plant lineages have suggested faster rates of molecular evolution, but the results of some studies have been mixed. Comparative analysis of all parasitic plant lineages, including sequences from all three genomes, is needed to examine the generality of the relationship between rates of molecular evolution and parasitism in plants. Results We analysed DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial, nuclear and chloroplast genomes for 12 independent evolutionary origins of parasitism in angiosperms. We demonstrated that parasitic lineages have a faster rate of molecular evolution than their non-parasitic relatives in sequences for all three genomes, for both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions. Conclusions Our results prove that raised rates of molecular evolution are a general feature of parasitic plants, not confined to a few taxa or specific genes. We discuss possible causes for this relationship, including increased positive selection associated with host-parasite arms races, relaxed selection, reduced population size or repeated bottlenecks, increased mutation rates, and indirect causal links with generation time and body size. We find no evidence that faster rates are due to smaller effective populations sizes or changes in selection pressure. Instead, our results suggest that parasitic plants have a higher mutation rate than their close non-parasitic relatives. This may be due to a direct connection, where some aspect of the parasitic lifestyle drives the evolution of raised mutation rates. Alternatively, this pattern may be driven by an indirect connection between rates and parasitism: for example, parasitic

  2. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era.

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Scharff, Nikolaj; Coddington, Jonathan A; Szüts, Tamas; Wenzel, John W; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2009-03-31

    The evolutionary diversification of spiders is attributed to spectacular innovations in silk. Spiders are unique in synthesizing many different kinds of silk, and using silk for a variety of ecological functions throughout their lives, particularly to make prey-catching webs. Here, we construct a broad higher-level phylogeny of spiders combining molecular data with traditional morphological and behavioral characters. We use this phylogeny to test the hypothesis that the spider orb web evolved only once. We then examine spider diversification in relation to different web architectures and silk use. We find strong support for a single origin of orb webs, implying a major shift in the spinning of capture silk and repeated loss or transformation of orb webs. We show that abandonment of costly cribellate capture silk correlates with the 2 major diversification events in spiders (1). Replacement of cribellate silk by aqueous silk glue may explain the greater diversity of modern orb-weaving spiders (Araneoidea) compared with cribellate orb-weaving spiders (Deinopoidea) (2). Within the "RTA clade," which is the sister group to orb-weaving spiders and contains half of all spider diversity, >90% of species richness is associated with repeated loss of cribellate silk and abandonment of prey capture webs. Accompanying cribellum loss in both groups is a release from substrate-constrained webs, whether by aerially suspended webs, or by abandoning webs altogether. These behavioral shifts in silk and web production by spiders thus likely played a key role in the dramatic evolutionary success and ecological dominance of spiders as predators of insects.

  3. Molecular systematics and evolution of the Cyanocorax jays.

    PubMed

    Bonaccorso, Elisa; Peterson, A Townsend; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G; Fleischer, Robert C

    2010-03-01

    Phylogenetic relationships were studied in the genus Cyanocorax (Aves: Corvidae) and related genera, Psilorhinus and Calocitta, a diverse group of New World jays distributed from the southern United States south to Argentina. Although the ecology and behavior of some species in the group have been studied extensively, lack of a molecular phylogeny has precluded rigorous interpretations in an evolutionary framework. Given the diverse combinations of plumage coloration, size, and morphology, the taxonomy of the group has been inconsistent and understanding of biogeographic patterns problematic. Moreover, plumage similarity between two geographically disjuct species, the Tufted jay (Cyanocorax dickeyi) from western Mexico and the White-tailed jay (C. mystacalis) from western Ecuador and Peru, has puzzled ornithologists for decades. Here, a phylogeny of all species in the three genera is presented, based on study of two mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. Phylogenetic trees revealed the non-monophyly of Cyanocorax, and the division of the whole assemblage in two groups: "Clade A" containing Psilorhinus morio, both species in Calocitta,Cyanocorax violaceus, C. caeruleus, C. cristatellus, and C. cyanomelas, and "Clade B" consisting of the remaining species in Cyanocorax. Relationships among species in Clade A were ambiguous and, in general, not well resolved. Within Clade B, analyses revealed the monophyly of the "Cissilopha" jays and showed no evidence for a sister relationship between C. mystacalis and C. dickeyi. The phylogenetic complexity of lineages in the group suggests several complications for the understanding biogeographic patterns, as well as for proposing a taxonomy that is consistent with morphological variation. Although multiple taxonomic arrangements are possible, recommendations are for recognizing only one genus, Cyanocorax, with Psilorhinus and Calocitta as synonyms.

  4. Positive selection drives accelerated evolution of mosquito salivary genes associated with blood-feeding

    PubMed Central

    Arcà, Bruno; Struchiner, Cláudio J.; Pham, Van M.; Sferra, Gabriella; Lombardo, Fabrizio; Pombi, Marco; Ribeiro, José M. C.

    2013-01-01

    Saliva of bloodsucking animals contains dozens to hundreds of proteins that counteract their hosts’ hemostasis, inflammation, and immunity. It was previously observed that salivary proteins involved in hematophagy are much more divergent in their primary sequence than those of housekeeping function, when comparisons were made between closely related organisms. While this pattern of evolution could result from relaxed selection or drift, it could alternatively be the result of positive selection driven by the intense pressure of the host immune system. We investigated the polymorphism of five different genes associated with blood feeding in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae and obtained evidence in four genes for sites with signatures of positive selection. These results add salivary gland genes from bloodsucking arthropods to the small list of genes driven by positive selection. PMID:24237399

  5. Accelerating the Use of Molecular Modeling in the High School Classroom with VMD Lite

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lundquist, Karl; Herndon, Conner; Harty, Tyson H.; Gumbart, James C.

    2016-01-01

    It is often difficult for students to develop an intuition about molecular processes, which occur in a realm far different from day-to-day life. For example, thermal fluctuations take on hurricane-like proportions at the molecular scale. Students need a way to visualize realistic depictions of molecular processes to appreciate them. To this end,…

  6. DNA Re-EvolutioN: a game for learning molecular genetics and evolution.

    PubMed

    Miralles, Laura; Moran, Paloma; Dopico, Eduardo; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Evolution is a main concept in biology, but not many students understand how it works. In this article we introduce the game DNA Re-EvolutioN as an active learning tool that uses genetic concepts (DNA structure, transcription and translation, mutations, natural selection, etc.) as playing rules. Students will learn about molecular evolution while playing a game that mixes up theory and entertainment. The game can be easily adapted to different educational levels. The main goal of this play is to arrive at the end of the game with the longest protein. Students play with pawns and dices, a board containing hypothetical events (mutations, selection) that happen to molecules, "Evolution cards" with indications for DNA mutations, prototypes of a DNA and a mRNA chain with colored "nucleotides" (plasticine balls), and small pieces simulating t-RNA with aminoacids that will serve to construct a "protein" based on the DNA chain. Students will understand how changes in DNA affect the final protein product and may be subjected to positive or negative selection, using a didactic tool funnier than classical theory lectures and easier than molecular laboratory experiments: a flexible and feasible game to learn and enjoy molecular evolution at no-cost. The game was tested by majors and non-majors in genetics from 13 different countries and evaluated with pre- and post-tests obtaining very positive results.

  7. A New Take on John Maynard Smith's Concept of Protein Space for Understanding Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hartl, Daniel L.

    2016-01-01

    Much of the public lacks a proper understanding of Darwinian evolution, a problem that can be addressed with new learning and teaching approaches to be implemented both inside the classroom and in less formal settings. Few analogies have been as successful in communicating the basics of molecular evolution as John Maynard Smith’s protein space analogy (1970), in which he compared protein evolution to the transition between the terms WORD and GENE, changing one letter at a time to yield a different, meaningful word (in his example, the preferred path was WORD → WORE → GORE → GONE → GENE). Using freely available computer science tools (Google Books Ngram Viewer), we offer an update to Maynard Smith’s analogy and explain how it might be developed into an exploratory and pedagogical device for understanding the basics of molecular evolution and, more specifically, the adaptive landscape concept. We explain how the device works through several examples and provide resources that might facilitate its use in multiple settings, ranging from public engagement activities to formal instruction in evolution, population genetics, and computational biology. PMID:27736867

  8. A New Take on John Maynard Smith's Concept of Protein Space for Understanding Molecular Evolution.

    PubMed

    Ogbunugafor, C Brandon; Hartl, Daniel L

    2016-10-01

    Much of the public lacks a proper understanding of Darwinian evolution, a problem that can be addressed with new learning and teaching approaches to be implemented both inside the classroom and in less formal settings. Few analogies have been as successful in communicating the basics of molecular evolution as John Maynard Smith's protein space analogy (1970), in which he compared protein evolution to the transition between the terms WORD and GENE, changing one letter at a time to yield a different, meaningful word (in his example, the preferred path was WORD → WORE → GORE → GONE → GENE). Using freely available computer science tools (Google Books Ngram Viewer), we offer an update to Maynard Smith's analogy and explain how it might be developed into an exploratory and pedagogical device for understanding the basics of molecular evolution and, more specifically, the adaptive landscape concept. We explain how the device works through several examples and provide resources that might facilitate its use in multiple settings, ranging from public engagement activities to formal instruction in evolution, population genetics, and computational biology.

  9. Modelling the chemical evolution of molecular clouds as a function of metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penteado, E. M.; Cuppen, H. M.; Rocha-Pinto, H. J.

    2014-04-01

    The Galaxy is in continuous elemental evolution. Since new elements produced by dying stars are delivered to the interstellar medium, the formation of new generations of stars and planetary systems is influenced by this metal enrichment. We aim to study the role of the metallicity on the gas phase chemistry of the interstellar medium. Using a system of coupled ordinary differential equations to model the chemical reactions, we simulate the evolution of the abundance of molecules in the gas phase for different initial interstellar elemental compositions. These varying initial elemental compositions consider the change in the `elemental abundances' predicted by a self-consistent model of the elemental evolution of the Galaxy. As far as we are aware, this is the first attempt to combine elemental evolution of the Galaxy and chemical evolution of molecular clouds. The metallicity was found to have a strong effect on the overall gas phase composition. With decreasing metallicity, the number of long carbon chains was found to increase, the time-scale on which small molecular species are increases, and the main form of oxygen changed from O and CO to O2. These effects were found to be mainly due to the change in electron, H_3^+, and atomic oxygen abundance.

  10. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomáš; Cramer, Emily R A; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje; Weir, Jason T; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2015-04-01

    Rapid diversification of sexual traits is frequently attributed to sexual selection, though explicit tests of this hypothesis remain limited. Spermatozoa exhibit remarkable variability in size and shape, and studies report a correlation between sperm morphology (sperm length and shape) and sperm competition risk or female reproductive tract morphology. However, whether postcopulatory processes (e.g., sperm competition and cryptic female choice) influence the speed of evolutionary diversification in sperm form is unknown. Using passerine birds, we quantified evolutionary rates of sperm length divergence among lineages (i.e., species pairs) and determined whether these rates varied with the level of sperm competition (estimated as relative testes mass). We found that relative testes mass was significantly and positively associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence in sperm midpiece and flagellum lengths, as well as total sperm length. In contrast, there was no association between relative testes mass and rates of evolutionary divergence in sperm head size, and models suggested that head length is evolutionarily constrained. Our results are the first to show an association between the strength of sperm competition and the speed of sperm evolution, and suggest that postcopulatory sexual selection promotes rapid evolutionary diversification of sperm morphology.

  11. A porous proton-relaying metal-organic framework material that accelerates electrochemical hydrogen evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hod, Idan; Deria, Pravas; Bury, Wojciech; Mondloch, Joseph E.; Kung, Chung-Wei; So, Monica; Sampson, Matthew D.; Peters, Aaron W.; Kubiak, Cliff P.; Farha, Omar K.; Hupp, Joseph T.

    2015-01-01

    The availability of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts is of high importance for solar fuel technologies aimed at reducing future carbon emissions. Even though Pt electrodes are excellent HER electrocatalysts, commercialization of large-scale hydrogen production technology requires finding an equally efficient, low-cost, earth-abundant alternative. Here, high porosity, metal-organic framework (MOF) films have been used as scaffolds for the deposition of a Ni-S electrocatalyst. Compared with an MOF-free Ni-S, the resulting hybrid materials exhibit significantly enhanced performance for HER from aqueous acid, decreasing the kinetic overpotential by more than 200 mV at a benchmark current density of 10 mA cm−2. Although the initial aim was to improve electrocatalytic activity by greatly boosting the active area of the Ni-S catalyst, the performance enhancements instead were found to arise primarily from the ability of the proton-conductive MOF to favourably modify the immediate chemical environment of the sulfide-based catalyst. PMID:26365764

  12. Accelerated Evolution of Conserved Noncoding Sequences in theHuman Genome

    SciTech Connect

    Prambhakar, Shyam; Noonan, James P.; Paabo, Svante; Rubin, EdwardM.

    2006-07-06

    Genomic comparisons between human and distant, non-primatemammals are commonly used to identify cis-regulatory elements based onconstrained sequence evolution. However, these methods fail to detect"cryptic" functional elements, which are too weakly conserved amongmammals to distinguish from nonfunctional DNA. To address this problem,we explored the potential of deep intra-primate sequence comparisons. Wesequenced the orthologs of 558 kb of human genomic sequence, coveringmultiple loci involved in cholesterol homeostasis, in 6 nonhumanprimates. Our analysis identified 6 noncoding DNA elements displayingsignificant conservation among primates, but undetectable in more distantcomparisons. In vitro and in vivo tests revealed that at least three ofthese 6 elements have regulatory function. Notably, the mouse orthologsof these three functional human sequences had regulatory activity despitetheir lack of significant sequence conservation, indicating that they arecryptic ancestral cis-regulatory elements. These regulatory elementscould still be detected in a smaller set of three primate speciesincluding human, rhesus and marmoset. Since the human and rhesus genomesequences are already available, and the marmoset genome is activelybeing sequenced, the primate-specific conservation analysis describedhere can be applied in the near future on a whole-genome scale, tocomplement the annotation provided by more distant speciescomparisons.

  13. A porous proton-relaying metal-organic framework material that accelerates electrochemical hydrogen evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Hod, Idan; Deria, Pravas; Bury, Wojciech; Mondloch, Joseph E.; Kung, Chung-Wei; So, Monica; Sampson, Matthew D.; Peters, Aaron W.; Kubiak, Cliff P.; Farha, Omar K.; Hupp, Joseph T.

    2015-09-14

    The availability of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts is of high importance for solar fuel technologies aimed at reducing future carbon emissions. Even though Pt electrodes are excellent HER electrocatalysts, commercialization of large-scale hydrogen production technology requires finding an equally efficient, low-cost, earth-abundant alternative. Here, high porosity, metal-organic framework (MOF) films have been used as scaffolds for the deposition of a Ni-S electrocatalyst. Compared with an MOF-free Ni-S, the resulting hybrid materials exhibit significantly enhanced performance for HER from aqueous acid, decreasing the kinetic overpotential by more than 200 mV at a benchmark current density of 10 mA cm−2. In conclusion, although the initial aim was to improve electrocatalytic activity by greatly boosting the active area of the Ni-S catalyst, the performance enhancements instead were found to arise primarily from the ability of the proton-conductive MOF to favourably modify the immediate chemical environment of the sulfide-based catalyst.

  14. A porous proton-relaying metal-organic framework material that accelerates electrochemical hydrogen evolution

    DOE PAGES

    Hod, Idan; Deria, Pravas; Bury, Wojciech; ...

    2015-09-14

    The availability of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts is of high importance for solar fuel technologies aimed at reducing future carbon emissions. Even though Pt electrodes are excellent HER electrocatalysts, commercialization of large-scale hydrogen production technology requires finding an equally efficient, low-cost, earth-abundant alternative. Here, high porosity, metal-organic framework (MOF) films have been used as scaffolds for the deposition of a Ni-S electrocatalyst. Compared with an MOF-free Ni-S, the resulting hybrid materials exhibit significantly enhanced performance for HER from aqueous acid, decreasing the kinetic overpotential by more than 200 mV at a benchmark current density of 10 mA cm−2. In conclusion, althoughmore » the initial aim was to improve electrocatalytic activity by greatly boosting the active area of the Ni-S catalyst, the performance enhancements instead were found to arise primarily from the ability of the proton-conductive MOF to favourably modify the immediate chemical environment of the sulfide-based catalyst.« less

  15. A porous proton-relaying metal-organic framework material that accelerates electrochemical hydrogen evolution.

    PubMed

    Hod, Idan; Deria, Pravas; Bury, Wojciech; Mondloch, Joseph E; Kung, Chung-Wei; So, Monica; Sampson, Matthew D; Peters, Aaron W; Kubiak, Cliff P; Farha, Omar K; Hupp, Joseph T

    2015-09-14

    The availability of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts is of high importance for solar fuel technologies aimed at reducing future carbon emissions. Even though Pt electrodes are excellent HER electrocatalysts, commercialization of large-scale hydrogen production technology requires finding an equally efficient, low-cost, earth-abundant alternative. Here, high porosity, metal-organic framework (MOF) films have been used as scaffolds for the deposition of a Ni-S electrocatalyst. Compared with an MOF-free Ni-S, the resulting hybrid materials exhibit significantly enhanced performance for HER from aqueous acid, decreasing the kinetic overpotential by more than 200 mV at a benchmark current density of 10 mA cm(-2). Although the initial aim was to improve electrocatalytic activity by greatly boosting the active area of the Ni-S catalyst, the performance enhancements instead were found to arise primarily from the ability of the proton-conductive MOF to favourably modify the immediate chemical environment of the sulfide-based catalyst.

  16. A porous proton-relaying metal-organic framework material that accelerates electrochemical hydrogen evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hod, Idan; Deria, Pravas; Bury, Wojciech; Mondloch, Joseph E.; Kung, Chung-Wei; So, Monica; Sampson, Matthew D.; Peters, Aaron W.; Kubiak, Cliff P.; Farha, Omar K.; Hupp, Joseph T.

    2015-09-01

    The availability of efficient hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts is of high importance for solar fuel technologies aimed at reducing future carbon emissions. Even though Pt electrodes are excellent HER electrocatalysts, commercialization of large-scale hydrogen production technology requires finding an equally efficient, low-cost, earth-abundant alternative. Here, high porosity, metal-organic framework (MOF) films have been used as scaffolds for the deposition of a Ni-S electrocatalyst. Compared with an MOF-free Ni-S, the resulting hybrid materials exhibit significantly enhanced performance for HER from aqueous acid, decreasing the kinetic overpotential by more than 200 mV at a benchmark current density of 10 mA cm-2. Although the initial aim was to improve electrocatalytic activity by greatly boosting the active area of the Ni-S catalyst, the performance enhancements instead were found to arise primarily from the ability of the proton-conductive MOF to favourably modify the immediate chemical environment of the sulfide-based catalyst.

  17. Accelerating the use of molecular modeling in the high school classroom with VMD Lite.

    PubMed

    Lundquist, Karl; Herndon, Conner; Harty, Tyson H; Gumbart, James C

    2016-01-01

    It is often difficult for students to develop an intuition about molecular processes, which occur in a realm far different from day-to-day life. For example, thermal fluctuations take on hurricane-like proportions at the molecular scale. Students need a way to visualize realistic depictions of molecular processes to appreciate them. To this end, we have developed a simplified graphical interface to the widely used molecular visualization and analysis tool Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) called VMD lite. We demonstrate the use of VMD lite through a module on diffusion and the hydrophobic effect as they relate to membrane formation. Trajectories from molecular dynamics simulations, which students can interact with freely, illustrate the dynamical behavior of lipid molecules and water. VMD lite was tested by ∼70 students with overall positive reception. Remaining deficiencies in conceptual understanding were noted, however, and the module has been revised in response.

  18. 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.

  19. Insulin adsorption on crystalline SiO2: Comparison between polar and nonpolar surfaces using accelerated molecular-dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nejad, Marjan A.; Mücksch, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M.

    2017-02-01

    Adsorption of insulin on polar and nonpolar surfaces of crystalline SiO2 (cristobalite and α -quartz) is studied using molecular dynamics simulation. Acceleration techniques are used in order to sample adsorption phase space efficiently and to identify realistic adsorption conformations. We find major differences between the polar and nonpolar surfaces. Electrostatic interactions govern the adsorption on polar surfaces and can be described by the alignment of the protein dipole with the surface dipole; hence spreading of the protein on the surface is irrelevant. On nonpolar surfaces, on the other hand, van-der-Waals interaction dominates, inducing surface spreading of the protein.

  20. The Molecular Basis of Evolution and Disease: A Cold War Alliance.

    PubMed

    Suárez-Díaz, Edna

    2017-03-28

    This paper extends previous arguments against the assumption that the study of variation at the molecular level was instigated with a view to solving an internal conflict between the balance and classical schools of population genetics. It does so by focusing on the intersection of basic research in protein chemistry and the molecular approach to disease with the enactment of global health campaigns during the Cold War period. The paper connects advances in research on protein structure and function as reflected in Christian Anfinsen´s The molecular basis of evolution, with a political reading of Emilé Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling's identification of molecular disease and evolution. Beyond atomic fallout, these advances constituted a rationale for the promotion of genetic surveys of human populations in the Third World, in connection with international health programs. Light is shed not only on the experimental roots of the molecular challenge but on the broader geopolitical context where the rising role of biomedicine and public health (particularly the malaria eradication campaigns) had an impact on evolutionary biology.

  1. Morphological and Molecular Evolution Are Not Linked in Lamellodiscus (Plathyhelminthes, Monogenea)

    PubMed Central

    Poisot, Timothée; Verneau, Olivier; Desdevises, Yves

    2011-01-01

    Lamellodiscus Johnston & Tiegs 1922 (Monogenea, Diplectanidae) is a genus of common parasites on the gills of sparid fishes. Here we show that this genus is probably undergoing a fast molecular diversification, as reflected by the important genetic variability observed within three molecular markers (partial nuclear 18S rDNA, Internal Transcribed Spacer 1, and mitonchondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I). Using an updated phylogeny of this genus, we show that molecular and morphological evolution are weakly correlated, and that most of the morphologically defined taxonomical units are not consistent with the molecular data. We suggest that Lamellodiscus morphology is probably constrained by strong environmental (host-induced) pressure, and discuss why this result can apply to other taxa. Genetic variability within nuclear 18S and mitochondrial COI genes are compared for several monogenean genera, as this measure may reflect the level of diversification within a genus. Overall our results suggest that cryptic speciation events may occur within Lamellodiscus, and discuss the links between morphological and molecular evolution. PMID:22022582

  2. Evolution of molecular clouds in the starburst galaxy NGC 1808 revealed with ALMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salak, D.; Nakai, N.; Miyamoto, Y.

    2015-05-01

    We present large-field CO(1-0) observations of the starburst galaxy NGC 1808 conducted with ALMA. High-resolution (˜100 pc) images reveal a high concentration of molecular gas in the nucleus, 500-pc ring, gas-rich bar, and spiral arms. We derived the bar pattern speed and found an offset between CO and Hα emission peaks in the offset ridges along the bar. The results indicate that the evolution of molecular clouds on the galactic scale is driven by bar dynamics.

  3. Development of a Dinitrosyl Iron Complex Molecular Catalyst into a Hydrogen Evolution Cathode.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Tzung-Wen; Lu, Tsai-Te; Wu, Ying-Hao; Yu, Yi-Ju; Chu, Li-Kang; Liaw, Wen-Feng

    2015-12-01

    Despite extensive efforts, the electrocatalytic reduction of water using homogeneous/heterogeneous Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, W, and Mo complexes remains challenging because of issues involving the development of efficient, recyclable, stable, and aqueous-compatible catalysts. In this study, evolution of the de novo designed dinitrosyl iron complex DNIC-PMDTA from a molecular catalyst into a solid-state hydrogen evolution cathode, considering all the parameters to fulfill the electronic and structural requirements of each step of the catalytic cycle, is demonstrated. DNIC-PMDTA reveals electrocatalytic reduction of water at neutral and basic media, whereas its deposit on electrode preserves exceptional longevity, 139 h. This discovery will initiate a systematic study on the assembly of [Fe(NO)2] motif into current collector for mass production of H2, whereas the efficiency remains tailored by its molecular precursor [(L)Fe(NO)2].

  4. Mosaic evolution of neural development in anurans: acceleration of spinal cord development in the direct developing frog Eleutherodactylus coqui.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Gerhard

    2003-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that spinal cord development in direct developing frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus, which have evolutionarily lost the tadpole stage, differs from that in biphasically developing anurans (with the larval and the adult stage separated by metamorphosis). The present study of spinal cord development in Eleutherodactylus coqui provides additional information about neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation and growth analyzed by immunostaining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), in situ hybridization for NeuroD, and morphometric measurements in various developmental stages. Furthermore, spinal cord development in the frogs Discoglossus pictus, Xenopus laevis, and Physalaemus pustulosus, which belong to different anuran families but all exhibit biphasic development, was similarly analyzed. This comparative analysis allows inference of the ancestral anuran pattern of spinal cord development and how it has been modified during the evolution of Eleutherodactylus. All biphasically developing frogs analyzed share a similar pattern of spinal cord development, suggesting that this is ancestral for anurans: after neural tube closure, levels of proliferation and neurogenesis in the spinal cord were low throughout embryogenesis until they were upregulated drastically at early larval stages followed by development of the lateral motor columns. In contrast, no such quiescent embryonic period exists in E. coqui, where rapid growth, high levels of proliferation and neurogenesis, and early formation of lateral motor columns occur shortly after neural tube closure, while other parts of the central nervous system develop more slowly. Thus, spinal cord development has been accelerated during the evolution of Eleutherodactylus relative to the development of other parts of the central nervous system, probably related to the precocious development of limbs in this lineage.

  5. Evolution of land plants: insights from molecular studies on basal lineages.

    PubMed

    Ishizaki, Kimitsune

    2017-01-01

    The invasion of the land by plants, or terrestrialization, was one of the most critical events in the history of the Earth. The evolution of land plants included significant transformations in body plans: the emergence of a multicellular diploid sporophyte, transition from gametophyte-dominant to sporophyte-dominant life histories, and development of many specialized tissues and organs, such as stomata, vascular tissues, roots, leaves, seeds, and flowers. Recent advances in molecular genetics in two model basal plants, bryophytes Physcomitrella patens and Marchantia polymorpha, have begun to provide answers to several key questions regarding land plant evolution. This paper discusses the evolution of the genes and regulatory mechanisms that helped drive such significant morphological innovations among land-based plants.

  6. Accelerated Evolution of Schistosome Genes Coding for Proteins Located at the Host–Parasite Interface

    PubMed Central

    Philippsen, Gisele S.; Wilson, R. Alan; DeMarco, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Study of proteins located at the host–parasite interface in schistosomes might provide clues about the mechanisms utilized by the parasite to escape the host immune system attack. Micro-exon gene (MEG) protein products and venom allergen-like (VAL) proteins have been shown to be present in schistosome secretions or associated with glands, which led to the hypothesis that they are important components in the molecular interaction of the parasite with the host. Phylogenetic and structural analysis of genes and their transcripts in these two classes shows that recent species-specific expansion of gene number for these families occurred separately in three different species of schistosomes. Enrichment of transposable elements in MEG and VAL genes in Schistosoma mansoni provides a credible mechanism for preferential expansion of gene numbers for these families. Analysis of the ratio between synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) in the comparison between schistosome orthologs for the two classes of genes reveals significantly higher values when compared with a set of a control genes coding for secreted proteins, and for proteins previously localized in the tegument. Additional analyses of paralog genes indicate that exposure of the protein to the definitive host immune system is a determining factor leading to the higher than usual dN/dS values in those genes. The observation that two genes encoding S. mansoni vaccine candidate proteins, known to be exposed at the parasite surface, also display similar evolutionary dynamics suggests a broad response of the parasite to evolutionary pressure imposed by the definitive host immune system. PMID:25567667

  7. Ecological and Lineage-Specific Factors Drive the Molecular Evolution of Rhodopsin in Cichlid Fishes.

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Henning, Frederico; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2015-11-01

    The visual system in the colorful cichlid fishes from the African great lakes is believed to be important for their adaptive radiations. However, few studies have attempted to compare the visual system of radiating cichlid lineages with that of cichlids that have not undergone recent radiations. One such study published in this journal (Schott RK, Refvik SP, Hauser FE, López-Fernández H, Chang BSW. 2014. Divergent positive selection in rhodopsin from lake and riverine cichlid fishes. Mol Biol Evol. 31:1149-1165) found divergent selection on rhodopsin between African lacustrine and riverine cichlid species and riverine Neotropical cichlids, concluding that ecology drives the molecular evolution of this opsin. Here, we expand this analysis by incorporating rhodopsin sequences from Neotropical lacustrine cichlids and show that both ecology and phylogeny are important drivers of the molecular evolution of rhodopsin in cichlids. We found little overlap of sites under selection between African and Neotropical lineages and a faster rate of molecular evolution in African compared with Neotropical cichlids. These results support the notion that genetic or population genetic features particular to African cichlids contributed to their radiations.

  8. Five molecular markers reveal extensive morphological homoplasy and reticulate evolution in the Malva alliance (Malvaceae).

    PubMed

    Escobar García, Pedro; Schönswetter, Peter; Fuertes Aguilar, Javier; Nieto Feliner, Gonzalo; Schneeweiss, Gerald M

    2009-02-01

    The Malva alliance is a well-defined group with extensive morphological homoplasy. As a result, the relationships among the taxa as well as the evolution of morphological traits have remained elusive and the traditional classifications are highly artificial. Using five molecular markers (nuclear ITS, plastid matK plus trnK, ndhF, trnL-trnF, psbA-trnH), we arrived at a phylogenetic hypothesis of this group, the genera Alcea, Althaea and Malvalthaea being studied here for the first time with molecular data. Althaea and, in particular, Lavatera and Malva are highly polyphyletic as currently circumscribed, because their diagnostic characters, the number and degree of fusion of the epicalyx bracts, evolve in a highly homoplasious manner. In contrast, fruit morphology largely agrees with the molecularly delimited groups. Hybrid origins confirmed for the genus Malvalthaea and for Lavatera mauritanica and hybridization in the group of ruderal small-flowered mallows underline the importance of reticulate evolution in shaping the history of this group and complicating the interpretation of morphological evolution.

  9. A new model for biological effects of radiation and the driven force of molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Takahiro; Manabe, Yuichiro; Nakajima, Hiroo; Tsunoyama, Yuichi; Bando, Masako

    We proposed a new mathematical model to estimate biological effects of radiation, which we call Whack-A-Mole (WAM) model. A special feature of WAM model is that it involves the dose rate of radiation as a key ingredient. We succeeded to reproduce the experimental data of various species concerning the radiation induced mutation frequencies. From the analysis of the mega-mouse experiments, we obtained the mutation rate per base-pair per year for mice which is consistent with the so-called molecular clock in evolution genetics, 10-9 mutation/base-pair/year. Another important quantity is the equivalent dose rate for the whole spontaneous mutation, deff. The value of deff for mice is 1.1*10-3 Gy/hour which is much larger than the dose rate of natural radiation (10- (6 - 7) Gy/hour) by several orders of magnitude. We also analyzed Drosophila data and obtained essentially the same numbers. This clearly indicates that the natural radiation is not the dominant driving force of the molecular evolution, but we should look for other factors, such as miscopy of DNA in duplication process. We believe this is the first quantitative proof of the small contribution of the natural radiation in the molecular evolution.

  10. E Pluribus Unum: 50 Years of Research, Millions of Viruses, and One Goal—Tailored Acceleration of AAV Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, Dirk; Zolotukhin, Sergei

    2015-01-01

    Fifty years ago, a Science paper by Atchison et al. reported a newly discovered virus that would soon become known as adeno-associated virus (AAV) and that would subsequently emerge as one of the most versatile and most auspicious vectors for human gene therapy. A large part of its attraction stems from the ease with which the viral capsid can be engineered for particle retargeting to cell types of choice, evasion from neutralizing antibodies or other desirable properties. Particularly powerful and in the focus of the current review are high-throughput methods aimed at expanding the repertoire of AAV vectors by means of directed molecular evolution, such as random mutagenesis, DNA family shuffling, in silico reconstruction of ancestral capsids, or peptide display. Here, unlike the wealth of prior reviews on this topic, we especially emphasize and critically discuss the practical aspects of the different procedures that affect the ultimate outcome, including diversification protocols, combinatorial library complexity, and selection strategies. Our overall aim is to provide general guidance that should help users at any level, from novice to expert, to safely navigate through the rugged space of directed AAV evolution while avoiding the pitfalls that are associated with these challenging but promising technologies. PMID:26388463

  11. Recent acceleration of ice loss in the Northern Patagonia Icefield based on an updated decennial evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López, P.; Casassa, G.

    2011-12-01

    Ice elevation changes of the Northern Patagonia Icefield (NPI) were analyzed by comparing three Digital Elevation Models (DEM) corresponding to 1975 (constructed based on topographic maps), the SRTM DEM of 2000 yr and a SPOT 5 DEM of 2005. In addition, the glacier length fluctuations and the surface area evolution between 2001 and 2011 of 25 glaciers of the NPI were studied: the information extracted from the Landsat ETM+ satellite image of 11 March 2001 was compared to the measurements performed based on the Landsat ETM+ satellite image of 19 February 2011. From a global point of view, the majority of the studied glaciers thinned, retreated and lost surface between 2001 and 2011, only few glaciers (Leones, Nef, Pared Sur and Soler) located on the eastern side of the NPI have been stable. Glaciers located on the western side of the NPI suffered a stronger wasting compared to the glaciers located on the eastern side. Overall, over the ablation areas of the NPI (below 1150 m a.s.l.) a more rapid thinning of 2.6 m yr-1 occurred between 2000 and 2005 yr compared to the period 1975-2000, in which a mean thinning of 1.7 m yr-1 was measured for the same zones of the NPI. For the whole period (1975-2005) the most important thinning of the ablation areas has been estimated for HPN-1 Glacier (4.4 m yr-1) followed by Benito (3.4 m yr-1), Fraenkel (2.4 m yr-1), Gualas (2.1 m yr-1) and Acodado glaciers, all of them located on the western side of the NPI. Between 2001 and 2011, a noteworthy retreat of 1.9 km was experienced by Gualas Glacier and by Reichert Glacier with 1.6 km, both located on the north-western side of the NPI. On the south-western side of the NPI, during the same decennia, Steffen Glacier experienced a remarkable retreat of 1.6 km as well. During the 2001-2011 period, Steffen Glacier more than doubled its rate of retreat (compared to the 1979-2001 period) and experienced the disintegration of its main front as well as a lateral tongue that retreated 3.1 km. The

  12. Sodium channel genes and the evolution of diversity in communication signals of electric fishes: convergent molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Zakon, Harold H; Lu, Ying; Zwickl, Derrick J; Hillis, David M

    2006-03-07

    We investigated whether the evolution of electric organs and electric signal diversity in two independently evolved lineages of electric fishes was accompanied by convergent changes on the molecular level. We found that a sodium channel gene (Na(v)1.4a) that is expressed in muscle in nonelectric fishes has lost its expression in muscle and is expressed instead in the evolutionarily novel electric organ in both lineages of electric fishes. This gene appears to be evolving under positive selection in both lineages, facilitated by its restricted expression in the electric organ. This view is reinforced by the lack of evidence for selection on this gene in one electric species in which expression of this gene is retained in muscle. Amino acid replacements occur convergently in domains that influence channel inactivation, a key trait for shaping electric communication signals. Some amino acid replacements occur at or adjacent to sites at which disease-causing mutations have been mapped in human sodium channel genes, emphasizing that these replacements occur in functionally important domains. Selection appears to have acted on the final step in channel inactivation, but complementarily on the inactivation "ball" in one lineage, and its receptor site in the other lineage. Thus, changes in the expression and sequence of the same gene are associated with the independent evolution of signal complexity.

  13. Influence of shear motion on evolution of molecular clouds in the spiral galaxy M 51

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyamoto, Yusuke; Nakai, Naomasa; Kuno, Nario

    2014-04-01

    We have investigated the dynamics of the molecular gas and the evolution of giant molecular associations (GMAs) in the spiral galaxy M 51 with the Nobeyama Radio Observatory 45-m telescope. The velocity components of the molecular gas perpendicular and parallel to the spiral arms are derived at each spiral phase from the distribution of the line-of-sight velocity of the CO gas. In addition, the shear motion in the galactic disk is determined from the velocity vectors at each spiral phase. It is revealed that the distributions of the shear strength and of GMAs are anti-correlated. GMAs exist only in the area of the weak shear strength and further on the upstream side of the high shear strength. GMAs and most giant molecular clouds (GMCs) exist in the regions where the shear critical surface density is smaller than the gravitational critical surface density, indicating that they can stably grow by self-gravity and the collisional agglomeration of small clouds without being destroyed by shear motion. These factors indicate that the shear motion is an important factor in evolution of GMCs and GMAs.

  14. Protein change in plant evolution: tracing one thread connecting molecular and phenotypic diversity.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Madelaine E; Whipple, Clinton J

    2013-10-10

    Proteins change over the course of evolutionary time. New protein-coding genes and gene families emerge and diversify, ultimately affecting an organism's phenotype and interactions with its environment. Here we survey the range of structural protein change observed in plants and review the role these changes have had in the evolution of plant form and function. Verified examples tying evolutionary change in protein structure to phenotypic change remain scarce. We will review the existing examples, as well as draw from investigations into domestication, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) cloning studies searching for the molecular underpinnings of natural variation. The evolutionary significance of many cloned QTL has not been assessed, but all the examples identified so far have begun to reveal the extent of protein structural diversity tolerated in natural systems. This molecular (and phenotypic) diversity could come to represent part of natural selection's source material in the adaptive evolution of novel traits. Protein structure and function can change in many distinct ways, but the changes we identified in studies of natural diversity and protein evolution were predicted to fall primarily into one of six categories: altered active and binding sites; altered protein-protein interactions; altered domain content; altered activity as an activator or repressor; altered protein stability; and hypomorphic and hypermorphic alleles. There was also variability in the evolutionary scale at which particular changes were observed. Some changes were detected at both micro- and macroevolutionary timescales, while others were observed primarily at deep or shallow phylogenetic levels. This variation might be used to determine the trajectory of future investigations in structural molecular evolution.

  15. Protein change in plant evolution: tracing one thread connecting molecular and phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Madelaine E.; Whipple, Clinton J.

    2013-01-01

    Proteins change over the course of evolutionary time. New protein-coding genes and gene families emerge and diversify, ultimately affecting an organism’s phenotype and interactions with its environment. Here we survey the range of structural protein change observed in plants and review the role these changes have had in the evolution of plant form and function. Verified examples tying evolutionary change in protein structure to phenotypic change remain scarce. We will review the existing examples, as well as draw from investigations into domestication, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) cloning studies searching for the molecular underpinnings of natural variation. The evolutionary significance of many cloned QTL has not been assessed, but all the examples identified so far have begun to reveal the extent of protein structural diversity tolerated in natural systems. This molecular (and phenotypic) diversity could come to represent part of natural selection’s source material in the adaptive evolution of novel traits. Protein structure and function can change in many distinct ways, but the changes we identified in studies of natural diversity and protein evolution were predicted to fall primarily into one of six categories: altered active and binding sites; altered protein–protein interactions; altered domain content; altered activity as an activator or repressor; altered protein stability; and hypomorphic and hypermorphic alleles. There was also variability in the evolutionary scale at which particular changes were observed. Some changes were detected at both micro- and macroevolutionary timescales, while others were observed primarily at deep or shallow phylogenetic levels. This variation might be used to determine the trajectory of future investigations in structural molecular evolution. PMID:24124420

  16. Nuclear Architecture and Patterns of Molecular Evolution Are Correlated in the Ciliate Chilodonella uncinata

    PubMed Central

    Maurer-Alcalá, Xyrus X.; Katz, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between nuclear architecture and patterns of molecular evolution in lineages across the eukaryotic tree of life is not well understood, partly because molecular evolution is traditionally explored as changes in base pairs along a linear sequence without considering the context of nuclear position of chromosomes. The ciliate Chilodonella uncinata is an ideal system to address the relationship between nuclear architecture and patterns of molecular evolution as the somatic macronucleus of this ciliate is composed of a peripheral DNA-rich area (orthomere) and a DNA-poor central region (paramere) to form a “heteromeric” macronucleus. Moreover, because the somatic chromosomes of C. uncinata are highly processed into “gene-sized” chromosomes (i.e., nanochromosomes), we can assess fine-scale relationships between location and sequence evolution. By combining fluorescence microscopy and analyses of transcriptome data from C. uncinata, we find that highly expressed genes have the greatest codon usage bias and are enriched in DNA-poor regions. In contrast, genes with less biased sequences tend to be concentrated in DNA abundant areas, at least during vegetative growth. Our analyses are consistent with recent work in plants and animals where nuclear architecture plays a role in gene expression. At the same time, the unusual localization of nanochromosomes suggests that the highly structured nucleus in C. uncinata may create a “gene bank” that facilitates rapid changes in expression of genes required only in specific life history stages. By using “nonmodel” organisms like C. uncinata, we can explore the universality of eukaryotic features while also providing examples of novel properties (i.e., the presence of a gene bank) that build from these features. PMID:27189988

  17. From the ultrasonic to the infrared: molecular evolution and the sensory biology of bats

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Gareth; Teeling, Emma C.; Rossiter, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions [e.g., olfactory receptor (OR) genes] and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g., blindness and deafness). For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behavior and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive OR repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a “birth-and death” evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to behavioral consequences. PMID

  18. From the ultrasonic to the infrared: molecular evolution and the sensory biology of bats.

    PubMed

    Jones, Gareth; Teeling, Emma C; Rossiter, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions [e.g., olfactory receptor (OR) genes] and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g., blindness and deafness). For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behavior and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive OR repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a "birth-and death" evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to behavioral consequences.

  19. Eventful evolution of giant molecular clouds in dynamically evolving spiral arms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baba, Junichi; Morokuma-Matsui, Kana; Saitoh, Takayuki R.

    2017-01-01

    The formation and evolution of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in spiral galaxies have been investigated in the traditional framework of the combined quasi-stationary density wave and galactic shock model. In this study, we investigate the structure and evolution of GMCs in a dynamically evolving spiral arm using a three-dimensional N-body/hydrodynamic simulation of a barred spiral galaxy at parsec-scale resolution. This simulation incorporated self-gravity, molecular hydrogen formation, radiative cooling, heating due to interstellar far-ultraviolet radiation, and stellar feedback by both H II regions and Type II supernovae. In contrast to a simple expectation based on the traditional spiral model, the GMCs exhibited no systematic evolutionary sequence across the spiral arm. Our simulation showed that the GMCs behaved as highly dynamic objects with eventful lives involving collisional build-up, collision-induced star formation, and destruction via stellar feedback. The GMC lifetimes were predicted to be short, only a few tens of millions years. We also found that at least at the resolutions and with the feedback models used in this study, most of the GMCs without H II regions were collapsing, but half of the GMCs with H II regions were expanding owing to the H II-region feedback from stars within them. Our results support the dynamic and feedback-regulated GMC evolution scenario. Although the simulated GMCs were converging rather than virial equilibrium, they followed the observed scaling relationship well. We also analysed the effects of galactic tides and external pressure on GMC evolution and suggested that GMCs cannot be regarded as isolated systems since their evolution in disc galaxies is complicated because of these environmental effects.

  20. Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayr, Ernst

    1978-01-01

    Traces the history of evolution theory from Lamarck and Darwin to the present. Discusses natural selection in detail. Suggests that, besides biological evolution, there is also a cultural evolution which is more rapid than the former. (MA)

  1. Nucleotide substitution type dependence of generation time effect of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Kisakibaru, Y; Matsuda, H

    1995-06-01

    Using DNA sequence data of 18 genes from 14 mammals, we analyzed how the average molecular evolution rate per year per site (Vy) depends on the generation time (g). (I) Assuming the relation Vy varies; is directly proportional to g(-alpha), the index of generation time effect, (alpha) was estimated to be about 0.14 for amino acid replacement substitutions (A), and about 0.32 for synonymous substitutions (S). (II) Assuming the relation Vy = V(m)g g-1 + V(e)y, where V(m)g and V(e)y are constant independent of g, the fraction, r(e) = V(e)y/Vy, of the mutation rate independent part (V(e)y) in the total evolution rate (Vy) was estimated under the assumptions of the star phylogeny and the constancy of the mutation rate per generation. r(e) was smallest for mouse with the shortest generation time among our analyzed species, and it was estimated to be about 0.57 for A and 0.31 for S. Both results do not support the view that Vy is equal to the neutral mutation rate per site both for A and for S. They are in line with the thesis that, at least for A and probably even for S, the molecular evolution rate is influenced by some causes other than the mutation rate, such as changing environment.

  2. Cellular and molecular effects for mutation induction in normal human cells irradiated with accelerated neon ions.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Masao; Tsuruoka, Chizuru; Kanai, Tatsuaki; Kato, Takeshi; Yatagai, Fumio; Watanabe, Masami

    2006-02-22

    We investigated the linear energy transfer (LET) dependence of mutation induction on the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) locus in normal human fibroblast-like cells irradiated with accelerated neon-ion beams. The cells were irradiated with neon-ion beams at various LETs ranging from 63 to 335 keV/microm. Neon-ion beams were accelerated by the Riken Ring Cyclotron at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan. Mutation induction at the HPRT locus was detected to measure 6-thioguanine-resistant clones. The mutation spectrum of the deletion pattern of exons of mutants was analyzed using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The dose-response curves increased steeply up to 0.5 Gy and leveled off or decreased between 0.5 and 1.0 Gy, compared to the response to (137)Cs gamma-rays. The mutation frequency increased up to 105 keV/microm and then there was a downward trend with increasing LET values. The deletion pattern of exons was non-specific. About 75-100% of the mutants produced using LETs ranging from 63 to 335 keV/mum showed all or partial deletions of exons, while among gamma-ray-induced mutants 30% showed no deletions, 30% partial deletions and 40% complete deletions. These results suggested that the dose-response curves of neon-ion-induced mutations were dependent upon LET values, but the deletion pattern of DNA was not.

  3. Reptilian heart development and the molecular basis of cardiac chamber evolution.

    PubMed

    Koshiba-Takeuchi, Kazuko; Mori, Alessandro D; Kaynak, Bogac L; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Sukonnik, Tatyana; Georges, Romain O; Latham, Stephany; Beck, Laurel; Beck, Laural; Henkelman, R Mark; Black, Brian L; Olson, Eric N; Wade, Juli; Takeuchi, Jun K; Nemer, Mona; Gilbert, Scott F; Bruneau, Benoit G

    2009-09-03

    The emergence of terrestrial life witnessed the need for more sophisticated circulatory systems. This has evolved in birds, mammals and crocodilians into complete septation of the heart into left and right sides, allowing separate pulmonary and systemic circulatory systems, a key requirement for the evolution of endothermy. However, the evolution of the amniote heart is poorly understood. Reptilian hearts have been the subject of debate in the context of the evolution of cardiac septation: do they possess a single ventricular chamber or two incompletely septated ventricles? Here we examine heart development in the red-eared slider turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans (a chelonian), and the green anole, Anolis carolinensis (a squamate), focusing on gene expression in the developing ventricles. Both reptiles initially form a ventricular chamber that homogenously expresses the T-box transcription factor gene Tbx5. In contrast, in birds and mammals, Tbx5 is restricted to left ventricle precursors. In later stages, Tbx5 expression in the turtle (but not anole) heart is gradually restricted to a distinct left ventricle, forming a left-right gradient. This suggests that Tbx5 expression was refined during evolution to pattern the ventricles. In support of this hypothesis, we show that loss of Tbx5 in the mouse ventricle results in a single chamber lacking distinct identity, indicating a requirement for Tbx5 in septation. Importantly, misexpression of Tbx5 throughout the developing myocardium to mimic the reptilian expression pattern also results in a single mispatterned ventricular chamber lacking septation. Thus ventricular septation is established by a steep and correctly positioned Tbx5 gradient. Our findings provide a molecular mechanism for the evolution of the amniote ventricle, and support the concept that altered expression of developmental regulators is a key mechanism of vertebrate evolution.

  4. Acceleration of cosmic rays and gamma-ray emission from supernova remnant/molecular cloud associations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabici, Stefano; Krause, Julian; Morlino, Giovanni; Nava, Lara

    2015-12-01

    The gamma-ray observations of molecular clouds associated with supernova remnants are considered one of the most promising ways to search for a solution of the problem of cosmic ray origin. Here we briefly review the status of the field, with particular emphasis on the theoretical and phenomenological aspects of the problem.

  5. A High Performance Platform Based on cDNA Display for Efficient Synthesis of Protein Fusions and Accelerated Directed Evolution.

    PubMed

    Naimuddin, Mohammed; Kubo, Tai

    2016-02-08

    We describe a high performance platform based on cDNA display technology by developing a new modified puromycin linker-oligonucleotide. The linker consists of four major characteristics: a "ligation site" for hybridization and ligation of mRNA by T4 RNA ligase, a "puromycin arm" for covalent linkage of the protein, a "polyadenosine site" for a longer puromycin arm and purification of protein fusions (optional) using oligo-dT matrices, and a "reverse transcription site" for the formation of stable cDNA protein fusions whose cDNA is covalently linked to its encoded protein. The linker was synthesized by a novel branching strategy and provided >8-fold higher yield than previous linkers. This linker enables rapid and highly efficient ligation of mRNA (>90%) and synthesis of protein fusions (∼ 50-95%) in various cell-free expression systems. Overall, this new cDNA display method provides 10-200 fold higher end-usage fusions than previous methods and benefits higher diversity libraries crucial for directed protein/peptide evolution. With the increased efficiency, this system was able to reduce the time for one selection cycle to <8 h and is potentially amenable to high-throughput systems. We demonstrate the efficiency of this system for higher throughput selections of various biomolecular interactions and achieved 30-40-fold enrichment per selection cycle. Furthermore, a 4-fold higher enrichment of Flag-tag was obtained from a doped mixture compared with that of the previous cDNA display method. A three-finger protein library was evolved to isolate superior nanomolar range binding candidates for vascular endothelial growth factor. This method is expected to provide a beneficial impact to accelerated drug discovery and proteome analysis.

  6. Hepatitis C virus molecular evolution: transmission, disease progression and antiviral therapy.

    PubMed

    Preciado, Maria Victoria; Valva, Pamela; Escobar-Gutierrez, Alejandro; Rahal, Paula; Ruiz-Tovar, Karina; Yamasaki, Lilian; Vazquez-Chacon, Carlos; Martinez-Guarneros, Armando; Carpio-Pedroza, Juan Carlos; Fonseca-Coronado, Salvador; Cruz-Rivera, Mayra

    2014-11-21

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents an important public health problem worldwide. Reduction of HCV morbidity and mortality is a current challenge owned to several viral and host factors. Virus molecular evolution plays an important role in HCV transmission, disease progression and therapy outcome. The high degree of genetic heterogeneity characteristic of HCV is a key element for the rapid adaptation of the intrahost viral population to different selection pressures (e.g., host immune responses and antiviral therapy). HCV molecular evolution is shaped by different mechanisms including a high mutation rate, genetic bottlenecks, genetic drift, recombination, temporal variations and compartmentalization. These evolutionary processes constantly rearrange the composition of the HCV intrahost population in a staging manner. Remarkable advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanism controlling HCV replication have facilitated the development of a plethora of direct-acting antiviral agents against HCV. As a result, superior sustained viral responses have been attained. The rapidly evolving field of anti-HCV therapy is expected to broad its landscape even further with newer, more potent antivirals, bringing us one step closer to the interferon-free era.

  7. The molecular biology and evolution of feline immunodeficiency viruses of cougars.

    PubMed

    Poss, Mary; Ross, Howard; Rodrigo, Allen; Terwee, Julie; Vandewoude, Sue; Biek, Roman

    2008-05-15

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that has been identified in many members of the family Felidae but domestic cats are the only FIV host in which infection results in disease. We studied FIVpco infection of cougars (Puma concolor) as a model for asymptomatic lentivirus infections to understand the mechanisms of host-virus coexistence. Several natural cougar populations were evaluated to determine if there are any consequences of FIVpco infection on cougar fecundity, survival, or susceptibility to other infections. We have sequenced full-length viral genomes and conducted a detailed analysis of viral molecular evolution on these sequences and on genome fragments of serially sampled animals to determine the evolutionary forces experienced by this virus in cougars. In addition, we have evaluated the molecular genetics of FIVpco in a new host, domestic cats, to determine the evolutionary consequences to a host-adapted virus associated with cross-species infection. Our results indicate that there are no significant differences in survival, fecundity or susceptibility to other infections between FIVpco-infected and uninfected cougars. The molecular evolution of FIVpco is characterized by a slower evolutionary rate and an absence of positive selection, but also by proviral and plasma viral loads comparable to those of epidemic lentiviruses such as HIV-1 or FIVfca. Evolutionary and recombination rates and selection profiles change significantly when FIVpco replicates in a new host.

  8. Molecular evolution and adaptation of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in the subgenus Martes.

    PubMed

    Li, B; Malyarchuk, B; He, X B; Derenko, M

    2013-09-23

    Martes species represent a typical example of rapid evolutionary radiation and a recent speciation event. To identify regions of the genome that experienced adaptive evolution, which might provide clues to their functional importance and may be informative about the features that make each species unique, we sought evidence of molecular adaptation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b gene in the subgenus Martes. Complete sequences of the cytochrome b gene were obtained from 87 samples, including 49 sables, 28 pine martens, and 10 stone martens, and were combined with mtDNA sequences of other true martens, such as M. melampus and M. americana. Analysis of the cytochrome b gene variation in true martens has shown that the evolution of this gene is under negative selection. In contrast, positive selection on the cytochrome b protein has been detected by means of the software TreeSAAP using a phylogenetic reconstruction of Martes taxa. Signatures of adaptive variation in cytochrome b were restricted to the transmembrane domains, which likely function as proton pumps. We compared results of different methods for testing selection and molecular adaptation, and we supposed that the radical changes of the cytochrome b amino acid residues in the subgenus Martes may be the result of molecular adaptation to specific environmental conditions coupled with species dispersals.

  9. Species-specific size expansion and molecular evolution of the oleosins in angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qi; Sun, Yepeng; Su, Wujie; Yang, Jing; Liu, Xiuming; Wang, Yanfang; Wang, Fawei; Li, Haiyan; Li, Xiaokun

    2012-11-10

    Oleosins are hydrophobic plant proteins thought to be important for the formation of oil bodies, which supply energy for seed germination and subsequent seedling growth. To better understand the evolutionary history and diversity of the oleosin gene family in plants, especially angiosperms, we systematically investigated the molecular evolution of this family using eight representative angiosperm species. A total of 73 oleosin members were identified, with six members in each of four monocot species and a greater but variable number in the four eudicots. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the angiosperm oleosin genes belonged to three monophyletic lineages. Species-specific gene duplications, caused mainly by segmental duplication, led to the great expansion of oleosin genes and occurred frequently in eudicots after the monocot-eudicot divergence. Functional divergence analyses indicate that significant amino acid site-specific selective constraints acted on the different clades of oleosins. Adaptive evolution analyses demonstrate that oleosin genes were subject to strong purifying selection after their species-specific duplications and that rapid evolution occurred with a high degree of evolutionary dynamics in the pollen-specific oleosin genes. In conclusion, this study serves as a foundation for genome-wide analyses of the oleosins. These findings provide insight into the function and evolution of this gene family in angiosperms and pave the way for studies in other plants.

  10. Environmental Epigenetics and a Unified Theory of the Molecular Aspects of Evolution: A Neo-Lamarckian Concept that Facilitates Neo-Darwinian Evolution.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K

    2015-04-26

    Environment has a critical role in the natural selection process for Darwinian evolution. The primary molecular component currently considered for neo-Darwinian evolution involves genetic alterations and random mutations that generate the phenotypic variation required for natural selection to act. The vast majority of environmental factors cannot directly alter DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms directly regulate genetic processes and can be dramatically altered by environmental factors. Therefore, environmental epigenetics provides a molecular mechanism to directly alter phenotypic variation generationally. Lamarck proposed in 1802 the concept that environment can directly alter phenotype in a heritable manner. Environmental epigenetics and epigenetic transgenerational inheritance provide molecular mechanisms for this process. Therefore, environment can on a molecular level influence the phenotypic variation directly. The ability of environmental epigenetics to alter phenotypic and genotypic variation directly can significantly impact natural selection. Neo-Lamarckian concept can facilitate neo-Darwinian evolution. A unified theory of evolution is presented to describe the integration of environmental epigenetic and genetic aspects of evolution.

  11. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in reptilia

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Daniel E.; Organ, Christopher L.; Stiglec, Rami; O'Meally, Denis; Sarre, Stephen D.; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A. M.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert A.; Rutherford, Kim; Gemmell, Neil; Iverson, John B.; Tamplin, Jeffrey W.; Edwards, Scott V.; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    In reptiles, sex-determining mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and reversibly between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. The gene Dmrt1 directs male determination in chicken (and presumably other birds), and regulates sex differentiation in animals as distantly related as fruit flies, nematodes and humans. Here, we show a consistent molecular difference in Dmrt1 between reptiles with genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. Among 34 non-avian reptiles, a convergently evolved pair of amino acids encoded by sequence within exon 2 near the DM-binding domain of Dmrt1 distinguishes species with either type of sex determination. We suggest that this amino acid shift accompanied the evolution of genotypic sex determination from an ancestral condition of temperature-dependent sex determination at least three times among reptiles, as evident in turtles, birds and squamates. This novel hypothesis describes the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms as turnover events accompanied by one or two small mutations. PMID:25540158

  12. Plant hemoglobins: a molecular fossil record for the evolution of oxygen transport.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Julie A; Robinson, Howard; Trent, James T; Kakar, Smita; Smagghe, Benoit J; Hargrove, Mark S

    2007-08-03

    The evolution of oxygen transport hemoglobins occurred on at least two independent occasions. The earliest event led to myoglobin and red blood cell hemoglobin in animals. In plants, oxygen transport "leghemoglobins" evolved much more recently. In both events, pentacoordinate heme sites capable of inert oxygen transfer evolved from hexacoordinate hemoglobins that have unrelated functions. High sequence homology between hexacoordinate and pentacoordinate hemoglobins in plants has poised them for potential structural analysis leading to a molecular understanding of this important evolutionary event. However, the lack of a plant hexacoordinate hemoglobin structure in the exogenously ligand-bound form has prevented such comparison. Here we report the crystal structure of the cyanide-bound hexacoordinate hemoglobin from barley. This presents the first opportunity to examine conformational changes in plant hexacoordinate hemoglobins upon exogenous ligand binding, and reveals structural mechanisms for stabilizing the high-energy pentacoordinate heme conformation critical to the evolution of reversible oxygen binding hemoglobins.

  13. PAL: an object-oriented programming library for molecular evolution and phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Drummond, A; Strimmer, K

    2001-07-01

    Phylogenetic Analysis Library (PAL) is a collection of Java classes for use in molecular evolution and phylogenetics. PAL provides a modular environment for the rapid construction of both special-purpose and general analysis programs. PAL version 1.1 consists of 145 public classes or interfaces in 13 packages, including classes for models of character evolution, maximum-likelihood estimation, and the coalescent, with a total of more than 27000 lines of code. The PAL project is set up as a collaborative project to facilitate contributions from other researchers. AVAILIABILTY: The program is free and is available at http://www.pal-project.org. It requires Java 1.1 or later. PAL is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

  14. Structural evolution of dilute magnetic (Sn,Mn)Se films grown by molecular beam epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanzyuba, Vasily; Dong, Sining; Liu, Xinyu; Li, Xiang; Rouvimov, Sergei; Okuno, Hanako; Mariette, Henri; Zhang, Xueqiang; Ptasinska, Sylwia; Tracy, Brian D.; Smith, David J.; Dobrowolska, Margaret; Furdyna, Jacek K.

    2017-02-01

    We describe the structural evolution of dilute magnetic (Sn,Mn)Se films grown by molecular beam epitaxy on GaAs (111) substrates, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. When the Mn concentration is increased, the lattice of the ternary (Sn,Mn)Se films evolves quasi-coherently from a SnSe2 two-dimensional (2D) crystal structure into a more complex quasi-2D lattice rearrangement, ultimately transforming into the magnetically concentrated antiferromagnetic MnSe 3D rock-salt structure as Mn approaches 50 at. % of this material. These structural transformations are expected to underlie the evolution of magnetic properties of this ternary system reported earlier in the literature.

  15. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in reptilia.

    PubMed

    Janes, Daniel E; Organ, Christopher L; Stiglec, Rami; O'Meally, Denis; Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A M; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert A; Rutherford, Kim; Gemmell, Neil; Iverson, John B; Tamplin, Jeffrey W; Edwards, Scott V; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-12-01

    In reptiles, sex-determining mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and reversibly between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. The gene Dmrt1 directs male determination in chicken (and presumably other birds), and regulates sex differentiation in animals as distantly related as fruit flies, nematodes and humans. Here, we show a consistent molecular difference in Dmrt1 between reptiles with genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. Among 34 non-avian reptiles, a convergently evolved pair of amino acids encoded by sequence within exon 2 near the DM-binding domain of Dmrt1 distinguishes species with either type of sex determination. We suggest that this amino acid shift accompanied the evolution of genotypic sex determination from an ancestral condition of temperature-dependent sex determination at least three times among reptiles, as evident in turtles, birds and squamates. This novel hypothesis describes the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms as turnover events accompanied by one or two small mutations.

  16. Molecular evolution and antigenic variation of European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana M; Capucci, Lorenzo; Gavier-Widén, Dolores; Le Gall-Reculé, Ghislaine; Brocchi, Emiliana; Barbieri, Ilaria; Quéméner, Agnès; Le Pendu, Jacques; Geoghegan, Jemma L; Holmes, Edward C; Esteves, Pedro J; Abrantes, Joana

    2014-11-01

    European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) is the aetiological agent of European brown hare syndrome (EBHS), a disease affecting Lepus europaeus and Lepus timidus first diagnosed in Sweden in 1980. To characterize EBHSV evolution we studied hare samples collected in Sweden between 1982 and 2008. Our molecular clock dating is compatible with EBHSV emergence in the 1970s. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two lineages: Group A persisted until 1989 when it apparently suffered extinction; Group B emerged in the mid-1980s and contains the most recent strains. Antigenic differences exist between groups, with loss of reactivity of some MAbs over time, which are associated with amino acid substitutions in recognized epitopes. A role for immune selection is also supported by the presence of positively selected codons in exposed regions of the capsid. Hence, EBHSV evolution is characterized by replacement of Group A by Group B viruses, suggesting that the latter possess a selective advantage.

  17. Non-unity molecular heritability demonstrated by continuous evolution in vitro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitt, T.; Lehman, N.

    1999-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: When catalytic RNA is evolved in vitro, the molecule's chemical reactivity is usually the desired selection target. Sometimes the phenotype of a particular RNA molecule cannot be unambiguously determined from its genotype, however. This can occur if a nucleotide sequence can adopt multiple folded states, an example of non-unity heritability (i.e. one genotype gives rise to more than one phenotype). In these cases, more rounds of selection are required to achieve a phenotypic shift. We tested the influence of non-unity heritability at the molecular level by selecting for variants of a ligase ribozyme via continuous evolution. RESULTS: During 20 bursts of continuous evolution of a 152-nucleotide ligase ribozyme in which the Mg2+ concentration was periodically lowered, a nine-error variant of the starting 'wild-type' molecule became dominant in the last eight bursts. This variant appears to be more active than the wild type. Kinetic analyses of the mutant suggest that it may not possess a higher first-order catalytic rate constant, however. Examination of the multiple RNA conformations present under the continuous evolution conditions suggests that the mutant is superior to the wild type because it is less likely to misfold into inactive conformers. CONCLUSIONS: The evolution of genotypes that are more likely to exhibit a particular phenotype is an epiphenomenon usually ascribed only to complex living systems. We show that this can occur at the molecular level, demonstrating that in vitro systems may have more life-like characteristics than previously thought, and providing additional support for an RNA world.

  18. Evolution of a single gene highlights the complexity underlying molecular descriptions of fitness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña, Matthew I.; Van Itallie, Elizabeth; Bennett, Matthew R.; Shamoo, Yousif

    2010-06-01

    Evolution by natural selection is the driving force behind the endless variation we see in nature, yet our understanding of how changes at the molecular level give rise to different phenotypes and altered fitness at the population level remains inadequate. The reproductive fitness of an organism is the most basic metric that describes the chance that an organism will succeed or fail in its environment and it depends upon a complex network of inter- and intramolecular interactions. A deeper understanding of the quantitative relationships relating molecular evolution to adaptation, and consequently fitness, can guide our understanding of important issues in biomedicine such as drug resistance and the engineering of new organisms with applications to biotechnology. We have developed the "weak link" approach to determine how changes in molecular structure and function can relate to fitness and evolutionary outcomes. By replacing adenylate kinase (AK), an essential gene, in a thermophile with a homologous AK from a mesophile we have created a maladapted weak link that produces a temperature-sensitive phenotype. The recombinant strain adapts to nonpermissive temperatures through point mutations to the weak link that increase both stability and activity of the enzyme AK at higher temperatures. Here, we propose a fitness function relating enzyme activity to growth rate and use it to create a dynamic model of a population of bacterial cells. Using metabolic control analysis we show that the growth rate exhibits thresholdlike behavior, saturating at high enzyme activity as other reactions in the energy metabolism pathway become rate limiting. The dynamic model accurately recapitulates observed evolutionary outcomes. These findings suggest that in vitro enzyme kinetic data, in combination with metabolic network analysis, can be used to create fitness functions and dynamic models of evolution within simple metabolic systems.

  19. Cryogenic molecular separation system for radioactive {sup 11}C ion acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Katagiri, K.; Noda, A.; Suzuki, K.; Nagatsu, K.; Nakao, M.; Hojo, S.; Wakui, T.; Noda, K.; Boytsov, A. Yu.; Donets, D. E.; Donets, E. D.; Donets, E. E.; Ramzdorf, A. Yu.

    2015-12-15

    A {sup 11}C molecular production/separation system (CMPS) has been developed as part of an isotope separation on line system for simultaneous positron emission tomography imaging and heavy-ion cancer therapy using radioactive {sup 11}C ion beams. In the ISOL system, {sup 11}CH{sub 4} molecules will be produced by proton irradiation and separated from residual air impurities and impurities produced during the irradiation. The CMPS includes two cryogenic traps to separate specific molecules selectively from impurities by using vapor pressure differences among the molecular species. To investigate the fundamental performance of the CMPS, we performed separation experiments with non-radioactive {sup 12}CH{sub 4} gases, which can simulate the chemical characteristics of {sup 11}CH{sub 4} gases. We investigated the separation of CH{sub 4} molecules from impurities, which will be present as residual gases and are expected to be difficult to separate because the vapor pressure of air molecules is close to that of CH{sub 4}. We determined the collection/separation efficiencies of the CMPS for various amounts of air impurities and found desirable operating conditions for the CMPS to be used as a molecular separation device in our ISOL system.

  20. GPU-accelerated molecular dynamics simulation for study of liquid crystalline flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sunarso, Alfeus; Tsuji, Tomohiro; Chono, Shigeomi

    2010-08-01

    We have developed a GPU-based molecular dynamics simulation for the study of flows of fluids with anisotropic molecules such as liquid crystals. An application of the simulation to the study of macroscopic flow (backflow) generation by molecular reorientation in a nematic liquid crystal under the application of an electric field is presented. The computations of intermolecular force and torque are parallelized on the GPU using the cell-list method, and an efficient algorithm to update the cell lists was proposed. Some important issues in the implementation of computations that involve a large number of arithmetic operations and data on the GPU that has limited high-speed memory resources are addressed extensively. Despite the relatively low GPU occupancy in the calculation of intermolecular force and torque, the computation on a recent GPU is about 50 times faster than that on a single core of a recent CPU, thus simulations involving a large number of molecules using a personal computer are possible. The GPU-based simulation should allow an extensive investigation of the molecular-level mechanisms underlying various macroscopic flow phenomena in fluids with anisotropic molecules.

  1. Adaptive GPU-accelerated force calculation for interactive rigid molecular docking using haptics.

    PubMed

    Iakovou, Georgios; Hayward, Steven; Laycock, Stephen D

    2015-09-01

    Molecular docking systems model and simulate in silico the interactions of intermolecular binding. Haptics-assisted docking enables the user to interact with the simulation via their sense of touch but a stringent time constraint on the computation of forces is imposed due to the sensitivity of the human haptic system. To simulate high fidelity smooth and stable feedback the haptic feedback loop should run at rates of 500Hz to 1kHz. We present an adaptive force calculation approach that can be executed in parallel on a wide range of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for interactive haptics-assisted docking with wider applicability to molecular simulations. Prior to the interactive session either a regular grid or an octree is selected according to the available GPU memory to determine the set of interatomic interactions within a cutoff distance. The total force is then calculated from this set. The approach can achieve force updates in less than 2ms for molecular structures comprising hundreds of thousands of atoms each, with performance improvements of up to 90 times the speed of current CPU-based force calculation approaches used in interactive docking. Furthermore, it overcomes several computational limitations of previous approaches such as pre-computed force grids, and could potentially be used to model receptor flexibility at haptic refresh rates.

  2. Monte Carlo-based fluorescence molecular tomography reconstruction method accelerated by a cluster of graphic processing units.

    PubMed

    Quan, Guotao; Gong, Hui; Deng, Yong; Fu, Jianwei; Luo, Qingming

    2011-02-01

    High-speed fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) reconstruction for 3-D heterogeneous media is still one of the most challenging problems in diffusive optical fluorescence imaging. In this paper, we propose a fast FMT reconstruction method that is based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and accelerated by a cluster of graphics processing units (GPUs). Based on the Message Passing Interface standard, we modified the MC code for fast FMT reconstruction, and different Green's functions representing the flux distribution in media are calculated simultaneously by different GPUs in the cluster. A load-balancing method was also developed to increase the computational efficiency. By applying the Fréchet derivative, a Jacobian matrix is formed to reconstruct the distribution of the fluorochromes using the calculated Green's functions. Phantom experiments have shown that only 10 min are required to get reconstruction results with a cluster of 6 GPUs, rather than 6 h with a cluster of multiple dual opteron CPU nodes. Because of the advantages of high accuracy and suitability for 3-D heterogeneity media with refractive-index-unmatched boundaries from the MC simulation, the GPU cluster-accelerated method provides a reliable approach to high-speed reconstruction for FMT imaging.

  3. Monte Carlo-based fluorescence molecular tomography reconstruction method accelerated by a cluster of graphic processing units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Guotao; Gong, Hui; Deng, Yong; Fu, Jianwei; Luo, Qingming

    2011-02-01

    High-speed fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) reconstruction for 3-D heterogeneous media is still one of the most challenging problems in diffusive optical fluorescence imaging. In this paper, we propose a fast FMT reconstruction method that is based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and accelerated by a cluster of graphics processing units (GPUs). Based on the Message Passing Interface standard, we modified the MC code for fast FMT reconstruction, and different Green's functions representing the flux distribution in media are calculated simultaneously by different GPUs in the cluster. A load-balancing method was also developed to increase the computational efficiency. By applying the Fréchet derivative, a Jacobian matrix is formed to reconstruct the distribution of the fluorochromes using the calculated Green's functions. Phantom experiments have shown that only 10 min are required to get reconstruction results with a cluster of 6 GPUs, rather than 6 h with a cluster of multiple dual opteron CPU nodes. Because of the advantages of high accuracy and suitability for 3-D heterogeneity media with refractive-index-unmatched boundaries from the MC simulation, the GPU cluster-accelerated method provides a reliable approach to high-speed reconstruction for FMT imaging.

  4. Molecular dynamics simulations of the structure evolutions of Cu-Zr metallic glasses under irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Lin; Tian, Zean; Xiao, Shifang; Deng, Huiqiu; Ao, Bingyun; Chen, Piheng; Hu, Wangyu

    2017-02-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to investigate the structural evolution of Cu64.5Zr35.5 metallic glasses under irradiation. The largest standard cluster analysis (LSCA) method was used to quantify the microstructure within the collision cascade regions. It is found that the majority of clusters within the collision cascade regions are full and defective icosahedrons. Not only the smaller structures (common neighbor subcluster) but also primary clusters greatly changed during the collision cascades; while most of these radiation damages self-recover quickly in the following quench states. These findings indicate the Cu-Zr metallic glasses have excellent irradiation-resistance properties.

  5. Thiol-catalyzed formation of lactate and glycerate from glyceraldehyde. [significance in molecular evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, A. L.

    1983-01-01

    The rate of lactate formation from glyceraldehyde, catalyzed by N-acetyl-cysteine at ambient temperature in aqueous sodium phosphate (pH 7.0), is more rapid at higher sodium phosphate concentrations and remains essentially the same in the presence and absence of oxygen. The dramatic increase in the rate of glycerate formation that is brought about by this thiol, N-acetylcysteine, is accompanied by commensurate decreases in the rates of glycolate and formate production. It is suggested that the thiol-dependent formation of lactate and glycerate occurs by way of their respective thioesters. Attention is given to the significance of these reactions in the context of molecular evolution.

  6. Assessment and acceleration of binding energy calculations for protein-ligand complexes by the fragment molecular orbital method.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Takao; Okimoto, Noriaki; Taiji, Makoto

    2015-11-15

    In the field of drug discovery, it is important to accurately predict the binding affinities between target proteins and drug applicant molecules. Many of the computational methods available for evaluating binding affinities have adopted molecular mechanics-based force fields, although they cannot fully describe protein-ligand interactions. A noteworthy computational method in development involves large-scale electronic structure calculations. Fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method, which is one of such large-scale calculation techniques, is applied in this study for calculating the binding energies between proteins and ligands. By testing the effects of specific FMO calculation conditions (including fragmentation size, basis sets, electron correlation, exchange-correlation functionals, and solvation effects) on the binding energies of the FK506-binding protein and 10 ligand complex molecule, we have found that the standard FMO calculation condition, FMO2-MP2/6-31G(d), is suitable for evaluating the protein-ligand interactions. The correlation coefficient between the binding energies calculated with this FMO calculation condition and experimental values is determined to be R = 0.77. Based on these results, we also propose a practical scheme for predicting binding affinities by combining the FMO method with the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model. The results of this combined method can be directly compared with experimental binding affinities. The FMO and QSAR combined scheme shows a higher correlation with experimental data (R = 0.91). Furthermore, we propose an acceleration scheme for the binding energy calculations using a multilayer FMO method focusing on the protein-ligand interaction distance. Our acceleration scheme, which uses FMO2-HF/STO-3G:MP2/6-31G(d) at R(int) = 7.0 Å, reduces computational costs, while maintaining accuracy in the evaluation of binding energy.

  7. Evolution of Molecular and Atomic Gas Phases in the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koda, Jin; Scoville, Nick; Heyer, Mark

    2016-06-01

    We analyze radial and azimuthal variations of the phase balance between the molecular and atomic interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky Way (MW) using archival CO(J = 1-0) and HI 21 cm data. In particular, the azimuthal variations—between the spiral arm and interarm regions—are analyzed without any explicit definition of the spiral arm locations. We show that the molecular gas mass fraction, i.e., {f}{{mol}}={{{Σ }}}{{{H}}2}/({{{Σ }}}{HI}+{{{Σ }}}{{{H}}2}), varies predominantly in the radial direction: starting from ˜ 100% at the center, remaining ≳ 50% to R˜ 6 {{kpc}} and decreasing to ˜10%-20% at R=8.5 {{kpc}} when averaged over the whole disk thickness (from ˜100% to ≳60%, then to ˜50% in the midplane). Azimuthal, arm-interarm variations are secondary: only ˜ 20% in the globally molecule-dominated inner MW, but becoming larger, ˜40%-50%, in the atom-dominated outskirts. This suggests that in the inner MW the gas remains highly molecular ({f}{{mol}}\\gt 50%) as it moves from an interarm region into a spiral arm and back into the next interarm region. Stellar feedback does not dissociate molecules much, and the coagulation and fragmentation of molecular clouds dominate the evolution of the ISM at these radii. The trend differs in the outskirts where the gas phase is globally atomic ({f}{{mol}}\\lt 50%). The HI and H2 phases cycle through spiral arm passage there. These different regimes of ISM evolution are also seen in external galaxies (e.g., the LMC, M33, and M51). We explain the radial gradient of {f}{{mol}} using a simple flow continuity model. The effects of spiral arms on this analysis are illustrated in the Appendix.

  8. The genome as a life-history character: why rate of molecular evolution varies between mammal species

    PubMed Central

    Bromham, Lindell

    2011-01-01

    DNA sequences evolve at different rates in different species. This rate variation has been most closely examined in mammals, revealing a large number of characteristics that can shape the rate of molecular evolution. Many of these traits are part of the mammalian life-history continuum: species with small body size, rapid generation turnover, high fecundity and short lifespans tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution. In addition, rate of molecular evolution in mammals might be influenced by behaviour (such as mating system), ecological factors (such as range restriction) and evolutionary history (such as diversification rate). I discuss the evidence for these patterns of rate variation, and the possible explanations of these correlations. I also consider the impact of these systematic patterns of rate variation on the reliability of the molecular date estimates that have been used to suggest a Cretaceous radiation of modern mammals, before the final extinction of the dinosaurs. PMID:21807731

  9. Anticipatory dynamics of biological systems: from molecular quantum states to evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igamberdiev, Abir U.

    2015-08-01

    Living systems possess anticipatory behaviour that is based on the flexibility of internal models generated by the system's embedded description. The idea was suggested by Aristotle and is explicitly introduced to theoretical biology by Rosen. The possibility of holding the embedded internal model is grounded in the principle of stable non-equilibrium (Bauer). From the quantum mechanical view, this principle aims to minimize energy dissipation in expense of long relaxation times. The ideas of stable non-equilibrium were developed by Liberman who viewed living systems as subdivided into the quantum regulator and the molecular computer supporting coherence of the regulator's internal quantum state. The computational power of the cell molecular computer is based on the possibility of molecular rearrangements according to molecular addresses. In evolution, the anticipatory strategies are realized both as a precession of phylogenesis by ontogenesis (Berg) and as the anticipatory search of genetic fixation of adaptive changes that incorporates them into the internal model of genetic system. We discuss how the fundamental ideas of anticipation can be introduced into the basic foundations of theoretical biology.

  10. The Use of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry in Human Health and Molecular Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Enright, Heather A.; Malfatti, Michael A.; Zimmermann, Maike; Ognibene, Ted; Henderson, Paul; Turteltaub, Kenneth W.

    2016-01-01

    Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) has been adopted as a powerful bio-analytical method for human studies in the areas of pharmacology and toxicology. The exquisite sensitivity (10−18 mol) of AMS has facilitated studies of toxins and drugs at environmentally and physiologically relevant concentrations in humans. Such studies include: risk assessment of environmental toxicants, drug candidate selection, absolute bioavailability determination, and more recently, assessment of drug-target binding as a biomarker of response to chemotherapy. Combining AMS with complementary capabilities such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can maximize data within a single experiment and provide additional insight when assessing drugs and toxins, such as metabolic profiling. Recent advances in the AMS technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have allowed for direct coupling of AMS with complementary capabilities such as HPLC via a liquid sample moving wire interface, offering greater sensitivity compared to graphite-based analysis therefore, enabling the use of lower 14C and chemical doses, which are imperative for clinical testing. The aim of this review is to highlight the recent efforts in human studies using AMS, including technological advancements and discussion of the continued promise of AMS for innovative clinical based research. PMID:27726383

  11. Use of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry in Human Health and Molecular Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Enright, Heather A; Malfatti, Michael A; Zimmermann, Maike; Ognibene, Ted; Henderson, Paul; Turteltaub, Kenneth W

    2016-12-19

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been adopted as a powerful bioanalytical method for human studies in the areas of pharmacology and toxicology. The exquisite sensitivity (10(-18) mol) of AMS has facilitated studies of toxins and drugs at environmentally and physiologically relevant concentrations in humans. Such studies include risk assessment of environmental toxicants, drug candidate selection, absolute bioavailability determination, and more recently, assessment of drug-target binding as a biomarker of response to chemotherapy. Combining AMS with complementary capabilities such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can maximize data within a single experiment and provide additional insight when assessing drugs and toxins, such as metabolic profiling. Recent advances in the AMS technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have allowed for direct coupling of AMS with complementary capabilities such as HPLC via a liquid sample moving wire interface, offering greater sensitivity compared to that of graphite-based analysis, therefore enabling the use of lower (14)C and chemical doses, which are imperative for clinical testing. The aim of this review is to highlight the recent efforts in human studies using AMS, including technological advancements and discussion of the continued promise of AMS for innovative clinical based research.

  12. Major Radiations in the Evolution of Caviid Rodents: Reconciling Fossils, Ghost Lineages, and Relaxed Molecular Clocks

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, María Encarnación; Pol, Diego

    2012-01-01

    Background Caviidae is a diverse group of caviomorph rodents that is broadly distributed in South America and is divided into three highly divergent extant lineages: Caviinae (cavies), Dolichotinae (maras), and Hydrochoerinae (capybaras). The fossil record of Caviidae is only abundant and diverse since the late Miocene. Caviids belongs to Cavioidea sensu stricto (Cavioidea s.s.) that also includes a diverse assemblage of extinct taxa recorded from the late Oligocene to the middle Miocene of South America (“eocardiids”). Results A phylogenetic analysis combining morphological and molecular data is presented here, evaluating the time of diversification of selected nodes based on the calibration of phylogenetic trees with fossil taxa and the use of relaxed molecular clocks. This analysis reveals three major phases of diversification in the evolutionary history of Cavioidea s.s. The first two phases involve two successive radiations of extinct lineages that occurred during the late Oligocene and the early Miocene. The third phase consists of the diversification of Caviidae. The initial split of caviids is dated as middle Miocene by the fossil record. This date falls within the 95% higher probability distribution estimated by the relaxed Bayesian molecular clock, although the mean age estimate ages are 3.5 to 7 Myr older. The initial split of caviids is followed by an obscure period of poor fossil record (refered here as the Mayoan gap) and then by the appearance of highly differentiated modern lineages of caviids, which evidentially occurred at the late Miocene as indicated by both the fossil record and molecular clock estimates. Conclusions The integrated approach used here allowed us identifying the agreements and discrepancies of the fossil record and molecular clock estimates on the timing of the major events in cavioid evolution, revealing evolutionary patterns that would not have been possible to gather using only molecular or paleontological data alone. PMID

  13. Molecular evolution of sex-biased genes in the Drosophila ananassae subgroup

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Genes with sex-biased expression often show rapid molecular evolution between species. Previous population genetic and comparative genomic studies of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans revealed that male-biased genes have especially high rates of adaptive evolution. To test if this is also the case for other lineages within the melanogaster group, we investigated gene expression in D. ananassae, a species that occurs in structured populations in tropical and subtropical regions. We used custom-made microarrays and published microarray data to characterize the sex-biased expression of 129 D. ananassae genes whose D. melanogaster orthologs had been classified previously as male-biased, female-biased, or unbiased in their expression and had been studied extensively at the population-genetic level. For 43 of these genes we surveyed DNA sequence polymorphism in a natural population of D. ananassae and determined divergence to the sister species D. atripex and D. phaeopleura. Results Sex-biased expression is generally conserved between D. melanogaster and D. ananassae, with the majority of genes exhibiting the same bias in the two species. However, about one-third of the genes have either gained or lost sex-biased expression in one of the species and a small proportion of genes (~4%) have changed bias from one sex to the other. The male-biased genes of D. ananassae show evidence of positive selection acting at the protein level. However, the signal of adaptive protein evolution for male-biased genes is not as strong in D. ananassae as it is in D. melanogaster and is limited to genes with conserved male-biased expression in both species. Within D. ananassae, a significant signal of adaptive evolution is also detected for female-biased and unbiased genes. Conclusions Our findings extend previous observations of widespread adaptive protein evolution to an independent Drosophila lineage, the D. ananassae subgroup. However, the rate of adaptive evolution is

  14. Temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics gives insights into globular conformations sampled in the free state of the AC catalytic domain.

    PubMed

    Selwa, Edithe; Huynh, Tru; Ciccotti, Giovanni; Maragliano, Luca; Malliavin, Thérèse E

    2014-10-01

    The catalytic domain of the adenyl cyclase (AC) toxin from Bordetella pertussis is activated by interaction with calmodulin (CaM), resulting in cAMP overproduction in the infected cell. In the X-ray crystallographic structure of the complex between AC and the C terminal lobe of CaM, the toxin displays a markedly elongated shape. As for the structure of the isolated protein, experimental results support the hypothesis that more globular conformations are sampled, but information at atomic resolution is still lacking. Here, we use temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics (TAMD) simulations to generate putative all-atom models of globular conformations sampled by CaM-free AC. As collective variables, we use centers of mass coordinates of groups of residues selected from the analysis of standard molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Results show that TAMD allows extended conformational sampling and generates AC conformations that are more globular than in the complexed state. These structures are then refined via energy minimization and further unrestrained MD simulations to optimize inter-domain packing interactions, thus resulting in the identification of a set of hydrogen bonds present in the globular conformations.

  15. Molecular Evolution of the Infrared Sensory Gene TRPA1 in Snakes and Implications for Functional Studies

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2011-01-01

    TRPA1 is a calcium ion channel protein recently identified as the infrared receptor in pit organ-containing snakes. Therefore, understanding the molecular evolution of TRPA1 may help to illuminate the origin of “heat vision” in snakes and reveal the molecular mechanism of infrared sensitivity for TRPA1. To this end, we sequenced the infrared sensory gene TRPA1 in 24 snake species, representing nine snake families and multiple non-snake outgroups. We found that TRPA1 is under strong positive selection in the pit-bearing snakes studied, but not in other non-pit snakes and non-snake vertebrates. As a comparison, TRPV1, a gene closely related to TRPA1, was found to be under strong purifying selection in all the species studied, with no difference in the strength of selection between pit-bearing snakes and non-pit snakes. This finding demonstrates that the adaptive evolution of TRPA1 specifically occurred within the pit-bearing snakes and may be related to the functional modification for detecting infrared radiation. In addition, by comparing the TRPA1 protein sequences, we identified 11 amino acid sites that were diverged in pit-bearing snakes but conserved in non-pit snakes and other vertebrates, 21 sites that were diverged only within pit-vipers but conserved in the remaining snakes. These specific amino acid substitutions may be potentially functional important for infrared sensing. PMID:22163322

  16. Molecular timetrees reveal a Cambrian colonization of land and a new scenario for ecdysozoan evolution.

    PubMed

    Rota-Stabelli, Omar; Daley, Allison C; Pisani, Davide

    2013-03-04

    Ecdysozoans have been key components of ecosystems since the early Cambrian, when trilobites and soft-bodied Burgess Shale-type ecdysozoans dominated marine animal communities. Even today, the most abundant animals on Earth are either nematode worms or plankton-forming crustaceans, whereas the most diverse are the insects. Throughout geological time, several ecdysozoan lineages independently colonized land, shaping both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and providing an adequate environment for successive animal terrestrialization. The timing of these events is largely uncertain and has been investigated only partially using molecular data. Here we present a timescale of ecdysozoan evolution based on multiple molecular data sets, the most complete set of fossil calibrations to date, and a thorough series of validation analyses. Results converge on an Ediacaran origin of all major ecdysozoan lineages (∼587-543 million years ago [mya]), followed by a fast Cambrian radiation of the pancrustaceans (∼539-511 mya), a Cambro-Ordovician colonization of land of different arthropod lineages (∼510-471 mya), and a relatively recent radiation of extant nematodes, onychophorans, and tardigrades (∼442 mya). Arthropods colonized land nearly synchronously with land plants. Further diversification within flying insects, nematodes and onychophorans might be related to the evolution of vascular plants and forests.

  17. Molecular evolution of the nuclear von Willebrand factor gene in mammals and the phylogeny of rodents.

    PubMed

    Huchon, D; Catzeflis, F M; Douzery, E J

    1999-05-01

    Nucleotide sequences of exon 28 of the von Willebrand Factor (vWF) were analyzed for a representative sampling of rodent families and eutherian orders, with one marsupial sequence as outgroup. The aim of this study was to test if inclusion of an increased taxonomic diversity in molecular analyses would shed light on three uncertainties concerning rodent phylogeny: (1) relationships between rodent families, (2) Rodentia monophyly, and (3) the sister group relationship of rodents and lagomorphs. The results did not give evidence of any particular rodent pattern of molecular evolution relative to a general eutherian pattern. Base compositions and rates of evolution of vWF sequences of rodents were in the range of placental variation. The 10 rodent families studied here cluster in five clades: Hystricognathi, Sciuridae and Aplodontidae (Sciuroidea), Muridae, Dipodidae, and Gliridae. Among hystricognaths, the following conclusions are drawn: a single colonization event in South America by Caviomorpha, a paraphyly of Old World and New World porcupines, and an African origin for Old World porcupines. Despite a broader taxonomic sampling diversity, we did not obtain a robust answer to the question of Rodentia monophyly, but in the absence of any other alternative, we cannot reject the hypothesis of a single origin of rodents. Moreover, the phylogenetic position of Lagomorpha remains totally unsettled.

  18. Molecular Evolution of Aralkylamine N-Acetyltransferase in Fish: A Genomic Survey

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jia; You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Yu, Hui; Coon, Steven L.; Shi, Qiong

    2015-01-01

    All living organisms synchronize biological functions with environmental changes; melatonin plays a vital role in regulating daily and seasonal variations. Due to rhythmic activity of the timezyme aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the blood level of melatonin increases at night and decreases during daytime. Whereas other vertebrates have a single form of AANAT, bony fishes possess various isoforms of aanat genes, though the reasons are still unclear. Here, we have taken advantage of multiple unpublished teleost aanat sequences to explore and expand our understanding of the molecular evolution of aanat in fish. Our results confirm that two rounds of whole-genome duplication (WGD) led to the existence of three fish isoforms of aanat, i.e., aanat1a, aanat1b, and aanat2; in addition, gene loss led to the absence of some forms from certain special fish species. Furthermore, we suggest the different roles of two aanat1s in amphibious mudskippers, and speculate that the loss of aanat1a, may be related to terrestrial vision change. Several important sites of AANAT proteins and regulatory elements of aanat genes were analyzed for structural comparison and functional forecasting, respectively, which provides insights into the molecular evolution of the differences between AANAT1 and AANAT2. PMID:26729109

  19. Molecular heterochrony and the evolution of sociality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, S. Hollis; Bloch, Guy M.; Band, Mark R.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2014-01-01

    Sibling care is a hallmark of social insects, but its evolution remains challenging to explain at the molecular level. The hypothesis that sibling care evolved from ancestral maternal care in primitively eusocial insects has been elaborated to involve heterochronic changes in gene expression. This elaboration leads to the prediction that workers in these species will show patterns of gene expression more similar to foundress queens, who express maternal care behaviour, than to established queens engaged solely in reproductive behaviour. We tested this idea in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) using a microarray platform with approximately 4500 genes. Unlike the wasp Polistes metricus, in which support for the above prediction has been obtained, we found that patterns of brain gene expression in foundress and queen bumblebees were more similar to each other than to workers. Comparisons of differentially expressed genes derived from this study and gene lists from microarray studies in Polistes and the honeybee Apis mellifera yielded a shared set of genes involved in the regulation of related social behaviours across independent eusocial lineages. Together, these results suggest that multiple independent evolutions of eusociality in the insects might have involved different evolutionary routes, but nevertheless involved some similarities at the molecular level. PMID:24552837

  20. In vitro molecular evolution yields an NEIBM with a potential novel IgG binding property

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Peipei; Ding, Ying-Ying; He, Ting; Yang, Tong; Chen, Qiuli; Feng, Jiaojiao; Wang, Jinhong; Cao, Mingmei; Li, Xiangyu; Peng, Heng; Zhu, Huaimin; Cao, Jie; Pan, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus protein A (SpA) and protein G of groups C and G streptococci (SpG) are two well-defined bacterial immunoglobulin (Ig)-binding proteins (IBPs) with high affinity for specific sites on IgG from mammalian hosts. Both SpA and SpG contain several highly-homologous IgG-binding domains, each of which possesses similar binding characteristic of the whole corresponding proteins. Whether specific combinations of these domains could generate a molecule with novel IgG-binding properties remained unknown. We constructed a combinatorial phage library displaying randomly-rearranged A, B, C, D and E domains of SpA as well as the B2 (G2) and B3 (G3) domains of SpG. In vitro molecular evolution directed by human, rabbit, bovine, or goat polyclonal IgGs and four subclasses of mouse monoclonal IgGs generated one common combination, D-C-G3. A series of assays demonstrated that D-C-G3 exhibited a potential novel IgG binding property that was obviously different from those of both parent proteins. This study provides an example of successful protein engineering through in vitro molecular evolution and useful approaches for structure and function studies of IBPs. PMID:25366194

  1. Molecular Evolution of Aralkylamine N-Acetyltransferase in Fish: A Genomic Survey.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia; You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Yu, Hui; Coon, Steven L; Shi, Qiong

    2015-12-31

    All living organisms synchronize biological functions with environmental changes; melatonin plays a vital role in regulating daily and seasonal variations. Due to rhythmic activity of the timezyme aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the blood level of melatonin increases at night and decreases during daytime. Whereas other vertebrates have a single form of AANAT, bony fishes possess various isoforms of aanat genes, though the reasons are still unclear. Here, we have taken advantage of multiple unpublished teleost aanat sequences to explore and expand our understanding of the molecular evolution of aanat in fish. Our results confirm that two rounds of whole-genome duplication (WGD) led to the existence of three fish isoforms of aanat, i.e., aanat1a, aanat1b, and aanat2; in addition, gene loss led to the absence of some forms from certain special fish species. Furthermore, we suggest the different roles of two aanat1s in amphibious mudskippers, and speculate that the loss of aanat1a, may be related to terrestrial vision change. Several important sites of AANAT proteins and regulatory elements of aanat genes were analyzed for structural comparison and functional forecasting, respectively, which provides insights into the molecular evolution of the differences between AANAT1 and AANAT2.

  2. In vitro molecular evolution of AL NEIBMs improved immunoglobulin (Ig) binding and antibody detection.

    PubMed

    He, Ting; Ding, Ying-Ying; Feng, Jiao-Jiao; Chen, Qiu-Li; Zhu, Huai-Min; Peng, Heng; Rui, Bing; Li, Xiang-Yu; Cao, Ming-Mei; Pan, Wei

    2014-08-20

    AL (SpA A domain-PpL B3 domain), LD5 (PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain, L-D-L-D-L) and LD3 (PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain, L-D-L) are novel evolved Ig binding molecules (NEIBMs) derived from the in vitro molecular evolution of combinatorial phage libraries displaying randomly rearranged Ig-binding domains of protein A and protein L. These molecules all showed novel Ig-binding properties of double-site binding to the VH3 and Vκ regions of human Ig Fab and high affinity for human IgM, which enhanced IgM detection in the anti-HCV ELISA assay. In this double-site binding, the A domain binds to the VH3 chain with low affinity. Whether the appropriate mutations in the A domain could improve this binding remains unknown. In this study, four combinatorial phage libraries displaying AL mutants with random mutations at different amino acid positions in the A domain were constructed. Seven AL mutant phages with significantly improved Ig binding activity were obtained from the phage library displaying AL mutants randomly mutated at positions 27 and 34 through human IgM-directed in vitro evolution. Two of the seven prokaryotically expressed AL mutants, AL (VV) and AL (KA), exhibited IgM and IgG binding activities equivalent to those of wild-type AL, whereas other mutants showed attenuated binding. However, after labeling with HRP, AL (VV) and AL (KA) showed improved IgM and IgG binding activity, which significantly improved the detection in the anti-HCV assay. Thus, the present study demonstrates that the binding properties of AL were successfully improved through phage-based molecular evolution, which could substantially contribute to the use of AL in antibody detection, and provides an example of successful protein engineering through in vitro molecular evolution.

  3. Molecular tools and bumble bees: revealing hidden details of ecology and evolution in a model system.

    PubMed

    Woodard, S Hollis; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Goulson, David; Williams, Paul H; Strange, James P; Jha, Shalene

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees are a longstanding model system for studies on behaviour, ecology and evolution, due to their well-studied social lifestyle, invaluable role as wild and managed pollinators, and ubiquity and diversity across temperate ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, many aspects of bumble bee biology have remained enigmatic until the rise of the genetic and, more recently, genomic eras. Here, we review and synthesize new insights into the ecology, evolution and behaviour of bumble bees that have been gained using modern genetic and genomic techniques. Special emphasis is placed on four areas of bumble bee biology: the evolution of eusociality in this group, population-level processes, large-scale evolutionary relationships and patterns, and immunity and resistance to pesticides. We close with a prospective on the future of bumble bee genomics research, as this rapidly advancing field has the potential to further revolutionize our understanding of bumble bees, particularly in regard to adaptation and resilience. Worldwide, many bumble bee populations are in decline. As such, throughout the review, connections are drawn between new molecular insights into bumble bees and our understanding of the causal factors involved in their decline. Ongoing and potential applications to bumble bee management and conservation are also included to demonstrate how genetics- and genomics-enabled research aids in the preservation of this threatened group.

  4. Molecular Evolution of Drosophila Germline Stem Cell and Neural Stem Cell Regulating Genes.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jae Young; Aquadro, Charles F

    2015-10-27

    Here, we study the molecular evolution of a near complete set of genes that had functional evidence in the regulation of the Drosophila germline and neural stem cell. Some of these genes have previously been shown to be rapidly evolving by positive selection raising the possibility that stem cell genes as a group have elevated signatures of positive selection. Using recent Drosophila comparative genome sequences and population genomic sequences of Drosophila melanogaster, we have investigated both long- and short-term evolution occurring across these two different stem cell systems, and compared them with a carefully chosen random set of genes to represent the background rate of evolution. Our results showed an excess of genes with evidence of a recent selective sweep in both germline and neural stem cells in D. melanogaster. However compared with their control genes, both stem cell systems had no significant excess of genes with long-term recurrent positive selection in D. melanogaster, or across orthologous sequences from the melanogaster group. The evidence of long-term positive selection was limited to a subset of genes with specific functions in both the germline and neural stem cell system.

  5. Adaptive molecular evolution of a defence gene in sexual but not functionally asexual evening primroses.

    PubMed

    Hersch-Green, E I; Myburg, H; Johnson, M T J

    2012-08-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction provides evolutionary advantages over asexual reproduction by reducing mutational load and increasing adaptive potential. Here, we test the latter prediction in the context of plant defences against pathogens because pathogens frequently reduce plant fitness and drive the evolution of plant defences. Specifically, we ask whether sexual evening primrose plant lineages (Onagraceae) have faster rates of adaptive molecular evolution and altered gene expression of a class I chitinase, a gene implicated in defence against pathogens, than functionally asexual evening primrose lineages. We found that the ratio of amino acid to silent substitutions (K(a) /K(s) = 0.19 vs. 0.11 for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively), the number of sites identified to be under positive selection (four vs. zero for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively) and the expression of chitinase were all higher in sexual than in asexual lineages. Our results are congruent with the conclusion that a loss of sexual recombination and segregation in the Onagraceae negatively affects adaptive structural and potentially regulatory evolution of a plant defence protein.

  6. Molecular evolution of a widely-adopted taxonomic marker (COI) across the animal tree of life

    PubMed Central

    Pentinsaari, Mikko; Salmela, Heli; Mutanen, Marko; Roslin, Tomas

    2016-01-01

    DNA barcodes are widely used for identification and discovery of species. While such use draws on information at the DNA level, the current amassment of ca. 4.7 million COI barcodes also offers a unique resource for exploring functional constraints on DNA evolution. Here, we explore amino acid variation in a crosscut of the entire animal kingdom. Patterns of DNA variation were linked to functional constraints at the level of the amino acid sequence in functionally important parts of the enzyme. Six amino acid sites show variation with possible effects on enzyme function. Overall, patterns of amino acid variation suggest convergent or parallel evolution at the protein level connected to the transition into a parasitic life style. Denser sampling of two diverse insect taxa revealed that the beetles (Coleoptera) show more amino acid variation than the butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), indicating fundamental difference in patterns of molecular evolution in COI. Several amino acid sites were found to be under notably strong purifying selection in Lepidoptera as compared to Coleoptera. Overall, these findings demonstrate the utility of the global DNA barcode library to extend far beyond identification and taxonomy, and will hopefully be followed by a multitude of work. PMID:27734964

  7. Near-Neutrality: the Leading Edge of the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.

    2009-01-01

    The nearly-neutral theory represents a development of Kimura’s Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution that makes testable predictions that go beyond a mere null model. Recent evidence has strongly supported several of these predictions, including the prediction that slightly deleterious variants will accumulate in a species that has undergone a severe bottleneck or in cases where recombination is reduced or absent. Because bottlenecks often occur in speciation and slightly deleterious mutations in coding regions will usually be nonsynonymous, we should expect that the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous fixed differences between species should often exceed the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous polymorphisms within species. Numerous data support this prediction, although they have often been wrongly interpreted as evidence for positive Darwinian selection. The use of conceptually flawed tests for positive selection has become widespread in recent years, seriously harming the quest for an understanding of genome evolution. When properly analyzed, many (probably most) claimed cases of positive selection will turn out to involve the fixation of slightly deleterious mutations by genetic drift in bottlenecked populations. Slightly deleterious variants are a transient feature of evolution in the long term, but they have had substantial impact on contemporary species, including our own. PMID:18559820

  8. Evolution of apolar sporocytes in marchantialean liverworts: implications from molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Shimamura, Masaki; Itouga, Misao; Tsubota, Hiromi

    2012-03-01

    In meiosis of basal land plants, meiotic division planes are typically predicted by quadri-lobing of the cytoplasm and/or quadri-partitioning of plastids prior to nuclear divisions. However, sporocytes of several marchantialean liverworts display no indication of premeiotic establishment of quadripolarity, as is observed in flowering plants. In these cases, the shape of sporocytes remains spherical or elliptical and numerous plastids are distributed randomly in the cytoplasm during meiosis. Through a survey of sporocyte morphology in marchantialean liverworts, we newly report the occurrence of apolar sporocytes in Sauteria japonica and Athalamia nana (Cleveaceae; Marchantiales). Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that the quadri-lobing of cytoplasm and quadri-partitioning of plastids were lost independently several times during the evolution of marchantialean liverworts. In addition, our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the simplified sporophytes of several marchantialean liverworts are not a primitive condition but rather represent the result of reductive evolution. The loss of the quadripolarity of sporocytes appears to correlate with the evolutionary trend of the sporophyte towards reductions. Through the evolution of the simplified sporophytes, suppression of mitotic divisions of sporogenous cells might had caused not only the modification of sporophyte ontogeny but also the drastic cytological change of sporocyte.

  9. GPU accelerated Discrete Element Method (DEM) molecular dynamics for conservative, faceted particle simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spellings, Matthew; Marson, Ryan L.; Anderson, Joshua A.; Glotzer, Sharon C.

    2017-04-01

    Faceted shapes, such as polyhedra, are commonly found in systems of nanoscale, colloidal, and granular particles. Many interesting physical phenomena, like crystal nucleation and growth, vacancy motion, and glassy dynamics are challenging to model in these systems because they require detailed dynamical information at the individual particle level. Within the granular materials community the Discrete Element Method has been used extensively to model systems of anisotropic particles under gravity, with friction. We provide an implementation of this method intended for simulation of hard, faceted nanoparticles, with a conservative Weeks-Chandler-Andersen (WCA) interparticle potential, coupled to a thermodynamic ensemble. This method is a natural extension of classical molecular dynamics and enables rigorous thermodynamic calculations for faceted particles.

  10. Molecular dynamics study of accelerated ion-induced shock waves in biological media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vera, Pablo; Mason, Nigel J.; Currell, Fred J.; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2016-09-01

    We present a molecular dynamics study of the effects of carbon- and iron-ion induced shock waves in DNA duplexes in liquid water. We use the CHARMM force field implemented within the MBN Explorer simulation package to optimize and equilibrate DNA duplexes in liquid water boxes of different sizes and shapes. The translational and vibrational degrees of freedom of water molecules are excited according to the energy deposited by the ions and the subsequent shock waves in liquid water are simulated. The pressure waves generated are studied and compared with an analytical hydrodynamics model which serves as a benchmark for evaluating the suitability of the simulation boxes. The energy deposition in the DNA backbone bonds is also monitored as an estimation of biological damage, something which is not possible with the analytical model.

  11. Acidolysis small molecular phenolic ether used as accelerator in photosensitive diazonaphthaquinone systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Haihua; Zou, Yingquan

    2006-03-01

    The photosensitive compounds in the photosensitive coatings of positive PS plates are the diazonaphthaquinone derivatives. Some acidolysis small molecular phenolic ethers, which were synthesized by some special polyhydroxyl phenols with vinyl ethyl ether, are added in the positive diazonaphthaquinone photosensitive composition to improve its sensitivity, composed with photo-acid-generators. The effects to the photosensitivity, anti-alkali property, anti-isopropyl alcohol property, dot resolution and line resolution of the coatings are studied with different additive percent of the special phenolic ethers. In the conventional photosensitive diazonaphthaquinone systems for positive PS plates, the photosensitivity is improved without negative effects to resolution, anti-alkali and anti-isopropyl alcohol properties when added about 5% of the special acidolysis phenolic ethers, EAAE or DPHE, composed with photo-acid-generators.

  12. A cricket Gene Index: a genomic resource for studying neurobiology, speciation, and molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Danley, Patrick D; Mullen, Sean P; Liu, Fenglong; Nene, Vishvanath; Quackenbush, John; Shaw, Kerry L

    2007-01-01

    Background As the developmental costs of genomic tools decline, genomic approaches to non-model systems are becoming more feasible. Many of these systems may lack advanced genetic tools but are extremely valuable models in other biological fields. Here we report the development of expressed sequence tags (EST's) in an orthopteroid insect, a model for the study of neurobiology, speciation, and evolution. Results We report the sequencing of 14,502 EST's from clones derived from a nerve cord cDNA library, and the subsequent construction of a Gene Index from these sequences, from the Hawaiian trigonidiine cricket Laupala kohalensis. The Gene Index contains 8607 unique sequences comprised of 2575 tentative consensus (TC) sequences and 6032 singletons. For each of the unique sequences, an attempt was made to assign a provisional annotation and to categorize its function using a Gene Ontology-based classification through a sequence-based comparison to known proteins. In addition, a set of unique 70 base pair oligomers that can be used for DNA microarrays was developed. All Gene Index information is posted at the DFCI Gene Indices web page Conclusion Orthopterans are models used to understand the neurophysiological basis of complex motor patterns such as flight and stridulation. The sequences presented in the cricket Gene Index will provide neurophysiologists with many genetic tools that have been largely absent in this field. The cricket Gene Index is one of only two gene indices to be developed in an evolutionary model system. Species within the genus Laupala have speciated recently, rapidly, and extensively. Therefore, the genes identified in the cricket Gene Index can be used to study the genomics of speciation. Furthermore, this gene index represents a significant EST resources for basal insects. As such, this resource is a valuable comparative tool for the understanding of invertebrate molecular evolution. The sequences presented here will provide much needed genomic

  13. Evolution of dark colour in toucans (Ramphastidae): a case of molecular adaptation?

    PubMed

    Corso, J; Mundy, N I; Fagundes, N J R; de Freitas, T R O

    2016-12-01

    In the last decades, researchers have been able to determine the molecular basis of some phenotypes, to test for evidence of natural selection upon them, and to demonstrate that the same genes or genetic pathways can be associated with convergent traits. Colour traits are often subject to natural selection because even small changes in these traits can have a large effect on fitness via camouflage, sexual selection or other mechanisms. The melanocortin-1 receptor locus (MC1R) is frequently associated with intraspecific coat colour variation in vertebrates, but it has been far harder to demonstrate that this locus is involved in adaptive interspecific colour differences. Here, we investigate the contribution of the MC1R gene to the colour diversity found in toucans (Ramphastidae). We found divergent selection on MC1R in the clade represented by the genus Ramphastos and that this coincided with the evolution of darker plumage in members of this genus. Using phylogenetically corrected correlations, we show significant and specific relationships between the rate of nonsynonymous change in MC1R (dN) and plumage darkness across Ramphastidae, and also between the rate of functionally significant amino acid changes in MC1R and plumage darkness. Furthermore, three of the seven amino acid changes in MC1R that occurred in the ancestral Ramphastos branch are associated with melanism in other birds. Taken together, our results suggest that the dark colour of Ramphastos toucans was related to nonsynonymous substitutions in MC1R that may have been subject to positive selection or to a relaxation of selective pressure. These results also demonstrate a quantitative relationship between gene and phenotype evolution, representing an example of how MC1R molecular evolution may affect macroevolution of plumage phenotypes.

  14. Accelerated evolution of CES7, a gene encoding a novel major urinary protein in the cat family.

    PubMed

    Li, Gang; Janecka, Jan E; Murphy, William J

    2011-02-01

    Cauxin is a novel urinary protein recently identified in the domestic cat that regulates the excretion of felinine, a pheromone precursor involved in sociochemical communication and territorial marking of domestic and wild felids. Understanding the evolutionary history of cauxin may therefore illuminate molecular adaptations involved in the evolution of pheromone-based communication, recognition, and mate selection in wild animals. We sequenced the gene encoding cauxin, CES7, in 22 species representing all major felid lineages, and multiple outgroups and showed that it has undergone rapid evolutionary change preceding and during the diversification of the cat family. A comparison between feline cauxin and orthologous carboxylesterases from other mammalian lineages revealed evidence of strong positive Darwinian selection within and between several cat lineages, enriched at functionally important sites of the protein. The higher rate of radical amino acid replacements in small felids, coupled with the lack of felinine and extremely low levels of cauxin in the urine of the great cats (Panthera), correlates with functional divergence of this gene in Panthera, and its putative loss in the snow leopard. Expression studies found evidence for several alternatively spliced transcripts in testis and brain, suggesting additional roles in male reproductive fitness and behavior. Our work presents the first report of strong positive natural selection acting on a major urinary protein of nonrodent mammals, providing evidence for parallel selection pressure on the regulation of pheromones in different mammalian lineages, despite the use of different metabolic pathways. Our results imply that natural selection may drive rapid changes in the regulation of pheromones in urine among the different cat species, which in turn may influence social behavior, such as territorial marking and conspecific recognition, therefore serving as an important mechanism for the radiation of this group

  15. Acceleration modules in linear induction accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shao-Heng; Deng, Jian-Jun

    2014-05-01

    The Linear Induction Accelerator (LIA) is a unique type of accelerator that is capable of accelerating kilo-Ampere charged particle current to tens of MeV energy. The present development of LIA in MHz bursting mode and the successful application into a synchrotron have broadened LIA's usage scope. Although the transformer model is widely used to explain the acceleration mechanism of LIAs, it is not appropriate to consider the induction electric field as the field which accelerates charged particles for many modern LIAs. We have examined the transition of the magnetic cores' functions during the LIA acceleration modules' evolution, distinguished transformer type and transmission line type LIA acceleration modules, and re-considered several related issues based on transmission line type LIA acceleration module. This clarified understanding should help in the further development and design of LIA acceleration modules.

  16. AWE-WQ: Fast-Forwarding Molecular Dynamics Using the Accelerated Weighted Ensemble

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A limitation of traditional molecular dynamics (MD) is that reaction rates are difficult to compute. This is due to the rarity of observing transitions between metastable states since high energy barriers trap the system in these states. Recently the weighted ensemble (WE) family of methods have emerged which can flexibly and efficiently sample conformational space without being trapped and allow calculation of unbiased rates. However, while WE can sample correctly and efficiently, a scalable implementation applicable to interesting biomolecular systems is not available. We provide here a GPLv2 implementation called AWE-WQ of a WE algorithm using the master/worker distributed computing WorkQueue (WQ) framework. AWE-WQ is scalable to thousands of nodes and supports dynamic allocation of computer resources, heterogeneous resource usage (such as central processing units (CPU) and graphical processing units (GPUs) concurrently), seamless heterogeneous cluster usage (i.e., campus grids and cloud providers), and support for arbitrary MD codes such as GROMACS, while ensuring that all statistics are unbiased. We applied AWE-WQ to a 34 residue protein which simulated 1.5 ms over 8 months with peak aggregate performance of 1000 ns/h. Comparison was done with a 200 μs simulation collected on a GPU over a similar timespan. The folding and unfolded rates were of comparable accuracy. PMID:25207854

  17. Epoch-based likelihood models reveal no evidence for accelerated evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles in response to cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    King, Benedict; Lee, Michael S Y

    2015-09-01

    A broad scale analysis of the evolution of viviparity across nearly 4,000 species of squamates revealed that origins increase in frequency toward the present, raising the question of whether rates of change have accelerated. We here use simulations to show that the increased frequency is within the range expected given that the number of squamate lineages also increases with time. Novel, epoch-based methods implemented in BEAST (which allow rates of discrete character evolution to vary across time-slices) also give congruent results, with recent epochs having very similar rates to older epochs. Thus, contrary to expectations, there was no accelerated burst of origins of viviparity in response to global cooling during the Cenozoic or glacial cycles during the Plio-Pleistocene. However, if one accepts the conventional view that viviparity is more likely to evolve than to be lost, and also the evidence here that viviparity has evolved with similar regularity throughout the last 200 Ma, then the absence of large, ancient clades of viviparous squamates (analogs to therian mammals) requires explanation. Viviparous squamate lineages might be more prone to extinction than are oviparous lineages, due to their prevalance at high elevations and latitudes and thus greater susceptibility to climate fluctuations. If so, the directional bias in character evolution would be offset by the bias in extinction rates.

  18. Gradual molecular evolution of a sex determination switch through incomplete penetrance of femaleness.

    PubMed

    Beye, Martin; Seelmann, Christine; Gempe, Tanja; Hasselmann, Martin; Vekemans, Xavier; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2013-12-16

    Some genes regulate phenotypes that are either present or absent. They are often important regulators of developmental switches and are involved in morphological evolution. We have little understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these absence/presence gene functions have evolved, because the phenotype and fitness of molecular intermediate forms are unknown. Here, we studied the sex-determining switch of 14 natural sequence variants of the csd gene among 76 genotypes of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Heterozygous genotypes (different specificities) of the csd gene determine femaleness, while hemizygous genotypes (single specificity) determine maleness. Homozygous genotypes of the csd gene (same specificity) are lethal. We found that at least five amino acid differences and length variation between Csd specificities in the specifying domain (PSD) were sufficient to regularly induce femaleness. We estimated that, on average, six pairwise amino acid differences evolved under positive selection. We also identified a natural evolutionary intermediate that showed only three amino acid length differences in the PSD relative to its parental allele. This genotype showed an intermediate fitness because it implemented lethality regularly and induced femaleness infrequently (i.e., incomplete penetrance). We suggest incomplete penetrance as a mechanism through which new molecular switches can gradually and adaptively evolve.

  19. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Korrie L.; Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Cells have evolved a sophisticated proteostasis network to ensure that proteins acquire and retain their native structure and function. Critical components of this network include molecular chaperones and protein disaggregases, which function to prevent and reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, proteostasis networks have limits, which when exceeded can have fatal consequences as in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A promising strategy is to engineer proteostasis networks to counter challenges presented by specific diseases or specific proteins. Here, we review efforts to enhance the activity of individual molecular chaperones or protein disaggregases via engineering and directed evolution. Remarkably, enhanced global activity or altered substrate specificity of various molecular chaperones, including GroEL, Hsp70, ClpX, and Spy, can be achieved by minor changes in primary sequence and often a single missense mutation. Likewise, small changes in the primary sequence of Hsp104 yield potentiated protein disaggregases that reverse the aggregation and buffer toxicity of various neurodegenerative disease proteins, including α-synuclein, TDP-43, and FUS. Collectively, these advances have revealed key mechanistic and functional insights into chaperone and disaggregase biology. They also suggest that enhanced chaperones and disaggregases could have important applications in treating human disease as well as in the purification of valuable proteins in the pharmaceutical sector. PMID:27014702

  20. Molecular Corridor Based Approach for Description of Evolution of Secondary Organic Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y., Sr.; Poeschl, U.; Shiraiwa, M.

    2015-12-01

    Organic aerosol is ubiquitous in the atmosphere and its major component is secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Formation and evolution of SOA is a complex process involving coupled chemical reactions and mass transport in the gas and particle phases (Shiraiwa et al., 2014). Current air quality models do not embody the full spectrum of reaction and transport processes, nor do they identify the dominant rate-limiting steps in SOA formation, resulting in the significant underprediction of observed SOA concentrations, which precludes reliable quantitative predictions of aerosols and their environmental impacts. Recently, it has been suggested that the SOA chemical evolution can be represented well by "molecular corridor" with a tight inverse correlation between molar mass and volatility of SOA oxidation products (Shiraiwa et al., 2014). Here we further analyzed the structure, molar mass and volatility of 31,000 unique organic compounds. These compounds include oxygenated organic compounds as well as nitrogen- and sulfur-containing organics such as amines, organonitrates, and organosulfates. Results show that most of those compounds fall into this two-dimensional (2-D) space, which is constrained by two boundary lines corresponding to the volatility of n -alkanes CnH2n+2 and sugar alcohols CnH2n+2On. A method to predict the volatility of nitrogen- and sulfur- containing compounds is developed based on those 31,000 organic compounds. It is shown that the volatility can be well predicted as a function of chemical composition numbers, providing a way to apply this 2-D space to organic compounds observed in real atmosphere. A comprehensive set of observation data from laboratory experiments, field campaigns and indoor measurements is mapped to the molecular corridor. This 2-D space can successfully grasp the properties of organic compounds formed in different atmospheric conditions. The molecular corridor represents a new framework in which chemical and physical properties as

  1. PyEvolve: a toolkit for statistical modelling of molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Butterfield, Andrew; Vedagiri, Vivek; Lang, Edward; Lawrence, Cath; Wakefield, Matthew J; Isaev, Alexander; Huttley, Gavin A

    2004-01-01

    Background Examining the distribution of variation has proven an extremely profitable technique in the effort to identify sequences of biological significance. Most approaches in the field, however, evaluate only the conserved portions of sequences – ignoring the biological significance of sequence differences. A suite of sophisticated likelihood based statistical models from the field of molecular evolution provides the basis for extracting the information from the full distribution of sequence variation. The number of different problems to which phylogeny-based maximum likelihood calculations can be applied is extensive. Available software packages that can perform likelihood calculations suffer from a lack of flexibility and scalability, or employ error-prone approaches to model parameterisation. Results Here we describe the implementation of PyEvolve, a toolkit for the application of existing, and development of new, statistical methods for molecular evolution. We present the object architecture and design schema of PyEvolve, which includes an adaptable multi-level parallelisation schema. The approach for defining new methods is illustrated by implementing a novel dinucleotide model of substitution that includes a parameter for mutation of methylated CpG's, which required 8 lines of standard Python code to define. Benchmarking was performed using either a dinucleotide or codon substitution model applied to an alignment of BRCA1 sequences from 20 mammals, or a 10 species subset. Up to five-fold parallel performance gains over serial were recorded. Compared to leading alternative software, PyEvolve exhibited significantly better real world performance for parameter rich models with a large data set, reducing the time required for optimisation from ~10 days to ~6 hours. Conclusion PyEvolve provides flexible functionality that can be used either for statistical modelling of molecular evolution, or the development of new methods in the field. The toolkit can be

  2. How the Microbial World Saved Evolution from the Scylla of Molecular Biology and the Charybdis of the Modern Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Woese, Carl R.; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    Summary: In this commentary, we provide a personal overview of the conceptual history of microbiology and molecular biology over the course of the last hundred years, emphasizing the relationship of these fields to the problem of evolution. We argue that despite their apparent success, all three reached an impasse that arose from the influence of dogmatic or overly narrow perspectives. Finally, we describe how recent developments in microbiology are realizing Beijerinck's vision of a field that is fully integrated with molecular biology, microbial ecology, thereby challenging and extending current thinking in evolution. PMID:19258530

  3. Heterogeneous Rates of Molecular Evolution and Diversification Could Explain the Triassic Age Estimate for Angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Beaulieu, Jeremy M; O'Meara, Brian C; Crane, Peter; Donoghue, Michael J

    2015-09-01

    Dating analyses based on molecular data imply that crown angiosperms existed in the Triassic, long before their undisputed appearance in the fossil record in the Early Cretaceous. Following a re-analysis of the age of angiosperms using updated sequences and fossil calibrations, we use a series of simulations to explore the possibility that the older age estimates are a consequence of (i) major shifts in the rate of sequence evolution near the base of the angiosperms and/or (ii) the representative taxon sampling strategy employed in such studies. We show that both of these factors do tend to yield substantially older age estimates. These analyses do not prove that younger age estimates based on the fossil record are correct, but they do suggest caution in accepting the older age estimates obtained using current relaxed-clock methods. Although we have focused here on the angiosperms, we suspect that these results will shed light on dating discrepancies in other major clades.

  4. Oxygen evolution on a SrFeO3 anode - Mechanistic considerations from molecular orbital theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehandru, S. P.; Anderson, Alfred B.

    1989-01-01

    Various pathways proposed in the literature for the evolution of O2 in electrochemical oxidations are explored using the atom superposition and electron delocalization molecular orbital (ASED-MO) theory and the cluster models of the SrFeO3 surface as a prototype material. Calculations indicate that oxygen atoms can be easily formed on the (100) surface as well as on the edge cation sites of a SrFeO3 anode by the discharge of OH(-), followed by its deprotonation and electron transfer to the electrode. The O atoms can form O2 on the edge and corner sites, where the Fe(4+) is coordinated to four and three bulk oxygen anions, respectively. The calculations strongly disfavor mechanisms involving coupling of oxygen atoms adsorbed on different cations as well as a mechanism featuring an ozone intermediate.

  5. Tethering metal ions to photocatalyst particulate surfaces by bifunctional molecular linkers for efficient hydrogen evolution.

    PubMed

    Yu, Weili; Isimjan, Tayirjan; Del Gobbo, Silvano; Anjum, Dalaver H; Abdel-Azeim, Safwat; Cavallo, Luigi; Garcia-Esparza, Angel T; Domen, Kazunari; Xu, Wei; Takanabe, Kazuhiro

    2014-09-01

    A simple and versatile method for the preparation of photocatalyst particulates modified with effective cocatalysts is presented; the method involves the sequential soaking of photocatalyst particulates in solutions containing bifunctional organic linkers and metal ions. The modification of the particulate surfaces is a universal and reproducible method because the molecular linkers utilize strong covalent bonds, which in turn result in modified monolayer with a small but controlled quantity of metals. The photocatalysis results indicated that the CdS with likely photochemically reduced Pd and Ni, which were initially immobilized via ethanedithiol (EDT) as a linker, were highly efficient for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from Na2S-Na2SO3-containing aqueous solutions. The method developed in this study opens a new synthesis route for the preparation of effective photocatalysts with various combinations of bifunctional linkers, metals, and photocatalyst particulate materials.

  6. Dynamics of the Eigen and the Crow-Kimura models for molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saakian, David B.; Rozanova, Olga; Akmetzhanov, Andrei

    2008-10-01

    We introduce an alternative way to study molecular evolution within well-established Hamilton-Jacobi formalism, showing that for a broad class of fitness landscapes it is possible to derive dynamics analytically within the 1/N accuracy, where N is the genome length. For a smooth and monotonic fitness function this approach gives two dynamical phases: smooth dynamics and discontinuous dynamics. The latter phase arises naturally with no explicite singular fitness function, counterintuitively. The Hamilton-Jacobi method yields straightforward analytical results for the models that utilize fitness as a function of Hamming distance from a reference genome sequence. We also show the way in which this method gives dynamical phase structure for multipeak fitness.

  7. Cosmic Structure and Galaxy Evolution through Intensity Mapping of Molecular Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bower, Geoffrey C.; Keating, Garrett K.; Marrone, Daniel P.; YT Lee Array Team, SZA Team

    2016-01-01

    The origin and evolution of structure in the Universe is one of the major challenges of observational astronomy. How does baryonic structure trace the underlying dark matter? How have galaxies evolved to produce the present day Universe? A multi-wavelength, multi-tool approach is necessary to provide the complete story of the evolution of structure in the Universe. Intensity mapping, which relies on the ability to detect many objects at once through their integrated emission rather than direct detection of individual objects, is a critical part of this mosaic. In particular, our understanding of the molecular gas component of massive galaxies is being revolutionized by ALMA and EVLA but the population of smaller, star-forming galaxies, which provide the bulk of star formation cannot be individually probed by these instruments.In this talk, I will summarize two intensity mapping experiments to detect molecular gas through the carbon monoxide (CO) rotational transition. We have completed sensitive observations with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovic Array (SZA) telescope at a wavelength of 1 cm that are sensitive to emission at redshifts 2.3 to 3.3. The SZA experiments sets strong limits on models for the CO emission and demonstrates the ability to reject foregrounds and telescope systematics in very deep integrations. I also describe the development of an intensity mapping capability for the Y.T. Lee Array, a 13-element interferometer located on Mauna Loa. In its first phase, this project focuses on detection of CO at redshifts 2.4 - 3.0 with detection via power spectrum and cross-correlation with other surveys. The project includes a major technical upgrade, a new digital correlator and IF electronics component to be deployed in 2015/2016. The Y.T. Lee Array observations will be more sensitive and extend to larger angular scales than the SZA observations.

  8. Molecular Evolution and Functional Divergence of Trace Amine–Associated Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Eyun, Seong-il; Moriyama, Hideaki; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Moriyama, Etsuko N.

    2016-01-01

    Trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs) are a member of the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily and are known to be expressed in olfactory sensory neurons. A limited number of molecular evolutionary studies have been done for TAARs so far. To elucidate how lineage-specific evolution contributed to their functional divergence, we examined 30 metazoan genomes. In total, 493 TAAR gene candidates (including 84 pseudogenes) were identified from 26 vertebrate genomes. TAARs were not identified from non-vertebrate genomes. An ancestral-type TAAR-like gene appeared to have emerged in lamprey. We found four therian-specific TAAR subfamilies (one eutherian-specific and three metatherian-specific) in addition to previously known nine subfamilies. Many species-specific TAAR gene duplications and losses contributed to a large variation of TAAR gene numbers among mammals, ranging from 0 in dolphin to 26 in flying fox. TAARs are classified into two groups based on binding preferences for primary or tertiary amines as well as their sequence similarities. Primary amine-detecting TAARs (TAAR1-4) have emerged earlier, generally have single-copy orthologs (very few duplication or loss), and have evolved under strong functional constraints. In contrast, tertiary amine-detecting TAARs (TAAR5-9) have emerged more recently and the majority of them experienced higher rates of gene duplications. Protein members that belong to the tertiary amine-detecting TAAR group also showed the patterns of positive selection especially in the area surrounding the ligand-binding pocket, which could have affected ligand-binding activities and specificities. Expansions of the tertiary amine-detecting TAAR gene family may have played important roles in terrestrial adaptations of therian mammals. Molecular evolution of the TAAR gene family appears to be governed by a complex, species-specific, interplay between environmental and evolutionary factors. PMID:26963722

  9. Molecular Evolution of Slow and Quick Anion Channels (SLACs and QUACs/ALMTs)

    PubMed Central

    Dreyer, Ingo; Gomez-Porras, Judith Lucia; Riaño-Pachón, Diego Mauricio; Hedrich, Rainer; Geiger, Dietmar

    2012-01-01

    Electrophysiological analyses conducted about 25 years ago detected two types of anion channels in the plasma membrane of guard cells. One type of channel responds slowly to changes in membrane voltage while the other responds quickly. Consequently, they were named SLAC, for SLow Anion Channel, and QUAC, for QUick Anion Channel. Recently, genes SLAC1 and QUAC1/ALMT12, underlying the two different anion current components, could be identified in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression of the gene products in Xenopus oocytes confirmed the quick and slow current kinetics. In this study we provide an overview on our current knowledge on slow and quick anion channels in plants and analyze the molecular evolution of ALMT/QUAC-like and SLAC-like channels. We discovered fingerprints that allow screening databases for these channel types and were able to identify 192 (177 non-redundant) SLAC-like and 422 (402 non-redundant) ALMT/QUAC-like proteins in the fully sequenced genomes of 32 plant species. Phylogenetic analyses provided new insights into the molecular evolution of these channel types. We also combined sequence alignment and clustering with predictions of protein features, leading to the identification of known conserved phosphorylation sites in SLAC1-like channels along with potential sites that have not been yet experimentally confirmed. Using a similar strategy to analyze the hydropathicity of ALMT/QUAC-like channels, we propose a modified topology with additional transmembrane regions that integrates structure and function of these membrane proteins. Our results suggest that cross-referencing phylogenetic analyses with position-specific protein properties and functional data could be a very powerful tool for genome research approaches in general. PMID:23226151

  10. Molecular evolution of mollusc shell proteins: insights from proteomic analysis of the edible mussel Mytilus.

    PubMed

    Marie, Benjamin; Le Roy, Nathalie; Zanella-Cléon, Isabelle; Becchi, Michel; Marin, Frédéric

    2011-06-01

    Shell matrix proteins (SMPs) that are embedded within calcified layers of mollusc shells are believed to play an essential role in controlling the biomineral synthesis and in increasing its mechanical properties. Among the wide diversity of mollusc shell textures, nacro-prismatic shells represent a tremendous opportunity for the investigation of the SMP evolution. Indeed, nacro-prismatic texture appears early in Cambrian molluscs and is still present in the shell of some bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods and very likely also, of some monoplacophorans. One key question is to know whether these shells are constructed from similar matrix protein assemblages, i.e. whether they share a common origin. Most of the molecular data published so far are restricted to two genera, the bivalve Pinctada and the gastropod Haliotis. The shell protein content of these two genera are clearly different, suggesting independent origins or considerable genetic drift from a common ancestor. In order to describe putatively conserved mollusc shell proteins, here we have investigated the SMP set of a new bivalve model belonging to another genera, the edible mussel Mytilus, using an up-to-date proteomic approach based on the interrogation of more than 70,000 EST sequences, recently available from NCBI public databases. We describe nine novel SMPs, among which three are completely novel, four are homologues of Pinctada SMPs and two are very likely homologues of Haliotis SMPs. This latter result constitutes the first report of conserved SMPs between bivalves and gastropods. More generally, our data suggest that mollusc SMP set may follow a mosaic pattern within the different mollusc models (Mytilus, Pinctada, Haliotis). We discuss the function of such proteins in calcifying matrices, the molecular evolution of SMP genes and the origin of mollusc nacro-prismatic SMPs.

  11. Host shifts and molecular evolution of H7 avian influenza virus hemagglutinin

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary consequences of host shifts represent a challenge to identify the mechanisms involved in the emergence of influenza A (IA) viruses. In this study we focused on the evolutionary history of H7 IA virus in wild and domestic birds, with a particular emphasis on host shifts consequences on the molecular evolution of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene. Based on a dataset of 414 HA nucleotide sequences, we performed an extensive phylogeographic analysis in order to identify the overall genetic structure of H7 IA viruses. We then identified host shift events and investigated viral population dynamics in wild and domestic birds, independently. Finally, we estimated changes in nucleotide substitution rates and tested for positive selection in the HA gene. A strong association between the geographic origin and the genetic structure was observed, with four main clades including viruses isolated in North America, South America, Australia and Eurasia-Africa. We identified ten potential events of virus introduction from wild to domestic birds, but little evidence for spillover of viruses from poultry to wild waterbirds. Several sites involved in host specificity (addition of a glycosylation site in the receptor binding domain) and virulence (insertion of amino acids in the cleavage site) were found to be positively selected in HA nucleotide sequences, in genetically unrelated lineages, suggesting parallel evolution for the HA gene of IA viruses in domestic birds. These results highlight that evolutionary consequences of bird host shifts would need to be further studied to understand the ecological and molecular mechanisms involved in the emergence of domestic bird-adapted viruses. PMID:21711553

  12. Molecular Evolution and Phylodynamics of Acute Hepatitis B Virus in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Serena Y. C.; Toyoda, Hidenori; Kumada, Takashi; Liu, Hsin-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is prevalent worldwide and causes liver diseases, including acute and chronic hepatitis. Ten HBV genotypes (A–J) with distinct geographic distributions have been reported. Cases of acute HBV infection with genotype A have increased in Japan nationwide since the 1990s, mainly through sexual transmission. To investigate the molecular evolution and phylodynamics of HBV genotypes, we collected acute HBV isolates acquired in Japan from 1992–2002. Full genomes were obtained for comprehensive phylogenetic and phylodynamic analysis, with other Japanese HBV sequences from GenBank that were isolated during 1991–2010. HBV genotypes were classified using the maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods. The GMRF Bayesian Skyride was used to estimate the evolution and population dynamics of HBV. Four HBV genotypes (A, B, C, and H) were identified, of which C was the major genotype. The phylodynamic results indicated an exponential growth between the 1960s and early 1990s; this was followed by a population bottleneck after 1995, possibly linked with successful implementation of a nationwide vaccination program. However, HBV/A increased from 1990 to 2003–2004, and then started to decrease. The prevalence of genotype A has increased over the past 10 years. Phylodynamic inference clearly demonstrates a steady population growth compatible with an ongoing subepidemic; this might be due to the loss of immunity to HBV in adolescents and people being born before the vaccination program. This is the first phylodynamic study of HBV infection in Japan and will facilitate understanding the molecular epidemiology and long-term evolutionary dynamics of this virus in Japan. PMID:27280441

  13. Hypoallergens for allergen-specific immunotherapy by directed molecular evolution of mite group 2 allergens.

    PubMed

    Gafvelin, Guro; Parmley, Stephen; Neimert-Andersson, Theresa; Blank, Ulrich; Eriksson, Tove L J; van Hage, Marianne; Punnonen, Juha

    2007-02-09

    Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only treatment that provides long lasting relief of allergic symptoms. Currently, it is based on repeated administration of allergen extracts. To improve the safety and efficacy of allergen extract-based immunotherapy, application of hypoallergens, i.e. modified allergens with reduced IgE binding capacity but retained T-cell reactivity, has been proposed. It may, however, be difficult to predict how to modify an allergen to create a hypoallergen. Directed molecular evolution by DNA shuffling and screening provides a means by which to evolve proteins having novel or improved functional properties without knowledge of structure-function relationships of the target molecules. With the aim to generate hypoallergens we applied multigene DNA shuffling on three group 2 dust mite allergen genes, two isoforms of Lep d 2 and Gly d 2. DNA shuffling yielded a library of genes from which encoded shuffled allergens were expressed and screened. A positive selection was made for full-length, high-expressing clones, and screening for low binding to IgE from mite allergic patients was performed using an IgE bead-based binding assay. Nine selected shuffled allergens revealed 80-fold reduced to completely abolished IgE binding compared with the parental allergens in IgE binding competition experiments. Two hypoallergen candidates stimulated allergen-specific T-cell proliferation and cytokine production at comparable levels as the wild-type allergens in patient peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures. The two candidates also induced blocking Lep d 2-specific IgG antibodies in immunized mice. We conclude that directed molecular evolution is a powerful approach to generate hypoallergens for potential use in allergen-specific immunotherapy.

  14. Accelerated image reconstruction in fluorescence molecular tomography using a nonuniform updating scheme with momentum and ordered subsets methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Dianwen; Li, Changqing

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) is a significant preclinical imaging modality that has been actively studied in the past two decades. It remains a challenging task to obtain fast and accurate reconstruction of fluorescent probe distribution in small animals due to the large computational burden and the ill-posed nature of the inverse problem. We have recently studied a nonuniform multiplicative updating algorithm that combines with the ordered subsets (OS) method for fast convergence. However, increasing the number of OS leads to greater approximation errors and the speed gain from larger number of OS is limited. We propose to further enhance the convergence speed by incorporating a first-order momentum method that uses previous iterations to achieve optimal convergence rate. Using numerical simulations and a cubic phantom experiment, we have systematically compared the effects of the momentum technique, the OS method, and the nonuniform updating scheme in accelerating the FMT reconstruction. We found that the proposed combined method can produce a high-quality image using an order of magnitude less time.

  15. Molecular metal-Nx centres in porous carbon for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Hai-Wei; Brüller, Sebastian; Dong, Renhao; Zhang, Jian; Feng, Xinliang; Müllen, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Replacement of precious platinum with efficient and low-cost catalysts for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution at low overpotentials holds tremendous promise for clean energy devices. Here we report a novel type of robust cobalt-nitrogen/carbon catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) that is prepared by the pyrolysis of cobalt-N4 macrocycles or cobalt/o-phenylenediamine composites and using silica colloids as a hard template. We identify the well-dispersed molecular CoNx sites on the carbon support as the active sites responsible for the HER. The CoNx/C catalyst exhibits extremely high turnover frequencies per cobalt site in acids, for example, 0.39 and 6.5 s-1 at an overpotential of 100 and 200 mV, respectively, which are higher than those reported for other scalable non-precious metal HER catalysts. Our results suggest the great promise of developing new families of non-precious metal HER catalysts based on the controlled conversion of homogeneous metal complexes into solid-state carbon catalysts via economically scalable protocols.

  16. Molecular evolution of colorectal cancer: from multistep carcinogenesis to the big bang.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Adriana; Chiara, Silvana; Pfeffer, Ulrich

    2016-03-01

    Colorectal cancer is characterized by exquisite genomic instability either in the form of microsatellite instability or chromosomal instability. Microsatellite instability is the result of mutation of mismatch repair genes or their silencing through promoter methylation as a consequence of the CpG island methylator phenotype. The molecular causes of chromosomal instability are less well characterized. Genomic instability and field cancerization lead to a high degree of intratumoral heterogeneity and determine the formation of cancer stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition mediated by the TGF-β and APC pathways. Recent analyses using integrated genomics reveal different phases of colorectal cancer evolution. An initial phase of genomic instability that yields many clones with different mutations (big bang) is followed by an important, previously not detected phase of cancer evolution that consists in the stabilization of several clones and a relatively flat outgrowth. The big bang model can best explain the coexistence of several stable clones and is compatible with the fact that the analysis of the bulk of the primary tumor yields prognostic information.

  17. Molecular evolution of plant haemoglobin: two haemoglobin genes in Nymphaeaceae Euryale ferox.

    PubMed

    Guldner, E; Desmarais, E; Galtier, N; Godelle, B

    2004-01-01

    We isolated and sequenced two haemoglobin genes from the early-branching angiosperm Euryale ferox (Nymphaeaceae). The two genes belong to the two known classes of plant haemoglobin. Their existence in Nymphaeaceae supports the theory that class 1 haemoglobin was ancestrally present in all angiosperms, and is evidence for class 2 haemoglobin being widely distributed. These sequences allowed us to unambiguously root the angiosperm haemoglobin phylogeny, and to corroborate the hypothesis that the class 1/class 2 duplication event occurred before the divergence between monocots and eudicots. We addressed the molecular evolution of plant haemoglobin by comparing the synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates in various groups of genes. Class 2 haemoglobin genes of legumes (functionally involved in a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria) show a higher nonsynonymous substitution rate than class 1 (nonsymbiotic) haemoglobin genes. This suggests that a change in the selective forces applying to plant haemoglobins has occurred during the evolutionary history of this gene family, potentially in relation with the evolution of symbiosis.

  18. Molecular evolution of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase proteins in the early history of life.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Gregory P; Andam, Cheryl P; Alm, Eric J; Gogarten, J Peter

    2011-12-01

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) consist of several families of functionally conserved proteins essential for translation and protein synthesis. Like nearly all components of the translation machinery, most aaRS families are universally distributed across cellular life, being inherited from the time of the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). However, unlike the rest of the translation machinery, aaRS have undergone numerous ancient horizontal gene transfers, with several independent events detected between domains, and some possibly involving lineages diverging before the time of LUCA. These transfers reveal the complexity of molecular evolution at this early time, and the chimeric nature of genomes within cells that gave rise to the major domains. Additionally, given the role of these protein families in defining the amino acids used for protein synthesis, sequence reconstruction of their pre-LUCA ancestors can reveal the evolutionary processes at work in the origin of the genetic code. In particular, sequence reconstructions of the paralog ancestors of isoleucyl- and valyl- RS provide strong empirical evidence that at least for this divergence, the genetic code did not co-evolve with the aaRSs; rather, both amino acids were already part of the genetic code before their cognate aaRSs diverged from their common ancestor. The implications of this observation for the early evolution of RNA-directed protein biosynthesis are discussed.

  19. Molecular Evolution of Aminoacyl tRNA Synthetase Proteins in the Early History of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fournier, Gregory P.; Andam, Cheryl P.; Alm, Eric J.; Gogarten, J. Peter

    2011-12-01

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) consist of several families of functionally conserved proteins essential for translation and protein synthesis. Like nearly all components of the translation machinery, most aaRS families are universally distributed across cellular life, being inherited from the time of the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). However, unlike the rest of the translation machinery, aaRS have undergone numerous ancient horizontal gene transfers, with several independent events detected between domains, and some possibly involving lineages diverging before the time of LUCA. These transfers reveal the complexity of molecular evolution at this early time, and the chimeric nature of genomes within cells that gave rise to the major domains. Additionally, given the role of these protein families in defining the amino acids used for protein synthesis, sequence reconstruction of their pre-LUCA ancestors can reveal the evolutionary processes at work in the origin of the genetic code. In particular, sequence reconstructions of the paralog ancestors of isoleucyl- and valyl- RS provide strong empirical evidence that at least for this divergence, the genetic code did not co-evolve with the aaRSs; rather, both amino acids were already part of the genetic code before their cognate aaRSs diverged from their common ancestor. The implications of this observation for the early evolution of RNA-directed protein biosynthesis are discussed.

  20. Molecular phylogeny and character evolution in terete-stemmed Andean opuntias (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae).

    PubMed

    Ritz, C M; Reiker, J; Charles, G; Hoxey, P; Hunt, D; Lowry, M; Stuppy, W; Taylor, N

    2012-11-01

    The cacti of tribe Tephrocacteae (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae) are adapted to diverse climatic conditions over a wide area of the southern Andes and adjacent lowlands. They exhibit a range of life forms from geophytes and cushion-plants to dwarf shrubs, shrubs or small trees. To confirm or challenge previous morphology-based classifications and molecular phylogenies, we sampled DNA sequences from the chloroplast trnK/matK region and the nuclear low copy gene phyC and compared the resulting phylogenies with previous data gathered from nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. The here presented chloroplast and nuclear low copy gene phylogenies were mutually congruent and broadly coincident with the classification based on gross morphology and seed micro-morphology and anatomy. Reconstruction of hypothetical ancestral character states suggested that geophytes and cushion-forming species probably evolved several times from dwarf shrubby precursors. We also traced an increase of embryo size at the expense of the nucellus-derived storage tissue during the evolution of the Tephrocacteae, which is thought to be an evolutionary advantage because nutrients are then more rapidly accessible for the germinating embryo. In contrast to these highly concordant phylogenies, nuclear ribosomal DNA data sampled by a previous study yielded conflicting phylogenetic signals. Secondary structure predictions of ribosomal transcribed spacers suggested that this phylogeny is strongly influenced by the inclusion of paralogous sequence probably arisen by genome duplication during the evolution of this plant group.

  1. Turning points in the evolution of peroxidase-catalase superfamily: molecular phylogeny of hybrid heme peroxidases.

    PubMed

    Zámocký, Marcel; Gasselhuber, Bernhard; Furtmüller, Paul G; Obinger, Christian

    2014-12-01

    Heme peroxidases and catalases are key enzymes of hydrogen peroxide metabolism and signaling. Here, the reconstruction of the molecular evolution of the peroxidase-catalase superfamily (annotated in pfam as PF00141) based on experimentally verified as well as numerous newly available genomic sequences is presented. The robust phylogenetic tree of this large enzyme superfamily was obtained from 490 full-length protein sequences. Besides already well-known families of heme b peroxidases arranged in three main structural classes, completely new (hybrid type) peroxidase families are described being located at the border of these classes as well as forming (so far missing) links between them. Hybrid-type A peroxidases represent a minor eukaryotic subfamily from Excavates, Stramenopiles and Rhizaria sharing enzymatic and structural features of ascorbate and cytochrome c peroxidases. Hybrid-type B peroxidases are shown to be spread exclusively among various fungi and evolved in parallel with peroxidases in land plants. In some ascomycetous hybrid-type B peroxidases, the peroxidase domain is fused to a carbohydrate binding (WSC) domain. Both here described hybrid-type peroxidase families represent important turning points in the complex evolution of the whole peroxidase-catalase superfamily. We present and discuss their phylogeny, sequence signatures and putative biological function.

  2. The molecular origin and evolution of dim-light vision in mammals.

    PubMed

    Bickelmann, Constanze; Morrow, James M; Du, Jing; Schott, Ryan K; van Hazel, Ilke; Lim, Steve; Müller, Johannes; Chang, Belinda S W

    2015-11-01

    The nocturnal origin of mammals is a longstanding hypothesis that is considered instrumental for the evolution of endothermy, a potential key innovation in this successful clade. This hypothesis is primarily based on indirect anatomical inference from fossils. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of rhodopsin--the vertebrate visual pigment mediating the first step in phototransduction at low-light levels--via codon-based model tests for selection, combined with gene resurrection methods that allow for the study of ancient proteins. Rhodopsin coding sequences were reconstructed for three key nodes: Amniota, Mammalia, and Theria. When expressed in vitro, all sequences generated stable visual pigments with λMAX values similar to the well-studied bovine rhodopsin. Retinal release rates of mammalian and therian ancestral rhodopsins, measured via fluorescence spectroscopy, were significantly slower than those of the amniote ancestor, indicating altered molecular function possibly related to nocturnality. Positive selection along the therian branch suggests adaptive evolution in rhodopsin concurrent with therian ecological diversification events during the Mesozoic that allowed for an exploration of the environment at varying light levels.

  3. Conflicting selection alters the trajectory of molecular evolution in a tripartite bacteria-plasmid-phage interaction.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ellie; Hall, James J P; Paterson, Steve; Spiers, Andrew J; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2017-03-01

    Bacteria engage in a complex network of ecological interactions, which includes mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as phages and plasmids. These elements play a key role in microbial communities as vectors of horizontal gene transfer but can also be important sources of selection for their bacterial hosts. In natural communities bacteria are likely to encounter multiple MGEs simultaneously and conflicting selection among MGEs could alter the bacterial evolutionary response to each MGE. Here we test the effect of interactions with multiple MGEs on bacterial molecular evolution in the tripartite interaction between the bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens, the lytic bacteriophage SBW25φ2 and conjugative plasmid, pQBR103, using genome sequencing of experimentally evolved bacteria. We show that, individually, both plasmids and phages impose selection leading to bacterial evolutionary responses that are distinct from bacterial populations evolving without MGEs, but that together, plasmids and phages impose conflicting selection on bacteria, constraining the evolutionary responses observed in pairwise interactions. Our findings highlight the likely difficulties of predicting evolutionary responses to multiple selective pressures from the observed evolutionary responses to each selective pressure alone. Understanding evolution in complex microbial communities comprising many species and MGEs will require that we go beyond studies of pairwise interactions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  4. Bioinspired Molecular Co-Catalysts Bonded to a Silicon Photocathode for Solar Hydrogen Evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Hou, Yidong

    2011-11-08

    The production of fuels from sunlight represents one of the main challenges in the development of a sustainable energy system. Hydrogen is the simplest fuel to produce and although platinum and other noble metals are efficient catalysts for photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution earth-abundant alternatives are needed for large-scale use. We show that bioinspired molecular clusters based on molybdenum and sulphur evolve hydrogen at rates comparable to that of platinum. The incomplete cubane-like clusters (Mo{sub 3}S{sub 4}) efficiently catalyse the evolution of hydrogen when coupled to a p-type Si semiconductor that harvests red photons in the solar spectrum. The current densities at the reversible potential match the requirement of a photoelectrochemical hydrogen production system with a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency in excess of 10% (ref. 16). The experimental observations are supported by density functional theory calculations of the Mo{sub 3}S{sub 4} clusters adsorbed on the hydrogen-terminated Si(100) surface, providing insights into the nature of the active site.

  5. Molecular metal–Nx centres in porous carbon for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Hai-Wei; Brüller, Sebastian; Dong, Renhao; Zhang, Jian; Feng, Xinliang; Müllen, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Replacement of precious platinum with efficient and low-cost catalysts for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution at low overpotentials holds tremendous promise for clean energy devices. Here we report a novel type of robust cobalt–nitrogen/carbon catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) that is prepared by the pyrolysis of cobalt–N4 macrocycles or cobalt/o-phenylenediamine composites and using silica colloids as a hard template. We identify the well-dispersed molecular CoNx sites on the carbon support as the active sites responsible for the HER. The CoNx/C catalyst exhibits extremely high turnover frequencies per cobalt site in acids, for example, 0.39 and 6.5 s−1 at an overpotential of 100 and 200 mV, respectively, which are higher than those reported for other scalable non-precious metal HER catalysts. Our results suggest the great promise of developing new families of non-precious metal HER catalysts based on the controlled conversion of homogeneous metal complexes into solid-state carbon catalysts via economically scalable protocols. PMID:26250525

  6. Population genetics and molecular evolution of DNA sequences in transposable elements. I. A simulation framework.

    PubMed

    Kijima, T E; Innan, Hideki

    2013-11-01

    A population genetic simulation framework is developed to understand the behavior and molecular evolution of DNA sequences of transposable elements. Our model incorporates random transposition and excision of transposable element (TE) copies, two modes of selection against TEs, and degeneration of transpositional activity by point mutations. We first investigated the relationships between the behavior of the copy number of TEs and these parameters. Our results show that when selection is weak, the genome can maintain a relatively large number of TEs, but most of them are less active. In contrast, with strong selection, the genome can maintain only a limited number of TEs but the proportion of active copies is large. In such a case, there could be substantial fluctuations of the copy number over generations. We also explored how DNA sequences of TEs evolve through the simulations. In general, active copies form clusters around the original sequence, while less active copies have long branches specific to themselves, exhibiting a star-shaped phylogeny. It is demonstrated that the phylogeny of TE sequences could be informative to understand the dynamics of TE evolution.

  7. THE GLOBAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT MOLECULAR CLOUDS. II. THE ROLE OF ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Goldbaum, Nathan J.; Krumholz, Mark R.; Matzner, Christopher D.; McKee, Christopher F.

    2011-09-01

    We present virial models for the global evolution of giant molecular clouds (GMCs). Focusing on the presence of an accretion flow and accounting for the amount of mass, momentum, and energy supplied by accretion and star formation feedback, we are able to follow the growth, evolution, and dispersal of individual GMCs. Our model clouds reproduce the scaling relations observed in both galactic and extragalactic clouds. We find that accretion and star formation contribute roughly equal amounts of turbulent kinetic energy over the lifetime of the cloud. Clouds attain virial equilibrium and grow in such a way as to maintain roughly constant surface densities, with typical surface densities of order 50-200 M{sub sun} pc{sup -2}, in good agreement with observations of GMCs in the Milky Way and nearby external galaxies. We find that as clouds grow, their velocity dispersion and radius must also increase, implying that the linewidth-size relation constitutes an age sequence. Lastly, we compare our models to observations of GMCs and associated young star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud and find good agreement between our model clouds and the observed relationship between H II regions, young star clusters, and GMCs.

  8. Molecular Evolution and Functional Characterization of a Bifunctional Decarboxylase Involved in Lycopodium Alkaloid Biosynthesis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Bunsupa, Somnuk; Hanada, Kousuke; Maruyama, Akira; Aoyagi, Kaori; Komatsu, Kana; Ueno, Hideki; Yamashita, Madoka; Sasaki, Ryosuke; Oikawa, Akira; Yamazaki, Mami

    2016-01-01

    Lycopodium alkaloids (LAs) are derived from lysine (Lys) and are found mainly in Huperziaceae and Lycopodiaceae. LAs are potentially useful against Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and myasthenia gravis. Here, we cloned the bifunctional lysine/ornithine decarboxylase (L/ODC), the first gene involved in LA biosynthesis, from the LA-producing plants Lycopodium clavatum and Huperzia serrata. We describe the in vitro and in vivo functional characterization of the L. clavatum L/ODC (LcL/ODC). The recombinant LcL/ODC preferentially catalyzed the decarboxylation of l-Lys over l-ornithine (l-Orn) by about 5 times. Transient expression of LcL/ODC fused with the amino or carboxyl terminus of green fluorescent protein, in onion (Allium cepa) epidermal cells and Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, showed LcL/ODC localization in the cytosol. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) hairy roots and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants expressing LcL/ODC enhanced the production of a Lys-derived alkaloid, anabasine, and cadaverine, respectively, thus, confirming the function of LcL/ODC in plants. In addition, we present an example of the convergent evolution of plant Lys decarboxylase that resulted in the production of Lys-derived alkaloids in Leguminosae (legumes) and Lycopodiaceae (clubmosses). This convergent evolution event probably occurred via the promiscuous functions of the ancestral Orn decarboxylase, which is an enzyme involved in the primary metabolism of polyamine. The positive selection sites were detected by statistical analyses using phylogenetic trees and were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis, suggesting the importance of those sites in granting the promiscuous function to Lys decarboxylase while retaining the ancestral Orn decarboxylase function. This study contributes to a better understanding of LA biosynthesis and the molecular evolution of plant Lys decarboxylase. PMID:27303024

  9. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of the metallothionein gene family in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Serén, Nina; Glaberman, Scott; Carretero, Miguel A; Chiari, Ylenia

    2014-04-01

    The metallothionein (MT) gene superfamily consists of metal-binding proteins involved in various metal detoxification and storage mechanisms. The evolution of this gene family in vertebrates has mostly been studied in mammals using sparse taxon or gene sampling. Genomic databases and available data on MT protein function and expression allow a better understanding of the evolution and functional divergence of the different MT types. We recovered 77 MT coding sequences from 20 representative vertebrates with annotated complete genomes. We found multiple MT genes, also in reptiles, which were thought to have only one MT type. Phylogenetic and synteny analyses indicate the existence of a eutherian MT1 and MT2, a tetrapod MT3, an amniote MT4, and fish MT. The optimal gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analyses identified the best root in the fish clade. Functional analyses reveal variation in hydropathic index among protein domains, likely correlated with their distinct flexibility and metal affinity. Analyses of functional divergence identified amino acid sites correlated with functional divergence among MT types. Uncovering the number of genes and sites possibly correlated with functional divergence will help to design cost-effective MT functional and gene expression studies. This will permit further understanding of the distinct roles and specificity of these proteins and to properly target specific MT for different types of functional studies. Therefore, this work presents a critical background on the molecular evolution and functional divergence of vertebrate MTs to carry out further detailed studies on the relationship between heavy metal metabolism and tolerances among vertebrates.

  10. Evidence for a convergent slowdown in primate molecular rates and its implications for the timing of early primate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Steiper, Michael E.; Seiffert, Erik R.

    2012-01-01

    A long-standing problem in primate evolution is the discord between paleontological and molecular clock estimates for the time of crown primate origins: the earliest crown primate fossils are ∼56 million y (Ma) old, whereas molecular estimates for the haplorhine-strepsirrhine split are often deep in the Late Cretaceous. One explanation for this phenomenon is that crown primates existed in the Cretaceous but that their fossil remains have not yet been found. Here we provide strong evidence that this discordance is better-explained by a convergent molecular rate slowdown in early primate evolution. We show that molecular rates in primates are strongly and inversely related to three life-history correlates: body size (BS), absolute endocranial volume (EV), and relative endocranial volume (REV). Critically, these traits can be reconstructed from fossils, allowing molecular rates to be predicted for extinct primates. To this end, we modeled the evolutionary history of BS, EV, and REV using data from both extinct and extant primates. We show that the primate last common ancestor had a very small BS, EV, and REV. There has been a subsequent convergent increase in BS, EV, and REV, indicating that there has also been a convergent molecular rate slowdown over primate evolution. We generated a unique timescale for primates by predicting molecular rates from the reconstructed phenotypic values for a large phylogeny of living and extinct primates. This analysis suggests that crown primates originated close to the K–Pg boundary and possibly in the Paleocene, largely reconciling the molecular and fossil timescales of primate evolution. PMID:22474376

  11. Evolution of the fruit endocarp: molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in seed protection and dispersal strategies

    PubMed Central

    Dardick, Chris; Callahan, Ann M.

    2014-01-01

    Plant evolution is largely driven by adaptations in seed protection and dispersal strategies that allow diversification into new niches. This is evident by the tremendous variation in flowering and fruiting structures present both across and within different plant lineages. Within a single plant family a staggering variety of fruit types can be found such as fleshy fruits including berries, pomes, and drupes and dry fruit structures like achenes, capsules, and follicles. What are the evolutionary mechanisms that enable such dramatic shifts to occur in a relatively short period of time? This remains a fundamental question of plant biology today. On the surface it seems that these extreme differences in form and function must be the consequence of very different developmental programs that require unique sets of genes. Yet as we begin to decipher the molecular and genetic basis underlying fruit form it is becoming apparent that simple genetic changes in key developmental regulatory genes can have profound anatomical effects. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of fruit endocarp tissue differentiation that have contributed to species diversification within three plant lineages. PMID:25009543

  12. The Convergent Evolution of Blue Iris Pigmentation in Primates Took Distinct Molecular Paths

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Zhang, Sidi; Hayakawa, Sachiko; Imai, Hiroo; Przeworski, Molly

    2013-01-01

    How many distinct molecular paths lead to the same phenotype? One approach to this question has been to examine the genetic basis of convergent traits, which likely evolved repeatedly under a shared selective pressure. We investigated the convergent phenotype of blue iris pigmentation, which has arisen independently in four primate lineages: humans, blue-eyed black lemurs, Japanese macaques, and spider monkeys. Characterizing the phenotype across these species, we found that the variation within the blue-eyed subsets of each species occupies strongly overlapping regions of CIE L*a*b* color space. Yet whereas Japanese macaques and humans display continuous variation, the phenotypes of blue-eyed black lemurs and their sister species (whose irises are brown) occupy more clustered subspaces. Variation in an enhancer of OCA2 is primarily responsible for the phenotypic difference between humans with blue and brown irises. In the orthologous region, we found no variant that distinguishes the two lemur species or associates with quantitative phenotypic variation in Japanese macaques. Given the high similarity between the blue iris phenotypes in these species and that in humans, this finding implies that evolution has used different molecular paths to reach the same end. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:398–407, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23640739

  13. Rates and patterns of molecular evolution in freshwater versus terrestrial insects.

    PubMed

    Mitterboeck, T Fatima; Fu, Jinzhong; Adamowicz, Sarah J

    2016-11-01

    Insect lineages have crossed between terrestrial and aquatic habitats many times, for both immature and adult life stages. We explore patterns in molecular evolutionary rates between 42 sister pairs of related terrestrial and freshwater insect clades using publicly available protein-coding DNA sequence data from the orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Mecoptera, Trichoptera, and Neuroptera. We furthermore test for habitat-associated convergent molecular evolution in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene in general and at a particular amino acid site previously reported to exhibit habitat-linked convergence within an aquatic beetle group. While ratios of nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitutions across available loci were higher in terrestrial than freshwater-associated taxa in 26 of 42 lineage pairs, a stronger trend was observed (20 of 31, pbinomial = 0.15, pWilcoxon = 0.017) when examining only terrestrial-aquatic pairs including fully aquatic taxa. We did not observe any widespread changes at particular amino acid sites in COI associated with habitat shifts, although there may be general differences in selection regime linked to habitat.

  14. Processing of meteoritic organic materials as a possible analog of early molecular evolution in planetary environments

    PubMed Central

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Davidowski, Stephen K.; Holland, Gregory P.; Williams, Lynda B.

    2013-01-01

    The composition of the Sutter’s Mill meteorite insoluble organic material was studied both in toto by solid-state NMR spectroscopy of the powders and by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analyses of compounds released upon their hydrothermal treatment. Results were compared with those obtained for other meteorites of diverse classifications (Murray, GRA 95229, Murchison, Orgueil, and Tagish Lake) and found to be so far unique in regard to the molecular species released. These include, in addition to O-containing aromatic compounds, complex polyether- and ester-containing alkyl molecules of prebiotic appeal and never detected in meteorites before. The Sutter’s Mill fragments we analyzed had likely been altered by heat, and the hydrothermal conditions of the experiments realistically mimic early Earth settings, such as near volcanic activity or impact craters. On this basis, the data suggest a far larger availability of meteoritic organic materials for planetary environments than previously assumed and that molecular evolution on the early Earth could have benefited from accretion of carbonaceous meteorites both directly with soluble compounds and, for a more protracted time, through alteration, processing, and release from their insoluble organic materials. PMID:24019471

  15. Molecular gas content of H I monsters and implications to cold gas content evolution in galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Cheoljong; Chung, Aeree; Yun, Min S.; Cybulski, Ryan; Narayanan, G.; Erickson, N.

    2014-06-01

    We present 12CO (J = 1 → 0) observations of a sample of local galaxies (0.04 < z < 0.08) with a large neutral hydrogen reservoir, or `H I monsters'. The data were obtained using the redshift search receiver on the five college radio astronomy observatory (FCRAO) 14 m telescope. The sample consists of 20 H I-massive galaxies with MH I > 3 × 1010 M⊙ from the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) survey and 8 low surface brightness galaxies (LSBs) with a comparable MH I(>1.5 × 1010 M⊙). Our sample selection is purely based on the amount of neutral hydrogen, thereby providing a chance to study how atomic and molecular gas relate to each other in these H I-massive systems. We have detected CO in 15 out of 20 ALFALFA selected galaxies and 4 out of 8 LSBs with molecular gas mass MH2 of (1-11)× 109 M⊙. Their total cold gas masses of (2-7) × 1010 M⊙ make them some of the most gas-massive galaxies identified to date in the Local Universe. Observed trends associated with H I, H2, and stellar properties of the H I massive galaxies and the field comparison sample are analysed in the context of theoretical models of galaxy cold gas content and evolution, and the importance of total gas content and improved recipes for handling spatially differentiated behaviours of disc and halo gas are identified as potential areas of improvement for the modelling.

  16. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of tubulin superfamily in the fungal tree of life

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhongtao; Liu, Huiquan; Luo, Yongping; Zhou, Shanyue; An, Lin; Wang, Chenfang; Jin, Qiaojun; Zhou, Mingguo; Xu, Jin-Rong

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are essential for various cellular activities and β-tubulins are the target of benzimidazole fungicides. However, the evolution and molecular mechanisms driving functional diversification in fungal tubulins are not clear. In this study, we systematically identified tubulin genes from 59 representative fungi across the fungal kingdom. Phylogenetic analysis showed that α-/β-tubulin genes underwent multiple independent duplications and losses in different fungal lineages and formed distinct paralogous/orthologous clades. The last common ancestor of basidiomycetes and ascomycetes likely possessed two paralogs of α-tubulin (α1/α2) and β-tubulin (β1/β2) genes but α2-tubulin genes were lost in basidiomycetes and β2-tubulin genes were lost in most ascomycetes. Molecular evolutionary analysis indicated that α1, α2, and β2-tubulins have been under strong divergent selection and adaptive positive selection. Many positively selected sites are at or adjacent to important functional sites and likely contribute to functional diversification. We further experimentally confirmed functional divergence of two β-tubulins in Fusarium and identified type II variations in FgTub2 responsible for function shifts. In this study, we also identified δ-/ε-/η-tubulins in Chytridiomycetes. Overall, our results illustrated that different evolutionary mechanisms drive functional diversification of α-/β-tubulin genes in different fungal lineages, and residues under positive selection could provide targets for further experimental study. PMID:25339375

  17. Evolution of the placenta and fetal membranes seen in the light of molecular phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Carter, A M

    2001-11-01

    Recent analyses of nucleotide sequence data suggest that living placental mammals belong to one of four superorders. The early divergence of these groups was followed by long periods of geographical isolation, due to the break up of continental land masses, allowing for convergent evolution of similar traits in different superorders. As an example, the transition from epitheliochorial to haemochorial placentation occurred independently in bats, rodents, anthropoid primates, armadillos and others. A group of ancient African mammals is suggested by the molecular data, but is not fully supported by morphological evidence. The hypothesis is, however, consistent with some of the data on fetal membranes, suggesting that it would be worthwhile to study the early development of tenrecs, golden moles and elephant shrews. Analyses of fetal membrane traits that group the tarsiers with anthropoid primates, and separate them from the lemurs, are challenged by the molecular data. Other relatives of the primates seem to include tree shrews and flying lemurs, and little is known about the fetal membranes of the latter group. Comparative studies of placental function normally are confined to primates, rodents, lagomorphs and domestic animals: the biological diversity represented by mammals that evolved in ancient Africa and South America is not represented. Therefore, future comparative studies should strive to include species such as the rock hyrax and the armadillo.

  18. Accelerators, Colliders, and Snakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courant, Ernest D.

    2003-12-01

    The author traces his involvement in the evolution of particle accelerators over the past 50 years. He participated in building the first billion-volt accelerator, the Brookhaven Cosmotron, which led to the introduction of the "strong-focusing" method that has in turn led to the very large accelerators and colliders of the present day. The problems of acceleration of spin-polarized protons are also addressed, with discussions of depolarizing resonances and "Siberian snakes" as a technique for mitigating these resonances.

  19. Molecular evolution of the metazoan PHD-HIF oxygen-sensing system.

    PubMed

    Rytkönen, Kalle T; Williams, Tom A; Renshaw, Gillian M; Primmer, Craig R; Nikinmaa, Mikko

    2011-06-01

    Metazoans rely on aerobic energy production, which requires an adequate oxygen supply. During reduced oxygen supply (hypoxia), the most profound changes in gene expression are mediated by transcription factors known as hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). HIF alpha proteins are commonly posttranslationally regulated by prolyl-4-hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes, which are direct "sensors" of cellular oxygen levels. We examined the molecular evolution of the metazoan PHD-HIF oxygen-sensing system by constructing complete phylogenies for PHD and HIF alpha genes and used computational tools to characterize the molecular changes underlying the functional divergence of PHD and HIF alpha duplicates. The presence of PHDs in metazoan genomes predates the emergence of HIF alphas. Our analysis revealed an unexpected diversity of PHD genes and HIF alpha sequence characteristics in invertebrates, suggesting that the simple oxygen-sensing systems of Caenorhabditis and Drosophila may not be typical of other invertebrate bilaterians. We studied the early vertebrate evolution of the system by sequencing these genes in early-diverging cartilaginous fishes, elasmobranchs. Cartilaginous fishes appear to have three paralogs of both PHD and HIF alpha. The novel sequences were used as outgroups for a detailed molecular analysis of PHD and HIF alpha duplicates in a major air-breathing vertebrate lineage, the mammals, and a major water-breathing vertebrate lineage, the teleosts. In PHDs, functionally divergent amino acid sites were detected near the HIF alpha-binding channel and beta2beta3 loop that defines its substrate specificity. In HIF alphas, more functional divergence was found in teleosts than in mammals, especially in the HIF-1 alpha PAS domain and HIF-2 alpha oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD) domains, which interact with PHDs. Overall, in the vertebrates, elevated substitution rates in the HIF-2 alpha N-terminal ODD domain, together with a functional divergence associated with the known

  20. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti.

    PubMed

    Small, Scott T; Tisch, Daniel J; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2014-12-01

    Wuchereria bancrofti (Wb) is the most widely distributed of the three nematodes known to cause lymphatic filariasis (LF), the other two being Brugia malayi and Brugia timori. Current tools available to monitor LF are limited to diagnostic tests targeting DNA repeats, filarial antigens, and anti-filarial antibodies. While these tools are useful for detection and surveillance, elimination programs have yet to take full advantage of molecular typing for inferring infection history, strain fingerprinting, and evolution. To date, molecular typing approaches have included whole mitochondrial genomes, genotyping, targeted sequencing, and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPDs). These studies have revealed much about Wb biology. For example, in one study in Papua New Guinea researchers identified 5 major strains that were widespread and many minor strains some of which exhibit geographic stratification. Genome data, while rare, has been utilized to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among taxa of the Onchocercidae (the clade of filarial nematodes) and identify gene synteny. Their phylogeny reveals that speciation from the common ancestor of both B. malayi and Wb occurred around 5-6 millions years ago with shared ancestry to other filarial nematodes as recent as 15 million years ago. These discoveries hold promise for gene discovery and identifying drug targets in species that are more amenable to in vivo experiments. Continued technological developments in whole genome sequencing and data analysis will likely replace many other forms of molecular typing, multiplying the amount of data available on population structure, genetic diversity, and phylogenetics. Once widely available, the addition of population genetic data from genomic studies should hasten the elimination of LF parasites like Wb. Infectious disease control programs have benefited greatly from population genetics data and recently from population genomics data. However, while there is currently a surplus

  1. The Evolution of the single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor instability under the influence of time-dependent accelerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramaprabhu, Praveen; Karkhanis, Varad; Banerjee, Rahul; Varshochi, Hilda; Khan, Manoranjan; Lawrie, Andrew; Variable g RT Collaboration

    2015-11-01

    From detailed numerical simulations of the single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability driven by time-varying acceleration histories, we report on several findings of relevance to the performance of Inertial Confinement Fusion capsules. The incompressible, Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) were performed in two- and three-dimensions, and over a range of density ratios of the fluid combinations (characterized by the Atwood number). We have investigated several acceleration histories, including acceleration profiles g(t) of the general form tn, with n > -2. For the 2D flow, results from numerical simulations are compared with a potential flow model developed and reported as part of this work. When the simulations are extended to three dimensions, bubble and spike growth rates are in agreement with an extension to the drag buoyancy model with modifications for time-dependent acceleration histories. We have come up with simple analytic solutions to the Drag Buoyancy model for variable g flows, and compared the solution with the 2D and 3D DNS results. This work was supported in part by the (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA2-5396.

  2. Molecular evolution of rbcL in three gymnosperm families: identifying adaptive and coevolutionary patterns

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    forward the conclusion that this evolutionary scenario has been possible through a complex interplay between adaptive mutations, often structurally destabilizing, and compensatory mutations. Our results unearth patterns of evolution that have likely optimized the Rubisco activity and uncover mutational dynamics useful in the molecular engineering of enzymatic activities. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Prof. Christian Blouin (nominated by Dr W Ford Doolittle), Dr Endre Barta (nominated by Dr Sandor Pongor), and Dr Nicolas Galtier. PMID:21639885

  3. Tracking the Molecular Evolution of Calcium Permeability in a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Lipovsek, Marcela; Fierro, Angélica; Pérez, Edwin G.; Boffi, Juan C.; Millar, Neil S.; Fuchs, Paul A.; Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are a family of ligand-gated nonselective cationic channels that participate in fundamental physiological processes at both the central and the peripheral nervous system. The extent of calcium entry through ligand-gated ion channels defines their distinct functions. The α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor, expressed in cochlear hair cells, is a peculiar member of the family as it shows differences in the extent of calcium permeability across species. In particular, mammalian α9α10 receptors are among the ligand-gated ion channels which exhibit the highest calcium selectivity. This acquired differential property provides the unique opportunity of studying how protein function was shaped along evolutionary history, by tracking its evolutionary record and experimentally defining the amino acid changes involved. We have applied a molecular evolution approach of ancestral sequence reconstruction, together with molecular dynamics simulations and an evolutionary-based mutagenesis strategy, in order to trace the molecular events that yielded a high calcium permeable nicotinic α9α10 mammalian receptor. Only three specific amino acid substitutions in the α9 subunit were directly involved. These are located at the extracellular vestibule and at the exit of the channel pore and not at the transmembrane region 2 of the protein as previously thought. Moreover, we show that these three critical substitutions only increase calcium permeability in the context of the mammalian but not the avian receptor, stressing the relevance of overall protein structure on defining functional properties. These results highlight the importance of tracking evolutionarily acquired changes in protein sequence underlying fundamental functional properties of ligand-gated ion channels. PMID:25193338

  4. Deceptive Desmas: Molecular Phylogenetics Suggests a New Classification and Uncovers Convergent Evolution of Lithistid Demosponges

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Astrid; Erpenbeck, Dirk; Pisera, Andrzej; Hooper, John; Bryce, Monika; Fromont, Jane; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Reconciling the fossil record with molecular phylogenies to enhance the understanding of animal evolution is a challenging task, especially for taxa with a mostly poor fossil record, such as sponges (Porifera). ‘Lithistida’, a polyphyletic group of recent and fossil sponges, are an exception as they provide the richest fossil record among demosponges. Lithistids, currently encompassing 13 families, 41 genera and >300 recent species, are defined by the common possession of peculiar siliceous spicules (desmas) that characteristically form rigid articulated skeletons. Their phylogenetic relationships are to a large extent unresolved and there has been no (taxonomically) comprehensive analysis to formally reallocate lithistid taxa to their closest relatives. This study, based on the most comprehensive molecular and morphological investigation of ‘lithistid’ demosponges to date, corroborates some previous weakly-supported hypotheses, and provides novel insights into the evolutionary relationships of the previous ‘order Lithistida’. Based on molecular data (partial mtDNA CO1 and 28S rDNA sequences), we show that 8 out of 13 ‘Lithistida’ families belong to the order Astrophorida, whereas Scleritodermidae and Siphonidiidae form a separate monophyletic clade within Tetractinellida. Most lithistid astrophorids are dispersed between different clades of the Astrophorida and we propose to formally reallocate them, respectively. Corallistidae, Theonellidae and Phymatellidae are monophyletic, whereas the families Pleromidae and Scleritodermidae are polyphyletic. Family Desmanthidae is polyphyletic and groups within Halichondriidae – we formally propose a reallocation. The sister group relationship of the family Vetulinidae to Spongillida is confirmed and we propose here for the first time to include Vetulina into a new Order Sphaerocladina. Megascleres and microscleres possibly evolved and/or were lost several times independently in different

  5. Tracking the molecular evolution of calcium permeability in a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Lipovsek, Marcela; Fierro, Angélica; Pérez, Edwin G; Boffi, Juan C; Millar, Neil S; Fuchs, Paul A; Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-12-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are a family of ligand-gated nonselective cationic channels that participate in fundamental physiological processes at both the central and the peripheral nervous system. The extent of calcium entry through ligand-gated ion channels defines their distinct functions. The α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor, expressed in cochlear hair cells, is a peculiar member of the family as it shows differences in the extent of calcium permeability across species. In particular, mammalian α9α10 receptors are among the ligand-gated ion channels which exhibit the highest calcium selectivity. This acquired differential property provides the unique opportunity of studying how protein function was shaped along evolutionary history, by tracking its evolutionary record and experimentally defining the amino acid changes involved. We have applied a molecular evolution approach of ancestral sequence reconstruction, together with molecular dynamics simulations and an evolutionary-based mutagenesis strategy, in order to trace the molecular events that yielded a high calcium permeable nicotinic α9α10 mammalian receptor. Only three specific amino acid substitutions in the α9 subunit were directly involved. These are located at the extracellular vestibule and at the exit of the channel pore and not at the transmembrane region 2 of the protein as previously thought. Moreover, we show that these three critical substitutions only increase calcium permeability in the context of the mammalian but not the avian receptor, stressing the relevance of overall protein structure on defining functional properties. These results highlight the importance of tracking evolutionarily acquired changes in protein sequence underlying fundamental functional properties of ligand-gated ion channels.

  6. The role of macromolecular crowding in the evolution of lens crystallins with high molecular refractive index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Huaying; Magone, M. Teresa; Schuck, Peter

    2011-08-01

    Crystallins are present in the lens at extremely high concentrations in order to provide transparency and generate a high refractive power of the lens. The crystallin families prevalent in the highest density lens tissues are γ-crystallins in vertebrates and S-crystallins in cephalopods. As shown elsewhere, in parallel evolution, both have evolved molecular refractive index increments 5-10% above those of most proteins. Although this is a small increase, it is statistically very significant and can be achieved only by very unusual amino acid compositions. In contrast, such a molecular adaptation to aid in the refractive function of the lens did not occur in crystallins that are preferentially located in lower density lens tissues, such as vertebrate α-crystallin and taxon-specific crystallins. In the current work, we apply a model of non-interacting hard spheres to examine the thermodynamic contributions of volume exclusion at lenticular protein concentrations. We show that the small concentration decrease afforded by the higher molecular refractive index increment of crystallins can amplify nonlinearly to produce order of magnitude differences in chemical activities, and lead to reduced osmotic pressure and the reduced propensity for protein aggregation. Quantitatively, this amplification sets in only at protein concentrations as high as those found in hard lenses or the nucleus of soft lenses, in good correspondence to the observed crystallin properties in different tissues and different species. This suggests that volume exclusion effects provide the evolutionary driving force for the unusual refractive properties and the unusual amino acid compositions of γ-crystallins and S-crystallins.

  7. Molecular Evolution of the Porcine Type I Interferon Family: Subtype-Specific Expression and Antiviral Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sang, Yongming; Bergkamp, Joseph; Blecha, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Type I interferons (IFNs), key antiviral cytokines, evolve to adapt with ever-changing viral threats during vertebrate speciation. Due to novel pathogenic pressure associated with Suidae speciation and domestication, porcine IFNs evolutionarily engender both molecular and functional diversification, which have not been well addressed in pigs, an important livestock species and animal model for biomedical sciences. Annotation of current swine genome assembly Sscrofa10.2 reveals 57 functional genes and 16 pseudogenes of type I IFNs. Subfamilies of multiple IFNA, IFNW and porcine-specific IFND genes are separated into four clusters with ∼60 kb intervals within the IFNB/IFNE bordered region in SSC1, and each cluster contains mingled subtypes of IFNA, IFNW and IFND. Further curation of the 57 functional IFN genes indicates that they include 18 potential artifactual duplicates. We performed phylogenetic construction as well as analyses of gene duplication/conversion and natural selection and showed that porcine type I IFN genes have been undergoing active diversification through both gene duplication and conversion. Extensive analyses of the non-coding sequences proximal to all IFN coding regions identified several genomic repetitive elements significantly associated with different IFN subtypes. Family-wide studies further revealed their molecular diversity with respect to differential expression and restrictive activity on the resurgence of a porcine endogenous retrovirus. Based on predicted 3-D structures of representative animal IFNs and inferred activity, we categorized the general functional propensity underlying the structure-activity relationship. Evidence indicates gene expansion of porcine type I IFNs. Genomic repetitive elements that associated with IFN subtypes may serve as molecular signatures of respective IFN subtypes and genomic mechanisms to mediate IFN gene evolution and expression. In summary, the porcine type I IFN profile has been phylogenetically

  8. Evolution of the single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor instability under the influence of time-dependent accelerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramaprabhu, P.; Karkhanis, V.; Banerjee, R.; Varshochi, H.; Khan, M.; Lawrie, A. G. W.

    2016-01-01

    From nonlinear models and direct numerical simulations we report on several findings of relevance to the single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability driven by time-varying acceleration histories. The incompressible, direct numerical simulations (DNSs) were performed in two (2D) and three dimensions (3D), and at a range of density ratios of the fluid combinations (characterized by the Atwood number). We investigated several acceleration histories, including acceleration profiles of the general form g (t ) ˜tn , with n ≥0 and acceleration histories reminiscent of the linear electric motor experiments. For the 2D flow, results from numerical simulations compare well with a 2D potential flow model and solutions to a drag-buoyancy model reported as part of this work. When the simulations are extended to three dimensions, bubble and spike growth rates are in agreement with the so-called level 2 and level 3 models of Mikaelian [K. O. Mikaelian, Phys. Rev. E 79, 065303(R) (2009), 10.1103/PhysRevE.79.065303], and with corresponding 3D drag-buoyancy model solutions derived in this article. Our generalization of the RT problem to study variable g (t ) affords us the opportunity to investigate the appropriate scaling for bubble and spike amplitudes under these conditions. We consider two candidates, the displacement Z and width s2, but find the appropriate scaling is dependent on the density ratios between the fluids—at low density ratios, bubble and spike amplitudes are explained by both s2 and Z , while at large density differences the displacement collapses the spike data. Finally, for all the acceleration profiles studied here, spikes enter a free-fall regime at lower Atwood numbers than predicted by all the models.

  9. Immobilization of a molecular cobalt electrocatalyst by hydrophobic interaction with a hematite photoanode for highly stable oxygen evolution.

    PubMed

    Joya, Khurram S; Morlanés, Natalia; Maloney, Edward; Rodionov, Valentin; Takanabe, Kazuhiro

    2015-09-11

    A unique modification of a hematite photoanode with perfluorinated Co-phthalocyanine (CoFPc) by strong binding associated with hydrophobic interaction is demonstrated. The resultant molecular electrocatalyst - a hematite photoanode hybrid material showed a significant onset shift and high stability for the photoelectrochemical oxidation evolution reaction (OER).

  10. Directed Molecular Evolution Improves the Immunogenicity and Protective Efficacy of a Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus DNA Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

    VEEV IA/B challenge. Our results indicate that it is pos- sible to improve the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of alphavirus DNA vaccines using... alphaviruses that ause periodic epizootics in the Americas [1]. These New World lphaviruses cause diseases in humans characterized by fever, eadache...equine encephalitis virus, VEE, alphavirus , DNA vaccine, envelope glycoproteins, directed molecular evolution, efficacy, immunogenicity, laboratory

  11. Evolutionary dynamics of Rh2 opsins in birds demonstrate an episode of accelerated evolution in the New World warblers (Setophaga)

    PubMed Central

    Price, Trevor D.

    2015-01-01

    Low rates of sequence evolution associated with purifying selection can be interrupted by episodic changes in selective regimes. Visual pigments are a unique system in which we can investigate the functional consequences of genetic changes, therefore connecting genotype to phenotype in the context of natural and sexual selection pressures. We study the RH2 and RH1 visual pigments (opsins) across 22 bird species belonging to two ecologically convergent clades, the New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae), and evaluate rates of evolution in these clades along with data from 21 additional species. We demonstrate generally slow evolution of these opsins: both Rh1 and Rh2 are highly conserved across Old World and New World warblers. However, Rh2 underwent a burst of evolution within the New World genus Setophaga, where it accumulated substitutions at 6 amino acid sites across the species we studied. Evolutionary analyses revealed a significant increase in dN/dS in Setophaga, implying relatively strong selective pressures to overcome long-standing purifying selection. We studied the effects of each substitution on spectral tuning and found they do not cause large spectral shifts. Thus substitutions may reflect other aspects of opsin function, such as those affecting photosensitivity and/or dark-light adaptation. Although it is unclear what these alterations mean for color perception, we suggest that rapid evolution is linked to sexual selection, given the exceptional plumage colour diversification in Setophaga. PMID:25827331

  12. The modern temperature-accelerated dynamics approach

    DOE PAGES

    Zamora, Richard J.; Uberuaga, Blas P.; Perez, Danny; ...

    2016-06-01

    Accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based methods used to simulate atomistic systems in which the metastable state-to-state evolution is slow compared with thermal vibrations. Temperature-accelerated dynamics (TAD) is a particularly efficient AMD procedure in which the predicted evolution is hastened by elevating the temperature of the system and then recovering the correct state-to-state dynamics at the temperature of interest. TAD has been used to study various materials applications, often revealing surprising behavior beyond the reach of direct MD. This success has inspired several algorithmic performance enhancements, as well as the analysis of its mathematical framework. Recently, thesemore » enhancements have leveraged parallel programming techniques to enhance both the spatial and temporal scaling of the traditional approach. Here, we review the ongoing evolution of the modern TAD method and introduce the latest development: speculatively parallel TAD.« less

  13. The Modern Temperature-Accelerated Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Richard J; Uberuaga, Blas P; Perez, Danny; Voter, Arthur F

    2016-06-07

    Accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based methods used to simulate atomistic systems in which the metastable state-to-state evolution is slow compared with thermal vibrations. Temperature-accelerated dynamics (TAD) is a particularly efficient AMD procedure in which the predicted evolution is hastened by elevating the temperature of the system and then recovering the correct state-to-state dynamics at the temperature of interest. TAD has been used to study various materials applications, often revealing surprising behavior beyond the reach of direct MD. This success has inspired several algorithmic performance enhancements, as well as the analysis of its mathematical framework. Recently, these enhancements have leveraged parallel programming techniques to enhance both the spatial and temporal scaling of the traditional approach. We review the ongoing evolution of the modern TAD method and introduce the latest development: speculatively parallel TAD.

  14. The modern temperature-accelerated dynamics approach

    SciTech Connect

    Zamora, Richard J.; Uberuaga, Blas P.; Perez, Danny; Voter, Arthur F.

    2016-06-01

    Accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based methods used to simulate atomistic systems in which the metastable state-to-state evolution is slow compared with thermal vibrations. Temperature-accelerated dynamics (TAD) is a particularly efficient AMD procedure in which the predicted evolution is hastened by elevating the temperature of the system and then recovering the correct state-to-state dynamics at the temperature of interest. TAD has been used to study various materials applications, often revealing surprising behavior beyond the reach of direct MD. This success has inspired several algorithmic performance enhancements, as well as the analysis of its mathematical framework. Recently, these enhancements have leveraged parallel programming techniques to enhance both the spatial and temporal scaling of the traditional approach. Here, we review the ongoing evolution of the modern TAD method and introduce the latest development: speculatively parallel TAD.

  15. Expression of two molecular forms of the complement decay-accelerating factor in the eye and lacrimal gland.

    PubMed

    Lass, J H; Walter, E I; Burris, T E; Grossniklaus, H E; Roat, M I; Skelnik, D L; Needham, L; Singer, M; Medof, M E

    1990-06-01

    Complement is present in ocular fluids, but the molecular mechanism(s) restricting its activation to exogenous targets and not to autologous ocular cells are currently unknown. To clarify how this control is achieved, monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based techniques were used to examine the eye, the lacrimal gland, and ocular fluids for the decay-accelerating factor (DAF), a membrane regulatory protein which protects blood cells from autologous complement activation on their surfaces. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections revealed DAF antigen on corneal and conjunctival epithelia, corneal endothelium, trabecular meshwork, and retina, as well as on lacrimal gland acinar cells and in adjacent lumens. By flow cytometry, cultures of conjunctival epithelium exhibited the highest DAF levels and levels on corneal epithelium greater than corneal endothelium greater than conjunctival fibroblasts. Biosynthetic labeling of corneal endothelium yielded de novo DAF protein with an apparent molecular weight (Mr) of 75 kD, approximating that of blood cell DAF protein, and digestions of conjunctival epithelium with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC), an enzyme which cleaves glycoinositolphospholipid membrane anchors, released approximately 70% of the ocular surface DAF protein similar to leukocyte surface DAF protein. Quantitations of DAF by radioimmunometric assay employing mAbs against two DAF epitopes revealed 325 ng/ml (n = 12), 4.8 ng/ml (n = 10), and 22.0 ng/ml (n = 8) of soluble DAF antigen in tears, aqueous humor, and vitreous humor, respectively. Western blot analyses of the tear DAF antigen revealed two DAF forms, one with an apparent Mr of 72 kD resembling membrane DAF forms in other sites, and a second with an apparent Mr of 100 kD, which is previously undescribed. Since DAF activity is essential physiologically in protecting blood cells from autologous complement attack, the identification of DAF on the ocular surface, intraocularly, in the

  16. Evolution of structure and properties of VVER-1000 RPV steels under accelerated irradiation up to beyond design fluences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurovich, B.; Kuleshova, E.; Shtrombakh, Ya.; Fedotova, S.; Maltsev, D.; Frolov, A.; Zabusov, O.; Erak, D.; Zhurko, D.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper comprehensive studies of structure and properties of VVER-1000 RPV steels after the accelerated irradiation to fluences corresponding to extended lifetime up to 60 years or more as well as comparative studies of materials irradiated with different fluxes were carried out. The significant flux effect is confirmed for the weld metal (nickel concentration ⩾1.35%) which is mainly due to development of reversible temper brittleness. The rate of radiation embrittlement of VVER-1000 RPV steels under operation up to 60 years and more (based on the results of accelerated irradiation considering flux effect for weld metal) is expected not to differ significantly from the observed rate under irradiation within surveillance specimens.

  17. Molecular phylogenetic evaluation of classification and scenarios of character evolution in calcareous sponges (Porifera, Class Calcarea).

    PubMed

    Voigt, Oliver; Wülfing, Eilika; Wörheide, Gert

    2012-01-01

    Calcareous sponges (Phylum Porifera, Class Calcarea) are known to be taxonomically difficult. Previous molecular studies have revealed many discrepancies between classically recognized taxa and the observed relationships at the order, family and genus levels; these inconsistencies question underlying hypotheses regarding the evolution of certain morphological characters. Therefore, we extended the available taxa and character set by sequencing the complete small subunit (SSU) rDNA and the almost complete large subunit (LSU) rDNA of additional key species and complemented this dataset by substantially increasing the length of available LSU sequences. Phylogenetic analyses provided new hypotheses about the relationships of Calcarea and about the evolution of certain morphological characters. We tested our phylogeny against competing phylogenetic hypotheses presented by previous classification systems. Our data reject the current order-level classification by again finding non-monophyletic Leucosolenida, Clathrinida and Murrayonida. In the subclass Calcinea, we recovered a clade that includes all species with a cortex, which is largely consistent with the previously proposed order Leucettida. Other orders that had been rejected in the current system were not found, but could not be rejected in our tests either. We found several additional families and genera polyphyletic: the families Leucascidae and Leucaltidae and the genus Leucetta in Calcinea, and in Calcaronea the family Amphoriscidae and the genus Ute. Our phylogeny also provided support for the vaguely suspected close relationship of several members of Grantiidae with giantortical diactines to members of Heteropiidae. Similarly, our analyses revealed several unexpected affinities, such as a sister group relationship between Leucettusa (Leucaltidae) and Leucettidae and between Leucascandra (Jenkinidae) and Sycon carteri (Sycettidae). According to our results, the taxonomy of Calcarea is in desperate need of a

  18. Direct molecular evolution of detergent-stable G protein-coupled receptors using polymer encapsulated cells.

    PubMed

    Scott, Daniel J; Plückthun, Andreas

    2013-02-08

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest class of pharmaceutical protein targets, yet drug development is encumbered by a lack of information about their molecular structure and conformational dynamics. Most mechanistic and structural studies as well as in vitro drug screening with purified receptors require detergent solubilization of the GPCR, but typically, these proteins exhibit only low stability in detergent micelles. We have developed the first directed evolution method that allows the direct selection of GPCRs stable in a chosen detergent from libraries containing over 100 million individual variants. The crucial concept was to encapsulate single Escherichia coli cells of a library, each expressing a different GPCR variant, to form detergent-resistant, semipermeable nano-containers. Unlike naked cells, these containers are not dissolved by detergents, allowing us to solubilize the GPCR proteins in situ while maintaining an association with the protein's genetic information, a prerequisite for directed evolution. The pore size was controlled to permit GPCR ligands to permeate but the solubilized receptor to remain within the nanocapsules. Fluorescently labeled ligands were used to bind to those GPCR variants inside the nano-containers that remained active in the detergent tested. With the use of fluorescence-activated cell sorting, detergent-stable mutants derived from two different family A GPCRs could be identified, some with the highest stability reported in short-chain detergents. In principle, this method (named cellular high-throughput encapsulation, solubilization and screening) is not limited to engineering stabilized GPCRs but could be used to stabilize other proteins for biochemical and structural studies.

  19. Molecular phylogeny of the Tylenchina and evolution of the female gonoduct (Nematoda: Rhabditida).

    PubMed

    Bert, Wim; Leliaert, Frederik; Vierstraete, Andy R; Vanfleteren, Jacques R; Borgonie, Gaetan

    2008-08-01

    Tylenchina are a morphologically and functionally diverse group of nematode species that range from free-living bacteriovores, over transitory grazing root-hair feeders to highly specialized plant-parasites with complex host associations. We performed phylogenetic analyses of small subunit rDNA sequences from 97 species including an analysis that account for the RNA secondary structure in the models of evolution. The present study confirms the sister relationship of the bacteriovore Cephalobidae with the predominantly plant-parasitic Tylenchomorpha. All analyses appoint the fungal-feeding Aphelenchidae and Aphelenchoididae as being polyphyletic but the morphology based hypothesis of their monophyly could not be significantly rejected. Within the Tylenchomorpha, the families that exclusively parasitize higher plants are joined in a single clade. However, only the monophyletic position of the (super)families Hoplolaimidae and Criconematoidea were supported; Anguinidae, Tylenchidae, Belonolaimidae and Pratylenchidae appeared to be paraphyletic or polyphyletic. Parsimony and likelihood ancestral state reconstruction revealed that burrowing endoparasitism and sedentary endoparasitism each evolved, respectively, at least six and at least three times independently, mostly from migratory ectoparasitic ancestors. Only root-knot nematodes have evolved from burrowing endoparasitic nematodes. Traditional classifications are partially misled by this convergent evolution of feeding type and associated morphology. Contrastingly, mapping attributes of the gonoduct cellular architecture, including newly obtained data of 18 species belonging to the Aphelenchoidea, Criconematoidea, Anguinidae and Panagrolaimidae, revealed a broad congruence of the gonoduct characters and the molecular phylogenetic hypothesis. Yet, the presence of an offset spermatheca and proliferation of uterus cells has evolved multiple times, the latter associated with derived endoparasitic feeding specialization

  20. Molecular evolution and functional characterisation of haplotypes of an important rubber biosynthesis gene in Hevea brasiliensis.

    PubMed

    Uthup, T K; Rajamani, A; Ravindran, M; Saha, T

    2016-07-01

    Hydroxy-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A synthase (HMGS) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the cytoplasmic isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway leading to natural rubber production in Hevea brasiliensis (rubber). Analysis of the structural variants of this gene is imperative to understand their functional significance in rubber biosynthesis so that they can be properly utilised for ongoing crop improvement programmes in Hevea. We report here allele richness and diversity of the HMGS gene in selected popular rubber clones. Haplotypes consisting of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the coding and non-coding regions with a high degree of heterozygosity were identified. Segregation and linkage disequilibrium analysis confirmed that recombination is the major contributor to the generation of allelic diversity, rather than point mutations. The evolutionarily conserved nature of some SNPs was identified by comparative DNA sequence analysis of HMGS orthologues from diverse taxa, demonstrating the molecular evolution of rubber biosynthesis genes in general. In silico three-dimensional structural studies highlighting the structural positioning of non-synonymous SNPs from different HMGS haplotypes revealed that the ligand-binding site on the enzyme remains impervious to the reported sequence variations. In contrast, gene expression results indicated the possibility of association between specific haplotypes and HMGS expression in Hevea clones, which may have a downstream impact up to the level of rubber production. Moreover, haplotype diversity of the HMGS gene and its putative association with gene expression can be the basis for further genetic association studies in rubber. Furthermore, the data also show the role of SNPs in the evolution of candidate genes coding for functional traits in plants.

  1. Rates of molecular evolution and diversification in plants: chloroplast substitution rates correlate with species-richness in the Proteaceae

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many factors have been identified as correlates of the rate of molecular evolution, such as body size and generation length. Analysis of many molecular phylogenies has also revealed correlations between substitution rates and clade size, suggesting a link between rates of molecular evolution and the process of diversification. However, it is not known whether this relationship applies to all lineages and all sequences. Here, in order to investigate how widespread this phenomenon is, we investigate patterns of substitution in chloroplast genomes of the diverse angiosperm family Proteaceae. We used DNA sequences from six chloroplast genes (6278bp alignment with 62 taxa) to test for a correlation between diversification and the rate of substitutions. Results Using phylogenetically-independent sister pairs, we show that species-rich lineages of Proteaceae tend to have significantly higher chloroplast substitution rates, for both synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions. Conclusions We show that the rate of molecular evolution in chloroplast genomes is correlated with net diversification rates in this large plant family. We discuss the possible causes of this relationship, including molecular evolution driving diversification, speciation increasing the rate of substitutions, or a third factor causing an indirect link between molecular and diversification rates. The link between the synonymous substitution rate and clade size is consistent with a role for the mutation rate of chloroplasts driving the speed of reproductive isolation. We find no significant differences in the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions between lineages differing in net diversification rate, therefore we detect no signal of population size changes or alteration in selection pressures that might be causing this relationship. PMID:23497266

  2. Accelerated rates of protein evolution in barley grain and pistil biased genes might be legacy of domestication.

    PubMed

    Shi, Tao; Dimitrov, Ivan; Zhang, Yinling; Tax, Frans E; Yi, Jing; Gou, Xiaoping; Li, Jia

    2015-10-01

    Traits related to grain and reproductive organs in grass crops have been under continuous directional selection during domestication. Barley is one of the oldest domesticated crops in human history. Thus genes associated with the grain and reproductive organs in barley may show evidence of dramatic evolutionary change. To understand how artificial selection contributes to protein evolution of biased genes in different barley organs, we used Digital Gene Expression analysis of six barley organs (grain, pistil, anther, leaf, stem and root) to identify genes with biased expression in specific organs. Pairwise comparisons of orthologs between barley and Brachypodium distachyon, as well as between highland and lowland barley cultivars mutually indicated that grain and pistil biased genes show relatively higher protein evolutionary rates compared with the median of all orthologs and other organ biased genes. Lineage-specific protein evolutionary rates estimation showed similar patterns with elevated protein evolution in barley grain and pistil biased genes, yet protein sequences generally evolve much faster in the lowland barley cultivar. Further functional annotations revealed that some of these grain and pistil biased genes with rapid protein evolution are related to nutrient biosynthesis and cell cycle/division. Our analyses provide insights into how domestication differentially shaped the evolution of genes specific to different organs of a crop species, and implications for future functional studies of domestication genes.

  3. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N W; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A; King, Glenn F; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

  4. Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A.; King, Glenn F.; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

  5. Structural and Molecular Evidence Suggesting Coronavirus-driven Evolution of Mouse Receptor.

    PubMed

    Peng, Guiqing; Yang, Yang; Pasquarella, Joseph R; Xu, Liqing; Qian, Zhaohui; Holmes, Kathryn V; Li, Fang

    2017-02-10

    Hosts and pathogens are locked in an evolutionary arms race. To infect mice, mouse hepatitis coronavirus (MHV) has evolved to recognize mouse CEACAM1a (mCEACAM1a) as its receptor. To elude MHV infections, mice may have evolved a variant allele from the Ceacam1a gene, called Ceacam1b, producing mCEACAM1b, which is a much poorer MHV receptor than mCEACAM1a. Previous studies showed that sequence differences between mCEACAM1a and mCEACAM1b in a critical MHV-binding CC' loop partially account for the low receptor activity of mCEACAM1b, but detailed structural and molecular mechanisms for the differential MHV receptor activities of mCEACAM1a and mCEACAM1b remained elusive. Here we have determined the crystal structure of mCEACAM1b and identified the structural differences and additional residue differences between mCEACAM1a and mCEACAM1b that affect MHV binding and entry. These differences include conformational alterations of the CC' loop as well as residue variations in other MHV-binding regions, including β-strands C' and C'' and loop C'C''. Using pseudovirus entry and protein-protein binding assays, we show that substituting the structural and residue features from mCEACAM1b into mCEACAM1a reduced the viral receptor activity of mCEACAM1a, whereas substituting the reverse changes from mCEACAM1a into mCEACAM1b increased the viral receptor activity of mCEACAM1b. These results elucidate the detailed molecular mechanism for how mice may have kept pace in the evolutionary arms race with MHV by undergoing structural and residue changes in the MHV receptor, providing insight into this possible example of pathogen-driven evolution of a host receptor protein.

  6. Molecular Evolution and Phylogeography of Co-circulating IHNV and VHSV in Italy.

    PubMed

    Abbadi, Miriam; Fusaro, Alice; Ceolin, Chiara; Casarotto, Claudia; Quartesan, Rosita; Dalla Pozza, Manuela; Cattoli, Giovanni; Toffan, Anna; Holmes, Edward C; Panzarin, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) are the most important viral pathogens impacting rainbow trout farming. These viruses are persistent in Italy, where they are responsible for severe disease outbreaks (epizootics) that affect the profitability of the trout industry. Despite the importance of IHNV and VHSV, little is known about their evolution at a local scale, although this is likely to be important for virus eradication and control. To address this issue we performed a detailed molecular evolutionary and epidemiological analysis of IHNV and VHSV in trout farms from northern Italy. Full-length glycoprotein gene sequences of a selection of VHSV (n = 108) and IHNV (n = 89) strains were obtained. This revealed that Italian VHSV strains belong to sublineages Ia1 and Ia2 of genotype Ia and are distributed into 7 genetic clusters. In contrast, all Italian IHNV isolates fell within genogroup E, for which only a single genetic cluster was identified. More striking was that IHNV has evolved more rapidly than VHSV (mean rates of 11 and 7.3 × 10(-4) nucleotide substitutions per site, per year, respectively), indicating that these viruses exhibit fundamentally different evolutionary dynamics. The time to the most recent common ancestor of both IHNV and VHSV was consistent with the first reports of these pathogens in Italy. By combining sequence data with epidemiological information it was possible to identify different patterns of virus spread among trout farms, in which adjacent facilities can be infected by either genetically similar or different viruses, and farms located in different water catchments can be infected by identical strains. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of combining molecular and epidemiological information to identify the determinants of IHN and VHS spread, and to provide data that is central to future surveillance strategies and possibly control.

  7. Molecular Evolution and Phylogeography of Co-circulating IHNV and VHSV in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Abbadi, Miriam; Fusaro, Alice; Ceolin, Chiara; Casarotto, Claudia; Quartesan, Rosita; Dalla Pozza, Manuela; Cattoli, Giovanni; Toffan, Anna; Holmes, Edward C.; Panzarin, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) are the most important viral pathogens impacting rainbow trout farming. These viruses are persistent in Italy, where they are responsible for severe disease outbreaks (epizootics) that affect the profitability of the trout industry. Despite the importance of IHNV and VHSV, little is known about their evolution at a local scale, although this is likely to be important for virus eradication and control. To address this issue we performed a detailed molecular evolutionary and epidemiological analysis of IHNV and VHSV in trout farms from northern Italy. Full-length glycoprotein gene sequences of a selection of VHSV (n = 108) and IHNV (n = 89) strains were obtained. This revealed that Italian VHSV strains belong to sublineages Ia1 and Ia2 of genotype Ia and are distributed into 7 genetic clusters. In contrast, all Italian IHNV isolates fell within genogroup E, for which only a single genetic cluster was identified. More striking was that IHNV has evolved more rapidly than VHSV (mean rates of 11 and 7.3 × 10−4 nucleotide substitutions per site, per year, respectively), indicating that these viruses exhibit fundamentally different evolutionary dynamics. The time to the most recent common ancestor of both IHNV and VHSV was consistent with the first reports of these pathogens in Italy. By combining sequence data with epidemiological information it was possible to identify different patterns of virus spread among trout farms, in which adjacent facilities can be infected by either genetically similar or different viruses, and farms located in different water catchments can be infected by identical strains. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of combining molecular and epidemiological information to identify the determinants of IHN and VHS spread, and to provide data that is central to future surveillance strategies and possibly control. PMID:27602026

  8. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. Results In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica) and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. Conclusions These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence. PMID:21226908

  9. Dynamics of molecular evolution in RNA virus populations depend on sudden versus gradual environmental change.

    PubMed

    Morley, Valerie J; Turner, Paul E

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the dynamics of molecular adaptation is a fundamental goal of evolutionary biology. While adaptation to constant environments has been well characterized, the effects of environmental complexity remain seldom studied. One simple but understudied factor is the rate of environmental change. Here we used experimental evolution with RNA viruses to investigate whether evolutionary dynamics varied based on the rate of environmental turnover. We used whole-genome next-generation sequencing to characterize evolutionary dynamics in virus populations adapting to a sudden versus gradual shift onto a novel host cell type. In support of theoretical models, we found that when populations evolved in response to a sudden environmental change, mutations of large beneficial effect tended to fix early, followed by mutations of smaller beneficial effect; as predicted, this pattern broke down in response to a gradual environmental change. Early mutational steps were highly parallel across replicate populations in both treatments. The fixation of single mutations was less common than sweeps of associated "cohorts" of mutations, and this pattern intensified when the environment changed gradually. Additionally, clonal interference appeared stronger in response to a gradual change. Our results suggest that the rate of environmental change is an important determinant of evolutionary dynamics in asexual populations.

  10. Molecular phylogeny, systematics and morphological evolution of the acorn barnacles (Thoracica: Sessilia: Balanomorpha).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Losada, Marcos; Høeg, Jens T; Simon-Blecher, Noa; Achituv, Yair; Jones, Diana; Crandall, Keith A

    2014-12-01

    The Balanomorpha are the largest group of barnacles and rank among the most diverse, commonly encountered and ecologically important marine crustaceans in the world. Paradoxically, despite their relevance and extensive study for over 150years, their evolutionary relationships are still unresolved. Classical morphological systematics was often based on non-cladistic approaches, while modern phylogenetic studies suffer from severe undersampling of taxa and characters (both molecular and morphological). Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of the familial relationships within the Balanomorpha. We estimate divergence times and examine morphological diversity based on five genes, 156 specimens, 10 fossil calibrations, and six key morphological characters. Two balanomorphan superfamilies, eight families and twelve genera were identified as polyphyletic. Chthamaloids, chionelasmatoid and pachylasmatoids split first from the pedunculated ancestors followed by a clade of tetraclitoids and coronuloids, and most of the balanoids. The Balanomorpha split from the Verrucidae (outgroup) in the Lower Cretaceous (139.6 Mya) with all the main lineages, except Pachylasmatoidea, having emerged by the Paleocene (60.9 Mya). Various degrees of convergence were observed in all the assessed morphological characters except the maxillipeds, which suggests that classical interpretations of balanomorphan morphological evolution need to be revised and reinterpreted.

  11. Molecular Evolution of Candidate Genes for Crop-Related Traits in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Mandel, Jennifer R.; McAssey, Edward V.; Nambeesan, Savithri; Garcia-Navarro, Elena; Burke, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary analyses aimed at detecting the molecular signature of selection during crop domestication and/or improvement can be used to identify genes or genomic regions of likely agronomic importance. Here, we describe the DNA sequence-based characterization of a pool of candidate genes for crop-related traits in sunflower. These genes, which were identified based on homology to genes of known effect in other study systems, were initially sequenced from a panel of improved lines. All genes that exhibited a paucity of sequence diversity, consistent with the possible effects of selection during the evolution of cultivated sunflower, were then sequenced from a panel of wild sunflower accessions an outgroup. These data enabled formal tests for the effects of selection in shaping sequence diversity at these loci. When selection was detected, we further sequenced these genes from a panel of primitive landraces, thereby allowing us to investigate the likely timing of selection (i.e., domestication vs. improvement). We ultimately identified seven genes that exhibited the signature of positive selection during either domestication or improvement. Genetic mapping of a subset of these genes revealed co-localization between candidates for genes involved in the determination of flowering time, seed germination, plant growth/development, and branching and QTL that were previously identified for these traits in cultivated × wild sunflower mapping populations. PMID:24914686

  12. Molecular evolution and functional specialization of chalcone synthase superfamily from Phalaenopsis orchid.

    PubMed

    Han, Ying-Ying; Ming, Feng; Wang, Wei; Wang, Jing-Wen; Ye, Ming-Ming; Shen, Da-Leng

    2006-01-01

    Plant genomes appear to exploit the process of gene duplication as a primary means of acquiring biochemical and developmental flexibility. The best example is the gene encoding chalcone synthase (CHS, EC2.3.1.74), the first committed step in flavonoid biosynthesis. In this study, we examined the molecular evolution of three CHS family members of Phalaenopsis including a novel chs gene (phchs5), which is slowly evolved. The inferred phylogeny of the chs genes of Phalaenopsis with other two orchid plants, Bromoheadia finlaysoniana and Dendrobium hybrid, suggested that gene duplication and divergence have occurred before divergence of these three genera. Relatively quantitative RT-PCR analysis identified expression patterns of these three chs genes in different floral tissues at different developmental stages. Phchs5 was the most abundantly expressed chs gene in floral organs and it was specifically transcribed in petal and lip at the stages when anthocyanin accumulated (stage1-4). Phchs3 and phchs4 were expressed at much lower levels than phchs5. Phchs3 was expressed in pigmented tissue (including lip, petal and sepal) at middle stages (stages 2-4) and in colorless reproductive tissue at late stage (stage 5). Phchs4 was only expressed in petal at earlier stages (stage 1-3) and in lip at middle stage (stage 4). These results present new data on differentiation of gene expression among duplicate copies of chs genes in Phalaenopsis.

  13. Molecular Mixed-Metal Manganese Oxido Cubanes as Precursors to Heterogeneous Oxygen Evolution Catalysts.

    PubMed

    Suseno, Sandy; McCrory, Charles C L; Tran, Rosalie; Gul, Sheraz; Yano, Junko; Agapie, Theodor

    2015-09-14

    Well-defined mixed-metal [CoMn3 O4 ] and [NiMn3 O4 ] cubane complexes were synthesized and used as precursors for heterogeneous oxygen evolution reaction (OER) electrocatalysts. The discrete clusters were dropcasted onto glassy carbon (GC) and indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes, and the OER activities of the resulting films were evaluated. The catalytic surfaces were analyzed by various techniques to gain insight into the structure-function relationships of the electrocatalysts' heterometallic composition. Depending on preparation conditions, the Co-Mn oxide was found to change metal composition during catalysis, while the Ni-Mn oxides maintained the NiMn3 ratio. XAS studies provided structural insights indicating that the electrocatalysts are different from the molecular precursors, but that the original NiMn3 O4 cubane-like geometry was maintained in the absence of thermal treatment (2-Ni). In contrast, the thermally generated 3-Ni develops an oxide-like extended structure. Both 2-Ni and 3-Ni undergo structural changes upon electrolysis, but they do not convert into the same material. The observed structural motifs in these heterogeneous electrocatalysts are reminiscent of the biological oxygen-evolving complex in Photosystem II, including the MMn3 O4 cubane moiety. The reported studies demonstrate the use of discrete heterometallic oxide clusters as precursors for heterogeneous water oxidation catalysts of novel composition and the distinct behavior of two sets of mixed metal oxides.

  14. Formation and evolution of molecular products in α-pinene secondary organic aerosol.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuan; McVay, Renee C; Huang, Dan D; Dalleska, Nathan F; Aumont, Bernard; Flagan, Richard C; Seinfeld, John H

    2015-11-17

    Much of our understanding of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from volatile organic compounds derives from laboratory chamber measurements, including mass yield and elemental composition. These measurements alone are insufficient to identify the chemical mechanisms of SOA production. We present here a comprehensive dataset on the molecular identity, abundance, and kinetics of α-pinene SOA, a canonical system that has received much attention owing to its importance as an organic aerosol source in the pristine atmosphere. Identified organic species account for ∼58-72% of the α-pinene SOA mass, and are characterized as semivolatile/low-volatility monomers and extremely low volatility dimers, which exhibit comparable oxidation states yet different functionalities. Features of the α-pinene SOA formation process are revealed for the first time, to our knowledge, from the dynamics of individual particle-phase components. Although monomeric products dominate the overall aerosol mass, rapid production of dimers plays a key role in initiating particle growth. Continuous production of monomers is observed after the parent α-pinene is consumed, which cannot be explained solely by gas-phase photochemical production. Additionally, distinct responses of monomers and dimers to α-pinene oxidation by ozone vs. hydroxyl radicals, temperature, and relative humidity are observed. Gas-phase radical combination reactions together with condensed phase rearrangement of labile molecules potentially explain the newly characterized SOA features, thereby opening up further avenues for understanding formation and evolution mechanisms of α-pinene SOA.

  15. Formation and evolution of molecular products in α-pinene secondary organic aerosol

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xuan; McVay, Renee C.; Huang, Dan D.; Dalleska, Nathan F.; Aumont, Bernard; Flagan, Richard C.; Seinfeld, John H.

    2015-01-01

    Much of our understanding of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from volatile organic compounds derives from laboratory chamber measurements, including mass yield and elemental composition. These measurements alone are insufficient to identify the chemical mechanisms of SOA production. We present here a comprehensive dataset on the molecular identity, abundance, and kinetics of α-pinene SOA, a canonical system that has received much attention owing to its importance as an organic aerosol source in the pristine atmosphere. Identified organic species account for ∼58–72% of the α-pinene SOA mass, and are characterized as semivolatile/low-volatility monomers and extremely low volatility dimers, which exhibit comparable oxidation states yet different functionalities. Features of the α-pinene SOA formation process are revealed for the first time, to our knowledge, from the dynamics of individual particle-phase components. Although monomeric products dominate the overall aerosol mass, rapid production of dimers plays a key role in initiating particle growth. Continuous production of monomers is observed after the parent α-pinene is consumed, which cannot be explained solely by gas-phase photochemical production. Additionally, distinct responses of monomers and dimers to α-pinene oxidation by ozone vs. hydroxyl radicals, temperature, and relative humidity are observed. Gas-phase radical combination reactions together with condensed phase rearrangement of labile molecules potentially explain the newly characterized SOA features, thereby opening up further avenues for understanding formation and evolution mechanisms of α-pinene SOA. PMID:26578760

  16. Dynamics of Molecular Evolution and Phylogeography of Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yan; Zhou, Guanghe; Wang, Xifeng; Elena, Santiago F.

    2011-01-01

    Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) species PAV occurs frequently in irrigated wheat fields worldwide and can be efficiently transmitted by aphids. Isolates of BYDV-PAV from different countries show great divergence both in genomic sequences and pathogenicity. Despite its economical importance, the genetic structure of natural BYDV-PAV populations, as well as of the mechanisms maintaining its high diversity, remain poorly explored. In this study, we investigate the dynamics of BYDV-PAV genome evolution utilizing time-structured data sets of complete genomic sequences from 58 isolates from different hosts obtained worldwide. First, we observed that BYDV-PAV exhibits a high frequency of homologous recombination. Second, our analysis revealed that BYDV-PAV genome evolves under purifying selection and at a substitution rate similar to other RNA viruses (3.158×10−4 nucleotide substitutions/site/year). Phylogeography analyses show that the diversification of BYDV-PAV can be explained by local geographic adaptation as well as by host-driven adaptation. These results increase our understanding of the diversity, molecular evolutionary characteristics and epidemiological properties of an economically important plant RNA virus. PMID:21326861

  17. Structural evolution of nanoscale metallic glasses during high-pressure torsion: A molecular dynamics analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, S. D.; Jiao, W.; Jing, Q.; Qi, L.; Pan, S. P.; Li, G.; Ma, M. Z.; Wang, W. H.; Liu, R. P.

    2016-11-01

    Structural evolution in nanoscale Cu50Zr50 metallic glasses during high-pressure torsion is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Results show that the strong cooperation of shear transformations can be realized by high-pressure torsion in nanoscale Cu50Zr50 metallic glasses at room temperature. It is further shown that high-pressure torsion could prompt atoms to possess lower five-fold symmetries and higher potential energies, making them more likely to participate in shear transformations. Meanwhile, a higher torsion period leads to a greater degree of forced cooperative flow. And the pronounced forced cooperative flow at room temperature under high-pressure torsion permits the study of the shear transformation, its activation and characteristics, and its relationship to the deformations behaviors. This research not only provides an important platform for probing the atomic-level understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of high-pressure torsion in metallic glasses, but also leads to higher stresses and homogeneous flow near lower temperatures which is impossible previously.

  18. Molecular Evolution of a Pervasive Natural Amino-Acid Substitution in Drosophila cryptochrome

    PubMed Central

    Pegoraro, Mirko; Noreen, Shumaila; Bhutani, Supriya; Tsolou, Avgi; Schmid, Ralf; Kyriacou, Charalambos P.; Tauber, Eran

    2014-01-01

    Genetic variations in circadian clock genes may serve as molecular adaptations, allowing populations to adapt to local environments. Here, we carried out a survey of genetic variation in Drosophila cryptochrome (cry), the fly’s dedicated circadian photoreceptor. An initial screen of 10 European cry alleles revealed substantial variation, including seven non-synonymous changes. The SNP frequency spectra and the excessive linkage disequilibrium in this locus suggested that this variation is maintained by natural selection. We focused on a non-conservative SNP involving a leucine - histidine replacement (L232H) and found that this polymorphism is common, with both alleles at intermediate frequencies across 27 populations surveyed in Europe, irrespective of latitude. Remarkably, we were able to reproduce this natural observation in the laboratory using replicate population cages where the minor allele frequency was initially set to 10%. Within 20 generations, the two allelic variants converged to approximately equal frequencies. Further experiments using congenic strains, showed that this SNP has a phenotypic impact, with variants showing significantly different eclosion profiles. At the long term, these phase differences in eclosion may contribute to genetic differentiation among individuals, and shape the evolution of wild populations. PMID:24475129

  19. Molecular evolution and expression of the CRAL_TRIO protein family in insects.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gilbert; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2015-07-01

    CRAL_TRIO domain proteins are known to bind small lipophilic molecules such as retinal, inositol and Vitamin E and include such gene family members as PINTA, α-tocopherol transfer (ATT) proteins, retinoid binding proteins, and clavesins. In insects, very little is known about either the molecular evolution of this family of proteins or their ligand specificity. Here we characterize insect CRAL_TRIO domain proteins and present the first insect CRAL_TRIO protein phylogeny constructed by performing reciprocal BLAST searches of the reference genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, Apis mellifera, Tribolium castaneum, Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta and Danaus plexippus. We find several highly conserved amino acid residues in the CRAL_TRIO domain-containing genes across insects and a gene expansion resulting in more than twice as many gene family members in lepidopterans than in other surveyed insect species, but no lepidopteran homolog of the PINTA gene in Drosophila. In addition, we examined the expression pattern of CRAL_TRIO domain genes in Manduca sexta heads using RNA-Seq data. Of the 42 gene family members found in the M. sexta reference genome, we found 30 expressed in the head tissue with similar expression profiles between males and females. Our results suggest this gene family underwent a large expansion in lepidopteran, making the lepidopteran CRAL_TRIO domain family distinct from other holometabolous insect lineages.

  20. Molecular phylogenetics and morphological evolution of St. John's wort (Hypericum; Hypericaceae).

    PubMed

    Nürk, Nicolai M; Madriñán, Santiago; Carine, Mark A; Chase, Mark W; Blattner, Frank R

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic hypotheses for the large cosmopolitan genus Hypericum (St. John's wort) have previously been based on morphology, and molecular studies have thus far included only a few species. In this study, we used 360 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) for 206 species representing Hypericum (incl. Triadenum and Thornea) and three other genera of Hypericaceae to generate an explicit phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus using parsimony and model-based methods. The results indicate that the small genus Triadenum is nested in a clade within Hypericum containing most of the New World species. Sister to Hypericum is Thornea from Central America. Within Hypericum, three large clades and two smaller grades were found; these are based on their general morphology, especially characters used previously in taxonomy of the genus. Relative to the most recent classification, around 60% of the sections of Hypericum were monophyletic. We used a Bayesian approach to reconstruct ancestral states of selected morphological characters, which resulted in recognition of characters that support major clades within the genus and a revised interpretation of morphological evolution in Hypericum. The shrubby habit represents the plesiomorphic state from which herbs evolved several times. Arborescent species have radiated convergently in high-elevation habitats in tropical Africa and South America.

  1. Protein sequence conservation and stable molecular evolution reveals influenza virus nucleoprotein as a universal druggable target.

    PubMed

    Babar, Mustafeez Mujtaba; Zaidi, Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf

    2015-08-01

    The high mutation rate in influenza virus genome and appearance of drug resistance calls for a constant effort to identify alternate drug targets and develop new antiviral strategies. The internal proteins of the virus can be exploited as a potential target for therapeutic interventions. Among these, the nucleoprotein (NP) is the most abundant protein that provides structural and functional support to the viral replication machinery. The current study aims at analysis of protein sequence polymorphism patterns, degree of molecular evolution and sequence conservation as a function of potential druggability of nucleoprotein. We analyzed a universal set of amino acid sequences, (n=22,000) and, in order to identify and correlate the functionally conserved, druggable regions across different parameters, classified them on the basis of host organism, strain type and continental region of sample isolation. The results indicated that around 95% of the sequence length was conserved, with at least 7 regions conserved across the protein among various classes. Moreover, the highly variable regions, though very limited in number, were found to be positively selected indicating, thereby, the high degree of protein stability against various hosts and spatio-temporal references. Furthermore, on mapping the conserved regions on the protein, 7 drug binding pockets in the functionally important regions of the protein were revealed. The results, therefore, collectively indicate that nucleoprotein is a highly conserved and stable viral protein that can potentially be exploited for development of broadly effective antiviral strategies.

  2. Molecular evidence for convergent evolution and allopolyploid speciation within the Physcomitrium-Physcomitrella species complex

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The moss Physcomitrella patens (Hedw.) Bruch & Schimp. is an important experimental model system for evolutionary-developmental studies. In order to shed light on the evolutionary history of Physcomitrella and related species within the Funariaceae, we analyzed the natural genetic diversity of the Physcomitrium-Physcomitrella species complex. Results Molecular analysis of the nuclear single copy gene BRK1 reveals that three Physcomitrium species feature larger genome sizes than Physcomitrella patens and encode two expressed BRK1 homeologs (polyploidization-derived paralogs), indicating that they may be allopolyploid hybrids. Phylogenetic analyses of BRK1 as well as microsatellite simple sequence repeat (SSR) data confirm a polyphyletic origin for three Physcomitrella lineages. Differences in the conservation of mitochondrial editing sites further support hybridization and cryptic speciation within the Physcomitrium-Physcomitrella species complex. Conclusions We propose a revised classification of the previously described four subspecies of Physcomitrella patens into three distinct species, namely Physcomitrella patens, Physcomitrella readeri and Physcomitrella magdalenae. We argue that secondary reduction of sporophyte complexity in these species is due to the establishment of an ecological niche, namely spores resting in mud and possible spore dispersal by migratory birds. Besides the Physcomitrium-Physcomitrella species complex, the Funariaceae are host to their type species, Funaria hygrometrica, featuring a sporophyte morphology which is more complex. Their considerable developmental variation among closely related lineages and remarkable trait evolution render the Funariaceae an interesting group for evolutionary and genetic research. PMID:25015729

  3. A Molecular Approach to the Study of Green Algal Evolution and Early Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodner, R. B.; Summons, R. E.; Knoll, A. H.

    2004-12-01

    The biological nature of pre-land plant terrestrial ecosystems remains an enigmatic chapter of the history of life on earth due to lack of fossil evidence. Molecular phylogenies have shown that Charophycean green algae are the closest relatives of the bryophytes, which have been hypothesized to be the earliest divergent land plants. However, there is no fossil evidence to support this relationship nor is there a reliable fossil record of the earliest land plants. Microfossils representing the earliest land plants appear to have a bryophytes affinity based on limited morphological comparisons but this remains controversial. We are applying a biomolecular approach to study both green algal evolution and its relation to bryophytes using the resistant biopolymer algaenan and phytosterols as biological markers. Algaenan has been shown to have high preservation potential and may be the primary component of enigmatic microfossils assumed to be of algal origin. Algaenan and the green algal sterols, stigmasterol and sitosterol, may also be the precursors of n-alkanes and the hydrocarbon stigmastane that are major components of many Neoproterozoic bitumens. The biological nature and phylogenetic distribution of algaenan is still not well understood. Here we explore the presence and structure of algaenans in terrestrial green algae and bryophytes in relation to their phylogenetic distributions.

  4. Zimmermann's telome theory of megaphyll leaf evolution: a molecular and cellular critique.

    PubMed

    Beerling, David J; Fleming, Andrew J

    2007-02-01

    Megaphyll leaf evolution was a critical event in Earth history that had major consequences for the biotic regulation of the global environment. Zimmermann's telome theory has been widely accepted for over seventy years as the leading explanation for this evolutionary innovation. According to the telome theory, megaphylls evolved from the three-dimensional lateral branches of early vascular land plants in a hypothetical series of three transformations; first, the formation of determinate lateral branches (overtopping); second, the development of 'flattened' branch systems (planation); and third, the fusion of planated branches with lateral outgrowths of photosynthetic mesophyll tissue to form the leaf blade (webbing). A critical review of the molecular and cellular evidence identifies plausible genetic, cellular and physiological mechanisms in extant higher plants for overtopping and planation but more limited evidence for the process of webbing (lateral outgrowth fusion). We highlight key outstanding questions concerning the telome theory that are likely to be resolved when gene identification and functional analysis techniques are applied to photosynthetic organisms that have different evolutionary histories.

  5. Molecular development of fibular reduction in birds and its evolution from dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Botelho, João Francisco; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; O'Connor, Jingmai; Palma, Verónica; Vargas, Alexander O

    2016-03-01

    Birds have a distally reduced, splinter-like fibula that is shorter than the tibia. In embryonic development, both skeletal elements start out with similar lengths. We examined molecular markers of cartilage differentiation in chicken embryos. We found that the distal end of the fibula expresses Indian hedgehog (IHH), undergoing terminal cartilage differentiation, and almost no Parathyroid-related protein (PTHrP), which is required to develop a proliferative growth plate (epiphysis). Reduction of the distal fibula may be influenced earlier by its close contact with the nearby fibulare, which strongly expresses PTHrP. The epiphysis-like fibulare however then separates from the fibula, which fails to maintain a distal growth plate, and fibular reduction ensues. Experimental downregulation of IHH signaling at a postmorphogenetic stage led to a tibia and fibula of equal length: The fibula is longer than in controls and fused to the fibulare, whereas the tibia is shorter and bent. We propose that the presence of a distal fibular epiphysis may constrain greater growth in the tibia. Accordingly, many Mesozoic birds show a fibula that has lost its distal epiphysis, but remains almost as long as the tibia, suggesting that loss of the fibulare preceded and allowed subsequent evolution of great fibulo-tibial disparity.

  6. Molecular Evolution and Expression Divergence of the Aconitase (ACO) Gene Family in Land Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yi-Ming; Yang, Qi; Liu, Yan-Jing; Yang, Hai-Ling

    2016-01-01

    Aconitase (ACO) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the isomerization of citrate to isocitrate in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) and glyoxylate cycles. The function of ACOs has been well studied in model plants, such as Arabidopsis. In contrast, the evolutionary patterns of the ACO family in land plants are poorly understood. In this study, we systematically examined the molecular evolution and expression divergence of the ACO gene family in 12 land plant species. Thirty-six ACO genes were identified from the 12 land plant species representing the four major land plant lineages: Bryophytes, lycophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. All of these ACOs belong to the cytosolic isoform. Three gene duplication events contributed to the expansion of the ACO family in angiosperms. The ancestor of angiosperms may have contained only one ACO gene. One gene duplication event split angiosperm ACOs into two distinct clades. Two clades showed a divergence in selective pressure and gene expression patterns. The cis-acting elements that function in light responsiveness were most abundant in the promoter region of the ACO genes, indicating that plant ACO genes might participate in light regulatory pathways. Our findings provide comprehensive insights into the ACO gene family in land plants. PMID:28018410

  7. Molecular evolution and sequence divergence of plant chalcone synthase and chalcone synthase-Like genes.

    PubMed

    Han, Yingying; Zhao, Wenwen; Wang, Zhicui; Zhu, Jingying; Liu, Qisong

    2014-06-01

    Plant chalcone synthase (CHS) and CHS-Like (CHSL) proteins are polyketide synthases. In this study, we evaluated the molecular evolution of this gene family using representative types of CHSL genes, including stilbene synthase (STS), 2-pyrone synthase (2-PS), bibenzyl synthase (BBS), acridone synthase (ACS), biphenyl synthase (BIS), benzalacetone synthase, coumaroyl triacetic acid synthase (CTAS), and benzophenone synthase (BPS), along with their CHS homologs from the same species of both angiosperms and gymnosperms. A cDNA-based phylogeny indicated that CHSLs had diverse evolutionary patterns. STS, ACS, and 2-PS clustered with CHSs from the same species (late diverged pattern), while CTAS, BBS, BPS, and BIS were distant from their CHS homologs (early diverged pattern). The amino-acid phylogeny suggested that CHS and CHSL proteins formed clades according to enzyme function. The CHSs and CHSLs from Polygonaceae and Arachis had unique evolutionary histories. Synonymous mutation rates were lower in late diverged CHSLs than in early diverged ones, indicating that gene duplications occurred more recently in late diverged CHSLs than in early diverged ones. Relative rate tests proved that late diverged CHSLs had unequal rates to CHSs from the same species when using fatty acid synthase, which evolved from the common ancestor with the CHS superfamily, as the outgroup, while the early diverged lineages had equal rates. This indicated that late diverged CHSLs experienced more frequent mutation than early diverged CHSLs after gene duplication, allowing obtaining new functions in relatively short period of time.

  8. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of zebrafish (Danio rerio) cryptochrome genes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chao; Hu, Jia; Qu, Chunxiang; Wang, Lin; Huang, Guodong; Niu, Pengfei; Zhong, Zhaomin; Hong, Fashui; Wang, Guanghui; Postlethwait, John H.; Wang, Han

    2015-01-01

    Cryptochromes function in animal circadian regulation. Zebrafish are known to have six cryptochrome (cry) genes but their evolutionary relationships are not yet fully resolved. Here, comparative genomic analyses revealed that a local duplication of ancestral chordate Cry occurred likely before the first round of vertebrate genome duplication (VGD); following two successive rounds of VGD and subsequent gene losses, coelacanths retained cry1a, cry1b, cry2 and cry3; and following the third-round teleost genome duplication (TGD) and subsequent gene losses, zebrafish retained six cry genes, renamed as cry1aa (zcry1a in the old nomenclature), cry1ab (zcry1b), cry1ba (zcry2a), cry1bb (zcry2b), cry2 (zcry3) and cry3 (zcry4). Molecular evolutionary analyses suggested that zebrafish cry genes have evolved divergent functions, which is further supported by their distinct and rhythmic expression patterns as shown by both in situ hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR. Systematic cell transfection assays divided six Cry proteins into repressive Cry1aa, Cry1ab, Cry1ba and Cry1bb, and non-repressive Cry2 and Cry3. Cry2 is non-repressive because it lacks an effective protein-protein interaction domain although it does possess a nuclear localization signal (NLS) motif, whilst Cry3 lacks both an NLS motif and a protein-protein interaction domain. These findings provide a better understanding of evolution of zebrafish cry genes. PMID:25630924

  9. Molecular Evolution and Expansion Analysis of the NAC Transcription Factor in Zea mays

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Kai; Wang, Ming; Miao, Ying; Ni, Mi; Bibi, Noreen; Yuan, Shuna; Li, Feng; Wang, Xuede

    2014-01-01

    NAC (NAM, ATAF1, 2 and CUC2) family is a plant-specific transcription factor and it controls various plant developmental processes. In the current study, 124 NAC members were identified in Zea mays and were phylogenetically clustered into 13 distinct subfamilies. The whole genome duplication (WGD), especially an additional WGD event, may lead to expanding ZmNAC members. Different subfamily has different expansion rate, and NAC subfamily preference was found during the expansion in maize. Moreover, the duplication events might occur after the divergence of the lineages of Z. mays and S. italica, and segmental duplication seemed to be the dominant pattern for the gene duplication in maize. Furthermore, the expansion of ZmNAC members may be also related to gain and loss of introns. Besides, the restriction of functional divergence was discovered after most of the gene duplication events. These results could provide novel insights into molecular evolution and expansion analysis of NAC family in maize, and advance the NAC researches in other plants, especially polyploid plants. PMID:25369196

  10. Heart transplantation in patients with chronic hepatitis B: clinical evolution, molecular analysis, and effect of treatment.

    PubMed

    Zampino, Rosa; Marrone, Aldo; Ragone, Enrico; Costagliola, Loredana; Cirillo, Grazia; Karayiannis, Peter; Ruggiero, Giuseppe; Utili, Riccardo

    2005-11-15

    We evaluated clinical evolution and hepatitis B virus (HBV) molecular changes in heart recipients with chronic HBV infection before transplantation, and studied the effects of lamivudine treatment in patients who experienced HBV reactivation. Nine patients with chronic HBV infection who underwent heart transplantation were investigated. HBV surface/core-promoter/precore/core regions were sequenced. Prior to transplantation, all nine patients had consistently normal ALT and low HBV-DNA levels. Seven experienced HBV reactivation after transplantation (ALT elevated, HBV-DNA>200.000 cps/ml). Lamivudine treatment was initially effective in all patients; three patients during the second year of treatment developed lamivudine resistance-associated mutations (rt-L180M, rt-M204V) with severe disease reactivation, remitted after switch to adefovir treatment. No other significant HBV mutations were identified in the genomic regions studied. Immune suppression is crucial in the reactivation of previous inactive HBV infection and in the liver disease progression in heart recipients. Preemptive lamivudine treatment could be useful in the early management of these patients.

  11. Iron and molecular opacities and the evolution of Population I stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.; Chin, Chao-Wen

    1993-01-01

    Effects of recent opacity revisions on the evolution of Population I stars are explored over the range 1.5-60 solar masses. Opacity parameters considered include the angular momentum coupling scheme for iron, the relative iron abundance, the total metal abundance, and diatomic and triatomic molecular sources. Only the total metal abundance exerts an important control over the evolutionary tracks. Blue loops on the H-R diagram during core helium burning can be very sensitive to opacity, but only insofar as the simple formation or suppression of a blue loop is concerned. The blue loops are most robust for stellar masses around 10 solar masses. We confirm, from a comparison of stellar models with observational data, that the total metal abundance is close to solar and that convective core overshooting is likely to be very slight. The new models predict the existence of an iron convection zone in the envelope and a great widening of the main-sequence band in the H-R diagram at luminosities brighter than 100,000 solar luminosities.

  12. Molecular development of fibular reduction in birds and its evolution from dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Botelho, João Francisco; Smith‐Paredes, Daniel; Soto‐Acuña, Sergio; O'Connor, Jingmai; Palma, Verónica; Vargas, Alexander O.

    2016-01-01

    Birds have a distally reduced, splinter‐like fibula that is shorter than the tibia. In embryonic development, both skeletal elements start out with similar lengths. We examined molecular markers of cartilage differentiation in chicken embryos. We found that the distal end of the fibula expresses Indian hedgehog (IHH), undergoing terminal cartilage differentiation, and almost no Parathyroid‐related protein (PTHrP), which is required to develop a proliferative growth plate (epiphysis). Reduction of the distal fibula may be influenced earlier by its close contact with the nearby fibulare, which strongly expresses PTHrP. The epiphysis‐like fibulare however then separates from the fibula, which fails to maintain a distal growth plate, and fibular reduction ensues. Experimental downregulation of IHH signaling at a postmorphogenetic stage led to a tibia and fibula of equal length: The fibula is longer than in controls and fused to the fibulare, whereas the tibia is shorter and bent. We propose that the presence of a distal fibular epiphysis may constrain greater growth in the tibia. Accordingly, many Mesozoic birds show a fibula that has lost its distal epiphysis, but remains almost as long as the tibia, suggesting that loss of the fibulare preceded and allowed subsequent evolution of great fibulo–tibial disparity. PMID:26888088

  13. Structural evolution of nanoscale metallic glasses during high-pressure torsion: A molecular dynamics analysis

    PubMed Central

    Feng, S. D.; Jiao, W.; Jing, Q.; Qi, L.; Pan, S. P.; Li, G.; Ma, M. Z.; Wang, W. H.; Liu, R. P.

    2016-01-01

    Structural evolution in nanoscale Cu50Zr50 metallic glasses during high-pressure torsion is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Results show that the strong cooperation of shear transformations can be realized by high-pressure torsion in nanoscale Cu50Zr50 metallic glasses at room temperature. It is further shown that high-pressure torsion could prompt atoms to possess lower five-fold symmetries and higher potential energies, making them more likely to participate in shear transformations. Meanwhile, a higher torsion period leads to a greater degree of forced cooperative flow. And the pronounced forced cooperative flow at room temperature under high-pressure torsion permits the study of the shear transformation, its activation and characteristics, and its relationship to the deformations behaviors. This research not only provides an important platform for probing the atomic-level understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of high-pressure torsion in metallic glasses, but also leads to higher stresses and homogeneous flow near lower temperatures which is impossible previously. PMID:27819352

  14. Periodic Vesicle Formation in Tectonic Fault Zones—an Ideal Scenario for Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Christian; Schreiber, Ulrich; Dávila, María J.

    2015-06-01

    Tectonic fault systems in the continental crust offer huge networks of interconnected channels and cavities. Filled mainly with water and carbon dioxide (CO2), containing a wide variety of hydrothermal chemistry and numerous catalytic surfaces, they may offer ideal reaction conditions for prebiotic chemistry. In these systems, an accumulation zone for organic compounds will develop at a depth of approximately 1 km where CO2 turns sub-critical and dissolved components precipitate. At this point, periodic pressure changes caused for example by tidal influences or geyser activity may generate a cyclic process involving repeated phase transitions of carbon dioxide. In the presence of amphiphilic compounds, this will necessarily lead to the transient formation of coated water droplets in the gas phase and corresponding vesicular structures in the aqueous environment. During this process, the concentration of organic components inside the droplets and vesicles would be drastically increased, allowing for favorable reaction conditions and, in case of the vesicles generated, large trans-membrane concentration gradients. Altogether, the process of periodic formation and destruction of vesicles could offer a perfect environment for molecular evolution in small compartments and for the generation of protocells. The basic process of vesicle formation is reproduced experimentally with a lipid in a water/CO2 system.

  15. Periodic Vesicle Formation in Tectonic Fault Zones--an Ideal Scenario for Molecular Evolution.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Christian; Schreiber, Ulrich; Dávila, María J

    2015-06-01

    Tectonic fault systems in the continental crust offer huge networks of interconnected channels and cavities. Filled mainly with water and carbon dioxide (CO2), containing a wide variety of hydrothermal chemistry and numerous catalytic surfaces, they may offer ideal reaction conditions for prebiotic chemistry. In these systems, an accumulation zone for organic compounds will develop at a depth of approximately 1 km where CO2 turns sub-critical and dissolved components precipitate. At this point, periodic pressure changes caused for example by tidal influences or geyser activity may generate a cyclic process involving repeated phase transitions of carbon dioxide. In the presence of amphiphilic compounds, this will necessarily lead to the transient formation of coated water droplets in the gas phase and corresponding vesicular structures in the aqueous environment. During this process, the concentration of organic components inside the droplets and vesicles would be drastically increased, allowing for favorable reaction conditions and, in case of the vesicles generated, large trans-membrane concentration gradients. Altogether, the process of periodic formation and destruction of vesicles could offer a perfect environment for molecular evolution in small compartments and for the generation of protocells. The basic process of vesicle formation is reproduced experimentally with a lipid in a water/CO2 system.

  16. Entropy and charge in molecular evolution--the case of phosphate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arrhenius, G.; Sales, B.; Mojzsis, S.; Lee, T.; Bada, J. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Biopoesis, the creation of life, implies molecular evolution from simple components, randomly distributed and in a dilute state, to form highly organized, concentrated systems capable of metabolism, replication and mutation. This chain of events must involve environmental processes that can locally lower entropy in several steps; by specific selection from an indiscriminate mixture, by concentration from dilute solution, and in the case of the mineral-induced processes, by particular effectiveness in ordering and selective reaction, directed toward formation of functional biomolecules. Numerous circumstances provide support for the notion that negatively charged molecules were functionally required and geochemically available for biopoesis. Sulfite ion may have been important in bisulfite complex formation with simple aldehydes, facilitating the initial concentration by sorption of aldehydes in positively charged surface active minerals. Borate ion may have played a similar, albeit less investigated role in forming charged sugar complexes. Among anionic species, oligophosphate ions and charged phosphate esters are likely to have been of even more wide ranging importance, reflected in the continued need for phosphate in a proposed RNA world, and extending its central role to evolved biochemistry. Phosphorylation is shown to result in selective concentration by surface sorption of compounds, otherwise too dilute to support condensation reactions. It provides protection against rapid hydrolysis of sugars and, by selective concentration, induces the oligomerization of aldehydes. As a manifestation of life arisen, phosphate already appears in an organic context in the oldest preserved sedimentary record.

  17. On the evolution and molecular epidemiology of the potyvirus Papaya ringspot virus.

    PubMed

    Bateson, Marion F; Lines, Rosemarie E; Revill, Peter; Chaleeprom, Worawan; Ha, Cuong V; Gibbs, Adrian J; Dale, James L

    2002-10-01

    The potyvirus Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) is found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Its P biotype is a devastating pathogen of papaya crops and its W biotype of cucurbits. PRSV-P is thought to arise by mutation from PRSV-W. However, the relative impact of mutation and movement on the structure of PRSV populations is not well characterized. To investigate this, we have determined the coat protein sequences of isolates of both biotypes of PRSV from Vietnam (50), Thailand (13), India (1) and the Philippines (1), and analysed them together with 28 PRSV sequences already published, so that we can better understand the molecular epidemiology and evolution of PRSV. In Thailand, variation was greater among PRSV-W isolates (mean nucleotide divergence 7.6%) than PRSV-P isolates (mean 2.6%), but in Vietnamese populations the P and W biotypes were more but similarly diverse. Phylogenetic analyses of PRSV also involving its closest known relative, Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus, indicate that PRSV may have originated in Asia, particularly in the Indian subcontinent, as PRSV populations there are most diverse and hence have probably been present longest. Our analyses show that mutation, together with local and long-distance movement, contributes to population variation, and also confirms an earlier conclusion that populations of the PRSV-P biotype have evolved on several occasions from PRSV-W populations.

  18. Adaptive Molecular Evolution of PHYE in Primulina, a Karst Cave Plant.

    PubMed

    Tao, Junjie; Qi, Qingwen; Kang, Ming; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-01-01

    Limestone Karst areas possess high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Primulina is a typical component of Karst endemic floras. The high species richness and wide distribution in various Karst microenvironments make the genus an idea model for studying speciation and local adaptation. In this study, we obtained 10 full-length sequences of the phytochrome PHYE from available transcriptome resources of Primulina and amplified partial sequences of PHYE from the genomic DNA of 74 Primulina species. Then, we used maximum-likelihood approaches to explore molecular evolution of PHYE in this Karst cave plant. The results showed that PHYE was dominated by purifying selection in both data sets, and two sites were identified as potentially under positive selection. Furthermore, the ω ratio varies greatly among different functional domains of PHYE and among different species lineages. These results suggest that potential positive selection in PHYE might have played an important role in the adaption of Primulina to heterogeneous light environments in Karst regions, and different species lineages might have been subjected to different selective pressures.

  19. Insights into the proline hydroxylase (PHD) family, molecular evolution and its impact on human health.

    PubMed

    Minervini, Giovanni; Quaglia, Federica; Tosatto, Silvio C E

    2015-09-01

    PHDs (proline hydroxylases) are a small protein family found in all organisms, considered the central regulator of the molecular hypoxia response due to PHDs being completely inactivated under low oxygen concentration. At physiological oxygen concentration, PHDs drive the degradation of the HIF-1α (hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α), which is responsible for upregulating the expression of genes involved in the cellular response to hypoxia. Hypoxia is a common feature of most tumors, in particular during metastasis development. Indeed, cancer reacts by activating pathways promoting new blood vessel formation and activating strategies aimed to improve survival. In this scenario, the PHD family regulates the activation of HIF-1α and cell-cycle regulation. Several PHD mutations were found in cancer patients, underlining their importance for human health. Here, we propose a Bayesian model able to predict the pathological effect of human PHD mutations and their correlation with cancer outcome. The model was developed through an integrative in silico approach, where data collected from the literature has been coupled with sequence evolution and structural analysis. The model was used to assess 135 human PHD variants. Finally, bioinformatics characterization was used to demonstrate how few amino acid changes are able to explain the functional specialization of PHD family members and their physiological role in human health.

  20. Molecular evolution of candidate genes for crop-related traits in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).

    PubMed

    Mandel, Jennifer R; McAssey, Edward V; Nambeesan, Savithri; Garcia-Navarro, Elena; Burke, John M

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary analyses aimed at detecting the molecular signature of selection during crop domestication and/or improvement can be used to identify genes or genomic regions of likely agronomic importance. Here, we describe the DNA sequence-based characterization of a pool of candidate genes for crop-related traits in sunflower. These genes, which were identified based on homology to genes of known effect in other study systems, were initially sequenced from a panel of improved lines. All genes that exhibited a paucity of sequence diversity, consistent with the possible effects of selection during the evolution of cultivated sunflower, were then sequenced from a panel of wild sunflower accessions an outgroup. These data enabled formal tests for the effects of selection in shaping sequence diversity at these loci. When selection was detected, we further sequenced these genes from a panel of primitive landraces, thereby allowing us to investigate the likely timing of selection (i.e., domestication vs. improvement). We ultimately identified seven genes that exhibited the signature of positive selection during either domestication or improvement. Genetic mapping of a subset of these genes revealed co-localization between candidates for genes involved in the determination of flowering time, seed germination, plant growth/development, and branching and QTL that were previously identified for these traits in cultivated × wild sunflower mapping populations.

  1. In-situ Mass Spectrometric Determination of Molecular Structural Evolution at the Solid Electrolyte Interphase in Lithium-Ion Batteries

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Zihua; Zhou, Yufan; Yan, Pengfei; Vemuri, Venkata Rama Ses; Xu, Wu; Zhao, Rui; Wang, Xuelin; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Baer, Donald R.; Wang, Chong M.

    2015-08-19

    Dynamic molecular evolution at solid/liquid electrolyte interface is always a mystery for a rechargeable battery due to the challenge to directly probe/observe the solid/liquid interface under reaction conditions, which in essence appears to be similarly true for all the fields involving solid/liquid phases, such as electrocatalysis, electrodeposition, biofuel conversion, biofilm, and biomineralization, We use in-situ liquid secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) for the first time to directly observe the molecular structural evolution at the solid electrode/liquid electrolyte interface for a lithium (Li)-ion battery under dynamic operating conditions. We have discovered that the deposition of Li metal on copper electrode leads to the condensation of solvent molecules around the electrode. Chemically, this layer of solvent condensate tends to deplete the salt anion and with low concentration of Li+ ions, which essentially leads to the formation of a lean electrolyte layer adjacent to the electrode and therefore contributes to the overpotential of the cell. This unprecedented molecular level dynamic observation at the solid electrode/liquid electrolyte interface provides vital chemical information that is needed for designing of better battery chemistry for enhanced performance, and ultimately opens new avenues for using liquid SIMS to probe molecular evolution at solid/liquid interface in general.

  2. Molecular evidence of host influences on the evolution and spread of human tapeworms.

    PubMed

    Michelet, Lorraine; Dauga, Catherine

    2012-08-01

    The taeniasis/cysticercosis complex is included in the list of neglected zoonotic diseases by the World Health Organization due to its significant impact on public health in tropical areas. Cysticercosis is still endemic in many regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Long absent in Europe and in other developed countries, cysticercosis has recently re-emerged in the United States and Canada, due to immigration, travel and local transmission. This has encouraged the use of molecular data to understand better the influence of animal and human hosts on the emergence and spread of Taenia species. The increasing number of mitochondrial sequences now available from human tapeworms and recent advances in computational tools has enabled reconstruction of the biogeography and evolutionary history of these organisms. New molecular data have provided insights into the biogeography of T. solium, T. asiatica and T. saginata. A Bayesian statistical framework using variable evolutionary rates from lineage to lineage has allowed an improved timescale analysis of human tapeworms. The dates of divergence obtained were compared to the timing of evolutionary events in the history of their hosts, based on the hypothesis that Taenia spp. and their hosts share a common history. Herein, we review changes in the definitive and secondary hosts and human interactions that underlie the differentiation and evolution of tapeworms. Species diversification of Taenia seems to be closely linked with the evolution of intermediate hosts in response to climatic events during the Pleistocene. Different genotypes of T. solium emerged when European and Asian wild boar Sus spp. populations diverged. Taenia saginata emerged when wild cattle Bos primigenius evolved and when zebu Bos indicus and taurine Bos taurus ancestors separated. Humans through migrations and later with the development of farming and animal husbandry may have had a significant impact on the spread and diversification of tapeworms

  3. Adaptive molecular evolution of the Major Histocompatibility Complex genes, DRA and DQA, in the genus Equus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes are central to vertebrate immune response and are believed to be under balancing selection by pathogens. This hypothesis has been supported by observations of extremely high polymorphism, elevated nonsynonymous to synonymous base pair substitution rates and trans-species polymorphisms at these loci. In equids, the organization and variability of this gene family has been described, however the full extent of diversity and selection is unknown. As selection is not expected to act uniformly on a functional gene, maximum likelihood codon-based models of selection that allow heterogeneity in selection across codon positions can be valuable for examining MHC gene evolution and the molecular basis for species adaptations. Results We investigated the evolution of two class II MHC genes of the Equine Lymphocyte Antigen (ELA), DRA and DQA, in the genus Equus with the addition of novel alleles identified in plains zebra (E. quagga, formerly E. burchelli). We found that both genes exhibited a high degree of polymorphism and inter-specific sharing of allele lineages. To our knowledge, DRA allelic diversity was discovered to be higher than has ever been observed in vertebrates. Evidence was also found to support a duplication of the DQA locus. Selection analyses, evaluated in terms of relative rates of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations (dN/dS) averaged over the gene region, indicated that the majority of codon sites were conserved and under purifying selection (dN

  4. Molecular phylogeny and genome size evolution of the genus Betula (Betulaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Nian; McAllister, Hugh A.; Bartlett, Paul R.; Buggs, Richard J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Betula L. (birch) is a genus of approx. 60 species, subspecies or varieties with a wide distribution in the northern hemisphere, of ecological and economic importance. A new classification of Betula has recently been proposed based on morphological characters. This classification differs somewhat from previously published molecular phylogenies, which may be due to factors such as convergent evolution, hybridization, incomplete taxon sampling or misidentification of samples. While chromosome counts have been made for many species, few have had their genome size measured. The aim of this study is to produce a new phylogenetic and genome size analysis of the genus. Methods Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA were sequenced for 76 Betula samples verified by taxonomic experts, representing approx. 60 taxa, of which approx. 24 taxa have not been included in previous phylogenetic analyses. A further 49 samples from other collections were also sequenced, and 108 ITS sequences were downloaded from GenBank. Phylogenetic trees were built for these sequences. The genome sizes of 103 accessions representing nearly all described species were estimated using flow cytometry. Key Results As expected for a gene tree of a genus where hybridization and allopolyploidy occur, the ITS tree shows clustering, but not resolved monophyly, for the morphological subgenera recently proposed. Most sections show some clustering, but species of the dwarf section Apterocaryon are unusually scattered. Betula corylifolia (subgenus Nipponobetula) unexpectedly clusters with species of subgenus Aspera. Unexpected placements are also found for B. maximowicziana, B. bomiensis, B. nigra and B. grossa. Biogeographical disjunctions were found within Betula between Europe and North America, and also disjunctions between North-east and South-west Asia. The 2C-values for Betula ranged from 0·88 to 5·33 pg, and polyploids are scattered widely throughout the

  5. Molecular evolution of NASP and conserved histone H3/H4 transport pathway

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background NASP is an essential protein in mammals that functions in histone transport pathways and maintenance of a soluble reservoir of histones H3/H4. NASP has been studied exclusively in Opisthokonta lineages where some functional diversity has been reported. In humans, growing evidence implicates NASP miss-regulation in the development of a variety of cancers. Although a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis is lacking, NASP-family proteins that possess four TPR motifs are thought to be widely distributed across eukaryotes. Results We characterize the molecular evolution of NASP by systematically identifying putative NASP orthologs across diverse eukaryotic lineages ranging from excavata to those of the crown group. We detect extensive silent divergence at the nucleotide level suggesting the presence of strong purifying selection acting at the protein level. We also observe a selection bias for high frequencies of acidic residues which we hypothesize is a consequence of their critical function(s), further indicating the role of functional constraints operating on NASP evolution. Our data indicate that TPR1 and TPR4 constitute the most rapidly evolving functional units of NASP and may account for the functional diversity observed among well characterized family members. We also show that NASP paralogs in ray-finned fish have different genomic environments with clear differences in their GC content and have undergone significant changes at the protein level suggesting functional diversification. Conclusion We draw four main conclusions from this study. First, wide distribution of NASP throughout eukaryotes suggests that it was likely present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) possibly as an important innovation in the transport of H3/H4. Second, strong purifying selection operating at the protein level has influenced the nucleotide composition of NASP genes. Further, we show that selection has acted to maintain a high frequency of functionally relevant

  6. Predicting the Effect of Accelerated Fractionation in Postoperative Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer Based on Molecular Marker Profiles: Data From a Randomized Clinical Trial

    SciTech Connect

    Suwinski, Rafal; Jaworska, Magdalena; Nikiel, Barbara; Grzegorz, Wozniak; Bankowska-Wozniak, Magdalena; Wojciech, Majewski; Krzysztof, Skladowski; Dariusz, Lange

    2010-06-01

    Purpose: To determine the prognostic and predictive values of molecular marker expression profiles based on data from a randomized clinical trial of postoperative conventional fractionation (p-CF) therapy versus 7-day-per-week postoperative continuous accelerated irradiation (p-CAIR) therapy for squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. Methods and Materials: Tumor samples from 148 patients (72 p-CF and 76 p-CAIR patients) were available for molecular studies. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess levels of EGFR, nm23, Ki-67, p-53, and cyclin D1 expression. To evaluate the effect of fractionation relative to the expression profiles, data for locoregional tumor control (LRC) were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazard regression model. Survival curves were compared using the Cox f test. Results: Patients who had tumors with low Ki-67, low p-53, and high EGFR expression levels and oral cavity/oropharyngeal primary cancer sites tended to benefit from p-CAIR. A joint score for the gain in LRC from p-CAIR based of these features was used to separate the patients into two groups: those who benefited significantly from p-CAIR with respect to LRC (n = 49 patients; 5-year LRC of 28% vs. 68%; p = 0.01) and those who did not benefit from p-CAIR (n = 99 patients; 5-year LRC of 72% vs. 66%; p = 0.38). The nm23 expression level appeared useful as a prognostic factor but not as a predictor of fractionation effect. Conclusions: These results support the studies that demonstrate the potential of molecular profiles to predict the benefit from accelerated radiotherapy. The molecular profile that favored accelerated treatment (low Ki-67, low p-53, and high EGFR expression) was in a good accordance with results provided by other investigators. Combining individual predictors in a joint score may improve their predictive potential.

  7. Molecular phylogenetic approach for studying life-history evolution: the ambiguous example of the genus Medicago L.

    PubMed Central

    Bena, G; Lejeune, B; Prosperi, J M; Olivieri, I

    1998-01-01

    We present a molecular phylogeny including most species of the genus Medicago L. (Fabaceae). Based on the consensus of the 48 most parsimonious trees, life-history and mating-system characters are mapped, and a putative history of the genus is suggested. The most parsimonious reconstruction suggests an ancestral annual and selfing state, and recurrent evolution towards perenniality and outcrossing. Based on theoretical predictions and classical hypotheses of the history of the genus, different assumptions about the ancestral state and different weighting schemes of evolution between the character states are made. Assuming an outcrossing, perennial ancestral state (partly supported by morphological features) does not fundamentally change the reconstruction. To meet theoretical expectations, various weighting schemes favouring evolution towards annuality and selfing are applied. Influence and validity of such weighting schemes are discussed with regard to other studies. PMID:9684377

  8. Evolution of strain and composition of Ge islands on Si (001) grown by molecular beam epitaxy during postgrowth annealing

    SciTech Connect

    Singha, R. K.; Das, S.; Majumdar, S.; Das, K.; Dhar, A.; Ray, S. K.

    2008-06-01

    Self-assembled Ge islands have been grown using a Stranski-Krastanov growth mechanism on Si (001) substrates by solid source molecular beam epitaxy. We performed time varying annealing experiments at a representative temperature of 650 deg. C to study the shape and size evolution of islands for a relatively high Ge coverage. Islands are found to coarsen due to heat treatment via structural and compositional changes through continuous strain relaxation. Different island morphologies, namely, 'pyramids', 'transitional domes', and 'domes' are found during the annealing sequence. The dominant coarsening mechanisms for the temporal evolution of islands of as-grown and annealed samples are explained by the comprehensive analysis of Rutherford back scattering, Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution x-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy. A correlation of the morphological evolution with the composition and strain relaxation of grown islands is presented.

  9. Applications of single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) to taxonomy, diagnosis, population genetics and molecular evolution of parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Gasser, R B; Chilton, N B

    2001-11-22

    The analysis of genetic variation in parasitic nematodes has important implications for studying aspects of taxonomy, diagnosis, population genetics, drug resistance and molecular evolution. This article highlights some applications of PCR-based single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) for the analysis of sequence variation in individual parasites (and their populations) to address some of these areas. It also describes the principles and advantages of SSCP, and provides some examples for future applications in parasitology.

  10. The dynamical