Science.gov

Sample records for accelerated molecular evolution

  1. Accelerated molecular dynamics methods

    SciTech Connect

    Perez, Danny

    2011-01-04

    The molecular dynamics method, although extremely powerful for materials simulations, is limited to times scales of roughly one microsecond or less. On longer time scales, dynamical evolution typically consists of infrequent events, which are usually activated processes. This course is focused on understanding infrequent-event dynamics, on methods for characterizing infrequent-event mechanisms and rate constants, and on methods for simulating long time scales in infrequent-event systems, emphasizing the recently developed accelerated molecular dynamics methods (hyperdynamics, parallel replica dynamics, and temperature accelerated dynamics). Some familiarity with basic statistical mechanics and molecular dynamics methods will be assumed.

  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. The Molecular Clock of Neutral Evolution Can Be Accelerated or Slowed by Asymmetric Spatial Structure

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin; Sample, Christine; Dementieva, Yulia; Medeiros, Ruben C.; Paoletti, Christopher; Nowak, Martin A.

    2015-01-01

    Over time, a population acquires neutral genetic substitutions as a consequence of random drift. A famous result in population genetics asserts that the rate, K, at which these substitutions accumulate in the population coincides with the mutation rate, u, at which they arise in individuals: K = u. This identity enables genetic sequence data to be used as a “molecular clock” to estimate the timing of evolutionary events. While the molecular clock is known to be perturbed by selection, it is thought that K = u holds very generally for neutral evolution. Here we show that asymmetric spatial population structure can alter the molecular clock rate for neutral mutations, leading to either Ku. Our results apply to a general class of haploid, asexually reproducing, spatially structured populations. Deviations from K = u occur because mutations arise unequally at different sites and have different probabilities of fixation depending on where they arise. If birth rates are uniform across sites, then K ≤ u. In general, K can take any value between 0 and Nu. Our model can be applied to a variety of population structures. In one example, we investigate the accumulation of genetic mutations in the small intestine. In another application, we analyze over 900 Twitter networks to study the effect of network topology on the fixation of neutral innovations in social evolution. PMID:25719560

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Extinction Events Can Accelerate Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    Extinction events impact the trajectory of biological evolution significantly. They are often viewed as upheavals to the evolutionary process. In contrast, this paper supports the hypothesis that although they are unpredictably destructive, extinction events may in the long term accelerate evolution by increasing evolvability. In particular, if extinction events extinguish indiscriminately many ways of life, indirectly they may select for the ability to expand rapidly through vacated niches. Lineages with such an ability are more likely to persist through multiple extinctions. Lending computational support for this hypothesis, this paper shows how increased evolvability will result from simulated extinction events in two computational models of evolved behavior. The conclusion is that although they are destructive in the short term, extinction events may make evolution more prolific in the long term. PMID:26266804

  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. Metabolic Acceleration in Human Evolution.

    PubMed

    Isler, Karin

    2016-07-12

    Humans stand out among other primates by an unusual combination of a very large brain and high fertility. Pontzer et al. (2016a) present new data on daily energy expenditure in great apes and show that the metabolic rate increased during human evolution. PMID:27411003

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular imprint of dust evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akimkin, Vitaly; Zhukovska, Svitlana; Wiebe, Dmitri; Semenov, Dmitry; Pavlyuchenkov, Yaroslav; Vasyunin, Anton; Birnstiel, Til; Henning, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Evolution of sub-micron grains is an essential process during early stages of planet formation. The dust growth and sedimentation to the midplane affect a spectral energy distribution. At the same time dust evolution can alter significantly the distribution of gas that is a factor of 100 more massive than dust and can be traced with molecular line observations. We present simulations of protoplanetary disk structure with grain evolution using the ANDES code ("AccretioN disk with Dust Evolution and Sedimentation"). ANDES comprises (1) a 1+1D frequency-dependent continuum radiative transfer module, (2) a module to calculate the chemical evolution using an extended gas-grain chemical network with UV/X-ray-driven processes and surface reactions, (3) a module to calculate the gas thermal energy balance, and (4) a 1+1D module that simulates dust grain evolution. Such a set of physical processes allows us to assess the impact of dust evolution on the gas component, which is primarily related to radiation field and total available surface for chemical reactions. Considering cases of (i) evolved dust (2 Myr of grain coagulation, fragmentation and sedimentation) and (ii) pristine dust (well- mixed 0.1 micron grains), we found a sufficient changes in disk physical and chemical structure caused by the dust evolution. Due to higher transparency of the evolved disk model UV-shielded molecular layer is shifted closer to the midplane. The presence of big grains in the disk midplane delays the freeze-out of volatile gas-phase species such as CO, while the depletion is still effective in adjacent upper layers. Molecular concentrations of many species are enhanced in the disk model with dust evolution (CO2, NH2CN, HNO, H2O, HCOOH, HCN, CO) which provides an opportunity to use these molecules as tracers of dust evolution.

  13. 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

  14. Accelerated evolution as a consequence of transitions to mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Lutzoni, François; Pagel, Mark

    1997-01-01

    Differential rates of nucleotide substitutions among taxa are a common observation in molecular phylogenetic studies, yet links between rates of DNA evolution and traits or behaviors of organisms have proved elusive. Likelihood ratio testing is used here for the first time to evaluate specific hypotheses that account for the induction of shifts in rates of DNA evolution. A molecular phylogenetic investigation of mutualist (lichen-forming fungi and fungi associated with liverworts) and nonmutualist fungi revealed four independent transitions to mutualism. We demonstrate a highly significant association between mutualism and increased rates of nucleotide substitutions in nuclear ribosomal DNA, and we demonstrate that a transition to mutualism preceded the rate acceleration of nuclear ribosomal DNA in these lineages. Our results suggest that the increased rate of evolution after the adoption of a mutualist lifestyle is generalized across the genome of these mutualist fungi. PMID:11038586

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Thermal Solutions for Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mast, Christof B.; Osterman, Natan; Braun, Dieter

    2012-12-01

    The key requirement to solve the origin of life puzzle are disequilibrium conditions. Early molecular evolution cannot be explained by initial high concentrations of energetic chemicals since they would just react towards their chemical equilibrium allowing no further development. We argue here that persistent disequilibria are needed to increase complexity during molecular evolution. We propose thermal gradients as the disequilibrium setting which drove Darwinian molecular evolution. On the one hand the thermal gradient gives rise to laminar thermal convection flow with highly regular temperature oscillations that allow melting and replication of DNA. On the other hand molecules move along the thermal gradient, a mechanism termed Soret effect or thermophoresis. Inside a long chamber a combination of the convection flow and thermophoresis leads to a very efficient accumulation of molecules. Short DNA is concentrated thousand-fold, whereas longer DNA is exponentially better accumulated. We demonstrated both scenarios in the same micrometer-sized setting. Forthcoming experiments will reveal how replication and accumulation of DNA in a system, driven only by a thermal gradient, could create a Darwinian process of replication and selection.

  18. Molecular evolution of prolactin in primates.

    PubMed

    Wallis, O Caryl; Mac-Kwashie, Akofa O; Makri, Georgia; Wallis, Michael

    2005-05-01

    Pituitary prolactin, like growth hormone (GH) and several other protein hormones, shows an episodic pattern of molecular evolution in which sustained bursts of rapid change contrast with long periods of slow evolution. A period of rapid change occurred in the evolution of prolactin in primates, leading to marked sequence differences between human prolactin and that of nonprimate mammals. We have defined this burst more precisely by sequencing the coding regions of prolactin genes for a prosimian, the slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), and a New World monkey, the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Slow loris prolactin is very similar in sequence to pig prolactin, so the episode of rapid change occurred during primate evolution, after the separation of lines leading to prosimians and higher primates. Marmoset prolactin is similar in sequence to human prolactin, so the accelerated evolution occurred before divergence of New World monkeys and Old World monkeys/apes. The burst of change was confined largely to coding sequence (nonsynonymous sites) for mature prolactin and is not marked in other components of the gene sequence. This and the observations that (1) there was no apparent loss of function during the episode of rapid evolution, (2) the rate of evolution slowed toward the basal rate after this burst, and (3) the distribution of substitutions in the prolactin molecule is very uneven support the idea that this episode of rapid change was due to positive adaptive selection. In the slow loris and marmoset there is no evidence for duplication of the prolactin gene, and evidence from another New World monkey (Cebus albifrons) and from the chimpanzee and human genome sequences, suggests that this is the general position in primates, contrasting with the situation for GH genes. The chimpanzee prolactin sequence differs from that of human at two residues and comparison of human and chimpanzee prolactin gene sequences suggests that noncoding regions associated with regulating

  19. 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.

  20. Bringing Molecules Back into Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wilke, Claus O.

    2012-01-01

    Much molecular-evolution research is concerned with sequence analysis. Yet these sequences represent real, three-dimensional molecules with complex structure and function. Here I highlight a growing trend in the field to incorporate molecular structure and function into computational molecular-evolution work. I consider three focus areas: reconstruction and analysis of past evolutionary events, such as phylogenetic inference or methods to infer selection pressures; development of toy models and simulations to identify fundamental principles of molecular evolution; and atom-level, highly realistic computational modeling of molecular structure and function aimed at making predictions about possible future evolutionary events. PMID:22761562

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

    We have investigated the molecular evolution of plant and nonplant actin genes comparing nucleotide and amino acid sequences of 20 actin genes. Nucleotide changes resulting in amino acid substitutions (replacement substitutions) ranged from 3–7% for all pairwise comparisons of animal actin genes with the following exceptions. Comparisons between higher animal muscle actin gene sequences and comparisons between higher animal cytoplasmic actin gene sequences indicated <3% divergence. Comparisons between plant and nonplant actin genes revealed, with two exceptions, 11–15% replacement substitution. In the analysis of plant actins, replacement substitution between soybean actin genes SAc1, SAc3, SAc4 and maize actin gene MAc1 ranged from 8–10%, whereas these members within the soybean actin gene family ranged from 6–9% replacement substitution. The rate of sequence divergence of plant actin sequences appears to be similar to that observed for animal actins. Furthermore, these and other data suggest that the plant actin gene family is ancient and that the families of soybean and maize actin genes have diverged from a single common ancestral plant actin gene that originated long before the divergence of monocots and dicots. The soybean actin multigene family encodes at least three classes of actin. These classes each contain a pair of actin genes that have been designated kappa (SAc1, SAc6), lambda (SAc2, SAc4) and mu (SAc3, SAc7). The three classes of soybean actin are more divergent in nucleotide sequence from one another than higher animal cytoplasmic actin is divergent from muscle actin. The location and distribution of amino acid changes were compared between actin proteins from all sources. A comparison of the hydropathy of all actin sequences, except from Oxytricha, indicated a strong similarity in hydropathic character between all plant and nonplant actins despite the greater number of replacement substitutions in plant actins. These protein sequence

  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. Statistical limitations on molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Perlovsky, Leonid I

    2002-06-01

    Complexity of functions evolving in an evolution process are expected to be limited by the time length of an evolution process among other factors. This paper outlines a general method of deriving function-complexity limitations based on mathematical statistics and independent from details of a biological or genetic mechanism of the evolution of the function. Limitations on the emergence of life are derived, these limitations indicate a possibility of a very fast evolution and are consistent with "RNA world" hypothesis. The discussed method is general and can be used to characterize evolution of more specific biological organism functions and relate functions to genetic structures. The derived general limitations indicate that a co-evolution of multiple functions and species could be a slow process, whereas an evolution of a specific function might proceed very fast, so that no trace of intermediate forms (species) is preserved in fossil records of phenotype or DNA structure; this is consistent with a picture of "punctuated equilibrium". PMID:12023805

  6. Accelerated Molecular Dynamics studies of He Bubble Growth in Tungsten

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uberuaga, Blas; Sandoval, Luis; Perez, Danny; Voter, Arthur

    2015-11-01

    Understanding how materials respond to extreme environments is critical for predicting and improving performance. In materials such as tungsten exposed to plasmas for nuclear fusion applications, novel nanoscale fuzzes, comprised of tendrils of tungsten, form as a consequence of the implantation of He into the near surface. However, the detailed mechanisms that link He bubble formation to the ultimate development of fuzz are unclear. Molecular dynamics simulations provide insight into the He implantation process, but are necessarily performed at implantation rates that are orders of magnitudes faster than experiment. Here, using accelerated molecular dynamics methods, we examine the role of He implantation rates on the physical evolution of He bubbles in tungsten. We find that, as the He rate is reduced, new types of events involving the response of the tungsten matrix to the pressure in the bubble become competitive and change the overall evolution of the bubble as well as the subsequent morphology of the tungsten surface. We have also examined how bubble growth differs at various microstructural features. These results highlight the importance of performing simulations at experimentally relevant conditions in order to correctly capture the contributions of the various significant kinetic processes and predict the overall response of the material.

  7. 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. PMID:16483949

  8. 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. PMID:24794916

  9. Gpgpu Accelerated Landscape-Evolution Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddy, D.; McGough, A. S.; Wainwright, J.; Trueman, A.

    2011-12-01

    Existing Landscape-Evolution Models (LEMs) have tended to be applied at relatively coarse spatial resolution and over comparatively short timescales (years-centuries). Extending these models to encompass landscape evolution at the scale of, for example, an entire river basin and over important landscape-forming timescales (i.e. tens of thousands of years) is computationally challenging. In order to address this challenge we are currently reformulating and extending an existing LEM, CybErosion, in order to create a new, highly optimised model, called CUDAscape. CUDAscape is being coded for parallel processing in order to exploit CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture), the parallel programming architecture developed by NVIDIA. CybErosion, a cellular erosion model written in C++, implements erosion, sediment transport and deposition processes at individual cell level, with each cell storing the cumulative changes in cell value (height) over the duration of the model run. Using a 5,000 cell DEM, and a simulated annual time step over 800k years, the original CybErosion code has an execution time of approximately 22 hours on an Intel 980X hexacore processor. Sequential code optimization has reduced this to ~4.5 hours but to achieve the modelling of grids comprising millions of cells requires orders of magnitude improvements in performance, an objective unlikely to be reached via advances in conventional CPU architectures within the foreseeable future. In this paper we will present our initial results for the CUDA implementation of a number of key methods including sink filling, flat routing, flow direction (D8, steepest descent) and flow accumulation (kernels that potentially have widespread application in a whole range of Earth System Models), the key bottlenecks in the current generation of LEMs (taking >75% of the execution time of the sequential execution of CybErosion). Using a single NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPGPU we have seen speedup in excess of x100 on both flow

  10. Molecular Evolution of Puumala Hantavirus

    PubMed Central

    Sironen, Tarja; Vaheri, Antti; Plyusnin, Alexander

    2001-01-01

    Puumala virus (PUUV) is a negative-stranded RNA virus in the genus Hantavirus, family Bunyaviridae. In this study, detailed phylogenetic analysis was performed on 42 complete S segment sequences of PUUV originated from several European countries, Russia, and Japan, the largest set available thus far for hantaviruses. The results show that PUUV sequences form seven distinct and well-supported genetic lineages; within these lineages, geographical clustering of genetic variants is observed. The overall phylogeny of PUUV is star-like, suggesting an early split of genetic lineages. The individual PUUV lineages appear to be independent, with the only exception to this being the Finnish and the Russian lineages that are closely connected to each other. Two strains of PUUV-like virus from Japan form the most ancestral lineage diverging from PUUV. Recombination points within the S segment were searched for and evidence for intralineage recombination events was seen in the Finnish, Russian, Danish, and Belgian lineages of PUUV. Molecular clock analysis showed that PUUV is a stable virus, evolving slowly at a rate of 0.7 × 10−7 to 2.2 × 10−6 nt substitutions per site per year. PMID:11689661

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid evolution accelerates plant population spread in fragmented experimental landscapes.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jennifer L; Kendall, Bruce E; Levine, Jonathan M

    2016-07-29

    Predicting the speed of biological invasions and native species migrations requires an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of spreading populations. Theory predicts that evolution can accelerate species' spread velocity, but how landscape patchiness--an important control over traits under selection--influences this process is unknown. We manipulated the response to selection in populations of a model plant species spreading through replicated experimental landscapes of varying patchiness. After six generations of change, evolving populations spread 11% farther than nonevolving populations in continuously favorable landscapes and 200% farther in the most fragmented landscapes. The greater effect of evolution on spread in patchier landscapes was consistent with the evolution of dispersal and competitive ability. Accounting for evolutionary change may be critical when predicting the velocity of range expansions. PMID:27471303

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Accelerated Superposition State Molecular Dynamics for Condensed Phase Systems.

    PubMed

    Ceotto, Michele; Ayton, Gary S; Voth, Gregory A

    2008-04-01

    An extension of superposition state molecular dynamics (SSMD) [Venkatnathan and Voth J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2005, 1, 36] is presented with the goal to accelerate timescales and enable the study of "long-time" phenomena for condensed phase systems. It does not require any a priori knowledge about final and transition state configurations, or specific topologies. The system is induced to explore new configurations by virtue of a fictitious (free-particle-like) accelerating potential. The acceleration method can be applied to all degrees of freedom in the system and can be applied to condensed phases and fluids. PMID:26620930

  16. Trends in substitution models of molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Arenas, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Substitution models of evolution describe the process of genetic variation through fixed mutations and constitute the basis of the evolutionary analysis at the molecular level. Almost 40 years after the development of first substitution models, highly sophisticated, and data-specific substitution models continue emerging with the aim of better mimicking real evolutionary processes. Here I describe current trends in substitution models of DNA, codon and amino acid sequence evolution, including advantages and pitfalls of the most popular models. The perspective concludes that despite the large number of currently available substitution models, further research is required for more realistic modeling, especially for DNA coding and amino acid data. Additionally, the development of more accurate complex models should be coupled with new implementations and improvements of methods and frameworks for substitution model selection and downstream evolutionary analysis. PMID:26579193

  17. Trends in substitution models of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Substitution models of evolution describe the process of genetic variation through fixed mutations and constitute the basis of the evolutionary analysis at the molecular level. Almost 40 years after the development of first substitution models, highly sophisticated, and data-specific substitution models continue emerging with the aim of better mimicking real evolutionary processes. Here I describe current trends in substitution models of DNA, codon and amino acid sequence evolution, including advantages and pitfalls of the most popular models. The perspective concludes that despite the large number of currently available substitution models, further research is required for more realistic modeling, especially for DNA coding and amino acid data. Additionally, the development of more accurate complex models should be coupled with new implementations and improvements of methods and frameworks for substitution model selection and downstream evolutionary analysis. PMID:26579193

  18. Molecular evolution of WDR62, a gene that regulates neocorticogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Pervaiz, Nashaiman; Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2016-01-01

    Human brain evolution is characterized by dramatic expansion in cerebral cortex size. WDR62 (WD repeat domain 62) is one of the important gene in controlling human cortical development. Mutations in WDR62 lead to primary microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by three to four fold reduction in cerebral cortex size of affected individuals. This study analyzes comparative protein evolutionary rate to provide a useful insight into the molecular evolution of WDR62 and hence pinpointed human specific amino acid replacements. Comparative analysis of human WDR62 with two archaic humans (Neanderthals and Denisovans) and modern human populations revealed that five hominin specific amino acid residues (human specific amino acids shared with two archaic humans) might have been accumulated in the common ancestor of extinct archaic humans and modern humans about 550,000–765,000 years ago. Collectively, the data demonstrates an acceleration of WDR62 sequence evolution in hominin lineage and suggests that the ability of WDR62 protein to mediate the neurogenesis has been altered in the course of hominin evolution. PMID:27114917

  19. Molecular evolution of WDR62, a gene that regulates neocorticogenesis.

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, Nashaiman; Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2016-09-01

    Human brain evolution is characterized by dramatic expansion in cerebral cortex size. WDR62 (WD repeat domain 62) is one of the important gene in controlling human cortical development. Mutations in WDR62 lead to primary microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by three to four fold reduction in cerebral cortex size of affected individuals. This study analyzes comparative protein evolutionary rate to provide a useful insight into the molecular evolution of WDR62 and hence pinpointed human specific amino acid replacements. Comparative analysis of human WDR62 with two archaic humans (Neanderthals and Denisovans) and modern human populations revealed that five hominin specific amino acid residues (human specific amino acids shared with two archaic humans) might have been accumulated in the common ancestor of extinct archaic humans and modern humans about 550,000-765,000 years ago. Collectively, the data demonstrates an acceleration of WDR62 sequence evolution in hominin lineage and suggests that the ability of WDR62 protein to mediate the neurogenesis has been altered in the course of hominin evolution. PMID:27114917

  20. The Turning and Evolution of the Recent Acceleration Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi; Tan, A.

    2007-05-01

    The turning point and evolution characteristics of the universe are investigated through solving the Friedmann equation with a non-zero cosmological constant. Choosing the present-time Hubble constant, the radius of the present universe , and the density parameter in matter as three key parameters, we obtain the density parameter in dark energy, the cosmological constant, the mass of the universe, the turning point redshif, the age of the present universe, and the time-dependent expansion rate, velocity, radius, and acceleration parameter of the universe. It is shown that the turing point redshift is soly dependent of the density parameters in matter and dark energy. For the flat universe, it turned from past deceleration to recent acceleration when its size was 1/2 to 2/3 of the present size if the density parameter in matter is between 0.2 and 0.4. The expansion rate is very large at initial and decreases with time to approach the Hubble constant. The expansion velocity can be over the light speed in the early period, which decreases to the minimum at the turning point and then increases with time to approach the ratio of the present radius to the Hubble radius times the square root of the density parameter in dark energy. The solution of the time-dependent radius increases with time. The present time depends on the three key parameters. The universe with a larger present radius, smaller Hubble constant, or smaller density parameter in dark energy is elder. The universe with greater density parameter in dark energy accelerates faster recently. The open and closed universes can also be accelerated recently. The turning points and evolution characteristics among different types of the universe and different sets of key parameters are compared. This presentation will show the details, supported by NASA grant (NNG04GD59G).

  1. 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. PMID:26141797

  2. Evolution of Robustness to Protein Mistranslation by Accelerated Protein Turnover

    PubMed Central

    Farkas, Zoltán; Horvath, Peter; Bódi, Zoltán; Daraba, Andreea; Szamecz, Béla; Gut, Ivo; Bayes, Mónica; Santos, Manuel A. S.; Pál, Csaba

    2015-01-01

    Translational errors occur at high rates, and they influence organism viability and the onset of genetic diseases. To investigate how organisms mitigate the deleterious effects of protein synthesis errors during evolution, a mutant yeast strain was engineered to translate a codon ambiguously (mistranslation). It thereby overloads the protein quality-control pathways and disrupts cellular protein homeostasis. This strain was used to study the capacity of the yeast genome to compensate the deleterious effects of protein mistranslation. Laboratory evolutionary experiments revealed that fitness loss due to mistranslation can rapidly be mitigated. Genomic analysis demonstrated that adaptation was primarily mediated by large-scale chromosomal duplication and deletion events, suggesting that errors during protein synthesis promote the evolution of genome architecture. By altering the dosages of numerous, functionally related proteins simultaneously, these genetic changes introduced large phenotypic leaps that enabled rapid adaptation to mistranslation. Evolution increased the level of tolerance to mistranslation through acceleration of ubiquitin-proteasome–mediated protein degradation and protein synthesis. As a consequence of rapid elimination of erroneous protein products, evolution reduced the extent of toxic protein aggregation in mistranslating cells. However, there was a strong evolutionary trade-off between adaptation to mistranslation and survival upon starvation: the evolved lines showed fitness defects and impaired capacity to degrade mature ribosomes upon nutrient limitation. Moreover, as a response to an enhanced energy demand of accelerated protein turnover, the evolved lines exhibited increased glucose uptake by selective duplication of hexose transporter genes. We conclude that adjustment of proteome homeostasis to mistranslation evolves rapidly, but this adaptation has several side effects on cellular physiology. Our work also indicates that

  3. Molecular evolution of hydrogen peroxide degrading enzymes.

    PubMed

    Zámocký, Marcel; Gasselhuber, Bernhard; Furtmüller, Paul G; Obinger, Christian

    2012-09-15

    For efficient removal of intra- and/or extracellular hydrogen peroxide by dismutation to harmless dioxygen and water (2H(2)O(2) → O(2) + 2H(2)O), nature designed three metalloenzyme families that differ in oligomeric organization, monomer architecture as well as active site geometry and catalytic residues. Here we report on the updated reconstruction of the molecular phylogeny of these three gene families. Ubiquitous typical (monofunctional) heme catalases are found in all domains of life showing a high structural conservation. Their evolution was directed from large subunit towards small subunit proteins and further to fused proteins where the catalase fold was retained but lost its original functionality. Bifunctional catalase-peroxidases were at the origin of one of the two main heme peroxidase superfamilies (i.e. peroxidase-catalase superfamily) and constitute a protein family predominantly present among eubacteria and archaea, but two evolutionary branches are also found in the eukaryotic world. Non-heme manganese catalases are a relatively small protein family with very old roots only present among bacteria and archaea. Phylogenetic analyses of the three protein families reveal features typical (i) for the evolution of whole genomes as well as (ii) for specific evolutionary events including horizontal gene transfer, paralog formation and gene fusion. As catalases have reached a striking diversity among prokaryotic and eukaryotic pathogens, understanding their phylogenetic and molecular relationship and function will contribute to drug design for prevention of diseases of humans, animals and plants. PMID:22330759

  4. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of Legionella.

    PubMed

    Khodr, A; Kay, E; Gomez-Valero, L; Ginevra, C; Doublet, P; Buchrieser, C; Jarraud, S

    2016-09-01

    Legionella are opportunistic pathogens that develop in aquatic environments where they multiply in protozoa. When infected aerosols reach the human respiratory tract they may accidentally infect the alveolar macrophages leading to a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease (LD). The ability of Legionella to survive within host-cells is strictly dependent on the Dot/Icm Type 4 Secretion System that translocates a large repertoire of effectors into the host cell cytosol. Although Legionella is a large genus comprising nearly 60 species that are worldwide distributed, only about half of them have been involved in LD cases. Strikingly, the species Legionella pneumophila alone is responsible for 90% of all LD cases. The present review summarizes the molecular approaches that are used for L. pneumophila genotyping with a major focus on the contribution of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to the investigation of local L. pneumophila outbreaks and global epidemiology studies. We report the newest knowledge regarding the phylogeny and the evolution of Legionella and then focus on virulence evolution of those Legionella species that are known to have the capacity to infect humans. Finally, we discuss the evolutionary forces and adaptation mechanisms acting on the Dot/Icm system itself as well as the role of mobile genetic elements (MGE) encoding T4ASSs and of gene duplications in the evolution of Legionella and its adaptation to different hosts and lifestyles. PMID:27180896

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:21434638

  8. 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.

  9. Accelerated evolution of constraint elements for hematophagic adaptation in mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Ming-Shan; ADEOLA, Adeniyi C.; LI, Yan; ZHANG, Ya-Ping; WU, Dong-Dong

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics is a powerful approach that comprehensively interprets the genome. Herein, we performed whole genome comparative analysis of 16 Diptera genomes, including four mosquitoes and 12 Drosophilae. We found more than 540 000 constraint elements (CEs) in the Diptera genome, with the majority found in the intergenic, coding and intronic regions. Accelerated elements (AEs) identified in mosquitoes were mostly in the protein-coding regions (>93%), which differs from vertebrates in genomic distribution. Some genes functionally enriched in blood digestion, body temperature regulation and insecticide resistance showed rapid evolution not only in the lineage of the recent common ancestor of mosquitoes (RCAM), but also in some mosquito lineages. This may be associated with lineage-specific traits and/or adaptations in comparison with other insects. Our findings revealed that although universally fast evolution acted on biological systems in RCAM, such as hematophagy, same adaptations also appear to have occurred through distinct degrees of evolution in different mosquito species, enabling them to be successful blood feeders in different environments. PMID:26646568

  10. 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.

  11. Sexual selection accelerates signal evolution during speciation in birds

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Nathalie; Botero, Carlos A.; Tobias, Joseph A.; Dunn, Peter O.; MacGregor, Hannah E. A.; Rubenstein, Dustin R.; Uy, J. Albert C.; Weir, Jason T.; Whittingham, Linda A.; Safran, Rebecca J.

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection is proposed to be an important driver of diversification in animal systems, yet previous tests of this hypothesis have produced mixed results and the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we use a novel phylogenetic approach to assess the influence of sexual selection on patterns of evolutionary change during 84 recent speciation events across 23 passerine bird families. We show that elevated levels of sexual selection are associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence between related lineages, and that this effect is restricted to male plumage traits proposed to function in mate choice and species recognition. Conversely, we found no evidence that sexual selection promoted divergence in female plumage traits, or in male traits related to foraging and locomotion. These results provide strong evidence that female choice and male–male competition are dominant mechanisms driving divergence during speciation in birds, potentially linking sexual selection to the accelerated evolution of pre-mating reproductive isolation. PMID:23864596

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25043049

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Accelerated FoxP2 evolution in echolocating bats.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

  19. Molecular epidemiology and evolution of porcine parvoviruses.

    PubMed

    Streck, André Felipe; Canal, Cláudio Wageck; Truyen, Uwe

    2015-12-01

    Porcine parvovirus (PPV), recently named Ungulate protoparvovirus 1, is considered to be one of the most important causes of reproductive failure in swine. Fetal death, mummification, stillbirths and delayed return to estrus are predominant clinical signs commonly associated with PPV infection in a herd. It has recently been shown that certain parvoviruses exhibit a nucleotide substitution rate close to that commonly determined for RNA viruses. However, the PPV vaccines broadly used in the last 30 years have most likely reduced the genetic diversity of the virus and led to the predominance of strains with a capsid profile distinct from that of the original vaccine-based strains. Furthermore, a number of novel porcine parvovirus species with yet-unknown veterinary relevance and characteristics have been described during the last decade. In this review, an overview of PPV molecular evolution is presented, highlighting characteristics of the various genetic elements, their evolutionary rate and the discovery of new capsid profiles driven by the currently used vaccines. PMID:26453771

  20. Molecular pathogenesis of CLL and its evolution.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, David; Bretones, Gabriel; Arango, Javier R; Valdespino, Víctor; Campo, Elías; Quesada, Víctor; López-Otín, Carlos

    2015-03-01

    In spite of being the most prevalent adult leukemia in Western countries, the molecular mechanisms driving the establishment and progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remain largely unknown. In recent years, the use of next-generation sequencing techniques has uncovered new and, in some cases, unexpected driver genes with prognostic and therapeutic value. The mutational landscape of CLL is characterized by high-genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity, low mutation recurrence and a long tail of cases with undefined driver genes. On the other hand, the use of deep sequencing has also revealed high intra-tumor heterogeneity and provided a detailed picture of clonal evolution processes. This phenomenon, in which aberrant DNA methylation can also participate, appears to be tightly associated to poor outcomes and chemo-refractoriness, thus providing a new subject for therapeutic intervention. Hence, and having in mind the limitations derived from the CLL complexity thus described, the application of massively parallel sequencing studies has unveiled a wealth of information that is expected to substantially improve patient staging schemes and CLL clinical management. PMID:25630433

  1. High rates of molecular evolution in hantaviruses.

    PubMed

    Ramsden, Cadhla; Melo, Fernando L; Figueiredo, Luiz M; Holmes, Edward C; Zanotto, Paolo M A

    2008-07-01

    Hantaviruses are rodent-borne Bunyaviruses that infect the Arvicolinae, Murinae, and Sigmodontinae subfamilies of Muridae. The rate of molecular evolution in the hantaviruses has been previously estimated at approximately 10(-7) nucleotide substitutions per site, per year (substitutions/site/year), based on the assumption of codivergence and hence shared divergence times with their rodent hosts. If substantiated, this would make the hantaviruses among the slowest evolving of all RNA viruses. However, as hantaviruses replicate with an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, with error rates in the region of one mutation per genome replication, this low rate of nucleotide substitution is anomalous. Here, we use a Bayesian coalescent approach to estimate the rate of nucleotide substitution from serially sampled gene sequence data for hantaviruses known to infect each of the 3 rodent subfamilies: Araraquara virus (Sigmodontinae), Dobrava virus (Murinae), Puumala virus (Arvicolinae), and Tula virus (Arvicolinae). Our results reveal that hantaviruses exhibit short-term substitution rates of 10(-2) to 10(-4) substitutions/site/year and so are within the range exhibited by other RNA viruses. The disparity between this substitution rate and that estimated assuming rodent-hantavirus codivergence suggests that the codivergence hypothesis may need to be reevaluated. PMID:18417484

  2. 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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 most 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular confinement accelerates deformation of entangled polymers during squeeze flow.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Harry D; King, William P; Pethica, John B; Cross, Graham L W

    2008-10-31

    The squeezing of polymers in narrow gaps is important for the dynamics of nanostructure fabrication by nanoimprint embossing and the operation of polymer boundary lubricants. We measured stress versus strain behavior while squeezing entangled polystyrene films to large strains. In confined conditions where films were prepared to a thickness less than the size of the bulk macromolecule, resistance to deformation was markedly reduced for both solid-glass forging and liquid-melt molding. For melt flow, we further observed a complete inversion of conventional polymer viscosity scaling with molecular weight. Our results show that squeeze flow is accelerated at small scales by an unexpected influence of film thickness in polymer materials. PMID:18832609

  8. Polymer degradation and molecular relaxation during accelerated weathering of coatings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernando, B. Malcolm Dilhan

    2011-12-01

    A model polyester-urethane coating similar to those on USAF aircraft was the focus in this research. It was studied for physical property changes during accelerated weathering. Isothermal aging and natural weathering were utilized as control studies. Coatings subjected to accelerated weathering had an increase in tensile modulus, glass transition temperature and surface stiffness. DSC analysis of these coatings clearly showed evidence for 'physical aging'. This phenomenon was pursued further to find out the impact of macromolecular relaxation on the polymer physical properties. The unique feature of this research is the investigation of kinetics of macromolecular relaxation whilst a polymer undergoes simultaneous degradation. Assessment was done for some material parameters as found in theoretical models. Fictive temperature (Tf), apparent activation energy (Deltah*/R) and non linearity parameter ( x) found in Tool-Narayanswamy-Moyniham (TNM) model were explored. Tf was found to be decreasing with weathering and explained the increasingly aged 'state' of the structure. Deltah*/R was found to be increasing and explains an increased energy barrier to overcome to attain relaxation. DSC peak-shift method was used to characterize x. At early stages there is a stronger non linearity of relaxation (lower x) with a stronger structure dependence and later the relaxation kinetics seems more temperature dependent (higher x). MDSC was done to characterize the non exponentiality parameter (beta) as found in the Kohlrauch-Williams-Watts (KWW) equation. Decreasing beta value with exposure implies an increasingly broad distribution of relaxation times. The Cooperatively Rearranging Regions (CRR) concept of Adams and Gibbs was also examined. Molecular weight (Ma) of the volume (Va) represented by a CRR was compared with Mc, the molecular weight between crosslinks. Nanoindentation was done to explore the coatings' surface mechanical properties. During accelerated weathering the

  9. Molecular evolution of HR, a gene that regulates the postnatal cycle of the hair follicle

    PubMed Central

    Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2011-01-01

    Hair is a unique mammalian trait that is absent in all other animal forms. Hairlessness is rare in mammals and humans are exceptional among primates in lacking dense layer of hair covering. HR was the first gene identified to be implicated in hair-cycle regulation. Point mutations in HR lead to congenital human hair loss, which results in the complete loss of body and scalp hairs. HR functions are indispensable for initiation of postnatal hair follicular cycling. This study investigates the phylogenetic history and analyzes the protein evolutionary rate to provide useful insight into the molecular evolution of HR. The data demonstrates an acceleration of HR sequence evolution in human branch and suggests that the ability of HR protein to mediate postnatal hair-cycling has been altered in the course of human evolution. In particular those residues were pinpointed which should be regarded as target of positive Darwinian selection during human evolution. PMID:22355551

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Accelerated evolution and coevolution drove the evolutionary history of AGPase sub-units during angiosperm radiation

    PubMed Central

    Corbi, Jonathan; Dutheil, Julien Y.; Damerval, Catherine; Tenaillon, Maud I.; Manicacci, Domenica

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) is a key enzyme of starch biosynthesis. In the green plant lineage, it is composed of two large (LSU) and two small (SSU) sub-units encoded by paralogous genes, as a consequence of several rounds of duplication. First, our aim was to detect specific patterns of molecular evolution following duplication events and the divergence between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Secondly, we investigated coevolution between amino acids both within and between sub-units. Methods A phylogeny of each AGPase sub-unit was built using all gymnosperm and angiosperm sequences available in databases. Accelerated evolution along specific branches was tested using the ratio of the non-synonymous to the synonymous substitution rate. Coevolution between amino acids was investigated taking into account compensatory changes between co-substitutions. Key Results We showed that SSU paralogues evolved under high functional constraints during angiosperm radiation, with a significant level of coevolution between amino acids that participate in SSU major functions. In contrast, in the LSU paralogues, we identified residues under positive selection (1) following the first LSU duplication that gave rise to two paralogues mainly expressed in angiosperm source and sink tissues, respectively; and (2) following the emergence of grass-specific paralogues expressed in the endosperm. Finally, we found coevolution between residues that belong to the interaction domains of both sub-units. Conclusions Our results support the view that coevolution among amino acid residues, especially those lying in the interaction domain of each sub-unit, played an important role in AGPase evolution. First, within SSU, coevolution allowed compensating mutations in a highly constrained context. Secondly, the LSU paralogues probably acquired tissue-specific expression and regulatory properties via the coevolution between sub-unit interacting domains. Finally, the

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22904696

  14. GAMMA-RAY EMISSION OF ACCELERATED PARTICLES ESCAPING A SUPERNOVA REMNANT IN A MOLECULAR CLOUD

    SciTech Connect

    Ellison, Donald C.; Bykov, Andrei M. E-mail: byk@astro.ioffe.ru

    2011-04-20

    We present a model of gamma-ray emission from core-collapse supernovae (SNe) originating from the explosions of massive young stars. The fast forward shock of the supernova remnant (SNR) can accelerate particles by diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) in a cavern blown by a strong, pre-SN stellar wind. As a fundamental part of nonlinear DSA, some fraction of the accelerated particles escape the shock and interact with a surrounding massive dense shell producing hard photon emission. To calculate this emission, we have developed a new Monte Carlo technique for propagating the cosmic rays (CRs) produced by the forward shock of the SNR, into the dense, external material. This technique is incorporated in a hydrodynamic model of an evolving SNR which includes the nonlinear feedback of CRs on the SNR evolution, the production of escaping CRs along with those that remain trapped within the remnant, and the broadband emission of radiation from trapped and escaping CRs. While our combined CR-hydro-escape model is quite general and applies to both core collapse and thermonuclear SNe, the parameters we choose for our discussion here are more typical of SNRs from very massive stars whose emission spectra differ somewhat from those produced by lower mass progenitors directly interacting with a molecular cloud.

  15. Molecular evolution in food allergy diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Barocci, Fiorella; DE Amici, Mara; Marseglia, Gian L

    2016-10-01

    Traditional allergological diagnostics often provide laboratory data that seem to correspond with similar positive results in different patients. However, with technological developments and the introduction of molecular diagnostics, it is possible to extract and highlight the differences in the serological laboratory data, to obtain detailed specificity on the various allergen components in different clinical settings. Allergological diagnostics prove to be increasingly useful in accurately distinguishing "cross-reactivity" and "cosensitization". This aspect is very important especially in patients who are, with a traditional diagnosis, polysensitized. Molecular diagnosis in allergology has expanded its range of applications thanks to the ability to IgE dose specific (in addition to classic total IgE serum) not only to allergens, food and inhalants, but also to the individual protein components which make up the allergenic source. It is essential to establish a correct diagnosis in order to determine the appropriate therapy. Therefore it is crucial to discern whether a patient is truly allergic because he presents specific IgE for molecules of a species or if the positivity is given from the structural homology between the different proteins. Molecular diagnostics emerges as a valuable tool for the discrimination of allergic patients and to differentiate between "true allergies" and "cross-reactivity". Molecular diagnostics should be used in a targeted manner for an accurate assessment and diagnosis, which would also reduce the use of oral challenges, to predict severe reactions and allergy persistence. PMID:26091488

  16. Animal evolution: trilobites on speed.

    PubMed

    Budd, Graham E

    2013-10-01

    A new study quantifies rates of morphological and molecular evolution for arthropods during the critical Cambrian explosion. Both morphological and molecular evolution are accelerated--but not so much to break any speed limits. PMID:24112983

  17. Molecular evolution of the vertebrate mechanosensory cell and ear

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Beisel, Kirk W.; Pauley, Sarah; Soukup, Garrett

    2014-01-01

    The molecular basis of mechanosensation, mechanosensory cell development and mechanosensory organ development is reviewed with an emphasis on its evolution. In contrast to eye evolution and development, which apparently modified a genetic program through intercalation of genes between the master control genes on the top (Pax6, Eya1, Six1) of the hierarchy and the structural genes (rhodopsin) at the bottom, the as yet molecularly unknown mechanosensory channel precludes such a firm conclusion for mechanosensors. However, recent years have seen the identification of several structural genes which are involved in mechanosensory tethering and several transcription factors controlling mechanosensory cell and organ development; these warrant the interpretation of available data in very much the same fashion as for eye evolution: molecular homology combined with potential morphological parallelism. This assertion of molecular homology is strongly supported by recent findings of a highly conserved set of microRNAs that appear to be associated with mechanosensory cell development across phyla. The conservation of transcription factors and their regulators fits very well to the known or presumed mechanosensory specializations which can be mostly grouped as variations of a common cellular theme. Given the widespread distribution of the molecular ability to form mechanosensory cells, it comes as no surprise that structurally different mechanosensory organs evolved in different phyla, presenting a variation of a common theme specified by a conserved set of transcription factors in their cellular development. Within vertebrates and arthropods, some mechanosensory organs evolved into auditory organs, greatly increasing sensitivity to sound through modifications of accessory structures to direct sound to the specific sensory epithelia. However, while great attention has been paid to the evolution of these accessory structures in vertebrate fossils, comparatively less attention has

  18. 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. PMID:9435240

  19. A half-century after the molecular clock: new dimensions of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-08-01

    The EMBO workshop on 'Evolution in the Time of Genomics' took place in May 2012 in the magnificent sixteenth century Palazzo Franchetti near Ponte dell'Accademia in Venice. The meeting focused on phenomena that are not part of the traditional narrative of molecular evolution and which might signal a paradigm shift in the field. PMID:22791022

  20. 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

  1. Morphological change in machines accelerates the evolution of robust behavior

    PubMed Central

    Bongard, Josh

    2011-01-01

    Most animals exhibit significant neurological and morphological change throughout their lifetime. No robots to date, however, grow new morphological structure while behaving. This is due to technological limitations but also because it is unclear that morphological change provides a benefit to the acquisition of robust behavior in machines. Here I show that in evolving populations of simulated robots, if robots grow from anguilliform into legged robots during their lifetime in the early stages of evolution, and the anguilliform body plan is gradually lost during later stages of evolution, gaits are evolved for the final, legged form of the robot more rapidly—and the evolved gaits are more robust—compared to evolving populations of legged robots that do not transition through the anguilliform body plan. This suggests that morphological change, as well as the evolution of development, are two important processes that improve the automatic generation of robust behaviors for machines. It also provides an experimental platform for investigating the relationship between the evolution of development and robust behavior in biological organisms. PMID:21220304

  2. Molecular evolution of GPCRs: Ghrelin/ghrelin receptors.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2014-06-01

    After the discovery in 1996 of the GH secretagogue-receptor type-1a (GHS-R1a) as an orphan G-protein coupled receptor, many research groups attempted to identify the endogenous ligand. Finally, Kojima and colleagues successfully isolated the peptide ligand from rat stomach extracts, determined its structure, and named it ghrelin. The GHS-R1a is now accepted to be the ghrelin receptor. The existence of the ghrelin system has been demonstrated in many animal classes through biochemical and molecular biological strategies as well as through genome projects. Our work, focused on identifying the ghrelin receptor and its ligand ghrelin in laboratory animals, particularly nonmammalian vertebrates, has provided new insights into the molecular evolution of the ghrelin receptor. In mammals, it is assumed that the ghrelin receptor evolution is in line with the plate tectonics theory. In contrast, the evolution of the ghrelin receptor in nonmammalian vertebrates differs from that of mammals: multiplicity of the ghrelin receptor isoforms is observed in nonmammalian vertebrates only. This multiplicity is due to genome duplication and polyploidization events that particularly occurred in Teleostei. Furthermore, it is likely that the evolution of the ghrelin receptor is distinct from that of its ligand, ghrelin, because only one ghrelin isoform has been detected in all species examined so far. In this review, we summarize current knowledge related to the molecular evolution of the ghrelin receptor in mammalian and nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24353285

  3. 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…

  4. Protein engineering of conger eel galectins by tracing of molecular evolution using probable ancestral mutants

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Conger eel galectins, congerin I (ConI) and congerin II (ConII), show the different molecular characteristics resulting from accelerating evolution. We recently reconstructed a probable ancestral form of congerins, Con-anc. It showed properties similar to those of ConII in terms of thermostability and carbohydrate recognition specificity, although it shares a higher sequence similarity with ConI than ConII. Results In this study, we have focused on the different amino acid residues between Con-anc and ConI, and have performed the protein engineering of Con-anc through site-directed mutagenesis, followed by the molecular evolution analysis of the mutants. This approach revealed the functional importance of loop structures of congerins: (1) N- and C-terminal and loop 5 regions that are involved in conferring a high thermostability to ConI; (2) loops 3, 5, and 6 that are responsible for stronger binding of ConI to most sugars; and (3) loops 5 and 6, and Thr38 residue in loop 3 contribute the specificity of ConI toward lacto-N-fucopentaose-containing sugars. Conclusions Thus, this methodology, with tracing of the molecular evolution using ancestral mutants, is a powerful tool for the analysis of not only the molecular evolutionary process, but also the structural elements of a protein responsible for its various functions. PMID:20152053

  5. Ridge-based bias potentials to accelerate molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-28

    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. PMID:26723648

  6. 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. PMID:26554040

  7. Witnessing Phenotypic and Molecular Evolution in the Fruit Fly.

    PubMed

    Heil, Caiti S S; Hunter, Mika J; Noor, Juliet Kf; Miglia, Kathleen; Manzano-Winkler, Brenda; McDermott, Shannon R; Noor, Mohamed Af

    2012-12-01

    This multi-day exercise is designed for a college Genetics and Evolution laboratory to demonstrate concepts of inheritance and phenotypic and molecular evolution using a live model organism, Drosophila simulans. Students set up an experimental fruit fly population consisting of ten white eyed flies and one red eyed fly. Having red eyes is advantageous compared to having white eyes, allowing students to track the spread of this advantageous trait over several generations. Ultimately, the students perform PCR and gel electrophoresis at two neutral markers, one located in close proximity to the eye-color locus, and one located at the other end of the chromosome. Students observe that most flies have red eyes, and these red-eyed flies have lost variation at the near marker, but maintained variation at the far marker, hence observing a "selective sweep" and the "hitchhiking" of a nearby neutral variant. Students literally observe phenotypic and molecular evolution in their classroom! PMID:23459154

  8. The Molecular Evolution of the Qo Motif

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Wei-Chun; Hunte, Carola

    2014-01-01

    Quinol oxidation in the catalytic quinol oxidation site (Qo site) of cytochrome (cyt) bc1 complexes is the key step of the Q cycle mechanism, which laid the ground for Mitchell’s chemiosmotic theory of energy conversion. Bifurcated electron transfer upon quinol oxidation enables proton uptake and release on opposite membrane sides, thus generating a proton gradient that fuels ATP synthesis in cellular respiration and photosynthesis. The Qo site architecture formed by cyt b and Rieske iron–sulfur protein (ISP) impedes harmful bypass reactions. Catalytic importance is assigned to four residues of cyt b formerly described as PEWY motif in the context of mitochondrial complexes, which we now denominate Qo motif as comprehensive evolutionary sequence analysis of cyt b shows substantial natural variance of the motif with phylogenetically specific patterns. In particular, the Qo motif is identified as PEWY in mitochondria, α- and ε-Proteobacteria, Aquificae, Chlorobi, Cyanobacteria, and chloroplasts. PDWY is present in Gram-positive bacteria, Deinococcus–Thermus and haloarchaea, and PVWY in β- and γ-Proteobacteria. PPWF only exists in Archaea. Distinct patterns for acidophilic organisms indicate environment-specific adaptations. Importantly, the presence of PDWY and PEWY is correlated with the redox potential of Rieske ISP and quinone species. We propose that during evolution from low to high potential electron-transfer systems in the emerging oxygenic atmosphere, cyt bc1 complexes with PEWY as Qo motif prevailed to efficiently use high potential ubiquinone as substrate, whereas cyt b with PDWY operate best with low potential Rieske ISP and menaquinone, with the latter being the likely composition of the ancestral cyt bc1 complex. PMID:25115012

  9. Evolution of Rising Magnetic Cavities and UHECR Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourgouliatos, Konstantinos

    2011-08-01

    GN jets produce low density cavities in clusters of galaxies. Stability requires the presence of magnetic fields. We find self-consistent analytical structure of cavities containing large-scale electromagnetic fields and plasma expanding self-similarly. These solutions have no surface currents and, thus, are less susceptible to resistive decay, while they can be confined by a uniform pressure without deformation. If the adiabatic index of the plasma within the cavity is Γ>4/3, the expansion leads to the sudden formation of large-scale current sheets. We demonstrate that the ensuing explosive reconnection of the magnetic field can accelerate UHECRs.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular evolution of nitrate reductase genes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, J; Kleinhofs, A

    1996-04-01

    To understand the evolutionary mechanisms and relationships of nitrate reductases (NRs), the nucleotide sequences encoding 19 nitrate reductase (NR) genes from 16 species of fungi, algae, and higher plants were analyzed. The NR genes examined show substantial sequence similarity, particularly within functional domains, and large variations in GC content at the third codon position and intron number. The intron positions were different between the fungi and plants, but conserved within these groups. The overall and nonsynonymous substitution rates among fungi, algae, and higher plants were estimated to be 4.33 x 10(-10) and 3.29 x 10(-10) substitutions per site per year. The three functional domains of NR genes evolved at about one-third of the rate of the N-terminal and the two hinge regions connecting the functional domains. Relative rate tests suggested that the nonsynonymous substitution rates were constant among different lineages, while the overall nucleotide substitution rates varied between some lineages. The phylogenetic trees based on NR genes correspond well with the phylogeny of the organisms determined from systematics and other molecular studies. Based on the nonsynonymous substitution rate, the divergence time of monocots and dicots was estimated to be about 340 Myr when the fungi-plant or algae-higher plant divergence times were used as reference points and 191 Myr when the rice-barley divergence time was used as a reference point. These two estimates are consistent with other estimates of divergence times based on these reference points. The lack of consistency between these two values appears to be due to the uncertainty of the reference times. PMID:8642612

  12. Evolution of shear banding flows in metallic glasses characterized by molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Li; Luan, Yingwei

    2016-06-01

    To reveal the evolution of shear banding flows, one-dimensional nanostructure metallic glass composites have been studied with molecular dynamics. The inherent size determines the initial thickness of shear bands, and the subsequent broadening can be restricted to some extent. The vortex-like flows evoke the atomic motion perpendicular to the shear plane, which accelerates the interatomic diffusion. The reduction of local strain rate causes the flow softening for monolithic Cu-Zr glass, but the participation of Cu-atoms in the shear banding flow gradually leads to the shear hardening for the composites.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25741361

  16. 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

  17. The Evolution of the Acceleration Mechanisms of Cosmic Rays and Relativistic Electrons in Radio Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsvyk, N.

    There are estimated an efficacy for different acceleration mechanisms of e- and p-cosmic rays (CRs) in radio galaxies, using an evolution model for jet gaps and shock fronts with a turbulence. It is shown that diffusion shock acceleration of the CRs is the most efficient mechanism in the FR II radio galaxies (RGs). At the same time, there are a break-pinch mechanism (for a short-term at a jet gap moment), and a stochastic turbulent mechanism (for an all time when RG exist), that to play a grate part in acceleration of the CRs (give to 10-50 % of the all acceleration efficiency). It is predicted what properties of radio emission spectra give us to recognize a type of acceleration mechanisms of e-CR in the RG.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular diversity and functional evolution of scorpion potassium channel toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    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 (IC(50), 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 (IC(50), 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

  20. Adaptation or biased gene conversion? Extending the null hypothesis of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Galtier, Nicolas; Duret, Laurent

    2007-06-01

    The analysis of evolutionary rates is a popular approach to characterizing the effect of natural selection at the molecular level. Sequences contributing to species adaptation are expected to evolve faster than nonfunctional sequences because favourable mutations have a higher fixation probability than neutral ones. Such an accelerated rate of evolution might be due to factors other than natural selection, in particular GC-biased gene conversion. This is true of neutral sequences, but also of constrained sequences, which can be illustrated using the mouse Fxy gene. Several criteria can discriminate between the natural selection and biased gene conversion models. These criteria suggest that the recently reported human accelerated regions are most likely the result of biased gene conversion. We argue that these regions, far from contributing to human adaptation, might represent the Achilles' heel of our genome. PMID:17418442

  1. [The genotyping and molecular evolution of varicella-zoster virus].

    PubMed

    Jiang, Long-Feng; Gan, Lin; Chen, Jing-Xian; Wang, Ming-Li

    2012-09-01

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV, Human herpesvirus 3) is a member of the family Herpesviridae, and is classified as alpha-subfamily along with HSV-1 and HSV-2. VZV is the causative agent of chicken pox (varicella) mostly in children, after which it establishes latency in the sensory ganglia with the potential to reactivate at a later time to cause shingles (zoster). Increasing molecular epidemiological studies in recent years have been performed to monitor the mutations in VZV genome, discriminate vaccine virus from wild type virus, study the phylogeny of VZV strains throughout the world, and understand the evolution of the different clades of VZV. The progress has great impact on the fields of epidemiology, virology and bioinformatics. In this review, the currently available data concerning the geographic distribution and molecular evolution of VZV clades are discussed. PMID:23233938

  2. [The molecular evolution of rice stress-related genes].

    PubMed

    Song, Xiaojun; Xie, Kaibin; Zhang, Yanping; Jin, Ping

    2014-10-01

    In the processes of evolution, plants have formed a perfect regulation system to tolerate adverse environmental conditions. However, there has not been any report about the molecular evolution of rice stress-related genes. We derived a family of 22 stress-related genes in rice from Plant Stress Gene Database, and analyzed it by bioinformatics and comparative genome method. The results showed that these genes are relatively conservative in low organisms, and their copy numbers increase along with the environmental changes and the evolution. We also found four conserved sequence motifs and three other specific motifs. We propose that these motifs are closely associated with the function of rice stress-related genes. The analysis of selection pressure showed that about 50% rice stress-related genes have positive selection sites, although they were subject to a strong purifying selection. Positive selection sites might be very significant for plants to adapt to environmental changes. PMID:25406251

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bradley, Brenda J

    2008-04-01

    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

  5. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects

    PubMed Central

    Mitterboeck, T. Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne. PMID:23884090

  6. Molecular evolution of haemagglutinin (H) gene in measles virus.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hirokazu; Saitoh, Mika; Kobayashi, Miho; Ishii, Haruyuki; Saraya, Takeshi; Kurai, Daisuke; Tsukagoshi, Hiroyuki; Shirabe, Komei; Nishina, Atsuyoshi; Kozawa, Kunihisa; Kuroda, Makoto; Takeuchi, Fumihiko; Sekizuka, Tsuyoshi; Minakami, Hisanori; Ryo, Akihide; Takeda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    We studied the molecular evolution of the haemagglutinin (H) gene (full length) in all genotypes (24 genotypes, 297 strains) of measles virus (MeV). The gene's evolutionary timescale was estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. We also analysed positive selection sites. The MCMC tree indicated that the MeV H gene diverged from the rinderpest virus (same genus) about 250 years ago and that 24 MeV genotypes formed 3 lineages dating back to a 1915 ancestor (95% highest posterior density [HPD] 1882-1941) with relatively rapid evolution (mean rate: 9.02 × 10(-4) substitutions/site/year). The 3 lineages diverged in 1915 (lineage 1, 95% HPD 1882-1941), 1954 (lineage 2, 95% HPD 1937-1969), and 1940 (lineage 3, 95% HPD 1927-1952). These 24 genotypes may have diverged and emerged between the 1940s and 1990 s. Selective pressure analysis identified many negative selection sites on the H protein but only a few positive selection sites, suggesting strongly operated structural and/or functional constraint of changes on the H protein. Based on the molecular evolution of H gene, an ancestor MeV of the 24 genotypes emerged about 100 years ago and the structure of H protein has been well conserved. PMID:26130388

  7. Molecular evolution of the lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase (LPAAT) gene family.

    PubMed

    Körbes, Ana Paula; Kulcheski, Franceli Rodrigues; Margis, Rogério; Margis-Pinheiro, Márcia; Turchetto-Zolet, Andreia Carina

    2016-03-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases (LPAATs) perform an essential cellular function by controlling the production of phosphatidic acid (PA), a key intermediate in the synthesis of membrane, signaling and storage lipids. Although LPAATs have been extensively explored by functional and biotechnological studies, little is known about their molecular evolution and diversification. We performed a genome-wide analysis using data from several plants and animals, as well as other eukaryotic and prokaryotic species, to identify LPAAT genes and analyze their evolutionary history. We used phylogenetic and molecular evolution analysis to test the hypothesis of distinct origins for these genes. The reconstructed phylogeny supported the ancient origin of some isoforms (plant LPAAT1 and LPAATB; animal AGPAAT1/2), while others emerged more recently (plant LPAAT2/3/4/5; AGPAAT3/4/5/8). Additionally, the hypothesis of endosymbiotic origin of the plastidic isoform LPAAT1 was confirmed. LPAAT genes from plants and animals mainly experienced strong purifying selection pressures with limited functional divergence after the species-specific duplications. Gene expression analyses of LPAAT isoforms in model plants demonstrated distinct LPAAT expression patterns in these organisms. The results showed that distinct origins followed by diversification of the LPAAT genes shaped the evolution of TAG biosynthesis. The expression pattern of individual genes may be responsible for adaptation into multiple ecological niches. PMID:26721558

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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 ...

  12. [Evolution and systematics of nematodes based on molecular investigation].

    PubMed

    Okulewicz, Anna; Perec, Agnieszka

    2004-01-01

    Evolution and systematics of nematodes based on molecular investigation. The use of molecular phylogenetics to examine the interrelationships between animal parasites, free-living nematodes, and plant parasites versus traditional classification based on morphological-ecological characters was discussed and reviewed. Distinct differences were observed between parasitic nematodes and free-living ones. Within the former group, animal parasites turned out to be distinctly different from plant parasites. Using small subunit of ribosomal RNA gene sequence from a wide range of nematodes, there is a possibility to compare animal-parasitic, plant-parasitic and free-living taxa. Nowadays the parasitic nematodes expressed sequence tag (EST) project is currently generating sequence information to provide a new source of data to examine the evolutionary history of this taxonomic group. PMID:16859012

  13. 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.

  14. A Tale of Two Crocoducks: Creationist Misuses of Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, James R.

    2014-10-01

    Although some creationist objections to evolutionary biology are simplistic and thus are easily refuted, when more technical arguments become widespread it is important for science educators to explain the relevant science in a straightforward manner. An interesting case study is provided by misguided allegations about how cytochrome c data pertain to molecular evolution. The most common of these misrepresentations bears a striking similarity to a particularly glaring misunderstanding of what should be expected of a transitional form in a fossil sequence. Although evangelist Kirk Cameron's ridiculous injunction of a hypothetical `crocoduck' as an example of a potential transitional form is frequently invoked to illustrate the ignorance of many critics of evolutionary science, a strikingly analogous argument was applied to cytochrome c data by biochemist Michael Denton in 1985. The details of this analogy are worth exploring to clarify the fallacy of the widely circulated molecular argument.

  15. Cryogenic molecular separation system for radioactive 11C ion acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 11C 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 11C ion beams. In the ISOL system, 11CH4 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 12CH4 gases, which can simulate the chemical characteristics of 11CH4 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.

  16. The interface of protein structure, protein biophysics, and molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, David A; Teichmann, Sarah A; Bahar, Ivet; Bastolla, Ugo; Bloom, Jesse; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Colwell, Lucy J; de Koning, A P Jason; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Echave, Julian; Elofsson, Arne; Gerloff, Dietlind L; Goldstein, Richard A; Grahnen, Johan A; Holder, Mark T; Lakner, Clemens; Lartillot, Nicholas; Lovell, Simon C; Naylor, Gavin; Perica, Tina; Pollock, David D; Pupko, Tal; Regan, Lynne; Roger, Andrew; Rubinstein, Nimrod; Shakhnovich, Eugene; Sjölander, Kimmen; Sunyaev, Shamil; Teufel, Ashley I; Thorne, Jeffrey L; Thornton, Joseph W; Weinreich, Daniel M; Whelan, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The interface of protein structural biology, protein biophysics, molecular evolution, and molecular population genetics forms the foundations for a mechanistic understanding of many aspects of protein biochemistry. Current efforts in interdisciplinary protein modeling are in their infancy and the state-of-the art of such models is described. Beyond the relationship between amino acid substitution and static protein structure, protein function, and corresponding organismal fitness, other considerations are also discussed. More complex mutational processes such as insertion and deletion and domain rearrangements and even circular permutations should be evaluated. The role of intrinsically disordered proteins is still controversial, but may be increasingly important to consider. Protein geometry and protein dynamics as a deviation from static considerations of protein structure are also important. Protein expression level is known to be a major determinant of evolutionary rate and several considerations including selection at the mRNA level and the role of interaction specificity are discussed. Lastly, the relationship between modeling and needed high-throughput experimental data as well as experimental examination of protein evolution using ancestral sequence resurrection and in vitro biochemistry are presented, towards an aim of ultimately generating better models for biological inference and prediction. PMID:22528593

  17. 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. PMID:26189657

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. Mutational Pathway Determines Whether Drug Gradients Accelerate Evolution of Drug-Resistant Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greulich, Philip; Waclaw, Bartłomiej; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2012-08-01

    Drug gradients are believed to play an important role in the evolution of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and tumors resistant to anticancer drugs. We use a statistical physics model to study the evolution of a population of malignant cells exposed to drug gradients, where drug resistance emerges via a mutational pathway involving multiple mutations. We show that a nonuniform drug distribution has the potential to accelerate the emergence of resistance when the mutational pathway involves a long sequence of mutants with increasing resistance, but if the pathway is short or crosses a fitness valley, the evolution of resistance may actually be slowed down by drug gradients. These predictions can be verified experimentally, and may help to improve strategies for combating the emergence of resistance.

  20. The evolution of human populations: a molecular perspective.

    PubMed

    Ayala, F J; Escalante, A A

    1996-02-01

    Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. PMID:8673287

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-04-01

    We use magnetohydrodynamical simulations of converging warm neutral medium flows to analyse the formation and global evolution of magnetised 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 timescales 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 timescales, 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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. PMID:24811627

  6. 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.

  7. Accelerated Mitochondrial Evolution and “Darwin's Corollary”: Asymmetric Viability of Reciprocal F1 Hybrids in Centrarchid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Bolnick, Daniel I.; Turelli, Michael; López-Fernández, Hernán; Wainwright, Peter C.; Near, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    Reciprocal crosses between species can yield hybrids with different viabilities. The high frequency of this asymmetric hybrid viability (“Darwin's corollary”) places it alongside Haldane's rule and the “large-X effect” as a general feature of postmating reproductive isolation. Recent theory suggests that reciprocal cross asymmetries can arise from stochastic substitutions in uniparentally inherited loci such as mitochondrial genomes, although large systematic differences in mitochondrial substitution rates can also contribute to asymmetries. Although the magnitude of asymmetry will be relatively insensitive to unequal rates of mitochondrial evolution in diverging species, we show here that rate asymmetries can have a large effect on the direction of viability asymmetries. In reciprocal crosses between species, the maternal parent with faster mitochondrial evolution will tend to produce less viable F1 hybrids owing to an increased probability of mito-nuclear incompatibilities. We test this prediction using data on reciprocal hybrid viability and molecular evolution rates from a clade of freshwater fishes, Centrarchidae. As predicted, species with accelerated mitochondrial evolution tend to be the worse maternal parent for F1 hybrids, providing the first comparative evidence for a systematic basis to Darwin's corollary. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that mito-nuclear incompatibilities can play an important role in reproductive isolation. Such asymmetrical reproductive isolation may help explain the asymmetrical mitochondrial introgression observed between many hybridizing species. However, as with any comparative study, we cannot rule out the possibility that our results arise from a mutual correlation with a third variable such as body size. PMID:18245356

  8. MOLECULAR GAS EVOLUTION ACROSS A SPIRAL ARM IN M51

    SciTech Connect

    Egusa, Fumi; Scoville, Nick; Koda, Jin

    2011-01-10

    We present sensitive and high angular resolution CO(1-0) data obtained by the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy observations toward the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M51. The angular resolution of 0.''7 corresponds to 30 pc, which is similar to the typical size of giant molecular clouds (GMCs), and the sensitivity is also high enough to detect typical GMCs. Within the 1' field of view centered on a spiral arm, a number of GMC-scale structures are detected as clumps. However, only a few clumps are found to be associated with each giant molecular association (GMA) and more than 90% of the total flux is resolved out in our data. Considering the high sensitivity and resolution of our data, these results indicate that GMAs are not mere confusion with GMCs but plausibly smooth structures. In addition, we have found that the most massive clumps are located downstream of the spiral arm, which suggests that they are at a later stage of molecular cloud evolution across the arm and plausibly are cores of GMAs. By comparing with H{alpha} and Pa{alpha} images, most of these cores are found to have nearby star-forming regions. We thus propose an evolutionary scenario for the interstellar medium, in which smaller molecular clouds collide to form smooth GMAs at spiral arm regions and then star formation is triggered in the GMA cores. Our new CO data have revealed the internal structure of GMAs at GMC scales, finding the most massive substructures on the downstream side of the arm in close association with the brightest H II regions.

  9. 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.

  10. Electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution in acidic water with molecular cobalt tetraazamacrocycles.

    PubMed

    McCrory, Charles C L; Uyeda, Christopher; Peters, Jonas C

    2012-02-15

    A series of water-soluble molecular cobalt complexes of tetraazamacrocyclic ligands are reported for the electrocatalytic production of H(2) from pH 2.2 aqueous solutions. The comparative data reported for this family of complexes shed light on their relative efficiencies for hydrogen evolution in water. Rotating disk electrode voltammetry data are presented for each of the complexes discussed, as are data concerning their respective pH-dependent electrocatalytic activity. In particular, two diimine-dioxime complexes were identified as exhibiting catalytic onset at comparatively low overpotentials relative to other reported homogeneous cobalt and nickel electrocatalysts in aqueous solution. These complexes are stable at pH 2.2 and produce hydrogen with high Faradaic efficiency in bulk electrolysis experiments over time intervals ranging from 2 to 24 h. PMID:22280515

  11. Molecular Evolution of the Capsid Gene in Norovirus Genogroup I.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Miho; Yoshizumi, Shima; Kogawa, Sayaka; Takahashi, Tomoko; Ueki, Yo; Shinohara, Michiyo; Mizukoshi, Fuminori; Tsukagoshi, Hiroyuki; Sasaki, Yoshiko; Suzuki, Rieko; Shimizu, Hideaki; Iwakiri, Akira; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Shirabe, Komei; Shinomiya, Hiroto; Kozawa, Kunihisa; Kusunoki, Hideki; Ryo, Akihide; Kuroda, Makoto; Katayama, Kazuhiko; Kimura, Hirokazu

    2015-01-01

    We studied the molecular evolution of the capsid gene in all genotypes (genotypes 1-9) of human norovirus (NoV) genogroup I. The evolutionary time scale and rate were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. We also performed selective pressure analysis and B-cell linear epitope prediction in the deduced NoV GI capsid protein. Furthermore, we analysed the effective population size of the virus using Bayesian skyline plot (BSP) analysis. A phylogenetic tree by MCMC showed that NoV GI diverged from the common ancestor of NoV GII, GIII, and GIV approximately 2,800 years ago with rapid evolution (about 10(-3) substitutions/site/year). Some positive selection sites and over 400 negative selection sites were estimated in the deduced capsid protein. Many epitopes were estimated in the deduced virus capsid proteins. An epitope of GI.1 may be associated with histo-blood group antigen binding sites (Ser377, Pro378, and Ser380). Moreover, BSP suggested that the adaptation of NoV GI strains to humans was affected by natural selection. The results suggested that NoV GI strains evolved rapidly and date back to many years ago. Additionally, the virus may have undergone locally affected natural selection in the host resulting in its adaptation to humans. PMID:26338545

  12. Molecular Evolution and Structural Features of IRAK Family Members

    PubMed Central

    Gosu, Vijayakumar; Basith, Shaherin; Durai, Prasannavenkatesh; Choi, Sangdun

    2012-01-01

    The interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) family comprises critical signaling mediators of the TLR/IL-1R signaling pathways. IRAKs are Ser/Thr kinases. There are 4 members in the vertebrate genome (IRAK1, IRAK2, IRAKM, and IRAK4) and an IRAK homolog, Pelle, in insects. IRAK family members are highly conserved in vertebrates, but the evolutionary relationship between IRAKs in vertebrates and insects is not clear. To investigate the evolutionary history and functional divergence of IRAK members, we performed extensive bioinformatics analysis. The phylogenetic relationship between IRAK sequences suggests that gene duplication events occurred in the evolutionary lineage, leading to early vertebrates. A comparative phylogenetic analysis with insect homologs of IRAKs suggests that the Tube protein is a homolog of IRAK4, unlike the anticipated protein, Pelle. Furthermore, the analysis supports that an IRAK4-like kinase is an ancestral protein in the metazoan lineage of the IRAK family. Through functional analysis, several potentially diverged sites were identified in the common death domain and kinase domain. These sites have been constrained during evolution by strong purifying selection, suggesting their functional importance within IRAKs. In summary, our study highlighted the molecular evolution of the IRAK family, predicted the amino acids that contributed to functional divergence, and identified structural variations among the IRAK paralogs that may provide a starting point for further experimental investigations. PMID:23166766

  13. Temporal evolution of longitudinal bunch profile in a laser wakefield accelerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heigoldt, M.; Popp, A.; Khrennikov, K.; Wenz, J.; Chou, S. W.; Karsch, S.; Bajlekov, S. I.; Hooker, S. M.; Schmidt, B.

    2015-12-01

    We present single-shot measurements of the longitudinal bunch profile from a laser-wakefield accelerator with sub-fs resolution, based on detection of coherent transition radiation in a broad spectral range. A previously developed phase retrieval algorithm enables reconstruction of the bunch profile without prior assumptions about its shape. In this study, a variable-length gas target is used to explore the dynamics of bunch evolution. Our results show that once the laser energy is depleted the time structure of the generated electron beam changes from a single bunch to a double bunch structure, well suited for driver-witness type experiments.

  14. 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. PMID:26909573

  15. Evolution of Molecular Clouds in a Hot Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieser, Wolfgang; Hensler, Gerhard

    We are performing 2D hydrodynamic simulations to examine the evaporation and condensation of molecular clouds in the hot phase of the interstellar medium due to heat conduction. Heat conduction is a process that may not be neglected for clouds which are embedded in a hot gas, High-Velocity-Clouds falling through the hot galactic halo or clouds in a galactic chimney. The evolution of cold and dense clouds with different masses and radii is calculated in the subsonic streaming of a hot rarefied plasma. Our code includes self-gravity, heating and cooling effects and heat conduction by electrons. Simulations with and without heat conduction show significant differences. Heat conduction provides a possibility to stabilize clouds agains hydrodynamic instabilities. Molecular clouds become able to survive significantly longer in a violent stream of hot gas. Additionally, this hot gas condensates onto the cloud's surface and is mixed very efficiently with the cloud material. Therefore, heat conduction is an important process, which has to be considered in order to explain the existence and metallicity of clouds in a stream of hot gas.

  16. Evolution of Molecular Alignment in a Background Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Andrew; Antonsen, Thomas

    2008-11-01

    We study numerically the behavior of rotational revivals in a molecular gas when subject to the fluctuating electric field of a background plasma. We model a molecule as a rigid rotor and couple it to an electric field using permanent and induced multipole interactions. The evolution of the density matrix for the molecule is calculated for a short, intense laser pulse, followed by a fluctuating electric field. A broad superposition of angular momentum eigenstates of a molecule is created by the laser field, and the result is a set of recurring peaks in the probability density for observing a particular orientation -- the so-called 'rotational revivals.' Experimentally, this effect is manifest as a variation in the refractive index of the gas [1]. The fluctuating field is created using the dressed particle method, and the result is a loss of coherence between the phases of the basis states of the molecule, which causes a decreasing amplitude for subsequent alignment peaks. Modern short-pulse lasers operate with sufficient intensity to make this effect relevant to experiments in molecular alignment. This work was supported by the Department of Energy.[1] Y.-H. Chen et. al., Optics Express Vol. 15, No. 18, 11341 (2007)

  17. The first molecular phylogeny of Strepsiptera (Insecta) reveals an early burst of molecular evolution correlated with the transition to endoparasitism.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Study on beam emittance evolution in a nonlinear plasma wake field accelerator with mobile plasma ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Weiming; Joshi, Chan; Mori, Warren; Lu, Wei

    2014-10-01

    We study the electron beam evolution in a nonlinear blowout PWFA when the accelerated beam has a very small matched spot size that can cause the plasma ions collapsing towards the beam. Contrary to the common belief, very small emittance growth of the accelerated electron beam is found when the plasma ion collapsing destroys the perfect linear focusing force in the plasma wake field. The improved quasi-static PIC code QuickPIC also allows us to use very high resolution and to model asymmetric spot sizes. Simulation results show that the accelerated beam will reach a steady state after several cm propagation in the plasma (which is why we can do simulations and not let the drive beam evolve). We find that for round beams the ion density (which is Li+) enhancement is indeed by factors of 100, but that the emittance only grows by around 20 percent. For asymmetric spot sizes, the ion collapse is less and emittance growth is zero in the plane with the largest emittance and about 20 percent in the other plane.

  19. Molecular evolution of the MAGUK family in metazoan genomes

    PubMed Central

    te Velthuis, Aartjan JW; Admiraal, Jeroen F; Bagowski, Christoph P

    2007-01-01

    Background Development, differentiation and physiology of metazoans all depend on cell to cell communication and subsequent intracellular signal transduction. Often, these processes are orchestrated via sites of specialized cell-cell contact and involve receptors, adhesion molecules and scaffolding proteins. Several of these scaffolding proteins important for synaptic and cellular junctions belong to the large family of membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUK). In order to elucidate the origin and the evolutionary history of the MAGUKs we investigated full-length cDNA, EST and genomic sequences of species in major phyla. Results Our results indicate that at least four of the seven MAGUK subfamilies were present in early metazoan lineages, such as Porifera. We employed domain sequence and structure based methods to infer a model for the evolutionary history of the MAGUKs. Notably, the phylogenetic trees for the guanylate kinase (GK)-, the PDZ- and the SH3-domains all suggested a matching evolutionary model which was further supported by molecular modeling of the 3D structures of different GK domains. We found no MAGUK in plants, fungi or other unicellular organisms, which suggests that the MAGUK core structure originated early in metazoan history. Conclusion In summary, we have characterized here the molecular and structural evolution of the large MAGUK family. Using the MAGUKs as an example, our results show that it is possible to derive a highly supported evolutionary model for important multidomain families by analyzing encoded protein domains. It further suggests that larger superfamilies encoded in the different genomes can be analyzed in a similar manner. PMID:17678554

  20. 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.

  1. 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* ~ 10^9 M_sol) disc galaxies. We study the evolution of molecular abundances and the implications for CO emission and the X_CO 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 1-2 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, I_CO, is strongly suppressed at low dust extinction, A_v, and possibly saturates towards high A_v, in agreement with observations. The I_CO - A_v relation shifts towards higher A_v 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, X_CO decreases by an order of magnitude from 0 to 15 Myr, albeit with a large scatter.

  2. Evolution of the atomic and molecular gas content of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popping, Gergö; Somerville, Rachel S.; Trager, Scott C.

    2014-08-01

    We study the evolution of atomic and molecular gas in galaxies in semi-analytic models of galaxy formation that include new modelling of the partitioning of cold gas in galactic discs into atomic, molecular, and ionized phases. We adopt two scenarios for the formation of molecules: one pressure based and one metallicity based. We find that both recipes successfully reproduce the gas fractions and gas-to-stellar mass ratios of H I and H2 in local galaxies, as well as the H I and H2 disc sizes up to z ≤ 2. We reach good agreement with the locally observed H I and H2 mass function, although both recipes slightly overpredict the low-mass end of the H I mass function. Both of our models predict that the high-mass end of the H I mass function remains nearly constant at redshifts z < 2.0. The metallicity-based recipe yields a higher cosmic density of cold gas and much lower cosmic H2 fraction over the entire redshift range probed than the pressure-based recipe. These strong differences in H I mass function and cosmic density between the two recipes are driven by low-mass galaxies (log (M*/M⊙) ≤ 7) residing in low-mass haloes (log (Mvir/M⊙) ≤ 10). Both recipes predict that galaxy gas fractions remain high from z ˜ 6to3 and drop rapidly at lower redshift. The galaxy H2 fractions show a similar trend, but drop even more rapidly. We provide predictions for the CO J = 1-0 luminosity of galaxies, which will be directly comparable with observations with sub-mm and radio instruments.

  3. The Structure and Evolution of Self-Gravitating Molecular Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holliman, John Herbert, II

    1995-01-01

    We present a theoretical formalism to evaluate the structure of molecular clouds and to determine precollapse conditions in star-forming regions. Models consist of pressure-bounded, self-gravitating spheres of a single -fluid ideal gas. We treat the case without rotation. The analysis is generalized to consider states in hydrostatic equilibrium maintained by multiple pressure components. Individual pressures vary with density as P_i(r) ~ rho^{gamma {rm p},i}(r), where gamma_{rm p},i is the polytropic index. Evolution depends additionally on whether conduction occurs on a dynamical time scale and on the adiabatic index gammai of each component, which is modified to account for the effects of any thermal coupling to the environment of the cloud. Special attention is given to properly representing the major contributors to dynamical support in molecular clouds: the pressures due to static magnetic fields, Alfven waves, and thermal motions. Straightforward adjustments to the model allow us to treat the intrinsically anisotropic support provided by the static fields. We derive structure equations, as well as perturbation equations for performing a linear stability analysis. The analysis provides insight on the nature of dynamical motions due to collapse from an equilibrium state and estimates the mass of condensed objects that form in such a process. After presenting a set of general results, we describe models of star-forming regions that include the major pressure components. We parameterize the extent of ambipolar diffusion. The analysis contributes to the physical understanding of several key results from observations of these regions. Commonly observed quantities are explicitly cross-referenced with model results. We theoretically determine density and linewidth profiles on scales ranging from that of molecular cloud cores to that of giant molecular clouds (GMCs). The model offers an explanation of the mean pressures in GMCs, which are observed to be high relative

  4. 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.

  5. Acceleration of Early-Photon Fluorescence Molecular Tomography with Graphics Processing Units

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Zhang, Bin; Cao, Xu; Liu, Fei; Luo, Jianwen; Bai, Jing

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) with early-photons can improve the spatial resolution and fidelity of the reconstructed results. However, its computing scale is always large which limits its applications. In this paper, we introduced an acceleration strategy for the early-photon FMT with graphics processing units (GPUs). According to the procedure, the whole solution of FMT was divided into several modules and the time consumption for each module is studied. In this strategy, two most time consuming modules (Gd and W modules) were accelerated with GPU, respectively, while the other modules remained coded in the Matlab. Several simulation studies with a heterogeneous digital mouse atlas were performed to confirm the performance of the acceleration strategy. The results confirmed the feasibility of the strategy and showed that the processing speed was improved significantly. PMID:23606899

  6. Acceleration and evolution of a hollow electron beam in wakefields driven by a Laguerre-Gaussian laser pulse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Guo-Bo; Chen, Min; Schroeder, C. B.; Luo, Ji; Zeng, Ming; Li, Fei-Yu; Yu, Lu-Le; Weng, Su-Ming; Ma, Yan-Yun; Yu, Tong-Pu; Sheng, Zheng-Ming; Esarey, E.

    2016-03-01

    We show that a ring-shaped hollow electron beam can be injected and accelerated by using a Laguerre-Gaussian laser pulse and ionization-induced injection in a laser wakefield accelerator. The acceleration and evolution of such a hollow, relativistic electron beam are investigated through three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We find that both the ring size and the beam thickness oscillate during the acceleration. The beam azimuthal shape is angularly dependent and evolves during the acceleration. The beam ellipticity changes resulting from the electron angular momenta obtained from the drive laser pulse and the focusing forces from the wakefield. The dependence of beam ring radius on the laser-plasma parameters (e.g., laser intensity, focal size, and plasma density) is studied. Such a hollow electron beam may have potential applications for accelerating and collimating positively charged particles.

  7. Accelerated electronic structure-based molecular dynamics simulations of shock-induced chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cawkwell, Marc

    2015-06-01

    The initiation and progression of shock-induced chemistry in organic materials at moderate temperatures and pressures are slow on the time scales available to regular molecular dynamics simulations. Accessing the requisite time scales is particularly challenging if the interatomic bonding is modeled using accurate yet expensive methods based explicitly on electronic structure. We have combined fast, energy conserving extended Lagrangian Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics with the parallel replica accelerated molecular dynamics formalism to study the relatively sluggish shock-induced chemistry of benzene around 13-20 GPa. We model interatomic bonding in hydrocarbons using self-consistent tight binding theory with an accurate and transferable parameterization. Shock compression and its associated transient, non-equilibrium effects are captured explicitly by combining the universal liquid Hugoniot with a simple shrinking-cell boundary condition. A number of novel methods for improving the performance of reactive electronic structure-based molecular dynamics by adapting the self-consistent field procedure on-the-fly will also be discussed. The use of accelerated molecular dynamics has enabled us to follow the initial stages of the nucleation and growth of carbon clusters in benzene under thermodynamic conditions pertinent to experiments.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of cobalt-catalyzed hydrogen evolution

    PubMed Central

    Marinescu, Smaranda C.; Winkler, Jay R.; Gray, Harry B.

    2012-01-01

    Several cobalt complexes catalyze the evolution of hydrogen from acidic solutions, both homogeneously and at electrodes. The detailed molecular mechanisms of these transformations remain unresolved, largely owing to the fact that key reactive intermediates have eluded detection. One method of stabilizing reactive intermediates involves minimizing the overall reaction free-energy change. Here, we report a new cobalt(I) complex that reacts with tosylic acid to evolve hydrogen with a driving force of just 30 meV/Co. Protonation of CoI produces a transient CoIII-H complex that was characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The CoIII-H intermediate decays by second-order kinetics with an inverse dependence on acid concentration. Analysis of the kinetics suggests that CoIII-H produces hydrogen by two competing pathways: a slower homolytic route involving two CoIII-H species and a dominant heterolytic channel in which a highly reactive CoII-H transient is generated by CoI reduction of CoIII-H. PMID:22949704

  9. Dynamical Evolution of Supernova Remnants Breaking Through Molecular Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Wankee; Kim, Jongsoo; Koo, Bon-Chul

    2015-04-01

    We carry out three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the supernova remnants (SNRs) produced inside molecular clouds (MCs) near their surface using the HLL code tep{har83}. We explore the dynamical evolution and the X-ray morphology of SNRs after breaking through the MC surface for ranges of the explosion depths below the surface and the density ratios of the clouds to the intercloud media (ICM). We find that if an SNR breaks out through an MC surface in its Sedov stage, the outermost dense shell of the remnant is divided into several layers. The divided layers are subject to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability and fragmented. On the other hand, if an SNR breaks through an MC after the remnant enters the snowplow phase, the radiative shell is not divided to layers. We also compare the predictions of previous analytic solutions for the expansion of SNRs in stratified media with our one-dimensional simulations. Moreover, we produce synthetic X-ray surface brightness in order to research the center-bright X-ray morphology shown in thermal composite SNRs. In the late stages, a breakout SNR shows the center-bright X-ray morphology inside an MC in our results. We apply our model to the observational results of the X-ray morphology of the thermal composite SNR 3C 391.

  10. Conformational Changes in Acetylcholine Binding Protein Investigated by Temperature Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad Hosseini Naveh, Zeynab; Malliavin, Therese E.; Maragliano, Luca; Cottone, Grazia; Ciccotti, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Despite the large number of studies available on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a complete account of the mechanistic aspects of their gating transition in response to ligand binding still remains elusive. As a first step toward dissecting the transition mechanism by accelerated sampling techniques, we study the ligand-induced conformational changes of the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), a widely accepted model for the full receptor extracellular domain. Using unbiased Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Temperature Accelerated Molecular Dynamics (TAMD) simulations we investigate the AChBP transition between the apo and the agonist-bound state. In long standard MD simulations, both conformations of the native protein are stable, while the agonist-bound structure evolves toward the apo one if the orientation of few key sidechains in the orthosteric cavity is modified. Conversely, TAMD simulations initiated from the native conformations are able to produce the spontaneous transition. With respect to the modified conformations, TAMD accelerates the transition by at least a factor 10. The analysis of some specific residue-residue interactions points out that the transition mechanism is based on the disruption/formation of few key hydrogen bonds. Finally, while early events of ligand dissociation are observed already in standard MD, TAMD accelerates the ligand detachment and, at the highest TAMD effective temperature, it is able to produce a complete dissociation path in one AChBP subunit. PMID:24551117

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

    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

  12. MOLECULAR CLOUD EVOLUTION. III. ACCRETION VERSUS STELLAR FEEDBACK

    SciTech Connect

    Vazquez-Semadeni, Enrique; ColIn, Pedro; Gomez, Gilberto C.; Ballesteros-Paredes, Javier; Watson, Alan W. E-mail: p.colin@crya.unam.m E-mail: alan@astro.unam.m

    2010-06-01

    We numerically investigate the effect of feedback from the ionization heating from massive stars on the evolution of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and their star formation efficiency (SFE), which we treat as an instantaneous, time-dependent quantity. We follow the GMCs' evolution from their formation to advanced star-forming stages. After an initial period of contraction, the collapsing clouds begin forming stars, whose feedback evaporates part of the clouds' mass, opposing the continuing accretion from the infalling gas. Our results are as follows: (1) in the presence of feedback, the clouds attain levels of the SFE that are consistent at all times with observational determinations for regions of comparable star formation rates. (2) However, the dense gas mass is larger in general in the presence of feedback, while the total mass (dense gas + stars) is nearly insensitive to the presence of feedback, suggesting that it is determined mainly by the accretion, while the feedback inhibits mainly the conversion of dense gas to stars, because it acts directly to reheat and disperse the gas that is directly on its way to forming stars. (3) The factor by which the SFE is reduced upon the inclusion of feedback is a decreasing function of the cloud's mass, for clouds of size {approx}10 pc. This naturally explains the larger observed SFEs of massive-star-forming regions. (4) The clouds may attain a pseudo-virialized state, with a value of the virial mass very similar to the actual cloud mass. However, this state differs from true virialization in that the clouds, rather than being equilibrium entities, are the centers of a larger-scale collapse, in which accretion replenishes the mass consumed by star formation. (5) The higher-density regions within the clouds are in a similar situation, accreting gas infalling from the less-dense, more extended regions of the clouds. (6) The density probability density functions of the regions containing the clouds in general exhibit a shape

  13. 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

    2007-05-01

    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

  14. 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. PMID:27059404

  15. SHOCK ACCELERATION OF PARTICLES IN THE NONSTATIONARY EVOLUTION OF COROTATING INTERACTION REGIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Tsubouchi, K.

    2011-10-20

    One-dimensional hybrid simulations are used to investigate the particle energization process during the nonstationary evolution of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) in the heliosphere. The simulation model, where fast and slow solar wind streams interact with each other, allows the formation of a pair (forward/reverse) of shocks at the CIR boundaries and the stream interface interior, which prevents the interchange of both streams. While both shocks are quasi-perpendicular and are not capable of accelerating thermal particles (hundreds of eV) up to a suprathermal energy (tens to hundreds of keV) in the early phase of their development, the reverse shock in the fast wind experiences a transition to a quasi-parallel regime in the later phase. The quasi-parallel reverse shock can efficiently accelerate particles to the suprathermal range. The different timescale of the adiabatic expansion between the fast and slow wind leads to a transition of the shock geometry that can take place more easily in the reverse shock than in the forward shock, where the magnetic field in the fast wind remains more radial to the propagation direction than in the slow wind. The difference in the acceleration efficiency between these shocks follows a well-known observed asymmetry in the profile of the energetic particle fluxes, where the larger intensity increases more in the reverse shock than in the forward shock. The present results suggest that the solar wind thermal plasma, as well as interstellar pickup ions, can contribute to the composition of energetic particles associated with the CIRs.

  16. INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF PROTOCLUSTER GALAXIES: ACCELERATED STRUCTURAL EVOLUTION IN OVERDENSE ENVIRONMENTS?

    SciTech Connect

    Zirm, Andrew W.; Toft, Sune; Tanaka, Masayuki E-mail: sune@dark-cosmology.dk

    2012-01-10

    We present a high spatial resolution Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS imaging survey in the field of a known protocluster surrounding the powerful radio galaxy MRC1138-262 at z = 2.16. Previously, we have shown that this field exhibits a substantial surface overdensity of red J-H galaxies. Here we focus on the stellar masses and galaxy effective radii in an effort to compare and contrast the properties of likely protocluster galaxies with their field counterparts and to look for correlations between galaxy structure and (projected) distance relative to the radio galaxy. We find a hint that quiescent, cluster galaxies are on average less dense than quiescent field galaxies of similar stellar mass and redshift. In fact, we find that only two (of eight) quiescent protocluster galaxies are of similar density to the majority of the massive, quiescent compact galaxies (Semi-Evolved Elephantine Dense galaxies; SEEDs) found in several field surveys. Furthermore, there is some indication that the structural Sersic n parameter is higher (n {approx} 3-4) on average for cluster galaxies compared to the field SEEDs (n {approx} 1-2). This result may imply that the accelerated galaxy evolution expected (and observed) in overdense regions also extends to structural evolution presuming that massive galaxies began as dense (low n) SEEDs and have already evolved to be more in line with local galaxies of the same stellar mass.

  17. Choosing the right molecular genetic markers for studying biodiversity: from molecular evolution to practical aspects.

    PubMed

    Chenuil, Anne; Anne, Chenuil

    2006-05-01

    The use of molecular genetic markers (MGMs) has become widespread among evolutionary biologists, and the methods of analysis of genetic data improve rapidly, yet an organized framework in which scientists can work is lacking. Elements of molecular evolution are summarized to explain the origin of variation at the DNA level, its measures, and the relationships linking genetic variability to the biological parameters of the studied organisms. MGM are defined by two components: the DNA region(s) screened, and the technique used to reveal its variation. Criteria of choice belong to three categories: (1) the level of variability, (2) the nature of the information (e.g. dominance vs. codominance, ploidy, ... ) which must be determined according to the biological question and (3) some practical criteria which mainly depend on the equipment of the laboratory and experience of the scientist. A three-step procedure is proposed for drawing up MGMs suitable to answer given biological questions, and compiled data are organized to guide the choice at each step: (1) choice, determined by the biological question, of the level of variability and of the criteria of the nature of information, (2) choice of the DNA region and (3) choice of the technique. PMID:16850217

  18. 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. PMID:27117935

  19. GPU-Accelerated Analysis and Visualization of Large Structures Solved by Molecular Dynamics Flexible Fitting

    PubMed Central

    McGreevy, Ryan; Isralewitz, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Hybrid structure fitting methods combine data from cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography with molecular dynamics simulations for the determination of all-atom structures of large biomolecular complexes. Evaluating the quality-of-fit obtained from hybrid fitting is computationally demanding, particularly in the context of a multiplicity of structural conformations that must be evaluated. Existing tools for quality-of-fit analysis and visualization have previously targeted small structures and are too slow to be used interactively for large biomolecular complexes of particular interest today such as viruses or for long molecular dynamics trajectories as they arise in protein folding. We present new data-parallel and GPU-accelerated algorithms for rapid interactive computation of quality-of-fit metrics linking all-atom structures and molecular dynamics trajectories to experimentally determined density maps obtained from cryo-electron microscopy or X-ray crystallography. We evaluate the performance and accuracy of the new quality-of-fit analysis algorithms vis-a-vis existing tools, examine algorithm performance on GPU-accelerated desktop workstations and supercomputers, and describe new visualization techniques for results of hybrid structure fitting methods. PMID:25340325

  20. Artificial accelerators of the molecular chaperone Hsp90 facilitate rate-limiting conformational transitions.

    PubMed

    Zierer, Bettina K; Weiwad, Matthias; Rübbelke, Martin; Freiburger, Lee; Fischer, Gunter; Lorenz, Oliver R; Sattler, Michael; Richter, Klaus; Buchner, Johannes

    2014-11-01

    The molecular chaperone Hsp90 undergoes an ATP-driven cycle of conformational changes in which large structural rearrangements precede ATP hydrolysis. Well-established small-molecule inhibitors of Hsp90 compete with ATP-binding. We wondered whether compounds exist that can accelerate the conformational cycle. In a FRET-based screen reporting on conformational rearrangements in Hsp90 we identified compounds. We elucidated their mode of action and showed that they can overcome the intrinsic inhibition in Hsp90 which prevents these rearrangements. The mode of action is similar to that of the co-chaperone Aha1 which accelerates the Hsp90 ATPase. However, while the two identified compounds influence conformational changes, they target different aspects of the structural transitions. Also, the binding site determined by NMR spectroscopy is distinct. This study demonstrates that small molecules are capable of triggering specific rate-limiting transitions in Hsp90 by mechanisms similar to those in protein cofactors. PMID:25244159

  1. Diagnosis of bubble evolution in laser-wakefield acceleration via angular distributions of betatron x-rays

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Y.; Chen, L. M. Huang, K.; Yan, W. C.; Hafz, N. A. M.; Zhang, J.; Li, D. Z.; Dunn, J.; Sheng, Z. M.

    2014-10-20

    We present an indirect method to diagnose the electron beam behaviors and bubble dynamic evolution in a laser-wakefield accelerator. Four kinds of typical bubble dynamic evolution and, hence, electron beam behaviors observed in Particle-In-Cell simulations are identified correspondingly by simultaneous measurement of distinct angular distributions of the betatron radiation and electron beam energy spectra in experiment. The reconstruction of the bubble evolution may shed light on finding an effective way to better generate high-quality electron beams and enhanced betatron X-rays.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26802217

  4. 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. PMID:26802217

  5. Accelerating ring-polymer molecular dynamics with parallel-replica dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lu, Chun-Yaung; Perez, Danny; Voter, Arthur F

    2016-06-28

    Nuclear quantum effects are important for systems containing light elements, and the effects are more prominent in the low temperature regime where the dynamics also becomes sluggish. We show that parallel replica (ParRep) dynamics, an accelerated molecular dynamics approach for infrequent-event systems, can be effectively combined with ring-polymer molecular dynamics, a semiclassical trajectory approach that gives a good approximation to zero-point and tunneling effects in activated escape processes. The resulting RP-ParRep method is a powerful tool for reaching long time scales in complex infrequent-event systems where quantum dynamics are important. Two illustrative examples, symmetric Eckart barrier crossing and interstitial helium diffusion in Fe and Fe-Cr alloy, are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and long-time scale capability of this approach. PMID:27369499

  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. Accelerating ring-polymer molecular dynamics with parallel-replica dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Chun-Yaung; Perez, Danny; Voter, Arthur F.

    2016-06-01

    Nuclear quantum effects are important for systems containing light elements, and the effects are more prominent in the low temperature regime where the dynamics also becomes sluggish. We show that parallel replica (ParRep) dynamics, an accelerated molecular dynamics approach for infrequent-event systems, can be effectively combined with ring-polymer molecular dynamics, a semiclassical trajectory approach that gives a good approximation to zero-point and tunneling effects in activated escape processes. The resulting RP-ParRep method is a powerful tool for reaching long time scales in complex infrequent-event systems where quantum dynamics are important. Two illustrative examples, symmetric Eckart barrier crossing and interstitial helium diffusion in Fe and Fe-Cr alloy, are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and long-time scale capability of this approach.

  8. Human microRNAs originated from two periods at accelerated rates in mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Iwama, Hisakazu; Kato, Kiyohito; Imachi, Hitomi; Murao, Koji; Masaki, Tsutomu

    2013-03-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that modulate genes posttranscriptionally. Frequent gains and losses of miRNA genes have been reported to occur during evolution. However, little is known systematically about the periods of evolutionary origin of the present miRNA gene repertoire of an extant mammalian species. Thus, in this study, we estimated the evolutionary periods during which each of 1,433 present human miRNA genes originated within 15 periods, from human to platypus-human common ancestral branch and a class "conserved beyond theria," primarily using multiple genome alignments of 38 species, plus the pairwise genome alignments of five species. The results showed two peak periods in which the human miRNA genes originated at significantly accelerated rates. The most accelerated rate appeared in the period of the initial phase of hominoid lineage, and the second appeared shortly before Laurasiatherian divergence. Approximately 53% of the present human miRNA genes have originated within the simian lineage to human. In particular, approximately 28% originated within the hominoid lineage. The early phase of placental mammal radiation comprises approximately 28%, while no more than 15% of human miRNAs have been conserved beyond placental mammals. We also clearly showed a general trend, in which the miRNA expression level decreases as the miRNA becomes younger. Intriguingly, amid this decreasing trend of expression, we found one significant rise in the expression level that corresponded to the initial phase of the hominoid lineage, suggesting that increased functional acquisitions of miRNAs originated at this particular period. PMID:23171859

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24634618

  13. Signatures of accelerated somatic evolution in gene promoters in multiple cancer types

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kyle S.; Yadav, Vinod K.; Pedersen, Brent S.; Shaknovich, Rita; Geraci, Mark W.; Pollard, Katherine S.; De, Subhajyoti

    2015-01-01

    Cancer-associated somatic mutations outside protein-coding regions remain largely unexplored. Analyses of the TERT locus have indicated that non-coding regulatory mutations can be more frequent than previously suspected and play important roles in oncogenesis. Using a computational method called SASE-hunter, developed here, we identified a novel signature of accelerated somatic evolution (SASE) marked by a significant excess of somatic mutations localized in a genomic locus, and prioritized those loci that carried the signature in multiple cancer patients. Interestingly, even when an affected locus carried the signature in multiple individuals, the mutations contributing to SASE themselves were rarely recurrent at the base-pair resolution. In a pan-cancer analysis of 906 samples from 12 tumor types, we detected SASE in the promoters of several genes, including known cancer genes such as MYC, BCL2, RBM5 and WWOX. Nucleotide substitution patterns consistent with oxidative DNA damage and local somatic hypermutation appeared to contribute to this signature in selected gene promoters (e.g. MYC). SASEs in selected cancer gene promoters were associated with over-expression, and also correlated with the age of onset of cancer, aggressiveness of the disease and survival. Taken together, our work detects a hitherto under-appreciated and clinically important class of regulatory changes in cancer genomes. PMID:25934800

  14. 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. PMID:27144364

  15. 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.

  16. Evolution in fast forward: a potential role for mutators in accelerating Staphylococcus aureus pathoadaptation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    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

  17. 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. PMID:26584095

  18. "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)

  19. MOLECULAR PHYLOGENY AND EVOLUTION OF MOSQUITO PARASTIC MICROSPORIDIA (MICROSPORIDIA: AMBLYOSPORIDAE)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Amblyospora and related species were isolated from mosquitoes, black flies and copepods and the small subunit ribosomal DNA gene was sequenced. The comparative phylogenetic analysis for this study shows co-evolution agreement between the mosquito host genera and Amblyospora parasite species with a ...

  20. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  2. Temporal scaling of molecular evolution in primates and other mammals.

    PubMed

    Gingerich, P D

    1986-05-01

    Molecular clocks are routinely tested for linearity using a relative rate test and routinely calibrated against the geological time scale using a single or average paleontologically determined time of divergence between living taxa. The relative rate test is a test of parallel rate equality, not a test of rate constancy. Temporal scaling provides a test of rates, where scaling coefficients of 1.0 (isochrony) represent stochastic rate constancy. The fossil record of primates and other mammals is now known in sufficient detail to provide several independent divergence times for major taxonomic groups. Molecular difference should scale negatively or isochronically (scaling coefficients less than 1.0) with divergence time: where two or more divergence times are available, molecular difference appears to scale positively (scaling coefficient greater than 1.0). A minimum of four divergence times are required for adequate statistical power in testing the linear model: scaling is significantly nonlinear and positive in six of 11 published investigations meeting this criterion. All groups studied show some slowdown in rates of molecular change over Cenozoic time. The break from constant or increasing rates during the Mesozoic to decreasing rates during the Cenozoic appears to coincide with extraordinary diversification of placental mammals at the beginning of this era. High rates of selectively neutral molecular change may be concentrated in such discrete events of evolutionary diversification. PMID:3444400

  3. 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

  4. Evolution and Molecular Control of Hybrid Incompatibility in Plants.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:1707552

  7. Exploiting models of molecular evolution to efficiently direct protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Cole, Megan F; Gaucher, Eric A

    2011-02-01

    Directed evolution and protein engineering approaches used to generate novel or enhanced biomolecular function often use the evolutionary sequence diversity of protein homologs to rationally guide library design. To fully capture this sequence diversity, however, libraries containing millions of variants are often necessary. Screening libraries of this size is often undesirable due to inaccuracies of high-throughput assays, costs, and time constraints. The ability to effectively cull sequence diversity while still generating the functional diversity within a library thus holds considerable value. This is particularly relevant when high-throughput assays are not amenable to select/screen for certain biomolecular properties. Here, we summarize our recent attempts to develop an evolution-guided approach, Reconstructing Evolutionary Adaptive Paths (REAP), for directed evolution and protein engineering that exploits phylogenetic and sequence analyses to identify amino acid substitutions that are likely to alter or enhance function of a protein. To demonstrate the utility of this technique, we highlight our previous work with DNA polymerases in which a REAP-designed small library was used to identify a DNA polymerase capable of accepting non-standard nucleosides. We anticipate that the REAP approach will be used in the future to facilitate the engineering of biopolymers with expanded functions and will thus have a significant impact on the developing field of 'evolutionary synthetic biology'. PMID:21132281

  8. Genetic Diversity and Molecular Evolution of Chinese Waxy Maize Germplasm

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Hongjian; Wang, Hui; Yang, Hua; Wu, Jinhong; Shi, Biao; Cai, Run; Xu, Yunbi; Wu, Aizhong; Luo, Lijun

    2013-01-01

    Waxy maize (Zea mays L. var. certaina Kulesh), with many excellent characters in terms of starch composition and economic value, has grown in China for a long history and its production has increased dramatically in recent decades. However, the evolution and origin of waxy maize still remains unclear. We studied the genetic diversity of Chinese waxy maize including typical landraces and inbred lines by SSR analysis and the results showed a wide genetic diversity in the Chinese waxy maize germplasm. We analyzed the origin and evolution of waxy maize by sequencing 108 samples, and downloading 52 sequences from GenBank for the waxy locus in a number of accessions from genus Zea. A sharp reduction of nucleotide diversity and significant neutrality tests (Tajima’s D and Fu and Li’s F*) were observed at the waxy locus in Chinese waxy maize but not in nonglutinous maize. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Chinese waxy maize originated from the cultivated flint maize and most of the modern waxy maize inbred lines showed a distinct independent origin and evolution process compared with the germplasm from Southwest China. The results indicated that an agronomic trait can be quickly improved to meet production demand by selection. PMID:23818949

  9. 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

  10. Molecular Evolution of the Plant SLT Protein Family

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The products of the sodium/lithium tolerance (Slt) genes are proteins that have molecular chaperone activity in vitro. The results from extensive database analyses indicate that SLT-orthologous proteins are present only in seed plants (Spermatopsida). Herein we describe the sequence analysis of th...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Routine Access to Millisecond Time Scale Events with Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In this work, we critically assess the ability of the all-atom enhanced sampling method accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) to investigate conformational changes in proteins that typically occur on the millisecond time scale. We combine aMD with the inherent power of graphics processor units (GPUs) and apply the implementation to the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI). A 500 ns aMD simulation is compared to a previous millisecond unbiased brute force MD simulation carried out on BPTI, showing that the same conformational space is sampled by both approaches. To our knowledge, this represents the first implementation of aMD on GPUs and also the longest aMD simulation of a biomolecule run to date. Our implementation is available to the community in the latest release of the Amber software suite (v12), providing routine access to millisecond events sampled from dynamics simulations using off the shelf hardware. PMID:22984356

  14. Evaluation of Enhanced Sampling Provided by Accelerated Molecular Dynamics with Hamiltonian Replica Exchange Methods

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Many problems studied via molecular dynamics require accurate estimates of various thermodynamic properties, such as the free energies of different states of a system, which in turn requires well-converged sampling of the ensemble of possible structures. Enhanced sampling techniques are often applied to provide faster convergence than is possible with traditional molecular dynamics simulations. Hamiltonian replica exchange molecular dynamics (H-REMD) is a particularly attractive method, as it allows the incorporation of a variety of enhanced sampling techniques through modifications to the various Hamiltonians. In this work, we study the enhanced sampling of the RNA tetranucleotide r(GACC) provided by H-REMD combined with accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD), where a boosting potential is applied to torsions, and compare this to the enhanced sampling provided by H-REMD in which torsion potential barrier heights are scaled down to lower force constants. We show that H-REMD and multidimensional REMD (M-REMD) combined with aMD does indeed enhance sampling for r(GACC), and that the addition of the temperature dimension in the M-REMD simulations is necessary to efficiently sample rare conformations. Interestingly, we find that the rate of convergence can be improved in a single H-REMD dimension by simply increasing the number of replicas from 8 to 24 without increasing the maximum level of bias. The results also indicate that factors beyond replica spacing, such as round trip times and time spent at each replica, must be considered in order to achieve optimal sampling efficiency. PMID:24625009

  15. Evolution of auroral acceleration region field-aligned current systems, plasma, and potentials observed by Cluster during substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, A. J.; Chaston, C. C.; Fillingim, M. O.; Frey, H. U.; Goldstein, M. L.; Bonnell, J. W.; Mozer, F.

    2015-12-01

    The auroral acceleration region is an integral link in the chain of events that transpire during substorms, and the currents, plasma and electric fields undergo significant changes driven by complex dynamical processes deep in the magnetotail. The acceleration processes that occur therein accelerate and heat the plasma that ultimately leads to some of the most intense global substorm auroral displays. Though this region has garnered considerable attention, the temporal evolution of field-aligned current systems, associated acceleration processes, and resultant changes in the plasma constituents that occur during key stages of substorm development remain unclear. In this study we present a survey of Cluster traversals within and just above the auroral acceleration region (≤3 Re altitude) during substorms. Particular emphasis is on the spatial morphology and developmental sequence of auroral acceleration current systems, potentials and plasma constituents, with the aim of identifying controlling factors, and assessing auroral emmission consequences. Exploiting multi-point measurements from Cluster in combination with auroral imaging, we reveal the injection powered, Alfvenic nature of both the substorm onset and expansion of auroral particle acceleration. We show evidence that indicates substorm onsets are characterized by the gross-intensification and filamentation/striation of pre-existing large-scale current systems to smaller/dispersive scale Alfven waves. Such an evolutionary sequence has been suggested in theoretical models or single spacecraft data, but has not been demonstrated or characterized in multispacecraft observations until now. It is also shown how the Alfvenic variations over time may dissipate to form large-scale inverted-V structures characteristic of the quasi-static aurora. These findings suggest that, in addition to playing active roles in driving substorm aurora, inverted-V and Alfvenic acceleration processes are causally linked. Key

  16. 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. PMID:26889516

  17. 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. PMID:24881050

  18. Molecular cytogenetic dissection of human chromosomes 3 and 21 evolution

    PubMed Central

    Müller, S.; Stanyon, R.; Finelli, P.; Archidiacono, N.; Wienberg, J.

    2000-01-01

    Chromosome painting in placental mammalians illustrates that genome evolution is marked by chromosomal synteny conservation and that the association of chromosomes 3 and 21 may be the largest widely conserved syntenic block known for mammals. We studied intrachromosomal rearrangements of the syntenic block 3/21 by using probes derived from chromosomal subregions with a resolution of up to 10–15 Mbp. We demonstrate that the rearrangements visualized by chromosome painting, mostly translocations, are only a fraction of the actual chromosomal changes that have occurred during evolution. The ancestral segment order for both primates and carnivores is still found in some species in both orders. From the ancestral primate/carnivore condition an inversion is needed to derive the pig homolog, and a fission of chromosome 21 and a pericentric inversion is needed to derive the Bornean orangutan condition. Two overlapping inversions in the chromosome 3 homolog then would lead to the chromosome form found in humans and African apes. This reconstruction of the origin of human chromosome 3 contrasts with the generally accepted scenario derived from chromosome banding in which it was proposed that only one pericentric inversion was needed. From the ancestral form for Old World primates (now found in the Bornean orangutan) a pericentric inversion and centromere shift leads to the chromosome ancestral for all Old World monkeys. Intrachromosomal rearrangements, as shown here, make up a set of potentially plentiful and informative markers that can be used for phylogenetic reconstruction and a more refined comparative mapping of the genome. PMID:10618396

  19. Molecular Evolution of the TET Gene Family in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Akahori, Hiromichi; Guindon, Stéphane; Yoshizaki, Sumio; Muto, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    Ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins, a family of Fe2+- and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, are involved in DNA demethylation. They also help regulate various cellular functions. Three TET paralogs have been identified (TET1, TET2, and TET3) in humans. This study focuses on the evolution of mammalian TET genes. Distinct patterns in TET1 and TET2 vs. TET3 were revealed by codon-based tests of positive selection. Results indicate that TET1 and TET2 genes have experienced positive selection more frequently than TET3 gene, and that the majority of codon sites evolved under strong negative selection. These findings imply that the selective pressure on TET3 may have been relaxed in several lineages during the course of evolution. Our analysis of convergent amino acid substitutions also supports the different evolutionary dynamics among TET gene subfamily members. All of the five amino acid sites that are inferred to have evolved under positive selection in the catalytic domain of TET2 are localized at the protein’s outer surface. The adaptive changes of these positively selected amino acid sites could be associated with dynamic interactions between other TET-interacting proteins, and positive selection thus appears to shift the regulatory scheme of TET enzyme function. PMID:26633372

  20. The Coevolution of Phycobilisomes: Molecular Structure Adapting to Functional Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Fei; Qin, Song; Wang, Yin-Chu

    2011-01-01

    Phycobilisome is the major light-harvesting complex in cyanobacteria and red alga. It consists of phycobiliproteins and their associated linker peptides which play key role in absorption and unidirectional transfer of light energy and the stability of the whole complex system, respectively. Former researches on the evolution among PBPs and linker peptides had mainly focused on the phylogenetic analysis and selective evolution. Coevolution is the change that the conformation of one residue is interrupted by mutation and a compensatory change selected for in its interacting partner. Here, coevolutionary analysis of allophycocyanin, phycocyanin, and phycoerythrin and covariation analysis of linker peptides were performed. Coevolution analyses reveal that these sites are significantly correlated, showing strong evidence of the functional and structural importance of interactions among these residues. According to interprotein coevolution analysis, less interaction was found between PBPs and linker peptides. Our results also revealed the correlations between the coevolution and adaptive selection in PBS were not directly related, but probably demonstrated by the sites coupled under physical-chemical interactions. PMID:21904470

  1. 'Molecules and monkeys': George Gaylord Simpson and the challenge of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Jay D

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, I analyze George Gaylord Simpson's response to the molecularization of evolutionary biology from his unique perspective as a paleontologist. I do so by exploring his views on early attempts to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among primates using molecular data. Particular attention is paid to Simpson's role in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his concerns about the rise of molecular biology as a powerful discipline and world-view in the 1960s. I argue that Simpson's belief in the supremacy of natural selection as the primary driving force of evolution, as well as his view that biology was a historical science that seeks ultimate causes and highlights contingency, prevented him from acknowledging that the study of molecular evolution was an inherently valuable part of the life sciences. PMID:15045833

  2. Molecular phylogeny analysis of fiddler crabs: test of the hypothesis of increasing behavioral complexity in evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Sturmbauer, C; Levinton, J S; Christy, J

    1996-01-01

    The current phylogenetic hypothesis for the evolution and biogeography of fiddler crabs relies on the assumption that complex behavioral traits are assumed to also be evolutionary derived. Indo-west Pacific fiddler crabs have simpler reproductive social behavior and are more marine and were thought to be ancestral to the more behaviorally complex and more terrestrial American species. It was also hypothesized that the evolution of more complex social and reproductive behavior was associated with the colonization of the higher intertidal zones. Our phylogenetic analysis, based upon a set of independent molecular characters, however, demonstrates how widely entrenched ideas about evolution and biogeography led to a reasonable, but apparently incorrect, conclusion about the evolutionary trends within this pantropical group of crustaceans. Species bearing the set of "derived traits" are phylogenetically ancestral, suggesting an alternative evolutionary scenario: the evolution of reproductive behavioral complexity in fiddler crabs may have arisen multiple times during their evolution. The evolution of behavioral complexity may have arisen by coopting of a series of other adaptations for high intertidal living and antipredator escape. A calibration of rates of molecular evolution from populations on either side of the Isthmus of Panama suggest a sequence divergence rate for 16S rRNA of 0.9% per million years. The divergence between the ancestral clade and derived forms is estimated to be approximately 22 million years ago, whereas the divergence between the American and Indo-west Pacific is estimated to be approximately 17 million years ago. Images Fig. 1 PMID:11607711

  3. Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agent Database (MICAD): Evolution and Progress

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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 >1000 agents in MICAD is provided in a chapter format and can be accessed through PubMed. Lists containing >4250 unique MI probes and CAs published in peer-reviewed journals and agents approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as a CSV 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, preclinical 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 PMID:21989943

  4. Molecular genetics and the evolution of ultraviolet vision in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yongsheng; Radlwimmer, F. Bernhard; Yokoyama, Shozo

    2001-01-01

    Despite the biological importance of UV vision, its molecular bases are not well understood. Here, we present evidence that UV vision in vertebrates is determined by eight specific amino acids in the UV pigments. Amino acid sequence analyses show that contemporary UV pigments inherited their UV sensitivities from the vertebrate ancestor by retaining most of these eight amino acids. In the avian lineage, the ancestral pigment lost UV sensitivity, but some descendants regained it by one amino acid change. Our results also strongly support the hypothesis that UV pigments have an unprotonated Schiff base-linked chromophore. PMID:11573008

  5. Molecular networks and the evolution of human cognitive specializations

    PubMed Central

    Fontenot, Miles; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-01-01

    Inroads into elucidating the origins of human cognitive specializations have taken many forms, including genetic, genomic, anatomical, and behavioral assays that typically compare humans to non-human primates. While the integration of all of these approaches is essential for ultimately understanding human cognition, here, we review the usefulness of coexpression network analysis for specifically addressing this question. An increasing number of studies have incorporated coexpression networks into brain expression studies comparing species, disease versus control tissue, brain regions, or developmental time periods. A clearer picture has emerged of the key genes driving brain evolution, as well as the developmental and regional contributions of gene expression patterns important for normal brain development and those misregulated in cognitive diseases. PMID:25212263

  6. Molecular evolution of peste des petits ruminants virus.

    PubMed

    Muniraju, Murali; Munir, Muhammad; Parthiban, AravindhBabu R; Banyard, Ashley C; Bao, Jingyue; Wang, Zhiliang; Ayebazibwe, Chrisostom; Ayelet, Gelagay; El Harrak, Mehdi; Mahapatra, Mana; Libeau, Geneviève; Batten, Carrie; Parida, Satya

    2014-12-01

    Despite safe and efficacious vaccines against peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), this virus has emerged as the cause of a highly contagious disease with serious economic consequences for small ruminant agriculture across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. We used complete and partial genome sequences of all 4 lineages of the virus to investigate evolutionary and epidemiologic dynamics of PPRV. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of all PPRV lineages mapped the time to most recent common ancestor and initial divergence of PPRV to a lineage III isolate at the beginning of 20th century. A phylogeographic approach estimated the probability for root location of an ancestral PPRV and individual lineages as being Nigeria for PPRV, Senegal for lineage I, Nigeria/Ghana for lineage II, Sudan for lineage III, and India for lineage IV. Substitution rates are critical parameters for understanding virus evolution because restrictions in genetic variation can lead to lower adaptability and pathogenicity. PMID:25418782

  7. 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.

  8. Glutamine synthetase gene evolution: a good molecular clock.

    PubMed Central

    Pesole, G; Bozzetti, M P; Lanave, C; Preparata, G; Saccone, C

    1991-01-01

    Glutamine synthetase (EC 6.3.1.2) gene evolution in various animals, plants, and bacteria was evaluated by a general stationary Markov model. The evolutionary process proved to be unexpectedly regular even for a time span as long as that between the divergence of prokaryotes from eukaryotes. This enabled us to draw phylogenetic trees for species whose phylogeny cannot be easily reconstructed from the fossil record. Our calculation of the times of divergence of the various organelle-specific enzymes led us to hypothesize that the pea and bean chloroplast genes for these enzymes originated from the duplication of nuclear genes as a result of the different metabolic needs of the various species. Our data indicate that the duplication of plastid glutamine synthetase genes occurred long after the endosymbiotic events that produced the organelles themselves. PMID:1671172

  9. [Molecular Mechanism and Malignant Clonal Evolution of Multiple Myeloma].

    PubMed

    Ding, Fei; Zhu, Ping; Wu, Xue-Qiang

    2015-10-01

    Almost all patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have chromosomal translocation which can result in genetic variation. There are mainly five types of chromosomal translocations, involving the IGH gene translocation to 11q13 (CCND1), 4p16 (FGFR/MMSET), 16q23 (MAF), 6p21 (CCND3) and 20q11 (MAFB). It is possible that all IGH translocations converge on a common cell cycle signal pathway. Some MM develops through a multistep transformation from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to smoldering MM (SMM) and eventually to MM and plasma cell leukemia (PCL). Similarly to what Darwin proposed in the mid-19th century-random genetic variation and natural selection in the context of limited resources, MM clonal evolution follow branching and nonlinear mode. The failure of MM treatment is usually related with the minimal subclone which is hardly found at newlydiagnosed. PMID:26524068

  10. Molecular evolution and phylogeny of dengue-4 viruses.

    PubMed

    Lanciotti, R S; Gubler, D J; Trent, D W

    1997-09-01

    Nucleotide sequences of the envelope protein genes of 19 geographically and temporally distinct dengue (DEN)-4 viruses were determined. Nucleic acid sequence comparison revealed that the identity among the DEN-4 viruses was greater than 92%. Similarity among deduced amino acids was between 96 and 100%; in most cases identical amino acid substitutions occurred among viruses from similar geographical regions. Alignment of nucleic acid sequences followed by parsimony analysis generated phylogenetic trees, which indicated that geographically independent evolution of DEN-4 viruses had occurred. DEN-4 viruses were separated into two genetically distinct subtypes (genotypes). Genotype-1 contains viruses from the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka; genotype-2 consists of viruses from Indonesia, Tahiti, the Caribbean Islands (Puerto Rico, Dominica) and Central and South America. PMID:9292015

  11. Accelerated Molecular Dynamics and Protein Conformational Change: A Theoretical and Practical Guide Using a Membrane Embedded Model Neurotransmitter Transporter

    PubMed Central

    Gedeon, Patrick C.; Thomas, James R.; Madura, Jeffry D.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulation provides a powerful and accurate method to model protein conformational change, yet timescale limitations often prevent direct assessment of the kinetic properties of interest. A large number of molecular dynamic steps are necessary for rare events to occur, which allow a system to overcome energy barriers and conformationally transition from one potential energy minimum to another. For many proteins, the energy landscape is further complicated by a multitude of potential energy wells, each separated by high free-energy barriers and each potentially representative of a functionally important protein conformation. To overcome these obstacles, accelerated molecular dynamics utilizes a robust bias potential function to simulate the transition between different potential energy minima. This straightforward approach more efficiently samples conformational space in comparison to classical molecular dynamics simulation, does not require advanced knowledge of the potential energy landscape and converges to the proper canonical distribution. Here, we review the theory behind accelerated molecular dynamics and discuss the approach in the context of modeling protein conformational change. As a practical example, we provide a detailed, step-by-step explanation of how to perform an accelerated molecular dynamics simulation using a model neurotransmitter transporter embedded in a lipid cell membrane. Changes in protein conformation of relevance to the substrate transport cycle are then examined using principle component analysis. PMID:25330967

  12. The molecular evolution of the vertebrate behavioural repertoire.

    PubMed

    Grant, Seth G N

    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

  13. 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. PMID:26627128

  14. Multiple cellular origins and molecular evolution of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Wei, Miaoyan; Lü, Lisheng; Lin, Peiyi; Chen, Zhisheng; Quan, Zhiwei; Tang, Zhaohui

    2016-09-01

    Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive malignancy associated with unfavorable prognosis and for which no effective treatments are available. Its molecular pathogenesis is poorly understood. Genome-wide sequencing and high-throughput technologies have provided critical insights into the molecular basis of ICC while sparking a heated debate on the cellular origin. Cancer exhibits variabilities in origin, progression and cell biology. Recent evidence suggests that ICC has multiple cellular origins, including differentiated hepatocytes; intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (IBECs)/cholangiocytes; pluripotent stem cells, such as hepatic stem/progenitor cells (HPCs) and biliary tree stem/progenitor cells (BTSCs); and peribiliary gland (PBG). However, both somatic mutagenesis and epigenomic features are highly cell type-specific. Multiple cellular origins may have profoundly different genomic landscapes and key signaling pathways, driving phenotypic variation and thereby posing significant challenges to personalized medicine in terms of achieving the optimal drug response and patient outcome. Considering this information, we have summarized the latest experimental evidence and relevant literature to provide an up-to-date view of the cellular origin of ICC, which will contribute to establishment of a hierarchical model of carcinogenesis and allow for improvement of the anatomical-based classification of ICC. These new insights have important implications for both the diagnosis and treatment of ICC patients. PMID:26940139

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Decoding the molecular evolution of human cognition using comparative genomics

    PubMed Central

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Co, Marissa; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-01-01

    Identification of genetic and molecular factors responsible for the specialized cognitive abilities of humans is expected to provide important insights into the mechanisms responsible for disorders of cognition such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we discuss the use of comparative genomics for identifying salient genes and gene networks that may underlie cognition. We focus on the comparison of human and non-human primate brain gene expression and the utility of building gene co-expression networks for prioritizing hundreds of genes that differ in expression among the species queried. We also discuss the importance and methods for functional studies of individual genes identified. Together, this integration of comparative genomics with cellular and animal models should provide improved systems for developing effective therapeutics for disorders of cognition. PMID:25247723

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular evolution and in vitro characterization of Botryllus histocompatibility factor.

    PubMed

    Taketa, Daryl A; Nydam, Marie L; Langenbacher, Adam D; Rodriguez, Delany; Sanders, Erin; De Tomaso, Anthony W

    2015-10-01

    Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial ascidian with a natural ability to anastomose with another colony to form a vascular and hematopoietic chimera. In order to fuse, two individuals must share at least one allele at the highly polymorphic fuhc locus. Otherwise, a blood-based inflammatory response will occur resulting in a melanin scar at the sites of interaction. The single-locus genetic control of allorecognition makes B. schlosseri an attractive model to study the underlying molecular mechanisms. Over the past decade, several candidate genes involved in allorecognition have been identified, but how they ultimately contribute to allorecognition outcome remains poorly understood. Here, we report our initial molecular characterization of a recently identified candidate allodeterminant called Botryllus histocompatibility factor (bhf). bhf, both on a DNA and protein level, is the least polymorphic protein in the fuhc locus studied so far and, unlike other known allorecognition determinants, does not appear to be under any form of balancing or directional selection. Additionally, we identified a second isoform through mRNA-Seq and an EST assembly library which is missing exon 3, resulting in a C-terminally truncated form. We report via whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization that a subset of cells co-express bhf and cfuhc(sec). Finally, we observed BHF's localization in HEK293T at the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane in addition to the nucleus via a nuclear localization signal. Given the localization data thus far, we hypothesize that BHF may function as a scaffolding protein in a complex with other Botryllus proteins, rather than functioning as an allorecognition determinant. PMID:26359175

  1. 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

  2. Modification of pancreatic lipase properties by directed molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Colin, Damien Yann; Deprez-Beauclair, Paule; Silva, Noella; Infantes, Lourdes; Kerfelec, Brigitte

    2010-05-01

    Cystic fibrosis is associated with pancreatic insufficiency and acidic intraluminal conditions that limit the action of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, especially that of lipase. Directed evolution combined with rational design was used in the aim of improving the performances of the human pancreatic lipase at acidic pH. We set up a method for screening thousands of lipase variants for activity at low pH. A single round of random mutagenesis yielded one lipase variant with an activity at acidic pH enhanced by approximately 50% on medium- and long-chain triglycerides. Sequence analysis revealed two substitutions (E179G/N406S) located in specific regions, the hydrophobic groove accommodating the sn-1 chain of the triglyceride (E179G) and the surface loop that is likely to mediate lipase/colipase interaction in the presence of lipids (N406S). Interestingly, these two substitutions shifted the chain-length specificity of lipase toward medium- and long-chain triglycerides. Combination of those two mutations with a promising one at the entrance of the catalytic cavity (K80E) negatively affected the lipase activity at neutral pH but not that at acidic pH. Our results provide a basis for the design of improved lipase at acidic pH and identify for the first time key residues associated with chain-length specificity. PMID:20150178

  3. Epistasis and the Dynamics of Reversion in Molecular Evolution.

    PubMed

    McCandlish, David M; Shah, Premal; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2016-07-01

    Recent studies of protein evolution contend that the longer an amino acid substitution is present at a site, the less likely it is to revert to the amino acid previously occupying that site. Here we study this phenomenon of decreasing reversion rates rigorously and in a much more general context. We show that, under weak mutation and for arbitrary fitness landscapes, reversion rates decrease with time for any site that is involved in at least one epistatic interaction. Specifically, we prove that, at stationarity, the hazard function of the distribution of waiting times until reversion is strictly decreasing for any such site. Thus, in the presence of epistasis, the longer a particular character has been absent from a site, the less likely the site will revert to its prior state. We also explore several examples of this general result, which share a common pattern whereby the probability of having reverted increases rapidly at short times to some substantial value before becoming almost flat after a few substitutions at other sites. This pattern indicates a characteristic tendency for reversion to occur either almost immediately after the initial substitution or only after a very long time. PMID:27194749

  4. 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. PMID:22655074

  5. Molecular evolution of the capsid gene in human norovirus genogroup II

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Miho; Matsushima, Yuki; Motoya, Takumi; Sakon, Naomi; Shigemoto, Naoki; Okamoto-Nakagawa, Reiko; Nishimura, Koichi; Yamashita, Yasutaka; Kuroda, Makoto; Saruki, Nobuhiro; Ryo, Akihide; Saraya, Takeshi; Morita, Yukio; Shirabe, Komei; Ishikawa, Mariko; Takahashi, Tomoko; Shinomiya, Hiroto; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Nagasawa, Koo; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Katayama, Kazuhiko; Kimura, Hirokazu

    2016-01-01

    Capsid protein of norovirus genogroup II (GII) plays crucial roles in host infection. Although studies on capsid gene evolution have been conducted for a few genotypes of norovirus, the molecular evolution of norovirus GII is not well understood. Here we report the molecular evolution of all GII genotypes, using various bioinformatics techniques. The time-scaled phylogenetic tree showed that the present GII strains diverged from GIV around 1630CE at a high evolutionary rate (around 10−3 substitutions/site/year), resulting in three lineages. The GII capsid gene had large pairwise distances (maximum > 0.39). The effective population sizes of the present GII strains were large (>102) for about 400 years. Positive (20) and negative (over 450) selection sites were estimated. Moreover, some linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were found in the deduced GII capsid protein. These results suggested that norovirus GII strains rapidly evolved with high divergence and adaptation to humans. PMID:27384324

  6. 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. PMID:15218250

  7. 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.

  8. Are molecular alphabets universal enabling factors for the evolution of complex life?

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24510462

  9. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Wolfgang; Bellan, Steve; Eberle, Gisela; Ganz, Holly H; Getz, Wayne M; Haumacher, Renate; Hilss, Karen A; Kilian, Werner; Lazak, Judith; Turner, Wendy C; Turnbull, Peter C B

    2012-01-01

    The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP) and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA) and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR) markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT) were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate epidemiological

  10. Molecular evolution of GPCRs: Melanocortin/melanocortin receptors.

    PubMed

    Dores, Robert M; Londraville, Richard L; Prokop, Jeremy; Davis, Perry; Dewey, Nathan; Lesinski, Natalie

    2014-06-01

    The melanocortin receptors (MCRs) are a family of G protein-coupled receptors that are activated by melanocortin ligands derived from the proprotein, proopiomelanocortin (POMC). During the radiation of the gnathostomes, the five receptors have become functionally segregated (i.e. melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), pigmentation regulation; MC2R, glucocorticoid synthesis; MC3R and MC4R, energy homeostasis; and MC5R, exocrine gland physiology). A focus of this review is the role that ligand selectivity plays in the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal-interrenal (HPA-I) axis of teleosts and tetrapods as a result of the exclusive ligand selectivity of MC2R for the ligand ACTH. A second focal point of this review is the roles that the accessory proteins melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein 1 (MRAP1) and MRAP2 are playing in, respectively, the HPA-I axis (MC2R) and the regulation of energy homeostasis by neurons in the hypothalamus (MC4R) of teleosts and tetrapods. In addition, observations are presented on trends in the ligand selectivity parameters of cartilaginous fish, teleost, and tetrapod MC1R, MC3R, MC4R, and MC5R paralogs, and the modeling of the HFRW motif of ACTH(1-24) when compared with α-MSH. The radiation of the MCRs during the evolution of the gnathostomes provides examples of how the physiology of endocrine and neuronal circuits can be shaped by ligand selectivity, the intersession of reverse agonists (agouti-related peptides (AGRPs)), and interactions with accessory proteins (MRAPs). PMID:24868105

  11. A GPU-accelerated immersive audio-visual framework for interaction with molecular dynamics using consumer depth sensors.

    PubMed

    Glowacki, David R; O'Connor, Michael; Calabró, Gaetano; Price, James; Tew, Philip; Mitchell, Thomas; Hyde, Joseph; Tew, David P; Coughtrie, David J; McIntosh-Smith, Simon

    2014-01-01

    With advances in computational power, the rapidly growing role of computational/simulation methodologies in the physical sciences, and the development of new human-computer interaction technologies, the field of interactive molecular dynamics seems destined to expand. In this paper, we describe and benchmark the software algorithms and hardware setup for carrying out interactive molecular dynamics utilizing an array of consumer depth sensors. The system works by interpreting the human form as an energy landscape, and superimposing this landscape on a molecular dynamics simulation to chaperone the motion of the simulated atoms, affecting both graphics and sonified simulation data. GPU acceleration has been key to achieving our target of 60 frames per second (FPS), giving an extremely fluid interactive experience. GPU acceleration has also allowed us to scale the system for use in immersive 360° spaces with an array of up to ten depth sensors, allowing several users to simultaneously chaperone the dynamics. The flexibility of our platform for carrying out molecular dynamics simulations has been considerably enhanced by wrappers that facilitate fast communication with a portable selection of GPU-accelerated molecular force evaluation routines. In this paper, we describe a 360° atmospheric molecular dynamics simulation we have run in a chemistry/physics education context. We also describe initial tests in which users have been able to chaperone the dynamics of 10-alanine peptide embedded in an explicit water solvent. Using this system, both expert and novice users have been able to accelerate peptide rare event dynamics by 3-4 orders of magnitude. PMID:25340458

  12. Molecular activities, biosynthesis and evolution of triterpenoid saponins.

    PubMed

    Augustin, Jörg M; Kuzina, Vera; Andersen, Sven B; Bak, Søren

    2011-04-01

    Saponins are bioactive compounds generally considered to be produced by plants to counteract pathogens and herbivores. Besides their role in plant defense, saponins are of growing interest for drug research as they are active constituents of several folk medicines and provide valuable pharmacological properties. Accordingly, much effort has been put into unraveling the modes of action of saponins, as well as in exploration of their potential for industrial processes and pharmacology. However, the exploitation of saponins for bioengineering crop plants with improved resistances against pests as well as circumvention of laborious and uneconomical extraction procedures for industrial production from plants is hampered by the lack of knowledge and availability of genes in saponin biosynthesis. Although the ability to produce saponins is rather widespread among plants, a complete synthetic pathway has not been elucidated in any single species. Current conceptions consider saponins to be derived from intermediates of the phytosterol pathway, and predominantly enzymes belonging to the multigene families of oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs), cytochromes P450 (P450s) and family 1 UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are thought to be involved in their biosynthesis. Formation of unique structural features involves additional biosynthetical enzymes of diverse phylogenetic background. As an example of this, a serine carboxypeptidase-like acyltransferase (SCPL) was recently found to be involved in synthesis of triterpenoid saponins in oats. However, the total number of identified genes in saponin biosynthesis remains low as the complexity and diversity of these multigene families impede gene discovery based on sequence analysis and phylogeny. This review summarizes current knowledge of triterpenoid saponin biosynthesis in plants, molecular activities, evolutionary aspects and perspectives for further gene discovery. PMID:21333312

  13. 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. PMID:19931623

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19289848

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Exploring ligand dissociation pathways from aminopeptidase N using random acceleration molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya; Tu, GuoGang; Lai, XiaoPing; Kuang, BinHai; Li, ShaoHua

    2016-10-01

    Aminopeptidase N (APN) is a zinc-dependent ectopeptidase involved in cell proliferation, secretion, invasion, and angiogenesis, and is widely recognized as an important cancer target. However, the mechanisms whereby ligands leave the active site of APN remain unknown. Investigating ligand dissociation processes is quite difficult, both in classical simulation methods and in experimental approaches. In this study, random acceleration molecular dynamics (RAMD) simulation was used to investigate the potential dissociation pathways of ligand from APN. The results revealed three pathways (channels A, B and C) for ligand release. Channel A, which matches the hypothetical channel region, was the most preferred region for bestatin to dissociate from the enzyme, and is probably the major channel for the inner bound ligand. In addition, two alternative channels (channels B and C) were shown to be possible pathways for ligand egression. Meanwhile, we identified key residues controlling the dynamic features of APN channels. Identification of the dissociation routes will provide further mechanistic insights into APN, which will benefit the development of more promising APN inhibitors. Graphical Abstract The release pathways of bestatin inside active site of aminopeptidase N were simulated using RAMD simulation. PMID:27624165

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A Simple, General Result for the Variance of Substitution Number in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Houchmandzadeh, Bahram; Vallade, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    The number of substitutions (of nucleotides, amino acids, etc.) that take place during the evolution of a sequence is a stochastic variable of fundamental importance in the field of molecular evolution. Although the mean number of substitutions during molecular evolution of a sequence can be estimated for a given substitution model, no simple solution exists for the variance of this random variable. We show in this article that the computation of the variance is as simple as that of the mean number of substitutions for both short and long times. Apart from its fundamental importance, this result can be used to investigate the dispersion index R, that is, the ratio of the variance to the mean substitution number, which is of prime importance in the neutral theory of molecular evolution. By investigating large classes of substitution models, we demonstrate that although R≥1, to obtain R significantly larger than unity necessitates in general additional hypotheses on the structure of the substitution model. PMID:27189545

  3. 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. PMID:24259334

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A molecular time-scale for eukaryote evolution recalibrated with the continuous microfossil record

    PubMed Central

    Berney, Cédric; Pawlowski, Jan

    2006-01-01

    Recent attempts to establish a molecular time-scale of eukaryote evolution failed to provide a congruent view on the timing of the origin and early diversification of eukaryotes. The major discrepancies in molecular time estimates are related to questions concerning the calibration of the tree. To limit these uncertainties, we used here as a source of calibration points the rich and continuous microfossil record of dinoflagellates, diatoms and coccolithophorids. We calibrated a small-subunit ribosomal RNA tree of eukaryotes with four maximum and 22 minimum time constraints. Using these multiple calibration points in a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock framework, we inferred that the early radiation of eukaryotes occurred near the Mesoproterozoic–Neoproterozoic boundary, about 1100 million years ago. Our results indicate that most Proterozoic fossils of possible eukaryotic origin cannot be confidently assigned to extant lineages and should therefore not be used as calibration points in molecular dating. PMID:16822745

  7. Genome comparisons reveal a dominant mechanism of chromosome number reduction in grasses and accelerated genome evolution in Triticeae

    PubMed Central

    Luo, M. C.; Deal, K. R.; Akhunov, E. D.; Akhunova, A. R.; Anderson, O. D.; Anderson, J. A.; Blake, N.; Clegg, M. T.; Coleman-Derr, D.; Conley, E. J.; Crossman, C. C.; Dubcovsky, J.; Gill, B. S.; Gu, Y. Q.; Hadam, J.; Heo, H. Y.; Huo, N.; Lazo, G.; Ma, Y.; Matthews, D. E.; McGuire, P. E.; Morrell, P. L.; Qualset, C. O.; Renfro, J.; Tabanao, D.; Talbert, L. E.; Tian, C.; Toleno, D. M.; Warburton, M. L.; You, F. M.; Zhang, W.; Dvorak, J.

    2009-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphism was used in the construction of an expressed sequence tag map of Aegilops tauschii, the diploid source of the wheat D genome. Comparisons of the map with the rice and sorghum genome sequences revealed 50 inversions and translocations; 2, 8, and 40 were assigned respectively to the rice, sorghum, and Ae. tauschii lineages, showing greatly accelerated genome evolution in the large Triticeae genomes. The reduction of the basic chromosome number from 12 to 7 in the Triticeae has taken place by a process during which an entire chromosome is inserted by its telomeres into a break in the centromeric region of another chromosome. The original centromere–telomere polarity of the chromosome arms is maintained in the new chromosome. An intrachromosomal telomere–telomere fusion resulting in a pericentric translocation of a chromosome segment or an entire arm accompanied or preceded the chromosome insertion in some instances. Insertional dysploidy has been recorded in three grass subfamilies and appears to be the dominant mechanism of basic chromosome number reduction in grasses. A total of 64% and 66% of Ae. tauschii genes were syntenic with sorghum and rice genes, respectively. Synteny was reduced in the vicinity of the termini of modern Ae. tauschii chromosomes but not in the vicinity of the ancient termini embedded in the Ae. tauschii chromosomes, suggesting that the dependence of synteny erosion on gene location along the centromere–telomere axis either evolved recently in the Triticeae phylogenetic lineage or its evolution was recently accelerated. PMID:19717446

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. QM/QM' Direct Molecular Dynamics of Water-Accelerated Diels-Alder Reaction.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fengjiao; Yang, Zhongyue; Mei, Ye; Houk, K N

    2016-07-01

    A QM/QM' direct molecular dynamics study of a water-accelerated Diels-Alder reaction in aqueous solution is reported. Cyclopentadiene and methyl vinyl ketone are known to react faster in water than in nonpolar solvents. We have explored how polarization of water molecules afforded by PM3 influences the nature of the transition state, and the reaction dynamics. We compare the results with previous studies on QM/MM and QM/MM+3QM water simulations from our laboratory. Transition state sampling in vacuum PM3 water boxes indicates that the asynchronicity is 0.54 Å in QM/QM', as compared to 0.48 Å in QM/MM, and 0.54 Å in QM/MM+3QM water. The mean time gap between the formation of two C-C bonds is 19 fs for QM/QM', compared to 20 fs for QM/MM, and 25 fs for QM/MM+3QM water. The samplings and time gaps are qualitatively consistent, indicating that water polarization is not significant in sampling and dynamics of bonding changes. The dynamics of hydrogen bonding between reacting molecules and water molecules was also analyzed. From reactants to transition states, H-bond shortening is 0.4 Å by QM/QM', while only 0.15 Å for QM/MM and QM/MM+3QM water. From reactants to transition states, the mean value of the H-bond angle increases by 19° in QM/QM', but only 4° in QM/MM, and 10° in QM/MM+3QM water. These suggest that water polarization is essential for the correct representation of dynamical formation of hydrogen bonds in the transition state by water reorientation. QM/QM' overestimates the hydrogen bonding enhancement because of its underestimation of neutral hydrogen bonding within the reactants, a general deficiency of PM3. PMID:27092967

  11. Molecular and functional analysis of mouse decay accelerating factor (CD55).

    PubMed Central

    Harris, C L; Rushmere, N K; Morgan, B P

    1999-01-01

    Molecular cloning of mouse decay accelerating factor (DAF; CD55) predicted two forms of the molecule, one transmembrane (TM) and the other glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored; these are encoded by separate genes termed Daf-GPI and Daf-TM. In the present study several additional isoforms of mouse DAF, generated by alternative splicing from these genes, are described. Northern-blot analysis of RNA and reverse transcriptase-PCR from various tissues indicated that spleen and testis expressed high levels of DAF, which comprised several species. These species were cloned and sequence analysis revealed various novel forms in addition to those previously reported. Two novel forms were derived from the Daf-TM gene but the transmembrane sequence defined previously was replaced by a unique GPI-anchor addition sequence; one clone also had part of the serine/threonine/proline (STP) region deleted. A third clone, encoding a transmembrane protein, was also derived from this gene but the entire STP region was deleted. A fourth clone, derived from the Daf-GPI gene, contained a novel C-terminal sequence, suggestive of a secreted form of the protein. Two DAF cDNAs (TM and GPI-anchored) were stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. When these cells were attacked with mouse or rat complement and analysed for C3b deposition, DAF-transfected cells had greatly reduced C3b deposition compared with controls. Transfection with DAF also conferred protection from complement in a cell-lysis assay, and a soluble, recombinant form of mouse DAF inhibited complement in a haemolytic assay. PMID:10417349

  12. Molecular Mechanisms and Evolutionary Processes Contributing to Accelerated Divergence of Gene Expression on the Drosophila X Chromosome.

    PubMed

    Coolon, Joseph D; Stevenson, Kraig R; McManus, C Joel; Yang, Bing; Graveley, Brenton R; Wittkopp, Patricia J

    2015-10-01

    In species with a heterogametic sex, population genetics theory predicts that DNA sequences on the X chromosome can evolve faster than comparable sequences on autosomes. Both neutral and nonneutral evolutionary processes can generate this pattern. Complex traits like gene expression are not predicted to have accelerated evolution by these theories, yet a "faster-X" pattern of gene expression divergence has recently been reported for both Drosophila and mammals. Here, we test the hypothesis that accelerated adaptive evolution of cis-regulatory sequences on the X chromosome is responsible for this pattern by comparing the relative contributions of cis- and trans-regulatory changes to patterns of faster-X expression divergence observed between strains and species of Drosophila with a range of divergence times. We find support for this hypothesis, especially among male-biased genes, when comparing different species. However, we also find evidence that trans-regulatory differences contribute to a faster-X pattern of expression divergence both within and between species. This contribution is surprising because trans-acting regulators of X-linked genes are generally assumed to be randomly distributed throughout the genome. We found, however, that X-linked transcription factors appear to preferentially regulate expression of X-linked genes, providing a potential mechanistic explanation for this result. The contribution of trans-regulatory variation to faster-X expression divergence was larger within than between species, suggesting that it is more likely to result from neutral processes than positive selection. These data show how accelerated evolution of both coding and noncoding sequences on the X chromosome can lead to accelerated expression divergence on the X chromosome relative to autosomes. PMID:26041937

  13. Molecular dynamics study of nanoparticle evolution in a background gas under laser ablation conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouriet, K.; Zhigilei, L. V.; Itina, T. E.

    2009-03-01

    Long-time evolution of nanoparticles produced by short laser interactions is investigated for different materials. To better understand the mechanisms of the nanoparticle formation at a microscopic level, we use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to analyse the evolution of a cluster in the presence of a background gas with different parameters (density and temperature). In particular, we compare the simulation results obtained for materials with different interaction potentials (Morse, Lennard-Jones, and Embedded Atom Model). Attention is focused on the evaporation and condensation processes of a cluster with different size and initial temperature. As a result of the MD calculations, we determinate the influence of both cluster properties and background gas parameters on the nanoparticle evolution. The role of the interaction potential is discussed based on the results of the simulations.

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular evolution of H9N2 avian influenza viruses in Israel.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Irit; Fusaro, Alice; Heidari, Alireza; Monne, Isabella; Cattoli, Giovanni

    2014-06-01

    While the previous phylogenetic analyses of AIV H9N2 in Israel had mainly focused on phylogenetics and on describing different virus introductions into the country, for the first time, the H9N2-HA gene evolutionary history has been examined taking into account its origin, evolution and phylodynamics. The present study reveals the Israeli H9N2 molecular evolution rate, the virus molecular clock and skyline plot. The molecular skyline plot showed two major increments in population diversity sizes, the first which had occurred in 2003, the second between the end of 2007 and the first half of 2008. Between 2004 and 2007 the population size had proved to be constant. The two peaks correspond to the appearance of the 3rd and 4th major genetic groups, as well as to the introduction of two H9N2 vaccines. The mean evolution rate was 6.123 E-3 substitutions/site/year, typical of avian influenza viruses. The time interval from the most recent common ancestor was 12.3 years, corresponding to the year 2000, when H9N2 was first isolated in Israel. PMID:24469467

  16. Temporal evolution and electric potential structure of the auroral acceleration region from multispacecraft measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsyth, C.; Fazakerley, A. N.; Walsh, A. P.; Watt, C. E.; Garza, K.; Owen, C. J.; Constantinescu, D. O.; Dandouras, I. S.; Fornacon, K.; Lucek, E. A.; Marklund, G. T.; Sadeghi, S. S.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Masson, A.; Doss, N.

    2013-12-01

    Bright aurorae can be excited by the acceleration of electrons into the atmosphere in violation of ideal magnetohydrodynamics. Modelling studies predict that the accelerating electric potential consists of electric double layers at the boundaries of an acceleration region but observations suggest that particle acceleration occurs throughout this region. Using multispacecraft observations from Cluster, we have examined two upward current regions on 14 December 2009. Our observations show that the potential difference below C4 and C3 changed by up to 1.7 kV between their respective crossings, which were separated by 150 s. The field-aligned current density observed by C3 was also larger than that observed by C4. The potential drop above C3 and C4 was approximately the same in both crossings. Using a novel technique of quantitively comparing the electron spectra measured by Cluster 1 and 3, which were separated in altitude, we determine when these spacecraft made effectively magnetically conjugate observations, and we use these conjugate observations to determine the instantaneous distribution of the potential drop in the AAR. Our observations show that an average of 15% of the potential drop in the AAR was located between C1 at 6235 km and C3 at 4685 km altitude, with a maximum potential drop between the spacecraft of 500 V, and that the majority of the potential drop was below C3. Assuming a spatial invariance along the length of the upward current region, we discuss these observations in terms of temporal changes and the vertical structure of the electrostatic potential drop and in the context of existing models and previous single- and multispacecraft observations.

  17. Temporal evolution and electric potential structure of the auroral acceleration region from multispacecraft measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsyth, C.; Fazakerley, A. N.; Walsh, A. P.; Watt, C. E. J.; Garza, K. J.; Owen, C. J.; Constantinescu, D.; Dandouras, I.; FornaçOn, K.-H.; Lucek, E.; Marklund, G. T.; Sadeghi, S. S.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Masson, A.; Doss, N.

    2012-12-01

    Bright aurorae can be excited by the acceleration of electrons into the atmosphere in violation of ideal magnetohydrodynamics. Modeling studies predict that the accelerating electric potential consists of electric double layers at the boundaries of an acceleration region but observations suggest that particle acceleration occurs throughout this region. Using multispacecraft observations from Cluster, we have examined two upward current regions on 14 December 2009. Our observations show that the potential difference below C4 and C3 changed by up to 1.7 kV between their respective crossings, which were separated by 150 s. The field-aligned current density observed by C3 was also larger than that observed by C4. The potential drop above C3 and C4 was approximately the same in both crossings. Using a novel technique of quantitively comparing the electron spectra measured by Cluster 1 and 3, which were separated in altitude, we determine when these spacecraft made effectively magnetically conjugate observations, and we use these conjugate observations to determine the instantaneous distribution of the potential drop in the AAR. Our observations show that an average of 15% of the potential drop in the AAR was located between C1 at 6235 km and C3 at 4685 km altitude, with a maximum potential drop between the spacecraft of 500 V, and that the majority of the potential drop was below C3. Assuming a spatial invariance along the length of the upward current region, we discuss these observations in terms of temporal changes and the vertical structure of the electrostatic potential drop and in the context of existing models and previous single- and multispacecraft observations.

  18. Isolation of Hox cluster genes from insects reveals an accelerated sequence evolution rate.

    PubMed

    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

  19. Pulse evolution and plasma-wave phase velocity in channel-guided laser-plasma accelerators.

    PubMed

    Benedetti, C; Rossi, F; Schroeder, C B; Esarey, E; Leemans, W P

    2015-08-01

    The self-consistent laser evolution of an intense, short-pulse laser exciting a plasma wave and propagating in a preformed plasma channel is investigated, including the effects of pulse steepening and energy depletion. In the weakly relativistic laser intensity regime, analytical expressions for the laser energy depletion, pulse self-steepening rate, laser intensity centroid velocity, and phase velocity of the plasma wave are derived and validated numerically. PMID:26382537

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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. PMID:23755015

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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,…

  5. 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.

  6. Evolution of the Reynolds shear stresses in highly accelerated turbulent boundary layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Guillermo; Castillo, Luciano; Hussain, Fazle

    2014-11-01

    Turbulent boundary layers subjected to severe acceleration or strong Favorable Pressure Gradients (FPG) are of great fundamental and technological importance; examples of the latter include nozzle design, underwater bodies and drag reduction applications. Scientifically, they pose great interest from the point of view of scaling laws, the complex interaction between the outer and inner regions, and relaminarization phenomena. Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of highly accelerated turbulent boundary layers are performed by means of the Dynamic Multi-scale Approach (DMA) recently developed by [Araya et al. JFM 670, 581 (2011)]. It is shown that the Reynolds shear stress monotonically decreases and exhibits a logarithmic layer in the meso-layer region during the laminarization process. In addition, the local maxima of streamwise velocity fluctuations in wall units remain almost constant in the very strong FPG region, which prevents the flow to become completely laminar. Furthermore, the re-distribution of Reynolds shear stresses due to sweeps and ejections in the FPG region is performed and a physical mechanism is proposed.

  7. Molecular representation of molar domain (volume), evolution equations, and linear constitutive relations for volume transport.

    PubMed

    Eu, Byung Chan

    2008-09-01

    In the traditional theories of irreversible thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, the specific volume and molar volume have been interchangeably used for pure fluids, but in this work we show that they should be distinguished from each other and given distinctive statistical mechanical representations. In this paper, we present a general formula for the statistical mechanical representation of molecular domain (volume or space) by using the Voronoi volume and its mean value that may be regarded as molar domain (volume) and also the statistical mechanical representation of volume flux. By using their statistical mechanical formulas, the evolution equations of volume transport are derived from the generalized Boltzmann equation of fluids. Approximate solutions of the evolution equations of volume transport provides kinetic theory formulas for the molecular domain, the constitutive equations for molar domain (volume) and volume flux, and the dissipation of energy associated with volume transport. Together with the constitutive equation for the mean velocity of the fluid obtained in a previous paper, the evolution equations for volume transport not only shed a fresh light on, and insight into, irreversible phenomena in fluids but also can be applied to study fluid flow problems in a manner hitherto unavailable in fluid dynamics and irreversible thermodynamics. Their roles in the generalized hydrodynamics will be considered in the sequel. PMID:19044872

  8. Molecular evolution of the capsid gene in human norovirus genogroup II.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Miho; Matsushima, Yuki; Motoya, Takumi; Sakon, Naomi; Shigemoto, Naoki; Okamoto-Nakagawa, Reiko; Nishimura, Koichi; Yamashita, Yasutaka; Kuroda, Makoto; Saruki, Nobuhiro; Ryo, Akihide; Saraya, Takeshi; Morita, Yukio; Shirabe, Komei; Ishikawa, Mariko; Takahashi, Tomoko; Shinomiya, Hiroto; Okabe, Nobuhiko; Nagasawa, Koo; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Katayama, Kazuhiko; Kimura, Hirokazu

    2016-01-01

    Capsid protein of norovirus genogroup II (GII) plays crucial roles in host infection. Although studies on capsid gene evolution have been conducted for a few genotypes of norovirus, the molecular evolution of norovirus GII is not well understood. Here we report the molecular evolution of all GII genotypes, using various bioinformatics techniques. The time-scaled phylogenetic tree showed that the present GII strains diverged from GIV around 1630CE at a high evolutionary rate (around 10(-3) substitutions/site/year), resulting in three lineages. The GII capsid gene had large pairwise distances (maximum > 0.39). The effective population sizes of the present GII strains were large (>10(2)) for about 400 years. Positive (20) and negative (over 450) selection sites were estimated. Moreover, some linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were found in the deduced GII capsid protein. These results suggested that norovirus GII strains rapidly evolved with high divergence and adaptation to humans. PMID:27384324

  9. Nonlinear Evolution of a 3D Inertial Alfvén Wave and Its Implication in Particle Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Prachi; Yadav, Nitin; Sharma, R. P.

    2016-03-01

    A simulation based on a pseudo-spectral method has been performed in order to study particle acceleration. A model for the acceleration of charged particles by field localization is developed for the low-β plasma. For this purpose, a fractional diffusion approach has been employed. The nonlinear interaction between a 3D inertial Alfvén wave and a slow magnetosonic wave has been examined, and the dynamical equations of these two waves in the presence of ponderomotive nonlinearity have been solved numerically. The nonlinear evolution of the inertial Alfvén wave in the presence of slow magnetosonic wave undergoes a filamentation instability and results in field intensity localization. The results obtained show the localization and power spectrum of inertial Alfvén wave due to nonlinear coupling. The scaling obtained after the first break point of the magnetic power spectrum has been used to calculate the formation of the thermal tail of energetic particles in the solar corona.

  10. Molecular evolution accompanying functional divergence of duplicated genes along the plant starch biosynthesis pathway

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Starch is the main source of carbon storage in the Archaeplastida. The starch biosynthesis pathway (sbp) emerged from cytosolic glycogen metabolism shortly after plastid endosymbiosis and was redirected to the plastid stroma during the green lineage divergence. The SBP is a complex network of genes, most of which are members of large multigene families. While some gene duplications occurred in the Archaeplastida ancestor, most were generated during the sbp redirection process, and the remaining few paralogs were generated through compartmentalization or tissue specialization during the evolution of the land plants. In the present study, we tested models of duplicated gene evolution in order to understand the evolutionary forces that have led to the development of SBP in angiosperms. We combined phylogenetic analyses and tests on the rates of evolution along branches emerging from major duplication events in six gene families encoding sbp enzymes. Results We found evidence of positive selection along branches following cytosolic or plastidial specialization in two starch phosphorylases and identified numerous residues that exhibited changes in volume, polarity or charge. Starch synthases, branching and debranching enzymes functional specializations were also accompanied by accelerated evolution. However, none of the sites targeted by selection corresponded to known functional domains, catalytic or regulatory. Interestingly, among the 13 duplications tested, 7 exhibited evidence of positive selection in both branches emerging from the duplication, 2 in only one branch, and 4 in none of the branches. Conclusions The majority of duplications were followed by accelerated evolution targeting specific residues along both branches. This pattern was consistent with the optimization of the two sub-functions originally fulfilled by the ancestral gene before duplication. Our results thereby provide strong support to the so-called “Escape from Adaptive Conflict

  11. Hepatitis C virus molecular evolution: Transmission, disease progression and antiviral therapy

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25473152

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24085456

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:26751137

  16. 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

    2007-08-01

    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. PMID:17560601

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25155199

  19. 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. PMID:11448888

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

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25917417

  1. Expanded Search for z ~ 10 Galaxies from HUDF09, ERS, and CANDELS Data: Evidence for Accelerated Evolution at z > 8?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oesch, P. A.; Bouwens, R. J.; Illingworth, G. D.; Labbé, I.; Trenti, M.; Gonzalez, V.; Carollo, C. M.; Franx, M.; van Dokkum, P. G.; Magee, D.

    2012-02-01

    We search for z ~ 10 galaxies over ~160 arcmin2 of Wide-Field Camera 3 (WFC3)/IR data in the Chandra Deep Field South, using the public HUDF09, Early Release Science, and CANDELS surveys, that reach to 5σ depths ranging from 26.9 to 29.4 in H 160 AB mag. z >~ 9.5 galaxy candidates are identified via J 125 - H 160 > 1.2 colors and non-detections in any band blueward of J 125. Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) photometry is key for separating the genuine high-z candidates from intermediate-redshift (z ~ 2-4) galaxies with evolved or heavily dust obscured stellar populations. After removing 16 sources of intermediate brightness (H 160 ~ 24-26 mag) with strong IRAC detections, we only find one plausible z ~ 10 galaxy candidate in the whole data set, previously reported in Bouwens et al.. The newer data cover a 3 × larger area and provide much stronger constraints on the evolution of the UV luminosity function (LF). If the evolution of the z ~ 4-8 LFs is extrapolated to z ~ 10, six z ~ 10 galaxies are expected in our data. The detection of only one source suggests that the UV LF evolves at an accelerated rate before z ~ 8. The luminosity density is found to increase by more than an order of magnitude in only 170 Myr from z ~ 10 to z ~ 8. This increase is >=4 × larger than expected from the lower redshift extrapolation of the UV LF. We are thus likely witnessing the first rapid buildup of galaxies in the heart of cosmic reionization. Future deep Hubble Space Telescope WFC3/IR data, reaching to well beyond 29 mag, can enable a more robust quantification of the accelerated evolution around z ~ 10. Based on data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope operated by AURA, Inc., for NASA under contract NAS5-26555. Partially based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.

  2. Toward a mechanistic understanding of the damage evolution of SnAgCu solder joints in accelerated thermal cycling test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahin Shirazi, Sam

    Accelerated thermal cycling (ATC) tests are the most commonly used tests for the thermo-mechanical performance assessment of microelectronics assemblies. Currently used reliability models have failed to incorporate the microstructural dependency of lead free solder joint behavior and its microstructure evolution during cycling. Thus, it is essential to have a mechanistic understanding of the effect of cycling parameters on damage evolution and failure of lead free solder joints in ATC. Recrystallization has been identified as the damage rate controlling mechanism in ATC. Usually it takes 1/3 of life for completion of recrystallization regardless of cycling parameters. Thus, the life of the solder joints can be predicted by estimating global recrystallization. The objective of the first part of the study was to examine whether the damage scenario applies in service is the same as the harsh thermal cycling tests (i.e. 0/100 °C and -40/125 °C) commonly used in industry. Microstructure analysis results on a variety of lead free solder SnAgCu assemblies subjected to the both harsh (0/100 °C) and mild (20/80 °C) ATC confirmed similar failure mechanism under the both testing conditions. Sn grain morphology (interlaced versus beach ball) has a significant effect on the thermo-mechanical performance (and thus the model) of the lead free solder joints. The longer thermal cycling lifetime observed in the interlaced solder joints subjected to the ATC compared to the beach ball structure was correlated to the different initial microstructure and the microstructure evolution during cycling. For the modeling proposes, the present study was focused on Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints with either a single Sn grain or beach ball structure. Microstructural analysis results of the simulated thermal cycling experiment revealed that, the life can be approximated as determined by the accumulation of a certain amount of work during the high temperature dwells. Finally the effect of precipitates

  3. Water oxidation catalysis upon evolution of molecular Co(III) cubanes in aqueous media.

    PubMed

    Genoni, Andrea; La Ganga, Giuseppina; Volpe, Andrea; Puntoriero, Fausto; Di Valentin, Marilena; Bonchio, Marcella; Natali, Mirco; Sartorel, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The increasing global energy demand has stimulated great recent efforts in investigating new solutions for artificial photosynthesis, a potential source of clean and renewable solar fuel. In particular, according to the generally accepted modular approach aimed at optimising separately the different compartments of the entire process, many studies have focused on the development of catalytic systems for water oxidation to oxygen. While in recent years there have been many reports on new catalytic systems, the mechanism and the active intermediates operating the catalysis have been less investigated. Well-defined, molecular catalysts, constituted by transition metals stabilised by a suitable ligand pool, could help in solving this aspect. However, in some cases molecular species have been shown to evolve to active metal oxides that constitute the other side of this catalysis dichotomy. In this paper, we address the evolution of tetracobalt(III) cubanes, stabilised by a pyridine/acetate ligand pool, to active species that perform water oxidation to oxygen. Primary evolution of the cubane in aqueous solution is likely initiated by removal of an acetate bridge, opening the coordination sphere of the cobalt centres. This cobalt derivative, where the pristine ligands still impact on the reactivity, shows enhanced electron transfer rates to Ru(bpy)3(3+) (hole scavenging) within a photocatalytic cycle with Ru(bpy)3(2+) as the photosensitiser and S2O8(2-) as the electron sink. A more accentuated evolution occurs under continuous irradiation, where Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy reveals the formation of Co(ii) intermediates, likely contributing to the catalytic process that evolves oxygen. All together, these results confirm the relevant effect of molecular species, in particular in fostering the rate of the electron transfer processes involved in light activated cycles, pivotal in the design of a photoactive device. PMID:26400662

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20590336

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. Spatiotemporal evolution of plasma molecular emission following laser ablation of explosive analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merten, Jonathan; Jones, Matthew; Sheppard, Cheyenne; Parigger, Christian; Allen, Susan

    2013-05-01

    The spatial and temporal evolution of the CN molecular emission following laser ablation of a TNT analog (3- nitrobenzoic acid) has been studied along with ablation of targets that contain neither nitro groups nor C-N bonds. At a fluence of ~104 J/cm2, behavior indicative of the ablation of native CN bonds has been observed in samples containing no native CN bonds. The recorded data show significant plasma background emissions that pose difficulties for direct spectral imaging. Spatially resolved images suggest that some of the observed phenomena are simply the result of the interaction of the plasma and the observation volume of the collection optics.

  9. Genetic diversity and molecular evolution of arabis mosaic virus based on the CP gene sequence.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fangluan; Lin, Wuzhen; Shen, Jianguo; Liao, Furong

    2016-04-01

    Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) is a virus with a wide host range. In this study, the genetic diversity of ArMV and the molecular mechanisms underlying its evolution were investigated using the coat protein (CP) sequence. Of the 33 ArMV isolates studied, three were found to be recombinants. The other 30 recombination-free ArMV isolates could be separated into two major lineages with a significant F ST value (0.384) and tended to cluster according to their geographical origin. Different evolutionary constraints were detected for the two linages, pointing to a role of natural selection in the differentiation of ArMV. PMID:26758729

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular structure matching by simulated annealing. II. An exploration of the evolution of configuration landscape problems.

    PubMed

    Barakat, M T; Dean, P M

    1990-09-01

    This paper considers some of the landscape problems encountered in matching molecules by simulated annealing. Although the method is in theory ergodic, the global minimum in the objective function is not always encountered. Factors inherent in the molecular data that lead the trajectory of the minimization away from its optimal route are analysed. Segments comprised of the C alpha atoms of dihydrofolate reductase are used as test data. The evolution of a reverse ordering landscape problem is examined in detail. Where such patterns in the data could lead to incorrect matches, the problem can in part be circumvented by assigning an initial random ordering to the molecules. PMID:2280267

  12. [Molecular evolution of ciliates (Ciliophora) and some related groups of protozoans].

    PubMed

    Lukashenko, N P

    2009-08-01

    The review summarizes current evidence, including the findings related to molecular phylogeny of ciliates (type Ciliophora) and some related groups of protozoans. Based on comparison of the sequences of genes encoding various ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), the phylogenetic relationships in seven out of eight known classes of ciliates are discussed. The events related to early branching of the eukaryotic tree are briefly presented. The evolutionary history of amitochondrial protists ids considered with regard to reductionistic evolution and archeozoic hypothesis. The phylogenetic relationships among ciliates and sister groups of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates are considered. PMID:19769290

  13. Molecular basis for convergent evolution of glutamate recognition by pentameric ligand-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Lynagh, Timothy; Beech, Robin N.; Lalande, Maryline J.; Keller, Kevin; Cromer, Brett A.; Wolstenholme, Adrian J.; Laube, Bodo

    2015-01-01

    Glutamate is an indispensable neurotransmitter, triggering postsynaptic signals upon recognition by postsynaptic receptors. We questioned the phylogenetic position and the molecular details of when and where glutamate recognition arose in the glutamate-gated chloride channels. Experiments revealed that glutamate recognition requires an arginine residue in the base of the binding site, which originated at least three distinct times according to phylogenetic analysis. Most remarkably, the arginine emerged on the principal face of the binding site in the Lophotrochozoan lineage, but 65 amino acids upstream, on the complementary face, in the Ecdysozoan lineage. This combined experimental and computational approach throws new light on the evolution of synaptic signalling. PMID:25708000

  14. Genome-Wide Molecular Clock and Horizontal Gene Transfer in Bacterial Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Novichkov, Pavel S.; Omelchenko, Marina V.; Gelfand, Mikhail S.; Mironov, Andrei A.; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2004-01-01

    We describe a simple theoretical framework for identifying orthologous sets of genes that deviate from a clock-like model of evolution. The approach used is based on comparing the evolutionary distances within a set of orthologs to a standard intergenomic distance, which was defined as the median of the distribution of the distances between all one-to-one orthologs. Under the clock-like model, the points on a plot of intergenic distances versus intergenomic distances are expected to fit a straight line. A statistical technique to identify significant deviations from the clock-like behavior is described. For several hundred analyzed orthologous sets representing three well-defined bacterial lineages, the α-Proteobacteria, the γ-Proteobacteria, and the Bacillus-Clostridium group, the clock-like null hypothesis could not be rejected for ∼70% of the sets, whereas the rest showed substantial anomalies. Subsequent detailed phylogenetic analysis of the genes with the strongest deviations indicated that over one-half of these genes probably underwent a distinct form of horizontal gene transfer, xenologous gene displacement, in which a gene is displaced by an ortholog from a different lineage. The remaining deviations from the clock-like model could be explained by lineage-specific acceleration of evolution. The results indicate that although xenologous gene displacement is a major force in bacterial evolution, a significant majority of orthologous gene sets in three major bacterial lineages evolved in accordance with the clock-like model. The approach described here allows rapid detection of deviations from this mode of evolution on the genome scale. PMID:15375139

  15. Genetic diversity in Treponema pallidum: implications for pathogenesis, evolution and molecular diagnostics of syphilis and yaws

    PubMed Central

    Šmajs, David; Norris, Steven J.; Weinstock, George M.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic uncultivable treponemes, similar to syphilis-causing Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum, include T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, T. pallidum ssp. endemicum and Treponema carateum, which cause yaws, bejel and pinta, respectively. Genetic analyses of these pathogens revealed striking similarity among these bacteria and also a high degree of similarity to the rabbit pathogen, T. paraluiscuniculi, a treponeme not infectious to humans. Genome comparisons between pallidum and non-pallidum treponemes revealed genes with potential involvement in human infectivity, whereas comparisons between pallidum and pertenue treponemes identified genes possibly involved in the high invasivity of syphilis treponemes. Genetic variability within syphilis strains is considered as the basis of syphilis molecular epidemiology with potential to detect more virulent strains, whereas genetic variability within a single strain is related to its ability to elude the immune system of the host. Genome analyses also shed light on treponemal evolution and on chromosomal targets for molecular diagnostics of treponemal infections. PMID:22198325

  16. Molecular engineering of a cobalt-based electrocatalytic nanomaterial for H₂ evolution under fully aqueous conditions.

    PubMed

    Andreiadis, Eugen S; Jacques, Pierre-André; Tran, Phong D; Leyris, Adeline; Chavarot-Kerlidou, Murielle; Jousselme, Bruno; Matheron, Muriel; Pécaut, Jacques; Palacin, Serge; Fontecave, Marc; Artero, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The viability of a hydrogen economy depends on the design of efficient catalytic systems based on earth-abundant elements. Innovative breakthroughs for hydrogen evolution based on molecular tetraimine cobalt compounds have appeared in the past decade. Here we show that such a diimine-dioxime cobalt catalyst can be grafted to the surface of a carbon nanotube electrode. The resulting electrocatalytic cathode material mediates H(2) generation (55,000 turnovers in seven hours) from fully aqueous solutions at low-to-medium overpotentials. This material is remarkably stable, which allows extensive cycling with preservation of the grafted molecular complex, as shown by electrochemical studies, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. This clearly indicates that grafting provides an increased stability to these cobalt catalysts, and suggests the possible application of these materials in the development of technological devices. PMID:23247177

  17. Genetic diversity in Treponema pallidum: implications for pathogenesis, evolution and molecular diagnostics of syphilis and yaws.

    PubMed

    Smajs, David; Norris, Steven J; Weinstock, George M

    2012-03-01

    Pathogenic uncultivable treponemes, similar to syphilis-causing Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum, include T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, T. pallidum ssp. endemicum and Treponema carateum, which cause yaws, bejel and pinta, respectively. Genetic analyses of these pathogens revealed striking similarity among these bacteria and also a high degree of similarity to the rabbit pathogen, Treponema paraluiscuniculi, a treponeme not infectious to humans. Genome comparisons between pallidum and non-pallidum treponemes revealed genes with potential involvement in human infectivity, whereas comparisons between pallidum and pertenue treponemes identified genes possibly involved in the high invasivity of syphilis treponemes. Genetic variability within syphilis strains is considered as the basis of syphilis molecular epidemiology with potential to detect more virulent strains, whereas genetic variability within a single strain is related to its ability to elude the immune system of the host. Genome analyses also shed light on treponemal evolution and on chromosomal targets for molecular diagnostics of treponemal infections. PMID:22198325

  18. Development and use of molecular markers to accelerate peanut cultivar development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Close cooperation between conventional plant breeders and molecular geneticists will be needed to efficiently and effectively utilize modern genetic tools in the development of peanut cultivars. We have used this approach at Tifton to develop molecular markers for resistance to the peanut root-knot...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular Specificity, Convergence and Constraint Shape Adaptive Evolution in Nutrient-Poor Environments

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Jungeui; Gresham, David

    2014-01-01

    One of the central goals of evolutionary biology is to explain and predict the molecular basis of adaptive evolution. We studied the evolution of genetic networks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) populations propagated for more than 200 generations in different nitrogen-limiting conditions. We find that rapid adaptive evolution in nitrogen-poor environments is dominated by the de novo generation and selection of copy number variants (CNVs), a large fraction of which contain genes encoding specific nitrogen transporters including PUT4, DUR3 and DAL4. The large fitness increases associated with these alleles limits the genetic heterogeneity of adapting populations even in environments with multiple nitrogen sources. Complete identification of acquired point mutations, in individual lineages and entire populations, identified heterogeneity at the level of genetic loci but common themes at the level of functional modules, including genes controlling phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate metabolism and vacuole biogenesis. Adaptive strategies shared with other nutrient-limited environments point to selection of genetic variation in the TORC1 and Ras/PKA signaling pathways as a general mechanism underlying improved growth in nutrient-limited environments. Within a single population we observed the repeated independent selection of a multi-locus genotype, comprised of the functionally related genes GAT1, MEP2 and LST4. By studying the fitness of individual alleles, and their combination, as well as the evolutionary history of the evolving population, we find that the order in which these mutations are acquired is constrained by epistasis. The identification of repeatedly selected variation at functionally related loci that interact epistatically suggests that gene network polymorphisms (GNPs) may be a frequent outcome of adaptive evolution. Our results provide insight into the mechanistic basis by which cells adapt to nutrient-limited environments and suggest that

  2. Morphology Evolution of Molecular Weight Dependent P3HT: PCBM Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Feng; Chen, Dian; Briseno, Alejandro; Russell, Thomas

    2011-03-01

    Effective strategies to maximize the performance of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaic devices have to be developed and understood to realize their full potential. In BHJ solar cells, the morphology of the active layer is a critical issue to improve device efficiency. In this work, we choose poly(3-hexyl-thiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) system to study the morphology evolution. Different molecular weight P3HTs were synthesized by using Grignard Metathesis (GRIM)~method. In device optimization, polymer with a molecular weight between 20k-30k shows the highest efficiency. It was observed that the as-spun P3HT: PCBM (1:1) blends do not have high order by GISAXS. Within a few seconds of thermal annealing at 150& circ; the crystallinity of P3HT increaased substantially and the polymer chains adopted an edge-on orientation. An-bicontinous morphology was also developed within this short thermal treatment. The in situ GISAXS experiment showed that P3HT of high molecular weight was more easily crystallized from a slowly evaporated chlorobenzene solution and their edge-on orientation is much more obvious than for the lower molecular weight P3HTs. DSC was used to study the thermal properties of P3HTs and P3HT: PCBM blend. The χ of P3HT-PCBM was also calculated by using melting point depression method.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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.; et al

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:10335651

  13. 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

  14. Molecular evolution of fever, thrombocytopenia and leukocytopenia virus (FTLSV) based on whole-genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Liu, Licheng; Chen, Weijun; Yang, Yinhui; Jiang, Yongqiang

    2016-04-01

    FTLSV is a novel bunyavirus that was discovered in 2007 in the Henan province of China and has reported case fatality rates of up to 30%. Despite the high case fatality rate, knowledge of the evolution and molecular epidemiology of FTLSV is limited. In this study, detailed phylogenetic analyses were performed on whole-genome sequences to examine the virus's evolutionary rates, estimate dates of common ancestry, and determine the population dynamics and selection pressure for FTLSV. The evolutionary rates of FTLSV were estimated to be 2.28×10(-4), 2.42×10(-4) and 1.19×10(-4) nucleotide substitutions/site/year for the S, M and L segments, respectively. The most recent ancestor of the viruses existed approximately 182-294years ago. Evidence of RNA segment reassortment was found in FTLSV. A Bayesian skyline plot showed that after a period of genetic stability following high variability, the FTLSV population appeared to have contracted it. Selection pressures were estimated and revealed an abundance of negatively selected sites and sparse positively selected sites. These data will be valuable in understanding the evolution and molecular epidemiology of FTLSV, eventually helping to determine mechanisms of emergence and pathogenicity and the level of the virus's threat to public health. PMID:26748010

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. The tempo and mode of molecular evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis at patient-to-patient scale.

    PubMed

    Schürch, Anita C; Kremer, Kristin; Kiers, Albert; Daviena, Olaf; Boeree, Martin J; Siezen, Roland J; Smith, Noel H; van Soolingen, Dick

    2010-01-01

    A total of six polymorphisms were identified by comparing the genomes of the first and the last isolate of a well-characterized transmission chain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis involving five patients over a 12 and a half year period. The six polymorphisms consisted of four single nucleotide changes (SNPs), a tandem repeat polymorphism (TRP) and a previously identified IS6110 transposition event. These polymorphic sites were surveyed in each of the isolates from the five patients in the transmission chain. Surprisingly, five of the six polymorphisms accumulated in a single patient in the transmission chain; this patient had been non-compliant to tuberculosis treatment. This first insight into the tempo and mode of molecular evolution in M. tuberculosis at the patient-to-patient level suggests that the molecular evolution of the pathogen in vivo is characterized by periods of relative genomic stability followed by bursts of mutation. Whatever the mechanism for the accumulation of mutations, this observation may have profound consequences for the application of vaccines and therapeutic drugs, the management and treatment of disease outbreaks of M. tuberculosis, the most important bacterial pathogen of humans. PMID:19835997

  18. Flow Visualization and Measurements of the Mixing Evolution of a Shock-Accelerated Gas Curtain

    SciTech Connect

    Prestridge, K.; Vorobieff, P.V.; Rightley, P.M.; Benjamin, R.F

    1999-07-19

    We describe a highly-detailed experimental characterization of the impulsively driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability, called the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. This instability is produced by flowing a diffuse, vertical curtain of heavy gas (SF{sub 6}) into the test section of an air-filled horizontally oriented shock tube. The instability evolves after the passage of a Mach 1.2 shock past the curtain, and the development of the curtain is visualized by seeding the SF{sub 6} with small (d{approximately}0.5 and micro;m) glycol droplets using a modified theatrical fog generator. Because the event lasts only 1 ms and the initial conditions vary from test to test, rapid and complete data acquisition is required in order to characterize the initial and dynamic conditions for each experimental shot. Through the use of a custom-built pulsed Nd: YAG laser, we are able to image the flowfield at seven different times. We acquire a double-pulsed image of the flow with the use of a second pulsed Nd:YAG, which is used to determine the instantaneous velocity field using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). During a single experiment, high resolution images of the initial conditions and dynamic conditions are acquired using three CCD cameras. Issues of the fidelity of the flow seeding technique and the reliability of the PIV technique will be addressed. We have successfully provided interesting data through analysis of the images alone, and we are hoping that PIV information will be able to add further physical insight to the evolution of the RM instability and the transition to turbulence.

  19. Vulcanian eruptions: experimental insights into leading shock waves, initial acceleration, and flow evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, A. B.; Chojnicki, K. N.; Phillips, J. C.

    2008-12-01

    Vulcanian eruptions are frequent, small-scale, short-lived explosions that occur as a result of rapid decompression of a volcanic conduit. Results of two relevant experimental studies are presented here. The first examines the initial burst phase and leading shock waves via 1-D shock-tube experiments in which mixtures of air and spherical particles are rapidly decompressed into a low-pressure environment via diaphragm rupture. Maximum gas-particle mixture velocities decrease with increasing particle diameter for a given initial pressure ratio across the diaphragm. Experiments with particles produce weaker and more slowly propagating shocks relative to experiments with air alone. Comparison of experimental data to theoretical and computational solutions leads to two key results: 1) the effective interphase drag coefficient during high- acceleration stages of an eruption is less than values previously used in multiphase models of explosive eruptions; therefore a new formulation is prescribed; and 2) leading shock waves are formed by the gas phase alone, not the solid-gas mixture, with shock wave characteristics reflecting losses due to drag between air and particles; therefore shock wave calculations should consider these losses rather than treat the system as a perfectly-coupled pseudogas. The second set of experiments examines the subsequent propagation of the pyroclastic jet or plume by injecting discrete pulses of pressurized (negatively or positively) buoyant fluids into fresh water. Dimensional analysis, based on two source parameters, total injected momentum and total injected buoyancy, identifies a universal scaling relationship for the initial propagation of short-duration impulsive flows; the non- dimensional, time-varying velocity varies as the square root of the time-varying, non-dimensional ratio of source parameters. The relationship successfully describes the experimental trends over a wide range of initial conditions as well as flow propagation of

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:25865395

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

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jae Young; Aquadro, Charles F.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26507797

  3. 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

  4. Molecular evolution of the brain size regulator genes CDK5RAP2 and CENPJ.

    PubMed

    Evans, Patrick D; Vallender, Eric J; Lahn, Bruce T

    2006-06-21

    Primary microcephaly is a developmental defect of the brain characterized by severely reduced brain size but an absence of other overt abnormalities. Mutations in several loci have been linked to primary microcephaly. The underlying genes for two of these were recently identified as CDK5RAP2 and CENPJ. Here, we focus on CDK5RAP2 and show that the protein evolutionary rate of this gene is significantly higher in primates than rodents or carnivores. We further show that the evolutionary rate within primates is particularly high in the human and chimpanzee terminal branches. Thus, the pattern of molecular evolution seen in CDK5RAP2 appears to parallel, at least approximately, that seen in two other previously identified primary microcephaly genes, microcephalin and ASPM. We also briefly discuss CENPJ, which similarly exhibits higher rate of protein evolution in primates as compared to rodents and carnivores. Together, the evolutionary patterns of all four presently known primary microcephaly genes are consistent with the hypothesis that genes regulating brain size during development might also play a role in brain evolution in primates and especially humans. PMID:16631324

  5. Molecular phylogenetics of the Anolis onca series: a case history in retrograde evolution revisited.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Kirsten E; Mijares-Urrutia, Abraham; Larson, Allan

    2006-09-15

    Anoles of the Anolis onca series represent a dramatic case of retrograde evolution, exhibiting great reduction (A. annectens) and loss (A. onca) of the subdigital pads considered a key innovation for the evolutionary radiation of anoles in arboreal environments. We present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of these anoles and their closest known relatives (A. auratus, A. lineatus, A. meridionalis, and A. nitens) using new mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the ND2 gene, five tRNA genes (tRNA(Trp), tRNA(Ala), tRNA(Asn), tRNA(Cys), tRNA(Tyr)), the origin of light-strand replication, and a portion of the CO1 gene (1,446 aligned base positions, 612 parsimony informative). Our results confirm monophyly of the A. onca series and suggest an evolutionary separation of approximately 10 million years between A. annectens and A. onca. Evolution of subdigital structure in this series illustrates ectopic expression of developmental programs that replace flexible subdigital lamellae of the toepad with rigid, keeled scales resembling dorsal digital scales. Our phylogenetic results indicate that narrowing of the toepad in A. auratus evolved separately from toepad reduction in the A. onca series. Expansion of the subdigital lamellae along the phalanges in A. auratus appears to compensate constriction of lamellae by digital narrowing, maintaining greater climbing capability in this species. Toepad evolution in the lineage ancestral to A. auratus features changes of the same developmental modules as the A. onca series but in the opposite direction. Large molecular distances between geographic populations of A. auratus indicate that its derived toepad structure is at least 9 million years old. PMID:16506231

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

    PubMed

    Grimm, Dirk; Zolotukhin, Sergei

    2015-12-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. New Molecular Insight into Mechanism of Evolution of Mammalian Synthetic Prions.

    PubMed

    Makarava, Natallia; Savtchenko, Regina; Alexeeva, Irina; Rohwer, Robert G; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2016-04-01

    Previous studies established that transmissible prion diseases could be induced by in vitro-produced recombinant prion protein (PrP) fibrils with structures that are fundamentally different from that of authentic PrP scrapie isoform (PrP(Sc)). To explain evolution of synthetic prions, a new mechanism referred to as deformed templating was introduced. Here, we asked whether an increase in expression level of the cellular form of PrP (PrP(C)) speeds up the evolution of synthetic strains in vivo. We found that in transgenic mice that overexpress hamster PrP(C), PrP(C) overexpression accelerated recombinant PrP fibril-induced conversion of PrP(C) to the abnormal proteinase K-resistant state, referred to as atypical PrPres, which was the first product of PrP(C) misfolding in vivo. However, overexpression of PrP(C) did not facilitate the second step of synthetic strain evolution-transition from atypical PrPres to PrP(Sc), which is attributed to the stochastic nature of rare deformed templating events. In addition, the potential of atypical PrPres to interfere with replication of a short-incubation time prion strain was investigated. Atypical PrPres was found to interfere strongly with replication of 263K in vitro; however, it did not delay prion disease in animals. The rate of deformed templating does not depend on the concentration of substrate and is hence more likely to be controlled by the intrinsic rate of conformational errors in templating alternative self-propagating states. PMID:26873446

  9. Molecular evolution of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 5A gene in primates

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Many electron transport chain (ETC) genes show accelerated rates of nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions in anthropoid primate lineages, yet in non-anthropoid lineages the ETC proteins are typically highly conserved. Here, we test the hypothesis that COX5A, the ETC gene that encodes cytochrome c oxidase subunit 5A, shows a pattern of anthropoid-specific adaptive evolution, and investigate the distribution of this protein in catarrhine brains. Results In a dataset comprising 29 vertebrate taxa, including representatives from all major groups of primates, there is nearly 100% conservation of the COX5A amino acid sequence among extant, non-anthropoid placental mammals. The most recent common ancestor of these species lived about 100 million years (MY) ago. In contrast, anthropoid primates show markedly elevated rates of nonsynonymous evolution. In particular, branch site tests identify five positively selected codons in anthropoids, and ancestral reconstructions infer that substitutions in these codons occurred predominantly on stem lineages (anthropoid, ape and New World monkey) and on the human terminal branch. Examination of catarrhine brain samples by immunohistochemistry characterizes for the first time COX5A protein distribution in the primate neocortex, and suggests that the protein is most abundant in the mitochondria of large-size projection neurons. Real time quantitative PCR supports previous microarray results showing COX5A is expressed in cerebral cortical tissue at a higher level in human than in chimpanzee or gorilla. Conclusion Taken together, these results suggest that both protein structural and gene regulatory changes contributed to COX5A evolution during humankind's ancestry. Furthermore, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that adaptations in ETC genes contributed to the emergence of the energetically expensive anthropoid neocortex. PMID:18197981

  10. Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase Urzyme: a model to recapitulate molecular evolution and investigate intramolecular complementation.

    PubMed

    Pham, Yen; Kuhlman, Brian; Butterfoss, Glenn L; Hu, Hao; Weinreb, Violetta; Carter, Charles W

    2010-12-01

    We substantiate our preliminary description of the class I tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase minimal catalytic domain with details of its construction, structure, and steady-state kinetic parameters. Generating that active fragment involved deleting 65% of the contemporary enzyme, including the anticodon-binding domain and connecting peptide 1, CP1, a 74-residue internal segment from within the Rossmann fold. We used protein design (Rosetta), rather than phylogenetic sequence alignments, to identify mutations to compensate for the severe loss of modularity, thus restoring stability, as evidenced by renaturation described previously and by 70-ns molecular dynamics simulations. Sufficient solubility to enable biochemical studies was achieved by expressing the redesigned Urzyme as a maltose-binding protein fusion. Michaelis-Menten kinetic parameters from amino acid activation assays showed that, compared with the native full-length enzyme, TrpRS Urzyme binds ATP with similar affinity. This suggests that neither of the two deleted structural modules has a strong influence on ground-state ATP binding. However, tryptophan has 10(3) lower affinity, and the Urzyme has comparably reduced specificity relative to the related amino acid, tyrosine. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed how CP1 may contribute significantly to cognate amino acid specificity. As class Ia editing domains are nested within the CP1, this finding suggests that this module enhanced amino acid specificity continuously, throughout their evolution. We call this type of reconstructed protein catalyst an Urzyme (Ur prefix indicates original, primitive, or earliest). It establishes a model for recapitulating very early steps in molecular evolution in which fitness may have been enhanced by accumulating entire modules, rather than by discrete amino acid sequence changes. PMID:20864539

  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. Phylemon: a suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics and phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Arbiza, Leonardo; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2007-01-01

    Phylemon is an online platform for phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses of molecular sequence data. It has been developed as a web server that integrates a suite of different tools selected among the most popular stand-alone programs in phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis. It has been conceived as a natural response to the increasing demand of data analysis of many experimental scientists wishing to add a molecular evolution and phylogenetics insight into their research. Tools included in Phylemon cover a wide yet selected range of programs: from the most basic for multiple sequence alignment to elaborate statistical methods of phylogenetic reconstruction including methods for evolutionary rates analyses and molecular adaptation. Phylemon has several features that differentiates it from other resources: (i) It offers an integrated environment that enables the direct concatenation of evolutionary analyses, the storage of results and handles required data format conversions, (ii) Once an outfile is produced, Phylemon suggests the next possible analyses, thus guiding the user and facilitating the integration of multi-step analyses, and (iii) users can define and save complete pipelines for specific phylogenetic analysis to be automatically used on many genes in subsequent sessions or multiple genes in a single session (phylogenomics). The Phylemon web server is available at http://phylemon.bioinfo.cipf.es. PMID:17452346

  13. 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

  14. Engineering and Evolution of Molecular Chaperones and Protein Disaggregases with Enhanced Activity.

    PubMed

    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

  15. DAMBE5: a comprehensive software package for data analysis in molecular biology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xuhua

    2013-07-01

    Since its first release in 2001 as mainly a software package for phylogenetic analysis, data analysis for molecular biology and evolution (DAMBE) has gained many new functions that may be classified into six categories: 1) sequence retrieval, editing, manipulation, and conversion among more than 20 standard sequence formats including MEGA, NEXUS, PHYLIP, GenBank, and the new NeXML format for interoperability, 2) motif characterization and discovery functions such as position weight matrix and Gibbs sampler, 3) descriptive genomic analysis tools with improved versions of codon adaptation index, effective number of codons, protein isoelectric point profiling, RNA and protein secondary structure prediction and calculation of minimum folding energy, and genomic skew plots with optimized window size, 4) molecular phylogenetics including sequence alignment, testing substitution saturation, distance-based, maximum parsimony, and maximum-likelihood methods for tree reconstructions, testing the molecular clock hypothesis with either a phylogeny or with relative-rate tests, dating gene duplication and speciation events, choosing the best-fit substitution models, and estimating rate heterogeneity over sites, 5) phylogeny-based comparative methods for continuous and discrete variables, and 6) graphic functions including secondary structure display, optimized skew plot, hydrophobicity plot, and many other plots of amino acid properties along a protein sequence, tree display and drawing by dragging nodes to each other, and visual searching of the maximum parsimony tree. DAMBE features a graphic, user-friendly, and intuitive interface and is freely available from http://dambe.bio.uottawa.ca (last accessed April 16, 2013). PMID:23564938

  16. Molecular corridors and parameterizations of volatility in the evolution of organic aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Pöschl, U.; Shiraiwa, M.

    2015-10-01

    The formation and aging of organic aerosols (OA) proceed through multiple steps of chemical reaction and mass transport in the gas and particle phases, which is challenging for the interpretation of field measurements and laboratory experiments as well as accurate representation of OA evolution in atmospheric aerosol models. Based on data from over 30 000 compounds, we show that organic compounds with a wide variety of functional groups fall into molecular corridors, characterized by a tight inverse correlation between molar mass and volatility. We developed parameterizations to predict the volatility of organic compounds containing oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur from the elemental composition that can be measured by soft-ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry. Field measurement data from new particle formation events, biomass burning, cloud/fog processing, and indoor environments were mapped into molecular corridors to characterize the chemical nature of the observed OA components. We found that less oxidized indoor OA are constrained to a corridor of low molar mass and high volatility, whereas highly oxygenated compounds in atmospheric water extend to high molar mass and low volatility. Among the nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds identified in atmospheric aerosols, amines tend to exhibit low molar mass and high volatility, whereas organonitrates and organosulfates follow high O : C corridors extending to high molar mass and low volatility. We suggest that the consideration of molar mass and molecular corridors can help to constrain volatility and particle phase state in the modeling of OA particularly for nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Molecular evolution of GH in primates: characterisation of the GH genes from slow loris and marmoset defines an episode of rapid evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Wallis, O C; Zhang, Y P; Wallis, M

    2001-06-01

    Pituitary growth hormone (GH), like several other protein hormones, shows an unusual episodic pattern of molecular evolution in which sustained bursts of rapid change are imposed on long periods of very slow evolution (near-stasis). A marked period of rapid change occurred in the evolution of GH in primates or a primate ancestor, and gave rise to the species specificity that is characteristic of human GH. We have defined more precisely the position of this burst by cloning and sequencing the GH genes for a prosimian, the slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) and a New World monkey, marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Slow loris GH is very similar in sequence to pig GH, demonstrating that the period of rapid change occurred during primate evolution, after the separation of lines leading to prosimians and higher primates. The putative marmoset GH is similar in sequence to human GH, demonstrating that the accelerated evolution occurred before divergence of New World monkeys and Old World monkeys/apes. The burst of change was confined largely to coding sequence for mature GH, and is not marked in other components of the gene sequence including signal peptide, 5' upstream region and introns. A number of factors support the idea that this episode of rapid change was due to positive adaptive selection. Thus (1) there is no apparent loss of function of GH in man compared with non-primates, (2) after the episode of rapid change the rate of evolution fell towards the slow basal level that is seen for most mammalian GHs, (3) the accelerated rate of substitution for the exons of the GH gene significantly exceeds that for introns, and (4) the amino acids contributing to the hydrophobic core of GH are strongly conserved when higher primate and other GH sequences are compared, and for coding sequences other than that coding for hydrophobic core residues the rate of substitution for non-synonymous sites (K(A)) is significantly greater than that for synonymous sites (K(S)). In slow loris, as

  20. 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

  1. Evolution of complex organic molecules in hot molecular cores. Synthetic spectra at (sub-)mm wavebands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, R.; Schilke, P.; Stéphan, G.; Bergin, E.; Möller, T.; Schmiedeke, A.; Zernickel, A.

    2015-03-01

    Context. Hot molecular cores (HMCs) are intermediate stages of high-mass star formation and are also known for their rich chemical reservoirs and emission line spectra at (sub-)mm wavebands. Complex organic molecules (COMs) such as methanol (CH3OH), ethanol (C2H5OH), dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), and methyl formate (HCOOCH3) produce most of these observed lines. The observed spectral feature of HMCs such as total number of emission lines and associated line intensities are also found to vary with evolutionary stages. Aims: We aim to investigate the spectral evolution of these COMs to explore the initial evolutionary stages of high-mass star formation including HMCs. Methods: We developed various 3D models for HMCs guided by the evolutionary scenarios proposed by recent empirical and modeling studies. We then investigated the spatio-temporal variation of temperature and molecular abundances in HMCs by consistently coupling gas-grain chemical evolution with radiative transfer calculations. We explored the effects of varying physical conditions on molecular abundances including density distribution and luminosity evolution of the central protostar(s) among other parameters. Finally, we simulated the synthetic spectra for these models at different evolutionary timescales to compare with observations. Results: Temperature has a profound effect on the formation of COMs through the depletion and diffusion on grain surface to desorption and further gas-phase processing. The time-dependent temperature structure of the hot core models provides a realistic framework for investigating the spatial variation of ice mantle evaporation as a function of evolutionary timescales. We find that a slightly higher value (15 K) than the canonical dark cloud temperature (10 K) provides a more productive environment for COM formation on grain surface. With increasing protostellar luminosity, the water ice evaporation font (~100 K) expands and the spatial distribution of gas phase abundances of

  2. Evolution in the charge injection efficiency of evaporated Au contacts on a molecularly doped polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ioannidis, Andronique; Facci, John S.; Abkowitz, Martin A.

    1998-08-01

    Injection efficiency from evaporated Au contacts on a molecularly doped polymer (MDP) system has been previously observed to evolve from blocking to ohmic over time. In the present article this contact forming phenomenon is analyzed in detail. The initially blocking nature of the Au contact is in contrast with that expected from the relative workfunctions of Au and of the polymer which suggest Au should inject holes efficiently. It is also in apparent contrast to a differently prepared interface of the same materials. The phenomenon is not unique to this interface, having been confirmed also for evaporated Ag and mechanically made liquid Hg contacts on the same MDP. The MDP is a disordered solid state solution of electroactive triarylamine hole transporting TPD molecules in a polycarbonate matrix. The trap-free hole-transport MDP provides a model system for the study of metal/polymer interfaces by enabling the use of a recently developed technique that gives a quantitative measure of contact injection efficiency. The technique combines field-dependent steady state injection current measurements at a contact under test with time-of-flight (TOF) mobility measurements made on the same sample. In the present case, MDP films were prepared with two top vapor-deposited contacts, one of Au (test contact) and one of Al (for TOF), and a bottom carbon-loaded polymer electrode which is known to be ohmic for hole injection. The samples were aged at various temperatures below the glass transition of the MDP (85 °C) and the evolution of current versus field and capacitance versus frequency behaviors are followed in detail over time and analyzed. Control measurements ensure that the evolution of the electrical properties is due to the Au/polymer interface behavior and not the bulk. All evaporated Au contacts eventually achieved ohmic injection. The evaporated Au/MDP interface was also investigated by transmission electron microscopy as a function of time and showed no evidence of

  3. 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.

  4. Dynamics of the Eigen and the Crow-Kimura models for molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    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 1N 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. PMID:18999456

  5. Compact structure and proteins of pasta retard in vitro digestive evolution of branched starch molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Zou, Wei; Sissons, Mike; Warren, Frederick J; Gidley, Michael J; Gilbert, Robert G

    2016-11-01

    The roles that the compact structure and proteins in pasta play in retarding evolution of starch molecular structure during in vitro digestion are explored, using four types of cooked samples: whole pasta, pasta powder, semolina (with proteins) and extracted starch without proteins. These were subjected to in vitro digestion with porcine α-amylase, collecting samples at different times and characterizing the weight distribution of branched starch molecules using size-exclusion chromatography. Measurement of α-amylase activity showed that a protein (or proteins) from semolina or pasta powder interacted with α-amylase, causing reduced enzymatic activity and retarding digestion of branched starch molecules with hydrodynamic radius (Rh)<100nm; this protein(s) was susceptible to proteolysis. Thus the compact structure of pasta protects the starch and proteins in the interior of the whole pasta, reducing the enzymatic degradation of starch molecules, especially for molecules with Rh>100nm. PMID:27516291

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Molecular Evolution and Functional Divergence of Trace Amine-Associated Receptors.

    PubMed

    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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26186491

  13. 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. PMID:26947218

  14. 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.

  15. Bioinspired molecular co-catalysts bonded to a silicon photocathode for solar hydrogen evolution.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yidong; Abrams, Billie L; Vesborg, Peter C K; Björketun, Mårten E; Herbst, Konrad; Bech, Lone; Setti, Alessandro M; Damsgaard, Christian D; Pedersen, Thomas; Hansen, Ole; Rossmeisl, Jan; Dahl, Søren; Nørskov, Jens K; Chorkendorff, Ib

    2011-06-01

    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(3)S(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%. The experimental observations are supported by density functional theory calculations of the Mo(3)S(4) clusters adsorbed on the hydrogen-terminated Si(100) surface, providing insights into the nature of the active site. PMID:21516095

  16. The Global Evolution of Giant Molecular Clouds. II. The Role of Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 sun pc-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.

  17. 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.

  18. Patterns of molecular evolution of an avian neo-sex chromosome.

    PubMed

    Pala, Irene; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan; Hansson, Bengt

    2012-12-01

    Newer parts of sex chromosomes, neo-sex chromosomes, offer unique possibilities for studying gene degeneration and sequence evolution in response to loss of recombination and population size decrease. We have recently described a neo-sex chromosome system in Sylvioidea passerines that has resulted from a fusion between the first half (10 Mb) of chromosome 4a and the ancestral sex chromosomes. In this study, we report the results of molecular analyses of neo-Z and neo-W gametologs and intronic parts of neo-Z and autosomal genes on the second half of chromosome 4a in three species within different Sylvioidea lineages (Acrocephalidea, Timaliidae, and Alaudidae). In line with hypotheses of neo-sex chromosome evolution, we observe 1) lower genetic diversity of neo-Z genes compared with autosomal genes, 2) moderate synonymous and weak nonsynonymous sequence divergence between neo-Z and neo-W gametologs, and 3) lower GC content on neo-W than neo-Z gametologs. Phylogenetic reconstruction of eight neo-Z and neo-W gametologs suggests that recombination continued after the split of Alaudidae from the rest of the Sylvioidea lineages (i.e., after ~42.2 Ma) and with some exceptions also after the split of Acrocephalidea and Timaliidae (i.e., after ~39.4 Ma). The Sylvioidea neo-sex chromosome shares classical evolutionary features with the ancestral sex chromosomes but, as expected from its more recent origin, shows weaker divergence between gametologs. PMID:22826461

  19. The relation between recombination rate and patterns of molecular evolution and variation in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Campos, José L; Halligan, Daniel L; Haddrill, Penelope R; Charlesworth, Brian

    2014-04-01

    Genetic recombination associated with sexual reproduction increases the efficiency of natural selection by reducing the strength of Hill-Robertson interference. Such interference can be caused either by selective sweeps of positively selected alleles or by background selection (BGS) against deleterious mutations. Its consequences can be studied by comparing patterns of molecular evolution and variation in genomic regions with different rates of crossing over. We carried out a comprehensive study of the benefits of recombination in Drosophila melanogaster, both by contrasting five independent genomic regions that lack crossing over with the rest of the genome and by comparing regions with different rates of crossing over, using data on DNA sequence polymorphisms from an African population that is geographically close to the putatively ancestral population for the species, and on sequence divergence from a related species. We observed reductions in sequence diversity in noncrossover (NC) regions that are inconsistent with the effects of hard selective sweeps in the absence of recombination. Overall, the observed patterns suggest that the recombination rate experienced by a gene is positively related to an increase in the efficiency of both positive and purifying selection. The results are consistent with a BGS model with interference among selected sites in NC regions, and joint effects of BGS, selective sweeps, and a past population expansion on variability in regions of the genome that experience crossing over. In such crossover regions, the X chromosome exhibits a higher rate of adaptive protein sequence evolution than the autosomes, implying a Faster-X effect. PMID:24489114

  20. Molecular Evolution of the Yersinia Major Outer Membrane Protein C (OmpC).

    PubMed

    Stenkova, Anna M; Bystritskaya, Evgeniya P; Guzev, Konstantin V; Rakin, Alexander V; Isaeva, Marina P

    2016-01-01

    The genus Yersinia includes species with a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (from fish, insects, and plants to mammals and humans). One of the major outer membrane proteins, the porin OmpC, is preferentially expressed in the host gut, where osmotic pressure, temperature, and the concentrations of nutrients and toxic products are relatively high. We consider here the molecular evolution and phylogeny of Yersinia ompC. The maximum likelihood gene tree reflects the macroevolution processes occurring within the genus Yersinia. Positive selection and horizontal gene transfer are the key factors of ompC diversification, and intraspecies recombination was revealed in two Yersinia species. The impact of recombination on ompC evolution was different from that of another major porin gene, ompF, possibly due to the emergence of additional functions and conservation of the basic transport function. The predicted antigenic determinants of OmpC were located in rapidly evolving regions, which may indicate the evolutionary mechanisms of Yersinia adaptation to the host immune system. PMID:27578962

  1. Molecular Evolution of the Yersinia Major Outer Membrane Protein C (OmpC)

    PubMed Central

    Stenkova, Anna M.; Bystritskaya, Evgeniya P.; Guzev, Konstantin V.; Rakin, Alexander V.; Isaeva, Marina P.

    2016-01-01

    The genus Yersinia includes species with a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (from fish, insects, and plants to mammals and humans). One of the major outer membrane proteins, the porin OmpC, is preferentially expressed in the host gut, where osmotic pressure, temperature, and the concentrations of nutrients and toxic products are relatively high. We consider here the molecular evolution and phylogeny of Yersinia ompC. The maximum likelihood gene tree reflects the macroevolution processes occurring within the genus Yersinia. Positive selection and horizontal gene transfer are the key factors of ompC diversification, and intraspecies recombination was revealed in two Yersinia species. The impact of recombination on ompC evolution was different from that of another major porin gene, ompF, possibly due to the emergence of additional functions and conservation of the basic transport function. The predicted antigenic determinants of OmpC were located in rapidly evolving regions, which may indicate the evolutionary mechanisms of Yersinia adaptation to the host immune system. PMID:27578962

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Molecular Evolution and Functional Characterization of a Bifunctional Decarboxylase Involved in Lycopodium Alkaloid Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bunsupa, Somnuk; Hanada, Kousuke; Maruyama, Akira; Aoyagi, Kaori; Komatsu, Kana; Ueno, Hideki; Yamashita, Madoka; Sasaki, Ryosuke; Oikawa, Akira; Saito, Kazuki; Yamazaki, Mami

    2016-08-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    PubMed Central

    McGowen, Michael R.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10 000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in dolphins has slowed compared with other studied mammals, and is within the range of primates and elephants. We also discovered 228 genes potentially under positive selection (dN/dS > 1) in the dolphin lineage. Twenty-seven of these genes are associated with the nervous system, including those related to human intellectual disabilities, synaptic plasticity and sleep. In addition, genes expressed in the mitochondrion have a significantly higher mean dN/dS ratio in the dolphin lineage than others examined, indicating evolution in energy metabolism. We encountered selection in other genes potentially related to cetacean adaptations such as glucose and lipid metabolism, dermal and lung development, and the cardiovascular system. This study underlines the parallel molecular trajectory of cetaceans with other mammalian groups possessing large brains. PMID:22740643

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Accelerated direct semiclassical molecular dynamics using a compact finite difference Hessian scheme.

    PubMed

    Ceotto, Michele; Zhuang, Yu; Hase, William L

    2013-02-01

    This paper shows how a compact finite difference Hessian approximation scheme can be proficiently implemented into semiclassical initial value representation molecular dynamics. Effects of the approximation on the monodromy matrix calculation are tested by propagating initial sampling distributions to determine power spectra for analytic potential energy surfaces and for "on the fly" carbon dioxide direct dynamics. With the approximation scheme the computational cost is significantly reduced, making ab initio direct semiclassical dynamics computationally more feasible and, at the same time, properly reproducing important quantum effects inherent in the monodromy matrix and the pre-exponential factor of the semiclassical propagator. PMID:23406107

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25193338

  14. Molecular corridors and parameterizations of volatility in the chemical evolution of organic aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ying; Pöschl, Ulrich; Shiraiwa, Manabu

    2016-03-01

    The formation and aging of organic aerosols (OA) proceed through multiple steps of chemical reaction and mass transport in the gas and particle phases, which is challenging for the interpretation of field measurements and laboratory experiments as well as accurate representation of OA evolution in atmospheric aerosol models. Based on data from over 30 000 compounds, we show that organic compounds with a wide variety of functional groups fall into molecular corridors, characterized by a tight inverse correlation between molar mass and volatility. We developed parameterizations to predict the saturation mass concentration of organic compounds containing oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur from the elemental composition that can be measured by soft-ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry. Field measurement data from new particle formation events, biomass burning, cloud/fog processing, and indoor environments were mapped into molecular corridors to characterize the chemical nature of the observed OA components. We found that less-oxidized indoor OA are constrained to a corridor of low molar mass and high volatility, whereas highly oxygenated compounds in atmospheric water extend to high molar mass and low volatility. Among the nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds identified in atmospheric aerosols, amines tend to exhibit low molar mass and high volatility, whereas organonitrates and organosulfates follow high O : C corridors extending to high molar mass and low volatility. We suggest that the consideration of molar mass and molecular corridors can help to constrain volatility and particle-phase state in the modeling of OA particularly for nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds.

  15. Molecular characterization of insulin from squamate reptiles reveals sequence diversity and possible adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Genki; Yoshida, Ayaka; Kobayashi, Aya; Park, Min Kyun

    2016-01-01

    The Squamata are the most adaptive and prosperous group among ectothermic amniotes, reptiles, due to their species-richness and geographically wide habitat. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying their prosperity remain largely unknown, unique features have been reported from hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Insulin, a central anabolic hormone, is one such hormone, as its roles and effectiveness in regulation of blood glucose levels remain to be examined in squamates. In the present study, cDNAs coding for insulin were isolated from multiple species that represent various groups of squamates. The deduced amino acid sequences showed a high degree of divergence, with four lineages showing obviously higher number of amino acid substitutions than most of vertebrates, from teleosts to mammals. Among 18 sites presented to comprise the two receptor binding surfaces (one with 12 sites and the other with 6 sites), substitutions were observed in 13 sites. Among them was the substitution of HisB10, which results in the loss of the ability to hexamerize. Furthermore, three of these substitutions were reported to increase mitogenicity in human analogues. These substitutions were also reported from insulin of hystricomorph rodents and agnathan fishes, whose mitogenic potency have been shown to be increased. The estimated value of the non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio (ω) for the Squamata clade was larger than those of the other reptiles and aves. Even higher values were estimated for several lineages among squamates. These results, together with the regulatory mechanisms of digestion and nutrient assimilation in squamates, suggested a possible adaptive process through the molecular evolution of squamate INS. Further studies on the roles of insulin, in relation to the physiological and ecological traits of squamate species, will provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that have led to the adaptivity and prosperity of squamates. PMID:26344944

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti

    PubMed Central

    Small, Scott T.; Tisch, Daniel J.; Zimmerman, Peter A.

    2014-01-01

    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 B. 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. PMID:25176600

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Accelerating molecular simulations of proteins using Bayesian inference on weak information.

    PubMed

    Perez, Alberto; MacCallum, Justin L; Dill, Ken A

    2015-09-22

    Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of protein molecules are too computationally expensive to predict most native structures from amino acid sequences. Here, we integrate "weak" external knowledge into folding simulations to predict protein structures, given their sequence. For example, we instruct the computer "to form a hydrophobic core," "to form good secondary structures," or "to seek a compact state." This kind of information has been too combinatoric, nonspecific, and vague to help guide MD simulations before. Within atomistic replica-exchange molecular dynamics (REMD), we develop a statistical mechanical framework, modeling using limited data with coarse physical insight(s) (MELD + CPI), for harnessing weak information. As a test, we apply MELD + CPI to predict the native structures of 20 small proteins. MELD + CPI samples to within less than 3.2 Å from native for all 20 and correctly chooses the native structures (<4 Å) for 15 of them, including ubiquitin, a millisecond folder. MELD + CPI is up to five orders of magnitude faster than brute-force MD, satisfies detailed balance, and should scale well to larger proteins. MELD + CPI may be useful where physics-based simulations are needed to study protein mechanisms and populations and where we have some heuristic or coarse physical knowledge about states of interest. PMID:26351667

  1. Accelerating molecular simulations of proteins using Bayesian inference on weak information

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Alberto; MacCallum, Justin L.; Dill, Ken A.

    2015-01-01

    Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of protein molecules are too computationally expensive to predict most native structures from amino acid sequences. Here, we integrate “weak” external knowledge into folding simulations to predict protein structures, given their sequence. For example, we instruct the computer “to form a hydrophobic core,” “to form good secondary structures,” or “to seek a compact state.” This kind of information has been too combinatoric, nonspecific, and vague to help guide MD simulations before. Within atomistic replica-exchange molecular dynamics (REMD), we develop a statistical mechanical framework, modeling using limited data with coarse physical insight(s) (MELD + CPI), for harnessing weak information. As a test, we apply MELD + CPI to predict the native structures of 20 small proteins. MELD + CPI samples to within less than 3.2 Å from native for all 20 and correctly chooses the native structures (<4 Å) for 15 of them, including ubiquitin, a millisecond folder. MELD + CPI is up to five orders of magnitude faster than brute-force MD, satisfies detailed balance, and should scale well to larger proteins. MELD + CPI may be useful where physics-based simulations are needed to study protein mechanisms and populations and where we have some heuristic or coarse physical knowledge about states of interest. PMID:26351667

  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. Molecular evolution of the rice blast resistance gene Pi-ta in invasive weedy rice in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Pi-ta gene has been effectively used to control rice blast disease caused by Magnaporthe oryzae in many rice growing regions in the world. A number of studies have characterized the molecular evolution of the Pi-ta gene in cultivated rice, O. sativa, and its wild ancestor O. rufipogon; however,...

  4. Green light emitting diodes accelerate wound healing: characterization of the effect and its molecular basis in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Fushimi, Tomohiro; Inui, Shigeki; Nakajima, Takeshi; Ogasawara, Masahiro; Hosokawa, Ko; Itami, Satoshi

    2012-01-01

    Because light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are low-coherent, quasimonochromatic, and nonthermal, they are an alternative for low level laser therapy, and have photobiostimulative effects on tissue repair. However, the molecular mechanism(s) are unclear, and potential effects of blue and/or green LEDs on wound healing are still unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of red (638 nm), blue (456 nm), and green (518 nm) LEDs on wound healing. In an in vivo study, wound sizes in the skin of ob/ob mice were significantly decreased on day 7 following exposure to green LEDs, and complete reepithelialization was accelerated by red and green LEDs compared with the control mice. To better understand the molecular mechanism(s) involved, we investigated the effects of LEDs on human fibroblasts in vitro by measuring mRNA and protein levels of cytokines secreted by fibroblasts during the process of wound healing and on the migration of HaCat keratinocytes. The results suggest that some cytokines are significantly increased by exposure to LEDs, especially leptin, IL-8, and VEGF, but only by green LEDs. The migration of HaCat keratinocytes was significantly promoted by red or green LEDs. In conclusion, we demonstrate that green LEDs promote wound healing by inducing migratory and proliferative mediators, which suggests that not only red LEDs but also green LEDs can be a new powerful therapeutic strategy for wound healing. PMID:22380691

  5. Oxygen Tolerance of a Molecular Engineered Cathode for Hydrogen Evolution Based on a Cobalt Diimine-Dioxime Catalyst.

    PubMed

    Kaeffer, Nicolas; Morozan, Adina; Artero, Vincent

    2015-10-29

    We report here that a bioinspired cobalt diimine-dioxime molecular catalyst for hydrogen evolution immobilized onto carbon nanotube electrodes proves tolerant toward oxygen. The cobalt complex catalyzes O2 reduction with an onset potential of +0.55 V vs RHE. In this process, a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide is produced in a 3:1 ratio. Our study evidences that such side-reductions have little impact on effectiveness of proton reduction by the grafted molecular catalyst which still displays good activity for H2 evolution in the presence of O2. The presence of O2 in the media is not detrimental toward H2 evolution under the conditions used, which simulate turn-on conditions of a water-splitting device. PMID:25993343

  6. 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. PMID:26787454

  7. Molecular Phylogenetic Evaluation of Classification and Scenarios of Character Evolution in Calcareous Sponges (Porifera, Class Calcarea)

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Evolution of prolate molecular clouds at H II boundaries - II. Formation of BRCs of asymmetrical morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinnear, T. M.; Miao, J.; White, G. J.; Sugitani, K.; Goodwin, S.

    2015-06-01

    A systematic investigation on the evolution of a prolate cloud at an H II boundary is conducted using smoothed particle hydrodynamics in order to understand the mechanism for a variety of irregular morphological structures found at the boundaries of various H II regions. The prolate molecular clouds in this investigation are set with their semimajor axes at inclinations between 0° and 90° to a plane-parallel ionizing radiation flux. A set of four parameters, the number density n, the ratio of major to minor axis γ, the inclination angle ϕ and the incident flux FEUV, are used to define the initial state of the simulated clouds. The dependence of the evolution of a prolate cloud under radiation-driven implosion (RDI) on each of the four parameters is investigated. It is found that (i) in addition to the well-studied standard type A, B or C bright-rimmed clouds (BRCs), many other types such as asymmetrical BRCs, filamentary structures and irregular horse-head structures could also be developed at H II boundaries with only simple initial conditions; (ii) the final morphological structures are very sensitive to the four initial parameters, especially to the initial density and the inclination; (iii) the previously defined ionizing radiation penetration depth can still be used as a good indicator of the final morphology. Based on the simulation results, the formation time-scales and masses of the early RDI-triggered star formation from clouds of different initial conditions are also estimated. Finally a unified mechanism for the various morphological structures found in many different H II boundaries is suggested.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Interpretation of atomic motion in flexible molecules: Accelerating molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omelyan, Igor; Kovalenko, Andriy

    2012-02-01

    We propose a new approach to split up the velocities of atoms of flexible molecules into translational, rotational, and vibrational components. As a result, the kinetic energy of the system can easily be expressed in terms of only three parts related to the above components. This is distinct from the standard Eckart method, where the cumbersome Coriolis contribution to the kinetic energy appears additionally. The absence of such a contribution within the proposed approach allows us to readily extend the microcanonical multiple-time-step dynamics of flexible molecules to the canonical-isokinetic Nosé-Hoover chain ensemble by explicitly integrating the translational, orientational, and vibrational motion. The previous extensions dealt exclusively with translational degrees of freedom of separate atoms, leading to a limitation on the size of the outer time step of 100 femtoseconds. We show on molecular dynamics simulations of the flexible TIP3P water model that the new canonical-isokinetic formulation gives a possibility to significantly overcome this limitation. In particular, huge outer time steps of order from a few hundred femtoseconds up to several picoseconds can now be employed to study conformational properties without loss of accuracy.

  12. 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

  13. Accelerating Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Investigate Shock Response at the Mesoscales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dongare, Avinash; Agarwal, Garvit; Valisetty, Ramakrishna; Namburu, Raju; Rajendran, Arunachalam

    The capability of large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to model dynamic response of materials is limited to system sizes at the nanoscales and the nanosecond timescales. A new method called quasi-coarse-grained dynamics (QCGD) is developed to expand the capabilities of MD simulations to the mesoscales. The QCGD method is based on solving the equations of motion for a chosen set of representative atoms from an atomistic microstructure and retaining the energetics of these atoms as would be predicted in MD simulations. The QCGD method allows the modeling of larger size systems and larger time-steps for simulations and thus is able to extend the capabilities of MD simulations to model materials behavior at mesoscales. The success of the QCGD method is demonstrated by reproducing the shock propagation and failure behavior of single crystal and nanocrystalline Al microstructures as predicted using MD simulations and also modeling the shock response and failure behavior of Al microstructures at the micron length scales. The scaling relationships, the hugoniot behavior, and the predicted spall strengths using the MD and the QCGD simulations will be presented. This work is sponsored by the US Army Research Office under Contract# W911NF-14-1-0257.

  14. Molecular evolution of the duplicated TFIIAγ genes in Oryzeae and its relatives

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Gene duplication provides raw genetic materials for evolutionary novelty and adaptation. The evolutionary fate of duplicated transcription factor genes is less studied although transcription factor gene plays important roles in many biological processes. TFIIAγ is a small subunit of TFIIA that is one of general transcription factors required by RNA polymerase II. Previous studies identified two TFIIAγ-like genes in rice genome and found that these genes either conferred resistance to rice bacterial blight or could be induced by pathogen invasion, raising the question as to their functional divergence and evolutionary fates after gene duplication. Results We reconstructed the evolutionary history of the TFIIAγ genes from main lineages of angiosperms and demonstrated that two TFIIAγ genes (TFIIAγ1 and TFIIAγ5) arose from a whole genome duplication that happened in the common ancestor of grasses. Likelihood-based analyses with branch, codon, and branch-site models showed no evidence of positive selection but a signature of relaxed selective constraint after the TFIIAγ duplication. In particular, we found that the nonsynonymous/synonymous rate ratio (ω = dN/dS) of the TFIIAγ1 sequences was two times higher than that of TFIIAγ5 sequences, indicating highly asymmetric rates of protein evolution in rice tribe and its relatives, with an accelerated rate of TFIIAγ1 gene. Our expression data and EST database search further indicated that after whole genome duplication, the expression of TFIIAγ1 gene was significantly reduced while TFIIAγ5 remained constitutively expressed and maintained the ancestral role as a subunit of the TFIIA complex. Conclusion The evolutionary fate of TFIIAγ duplicates is not consistent with the neofunctionalization model that predicts that one of the duplicated genes acquires a new function because of positive Darwinian selection. Instead, we suggest that subfunctionalization might be involved in TFIIAγ evolution in grasses

  15. 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

  16. Molecular Evolution of Viruses of the Family Filoviridae Based on 97 Whole-Genome Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Serena A.; Towner, Jonathan S.; Sealy, Tara K.; McMullan, Laura K.; Khristova, Marina L.; Burt, Felicity J.; Swanepoel, Robert; Rollin, Pierre E.

    2013-01-01

    Viruses in the Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus genera (family Filoviridae) have been associated with large outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever in human and nonhuman primates. The first documented cases occurred in primates over 45 years ago, but the amount of virus genetic diversity detected within bat populations, which have recently been identified as potential reservoir hosts, suggests that the filoviruses are much older. Here, detailed Bayesian coalescent phylogenetic analyses are performed on 97 whole-genome sequences, 55 of which are newly reported, to comprehensively examine molecular evolutionary rates and estimate dates of common ancestry for viruses within the family Filoviridae. Molecular evolutionary rates for viruses belonging to different species range from 0.46 × 10−4 nucleotide substitutions/site/year for Sudan ebolavirus to 8.21 × 10−4 nucleotide substitutions/site/year for Reston ebolavirus. Most recent common ancestry can be traced back only within the last 50 years for Reston ebolavirus and Zaire ebolavirus species and suggests that viruses within these species may have undergone recent genetic bottlenecks. Viruses within Marburg marburgvirus and Sudan ebolavirus species can be traced back further and share most recent common ancestors approximately 700 and 850 years before the present, respectively. Examination of the whole family suggests that members of the Filoviridae, including the recently described Lloviu virus, shared a most recent common ancestor approximately 10,000 years ago. These data will be valuable for understanding the evolution of filoviruses in the context of natural history as new reservoir hosts are identified and, further, for determining mechanisms of emergence, pathogenicity, and the ongoing threat to public health. PMID:23255795

  17. Bacillus anthracis: molecular taxonomy, population genetics, phylogeny and patho-evolution.

    PubMed

    Pilo, Paola; Frey, Joachim

    2011-08-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, manifests a particular bimodal lifestyle. This bacterial species alternates between short replication phases of 20-40 generations that strictly require infection of the host, normally causing death, interrupted by relatively long, mostly dormant phases as spores in the environment. Hence, the B. anthracis genome is highly homogeneous. This feature and the fact that strains from nearly all parts of the world have been analysed for canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNPs) and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) has allowed the development of molecular epidemiological and molecular clock models to estimate the age of major diversifications in the evolution of B. anthracis and to trace the global spread of this pathogen, which was mostly promoted by movement of domestic cattle with settlers and by international trade of contaminated animal products. From a taxonomic and phylogenetic point of view, B. anthracis is a member of the Bacillus cereus group. The differentiation of B. anthracis from B. cereus sensu stricto, solely based on chromosomal markers, is difficult. However, differences in pathogenicity clearly differentiate B. anthracis from B. cereus and are marked by the strict presence of virulence genes located on the two virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, which both are required by the bacterium to cause anthrax. Conversely, anthrax-like symptoms can also be caused by organisms with chromosomal features that are more closely related to B. cereus, but which carry these virulence genes on two plasmids that largely resemble the B. anthracis virulence plasmids. PMID:21640849

  18. Comparative molecular phylogeny and evolution of sex chromosome DNA sequences in the family Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Tsubouchi, Ayako; Fukui, Daisuke; Ueda, Miya; Tada, Kazumi; Toyoshima, Shouji; Takami, Kazutoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Uraguchi, Kohji; Raichev, Evgeniy; Kaneko, Yayoi; Tsunoda, Hiroshi; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2012-03-01

    To investigate the molecular phylogeny and evolution of the family Canidae, nucleotide sequences of the zinc-finger-protein gene on the Y chromosome (ZFY, 924-1146 bp) and its homologous gene on the X chromosome (ZFX, 834-839 bp) for twelve canid species were determined. The phylogenetic relationships among species reconstructed by the paternal ZFY sequences closely agreed with those by mtDNA and autosomal DNA trees in previous reports, and strongly supported the phylogenetic affinity between the wolf-like canids clade and the South American canids clade. However, the branching order of some species differed between phylogenies of ZFY and ZFX genes: Cuon alpinus and Canis mesomelas were included in the wolf-like canid clades in the ZFY tree, whereas both species were clustered in a group of Chrysocyon brachyurus and Speothos venaticus in the ZFX tree. The topology difference between ZFY and ZFX trees may have resulted from the two-times higher substitution rate of the former than the latter, which was clarified in the present study. In addition, two types of transposable element sequence (SINE-I and SINE-II) were found to occur in the ZFY final intron of the twelve canid species examined. Because the SINE-I sequences were shared by all the species, they may have been inserted into the ZFY of the common ancestor before species radiation in Canidae. By contract, SINE-II found in only Canis aureus could have been inserted into ZFY independently after the speciation. The molecular diversity of SINE sequences of Canidae reflects evolutionary history of the species radiation. PMID:22379982

  19. The molecular evolution of four anti-malarial immune genes in the Anopheles gambiae species complex

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background If the insect innate immune system is to be used as a potential blocking step in transmission of malaria, then it will require targeting one or a few genes with highest relevance and ease of manipulation. The problem is to identify and manipulate those of most importance to malaria infection without the risk of decreasing the mosquito's ability to stave off infections by microbes in general. Molecular evolution methodologies and concepts can help identify such genes. Within the setting of a comparative molecular population genetic and phylogenetic framework, involving six species of the Anopheles gambiae complex, we investigated whether a set of four pre-selected immunity genes (gambicin, NOS, Rel2 and FBN9) might have evolved under selection pressure imposed by the malaria parasite. Results We document varying levels of polymorphism within and divergence between the species, in all four genes. Introgression and the sharing of ancestral polymorphisms, two processes that have been documented in the past, were verified in this study in all four studied genes. These processes appear to affect each gene in different ways and to different degrees. However, there is no evidence of positive selection acting on these genes. Conclusion Considering the results presented here in concert with previous studies, genes that interact directly with the Plasmodium parasite, and play little or no role in defense against other microbes, are probably the most likely candidates for a specific adaptive response against P. falciparum. Furthermore, since it is hard to establish direct evidence linking the adaptation of any candidate gene to P. falciparum infection, a comparative framework allowing at least an indirect link should be provided. Such a framework could be achieved, if a similar approach like the one involved here, was applied to all other anopheline complexes that transmit P. falciparum malaria. PMID:18325105

  20. 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. PMID:27602026

  1. Assessment of the utility of contact-based restraints in accelerating the prediction of protein structure using molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Raval, Alpan; Piana, Stefano; Eastwood, Michael P; Shaw, David E

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is a well-established tool for the computational study of protein structure and dynamics, but its application to the important problem of protein structure prediction remains challenging, in part because extremely long timescales can be required to reach the native structure. Here, we examine the extent to which the use of low-resolution information in the form of residue-residue contacts, which can often be inferred from bioinformatics or experimental studies, can accelerate the determination of protein structure in simulation. We incorporated sets of 62, 31, or 15 contact-based restraints in MD simulations of ubiquitin, a benchmark system known to fold to the native state on the millisecond timescale in unrestrained simulations. One-third of the restrained simulations folded to the native state within a few tens of microseconds-a speedup of over an order of magnitude compared with unrestrained simulations and a demonstration of the potential for limited amounts of structural information to accelerate structure determination. Almost all of the remaining ubiquitin simulations reached near-native conformations within a few tens of microseconds, but remained trapped there, apparently due to the restraints. We discuss potential methodological improvements that would facilitate escape from these near-native traps and allow more simulations to quickly reach the native state. Finally, using a target from the Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP) experiment, we show that distance restraints can improve simulation accuracy: In our simulations, restraints stabilized the native state of the protein, enabling a reasonable structural model to be inferred. PMID:26266489

  2. 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. PMID:24312363

  3. 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

  4. Phylogenetic analysis and molecular evolution of the dormancy associated MADS-box genes from peach

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez, Sergio; Lawton-Rauh, Amy L; Reighard, Gregory L; Abbott, Albert G; Bielenberg, Douglas G

    2009-01-01

    Background Dormancy associated MADS-box (DAM) genes are candidates for the regulation of growth cessation and terminal bud formation in peach. These genes are not expressed in the peach mutant evergrowing, which fails to cease growth and enter dormancy under dormancy-inducing conditions. We analyzed the phylogenetic relationships among and the rates and patterns of molecular evolution within DAM genes in the phylogenetic context of the MADS-box gene family. Results The peach DAM genes grouped with the SVP/StMADS11 lineage of type II MIKCC MADS-box genes. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the peach SVP/StMADS11-like gene family, which contains significantly more members than annual model plants, expanded through serial tandem gene duplication. We found evidence of strong purifying selection acting to constrain functional divergence among the peach DAM genes and only a single codon, located in the C-terminal region, under significant positive selection. Conclusion Because all DAM genes are expressed in peach and are subjected to strong purifying selection we suggest that the duplicated genes have been maintained by subfunctionalization and/or neofunctionalization. In addition, this pattern of selection suggests that the DAM genes are important for peach growth and development. PMID:19558704

  5. Reproductive mode evolution in nematodes: insights from molecular phylogenies and recently discovered species.

    PubMed

    Denver, D R; Clark, K A; Raboin, M J

    2011-11-01

    The Phylum Nematoda has long been known to contain a great diversity of species that vary in reproductive mode, though our understanding of the evolutionary origins, causes and consequences of nematode reproductive mode change have only recently started to mature. Here we bring together and analyze recent progress on reproductive mode evolution throughout the phylum, resulting from the application of molecular phylogenetic approaches and newly discovered nematode species. Reproductive mode variation is reviewed in multiple free-living, animal-parasitic and plant-parasitic nematode groups. Discussion ranges from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its close relatives, to the plant-parasitic nematodes of the Meloidogyne genus where there is extreme variation in reproductive mode between and even within species, to the vertebrate-parasitic genus Strongyloides and related genera where reproductive mode varies across generations (heterogony). Multiple evolutionary transitions from dioecous (obligately outcrossing) to hermaphroditism and parthenogenesis in the phylum are discussed, along with one case of an evolutionary transition from hermaphroditism to doioecy in the Oscheius genus. We consider the roles of underlying genetic mechanisms in promoting reproductive plasticity in this phylum, as well as the potential evolutionary forces promoting transitions in reproductive mode. PMID:21787872

  6. Understanding the Evolution of Microstructure: What is the Role of Molecular Dynamics?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foiles, Stephen

    2013-03-01

    The microstructure of a material, as characterized for example by grain size, determines a wide range of materials properties such as strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance. Understanding how the microstructure influences properties and how to obtain a desired microstructure are some of the enduring central problems of materials science. This challenge is inherently multi-scale since the fundamental mechanisms by which microstructures change occur at the atomic scale while the network of interfaces is on a scale of microns and up. In this talk, the role of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in understanding the evolution of microstructure will be examined. The successes and outstanding challenges of using MD simulations to determine the properties of grain boundaries, in particular free energy and mobility, will be described. Further, microstructures with nanoscale grains evolve in times accessible to MD simulation. The insights into grain growth and deformation that can be obtained from such simulations will be described. Sandia National Laboratories isa multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  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. PMID:24849013

  8. Homogeneous nucleation and microstructure evolution in million-atom molecular dynamics simulation

    PubMed Central

    Shibuta, Yasushi; Oguchi, Kanae; Takaki, Tomohiro; Ohno, Munekazu

    2015-01-01

    Homogeneous nucleation from an undercooled iron melt is investigated by the statistical sampling of million-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations performed on a graphics processing unit (GPU). Fifty independent instances of isothermal MD calculations with one million atoms in a quasi-two-dimensional cell over a nanosecond reveal that the nucleation rate and the incubation time of nucleation as functions of temperature have characteristic shapes with a nose at the critical temperature. This indicates that thermally activated homogeneous nucleation occurs spontaneously in MD simulations without any inducing factor, whereas most previous studies have employed factors such as pressure, surface effect, and continuous cooling to induce nucleation. Moreover, further calculations over ten nanoseconds capture the microstructure evolution on the order of tens of nanometers from the atomistic viewpoint and the grain growth exponent is directly estimated. Our novel approach based on the concept of “melting pots in a supercomputer” is opening a new phase in computational metallurgy with the aid of rapid advances in computational environments. PMID:26311304

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular epidemiology and evolution of human enterovirus 71 and hand, foot and mouth disease.

    PubMed

    Zhifang, Liu; Juanjuan, Gui; Qihang, Hua; Changzheng, Dong

    2015-05-01

    Human enterovirus 71(EV71), one of the major pathogens of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), causes skin rashes in palms, feet and mouth ulcers and complication in the central nervous system such as aseptic meningitis and acute flaccid paralysis that may lead to death. EV71 infection has been reported to be associated with many outbreaks of HFMD worldwide, especially the great outbreaks that occurred in the Asia-Pacific region and caused numerous death since 1997. The studies of molecular epidemiology and evolution of EV71 are important for the prevention and control of HFMD since no vaccines and antiviral drugs have been developed except symptomatic treatment for HFMD. In this review, we summarize genotype classification, temporal and spatial distribution, evolutionary characteristics and modes of EV71 as well as typical EV71 epidemics. Further studies on EV71 and HFMD may lead to better understanding of pathological mechanisms of EV71, development of antiviral drugs and prevention and control of HFMD. PMID:25998430

  11. 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. PMID:26888088

  12. 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. PMID:25716918

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of adaptation emerging from the physics and evolution of nucleic acids and proteins

    PubMed Central

    Goncearenco, Alexander; Ma, Bin-Guang; Berezovsky, Igor N.

    2014-01-01

    DNA, RNA and proteins are major biological macromolecules that coevolve and adapt to environments as components of one highly interconnected system. We explore here sequence/structure determinants of mechanisms of adaptation of these molecules, links between them, and results of their mutual evolution. We complemented statistical analysis of genomic and proteomic sequences with folding simulations of RNA molecules, unraveling causal relations between compositional and sequence biases reflecting molecular adaptation on DNA, RNA and protein levels. We found many compositional peculiarities related to environmental adaptation and the life style. Specifically, thermal adaptation of protein-coding sequences in Archaea is characterized by a stronger codon bias than in Bacteria. Guanine and cytosine load in the third codon position is important for supporting the aerobic life style, and it is highly pronounced in Bacteria. The third codon position also provides a tradeoff between arginine and lysine, which are favorable for thermal adaptation and aerobicity, respectively. Dinucleotide composition provides stability of nucleic acids via strong base-stacking in ApG dinucleotides. In relation to coevolution of nucleic acids and proteins, thermostability-related demands on the amino acid composition affect the nucleotide content in the second codon position in Archaea. PMID:24371267

  15. 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

  16. Homogeneous nucleation and microstructure evolution in million-atom molecular dynamics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibuta, Yasushi; Oguchi, Kanae; Takaki, Tomohiro; Ohno, Munekazu

    2015-08-01

    Homogeneous nucleation from an undercooled iron melt is investigated by the statistical sampling of million-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations performed on a graphics processing unit (GPU). Fifty independent instances of isothermal MD calculations with one million atoms in a quasi-two-dimensional cell over a nanosecond reveal that the nucleation rate and the incubation time of nucleation as functions of temperature have characteristic shapes with a nose at the critical temperature. This indicates that thermally activated homogeneous nucleation occurs spontaneously in MD simulations without any inducing factor, whereas most previous studies have employed factors such as pressure, surface effect, and continuous cooling to induce nucleation. Moreover, further calculations over ten nanoseconds capture the microstructure evolution on the order of tens of nanometers from the atomistic viewpoint and the grain growth exponent is directly estimated. Our novel approach based on the concept of “melting pots in a supercomputer” is opening a new phase in computational metallurgy with the aid of rapid advances in computational environments.

  17. 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. PMID:26578760

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25261121

  20. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of six snakes: phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of genomic features.

    PubMed

    Dong, Songyu; Kumazawa, Yoshinori

    2005-07-01

    Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences were determined for representative species from six snake families: the acrochordid little file snake, the bold boa constrictor, the cylindrophiid red pipe snake, the viperid himehabu, the pythonid ball python, and the xenopeltid sunbeam snake. Thirteen protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 2 control regions were identified in these mtDNAs. Duplication of the control region and translocation of the tRNALeu gene were two notable features of the snake mtDNAs. The duplicate control regions had nearly identical nucleotide sequences within species but they were divergent among species, suggesting concerted sequence evolution of the two control regions. In addition, the duplicate control regions appear to have facilitated an interchange of some flanking tRNA genes in the viperid lineage. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using a large number of sites (9570 sites in total) derived from the complete mtDNA sequences. Our data strongly suggested a new phylogenetic relationship among the major families of snakes: ((((Viperidae, Colubridae), Acrochordidae), (((Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae), Cylindrophiidae), Boidae)), Leptotyphlopidae). This conclusion was distinct from a widely accepted view based on morphological characters in denying the sister-group relationship of boids and pythonids, as well as the basal divergence of nonmacrostomatan cylindrophiids. These results imply the significance to reconstruct the snake phylogeny with ample molecular data, such as those from complete mtDNA sequences. PMID:16007493

  1. Peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerase activity and molecular evolution of vertebrate Cyclophilin A.

    PubMed

    Liqian, Ren; Wei, Liu; Wenbo, Li; Wenjun, Liu; Lei, Sun

    2016-08-01

    Peptidylprolyl isomerases (PPIase) cyclophilin A (CypA, encoded by PPIA) is a typical member of the Cyclophilin family and is involved in protein folding/translocation, signal transduction, inflammation, immune system regulation, apoptosis and virus replication. In the present study, we investigated the PPIase activity and genetic variation of vertebrate CypA. According to the GenBank reference sequences, vertebrate PPIA genes were cloned, among which the bat (Myotis davidi) and duck (Anas platyrhynchos) PPIA genes were reported for the first time. Then PPIA genes were sub-cloned into the expression vector pGEX-6p-1 and expressed in Escherichia coli. Recombinant CypA proteins were purified by using sepharose 4B affinity chromatography and the GST tag was cleaved, followed by gel filtration. The PPIase activity assay indicated that there was no significant difference in the catalytic activity of prolyl peptide bond isomerization among 12 different vertebrate CypA proteins. In addition, the genetic variation and molecular evolution analysis showed that these vertebrate CypA proteins had the same CsA binding site and the PPIase active sites. Furthermore, the predicted structure and gene localization were remarkable conserved. Our data suggested that the important residues of CypA were highly conserved, which is crucial for its PPIase activity and cellular functions. PMID:27531612

  2. Molecular evolution of the fusion protein gene in human respiratory syncytial virus subgroup A.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hirokazu; Nagasawa, Koo; Tsukagoshi, Hiroyuki; Matsushima, Yuki; Fujita, Kiyotaka; Yoshida, Lay Myint; Tanaka, Ryota; Ishii, Haruyuki; Shimojo, Naoki; Kuroda, Makoto; Ryo, Akihide

    2016-09-01

    We studied the molecular evolution of the fusion protein (F) gene in the human respiratory syncytial virus subgroup A (HRSV-A). We performed time-scaled phylogenetic analyses using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. We also conducted genetic distance (p-distance), positive/negative selection, and Bayesian skyline plot analyses. Furthermore, we mapped the amino acid substitutions of the protein. The MCMC-constructed tree indicated that the HRSV F gene diverged from the bovine RSV (BRSV) gene approximately 550years ago and had a relatively low substitution rate (7.59×10(-4) substitutions/site/year). Moreover, a common ancestor of HRSV-A and -B diverged approximately 280years ago, which has since formed four distinct clusters. The present HRSV-A strains were assigned six genotypes based on F gene sequences and attachment glycoprotein gene sequences. The present strains exhibited high F gene sequence similarity values and low genetic divergence. No positive selection sites were identified; however, 50 negative selection sites were identified. F protein amino acid substitutions at 17 sites were distributed in the F protein. The effective population size of the gene has remained relatively constant, but the population size of the prevalent genotype (GA2) has increased in the last 10years. These results suggest that the HRSV-AF gene has evolved independently and formed some genotypes. PMID:27291709

  3. The Evolution and Origin of Animal Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Pathway Revealed by Network-Level Molecular Evolutionary Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Sheng; Chen, Liming; Ma, Fei

    2012-01-01

    Genes carry out their biological functions through pathways in complex networks consisting of many interacting molecules. Studies on the effect of network architecture on the evolution of individual proteins will provide valuable information for understanding the origin and evolution as well as functional conservation of signaling pathways. However, the relationship between the network architecture and the individual protein sequence evolution is yet little known. In current study, we carried out network-level molecular evolution analysis on TLR (Toll-like receptor ) signaling pathway, which plays an important role in innate immunity in insects and mammals, and we found that: 1) The selection constraint of genes was negatively correlated with its position along TLR signaling pathway; 2) all genes in TLR signaling pathway were highly conserved and underwent strong purifying selection; 3) the distribution of selective pressure along the pathway was driven by differential nonsynonymous substitution levels; 4) The TLR signaling pathway might present in a common ancestor of sponges and eumetazoa, and evolve via the TLR, IKK, IκB and NF-κB genes underwent duplication events as well as adaptor molecular enlargement, and gene structure and conservation motif of NF-κB genes shifted in their evolutionary history. Our results will improve our understanding on the evolutionary history of animal TLR signaling pathway as well as the relationship between the network architecture and the sequences evolution of individual protein. PMID:23236523

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamic mechanical and molecular weight measurements on polymer bonded explosives from thermally accelerated aging tests. I. Fluoropolymer binders

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, D.M.; Caley, L.E.

    1981-01-01

    The dynamic mechanical properties and molecular weight distribution of two polymer bonded explosives, LX-10-1 and PBX-9502, maintained at 23, 60, and 74/sup 0/C for 3 years were studied. LX-10-1 is 94.5% 1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetraazacyclooctane explosive bonded together with 5.5% Viton A fluoropolymer. PBX-9502 is 95% triaminotrinitrobenzene explosive bonded with 5% Kel-F-800 fluoropolymer. There are two mechanical relaxations in the LX-10-1 in the military temperature range. The relaxation at -10/sup 0/C is associated with the glass transition temperature of the Viton A binder. A second weak relaxation occurs at about 30/sup 0/C in all LX-10-1 samples tested. This relaxation is probably associated with small amounts of crystallinity in the binder although this has not been demonstrated. There is a slight increase in modulus of the LX-10-1 with accelerated aging temperature. Changes in the dynamic mechanical properties of PBX-9502 are ascribed to crystallization of the chlorotrifluoroethylene component of the Kel-F-800 binder. The molecular weight of the Viton A binder decreased slight with increasing aging temperature. Using the kinetics of random scission the activation energy for polymer degradation in the presence of the explosive was 1.19 kcal/mole. The Arrhenius preexponential term and activation energy predict an expected use-life in excess of 60 years for LX-10-1. The Kel-F-800 in PBX-9502 is also extremely stable.

  6. Effect of colliding plasmas dynamics, evolution, and stagnation on carbon molecular formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Shboul, Khaled F.

    The major theme of this dissertation is to investigate the dynamics of expanding laser ablation plumes generated in vacuum as well as in the presence of an ambient gas with a special emphasis on the fascinating field of colliding laser plasmas. In order to understand the physical nature of the mechanisms taking place during laser produced plasmas (LPP) evolution like recombination, collisional excitation, and plasma-laser interaction, time-space resolved studies offered the most logical approach. The thesis is divided into eight chapters and a brief description of each chapter is given below. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction of LPP, its properties, and applications. The chapter also discusses the fundamental theories describing laser-materials interaction and provides a literature survey on colliding plasma. In Chapter 2, the description of experimental methods used for the present work is given. Details of the experimental set up used for the visible emission spectroscopy and optical time of flight, studies are also discussed. Chapter 3 gives a numerical model for estimating basic laser-mater interaction and plasma parameters such as surface temperature, ablation rate, laser absorption by the generated plasma and its temperature and density. Chapter 4 contains a study on the ambient gas effects on nanosecond laser-produced graphite plasma molecular dynamics formation. The results showed weak C 2 emission zone limited to very close distance to the target surface in vacuum conditions. In contrast, C2 formation in the plasma plume was profoundly enhanced in the presence of ambient gas pressure where C 2 intensity oscillations were observed in both axial and radial directions with increasing ambient gas pressure. By studying these oscillations it was concluded that recombination is the major mechanism for C2 formation. In chapter 5, spatio-temporal mappings of ionic, neutral, and molecular species were generated under varied ambient gas pressures conditions for

  7. 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. PMID:25851129

  8. Clean Donor Oxidation Enhances the H2 Evolution Activity of a Carbon Quantum Dot-Molecular Catalyst Photosystem.

    PubMed

    Martindale, Benjamin C M; Joliat, Evelyne; Bachmann, Cyril; Alberto, Roger; Reisner, Erwin

    2016-08-01

    Carbon quantum dots (CQDs) are new-generation light absorbers for photocatalytic H2 evolution in aqueous solution, but the performance of CQD-molecular catalyst systems is currently limited by the decomposition of the molecular component. Clean oxidation of the electron donor by donor recycling prevents the formation of destructive radical species and non-innocent oxidation products. This approach allowed a CQD-molecular nickel bis(diphosphine) photocatalyst system to reach a benchmark lifetime of more than 5 days and a record turnover number of 1094±61 molH2  (molNi )(-1) for a defined synthetic molecular nickel catalyst in purely aqueous solution under AM1.5G solar irradiation. PMID:27355200

  9. 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.

  10. Evolution of pulse shapes during compressor scans in a CPA system and control of electron acceleration in plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Toth, Csaba; de Groot, Joeri; van Tilborg, Jeroen; Geddes, Cameron G.R.; Faure, Jerome; Catravas, Palma; Schroeder, Carl; Shadwick, B.A.; Esarey, Eric; Leemans, Wim

    2002-05-12

    The skewness of the envelope function of 20 - 100 femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser pulses has been controlled by appropriate choice of the higher order special phase coefficients, and used for optimization of a plasma wakefield electron accelerator.

  11. 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

  12. Genomic variability and molecular evolution of Asian isolates of sugarcane streak mosaic virus.

    PubMed

    Liang, Shan-Shan; Alabi, Olufemi J; Damaj, Mona B; Fu, Wei-Lin; Sun, Sheng-Ren; Fu, Hua-Ying; Chen, Ru-Kai; Mirkov, T Erik; Gao, San-Ji

    2016-06-01

    Sugarcane streak mosaic virus (SCSMV), an economically important causal agent of mosaic disease of sugarcane, is a member of the newly created genus Poacevirus in the family Potyviridae. In this study, we report the molecular characterization of three new SCSMV isolates from China (YN-YZ211 and HN-YZ49) and Myanmar (MYA-Formosa) and their genetic variation and phylogenetic relationship to SCSMV isolates from Asia and the type members of the family Potyviridae. The complete genome of each of the three isolates was determined to be 9781 nucleotides (nt) in size, excluding the 3' poly(A) tail. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete polyprotein amino acid (aa) sequences (3130 aa) revealed that all SCSMV isolates clustered into a phylogroup specific to the genus Poacevirus and formed two distinct clades designated as group I and group II. Isolates YN-YZ211, HN-YZ49 and MYA-Formosa clustered into group I, sharing 96.8-99.5 % and 98.9-99.6 % nt (at the complete genomic level) and aa (at the polyprotein level) identity, respectively, among themselves and 81.2-98.8 % and 94.0-99.6 % nt (at the complete genomic level) and aa (at the polyprotein level) identity, respectively, with the corresponding sequences of seven Asian SCSMV isolates. Population genetic analysis revealed greater between-group (0.190 ± 0.004) than within-group (group I = 0.025 ± 0.001 and group II = 0.071 ± 0.003) evolutionary divergence values, further supporting the results of the phylogenetic analysis. Further analysis indicated that natural selection might have contributed to the evolution of isolates belonging to the two identified SCSMV clades, with infrequent genetic exchanges occurring between them over time. These findings provide a comprehensive analysis of the population genetic structure and driving forces for the evolution of SCSMV with implications for global exchange of sugarcane germplasm. PMID:26973230

  13. 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

  14. Genetic subdivisions within Trypanosoma cruzi (Discrete Typing Units) and their relevance for molecular epidemiology and experimental evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tibayrenc, Michel

    2003-01-01

    Background This paper summarizes the main results obtained on Trypanosoma cruzi genetic diversity and population structure since this parasite became the theme of many genetic and molecular studies in the early seventies. Results T. cruzi exibits a paradigmatic pattern of long-term, clonal evolution, which has structured its natural populations into several discrete genetic subdivisions or "Discrete Typing Units" (DTU). Rare hybridization events are nevertheless detectable in natural populations and have been recently obtained in the laboratory. Conclusions The DTUs and natural clones of T. cruzi constitute relevant units for molecular epidemiology and experimental evolution. Experimental mating opens the way to an in-depth knowledge of this parasite's formal genetics. PMID:14613498

  15. High Power Beam Test and Measurement of Emittance Evolution of a 1.6-Cell Photocathode RF Gun at Pohang Accelerator Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jang-Ho; Park, Sung-Ju; Kim, Changbum; Parc, Yong-Woon; Hong, Ju-Ho; Huang, Jung-Yun; Xiang, Dao; Wang, Xijie; Ko, In Soo

    2007-04-01

    A Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) GUN-IV type photocathode rf gun has been fabricated to use in femtosecond electron diffraction (FED), femtosecond far infrared radiation (fs-FIR) facility, and X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) facilities at the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL). The gun consists of a 1.6-cell cavity with a copper cathode, a solenoid magnet, beam diagnostic components and auxiliary systems. We report here the measurement of the basic beam parameters which confirm a successful fabrication of the photocathode RF gun system. The emittance evolution is measured by an emittance meter and compared with the PARMELA simulation, which shows a good agreement.

  16. The dynamical evolution of molecular clouds near the Galactic Centre - I. Orbital structure and evolutionary timeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruijssen, J. M. Diederik; Dale, James E.; Longmore, Steven N.

    2015-02-01

    We recently proposed that the star-forming potential of dense molecular clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ, i.e. the central few 100 pc) of the Milky Way is intimately linked to their orbital dynamics, potentially giving rise to an absolute-time sequence of star-forming clouds. In this paper, we present an orbital model for the gas stream(s) observed in the CMZ. The model is obtained by integrating orbits in the empirically constrained gravitational potential and represents a good fit (χ _red^2=2.0) to the observed position-velocity distribution of dense (n > several 103 cm-3) gas, reproducing all of its key properties. The orbit is also consistent with observational constraints not included in the fitting process, such as the 3D space velocities of Sgr B2 and the Arches and Quintuplet clusters. It differs from previous, parametric models in several respects: (1) the orbit is open rather than closed due to the extended mass distribution in the CMZ, (2) its orbital velocity (100-200 km s-1) is twice as high as in previous models, and (3) Sgr A* coincides with the focus of the (eccentric) orbit rather than being offset. Our orbital solution supports the recently proposed scenario in which the dust ridge between G0.253+0.016 (`the Brick') and Sgr B2 represents an absolute-time sequence of star-forming clouds, of which the condensation was triggered by the tidal compression during their most recent pericentre passage. We position the clouds on a common timeline and find that their pericentre passages occurred 0.30-0.74 Myr ago. Given their short free-fall times (tff ˜ 0.34 Myr), the quiescent cloud G0.253+0.016 and the vigorously star-forming complex Sgr B2 are separated by a single free-fall time of evolution, implying that star formation proceeds rapidly once collapse has been initiated. We provide the complete orbital solution, as well as several quantitative predictions of our model (e.g. proper motions and the positions of star formation `hotspots'). The

  17. Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    When we are looking for intelligent life outside the Earth, there is a fundamental question: Assuming that life has formed on an extraterrestrial planet, will it also develop toward intelligence? As this is hotly debated, we will now describe the development of life on Earth in more detail in order to show that there are good reasons why evolution should culminate in intelligent beings.

  18. Rapid molecular evolution across amniotes of the IIS/TOR network

    PubMed Central

    McGaugh, Suzanne E.; Bronikowski, Anne M.; Kuo, Chih-Horng; Reding, Dawn M.; Addis, Elizabeth A.; Flagel, Lex E.; Janzen, Fredric J.

    2015-01-01

    The insulin/insulin-like signaling and target of rapamycin (IIS/TOR) network regulates lifespan and reproduction, as well as metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. Despite its vital role in health, comparative analyses of IIS/TOR have been limited to invertebrates and mammals. We conducted an extensive evolutionary analysis of the IIS/TOR network across 66 amniotes with 18 newly generated transcriptomes from nonavian reptiles and additional available genomes/transcriptomes. We uncovered rapid and extensive molecular evolution between reptiles (including birds) and mammals: (i) the IIS/TOR network, including the critical nodes insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), exhibit divergent evolutionary rates between reptiles and mammals; (ii) compared with a proxy for the rest of the genome, genes of the IIS/TOR extracellular network exhibit exceptionally fast evolutionary rates; and (iii) signatures of positive selection and coevolution of the extracellular network suggest reptile- and mammal-specific interactions between members of the network. In reptiles, positively selected sites cluster on the binding surfaces of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), IGF1 receptor (IGF1R), and insulin receptor (INSR); whereas in mammals, positively selected sites clustered on the IGF2 binding surface, suggesting that these hormone-receptor binding affinities are targets of positive selection. Further, contrary to reports that IGF2R binds IGF2 only in marsupial and placental mammals, we found positively selected sites clustered on the hormone binding surface of reptile IGF2R that suggest that IGF2R binds to IGF hormones in diverse taxa and may have evolved in reptiles. These data suggest that key IIS/TOR paralogs have sub- or neofunctionalized between mammals and reptiles and that this network may underlie fundamental life history and physiological differences between these amniote sister clades. PMID:25991861

  19. Molecular Analysis of a Leprosy Immunotherapeutic Bacillus Provides Insights into Mycobacterium Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Khurana, Jitendra P.; Tyagi, Akhilesh K.; Tyagi, Anil K.; Hasnain, Seyed E.

    2007-01-01

    Background Evolutionary dynamics plays a central role in facilitating the mechanisms of species divergence among pathogenic and saprophytic mycobacteria. The ability of mycobacteria to colonize hosts, to proliferate and to cause diseases has evolved due to its predisposition to various evolutionary forces acting over a period of time. Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP), a taxonomically unknown ‘generalist’ mycobacterium, acts as an immunotherapeutic against leprosy and is approved for use as a vaccine against it. The large-scale field trials of this MIP based leprosy vaccine coupled with its demonstrated immunomodulatory and adjuvant property has led to human clinical evaluations of MIP in interventions against HIV-AIDS, psoriasis and bladder cancer. MIP, commercially available as ‘Immuvac’, is currently the focus of advanced phase III clinical trials for its antituberculosis efficacy. Thus a comprehensive analysis of MIP vis-à-vis evolutionary path, underpinning its immanent immunomodulating properties is of the highest desiderata. Principal Findings Genome wide comparisons together with molecular phylogenetic analyses by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (FAFLP), enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) based genotyping and candidate orthologues sequencing revealed that MIP has been the predecessor of highly pathogenic Mycobacterium avium intracellulare complex (MAIC) that did not resort to parasitic adaptation by reductional gene evolution and therefore, preferred a free living life-style. Further analysis suggested a shared aquatic phase of MAIC bacilli with the early pathogenic forms of Mycobacterium, well before the latter diverged as ‘specialists’. Conclusions/Significance This evolutionary paradigm possibly affirms to marshal our understanding about the acquisition and optimization of virulence in mycobacteria and determinants of boundaries therein. PMID:17912347

  20. Molecular Evolution of Multiple-Level Control of Heme Biosynthesis Pathway in Animal Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    Tzou, Wen-Shyong; Chu, Ying; Lin, Tzung-Yi; Hu, Chin-Hwa; Pai, Tun-Wen; Liu, Hsin-Fu; Lin, Han-Jia; Cases, Ildeofonso; Rojas, Ana; Sanchez, Mayka; You, Zong-Ye; Hsu, Ming-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation of enzymes in a metabolic pathway can occur not only through changes in amino acid sequences but also through variations in transcriptional activation, mRNA splicing and mRNA translation. The heme biosynthesis pathway, a linear pathway comprised of eight consecutive enzymes in animals, provides researchers with ample information for multiple types of evolutionary analyses performed with respect to the position of each enzyme in the pathway. Through bioinformatics analysis, we found that the protein-coding sequences of all enzymes in this pathway are under strong purifying selection, from cnidarians to mammals. However, loose evolutionary constraints are observed for enzymes in which self-catalysis occurs. Through comparative genomics, we found that in animals, the first intron of the enzyme-encoding genes has been co-opted for transcriptional activation of the genes in this pathway. Organisms sense the cellular content of iron, and through iron-responsive elements in the 5′ untranslated regions of mRNAs and the intron-exon boundary regions of pathway genes, translational inhibition and exon choice in enzymes may be enabled, respectively. Pathway product (heme)-mediated negative feedback control can affect the transport of pathway enzymes into the mitochondria as well as the ubiquitin-mediated stability of enzymes. Remarkably, the positions of these controls on pathway activity are not ubiquitous but are biased towards the enzymes in the upstream portion of the pathway. We revealed that multiple-level controls on the activity of the heme biosynthesis pathway depend on the linear depth of the enzymes in the pathway, indicating a new strategy for discovering the molecular constraints that shape the evolution of a metabolic pathway. PMID:24489775

  1. Molecular Evolution of the Substrate Specificity of Chloroplastic Aldolases/Rubisco Lysine Methyltransferases in Plants.

    PubMed

    Ma, Sheng; Martin-Laffon, Jacqueline; Mininno, Morgane; Gigarel, Océane; Brugière, Sabine; Bastien, Olivier; Tardif, Marianne; Ravanel, Stéphane; Alban, Claude

    2016-04-01

    Rubisco and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolases (FBAs) are involved in CO2 fixation in chloroplasts. Both enzymes are trimethylated at a specific lysine residue by the chloroplastic protein methyltransferase LSMT. Genes coding LSMT are present in all plant genomes but the methylation status of the substrates varies in a species-specific manner. For example, chloroplastic FBAs are naturally trimethylated in both Pisum sativum and Arabidopsis thaliana, whereas the Rubisco large subunit is trimethylated only in the former species. The in vivo methylation status of aldolases and Rubisco matches the catalytic properties of AtLSMT and PsLSMT, which are able to trimethylate FBAs or FBAs and Rubisco, respectively. Here, we created chimera and site-directed mutants of monofunctional AtLSMT and bifunctional PsLSMT to identify the molecular determinants responsible for substrate specificity. Our results indicate that the His-Ala/Pro-Trp triad located in the central part of LSMT enzymes is the key motif to confer the capacity to trimethylate Rubisco. Two of the critical residues are located on a surface loop outside the methyltransferase catalytic site. We observed a strict correlation between the presence of the triad motif and the in vivo methylation status of Rubisco. The distribution of the motif into a phylogenetic tree further suggests that the ancestral function of LSMT was FBA trimethylation. In a recent event during higher plant evolution, this function evolved in ancestors of Fabaceae, Cucurbitaceae, and Rosaceae to include Rubisco as an additional substrate to the archetypal enzyme. Our study provides insight into mechanisms by which SET-domain protein methyltransferases evolve new substrate specificity. PMID:26785049

  2. Molecular Evolution and Genetic Variation of G2-Like Transcription Factor Genes in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Han, Guomin; Zhou, Lingyan; Ali, Asif; Zhu, Suwen; Li, Xiaoyu

    2016-01-01

    The productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) depends on the development of chloroplasts, and G2-like transcription factors play a central role in regulating chloroplast development. In this study, we identified 59 G2-like genes in the B73 maize genome and systematically analyzed these genes at the molecular and evolutionary levels. Based on gene structure character, motif compositions and phylogenetic analysis, maize G2-like genes (ZmG1- ZmG59) were divided into seven groups (I-VII). By synteny analysis, 18 collinear gene pairs and strongly conserved microsyntny among regions hosting G2-like genes across maize and sorghum were found. Here, we showed that the vast majority of ZmG gene duplications resulted from whole genome duplication events rather than tandem duplications. After gene duplication events, some ZmG genes were silenced. The functions of G2-like genes were multifarious and most genes that are expressed in green tissues may relate to maize photosynthesis. The qRT-PCR showed that the expression of these genes was sensitive to low temperature and drought. Furthermore, we analyzed differences of ZmGs specific to cultivars in temperate and tropical regions at the population level. Interestingly, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis revealed that nucleotide polymorphism associated with different temperature zones. Above all, G2-like genes were highly conserved during evolution, but polymorphism could be caused due to a different geographical location. Moreover, G2-like genes might be related to cold and drought stresses. PMID:27560803

  3. DNA barcoding and molecular evolution of mosquito vectors of medical and veterinary importance.

    PubMed

    Murugan, Kadarkarai; Vadivalagan, Chithravel; Karthika, Pushparaj; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Paulpandi, Manickam; Subramaniam, Jayapal; Wei, Hui; Aziz, Al Thabiani; Alsalhi, Mohamad Saleh; Devanesan, Sandhanasamy; Nicoletti, Marcello; Paramasivan, Rajaiah; Parajulee, Megha N; Benelli, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are a key threat for millions of people worldwide, since they act as vectors for devastating pathogens and parasites. The standard method of utilisation of morphological characters becomes challenging due to various factors such as phenotypical variations. We explored the complementary approach of CO1 gene-based identification, analysing ten species of mosquito vectors belonging to three genera, Aedes, Culex and Anopheles from India. Analysed nucleotide sequences were found without pseudo genes and indels; they match with high similarity in nucleotide Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLASTn) search. The partial CO1 sequence of Anopheles niligricus was the first time record submitted to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Mean intra- and interspecies divergence was found to be 1.30 and 3.83 %, respectively. The congeneric divergence was three times higher than the conspecifics. Deep intraspecific divergence was noted in three of the species, and the reason could be explained more accurately in the future by improving the sample size across different locations. The transitional and transversional substitutions were tested individually. Ts and Tv substitutions in all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd codons were estimated to be (0.44, 99.51), (40.35, 59.66) and (59.16, 40.84), respectively. Saturation of the sequences was resolved, since both the Ts and Tv exhibited a linear relationship suggesting that the sequences were not saturated. NJ and ML tree analysis showed that the individuals of the same species clustered together based on the CO1 sequence similarity, regardless of their collection site and geographic location. Overall, this study adds basic knowledge to molecular evolution of mosquito vectors of medical and veterinary importance and may be useful to improve biotechnological tools employed in Culicidae control programmes. PMID:26358100

  4. Rapid molecular evolution across amniotes of the IIS/TOR network.

    PubMed

    McGaugh, Suzanne E; Bronikowski, Anne M; Kuo, Chih-Horng; Reding, Dawn M; Addis, Elizabeth A; Flagel, Lex E; Janzen, Fredric J; Schwartz, Tonia S

    2015-06-01

    The insulin/insulin-like signaling and target of rapamycin (IIS/TOR) network regulates lifespan and reproduction, as well as metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. Despite its vital role in health, comparative analyses of IIS/TOR have been limited to invertebrates and mammals. We conducted an extensive evolutionary analysis of the IIS/TOR network across 66 amniotes with 18 newly generated transcriptomes from nonavian reptiles and additional available genomes/transcriptomes. We uncovered rapid and extensive molecular evolution between reptiles (including birds) and mammals: (i) the IIS/TOR network, including the critical nodes insulin receptor substrate (IRS) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), exhibit divergent evolutionary rates between reptiles and mammals; (ii) compared with a proxy for the rest of the genome, genes of the IIS/TOR extracellular network exhibit exceptionally fast evolutionary rates; and (iii) signatures of positive selection and coevolution of the extracellular network suggest reptile- and mammal-specific interactions between members of the network. In reptiles, positively selected sites cluster on the binding surfaces of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), IGF1 receptor (IGF1R), and insulin receptor (INSR); whereas in mammals, positively selected sites clustered on the IGF2 binding surface, suggesting that these hormone-receptor binding affinities are targets of positive selection. Further, contrary to reports that IGF2R binds IGF2 only in marsupial and placental mammals, we found positively selected sites clustered on the hormone binding surface of reptile IGF2R that suggest that IGF2R binds to IGF hormones in diverse taxa and may have evolved in reptiles. These data suggest that key IIS/TOR paralogs have sub- or neofunctionalized between mammals and reptiles and that this network may underlie fundamental life history and physiological differences between these amniote sister clades. PMID:25991861

  5. Molecular Evolution and Genetic Variation of G2-Like Transcription Factor Genes in Maize.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fang; Xu, Yunjian; Han, Guomin; Zhou, Lingyan; Ali, Asif; Zhu, Suwen; Li, Xiaoyu

    2016-01-01

    The productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) depends on the development of chloroplasts, and G2-like transcription factors play a central role in regulating chloroplast development. In this study, we identified 59 G2-like genes in the B73 maize genome and systematically analyzed these genes at the molecular and evolutionary levels. Based on gene structure character, motif compositions and phylogenetic analysis, maize G2-like genes (ZmG1- ZmG59) were divided into seven groups (I-VII). By synteny analysis, 18 collinear gene pairs and strongly conserved microsyntny among regions hosting G2-like genes across maize and sorghum were found. Here, we showed that the vast majority of ZmG gene duplications resulted from whole genome duplication events rather than tandem duplications. After gene duplication events, some ZmG genes were silenced. The functions of G2-like genes were multifarious and most genes that are expressed in green tissues may relate to maize photosynthesis. The qRT-PCR showed that the expression of these genes was sensitive to low temperature and drought. Furthermore, we analyzed differences of ZmGs specific to cultivars in temperate and tropical regions at the population level. Interestingly, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis revealed that nucleotide polymorphism associated with different temperature zones. Above all, G2-like genes were highly conserved during evolution, but polymorphism could be caused due to a different geographical location. Moreover, G2-like genes might be related to cold and drought stresses. PMID:27560803

  6. GIANT MOLECULAR CLOUD EVOLUTIONS IN THE NEARBY SPIRAL GALAXY M33

    SciTech Connect

    Miura, Rie E.; Espada, Daniel; Hwang, Narae; Okumura, Sachiko K.; Komugi, Shinya; Nakanishi, Kouichiro; Sawada, Tsuyoshi; Kohno, Kotaro; Tosaki, Tomoka; Kuno, Nario; Hirota, Akihiko; Onodera, Sachiko; Kaneko, Hiroyuki; Kawabe, Ryohei; Muraoka, Kazuyuki; Minamidani, Tetsuhiro

    2012-12-10

    We present a giant molecular cloud (GMC) catalog of M33, containing 71 GMCs in total, based on wide-field and high-sensitivity CO(J = 3-2) observations with a spatial resolution of 100 pc using the ASTE 10 m telescope. Employing archival optical data, we identify 75 young stellar groups (YSGs) from the excess of the surface stellar density, and estimate their ages by comparing with stellar evolution models. A spatial comparison among the GMCs, YSGs, and H II regions enable us to classify GMCs into four categories: Type A, showing no sign of massive star formation (SF); Type B, being associated only with H II regions; Type C, with both H II regions and <10 Myr old YSGs; and Type D, with both H II regions and 10-30 Myr YSGs. Out of 65 GMCs (discarding those at the edges of the observed fields), 1 (1%), 13 (20%), 29 (45%), and 22 (34%) are Types A, B, C, and D, respectively. We interpret these categories as stages in a GMC evolutionary sequence. Assuming that the timescale for each evolutionary stage is proportional to the number of GMCs, the lifetime of a GMC with a mass >10{sup 5} M{sub Sun} is estimated to be 20-40 Myr. In addition, we find that the dense gas fraction as traced by the CO(J = 3-2)/CO(J = 1-0) ratio is enhanced around SF regions. This confirms a scenario where dense gas is preferentially formed around previously generated stars, and will be the fuel for the next stellar generation. In this way, massive SF gradually propagates in a GMC until gas is exhausted.

  7. Ecology has contrasting effects on genetic variation within species versus rates of molecular evolution across species in water beetles.

    PubMed

    Fujisawa, Tomochika; Vogler, Alfried P; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2015-01-22

    Comparative analysis is a potentially powerful approach to study the effects of ecological traits on genetic variation and rate of evolution across species. However, the lack of suitable datasets means that comparative studies of correlates of genetic traits across an entire clade have been rare. Here, we use a large DNA-barcode dataset (5062 sequences) of water beetles to test the effects of species ecology and geographical distribution on genetic variation within species and rates of molecular evolution across species. We investigated species traits predicted to influence their genetic characteristics, such as surrogate measures of species population size, latitudinal distribution and habitat types, taking phylogeny into account. Genetic variation of cytochrome oxidase I in water beetles was positively correlated with occupancy (numbers of sites of species presence) and negatively with latitude, whereas substitution rates across species depended mainly on habitat types, and running water specialists had the highest rate. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions from nearly-neutral theories of evolution, and suggest that the comparative analysis using large databases can give insights into correlates of genetic variation and molecular evolution. PMID:25621335

  8. Ecology has contrasting effects on genetic variation within species versus rates of molecular evolution across species in water beetles

    PubMed Central

    Fujisawa, Tomochika; Vogler, Alfried P.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative analysis is a potentially powerful approach to study the effects of ecological traits on genetic variation and rate of evolution across species. However, the lack of suitable datasets means that comparative studies of correlates of genetic traits across an entire clade have been rare. Here, we use a large DNA-barcode dataset (5062 sequences) of water beetles to test the effects of species ecology and geographical distribution on genetic variation within species and rates of molecular evolution across species. We investigated species traits predicted to influence their genetic characteristics, such as surrogate measures of species population size, latitudinal distribution and habitat types, taking phylogeny into account. Genetic variation of cytochrome oxidase I in water beetles was positively correlated with occupancy (numbers of sites of species presence) and negatively with latitude, whereas substitution rates across species depended mainly on habitat types, and running water specialists had the highest rate. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions from nearly-neutral theories of evolution, and suggest that the comparative analysis using large databases can give insights into correlates of genetic variation and molecular evolution. PMID:25621335

  9. 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.

  10. Temperature Accelerated Molecular Dynamics with Soft-Ratcheting Criterion Orients Enhanced Sampling by Low-Resolution Information.

    PubMed

    Cortes-Ciriano, Isidro; Bouvier, Guillaume; Nilges, Michael; Maragliano, Luca; Malliavin, Thérèse E

    2015-07-14

    Many proteins exhibit an equilibrium between multiple conformations, some of them being characterized only by low-resolution information. Visiting all conformations is a demanding task for computational techniques performing enhanced but unfocused exploration of collective variable (CV) space. Otherwise, pulling a structure toward a target condition biases the exploration in a way difficult to assess. To address this problem, we introduce here the soft-ratcheting temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics (sr-TAMD), where the exploration of CV space by TAMD is coupled to a soft-ratcheting algorithm that filters the evolving CV values according to a predefined criterion. Any low resolution or even qualitative information can be used to orient the exploration. We validate this technique by exploring the conformational space of the inactive state of the catalytic domain of the adenyl cyclase AC from Bordetella pertussis. The domain AC gets activated by association with calmodulin (CaM), and the available crystal structure shows that in the complex the protein has an elongated shape. High-resolution data are not available for the inactive, CaM-free protein state, but hydrodynamic measurements have shown that the inactive AC displays a more globular conformation. Here, using as CVs several geometric centers, we use sr-TAMD to enhance CV space sampling while filtering for CV values that correspond to centers moving close to each other, and we thus rapidly visit regions of conformational space that correspond to globular structures. The set of conformations sampled using sr-TAMD provides the most extensive description of the inactive state of AC up to now, consistent with available experimental information. PMID:26575778

  11. Molecular Evidence for Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution of Complex Brains of Cephalopod Molluscs: Insights from Visual Systems.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, M A; Ogura, A; Ikeo, K; Shigeno, S; Moritaki, T; Winters, G C; Kohn, A B; Moroz, L L

    2015-12-01

    Coleoid cephalopods show remarkable evolutionary convergence with vertebrates in their neural organization, including (1) eyes and visual system with optic lobes, (2) specialized parts of the brain controlling learning and memory, such as vertical lobes, and (3) unique vasculature supporting such complexity of the central nervous system. We performed deep sequencing of eye transcriptomes of pygmy squids (Idiosepius paradoxus) and chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) to decipher the molecular basis of convergent evolution in cephalopods. RNA-seq was complemented by in situ hybridization to localize the expression of selected genes. We found three types of genomic innovations in the evolution of complex brains: (1) recruitment of novel genes into morphogenetic pathways, (2) recombination of various coding and regulatory regions of different genes, often called "evolutionary tinkering" or "co-option", and (3) duplication and divergence of genes. Massive recruitment of novel genes occurred in the evolution of the "camera" eye from nautilus' "pinhole" eye. We also showed that the type-2 co-option of transcription factors played important roles in the evolution of the lens and visual neurons. In summary, the cephalopod convergent morphological evolution of the camera eyes was driven by a mosaic of all types of gene recruitments. In addition, our analysis revealed unexpected variations of squids' opsins, retinochromes, and arrestins, providing more detailed information, valuable for further research on intra-ocular and extra-ocular photoreception of the cephalopods. PMID:26002349

  12. Symbiosis between hydra and chlorella: molecular phylogenetic analysis and experimental study provide insight into its origin and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kawaida, Hitomi; Ohba, Kohki; Koutake, Yuhki; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Tachida, Hidenori; Kobayakawa, Yoshitaka

    2013-03-01

    Although many physiological studies have been reported on the symbiosis between hydra and green algae, very little information from a molecular phylogenetic aspect of symbiosis is available. In order to understand the origin and evolution of symbiosis between the two organisms, we compared the phylogenetic relationships among symbiotic green algae with the phylogenetic relationships among host hydra strains. To do so, we reconstructed molecular phylogenetic trees of several strains of symbiotic chlorella harbored in the endodermal epithelial cells of viridissima group hydra strains and investigated their congruence with the molecular phylogenetic trees of the host hydra strains. To examine the species specificity between the host and the symbiont with respect to the genetic distance, we also tried to introduce chlorella strains into two aposymbiotic strains of viridissima group hydra in which symbiotic chlorella had been eliminated in advance. We discussed the origin and history of symbiosis between hydra and green algae based on the analysis. PMID:23219706

  13. The Effects of Molecular Properties on Ready Biodegradation of Aromatic Compounds in the OECD 301B CO2 Evolution Test.

    PubMed

    He, Mei; Mei, Cheng-Fang; Sun, Guo-Ping; Li, Hai-Bei; Liu, Lei; Xu, Mei-Ying

    2016-07-01

    Ready biodegradation is the primary biodegradability of a compound, which is used for discriminating whether a compound could be rapidly and readily biodegraded in the natural ecosystems in a short period and has been applied extensively in the environmental risk assessment of many chemicals. In this study, the effects of 24 molecular properties (including 2 physicochemical parameters, 10 geometrical parameters, 6 topological parameters, and 6 electronic parameters) on the ready biodegradation of 24 kinds of synthetic aromatic compounds were investigated using the OECD 301B CO2 Evolution test. The relationship between molecular properties and ready biodegradation of these aromatic compounds varied with molecular properties. A significant inverse correlation was found for the topological parameter TD, five geometrical parameters (Rad, CAA, CMA, CSEV, and N c), and the physicochemical parameter K ow, and a positive correlation for two topological parameters TC and TVC, whereas no significant correlation was observed for any of the electronic parameters. Based on the correlations between molecular properties and ready biodegradation of these aromatic compounds, the importance of molecular properties was demonstrated as follows: geometrical properties > topological properties > physicochemical properties > electronic properties. Our study first demonstrated the effects of molecular properties on ready biodegradation by a number of experiment data under the same experimental conditions, which should be taken into account to better guide the ready biodegradation tests and understand the mechanisms of the ready biodegradation of aromatic compounds. PMID:26498763

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Evolution of the single-mode Rayleigh-Taylor instability under the influence of time-dependent accelerations.

    PubMed

    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)∼t^{n}, 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 s^{2}, 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 s^{2} 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. PMID:26871165

  17. 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

  18. Molecular evolution and the global reemergence of enterovirus D68 by genome-wide analysis.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yu-Nong; Yang, Shu-Li; Shih, Shin-Ru; Huang, Yhu-Chering; Chang, Pi-Yueh; Huang, Chung-Guei; Kao, Kuo-Chin; Hu, Han-Chung; Liu, Yi-Chun; Tsao, Kuo-Chien

    2016-08-01

    Human enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was first reported in the United States in 1962; thereafter, a few cases were reported from 1970 to 2005, but 2 outbreaks occurred in the Philippines (2008) and the United States (2014). However, little is known regarding the molecular evolution of this globally reemerging virus due to a lack of whole-genome sequences and analyses. Here, all publically available sequences including 147 full and 1248 partial genomes from GenBank were collected and compared at the clade and subclade level; 11 whole genomes isolated in Taiwan (TW) in 2014 were also added to the database. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to identify a new subclade, B3, and represent clade circulations among strains. Nucleotide sequence identities of the VP1 gene were 94% to 95% based on a comparison of subclade B3 to B1 and B2 and 87% to 91% when comparing A, C, and D. The patterns of clade circulation need to be clarified to improve global monitoring of EV-D68, even though this virus showed lower diversity among clades compared with the common enterovirus EV-71. Notably, severe cases isolated from Taiwan and China in 2014 were found in subclade B3. One severe case from Taiwan occurred in a female patient with underlying angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, from whom a bronchoalveolar lavage specimen was obtained. Although host factors play a key role in disease severity, we cannot exclude the possibility that EV-D68 may trigger clinical symptoms or death. To further investigate the genetic diversity of EV-D68, we reported 34 amino acid (aa) polymorphisms identified by comparing subclade B3 to B1 and B2. Clade D strains had a 1-aa deletion and a 2-aa insertion in the VP1 gene, and 1 of our TW/2014 strains had a shorter deletion in the 5' untranslated region than a previously reported deletion. In summary, a new subclade, genetic indels, and polymorphisms in global strains were discovered elucidating evolutionary and epidemiological trends of EV-D68, and 11 genomes were

  19. Molecular evolution and the global reemergence of enterovirus D68 by genome-wide analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Yu-Nong; Yang, Shu-Li; Shih, Shin-Ru; Huang, Yhu-Chering; Chang, Pi-Yueh; Huang, Chung-Guei; Kao, Kuo-Chin; Hu, Han-Chung; Liu, Yi-Chun; Tsao, Kuo-Chien

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Human enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was first reported in the United States in 1962; thereafter, a few cases were reported from 1970 to 2005, but 2 outbreaks occurred in the Philippines (2008) and the United States (2014). However, little is known regarding the molecular evolution of this globally reemerging virus due to a lack of whole-genome sequences and analyses. Here, all publically available sequences including 147 full and 1248 partial genomes from GenBank were collected and compared at the clade and subclade level; 11 whole genomes isolated in Taiwan (TW) in 2014 were also added to the database. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to identify a new subclade, B3, and represent clade circulations among strains. Nucleotide sequence identities of the VP1 gene were 94% to 95% based on a comparison of subclade B3 to B1 and B2 and 87% to 91% when comparing A, C, and D. The patterns of clade circulation need to be clarified to improve global monitoring of EV-D68, even though this virus showed lower diversity among clades compared with the common enterovirus EV-71. Notably, severe cases isolated from Taiwan and China in 2014 were found in subclade B3. One severe case from Taiwan occurred in a female patient with underlying angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, from whom a bronchoalveolar lavage specimen was obtained. Although host factors play a key role in disease severity, we cannot exclude the possibility that EV-D68 may trigger clinical symptoms or death. To further investigate the genetic diversity of EV-D68, we reported 34 amino acid (aa) polymorphisms identified by comparing subclade B3 to B1 and B2. Clade D strains had a 1-aa deletion and a 2-aa insertion in the VP1 gene, and 1 of our TW/2014 strains had a shorter deletion in the 5′ untranslated region than a previously reported deletion. In summary, a new subclade, genetic indels, and polymorphisms in global strains were discovered elucidating evolutionary and epidemiological trends of EV-D68, and 11

  20. The endemic gastropod fauna of Lake Titicaca: correlation between molecular evolution and hydrographic history

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Oliver; Hershler, Robert; Albrecht, Christian; Terrazas, Edmundo M; Apaza, Roberto; Fuentealba, Carmen; Wolff, Christian; Wilke, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Lake Titicaca, situated in the Altiplano high plateau, is the only ancient lake in South America. This 2- to 3-My-old (where My is million years) water body has had a complex history that included at least five major hydrological phases during the Pleistocene. It is generally assumed that these physical events helped shape the evolutionary history of the lake's biota. Herein, we study an endemic species assemblage in Lake Titicaca, composed of members of the microgastropod genus Heleobia, to determine whether the lake has functioned as a reservoir of relic species or the site of local diversification, to evaluate congruence of the regional paleohydrology and the evolutionary history of this assemblage, and to assess whether the geographic distributions of endemic lineages are hierarchical. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Titicaca/Altiplano Heleobia fauna (together with few extralimital taxa) forms a species flock. A molecular clock analysis suggests that the most recent common ancestor (MRCAs) of the Altiplano taxa evolved 0.53 (0.28–0.80) My ago and the MRCAs of the Altiplano taxa and their extralimital sister group 0.92 (0.46–1.52) My ago. The endemic species of Lake Titicaca are younger than the lake itself, implying primarily intralacustrine speciation. Moreover, the timing of evolutionary branching events and the ages of two precursors of Lake Titicaca, lakes Cabana and Ballivián, is congruent. Although Lake Titicaca appears to have been the principal site of speciation for the regional Heleobia fauna, the contemporary spatial patterns of endemism have been masked by immigration and/or emigration events of local riverine taxa, which we attribute to the unstable hydrographic history of the Altiplano. Thus, a hierarchical distribution of endemism is not evident, but instead there is a single genetic break between two regional clades. We also discuss our findings in relation to studies of other regional biota and suggest that salinity tolerance

  1. Protein Evolution by Molecular Tinkering: Diversification of the Nuclear Receptor Superfamily from a Ligand-Dependent Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Bridgham, Jamie T.; Eick, Geeta N.; Larroux, Claire; Deshpande, Kirti; Harms, Michael J.; Gauthier, Marie E. A.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Degnan, Bernard M.; Thornton, Joseph W.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how protein structures and functions have diversified is a central goal in molecular evolution. Surveys of very divergent proteins from model organisms, however, are often insufficient to determine the features of ancestral proteins and to reveal the evolutionary events that yielded extant diversity. Here we combine genomic, biochemical, functional, structural, and phylogenetic analyses to reconstruct the early evolution of nuclear receptors (NRs), a diverse superfamily of transcriptional regulators that play key roles in animal development, physiology, and reproduction. By inferring the structure and functions of the ancestral NR, we show—contrary to current belief—that NRs evolved from a ligand-activated ancestral receptor that existed near the base of the Metazoa, with fatty acids as possible ancestral ligands. Evolutionary tinkering with this ancestral structure generated the extraordinary diversity of modern receptors: sensitivity to different ligands evolved because of subtle modifications of the internal cavity, and ligand-independent activation evolved repeatedly because of various mutations that stabilized the active conformation in the absence of ligand. Our findings illustrate how a mechanistic dissection of protein evolution in a phylogenetic context can reveal the deep homology that links apparently “novel” molecular functions to a common ancestral form. PMID:20957188

  2. 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.

  3. The Modern Temperature-Accelerated Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    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. We review the ongoing evolution of the modern TAD method and introduce the latest development: speculatively parallel TAD. PMID:26979413

  4. Structural Evolution of Polylactide Molecular Bottlebrushes: Kinetics Study by Size Exclusion Chromatography, Small Angle Neutron Scattering and Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pickel, Deanna L; Kilbey, II, S Michael; Uhrig, David; Hong, Kunlun; Carrillo, Jan-Michael Y; Sumpter, Bobby G; Ahn, Suk-Kyun; Han, Youngkyu; Kim, Dr. Tae-Hwan; Smith, Gregory Scott; Do, Changwoo

    2014-01-01

    Structural evolution from poly(lactide) (PLA) macromonomer to resultant PLA molecular bottlebrush during ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) was investigated for the first time by combining size exclusion chromatography (SEC), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CG-MD) simulations. Multiple aliquots were collected at various reaction times during ROMP, and subsequently analyzed by SEC and SANS. The two complementary techniques enable the understanding of systematic changes in conversion, molecular weight and dispersity as well as structural details of PLA molecular bottlebrushes. CG-MD simulation not only predicts the experimental observations, but it also provides further insight into the analysis and interpretation of data obtained in SEC and SANS experiments. We find that PLA molecular bottlebrushes undergo three conformational transitions with increasing conversion (i.e., increasing the backbone length): (1) from an elongated to a globular shape due to longer side chain at lower conversion, (2) from a globular to an elongated shape at intermediate conversion caused by excluded volume of PLA side chain, and (3) the saturation of contour length at higher conversion due to chain transfer reactions.

  5. The influence of body size and net diversification rate on molecular evolution during the radiation of animal phyla

    PubMed Central

    Fontanillas, Eric; Welch, John J; Thomas, Jessica A; Bromham, Lindell

    2007-01-01

    Background Molecular clock dates, which place the origin of animal phyla deep in the Precambrian, have been used to reject the hypothesis of a rapid evolutionary radiation of animal phyla supported by the fossil record. One possible explanation of the discrepancy is the potential for fast substitution rates early in the metazoan radiation. However, concerted rate variation, occurring simultaneously in multiple lineages, cannot be detected by "clock tests", and so another way to explore such variation is to look for correlated changes between rates and other biological factors. Here we investigate two possible causes of fast early rates: change in average body size or diversification rate of deep metazoan lineages. Results For nine genes for phylogenetically independent comparisons between 50 metazoan phyla, orders, and classes, we find a significant correlation between average body size and rate of molecular evolution of mitochondrial genes. The data also indicate that diversification rate may have a positive effect on rates of mitochondrial molecular evolution. Conclusion If average body sizes were significantly smaller in the early history of the Metazoa, and if rates of diversification were much higher, then it is possible that mitochondrial genes have undergone a slow-down in evolutionary rate, which could affect date estimates made from these genes. PMID:17592650

  6. Divergence times and the evolution of morphological complexity in an early land plant lineage (Marchantiopsida) with a slow molecular rate.

    PubMed

    Villarreal A, Juan Carlos; Crandall-Stotler, Barbara J; Hart, Michelle L; Long, David G; Forrest, Laura L

    2016-03-01

    We present a complete generic-level phylogeny of the complex thalloid liverworts, a lineage that includes the model system Marchantia polymorpha. The complex thalloids are remarkable for their slow rate of molecular evolution and for being the only extant plant lineage to differentiate gas exchange tissues in the gametophyte generation. We estimated the divergence times and analyzed the evolutionary trends of morphological traits, including air chambers, rhizoids and specialized reproductive structures. A multilocus dataset was analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. Relative rates were estimated using local clocks. Our phylogeny cements the early branching in complex thalloids. Marchantia is supported in one of the earliest divergent lineages. The rate of evolution in organellar loci is slower than for other liverwort lineages, except for two annual lineages. Most genera diverged in the Cretaceous. Marchantia polymorpha diversified in the Late Miocene, giving a minimum age estimate for the evolution of its sex chromosomes. The complex thalloid ancestor, excluding Blasiales, is reconstructed as a plant with a carpocephalum, with filament-less air chambers opening via compound pores, and without pegged rhizoids. Our comprehensive study of the group provides a temporal framework for the analysis of the evolution of critical traits essential for plants during land colonization. PMID:26505145

  7. Punctuated equilibrium and shock waves in molecular models of biological evolution.

    PubMed

    Saakian, David B; Ghazaryan, Makar H; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2014-08-01

    We consider the dynamics in infinite population evolution models with a general symmetric fitness landscape. We find shock waves, i.e., discontinuous transitions in the mean fitness, in evolution dynamics even with smooth fitness landscapes, which means that the search for the optimal evolution trajectory is more complicated. These shock waves appear in the case of positive epistasis and can be used to represent punctuated equilibria in biological evolution during long geological time scales. We find exact analytical solutions for discontinuous dynamics at the large-genome-length limit and derive optimal mutation rates for a fixed fitness landscape to send the population from the initial configuration to some final configuration in the fastest way. PMID:25215763

  8. Punctuated equilibrium and shock waves in molecular models of biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saakian, David B.; Ghazaryan, Makar H.; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2014-08-01

    We consider the dynamics in infinite population evolution models with a general symmetric fitness landscape. We find shock waves, i.e., discontinuous transitions in the mean fitness, in evolution dynamics even with smooth fitness landscapes, which means that the search for the optimal evolution trajectory is more complicated. These shock waves appear in the case of positive epistasis and can be used to represent punctuated equilibria in biological evolution during long geological time scales. We find exact analytical solutions for discontinuous dynamics at the large-genome-length limit and derive optimal mutation rates for a fixed fitness landscape to send the population from the initial configuration to some final configuration in the fastest way.

  9. Evolution of OH and CO-Dark Molecular Gas Fraction across a Molecular Cloud Boundary in Taurus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Duo; Li, Di; Yue, Nannan; Goldsmith, Paul F.

    2016-03-01

    We present observations of 12CO J = 1-0, 13CO J = 1-0, H i, and all four ground-state transitions of the hydroxyl (OH) radical toward a sharp boundary region of the Taurus molecular cloud. Based on a photodissociation region (PDR) model that reproduces CO and [C i] emission from the same region, we modeled the three OH transitions, 1612, 1665, and 1667 MHz successfully through escape probability non-local thermal equilibrium radiative transfer model calculations. We could not reproduce the 1720 MHz observations, due to unmodeled pumping mechanisms, of which the most likely candidate is a C-shock. The abundance of OH and CO-dark molecular gas is well-constrained. The OH abundance [OH]/[H2] decreases from 8× {10}-7 to 1× {10}-7 as Av increases from 0.4 to 2.7 mag following an empirical law: which is higher than PDR model predictions for low-extinction regions by a factor of 80. The overabundance of OH at extinctions at or below 1 mag is likely the result of a C-shock. The dark gas fraction (DGF, defined as the fraction of molecular gas without detectable CO emission) decreases from 80% to 20% following a Gaussian profile: This trend of the DGF is consistent with our understanding that the DGF drops at low visual extinction due to photodissociation of H2 and drops at high visual extinction due to CO formation. The DGF peaks in the extinction range where H2 has already formed and achieved self-shielding but 12CO has not. Two narrow velocity components with a peak-to-peak spacing of ˜1 km s-1 were clearly identified. Their relative intensity and variation in space and frequency suggest colliding streams or gas flows at the boundary region.

  10. Congruence and indifference between two molecular markers for understanding oral evolution in the Marynidae sensu lato (Ciliophora, Colpodea)

    PubMed Central

    Dunthorn, Micah; Katz, Laura A.; Stoeck, Thorsten; Foissner, Wilhelm

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of oral structures within the Colpodida is confounded by the low number of morphological characters that can be used in constructing hypotheses, and by the low taxon and character sampling in molecular phylogenetic analyses designed to assess these hypotheses. Here we increase character sampling by sequencing the mitochondrial SSU-rDNA locus for three isolates of the Marynidae sensu lato. We show that the inferred mitochondrial and nuclear SSU-rDNA trees, as well as concatenated and constrained analyses, are congruent in not recovering a monophyletic Marynidae. However, due to low node support, the trees are indifferent to whether the morphological characters used to unite the Marynidae are the result of retention of ancestral states or convergence. In light of this indifference and an increased amount of nuclear and mitochondrial SSU-rDNA data, alternative hypotheses of oral evolution in the Colpodida are presented. PMID:22356924

  11. Molecular evolution of the clustered MMIC-3 multigene family of Gossypium species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Uniqueness, content, localization, and defense-related features of the root-knot nematode resistance-associated MIC-3 supergene cluster in the genus Gossypium are all of interest for molecular evolutionary studies of duplicate supergenes in allopolyploids. Here we report molecular evolutionary rates...

  12. Molecular Evolution of Clustered MIC-3 (Meloidogyne Induced Cotton -3) Multigene Family of Gossypium Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Uniqueness, content, localization, and defense-related features of the root-knot nematode resistance-associated MIC-3 multigene cluster in the genus Gossypium are all of interest for molecular evolutionary studies of duplicate genes in allopolyploids. Here we report molecular evolutionary rates of t...

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular engineering of a cobalt-based electrocatalytic nanomaterial for H2 evolution under fully aqueous conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreiadis, Eugen S.; Jacques, Pierre-André; Tran, Phong D.; Leyris, Adeline; Chavarot-Kerlidou, Murielle; Jousselme, Bruno; Matheron, Muriel; Pécaut, Jacques; Palacin, Serge; Fontecave, Marc; Artero, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The viability of a hydrogen economy depends on the design of efficient catalytic systems based on earth-abundant elements. Innovative breakthroughs for hydrogen evolution based on molecular tetraimine cobalt compounds have appeared in the past decade. Here we show that such a diimine-dioxime cobalt catalyst can be grafted to the surface of a carbon nanotube electrode. The resulting electrocatalytic cathode material mediates H2 generation (55,000 turnovers in seven hours) from fully aqueous solutions at low-to-medium overpotentials. This material is remarkably stable, which allows extensive cycling with preservation of the grafted molecular complex, as shown by electrochemical studies, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. This clearly indicates that grafting provides an increased stability to these cobalt catalysts, and suggests the possible application of these materials in the development of technological devices.

  15. Cryptic Species in Tropic Sands - Interactive 3D Anatomy, Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Meiofaunal Pseudunelidae (Gastropoda, Acochlidia)

    PubMed Central

    Neusser, Timea P.; Jörger, Katharina M.; Schrödl, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Background Towards realistic estimations of the diversity of marine animals, tiny meiofaunal species usually are underrepresented. Since the biological species concept is hardly applicable on exotic and elusive animals, it is even more important to apply a morphospecies concept on the best level of information possible, using accurate and efficient methodology such as 3D modelling from histological sections. Molecular approaches such as sequence analyses may reveal further, cryptic species. This is the first case study on meiofaunal gastropods to test diversity estimations from traditional taxonomy against results from modern microanatomical methodology and molecular systematics. Results The examined meiofaunal Pseudunela specimens from several Indo-Pacific islands cannot be distinguished by external features. Their 3D microanatomy shows differences in the organ systems and allows for taxonomic separation in some cases. Additional molecular analyses based on partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA markers revealed considerable genetic structure that is largely congruent with anatomical or geographical patterns. Two new species (Pseudunela viatoris and P. marteli spp. nov.) are formally described integrating morphological and genetic analyses. Phylogenetic analysis using partial 16S rRNA, COI and the nuclear 18S rRNA markers shows a clade of Pseudunelidae species as the sister group to limnic Acochlidiidae. Within Pseudunela, two subtypes of complex excretory systems occur. A complex kidney already evolved in the ancestor of Hedylopsacea. Several habitat shifts occurred during hedylopsacean evolution. Conclusions Cryptic species occur in tropical meiofaunal Pseudunela gastropods, and likely in other meiofaunal groups with poor dispersal abilities, boosting current diversity estimations. Only a combined 3D microanatomical and molecular approach revealed actual species diversity within Pseudunela reliably. Such integrative methods are

  16. Effects of DNA Methylation and Chromatin State on Rates of Molecular Evolution in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Glastad, Karl M.; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Yi, Soojin V.; Hunt, Brendan G.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic information is widely appreciated for its role in gene regulation in eukaryotic organisms. However, epigenetic information can also influence genome evolution. Here, we investigate the effects of epigenetic information on gene sequence evolution in two disparate insects: the fly Drosophila melanogaster, which lacks substantial DNA methylation, and the ant Camponotus floridanus, which possesses a functional DNA methylation system. We found that DNA methylation was positively correlated with the synonymous substitution rate in C. floridanus, suggesting a key effect of DNA methylation on patterns of gene evolution. However, our data suggest the link between DNA methylation and elevated rates of synonymous substitution was explained, in large part, by the targeting of DNA methylation to genes with signatures of transcriptionally active chromatin, rather than the mutational effect of DNA methylation itself. This phenomenon may be explained by an elevated mutation rate for genes residing in transcriptionally active chromatin, or by increased structural constraints on genes in inactive chromatin. This result highlights the importance of chromatin structure as the primary epigenetic driver of genome evolution in insects. Overall, our study demonstrates how different epigenetic systems contribute to variation in the rates of coding sequence evolution. PMID:26637432

  17. Targeted metagenomics unveils the molecular basis for adaptive evolution of enzymes to their environment

    PubMed Central

    Suenaga, Hikaru

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms have a wonderful ability to adapt rapidly to new or altered environmental conditions. Enzymes are the basis of metabolism in all living organisms and, therefore, enzyme adaptation plays a crucial role in the adaptation of microorganisms. Comparisons of homology and parallel beneficial mutations in an enzyme family provide valuable hints of how an enzyme adapted to an ecological system; consequently, a series of enzyme collections is required to investigate enzyme evolution. Targeted metagenomics is a promising tool for the construction of enzyme pools and for studying the adaptive evolution of enzymes. This perspective article presents a summary of targeted metagenomic approaches useful for this purpose. PMID:26441940

  18. Targeted metagenomics unveils the molecular basis for adaptive evolution of enzymes to their environment.

    PubMed

    Suenaga, Hikaru

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms have a wonderful ability to adapt rapidly to new or altered environmental conditions. Enzymes are the basis of metabolism in all living organisms and, therefore, enzyme adaptation plays a crucial role in the adaptation of microorganisms. Comparisons of homology and parallel beneficial mutations in an enzyme family provide valuable hints of how an enzyme adapted to an ecological system; consequently, a series of enzyme collections is required to investigate enzyme evolution. Targeted metagenomics is a promising tool for the construction of enzyme pools and for studying the adaptive evolution of enzymes. This perspective article presents a summary of targeted metagenomic approaches useful for this purpose. PMID:26441940

  19. Tracking adaptive evolution in the structure, function and molecular phylogeny of haemoglobin in non-Antarctic notothenioid fish species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verde, Cinzia; Parisi, Elio; di Prisco, Guido

    2006-04-01

    With the notable exception of Antarctic icefishes, haemoglobin (Hb) is present in all vertebrates. In polar fish, Hb evolution has included adaptations with implications at the biochemical, physiological and molecular levels. Cold adaptation has been shown to be also linked to small changes in primary structure and post-translational modifications in proteins, including hydrophobic remodelling and increased flexibility. A wealth of knowledge is available on the oxygen-transport system of fish inhabiting Antarctic waters, but very little is known on the structure and function of Hb of non-Antarctic notothenioid fishes. The comparison of the biochemical and physiological adaptations between cold-adapted and non-cold-adapted species is a powerful tool to understand whether (and to what extent) extreme environments require specific adaptations or simply select for phenotypically different life styles. This study focuses on structure, function and molecular phylogeny of Hb in Antarctic and non-Antarctic notothenioid fishes. The rationale is to use the primary structure of Hb as tool of choice to gain insight into the pathways of the evolution history of α and β globins of notothenioids and also as a basis for reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships among Antarctic and non-Antarctic species.

  20. Molecular evolution and gene expression differences within the HD-Zip transcription factor family of Zea mays L.

    PubMed

    Mao, Hude; Yu, Lijuan; Li, Zhanjie; Liu, Hui; Han, Ran

    2016-04-01

    Homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) transcription factors regulate developmental processes and stress responses in plants, and they vary widely in gene number and family structure. In this study, 55 predicted maize HD-Zip genes were systematically analyzed with respect to their phylogenetic relationships, molecular evolution, and gene expression in order to understand the functional diversification within the family. Phylogenetic analysis of HD-Zip proteins from Zea mays, Oryza sativa, Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera, and Physcomitrella patens showed that they group into four classes. We inferred that the copy numbers of classes I and III genes were relatively conserved in all five species. The 55 maize HD-Zip genes are distributed randomly on the ten chromosomes, with 15 segmental duplication and 4 tandem duplication events, suggesting that segmental duplications were the major contributors in the expansion of the maize HD-Zip gene family. Expression analysis of the 55 maize HD-Zip genes in different tissues and drought conditions revealed differences in the expression levels and patterns between the four classes. Promoter analysis revealed that a number of stress response-, hormone response-, light response-, and development-related cis-acting elements were present in their promoters. Our results provide novel insights into the molecular evolution and gene expression within the HD-Zip gene family in maize, and provide a solid foundation for future functional study of the HD-Zip genes in maize. PMID:26979310

  1. The geochemical evolution of low-molecular-weight organic acids derived from the degradation of petroleum contaminants in groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cozzarelli, I.M.; Baedecker, M.J.; Eganhouse, R.P.; Goerlitz, D.F.

    1994-01-01

    The geochemical evolution of low-molecular-weight organic acids in groundwater downgradient from a crude-oil spill near Bemidji, Minnesota, was studied over a five year period (1986-1990). The organic acids are metabolic intermediates of the degradation of components of the crude oil and are structurally related to hydrocarbon precursors. The concentrations of organic acids, particularly aliphatic acids, increase as the microbial alteration of hydrocarbons progresses. The organic-acid pool changes in composition and concentration over time and in space as the degradation processes shift from Fe(III) reduction to methanogenesis. Over time, the aquifer system evolves into one in which the groundwater contains more oxidized products of hydrocarbon degradation and the reduced forms of iron, m