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Sample records for adaptive molecular evolution

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Yunpeng, Liang; Li, Yu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-23

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction provides evolutionary advantages over asexual reproduction by reducing mutational load and increasing adaptive potential. Here, we test the latter prediction in the context of plant defences against pathogens because pathogens frequently reduce plant fitness and drive the evolution of plant defences. Specifically, we ask whether sexual evening primrose plant lineages (Onagraceae) have faster rates of adaptive molecular evolution and altered gene expression of a class I chitinase, a gene implicated in defence against pathogens, than functionally asexual evening primrose lineages. We found that the ratio of amino acid to silent substitutions (K(a) /K(s) = 0.19 vs. 0.11 for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively), the number of sites identified to be under positive selection (four vs. zero for sexual and asexual lineages, respectively) and the expression of chitinase were all higher in sexual than in asexual lineages. Our results are congruent with the conclusion that a loss of sexual recombination and segregation in the Onagraceae negatively affects adaptive structural and potentially regulatory evolution of a plant defence protein.

  9. Evolution of dark colour in toucans (Ramphastidae): a case of molecular adaptation?

    PubMed

    Corso, J; Mundy, N I; Fagundes, N J R; de Freitas, T R O

    2016-12-01

    In the last decades, researchers have been able to determine the molecular basis of some phenotypes, to test for evidence of natural selection upon them, and to demonstrate that the same genes or genetic pathways can be associated with convergent traits. Colour traits are often subject to natural selection because even small changes in these traits can have a large effect on fitness via camouflage, sexual selection or other mechanisms. The melanocortin-1 receptor locus (MC1R) is frequently associated with intraspecific coat colour variation in vertebrates, but it has been far harder to demonstrate that this locus is involved in adaptive interspecific colour differences. Here, we investigate the contribution of the MC1R gene to the colour diversity found in toucans (Ramphastidae). We found divergent selection on MC1R in the clade represented by the genus Ramphastos and that this coincided with the evolution of darker plumage in members of this genus. Using phylogenetically corrected correlations, we show significant and specific relationships between the rate of nonsynonymous change in MC1R (dN) and plumage darkness across Ramphastidae, and also between the rate of functionally significant amino acid changes in MC1R and plumage darkness. Furthermore, three of the seven amino acid changes in MC1R that occurred in the ancestral Ramphastos branch are associated with melanism in other birds. Taken together, our results suggest that the dark colour of Ramphastos toucans was related to nonsynonymous substitutions in MC1R that may have been subject to positive selection or to a relaxation of selective pressure. These results also demonstrate a quantitative relationship between gene and phenotype evolution, representing an example of how MC1R molecular evolution may affect macroevolution of plumage phenotypes.

  10. Adaptive Molecular Evolution of PHYE in Primulina, a Karst Cave Plant.

    PubMed

    Tao, Junjie; Qi, Qingwen; Kang, Ming; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-01-01

    Limestone Karst areas possess high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Primulina is a typical component of Karst endemic floras. The high species richness and wide distribution in various Karst microenvironments make the genus an idea model for studying speciation and local adaptation. In this study, we obtained 10 full-length sequences of the phytochrome PHYE from available transcriptome resources of Primulina and amplified partial sequences of PHYE from the genomic DNA of 74 Primulina species. Then, we used maximum-likelihood approaches to explore molecular evolution of PHYE in this Karst cave plant. The results showed that PHYE was dominated by purifying selection in both data sets, and two sites were identified as potentially under positive selection. Furthermore, the ω ratio varies greatly among different functional domains of PHYE and among different species lineages. These results suggest that potential positive selection in PHYE might have played an important role in the adaption of Primulina to heterogeneous light environments in Karst regions, and different species lineages might have been subjected to different selective pressures.

  11. Evolution of the fruit endocarp: molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in seed protection and dispersal strategies

    PubMed Central

    Dardick, Chris; Callahan, Ann M.

    2014-01-01

    Plant evolution is largely driven by adaptations in seed protection and dispersal strategies that allow diversification into new niches. This is evident by the tremendous variation in flowering and fruiting structures present both across and within different plant lineages. Within a single plant family a staggering variety of fruit types can be found such as fleshy fruits including berries, pomes, and drupes and dry fruit structures like achenes, capsules, and follicles. What are the evolutionary mechanisms that enable such dramatic shifts to occur in a relatively short period of time? This remains a fundamental question of plant biology today. On the surface it seems that these extreme differences in form and function must be the consequence of very different developmental programs that require unique sets of genes. Yet as we begin to decipher the molecular and genetic basis underlying fruit form it is becoming apparent that simple genetic changes in key developmental regulatory genes can have profound anatomical effects. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of fruit endocarp tissue differentiation that have contributed to species diversification within three plant lineages. PMID:25009543

  12. Evolution of the fruit endocarp: molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in seed protection and dispersal strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 f...

  13. 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.

  14. Adaptive molecular evolution of the Major Histocompatibility Complex genes, DRA and DQA, in the genus Equus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes are central to vertebrate immune response and are believed to be under balancing selection by pathogens. This hypothesis has been supported by observations of extremely high polymorphism, elevated nonsynonymous to synonymous base pair substitution rates and trans-species polymorphisms at these loci. In equids, the organization and variability of this gene family has been described, however the full extent of diversity and selection is unknown. As selection is not expected to act uniformly on a functional gene, maximum likelihood codon-based models of selection that allow heterogeneity in selection across codon positions can be valuable for examining MHC gene evolution and the molecular basis for species adaptations. Results We investigated the evolution of two class II MHC genes of the Equine Lymphocyte Antigen (ELA), DRA and DQA, in the genus Equus with the addition of novel alleles identified in plains zebra (E. quagga, formerly E. burchelli). We found that both genes exhibited a high degree of polymorphism and inter-specific sharing of allele lineages. To our knowledge, DRA allelic diversity was discovered to be higher than has ever been observed in vertebrates. Evidence was also found to support a duplication of the DQA locus. Selection analyses, evaluated in terms of relative rates of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations (dN/dS) averaged over the gene region, indicated that the majority of codon sites were conserved and under purifying selection (dN

  15. 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.

  16. Comparative Genomic Analysis of the Streptococcus dysgalactiae Species Group: Gene Content, Molecular Adaptation, and Promoter Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Haruo; Lefébure, Tristan; Hubisz, Melissa Jane; Pavinski Bitar, Paulina; Lang, Ping; Siepel, Adam; Stanhope, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Comparative genomics of closely related bacterial species with different pathogenesis and host preference can provide a means of identifying the specifics of adaptive differences. Streptococcus dysgalactiae (SD) is comprised of two subspecies: S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis is both a human commensal organism and a human pathogen, and S. dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae is strictly an animal pathogen. Here, we present complete genome sequences for both taxa, with analyses involving other species of Streptococcus but focusing on adaptation in the SD species group. We found little evidence for enrichment in biochemical categories of genes carried by each SD strain, however, differences in the virulence gene repertoire were apparent. Some of the differences could be ascribed to prophage and integrative conjugative elements. We identified approximately 9% of the nonrecombinant core genome to be under positive selection, some of which involved known virulence factors in other bacteria. Analyses of proteomes by pooling data across genes, by biochemical category, clade, or branch, provided evidence for increased rates of evolution in several gene categories, as well as external branches of the tree. Promoters were primarily evolving under purifying selection but with certain categories of genes evolving faster. Many of these fast-evolving categories were the same as those associated with rapid evolution in proteins. Overall, these results suggest that adaptation to changing environments and new hosts in the SD species group has involved the acquisition of key virulence genes along with selection of orthologous protein-coding loci and operon promoters. PMID:21282711

  17. Collembolan Transcriptomes Highlight Molecular Evolution of Hexapods and Provide Clues on the Adaptation to Terrestrial Life

    PubMed Central

    Faddeeva, A.; Studer, R. A.; Kraaijeveld, K.; Sie, D.; Ylstra, B.; Mariën, J.; op den Camp, H. J. M.; Datema, E.; den Dunnen, J. T.; van Straalen, N. M.; Roelofs, D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Collembola (springtails) represent a soil-living lineage of hexapods in between insects and crustaceans. Consequently, their genomes may hold key information on the early processes leading to evolution of Hexapoda from a crustacean ancestor. Method We assembled and annotated transcriptomes of the Collembola Folsomia candida and Orchesella cincta, and performed comparative analysis with protein-coding gene sequences of three crustaceans and three insects to identify adaptive signatures associated with the evolution of hexapods within the pancrustacean clade. Results Assembly of the springtail transcriptomes resulted in 37,730 transcripts with predicted open reading frames for F. candida and 32,154 for O. cincta, of which 34.2% were functionally annotated for F. candida and 38.4% for O. cincta. Subsequently, we predicted orthologous clusters among eight species and applied the branch-site test to detect episodic positive selection in the Hexapoda and Collembola lineages. A subset of 250 genes showed significant positive selection along the Hexapoda branch and 57 in the Collembola lineage. Gene Ontology categories enriched in these genes include metabolism, stress response (i.e. DNA repair, immune response), ion transport, ATP metabolism, regulation and development-related processes (i.e. eye development, neurological development). Conclusions We suggest that the identified gene families represent processes that have played a key role in the divergence of hexapods within the pancrustacean clade that eventually evolved into the most species-rich group of all animals, the hexapods. Furthermore, some adaptive signatures in collembolans may provide valuable clues to understand evolution of hexapods on land. PMID:26075903

  18. 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)

  19. Genome-wide analysis of adaptive molecular evolution in the carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba.

    PubMed

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Librado, Pablo; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A

    2015-01-09

    The genome of the bladderwort Utricularia gibba provides an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the adaptive landscape of an aquatic carnivorous plant with unique phenotypic features such as absence of roots, development of water-filled suction bladders, and a highly ramified branching pattern. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates approximately as many genes as other plant genomes. To examine the relationship between the compactness of its genome and gene turnover, we compared the U. gibba genome with that of four other eudicot species, defining a total of 17,324 gene families (orthogroups). These families were further classified as either 1) lineage-specific expanded/contracted or 2) stable in size. The U. gibba-expanded families are generically related to three main phenotypic features: 1) trap physiology, 2) key plant morphogenetic/developmental pathways, and 3) response to environmental stimuli, including adaptations to life in aquatic environments. Further scans for signatures of protein functional specialization permitted identification of seven candidate genes with amino acid changes putatively fixed by positive Darwinian selection in the U. gibba lineage. The Arabidopsis orthologs of these genes (AXR, UMAMIT41, IGS, TAR2, SOL1, DEG9, and DEG10) are involved in diverse plant biological functions potentially relevant for U. gibba phenotypic diversification, including 1) auxin metabolism and signal transduction, 2) flowering induction and floral meristem transition, 3) root development, and 4) peptidases. Taken together, our results suggest numerous candidate genes and gene families as interesting targets for further experimental confirmation of their functional and adaptive roles in the U. gibba's unique lifestyle and highly specialized body plan.

  20. Molecular evolution of cytochrome C oxidase underlies high-altitude adaptation in the bar-headed goose.

    PubMed

    Scott, Graham R; Schulte, Patricia M; Egginton, Stuart; Scott, Angela L M; Richards, Jeffrey G; Milsom, William K

    2011-01-01

    Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) fly at up to 9,000 m elevation during their migration over the Himalayas, sustaining high metabolic rates in the severe hypoxia at these altitudes. We investigated the evolution of cardiac energy metabolism and O(2) transport in this species to better understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation. Compared with low-altitude geese (pink-footed geese and barnacle geese), bar-headed geese had larger lungs and higher capillary densities in the left ventricle of the heart, both of which should improve O(2) diffusion during hypoxia. Although myoglobin abundance and the activities of many metabolic enzymes (carnitine palmitoyltransferase, citrate synthase, 3-hydroxyacyl-coA dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, and pyruvate kinase) showed only minor variation between species, bar-headed geese had a striking alteration in the kinetics of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the heteromeric enzyme that catalyzes O(2) reduction in oxidative phosphorylation. This was reflected by a lower maximum catalytic activity and a higher affinity for reduced cytochrome c. There were small differences between species in messenger RNA and protein expression of COX subunits 3 and 4, but these were inconsistent with the divergence in enzyme kinetics. However, the COX3 gene of bar-headed geese contained a nonsynonymous substitution at a site that is otherwise conserved across vertebrates and resulted in a major functional change of amino acid class (Trp-116 → Arg). This mutation was predicted by structural modeling to alter the interaction between COX3 and COX1. Adaptations in mitochondrial enzyme kinetics and O(2) transport capacity may therefore contribute to the exceptional ability of bar-headed geese to fly high.

  1. Life-history evolution at the molecular level: adaptive amino acid composition of avian vitellogenins

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.

    2015-01-01

    Avian genomes typically encode three distinct vitellogenin (VTG) egg yolk proteins (VTG1, VTG2 and VTG3), which arose by gene duplication prior to the most recent common ancestor of birds. Analysis of VTG sequences from 34 avian species in a phylogenetic framework supported the hypothesis that VTG amino acid composition has co-evolved with embryo incubation time. Embryo incubation time was positively correlated with the proportions of dietary essential amino acids (EAAs) in VTG1 and VTG2, and with the proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids in VTG3. These patterns were seen even when only semi-altricial and/or altricial species were considered, suggesting that the duration of embryo incubation is a major selective factor on the amino acid composition of VTGs, rather than developmental mode alone. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the level of EAAs provided to the egg represents an adaptation to the loss of amino acids through breakdown over the course of incubation and imply that life-history phenotypes and VTG amino acid composition have co-evolved throughout the evolutionary history of birds. PMID:26224713

  2. The molecular basis for adaptive evolution in novel extradiol dioxygenases retrieved from the metagenome.

    PubMed

    Suenaga, Hikaru; Mizuta, Shiori; Miyazaki, Kentaro

    2009-09-01

    Extradiol dioxygenase (EDO) catalyzes metal-dependent ring cleavage of catecholic substrates. We previously screened a metagenomic library of activated sludge used to treat industrial wastewater contaminated with phenols and cyanide to identify 43 EDO genes. Here, we have characterized the enzymes belonging to novel I.2.G, I.3.M and I.3.N subfamilies. The I.3.M and I.3.N EDOs were Fe(II) dependent and preferred bicyclic substrates, whereas the I.2.G EDOs were Mn(II) dependent, preferred monocyclic substrates and had the highest affinity for catechol reported thus far. The I.2.G EDOs were more tolerant against heat (60 degrees C for 1 h) and chemical inhibitors (H(2)O(2) and NaCN) than I.3.M and I.3.N EDOs. Considering the dominance of the I.2.G EDOs over all retrieved EDOs (20 of 43 clones) and the presence of cyanide in the environment, this high affinity for substrate and structural robustness should provide survival advantages to host microorganisms. The 20 I.2.G EDOs were classified into six groups based on the amino acid sequence of the predicted ancestor, 1A1. Enzymes were chosen from each group and characterized. Two descendents, 1D2 and 5B2, each had a k(cat)/K(M) approximately twofold higher than that of 1A1 and reduced thermal stability, suggesting that descendents of 1A1 have adapted evolutionarily by a trade-off of inherent stability for increased activity.

  3. Combining molecular evolution and environmental genomics to unravel adaptive processes of MHC class IIB diversity in European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus)

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Helene; Burri, Reto; Comtesse, Fabien; Fumagalli, Luca

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Host–pathogen interactions are a major evolutionary force promoting local adaptation. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) represent unique candidates to investigate evolutionary processes driving local adaptation to parasite communities. The present study aimed at identifying the relative roles of neutral and adaptive processes driving the evolution of MHC class IIB (MHCIIB) genes in natural populations of European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus). To this end, we isolated and genotyped exon 2 of two MHCIIB gene duplicates (DAB1 and DAB3) and 1′665 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers in nine populations, and characterized local bacterial communities by 16S rDNA barcoding using 454 amplicon sequencing. Both MHCIIB loci exhibited signs of historical balancing selection. Whereas genetic differentiation exceeded that of neutral markers at both loci, the populations' genetic diversities were positively correlated with local pathogen diversities only at DAB3. Overall, our results suggest pathogen-mediated local adaptation in European minnows at both MHCIIB loci. While at DAB1 selection appears to favor different alleles among populations, this is only partially the case in DAB3, which appears to be locally adapted to pathogen communities in terms of genetic diversity. These results provide new insights into the importance of host–pathogen interactions in driving local adaptation in the European minnow, and highlight that the importance of adaptive processes driving MHCIIB gene evolution may differ among duplicates within species, presumably as a consequence of alternative selective regimes or different genomic context. Using next-generation sequencing, the present manuscript identifies the relative roles of neutral and adaptive processes driving the evolution of MHC class IIB (MHCIIB) genes in natural populations of a cyprinid fish: the European minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus). We highlight that the relative importance of neutral

  4. Molecular mechanisms of temperature adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N; Gracheva, Elena O

    2015-01-01

    Thermal perception is a fundamental physiological process pertaining to the vast majority of organisms. In vertebrates, environmental temperature is detected by the primary afferents of the somatosensory neurons in the skin, which express a ‘choir’ of ion channels tuned to detect particular temperatures. Nearly two decades of research have revealed a number of receptor ion channels that mediate the perception of several temperature ranges, but most still remain molecularly orphaned. Yet even within this well-researched realm, most of our knowledge largely pertains to two closely related species of rodents, mice and rats. While these are standard biomedical research models, mice and rats provide a limited perspective to elucidate the general principles that drive somatosensory evolution. In recent years, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of temperature adaptation in evolutionarily distant vertebrates and in organisms with acute thermal sensitivity. These studies have revealed the remarkable versatility of the somatosensory system and highlighted adaptations at the molecular level, which often include changes in biophysical properties of ion channels from the transient receptor potential family. Exploiting non-standard animal models has the potential to provide unexpected insights into general principles of thermosensation and thermoregulation, unachievable using the rodent model alone. PMID:25433072

  5. Antagonistic coevolution accelerates molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Physicochemical evolution and molecular adaptation of the cetacean osmoregulation-related gene UT-A2 and implications for functional studies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jingzhen; Yu, Xueying; Hu, Bo; Zheng, Jinsong; Xiao, Wuhan; Hao, Yujiang; Liu, Wenhua; Wang, Ding

    2015-03-12

    Cetaceans have an enigmatic evolutionary history of re-invading aquatic habitats. One of their essential adaptabilities that has enabled this process is their homeostatic strategy adjustment. Here, we investigated the physicochemical evolution and molecular adaptation of the cetacean urea transporter UT-A2, which plays an important role in urine concentration and water homeostasis. First, we cloned UT-A2 from the freshwater Yangtze finless porpoise, after which bioinformatics analyses were conducted based on available datasets (including freshwater baiji and marine toothed and baleen whales) using MEGA, PAML, DataMonkey, TreeSAAP and Consurf. Our findings suggest that the UT-A2 protein shows folding similar to that of dvUT and UT-B, whereas some variations occurred in the functional So and Si regions of the selectivity filter. Additionally, several regions of the cetacean UT-A2 protein have experienced molecular adaptations. We suggest that positive-destabilizing selection could contribute to adaptations by influencing its biochemical and conformational character. The conservation of amino acid residues within the selectivity filter of the urea conduction pore is likely to be necessary for urea conduction, whereas the non-conserved amino acid replacements around the entrance and exit of the conduction pore could potentially affect the activity, which could be interesting target sites for future mutagenesis studies.

  7. Molecular evolution of the hyaluronan synthase 2 gene in mammals: implications for adaptations to the subterranean niche and cancer resistance

    PubMed Central

    Faulkes, Christopher G.; Davies, Kalina T. J.; Rossiter, Stephen J.; Bennett, Nigel C.

    2015-01-01

    The naked mole-rat (NMR) Heterocephalus glaber is a unique and fascinating mammal exhibiting many unusual adaptations to a subterranean lifestyle. The recent discovery of their resistance to cancer and exceptional longevity has opened up new and important avenues of research. Part of this resistance to cancer has been attributed to the fact that NMRs produce a modified form of hyaluronan—a key constituent of the extracellular matrix—that is thought to confer increased elasticity of the skin as an adaptation for living in narrow tunnels. This so-called high molecular mass hyaluronan (HMM-HA) stems from two apparently unique substitutions in the hyaluronan synthase 2 enzyme (HAS2). To test whether other subterranean mammals with similar selection pressures also show molecular adaptation in their HAS2 gene, we sequenced the HAS2 gene for 11 subterranean mammals and closely related species, and combined these with data from 57 other mammals. Comparative screening revealed that one of the two putatively important HAS2 substitutions in the NMR predicted to have a significant effect on hyaluronan synthase function was uniquely shared by all African mole-rats. Interestingly, we also identified multiple other amino acid substitutions in key domains of the HAS2 molecule, although the biological consequences of these for hyaluronan synthesis remain to be determined. Despite these results, we found evidence of strong purifying selection acting on the HAS2 gene across all mammals, and the NMR remains unique in its particular HAS2 sequence. Our results indicate that more work is needed to determine whether the apparent cancer resistance seen in NMR is shared by other members of the African mole-rat clade. PMID:25948568

  8. Molecular evolution, adaptive radiation, and geographic diversification in the amphiatlantic family Rapateaceae: evidence from ndhF sequences and morphology.

    PubMed

    Givnish, T J; Evans, T M; Zjhra, M L; Patterson, T B; Berry, P E; Sytsma, K J

    2000-12-01

    Rapateaceae (16 genera, approximately 100 species) is largely restricted to the tepuis and sandplains of the Guayana Shield in northern South America, with Maschalocephalus endemic to West Africa. The family has undergone extensive radiation in flower form, leaf shape, habit, and habitat. To analyze the evolution of these distributions and traits, we derived a molecular phylogeny for representatives of 14 genera, based on sequence variation in the chloroplast-encoded ndhF gene. The lowland subfamily Rapateoideae is paraphyletic and includes the largely montane subfamily Saxofridericioideae as a monophyletic subset. Overall, the morphological/anatomical data differ significantly from ndhF sequences in phylogenetic structure, but show a high degree of concordance with the molecular tree in three of four tribes. Branch lengths are consistent with the operation of a molecular clock. Maschalocephalus diverges only slightly from other Monotremae: it is the product of relatively recent, long-distance dispersal, not continental drift--only its habitat atop rifted, nutrient-poor sandstones is vicariant. The family appears to have originated approximately 65 Mya in inundated lowlands of the Guayana Shield, followed by: (1) wide geographic spread of lowland taxa along riverine corridors; (2) colonization of Amazonian white-sand savannas in the western Shield; (3) invasion of tepui habitats with frequent speciation, evolution of narrow endemism, and origin of hummingbird pollination in the western Shield; and (4) reinvasion of lowland white-sand savannas. The apparent timing of speciation in the Stegolepis alliance about 6-12 Mya occurred long after the tepuis began to be dissected from each other as the Atlantic rifted approximately 90 Mya. Given the narrow distributions of most montane taxa, this suggests that infrequent long-distance dispersal combined with vicariance accounts for speciation atop tepuis in the Stegolepis alliance.

  9. Independent molecular basis of convergent highland adaptation in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar traits in different species or lineages of the same species; this often is a result of adaptation to similar environments, a process referred to as convergent adaptation. We investigate here the molecular basis of convergent adaptation in ...

  10. Adaptive evolution of Mediterranean pines.

    PubMed

    Grivet, Delphine; Climent, José; Zabal-Aguirre, Mario; Neale, David B; Vendramin, Giovanni G; González-Martínez, Santiago C

    2013-09-01

    Mediterranean pines represent an extremely heterogeneous assembly. Although they have evolved under similar environmental conditions, they diversified long ago, ca. 10 Mya, and present distinct biogeographic and demographic histories. Therefore, it is of special interest to understand whether and to what extent they have developed specific strategies of adaptive evolution through time and space. To explore evolutionary patterns, the Mediterranean pines' phylogeny was first reconstructed analyzing a new set of 21 low-copy nuclear genes with multilocus Bayesian tree reconstruction methods. Secondly, a phylogenetic approach was used to search for footprints of natural selection and to examine the evolution of multiple phenotypic traits. We identified two genes (involved in pines' defense and stress responses) that have likely played a role in the adaptation of Mediterranean pines to their environment. Moreover, few life-history traits showed historical or evolutionary adaptive convergence in Mediterranean lineages, while patterns of character evolution revealed various evolutionary trade-offs linking growth-development, reproduction and fire-related traits. Assessing the evolutionary path of important life-history traits, as well as the genomic basis of adaptive variation is central to understanding the past evolutionary success of Mediterranean pines and their future response to environmental changes.

  11. 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.

  12. The molecular basis of host adaptation in cactophilic Drosophila: molecular evolution of a glutathione S-transferase gene (GstD1) in Drosophila mojavensis.

    PubMed

    Matzkin, Luciano M

    2008-02-01

    Drosophila mojavensis is a cactophilic fly endemic to the northwestern deserts of North America. This species includes four genetically isolated cactus host races each individually specializing on the necrotic tissues of a different cactus species. The necrosis of each cactus species provides the resident D. mojavensis populations with a distinct chemical environment. A previous investigation of the role of transcriptional variation in the adaptation of D. mojavensis to its hosts produced a set of candidate loci that are differentially expressed in response to host shifts, and among them was glutathione S-transferase D1 (GstD1). In both D. melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae, GstD1 has been implicated in the resistance of these species to the insecticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). The pattern of sequence variation of the GstD1 locus from all four D. mojavensis populations, D. arizonae (sister species), and D. navojoa (outgroup) has been examined. The data suggest that in two populations of D. mojavensis GstD1 has gone through a period of adaptive amino acid evolution. Further analyses indicate that of the seven amino acid fixations that occurred in the D. mojavensis lineage, two of them occur in the active site pocket, potentially having a significant effect on substrate specificity and in the adaptation to alternative cactus hosts.

  13. The Molecular Basis of Host Adaptation in Cactophilic Drosophila: Molecular Evolution of a Glutathione S-Transferase Gene (GstD1) in Drosophila mojavensis

    PubMed Central

    Matzkin, Luciano M.

    2008-01-01

    Drosophila mojavensis is a cactophilic fly endemic to the northwestern deserts of North America. This species includes four genetically isolated cactus host races each individually specializing on the necrotic tissues of a different cactus species. The necrosis of each cactus species provides the resident D. mojavensis populations with a distinct chemical environment. A previous investigation of the role of transcriptional variation in the adaptation of D. mojavensis to its hosts produced a set of candidate loci that are differentially expressed in response to host shifts, and among them was glutathione S-transferase D1 (GstD1). In both D. melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae, GstD1 has been implicated in the resistance of these species to the insecticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). The pattern of sequence variation of the GstD1 locus from all four D. mojavensis populations, D. arizonae (sister species), and D. navojoa (outgroup) has been examined. The data suggest that in two populations of D. mojavensis GstD1 has gone through a period of adaptive amino acid evolution. Further analyses indicate that of the seven amino acid fixations that occurred in the D. mojavensis lineage, two of them occur in the active site pocket, potentially having a significant effect on substrate specificity and in the adaptation to alternative cactus hosts. PMID:18245335

  14. 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)

  15. Divergent evolution and molecular adaptation in the Drosophila odorant-binding protein family: inferences from sequence variation at the OS-E and OS-F genes

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The Drosophila Odorant-Binding Protein (Obp) genes constitute a multigene family with moderate gene number variation across species. The OS-E and OS-F genes are the two phylogenetically closest members of this family in the D. melanogaster genome. In this species, these genes are arranged in the same genomic cluster and likely arose by tandem gene duplication, the major mechanism proposed for the origin of new members in this olfactory-system family. Results We have analyzed the genomic cluster encompassing OS-E and OS-F genes (Obp83 genomic region) to determine the role of the functional divergence and molecular adaptation on the Obp family size evolution. We compared nucleotide and amino acid variation across 18 Drosophila and 4 mosquito species applying a phylogenetic-based maximum likelihood approach complemented with information of the OBP three-dimensional structure and function. We show that, in spite the OS-E and OS-F genes are currently subject to similar and strong selective constraints, they likely underwent divergent evolution. Positive selection was likely involved in the functional diversification of new copies in the early stages after the gene duplication event; moreover, it might have shaped nucleotide variation of the OS-E gene concomitantly with the loss of functionally related members. Besides, molecular adaptation likely affecting the functional OBP conformational changes was supported by the analysis of the evolution of physicochemical properties of the OS-E protein and the location of the putative positive selected amino acids on the OBP three-dimensional structure. Conclusion Our results support that positive selection was likely involved in the functional differentiation of new copies of the OBP multigene family in the early stages after their birth by gene duplication; likewise, it might shape variation of some members of the family concomitantly with the loss of functionally related genes. Thus, the stochastic gene gain

  16. Directed Evolution and In Silico Analysis of Reaction Centre Proteins Reveal Molecular Signatures of Photosynthesis Adaptation to Radiation Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Rea, Giuseppina; Lambreva, Maya; Polticelli, Fabio; Bertalan, Ivo; Antonacci, Amina; Pastorelli, Sandro; Damasso, Mario; Johanningmeier, Udo; Giardi, Maria Teresa

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary mechanisms adopted by the photosynthetic apparatus to modifications in the Earth's atmosphere on a geological time-scale remain a focus of intense research. The photosynthetic machinery has had to cope with continuously changing environmental conditions and particularly with the complex ionizing radiation emitted by solar flares. The photosynthetic D1 protein, being the site of electron tunneling-mediated charge separation and solar energy transduction, is a hot spot for the generation of radiation-induced radical injuries. We explored the possibility to produce D1 variants tolerant to ionizing radiation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and clarified the effect of radiation-induced oxidative damage on the photosynthetic proteins evolution. In vitro directed evolution strategies targeted at the D1 protein were adopted to create libraries of chlamydomonas random mutants, subsequently selected by exposures to radical-generating proton or neutron sources. The common trend observed in the D1 aminoacidic substitutions was the replacement of less polar by more polar amino acids. The applied selection pressure forced replacement of residues more sensitive to oxidative damage with less sensitive ones, suggesting that ionizing radiation may have been one of the driving forces in the evolution of the eukaryotic photosynthetic apparatus. A set of the identified aminoacidic substitutions, close to the secondary plastoquinone binding niche and oxygen evolving complex, were introduced by site-directed mutagenesis in un-transformed strains, and their sensitivity to free radicals attack analyzed. Mutants displayed reduced electron transport efficiency in physiological conditions, and increased photosynthetic performance stability and oxygen evolution capacity in stressful high-light conditions. Finally, comparative in silico analyses of D1 aminoacidic sequences of organisms differently located in the evolution chain, revealed a higher ratio of residues more sensitive to

  17. Molecular evolution and host adaptation of Bordetella spp.: phylogenetic analysis using multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and typing with three insertion sequences.

    PubMed Central

    van der Zee, A; Mooi, F; Van Embden, J; Musser, J

    1997-01-01

    A total of 188 Bordetella strains were characterized by the electrophoretic mobilities of 15 metabolic enzymes and the distribution and variation in positions and copy numbers of three insertion sequences (IS). The presence or absence of IS elements within certain lineages was congruent with estimates of overall genetic relationships as revealed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Bordetella pertussis and ovine B. parapertussis each formed separate clusters, while human B. parapertussis was most closely related to IS1001-containing B. bronchiseptica isolates. The results of the analysis provide support for the hypothesis that the population structure of Bordetella is predominantly clonal, with relatively little effective horizontal gene flow. Only a few examples of putative recombinational exchange of an IS element were detected. Based on the results of this study, we tried to reconstruct the evolutionary history of different host-adapted lineages. PMID:9352907

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The functional basis of adaptive evolution in chemostats.

    PubMed

    Gresham, David; Hong, Jungeui

    2015-01-01

    Two of the central problems in biology are determining the molecular basis of adaptive evolution and understanding how cells regulate their growth. The chemostat is a device for culturing cells that provides great utility in tackling both of these problems: it enables precise control of the selective pressure under which organisms evolve and it facilitates experimental control of cell growth rate. The aim of this review is to synthesize results from studies of the functional basis of adaptive evolution in long-term chemostat selections using Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe the principle of the chemostat, provide a summary of studies of experimental evolution in chemostats, and use these studies to assess our current understanding of selection in the chemostat. Functional studies of adaptive evolution in chemostats provide a unique means of interrogating the genetic networks that control cell growth, which complements functional genomic approaches and quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in natural populations. An integrated approach to the study of adaptive evolution that accounts for both molecular function and evolutionary processes is critical to advancing our understanding of evolution. By renewing efforts to integrate these two research programs, experimental evolution in chemostats is ideally suited to extending the functional synthesis to the study of genetic networks.

  1. The functional basis of adaptive evolution in chemostats

    PubMed Central

    Gresham, David; Hong, Jungeui

    2014-01-01

    Two of the central problems in biology are determining the molecular basis of adaptive evolution and understanding how cells regulate their growth. The chemostat is a device for culturing cells that provides great utility in tackling both of these problems: it enables precise control of the selective pressure under which organisms evolve and it facilitates experimental control of cell growth rate. The aim of this review is to synthesize results from studies of the functional basis of adaptive evolution in long-term chemostat selections using Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe the principle of the chemostat, provide a summary of studies of experimental evolution in chemostats, and use these studies to assess our current understanding of selection in the chemostat. Functional studies of adaptive evolution in chemostats provide a unique means of interrogating the genetic networks that control cell growth, which complements functional genomic approaches and quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in natural populations. An integrated approach to the study of adaptive evolution that accounts for both molecular function and evolutionary processes is critical to advancing our understanding of evolution. By renewing efforts to integrate these two research programs, experimental evolution in chemostats is ideally suited to extending the functional synthesis to the study of genetic networks. PMID:25098268

  2. Adaptive Evolution of Signaling Partners

    PubMed Central

    Urano, Daisuke; Dong, Taoran; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L.; Jones, Alan M.

    2015-01-01

    Proteins that interact coevolve their structures. When mutation disrupts the interaction, compensation by the partner occurs to restore interaction otherwise counterselection occurs. We show in this study how a destabilizing mutation in one protein is compensated by a stabilizing mutation in its protein partner and their coevolving path. The pathway in this case and likely a general principle of coevolution is that the compensatory change must tolerate both the original and derived structures with equivalence in function and activity. Evolution of the structure of signaling elements in a network is constrained by specific protein pair interactions, by requisite conformational changes, and by catalytic activity. The heterotrimeric G protein-coupled signaling is a paragon of this protein interaction/function complexity and our deep understanding of this pathway in diverse organisms lends itself to evolutionary study. Regulators of G protein Signaling (RGS) proteins accelerate the intrinsic GTP hydrolysis rate of the Gα subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein complex. An important RGS-contact site is a hydroxyl-bearing residue on the switch I region of Gα subunits in animals and most plants, such as Arabidopsis. The exception is the grasses (e.g., rice, maize, sugarcane, millets); these plants have Gα subunits that replaced the critical hydroxyl-bearing threonine with a destabilizing asparagine shown to disrupt interaction between Arabidopsis RGS protein (AtRGS1) and the grass Gα subunit. With one known exception (Setaria italica), grasses do not encode RGS genes. One parsimonious deduction is that the RGS gene was lost in the ancestor to the grasses and then recently acquired horizontally in the lineage S. italica from a nongrass monocot. Like all investigated grasses, S. italica has the Gα subunit with the destabilizing asparagine residue in the protein interface but, unlike other known grass genomes, still encodes an expressed RGS gene, SiRGS1. SiRGS1

  3. Experimental evolution, loss-of-function mutations, and "the first rule of adaptive evolution".

    PubMed

    Behe, Michael J

    2010-12-01

    Adaptive evolution can cause a species to gain, lose, or modify a function; therefore, it is of basic interest to determine whether any of these modes dominates the evolutionary process under particular circumstances. Because mutation occurs at the molecular level, it is necessary to examine the molecular changes produced by the underlying mutation in order to assess whether a given adaptation is best considered as a gain, loss, or modification of function. Although that was once impossible, the advance of molecular biology in the past half century has made it feasible. In this paper, I review molecular changes underlying some adaptations, with a particular emphasis on evolutionary experiments with microbes conducted over the past four decades. I show that by far the most common adaptive changes seen in those examples are due to the loss or modification of a pre-existing molecular function, and I discuss the possible reasons for the prominence of such mutations.

  4. The evolution of molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shu, Frank H.; Lizano, Susana

    1988-01-01

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

  5. Adaptive laboratory evolution – principles and applications for biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive laboratory evolution is a frequent method in biological studies to gain insights into the basic mechanisms of molecular evolution and adaptive changes that accumulate in microbial populations during long term selection under specified growth conditions. Although regularly performed for more than 25 years, the advent of transcript and cheap next-generation sequencing technologies has resulted in many recent studies, which successfully applied this technique in order to engineer microbial cells for biotechnological applications. Adaptive laboratory evolution has some major benefits as compared with classical genetic engineering but also some inherent limitations. However, recent studies show how some of the limitations may be overcome in order to successfully incorporate adaptive laboratory evolution in microbial cell factory design. Over the last two decades important insights into nutrient and stress metabolism of relevant model species were acquired, whereas some other aspects such as niche-specific differences of non-conventional cell factories are not completely understood. Altogether the current status and its future perspectives highlight the importance and potential of adaptive laboratory evolution as approach in biotechnological engineering. PMID:23815749

  6. Thermodynamics of adaptive molecular resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Buscalioni, R.

    2016-11-01

    A relatively general thermodynamic formalism for adaptive molecular resolution (AMR) is presented. The description is based on the approximation of local thermodynamic equilibrium and considers the alchemic parameter λ as the conjugate variable of the potential energy difference between the atomistic and coarse-grained model Φ=U(1)-U(0). The thermodynamic formalism recovers the relations obtained from statistical mechanics of H-AdResS (Español et al., J. Chem. Phys. 142, 064115, 2015 (doi:10.1063/1.4907006)) and provides relations between the free energy compensation and thermodynamic potentials. Inspired by this thermodynamic analogy, several generalizations of AMR are proposed, such as the exploration of new Maxwell relations and how to treat λ and Φ as `real' thermodynamic variables. This article is part of the themed issue 'Multiscale modelling at the physics-chemistry-biology interface'.

  7. Selectionism and Neutralism in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nei, Masatoshi

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Phenotypic plasticity: molecular mechanisms and adaptive significance.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Scott A; Panhuis, Tami M; Stoehr, Andrew M

    2012-04-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can be broadly defined as the ability of one genotype to produce more than one phenotype when exposed to different environments, as the modification of developmental events by the environment, or as the ability of an individual organism to alter its phenotype in response to changes in environmental conditions. Not surprisingly, the study of phenotypic plasticity is innately interdisciplinary and encompasses aspects of behavior, development, ecology, evolution, genetics, genomics, and multiple physiological systems at various levels of biological organization. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, phenotypic plasticity may be a powerful means of adaptation and dramatic examples of phenotypic plasticity include predator avoidance, insect wing polymorphisms, the timing of metamorphosis in amphibians, osmoregulation in fishes, and alternative reproductive tactics in male vertebrates. From a human health perspective, documented examples of plasticity most commonly include the results of exercise, training, and/or dieting on human morphology and physiology. Regardless of the discipline, phenotypic plasticity has increasingly become the target of a plethora of investigations with the methodological approaches utilized ranging from the molecular to whole organsimal. In this article, we provide a brief historical outlook on phenotypic plasticity; examine its potential adaptive significance; emphasize recent molecular approaches that provide novel insight into underlying mechanisms, and highlight examples in fishes and insects. Finally, we highlight examples of phenotypic plasticity from a human health perspective and underscore the use of mouse models as a powerful tool in understanding the genetic architecture of phenotypic plasticity.

  9. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases

  10. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Knoll, A H; Niklas, K J

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases

  11. Maternal Effects in Molecular Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, Claus O.

    2002-02-01

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

  12. The complex evolutionary history of seeing red: molecular phylogeny and the evolution of an adaptive visual system in deep-sea dragonfishes (Stomiiformes: Stomiidae).

    PubMed

    Kenaley, Christopher P; Devaney, Shannon C; Fjeran, Taylor T

    2014-04-01

    The vast majority of deep-sea fishes have retinas composed of only rod cells sensitive to only shortwave blue light, approximately 480-490 nm. A group of deep-sea dragonfishes, the loosejaws (family Stomiidae), possesses far-red emitting photophores and rhodopsins sensitive to long-wave emissions greater than 650 nm. In this study, the rhodopsin diversity within the Stomiidae is surveyed based on an analysis of rod opsin-coding sequences from representatives of 23 of the 28 genera. Using phylogenetic inference, fossil-calibrated estimates of divergence times, and a comparative approach scanning the stomiid phylogeny for shared genotypes and substitution histories, we explore the evolution and timing of spectral tuning in the family. Our results challenge both the monophyly of the family Stomiidae and the loosejaws. Despite paraphyly of the loosejaws, we infer for the first time that far-red visual systems have a single evolutionary origin within the family and that this shift in phenotype occurred at approximately 15.4 Ma. In addition, we found strong evidence that at approximately 11.2 Ma the most recent common ancestor of two dragonfish genera reverted to a primitive shortwave visual system during its evolution from a far-red sensitive dragonfish. According to branch-site tests for adaptive evolution, we hypothesize that positive selection may be driving spectral tuning in the Stomiidae. These results indicate that the evolutionary history of visual systems in deep-sea species is complex and a more thorough understanding of this system requires an integrative comparative approach.

  13. Towards the identification of the loci of adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Pardo-Diaz, Carolina; Salazar, Camilo; Jiggins, Chris D

    2015-01-01

    1. Establishing the genetic and molecular basis underlying adaptive traits is one of the major goals of evolutionary geneticists in order to understand the connection between genotype and phenotype and elucidate the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Despite considerable effort to address this question, there remain relatively few systems in which the genes shaping adaptations have been identified. 2. Here, we review the experimental tools that have been applied to document the molecular basis underlying evolution in several natural systems, in order to highlight their benefits, limitations and suitability. In most cases, a combination of DNA, RNA and functional methodologies with field experiments will be needed to uncover the genes and mechanisms shaping adaptation in nature. PMID:25937885

  14. Adaptive evolution: evaluating empirical support for theoretical predictions

    PubMed Central

    Olson-Manning, Carrie F.; Wagner, Maggie R.; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive evolution is shaped by the interaction of population genetics, natural selection and underlying network and biochemical constraints. Variation created by mutation, the raw material for evolutionary change, is translated into phenotypes by flux through metabolic pathways and by the topography and dynamics of molecular networks. Finally, the retention of genetic variation and the efficacy of selection depend on population genetics and demographic history. Emergent high-throughput experimental methods and sequencing technologies allow us to gather more evidence and to move beyond the theory in different systems and populations. Here we review the extent to which recent evidence supports long-established theoretical principles of adaptation. PMID:23154809

  15. Adaptive evolution of the STRA6 genes in mammalian.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianghong; Xiang, Hui; Qi, Yunxia; Yang, Ding; Wang, Xiaojuan; Sun, Hailian; Wang, Feng; Liu, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Stimulated by retinoic acid 6 (STRA6) is the receptor for retinol binding protein and is relevant for the transport of retinol to specific sites such as the eye. The adaptive evolution mechanism that vertebrates have occupied nearly every habitat available on earth and adopted various lifestyles associated with different light conditions and visual challenges, as well as their role in development and adaptation is thus far unknown. In this work, we have investigated different aspects of vertebrate STRA6 evolution and used molecular evolutionary analyses to detect evidence of vertebrate adaptation to the lightless habitat. Free-ratio model revealed significant rate shifts immediately after the species divergence. The amino acid sites detected to be under positive selection are within the extracellular loops of STRA6 protein. Branch-site model A test revealed that STRA6 has undergone positive selection in the different phyla of mammalian except for the branch of rodent. The results suggest that interactions between different light environments and host may be driving adaptive change in STRA6 by competition between species. In support of this, we found that altered functional constraints may take place at some amino acid residues after speciation. We suggest that STRA6 has undergone adaptive evolution in different branch of vertebrate relation to habitat environment.

  16. The adaptive evolution of the mammalian mitochondrial genome

    PubMed Central

    da Fonseca, Rute R; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Ramos, Maria João; Antunes, Agostinho

    2008-01-01

    Background The mitochondria produce up to 95% of a eukaryotic cell's energy through oxidative phosphorylation. The proteins involved in this vital process are under high functional constraints. However, metabolic requirements vary across species, potentially modifying selective pressures. We evaluate the adaptive evolution of 12 protein-coding mitochondrial genes in 41 placental mammalian species by assessing amino acid sequence variation and exploring the functional implications of observed variation in secondary and tertiary protein structures. Results Wide variation in the properties of amino acids were observed at functionally important regions of cytochrome b in species with more-specialized metabolic requirements (such as adaptation to low energy diet or large body size, such as in elephant, dugong, sloth, and pangolin, and adaptation to unusual oxygen requirements, for example diving in cetaceans, flying in bats, and living at high altitudes in alpacas). Signatures of adaptive variation in the NADH dehydrogenase complex were restricted to the loop regions of the transmembrane units which likely function as protons pumps. Evidence of adaptive variation in the cytochrome c oxidase complex was observed mostly at the interface between the mitochondrial and nuclear-encoded subunits, perhaps evidence of co-evolution. The ATP8 subunit, which has an important role in the assembly of F0, exhibited the highest signal of adaptive variation. ATP6, which has an essential role in rotor performance, showed a high adaptive variation in predicted loop areas. Conclusion Our study provides insight into the adaptive evolution of the mtDNA genome in mammals and its implications for the molecular mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation. We present a framework for future experimental characterization of the impact of specific mutations in the function, physiology, and interactions of the mtDNA encoded proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation. PMID:18318906

  17. Adapting Digital Libraries to Continual Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barkstrom, Bruce R.; Finch, Melinda; Ferebee, Michelle; Mackey, Calvin

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we describe five investment streams (data storage infrastructure, knowledge management, data production control, data transport and security, and personnel skill mix) that need to be balanced against short-term operating demands in order to maximize the probability of long-term viability of a digital library. Because of the rapid pace of information technology change, a digital library cannot be a static institution. Rather, it has to become a flexible organization adapted to continuous evolution of its infrastructure.

  18. Quantifying Adaptive Evolution in the Drosophila Immune System

    PubMed Central

    Obbard, Darren J.; Welch, John J.; Kim, Kang-Wook; Jiggins, Francis M.

    2009-01-01

    It is estimated that a large proportion of amino acid substitutions in Drosophila have been fixed by natural selection, and as organisms are faced with an ever-changing array of pathogens and parasites to which they must adapt, we have investigated the role of parasite-mediated selection as a likely cause. To quantify the effect, and to identify which genes and pathways are most likely to be involved in the host–parasite arms race, we have re-sequenced population samples of 136 immunity and 287 position-matched non-immunity genes in two species of Drosophila. Using these data, and a new extension of the McDonald-Kreitman approach, we estimate that natural selection fixes advantageous amino acid changes in immunity genes at nearly double the rate of other genes. We find the rate of adaptive evolution in immunity genes is also more variable than other genes, with a small subset of immune genes evolving under intense selection. These genes, which are likely to represent hotspots of host–parasite coevolution, tend to share similar functions or belong to the same pathways, such as the antiviral RNAi pathway and the IMD signalling pathway. These patterns appear to be general features of immune system evolution in both species, as rates of adaptive evolution are correlated between the D. melanogaster and D. simulans lineages. In summary, our data provide quantitative estimates of the elevated rate of adaptive evolution in immune system genes relative to the rest of the genome, and they suggest that adaptation to parasites is an important force driving molecular evolution. PMID:19851448

  19. Self-Adaptive Differential Evolution Algorithm With Zoning Evolution of Control Parameters and Adaptive Mutation Strategies.

    PubMed

    Fan, Qinqin; Yan, Xuefeng

    2016-01-01

    The performance of the differential evolution (DE) algorithm is significantly affected by the choice of mutation strategies and control parameters. Maintaining the search capability of various control parameter combinations throughout the entire evolution process is also a key issue. A self-adaptive DE algorithm with zoning evolution of control parameters and adaptive mutation strategies is proposed in this paper. In the proposed algorithm, the mutation strategies are automatically adjusted with population evolution, and the control parameters evolve in their own zoning to self-adapt and discover near optimal values autonomously. The proposed algorithm is compared with five state-of-the-art DE algorithm variants according to a set of benchmark test functions. Furthermore, seven nonparametric statistical tests are implemented to analyze the experimental results. The results indicate that the overall performance of the proposed algorithm is better than those of the five existing improved algorithms.

  20. Evolution of speech-specific cognitive adaptations

    PubMed Central

    de Boer, Bart

    2015-01-01

    This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is natural when investigating cognitive adaptations related to language. This is because there appears to be correspondence between traits that linguists consider interesting and traits that have undergone selective pressure related to language. The paper briefly reviews theoretical results that shed light on what kind of adaptations we can expect to have evolved and then reviews concrete work related to the evolution of adaptations for combinatorial speech. It turns out that there is as yet no strong direct evidence for cognitive traits that have undergone selection related to speech, but there is indirect evidence that indicates selection. However, the traits that may have undergone selection are expected to be continuously variable ones, rather than the discrete ones that linguists have focused on traditionally. PMID:26483746

  1. Evolution and ecology meet molecular genetics: adaptive phenotypic plasticity in two isolated Negev desert populations of Acacia raddiana at either end of a rainfall gradient

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David; Shrestha, Madan K.; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The ecological, evolutionary and genetic bases of population differentiation in a variable environment are often related to the selection pressures that plants experience. We compared differences in several growth- and defence-related traits in two isolated populations of Acacia raddiana trees from sites at either end of an extreme environmental gradient in the Negev desert. Methods We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to determine the molecular differences between populations. We grew plants under two levels of water, three levels of nutrients and three levels of herbivory to test for phenotypic plasticity and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Key Results The RAPD analyses showed that these populations are highly genetically differentiated. Phenotypic plasticity in various morphological traits in A. raddiana was related to patterns of population genetic differentiation between the two study sites. Although we did not test for maternal effects in these long-lived trees, significant genotype × environment (G × E) interactions in some of these traits indicated that such plasticity may be adaptive. Conclusions The main selection pressure in this desert environment, perhaps unsurprisingly, is water. Increased water availability resulted in greater growth in the southern population, which normally receives far less rain than the northern population. Even under the conditions that we defined as low water and/or nutrients, the performance of the seedlings from the southern population was significantly better, perhaps reflecting selection for these traits. Consistent with previous studies of this genus, there was no evidence of trade-offs between physical and chemical defences and plant growth parameters in this study. Rather, there appeared to be positive correlations between plant size and defence parameters. The great variation in several traits in both populations may result in a diverse potential for responding to selection pressures in

  2. Improving carotenoids production in yeast via adaptive laboratory evolution.

    PubMed

    Reyes, Luis H; Gomez, Jose M; Kao, Katy C

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive laboratory evolution is an important tool for the engineering of strains for industrially relevant phenotypes. Traditionally, adaptive laboratory evolution has been implemented to improve robustness of industrial strains under diverse operational conditions; however due to the required coupling between growth and survival, its application for increased production of secondary metabolites generally results in decreased production due to the metabolic burden imposed by, or toxicity of, the produced compound. In this study, adaptive laboratory evolution was successfully applied to improve carotenoids production in an engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae producer strain by exploiting the antioxidant properties of carotenoids. Short-term evolution experiment using periodic hydrogen peroxide shocking schemes resulted in a 3-fold increase in carotenoids production (from 6 mg/g dry cell weight to up to 18 mg/g dry cell weight). Subsequent transcriptome analysis was used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms for increased carotenoids production. Upregulation of genes related with lipid biosynthesis and mevalonate biosynthesis pathways were commonly observed in the carotenoids hyper-producers analyzed.

  3. Adaptive processes drive ecomorphological convergent evolution in antwrens (Thamnophilidae).

    PubMed

    Bravo, Gustavo A; Remsen, J V; Brumfield, Robb T

    2014-10-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) and convergence are contrasting evolutionary patterns that describe phenotypic similarity across independent lineages. Assessing whether and how adaptive processes give origin to these patterns represent a fundamental step toward understanding phenotypic evolution. Phylogenetic model-based approaches offer the opportunity not only to distinguish between PNC and convergence, but also to determine the extent that adaptive processes explain phenotypic similarity. The Myrmotherula complex in the Neotropical family Thamnophilidae is a polyphyletic group of sexually dimorphic small insectivorous forest birds that are relatively homogeneous in size and shape. Here, we integrate a comprehensive species-level molecular phylogeny of the Myrmotherula complex with morphometric and ecological data within a comparative framework to test whether phenotypic similarity is described by a pattern of PNC or convergence, and to identify evolutionary mechanisms underlying body size and shape evolution. We show that antwrens in the Myrmotherula complex represent distantly related clades that exhibit adaptive convergent evolution in body size and divergent evolution in body shape. Phenotypic similarity in the group is primarily driven by their tendency to converge toward smaller body sizes. Differences in body size and shape across lineages are associated to ecological and behavioral factors.

  4. Biodiversity, evolution and adaptation of cultivated crops.

    PubMed

    Vigouroux, Yves; Barnaud, Adeline; Scarcelli, Nora; Thuillet, Anne-Céline

    2011-05-01

    The human diet depends on very few crops. Current diversity in these crops is the result of a long interaction between farmers and cultivated plants, and their environment. Man largely shaped crop biodiversity from the domestication period 12,000 B.P. to the development of improved varieties during the last century. We illustrate this process through a detailed analysis of the domestication and early diffusion of maize. In smallholder agricultural systems, farmers still have a major impact on crop diversity today. We review several examples of the major impact of man on current diversity. Finally, biodiversity is considered to be an asset for adaptation to current environmental changes. We describe the evolution of pearl millet in West Africa, where average rainfall has decreased over the last forty years. Diversity in cultivated varieties has certainly helped this crop to adapt to climate variation.

  5. Molecular evolution and the latitudinal biodiversity gradient

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Evolution of adaptive immune recognition in jawless vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Saha, Nil Ratan; Smith, Jeramiah; Amemiya, Chris T

    2010-02-01

    All extant vertebrates possess an adaptive immune system wherein diverse immune receptors are created and deployed in specialized blood cell lineages. Recent advances in DNA sequencing and developmental resources for basal vertebrates have facilitated numerous comparative analyses that have shed new light on the molecular and cellular bases of immune defense and the mechanisms of immune receptor diversification in the "jawless" vertebrates. With data from these key species in hand, it is becoming possible to infer some general aspects of the early evolution of vertebrate adaptive immunity. All jawed vertebrates assemble their antigen-receptor genes through combinatorial recombination of different "diversity" segments into immunoglobulin or T-cell receptor genes. However, the jawless vertebrates employ an analogous, but independently derived set of immune receptors in order to recognize and bind antigens: the variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs). The means by which this locus generates receptor diversity and achieves antigen specificity is of considerable interest because these mechanisms represent a completely independent strategy for building a large immune repertoire. Therefore, studies of the VLR system are providing insight into the fundamental principles and evolutionary potential of adaptive immune recognition systems. Here we review and synthesize the wealth of data that have been generated towards understanding the evolution of the adaptive immune system in the jawless vertebrates.

  7. Local adaptation of plant viruses: lessons from experimental evolution.

    PubMed

    Elena, Santiago F

    2016-09-09

    For multihost pathogens, adaptation to multiple hosts has important implications for both applied and basic research. At the applied level, it is one of the main factors determining the probability and severity of emerging disease outbreaks. At the basic level, it is thought to be a key mechanism for the maintenance of genetic diversity both in host and pathogen species. In recent years, a number of evolution experiments have assessed the fate of plant virus populations replicating within and adapting to one single or to multiple hosts species. A first group of these experiments tackled the existence of trade-offs in fitness and virulence for viruses evolving either within a single hosts species or alternating between two different host species. A second set of experiments explored the role of genetic variability in susceptibility and resistance to infection among individuals from the same host species in the extent of virus local adaptation and of virulence. In general, when a single host species or genotype is available, these experiments show that local adaptation takes place, often but not always associated with a fitness trade-off. However, alternating between different host species or infecting resistant host genotypes may select for generalist viruses that experience no fitness cost. Therefore, the expected cost of generalism, arising from antagonistic pleiotropy and other genetic mechanisms generating fitness trade-offs between hosts, could not be generalized and strongly depend on the characteristics of each particular pathosystem. At the genomic level, these studies show pervasive convergent molecular evolution, suggesting that the number of accessible molecular pathways leading to adaptation to novel hosts is limited.

  8. Evolution of Cooperation in Adaptive Social Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segbroeck, Sven Van; Santos, Francisco C.; Traulsen, Arne; Lenaerts, Tom; Pacheco, Jorge M.

    Humans are organized in societies, a phenomenon that would never have been possible without the evolution of cooperative behavior. Several mechanisms that foster this evolution have been unraveled over the years, with population structure as a prominent promoter of cooperation. Modern networks of exchange and cooperation are, however, becoming increasingly volatile, and less and less based on long-term stable structure. Here, we address how this change of paradigm aspects the evolution of cooperation. We discuss analytical and numerical models in which individuals can break social ties and create new ones. Interactions are modeled as two-player dilemmas of cooperation. Once a link between two individuals has formed, the productivity of this link is evaluated. Links can be broken off at different rates. This individual capacity of forming new links or severing inconvenient ones can effectively change the nature of the game. We address random formation of new links and local linking rules as well as different individual capacities to maintain social interactions. We conclude by discussing how adaptive social networks can become an important step towards more realistic models of cultural dynamics.

  9. WAKES: Wavelet Adaptive Kinetic Evolution Solvers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mardirian, Marine; Afeyan, Bedros; Larson, David

    2016-10-01

    We are developing a general capability to adaptively solve phase space evolution equations mixing particle and continuum techniques in an adaptive manner. The multi-scale approach is achieved using wavelet decompositions which allow phase space density estimation to occur with scale dependent increased accuracy and variable time stepping. Possible improvements on the SFK method of Larson are discussed, including the use of multiresolution analysis based Richardson-Lucy Iteration, adaptive step size control in explicit vs implicit approaches. Examples will be shown with KEEN waves and KEEPN (Kinetic Electrostatic Electron Positron Nonlinear) waves, which are the pair plasma generalization of the former, and have a much richer span of dynamical behavior. WAKES techniques are well suited for the study of driven and released nonlinear, non-stationary, self-organized structures in phase space which have no fluid, limit nor a linear limit, and yet remain undamped and coherent well past the drive period. The work reported here is based on the Vlasov-Poisson model of plasma dynamics. Work supported by a Grant from the AFOSR.

  10. Independent Molecular Basis of Convergent Highland Adaptation in Maize.

    PubMed

    Takuno, Shohei; Ralph, Peter; Swarts, Kelly; Elshire, Rob J; Glaubitz, Jeffrey C; Buckler, Edward S; Hufford, Matthew B; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey

    2015-08-01

    Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar traits in different species or lineages of the same species; this often is a result of adaptation to similar environments, a process referred to as convergent adaptation. We investigate here the molecular basis of convergent adaptation in maize to highland climates in Mesoamerica and South America, using genome-wide SNP data. Taking advantage of archaeological data on the arrival of maize to the highlands, we infer demographic models for both populations, identifying evidence of a strong bottleneck and rapid expansion in South America. We use these models to then identify loci showing an excess of differentiation as a means of identifying putative targets of natural selection and compare our results to expectations from recently developed theory on convergent adaptation. Consistent with predictions across a wide parameter space, we see limited evidence for convergent evolution at the nucleotide level in spite of strong similarities in overall phenotypes. Instead, we show that selection appears to have predominantly acted on standing genetic variation and that introgression from wild teosinte populations appears to have played a role in highland adaptation in Mexican maize.

  11. Independent Molecular Basis of Convergent Highland Adaptation in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Takuno, Shohei; Ralph, Peter; Swarts, Kelly; Elshire, Rob J.; Glaubitz, Jeffrey C.; Buckler, Edward S.; Hufford, Matthew B.; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar traits in different species or lineages of the same species; this often is a result of adaptation to similar environments, a process referred to as convergent adaptation. We investigate here the molecular basis of convergent adaptation in maize to highland climates in Mesoamerica and South America, using genome-wide SNP data. Taking advantage of archaeological data on the arrival of maize to the highlands, we infer demographic models for both populations, identifying evidence of a strong bottleneck and rapid expansion in South America. We use these models to then identify loci showing an excess of differentiation as a means of identifying putative targets of natural selection and compare our results to expectations from recently developed theory on convergent adaptation. Consistent with predictions across a wide parameter space, we see limited evidence for convergent evolution at the nucleotide level in spite of strong similarities in overall phenotypes. Instead, we show that selection appears to have predominantly acted on standing genetic variation and that introgression from wild teosinte populations appears to have played a role in highland adaptation in Mexican maize. PMID:26078279

  12. Molecular Adaptation during Adaptive Radiation in the Hawaiian Endemic Genus Schiedea

    PubMed Central

    Kapralov, Maxim V.; Filatov, Dmitry A.

    2006-01-01

    Background “Explosive” adaptive radiations on islands remain one of the most puzzling evolutionary phenomena. The rate of phenotypic and ecological adaptations is extremely fast during such events, suggesting that many genes may be under fairly strong selection. However, no evidence for adaptation at the level of protein coding genes was found, so it has been suggested that selection may work mainly on regulatory elements. Here we report the first evidence that positive selection does operate at the level of protein coding genes during rapid adaptive radiations. We studied molecular adaptation in Hawaiian endemic plant genus Schiedea (Caryophyllaceae), which includes closely related species with a striking range of morphological and ecological forms, varying from rainforest vines to woody shrubs growing in desert-like conditions on cliffs. Given the remarkable difference in photosynthetic performance between Schiedea species from different habitats, we focused on the “photosynthetic” Rubisco enzyme, the efficiency of which is known to be a limiting step in plant photosynthesis. Results We demonstrate that the chloroplast rbcL gene, encoding the large subunit of Rubisco enzyme, evolved under strong positive selection in Schiedea. Adaptive amino acid changes occurred in functionally important regions of Rubisco that interact with Rubisco activase, a chaperone which promotes and maintains the catalytic activity of Rubisco. Interestingly, positive selection acting on the rbcL might have caused favorable cytotypes to spread across several Schiedea species. Significance We report the first evidence for adaptive changes at the DNA and protein sequence level that may have been associated with the evolution of photosynthetic performance and colonization of new habitats during a recent adaptive radiation in an island plant genus. This illustrates how small changes at the molecular level may change ecological species performance and helps us to understand the

  13. Distributed Representations Accelerate Evolution of Adaptive Behaviours

    PubMed Central

    Stone, James V

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Bat echolocation calls: adaptation and convergent evolution

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Gareth; Holderied, Marc W

    2007-01-01

    Bat echolocation calls provide remarkable examples of ‘good design’ through evolution by natural selection. Theory developed from acoustics and sonar engineering permits a strong predictive basis for understanding echolocation performance. Call features, such as frequency, bandwidth, duration and pulse interval are all related to ecological niche. Recent technological breakthroughs have aided our understanding of adaptive aspects of call design in free-living bats. Stereo videogrammetry, laser scanning of habitat features and acoustic flight path tracking permit reconstruction of the flight paths of echolocating bats relative to obstacles and prey in nature. These methods show that echolocation calls are among the most intense airborne vocalizations produced by animals. Acoustic tracking has clarified how and why bats vary call structure in relation to flight speed. Bats using broadband echolocation calls adjust call design in a range-dependent manner so that nearby obstacles are localized accurately. Recent phylogenetic analyses based on gene sequences show that particular types of echolocation signals have evolved independently in several lineages of bats. Call design is often influenced more by perceptual challenges imposed by the environment than by phylogeny, and provides excellent examples of convergent evolution. Now that whole genome sequences of bats are imminent, understanding the functional genomics of echolocation will become a major challenge. PMID:17251105

  15. Bat echolocation calls: adaptation and convergent evolution.

    PubMed

    Jones, Gareth; Holderied, Marc W

    2007-04-07

    Bat echolocation calls provide remarkable examples of 'good design' through evolution by natural selection. Theory developed from acoustics and sonar engineering permits a strong predictive basis for understanding echolocation performance. Call features, such as frequency, bandwidth, duration and pulse interval are all related to ecological niche. Recent technological breakthroughs have aided our understanding of adaptive aspects of call design in free-living bats. Stereo videogrammetry, laser scanning of habitat features and acoustic flight path tracking permit reconstruction of the flight paths of echolocating bats relative to obstacles and prey in nature. These methods show that echolocation calls are among the most intense airborne vocalizations produced by animals. Acoustic tracking has clarified how and why bats vary call structure in relation to flight speed. Bats using broadband echolocation calls adjust call design in a range-dependent manner so that nearby obstacles are localized accurately. Recent phylogenetic analyses based on gene sequences show that particular types of echolocation signals have evolved independently in several lineages of bats. Call design is often influenced more by perceptual challenges imposed by the environment than by phylogeny, and provides excellent examples of convergent evolution. Now that whole genome sequences of bats are imminent, understanding the functional genomics of echolocation will become a major challenge.

  16. The rate of adaptive evolution in animal mitochondria.

    PubMed

    James, Jennifer E; Piganeau, Gwenael; Eyre-Walker, Adam

    2016-01-01

    We have investigated whether there is adaptive evolution in mitochondrial DNA, using an extensive data set containing over 500 animal species from a wide range of taxonomic groups. We apply a variety of McDonald-Kreitman style methods to the data. We find that the evolution of mitochondrial DNA is dominated by slightly deleterious mutations, a finding which is supported by a number of previous studies. However, when we control for the presence of deleterious mutations using a new method, we find that mitochondria undergo a significant amount of adaptive evolution, with an estimated 26% (95% confidence intervals: 5.7-45%) of nonsynonymous substitutions fixed by adaptive evolution. We further find some weak evidence that the rate of adaptive evolution is correlated to synonymous diversity. We interpret this as evidence that at least some adaptive evolution is limited by the supply of mutations.

  17. Model of evolution of molecular sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Liaofu; Tsai, Lu; Lee, Weijiang

    1990-05-01

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

  18. Functional constraints on adaptive evolution of protein ubiquitination sites

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Liang; Li, Yang; Liu, Zhongyang; Liang, Fengji; Guo, Feifei; Yang, Shuai; Wang, Dan; He, Yangzhige; Xiong, Jianghui; Li, Dong; He, Fuchu

    2017-01-01

    It is still unclear whether there exist functional constraints on the evolution of protein ubiquitination sites, because most previous studies regarded all protein ubiquitination sites as a whole or only focused on limited structural properties. We tried to clarify the relation between functional constraints and ubiquitination sites evolution. We investigated the evolutionary conservation of human ubiquitination sites in a broad evolutionary scale from G. gorilla to S. pombe, and we found that in organisms originated after the divergence of vertebrate, ubiquitination sites are more conserved than their flanking regions, while the opposite tendency is observed before this divergence time. By grouping the ubiquitination proteins into different functional categories, we confirm that many functional constraints like certain molecular functions, protein tissue expression specificity and protein connectivity in protein-protein interaction network enhance the evolutionary conservation of ubiquitination sites. Furthermore, by analyzing the gains of ubiquitination sites at different divergence time and their functional characters, we validate that the emergences of ubiquitination sites at different evolutionary time were also affected by the uncovered functional constraints. The above results suggest that functional constraints on the adaptive evolution of ubiquitination sites increase the opportunity for ubiquitination to synthetically regulate various cellular and developmental processes during evolution. PMID:28054638

  19. A biophysical perspective on molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, Claus

    2014-03-01

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

  20. JavaGenes Molecular Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Adaptive evolution of rbcL in Conocephalum (Hepaticae, bryophytes).

    PubMed

    Miwa, Hidetsugu; Odrzykoski, Ireneusz J; Matsui, Atsushi; Hasegawa, Masami; Akiyama, Hiroyuki; Jia, Yu; Sabirov, Renat; Takahashi, Hideki; Boufford, David E; Murakami, Noriaki

    2009-07-15

    An excess of nonsynonymous substitutions over synonymous ones has been regarded as an important indicator of adaptive evolution or positive selection at the molecular level. We now report such a case for rbcL sequences among cryptic species in Conocephalum (Hepaticae, Bryophytes). This finding can be regarded as evidence of adaptive evolution in several cryptic species (especially in F and JN types) within the genus. Bryophytes are small land plants with simple morphology. We can therefore expect the existence of several biologically distinct units or cryptic species within each morphological species. In our previous study, we found three rbcL types in Asian Conocephalum japonicum (Thunb.) Grolle and also found evidence strongly suggesting that the three types are reproductively isolated cryptic species. Additionally, we examined rbcL sequence variation in six cryptic species of C. conicum (L.) Dumort. previously recognized by allozyme analyses. As a result, we were able to discriminate the six cryptic species based only on their rbcL sequences. We were able to show that rbcL sequence variation is also useful in finding cryptic species of C. conicum.

  2. An Adaptive Threshold in Mammalian Neocortical Evolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Molecular Evolution of Grass Stomata.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  4. Adaptive Evolution of Phosphorus Metabolism in Prochlorococcus

    PubMed Central

    Mardinoglu, Adil; Nielsen, Jens; Karl, David M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Inorganic phosphorus is scarce in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where the high-light-adapted ecotype HLI of the marine picocyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus thrives. Physiological and regulatory control of phosphorus acquisition and partitioning has been observed in HLI both in culture and in the field; however, the optimization of phosphorus metabolism and associated gains for its phosphorus-limited-growth (PLG) phenotype have not been studied. Here, we reconstructed a genome-scale metabolic network of the HLI axenic strain MED4 (iJC568), consisting of 568 metabolic genes in relation to 794 reactions involving 680 metabolites distributed in 6 subcellular locations. iJC568 was used to quantify metabolic fluxes under PLG conditions, and we observed a close correspondence between experimental and computed fluxes. We found that MED4 has minimized its dependence on intracellular phosphate, not only through drastic depletion of phosphorus-containing biomass components but also through network-wide reductions in phosphate-reaction participation and the loss of a key enzyme, succinate dehydrogenase. These alterations occur despite the stringency of having relatively few pathway redundancies and an extremely high proportion of essential metabolic genes (47%; defined as the percentage of lethal in silico gene knockouts). These strategies are examples of nutrient-controlled adaptive evolution and confer a dramatic growth rate advantage to MED4 in phosphorus-limited regions. IMPORTANCE Microbes are known to employ three basic strategies to compete for limiting elemental resources: (i) cell quotas may be adjusted by alterations to cell physiology or by substitution of a more plentiful resource, (ii) stressed cells may synthesize high-affinity transporters, and (iii) cells may access more costly sources from internal stores, by degradation, or by petitioning other microbes. In the case of phosphorus, a limiting resource in vast oceanic regions, the cosmopolitan

  5. Proteins, exons and molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Holland, S K; Blake, C C

    1987-01-01

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

  6. Genetic recombination and molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Charlesworth, B; Betancourt, A J; Kaiser, V B; Gordo, I

    2009-01-01

    Reduced rates of genetic recombination are often associated with reduced genetic variability and levels of adaptation. Several different evolutionary processes, collectively known as Hill-Robertson (HR) effects, have been proposed as causes of these correlates of recombination. Here, we use DNA sequence polymorphism and divergence data from the noncrossing over dot chromosome of Drosophila to discriminate between two of the major forms of HR effects: selective sweeps and background selection. This chromosome shows reduced levels of silent variability and reduced effectiveness of selection. We show that neither model fits the data on variability. We propose that, in large genomic regions with restricted recombination, HR effects among nonsynonymous mutations undermine the effective strength of selection, so that their background selection effects are weakened. This modified model fits the data on variability and also explains why variability in very large nonrecombining genomes is not completely wiped out. We also show that HR effects of this type can produce an individual selection advantage to recombination, as well as greatly reduce the mean fitness of nonrecombining genomes and genomic regions.

  7. Adaptation Mechanisms in the Evolution of Moss Defenses to Microbes

    PubMed Central

    Ponce de León, Inés; Montesano, Marcos

    2017-01-01

    Bryophytes, including mosses, liverworts and hornworts are early land plants that have evolved key adaptation mechanisms to cope with abiotic stresses and microorganisms. Microbial symbioses facilitated plant colonization of land by enhancing nutrient uptake leading to improved plant growth and fitness. In addition, early land plants acquired novel defense mechanisms to protect plant tissues from pre-existing microbial pathogens. Due to its evolutionary stage linking unicellular green algae to vascular plants, the non-vascular moss Physcomitrella patens is an interesting organism to explore the adaptation mechanisms developed in the evolution of plant defenses to microbes. Cellular and biochemical approaches, gene expression profiles, and functional analysis of genes by targeted gene disruption have revealed that several defense mechanisms against microbial pathogens are conserved between mosses and flowering plants. P. patens perceives pathogen associated molecular patterns by plasma membrane receptor(s) and transduces the signal through a MAP kinase (MAPK) cascade leading to the activation of cell wall associated defenses and expression of genes that encode proteins with different roles in plant resistance. After pathogen assault, P. patens also activates the production of ROS, induces a HR-like reaction and increases levels of some hormones. Furthermore, alternative metabolic pathways are present in P. patens leading to the production of a distinct metabolic scenario than flowering plants that could contribute to defense. P. patens has acquired genes by horizontal transfer from prokaryotes and fungi, and some of them could represent adaptive benefits for resistance to biotic stress. In this review, the current knowledge related to the evolution of plant defense responses against pathogens will be discussed, focusing on the latest advances made in the model plant P. patens. PMID:28360923

  8. Adaptation Mechanisms in the Evolution of Moss Defenses to Microbes.

    PubMed

    Ponce de León, Inés; Montesano, Marcos

    2017-01-01

    Bryophytes, including mosses, liverworts and hornworts are early land plants that have evolved key adaptation mechanisms to cope with abiotic stresses and microorganisms. Microbial symbioses facilitated plant colonization of land by enhancing nutrient uptake leading to improved plant growth and fitness. In addition, early land plants acquired novel defense mechanisms to protect plant tissues from pre-existing microbial pathogens. Due to its evolutionary stage linking unicellular green algae to vascular plants, the non-vascular moss Physcomitrella patens is an interesting organism to explore the adaptation mechanisms developed in the evolution of plant defenses to microbes. Cellular and biochemical approaches, gene expression profiles, and functional analysis of genes by targeted gene disruption have revealed that several defense mechanisms against microbial pathogens are conserved between mosses and flowering plants. P. patens perceives pathogen associated molecular patterns by plasma membrane receptor(s) and transduces the signal through a MAP kinase (MAPK) cascade leading to the activation of cell wall associated defenses and expression of genes that encode proteins with different roles in plant resistance. After pathogen assault, P. patens also activates the production of ROS, induces a HR-like reaction and increases levels of some hormones. Furthermore, alternative metabolic pathways are present in P. patens leading to the production of a distinct metabolic scenario than flowering plants that could contribute to defense. P. patens has acquired genes by horizontal transfer from prokaryotes and fungi, and some of them could represent adaptive benefits for resistance to biotic stress. In this review, the current knowledge related to the evolution of plant defense responses against pathogens will be discussed, focusing on the latest advances made in the model plant P. patens.

  9. Molecular cloud evolution and star formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, J.

    1985-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Faster-X adaptive protein evolution in house mice.

    PubMed

    Kousathanas, Athanasios; Halligan, Daniel L; Keightley, Peter D

    2014-04-01

    The causes of the large effect of the X chromosome in reproductive isolation and speciation have long been debated. The faster-X hypothesis predicts that X-linked loci are expected to have higher rates of adaptive evolution than autosomal loci if new beneficial mutations are on average recessive. Reproductive isolation should therefore evolve faster when contributing loci are located on the X chromosome. In this study, we have analyzed genome-wide nucleotide polymorphism data from the house mouse subspecies Mus musculus castaneus and nucleotide divergence from Mus famulus and Rattus norvegicus to compare rates of adaptive evolution for autosomal and X-linked protein-coding genes. We found significantly faster adaptive evolution for X-linked loci, particularly for genes with expression in male-specific tissues, but autosomal and X-linked genes with expression in female-specific tissues evolve at similar rates. We also estimated rates of adaptive evolution for genes expressed during spermatogenesis and found that X-linked genes that escape meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) show rapid adaptive evolution. Our results suggest that faster-X adaptive evolution is either due to net recessivity of new advantageous mutations or due to a special gene content of the X chromosome, which regulates male function and spermatogenesis. We discuss how our results help to explain the large effect of the X chromosome in speciation.

  13. Adaptive Protein Evolution in Animals and the Effective Population Size Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Galtier, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The rate at which genomes adapt to environmental changes and the prevalence of adaptive processes in molecular evolution are two controversial issues in current evolutionary genetics. Previous attempts to quantify the genome-wide rate of adaptation through amino-acid substitution have revealed a surprising diversity of patterns, with some species (e.g. Drosophila) experiencing a very high adaptive rate, while other (e.g. humans) are dominated by nearly-neutral processes. It has been suggested that this discrepancy reflects between-species differences in effective population size. Published studies, however, were mainly focused on model organisms, and relied on disparate data sets and methodologies, so that an overview of the prevalence of adaptive protein evolution in nature is currently lacking. Here we extend existing estimators of the amino-acid adaptive rate by explicitly modelling the effect of favourable mutations on non-synonymous polymorphism patterns, and we apply these methods to a newly-built, homogeneous data set of 44 non-model animal species pairs. Data analysis uncovers a major contribution of adaptive evolution to the amino-acid substitution process across all major metazoan phyla—with the notable exception of humans and primates. The proportion of adaptive amino-acid substitution is found to be positively correlated to species effective population size. This relationship, however, appears to be primarily driven by a decreased rate of nearly-neutral amino-acid substitution because of more efficient purifying selection in large populations. Our results reveal that adaptive processes dominate the evolution of proteins in most animal species, but do not corroborate the hypothesis that adaptive substitutions accumulate at a faster rate in large populations. Implications regarding the factors influencing the rate of adaptive evolution and positive selection detection in humans vs. other organisms are discussed. PMID:26752180

  14. Urban Evolution: The Role of Water and Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaushal, S.

    2015-12-01

    The structure, function, and services of urban ecosystems evolve over time scales from seconds to centuries as Earth's population grows, infrastructure ages, and management decisions alter them. The concept of "urban evolution" was proposed in order to study changes in urban ecosystems over time. Urban evolution has exerted a major influence on Earth's water and elemental cycles from local to global scales over human history. A current understanding of urban evolution allows urban planning, management, and restoration to move beyond reactive management to predictive management. We explore two key mechanisms of urban evolution, urban selective pressure and adaptation, and their relationship to the evolution of modern water and biogeochemical cycles. Urban selective pressure is an environmental or societal driver contributing to urban adaptation. Urban adaptation is the sequential process by which an urban structure, function, or services becomes more fitted to its changing environment or human choices. We show how hydrological and biogeochemical traits evolve across successive generations of urban ecosystems via shifts in selective pressures and adaptations. We also discuss how urban evolution can be divided into distinct stages and transition periods of growth and expansion and decay and repair during the Anthropocene epoch. We explore multiple examples and drivers of urban evolution and adaptations including the role of unintended consequences and societal drivers. We also present a conceptual model for the evolution of urban waters from the Industrial Revolution to the present day emphasizing the role of urban adaptations in response to selective pressures. Finally, we conclude by proposing new concepts and questions for future research related to the urban evolution of water, material, and energy cycles.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular evolution in bacterial endosymbionts of fungi.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Dean M; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-03-01

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

  17. Fitness seascapes and adaptive evolution of the influenza virus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lassig, Michael

    2014-03-01

    The seasonal human influenza A virus undergoes rapid genome evolution. This process is triggered by interactions with the host immune system and produces significant year-to-year sequence turnover in the population of circulating viral strains. We develop a dynamical fitness model that predicts the evolution of the viral population from one year to the next. Two factors are shown to determine the fitness of a viral strain: adaptive changes, which are under positive selection, and deleterious mutations, which affect conserved viral functions such as protein stability. Combined with the influenza strain tree, this fitness model maps the adaptive history of influenza A. We discuss the implications of our results for the statistical theory of adaptive evolution in asexual populations. Based on this and related systems, we touch upon the fundamental question of when evolution can be predicted. Joint work with Marta Luksza, Columbia University.

  18. Molecular epidemiology, phylogeny and evolution of dermatophytes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Go forth, evolve and prosper: the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in an invasive species.

    PubMed

    Franks, Steven J; Munshi-South, Jason

    2014-05-01

    Invasive species stand accused of a familiar litany of offences, including displacing native species, disrupting ecological processes and causing billions of dollars in ecological damage (Cox 1999). Despite these transgressions, invasive species have at least one redeeming virtue--they offer us an unparalleled opportunity to investigate colonization and responses of populations to novel conditions in the invaded habitat (Elton 1958; Sakai et al. 2001). Invasive species are by definition colonists that have arrived and thrived in a new location. How they are able to thrive is of great interest, especially considering a paradox of invasion (Sax & Brown 2000): if many populations are locally adapted (Leimu & Fischer 2008), how could species introduced into new locations become so successful? One possibility is that populations adjust to the new conditions through plasticity--increasing production of allelopathic compounds (novel weapons), or taking advantage of new prey, for example. Alternatively, evolution could play a role, with the populations adapting to the novel conditions of the new habitat. There is increasing evidence, based on phenotypic data, for rapid adaptive evolution in invasive species (Franks et al. 2012; Colautti & Barrett 2013; Sultan et al. 2013). Prior studies have also demonstrated genetic changes in introduced populations using neutral markers, which generally do not provide information on adaptation. Thus, the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in invasive species has largely remained unknown. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Vandepitte et al. (2014) provide some of the first evidence in invasive populations for molecular genetic changes directly linked to adaptation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. An Adaptive Unified Differential Evolution Algorithm for Global Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Qiang, Ji; Mitchell, Chad

    2014-11-03

    In this paper, we propose a new adaptive unified differential evolution algorithm for single-objective global optimization. Instead of the multiple mutation strate- gies proposed in conventional differential evolution algorithms, this algorithm employs a single equation unifying multiple strategies into one expression. It has the virtue of mathematical simplicity and also provides users the flexibility for broader exploration of the space of mutation operators. By making all control parameters in the proposed algorithm self-adaptively evolve during the process of optimization, it frees the application users from the burden of choosing appro- priate control parameters and also improves the performance of the algorithm. In numerical tests using thirteen basic unimodal and multimodal functions, the proposed adaptive unified algorithm shows promising performance in compari- son to several conventional differential evolution algorithms.

  2. 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

  3. Molecular and cellular bases of adaptation to a changing environment in microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Bleuven, Clara

    2016-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity constitutes an evolutionary challenge for organisms. While evolutionary dynamics under variable conditions has been explored for decades, we still know relatively little about the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved. It is of paramount importance to examine these molecular bases because they may play an important role in shaping the course of evolution. In this review, we examine the diversity of adaptive mechanisms in the face of environmental changes. We exploit the recent literature on microbial systems because those have benefited the most from the recent emergence of genetic engineering and experimental evolution followed by genome sequencing. We identify four emerging trends: (i) an adaptive molecular change in a pathway often results in fitness trade-off in alternative environments but the effects are dependent on a mutation's genetic background; (ii) adaptive changes often modify transcriptional and signalling pathways; (iii) several adaptive changes may occur within the same molecular pathway but be associated with pleiotropy of different signs across environments; (iv) because of their large associated costs, macromolecular changes such as gene amplification and aneuploidy may be a rapid mechanism of adaptation in the short-term only. The course of adaptation in a variable environment, therefore, depends on the complexity of the environment but also on the molecular relationships among the genes involved and between the genes and the phenotypes under selection. PMID:27798299

  4. Molecular and cellular bases of adaptation to a changing environment in microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Bleuven, Clara; Landry, Christian R

    2016-10-26

    Environmental heterogeneity constitutes an evolutionary challenge for organisms. While evolutionary dynamics under variable conditions has been explored for decades, we still know relatively little about the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved. It is of paramount importance to examine these molecular bases because they may play an important role in shaping the course of evolution. In this review, we examine the diversity of adaptive mechanisms in the face of environmental changes. We exploit the recent literature on microbial systems because those have benefited the most from the recent emergence of genetic engineering and experimental evolution followed by genome sequencing. We identify four emerging trends: (i) an adaptive molecular change in a pathway often results in fitness trade-off in alternative environments but the effects are dependent on a mutation's genetic background; (ii) adaptive changes often modify transcriptional and signalling pathways; (iii) several adaptive changes may occur within the same molecular pathway but be associated with pleiotropy of different signs across environments; (iv) because of their large associated costs, macromolecular changes such as gene amplification and aneuploidy may be a rapid mechanism of adaptation in the short-term only. The course of adaptation in a variable environment, therefore, depends on the complexity of the environment but also on the molecular relationships among the genes involved and between the genes and the phenotypes under selection.

  5. Convergent Evolution During Local Adaptation to Patchy Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Species often encounter, and adapt to, many patches of similar environmental conditions across their range. Such adaptation can occur through convergent evolution if different alleles arise in different patches, or through the spread of shared alleles by migration acting to synchronize adaptation across the species. The tension between the two reflects the constraint imposed on evolution by the underlying genetic architecture versus how effectively selection and geographic isolation act to inhibit the geographic spread of locally adapted alleles. This paper studies the balance between these two routes to adaptation in a model of continuous environments with patchy selection pressures. We address the following questions: How long does it take for a novel allele to appear in a patch where it is locally adapted through mutation? Or, through migration from another, already adapted patch? Which is more likely to occur, as a function of distance between the patches? What population genetic signal is left by the spread of migrant alleles? To answer these questions we examine the family structure underlying migration–selection equilibrium surrounding an already adapted patch, treating those rare families that reach new patches as spatial branching processes. A main result is that patches further apart than a critical distance will likely evolve independent locally adapted alleles; this distance is proportional to the spatial scale of selection (σ/sm, where σ is the dispersal distance and s m is the selective disadvantage of these alleles between patches), and depends linearly on log(s m/μ), where μ is the mutation rate. This provides a way to understand the role of geographic separation between patches in promoting convergent adaptation and the genomic signals it leaves behind. We illustrate these ideas using the convergent evolution of cryptic coloration in the rock pocket mouse, Chaetodipus intermedius, as an empirical example. PMID:26571125

  6. Evolution of morphological and climatic adaptations in Veronica L. (Plantaginaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jian-Cheng; Pan, Bo-Rong

    2016-01-01

    Perennials and annuals apply different strategies to adapt to the adverse environment, based on ‘tolerance’ and ‘avoidance’, respectively. To understand lifespan evolution and its impact on plant adaptability, we carried out a comparative study of perennials and annuals in the genus Veronica from a phylogenetic perspective. The results showed that ancestors of the genus Veronicawere likely to be perennial plants. Annual life history of Veronica has evolved multiple times and subtrees with more annual species have a higher substitution rate. Annuals can adapt to more xeric habitats than perennials. This indicates that annuals are more drought-resistant than their perennial relatives. Due to adaptation to similar selective pressures, parallel evolution occurs in morphological characters among annual species of Veronica. PMID:27602296

  7. Global relationships in fluctuation and response in adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Furusawa, Chikara; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2015-01-01

    Cells change their internal state to adapt to environmental changes, and evolve in response to the new conditions. The phenotype changes first via adaptation in response to environmental changes, and then through mutational changes in the genomic sequence, followed by selection in evolution. Here, we analysed simulated adaptive evolution using a simple cell model consisting of thousands of intracellular components, and found that the changes in their concentrations by adaptation are proportional to those by evolution across all the components, where the proportion coefficient between the two agreed well with the change in the growth rate of a cell. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the phenotypic variance in concentrations of cellular components due to (non-genetic) noise and to genomic alternations is proportional across all components. This implies that the specific phenotypes that are highly evolvable were already given by non-genetic fluctuations. These global relationships in cellular states were also supported by phenomenological theory based on steady reproduction and transcriptome analysis of laboratory evolution in Escherichia coli. These findings demonstrate that a possible evolutionary change in phenotypic state is highly restricted. Our results provide a basis for the development of a quantitative theory of plasticity and robustness in phenotypic evolution. PMID:26202686

  8. Pax6 in Collembola: Adaptive Evolution of Eye Regression

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Ya-Nan; Li, Sheng; Luan, Yun-Xia

    2016-01-01

    Unlike the compound eyes in insects, collembolan eyes are comparatively simple: some species have eyes with different numbers of ocelli (1 + 1 to 8 + 8), and some species have no apparent eye structures. Pax6 is a universal master control gene for eye morphogenesis. In this study, full-length Pax6 cDNAs, Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6, were cloned from an eyeless collembolan (Folsomia candida, soil-dwelling) and an eyed one (Ceratophysella denticulata, surface-dwelling), respectively. Their phylogenetic positions are between the two Pax6 paralogs in insects, eyeless (ey) and twin of eyeless (toy), and their protein sequences are more similar to Ey than to Toy. Both Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6 could induce ectopic eyes in Drosophila, while Fc-Pax6 exhibited much weaker transactivation ability than Cd-Pax6. The C-terminus of collembolan Pax6 is indispensable for its transactivation ability, and determines the differences of transactivation ability between Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6. One of the possible reasons is that Fc-Pax6 accumulated more mutations at some key functional sites of C-terminus under a lower selection pressure on eye development due to the dark habitats of F. candida. The composite data provide a first molecular evidence for the monophyletic origin of collembolan eyes, and indicate the eye degeneration of collembolans is caused by adaptive evolution. PMID:26856893

  9. Pax6 in Collembola: Adaptive Evolution of Eye Regression.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ya-Nan; Li, Sheng; Luan, Yun-Xia

    2016-02-09

    Unlike the compound eyes in insects, collembolan eyes are comparatively simple: some species have eyes with different numbers of ocelli (1 + 1 to 8 + 8), and some species have no apparent eye structures. Pax6 is a universal master control gene for eye morphogenesis. In this study, full-length Pax6 cDNAs, Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6, were cloned from an eyeless collembolan (Folsomia candida, soil-dwelling) and an eyed one (Ceratophysella denticulata, surface-dwelling), respectively. Their phylogenetic positions are between the two Pax6 paralogs in insects, eyeless (ey) and twin of eyeless (toy), and their protein sequences are more similar to Ey than to Toy. Both Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6 could induce ectopic eyes in Drosophila, while Fc-Pax6 exhibited much weaker transactivation ability than Cd-Pax6. The C-terminus of collembolan Pax6 is indispensable for its transactivation ability, and determines the differences of transactivation ability between Fc-Pax6 and Cd-Pax6. One of the possible reasons is that Fc-Pax6 accumulated more mutations at some key functional sites of C-terminus under a lower selection pressure on eye development due to the dark habitats of F. candida. The composite data provide a first molecular evidence for the monophyletic origin of collembolan eyes, and indicate the eye degeneration of collembolans is caused by adaptive evolution.

  10. 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

  11. Molecular Evolution of Phosphoprotein Phosphatases in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Differential evolution for many-particle adaptive quantum metrology.

    PubMed

    Lovett, Neil B; Crosnier, Cécile; Perarnau-Llobet, Martí; Sanders, Barry C

    2013-05-31

    We devise powerful algorithms based on differential evolution for adaptive many-particle quantum metrology. Our new approach delivers adaptive quantum metrology policies for feedback control that are orders-of-magnitude more efficient and surpass the few-dozen-particle limitation arising in methods based on particle-swarm optimization. We apply our method to the binary-decision-tree model for quantum-enhanced phase estimation as well as to a new problem: a decision tree for adaptive estimation of the unknown bias of a quantum coin in a quantum walk and show how this latter case can be realized experimentally.

  14. Microcephaly genes evolved adaptively throughout the evolution of eutherian mammals

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Genes associated with the neurodevelopmental disorder microcephaly display a strong signature of adaptive evolution in primates. Comparative data suggest a link between selection on some of these loci and the evolution of primate brain size. Whether or not either positive selection or this phenotypic association are unique to primates is unclear, but recent studies in cetaceans suggest at least two microcephaly genes evolved adaptively in other large brained mammalian clades. Results Here we analyse the evolution of seven microcephaly loci, including three recently identified loci, across 33 eutherian mammals. We find extensive evidence for positive selection having acted on the majority of these loci not just in primates but also across non-primate mammals. Furthermore, the patterns of selection in major mammalian clades are not significantly different. Using phylogenetically corrected comparative analyses, we find that the evolution of two microcephaly loci, ASPM and CDK5RAP2, are correlated with neonatal brain size in Glires and Euungulata, the two most densely sampled non-primate clades. Conclusions Together with previous results, this suggests that ASPM and CDK5RAP2 may have had a consistent role in the evolution of brain size in mammals. Nevertheless, several limitations of currently available data and gene-phenotype tests are discussed, including sparse sampling across large evolutionary distances, averaging gene-wide rates of evolution, potential phenotypic variation and evolutionary reversals. We discuss the implications of our results for studies of the genetic basis of brain evolution, and explicit tests of gene-phenotype hypotheses. PMID:24898820

  15. Molecular ecology and adaptation of visual photopigments in craniates.

    PubMed

    Davies, Wayne I L; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2012-07-01

    In craniates, opsin-based photopigments expressed in the eye encode molecular 'light sensors' that constitute the initial protein in photoreception and the activation of the phototransduction cascade. Since the cloning and sequencing of the first vertebrate opsin gene (bovine rod opsin) nearly 30 years ago (Ovchinnikov Yu 1982, FEBS Letters, 148, 179-191; Hargrave et al. 1983, Biophysics of Structure & Mechanism, 9, 235-244; Nathans & Hogness 1983, Cell, 34, 807-814), it is now well established that variation in the subtypes and spectral properties of the visual pigments that mediate colour and dim-light vision is a prevalent mechanism for the molecular adaptation to diverse light environments. In this review, we discuss the origins and spectral tuning of photopigments that first arose in the agnathans to sample light within the ancient aquatic landscape of the Early Cambrian, detailing the molecular changes that subsequently occurred in each of the opsin classes independently within the main branches of extant jawed gnathostomes. Specifically, we discuss the adaptive changes that have occurred in the photoreceptors of craniates as they met the ecological challenges to survive in quite differing photic niches, including brightly lit aquatic surroundings; the deep sea; the transition to and from land; diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal environments; and light-restricted fossorial settings. The review ends with a discussion of the limitations inherent to the 'nocturnal-bottleneck' hypothesis relevant to the evolution of the mammalian visual system and a proposition that transition through a 'mesopic-bottleneck' may be a more appropriate model.

  16. Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Cao, Junwei; Pan, Shengkai; Zhou, Huanmin; Zhang, Li; Abutarboush, Mohammed H; Xing, Yanping; Xie, Zhiyuan; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Zhang, Yanru; Yao, Qiulin; Al-Shomrani, Badr M; Zhang, Dong; Li, Jiang; Manee, Manee M; Yang, Zili; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Yiyi; Zhang, Jilin; Altammami, Musaad A; Wang, Shenyuan; Yu, Lili; Zhang, Wenbin; Liu, Sanyang; Ba, La; Liu, Chunxia; Yang, Xukui; Meng, Fanhua; Wang, Shaowei; Li, Lu; Li, Erli; Li, Xueqiong; Wu, Kaifeng; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Junyi; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Al-Swailem, Abdulaziz M; Wang, Jun

    2014-10-21

    Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

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

    PubMed

    Nunes, Alexandra; Gomes, João P

    2014-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular evolution of cryptochromes in fishes.

    PubMed

    Mei, Qiming; Sadovy, Yvonne; Dvornyk, Volodymyr

    2015-12-10

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

  20. The evolution of adaptive immunity in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Masayuki; Das, Sabyasachi; Guo, Peng; Cooper, Max D

    2011-01-01

    Approximately 500 million years ago, two types of recombinatorial adaptive immune systems (AISs) arose in vertebrates. The jawed vertebrates diversify their repertoire of immunoglobulin domain-based T and B cell antigen receptors mainly through the rearrangement of V(D)J gene segments and somatic hypermutation, but none of the fundamental AIS recognition elements in jawed vertebrates have been found in jawless vertebrates. Instead, the AIS of jawless vertebrates is based on variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) that are generated through recombinatorial usage of a large panel of highly diverse leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) sequences. Whereas the appearance of transposon-like, recombination-activating genes contributed uniquely to the origin of the AIS in jawed vertebrates, the use of activation-induced cytidine deaminase for receptor diversification is common to both the jawed and jawless vertebrates. Despite these differences in anticipatory receptor construction, the basic AIS design featuring two interactive T and B lymphocyte arms apparently evolved in an ancestor of jawed and jawless vertebrates within the context of preexisting innate immunity and has been maintained since as a consequence of powerful and enduring selection, most probably for pathogen defense purposes.

  1. OASes and STING: adaptive evolution in concert.

    PubMed

    Mozzi, Alessandra; Pontremoli, Chiara; Forni, Diego; Clerici, Mario; Pozzoli, Uberto; Bresolin, Nereo; Cagliani, Rachele; Sironi, Manuela

    2015-03-09

    OAS (2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthases) proteins and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS, gene symbol: MB21D1) patrol the cytoplasm for the presence of foreign nucleic acids. Upon binding to double-stranded RNA or double-stranded DNA, OAS proteins and cGAS produce nucleotide second messengers to activate RNase L and STING (stimulator of interferon genes, gene symbol: TMEM173), respectively; this leads to the initiation of antiviral responses. We analyzed the evolutionary history of the MB21D1-TMEM173 and OAS-RNASEL axes in primates and bats and found evidence of widespread positive selection in both orders. In TMEM173, residue 230, a major determinant of response to natural ligands and to mimetic drugs (e.g., DMXAA), was positively selected in Primates and Chiroptera. In both orders, selection also targeted an α-helix/loop element in RNase L that modulates the enzyme preference for single-stranded RNA versus stem loops. Analysis of positively selected sites in OAS1, OAS2, and MB21D1 revealed parallel evolution, with the corresponding residues being selected in different genes. As this cannot result from gene conversion, these data suggest that selective pressure acting on OAS and MB21D1 genes is related to nucleic acid recognition and to the specific mechanism of enzyme activation, which requires a conformational change. Finally, a population genetics-phylogenetics analysis in humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas detected several positively selected sites in most genes. Data herein shed light into species-specific differences in infection susceptibility and in response to synthetic compounds, with relevance for the design of synthetic compounds as vaccine adjuvants.

  2. Fisheries-induced neutral and adaptive evolution in exploited fish populations and consequences for their adaptive potential

    PubMed Central

    Marty, Lise; Dieckmann, Ulf; Ernande, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Fishing may induce neutral and adaptive evolution affecting life-history traits, and molecular evidence has shown that neutral genetic diversity has declined in some exploited populations. Here, we theoretically study the interplay between neutral and adaptive evolution caused by fishing. An individual-based eco-genetic model is devised that includes neutral and functional loci in a realistic ecological setting. In line with theoretical expectations, we find that fishing induces evolution towards slow growth, early maturation at small size and higher reproductive investment. We show, first, that the choice of genetic model (based on either quantitative genetics or gametic inheritance) influences the evolutionary recovery of traits after fishing ceases. Second, we analyse the influence of three factors possibly involved in the lack of evolutionary recovery: the strength of selection, the effect of genetic drift and the loss of adaptive potential. We find that evolutionary recovery is hampered by an association of weak selection differentials with reduced additive genetic variances. Third, the contribution of fisheries-induced selection to the erosion of functional genetic diversity clearly dominates that of genetic drift only for the traits related to maturation. Together, our results highlight the importance of taking into account population genetic variability in predictions of eco-evolutionary dynamics. PMID:25667602

  3. Fisheries-induced neutral and adaptive evolution in exploited fish populations and consequences for their adaptive potential.

    PubMed

    Marty, Lise; Dieckmann, Ulf; Ernande, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Fishing may induce neutral and adaptive evolution affecting life-history traits, and molecular evidence has shown that neutral genetic diversity has declined in some exploited populations. Here, we theoretically study the interplay between neutral and adaptive evolution caused by fishing. An individual-based eco-genetic model is devised that includes neutral and functional loci in a realistic ecological setting. In line with theoretical expectations, we find that fishing induces evolution towards slow growth, early maturation at small size and higher reproductive investment. We show, first, that the choice of genetic model (based on either quantitative genetics or gametic inheritance) influences the evolutionary recovery of traits after fishing ceases. Second, we analyse the influence of three factors possibly involved in the lack of evolutionary recovery: the strength of selection, the effect of genetic drift and the loss of adaptive potential. We find that evolutionary recovery is hampered by an association of weak selection differentials with reduced additive genetic variances. Third, the contribution of fisheries-induced selection to the erosion of functional genetic diversity clearly dominates that of genetic drift only for the traits related to maturation. Together, our results highlight the importance of taking into account population genetic variability in predictions of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  4. An Adaptive Cauchy Differential Evolution Algorithm for Global Numerical Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Tae Jong; Ahn, Chang Wook; An, Jinung

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation of control parameters, such as scaling factor (F), crossover rate (CR), and population size (NP), appropriately is one of the major problems of Differential Evolution (DE) literature. Well-designed adaptive or self-adaptive parameter control method can highly improve the performance of DE. Although there are many suggestions for adapting the control parameters, it is still a challenging task to properly adapt the control parameters for problem. In this paper, we present an adaptive parameter control DE algorithm. In the proposed algorithm, each individual has its own control parameters. The control parameters of each individual are adapted based on the average parameter value of successfully evolved individuals' parameter values by using the Cauchy distribution. Through this, the control parameters of each individual are assigned either near the average parameter value or far from that of the average parameter value which might be better parameter value for next generation. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is more robust than the standard DE algorithm and several state-of-the-art adaptive DE algorithms in solving various unimodal and multimodal problems. PMID:23935445

  5. An adaptive Cauchy differential evolution algorithm for global numerical optimization.

    PubMed

    Choi, Tae Jong; Ahn, Chang Wook; An, Jinung

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation of control parameters, such as scaling factor (F), crossover rate (CR), and population size (NP), appropriately is one of the major problems of Differential Evolution (DE) literature. Well-designed adaptive or self-adaptive parameter control method can highly improve the performance of DE. Although there are many suggestions for adapting the control parameters, it is still a challenging task to properly adapt the control parameters for problem. In this paper, we present an adaptive parameter control DE algorithm. In the proposed algorithm, each individual has its own control parameters. The control parameters of each individual are adapted based on the average parameter value of successfully evolved individuals' parameter values by using the Cauchy distribution. Through this, the control parameters of each individual are assigned either near the average parameter value or far from that of the average parameter value which might be better parameter value for next generation. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is more robust than the standard DE algorithm and several state-of-the-art adaptive DE algorithms in solving various unimodal and multimodal problems.

  6. Exaptation in human evolution: how to test adaptive vs exaptive evolutionary hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Pievani, Telmo; Serrelli, Emanuele

    2011-01-01

    Palaeontologists, Stephen J. Gould and Elisabeth Vrba, introduced the term "ex-aptation" with the aim of improving and enlarging the scientific language available to researchers studying the evolution of any useful character, instead of calling it an "adaptation" by default, coming up with what Gould named an "extended taxonomy of fitness". With the extension to functional co-optations from non-adaptive structures ("spandrels"), the notion of exaptation expanded and revised the neo-Darwinian concept of "pre-adaptation" (which was misleading, for Gould and Vrba, suggesting foreordination). Exaptation is neither a "saltationist" nor an "anti-Darwinian" concept and, since 1982, has been adopted by many researchers in evolutionary and molecular biology, and particularly in human evolution. Exaptation has also been contested. Objections include the "non-operationality objection".We analyze the possible operationalization of this concept in two recent studies, and identify six directions of empirical research, which are necessary to test "adaptive vs. exaptive" evolutionary hypotheses. We then comment on a comprehensive survey of literature (available online), and on the basis of this we make a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the adoption of the term among scientists who study human evolution. We discuss the epistemic conditions that may have influenced the adoption and appropriate use of exaptation, and comment on the benefits of an "extended taxonomy of fitness" in present and future studies concerning human evolution.

  7. Pervasive Cryptic Epistasis in Molecular Evolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Local adaptation and the evolution of chromosome fusions.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Rafael F; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2014-10-01

    We use forward and coalescent models of population genetics to study chromosome fusions that reduce the recombination between two locally adapted loci. Under a continent-island model, a fusion spreads and reaches a polymorphic equilibrium when it causes recombination between locally adapted alleles to be less than their selective advantage. In contrast, fusions in a two-deme model always spread; whether it reaches a polymorphic equilibrium or becomes fixed depends on the relative recombination rates of fused homozygotes and heterozygotes. Neutral divergence around fusion polymorphisms is markedly increased, showing peaks at the point of fusion and at the locally adapted loci. Local adaptation could explain the evolution of many of chromosome fusions, which are some of the most common chromosome rearrangements in nature.

  10. Stress, adaptation, and speciation in the evolution of the blind mole rat, Spalax, in Israel.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Eviatar

    2013-02-01

    Environmental stress played a major role in the evolution of the blind mole rat superspecies Spalax ehrenbergi, affecting its adaptive evolution and ecological speciation underground. Spalax is safeguarded all of its life underground from aboveground climatic fluctuations and predators. However, it encounters multiple stresses in its underground burrows including darkness, energetics, hypoxia, hypercapnia, food scarcity, and pathogenicity. Consequently, it evolved adaptive genomic, proteomic, and phenomic complexes to cope with those stresses. Here I describe some of these adaptive complexes, and their theoretical and applied perspectives. Spalax mosaic molecular and organismal evolution involves reductions or regressions coupled with expansions or progressions caused by evolutionary tinkering and natural genetic engineering. Speciation of Spalax in Israel occurred in the Pleistocene, during the last 2.00-2.35 Mya, generating four species associated intimately with four climatic regimes with increasing aridity stress southwards and eastwards representing an ecological speciational adaptive trend: (Spalax golani, 2n=54→S. galili, 2n=52→S. carmeli, 2n=58→S. judaei, 2n=60). Darwinian ecological speciation occurred gradually with relatively little genetic change by Robertsonian chromosomal and genic mutations. Spalax genome sequencing has just been completed. It involves multiple adaptive complexes to life underground and is an evolutionary model to a few hundred underground mammals. It involves great promise in the future for medicine, space flight, and deep-sea diving.

  11. Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model

    PubMed Central

    Kohl, James Vaughn

    2013-01-01

    Background The prenatal migration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurosecretory neurons allows nutrients and human pheromones to alter GnRH pulsatility, which modulates the concurrent maturation of the neuroendocrine, reproductive, and central nervous systems, thus influencing the development of ingestive behavior, reproductive sexual behavior, and other behaviors. Methods This model details how chemical ecology drives adaptive evolution via: (1) ecological niche construction, (2) social niche construction, (3) neurogenic niche construction, and (4) socio-cognitive niche construction. This model exemplifies the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal conditioning, which alters genetically predisposed, nutrient-dependent, hormone-driven mammalian behavior and choices for pheromones that control reproduction via their effects on luteinizing hormone (LH) and systems biology. Results Nutrients are metabolized to pheromones that condition behavior in the same way that food odors condition behavior associated with food preferences. The epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input calibrate and standardize molecular mechanisms for genetically predisposed receptor-mediated changes in intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression in GnRH neurosecretory neurons of brain tissue. For example, glucose and pheromones alter the hypothalamic secretion of GnRH and LH. A form of GnRH associated with sexual orientation in yeasts links control of the feedback loops and developmental processes required for nutrient acquisition, movement, reproduction, and the diversification of species from microbes to man. Conclusion An environmental drive evolved from that of nutrient ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of pheromone-controlled socialization in insects. In mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as LH, which has developmental affects on pheromone-controlled sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent reproductively fit individuals

  12. Molecular characterization of the evolution of phagosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Molecular Evolution of PTEN Pseudogenes in Mammals

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Adaptive evolution of plastron shape in emydine turtles.

    PubMed

    Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Feldman, Chris R; Miller, Gretchen R

    2011-02-01

    Morphology reflects ecological pressures, phylogeny, and genetic and biophysical constraints. Disentangling their influence is fundamental to understanding selection and trait evolution. Here, we assess the contributions of function, phylogeny, and habitat to patterns of plastron (ventral shell) shape variation in emydine turtles. We quantify shape variation using geometric morphometrics, and determine the influence of several variables on shape using path analysis. Factors influencing plastron shape variation are similar between emydine turtles and the more inclusive Testudinoidea. We evaluate the fit of various evolutionary models to the shape data to investigate the selective landscape responsible for the observed morphological patterns. The presence of a hinge on the plastron accounts for most morphological variance, but phylogeny and habitat also correlate with shape. The distribution of shape variance across emydine phylogeny is most consistent with an evolutionary model containing two adaptive zones--one for turtles with kinetic plastra, and one for turtles with rigid plastra. Models with more complex adaptive landscapes often fit the data only as well as the null model (purely stochastic evolution). The adaptive landscape of plastron shape in Emydinae may be relatively simple because plastral kinesis imposes overriding mechanical constraints on the evolution of form.

  15. Roles of dental development and adaptation in rodent evolution.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Helder Gomes; Renaud, Sabrina; Charles, Cyril; Le Poul, Yann; Solé, Floréal; Aguilar, Jean-Pierre; Michaux, Jacques; Tafforeau, Paul; Headon, Denis; Jernvall, Jukka; Viriot, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    In paleontology, many changes affecting morphology, such as tooth shape in mammals, are interpreted as ecological adaptations that reflect important selective events. Despite continuing studies, the identification of the genetic bases and key ecological drivers of specific mammalian dental morphologies remains elusive. Here we focus on the genetic and functional bases of stephanodonty, a pattern characterized by longitudinal crests on molars that arose in parallel during the diversification of murine rodents. We find that overexpression of Eda or Edar is sufficient to produce the longitudinal crests defining stephanodonty in transgenic laboratory mice. Whereas our dental microwear analyses show that stephanodonty likely represents an adaptation to highly fibrous diet, the initial and parallel appearance of stephanodonty may have been facilitated by developmental processes, without being necessarily under positive selection. This study demonstrates how combining development and function can help to evaluate adaptive scenarios in the evolution of new morphologies.

  16. Adaptive evolution of vertebrate-type cryptochrome in the ancestors of Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Xiao, Jin-Hua; Bian, Sheng-Nan; Gu, Hai-Feng; Huang, Da-Wei

    2013-02-23

    One of the most mysterious aspects of insect clock mechanisms is that some insects, including Hymenoptera and Tribolium, only express a vertebrate-type cryptochrome (cry2). It is unknown whether or not cry2 underwent adaptive evolution in these insects. In the present study, we cloned and sequenced the full-length cry2 from a fig pollinator species, Ceratosolen solmsi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Agaonidae), and examined the molecular evolution and daily expression of this gene. Our results suggest that cry2 underwent positive selection in the branch leading to hymenopteran insects. The function of CRY2 might have been fixed since undergoing natural selection in the ancestor of Hymenoptera. Male pollinators showed stronger rhythmicity in the host figs, which reflect an adaptation to their life cycles.

  17. Adaptive evolution to novel predators facilitates the evolution of damselfly species range shifts.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Beaulieu, Jeremy M

    2017-01-17

    Most species have evolved adaptations to reduce the chances of predation. In many cases, adaptations to coexist with one predator generate tradeoffs in the ability to live with other predators. Consequently, the ability to live with one predator may limit the geographic distributions of species, such that adaptive evolution to coexist with novel predators may facilitate range shifts. In a case study with Enallagma damselflies, we used a comparative phylogenetic approach to test the hypothesis that adaptive evolution to live with a novel predator facilitates range size shifts. Our results suggest that the evolution of Enallagma shifting from living in ancestral lakes with fish as top predators, to living in lakes with dragonflies as predators, may have facilitated an increase in their range sizes. This increased range size likely arose because lakes with dragonflies were widespread, but unavailable as a habitat throughout much of the evolutionary history of Enallagma because they were historically maladapted to coexist with dragonfly predators. Additionally, the traits that have evolved as defenses against dragonflies also likely enhanced damselfly dispersal abilities. While many factors underlie the evolutionary history of species ranges, these results suggest a role for the evolution of predator-prey interactions.

  18. Parallel evolution controlled by adaptation and covariation in ammonoid cephalopods

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the processes that shape the evolutionary trajectory of clades. The repeated and similar large-scale morphological evolutionary trends of distinct lineages suggest that adaptation by means of natural selection (functional constraints) is the major cause of parallel evolution, a very common phenomenon in extinct and extant lineages. However, parallel evolution can result from other processes, which are usually ignored or difficult to identify, such as developmental constraints. Hence, understanding the underlying processes of parallel evolution still requires further research. Results Herein, we present a possible case of parallel evolution between two ammonoid lineages (Auguritidae and Pinacitidae) of Early-Middle Devonian age (405-395 Ma), which are extinct cephalopods with an external, chambered shell. In time and through phylogenetic order of appearance, both lineages display a morphological shift toward more involute coiling (i.e. more tightly coiled whorls), larger adult body size, more complex suture line (the folded walls separating the gas-filled buoyancy-chambers), and the development of an umbilical lid (a very peculiar extension of the lateral shell wall covering the umbilicus) in the most derived taxa. Increased involution toward shells with closed umbilicus has been demonstrated to reflect improved hydrodynamic properties of the shell and thus likely results from similar natural selection pressures. The peculiar umbilical lid might have also added to the improvement of the hydrodynamic properties of the shell. Finally, increasing complexity of suture lines likely results from covariation induced by trends of increasing adult size and whorl overlap given the morphogenetic properties of the suture. Conclusions The morphological evolution of these two Devonian ammonoid lineages follows a near parallel evolutionary path for some important shell characters during several million years and

  19. Energy dissipation in an adaptive molecular circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shou-Wen; Lan, Yueheng; Tang, Lei-Han

    2015-07-01

    The ability to monitor nutrient and other environmental conditions with high sensitivity is crucial for cell growth and survival. Sensory adaptation allows a cell to recover its sensitivity after a transient response to a shift in the strength of extracellular stimulus. The working principles of adaptation have been established previously based on rate equations which do not consider fluctuations in a thermal environment. Recently, Lan et al (2012 Nat. Phys. 8 422-8) performed a detailed analysis of a stochastic model for the Escherichia coli sensory network. They showed that accurate adaptation is possible only when the system operates in a nonequilibrium steady-state (NESS). They further proposed an energy-speed-accuracy (ESA) trade-off relation. We present here analytic results on the NESS of the model through a mapping to a one-dimensional birth-death process. An exact expression for the entropy production rate is also derived. Based on these results, we are able to discuss the ESA relation in a more general setting. Our study suggests that the adaptation error can be reduced exponentially as the methylation range increases. Finally, we show that a nonequilibrium phase transition exists in the infinite methylation range limit, despite the fact that the model contains only two discrete variables.

  20. Out of the blue: adaptive visual pigment evolution accompanies Amazon invasion.

    PubMed

    Van Nynatten, Alexander; Bloom, Devin; Chang, Belinda S W; Lovejoy, Nathan R

    2015-07-01

    Incursions of marine water into South America during the Miocene prompted colonization of freshwater habitats by ancestrally marine species and present a unique opportunity to study the molecular evolution of adaptations to varying environments. Freshwater and marine environments are distinct in both spectra and average intensities of available light. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of rhodopsin, the photosensitive pigment in the eye that activates in response to light, in a clade of South American freshwater anchovies derived from a marine ancestral lineage. Using likelihood-based comparative sequence analyses, we found evidence for positive selection in the rhodopsin of freshwater anchovy lineages at sites known to be important for aspects of rhodopsin function such as spectral tuning. No evidence was found for positive selection in marine lineages, nor in three other genes not involved in vision. Our results suggest that an increased rate of rhodopsin evolution was driven by diversification into freshwater habitats, thereby constituting a rare example of molecular evolution mirroring large-scale palaeogeographic events.

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

    PubMed

    Nkongolo, K K; Mehes-Smith, M

    2012-11-01

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

  2. Toward a molecular understanding of adaptive immunity: a chronology, part I

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kendall A.

    2012-01-01

    The adaptive immune system has been the core of immunology for the past century, as immunologists have been primarily focused on understanding the basis for adaptive immunity for the better part of this time. Immunological thought has undergone an evolution with regard to our understanding as the complexity of the cells and the molecules of the system became elucidated. The original immunologists performed their experiments with whole animals (or humans), and for the most part they were focused on observing what happens when a foreign substance is introduced into the body. However, since Burnet formulated his clonal selection theory we have witnessed reductionist science focused first on cell populations, then individual cells and finally on molecules, in our quests to learn how the system works. This review is the first part of a chronology of our evolution toward a molecular understanding of adaptive immunity. PMID:23230443

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

    PubMed

    Remington, David L

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Evolution of innate and adaptive immune systems in jawless vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kasamatsu, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Because jawless vertebrates are the most primitive vertebrates, they have been studied to gain understanding of the evolutionary processes that gave rise to the innate and adaptive immune systems in vertebrates. Jawless vertebrates have developed lymphocyte-like cells that morphologically resemble the T and B cells of jawed vertebrates, but they express variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) instead of the T and B cell receptors that specifically recognize antigens in jawed vertebrates. These VLRs act as antigen receptors, diversity being generated in their antigen-binding sites by assembly of highly diverse leucine-rich repeat modules. Therefore, jawless vertebrates have developed adaptive immune systems based on the VLRs. Although pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and Rig-like receptors (RLRs), and their adaptor genes are conserved in jawless vertebrates, some transcription factor and inflammatory cytokine genes in the TLR and RLR pathways are not present. However, like jawed vertebrates, the initiation of adaptive immune responses in jawless vertebrates appears to require prior activation of the innate immune system. These observations imply that the innate immune systems of jawless vertebrates have a unique molecular basis that is distinct from that of jawed vertebrates. Altogether, although the molecular details of the innate and adaptive immune systems differ between jawless and jawed vertebrates, jawless vertebrates have developed versions of these immune systems that are similar to those of jawed vertebrates.

  5. Adaptive evolution of a key phytoplankton species to ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohbeck, Kai T.; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2012-05-01

    Ocean acidification, the drop in seawater pH associated with the ongoing enrichment of marine waters with carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, may seriously impair marine calcifying organisms. Our present understanding of the sensitivity of marine life to ocean acidification is based primarily on short-term experiments, in which organisms are exposed to increased concentrations of CO2. However, phytoplankton species with short generation times, in particular, may be able to respond to environmental alterations through adaptive evolution. Here, we examine the ability of the world's single most important calcifying organism, the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, to evolve in response to ocean acidification in two 500-generation selection experiments. Specifically, we exposed E. huxleyi populations founded by single or multiple clones to increased concentrations of CO2. Around 500 asexual generations later we assessed their fitness. Compared with populations kept at ambient CO2 partial pressure, those selected at increased partial pressure exhibited higher growth rates, in both the single- and multiclone experiment, when tested under ocean acidification conditions. Calcification was partly restored: rates were lower under increased CO2 conditions in all cultures, but were up to 50% higher in adapted compared with non-adapted cultures. We suggest that contemporary evolution could help to maintain the functionality of microbial processes at the base of marine food webs in the face of global change.

  6. The adaptive evolution of plasticity: phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance responses.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Johanna; Stinchcombe, John R; Heschel, M Shane; Huber, Heidrun

    2003-07-01

    Many plants display a characteristic suite of developmental "shade avoidance" responses, such as stem elongation and accelerated reproduction, to the low ratio of red to far-red wavelengths (R:FR) reflected or transmitted from green vegetation. This R:FR cue of crowding and vegetation shade is perceived by the phytochrome family of photoreceptors. Phytochrome-mediated responses provide an ideal system for investigating the adaptive evolution of phenotypic plasticity in natural environments. The molecular and developmental mechanisms underlying shade avoidance responses are well studied, and testable ecological hypotheses exist for their adaptive significance. Experimental manipulation of phenotypes demonstrates that shade avoidance responses may be adaptive, resulting in phenotypes with high relative fitness in the environments that induce those phenotypes. The adaptive value of shade avoidance depends upon the competitive environment, resource availability, and the reliability of the R:FR cue for predicting the selective environment experienced by an induced phenotype. Comparative studies and a reciprocal transplant experiment with Impatiens capensis provide evidence of adaptive divergence in shade avoidance responses between woodland and clearing habitats, which may result from population differences in the frequency of selection on shade avoidance traits, as well as differences in the reliability of the R:FR cue. Recent rapid progress in elucidating phytochrome signaling pathways in the genetic model Arabidopsis thaliana and other species now provides the opportunity for studying how selection on shade avoidance traits in natural environments acts upon the molecular mechanisms underlying natural phenotypic variation.

  7. Adapting clinical paradigms to the challenges of cancer clonal evolution.

    PubMed

    Murugaesu, Nirupa; Chew, Su Kit; Swanton, Charles

    2013-06-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cancer branched evolution may affect biomarker validation, clinical outcome, and emergence of drug resistance. The changing spatial and temporal nature of cancer subclonal architecture during the disease course suggests the need for longitudinal prospective studies of cancer evolution and robust and clinically implementable pathologic definitions of intratumor heterogeneity, genetic diversity, and chromosomal instability. Furthermore, subclonal heterogeneous events in tumors may evade detection through conventional biomarker strategies and influence clinical outcome. Minimally invasive methods for the study of cancer evolution and new approaches to clinical study design, incorporating understanding of the dynamics of tumor clonal architectures through treatment and during acquisition of drug resistance, have been suggested as important areas for development. Coordinated efforts will be required by the scientific and clinical trial communities to adapt to the challenges of detecting infrequently occurring somatic events that may influence clinical outcome and to understand the dynamics of cancer evolution and the waxing and waning of tumor subclones over time in advanced metastatic epithelial malignancies.

  8. Extensive gene gain associated with adaptive evolution of poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    McLysaght, Aoife; Baldi, Pierre F.; Gaut, Brandon S.

    2003-01-01

    Previous studies of genome evolution usually have involved one or two genomes and have thus been limited in their ability to detect the direction and rate of evolutionary change. Here, we use complete genome data from 20 poxvirus genomes to build a robust phylogeny of the Poxviridae and to study patterns of genome evolution. We show that, although there has been little gene order evolution, there are substantial differences between poxviruses in terms of genome content. Furthermore, we show that the rate of gene acquisition is not constant over time and that it has increased in the orthopox lineage (which includes smallpox and vaccinia). We also tested for positive selection on 204 groups of genes and show that a disproportionately high proportion of genes in the orthopox clade are under positive selection. The association of an increased rate of gene gain and positive selection is indicative of adaptive genome evolution. Many of the genes involved in these processes are likely to be associated with host–parasite coevolution. PMID:14660798

  9. Within-host co-evolution of chronic viruses and the adaptive immune system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nourmohammad, Armita

    We normally think of evolution occurring in a population of organisms, in response to their external environment. Rapid evolution of cellular populations also occurs within our bodies, as the adaptive immune system works to eliminate infection. Some pathogens, such as HIV, are able to persist in a host for extended periods of time, during which they also evolve to evade the immune response. In this talk I will introduce an analytical framework for the rapid co-evolution of B-cell and viral populations, based on the molecular interactions between them. Since the co-evolution of antibodies and viruses is perpetually out of equilibrium, I will show how to quantify the amount of adaptation in each of the two populations by analysis of their co-evolutionary history. I will discuss the consequences of competition between lineages of antibodies, and characterize the fate of a given lineage dependent on the state of the antibody and viral populations. In particular, I will discuss the conditions for emergence of highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies, which are now recognized as critical for designing an effective vaccine against HIV.

  10. Adaptive evolution of mitochondrial energy metabolism genes associated with increased energy demand in flying insects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yunxia; Xu, Shixia; Xu, Junxiao; Guo, Yan; Yang, Guang

    2014-01-01

    Insects are unique among invertebrates for their ability to fly, which raises intriguing questions about how energy metabolism in insects evolved and changed along with flight. Although physiological studies indicated that energy consumption differs between flying and non-flying insects, the evolution of molecular energy metabolism mechanisms in insects remains largely unexplored. Considering that about 95% of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is supplied by mitochondria via oxidative phosphorylation, we examined 13 mitochondrial protein-encoding genes to test whether adaptive evolution of energy metabolism-related genes occurred in insects. The analyses demonstrated that mitochondrial DNA protein-encoding genes are subject to positive selection from the last common ancestor of Pterygota, which evolved primitive flight ability. Positive selection was also found in insects with flight ability, whereas no significant sign of selection was found in flightless insects where the wings had degenerated. In addition, significant positive selection was also identified in the last common ancestor of Neoptera, which changed its flight mode from direct to indirect. Interestingly, detection of more positively selected genes in indirect flight rather than direct flight insects suggested a stronger selective pressure in insects having higher energy consumption. In conclusion, mitochondrial protein-encoding genes involved in energy metabolism were targets of adaptive evolution in response to increased energy demands that arose during the evolution of flight ability in insects.

  11. Theory of recombination in directed molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. A Model for Designing Adaptive Laboratory Evolution Experiments.

    PubMed

    LaCroix, Ryan A; Palsson, Bernhard O; Feist, Adam M

    2017-04-15

    The occurrence of mutations is a cornerstone of the evolutionary theory of adaptation, capitalizing on the rare chance that a mutation confers a fitness benefit. Natural selection is increasingly being leveraged in laboratory settings for industrial and basic science applications. Despite increasing deployment, there are no standardized procedures available for designing and performing adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) experiments. Thus, there is a need to optimize the experimental design, specifically for determining when to consider an experiment complete and for balancing outcomes with available resources (i.e., laboratory supplies, personnel, and time). To design and to better understand ALE experiments, a simulator, ALEsim, was developed, validated, and applied to the optimization of ALE experiments. The effects of various passage sizes were experimentally determined and subsequently evaluated with ALEsim, to explain differences in experimental outcomes. Furthermore, a beneficial mutation rate of 10(-6.9) to 10(-8.4) mutations per cell division was derived. A retrospective analysis of ALE experiments revealed that passage sizes typically employed in serial passage batch culture ALE experiments led to inefficient production and fixation of beneficial mutations. ALEsim and the results described here will aid in the design of ALE experiments to fit the exact needs of a project while taking into account the resources required and will lower the barriers to entry for this experimental technique.IMPORTANCE ALE is a widely used scientific technique to increase scientific understanding, as well as to create industrially relevant organisms. The manner in which ALE experiments are conducted is highly manual and uniform, with little optimization for efficiency. Such inefficiencies result in suboptimal experiments that can take multiple months to complete. With the availability of automation and computer simulations, we can now perform these experiments in an optimized

  14. Adaptive molecular resolution approach in Hamiltonian form: An asymptotic analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinglong; Klein, Rupert; Delle Site, Luigi

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive molecular resolution approaches in molecular dynamics are becoming relevant tools for the analysis of molecular liquids characterized by the interplay of different physical scales. The essential difference among these methods is in the way the change of molecular resolution is made in a buffer (transition) region. In particular a central question concerns the possibility of the existence of a global Hamiltonian which, by describing the change of resolution, is at the same time physically consistent, mathematically well defined, and numerically accurate. In this paper we present an asymptotic analysis of the adaptive process complemented by numerical results and show that under certain mathematical conditions a Hamiltonian, which is physically consistent and numerically accurate, may exist. Such conditions show that molecular simulations in the current computational implementation require systems of large size, and thus a Hamiltonian approach such as the one proposed, at this stage, would not be practical from the numerical point of view. However, the Hamiltonian proposed provides the basis for a simplification and generalization of the numerical implementation of adaptive resolution algorithms to other molecular dynamics codes.

  15. Meeting the demand for innate and adaptive immunities during evolution.

    PubMed

    Du Pasquier, L

    2005-07-01

    An ideal immune system should provide each individual with rapid and efficient responses, a diverse repertoire of recognition and effector molecules and a certain flexibility to match the changing internal and external environment. It should be economic in cells and genes. Specific memory would be useful. It should not be autoreactive. These requirements, a mixture of innate and adaptive immunity features, are modulated in function of the dominant mode of selection for each species of metazoa during evolution (K or r). From sponges to man, a great diversity of receptors and effector mechanisms, some of them shared with plants, are articulated around conserved signalling cascades. Multiple attempts at combining innate and adaptive immunity somatic features can be observed as new somatic mechanisms provide individualized repertoires of receptors throughout metazoa, in agnathans, prochordates, echinoderms and mollusks. The adaptive immunity of vertebrates with lymphocytes and their specific receptors of the immunoglobulin superfamily, the major histocompatibility complex, developed from innate immunity evolutionary lines that can be traced back in earlier deuterostomes.

  16. Adaptive network dynamics and evolution of leadership in collective migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pais, Darren; Leonard, Naomi E.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of leadership in migratory populations depends not only on costs and benefits of leadership investments but also on the opportunities for individuals to rely on cues from others through social interactions. We derive an analytically tractable adaptive dynamic network model of collective migration with fast timescale migration dynamics and slow timescale adaptive dynamics of individual leadership investment and social interaction. For large populations, our analysis of bifurcations with respect to investment cost explains the observed hysteretic effect associated with recovery of migration in fragmented environments. Further, we show a minimum connectivity threshold above which there is evolutionary branching into leader and follower populations. For small populations, we show how the topology of the underlying social interaction network influences the emergence and location of leaders in the adaptive system. Our model and analysis can be extended to study the dynamics of collective tracking or collective learning more generally. Thus, this work may inform the design of robotic networks where agents use decentralized strategies that balance direct environmental measurements with agent interactions.

  17. Gathering computational genomics and proteomics to unravel adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Agostinho; Ramos, Maria João

    2007-09-06

    A recent editorial in PLoS Biology by MacCallum and Hill (2006) pointed out the inappropriateness of studies evaluating signatures of positive selection based solely in single-site analyses. Therefore the rising number of articles claiming positive selection that have been recently published urges the question of how to improve the bioinformatics standards for reliably unravel positive selection? Deeper integrative efforts using state-of-the-art methodologies at the gene-level and protein-level are improving positive selection studies. Here we provide some computational guidelines to thoroughly document molecular adaptation.

  18. Phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the brain-development gene microcephalin (MCPH1) in cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Representatives of Cetacea have the greatest absolute brain size among animals, and the largest relative brain size aside from humans. Despite this, genes implicated in the evolution of large brain size in primates have yet to be surveyed in cetaceans. Results We sequenced ~1240 basepairs of the brain development gene microcephalin (MCPH1) in 38 cetacean species. Alignments of these data and a published complete sequence from Tursiops truncatus with primate MCPH1 were utilized in phylogenetic analyses and to estimate ω (rate of nonsynonymous substitution/rate of synonymous substitution) using site and branch models of molecular evolution. We also tested the hypothesis that selection on MCPH1 was correlated with brain size in cetaceans using a continuous regression analysis that accounted for phylogenetic history. Our analyses revealed widespread signals of adaptive evolution in the MCPH1 of Cetacea and in other subclades of Mammalia, however, there was not a significant positive association between ω and brain size within Cetacea. Conclusion In conjunction with a recent study of Primates, we find no evidence to support an association between MCPH1 evolution and the evolution of brain size in highly encephalized mammalian species. Our finding of significant positive selection in MCPH1 may be linked to other functions of the gene. PMID:21492470

  19. Automatic Evolution of Molecular Nanotechnology Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  20. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers.

    PubMed

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2017-02-05

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity'.

  1. Adaptation to drought in two wild tomato species: the evolution of the Asr gene family.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Iris; Camus-Kulandaivelu, Létizia; Allal, François; Stephan, Wolfgang

    2011-06-01

    Wild tomato species are a valuable system in which to study local adaptation to drought: they grow in diverse environments ranging from mesic to extremely arid conditions. Here, we investigate the evolution of members of the Asr (ABA/water stress/ripening induced) gene family, which have been reported to be involved in the water stress response. We analysed molecular variation in the Asr gene family in populations of two closely related species, Solanum chilense and Solanum peruvianum. We concluded that Asr1 has evolved under strong purifying selection. In contrast to previous reports, we did not detect evidence for positive selection at Asr2. However, Asr4 shows patterns consistent with local adaptation in an S. chilense population that lives in an extremely dry environment. We also discovered a new member of the gene family, Asr5. Our results show that the Asr genes constitute a dynamic gene family and provide an excellent example of tandemly arrayed genes that are of importance in adaptation. Taking the potential distribution of the species into account, it appears that S. peruvianum can cope with a great variety of environmental conditions without undergoing local adaptation, whereas S. chilense undergoes local adaptation more frequently.

  2. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    PubMed Central

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  3. 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.

  4. Evolution of eye development in the darkness of caves: adaptation, drift, or both?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Animals inhabiting the darkness of caves are generally blind and de-pigmented, regardless of the phylum they belong to. Survival in this environment is an enormous challenge, the most obvious being to find food and mates without the help of vision, and the loss of eyes in cave animals is often accompanied by an enhancement of other sensory apparatuses. Here we review the recent literature describing developmental biology and molecular evolution studies in order to discuss the evolutionary mechanisms underlying adaptation to life in the dark. We conclude that both genetic drift (neutral hypothesis) and direct and indirect selection (selective hypothesis) occurred together during the loss of eyes in cave animals. We also identify some future directions of research to better understand adaptation to total darkness, for which integrative analyses relying on evo-devo approaches associated with thorough ecological and population genomic studies should shed some light. PMID:24079393

  5. Coestimation of recombination, substitution and molecular adaptation rates by approximate Bayesian computation.

    PubMed

    Lopes, J S; Arenas, M; Posada, D; Beaumont, M A

    2014-03-01

    The estimation of parameters in molecular evolution may be biased when some processes are not considered. For example, the estimation of selection at the molecular level using codon-substitution models can have an upward bias when recombination is ignored. Here we address the joint estimation of recombination, molecular adaptation and substitution rates from coding sequences using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). We describe the implementation of a regression-based strategy for choosing subsets of summary statistics for coding data, and show that this approach can accurately infer recombination allowing for intracodon recombination breakpoints, molecular adaptation and codon substitution rates. We demonstrate that our ABC approach can outperform other analytical methods under a variety of evolutionary scenarios. We also show that although the choice of the codon-substitution model is important, our inferences are robust to a moderate degree of model misspecification. In addition, we demonstrate that our approach can accurately choose the evolutionary model that best fits the data, providing an alternative for when the use of full-likelihood methods is impracticable. Finally, we applied our ABC method to co-estimate recombination, substitution and molecular adaptation rates from 24 published human immunodeficiency virus 1 coding data sets.

  6. Coestimation of recombination, substitution and molecular adaptation rates by approximate Bayesian computation

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, J S; Arenas, M; Posada, D; Beaumont, M A

    2014-01-01

    The estimation of parameters in molecular evolution may be biased when some processes are not considered. For example, the estimation of selection at the molecular level using codon-substitution models can have an upward bias when recombination is ignored. Here we address the joint estimation of recombination, molecular adaptation and substitution rates from coding sequences using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). We describe the implementation of a regression-based strategy for choosing subsets of summary statistics for coding data, and show that this approach can accurately infer recombination allowing for intracodon recombination breakpoints, molecular adaptation and codon substitution rates. We demonstrate that our ABC approach can outperform other analytical methods under a variety of evolutionary scenarios. We also show that although the choice of the codon-substitution model is important, our inferences are robust to a moderate degree of model misspecification. In addition, we demonstrate that our approach can accurately choose the evolutionary model that best fits the data, providing an alternative for when the use of full-likelihood methods is impracticable. Finally, we applied our ABC method to co-estimate recombination, substitution and molecular adaptation rates from 24 published human immunodeficiency virus 1 coding data sets. PMID:24149652

  7. Elucidating the molecular architecture of adaptation via evolve and resequence experiments.

    PubMed

    Long, Anthony; Liti, Gianni; Luptak, Andrej; Tenaillon, Olivier

    2015-10-01

    Evolve and resequence (E&R) experiments use experimental evolution to adapt populations to a novel environment, then next-generation sequencing to analyse genetic changes. They enable molecular evolution to be monitored in real time on a genome-wide scale. Here, we review the field of E&R experiments across diverse systems, ranging from simple non-living RNA to bacteria, yeast and the complex multicellular organism Drosophila melanogaster. We explore how different evolutionary outcomes in these systems are largely consistent with common population genetics principles. Differences in outcomes across systems are largely explained by different starting population sizes, levels of pre-existing genetic variation, recombination rates and adaptive landscapes. We highlight emerging themes and inconsistencies that future experiments must address.

  8. Elucidating the molecular architecture of adaptation via evolve and resequence experiments

    PubMed Central

    Long, Anthony; Liti, Gianni; Luptak, Andrej; Tenaillon, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Evolve and resequence (E&R) experiments use experimental evolution to adapt populations to a novel environment, followed by next-generation sequencing. They enable molecular evolution to be monitored in real time at a genome-wide scale. We review the field of E&R experiments across diverse systems, ranging from simple non-living RNA to bacteria, yeast and complex multicellular Drosophila melanogaster. We explore how different evolutionary outcomes in these systems are largely consistent with common population genetics principles. Differences in outcomes across systems are largely explained by different: starting population sizes, levels of pre-existing genetic variation, recombination rates, and adaptive landscapes. We highlight emerging themes and inconsistencies that future experiments must address. PMID:26347030

  9. Replicated evolution of integrated plastic responses during early adaptive divergence.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Kevin J; Robinson, Beren W

    2006-04-01

    . Variation between ecomorphs and among lake populations in the covariance of plastic responses suggests the presence of genetic variation in plastic character responses. In three populations, open water ecomorphs also exhibited larger plastic responses to the environmental gradient than the local shallow water ecomorph. This could account for the greater integration of plastic responses in open water ecomorphs in two of the populations. This suggests that the plastic responses of local sunfish ecomorphs can diverge through changes in the magnitude and coordination of plastic responses. Although these results require further investigation, they suggest that early adaptive evolution in a novel environment can include changes to plastic character states. The genetic assimilation of coordinated plastic responses could result in the further, and possibly rapid, divergence of such populations and could also account for the evolution of genes of major effect that contribute to suites of phenotypic differences between divergent populations.

  10. Molecular adaptation and the origin of land plants.

    PubMed

    Waters, Elizabeth R

    2003-12-01

    The origin and diversification of land plants was one of the most important biological radiations. Land plants are crucial components of all modern terrestrial ecosystems. The first land plants had to adapt to a wide array of new environmental challenges including desiccation, varying temperatures, and increased UV radiation. There have been numerous studies of the morphological adaptations to life on land. However the molecular adaptations to life on land have only recently gained attention. These studies have greatly benefited from the recent advances in our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships between and among the charophycean algae and the basal land plant groups. In this review I summarize the current knowledge of a variety of physiological and biochemical adaptations to land including plant growth hormones, isoprene, phenolics, and heat shock proteins.

  11. Dual-phase evolution in complex adaptive systems

    PubMed Central

    Paperin, Greg; Green, David G.; Sadedin, Suzanne

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the origins of complexity is a key challenge in many sciences. Although networks are known to underlie most systems, showing how they contribute to well-known phenomena remains an issue. Here, we show that recurrent phase transitions in network connectivity underlie emergent phenomena in many systems. We identify properties that are typical of systems in different connectivity phases, as well as characteristics commonly associated with the phase transitions. We synthesize these common features into a common framework, which we term dual-phase evolution (DPE). Using this framework, we review the literature from several disciplines to show that recurrent connectivity phase transitions underlie the complex properties of many biological, physical and human systems. We argue that the DPE framework helps to explain many complex phenomena, including perpetual novelty, modularity, scale-free networks and criticality. Our review concludes with a discussion of the way DPE relates to other frameworks, in particular, self-organized criticality and the adaptive cycle. PMID:21247947

  12. Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Cai; Li, Qiye; Li, Bo; Larkin, Denis M; Lee, Chul; Storz, Jay F; Antunes, Agostinho; Greenwold, Matthew J; Meredith, Robert W; Ödeen, Anders; Cui, Jie; Zhou, Qi; Xu, Luohao; Pan, Hailin; Wang, Zongji; Jin, Lijun; Zhang, Pei; Hu, Haofu; Yang, Wei; Hu, Jiang; Xiao, Jin; Yang, Zhikai; Liu, Yang; Xie, Qiaolin; Yu, Hao; Lian, Jinmin; Wen, Ping; Zhang, Fang; Li, Hui; Zeng, Yongli; Xiong, Zijun; Liu, Shiping; Zhou, Long; Huang, Zhiyong; An, Na; Wang, Jie; Zheng, Qiumei; Xiong, Yingqi; Wang, Guangbiao; Wang, Bo; Wang, Jingjing; Fan, Yu; da Fonseca, Rute R; Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Schubert, Mikkel; Orlando, Ludovic; Mourier, Tobias; Howard, Jason T; Ganapathy, Ganeshkumar; Pfenning, Andreas; Whitney, Osceola; Rivas, Miriam V; Hara, Erina; Smith, Julia; Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho; Romanov, Michael N; Borges, Rui; Machado, João Paulo; Khan, Imran; Springer, Mark S; Gatesy, John; Hoffmann, Federico G; Opazo, Juan C; Håstad, Olle; Sawyer, Roger H; Kim, Heebal; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Cho, Seoae; Li, Ning; Huang, Yinhua; Bruford, Michael W; Zhan, Xiangjiang; Dixon, Andrew; Bertelsen, Mads F; Derryberry, Elizabeth; Warren, Wesley; Wilson, Richard K; Li, Shengbin; Ray, David A; Green, Richard E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Griffin, Darren; Johnson, Warren E; Haussler, David; Ryder, Oliver A; Willerslev, Eske; Graves, Gary R; Alström, Per; Fjeldså, Jon; Mindell, David P; Edwards, Scott V; Braun, Edward L; Rahbek, Carsten; Burt, David W; Houde, Peter; Zhang, Yong; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Jarvis, Erich D; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Wang, Jun

    2014-12-12

    Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits.

  13. Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Cai; Li, Qiye; Li, Bo; Larkin, Denis M.; Lee, Chul; Storz, Jay F.; Antunes, Agostinho; Greenwold, Matthew J.; Meredith, Robert W.; Ödeen, Anders; Cui, Jie; Zhou, Qi; Xu, Luohao; Pan, Hailin; Wang, Zongji; Jin, Lijun; Zhang, Pei; Hu, Haofu; Yang, Wei; Hu, Jiang; Xiao, Jin; Yang, Zhikai; Liu, Yang; Xie, Qiaolin; Yu, Hao; Lian, Jinmin; Wen, Ping; Zhang, Fang; Li, Hui; Zeng, Yongli; Xiong, Zijun; Liu, Shiping; Zhou, Long; Huang, Zhiyong; An, Na; Wang, Jie; Zheng, Qiumei; Xiong, Yingqi; Wang, Guangbiao; Wang, Bo; Wang, Jingjing; Fan, Yu; da Fonseca, Rute R.; Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Schubert, Mikkel; Orlando, Ludovic; Mourier, Tobias; Howard, Jason T.; Ganapathy, Ganeshkumar; Pfenning, Andreas; Whitney, Osceola; Rivas, Miriam V.; Hara, Erina; Smith, Julia; Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho; Romanov, Michael N; Borges, Rui; Machado, João Paulo; Khan, Imran; Springer, Mark S.; Gatesy, John; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Opazo, Juan C.; Håstad, Olle; Sawyer, Roger H.; Kim, Heebal; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Cho, Seoae; Li, Ning; Huang, Yinhua; Bruford, Michael W.; Zhan, Xiangjiang; Dixon, Andrew; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Derryberry, Elizabeth; Warren, Wesley; Wilson, Richard K; Li, Shengbin; Ray, David A.; Green, Richard E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Griffin, Darren; Johnson, Warren E.; Haussler, David; Ryder, Oliver A.; Willerslev, Eske; Graves, Gary R.; Alström, Per; Fjeldså, Jon; Mindell, David P.; Edwards, Scott V.; Braun, Edward L.; Rahbek, Carsten; Burt, David W.; Houde, Peter; Zhang, Yong; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Jarvis, Erich D.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Wang, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits. PMID:25504712

  14. Adaptive gains through repeated gene loss: parallel evolution of cyanogenesis polymorphisms in the genus Trifolium (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Olsen, Kenneth M; Kooyers, Nicholas J; Small, Linda L

    2014-08-05

    Variation in cyanogenesis (hydrogen cyanide release following tissue damage) was first noted in populations of white clover more than a century ago, and subsequent decades of research have established this system as a classic example of an adaptive chemical defence polymorphism. Here, we document polymorphisms for cyanogenic components in several relatives of white clover, and we determine the molecular basis of this trans-specific adaptive variation. One hundred and thirty-nine plants, representing 13 of the 14 species within Trifolium section Trifoliastrum, plus additional species across the genus, were assayed for cyanogenic components (cyanogenic glucosides and their hydrolysing enzyme, linamarase) and for the presence of underlying cyanogenesis genes (CYP79D15 and Li, respectively). One or both cyanogenic components were detected in seven species, all within section Trifoliastrum; polymorphisms for the presence/absence (PA) of components were detected in six species. In a pattern that parallels our previous findings for white clover, all observed biochemical polymorphisms correspond to gene PA polymorphisms at CYP79D15 and Li. Relationships of DNA sequence haplotypes at the cyanogenesis loci and flanking genomic regions suggest independent evolution of gene deletions within species. This study thus provides evidence for the parallel evolution of adaptive biochemical polymorphisms through recurrent gene deletions in multiple species.

  15. Molecular Evolution of Threonine Dehydratase in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xuefei; Li, Ye; Wang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Adaptive Evolution in Rodent Seminal Vesicle Secretion Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Nathaniel L.; Nguyen, Eric D.; Swanson, Willie J.

    2008-01-01

    Proteins involved in reproductive fitness have evolved unusually rapidly across diverse groups of organisms. These reproductive proteins show unusually high rates of amino acid substitutions, suggesting that the proteins have been subject to positive selection. We sought to identify seminal fluid proteins experiencing adaptive evolution because such proteins are often involved in sperm competition, host immunity to pathogens, and manipulation of female reproductive physiology and behavior. We performed an evolutionary screen of the mouse prostate transcriptome for genes with elevated evolutionary rates between mouse and rat. We observed that secreted rodent prostate proteins evolve approximately twice as fast as nonsecreted proteins, remarkably similar to findings in the primate prostate and in the Drosophila male accessory gland. Our screen led us to identify and characterize a group of seminal vesicle secretion (Svs) proteins and to show that the gene Svs7 is evolving very rapidly, with many amino acid sites under positive selection. Another gene in this group, Svs5, showed evidence of branch-specific selection in the rat. We also found that Svs7 is under selection in primates and, by using three-dimensional models, demonstrated that the same regions have been under selection in both groups. Svs7 has been identified as mouse caltrin, a protein involved in sperm capacitation, the process responsible for the timing of changes in sperm activity and behavior, following ejaculation. We propose that the most likely explanation of the adaptive evolution of Svs7 that we have observed in rodents and primates stems from an important function in sperm competition. PMID:18718917

  17. Putative RNA-directed adaptive mutations in cancer evolution

    PubMed Central

    Auboeuf, Didier

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the capacity of cancer cells to adapt to the tumor microenvironment and to anticancer therapies is a major challenge. In this context, cancer is believed to be an evolutionary process where random mutations and the selection process shape the mutational pattern and phenotype of cancer cells. This article challenges the notion of randomness of some cancer-associated mutations by describing molecular mechanisms involving stress-mediated biogenesis of mRNA-derived small RNAs able to target and increase the local mutation rate of the genomic loci they originate from. It is proposed that the probability of some mutations at specific loci could be increased in a stress-specific and RNA-depending manner. This would increase the probability of generating mutations that could alleviate stress situations, such as those triggered by anticancer drugs. Such a mechanism is made possible because tumor- and anticancer drug-associated stress situations trigger both cellular reprogramming and inflammation, which leads cancer cells to express molecular tools allowing them to “attack” and mutate their own genome in an RNA-directed manner. PMID:27715501

  18. Prolonged Adaptive Evolution of a Defensive Gene in the Solanaceae.

    PubMed

    Rausher, Mark D; Huang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Although plants and their natural enemies may coevolve for prolonged periods, little is known about how long individual plant defensive genes are involved in the coevolutionary process. We address this issue by examining patterns of selection on the defensive gene threonine deaminase (TD). Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has two copies of this gene. One performs the canonical housekeeping function in amino acid metabolism of catalyzing the first reaction in the conversion of threonine to isoleucine. The second copy functions as an antinutritive defense against lepidopteran herbivores by depleting threonine in the insect gut. Wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) also contains a defensive copy. We show that a single copy of TD underwent two or three duplications near the base of the Solanaceae. One copy retains the housekeeping function, whereas a second copy evolved defensive functions. Positive selection occurred on the branch of the TD2 gene tree subtending the common ancestor of the Nicotianoideae and Solanoideae. It also occurred within the Solanoideae clade but not within the Nicotianoideae clade. Finally, it occurred on most branches leading from the common ancestor to S. lycopersicum. Based on recent calibrations of the Solanaceae phylogeny, TD2 experienced adaptive substitutions for a period of 30-50 My. We suggest that the most likely explanation for this result is fluctuating herbivore abundances: When herbivores are rare, relaxed selection increases the likelihood that slightly disadvantageous mutations will be fixed by drift; when herbivores are common, increased selection causes the evolution of compensatory adaptive mutations. Alternative explanations are also discussed.

  19. An Adaptive Multipopulation Differential Evolution With Dynamic Population Reduction.

    PubMed

    Ali, Mostafa Z; Awad, Noor H; Suganthan, Ponnuthurai Nagaratnam; Reynolds, Robert G

    2016-10-25

    Developing efficient evolutionary algorithms attracts many researchers due to the existence of optimization problems in numerous real-world applications. A new differential evolution algorithm, sTDE-dR, is proposed to improve the search quality, avoid premature convergence, and stagnation. The population is clustered in multiple tribes and utilizes an ensemble of different mutation and crossover strategies. In this algorithm, a competitive success-based scheme is introduced to determine the life cycle of each tribe and its participation ratio for the next generation. In each tribe, a different adaptive scheme is used to control the scaling factor and crossover rate. The mean success of each subgroup is used to calculate the ratio of its participation for the next generation. This guarantees that successful tribes with the best adaptive schemes are only the ones that guide the search toward the optimal solution. The population size is dynamically reduced using a dynamic reduction method. Comprehensive comparison of the proposed heuristic over a challenging set of benchmarks from the CEC2014 real parameter single objective competition against several state-of-the-art algorithms is performed. The results affirm robustness of the proposed approach compared to other state-of-the-art algorithms.

  20. A global analysis of adaptive evolution of operons in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Memon, Danish; Singh, Abhay K; Pakrasi, Himadri B; Wangikar, Pramod P

    2013-02-01

    Operons are an important feature of prokaryotic genomes. Evolution of operons is hypothesized to be adaptive and has contributed significantly towards coordinated optimization of functions. Two conflicting theories, based on (i) in situ formation to achieve co-regulation and (ii) horizontal gene transfer of functionally linked gene clusters, are generally considered to explain why and how operons have evolved. Furthermore, effects of operon evolution on genomic traits such as intergenic spacing, operon size and co-regulation are relatively less explored. Based on the conservation level in a set of diverse prokaryotes, we categorize the operonic gene pair associations and in turn the operons as ancient and recently formed. This allowed us to perform a detailed analysis of operonic structure in cyanobacteria, a morphologically and physiologically diverse group of photoautotrophs. Clustering based on operon conservation showed significant similarity with the 16S rRNA-based phylogeny, which groups the cyanobacterial strains into three clades. Clade C, dominated by strains that are believed to have undergone genome reduction, shows a larger fraction of operonic genes that are tightly packed in larger sized operons. Ancient operons are in general larger, more tightly packed, better optimized for co-regulation and part of key cellular processes. A sub-clade within Clade B, which includes Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, shows a reverse trend in intergenic spacing. Our results suggest that while in situ formation and vertical descent may be a dominant mechanism of operon evolution in cyanobacteria, optimization of intergenic spacing and co-regulation are part of an ongoing process in the life-cycle of operons.

  1. Evolutionary dynamics of molecular markers during local adaptation: a case study in Drosophila subobscura

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Natural selection and genetic drift are major forces responsible for temporal genetic changes in populations. Furthermore, these evolutionary forces may interact with each other. Here we study the impact of an ongoing adaptive process at the molecular genetic level by analyzing the temporal genetic changes throughout 40 generations of adaptation to a common laboratory environment. Specifically, genetic variability, population differentiation and demographic structure were compared in two replicated groups of Drosophila subobscura populations recently sampled from different wild sources. Results We found evidence for a decline in genetic variability through time, along with an increase in genetic differentiation between all populations studied. The observed decline in genetic variability was higher during the first 14 generations of laboratory adaptation. The two groups of replicated populations showed overall similarity in variability patterns. Our results also revealed changing demographic structure of the populations during laboratory evolution, with lower effective population sizes in the early phase of the adaptive process. One of the ten microsatellites analyzed showed a clearly distinct temporal pattern of allele frequency change, suggesting the occurrence of positive selection affecting the region around that particular locus. Conclusion Genetic drift was responsible for most of the divergence and loss of variability between and within replicates, with most changes occurring during the first generations of laboratory adaptation. We also found evidence suggesting a selective sweep, despite the low number of molecular markers analyzed. Overall, there was a similarity of evolutionary dynamics at the molecular level in our laboratory populations, despite distinct genetic backgrounds and some differences in phenotypic evolution. PMID:18302790

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Molecular adaptations in Antarctic fish and marine microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Giordano, Daniela; Russo, Roberta; di Prisco, Guido; Verde, Cinzia

    2012-06-01

    The Antarctic marine environment is one of the most extreme on Earth due to its stably low temperature and high oxygen content. Here we discuss various aspects of the molecular adaptations evolved by Antarctic fish and marine microorganisms living in this environment. This review will in particular focus on: (i) the genetic/genomic bases of adaptation in Antarctic notothenioid fish; (ii) the role of neuroglobin recently identified in the brain of Antarctic icefish; (iii) the structural and functional features of globins of the Antarctic marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125.

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

    PubMed Central

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Roux, Camille

    2017-01-01

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

  5. The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes.

    PubMed

    Castoe, Todd A; de Koning, A P Jason; Hall, Kathryn T; Card, Daren C; Schield, Drew R; Fujita, Matthew K; Ruggiero, Robert P; Degner, Jack F; Daza, Juan M; Gu, Wanjun; Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Shaney, Kyle J; Castoe, Jill M; Fox, Samuel E; Poole, Alex W; Polanco, Daniel; Dobry, Jason; Vandewege, Michael W; Li, Qing; Schott, Ryan K; Kapusta, Aurélie; Minx, Patrick; Feschotte, Cédric; Uetz, Peter; Ray, David A; Hoffmann, Federico G; Bogden, Robert; Smith, Eric N; Chang, Belinda S W; Vonk, Freek J; Casewell, Nicholas R; Henkel, Christiaan V; Richardson, Michael K; Mackessy, Stephen P; Bronikowski, Anne M; Bronikowsi, Anne M; Yandell, Mark; Warren, Wesley C; Secor, Stephen M; Pollock, David D

    2013-12-17

    Snakes possess many extreme morphological and physiological adaptations. Identification of the molecular basis of these traits can provide novel understanding for vertebrate biology and medicine. Here, we study snake biology using the genome sequence of the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), a model of extreme physiological and metabolic adaptation. We compare the python and king cobra genomes along with genomic samples from other snakes and perform transcriptome analysis to gain insights into the extreme phenotypes of the python. We discovered rapid and massive transcriptional responses in multiple organ systems that occur on feeding and coordinate major changes in organ size and function. Intriguingly, the homologs of these genes in humans are associated with metabolism, development, and pathology. We also found that many snake metabolic genes have undergone positive selection, which together with the rapid evolution of mitochondrial proteins, provides evidence for extensive adaptive redesign of snake metabolic pathways. Additional evidence for molecular adaptation and gene family expansions and contractions is associated with major physiological and phenotypic adaptations in snakes; genes involved are related to cell cycle, development, lungs, eyes, heart, intestine, and skeletal structure, including GRB2-associated binding protein 1, SSH, WNT16, and bone morphogenetic protein 7. Finally, changes in repetitive DNA content, guanine-cytosine isochore structure, and nucleotide substitution rates indicate major shifts in the structure and evolution of snake genomes compared with other amniotes. Phenotypic and physiological novelty in snakes seems to be driven by system-wide coordination of protein adaptation, gene expression, and changes in the structure of the genome.

  6. The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes

    PubMed Central

    Castoe, Todd A.; de Koning, A. P. Jason; Hall, Kathryn T.; Card, Daren C.; Schield, Drew R.; Fujita, Matthew K.; Ruggiero, Robert P.; Degner, Jack F.; Daza, Juan M.; Gu, Wanjun; Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Shaney, Kyle J.; Castoe, Jill M.; Fox, Samuel E.; Poole, Alex W.; Polanco, Daniel; Dobry, Jason; Vandewege, Michael W.; Li, Qing; Schott, Ryan K.; Kapusta, Aurélie; Minx, Patrick; Feschotte, Cédric; Uetz, Peter; Ray, David A.; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Bogden, Robert; Smith, Eric N.; Chang, Belinda S. W.; Vonk, Freek J.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Henkel, Christiaan V.; Richardson, Michael K.; Mackessy, Stephen P.; Bronikowski, Anne M.; Yandell, Mark; Warren, Wesley C.; Secor, Stephen M.; Pollock, David D.

    2013-01-01

    Snakes possess many extreme morphological and physiological adaptations. Identification of the molecular basis of these traits can provide novel understanding for vertebrate biology and medicine. Here, we study snake biology using the genome sequence of the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), a model of extreme physiological and metabolic adaptation. We compare the python and king cobra genomes along with genomic samples from other snakes and perform transcriptome analysis to gain insights into the extreme phenotypes of the python. We discovered rapid and massive transcriptional responses in multiple organ systems that occur on feeding and coordinate major changes in organ size and function. Intriguingly, the homologs of these genes in humans are associated with metabolism, development, and pathology. We also found that many snake metabolic genes have undergone positive selection, which together with the rapid evolution of mitochondrial proteins, provides evidence for extensive adaptive redesign of snake metabolic pathways. Additional evidence for molecular adaptation and gene family expansions and contractions is associated with major physiological and phenotypic adaptations in snakes; genes involved are related to cell cycle, development, lungs, eyes, heart, intestine, and skeletal structure, including GRB2-associated binding protein 1, SSH, WNT16, and bone morphogenetic protein 7. Finally, changes in repetitive DNA content, guanine-cytosine isochore structure, and nucleotide substitution rates indicate major shifts in the structure and evolution of snake genomes compared with other amniotes. Phenotypic and physiological novelty in snakes seems to be driven by system-wide coordination of protein adaptation, gene expression, and changes in the structure of the genome. PMID:24297902

  7. 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.

  8. Back to Water: Signature of Adaptive Evolution in Cetacean Mitochondrial tRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Patarnello, Tomaso; Cozzi, Bruno; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrion is the power plant of the eukaryotic cell, and tRNAs are the fundamental components of its translational machinery. In the present paper, the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was investigated in the Cetacea, a clade of Cetartiodactyla that retuned to water and thus had to adapt its metabolism to a different medium than that of its mainland ancestors. Our analysis focussed on identifying the factors that influenced the evolution of Cetacea tRNA double-helix elements, which play a pivotal role in the formation of the secondary and tertiary structures of each tRNA and consequently manipulate the whole translation machinery of the mitochondrion. Our analyses showed that the substitution pathways in the stems of different tRNAs were influenced by various factors, determining a molecular evolution that was unique to each of the 22 tRNAs. Our data suggested that the composition, AT-skew, and GC-skew of the tRNA stems were the main factors influencing the substitution process. In particular, the range of variation and the fluctuation of these parameters affected the fate of single tRNAs. Strong heterogeneity was observed among the different species of Cetacea. Finally, it appears that the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was also shaped by the environments in which the Cetacean taxa differentiated. This latter effect was particularly evident in toothed whales that either live in freshwater or are deep divers. PMID:27336480

  9. Back to Water: Signature of Adaptive Evolution in Cetacean Mitochondrial tRNAs.

    PubMed

    Montelli, Stefano; Peruffo, Antonella; Patarnello, Tomaso; Cozzi, Bruno; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrion is the power plant of the eukaryotic cell, and tRNAs are the fundamental components of its translational machinery. In the present paper, the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was investigated in the Cetacea, a clade of Cetartiodactyla that retuned to water and thus had to adapt its metabolism to a different medium than that of its mainland ancestors. Our analysis focussed on identifying the factors that influenced the evolution of Cetacea tRNA double-helix elements, which play a pivotal role in the formation of the secondary and tertiary structures of each tRNA and consequently manipulate the whole translation machinery of the mitochondrion. Our analyses showed that the substitution pathways in the stems of different tRNAs were influenced by various factors, determining a molecular evolution that was unique to each of the 22 tRNAs. Our data suggested that the composition, AT-skew, and GC-skew of the tRNA stems were the main factors influencing the substitution process. In particular, the range of variation and the fluctuation of these parameters affected the fate of single tRNAs. Strong heterogeneity was observed among the different species of Cetacea. Finally, it appears that the evolution of mitochondrial tRNAs was also shaped by the environments in which the Cetacean taxa differentiated. This latter effect was particularly evident in toothed whales that either live in freshwater or are deep divers.

  10. Transcriptome analyses provide insights into the phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the mangrove fern genus Acrostichum

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhang; He, Ziwen; Xu, Shaohua; Li, Xinnian; Guo, Wuxia; Yang, Yuchen; Zhong, Cairong; Zhou, Renchao; Shi, Suhua

    2016-01-01

    The mangrove fern genus Acrostichum grows in the extremely unstable marine intertidal zone under harsh conditions, such as high salt concentrations, tidal rhythms and long-term climate changes. To explore the phylogenetic relationships and molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in this genus, we sequenced the transcriptomes of two species of Acrostichum, A. aureum and A. speciosum, as well as a species in the sister genus, Ceratopteris thalictroides. We obtained 47,517, 36,420 and 60,823 unigenes for the three ferns, of which 24.39–45.63% were annotated using public databases. The estimated divergence time revealed that Acrostichum adapted to the coastal region during the late Cretaceous, whereas the two mangrove ferns from the Indo West-Pacific (IWP) area diverged more recently. Two methods (the modified branch-site model and the Kh method) were used to identify several positively selected genes, which may contribute to differential adaptation of the two Acrostichum species to different light and salt conditions. Our study provides abundant transcriptome data and new insights into the evolution and adaptations of mangrove ferns in the inhospitable intertidal zone. PMID:27782130

  11. Genetic constraints on adaptive evolution in principle and in practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinreich, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Geneticists have long recognized that pairs of mutations often produce surprising effects on the organism, given their effects in isolation. Such mutational interactions are called epistasis. Importantly, epistasis among mutations influencing an organism's survival or reproductive success can constrain the temporal order in which mutations will be favored by natural selection. After exploring these theoretical considerations more fully, we will demonstrate substantial epistatic constraint on the evolution of an enzyme that confers bacterial antibiotic resistance. Such epistatically induced constraints turn out to be rather common in enzyme evolution, and we will briefly discuss recent work that seeks to explicate its mechanistic basis using methods of molecular and structural biology. Finally we observe that the epistatic interaction between two mutations itself often varies with genetic context, implying the existence of higher-order interactions. We present a computational framework for assessing magnitude of epistatic interactions of all orders, and show that non-negligible epistatic interactions of all orders are common in a diverse set of biological systems. Work supported by NIGMS Award R01GM095728 and NSF Emerging Frontiers Award 1038657

  12. Parallel Molecular Evolution in an Herbivore Community

    PubMed Central

    Zhen, Ying; Aardema, Matthew L.; Medina, Edgar M.; Schumer, Molly; Andolfatto, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Numerous insects have independently evolved the ability to feed on plants that produce toxic secondary compounds called cardenolides and can sequester these compounds for use in their defense. We surveyed the protein target for cardenolides, the alpha subunit of the sodium pump, Na+,K+-ATPase (ATPα), in 14 species that feed on cardenolide-producing plants and 15 outgroups spanning three insect orders. Despite the large number of potential targets for modulating cardenolide sensitivity, amino acid substitutions associated with host-plant specialization are highly clustered, with many parallel substitutions. Additionally, we document four independent duplications of ATPα with convergent tissue-specific expression patterns. We find that unique substitutions are disproportionately associated with recent duplications relative to parallel substitutions. Together, these findings support the hypothesis that adaptation tends to take evolutionary paths that minimize negative pleiotropy. PMID:23019645

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

    PubMed

    McManus, Brenda A; Coleman, David C

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Molecular mechanisms underlying thermal adaptation of xeric animals.

    PubMed

    Evgen'ev, M B; Garbuz, D G; Shilova, V Y; Zatsepina, O G

    2007-04-01

    For many years,we and our collaborators have investigated the adaptive role of heat shock proteins in different animals,including the representatives of homothermic and poikilothermic species that inhabit regions with contrasting thermal conditions. Adaptive evolution of the response to hyperthermia has led to different results depending upon the species. The thermal threshold of induction of heat shock proteins in desert thermophylic species is, as a rule, higher than in the species from less extreme climates. In addition,thermoresistant poikilothermic species often exhibit a certain level of heat shock proteins in cells even at a physiologically normal temperature. Furthermore,there is often a positive correlation between the characteristic temperature of the ecological niche of a given species and the amount of Hsp70-like proteins in the cells at normal temperature. Although in most cases adaptation to hyperthermia occurs without changes in the number of heat shock genes, these genes can be amplified in some xeric species. It was shown that mobile genetic elements may play an important role in the evolution and fine-tuning of the heat shock response system,and can be used for direct introduction of mutations in the promoter regions of these genes.

  15. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Wray, Gregory A.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular and ecological signs of mitochondrial adaptation: consequences for introgression?

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Z; Melo-Ferreira, J; Alves, P C; Berto, S; Koskela, E; Pentikäinen, O T; Tarroso, P; Ylilauri, M; Mappes, T

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the mitochondrial genome and its potential adaptive impact still generates vital debates. Even if mitochondria have a crucial functional role, as they are the main cellular energy suppliers, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) introgression is common in nature, introducing variation in populations upon which selection may act. Here we evaluated whether the evolution of mtDNA in a rodent species affected by mtDNA introgression is explained by neutral expectations alone. Variation in one mitochondrial and six nuclear markers in Myodes glareolus voles was examined, including populations that show mtDNA introgression from its close relative, Myodes rutilus. In addition, we modelled protein structures of the mtDNA marker (cytochrome b) and estimated the environmental envelopes of mitotypes. We found that massive mtDNA introgression occurred without any trace of introgression in the analysed nuclear genes. The results show that the native glareolus mtDNA evolved under past positive selection, suggesting that mtDNA in this system has selective relevance. The environmental models indicate that the rutilus mitotype inhabits colder and drier habitats than the glareolus one that can result from local adaptation or from the geographic context of introgression. Finally, homology models of the cytochrome b protein revealed a substitution in rutilus mtDNA in the vicinity of the catalytic fraction, suggesting that differences between mitotypes may result in functional changes. These results suggest that the evolution of mtDNA in Myodes may have functional, ecological and adaptive significance. This work opens perspective onto future experimental tests of the role of natural selection in mtDNA introgression in this system. PMID:24690754

  19. Molecular evolution of the gamma-Herpesvirinae.

    PubMed Central

    McGeoch, D J

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nagasaki, Keizo; Tomaru, Yuji

    2009-06-01

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

  1. [Insulin resistance as a mechanism of adaptation during human evolution].

    PubMed

    Ricart, W; Fernández-Real, J M

    2010-10-01

    The recent application of concepts of evolution to human disease is proving useful to understand certain pathophysiological mechanisms of different entities that span genomic alterations of immunity, respiratory and hormone function, and the circulatory and neural systems. However, effort has concentrated on explaining the keys to adaptation that define human metabolism and, since the early 1960s, several theories have been developed. This article reviews some of the hypotheses postulated in recent years on the potential benefit of insulin resistance and discusses the most recent knowledge. The concept of the thrifty gene seems to have been definitively refuted by current knowledge. The current paradigm describes an interaction between the metabolic and the immune systems resulting from their coevolution, promoted by evolutionary pressures triggered by fasting, infection and intake of different foods. The activation and regulation of these ancient mechanisms in integrated and interdependent areas defines insulin resistance as a survival strategy that is critical during fasting and in the fight against infection. The relationship with some components of the diet and, particularly, with the symbiotic intestinal microflora points to new paradigms in understanding the pathophysiology of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  2. Clusters of adaptive evolution in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Scheinfeldt, Laura B; Biswas, Shameek; Madeoy, Jennifer; Connelly, Caitlin F; Akey, Joshua M

    2011-01-01

    Considerable work has been devoted to identifying regions of the human genome that have been subjected to recent positive selection. Although detailed follow-up studies of putatively selected regions are critical for a deeper understanding of human evolutionary history, such studies have received comparably less attention. Recently, we have shown that ALMS1 has been the target of recent positive selection acting on standing variation in Eurasian populations. Here, we describe a careful follow-up analysis of genetic variation across the ALMS1 region, which unexpectedly revealed a cluster of substrates of positive selection. Specifically, through the analysis of SNP data from the HapMap and Human Genome Diversity Project-Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain samples as well sequence data from the region, we find compelling evidence for three independent and distinct signals of recent positive selection across this 3 Mb region surrounding ALMS1. Moreover, we analyzed the HapMap data to identify other putative clusters of independent selective events and conservatively discovered 19 additional clusters of adaptive evolution. This work has important implications for the interpretation of genome-scans for positive selection in humans and more broadly contributes to a better understanding of how recent positive selection has shaped genetic variation across the human genome.

  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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Das, Atze T; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-06-27

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

  7. Epigenetics in adaptive evolution and development: the interplay between evolving species and epigenetic mechanisms: extract from Trygve Tollefsbol (ed.) (2011) Handbook of epigenetics--the new molecular and medical genetics. Chapter 26. Amsterdam, USA: Elsevier, pp. 423-446.

    PubMed

    House, Simon H

    2013-04-01

    By comparing epigenetics of current species with fossil records across evolutionary transitions, we can gauge the moment of emergence of some novel mechanisms in evolution, and recognize that epigenetic mechanisms have a bearing on mutation. Understanding the complexity and changeability of these mechanisms, as well as the changes they can effect, is both fascinating and of vital practical benefit. Our most serious pandemics of so-called 'non-communicable' diseases - mental and cardiovascular disorders, obesity and diabetes, rooted in the 'metabolic syndrome' - are evidently related to effects on our evolutionary mechanisms of agricultural and food industrialization, modern lifestyle and diet. Pollution affects us directly as well as indirectly by its destruction of ecologically essential biosystems. Evidently such powerful conditions of existence have epigenetic effects on both our health and our continuing evolution. Such effects are most profound during reproductive and developmental processes, when levels of hormones, as affected by stress particularly, may be due to modern cultures in childbearing such as excessive intervention, separation, maternal distress and disruption of bonding. Mechanisms of genomic imprinting seem likely to throw light on problems in assisted reproductive technology, among other transgenerational effects.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hartl, Daniel L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ogbunugafor, C Brandon; Hartl, Daniel L

    2016-10-01

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

  10. Molecular evolution of cyclin proteins in animals and fungi

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Cellular and molecular aspects of plant adaptation to microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordyum, Elizabeth; Kozeko, Liudmyla

    2016-07-01

    Elucidation of the range and mechanisms of the biological effects of microgravity is one of the urgent fundamental tasks of space and gravitational biology. The absence of forbidding on plant growth and development in orbital flight allows studying different aspects of plant adaptation to this factor that is directly connected with development of the technologies of bioregenerative life-support systems. Microgravity belongs to the environmental factors which cause adaptive reactions at the cellular and molecular levels in the range of physiological responses in the framework of genetically determined program of ontogenesis. It is known that cells of a multicellular organism not only take part in reactions of the organism but also carry out processes that maintain their integrity. In light of these principles, the problem of identification of biochemical, physiological and structural patterns that can have adaptive significance at the cellular and molecular levels in real and simulated microgravity is considered. It is pointed that plant cell responses in microgravity and under clinorotation vary according to growth phase, physiological state, and taxonomic position of the object. At the same time, the responses have, to some degree, a similar character reflecting the changes in the cell organelle functional load. The maintenance of the plasmalemma fluidity at the certain level, an activation of both the antioxidant system and expression of HSP genes, especially HSP70, under increasing reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation intensity and alteration in protein homeostasis, are a strategic paradigm of rapid (primary) cell adaptation to microgravity. In this sense, biological membranes, especially plasmalemma, and their properties and functions may be considered as the most sensitive indicators of the influence of gravity or altered gravity on a cell. The plasmalemma lipid bilayer is a border between the cell internal content and environment, so it is a mediator

  14. Adaptive evolution of the mitochondrial ND6 gene in the domestic horse.

    PubMed

    Ning, T; Xiao, H; Li, J; Hua, S; Zhang, Y P

    2010-01-26

    Mitochondria play a crucial role in energy metabolism through oxidative phosphorylation. Organisms living at high altitudes are potentially influenced by oxygen deficits and cold temperatures. The severe environmental conditions can impact on metabolism and direct selection of mitochondrial DNA. As a wide-ranging animal, the domestic horse (Equus caballus) has developed various morphological and physiological characteristics for adapting to different altitudes. Thus, this is a good species for studying adaption to high altitudes at a molecular level. We sequenced the complete NADH dehydrogenase 6 gene (ND6) of 509 horses from 24 sampling locations. By comparative analysis of three horse populations living at different altitudes (>2200 m, 1200-1700 m, and <900 m), we found that the high-altitude population had the lowest genetic diversity and significant negative Tajima's D; both values declined with increasing elevation. Moreover, non-directional selection was identified for the ND6 gene by a tree-based relative ratio test (P = 0.007); the highest proportion of high-altitude horses was found distributed on the selected branches. We conclude that the high-altitude environment has directed adaptive evolution of the mitochondrial ND6 gene in the plateau horse.

  15. Identical skin toxins by convergent molecular adaptation in frogs.

    PubMed

    Roelants, Kim; Fry, Bryan G; Norman, Janette A; Clynen, Elke; Schoofs, Liliane; Bossuyt, Franky

    2010-01-26

    The Tree of Life is rife with adaptive convergences at all scales and biological levels of complexity. However, natural selection is not likely to result in the independent evolution of identical gene products. Here we report such a striking example of evolutionary convergence in the toxic skin secretions of two distantly related frog lineages. Caeruleins are important decapeptides in pharmacological and clinical research [1] and are commonly believed to represent a single evolutionary class of peptides [2-4]. Instead, our phylogenetic analyses combining transcriptome and genome data reveal that independently evolved precursor genes encode identical caeruleins in Xenopus and Litoria frogs. The former arose by duplication from the cholecystokinin (cck) gene, whereas the latter was derived from the gastrin gene. These hormone genes that are involved in many physiological processes diverged early in vertebrate evolution, after a segmental duplication during the Cambrian period. Besides implicating convergent mutations of the peptide-encoding sequence, recurrent caerulein origins entail parallel shifts of expression from the gut-brain axis to skin secretory glands. These results highlight extreme structural convergence in anciently diverged genes as an evolutionary mechanism through which recurrent adaptation is attained across large phylogenetic distances.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Influenza A Virus Polymerase Is a Site for Adaptive Changes during Experimental Evolution in Bat Cells

    PubMed Central

    Poole, Daniel S.; Yú, Shuǐqìng; Caì, Yíngyún; Dinis, Jorge M.; Müller, Marcel A.; Jordan, Ingo; Friedrich, Thomas C.; Kuhn, Jens H.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The recent identification of highly divergent influenza A viruses in bats revealed a new, geographically dispersed viral reservoir. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of host-restricted viral tropism and the potential for transmission of viruses between humans and bats, we exposed a panel of cell lines from bats of diverse species to a prototypical human-origin influenza A virus. All of the tested bat cell lines were susceptible to influenza A virus infection. Experimental evolution of human and avian-like viruses in bat cells resulted in efficient replication and created highly cytopathic variants. Deep sequencing of adapted human influenza A virus revealed a mutation in the PA polymerase subunit not previously described, M285K. Recombinant virus with the PA M285K mutation completely phenocopied the adapted virus. Adaptation of an avian virus-like virus resulted in the canonical PB2 E627K mutation that is required for efficient replication in other mammals. None of the adaptive mutations occurred in the gene for viral hemagglutinin, a gene that frequently acquires changes to recognize host-specific variations in sialic acid receptors. We showed that human influenza A virus uses canonical sialic acid receptors to infect bat cells, even though bat influenza A viruses do not appear to use these receptors for virus entry. Our results demonstrate that bats are unique hosts that select for both a novel mutation and a well-known adaptive mutation in the viral polymerase to support replication. IMPORTANCE Bats constitute well-known reservoirs for viruses that may be transferred into human populations, sometimes with fatal consequences. Influenza A viruses have recently been identified in bats, dramatically expanding the known host range of this virus. Here we investigated the replication of human influenza A virus in bat cell lines and the barriers that the virus faces in this new host. Human influenza A and B viruses infected cells from geographically and

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Adaptive Evolution Favoring KLK4 Downregulation in East Asians.

    PubMed

    Marques, Patrícia Isabel; Fonseca, Filipa; Sousa, Tânia; Santos, Paulo; Camilo, Vânia; Ferreira, Zélia; Quesada, Victor; Seixas, Susana

    2016-01-01

    The human kallikrein (KLK) cluster, located at chromosome 19q13.3-13.4, encodes 15 serine proteases, including neighboring genes (KLK3, KLK2, KLK4, and KLK5) with key roles in the cascades of semen liquefaction, tooth enamel maturation, and skin desquamation. KLK2 and KLK3 were previously identified as targets of adaptive evolution in primates through different mechanisms linked to reproductive biology and, in humans, genome-wide scans of positive selection captured, a yet unexplored, evidence for KLK neutrality departure in East Asians. We perform a detailed evaluation of KLK3-KLK5 variability in the 1000 Genomes samples from East Asia, Europe, and Africa, which was sustained by our own sequencing. In East Asians, we singled out a 70-kb region surrounding KLK4 that combined unusual low levels of diversity, high frequency variants with significant levels of population differentiation (FST > 0.5) and fairly homogenous haplotypes given the large local recombination rates. Among these variants, rs1654556_G, rs198968_T, and rs17800874_A stand out for their location on putative regulatory regions and predicted functional effects, namely the introduction of several microRNA binding sites and a repressor motif. Our functional assays carried out in different cellular models showed that rs198968_T and rs17800874_A operate synergistically to reduce KLK4 expression and could be further assisted by rs1654556_G. Considering the previous findings that KLK4 inactivation causes enamel malformations in humans and mice, and that this gene is coexpressed in epidermal layers along with several substrates involved in either cell adhesion or keratinocyte differentiation, we propose KLK4 as another target of selection in East Asians correlated to tooth and epidermal morphological traits.

  1. Multihost experimental evolution of the pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum unveils genes involved in adaptation to plants.

    PubMed

    Guidot, Alice; Jiang, Wei; Ferdy, Jean-Baptiste; Thébaud, Christophe; Barberis, Patrick; Gouzy, Jérôme; Genin, Stéphane

    2014-11-01

    Ralstonia solanacearum, the causal agent of a lethal bacterial wilt plant disease, infects an unusually wide range of hosts. These hosts can further be split into plants where R. solanacearum is known to cause disease (original hosts) and those where this bacterium can grow asymptomatically (distant hosts). Moreover, this pathogen is able to adapt to many plants as supported by field observations reporting emergence of strains with enlarged pathogenic properties. To investigate the genetic bases of host adaptation, we conducted evolution experiments by serial passages of a single clone of the pathogen on three original and two distant hosts over 300 bacterial generations and then analyzed the whole-genome of nine evolved clones. Phenotypic analysis of the evolved clones showed that the pathogen can increase its fitness on both original and distant hosts although the magnitude of fitness increase was greater on distant hosts. Only few genomic modifications were detected in evolved clones compared with the ancestor but parallel evolutionary changes in two genes were observed in independent evolved populations. Independent mutations in the regulatory gene efpR were selected for in three populations evolved on beans, a distant host. Reverse genetic approaches confirmed that these mutations were associated with fitness gain on bean plants. This work provides a first step toward understanding the within-host evolutionary dynamics of R. solanacearum during infection and identifying bacterial genes subjected to in planta selection. The discovery of EfpR as a determinant conditioning host adaptation of the pathogen illustrates how experimental evolution coupled with whole-genome sequencing is a potent tool to identify novel molecular players involved in central life-history traits.

  2. 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

  3. Adaptive evolution of a key gene affecting queen and worker traits in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Kent, Clement F; Issa, Amer; Bunting, Alexandra C; Zayed, Amro

    2011-12-01

    The vitellogenin egg yolk precursor protein represents a well-studied case of social pleiotropy in the model organism Apis mellifera. Vitellogenin is associated with fecundity in queens and plays a major role in controlling division of labour in workers, thereby affecting both individual and colony-level fitness. We studied the molecular evolution of vitellogenin and seven other genes sequenced in a large population panel of Apis mellifera and several closely related species to investigate the role of social pleiotropy on adaptive protein evolution. We found a significant excess of nonsynonymous fixed differences between A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. florea relative to synonymous sites indicating high rates of adaptive evolution at vitellogenin. Indeed, 88% of amino acid changes were fixed by selection in some portions of the gene. Further, vitellogenin exhibited hallmark signatures of selective sweeps in A. mellifera, including a significant skew in the allele frequency spectrum, extreme levels of genetic differentiation and linkage disequilibrium. Finally, replacement polymorphisms in vitellogenin were significantly enriched in parts of the protein involved in binding lipid, establishing a link between the gene's structure, function and effects on fitness. Our case study provides unequivocal evidence of historical and ongoing bouts of adaptive evolution acting on a key socially pleiotropic gene in the honey bee.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pereira, Sergio L; Baker, Allan J

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Brenda J

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Widespread adaptive evolution during repeated evolutionary radiations in New World lupins

    PubMed Central

    Nevado, Bruno; Atchison, Guy W.; Hughes, Colin E.; Filatov, Dmitry A.

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary processes that drive rapid species diversification are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether Darwinian adaptation or non-adaptive processes are the primary drivers of explosive species diversifications. Here we show that repeated rapid radiations within New World lupins (Lupinus, Leguminosae) were underpinned by a major increase in the frequency of adaptation acting on coding and regulatory changes genome-wide. This contrasts with far less frequent adaptation in genomes of slowly diversifying lupins and all other plant genera analysed. Furthermore, widespread shifts in optimal gene expression coincided with shifts to high rates of diversification and evolution of perenniality, a putative key adaptation trait thought to have triggered the evolutionary radiations in New World lupins. Our results reconcile long-standing debate about the relative importance of protein-coding and regulatory evolution, and represent the first unambiguous evidence for the rapid onset of lineage- and genome-wide accelerated Darwinian evolution during rapid species diversification. PMID:27498896

  9. Chromosome inversions, adaptive cassettes and the evolution of species' ranges.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Mark; Barrett, Brian

    2015-05-01

    A chromosome inversion can spread when it captures locally adapted alleles or when it is introduced into a species by hybridization with adapted alleles that were previously absent. We present a model that shows how both processes can cause a species range to expand. Introgression of an inversion that carries novel, locally adapted alleles is a particularly powerful mechanism for range expansion. The model supports the earlier proposal that introgression of an inversion triggered a large range expansion of a malaria mosquito. These results suggest a role for inversions as cassettes of genes that can accelerate adaptation by crossing species boundaries, rather than protecting genomes from introgression.

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

    PubMed

    Hurford, Amy; Day, Troy

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Characterizing Microbe-Environment Interactions Through Experimental Evolution: The Autonomous Adaptive Directed Evolution Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibanez, C. R.; Blaich, J.; Owyang, S.; Storrs, A.; Moffet, A.; Wong, N.; Zhou, J.; Gentry, D.

    2015-12-01

    We are developing a laboratory system for studying micro- to meso-scale interactions between microorganisms and their physicochemical environments. The Autonomous Adaptive Directed Evolution Chamber (AADEC) cultures microorganisms in controlled,small-scale geochemical environments. It observes corresponding microbial interactions to these environments and has the ability to adjust thermal, chemical, and other parameters in real time in response to these interactions. In addition to the sensed data, the system allows the generation of time-resolved ecological, genomic, etc. samples on the order of microbial generations. The AADEC currently houses cultures in liquid media and controls UVC radiation, heat exposure, and nutrient supply. In a proof-of-concept experimental evolution application, it can increase UVC radiation resistance of Escherichia coli cultures by iteratively exposing them to UVC and allowing the surviving cells to regrow. A baseline characterization generated a million fold resistance increase. This demonstration uses a single-well growth chamber prototype, but it was limited by scalability. We have expanded upon this system by implementing a microwell plate compatible fluidics system and sensor housing. This microwell plate system increases the diversity of microbial interactions seen in response to the geochemical environments generated by the system, allowing greater control over individual cultures' environments and detection of rarer events. The custom microfluidic card matches the footprint of a standard microwell plate. This card enables controllable fluid flow between wells and introduces multiple separate exposure and sensor chambers, increasing the variety of sensors compatible with the system. This gives the device control over scale and the interconnectedness of environments within the system. The increased controllability of the multiwell system provides a platform for implementing machine learning algorithms that will autonomously

  12. The molecular signature of selection underlying human adaptations.

    PubMed

    Harris, Eugene E; Meyer, Diogo

    2006-01-01

    In the last decade, advances in human population genetics and comparative genomics have resulted in important contributions to our understanding of human genetic diversity and genetic adaptation. For the first time, we are able to reliably detect the signature of natural selection from patterns of DNA polymorphism. Identifying the effects of natural selection in this way provides a crucial piece of evidence needed to support hypotheses of human adaptation. This review provides a detailed description of the theory and analytical approaches used to detect signatures of natural selection in the human genome. We discuss these methods in relation to four classic human traits--skin color, the Duffy blood group, bitter-taste sensation, and lactase persistence. By highlighting these four traits we are able to discuss the ways in which analyses of DNA polymorphism can lead to inferences regarding past histories of selection. Specifically, we can infer the importance of specific regimes of selection (i.e. directional selection, balancing selection, and purifying selection) in the evolution of a trait because these different types of selection leave different patterns of DNA polymorphism. In addition, we demonstrate how these types of data can be used to estimate the time frame in which selection operated on a trait. As the field has advanced, a general issue that has come to the forefront is how specific demographic events in human history, such as population expansions, bottlenecks, and subdivision of populations, have also left a signature across the genome that can interfere with our detection of the footprint of selection at particular genes. Therefore, we discuss this general problem with respect to the four traits reviewed here, and describe the ways in which the signature of selection can be teased from a background signature of demographic history. Finally, we move from a discussion of analyses of selection motivated by a "candidate-gene" approach, in which a priori

  13. Genetics, Evolution, and Adaptive Significance of the Selfing Syndrome in the Genus Capsella[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Sicard, Adrien; Stacey, Nicola; Hermann, Katrin; Dessoly, Jimmy; Neuffer, Barbara; Bäurle, Isabel; Lenhard, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The change from outbreeding to selfing is one of the most frequent evolutionary transitions in flowering plants. It is often accompanied by characteristic morphological and functional changes to the flowers (the selfing syndrome), including reduced flower size and opening. Little is known about the developmental and genetic basis of the selfing syndrome, as well as its adaptive significance. Here, we address these issues using the two closely related species Capsella grandiflora (the ancestral outbreeder) and red shepherd’s purse (Capsella rubella, the derived selfer). In C. rubella, petal size has been decreased by shortening the period of proliferative growth. Using interspecific recombinant inbred lines, we show that differences in petal size and flower opening between the two species each have a complex genetic basis involving allelic differences at multiple loci. An intraspecific cross within C. rubella suggests that flower size and opening have been decreased in the C. rubella lineage before its extensive geographical spread. Lastly, by generating plants that likely resemble the earliest ancestors of the C. rubella lineage, we provide evidence that evolution of the selfing syndrome was at least partly driven by selection for efficient self-pollination. Thus, our studies pave the way for a molecular dissection of selfing-syndrome evolution. PMID:21954462

  14. The expansion of amino-acid repeats is not associated to adaptive evolution in mammalian genes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The expansion of amino acid repeats is determined by a high mutation rate and can be increased or limited by selection. It has been suggested that recent expansions could be associated with the potential of adaptation to new environments. In this work, we quantify the strength of this association, as well as the contribution of potential confounding factors. Results Mammalian positively selected genes have accumulated more recent amino acid repeats than other mammalian genes. However, we found little support for an accelerated evolutionary rate as the main driver for the expansion of amino acid repeats. The most significant predictors of amino acid repeats are gene function and GC content. There is no correlation with expression level. Conclusions Our analyses show that amino acid repeat expansions are causally independent from protein adaptive evolution in mammalian genomes. Relaxed purifying selection or positive selection do not associate with more or more recent amino acid repeats. Their occurrence is slightly favoured by the sequence context but mainly determined by the molecular function of the gene. PMID:20021652

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Petrenko, Valery A; Sorokulova, Iryna B

    2004-08-01

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

  18. Duplication and Adaptive Evolution of a Key Centromeric Protein in Mimulus, a Genus with Female Meiotic Drive.

    PubMed

    Finseth, Findley R; Dong, Yuzhu; Saunders, Arpiar; Fishman, Lila

    2015-10-01

    The fundamental asymmetry of female meiosis creates an arena for genetic elements to compete for inclusion in the egg, promoting the selfish evolution of centromere variants that maximize their transmission to the future egg. Such "female meiotic drive" has been hypothesized to explain the paradoxically complex and rapidly evolving nature of centromeric DNA and proteins. Although theoretically widespread, few cases of active drive have been observed, thereby limiting the opportunities to directly assess the impact of centromeric drive on molecular variation at centromeres and binding proteins. Here, we characterize the molecular evolutionary patterns of CENH3, the centromere-defining histone variant, in Mimulus monkeyflowers, a genus with one of the few known cases of active centromere-associated female meiotic drive. First, we identify a novel duplication of CENH3 in diploid Mimulus, including in lineages with actively driving centromeres. Second, we demonstrate long-term adaptive evolution at several sites in the N-terminus of CENH3, a region with some meiosis-specific functions that putatively interacts with centromeric DNA. Finally, we infer that the paralogs evolve under different selective regimes; some sites in the N-terminus evolve under positive selection in the pro-orthologs or only one paralog (CENH3_B) and the paralogs exhibit significantly different patterns of polymorphism within populations. Our finding of long-term, adaptive evolution at CENH3 in the context of centromere-associated meiotic drive supports an antagonistic, coevolutionary battle for evolutionary dominance between centromeric DNA and binding proteins.

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Shubin, Neil H.

    2015-01-01

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)–Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)–Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  20. Trichinella spiralis: the evolution of adaptation and parasitism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitism among nematodes has occurred in multiple, independent events. Deciphering processes that drive species diversity and adaptation are keys to understanding parasitism and advancing control strategies. Studies have been put forth on morphological and physiological aspects of parasitism and a...

  1. Multilocus analyses reveal little evidence for lineage-wide adaptive evolution within major clades of soft pines (Pinus subgenus Strobus).

    PubMed

    Eckert, Andrew J; Bower, Andrew D; Jermstad, Kathleen D; Wegrzyn, Jill L; Knaus, Brian J; Syring, John V; Neale, David B

    2013-11-01

    Estimates from molecular data for the fraction of new nonsynonymous mutations that are adaptive vary strongly across plant species. Much of this variation is due to differences in life history strategies as they influence the effective population size (Ne ). Ample variation for these estimates, however, remains even when comparisons are made across species with similar values of Ne . An open question thus remains as to why the large disparity for estimates of adaptive evolution exists among plant species. Here, we have estimated the distribution of deleterious fitness effects (DFE) and the fraction of adaptive nonsynonymous substitutions (α) for 11 species of soft pines (subgenus Strobus) using DNA sequence data from 167 orthologous nuclear gene fragments. Most newly arising nonsynonymous mutations were inferred to be so strongly deleterious that they would rarely become fixed. Little evidence for long-term adaptive evolution was detected, as all 11 estimates for α were not significantly different from zero. Nucleotide diversity at synonymous sites, moreover, was strongly correlated with attributes of the DFE across species, thus illustrating a strong consistency with the expectations from the Nearly Neutral Theory of molecular evolution. Application of these patterns to genome-wide expectations for these species, however, was difficult as the loci chosen for the analysis were a biased set of conserved loci, which greatly influenced the estimates of the DFE and α. This implies that genome-wide parameter estimates will need truly genome-wide data, so that many of the existing patterns documented previously for forest trees (e.g. little evidence for signature of selection) may need revision.

  2. Plant adaptation to low atmospheric pressures: potential molecular responses.

    PubMed

    Ferl, Robert J; Schuerger, Andrew C; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Gurley, William B; Corey, Kenneth; Bucklin, Ray

    2002-01-01

    There is an increasing realization that it may be impossible to attain Earth normal atmospheric pressures in orbital, lunar, or Martian greenhouses, simply because the construction materials do not exist to meet the extraordinary constraints imposed by balancing high engineering requirements against high lift costs. This equation essentially dictates that NASA have in place the capability to grow plants at reduced atmospheric pressure. Yet current understanding of plant growth at low pressures is limited to just a few experiments and relatively rudimentary assessments of plant vigor and growth. The tools now exist, however, to make rapid progress toward understanding the fundamental nature of plant responses and adaptations to low pressures, and to develop strategies for mitigating detrimental effects by engineering the growth conditions or by engineering the plants themselves. The genomes of rice and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have recently been sequenced in their entirety, and public sector and commercial DNA chips are becoming available such that thousands of genes can be assayed at once. A fundamental understanding of plant responses and adaptation to low pressures can now be approached and translated into procedures and engineering considerations to enhance plant growth at low atmospheric pressures. In anticipation of such studies, we present here the background arguments supporting these contentions, as well as informed speculation about the kinds of molecular physiological responses that might be expected of plants in low-pressure environments.

  3. Plant adaptation to low atmospheric pressures: potential molecular responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferl, Robert J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Gurley, William B.; Corey, Kenneth; Bucklin, Ray

    2002-01-01

    There is an increasing realization that it may be impossible to attain Earth normal atmospheric pressures in orbital, lunar, or Martian greenhouses, simply because the construction materials do not exist to meet the extraordinary constraints imposed by balancing high engineering requirements against high lift costs. This equation essentially dictates that NASA have in place the capability to grow plants at reduced atmospheric pressure. Yet current understanding of plant growth at low pressures is limited to just a few experiments and relatively rudimentary assessments of plant vigor and growth. The tools now exist, however, to make rapid progress toward understanding the fundamental nature of plant responses and adaptations to low pressures, and to develop strategies for mitigating detrimental effects by engineering the growth conditions or by engineering the plants themselves. The genomes of rice and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have recently been sequenced in their entirety, and public sector and commercial DNA chips are becoming available such that thousands of genes can be assayed at once. A fundamental understanding of plant responses and adaptation to low pressures can now be approached and translated into procedures and engineering considerations to enhance plant growth at low atmospheric pressures. In anticipation of such studies, we present here the background arguments supporting these contentions, as well as informed speculation about the kinds of molecular physiological responses that might be expected of plants in low-pressure environments.

  4. Spatial pattern of nucleotide polymorphism indicates molecular adaptation in the bryophyte Sphagnum fimbriatum.

    PubMed

    Szövényi, P; Hock, Zs; Korpelainen, H; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2009-10-01

    In organisms with haploid-dominant life cycles, natural selection is expected to be especially effective because genetic variation is exposed directly to selection. However, in spore-producing plants with high dispersal abilities, among-population migration may counteract local adaptation by continuously redistributing genetic variability. In this study, we tested for adaptation at the molecular level by comparing nucleotide polymorphism in two genes (GapC and Rpb2) in 10 European populations of the peatmoss species, Sphagnum fimbriatum with variability at nine microsatellite loci assumed to be selectively neutral. In line with previous results, the GapC and Rpb2 genes showed strikingly different patterns of nucleotide polymorphism. Neutrality tests and comparison of population differentiation based on the GapC and Rpb2 genes with neutrally evolving microsatellites using coalescent simulations supported non-neutral evolution in GapC, but neutral evolution in the Rpb2 gene. These observations and the positions of the replacement mutations in the GAPDH enzyme (coded by GapC) indicate a significant impact of replacement mutations on enzyme function. Furthermore, the geographic distribution of alternate GapC alleles and/or linked genomic regions suggests that they have had differential success in the recolonization of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum.

  5. A heuristic model on the role of plasticity in adaptive evolution: plasticity increases adaptation, population viability and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Jovani, Roger

    2013-11-22

    An ongoing new synthesis in evolutionary theory is expanding our view of the sources of heritable variation beyond point mutations of fixed phenotypic effects to include environmentally sensitive changes in gene regulation. This expansion of the paradigm is necessary given ample evidence for a heritable ability to alter gene expression in response to environmental cues. In consequence, single genotypes are often capable of adaptively expressing different phenotypes in different environments, i.e. are adaptively plastic. We present an individual-based heuristic model to compare the adaptive dynamics of populations composed of plastic or non-plastic genotypes under a wide range of scenarios where we modify environmental variation, mutation rate and costs of plasticity. The model shows that adaptive plasticity contributes to the maintenance of genetic variation within populations, reduces bottlenecks when facing rapid environmental changes and confers an overall faster rate of adaptation. In fluctuating environments, plasticity is favoured by selection and maintained in the population. However, if the environment stabilizes and costs of plasticity are high, plasticity is reduced by selection, leading to genetic assimilation, which could result in species diversification. More broadly, our model shows that adaptive plasticity is a common consequence of selection under environmental heterogeneity, and hence a potentially common phenomenon in nature. Thus, taking adaptive plasticity into account substantially extends our view of adaptive evolution.

  6. Iterative adaptive radiations of fossil canids show no evidence for diversity-dependent trait evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Graham J.

    2015-04-01

    A long-standing hypothesis in adaptive radiation theory is that ecological opportunity constrains rates of phenotypic evolution, generating a burst of morphological disparity early in clade history. Empirical support for the early burst model is rare in comparative data, however. One possible reason for this lack of support is that most phylogenetic tests have focused on extant clades, neglecting information from fossil taxa. Here, I test for the expected signature of adaptive radiation using the outstanding 40-My fossil record of North American canids. Models implying time- and diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution are strongly rejected for two ecologically important traits, body size and grinding area of the molar teeth. Instead, Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes implying repeated, and sometimes rapid, attraction to distinct dietary adaptive peaks receive substantial support. Diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution seem uncommon in clades, such as canids, that exhibit a pattern of replicated adaptive radiation. Instead, these clades might best be thought of as deterministic radiations in constrained Simpsonian subzones of a major adaptive zone. Support for adaptive peak models may be diagnostic of subzonal radiations. It remains to be seen whether early burst or ecological opportunity models can explain broader adaptive radiations, such as the evolution of higher taxa.

  7. Iterative adaptive radiations of fossil canids show no evidence for diversity-dependent trait evolution.

    PubMed

    Slater, Graham J

    2015-04-21

    A long-standing hypothesis in adaptive radiation theory is that ecological opportunity constrains rates of phenotypic evolution, generating a burst of morphological disparity early in clade history. Empirical support for the early burst model is rare in comparative data, however. One possible reason for this lack of support is that most phylogenetic tests have focused on extant clades, neglecting information from fossil taxa. Here, I test for the expected signature of adaptive radiation using the outstanding 40-My fossil record of North American canids. Models implying time- and diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution are strongly rejected for two ecologically important traits, body size and grinding area of the molar teeth. Instead, Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes implying repeated, and sometimes rapid, attraction to distinct dietary adaptive peaks receive substantial support. Diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution seem uncommon in clades, such as canids, that exhibit a pattern of replicated adaptive radiation. Instead, these clades might best be thought of as deterministic radiations in constrained Simpsonian subzones of a major adaptive zone. Support for adaptive peak models may be diagnostic of subzonal radiations. It remains to be seen whether early burst or ecological opportunity models can explain broader adaptive radiations, such as the evolution of higher taxa.

  8. Genome-wide amplifications caused by chromosomal rearrangements play a major role in the adaptive evolution of natural yeast.

    PubMed Central

    Infante, Juan J; Dombek, Kenneth M; Rebordinos, Laureana; Cantoral, Jesús M; Young, Elton T

    2003-01-01

    The relative importance of gross chromosomal rearrangements to adaptive evolution has not been precisely defined. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae flor yeast strains offer significant advantages for the study of molecular evolution since they have recently evolved to a high degree of specialization in a very restrictive environment. Using DNA microarray technology, we have compared the genomes of two prominent variants of S. cerevisiae flor yeast strains. The strains differ from one another in the DNA copy number of 116 genomic regions that comprise 38% of the genome. In most cases, these regions are amplicons flanked by repeated sequences or other recombination hotspots previously described as regions where double-strand breaks occur. The presence of genes that confer specific characteristics to the flor yeast within the amplicons supports the role of chromosomal rearrangements as a major mechanism of adaptive evolution in S. cerevisiae. We propose that nonallelic interactions are enhanced by ethanol- and acetaldehyde-induced double-strand breaks in the chromosomal DNA, which are repaired by pathways that yield gross chromosomal rearrangements. This mechanism of chromosomal evolution could also account for the sexual isolation shown among the flor yeast. PMID:14704163

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies.

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

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Madelaine E; Whipple, Clinton J

    2013-10-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Madelaine E.; Whipple, Clinton J.

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Family Wide Molecular Adaptations to Underground Life in African Mole-Rats Revealed by Phylogenomic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Davies, Kalina T J; Bennett, Nigel C; Tsagkogeorga, Georgia; Rossiter, Stephen J; Faulkes, Christopher G

    2015-12-01

    During their evolutionary radiation, mammals have colonized diverse habitats. Arguably the subterranean niche is the most inhospitable of these, characterized by reduced oxygen, elevated carbon dioxide, absence of light, scarcity of food, and a substrate that is energetically costly to burrow through. Of all lineages to have transitioned to a subterranean niche, African mole-rats are one of the most successful. Much of their ecological success can be attributed to a diet of plant storage organs, which has allowed them to colonize climatically varied habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, and has probably contributed to the evolution of their diverse social systems. Yet despite their many remarkable phenotypic specializations, little is known about molecular adaptations underlying these traits. To address this, we sequenced the transcriptomes of seven mole-rat taxa, including three solitary species, and combined new sequences with existing genomic data sets. Alignments of more than 13,000 protein-coding genes encompassed, for the first time, all six genera and the full spectrum of ecological and social variation in the clade. We detected positive selection within the mole-rat clade and along ancestral branches in approximately 700 genes including loci associated with tumorigenesis, aging, morphological development, and sociality. By combining these results with gene ontology annotation and protein-protein networks, we identified several clusters of functionally related genes. This family wide analysis of molecular evolution in mole-rats has identified a suite of positively selected genes, deepening our understanding of the extreme phenotypic traits exhibited by this group.

  16. Time in Redox Adaptation Processes: From Evolution to Hormesis

    PubMed Central

    Sthijns, Mireille M. J. P. E.; Weseler, Antje R.; Bast, Aalt; Haenen, Guido R. M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Life on Earth has to adapt to the ever changing environment. For example, due to introduction of oxygen in the atmosphere, an antioxidant network evolved to cope with the exposure to oxygen. The adaptive mechanisms of the antioxidant network, specifically the glutathione (GSH) system, are reviewed with a special focus on the time. The quickest adaptive response to oxidative stress is direct enzyme modification, increasing the GSH levels or activating the GSH-dependent protective enzymes. After several hours, a hormetic response is seen at the transcriptional level by up-regulating Nrf2-mediated expression of enzymes involved in GSH synthesis. In the long run, adaptations occur at the epigenetic and genomic level; for example, the ability to synthesize GSH by phototrophic bacteria. Apparently, in an adaptive hormetic response not only the dose or the compound, but also time, should be considered. This is essential for targeted interventions aimed to prevent diseases by successfully coping with changes in the environment e.g., oxidative stress. PMID:27690013

  17. Elucidation of phenotypic adaptations: Molecular analyses of dim-light vision proteins in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Shozo; Tada, Takashi; Zhang, Huan; Britt, Lyle

    2008-01-01

    Vertebrate ancestors appeared in a uniform, shallow water environment, but modern species flourish in highly variable niches. A striking array of phenotypes exhibited by contemporary animals is assumed to have evolved by accumulating a series of selectively advantageous mutations. However, the experimental test of such adaptive events at the molecular level is remarkably difficult. One testable phenotype, dim-light vision, is mediated by rhodopsins. Here, we engineered 11 ancestral rhodopsins and show that those in early ancestors absorbed light maximally (λmax) at 500 nm, from which contemporary rhodopsins with variable λmaxs of 480–525 nm evolved on at least 18 separate occasions. These highly environment-specific adaptations seem to have occurred largely by amino acid replacements at 12 sites, and most of those at the remaining 191 (≈94%) sites have undergone neutral evolution. The comparison between these results and those inferred by commonly-used parsimony and Bayesian methods demonstrates that statistical tests of positive selection can be misleading without experimental support and that the molecular basis of spectral tuning in rhodopsins should be elucidated by mutagenesis analyses using ancestral pigments. PMID:18768804

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Molecular adaptation and resilience of the insect’s nuclear receptor USP

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    propose a model in which the molecular adaptation of this protein is seen as a process of resilience for the maintenance of the ecdysone receptor functionality. PMID:23039844

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-10

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

  3. Molecular Evolution of Cytochrome bd Oxidases across Proteobacterial Genomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kittler, Ralf; Kayser, Manfred; Stoneking, Mark

    2003-08-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. Results In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica) and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. Conclusions These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence. PMID:21226908

  8. Adaptive Discontinuous Evolution Galerkin Method for Dry Atmospheric Flow

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-02

    standard one-dimensional approximate Riemann solver used for the flux integration demonstrate better stability, accuracy as well as reliability of the...discontinuous evolution Galerkin method for dry atmospheric convection. Comparisons with the standard one-dimensional approximate Riemann solver used...instead of a standard one- dimensional approximate Riemann solver, the flux integration within the discontinuous Galerkin method is now realized by

  9. New MicroRNAs in Drosophila—Birth, Death and Cycles of Adaptive Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lyu, Yang; Shen, Yang; Li, Heng; Chen, Yuxin; Guo, Li; Zhao, Yixin; Hungate, Eric; Shi, Suhua; Wu, Chung-I; Tang, Tian

    2014-01-01

    The origin and evolution of new microRNAs (miRNAs) is important because they can impact the transcriptome broadly. As miRNAs can potentially emerge constantly and rapidly, their rates of birth and evolution have been extensively debated. However, most new miRNAs identified appear not to be biologically significant. After an extensive search, we identified 12 new miRNAs that emerged de novo in Drosophila melanogaster in the last 4 million years (Myrs) and have been evolving adaptively. Unexpectedly, even though they are adaptively evolving at birth, more than 94% of such new miRNAs disappear over time. They provide selective advantages, but only for a transient evolutionary period. After 30 Myrs, all surviving miRNAs make the transition from the adaptive phase of rapid evolution to the conservative phase of slow evolution, apparently becoming integrated into the transcriptional network. During this transition, the expression shifts from being tissue-specific, predominantly in testes and larval brain/gonads/imaginal discs, to a broader distribution in many other tissues. Interestingly, a measurable fraction (20–30%) of these conservatively evolving miRNAs experience “evolutionary rejuvenation” and begin to evolve rapidly again. These rejuvenated miRNAs then start another cycle of adaptive – conservative evolution. In conclusion, the selective advantages driving evolution of miRNAs are themselves evolving, and sometimes changing direction, which highlights the regulatory roles of miRNAs. PMID:24465220

  10. The Evolution of a Prison Adaptive-Health Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Robert G.; Thomas, R. Murray

    1988-01-01

    Describes an adaptive-health program created by officials at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo for inmates who suffer physical or psychological disabilities. Discusses program goals, admission requirements, learning activities, techniques for motivating participants, evaluation methods, and staffing. (JOW)

  11. Adaptive evolution of sexual systems in pedunculate barnacles.

    PubMed

    Yusa, Yoichi; Yoshikawa, Mai; Kitaura, Jun; Kawane, Masako; Ozaki, Yuki; Yamato, Shigeyuki; Høeg, Jens T

    2012-03-07

    How and why diverse sexual systems evolve are fascinating evolutionary questions, but few empirical studies have dealt with these questions in animals. Pedunculate (gooseneck) barnacles show such diversity, including simultaneous hermaphroditism, coexistence of dwarf males and hermaphrodites (androdioecy), and coexistence of dwarf males and females (dioecy). Here, we report the first phylogenetically controlled test of the hypothesis that the ultimate cause of the diverse sexual systems and presence of dwarf males in this group is limited mating opportunities for non-dwarf individuals, owing to mating in small groups. Within the pedunculate barnacle phylogeny, dwarf males and females have evolved repeatedly. Females are more likely to evolve in androdioecious than hermaphroditic populations, suggesting that evolution of dwarf males has preceded that of females in pedunculates. Both dwarf males and females are associated with a higher proportion of solitary individuals in the population, corroborating the hypothesis that limited mating opportunities have favoured evolution of these diverse sexual systems, which have puzzled biologists since Darwin.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Achieving runtime adaptability through automated model evolution and variant selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosincat, Adina; Binder, Walter; Jazayeri, Mehdi

    2014-01-01

    Dynamically adaptive systems propose adaptation by means of variants that are specified in the system model at design time and allow for a fixed set of different runtime configurations. However, in a dynamic environment, unanticipated changes may result in the inability of the system to meet its quality requirements. To allow the system to react to these changes, this article proposes a solution for automatically evolving the system model by integrating new variants and periodically validating the existing ones based on updated quality parameters. To illustrate this approach, the article presents a BPEL-based framework using a service composition model to represent the functional requirements of the system. The framework estimates quality of service (QoS) values based on information provided by a monitoring mechanism, ensuring that changes in QoS are reflected in the system model. The article shows how the evolved model can be used at runtime to increase the system's autonomic capabilities and delivered QoS.

  15. Evolution and adaptation of fungi at boundaries of life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onofri, S.; Selbmann, L.; de Hoog, G. S.; Grube, M.; Barreca, D.; Ruisi, S.; Zucconi, L.

    The Antarctic cryptoendolithic fungi of the ice-free desert could have evolved genetically and geographically isolated since the separation of the Continent from the Gondwanaland. The resulting harsh environmental conditions due to the migration of Antarctica to the South Pole led to a strong selective pressure possibly promoting adaptive radiation and speciation. Microorganisms evolved during this unique process are adapted to colonize what is known as the closest Martian environment on Earth. For this reason they have been already suggested as the best eukaryotic model for exobiological speculations. The results on freeze and thawing, UV exposure and osmotic stress tolerance here reported highlight an uncommon ability of surviving under these external pressures. Studies on their ability to withstand space conditions are in progress in view of the opportunity of direct space exposure on the International Space Station. The results could give new tools to solve the conflict concerning the Panspermia hypothesis.

  16. From lifetime to evolution: timescales of human gut microbiota adaptation.

    PubMed

    Quercia, Sara; Candela, Marco; Giuliani, Cristina; Turroni, Silvia; Luiselli, Donata; Rampelli, Simone; Brigidi, Patrizia; Franceschi, Claudio; Bacalini, Maria Giulia; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Human beings harbor gut microbial communities that are essential to preserve human health. Molded by the human genome, the gut microbiota (GM) is an adaptive component of the human superorganisms that allows host adaptation at different timescales, optimizing host physiology from daily life to lifespan scales and human evolutionary history. The GM continuously changes from birth up to the most extreme limits of human life, reconfiguring its metagenomic layout in response to daily variations in diet or specific host physiological and immunological needs at different ages. On the other hand, the microbiota plasticity was strategic to face changes in lifestyle and dietary habits along the course of the recent evolutionary history, that has driven the passage from Paleolithic hunter-gathering societies to Neolithic agricultural farmers to modern Westernized societies.

  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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-04

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

  20. Cosmic radiation and evolution of life on earth: Roles of environment, adaptation and selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, P.

    1994-10-01

    The role of ionizing radiation in general, and cosmic radiation in particular, in the evolution of organisms on the earth by adaptation and natural selection is considered in a series of questions: (1) Are there times during the evolution of the earth and of life when genetic material could be exposed to heavy ion radiation? (2) Throughout the course of chemical and biological evolution on the earth, what fraction of environmental mutagenesis could be attributable to cosmic and/or solar ionizing radiation? (3) Is ionizing radiation an agent of adaptation or selection, or both? (4) What can the cladistics of the evolution of genetic repair tell us about the global history of genotoxic selection pressures? (How much genetic diversity can be attributed to the selection of radiation-damage repair processes?

  1. Molecular mechanisms of Tetranychus urticae chemical adaptation in hop fields

    PubMed Central

    Piraneo, Tara G.; Bull, Jon; Morales, Mariany A.; Lavine, Laura C.; Walsh, Douglas B.; Zhu, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch is a major pest that feeds on >1,100 plant species. Many perennial crops including hop (Humulus lupulus) are routinely plagued by T. urticae infestations. Hop is a specialty crop in Pacific Northwest states, where 99% of all U.S. hops are produced. To suppress T. urticae, growers often apply various acaricides. Unfortunately T. urticae has been documented to quickly develop resistance to these acaricides which directly cause control failures. Here, we investigated resistance ratios and distribution of multiple resistance-associated mutations in field collected T. urticae samples compared with a susceptible population. Our research revealed that a mutation in the cytochrome b gene (G126S) in 35% tested T. urticae populations and a mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene (F1538I) in 66.7% populations may contribute resistance to bifenazate and bifenthrin, respectively. No mutations were detected in Glutamate-gated chloride channel subunits tested, suggesting target site insensitivity may not be important in our hop T. urticae resistance to abamectin. However, P450-mediated detoxification was observed and is a putative mechanism for abamectin resistance. Molecular mechanisms of T. urticae chemical adaptation in hopyards is imperative new information that will help growers develop effective and sustainable management strategies. PMID:26621458

  2. Self-adaptive differential evolution algorithm incorporating local search for protein-ligand docking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Hwan Won; Cho, Seung Joo; Lee, Kwang-Ryeol; Lee, Kyu-Hwan

    2013-02-01

    Differential Evolution (DE) algorithm is powerful in optimization problems over several real parameters. DE depends on strategies to generate new trial solutions and the associated parameter values for searching performance. In self-adaptive DE, the automatic learning about previous evolution was used to determine the best mutation strategy and its parameter settings. By combining the self-adaptive DE and Hooke Jeeves local search, we developed a new docking method named SADock (Strategy Adaptation Dock) with the help of AutoDock4 scoring function. As the accuracy and performance of SADock was evaluated in self-docking using the Astex diverse set, the introduced SADock showed better success ratio (89%) than the success ratio (60%) of the Lamarckian genetic algorithm (LGA) of AutoDock4. The self-adapting scheme enabled our new docking method to converge fast and to be robust through the various docking problems.

  3. Adaptive evolution of reproductive and vegetative traits driven by breeding systems.

    PubMed

    Verdú, Miguel; Gleiser, Gabriela

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of inflorescence size, a key trait in reproductive success, was studied in the genus Acer under a perspective of adaptive evolution. Breeding systems, hypothesized to indicate different levels of mating competition, were considered as the selective scenarios defining different optima of inflorescence size. Larger inflorescences, which increase male fitness by generating larger floral displays, were hypothesized to be selected under scenarios with higher competition with unisexuals. An identical approach was used to test if the same selective regimes could be driving the evolution of leaf size, a vegetative trait that was found to be correlated with inflorescence size. A Brownian motion model of inflorescence/leaf-size evolution (which cannot distinguish between changes caused by pure drift processes and changes caused by natural selection in rapidly and randomly changing environments) was compared with several adaptive Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) models, which can quantify the effects of both stochasticity and natural selection. The best-fitting model for inflorescence/leaf-size evolution was an OU model with three optima that increased with the level of mating competition. Both traits evolved under the same selective regimes and in the same direction, confirming a pattern of correlated evolution. These results show that a selective regime hypothetically related to the evolution of a reproductive trait can also explain the evolution of a vegetative trait.

  4. Adaptive laboratory evolution of ethanologenic Zymomonas mobilis strain tolerant to furfural and acetic acid inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Shui, Zong-Xia; Qin, Han; Wu, Bo; Ruan, Zhi-yong; Wang, Lu-shang; Tan, Fu-Rong; Wang, Jing-Li; Tang, Xiao-Yu; Dai, Li-Chun; Hu, Guo-Quan; He, Ming-Xiong

    2015-07-01

    Furfural and acetic acid from lignocellulosic hydrolysates are the prevalent inhibitors to Zymomonas mobilis during cellulosic ethanol production. Developing a strain tolerant to furfural or acetic acid inhibitors is difficul by using rational engineering strategies due to poor understanding of their underlying molecular mechanisms. In this study, strategy of adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) was used for development of a furfural and acetic acid-tolerant strain. After three round evolution, four evolved mutants (ZMA7-2, ZMA7-3, ZMF3-2, and ZMF3-3) that showed higher growth capacity were successfully obtained via ALE method. Based on the results of profiling of cell growth, glucose utilization, ethanol yield, and activity of key enzymes, two desired strains, ZMA7-2 and ZMF3-3, were achieved, which showed higher tolerance under 7 g/l acetic acid and 3 g/l furfural stress condition. Especially, it is the first report of Z. mobilis strain that could tolerate higher furfural. The best strain, Z. mobilis ZMF3-3, has showed 94.84% theoretical ethanol yield under 3-g/l furfural stress condition, and the theoretical ethanol yield of ZM4 is only 9.89%. Our study also demonstrated that ALE method might also be used as a powerful metabolic engineering tool for metabolic engineering in Z. mobilis. Furthermore, the two best strains could be used as novel host for further metabolic engineering in cellulosic ethanol or future biorefinery. Importantly, the two strains may also be used as novel-tolerant model organisms for the genetic mechanism on the "omics" level, which will provide some useful information for inverse metabolic engineering.

  5. Evolution of Heat Sensors Drove Shifts in Thermosensation between Xenopus Species Adapted to Different Thermal Niches.

    PubMed

    Saito, Shigeru; Ohkita, Masashi; Saito, Claire T; Takahashi, Kenji; Tominaga, Makoto; Ohta, Toshio

    2016-05-20

    Temperature is one of the most critical environmental factors affecting survival, and thus species that inhabit different thermal niches have evolved thermal sensitivities suitable for their respective habitats. During the process of shifting thermal niches, various types of genes expressed in diverse tissues, including those of the peripheral to central nervous systems, are potentially involved in the evolutionary changes in thermosensation. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of thermosensation, thermal responses were compared between two species of clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis) adapted to different thermal environments. X. laevis was much more sensitive to heat stimulation than X. tropicalis at the behavioral and neural levels. The activity and sensitivity of the heat-sensing TRPA1 channel were higher in X. laevis compared with those of X. tropicalis The thermal responses of another heat-sensing channel, TRPV1, also differed between the two Xenopus species. The species differences in Xenopus TRPV1 heat responses were largely determined by three amino acid substitutions located in the first three ankyrin repeat domains, known to be involved in the regulation of rat TRPV1 activity. In addition, Xenopus TRPV1 exhibited drastic species differences in sensitivity to capsaicin, contained in chili peppers, between the two Xenopus species. Another single amino acid substitution within Xenopus TRPV1 is responsible for this species difference, which likely alters the neural and behavioral responses to capsaicin. These combined subtle amino acid substitutions in peripheral thermal sensors potentially serve as a driving force for the evolution of thermal and chemical sensation.

  6. The Lineage-Specific Evolution of Aquaporin Gene Clusters Facilitated Tetrapod Terrestrial Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Finn, Roderick Nigel; Chauvigné, François; Hlidberg, Jón Baldur; Cutler, Christopher P.; Cerdà, Joan

    2014-01-01

    A major physiological barrier for aquatic organisms adapting to terrestrial life is dessication in the aerial environment. This barrier was nevertheless overcome by the Devonian ancestors of extant Tetrapoda, but the origin of specific molecular mechanisms that solved this water problem remains largely unknown. Here we show that an ancient aquaporin gene cluster evolved specifically in the sarcopterygian lineage, and subsequently diverged into paralogous forms of AQP2, -5, or -6 to mediate water conservation in extant Tetrapoda. To determine the origin of these apomorphic genomic traits, we combined aquaporin sequencing from jawless and jawed vertebrates with broad taxon assembly of >2,000 transcripts amongst 131 deuterostome genomes and developed a model based upon Bayesian inference that traces their convergent roots to stem subfamilies in basal Metazoa and Prokaryota. This approach uncovered an unexpected diversity of aquaporins in every lineage investigated, and revealed that the vertebrate superfamily consists of 17 classes of aquaporins (Aqp0 - Aqp16). The oldest orthologs associated with water conservation in modern Tetrapoda are traced to a cluster of three aqp2-like genes in Actinistia that likely arose >500 Ma through duplication of an aqp0-like gene present in a jawless ancestor. In sea lamprey, we show that aqp0 first arose in a protocluster comprised of a novel aqp14 paralog and a fused aqp01 gene. To corroborate these findings, we conducted phylogenetic analyses of five syntenic nuclear receptor subfamilies, which, together with observations of extensive genome rearrangements, support the coincident loss of ancestral aqp2-like orthologs in Actinopterygii. We thus conclude that the divergence of sarcopterygian-specific aquaporin gene clusters was permissive for the evolution of water conservation mechanisms that facilitated tetrapod terrestrial adaptation. PMID:25426855

  7. Thermal and Solvent Stress Cross-Tolerance Conferred to Corynebacterium glutamicum by Adaptive Laboratory Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Oide, Shinichi; Gunji, Wataru; Moteki, Yasuhiro; Yamamoto, Shogo; Suda, Masako; Jojima, Toru; Yukawa, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Reinforcing microbial thermotolerance is a strategy to enable fermentation with flexible temperature settings and thereby to save cooling costs. Here, we report on adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) of the amino acid-producing bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum under thermal stress. After 65 days of serial passage of the transgenic strain GLY3, in which the glycolytic pathway is optimized for alanine production under oxygen deprivation, three strains adapted to supraoptimal temperatures were isolated, and all the mutations they acquired were identified by whole-genome resequencing. Of the 21 mutations common to the three strains, one large deletion and two missense mutations were found to promote growth of the parental strain under thermal stress. Additive effects on thermotolerance were observed among these mutations, and the combination of the deletion with the missense mutation on otsA, encoding a trehalose-6-phosphate synthase, allowed the parental strain to overcome the upper limit of growth temperature. Surprisingly, the three evolved strains acquired cross-tolerance for isobutanol, which turned out to be partly attributable to the genomic deletion associated with the enhanced thermotolerance. The deletion involved loss of two transgenes, pfk and pyk, encoding the glycolytic enzymes, in addition to six native genes, and elimination of the transgenes, but not the native genes, was shown to account for the positive effects on thermal and solvent stress tolerance, implying a link between energy-producing metabolism and bacterial stress tolerance. Overall, the present study provides evidence that ALE can be a powerful tool to refine the phenotype of C. glutamicum and to investigate the molecular bases of stress tolerance. PMID:25595768

  8. Temperate phages both mediate and drive adaptive evolution in pathogen biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Emily V.; James, Chloe E.; Williams, David; O’Brien, Siobhan; Fothergill, Joanne L.; Haldenby, Sam; Paterson, Steve; Winstanley, Craig

    2016-01-01

    Temperate phages drive genomic diversification in bacterial pathogens. Phage-derived sequences are more common in pathogenic than nonpathogenic taxa and are associated with changes in pathogen virulence. High abundance and mobilization of temperate phages within hosts suggests that temperate phages could promote within-host evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, their role in pathogen evolution has not been experimentally tested. We experimentally evolved replicate populations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with or without a community of three temperate phages active in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung infections, including the transposable phage, ɸ4, which is closely related to phage D3112. Populations grew as free-floating biofilms in artificial sputum medium, mimicking sputum of CF lungs where P. aeruginosa is an important pathogen and undergoes evolutionary adaptation and diversification during chronic infection. Although bacterial populations adapted to the biofilm environment in both treatments, population genomic analysis revealed that phages altered both the trajectory and mode of evolution. Populations evolving with phages exhibited a greater degree of parallel evolution and faster selective sweeps than populations without phages. Phage ɸ4 integrated randomly into the bacterial chromosome, but integrations into motility-associated genes and regulators of quorum sensing systems essential for virulence were selected in parallel, strongly suggesting that these insertional inactivation mutations were adaptive. Temperate phages, and in particular transposable phages, are therefore likely to facilitate adaptive evolution of bacterial pathogens within hosts. PMID:27382184

  9. Adaptive evolution of tight junction protein claudin-14 in echolocating whales.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huihui; Liu, Yang; He, Guimei; Rossiter, Stephen J; Zhang, Shuyi

    2013-11-10

    Toothed whales and bats have independently evolved specialized ultrasonic hearing for echolocation. Recent findings have suggested that several genes including Prestin, Tmc1, Pjvk and KCNQ4 appear to have undergone molecular adaptations associated with the evolution of this ultrasonic hearing in mammals. Here we studied the hearing gene Cldn14, which encodes the claudin-14 protein and is a member of tight junction proteins that functions in the organ of Corti in the inner ear to maintain a cationic gradient between endolymph and perilymph. Particular mutations in human claudin-14 give rise to non-syndromic deafness, suggesting an essential role in hearing. Our results uncovered two bursts of positive selection, one in the ancestral branch of all toothed whales and a second in the branch leading to the delphinid, phocoenid and ziphiid whales. These two branches are the same as those previously reported to show positive selection in the Prestin gene. Furthermore, as with Prestin, the estimated hearing frequencies of whales significantly correlate with numbers of branch-wise non-synonymous substitutions in Cldn14, but not with synonymous changes. However, in contrast to Prestin, we found no evidence of positive selection in bats. Our findings from Cldn14, and comparisons with Prestin, strongly implicate multiple loci in the acquisition of echolocation in cetaceans, but also highlight possible differences in the evolutionary route to echolocation taken by whales and bats.

  10. 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.

  11. Adaptive evolution and functional constraint at TLR4 during the secondary aquatic adaptation and diversification of cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are a group of adapted marine mammals with an enigmatic history of transition from terrestrial to full aquatic habitat and rapid radiation in waters around the world. Throughout this evolution, the pathogen stress-response proteins must have faced challenges from the dramatic change of environmental pathogens in the completely different ecological niches cetaceans occupied. For this reason, cetaceans could be one of the most ideal candidate taxa for studying evolutionary process and associated driving mechanism of vertebrate innate immune systems such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which are located at the direct interface between the host and the microbial environment, act at the first line in recognizing specific conserved components of microorganisms, and translate them rapidly into a defense reaction. Results We used TLR4 as an example to test whether this traditionally regarded pattern recognition receptor molecule was driven by positive selection across cetacean evolutionary history. Overall, the lineage-specific selection test showed that the dN/dS (ω) values along most (30 out of 33) examined cetartiodactylan lineages were less than 1, suggesting a common effect of functional constraint. However, some specific codons made radical changes, fell adjacent to the residues interacting with lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and showed parallel evolution between independent lineages, suggesting that TLR4 was under positive selection. Especially, strong signatures of adaptive evolution on TLR4 were identified in two periods, one corresponding to the early evolutionary transition of the terrestrial ancestors of cetaceans from land to semi-aquatic (represented by the branch leading to whale + hippo) and from semi-aquatic to full aquatic (represented by the ancestral branch leading to cetaceans) habitat, and the other to the rapid diversification and radiation of oceanic dolphins. Conclusions This is the first study thus

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  13. Brain evolution and development: adaptation, allometry and constraint

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic traits are products of two processes: evolution and development. But how do these processes combine to produce integrated phenotypes? Comparative studies identify consistent patterns of covariation, or allometries, between brain and body size, and between brain components, indicating the presence of significant constraints limiting independent evolution of separate parts. These constraints are poorly understood, but in principle could be either developmental or functional. The developmental constraints hypothesis suggests that individual components (brain and body size, or individual brain components) tend to evolve together because natural selection operates on relatively simple developmental mechanisms that affect the growth of all parts in a concerted manner. The functional constraints hypothesis suggests that correlated change reflects the action of selection on distributed functional systems connecting the different sub-components, predicting more complex patterns of mosaic change at the level of the functional systems and more complex genetic and developmental mechanisms. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but make different predictions. We review recent genetic and neurodevelopmental evidence, concluding that functional rather than developmental constraints are the main cause of the observed patterns. PMID:27629025

  14. Adaptive evolution of sexual systems in pedunculate barnacles

    PubMed Central

    Yusa, Yoichi; Yoshikawa, Mai; Kitaura, Jun; Kawane, Masako; Ozaki, Yuki; Yamato, Shigeyuki; Høeg, Jens T.

    2012-01-01

    How and why diverse sexual systems evolve are fascinating evolutionary questions, but few empirical studies have dealt with these questions in animals. Pedunculate (gooseneck) barnacles show such diversity, including simultaneous hermaphroditism, coexistence of dwarf males and hermaphrodites (androdioecy), and coexistence of dwarf males and females (dioecy). Here, we report the first phylogenetically controlled test of the hypothesis that the ultimate cause of the diverse sexual systems and presence of dwarf males in this group is limited mating opportunities for non-dwarf individuals, owing to mating in small groups. Within the pedunculate barnacle phylogeny, dwarf males and females have evolved repeatedly. Females are more likely to evolve in androdioecious than hermaphroditic populations, suggesting that evolution of dwarf males has preceded that of females in pedunculates. Both dwarf males and females are associated with a higher proportion of solitary individuals in the population, corroborating the hypothesis that limited mating opportunities have favoured evolution of these diverse sexual systems, which have puzzled biologists since Darwin. PMID:21881138

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Extraordinary molecular evolution in the PRDM9 fertility gene.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Adaptive sequence evolution is driven by biotic stress in a pair of orchid species (Dactylorhiza) with distinct ecological optima.

    PubMed

    Balao, Francisco; Trucchi, Emiliano; Wolfe, Thomas; Hao, Bao-Hai; Lorenzo, Maria Teresa; Baar, Juliane; Sedman, Laura; Kosiol, Carolin; Amman, Fabian; Chase, Mark W; Hedrén, Mikael; Paun, Ovidiu

    2017-03-30

    The orchid family is the largest in the angiosperms, but little is known about the molecular basis of the significant variation they exhibit. We investigate here the transcriptomic divergence between two European terrestrial orchids, Dactylorhiza incarnata and D. fuchsii, and integrate these results in the context of their distinct ecologies that we also document. Clear signals of lineage-specific adaptive evolution of protein-coding sequences are identified, notably targeting elements of biotic defence, including both physical and chemical adaptations in the context of divergent pools of pathogens and herbivores. In turn, a substantial regulatory divergence between the two species appears linked to adaptation/acclimation to abiotic conditions. Several of the pathways affected by differential expression are also targeted by deviating post-transcriptional regulation via sRNAs. Finally, Dactylorhiza incarnata appears to suffer from insufficient sRNA control over the activity of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase, resulting in increased activity of class I transposable elements and, over time, in larger genome size than that of D. fuchsii. The extensive molecular divergence between the two species suggests significant genomic and transcriptomic shock in their hybrids and offers insights into the difficulty of coexistence at the homoploid level. Altogether, biological response to selection, accumulated during the history of these orchids, appears governed by their microenvironmental context, in which biotic and abiotic pressures act synergistically to shape transcriptome structure, expression and regulation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Enhancement of Microbial Biodesulfurization via Genetic Engineering and Adaptive Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jia; Butler, Robert R.; Wu, Fan; Pombert, Jean-François; Kilbane, John J.; Stark, Benjamin C.

    2017-01-01

    In previous work from our laboratories a synthetic gene encoding a peptide (“Sulpeptide 1” or “S1”) with a high proportion of methionine and cysteine residues had been designed to act as a sulfur sink and was inserted into the dsz (desulfurization) operon of Rhodococcus erythropolis IGTS8. In the work described here this construct (dszAS1BC) and the intact dsz operon (dszABC) cloned into vector pRESX under control of the (Rhodococcus) kstD promoter were transformed into the desulfurization-negative strain CW25 of Rhodococcus qingshengii. The resulting strains (CW25[pRESX-dszABC] and CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC]) were subjected to adaptive selection by repeated passages at log phase (up to 100 times) in minimal medium with dibenzothiophene (DBT) as sole sulfur source. For both strains DBT metabolism peaked early in the selection process and then decreased, eventually averaging four times that of the initial transformed cells; the maximum specific activity achieved by CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC] exceeded that of CW25[pRESX-dszABC]. Growth rates increased by 7-fold (CW25[pRESX-dszABC]) and 13-fold (CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC]) and these increases were stable. The adaptations of CW25[pRESX-dszAS1BC] were correlated with a 3-5X increase in plasmid copy numbers from those of the initial transformed cells; whole genome sequencing indicated that during its selection processes no mutations occurred to any of the dsz, S1, or other genes and promoters involved in sulfur metabolism, stress response, or DNA methylation, and that the effect of the sulfur sink produced by S1 is likely very small compared to the cells’ overall cysteine and methionine requirements. Nevertheless, a combination of genetic engineering using sulfur sinks and increasing Dsz capability with adaptive selection may be a viable strategy to increase biodesulfurization ability. PMID:28060828

  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.

  2. The genomic signatures of Shigella evolution, adaptation and geographical spread.

    PubMed

    The, Hao Chung; Thanh, Duy Pham; Holt, Kathryn E; Thomson, Nicholas R; Baker, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    Shigella spp. are some of the key pathogens responsible for the global burden of diarrhoeal disease. These facultative intracellular bacteria belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae, together with other intestinal pathogens, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. The genus Shigella comprises four different species, each consisting of several serogroups, all of which show phenotypic similarity, including invasive pathogenicity. DNA sequencing suggests that this similarity results from the convergent evolution of different Shigella spp. founders. Here, we review the evolutionary relationships between Shigella spp. and E . coli, and we highlight how the genomic plasticity of these bacteria and their acquisition of a distinctive virulence plasmid have enabled the development of such highly specialized pathogens. Furthermore, we discuss the insights that genotyping and whole-genome sequencing have provided into the phylogenetics and intercontinental spread of Shigella spp.

  3. Evolution experiments with microorganisms: the dynamics and genetic bases of adaptation.

    PubMed

    Elena, Santiago F; Lenski, Richard E

    2003-06-01

    Microorganisms have been mutating and evolving on Earth for billions of years. Now, a field of research has developed around the idea of using microorganisms to study evolution in action. Controlled and replicated experiments are using viruses, bacteria and yeast to investigate how their genomes and phenotypic properties evolve over hundreds and even thousands of generations. Here, we examine the dynamics of evolutionary adaptation, the genetic bases of adaptation, tradeoffs and the environmental specificity of adaptation, the origin and evolutionary consequences of mutators, and the process of drift decay in very small populations.

  4. Diversity and adaptive evolution of Saccharomyces wine yeast: a review

    PubMed Central

    Marsit, Souhir; Dequin, Sylvie

    2015-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae and related species, the main workhorses of wine fermentation, have been exposed to stressful conditions for millennia, potentially resulting in adaptive differentiation. As a result, wine yeasts have recently attracted considerable interest for studying the evolutionary effects of domestication. The widespread use of whole-genome sequencing during the last decade has provided new insights into the biodiversity, population structure, phylogeography and evolutionary history of wine yeasts. Comparisons between S. cerevisiae isolates from various origins have indicated that a variety of mechanisms, including heterozygosity, nucleotide and structural variations, introgressions, horizontal gene transfer and hybridization, contribute to the genetic and phenotypic diversity of S. cerevisiae. This review will summarize the current knowledge on the diversity and evolutionary history of wine yeasts, focusing on the domestication fingerprints identified in these strains. PMID:26205244

  5. Dynamics of molecular evolution in RNA virus populations depend on sudden versus gradual environmental change.

    PubMed

    Morley, Valerie J; Turner, Paul E

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the dynamics of molecular adaptation is a fundamental goal of evolutionary biology. While adaptation to constant environments has been well characterized, the effects of environmental complexity remain seldom studied. One simple but understudied factor is the rate of environmental change. Here we used experimental evolution with RNA viruses to investigate whether evolutionary dynamics varied based on the rate of environmental turnover. We used whole-genome next-generation sequencing to characterize evolutionary dynamics in virus populations adapting to a sudden versus gradual shift onto a novel host cell type. In support of theoretical models, we found that when populations evolved in response to a sudden environmental change, mutations of large beneficial effect tended to fix early, followed by mutations of smaller beneficial effect; as predicted, this pattern broke down in response to a gradual environmental change. Early mutational steps were highly parallel across replicate populations in both treatments. The fixation of single mutations was less common than sweeps of associated "cohorts" of mutations, and this pattern intensified when the environment changed gradually. Additionally, clonal interference appeared stronger in response to a gradual change. Our results suggest that the rate of environmental change is an important determinant of evolutionary dynamics in asexual populations.

  6. Adaptive evolution of asexual populations under Muller's ratchet.

    PubMed

    Bachtrog, Doris; Gordo, Isabel

    2004-07-01

    We study the population genetics of adaptation in nonequilibrium haploid asexual populations. We find that the accumulation of deleterious mutations, due to the operation of Muller's ratchet, can considerably reduce the rate of fixation of advantageous alleles. Such reduction can be approximated reasonably well by a reduction in the effective population size. In the absence of Muller's ratchet, a beneficial mutation can only become fixed if it creates the best possible genotype; if Muller's ratchet operates, however, mutations initially arising in a nonoptimal genotype can also become fixed in the population, since the loss of the least-loaded class implies that an initially nonoptimal background can become optimal. We show that, while the rate at which adaptive mutations become fixed is reduced, the rate of fixation of deleterious mutations due to the ratchet is not changed by the presence of beneficial mutations as long as the rate of their occurrence is low and the deleterious effects of mutations (s(d)) are higher than the beneficial effects (s(a)). When s(a) > s(d), the advantage of a beneficial mutation can outweigh the deleterious effects of associated mutations. Under these conditions, a beneficial allele can drag to fixation deleterious mutations initially associated with it at a higher rate than in the absence of advantageous alleles. We propose analytical approximations for the rates of accumulation of deleterious and beneficial mutations. Furthermore, when allowing for the possible occurrence of interference between beneficial alleles, we find that the presence of deleterious mutations of either very weak or very strong effect can marginally increase the rate of accumulation of beneficial mutations over that observed in the absence of such deleterious mutations.

  7. Mathematical model for adaptive evolution of populations based on a complex domain

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahim, Rabha W.; Ahmad, M.Z.; Al-Janaby, Hiba F.

    2015-01-01

    A mutation is ultimately essential for adaptive evolution in all populations. It arises all the time, but is mostly fixed by enzymes. Further, most do consider that the evolution mechanism is by a natural assortment of variations in organisms in line for random variations in their DNA, and the suggestions for this are overwhelming. The altering of the construction of a gene, causing a different form that may be communicated to succeeding generations, produced by the modification of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger units of chromosomes or genes. This altering is called a mutation. In this paper, a mathematical model is introduced to this reality. The model describes the time and space for the evolution. The tool is based on a complex domain for the space. We show that the evolution is distributed with the hypergeometric function. The Boundedness of the evolution is imposed by utilizing the Koebe function. PMID:26858564

  8. The molecular evolution of the vertebrate behavioural repertoire

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2011-12-15

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

  10. Community-wide convergent evolution in insect adaptation to toxic cardenolides by substitutions in the Na,K-ATPase

    PubMed Central

    Dobler, Susanne; Dalla, Safaa; Wagschal, Vera; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2012-01-01

    The extent of convergent molecular evolution is largely unknown, yet is critical to understanding the genetics of adaptation. Target site insensitivity to cardenolides is a prime candidate for studying molecular convergence because herbivores in six orders of insects have specialized on these plant poisons, which gain their toxicity by blocking an essential transmembrane carrier, the sodium pump (Na,K-ATPase). We investigated gene sequences of the Na,K-ATPase α-subunit in 18 insects feeding on cardenolide-containing plants (spanning 15 genera and four orders) to screen for amino acid substitutions that might lower sensitivity to cardenolides. The replacement N122H that was previously shown to confer resistance in the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and Chrysochus leaf beetles was found in four additional species, Oncopeltus fasciatus and Lygaeus kalmii (Heteroptera, Lygaeidae), Labidomera clivicollis (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae), and Liriomyza asclepiadis (Diptera, Agromyzidae). Thus, across 300 Myr of insect divergence, specialization on cardenolide-containing plants resulted in molecular convergence for an adaptation likely involved in coevolution. Our screen revealed a number of other substitutions connected to cardenolide binding in mammals. We confirmed that some of the particular substitutions provide resistance to cardenolides by introducing five distinct constructs of the Drosophila melanogaster gene into susceptible eucaryotic cells under an ouabain selection regime. These functional assays demonstrate that combined substitutions of Q111 and N122 are synergistic, with greater than twofold higher resistance than either substitution alone and >12-fold resistance over the wild type. Thus, even across deep phylogenetic branches, evolutionary degrees of freedom seem to be limited by physiological constraints, such that the same molecular substitutions confer adaptation. PMID:22826239

  11. Gradually Adaptive Frameworks: Reasonable Disagreement and the Evolution of Evaluative Systems in Music Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haskins, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The concept of "gradually adaptive frameworks" is introduced as a model with the potential to describe the evolution of belief evaluative systems through the consideration of reasonable arguments and evidence. This concept is demonstrated through an analysis of specific points of disagreement between David Elliott's praxial philosophy…

  12. Gradually Adaptive Frameworks: Reasonable Disagreement and the Evolution of Evaluative Systems in Music Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haskins, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The concept of "gradually adaptive frameworks" is introduced as a model with the potential to describe the evolution of belief evaluative systems through the consideration of reasonable arguments and evidence. This concept is demonstrated through an analysis of specific points of disagreement between David Elliott's praxial…

  13. Studying the Genetics of Behavior and Evolution by Adaptation and Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silverman, Jules

    1998-01-01

    Provides an exercise designed to give students an appreciation for the genetic basis of behavior. Employs the phenomenon of glucose aversion as an example of evolution by mutation and accelerated natural selection, thereby revealing one of the ways in which organisms adapt to human interference. (DDR)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Rapid adaptive evolution of northeastern coyotes via hybridization with wolves.

    PubMed

    Kays, Roland; Curtis, Abigail; Kirchman, Jeremy J

    2010-02-23

    The dramatic expansion of the geographical range of coyotes over the last 90 years is partly explained by changes to the landscape and local extinctions of wolves, but hybridization may also have facilitated their movement. We present mtDNA sequence data from 686 eastern coyotes and measurements of 196 skulls related to their two-front colonization pattern. We find evidence for hybridization with Great Lakes wolves only along the northern front, which is correlated with larger skull size, increased sexual dimorphism and a five times faster colonization rate than the southern front. Northeastern haplotype diversity is low, suggesting that this population was founded by very few females moving across the Saint Lawrence River. This northern front then spread south and west, eventually coming in contact with an expanding front of non-hybrid coyotes in western New York and Pennsylvania. We suggest that hybridization with wolves in Canada introduced adaptive variation that contributed to larger size, which in turn allowed eastern coyotes to better hunt deer, allowing a more rapid colonization of new areas than coyotes without introgressed wolf genes. Thus, hybridization is a conduit by which genetic variation from an extirpated species has been reintroduced into northeastern USA, enabling northeastern coyotes to occupy a portion of the niche left vacant by wolves.

  16. The evolution of adhesiveness as a social adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Thomas; Doulcier, Guilhem; De Monte, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Cellular adhesion is a key ingredient to sustain collective functions of microbial aggregates. Here, we investigate the evolutionary origins of adhesion and the emergence of groups of genealogically unrelated cells with a game-theoretical model. The considered adhesiveness trait is costly, continuous and affects both group formation and group-derived benefits. The formalism of adaptive dynamics reveals two evolutionary stable strategies, at each extreme on the axis of adhesiveness. We show that cohesive groups can evolve by small mutational steps, provided the population is already endowed with a minimum adhesiveness level. Assortment between more adhesive types, and in particular differential propensities to leave a fraction of individuals ungrouped at the end of the aggregation process, can compensate for the cost of increased adhesiveness. We also discuss the change in the social nature of more adhesive mutations along evolutionary trajectories, and find that altruism arises before directly beneficial behavior, despite being the most challenging form of cooperation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08595.001 PMID:26613415

  17. Molecular determinants of enzyme cold adaptation: comparative structural and computational studies of cold- and warm-adapted enzymes.

    PubMed

    Papaleo, Elena; Tiberti, Matteo; Invernizzi, Gaetano; Pasi, Marco; Ranzani, Valeria

    2011-11-01

    The identification of molecular mechanisms underlying enzyme cold adaptation is a hot-topic both for fundamental research and industrial applications. In the present contribution, we review the last decades of structural computational investigations on cold-adapted enzymes in comparison to their warm-adapted counterparts. Comparative sequence and structural studies allow the definition of a multitude of adaptation strategies. Different enzymes carried out diverse mechanisms to adapt to low temperatures, so that a general theory for enzyme cold adaptation cannot be formulated. However, some common features can be traced in dynamic and flexibility properties of these enzymes, as well as in their intra- and inter-molecular interaction networks. Interestingly, the current data suggest that a family-centered point of view is necessary in the comparative analyses of cold- and warm-adapted enzymes. In fact, enzymes belonging to the same family or superfamily, thus sharing at least the three-dimensional fold and common features of the functional sites, have evolved similar structural and dynamic patterns to overcome the detrimental effects of low temperatures.

  18. A shift from magnitude to sign epistasis during adaptive evolution of a bacterial social trait.

    PubMed

    Zee, Peter C; Mendes-Soares, Helena; Yu, Yuen-Tsu N; Kraemer, Susanne A; Keller, Heike; Ossowski, Stephan; Schneeberger, Korbinian; Velicer, Gregory J

    2014-09-01

    Although the importance of epistasis in evolution has long been recognized, remarkably little is known about the processes by which epistatic interactions evolve in real time in specific biological systems. Here, we have characterized how the epistatic fitness relationship between a social gene and an adapting genome changes radically over a short evolutionary time frame in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. We show that a highly beneficial effect of this social gene in the ancestral genome is gradually reduced--and ultimately reversed into a deleterious effect--over the course of an experimental adaptive trajectory in which a primitive form of novel cooperation evolved. This reduction and reversal of a positive social allelic effect is driven solely by changes in the genetic context in which the gene is expressed as new mutations are sequentially fixed during adaptive evolution, and explicitly demonstrates a significant evolutionary change in the genetic architecture of an ecologically important social trait.

  19. Family Wide Molecular Adaptations to Underground Life in African Mole-Rats Revealed by Phylogenomic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Kalina T.J.; Bennett, Nigel C.; Tsagkogeorga, Georgia; Rossiter, Stephen J.; Faulkes, Christopher G.

    2015-01-01

    During their evolutionary radiation, mammals have colonized diverse habitats. Arguably the subterranean niche is the most inhospitable of these, characterized by reduced oxygen, elevated carbon dioxide, absence of light, scarcity of food, and a substrate that is energetically costly to burrow through. Of all lineages to have transitioned to a subterranean niche, African mole-rats are one of the most successful. Much of their ecological success can be attributed to a diet of plant storage organs, which has allowed them to colonize climatically varied habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, and has probably contributed to the evolution of their diverse social systems. Yet despite their many remarkable phenotypic specializations, little is known about molecular adaptations underlying these traits. To address this, we sequenced the transcriptomes of seven mole-rat taxa, including three solitary species, and combined new sequences with existing genomic data sets. Alignments of more than 13,000 protein-coding genes encompassed, for the first time, all six genera and the full spectrum of ecological and social variation in the clade. We detected positive selection within the mole-rat clade and along ancestral branches in approximately 700 genes including loci associated with tumorigenesis, aging, morphological development, and sociality. By combining these results with gene ontology annotation and protein–protein networks, we identified several clusters of functionally related genes. This family wide analysis of molecular evolution in mole-rats has identified a suite of positively selected genes, deepening our understanding of the extreme phenotypic traits exhibited by this group. PMID:26318402

  20. 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

  1. Adaptive evolution and effective population size in wild house mice.

    PubMed

    Phifer-Rixey, Megan; Bonhomme, François; Boursot, Pierre; Churchill, Gary A; Piálek, Jaroslav; Tucker, Priscilla K; Nachman, Michael W

    2012-10-01

    Estimates of the proportion of amino acid substitutions that have been fixed by selection (α) vary widely among taxa, ranging from zero in humans to over 50% in Drosophila. This wide range may reflect differences in the efficacy of selection due to differences in the effective population size (N(e)). However, most comparisons have been made among distantly related organisms that differ not only in N(e) but also in many other aspects of their biology. Here, we estimate α in three closely related lineages of house mice that have a similar ecology but differ widely in N(e): Mus musculus musculus (N(e) ∼ 25,000-120,000), M. m. domesticus (N(e) ∼ 58,000-200,000), and M. m. castaneus (N(e) ∼ 200,000-733,000). Mice were genotyped using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array, and the proportions of replacement and silent mutations within subspecies were compared with those fixed between each subspecies and an outgroup, Mus spretus. There was significant evidence of positive selection in M. m. castaneus, the lineage with the largest N(e), with α estimated to be approximately 40%. In contrast, estimates of α for M. m. domesticus (α = 13%) and for M. m. musculus (α = 12 %) were much smaller. Interestingly, the higher estimate of α for M. m. castaneus appears to reflect not only more adaptive fixations but also more effective purifying selection. These results support the hypothesis that differences in N(e) contribute to differences among species in the efficacy of selection.

  2. Gradual molecular evolution of a sex determination switch through incomplete penetrance of femaleness.

    PubMed

    Beye, Martin; Seelmann, Christine; Gempe, Tanja; Hasselmann, Martin; Vekemans, Xavier; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2013-12-16

    Some genes regulate phenotypes that are either present or absent. They are often important regulators of developmental switches and are involved in morphological evolution. We have little understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these absence/presence gene functions have evolved, because the phenotype and fitness of molecular intermediate forms are unknown. Here, we studied the sex-determining switch of 14 natural sequence variants of the csd gene among 76 genotypes of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Heterozygous genotypes (different specificities) of the csd gene determine femaleness, while hemizygous genotypes (single specificity) determine maleness. Homozygous genotypes of the csd gene (same specificity) are lethal. We found that at least five amino acid differences and length variation between Csd specificities in the specifying domain (PSD) were sufficient to regularly induce femaleness. We estimated that, on average, six pairwise amino acid differences evolved under positive selection. We also identified a natural evolutionary intermediate that showed only three amino acid length differences in the PSD relative to its parental allele. This genotype showed an intermediate fitness because it implemented lethality regularly and induced femaleness infrequently (i.e., incomplete penetrance). We suggest incomplete penetrance as a mechanism through which new molecular switches can gradually and adaptively evolve.

  3. Molecular Assortment of Lens Species with Different Adaptations to Drought Conditions Using SSR Markers

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Dharmendra; Singh, Chandan Kumar; Tomar, Ram Sewak Singh; Taunk, Jyoti; Singh, Ranjeet; Maurya, Sadhana; Chaturvedi, Ashish Kumar; Pal, Madan; Singh, Rajendra; Dubey, Sarawan Kumar

    2016-01-01

    The success of drought tolerance breeding programs can be enhanced through molecular assortment of germplasm. This study was designed to characterize molecular diversity within and between Lens species with different adaptations to drought stress conditions using SSR markers. Drought stress was applied at seedling stage to study the effects on morpho-physiological traits under controlled condition, where tolerant cultivars and wilds showed 12.8–27.6% and 9.5–23.2% reduction in seed yield per plant respectively. When juxtaposed to field conditions, the tolerant cultivars (PDL-1 and PDL-2) and wild (ILWL-314 and ILWL-436) accessions showed 10.5–26.5% and 7.5%–15.6% reduction in seed yield per plant, respectively under rain-fed conditions. The reductions in seed yield in the two tolerant cultivars and wilds under severe drought condition were 48–49% and 30.5–45.3% respectively. A set of 258 alleles were identified among 278 genotypes using 35 SSR markers. Genetic diversity and polymorphism information contents varied between 0.321–0.854 and 0.299–0.836, with mean value of 0.682 and 0.643, respectively. All the genotypes were clustered into 11 groups based on SSR markers. Tolerant genotypes were grouped in cluster 6 while sensitive ones were mainly grouped into cluster 7. Wild accessions were separated from cultivars on the basis of both population structure and cluster analysis. Cluster analysis has further grouped the wild accessions on the basis of species and sub-species into 5 clusters. Physiological and morphological characters under drought stress were significantly (P = 0.05) different among microsatellite clusters. These findings suggest that drought adaptation is variable among wild and cultivated genotypes. Also, genotypes from contrasting clusters can be selected for hybridization which could help in evolution of better segregants for improving drought tolerance in lentil. PMID:26808306

  4. Molecular Assortment of Lens Species with Different Adaptations to Drought Conditions Using SSR Markers.

    PubMed

    Singh, Dharmendra; Singh, Chandan Kumar; Tomar, Ram Sewak Singh; Taunk, Jyoti; Singh, Ranjeet; Maurya, Sadhana; Chaturvedi, Ashish Kumar; Pal, Madan; Singh, Rajendra; Dubey, Sarawan Kumar

    2016-01-01

    The success of drought tolerance breeding programs can be enhanced through molecular assortment of germplasm. This study was designed to characterize molecular diversity within and between Lens species with different adaptations to drought stress conditions using SSR markers. Drought stress was applied at seedling stage to study the effects on morpho-physiological traits under controlled condition, where tolerant cultivars and wilds showed 12.8-27.6% and 9.5-23.2% reduction in seed yield per plant respectively. When juxtaposed to field conditions, the tolerant cultivars (PDL-1 and PDL-2) and wild (ILWL-314 and ILWL-436) accessions showed 10.5-26.5% and 7.5%-15.6% reduction in seed yield per plant, respectively under rain-fed conditions. The reductions in seed yield in the two tolerant cultivars and wilds under severe drought condition were 48-49% and 30.5-45.3% respectively. A set of 258 alleles were identified among 278 genotypes using 35 SSR markers. Genetic diversity and polymorphism information contents varied between 0.321-0.854 and 0.299-0.836, with mean value of 0.682 and 0.643, respectively. All the genotypes were clustered into 11 groups based on SSR markers. Tolerant genotypes were grouped in cluster 6 while sensitive ones were mainly grouped into cluster 7. Wild accessions were separated from cultivars on the basis of both population structure and cluster analysis. Cluster analysis has further grouped the wild accessions on the basis of species and sub-species into 5 clusters. Physiological and morphological characters under drought stress were significantly (P = 0.05) different among microsatellite clusters. These findings suggest that drought adaptation is variable among wild and cultivated genotypes. Also, genotypes from contrasting clusters can be selected for hybridization which could help in evolution of better segregants for improving drought tolerance in lentil.

  5. Long-term dynamics of adaptive evolution in a globally important phytoplankton species to ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T; Gröger, Joachim P; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2016-07-01

    Marine phytoplankton may adapt to ocean change, such as acidification or warming, because of their large population sizes and short generation times. Long-term adaptation to novel environments is a dynamic process, and phenotypic change can take place thousands of generations after exposure to novel conditions. We conducted a long-term evolution experiment (4 years = 2100 generations), starting with a single clone of the abundant and widespread coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi exposed to three different CO2 levels simulating ocean acidification (OA). Growth rates as a proxy for Darwinian fitness increased only moderately under both levels of OA [+3.4% and +4.8%, respectively, at 1100 and 2200 μatm partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2)] relative to control treatments (ambient CO2, 400 μatm). Long-term adaptation to OA was complex, and initial phenotypic responses of ecologically important traits were later reverted. The biogeochemically important trait of calcification, in particular, that had initially been restored within the first year of evolution was later reduced to levels lower than the performance of nonadapted populations under OA. Calcification was not constitutively lost but returned to control treatment levels when high CO2-adapted isolates were transferred back to present-day control CO2 conditions. Selection under elevated CO2 exacerbated a general decrease of cell sizes under long-term laboratory evolution. Our results show that phytoplankton may evolve complex phenotypic plasticity that can affect biogeochemically important traits, such as calcification. Adaptive evolution may play out over longer time scales (>1 year) in an unforeseen way under future ocean conditions that cannot be predicted from initial adaptation responses.

  6. Adaptation to Temporally Fluctuating Environments by the Evolution of Maternal Effects

    PubMed Central

    Dey, Snigdhadip; Proulx, Stephen R.; Teotónio, Henrique

    2016-01-01

    All organisms live in temporally fluctuating environments. Theory predicts that the evolution of deterministic maternal effects (i.e., anticipatory maternal effects or transgenerational phenotypic plasticity) underlies adaptation to environments that fluctuate in a predictably alternating fashion over maternal-offspring generations. In contrast, randomizing maternal effects (i.e., diversifying and conservative bet-hedging), are expected to evolve in response to unpredictably fluctuating environments. Although maternal effects are common, evidence for their adaptive significance is equivocal since they can easily evolve as a correlated response to maternal selection and may or may not increase the future fitness of offspring. Using the hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we here show that the experimental evolution of maternal glycogen provisioning underlies adaptation to a fluctuating normoxia–anoxia hatching environment by increasing embryo survival under anoxia. In strictly alternating environments, we found that hermaphrodites evolved the ability to increase embryo glycogen provisioning when they experienced normoxia and to decrease embryo glycogen provisioning when they experienced anoxia. At odds with existing theory, however, populations facing irregularly fluctuating normoxia–anoxia hatching environments failed to evolve randomizing maternal effects. Instead, adaptation in these populations may have occurred through the evolution of fitness effects that percolate over multiple generations, as they maintained considerably high expected growth rates during experimental evolution despite evolving reduced fecundity and reduced embryo survival under one or two generations of anoxia. We develop theoretical models that explain why adaptation to a wide range of patterns of environmental fluctuations hinges on the existence of deterministic maternal effects, and that such deterministic maternal effects are more likely to contribute to adaptation than

  7. Long-term dynamics of adaptive evolution in a globally important phytoplankton species to ocean acidification

    PubMed Central

    Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T.; Gröger, Joachim P.; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2016-01-01

    Marine phytoplankton may adapt to ocean change, such as acidification or warming, because of their large population sizes and short generation times. Long-term adaptation to novel environments is a dynamic process, and phenotypic change can take place thousands of generations after exposure to novel conditions. We conducted a long-term evolution experiment (4 years = 2100 generations), starting with a single clone of the abundant and widespread coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi exposed to three different CO2 levels simulating ocean acidification (OA). Growth rates as a proxy for Darwinian fitness increased only moderately under both levels of OA [+3.4% and +4.8%, respectively, at 1100 and 2200 μatm partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2)] relative to control treatments (ambient CO2, 400 μatm). Long-term adaptation to OA was complex, and initial phenotypic responses of ecologically important traits were later reverted. The biogeochemically important trait of calcification, in particular, that had initially been restored within the first year of evolution was later reduced to levels lower than the performance of nonadapted populations under OA. Calcification was not constitutively lost but returned to control treatment levels when high CO2–adapted isolates were transferred back to present-day control CO2 conditions. Selection under elevated CO2 exacerbated a general decrease of cell sizes under long-term laboratory evolution. Our results show that phytoplankton may evolve complex phenotypic plasticity that can affect biogeochemically important traits, such as calcification. Adaptive evolution may play out over longer time scales (>1 year) in an unforeseen way under future ocean conditions that cannot be predicted from initial adaptation responses. PMID:27419227

  8. Adaptation to Temporally Fluctuating Environments by the Evolution of Maternal Effects.

    PubMed

    Dey, Snigdhadip; Proulx, Stephen R; Teotónio, Henrique

    2016-02-01

    All organisms live in temporally fluctuating environments. Theory predicts that the evolution of deterministic maternal effects (i.e., anticipatory maternal effects or transgenerational phenotypic plasticity) underlies adaptation to environments that fluctuate in a predictably alternating fashion over maternal-offspring generations. In contrast, randomizing maternal effects (i.e., diversifying and conservative bet-hedging), are expected to evolve in response to unpredictably fluctuating environments. Although maternal effects are common, evidence for their adaptive significance is equivocal since they can easily evolve as a correlated response to maternal selection and may or may not increase the future fitness of offspring. Using the hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we here show that the experimental evolution of maternal glycogen provisioning underlies adaptation to a fluctuating normoxia-anoxia hatching environment by increasing embryo survival under anoxia. In strictly alternating environments, we found that hermaphrodites evolved the ability to increase embryo glycogen provisioning when they experienced normoxia and to decrease embryo glycogen provisioning when they experienced anoxia. At odds with existing theory, however, populations facing irregularly fluctuating normoxia-anoxia hatching environments failed to evolve randomizing maternal effects. Instead, adaptation in these populations may have occurred through the evolution of fitness effects that percolate over multiple generations, as they maintained considerably high expected growth rates during experimental evolution despite evolving reduced fecundity and reduced embryo survival under one or two generations of anoxia. We develop theoretical models that explain why adaptation to a wide range of patterns of environmental fluctuations hinges on the existence of deterministic maternal effects, and that such deterministic maternal effects are more likely to contribute to adaptation than

  9. Holocentric chromosomes: convergent evolution, meiotic adaptations, and genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Melters, Daniël P; Paliulis, Leocadia V; Korf, Ian F; Chan, Simon W L

    2012-07-01

    In most eukaryotes, the kinetochore protein complex assembles at a single locus termed the centromere to attach chromosomes to spindle microtubules. Holocentric chromosomes have the unusual property of attaching to spindle microtubules along their entire length. Our mechanistic understanding of holocentric chromosome function is derived largely from studies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, but holocentric chromosomes are found over a broad range of animal and plant species. In this review, we describe how holocentricity may be identified through cytological and molecular methods. By surveying the diversity of organisms with holocentric chromosomes, we estimate that the trait has arisen at least 13 independent times (four times in plants and at least nine times in animals). Holocentric chromosomes have inherent problems in meiosis because bivalents can attach to spindles in a random fashion. Interestingly, there are several solutions that have evolved to allow accurate meiotic segregation of holocentric chromosomes. Lastly, we describe how extensive genome sequencing and experiments in nonmodel organisms may allow holocentric chromosomes to shed light on general principles of chromosome segregation.

  10. Exploiting Adaptive Laboratory Evolution of Streptomyces clavuligerus for Antibiotic Discovery and Overproduction

    PubMed Central

    Charusanti, Pep; Fong, Nicole L.; Nagarajan, Harish; Pereira, Alban R.; Li, Howard J.; Abate, Elisa A.; Su, Yongxuan; Gerwick, William H.; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2012-01-01

    Adaptation is normally viewed as the enemy of the antibiotic discovery and development process because adaptation among pathogens to antibiotic exposure leads to resistance. We present a method here that, in contrast, exploits the power of adaptation among antibiotic producers to accelerate the discovery of antibiotics. A competition-based adaptive laboratory evolution scheme is presented whereby an antibiotic-producing microorganism is competed against a target pathogen and serially passed over time until the producer evolves the ability to synthesize a chemical entity that inhibits growth of the pathogen. When multiple Streptomyces clavuligerus replicates were adaptively evolved against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus N315 in this manner, a strain emerged that acquired the ability to constitutively produce holomycin. In contrast, no holomycin could be detected from the unevolved wild-type strain. Moreover, genome re-sequencing revealed that the evolved strain had lost pSCL4, a large 1.8 Mbp plasmid, and acquired several single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes that have been shown to affect secondary metabolite biosynthesis. These results demonstrate that competition-based adaptive laboratory evolution can constitute a platform to create mutants that overproduce known antibiotics and possibly to discover new compounds as well. PMID:22470465

  11. The emergence of performance trade-offs during local adaptation: insights from experimental evolution.

    PubMed

    Bono, Lisa M; Smith, Leno B; Pfennig, David W; Burch, Christina L

    2016-12-28

    Environmental heterogeneity is considered a general explanation for phenotypic diversification, particularly when heterogeneity causes populations to diverge via local adaptation. Performance trade-offs, such as those stemming from antagonistic pleiotropy, are thought to contribute to the maintenance of diversity in this scenario. Specifically, alleles that promote adaptation in one environment are expected to promote maladaptation in alternative environments. Contrary to this expectation, however, alleles that underlie locally adaptive traits often fail to exhibit fitness costs in alternative environments. Here, we attempt to explain this paradox by reviewing the results of experimental evolution studies, including a new one of our own, that examined the evolution of trade-offs during adaptation to homogeneous versus heterogeneous environments. We propose that when pleiotropic effects vary, whether or not trade-offs emerge among diverging populations will depend critically on ecology. For example, adaptation to a locally homogeneous environment is more likely to occur by alleles that are antagonistically pleiotropic than adaptation to a locally heterogeneous environment, simply because selection is blind to costs associated with environments that are not experienced locally. Our literature review confirmed the resulting prediction that performance trade-offs were more likely to evolve during selection in homogeneous than heterogeneous environments. The nature of the environmental heterogeneity (spatial versus temporal) and the length of the experiment also contributed in predictable ways to the likelihood that performance trade-offs evolved.

  12. The locus of evolution: evo devo and the genetics of adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hoekstra, Hopi E; Coyne, Jerry A

    2007-05-01

    An important tenet of evolutionary developmental biology ("evo devo") is that adaptive mutations affecting morphology are more likely to occur in the cis-regulatory regions than in the protein-coding regions of genes. This argument rests on two claims: (1) the modular nature of cis-regulatory elements largely frees them from deleterious pleiotropic effects, and (2) a growing body of empirical evidence appears to support the predominant role of gene regulatory change in adaptation, especially morphological adaptation. Here we discuss and critique these assertions. We first show that there is no theoretical or empirical basis for the evo devo contention that adaptations involving morphology evolve by genetic mechanisms different from those involving physiology and other traits. In addition, some forms of protein evolution can avoid the negative consequences of pleiotropy, most notably via gene duplication. In light of evo devo claims, we then examine the substantial data on the genetic basis of adaptation from both genome-wide surveys and single-locus studies. Genomic studies lend little support to the cis-regulatory theory: many of these have detected adaptation in protein-coding regions, including transcription factors, whereas few have examined regulatory regions. Turning to single-locus studies, we note that the most widely cited examples of adaptive cis-regulatory mutations focus on trait loss rather than gain, and none have yet pinpointed an evolved regulatory site. In contrast, there are many studies that have both identified structural mutations and functionally verified their contribution to adaptation and speciation. Neither the theoretical arguments nor the data from nature, then, support the claim for a predominance of cis-regulatory mutations in evolution. Although this claim may be true, it is at best premature. Adaptation and speciation probably proceed through a combination of cis-regulatory and structural mutations, with a substantial contribution of

  13. Can the experimental evolution programme help us elucidate the genetic basis of adaptation in nature?

    PubMed

    Bailey, Susan F; Bataillon, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    There have been a variety of approaches taken to try to characterize and identify the genetic basis of adaptation in nature, spanning theoretical models, experimental evolution studies and direct tests of natural populations. Theoretical models can provide formalized and detailed hypotheses regarding evolutionary processes and patterns, from which experimental evolution studies can then provide important proofs of concepts and characterize what is biologically reasonable. Genetic and genomic data from natural populations then allow for the identification of the particular factors that have and continue to play an important role in shaping adaptive evolution in the natural world. Further to this, experimental evolution studies allow for tests of theories that may be difficult or impossible to test in natural populations for logistical and methodological reasons and can even generate new insights, suggesting further refinement of existing theories. However, as experimental evolution studies often take place in a very particular set of controlled conditions--that is simple environments, a small range of usually asexual species, relatively short timescales--the question remains as to how applicable these experimental results are to natural populations. In this review, we discuss important insights coming from experimental evolution, focusing on four key topics tied to the evolutionary genetics of adaptation, and within those topics, we discuss the extent to which the experimental work compliments and informs natural population studies. We finish by making suggestions for future work in particular a need for natural population genomic time series data, as well as the necessity for studies that combine both experimental evolution and natural population approaches.

  14. Adaptive evolution of a lactose-consuming Saccharomyces cerevisiae recombinant.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Pedro M R; François, Jean; Parrou, Jean Luc; Teixeira, José A; Domingues, Lucília

    2008-03-01

    The construction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that ferment lactose has biotechnological interest, particularly for cheese whey fermentation. A flocculent lactose-consuming S. cerevisiae recombinant expressing the LAC12 (lactose permease) and LAC4 (beta-galactosidase) genes of Kluyveromyces lactis was constructed previously but showed poor efficiency in lactose fermentation. This strain was therefore subjected to an evolutionary engineering process (serial transfer and dilution in lactose medium), which yielded an evolved recombinant strain that consumed lactose twofold faster, producing 30% more ethanol than the original recombinant. We identified two molecular events that targeted the LAC construct in the evolved strain: a 1,593-bp deletion in the intergenic region (promoter) between LAC4 and LAC12 and a decrease of the plasmid copy number by about 10-fold compared to that in the original recombinant. The results suggest that the intact promoter was unable to mediate the induction of the transcription of LAC4 and LAC12 by lactose in the original recombinant and that the deletion established the transcriptional induction of both genes in the evolved strain. We propose that the tuning of the expression of the heterologous LAC genes in the evolved recombinant was accomplished by the interplay between the decreased copy number of both genes and the different levels of transcriptional induction for LAC4 and LAC12 resulting from the changed promoter structure. Nevertheless, our results do not exclude other possible mutations that may have contributed to the improved lactose fermentation phenotype. This study illustrates the usefulness of simple evolutionary engineering approaches in strain improvement. The evolved strain efficiently fermented threefold-concentrated cheese whey, providing an attractive alternative for the fermentation of lactose-based media.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  17. Molecular evolution of the Sorghum Maturity Gene Ma3.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Hybrid Self-Adaptive Evolution Strategies Guided by Neighborhood Structures for Combinatorial Optimization Problems.

    PubMed

    Coelho, V N; Coelho, I M; Souza, M J F; Oliveira, T A; Cota, L P; Haddad, M N; Mladenovic, N; Silva, R C P; Guimarães, F G

    2016-01-01

    This article presents an Evolution Strategy (ES)--based algorithm, designed to self-adapt its mutation operators, guiding the search into the solution space using a Self-Adaptive Reduced Variable Neighborhood Search procedure. In view of the specific local search operators for each individual, the proposed population-based approach also fits into the context of the Memetic Algorithms. The proposed variant uses the Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure with different greedy parameters for generating its initial population, providing an interesting exploration-exploitation balance. To validate the proposal, this framework is applied to solve three different [Formula: see text]-Hard combinatorial optimization problems: an Open-Pit-Mining Operational Planning Problem with dynamic allocation of trucks, an Unrelated Parallel Machine Scheduling Problem with Setup Times, and the calibration of a hybrid fuzzy model for Short-Term Load Forecasting. Computational results point out the convergence of the proposed model and highlight its ability in combining the application of move operations from distinct neighborhood structures along the optimization. The results gathered and reported in this article represent a collective evidence of the performance of the method in challenging combinatorial optimization problems from different application domains. The proposed evolution strategy demonstrates an ability of adapting the strength of the mutation disturbance during the generations of its evolution process. The effectiveness of the proposal motivates the application of this novel evolutionary framework for solving other combinatorial optimization problems.

  19. The evolution of coexistence: Reciprocal adaptation promotes the assembly of a simple community.

    PubMed

    Bassar, Ronald D; Simon, Troy; Roberts, William; Travis, Joseph; Reznick, David N

    2017-02-01

    Species coexistence may result by chance when co-occurring species do not strongly interact or it may be an evolutionary outcome of strongly interacting species adapting to each other. Although patterns like character displacement indicate that coexistence has often been an evolutionary outcome, it is unclear how often the evolution of coexistence represents adaptation in only one species or reciprocal adaptation among all interacting species. Here, we demonstrate a strong role for evolution in the coexistence of guppies and killifish in Trinidadian streams. We experimentally recreated the temporal stages in the invasion and establishment of guppies into communities that previously contained only killifish. We combined demographic responses of guppies and killifish with a size-based integral projection model to calculate the fitness of the phenotypes of each species in each of the stages of community assembly. We show that guppies from locally adapted populations that are sympatric with killifish have higher fitness when paired with killifish than guppies from allopatric populations. This elevated fitness involves effects traceable to both guppy and killifish evolution. We discuss the implications of our results to the study of species coexistence and how it may be mediated through eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

  20. Adaptive microclimatic structural and expressional dehydrin 1 evolution in wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, at 'Evolution Canyon', Mount Carmel, Israel.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zujun; Zhang, Tao; Bolshoy, Alexander; Beharav, Alexander; Nevo, Eviatar

    2009-05-01

    'Evolution Canyon' (ECI) at Lower Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, Israel, is an optimal natural microscale model for unravelling evolution in action highlighting the twin evolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation. A major model organism in ECI is wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, the progenitor of cultivated barley, which displays dramatic interslope adaptive and speciational divergence on the 'African' dry slope (AS) and the 'European' humid slope (ES), separated on average by 200 m. Here we examined interslope single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sequences and the expression diversity of the drought resistant dehydrin 1 gene (Dhn1) between the opposite slopes. We analysed 47 plants (genotypes), 4-10 individuals in each of seven stations (populations) in an area of 7000 m(2), for Dhn1 sequence diversity located in the 5' upstream flanking region of the gene. We found significant levels of Dhn1 genic diversity represented by 29 haplotypes, derived from 45 SNPs in a total of 708 bp sites. Most of the haplotypes, 25 out of 29 (= 86.2%), were represented by one genotype; hence, unique to one population. Only a single haplotype was common to both slopes. Genetic divergence of sequence and haplotype diversity was generally and significantly different among the populations and slopes. Nucleotide diversity was higher on the AS, whereas haplotype diversity was higher on the ES. Interslope divergence was significantly higher than intraslope divergence. The applied Tajima D rejected neutrality of the SNP diversity. The Dhn1 expression under dehydration indicated interslope divergent expression between AS and ES genotypes, reinforcing Dhn1 associated with drought resistance of wild barley at 'Evolution Canyon'. These results are inexplicable by mutation, gene flow, or chance effects, and support adaptive natural microclimatic selection as the major evolutionary divergent driving force.

  1. Contemporary evolution during invasion: evidence for differentiation, natural selection, and local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Colautti, Robert I; Lau, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

    Biological invasions are 'natural' experiments that can improve our understanding of contemporary evolution. We evaluate evidence for population differentiation, natural selection and adaptive evolution of invading plants and animals at two nested spatial scales: (i) among introduced populations (ii) between native and introduced genotypes. Evolution during invasion is frequently inferred, but rarely confirmed as adaptive. In common garden studies, quantitative trait differentiation is only marginally lower (~3.5%) among introduced relative to native populations, despite genetic bottlenecks and shorter timescales (i.e. millennia vs. decades). However, differentiation between genotypes from the native vs. introduced range is less clear and confounded by nonrandom geographic sampling; simulations suggest this causes a high false-positive discovery rate (>50%) in geographically structured populations. Selection differentials (¦s¦) are stronger in introduced than in native species, although selection gradients (¦β¦) are not, consistent with introduced species experiencing weaker genetic constraints. This could facilitate rapid adaptation, but evidence is limited. For example, rapid phenotypic evolution often manifests as geographical clines, but simulations demonstrate that nonadaptive trait clines can evolve frequently during colonization (~two-thirds of simulations). Additionally, QST-FST studies may often misrepresent the strength and form of natural selection acting during invasion. Instead, classic approaches in evolutionary ecology (e.g. selection analysis, reciprocal transplant, artificial selection) are necessary to determine the frequency of adaptive evolution during invasion and its influence on establishment, spread and impact of invasive species. These studies are rare but crucial for managing biological invasions in the context of global change.

  2. Genomics of adaptation during experimental evolution of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Wong, Alex; Rodrigue, Nicolas; Kassen, Rees

    2012-09-01

    Adaptation is likely to be an important determinant of the success of many pathogens, for example when colonizing a new host species, when challenged by antibiotic treatment, or in governing the establishment and progress of long-term chronic infection. Yet, the genomic basis of adaptation is poorly understood in general, and for pathogens in particular. We investigated the genetics of adaptation to cystic fibrosis-like culture conditions in the presence and absence of fluoroquinolone antibiotics using the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Whole-genome sequencing of experimentally evolved isolates revealed parallel evolution at a handful of known antibiotic resistance genes. While the level of antibiotic resistance was largely determined by these known resistance genes, the costs of resistance were instead attributable to a number of mutations that were specific to individual experimental isolates. Notably, stereotypical quinolone resistance mutations in DNA gyrase often co-occurred with other mutations that, together, conferred high levels of resistance but no consistent cost of resistance. This result may explain why these mutations are so prevalent in clinical quinolone-resistant isolates. In addition, genes involved in cyclic-di-GMP signalling were repeatedly mutated in populations evolved in viscous culture media, suggesting a shared mechanism of adaptation to this CF-like growth environment. Experimental evolutionary approaches to understanding pathogen adaptation should provide an important complement to studies of the evolution of clinical isolates.

  3. Toward a general theory of adaptive radiation: insights from microbial experimental evolution.

    PubMed

    Kassen, Rees

    2009-06-01

    The history of life has been punctuated by unusually spectacular periods of evolutionary diversification called adaptive radiation. Darwin's finches in the Galapagos, cichlid fishes in African Rift and Nicaraguan crater lakes, and the emergence of mammals at the end of the Cretaceous are hallmark examples. Although we have learned much from these and other case studies about the mechanisms thought to drive adaptive radiations, convincing experimental tests of theory are often lacking for the simple reason that it is usually impossible to "rewind the tape of life," as Stephen Jay Gould was fond of saying, and run it again. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years with the increasing emphasis on the use of microbial populations which, because of their small size and rapid generation times, make possible the construction of replicated, manipulative experiments to study evolution in the laboratory. Here I review the contributions that microbial experimental evolution has made to our understanding of the ecological and genetic mechanisms underlying adaptive radiation. I focus on three major gaps in the theory of adaptive radiation--the paucity of direct tests of mechanism, the genetics of diversification, and the limits and constraints on the progress of radiations--with the aim of pointing the way toward the development of a more general theory of adaptive radiation.

  4. Detecting the signatures of adaptive evolution in protein-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Bielawski, Joseph P

    2013-01-01

    The field of molecular evolution, which includes genome evolution, is devoted to finding variation within and between groups of organisms and explaining the processes responsible for generating this variation. Many DNA changes are believed to have little to no functional effect, and a neutral process will best explain their evolution. Thus, a central task is to discover which changes had positive fitness consequences and were subject to Darwinian natural selection during the course of evolution. Due the size and complexity of modern molecular datasets, the field has come to rely extensively on statistical modeling techniques to meet this analytical challenge. For DNA sequences that encode proteins, one of the most powerful approaches is to employ a statistical model of codon evolution. This unit provides a general introduction to the practice of modeling codon evolution using the statistical framework of maximum likelihood. Four real-data analysis activities are used to illustrate the principles of parameter estimation, robustness, hypothesis testing, and site classification. Each activity includes an explicit analytical protocol based on programs provided by the Phylogenetic Analysis by Maximum Likelihood (PAML) package.

  5. Transcriptome-Level Signatures in Gene Expression and Gene Expression Variability during Bacterial Adaptive Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Keesha E.; Otoupal, Peter B.

    2017-01-01

    through stress response processes known as adaptive resistance. Adaptive resistance fosters transient tolerance increases and the emergence of mutations conferring heritable drug resistance. In order to extend the applicable lifetime of new antibiotics, we must seek to hinder the occurrence of bacterial adaptive resistance; however, the regulation of adaptation is difficult to identify due to immense heterogeneity emerging during evolution. This study specifically seeks to generate heterogeneity by adapting bacteria to different stresses and then examines gene expression trends across the disparate populations in order to pinpoint key genes and pathways associated with adaptive resistance. The targets identified here may eventually inform strategies for impeding adaptive resistance and prolonging the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment. PMID:28217741

  6. Transcriptome-Level Signatures in Gene Expression and Gene Expression Variability during Bacterial Adaptive Evolution.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Keesha E; Otoupal, Peter B; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2017-01-01

    response processes known as adaptive resistance. Adaptive resistance fosters transient tolerance increases and the emergence of mutations conferring heritable drug resistance. In order to extend the applicable lifetime of new antibiotics, we must seek to hinder the occurrence of bacterial adaptive resistance; however, the regulation of adaptation is difficult to identify due to immense heterogeneity emerging during evolution. This study specifically seeks to generate heterogeneity by adapting bacteria to different stresses and then examines gene expression trends across the disparate populations in order to pinpoint key genes and pathways associated with adaptive resistance. The targets identified here may eventually inform strategies for impeding adaptive resistance and prolonging the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment.

  7. The evolution of cultural adaptations: Fijian food taboos protect against dangerous marine toxins

    PubMed Central

    Henrich, Joseph; Henrich, Natalie

    2010-01-01

    The application of evolutionary theory to understanding the origins of our species' capacities for social learning has generated key insights into cultural evolution. By focusing on how our psychology has evolved to adaptively extract beliefs and practices by observing others, theorists have hypothesized how social learning can, over generations, give rise to culturally evolved adaptations. While much field research documents the subtle ways in which culturally transmitted beliefs and practices adapt people to their local environments, and much experimental work reveals the predicted patterns of social learning, little research connects real-world adaptive cultural traits to the patterns of transmission predicted by these theories. Addressing this gap, we show how food taboos for pregnant and lactating women in Fiji selectively target the most toxic marine species, effectively reducing a woman's chances of fish poisoning by 30 per cent during pregnancy and 60 per cent during breastfeeding. We further analyse how these taboos are transmitted, showing support for cultural evolutionary models that combine familial transmission with selective learning from locally prestigious individuals. In addition, we explore how particular aspects of human cognitive processes increase the frequency of some non-adaptive taboos. This case demonstrates how evolutionary theory can be deployed to explain both adaptive and non-adaptive behavioural patterns. PMID:20667878

  8. Convergent Evolution of Unique Morphological Adaptations to a Subterranean Environment in Cave Millipedes (Diplopoda)

    PubMed Central

    Golovatch, Sergei; Wesener, Thomas; Tian, Mingyi

    2017-01-01

    Animal life in caves has fascinated researchers and the public alike because of the unusual and sometimes bizarre morphological adaptations observed in numerous troglobitic species. Despite their worldwide diversity, the adaptations of cave millipedes (Diplopoda) to a troglobitic lifestyle have rarely been examined. In this study, morphological characters were analyzed in species belonging to four different orders (Glomerida, Polydesmida, Chordeumatida, and Spirostreptida) and six different families (Glomeridae, Paradoxosomatidae, Polydesmidae, Haplodesmidae, Megalotylidae, and Cambalopsidae) that represent the taxonomic diversity of class Diplopoda. We focused on the recently discovered millipede fauna of caves in southern China. Thirty different characters were used to compare cave troglobites and epigean species within the same genera. A character matrix was created to analyze convergent evolution of cave adaptations. Males and females were analyzed independently to examine sex differences in cave adaptations. While 10 characters only occurred in a few phylogenetic groups, 20 characters were scored for in all families. Of these, four characters were discovered to have evolved convergently in all troglobitic millipedes. The characters that represented potential morphological cave adaptations in troglobitic species were: (1) a longer body; (2) a lighter body color; (3) elongation of the femora; and (4) elongation of the tarsi of walking legs. Surprisingly, female, but not male, antennae were more elongated in troglobites than in epigean species. Our study clearly shows that morphological adaptations have evolved convergently in different, unrelated millipede orders and families, most likely as a direct adaptation to cave life. PMID:28178274

  9. Genomic rearrangements and the evolution of clusters of locally adaptive loci

    PubMed Central

    Yeaman, Sam

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies of ecological genetics have found that alleles contributing to local adaptation sometimes cluster together, forming “genomic islands of divergence.” Divergence hitchhiking theory posits that these clusters evolve by the preferential establishment of tightly linked locally adapted mutations, because such linkage reduces the rate that recombination breaks up locally favorable combinations of alleles. Here, I use calculations based on previously developed analytical models of divergence hitchhiking to show that very few clustered mutations should be expected in a single bout of adaptation, relative to the number of unlinked mutations, suggesting that divergence hitchhiking theory alone may often be insufficient to explain empirical observations. Using individual-based simulations that allow for the transposition of a single genetic locus from one position on a chromosome to another, I then show that tight clustering of the loci involved in local adaptation tends to evolve on biologically realistic time scales. These results suggest that genomic rearrangements may often be an important component of local adaptation and the evolution of genomic islands of divergence. More generally, these results suggest that genomic architecture and functional neighborhoods of genes may be actively shaped by natural selection in heterogeneous environments. Because small-scale changes in gene order are relatively common in some taxa, comparative genomic studies could be coupled with studies of adaptation to explore how commonly such rearrangements are involved in local adaptation. PMID:23610436

  10. Evolution of animal and plant dicers: early parallel duplications and recurrent adaptation of antiviral RNA binding in plants.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Krishanu; Campos, Henry; Kolaczkowski, Bryan

    2013-03-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a eukaryotic molecular system that serves two primary functions: 1) gene regulation and 2) protection against selfish elements such as viruses and transposable DNA. Although the biochemistry of RNAi has been detailed in model organisms, very little is known about the broad-scale patterns and forces that have shaped RNAi evolution. Here, we provide a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of the Dicer protein family, which carries out the initial RNA recognition and processing steps in the RNAi pathway. We show that Dicer genes duplicated and diversified independently in early animal and plant evolution, coincident with the origins of multicellularity. We identify a strong signature of long-term protein-coding adaptation that has continually reshaped the RNA-binding pocket of the plant Dicer responsible for antiviral immunity, suggesting an evolutionary arms race with viral factors. We also identify key changes in Dicer domain architecture and sequence leading to specialization in either gene-regulatory or protective functions in animal and plant paralogs. As a whole, these results reveal a dynamic picture in which the evolution of Dicer function has driven elaboration of parallel RNAi functional pathways in animals and plants.

  11. Evolution of taxis responses in virtual bacteria: non-adaptive dynamics.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Richard A; Soyer, Orkun S

    2008-05-23

    Bacteria are able to sense and respond to a variety of external stimuli, with responses that vary from stimuli to stimuli and from species to species. The best-understood is chemotaxis in the model organism Escherichia coli, where the dynamics and the structure of the underlying pathway are well characterised. It is not clear, however, how well this detailed knowledge applies to mechanisms mediating responses to other stimuli or to pathways in other species. Furthermore, there is increasing experimental evidence that bacteria integrate responses from different stimuli to generate a coherent taxis response. We currently lack a full understanding of the different pathway structures and dynamics and how this integration is achieved. In order to explore different pathway structures and dynamics that can underlie taxis responses in bacteria, we perform a computational simulation of the evolution of taxis. This approach starts with a population of virtual bacteria that move in a virtual environment based on the dynamics of the simple biochemical pathways they harbour. As mutations lead to changes in pathway structure and dynamics, bacteria better able to localise with favourable conditions gain a selective advantage. We find that a certain dynamics evolves consistently under different model assumptions and environments. These dynamics, which we call non-adaptive dynamics, directly couple tumbling probability of the cell to increasing stimuli. Dynamics that are adaptive under a wide range of conditions, as seen in the chemotaxis pathway of E. coli, do not evolve in these evolutionary simulations. However, we find that stimulus scarcity and fluctuations during evolution results in complex pathway dynamics that result both in adaptive and non-adaptive dynamics depending on basal stimuli levels. Further analyses of evolved pathway structures show that effective taxis dynamics can be mediated with as few as two components. The non-adaptive dynamics mediating taxis responses

  12. Molecular phylogeny and character evolution in terete-stemmed Andean opuntias (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae).

    PubMed

    Ritz, C M; Reiker, J; Charles, G; Hoxey, P; Hunt, D; Lowry, M; Stuppy, W; Taylor, N

    2012-11-01

    The cacti of tribe Tephrocacteae (Cactaceae-Opuntioideae) are adapted to diverse climatic conditions over a wide area of the southern Andes and adjacent lowlands. They exhibit a range of life forms from geophytes and cushion-plants to dwarf shrubs, shrubs or small trees. To confirm or challenge previous morphology-based classifications and molecular phylogenies, we sampled DNA sequences from the chloroplast trnK/matK region and the nuclear low copy gene phyC and compared the resulting phylogenies with previous data gathered from nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. The here presented chloroplast and nuclear low copy gene phylogenies were mutually congruent and broadly coincident with the classification based on gross morphology and seed micro-morphology and anatomy. Reconstruction of hypothetical ancestral character states suggested that geophytes and cushion-forming species probably evolved several times from dwarf shrubby precursors. We also traced an increase of embryo size at the expense of the nucellus-derived storage tissue during the evolution of the Tephrocacteae, which is thought to be an evolutionary advantage because nutrients are then more rapidly accessible for the germinating embryo. In contrast to these highly concordant phylogenies, nuclear ribosomal DNA data sampled by a previous study yielded conflicting phylogenetic signals. Secondary structure predictions of ribosomal transcribed spacers suggested that this phylogeny is strongly influenced by the inclusion of paralogous sequence probably arisen by genome duplication during the evolution of this plant group.

  13. The molecular origin and evolution of dim-light vision in mammals.

    PubMed

    Bickelmann, Constanze; Morrow, James M; Du, Jing; Schott, Ryan K; van Hazel, Ilke; Lim, Steve; Müller, Johannes; Chang, Belinda S W

    2015-11-01

    The nocturnal origin of mammals is a longstanding hypothesis that is considered instrumental for the evolution of endothermy, a potential key innovation in this successful clade. This hypothesis is primarily based on indirect anatomical inference from fossils. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of rhodopsin--the vertebrate visual pigment mediating the first step in phototransduction at low-light levels--via codon-based model tests for selection, combined with gene resurrection methods that allow for the study of ancient proteins. Rhodopsin coding sequences were reconstructed for three key nodes: Amniota, Mammalia, and Theria. When expressed in vitro, all sequences generated stable visual pigments with λMAX values similar to the well-studied bovine rhodopsin. Retinal release rates of mammalian and therian ancestral rhodopsins, measured via fluorescence spectroscopy, were significantly slower than those of the amniote ancestor, indicating altered molecular function possibly related to nocturnality. Positive selection along the therian branch suggests adaptive evolution in rhodopsin concurrent with therian ecological diversification events during the Mesozoic that allowed for an exploration of the environment at varying light levels.

  14. Dynamics of Molecular Evolution and Phylogeography of Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yan; Zhou, Guanghe; Wang, Xifeng; Elena, Santiago F.

    2011-01-01

    Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) species PAV occurs frequently in irrigated wheat fields worldwide and can be efficiently transmitted by aphids. Isolates of BYDV-PAV from different countries show great divergence both in genomic sequences and pathogenicity. Despite its economical importance, the genetic structure of natural BYDV-PAV populations, as well as of the mechanisms maintaining its high diversity, remain poorly explored. In this study, we investigate the dynamics of BYDV-PAV genome evolution utilizing time-structured data sets of complete genomic sequences from 58 isolates from different hosts obtained worldwide. First, we observed that BYDV-PAV exhibits a high frequency of homologous recombination. Second, our analysis revealed that BYDV-PAV genome evolves under purifying selection and at a substitution rate similar to other RNA viruses (3.158×10−4 nucleotide substitutions/site/year). Phylogeography analyses show that the diversification of BYDV-PAV can be explained by local geographic adaptation as well as by host-driven adaptation. These results increase our understanding of the diversity, molecular evolutionary characteristics and epidemiological properties of an economically important plant RNA virus. PMID:21326861

  15. Molecular Evolution of a Pervasive Natural Amino-Acid Substitution in Drosophila cryptochrome

    PubMed Central

    Pegoraro, Mirko; Noreen, Shumaila; Bhutani, Supriya; Tsolou, Avgi; Schmid, Ralf; Kyriacou, Charalambos P.; Tauber, Eran

    2014-01-01

    Genetic variations in circadian clock genes may serve as molecular adaptations, allowing populations to adapt to local environments. Here, we carried out a survey of genetic variation in Drosophila cryptochrome (cry), the fly’s dedicated circadian photoreceptor. An initial screen of 10 European cry alleles revealed substantial variation, including seven non-synonymous changes. The SNP frequency spectra and the excessive linkage disequilibrium in this locus suggested that this variation is maintained by natural selection. We focused on a non-conservative SNP involving a leucine - histidine replacement (L232H) and found that this polymorphism is common, with both alleles at intermediate frequencies across 27 populations surveyed in Europe, irrespective of latitude. Remarkably, we were able to reproduce this natural observation in the laboratory using replicate population cages where the minor allele frequency was initially set to 10%. Within 20 generations, the two allelic variants converged to approximately equal frequencies. Further experiments using congenic strains, showed that this SNP has a phenotypic impact, with variants showing significantly different eclosion profiles. At the long term, these phase differences in eclosion may contribute to genetic differentiation among individuals, and shape the evolution of wild populations. PMID:24475129

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-06-11

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

  17. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of tubulin superfamily in the fungal tree of life

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhongtao; Liu, Huiquan; Luo, Yongping; Zhou, Shanyue; An, Lin; Wang, Chenfang; Jin, Qiaojun; Zhou, Mingguo; Xu, Jin-Rong

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are essential for various cellular activities and β-tubulins are the target of benzimidazole fungicides. However, the evolution and molecular mechanisms driving functional diversification in fungal tubulins are not clear. In this study, we systematically identified tubulin genes from 59 representative fungi across the fungal kingdom. Phylogenetic analysis showed that α-/β-tubulin genes underwent multiple independent duplications and losses in different fungal lineages and formed distinct paralogous/orthologous clades. The last common ancestor of basidiomycetes and ascomycetes likely possessed two paralogs of α-tubulin (α1/α2) and β-tubulin (β1/β2) genes but α2-tubulin genes were lost in basidiomycetes and β2-tubulin genes were lost in most ascomycetes. Molecular evolutionary analysis indicated that α1, α2, and β2-tubulins have been under strong divergent selection and adaptive positive selection. Many positively selected sites are at or adjacent to important functional sites and likely contribute to functional diversification. We further experimentally confirmed functional divergence of two β-tubulins in Fusarium and identified type II variations in FgTub2 responsible for function shifts. In this study, we also identified δ-/ε-/η-tubulins in Chytridiomycetes. Overall, our results illustrated that different evolutionary mechanisms drive functional diversification of α-/β-tubulin genes in different fungal lineages, and residues under positive selection could provide targets for further experimental study. PMID:25339375

  18. Ecological adaptation and species recognition drives vocal evolution in neotropical suboscine birds.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie

    2005-01-01

    Given that evolutionary divergence in mating signals leads to reproductive isolation in numerous animal taxa, understanding what drives signal divergence is fundamental to our understanding of speciation. Mating signals are thought to diverge via several processes, including (1) as a by-product of morphological adaptation, (2) through direct adaptation to the signaling environment, or (3) to facilitate species recognition. According to the first two hypotheses, birdsongs diversify in different foraging niches and habitats as a product of selection for optimal morphology and efficient sound transmission, respectively. According to the third hypothesis, they diversify as a result of selection against maladaptive hybridization. In this study I test all three hypotheses by examining the influence of morphology, acoustic environment, and the presence of closely related congeners on song structure in 163 species of antbird (Thamnophilidae). Unlike oscine passerines, these Neotropical suboscines make ideal subjects because they develop their songs without learning. In other words, patterns of vocal divergence are not complicated by cultural evolution. In support of the morphological adaptation hypothesis, body mass correlates with the acoustic frequency of songs, and bill size with temporal patterning. These relationships were robust, even when controlling for phylogenetic inertia using independent contrasts, suggesting that there has been correlated evolution between morphological and acoustic traits. The results also support the acoustic adaptation hypothesis: birds which habitually sing in the understory and canopy produce higher-pitched songs than those that sing in the midstory, suggesting that song structure is related to the sound transmission properties of different habitat strata. Finally, the songs of sympatric pairs of closely related species are more divergent than those of allopatric pairs, as predicted by the species recognition hypothesis. To my knowledge

  19. Multihost experimental evolution of a plant RNA virus reveals local adaptation and host-specific mutations.

    PubMed

    Bedhomme, Stéphanie; Lafforgue, Guillaume; Elena, Santiago F

    2012-05-01

    For multihost pathogens, adaptation to multiple hosts has important implications for both applied and basic research. At the applied level, it is one of the main factors determining the probability and the severity of emerging disease outbreaks. At the basic level, it is thought to be a key mechanism for the maintenance of genetic diversity both in host and pathogen species. Using Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) and four natural hosts, we have designed an evolution experiment whose strength and novelty are the use of complex multicellular host organism as hosts and a high level of replication of different evolutionary histories and lineages. A pattern of local adaptation, characterized by a higher infectivity and virulence on host(s) encountered during the experimental evolution was found. Local adaptation only had a cost in terms of performance on other hosts in some cases. We could not verify the existence of a cost for generalists, as expected to arise from antagonistic pleiotropy and other genetic mechanisms generating a fitness trade-off between hosts. This observation confirms that this classical theoretical prediction lacks empirical support. We discuss the reasons for this discrepancy between theory and experiment in the light of our results. The analysis of full genome consensus sequences of the evolved lineages established that all mutations shared between lineages were host specific. A low degree of parallel evolution was observed, possibly reflecting the various adaptive pathways available for TEV in each host. Altogether, these results reveal a strong adaptive potential of TEV to new hosts without severe evolutionary constraints.

  20. Adaptive evolution and functional innovation of Populus-specific recently evolved microRNAs.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jianbo; Yang, Xiaohui; Song, Yuepeng; Du, Qingzhang; Li, Ying; Chen, Jinhui; Zhang, Deqiang

    2017-01-01

    Lineage-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) undergo rapid turnover during evolution; however, their origin and functional importance have remained controversial. Here, we examine the origin, evolution, and potential roles in local adaptation of Populus-specific miRNAs, which originated after the recent salicoid-specific, whole-genome duplication. RNA sequencing was used to generate extensive, comparable miRNA and gene expression data for six tissues. A natural population of Populus trichocarpa and closely related species were used to study the divergence rates, evolution, and adaptive variation of miRNAs. MiRNAs that originated in 5' untranslated regions had higher expression levels and their expression showed high correlation with their host genes. Compared with conserved miRNAs, a significantly higher proportion of Populus-specific miRNAs appear to target genes that were duplicated in salicoids. Examination of single nucleotide polymorphisms in Populus-specific miRNA precursors showed high amounts of population differentiation. We also characterized the newly emerged MIR6445 family, which could trigger the production of phased small interfering RNAs from NAC mRNAs, which encode a transcription factor with primary roles in a variety of plant developmental processes. Together, these observations provide evolutionary insights into the birth and potential roles of Populus-specific miRNAs in genome maintenance, local adaptation, and functional innovation.

  1. 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

  2. Host shifts and molecular evolution of H7 avian influenza virus hemagglutinin

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary consequences of host shifts represent a challenge to identify the mechanisms involved in the emergence of influenza A (IA) viruses. In this study we focused on the evolutionary history of H7 IA virus in wild and domestic birds, with a particular emphasis on host shifts consequences on the molecular evolution of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene. Based on a dataset of 414 HA nucleotide sequences, we performed an extensive phylogeographic analysis in order to identify the overall genetic structure of H7 IA viruses. We then identified host shift events and investigated viral population dynamics in wild and domestic birds, independently. Finally, we estimated changes in nucleotide substitution rates and tested for positive selection in the HA gene. A strong association between the geographic origin and the genetic structure was observed, with four main clades including viruses isolated in North America, South America, Australia and Eurasia-Africa. We identified ten potential events of virus introduction from wild to domestic birds, but little evidence for spillover of viruses from poultry to wild waterbirds. Several sites involved in host specificity (addition of a glycosylation site in the receptor binding domain) and virulence (insertion of amino acids in the cleavage site) were found to be positively selected in HA nucleotide sequences, in genetically unrelated lineages, suggesting parallel evolution for the HA gene of IA viruses in domestic birds. These results highlight that evolutionary consequences of bird host shifts would need to be further studied to understand the ecological and molecular mechanisms involved in the emergence of domestic bird-adapted viruses. PMID:21711553

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. The red queen in the corn: agricultural weeds as models of rapid adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Vigueira, C C; Olsen, K M; Caicedo, A L

    2013-04-01

    Weeds are among the greatest pests of agriculture, causing billions of dollars in crop losses each year. As crop field management practices have changed over the past 12 000 years, weeds have adapted in turn to evade human removal. This evolutionary change can be startlingly rapid, making weeds an appealing system to study evolutionary processes that occur over short periods of time. An understanding of how weeds originate and adapt is needed for successful management; however, relatively little emphasis has been placed on genetically characterizing these systems. Here, we review the current literature on agricultural weed origins and their mechanisms of adaptation. Where possible, we have included examples that have been genetically well characterized. Evidence for three possible, non-mutually exclusive weed origins (from wild species, crop-wild hybrids or directly from crops) is discussed with respect to what is known about the microevolutionary signatures that result from these processes. We also discuss what is known about the genetic basis of adaptive traits in weeds and the range of genetic mechanisms that are responsible. With a better understanding of genetic mechanisms underlying adaptation in weedy species, we can address the more general process of adaptive evolution and what can be expected as we continue to apply selective pressures in agroecosystems around the world.

  5. The red queen in the corn: agricultural weeds as models of rapid adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Vigueira, C C; Olsen, K M; Caicedo, A L

    2013-01-01

    Weeds are among the greatest pests of agriculture, causing billions of dollars in crop losses each year. As crop field management practices have changed over the past 12 000 years, weeds have adapted in turn to evade human removal. This evolutionary change can be startlingly rapid, making weeds an appealing system to study evolutionary processes that occur over short periods of time. An understanding of how weeds originate and adapt is needed for successful management; however, relatively little emphasis has been placed on genetically characterizing these systems. Here, we review the current literature on agricultural weed origins and their mechanisms of adaptation. Where possible, we have included examples that have been genetically well characterized. Evidence for three possible, non-mutually exclusive weed origins (from wild species, crop-wild hybrids or directly from crops) is discussed with respect to what is known about the microevolutionary signatures that result from these processes. We also discuss what is known about the genetic basis of adaptive traits in weeds and the range of genetic mechanisms that are responsible. With a better understanding of genetic mechanisms underlying adaptation in weedy species, we can address the more general process of adaptive evolution and what can be expected as we continue to apply selective pressures in agroecosystems around the world. PMID:23188175

  6. Analysis of Adaptive Evolution in Lyssavirus Genomes Reveals Pervasive Diversifying Selection during Species Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Voloch, Carolina M.; Capellão, Renata T.; Mello, Beatriz; Schrago, Carlos G.

    2014-01-01

    Lyssavirus is a diverse genus of viruses that infect a variety of mammalian hosts, typically causing encephalitis. The evolution of this lineage, particularly the rabies virus, has been a focus of research because of the extensive occurrence of cross-species transmission, and the distinctive geographical patterns present throughout the diversification of these viruses. Although numerous studies have examined pattern-related questions concerning Lyssavirus evolution, analyses of the evolutionary processes acting on Lyssavirus diversification are scarce. To clarify the relevance of positive natural selection in Lyssavirus diversification, we conducted a comprehensive scan for episodic diversifying selection across all lineages and codon sites of the five coding regions in lyssavirus genomes. Although the genomes of these viruses are generally conserved, the glycoprotein (G), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L) and polymerase (P) genes were frequently targets of adaptive evolution during the diversification of the genus. Adaptive evolution is particularly manifest in the glycoprotein gene, which was inferred to have experienced the highest density of positively selected codon sites along branches. Substitutions in the L gene were found to be associated with the early diversification of phylogroups. A comparison between the number of positively selected sites inferred along the branches of RABV population branches and Lyssavirus intespecies branches suggested that the occurrence of positive selection was similar on the five coding regions of the genome in both groups. PMID:25415197

  7. Reversible adapting layer produces robust single-crystal electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Ching-Wei; Hsu, Ying-Ya; Shen, Yen-Ping; Zheng, Yixin; Chan, Ting-Shan; Sheu, Hwo-Shuenn; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Chen, Hao Ming

    2015-01-01

    Electrochemically converting water into oxygen/hydrogen gas is ideal for high-density renewable energy storage in which robust electrocatalysts for efficient oxygen evolution play crucial roles. To date, however, electrocatalysts with long-term stability have remained elusive. Here we report that single-crystal Co3O4 nanocube underlay with a thin CoO layer results in a high-performance and high-stability electrocatalyst in oxygen evolution reaction. An in situ X-ray diffraction method is developed to observe a strong correlation between the initialization of the oxygen evolution and the formation of active metal oxyhydroxide phase. The lattice of skin layer adapts to the structure of the active phase, which enables a reversible facile structural change that facilitates the chemical reactions without breaking the scaffold of the electrocatalysts. The single-crystal nanocube electrode exhibits stable, continuous oxygen evolution for >1,000 h. This robust stability is attributed to the complementary nature of defect-free single-crystal electrocatalyst and the reversible adapting layer. PMID:26315066

  8. Adaptive evolution in locomotor performance: How selective pressures and functional relationships produce diversity.

    PubMed

    Scales, Jeffrey A; Butler, Marguerite A

    2016-01-01

    Despite the complexity of nature, most comparative studies of phenotypic evolution consider selective pressures in isolation. When competing pressures operate on the same system, it is commonly expected that trade-offs will occur that will limit the evolution of phenotypic diversity, however, it is possible that interactions among selective pressures may promote diversity instead. We explored the evolution of locomotor performance in lizards in relation to possible selective pressures using the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Here, we show that a combination of selection based on foraging mode and predator escape is required to explain variation in performance phenotypes. Surprisingly, habitat use contributed little explanatory power. We find that it is possible to evolve very different abilities in performance which were previously thought to be tightly correlated, supporting a growing literature that explores the many-to-one mapping of morphological design. Although we generally find the expected trade-off between maximal exertion and speed, this relationship surprisingly disappears when species experience selection for both performance types. We conclude that functional integration need not limit adaptive potential, and that an integrative approach considering multiple major influences on a phenotype allows a more complete understanding of adaptation and the evolution of diversity.

  9. Benefits of a Recombination-Proficient Escherichia coli System for Adaptive Laboratory Evolution.

    PubMed

    Peabody, George; Winkler, James; Fountain, Weston; Castro, David A; Leiva-Aravena, Enzo; Kao, Katy C

    2016-11-15

    Adaptive laboratory evolution typically involves the propagation of organisms asexually to select for mutants with the desired phenotypes. However, asexual evolution is prone to competition among beneficial mutations (clonal interference) and the accumulation of hitchhiking and neutral mutations. The benefits of horizontal gene transfer toward overcoming these known disadvantages of asexual evolution were characterized in a strain of Escherichia coli engineered for superior sexual recombination (genderless). Specifically, we experimentally validated the capacity of the genderless strain to reduce the mutational load and recombine beneficial mutations. We also confirmed that inclusion of multiple origins of transfer influences both the frequency of genetic exchange throughout the chromosome and the linkage of donor DNA. We built a simple kinetic model to estimate recombination frequency as a function of transfer size and relative genotype enrichment in batch transfers; the model output correlated well with the experimental data. Our results provide strong support for the advantages of utilizing the genderless strain over its asexual counterpart during adaptive laboratory evolution for generating beneficial mutants with reduced mutational load.

  10. The Elusive Nature of Adaptive Mitochondrial DNA Evolution of an Arctic Lineage Prone to Frequent Introgression

    PubMed Central

    Melo-Ferreira, José; Vilela, Joana; Fonseca, Miguel M.; da Fonseca, Rute R.; Boursot, Pierre; Alves, Paulo C.

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondria play a fundamental role in cellular metabolism, being responsible for most of the energy production of the cell in the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes for key components of this process, but its direct role in adaptation remains far from understood. Hares (Lepus spp.) are privileged models to study the impact of natural selection on mitogenomic evolution because 1) species are adapted to contrasting environments, including arctic, with different metabolic pressures, and 2) mtDNA introgression from arctic into temperate species is widespread. Here, we analyzed the sequences of 11 complete mitogenomes (ten newly obtained) of hares of temperate and arctic origins (including two of arctic origin introgressed into temperate species). The analysis of patterns of codon substitutions along the reconstructed phylogeny showed evidence for positive selection in several codons in genes of the OXPHOS complexes, most notably affecting the arctic lineage. However, using theoretical models, no predictable effect of these differences was found on the structure and physicochemical properties of the encoded proteins, suggesting that the focus of selection may lie on complex interactions with nuclear encoded peptides. Also, a cloverleaf structure was detected in the control region only from the arctic mtDNA lineage, which may influence mtDNA replication and transcription. These results suggest that adaptation impacted the evolution of hare mtDNA and may have influenced the occurrence and consequences of the many reported cases of massive mtDNA introgression. However, the origin of adaptation remains elusive. PMID:24696399

  11. Evolution of adaptive diversity and genetic connectivity in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Kapralova, K H; Morrissey, M B; Kristjánsson, B K; Ólafsdóttir, G Á; Snorrason, S S; Ferguson, M M

    2011-01-01

    The ecological theory of adaptive radiation predicts that the evolution of phenotypic diversity within species is generated by divergent natural selection arising from different environments and competition between species. Genetic connectivity among populations is likely also to have an important role in both the origin and maintenance of adaptive genetic diversity. Our goal was to evaluate the potential roles of genetic connectivity and natural selection in the maintenance of adaptive phenotypic differences among morphs of Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, in Iceland. At a large spatial scale, we tested the predictive power of geographic structure and phenotypic variation for patterns of neutral genetic variation among populations throughout Iceland. At a smaller scale, we evaluated the genetic differentiation between two morphs in Lake Thingvallavatn relative to historically explicit, coalescent-based null models of the evolutionary history of these lineages. At the large spatial scale, populations are highly differentiated, but weakly structured, both geographically and with respect to patterns of phenotypic variation. At the intralacustrine scale, we observe modest genetic differentiation between two morphs, but this level of differentiation is nonetheless consistent with strong reproductive isolation throughout the Holocene. Rather than a result of the homogenizing effect of gene flow in a system at migration-drift equilibrium, the modest level of genetic differentiation could equally be a result of slow neutral divergence by drift in large populations. We conclude that contemporary and recent patterns of restricted gene flow have been highly conducive to the evolution and maintenance of adaptive genetic variation in Icelandic Arctic charr. PMID:21224880

  12. Evolution and Adaptation of Wild Emmer Wheat Populations to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lin; Raats, Dina; Sela, Hanan; Klymiuk, Valentina; Lidzbarsky, Gabriel; Feng, Lihua; Krugman, Tamar; Fahima, Tzion

    2016-08-04

    The genetic bottlenecks associated with plant domestication and subsequent selection in man-made agroecosystems have limited the genetic diversity of modern crops and increased their vulnerability to environmental stresses. Wild emmer wheat, the tetraploid progenitor of domesticated wheat, distributed along a wide range of ecogeographical conditions in the Fertile Crescent, has valuable "left behind" adaptive diversity to multiple diseases and environmental stresses. The biotic and abiotic stress responses are conferred by series of genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control complex resistance pathways. The study of genetic diversity, genomic organization, expression profiles, protein structure and function of biotic and abiotic stress-resistance genes, and QTLs could shed light on the evolutionary history and adaptation mechanisms of wild emmer populations for their natural habitats. The continuous evolution and adaptation of wild emmer to the changing environment provide novel solutions that can contribute to safeguarding food for the rapidly growing human population.

  13. The evolution of host associations in the parasitic wasp genus Ichneumon (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae): convergent adaptations to host pupation sites

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The diversification of organisms with a parasitic lifestyle is often tightly linked to the evolution of their host associations. If a tight host association exists, closely related species tend to attack closely related hosts; host associations are less stable if associations are determined by more plastic traits like parasitoid searching and oviposition behaviour. The pupal-parasitoids of the genus Ichneumon attack a variety of macrolepidopteran hosts. They are either monophagous or polyphagous, and therefore offer a promissing system to investigate the evolution of host associations. Ichneumon was previously divided into two groups based on general body shape; however, a stout shape has been suggested as an adaptation to buried host pupation sites, and might thus not represent a reliable phylogenetic character. Results We here reconstruct the first molecular phylogeny of the genus Ichneumon using two mitochondrial (CO1 and NADH1) and one nuclear marker (28S). The resulting phylogeny only supports monophyly of Ichneumon when Ichneumon lugens Gravenhorst, 1829 (formerly in Chasmias, stat. rev.) and Ichneumon deliratorius Linnaeus, 1758 (formerly Coelichneumon) are included. Neither parasitoid species that attack hosts belonging to one family nor those attacking butterflies (Rhopalocera) form monophyletic clades. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest multiple transitions between searching for hosts above versus below ground and between a stout versus elongated body shape. A model assuming correlated evolution between the two characters was preferred over independent evolution of host-searching niche and body shape. Conclusions Host relations, both in terms of phylogeny and ecology, evolved at a high pace in the genus Ichneumon. Numerous switches between hosts of different lepidopteran families have occurred, a pattern that seems to be the rule among idiobiont parasitoids. A stout body and antennal shape in the parasitoid female is confirmed as an

  14. Materials learning from life: concepts for active, adaptive and autonomous molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Merindol, Rémi; Walther, Andreas

    2017-01-30

    Bioinspired out-of-equilibrium systems will set the scene for the next generation of molecular materials with active, adaptive, autonomous, emergent and intelligent behavior. Indeed life provides the best demonstrations of complex and functional out-of-equilibrium systems: cells keep track of time, communicate, move, adapt, evolve and replicate continuously. Stirred by the understanding of biological principles, artificial out-of-equilibrium systems are emerging in many fields of soft matter science. Here we put in perspective the molecular mechanisms driving biological functions with the ones driving synthetic molecular systems. Focusing on principles that enable new levels of functionalities (temporal control, autonomous structures, motion and work generation, information processing) rather than on specific material classes, we outline key cross-disciplinary concepts that emerge in this challenging field. Ultimately, the goal is to inspire and support new generations of autonomous and adaptive molecular devices fueled by self-regulating chemistry.

  15. Historical Contingency in a Multigene Family Facilitates Adaptive Evolution of Toxin Resistance.

    PubMed

    McGlothlin, Joel W; Kobiela, Megan E; Feldman, Chris R; Castoe, Todd A; Geffeney, Shana L; Hanifin, Charles T; Toledo, Gabriela; Vonk, Freek J; Richardson, Michael K; Brodie, Edmund D; Pfrender, Michael E; Brodie, Edmund D

    2016-06-20

    Novel adaptations must originate and function within an already established genome [1]. As a result, the ability of a species to adapt to new environmental challenges is predicted to be highly contingent on the evolutionary history of its lineage [2-6]. Despite a growing appreciation of the importance of historical contingency in the adaptive evolution of single proteins [7-11], we know surprisingly little about its role in shaping complex adaptations that require evolutionary change in multiple genes. One such adaptation, extreme resistance to tetrodotoxin (TTX), has arisen in several species of snakes through coevolutionary arms races with toxic amphibian prey, which select for TTX-resistant voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) [12-16]. Here, we show that the relatively recent origins of extreme toxin resistance, which involve the skeletal muscle channel Nav1.4, were facilitated by ancient evolutionary changes in two other members of the same gene family. A substitution conferring TTX resistance to Nav1.7, a channel found in small peripheral neurons, arose in lizards ∼170 million years ago (mya) and was present in the common ancestor of all snakes. A second channel found in larger myelinated neurons, Nav1.6, subsequently evolved resistance in four different snake lineages beginning ∼38 mya. Extreme TTX resistance has evolved at least five times within the past 12 million years via changes in Nav1.4, but only within lineages that previously evolved resistant Nav1.6 and Nav1.7. Our results show that adaptive protein evolution may be contingent upon enabling substitutions elsewhere in the genome, in this case, in paralogs of the same gene family.

  16. 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.

  17. Comprehensive molecular characterization of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 adapted for 1-butanol tolerance

    DOE PAGES

    Hu, Bo; Yang, Yi -Ming; Beck, David A. C.; ...

    2016-04-11

    In this study, the toxicity of alcohols is one of the major roadblocks of biological fermentation for biofuels production. Methylobacterium extorquens AM1, a facultative methylotrophic α-proteobacterium, has been engineered to generate 1-butanol from cheap carbon feedstocks through a synthetic metabolic pathway. However, M. extorquens AM1 is vulnerable to solvent stress, which impedes further development for 1-butanol production. Only a few studies have reported the general stress response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress. Therefore, it is highly desirable to obtain a strain with ameliorated 1-butanol tolerance and elucidate the molecular mechanism of 1-butnaol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1 formore » future strain improvement. In this work, adaptive laboratory evolution was used as a tool to isolate mutants with 1-butanol tolerance up to 0.5 %. The evolved strains, BHBT3 and BHBT5, demonstrated increased growth rates and higher survival rates with the existence of 1-butanol. Whole genome sequencing revealed a SNP mutation at kefB in BHBT5, which was confirmed to be responsible for increasing 1-butanol tolerance through an allelic exchange experiment. Global metabolomic analysis further discovered that the pools of multiple key metabolites, including fatty acids, amino acids, and disaccharides, were increased in BHBT5 in response to 1-butanol stress. Additionally, the carotenoid synthesis pathway was significantly down-regulated in BHBT5. In conclusion, we successfully screened mutants resistant to 1-butanol and provided insights into the molecular mechanism of 1-butanol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1. This research will be useful for uncovering the mechanism of cellular response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress, and will provide the genetic blueprint for the rational design of a strain of M. extorquens AM1 with increased 1-butanol tolerance in the future.« less

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Emergence of tissue sensitivity to Hox protein levels underlies the evolution of an adaptive morphological trait

    PubMed Central

    Refki, Peter Nagui; Armisén, David; Crumière, Antonin Jean Johan; Viala, Séverine; Khila, Abderrahman

    2014-01-01

    Growth control scales morphological attributes and, therefore, provides a critical contribution to the evolution of adaptive traits. Yet, the genetic mechanisms underlying growth in the context of specific ecological adaptations are poorly understood. In water striders, adaptation to locomotion on the water surface is associated with allometric and functional changes in thoracic appendages, such that T2-legs, used as propelling oars, are longer than T3-legs, used as steering rudders. The Hox gene Ubx establishes this derived morphology by elongating T2-legs but shortening T3-legs. Using gene expression assays, RNAi knockdown, and comparative transcriptomics, we demonstrate that the evolution of water surface rowing as a novel means of locomotion is associated with the evolution of a dose-dependent promoting-repressing effect of Ubx on leg growth. In the water strider Limnoporus dissortis, T3-legs express six to seven times higher levels of Ubx compared to T2-legs. Ubx RNAi shortens T2-legs and the severity of this phenotype increases with increased depletion of Ubx protein. Conversely, Ubx RNAi lengthens T3-legs but this phenotype is partially rescued when Ubx protein is further depleted. This dose-dependent effect of Ubx on leg growth is absent in non-rowing relatives that retain the ancestral relative leg length. We also show that the spatial patterns of expression of dpp, wg, hh, egfr, dll, exd, hth, and dac are unchanged in Ubx RNAi treatments. This indicates that the dose-dependent opposite effect of Ubx on T2- and T3-legs operates without any apparent effect on the spatial expression of major leg patterning genes. Our data suggest that scaling of adaptive allometries can evolve through changes in the levels of expression of Hox proteins early during ontogeny, and in the sensitivity of the tissues that express them, without any major effects on pattern formation. PMID:24886828

  2. Dynamic mixtures and combinatorial libraries: imines as probes for molecular evolution at the interface between chemistry and biology.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Andreas

    2009-08-21

    In analogy to evolution in biological processes, "molecular evolution", based on the reversible formation of imines, has successfully been explored for drug discovery, receptor design and as a controlled-release vehicle. Multicomponent systems composed of amines and carbonyl compounds generate structural diversity by reversible reaction of the different components to form equilibrated dynamic mixtures or combinatorial libraries (DCLs). Under thermodynamic control and in the presence of an external factor which influences the equilibrium, these systems evolve by selective adaptation to the changing external conditions. This concept allows the casting of biologically or catalytically active substrates and the molding of receptors from DCLs which are composed of smaller non-active amine and carbonyl moieties. Similarly, if the amine or carbonyl compounds are the biologically active compounds of interest, the corresponding dynamic mixtures are found to be efficient delivery systems, allowing their controlled release over time.

  3. Adaptive evolution of cooperation through Darwinian dynamics in Public Goods games.

    PubMed

    Deng, Kuiying; Chu, Tianguang

    2011-01-01

    The linear or threshold Public Goods game (PGG) is extensively accepted as a paradigmatic model to approach the evolution of cooperation in social dilemmas. Here we explore the significant effect of nonlinearity of the structures of public goods on the evolution of cooperation within the well-mixed population by adopting Darwinian dynamics, which simultaneously consider the evolution of populations and strategies on a continuous adaptive landscape, and extend the concept of evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) as a coalition of strategies that is both convergent-stable and resistant to invasion. Results show (i) that in the linear PGG contributing nothing is an ESS, which contradicts experimental data, (ii) that in the threshold PGG contributing the threshold value is a fragile ESS, which cannot resist the invasion of contributing nothing, and (iii) that there exists a robust ESS of contributing more than half in the sigmoid PGG if the return rate is relatively high. This work reveals the significant effect of the nonlinearity of the structures of public goods on the evolution of cooperation, and suggests that, compared with the linear or threshold PGG, the sigmoid PGG might be a more proper model for the evolution of cooperation within the well-mixed population.

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular Evolution of the Porcine Type I Interferon Family: Subtype-Specific Expression and Antiviral Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sang, Yongming; Bergkamp, Joseph; Blecha, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Type I interferons (IFNs), key antiviral cytokines, evolve to adapt with ever-changing viral threats during vertebrate speciation. Due to novel pathogenic pressure associated with Suidae speciation and domestication, porcine IFNs evolutionarily engender both molecular and functional diversification, which have not been well addressed in pigs, an important livestock species and animal model for biomedical sciences. Annotation of current swine genome assembly Sscrofa10.2 reveals 57 functional genes and 16 pseudogenes of type I IFNs. Subfamilies of multiple IFNA, IFNW and porcine-specific IFND genes are separated into four clusters with ∼60 kb intervals within the IFNB/IFNE bordered region in SSC1, and each cluster contains mingled subtypes of IFNA, IFNW and IFND. Further curation of the 57 functional IFN genes indicates that they include 18 potential artifactual duplicates. We performed phylogenetic construction as well as analyses of gene duplication/conversion and natural selection and showed that porcine type I IFN genes have been undergoing active diversification through both gene duplication and conversion. Extensive analyses of the non-coding sequences proximal to all IFN coding regions identified several genomic repetitive elements significantly associated with different IFN subtypes. Family-wide studies further revealed their molecular diversity with respect to differential expression and restrictive activity on the resurgence of a porcine endogenous retrovirus. Based on predicted 3-D structures of representative animal IFNs and inferred activity, we categorized the general functional propensity underlying the structure-activity relationship. Evidence indicates gene expansion of porcine type I IFNs. Genomic repetitive elements that associated with IFN subtypes may serve as molecular signatures of respective IFN subtypes and genomic mechanisms to mediate IFN gene evolution and expression. In summary, the porcine type I IFN profile has been phylogenetically

  6. Niche evolution and adaptive radiation: Testing the order of trait divergence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerly, D.D.; Schwilk, D.W.; Webb, C.O.

    2006-01-01

    In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (?? niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (?? niche)? Here we introduce a new test to address this question, based on a modification of the method of independent contrasts. The divergence order test (DOT) is based on the average age of the nodes on a tree, weighted by the absolute magnitude of the contrast at each node for a particular trait. The comparison of these weighted averages reveals whether large divergences for one trait have occurred earlier or later in the course of diversification, relative to a second trait; significance is determined by bootstrapping from maximum-likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. The method is applied to the evolution of Ceanothus, a woody plant group in California, in which co-occurring species exhibit significant differences in a key leaf trait (specific leaf area) associated with contrasting physiological and life history strategies. Co-occurring species differ more for this trait than expected under a null model of community assembly. This ?? niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (?? niche traits) diversified later within each of the subclades. However, rapid evolution of climate parameters makes inferences of early divergence events highly uncertain, and differentiation of the ?? niche might have taken place throughout the evolution of the group, without leaving a clear phylogenetic signal. Similar patterns observed in several plant and animal groups suggest that early divergence of ?? niche traits might be a common feature of niche evolution in

  7. Evolution of genomic structural variation and genomic architecture in the adaptive radiations of African cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    African cichlid fishes are an ideal system for studying explosive rates of speciation and the origin of diversity in adaptive radiation. Within the last few million years, more than 2000 species have evolved in the Great Lakes of East Africa, the largest adaptive radiation in vertebrates. These young species show spectacular diversity in their coloration, morphology and behavior. However, little is known about the genomic basis of this astonishing diversity. Recently, five African cichlid genomes were sequenced, including that of the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), a basal and only relatively moderately diversified lineage, and the genomes of four representative endemic species of the adaptive radiations, Neolamprologus brichardi, Astatotilapia burtoni, Metriaclima zebra, and Pundamila nyererei. Using the Tilapia genome as a reference genome, we generated a high-resolution genomic variation map, consisting of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), short insertions and deletions (indels), inversions and deletions. In total, around 18.8, 17.7, 17.0, and 17.0 million SNPs, 2.3, 2.2, 1.4, and 1.9 million indels, 262, 306, 162, and 154 inversions, and 3509, 2705, 2710, and 2634 deletions were inferred to have evolved in N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra, respectively. Many of these variations affected the annotated gene regions in the genome. Different patterns of genetic variation were detected during the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. For SNPs, the highest rate of evolution was detected in the common ancestor of N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra. However, for the evolution of inversions and deletions, we found that the rates at the terminal taxa are substantially higher than the rates at the ancestral lineages. The high-resolution map provides an ideal opportunity to understand the genomic bases of the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. PMID:24917883

  8. Coupling of diversification and pH adaptation during the evolution of terrestrial Thaumarchaeota

    PubMed Central

    Gubry-Rangin, Cécile; Kratsch, Christina; Williams, Tom A.; McHardy, Alice C.; Embley, T. Martin; Prosser, James I.; Macqueen, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    The Thaumarchaeota is an abundant and ubiquitous phylum of archaea that plays a major role in the global nitrogen cycle. Previous analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase gene amoA suggest that pH is an important driver of niche specialization in these organisms. Although the ecological distribution and ecophysiology of extant Thaumarchaeota have been studied extensively, the evolutionary rise of these prokaryotes to ecological dominance in many habitats remains poorly understood. To characterize processes leading to their diversification, we investigated coevolutionary relationships between amoA, a conserved marker gene for Thaumarchaeota, and soil characteristics, by using deep sequencing and comprehensive environmental data in Bayesian comparative phylogenetics. These analyses reveal a large and rapid increase in diversification rates during early thaumarchaeotal evolution; this finding was verified by independent analyses of 16S rRNA. Our findings suggest that the entire Thaumarchaeota diversification regime was strikingly coupled to pH adaptation but less clearly correlated with several other tested environmental factors. Interestingly, the early radiation event coincided with a period of pH adaptation that enabled the terrestrial Thaumarchaeota ancestor to initially move from neutral to more acidic and alkaline conditions. In contrast to classic evolutionary models, whereby niches become rapidly filled after adaptive radiation, global diversification rates have remained stably high in Thaumarchaeota during the past 400–700 million years, suggesting an ongoing high rate of niche formation or switching for these microbes. Our study highlights the enduring importance of environmental adaptation during thaumarchaeotal evolution and, to our knowledge, is the first to link evolutionary diversification to environmental adaptation in a prokaryotic phylum. PMID:26170282

  9. Emergence of host-adapted Salmonella Enteritidis through rapid evolution in an immunocompromised host

    PubMed Central

    Klemm, Elizabeth J; Gkrania-Klotsas, Effrossyni; Hadfield, James; Forbester, Jessica L; Harris, Simon R; Hale, Christine; Heath, Jennifer N; Wileman, Thomas; Clare, Simon; Kane, Leanne; Goulding, David; Otto, Thomas D; Kay, Sally; Doffinger, Rainer; Cooke, Fiona J; Carmichael, Andrew; Lever, Andrew ML; Parkhill, Julian; MacLennan, Calman A; Kumararatne, Dinakantha

    2016-01-01

    Summary Host adaptation is a key factor contributing to the emergence of new bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. Many pathogens are considered promiscuous because they cause disease across a range of host species, while others are host-adapted, infecting particular hosts1. Host adaptation can potentially progress to host restriction where the pathogen is strictly limited to a single host species and is frequently associated with more severe symptoms. Host-adapted and host-restricted bacterial clades evolve from within a broader host-promiscuous species and sometimes target different niches within their specialist hosts, such as adapting from a mucosal to a systemic lifestyle. Genome degradation, marked by gene inactivation and deletion, is a key feature of host adaptation, although the triggers initiating genome degradation are not well understood. Here, we show that a chronic systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection in an immunocompromised human patient resulted in genome degradation targeting genes that are expendable for a systemic lifestyle. We present a genome-based investigation of a recurrent blood-borne Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) infection covering 15 years in an interleukin (IL)-12 β-1 receptor-deficient individual that developed into an asymptomatic chronic infection. The infecting S. Enteritidis harbored a mutation in the mismatch repair gene mutS that accelerated the genomic mutation rate. Phylogenetic analysis and phenotyping of multiple patient isolates provides evidence for a remarkable level of within-host evolution that parallels genome changes present in successful host-restricted bacterial pathogens but never before observed on this timescale. Our analysis identifies common pathways of host adaptation and demonstrates the role that immunocompromised individuals can play in this process. PMID:27127642

  10. Identifying innovation in laboratory studies of cultural evolution: rates of retention and measures of adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Caldwell, Christine A.; Cornish, Hannah; Kandler, Anne

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, laboratory studies of cultural evolution have become increasingly prevalent as a means of identifying and understanding the effects of cultural transmission on the form and functionality of transmitted material. The datasets generated by these studies may provide insights into the conditions encouraging, or inhibiting, high rates of innovation, as well as the effect that this has on measures of adaptive cultural change. Here we review recent experimental studies of cultural evolution with a view to elucidating the role of innovation in generating observed trends. We first consider how tasks are presented to participants, and how the corresponding conceptualization of task success is likely to influence the degree of intent underlying any deviations from perfect reproduction. We then consider the measures of interest used by the researchers to track the changes that occur as a result of transmission, and how these are likely to be affected by differing rates of retention. We conclude that considering studies of cultural evolution from the perspective of innovation provides us with valuable insights that help to clarify important differences in research designs, which have implications for the likely effects of variation in retention rates on measures of cultural adaptation. PMID:26926283

  11. Adaptive and nonadaptive genome size evolution in Karst endemic flora of China.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ming; Tao, Junjie; Wang, Jing; Ren, Chen; Qi, Qingwen; Xiang, Qiu-Yun; Huang, Hongwen

    2014-06-01

    Genome size variation is of fundamental biological importance and has been a longstanding puzzle in evolutionary biology. Several hypotheses for genome size evolution including neutral, maladaptive, and adaptive models have been proposed, but the relative importance of these models remains controversial. Primulina is a genus that is highly diversified in the Karst region of southern China, where genome size variation and the underlying evolutionary mechanisms are poorly understood. We reconstructed the phylogeny of Primulina using DNA sequences for 104 species and determined the genome sizes of 101 species. We examined the phylogenetic signal in genome size variation, and tested the fit to different evolutionary models and for correlations with variation in latitude and specific leaf area (SLA). The results showed that genome size, SLA and latitudinal variation all displayed strong phylogenetic signals, but were best explained by different evolutionary models. Furthermore, significant positive relationships were detected between genome size and SLA and between genome size and latitude. Our study is the first to investigate genome size evolution on such a comprehensive scale and in the Karst region flora. We conclude that genome size in Primulina is phylogenetically conserved but its variation among species is a combined outcome of both neutral and adaptive evolution.

  12. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  13. A resurrection study reveals rapid adaptive evolution within populations of an invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Sonia E; Horgan-Kobelski, Tim; Nichols, Lauren M; Riggs, Charlotte E; Waples, Ryan K

    2013-01-01

    The future spread and impact of an introduced species will depend on how it adapts to the abiotic and biotic conditions encountered in its new range, so the potential for rapid evolution subsequent to species introduction is a critical, evolutionary dimension of invasion biology. Using a resurrection approach, we provide a direct test for change over time within populations in a species' introduced range, in the Asian shade annual Polygonum cespitosum. We document, over an 11-year period, the evolution of increased reproductive output as well as greater physiological and root-allocational plasticity in response to the more open, sunny conditions found in the North American range in which the species has become invasive. These findings show that extremely rapid adaptive modifications to ecologically-important traits and plastic expression patterns can evolve subsequent to a species' introduction, within populations established in its introduced range. This study is one of the first to directly document evolutionary change in adaptive plasticity. Such rapid evolutionary changes can facilitate the spread of introduced species into novel habitats and hence contribute to their invasive success in a new range. The data also reveal how evolutionary trajectories can differ among populations in ways that can influence invasion dynamics. PMID:23798976

  14. Adaptive evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with enhanced ethanol tolerance for Chinese rice wine fermentation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shuang; Xu, Yan

    2014-08-01

    High tolerance towards ethanol is a desirable property for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains used in the alcoholic beverage industry. To improve the ethanol tolerance of an industrial Chinese rice wine yeast, a sequential batch fermentation strategy was used to adaptively evolve a chemically mutagenized Chinese rice wine G85 strain. The high level of ethanol produced under Chinese rice wine-like fermentation conditions was used as the selective pressure. After adaptive evolution of approximately 200 generations, mutant G85X-8 was isolated and shown to have markedly increased ethanol tolerance. The evolved strain also showed higher osmotic and temperature tolerances than the parental strain. Laboratory Chinese rice wine fermentation showed that the evolved G85X-8 strain was able to catabolize sugars more completely than the parental G85 strain. A higher level of yeast cell activity was found in the fermentation mash produced by the evolved strain, but the aroma profiles were similar between the evolved and parental strains. The improved ethanol tolerance in the evolved strain might be ascribed to the altered fatty acids composition of the cell membrane and higher intracellular trehalose concentrations. These results suggest that adaptive evolution is an efficient approach for the non-recombinant modification of industrial yeast strains.

  15. A resurrection study reveals rapid adaptive evolution within populations of an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Sultan, Sonia E; Horgan-Kobelski, Tim; Nichols, Lauren M; Riggs, Charlotte E; Waples, Ryan K

    2013-02-01

    The future spread and impact of an introduced species will depend on how it adapts to the abiotic and biotic conditions encountered in its new range, so the potential for rapid evolution subsequent to species introduction is a critical, evolutionary dimension of invasion biology. Using a resurrection approach, we provide a direct test for change over time within populations in a species' introduced range, in the Asian shade annual Polygonum cespitosum. We document, over an 11-year period, the evolution of increased reproductive output as well as greater physiological and root-allocational plasticity in response to the more open, sunny conditions found in the North American range in which the species has become invasive. These findings show that extremely rapid adaptive modifications to ecologically-important traits and plastic expression patterns can evolve subsequent to a species' introduction, within populations established in its introduced range. This study is one of the first to directly document evolutionary change in adaptive plasticity. Such rapid evolutionary changes can facilitate the spread of introduced species into novel habitats and hence contribute to their invasive success in a new range. The data also reveal how evolutionary trajectories can differ among populations in ways that can influence invasion dynamics.

  16. 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.

  17. The evolution of annelids reveals two adaptive routes to the interstitial realm.

    PubMed

    Struck, Torsten Hugo; Golombek, Anja; Weigert, Anne; Franke, Franziska Anni; Westheide, Wilfried; Purschke, Günter; Bleidorn, Christoph; Halanych, Kenneth Michael

    2015-08-03

    Many animals permanently inhabit the marine interstitium, the space between sand grains [1, 2]. Different evolutionary scenarios may explain the existence of interstitial animals [3, 4]. These scenarios include (1) that the interstitial realm is the ancestral habitat of bilaterians [5, 6], (2) that interstitial taxa evolved from larger ancestors by miniaturization, or (3) progenesis [3]. The first view mirrors the former hypothesis that interstitial annelids, called archiannelids, were at the base of the annelid radiation [7]. Based on morphological data, however, progenesis is generally favored for interstitial annelids today [3, 4, 8]. Herein, our phylogenomic approach revealed that interstitial archiannelids are robustly placed into two groups nested within the annelid tree. Evolution of the first group comprising among others Dinophilidae is best explained by progenesis. In contrast, the second group comprising Protodrilida and Polygordiidae appears to have evolved by stepwise miniaturization adapting from coarser to finer sediments. Thus, in addition to progenesis [3, 4], miniaturization, thought to be too slow for an adaptation to the interstitium [3], is an important second route allowing adaptation to interstitial environments. Both progenesis and miniaturization should be considered when investigating evolution of interstitial taxa [1, 3].

  18. Evolution dynamics of a model for gene duplication under adaptive conflict

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ancliff, Mark; Park, Jeong-Man

    2014-06-01

    We present and solve the dynamics of a model for gene duplication showing escape from adaptive conflict. We use a Crow-Kimura quasispecies model of evolution where the fitness landscape is a function of Hamming distances from two reference sequences, which are assumed to optimize two different gene functions, to describe the dynamics of a mixed population of individuals with single and double copies of a pleiotropic gene. The evolution equations are solved through a spin coherent state path integral, and we find two phases: one is an escape from an adaptive conflict phase, where each copy of a duplicated gene evolves toward subfunctionalization, and the other is a duplication loss of function phase, where one copy maintains its pleiotropic form and the other copy undergoes neutral mutation. The phase is determined by a competition between the fitness benefits of subfunctionalization and the greater mutational load associated with maintaining two gene copies. In the escape phase, we find a dynamics of an initial population of single gene sequences only which escape adaptive conflict through gene duplication and find that there are two time regimes: until a time t* single gene sequences dominate, and after t* double gene sequences outgrow single gene sequences. The time t* is identified as the time necessary for subfunctionalization to evolve and spread throughout the double gene sequences, and we show that there is an optimum mutation rate which minimizes this time scale.

  19. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. A Fast Variational Method for the Construction of Resolution Adaptive C-Smooth Molecular Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Bajaj, Chandrajit L; Xu, Guoliang; Zhang, Qin

    2009-05-01

    We present a variational approach to smooth molecular (proteins, nucleic acids) surface constructions, starting from atomic coordinates, as available from the protein and nucleic-acid data banks. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations traditionally used in understanding protein and nucleic-acid folding processes, are based on molecular force fields, and require smooth models of these molecular surfaces. To accelerate MD simulations, a popular methodology is to employ coarse grained molecular models, which represent clusters of atoms with similar physical properties by psuedo- atoms, resulting in coarser resolution molecular surfaces. We consider generation of these mixed-resolution or adaptive molecular surfaces. Our approach starts from deriving a general form second order geometric partial differential equation in the level-set formulation, by minimizing a first order energy functional which additionally includes a regularization term to minimize the occurrence of chemically infeasible molecular surface pockets or tunnel-like artifacts. To achieve even higher computational efficiency, a fast cubic B-spline C(2) interpolation algorithm is also utilized. A narrow band, tri-cubic B-spline level-set method is then used to provide C(2) smooth and resolution adaptive molecular surfaces.

  2. A molecular readout of long-term olfactory adaptation in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    He, Chao; Lee, Jin I; L'etoile, Noelle; O'Halloran, Damien

    2012-12-22

    During sustained stimulation most sensory neurons will adapt their response by decreasing their sensitivity to the signal. The adaptation response helps shape attention and also protects cells from over-stimulation. Adaptation within the olfactory circuit of C. elegans was first described by Colbert and Bargmann(1,2). Here, the authors defined parameters of the olfactory adaptation paradigm, which they used to design a genetic screen to isolate mutants defective in their ability to adapt to volatile odors sensed by the Amphid Wing cells type C (AWC) sensory neurons. When wildtype C. elegans animals are exposed to an attractive AWC-sensed odor(3) for 30 min they will adapt their responsiveness to the odor and will then ignore the adapting odor in a chemotaxis behavioral assay for ~1 hr. When wildtype C. elegans animals are exposed to an attractive AWC-sensed odor for ~1 hr they will then ignore the adapting odor in a chemotaxis behavioral assay for ~3 hr. These two phases of olfactory adaptation in C. elegans were described as short-term olfactory adaptation (induced after 30 min odor exposure), and long-term olfactory adaptation (induced after 60 min odor exposure). Later work from L'Etoile et al.,(4) uncovered a Protein Kinase G (PKG) called EGL-4 that is required for both the short-term and long-term olfactory adaptation in AWC neurons. The EGL-4 protein contains a nuclear localization sequence that is necessary for long-term olfactory adaptation responses but dispensable for short-term olfactory adaptation responses in the AWC(4). By tagging EGL-4 with a green fluorescent protein, it was possible to visualize the localization of EGL-4 in the AWC during prolonged odor exposure. Using this fully functional GFP-tagged EGL-4 (GFP::EGL-4) molecule we have been able to develop a molecular readout of long-term olfactory adaptation in the AWC(5). Using this molecular readout of olfactory adaptation we have been able to perform both forward and reverse genetic screens to

  3. Phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive evolution of osmoregulation in fiddler crabs (Brachyura, Uca)

    PubMed Central

    Faria, Samuel Coelho; Provete, Diogo Borges; Thurman, Carl Leo

    2017-01-01

    Salinity is the primary driver of osmoregulatory evolution in decapods, and may have influenced their diversification into different osmotic niches. In semi-terrestrial crabs, hyper-osmoregulatory ability favors sojourns into burrows and dilute media, and provides a safeguard against hemolymph dilution; hypo-osmoregulatory ability underlies emersion capability and a life more removed from water sources. However, most comparative studies have neglected the roles of the phylogenetic and environmental components of inter-specific physiological variation, hindering evaluation of phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive nature of osmoregulatory evolution. Semi-terrestrial fiddler crabs (Uca) inhabit fresh to hyper-saline waters, with species from the Americas occupying higher intertidal habitats than Indo-west Pacific species mainly found in the low intertidal zone. Here, we characterize numerous osmoregulatory traits in all ten fiddler crabs found along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, and we employ phylogenetic comparative methods using 24 species to test for: (i) similarities of osmoregulatory ability among closely related species; (ii) salinity as a driver of osmoregulatory evolution; (iii) correlation between salt uptake and secretion; and (iv) adaptive peaks in osmoregulatory ability in the high intertidal American lineages. Our findings reveal that osmoregulation in Uca exhibits strong phylogenetic patterns in salt uptake traits. Salinity does not correlate with hyper/hypo-regulatory abilities, but drives hemolymph osmolality at ambient salinities. Osmoregulatory traits have evolved towards three adaptive peaks, revealing a significant contribution of hyper/hypo-regulatory ability in the American clades. Thus, during the evolutionary history of fiddler crabs, salinity has driven some of the osmoregulatory transformations that underpin habitat diversification, although others are apparently constrained phylogenetically. PMID:28182764

  4. Phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive evolution of osmoregulation in fiddler crabs (Brachyura, Uca).

    PubMed

    Faria, Samuel Coelho; Provete, Diogo Borges; Thurman, Carl Leo; McNamara, John Campbell

    2017-01-01

    Salinity is the primary driver of osmoregulatory evolution in decapods, and may have influenced their diversification into different osmotic niches. In semi-terrestrial crabs, hyper-osmoregulatory ability favors sojourns into burrows and dilute media, and provides a safeguard against hemolymph dilution; hypo-osmoregulatory ability underlies emersion capability and a life more removed from water sources. However, most comparative studies have neglected the roles of the phylogenetic and environmental components of inter-specific physiological variation, hindering evaluation of phylogenetic patterns and the adaptive nature of osmoregulatory evolution. Semi-terrestrial fiddler crabs (Uca) inhabit fresh to hyper-saline waters, with species from the Americas occupying higher intertidal habitats than Indo-west Pacific species mainly found in the low intertidal zone. Here, we characterize numerous osmoregulatory traits in all ten fiddler crabs found along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, and we employ phylogenetic comparative methods using 24 species to test for: (i) similarities of osmoregulatory ability among closely related species; (ii) salinity as a driver of osmoregulatory evolution; (iii) correlation between salt uptake and secretion; and (iv) adaptive peaks in osmoregulatory ability in the high intertidal American lineages. Our findings reveal that osmoregulation in Uca exhibits strong phylogenetic patterns in salt uptake traits. Salinity does not correlate with hyper/hypo-regulatory abilities, but drives hemolymph osmolality at ambient salinities. Osmoregulatory traits have evolved towards three adaptive peaks, revealing a significant contribution of hyper/hypo-regulatory ability in the American clades. Thus, during the evolutionary history of fiddler crabs, salinity has driven some of the osmoregulatory transformations that underpin habitat diversification, although others are apparently constrained phylogenetically.

  5. Comparative genomics reveals adaptive evolution of Asian tapeworm in switching to a new intermediate host

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shuai; Wang, Sen; Luo, Yingfeng; Xiao, Lihua; Luo, Xuenong; Gao, Shenghan; Dou, Yongxi; Zhang, Huangkai; Guo, Aijiang; Meng, Qingshu; Hou, Junling; Zhang, Bing; Zhang, Shaohua; Yang, Meng; Meng, Xuelian; Mei, Hailiang; Li, Hui; He, Zilong; Zhu, Xueliang; Tan, Xinyu; Zhu, Xing-quan; Yu, Jun; Cai, Jianping; Zhu, Guan; Hu, Songnian; Cai, Xuepeng

    2016-01-01

    Taenia saginata, Taenia solium and Taenia asiatica (beef, pork and Asian tapeworms, respectively) are parasitic flatworms of major public health and food safety importance. Among them, T. asiatica is a newly recognized species that split from T. saginata via an intermediate host switch ∼1.14 Myr ago. Here we report the 169- and 168-Mb draft genomes of T. saginata and T. asiatica. Comparative analysis reveals that high rates of gene duplications and functional diversifications might have partially driven the divergence between T. asiatica and T. saginata. We observe accelerated evolutionary rates, adaptive evolutions in homeostasis regulation, tegument maintenance and lipid uptakes, and differential/specialized gene family expansions in T. asiatica that may favour its hepatotropism in the new intermediate host. We also identify potential targets for developing diagnostic or intervention tools against human tapeworms. These data provide new insights into the evolution of Taenia parasites, particularly the recent speciation of T. asiatica. PMID:27653464

  6. Co-evolution of Hormone Metabolism and Signaling Networks Expands Plant Adaptive Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Ye, Mingli; Li, Bin; Noel, Joseph P

    2016-08-11

    Classically, hormones elicit specific cellular responses by activating dedicated receptors. Nevertheless, the biosynthesis and turnover of many of these hormone molecules also produce chemically related metabolites. These molecules may also possess hormonal activities; therefore, one or more may contribute to the adaptive plasticity of signaling outcomes in host organisms. Here, we show that a catabolite of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA), namely phaseic acid (PA), likely emerged in seed plants as a signaling molecule that fine-tunes plant physiology, environmental adaptation, and development. This trait was facilitated by both the emergence-selection of a PA reductase that modulates PA concentrations and by the functional diversification of the ABA receptor family to perceive and respond to PA. Our results suggest that PA serves as a hormone in seed plants through activation of a subset of ABA receptors. This study demonstrates that the co-evolution of hormone metabolism and signaling networks can expand organismal resilience.

  7. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  8. Evidence for determinism in species diversification and contingency in phenotypic evolution during adaptive radiation.

    PubMed

    Burbrink, Frank T; Chen, Xin; Myers, Edward A; Brandley, Matthew C; Pyron, R Alexander

    2012-12-07

    Adaptive radiation (AR) theory predicts that groups sharing the same source of ecological opportunity (EO) will experience deterministic species diversification and morphological evolution. Thus, deterministic ecological and morphological evolution should be correlated with deterministic patterns in the tempo and mode of speciation for groups in similar habitats and time periods. We test this hypothesis using well-sampled phylogenies of four squamate groups that colonized the New World (NW) in the Late Oligocene. We use both standard and coalescent models to assess species diversification, as well as likelihood models to examine morphological evolution. All squamate groups show similar early pulses of speciation, as well as diversity-dependent ecological limits on clade size at a continental scale. In contrast, processes of morphological evolution are not easily predictable and do not show similar pulses of early and rapid change. Patterns of morphological and species diversification thus appear uncoupled across these groups. This indicates that the processes that drive diversification and disparification are not mechanistically linked, even among similar groups of taxa experiencing the same sources of EO. It also suggests that processes of phenotypic diversification cannot be predicted solely from the existence of an AR or knowledge of the process of diversification.

  9. Driving HIV-1 into a Vulnerable Corner by Taking Advantage of Viral Adaptation and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Harada, Shigeyoshi; Yoshimura, Kazuhisa

    2017-01-01

    Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is crucial for controlling human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection. Recently, progress in identifying and characterizing highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies has provided valuable templates for HIV-1 therapy and vaccine design. Nevertheless, HIV-1, like many RNA viruses, exhibits genetically diverse populations known as quasispecies. Evolution of quasispecies can occur rapidly in response to selective pressures, such as that exerted by ART and the immune system. Hence, rapid viral evolution leading to drug resistance and/or immune evasion is a significant barrier to the development of effective HIV-1 treatments and vaccines. Here, we describe our recent investigations into evolutionary pressure exerted by anti-retroviral drugs and monoclonal neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) on HIV-1 envelope sequences. We also discuss sensitivities of HIV-1 escape mutants to maraviroc, a CCR5 inhibitor, and HIV-1 sensitized to NAbs by small-molecule CD4-mimetic compounds. These studies help to develop an understanding of viral evolution and escape from both anti-retroviral drugs and the immune system, and also provide fundamental insights into the combined use of NAbs and entry inhibitors. These findings of the adaptation and evolution of HIV in response to drug and immune pressure will inform the development of more effective antiviral therapeutic strategies. PMID:28360890

  10. Phylogenomic analyses reveal convergent patterns of adaptive evolution in elephant and human ancestries.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Morris; Sterner, Kirstin N; Islam, Munirul; Uddin, Monica; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Lipovich, Leonard; Jia, Hui; Grossman, Lawrence I; Wildman, Derek E

    2009-12-08

    Specific sets of brain-expressed genes, such as aerobic energy metabolism genes, evolved adaptively in the ancestry of humans and may have evolved adaptively in the ancestry of other large-brained mammals. The recent addition of genomes from two afrotherians (elephant and tenrec) to the expanding set of publically available sequenced mammalian genomes provided an opportunity to test this hypothesis. Elephants resemble humans by having large brains and long life spans; tenrecs, in contrast, have small brains and short life spans. Thus, we investigated whether the phylogenomic patterns of adaptive evolution are more similar between elephant and human than between either elephant and tenrec lineages or human and mouse lineages, and whether aerobic energy metabolism genes are especially well represented in the elephant and human patterns. Our analyses encompassed approximately 6,000 genes in each of these lineages with each gene yielding extensive coding sequence matches in interordinal comparisons. Each gene's nonsynonymous and synonymous nucleotide substitution rates and dN/dS ratios were determined. Then, from gene ontology information on genes with the higher dN/dS ratios, we identified the more prevalent sets of genes that belong to specific functional categories and that evolved adaptively. Elephant and human lineages showed much slower nucleotide substitution rates than tenrec and mouse lineages but more adaptively evolved genes. In correlation with absolute brain size and brain oxygen consumption being largest in elephants and next largest in humans, adaptively evolved aerobic energy metabolism genes were most evident in the elephant lineage and next most evident in the human lineage.

  11. Multiobjective Image Color Quantization Algorithm Based on Self-Adaptive Hybrid Differential Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xuewen

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, some researchers considered image color quantization as a single-objective problem and applied heuristic algorithms to solve it. This paper establishes a multiobjective image color quantization model with intracluster distance and intercluster separation as its objectives. Inspired by a multipopulation idea, a multiobjective image color quantization algorithm based on self-adaptive hybrid differential evolution (MoDE-CIQ) is then proposed to solve this model. Two numerical experiments on four common test images are conducted to analyze the effectiveness and competitiveness of the multiobjective model and the proposed algorithm. PMID:27738423

  12. The eunuch phenomenon: adaptive evolution of genital emasculation in sexually dimorphic spiders.

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi; Li, Daiqin

    2015-02-01

    Under natural and sexual selection traits often evolve that secure paternity or maternity through self-sacrifice to predators, rivals, offspring, or partners. Emasculation-males removing their genitals-is an unusual example of such behaviours. Known only in insects and spiders, the phenomenon's adaptiveness is difficult to explain, yet its repeated origins and association with sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual cannibalism suggest an adaptive significance. In spiders, emasculation of paired male sperm-transferring organs - secondary genitals - (hereafter, palps), results in 'eunuchs'. This behaviour has been hypothesized to be adaptive because (i) males plug female genitals with their severed palps (plugging hypothesis), (ii) males remove their palps to become better fighters in male-male contests (better-fighter hypothesis), perhaps reaching higher agility due to reduced total body mass (gloves-off hypothesis), and (iii) males achieve prolonged sperm transfer through severed genitals (remote-copulation hypothesis). Prior research has provided evidence in support of these hypotheses in some orb-weaving spiders but these explanations are far from general. Seeking broad macroevolutionary patterns of spider emasculation, we review the known occurrences, weigh the evidence in support of the hypotheses in each known case, and redefine more precisely the particular cases of emasculation depending on its timing in relation to maturation and mating: 'pre-maturation', 'mating', and 'post-mating'. We use a genus-level spider phylogeny to explore emasculation evolution and to investigate potential evolutionary linkage between emasculation, SSD, lesser genital damage (embolic breakage), and sexual cannibalism (females consuming their mates). We find a complex pattern of spider emasculation evolution, all cases confined to Araneoidea: emasculation evolved at least five and up to 11 times, was lost at least four times, and became further modified at least once. We also find

  13. Adaptive evolution and divergent expression of heat stress transcription factors in grasses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) regulate gene expression in response to heat and many other environmental stresses in plants. Understanding the adaptive evolution of Hsf genes in the grass family will provide potentially useful information for the genetic improvement of modern crops to handle increasing global temperatures. Results In this work, we performed a genome-wide survey of Hsf genes in 5 grass species, including rice, maize, sorghum, Setaria, and Brachypodium, by describing their phylogenetic relationships, adaptive evolution, and expression patterns under abiotic stresses. The Hsf genes in grasses were divided into 24 orthologous gene clusters (OGCs) based on phylogeneitc relationship and synteny, suggesting that 24 Hsf genes were present in the ancestral grass genome. However, 9 duplication and 4 gene-loss events were identified in the tested genomes. A maximum-likelihood analysis revealed the effects of positive selection in the evolution of 11 OGCs and suggested that OGCs with duplicated or lost genes were more readily influenced by positive selection than other OGCs. Further investigation revealed that positive selection acted on only one of the duplicated genes in 8 of 9 paralogous pairs, suggesting that neofunctionalization contributed to the evolution of these duplicated pairs. We also investigated the expression patterns of rice and maize Hsf genes under heat, salt, drought, and cold stresses. The results revealed divergent expression patterns between the duplicated genes. Conclusions This study demonstrates that neofunctionalization by changes in expression pattern and function following gene duplication has been an important factor in the maintenance and divergence of grass Hsf genes. PMID:24974883

  14. Genetic Adaptation to Salt Stress in Experimental Evolution of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Aifen; Hillesland, Kristina; He, Zhili; Joachimiak, Marcin; Zane, Grant; Dehal, Paramvir; Arkin, Adam; Stahl, David; Wall, Judy; Hazen, Terry; Zhou, Jizhong; Baidoo, Edward; Benke, Peter; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2010-05-17

    High salinity is one of the most common environmental stressors. In order to understand how environmental organisms adapt to salty environment, an experiment evolution with sulfate reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vugaris Hildenborough was conducted. Control lines and salt-stressed lines (6 lines each) grown in minimal medium LS4D or LS4D + 100 mM NaCl were transferred for 1200 generations. The salt tolerance was tested with LS4D supplemented with 250 mM NaCl. Statistical analysis of the growth data suggested that all lines adapted to their evolutionary environment. In addition, the control lines performed better than the ancestor with faster growth rate, higher biomass yield and shorter lag phase under salty environment they did not evolve in. However, the salt-adapted lines performed better than the control lines on measures of growth rate and yield under salty environment, suggesting that the salt?evolved lines acquired mutations specific to having extra salt in LS4D. Growth data and gene transcription data suggested that populations tended to improve till 1000 generations and active mutations tended to be fixed at the stage of 1000 generations. Point mutations and insertion/deletions were identified in isolated colonies from salt-adapted and control lines via whole genome sequencing. Glu, Gln and Ala appears to be the major osmoprotectant in evolved salt-stressed line. Ongoing studies are now characterizing the contribution of specific mutations identified in the salt-evolved D. vulgaris.

  15. Post-translocational adaptation drives evolution through genetic selection and transcriptional shift in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Tosato, Valentina; Sims, Jason; West, Nicole; Colombin, Martina; Bruschi, Carlo V

    2016-08-04

    Adaptation by natural selection might improve the fitness of an organism and its probability to survive in unfavorable environmental conditions. Decoding the genetic basis of adaptive evolution is one of the great challenges to deal with. To this purpose, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been largely investigated because of its short division time, excellent aneuploidy tolerance and the availability of the complete sequence of its genome with a thorough genome database. In the past, we developed a system, named bridge-induced translocation, to trigger specific, non-reciprocal translocations, exploiting the endogenous recombination system of budding yeast. This technique allows users to generate a heterogeneous population of cells with different aneuploidies and increased phenotypic variation. In this work, we demonstrate that ad hoc chromosomal translocations might induce adaptation, fostering selection of thermo-tolerant yeast strains with improved phenotypic fitness. This "yeast eugenomics" correlates with a shift to enhanced expression of genes involved in stress response, heat shock as well as carbohydrate metabolism. We propose that the bridge-induced translocation is a suitable approach to generate adapted, physiologically boosted strains for biotechnological applications.

  16. Adaptive potential of genomic structural variation in human and mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Radke, David W; Lee, Charles

    2015-09-01

    Because phenotypic innovations must be genetically heritable for biological evolution to proceed, it is natural to consider new mutation events as well as standing genetic variation as sources for their birth. Previous research has identified a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms that underlie a subset of adaptive traits in organisms. However, another well-known class of variation, genomic structural variation, could have even greater potential to produce adaptive phenotypes, due to the variety of possible types of alterations (deletions, insertions, duplications, among others) at different genomic positions and with variable lengths. It is from these dramatic genomic alterations, and selection on their phenotypic consequences, that adaptations leading to biological diversification could be derived. In this review, using studies in humans and other mammals, we highlight examples of how phenotypic variation from structural variants might become adaptive in populations and potentially enable biological diversification. Phenotypic change arising from structural variants will be described according to their immediate effect on organismal metabolic processes, immunological response and physical features. Study of population dynamics of segregating structural variation can therefore provide a window into understanding current and historical biological diversification.

  17. Within-host evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa reveals adaptation toward iron acquisition from hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Marvig, Rasmus Lykke; Damkiær, Søren; Khademi, S M Hossein; Markussen, Trine M; Molin, Søren; Jelsbak, Lars

    2014-05-06

    ABSTRACT Pseudomonas aeruginosa airway infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In order to persist, P. aeruginosa depends on acquiring iron from its host, and multiple different iron acquisition systems may be active during infection. This includes the pyoverdine siderophore and the Pseudomonas heme utilization (phu) system. While the regulation and mechanisms of several iron-scavenging systems are well described, it is not clear whether such systems are targets for selection during adaptation of P. aeruginosa to the host environment. Here we investigated the within-host evolution of the transmissible P. aeruginosa DK2 lineage. We found positive selection for promoter mutations leading to increased expression of the phu system. By mimicking conditions of the CF airways in vitro, we experimentally demonstrate that increased expression of phuR confers a growth advantage in the presence of hemoglobin, thus suggesting that P. aeruginosa evolves toward iron acquisition from hemoglobin. To rule out that this adaptive trait is specific to the DK2 lineage, we inspected the genomes of additional P. aeruginosa lineages isolated from CF airways and found similar adaptive evolution in two distinct lineages (DK1 and PA clone C). Furthermore, in all three lineages, phuR promoter mutations coincided with the loss of pyoverdine production, suggesting that within-host adaptation toward heme utilization is triggered by the loss of pyoverdine production. Targeting heme utilization might therefore be a promising strategy for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections in CF patients. IMPORTANCE Most bacterial pathogens depend on scavenging iron within their hosts, which makes the battle for iron between pathogens and hosts a hallmark of infection. Accordingly, the ability of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to cause chronic infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients also depends on iron-scavenging systems. While

  18. Evolution of photoelectron vibrational coupling with molecular complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. "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)

  1. Purifying Selection and Molecular Adaptation in the Genome of Verminephrobacter, the Heritable Symbiotic Bacteria of Earthworms

    PubMed Central

    Kjeldsen, Kasper U.; Bataillon, Thomas; Pinel, Nicolás; De Mita, Stéphane; Lund, Marie B.; Panitz, Frank; Bendixen, Christian; Stahl, David A.; Schramm, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    While genomic erosion is common among intracellular symbionts, patterns of genome evolution in heritable extracellular endosymbionts remain elusive. We study vertically transmitted extracellular endosymbionts (Verminephrobacter, Betaproteobacteria) that form a beneficial, species-specific, and evolutionarily old (60–130 Myr) association with earthworms. We assembled a draft genome of Verminephrobacter aporrectodeae and compared it with the genomes of Verminephrobacter eiseniae and two nonsymbiotic close relatives (Acidovorax). Similar to V. eiseniae, the V. aporrectodeae genome was not markedly reduced in size and showed no A–T bias. We characterized the strength of purifying selection (ω = dN/dS) and codon usage bias in 876 orthologous genes. Symbiont genomes exhibited strong purifying selection (ω = 0.09 ± 0.07), although transition to symbiosis entailed relaxation of purifying selection as evidenced by 50% higher ω values and less codon usage bias in symbiont compared with reference genomes. Relaxation was not evenly distributed among functional gene categories but was overrepresented in genes involved in signal transduction and cell envelope biogenesis. The same gene categories also harbored instances of positive selection in the Verminephrobacter clade. In total, positive selection was detected in 89 genes, including also genes involved in DNA metabolism, tRNA modification, and TonB-dependent iron uptake, potentially highlighting functions important in symbiosis. Our results suggest that the transition to symbiosis was accompanied by molecular adaptation, while purifying selection was only moderately relaxed, despite the evolutionary age and stability of the host association. We hypothesize that biparental transmission of symbionts and rare genetic mixing during transmission can prevent genome erosion in heritable symbionts. PMID:22333491

  2. Molecular adaptation of Chrysochus leaf beetles to toxic compounds in their food plants.

    PubMed

    Labeyrie, Estelle; Dobler, Susanne

    2004-02-01

    Herbivores that feed on toxic plants must overcome plant defenses and occasionally may even benefit from them. The current challenge is to understand how herbivores evolve the necessary physiological adaptations and which changes at the molecular level are involved. In this context we studied the leaf beetles genus Chrysochus (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae). Two species of this genus, C. auratus and C. cobaltinus, feed on plants that contain toxic cardenolides. These beetles not only avoid poisoning by the toxin but also use it for their own defense against predators. All other Chrysochus species feed on plants that are devoid of cardenolides. The most important active principle of cardenolides is their capacity to bind to and thereby block the ubiquitous Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase responsible for maintaining cellular potentials. By analyzing the DNA sequence of the putative ouabain-binding site of the alpha-subunit of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase gene of Chrysochus and its close relatives feeding on plants with or without cardenolides, we here trace the evolution of cardenolide insensitivity in this group of beetles. The most interesting difference among the sequences involves the amino acid at position 122. Whereas all species that do not encounter cardenolides have an asparagine in this position, both Chrysochus species that feed on cardenolide plants have a histidine instead. This single amino acid substitution has already been shown to confer cardenolide insensitivity in the monarch butterfly. A mtDNA-based phylogeny corroborates the hypothesis that the asparagine at position 122 of the alpha-subunit of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase gene as observed in Drosophila and other insects is the plesiomorphic condition in this group of leaf beetles. The later host-plant switch to cardenolide-containing plants in the common ancestor of C. auratus and C. cobaltinus coincides with the exchange of the asparagine for a histidine in the ouabain binding site.

  3. [Preface to special issue: "Molecular mechanism of the adaptation of terrestrial plants to gravity environment on Earth"].

    PubMed

    Kamisaka, Seiichiro

    2003-08-01

    Organisms borne in the primitive sea about 30 million years ago had evolved in water without a large influence of gravity on earth. About 4 million years ago, the first terrestrial organisms, plants appeared on the land from the sea. The terrestrial plants have adapted to and evolved on the land environment so that they can extend their roots downward in soil and their shoots upward against 1 g gravity. At least two functions that were acquired during the process of evolution helped the terrestrial plants to adapt to gravity environment on earth. One is gravitropism. The other is the reinforcement of the cell wall, particularly the secondary cell wall. In the present feature articles, the molecular mechanism of the adaptation of terrestrial plants to gravity environment on earth will be reviewed, paying special attention to the mechanism of the genetic control of the signaling of gravity stimulus in gravitropism, automorphogenesis, genes involved in auxin transport, gravity effect on cell wall properties and gravimorphogenesis in terrestrial plants.

  4. Water adaptation strategy in anuran amphibians: molecular diversity of aquaporin.

    PubMed

    Ogushi, Yuji; Akabane, Gen; Hasegawa, Takahiro; Mochida, Hiroshi; Matsuda, Manabu; Suzuki, Masakazu; Tanaka, Shigeyasu

    2010-01-01

    Most adult anuran amphibians except for the aquatic species absorb water across the ventral pelvic skin and reabsorb it from urine in the urinary bladder. Many terrestrial and arboreal species use a region in the posterior or pelvic region of the ventral skin that is specialized for rapid rehydration from shallow water sources or moist substrates. Periods of terrestrial activity can be prolonged by reabsorption of dilute urine from the urinary bladder. Aquaporin (AQP), a water channel protein, plays a fundamental role in these water absorption/reabsorption processes, which are regulated by antidiuretic hormone. Characterization of AQPs from various anurans revealed that the unique water homeostasis is basically mediated by two types of anuran-specific AQPs, i.e. ventral pelvic skin and urinary bladder type, respectively. The bladder-type AQP is further expressed in the pelvic skin of terrestrial and arboreal species, together with the pelvic skin-type AQP. In contrast, the pelvic skin-type AQP (AQP-x3) of the aquatic Xenopus has lost the ability of efficient protein production. The extra C-terminal tail in AQP-x3 consisting of 33 nucleotides within the coding region appears to participate in the posttranscriptional regulation of AQP-x3 gene expression by attenuating protein expression. The positive transcriptional regulation of bladder-type AQP in the pelvic skin and negative posttranscriptional regulation of pelvic skin-type AQP provide flexibility in the water regulation mechanisms, which might have contributed to the evolutionary adaptation of anurans to a wide variety of water environments.

  5. Adaptive Evolution and the Birth of CTCF Binding Sites in the Drosophila Genome

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Xiaochun; Zhang, Yong E.; Nègre, Nicolas; Chen, Sidi; Long, Manyuan; White, Kevin P.

    2012-01-01

    Changes in the physical interaction between cis-regulatory DNA sequences and proteins drive the evolution of gene expression. However, it has proven difficult to accurately quantify evolutionary rates of such binding change or to estimate the relative effects of selection and drift in shaping the binding evolution. Here we examine the genome-wide binding of CTCF in four species of Drosophila separated by between ∼2.5 and 25 million years. CTCF is a highly conserved protein known to be associated with insulator sequences in the genomes of human and Drosophila. Although the binding preference for CTCF is highly conserved, we find that CTCF binding itself is highly evolutionarily dynamic and has adaptively evolved. Between species, binding divergence increased linearly with evolutionary distance, and CTCF binding profiles are diverging rapidly at the rate of 2.22% per million years (Myr). At least 89 new CTCF binding sites have originated in the Drosophila melanogaster genome since the most recent common ancestor with Drosophila simulans. Comparing these data to genome sequence data from 37 different strains of Drosophila melanogaster, we detected signatures of selection in both newly gained and evolutionarily conserved binding sites. Newly evolved CTCF binding sites show a significantly stronger signature for positive selection than older sites. Comparative gene expression profiling revealed that expression divergence of genes adjacent to CTCF binding site is significantly associated with the gain and loss of CTCF binding. Further, the birth of new genes is associated with the birth of new CTCF binding sites. Our data indicate that binding of Drosophila CTCF protein has evolved under natural selection, and CTCF binding evolution has shaped both the evolution of gene expression and genome evolution during the birth of new genes. PMID:23139640

  6. Evolution of cooperation facilitated by reinforcement learning with adaptive aspiration levels.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Shoma; Masuda, Naoki

    2012-01-21

    Repeated interaction between individuals is the main mechanism for maintaining cooperation in social dilemma situations. Variants of tit-for-tat (repeating the previous action of the opponent) and the win-stay lose-shift strategy are known as strong competitors in iterated social dilemma games. On the other hand, real repeated interaction generally allows plasticity (i.e., learning) of individuals based on the experience of the past. Although plasticity is relevant to various biological phenomena, its role in repeated social dilemma games is relatively unexplored. In particular, if experience-based learning plays a key role in promotion and maintenance of cooperation, learners should evolve in the contest with nonlearners under selection pressure. By modeling players using a simple reinforcement learning model, we numerically show that learning enables the evolution of cooperation. We also show that numerically estimated adaptive dynamics appositely predict the outcome of evolutionary simulations. The analysis of the adaptive dynamics enables us to capture the obtained results as an affirmative example of the Baldwin effect, where learning accelerates the evolution to optimality.

  7. Adaptive responses and invasion: the role of plasticity and evolution in snail shell morphology.

    PubMed

    Kistner, Erica J; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2013-02-01

    Invasive species often exhibit either evolved or plastic adaptations in response to spatially varying environmental conditions. We investigated whether evolved or plastic adaptation was driving variation in shell morphology among invasive populations of the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in the western United States. We found that invasive populations exhibit considerable shell shape variation and inhabit a variety of flow velocity habitats. We investigated the importance of evolution and plasticity by examining variation in shell morphological traits 1) between the parental and F1 generations for each population and 2) among populations of the first lab generation (F1) in a common garden, full-sib design using Canonical Variate Analyses (CVA). We compared the F1 generation to the parental lineages and found significant differences in overall shell shape indicating a plastic response. However, when examining differences among the F1 populations, we found that they maintained among-population shell shape differences, indicating a genetic response. The F1 generation exhibited a smaller shell morph more suited to the low-flow common garden environment within a single generation. Our results suggest that phenotypic plasticity in conjunction with evolution may be driving variation in shell morphology of this widespread invasive snail.

  8. GNBP domain of Anopheles darlingi: are polymorphic inversions and gene variation related to adaptive evolution?

    PubMed

    Bridi, L C; Rafael, M S

    2016-02-01

    Anopheles darlingi is the main malaria vector in humans in South America. In the Amazon basin, it lives along the banks of rivers and lakes, which responds to the annual hydrological cycle (dry season and rainy season). In these breeding sites, the larvae of this mosquito feed on decomposing organic and microorganisms, which can be pathogenic and trigger the activation of innate immune system pathways, such as proteins Gram-negative binding protein (GNBP). Such environmental changes affect the occurrence of polymorphic inversions especially at the heterozygote frequency, which confer adaptative advantage compared to homozygous inversions. We mapped the GNBP probe to the An. darlingi 2Rd inversion by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), which was a good indicator of the GNBP immune response related to the chromosomal polymorphic inversions and adaptative evolution. To better understand the evolutionary relations and time of divergence of the GNBP of An. darlingi, we compared it with nine other mosquito GNBPs. The results of the phylogenetic analysis of the GNBP sequence between the species of mosquitoes demonstrated three clades. Clade I and II included the GNBPB5 sequence, and clade III the sequence of GNBPB1. Most of these sequences of GNBP analyzed were homologous with that of subfamily B, including that of An. gambiae (87 %), therefore suggesting that GNBP of An. darling belongs to subfamily B. This work helps us understand the role of inversion polymorphism in evolution of An. darlingi.

  9. Chewing on the trees: Constraints and adaptation in the evolution of the primate mandible.

    PubMed

    Meloro, Carlo; Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; Carotenuto, Francesco; Sponchiado, Jonas; Melo, Geruza Leal; Passaro, Federico; Raia, Pasquale

    2015-07-01

    Chewing on different food types is a demanding biological function. The classic assumption in studying the shape of feeding apparatuses is that animals are what they eat, meaning that adaptation to different food items accounts for most of their interspecific variation. Yet, a growing body of evidence points against this concept. We use the primate mandible as a model structure to investigate the complex interplay among shape, size, diet, and phylogeny. We find a weak but significant impact of diet on mandible shape variation in primates as a whole but not in anthropoids and catarrhines as tested in isolation. These clades mainly exhibit allometric shape changes, which are unrelated to diet. Diet is an important factor in the diversification of strepsirrhines and platyrrhines and a phylogenetic signal is detected in all primate clades. Peaks in morphological disparity occur during the Oligocene (between 37 and 25 Ma) supporting the notion that an adaptive radiation characterized the evolution of South American monkeys. In all primate clades, the evolution of mandible size is faster than its shape pointing to a strong effect of allometry on ecomorphological diversification in this group.

  10. Adaptive responses and invasion: the role of plasticity and evolution in snail shell morphology

    PubMed Central

    Kistner, Erica J; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species often exhibit either evolved or plastic adaptations in response to spatially varying environmental conditions. We investigated whether evolved or plastic adaptation was driving variation in shell morphology among invasive populations of the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in the western United States. We found that invasive populations exhibit considerable shell shape variation and inhabit a variety of flow velocity habitats. We investigated the importance of evolution and plasticity by examining variation in shell morphological traits 1) between the parental and F1 generations for each population and 2) among populations of the first lab generation (F1) in a common garden, full-sib design using Canonical Variate Analyses (CVA). We compared the F1 generation to the parental lineages and found significant differences in overall shell shape indicating a plastic response. However, when examining differences among the F1 populations, we found that they maintained among-population shell shape differences, indicating a genetic response. The F1 generation exhibited a smaller shell morph more suited to the low-flow common garden environment within a single generation. Our results suggest that phenotypic plasticity in conjunction with evolution may be driving variation in shell morphology of this widespread invasive snail. PMID:23467920

  11. An adaptive left-right eigenvector evolution algorithm for vibration isolation control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, T. Y.

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of this research is to investigate the feasibility of utilizing an adaptive left and right eigenvector evolution (ALREE) algorithm for active vibration isolation. As depicted in the previous paper presented by Wu and Wang (2008 Smart Mater. Struct. 17 015048), the structural vibration behavior depends on both the disturbance rejection capability and mode shape distributions, which correspond to the left and right eigenvector distributions of the system, respectively. In this paper, a novel adaptive evolution algorithm is developed for finding the optimal combination of left-right eigenvectors of the vibration isolator, which is an improvement over the simultaneous left-right eigenvector assignment (SLREA) method proposed by Wu and Wang (2008 Smart Mater. Struct. 17 015048). The isolation performance index used in the proposed algorithm is defined by combining the orthogonality index of left eigenvectors and the modal energy ratio index of right eigenvectors. Through the proposed ALREE algorithm, both the left and right eigenvectors evolve such that the isolation performance index decreases, and therefore one can find the optimal combination of left-right eigenvectors of the closed-loop system for vibration isolation purposes. The optimal combination of left-right eigenvectors is then synthesized to determine the feedback gain matrix of the closed-loop system. The result of the active isolation control shows that the proposed method can be utilized to improve the vibration isolation performance compared with the previous approaches.

  12. 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

  13. Implications of prion adaptation and evolution paradigm for human neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and

  14. Real-Time Molecular Monitoring of Chemical Environment in ObligateAnaerobes during Oxygen Adaptive Response

    SciTech Connect

    Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Wozei, Eleanor; Lin, Zhang; Comolli, Luis R.; Ball, David. A.; Borglin, Sharon; Fields, Matthew W.; Hazen, Terry C.; Downing, Kenneth H.

    2009-02-25

    Determining the transient chemical properties of the intracellular environment canelucidate the paths through which a biological system adapts to changes in its environment, for example, the mechanisms which enable some obligate anaerobic bacteria to survive a sudden exposure to oxygen. Here we used high-resolution Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectromicroscopy to continuously follow cellular chemistry within living obligate anaerobes by monitoring hydrogen bonding in their cellular water. We observed a sequence of wellorchestrated molecular events that correspond to changes in cellular processes in those cells that survive, but only accumulation of radicals in those that do not. We thereby can interpret the adaptive response in terms of transient intracellular chemistry and link it to oxygen stress and survival. This ability to monitor chemical changes at the molecular level can yield important insights into a wide range of adaptive responses.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Primer and interviews: Molecular mechanisms of morphological evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  20. Molecular evolution of communication signals in electric fish.

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. Evolution of the chitin synthase gene family correlates with fungal morphogenesis and adaption to ecological niches

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ran; Xu, Chuan; Zhang, Qiangqiang; Wang, Shiyi; Fang, Weiguo

    2017-01-01

    The fungal kingdom potentially has the most complex chitin synthase (CHS) gene family, but evolution of the fungal CHS gene family and its diversification to fulfill multiple functions remain to be elucidated. Here, we identified the full complement of CHSs from 231 fungal species. Using the largest dataset to date, we characterized the evolution of the fungal CHS gene family using phylogenetic and domain structure analysis. Gene duplication, domain recombination and accretion are major mechanisms underlying the diversification of the fungal CHS gene family, producing at least 7 CHS classes. Contraction of the CHS gene family is morphology-specific, with significant loss in unicellular fungi, whereas family expansion is lineage-specific with obvious expansion in early-diverging fungi. ClassV and ClassVII CHSs with the same domain structure were produced by the recruitment of domains PF00063 and PF08766 and subsequent duplications. Comparative analysis of their functions in multiple fungal species shows that the emergence of ClassV and ClassVII CHSs is important for the morphogenesis of filamentous fungi, development of pathogenicity in pathogenic fungi, and heat stress tolerance in Pezizomycotina fungi. This work reveals the evolution of the fungal CHS gene family, and its correlation with fungal morphogenesis and adaptation to ecological niches. PMID:28300148

  2. Adaptive evolution in the Arabidopsis MADS-box gene family inferred from its complete resolved phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Castilla, León Patricio; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena R.

    2003-01-01

    Gene duplication is a substrate of evolution. However, the relative importance of positive selection versus relaxation of constraints in the functional divergence of gene copies is still under debate. Plant MADS-box genes encode transcriptional regulators key in various aspects of development and have undergone extensive duplications to form a large family. We recovered 104 MADS sequences from the Arabidopsis genome. Bayesian phylogenetic trees recover type II lineage as a monophyletic group and resolve a branching sequence of monophyletic groups within this lineage. The type I lineage is comprised of several divergent groups. However, contrasting gene structure and patterns of chromosomal distribution between type I and II sequences suggest that they had different evolutionary histories and support the placement of the root of the gene family between these two groups. Site-specific and site-branch analyses of positive Darwinian selection (PDS) suggest that different selection regimes could have affected the evolution of these lineages. We found evidence for PDS along the branch leading to flowering time genes that have a direct impact on plant fitness. Sites with high probabilities of having been under PDS were found in the MADS and K domains, suggesting that these played important roles in the acquisition of novel functions during MADS-box diversification. Detected sites are targets for further experimental analyses. We argue that adaptive changes in MADS-domain protein sequences have been important for their functional divergence, suggesting that changes within coding regions of transcriptional regulators have influenced phenotypic evolution of plants. PMID:14597714

  3. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Freek J; Casewell, Nicholas R; Henkel, Christiaan V; Heimberg, Alysha M; Jansen, Hans J; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kerkkamp, Harald M E; Vos, Rutger A; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E; Logan, Jessica M; Harrison, Robert A; Castoe, Todd A; de Koning, A P Jason; Pollock, David D; Yandell, Mark; Calderon, Diego; Renjifo, Camila; Currier, Rachel B; Salgado, David; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Hyder, Asad S; Ribeiro, José M C; Arntzen, Jan W; van den Thillart, Guido E E J M; Boetzer, Marten; Pirovano, Walter; Dirks, Ron P; Spaink, Herman P; Duboule, Denis; McGlinn, Edwina; Kini, R Manjunatha; Richardson, Michael K

    2013-12-17

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from other vertebrates. In contrast to the platypus, the only other venomous vertebrate with a sequenced genome, we find that snake toxin genes evolve through several distinct co-option mechanisms and exhibit surprisingly variable levels of gene duplication and directional selection that correlate with their functional importance in prey capture. The enigmatic accessory venom gland shows a very different pattern of toxin gene expression from the main venom gland and seems to have recruited toxin-like lectin genes repeatedly for new nontoxic functions. In addition, tissue-specific microRNA analyses suggested the co-option of core genetic regulatory components of the venom secretory system from a pancreatic origin. Although the king cobra is limbless, we recovered coding sequences for all Hox genes involved in amniote limb development, with the exception of Hoxd12. Our results provide a unique view of the origin and evolution of snake venom and reveal multiple genome-level adaptive responses to natural selection in this complex biological weapon system. More generally, they provide insight into mechanisms of protein evolution under strong selection.

  4. Genetic drift of human coronavirus OC43 spike gene during adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Lili; Zhang, Yue; Li, Jianguo; Xiao, Yan; Zhang, Jing; Wang, Ying; Chen, Lan; Paranhos-Baccalà, Gláucia; Wang, Jianwei

    2015-01-01

    Coronaviruses (CoVs) continuously threaten human health. However, to date, the evolutionary mechanisms that govern CoV strain persistence in human populations have not been fully understood. In this study, we characterized the evolution of the major antigen-spike (S) gene in the most prevalent human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43 using phylogenetic and phylodynamic analysis. Among the five known HCoV-OC43 genotypes (A to E), higher substitution rates and dN/dS values as well as more positive selection sites were detected in the S gene of genotype D, corresponding to the most dominant HCoV epidemic in recent years. Further analysis showed that the majority of substitutions were located in the S1 subunit. Among them, seven positive selection sites were chronologically traced in the temporal evolution routes of genotype D, and six were located around the critical sugar binding region in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of S protein, an important sugar binding domain of CoV. These findings suggest that the genetic drift of the S gene may play an important role in genotype persistence in human populations, providing insights into the mechanisms of HCoV-OC43 adaptive evolution. PMID:26099036

  5. Biosensor-driven adaptive laboratory evolution of l-valine production in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

    PubMed

    Mahr, Regina; Gätgens, Cornelia; Gätgens, Jochem; Polen, Tino; Kalinowski, Jörn; Frunzke, Julia

    2015-11-01

    Adaptive laboratory evolution has proven a valuable strategy for metabolic engineering. Here, we established an experimental evolution approach for improving microbial metabolite production by imposing an artificial selective pressure on the fluorescent output of a biosensor using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Cells showing the highest fluorescent output were iteratively isolated and (re-)cultivated. The L-valine producer Corynebacterium glutamicum ΔaceE was equipped with an L-valine-responsive sensor based on the transcriptional regulator Lrp of C. glutamicum. Evolved strains featured a significantly higher growth rate, increased L-valine titers (~25%) and a 3-4-fold reduction of by-product formation. Genome sequencing resulted in the identification of a loss-of-function mutation (UreD-E188*) in the gene ureD (urease accessory protein), which was shown to increase L-valine production by up to 100%. Furthermore, decreased L-alanine formation was attributed to a mutation in the global regulator GlxR. These results emphasize biosensor-driven evolution as a straightforward approach to improve growth and productivity of microbial production strains.

  6. Reducing the time complexity of the derandomized evolution strategy with covariance matrix adaptation (CMA-ES).

    PubMed

    Hansen, Nikolaus; Müller, Sibylle D; Koumoutsakos, Petros

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a novel evolutionary optimization strategy based on the derandomized evolution strategy with covariance matrix adaptation (CMA-ES). This new approach is intended to reduce the number of generations required for convergence to the optimum. Reducing the number of generations, i.e., the time complexity of the algorithm, is important if a large population size is desired: (1) to reduce the effect of noise; (2) to improve global search properties; and (3) to implement the algorithm on (highly) parallel machines. Our method results in a highly parallel algorithm