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Sample records for adaptive protein evolution

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Adaptive Evolution of Eel Fluorescent Proteins from Fatty Acid Binding Proteins Produces Bright Fluorescence in the Marine Environment

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, David F.; Gaffney, Jean P.; Mehr, Shaadi; DeSalle, Rob; Sparks, John S.; Platisa, Jelena; Pieribone, Vincent A.

    2015-01-01

    We report the identification and characterization of two new members of a family of bilirubin-inducible fluorescent proteins (FPs) from marine chlopsid eels and demonstrate a key region of the sequence that serves as an evolutionary switch from non-fluorescent to fluorescent fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs). Using transcriptomic analysis of two species of brightly fluorescent Kaupichthys eels (Kaupichthys hyoproroides and Kaupichthys n. sp.), two new FPs were identified, cloned and characterized (Chlopsid FP I and Chlopsid FP II). We then performed phylogenetic analysis on 210 FABPs, spanning 16 vertebrate orders, and including 163 vertebrate taxa. We show that the fluorescent FPs diverged as a protein family and are the sister group to brain FABPs. Our results indicate that the evolution of this family involved at least three gene duplication events. We show that fluorescent FABPs possess a unique, conserved tripeptide Gly-Pro-Pro sequence motif, which is not found in non-fluorescent fatty acid binding proteins. This motif arose from a duplication event of the FABP brain isoforms and was under strong purifying selection, leading to the classification of this new FP family. Residues adjacent to the motif are under strong positive selection, suggesting a further refinement of the eel protein’s fluorescent properties. We present a phylogenetic reconstruction of this emerging FP family and describe additional fluorescent FABP members from groups of distantly related eels. The elucidation of this class of fish FPs with diverse properties provides new templates for the development of protein-based fluorescent tools. The evolutionary adaptation from fatty acid-binding proteins to fluorescent fatty acid-binding proteins raises intrigue as to the functional role of bright green fluorescence in this cryptic genus of reclusive eels that inhabit a blue, nearly monochromatic, marine environment. PMID:26561348

  10. Decoupling of rapid and adaptive evolution among seminal fluid proteins in heliconius butterflies with divergent mating systems.

    PubMed

    Walters, James R; Harrison, Richard G

    2011-10-01

    Reproductive proteins often diverge rapidly between species. This pattern is frequently attributed to postmating sexual selection. Heliconius butterflies offer a good opportunity to examine this hypothesis by contrasting patterns of reproductive protein evolution between clades with divergent mating systems. Pupal-mating Heliconius females typically mate only once, limiting opportunity for postmating sexual selection. In contrast, adult-mating females remate throughout life. Reproductive protein evolution is therefore predicted to be slower and show little evidence of positive selection in the pupal-mating clade. We examined this prediction by sequencing 18 seminal fluid protein genes from a dozen Heliconius species and a related outgroup. Two proteins exhibited dN/dS > 1, implicating positive selection in the rapid evolution of at least a few Heliconius seminal fluid proteins. However, contrary to predictions, the average evolutionary rate of seminal fluid proteins was greater among pupal-mating Heliconius. Based on these results, we suggest that positive selection and relaxed constraint can generate conflicting patterns of reproductive protein evolution between mating systems. As predicted, some loci may show elevated evolutionary rates in promiscuous taxa relative to monandrous taxa resulting from adaptations to postmating sexual selection. However, when monandry is derived (as in Heliconius), the opposite pattern may result from relaxed selective constraints.

  11. Dynamics and Adaptive Benefits of Protein Domain Emergence and Arrangements during Plant Genome Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kersting, Anna R.; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Moore, Andrew D.; Grath, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Plant genomes are generally very large, mostly paleopolyploid, and have numerous gene duplicates and complex genomic features such as repeats and transposable elements. Many of these features have been hypothesized to enable plants, which cannot easily escape environmental challenges, to rapidly adapt. Another mechanism, which has recently been well described as a major facilitator of rapid adaptation in bacteria, animals, and fungi but not yet for plants, is modular rearrangement of protein-coding genes. Due to the high precision of profile-based methods, rearrangements can be well captured at the protein level by characterizing the emergence, loss, and rearrangements of protein domains, their structural, functional, and evolutionary building blocks. Here, we study the dynamics of domain rearrangements and explore their adaptive benefit in 27 plant and 3 algal genomes. We use a phylogenomic approach by which we can explain the formation of 88% of all arrangements by single-step events, such as fusion, fission, and terminal loss of domains. We find many domains are lost along every lineage, but at least 500 domains are novel, that is, they are unique to green plants and emerged more or less recently. These novel domains duplicate and rearrange more readily within their genomes than ancient domains and are overproportionally involved in stress response and developmental innovations. Novel domains more often affect regulatory proteins and show a higher degree of structural disorder than ancient domains. Whereas a relatively large and well-conserved core set of single-domain proteins exists, long multi-domain arrangements tend to be species-specific. We find that duplicated genes are more often involved in rearrangements. Although fission events typically impact metabolic proteins, fusion events often create new signaling proteins essential for environmental sensing. Taken together, the high volatility of single domains and complex arrangements in plant genomes

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Sexual selection and the adaptive evolution of PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents.

    PubMed

    Vicens, Alberto; Gómez Montoto, Laura; Couso-Ferrer, Francisco; Sutton, Keith A; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2015-02-01

    PKDREJ is a testis-specific protein thought to be located on the sperm surface. Functional studies in the mouse revealed that loss of PKDREJ has effects on sperm transport and the ability to undergo an induced acrosome reaction. Thus, PKDREJ has been considered a potential target of post-copulatory sexual selection in the form of sperm competition. Proteins involved in reproductive processes often show accelerated evolution. In many cases, this rapid divergence is promoted by positive selection which may be driven, at least in part, by post-copulatory sexual selection. We analysed the evolution of the PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents and assessed whether PKDREJ divergence is associated with testes mass relative to body mass, which is a reliable proxy of sperm competition levels. Evidence of an association between the evolutionary rate of the PKDREJ gene and testes mass relative to body mass was not found in primates. Among rodents, evidence of positive selection was detected in the Pkdrej gene in the family Cricetidae but not in Muridae. We then assessed whether Pkdrej divergence is associated with episodes of sperm competition in these families. We detected a positive significant correlation between the evolutionary rates of Pkdrej and testes mass relative to body mass in cricetids. These findings constitute the first evidence of post-copulatory sexual selection influencing the evolution of a protein that participates in the mechanisms regulating sperm transport and the acrosome reaction, strongly suggesting that positive selection may act on these fertilization steps, leading to advantages in situations of sperm competition.

  15. Sexual selection and the adaptive evolution of PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents

    PubMed Central

    Vicens, Alberto; Gómez Montoto, Laura; Couso-Ferrer, Francisco; Sutton, Keith A.; Roldan, Eduardo R.S.

    2015-01-01

    PKDREJ is a testis-specific protein thought to be located on the sperm surface. Functional studies in the mouse revealed that loss of PKDREJ has effects on sperm transport and the ability to undergo an induced acrosome reaction. Thus, PKDREJ has been considered a potential target of post-copulatory sexual selection in the form of sperm competition. Proteins involved in reproductive processes often show accelerated evolution. In many cases, this rapid divergence is promoted by positive selection which may be driven, at least in part, by post-copulatory sexual selection. We analysed the evolution of the PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents and assessed whether PKDREJ divergence is associated with testes mass relative to body mass, which is a reliable proxy of sperm competition levels. Evidence of an association between the evolutionary rate of the PKDREJ gene and testes mass relative to body mass was not found in primates. Among rodents, evidence of positive selection was detected in the Pkdrej gene in the family Cricetidae but not in Muridae. We then assessed whether Pkdrej divergence is associated with episodes of sperm competition in these families. We detected a positive significant correlation between the evolutionary rates of Pkdrej and testes mass relative to body mass in cricetids. These findings constitute the first evidence of post-copulatory sexual selection influencing the evolution of a protein that participates in the mechanisms regulating sperm transport and the acrosome reaction, strongly suggesting that positive selection may act on these fertilization steps, leading to advantages in situations of sperm competition. PMID:25304980

  16. 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

  17. Early origin and adaptive evolution of the GW182 protein family, the key component of RNA silencing in animals.

    PubMed

    Zielezinski, Andrzej; Karlowski, Wojciech M

    2015-01-01

    The GW182 proteins are a key component of the miRNA-dependent post-transcriptional silencing pathway in animals. They function as scaffold proteins to mediate the interaction of Argonaute (AGO)-containing complexes with cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding proteins (PABP) and PAN2-PAN3 and CCR4-NOT deadenylases. The AGO-GW182 complexes mediate silencing of the target mRNA through induction of translational repression and/or mRNA degradation. Although the GW182 proteins are a subject of extensive experimental research in the recent years, very little is known about their origin and evolution. Here, based on complex functional annotation and phylogenetic analyses, we reveal 448 members of the GW182 protein family from the earliest animals to humans. Our results indicate that a single-copy GW182/TNRC6C progenitor gene arose with the emergence of multicellularity and it multiplied in the last common ancestor of vertebrates in 2 rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) resulting in 3 genes. Before the divergence of vertebrates, both the AGO- and CCR4-NOT-binding regions of GW182s showed significant acceleration in the accumulation of amino acid changes, suggesting functional adaptation toward higher specificity to the molecules of the silencing complex. We conclude that the silencing ability of the GW182 proteins improves with higher position in the taxonomic classification and increasing complexity of the organism. The first reconstruction of the molecular journey of GW182 proteins from the ancestral metazoan protein to the current mammalian configuration provides new insight into development of the miRNA-dependent post-transcriptional silencing pathway in animals.

  18. Extensive amino acid polymorphism at the pgm locus is consistent with adaptive protein evolution in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Verrelli, B C; Eanes, W F

    2000-01-01

    PGM plays a central role in the glycolytic pathway at the branch point leading to glycogen metabolism and is highly polymorphic in allozyme studies of many species. We have characterized the nucleotide diversity across the Pgm gene in Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans to investigate the role that protein polymorphism plays at this crucial metabolic branch point shared with several other enzymes. Although D. melanogaster and D. simulans share common allozyme mobility alleles, we find these allozymes are the result of many different amino acid changes at the nucleotide level. In addition, specific allozyme classes within species contain several amino acid changes, which may explain the absence of latitudinal clines for PGM allozyme alleles, the lack of association of PGM allozymes with the cosmopolitan In(3L)P inversion, and the failure to detect differences between PGM allozymes in functional studies. We find a significant excess of amino acid polymorphisms within D. melanogaster when compared to the complete absence of fixed replacements with D. simulans. There is also strong linkage disequilibrium across the 2354 bp of the Pgm locus, which may be explained by a specific amino acid haplotype that is high in frequency yet contains an excess of singleton polymorphisms. Like G6pd, Pgm shows strong evidence for a branch point enzyme that exhibits adaptive protein evolution. PMID:11102370

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Evolution of proteins.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.

    1971-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of proteins from living organisms are dealt with. The structure of proteins is first discussed; the variation in this structure from one biological group to another is illustrated by the first halves of the sequences of cytochrome c, and a phylogenetic tree is derived from the cytochrome c data. The relative geological times associated with the events of this tree are discussed. Errors which occur in the duplication of cells during the evolutionary process are examined. Particular attention is given to evolution of mutant proteins, globins, ferredoxin, and transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNA's). Finally, a general outline of biological evolution is presented.

  4. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Modahl, Cassandra M.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  5. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution.

    PubMed

    Modahl, Cassandra M; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-06-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  6. Modeling Protein Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldstein, Richard; Pollock, David

    The study of biology is fundamentally different from many other scientific pursuits, such as geology or astrophysics. This difference stems from the ubiquitous questions that arise about function and purpose. These are questions concerning why biological objects operate the way they do: what is the function of a polymerase? What is the role of the immune system? No one, aside from the most dedicated anthropist or interventionist theist, would attempt to determine the purpose of the earth's mantle or the function of a binary star. Among the sciences, it is only biology in which the details of what an object does can be said to be part of the reason for its existence. This is because the process of evolution is capable of improving an object to better carry out a function; that is, it adapts an object within the constraints of mechanics and history (i.e., what has come before). Thus, the ultimate basis of these biological questions is the process of evolution; generally, the function of an enzyme, cell type, organ, system, or trait is the thing that it does that contributes to the fitness (i.e., reproductive success) of the organism of which it is a part or characteristic. Our investigations cannot escape the simple fact that all things in biology (including ourselves) are, ultimately, the result of an evolutionary process.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Biophysics of protein evolution and evolutionary protein biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Sikosek, Tobias; Chan, Hue Sun

    2014-01-01

    The study of molecular evolution at the level of protein-coding genes often entails comparing large datasets of sequences to infer their evolutionary relationships. Despite the importance of a protein's structure and conformational dynamics to its function and thus its fitness, common phylogenetic methods embody minimal biophysical knowledge of proteins. To underscore the biophysical constraints on natural selection, we survey effects of protein mutations, highlighting the physical basis for marginal stability of natural globular proteins and how requirement for kinetic stability and avoidance of misfolding and misinteractions might have affected protein evolution. The biophysical underpinnings of these effects have been addressed by models with an explicit coarse-grained spatial representation of the polypeptide chain. Sequence–structure mappings based on such models are powerful conceptual tools that rationalize mutational robustness, evolvability, epistasis, promiscuous function performed by ‘hidden’ conformational states, resolution of adaptive conflicts and conformational switches in the evolution from one protein fold to another. Recently, protein biophysics has been applied to derive more accurate evolutionary accounts of sequence data. Methods have also been developed to exploit sequence-based evolutionary information to predict biophysical behaviours of proteins. The success of these approaches demonstrates a deep synergy between the fields of protein biophysics and protein evolution. PMID:25165599

  10. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Protein evolution on rugged landscapes.

    PubMed Central

    Macken, C A; Perelson, A S

    1989-01-01

    We analyze a mathematical model of protein evolution in which the evolutionary process is viewed as hill-climbing on a random fitness landscape. In studying the structure of such landscapes, we note that a large number of local optima exist, and we calculate the time and number of mutational changes until a protein gets trapped at a local optimum. Such a hill-climbing process may underlie the evolution of antibody molecules by somatic hypermutation. PMID:2762321

  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. Laboratory-Directed Protein Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Ling; Kurek, Itzhak; English, James; Keenan, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Systematic approaches to directed evolution of proteins have been documented since the 1970s. The ability to recruit new protein functions arises from the considerable substrate ambiguity of many proteins. The substrate ambiguity of a protein can be interpreted as the evolutionary potential that allows a protein to acquire new specificities through mutation or to regain function via mutations that differ from the original protein sequence. All organisms have evolutionarily exploited this substrate ambiguity. When exploited in a laboratory under controlled mutagenesis and selection, it enables a protein to “evolve” in desired directions. One of the most effective strategies in directed protein evolution is to gradually accumulate mutations, either sequentially or by recombination, while applying selective pressure. This is typically achieved by the generation of libraries of mutants followed by efficient screening of these libraries for targeted functions and subsequent repetition of the process using improved mutants from the previous screening. Here we review some of the successful strategies in creating protein diversity and the more recent progress in directed protein evolution in a wide range of scientific disciplines and its impacts in chemical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural sciences. PMID:16148303

  17. Evolution of Protein Domain Repeats in Metazoa

    PubMed Central

    Schüler, Andreas; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Repeats are ubiquitous elements of proteins and they play important roles for cellular function and during evolution. Repeats are, however, also notoriously difficult to capture computationally and large scale studies so far had difficulties in linking genetic causes, structural properties and evolutionary trajectories of protein repeats. Here we apply recently developed methods for repeat detection and analysis to a large dataset comprising over hundred metazoan genomes. We find that repeats in larger protein families experience generally very few insertions or deletions (indels) of repeat units but there is also a significant fraction of noteworthy volatile outliers with very high indel rates. Analysis of structural data indicates that repeats with an open structure and independently folding units are more volatile and more likely to be intrinsically disordered. Such disordered repeats are also significantly enriched in sites with a high functional potential such as linear motifs. Furthermore, the most volatile repeats have a high sequence similarity between their units. Since many volatile repeats also show signs of recombination, we conclude they are often shaped by concerted evolution. Intriguingly, many of these conserved yet volatile repeats are involved in host-pathogen interactions where they might foster fast but subtle adaptation in biological arms races. Key Words: protein evolution, domain rearrangements, protein repeats, concerted evolution. PMID:27671125

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Evolution-Based Functional Decomposition of Proteins.

    PubMed

    Rivoire, Olivier; Reynolds, Kimberly A; Ranganathan, Rama

    2016-06-01

    The essential biological properties of proteins-folding, biochemical activities, and the capacity to adapt-arise from the global pattern of interactions between amino acid residues. The statistical coupling analysis (SCA) is an approach to defining this pattern that involves the study of amino acid coevolution in an ensemble of sequences comprising a protein family. This approach indicates a functional architecture within proteins in which the basic units are coupled networks of amino acids termed sectors. This evolution-based decomposition has potential for new understandings of the structural basis for protein function. To facilitate its usage, we present here the principles and practice of the SCA and introduce new methods for sector analysis in a python-based software package (pySCA). We show that the pattern of amino acid interactions within sectors is linked to the divergence of functional lineages in a multiple sequence alignment-a model for how sector properties might be differentially tuned in members of a protein family. This work provides new tools for studying proteins and for generally testing the concept of sectors as the principal units of function and adaptive variation.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Advances in the directed evolution of proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Michael D.; Seelig, Burckhard

    2014-01-01

    Natural evolution has produced a great diversity of proteins that can be harnessed for numerous applications in biotechnology and pharmaceutical science. Commonly, specific applications require proteins to be tailored by protein engineering. Directed evolution is a type of protein engineering that yields proteins with the desired properties under well-defined conditions and in a practical time frame. While directed evolution has been employed for decades, recent creative developments enable the generation of proteins with previously inaccessible properties. Novel selection strategies, faster techniques, the inclusion of unnatural amino acids or modifications, and the symbiosis of rational design approaches and directed evolution continue to advance protein engineering. PMID:25309990

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A Unique Set of the Burkholderia Collagen-Like Proteins Provides Insight into Pathogenesis, Genome Evolution and Niche Adaptation, and Infection Detection

    PubMed Central

    Bachert, Beth A.; Choi, Soo J.; Snyder, Anna K.; Rio, Rita V. M.; Durney, Brandon C.; Holland, Lisa A.; Amemiya, Kei; Welkos, Susan L.; Bozue, Joel A.; Cote, Christopher K.; Berisio, Rita; Lukomski, Slawomir

    2015-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, classified as category B priority pathogens, are significant human and animal pathogens that are highly infectious and broad-spectrum antibiotic resistant. Currently, the pathogenicity mechanisms utilized by Burkholderia are not fully understood, and correct diagnosis of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei infection remains a challenge due to limited detection methods. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of a set of 13 novel Burkholderia collagen-like proteins (Bucl) that were identified among B. pseudomallei and B. mallei select agents. We infer that several Bucl proteins participate in pathogenesis based on their noncollagenous domains that are associated with the components of a type III secretion apparatus and membrane transport systems. Homology modeling of the outer membrane efflux domain of Bucl8 points to a role in multi-drug resistance. We determined that bucl genes are widespread in B. pseudomallei and B. mallei; Fischer’s exact test and Cramer’s V2 values indicate that the majority of bucl genes are highly associated with these pathogenic species versus nonpathogenic B. thailandensis. We designed a bucl-based quantitative PCR assay which was able to detect B. pseudomallei infection in a mouse with a detection limit of 50 CFU. Finally, chromosomal mapping and phylogenetic analysis of bucl loci revealed considerable genomic plasticity and adaptation of Burkholderia spp. to host and environmental niches. In this study, we identified a large set of phylogenetically unrelated bucl genes commonly found in Burkholderia select agents, encoding predicted pathogenicity factors, detection targets, and vaccine candidates. PMID:26356298

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Evolution of Protein Lipograms: A Bioinformatics Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Harold B., III; Dhurjati, Prasad

    2006-01-01

    A protein lacking one of the 20 common amino acids is a protein lipogram. This open-ended problem-based learning assignment deals with the evolution of proteins with biased amino acid composition. It has students query protein and metabolic databases to test the hypothesis that natural selection has reduced the frequency of each amino acid…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Adaptation in protein fitness landscapes is facilitated by indirect paths

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Nicholas C; Dai, Lei; Olson, C Anders; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Sun, Ren

    2016-01-01

    The structure of fitness landscapes is critical for understanding adaptive protein evolution. Previous empirical studies on fitness landscapes were confined to either the neighborhood around the wild type sequence, involving mostly single and double mutants, or a combinatorially complete subgraph involving only two amino acids at each site. In reality, the dimensionality of protein sequence space is higher (20L) and there may be higher-order interactions among more than two sites. Here we experimentally characterized the fitness landscape of four sites in protein GB1, containing 204 = 160,000 variants. We found that while reciprocal sign epistasis blocked many direct paths of adaptation, such evolutionary traps could be circumvented by indirect paths through genotype space involving gain and subsequent loss of mutations. These indirect paths alleviate the constraint on adaptive protein evolution, suggesting that the heretofore neglected dimensions of sequence space may change our views on how proteins evolve. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16965.001 PMID:27391790

  2. Structure, dynamics, assembly, and evolution of protein complexes.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Joseph A; Teichmann, Sarah A

    2015-01-01

    The assembly of individual proteins into functional complexes is fundamental to nearly all biological processes. In recent decades, many thousands of homomeric and heteromeric protein complex structures have been determined, greatly improving our understanding of the fundamental principles that control symmetric and asymmetric quaternary structure organization. Furthermore, our conception of protein complexes has moved beyond static representations to include dynamic aspects of quaternary structure, including conformational changes upon binding, multistep ordered assembly pathways, and structural fluctuations occurring within fully assembled complexes. Finally, major advances have been made in our understanding of protein complex evolution, both in reconstructing evolutionary histories of specific complexes and in elucidating general mechanisms that explain how quaternary structure tends to evolve. The evolution of quaternary structure occurs via changes in self-assembly state or through the gain or loss of protein subunits, and these processes can be driven by both adaptive and nonadaptive influences.

  3. Phylointeractomics reconstructs functional evolution of protein binding

    PubMed Central

    Kappei, Dennis; Scheibe, Marion; Paszkowski-Rogacz, Maciej; Bluhm, Alina; Gossmann, Toni Ingolf; Dietz, Sabrina; Dejung, Mario; Herlyn, Holger; Buchholz, Frank; Mann, Matthias; Butter, Falk

    2017-01-01

    Molecular phylogenomics investigates evolutionary relationships based on genomic data. However, despite genomic sequence conservation, changes in protein interactions can occur relatively rapidly and may cause strong functional diversification. To investigate such functional evolution, we here combine phylogenomics with interaction proteomics. We develop this concept by investigating the molecular evolution of the shelterin complex, which protects telomeres, across 16 vertebrate species from zebrafish to humans covering 450 million years of evolution. Our phylointeractomics screen discovers previously unknown telomere-associated proteins and reveals how homologous proteins undergo functional evolution. For instance, we show that TERF1 evolved as a telomere-binding protein in the common stem lineage of marsupial and placental mammals. Phylointeractomics is a versatile and scalable approach to investigate evolutionary changes in protein function and thus can provide experimental evidence for phylogenomic relationships. PMID:28176777

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Exploring metazoan evolution through dynamic and holistic changes in protein families and domains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding proteome evolution is important for deciphering processes that drive species diversity and adaptation. Herein, the dynamics of change in protein families and protein domains over the course of metazoan evolution was explored. Change, as defined by birth/death and duplication/deletion ...

  8. 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

  9. Evolution of the Protein Repertoire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chothia, Cyrus; Gough, Julian; Vogel, Christine; Teichmann, Sarah A.

    2003-06-01

    Most proteins have been formed by gene duplication, recombination, and divergence. Proteins of known structure can be matched to about 50% of genome sequences, and these data provide a quantitative description and can suggest hypotheses about the origins of these processes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Protein cold adaptation: Role of physico-chemical parameters in adaptation of proteins to low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Shokrollahzade, Soheila; Sharifi, Fatemeh; Vaseghi, Akbar; Faridounnia, Maryam; Jahandideh, Samad

    2015-10-21

    During years 2007 and 2008, we published three papers (Jahandideh, 2007a, JTB, 246, 159-166; Jahandideh, 2007b, JTB, 248, 721-726; Jahandideh, 2008, JTB, 255, 113-118) investigating sequence and structural parameters in adaptation of proteins to low temperatures. Our studies revealed important features in cold-adaptation of proteins. Here, we calculate values of a new set of physico-chemical parameters and perform a comparative systematic analysis on a more comprehensive database of psychrophilic-mesophilic homologous protein pairs. Our obtained results confirm that psychrophilicity rules are not merely the inverse rules of thermostability; for instance, although contact order is reported as a key feature in thermostability, our results have shown no significant difference between contact orders of psychrophilic proteins compared to mesophilic proteins. We are optimistic that these findings would help future efforts to propose a strategy for designing cold-adapted proteins.

  14. 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

  15. Imprint of evolution on protein structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiana, Guido; Shakhnovich, Boris E.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2004-03-01

    We attempt to understand the evolutionary origin of protein folds by simulating their divergent evolution with a three-dimensional lattice model. Starting from an initial seed lattice structure, evolution of model proteins progresses by sequence duplication and subsequent point mutations. A new gene's ability to fold into a stable and unique structure is tested each time through direct kinetic folding simulations. Where possible, the algorithm accepts the new sequence and structure and thus a "new protein structure" is born. During the course of each run, this model evolutionary algorithm provides several thousand new proteins with diverse structures. Analysis of evolved structures shows that later evolved structures are more designable than seed structures as judged by recently developed structural determinant of protein designability, as well as direct estimate of designability for selected structures by thermodynamic sampling of their sequence space. We test the significance of this trend predicted on lattice models on real proteins and show that protein domains that are found in eukaryotic organisms only feature statistically significant higher designability than their prokaryotic counterparts. These results present a fundamental view on protein evolution highlighting the relative roles of structural selection and evolutionary dynamics on genesis of modern proteins.

  16. Mechanisms of protein evolution and their application to protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Glasner, Margaret E; Gerlt, John A; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2007-01-01

    Protein engineering holds great promise for the development of new biosensors, diagnostics, therapeutics, and agents for bioremediation. Despite some remarkable successes in experimental and computational protein design, engineered proteins rarely achieve the efficiency or specificity of natural enzymes. Current protein design methods utilize evolutionary concepts, including mutation, recombination, and selection, but the inability to fully recapitulate the success of natural evolution suggests that some evolutionary principles have not been fully exploited. One aspect of protein engineering that has received little attention is how to select the most promising proteins to serve as templates, or scaffolds, for engineering. Two evolutionary concepts that could provide a rational basis for template selection are the conservation of catalytic mechanisms and functional promiscuity. Knowledge of the catalytic motifs responsible for conserved aspects of catalysis in mechanistically diverse superfamilies could be used to identify promising templates for protein engineering. Second, protein evolution often proceeds through promiscuous intermediates, suggesting that templates which are naturally promiscuous for a target reaction could enhance protein engineering strategies. This review explores these ideas and alternative hypotheses concerning protein evolution and engineering. Future research will determine if application of these principles will lead to a protein engineering methodology governed by predictable rules for designing efficient, novel catalysts.

  17. Dissecting protein-protein interactions using directed evolution.

    PubMed

    Bonsor, Daniel A; Sundberg, Eric J

    2011-04-05

    Protein-protein interactions are essential for life. They are responsible for most cellular functions and when they go awry often lead to disease. Proteins are inherently complex. They are flexible macromolecules whose constituent amino acid components act in combinatorial and networked ways when they engage one another in binding interactions. It is just this complexity that allows them to conduct such a broad array of biological functions. Despite decades of intense study of the molecular basis of protein-protein interactions, key gaps in our understanding remain, hindering our ability to accurately predict the specificities and affinities of their interactions. Until recently, most protein-protein investigations have been probed experimentally at the single-amino acid level, making them, by definition, incapable of capturing the combinatorial nature of, and networked communications between, the numerous residues within and outside of the protein-protein interface. This aspect of protein-protein interactions, however, is emerging as a major driving force for protein affinity and specificity. Understanding a combinatorial process necessarily requires a combinatorial experimental tool. Much like the organisms in which they reside, proteins naturally evolve over time, through a combinatorial process of mutagenesis and selection, to functionally associate. Elucidating the process by which proteins have evolved may be one of the keys to deciphering the molecular rules that govern their interactions with one another. Directed evolution is a technique performed in the laboratory that mimics natural evolution on a tractable time scale that has been utilized widely to engineer proteins with novel capabilities, including altered binding properties. In this review, we discuss directed evolution as an emerging tool for dissecting protein-protein interactions.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The Origin and Early Evolution of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Schweighofter, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.

    2006-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of membrane proteins, and in particular ion channels, are considered from the point of view that the transmembrane segments of membrane proteins are structurally quite simple and do not require specific sequences to fold. We argue that the transport of solute species, especially ions, required an early evolution of efficient transport mechanisms, and that the emergence of simple ion channels was protobiologically plausible. We also argue that, despite their simple structure, such channels could possess properties that, at the first sight, appear to require markedly larger complexity. These properties can be subtly modulated by local modifications to the sequence rather than global changes in molecular architecture. In order to address the evolution and development of ion channels, we focus on identifying those protein domains that are commonly associated with ion channel proteins and are conserved throughout the three main domains of life (Eukarya, Prokarya, and Archaea). We discuss the potassium-sodium-calcium superfamily of voltage-gated ion channels, mechanosensitive channels, porins, and ABC-transporters and argue that these families of membrane channels have sufficiently universal architectures that they can readily adapt to the diverse functional demands arising during evolution.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Molecular evolution of rbcL in three gymnosperm families: identifying adaptive and coevolutionary patterns

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The chloroplast-localized ribulose-1, 5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), the primary enzyme responsible for autotrophy, is instrumental in the continual adaptation of plants to variations in the concentrations of CO2. The large subunit (LSU) of Rubisco is encoded by the chloroplast rbcL gene. Although adaptive processes have been previously identified at this gene, characterizing the relationships between the mutational dynamics at the protein level may yield clues on the biological meaning of such adaptive processes. The role of such coevolutionary dynamics in the continual fine-tuning of RbcL remains obscure. Results We used the timescale and phylogenetic analyses to investigate and search for processes of adaptive evolution in rbcL gene in three gymnosperm families, namely Podocarpaceae, Taxaceae and Cephalotaxaceae. To understand the relationships between regions identified as having evolved under adaptive evolution, we performed coevolutionary analyses using the software CAPS. Importantly, adaptive processes were identified at amino acid sites located on the contact regions among the Rubisco subunits and on the interface between Rubisco and its activase. Adaptive amino acid replacements at these regions may have optimized the holoenzyme activity. This hypothesis was pinpointed by evidence originated from our analysis of coevolution that supported the correlated evolution between Rubisco and its activase. Interestingly, the correlated adaptive processes between both these proteins have paralleled the geological variation history of the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Conclusions The gene rbcL has experienced bursts of adaptations in response to the changing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. These adaptations have emerged as a result of a continuous dynamic of mutations, many of which may have involved innovation of functional Rubisco features. Analysis of the protein structure and the functional implications of such mutations put

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Matricellular Proteins in Cardiac Adaptation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Frangogiannis, Nikolaos G.

    2015-01-01

    The term “matricellular proteins” describes a family of structurally unrelated extracellular macromolecules that, unlike structural matrix proteins, do not play a primary role in tissue architecture, but are induced following injury and modulate cell:cell and cell:matrix interactions. When released to the matrix, matricellular proteins associate with growth factors, cytokines and other bioactive effectors and bind to cell surface receptors transducing signaling cascades. Matricellular proteins are upregulated in the injured and remodeling heart and play an important role in regulation of inflammatory, reparative, fibrotic and angiogenic pathways. Thrombospondins (TSP)-1, -2 and -4, tenascin-C and –X, secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), osteopontin, periostin and members of the CCN family (including CCN1 and CCN2/Connective Tissue Growth Factor) are involved in a variety of cardiac pathophysiologic conditions, including myocardial infarction, cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, aging-associated myocardial remodeling, myocarditis, diabetic cardiomyopathy and valvular disease. This review manuscript discusses the properties and characteristics of the matricellular proteins and presents our current knowledge on their role in cardiac adaptation and disease. Understanding the role of matricellular proteins in myocardial pathophysiology and identification of the functional domains responsible for their actions may lead to design of peptides with therapeutic potential for patients with heart disease. PMID:22535894

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Assembly reflects evolution of protein complexes.

    PubMed

    Levy, Emmanuel D; Boeri Erba, Elisabetta; Robinson, Carol V; Teichmann, Sarah A

    2008-06-26

    A homomer is formed by self-interacting copies of a protein unit. This is functionally important, as in allostery, and structurally crucial because mis-assembly of homomers is implicated in disease. Homomers are widespread, with 50-70% of proteins with a known quaternary state assembling into such structures. Despite their prevalence, their role in the evolution of cellular machinery and the potential for their use in the design of new molecular machines, little is known about the mechanisms that drive formation of homomers at the level of evolution and assembly in the cell. Here we present an analysis of over 5,000 unique atomic structures and show that the quaternary structure of homomers is conserved in over 70% of protein pairs sharing as little as 30% sequence identity. Where quaternary structure is not conserved among the members of a protein family, a detailed investigation revealed well-defined evolutionary pathways by which proteins transit between different quaternary structure types. Furthermore, we show by perturbing subunit interfaces within complexes and by mass spectrometry analysis, that the (dis)assembly pathway mimics the evolutionary pathway. These data represent a molecular analogy to Haeckel's evolutionary paradigm of embryonic development, where an intermediate in the assembly of a complex represents a form that appeared in its own evolutionary history. Our model of self-assembly allows reliable prediction of evolution and assembly of a complex solely from its crystal structure.

  15. 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

  16. Evolution of protein-protein interaction networks in yeast.

    PubMed

    Schoenrock, Andrew; Burnside, Daniel; Moteshareie, Houman; Pitre, Sylvain; Hooshyar, Mohsen; Green, James R; Golshani, Ashkan; Dehne, Frank; Wong, Alex

    2017-01-01

    Interest in the evolution of protein-protein and genetic interaction networks has been rising in recent years, but the lack of large-scale high quality comparative datasets has acted as a barrier. Here, we carried out a comparative analysis of computationally predicted protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks from five closely related yeast species. We used the Protein-protein Interaction Prediction Engine (PIPE), which uses a database of known interactions to make sequence-based PPI predictions, to generate high quality predicted interactomes. Simulated proteomes and corresponding PPI networks were used to provide null expectations for the extent and nature of PPI network evolution. We found strong evidence for conservation of PPIs, with lower than expected levels of change in PPIs for about a quarter of the proteome. Furthermore, we found that changes in predicted PPI networks are poorly predicted by sequence divergence. Our analyses identified a number of functional classes experiencing fewer PPI changes than expected, suggestive of purifying selection on PPIs. Our results demonstrate the added benefit of considering predicted PPI networks when studying the evolution of closely related organisms.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolution of feline immunodeficiency virus Gag proteins.

    PubMed

    Burkala, Evan; Poss, Mary

    2007-10-01

    We evaluated the predicted biochemical properties of Gag proteins from a diverse group of feline immunodeficiency viruses (FIV) to determine how different evolutionary histories of virus and host have changed or constrained these important structural proteins. Our data are based on FIV sequences derived from domestic cat (FIVfca), cougar (FIVpco), and lions (FIVple). Analyses consisted of determining the selective forces acting at each position in the protein and the comparing predictions for secondary structure, charge, hydrophobicity and flexibility for matrix, capsid and nucleocapsid, and the C-terminal peptide, which comprise the Gag proteins. We demonstrate that differences among the FIV Gag proteins have largely arisen by neutral evolution, although many neutrally evolving regions have maintained biochemical features. Regions with predicted differences in biochemical features appear to involve intramolecular interactions and structural elements that undergo conformational changes during particle maturation. In contrast, the majority of sites involved in intermolecular contacts on the protein surface are constrained by purifying selection. There is also conservation of sites that interact with host proteins associated with cellular trafficking and particle budding. NC is the only protein with evidence of positive selection, two of which occur in the N-terminal region responsible for RNA binding and interaction with host proteins.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Abundance and Temperature Dependency of Protein-Protein Interaction Revealed by Interface Structure Analysis and Stability Evolution.

    PubMed

    He, Yi-Ming; Ma, Bin-Guang

    2016-05-25

    Protein complexes are major forms of protein-protein interactions and implement essential biological functions. The subunit interface in a protein complex is related to its thermostability. Though the roles of interface properties in thermal adaptation have been investigated for protein complexes, the relationship between the interface size and the expression level of the subunits remains unknown. In the present work, we studied this relationship and found a positive correlation in thermophiles rather than mesophiles. Moreover, we found that the protein interaction strength in complexes is not only temperature-dependent but also abundance-dependent. The underlying mechanism for the observed correlation was explored by simulating the evolution of protein interface stability, which highlights the avoidance of misinteraction. Our findings make more complete the picture of the mechanisms for protein complex thermal adaptation and provide new insights into the principles of protein-protein interactions.

  3. Abundance and Temperature Dependency of Protein-Protein Interaction Revealed by Interface Structure Analysis and Stability Evolution

    PubMed Central

    He, Yi-Ming; Ma, Bin-Guang

    2016-01-01

    Protein complexes are major forms of protein-protein interactions and implement essential biological functions. The subunit interface in a protein complex is related to its thermostability. Though the roles of interface properties in thermal adaptation have been investigated for protein complexes, the relationship between the interface size and the expression level of the subunits remains unknown. In the present work, we studied this relationship and found a positive correlation in thermophiles rather than mesophiles. Moreover, we found that the protein interaction strength in complexes is not only temperature-dependent but also abundance-dependent. The underlying mechanism for the observed correlation was explored by simulating the evolution of protein interface stability, which highlights the avoidance of misinteraction. Our findings make more complete the picture of the mechanisms for protein complex thermal adaptation and provide new insights into the principles of protein-protein interactions. PMID:27220911

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Computationally optimizing the directed evolution of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, Christopher Ashby

    Directed evolution has proven a successful strategy for protein engineering. To accelerate the discovery process, we have developed several computational methods to optimize the mutant libraries by targeting specific residues for mutagenesis, and subunits for recombination. In achieving this goal, a statistical model was first used to study the dynamics of directed evolution as a search algorithm. These simulations improved our understanding of the relationship between parameters describing the search space (e.g., interactions between amino acids) and experimental search parameters (e.g., mutation rate and library size). Based on these simulations, a more detailed model was used to calculate the structural tolerance of each residue to amino acid substitutions. Further, a computational model was developed to optimize recombination experiments, based on the three-dimensional structure. Together, these computational techniques represent a major step towards information-driven combinatorial protein design.

  8. Evolution of organelle-associated protein profiling.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wei; Aebersold, Ruedi; Raines, Elaine W

    2009-02-15

    Identification of the protein constituents of cell organelles forms the basis for studies to define the roles of specific proteins in organelle structure and functions. Over the past decade, the use of mass spectrometry-based proteomics has dissected various organelles and allowed the association of many novel proteins with particular organelles. This review chronicles the evolution of organelle proteomics technology, and discusses how many limitations, such as organelle heterogeneity and purity, can be avoided with recently developed quantitative profiling approaches. Although many challenges remain, quantitative profiling of organelles holds the promise to begin to address the complex and dynamic shuttling of proteins among organelles that will be critical for application of this advanced technology to disease-based changes in organelle function.

  9. Protein disorder--a breakthrough invention of evolution?

    PubMed

    Schlessinger, Avner; Schaefer, Christian; Vicedo, Esmeralda; Schmidberger, Markus; Punta, Marco; Rost, Burkhard

    2011-06-01

    As an operational definition, we refer to regions in proteins that do not adopt regular three-dimensional structures in isolation, as disordered regions. An antipode to disorder would be 'well-structured' rather than 'ordered'. Here, we argue for the following three hypotheses. Firstly, it is more useful to picture disorder as a distinct phenomenon in structural biology than as an extreme example of protein flexibility. Secondly, there are many very different flavors of protein disorder, nevertheless, it seems advantageous to portray the universe of all possible proteins in terms of two main types: well-structured, disordered. There might be a third type 'other' but we have so far no positive evidence for this. Thirdly, nature uses protein disorder as a tool to adapt to different environments. Protein disorder is evolutionarily conserved and this maintenance of disorder is highly nontrivial. Increasingly integrating protein disorder into the toolbox of a living cell was a crucial step in the evolution from simple bacteria to complex eukaryotes. We need new advanced computational methods to study this new milestone in the advance of protein biology.

  10. 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.

  11. A Comparison of Rosetta Stones in Adapter Protein Families

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Hulikal Shivashankara Santosh; Kumar, Vadlapudi

    2016-01-01

    The inventory of proteins used in different kingdoms appears surprisingly similar in all sequenced eukaryotic genome. Protein domains represent the basic evolutionary units that form proteins. Domain duplication and shuffling by recombination are probably the most important forces driving protein evolution and hence the complexity of the proteome. While the duplication of whole genes as well as domain encoding exons increases the abundance of domains in the proteome, domain shuffling increases versatility, i.e. the number of distinct contexts in which a domain can occur. In this study we considered five important adapter domain families namely WD40, KELCH, Ankyrin, PDZ and Pleckstrin Homology (PH domain) family for the comparison of Domain versatility, Abundance and domain sharing between them. We used ecological statistics methods such as Jaccard’s Similarity Index (JSI), Detrended Correspondence Analysis, k-Means clustering for the domain distribution data. We found high propensity of domain sharing between PH and PDZ. We found higher abundance of only few selected domains in PH, PDZ, ANK and KELCH families. We also found WD40 family with high versatility and less redundant domain occurrence, with less domain sharing. Hence, the assignments of functions to more orphan WD40 proteins that will help in the identification of suitable drug targets. PMID:28246462

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Experimental evolution of protein–protein interaction networks

    PubMed Central

    Kaçar, Betül; Gaucher, Eric A.

    2013-01-01

    The modern synthesis of evolutionary theory and genetics has enabled us to discover underlying molecular mechanisms of organismal evolution. We know that in order to maximize an organism's fitness in a particular environment, individual interactions among components of protein and nucleic acid networks need to be optimized by natural selection, or sometimes through random processes, as the organism responds to changes and/or challenges in the environment. Despite the significant role of molecular networks in determining an organism's adaptation to its environment, we still do not know how such inter- and intra-molecular interactions within networks change over time and contribute to an organism's evolvability while maintaining overall network functions. One way to address this challenge is to identify connections between molecular networks and their host organisms, to manipulate these connections, and then attempt to understand how such perturbations influence molecular dynamics of the network and thus influence evolutionary paths and organismal fitness. In the present review, we discuss how integrating evolutionary history with experimental systems that combine tools drawn from molecular evolution, synthetic biology and biochemistry allow us to identify the underlying mechanisms of organismal evolution, particularly from the perspective of protein interaction networks. PMID:23849056

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Mapping the Geometric Evolution of Protein Folding Motor

    PubMed Central

    Hazam, Prakash Kishore; Shekhar, Shashi

    2016-01-01

    Polypeptide chain has an invariant main-chain and a variant side-chain sequence. How the side-chain sequence determines fold in terms of its chemical constitution has been scrutinized extensively and verified periodically. However, a focussed investigation on the directive effect of side-chain geometry may provide important insights supplementing existing algorithms in mapping the geometrical evolution of protein chains and its structural preferences. Geometrically, folding of protein structure may be envisaged as the evolution of its geometric variables: ϕ, and ψ dihedral angles of polypeptide main-chain directed by χ1, and χ2 of side chain. In this work, protein molecule is metaphorically modelled as a machine with 4 rotors ϕ, ψ, χ1 and χ2, with its evolution to the functional fold is directed by combinations of its rotor directions. We observe that differential rotor motions lead to different secondary structure formations and the combinatorial pattern is unique and consistent for particular secondary structure type. Further, we found that combination of rotor geometries of each amino acid is unique which partly explains how different amino acid sequence combinations have unique structural evolution and functional adaptation. Quantification of these amino acid rotor preferences, resulted in the generation of 3 substitution matrices, which later on plugged in the BLAST tool, for evaluating their efficiency in aligning sequences. We have employed BLOSUM62 and PAM30 as standard for primary evaluation. Generation of substitution matrices is a logical extension of the conceptual framework we attempted to build during the development of this work. Optimization of matrices following the conventional routines and possible application with biologically relevant data sets are beyond the scope of this manuscript, though it is a part of the larger project design. PMID:27716851

  2. 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.

  3. Adaptive Evolution Coupled with Retrotransposon Exaptation Allowed for the Generation of a Human-Protein-Specific Coding Gene That Promotes Cancer Cell Proliferation and Metastasis in Both Haematological Malignancies and Solid Tumours: The Extraordinary Case of MYEOV Gene

    PubMed Central

    Papamichos, Spyros I.; Margaritis, Dimitrios; Kotsianidis, Ioannis

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of cancer in human is high as compared to chimpanzee. However previous analysis has documented that numerous human cancer-related genes are highly conserved in chimpanzee. Till date whether human genome includes species-specific cancer-related genes that could potentially contribute to a higher cancer susceptibility remains obscure. This study focuses on MYEOV, an oncogene encoding for two protein isoforms, reported as causally involved in promoting cancer cell proliferation and metastasis in both haematological malignancies and solid tumours. First we document, via stringent in silico analysis, that MYEOV arose de novo in Catarrhini. We show that MYEOV short-isoform start codon was evolutionarily acquired after Catarrhini/Platyrrhini divergence. Throughout the course of Catarrhini evolution MYEOV acquired a gradually elongated translatable open reading frame (ORF), a gradually shortened translation-regulatory upstream ORF, and alternatively spliced mRNA variants. A point mutation introduced in human allowed for the acquisition of MYEOV long-isoform start codon. Second, we demonstrate the precious impact of exonized transposable elements on the creation of MYEOV gene structure. Third, we highlight that the initial part of MYEOV long-isoform coding DNA sequence was under positive selection pressure during Catarrhini evolution. MYEOV represents a Primate Orphan Gene that acquired, via ORF expansion, a human-protein-specific coding potential. PMID:26568894

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. CRISPR-Cas: evolution of an RNA-based adaptive immunity system in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Makarova, Kira S

    2013-05-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, CRISPR-associated genes) is an adaptive immunity system in bacteria and archaea that functions via a distinct self-non-self recognition mechanism that is partially analogous to the mechanism of eukaryotic RNA interference (RNAi). The CRISPR-Cas system incorporates fragments of virus or plasmid DNA into the CRISPR repeat cassettes and employs the processed transcripts of these spacers as guide RNAs to cleave the cognate foreign DNA or RNA. The Cas proteins, however, are not homologous to the proteins involved in RNAi and comprise numerous, highly diverged families. The majority of the Cas proteins contain diverse variants of the RNA recognition motif (RRM), a widespread RNA-binding domain. Despite the fast evolution that is typical of the cas genes, the presence of diverse versions of the RRM in most Cas proteins provides for a simple scenario for the evolution of the three distinct types of CRISPR-cas systems. In addition to several proteins that are directly implicated in the immune response, the cas genes encode a variety of proteins that are homologous to prokaryotic toxins that typically possess nuclease activity. The predicted toxins associated with CRISPR-Cas systems include the essential Cas2 protein, proteins of COG1517 that, in addition to a ligand-binding domain and a helix-turn-helix domain, typically contain different nuclease domains and several other predicted nucleases. The tight association of the CRISPR-Cas immunity systems with predicted toxins that, upon activation, would induce dormancy or cell death suggests that adaptive immunity and dormancy/suicide response are functionally coupled. Such coupling could manifest in the persistence state being induced and potentially providing conditions for more effective action of the immune system or in cell death being triggered when immunity fails.

  7. Convergent evolution and mimicry of protein linear motifs in host-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Chemes, Lucía Beatriz; de Prat-Gay, Gonzalo; Sánchez, Ignacio Enrique

    2015-06-01

    Pathogen linear motif mimics are highly evolvable elements that facilitate rewiring of host protein interaction networks. Host linear motifs and pathogen mimics differ in sequence, leading to thermodynamic and structural differences in the resulting protein-protein interactions. Moreover, the functional output of a mimic depends on the motif and domain repertoire of the pathogen protein. Regulatory evolution mediated by linear motifs can be understood by measuring evolutionary rates, quantifying positive and negative selection and performing phylogenetic reconstructions of linear motif natural history. Convergent evolution of linear motif mimics is widespread among unrelated proteins from viral, prokaryotic and eukaryotic pathogens and can also take place within individual protein phylogenies. Statistics, biochemistry and laboratory models of infection link pathogen linear motifs to phenotypic traits such as tropism, virulence and oncogenicity. In vitro evolution experiments and analysis of natural sequences suggest that changes in linear motif composition underlie pathogen adaptation to a changing environment.

  8. Exploring metazoan evolution through dynamic and holistic changes in protein families and domains

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Proteins convey the majority of biochemical and cellular activities in organisms. Over the course of evolution, proteins undergo normal sequence mutations as well as large scale mutations involving domain duplication and/or domain shuffling. These events result in the generation of new proteins and protein families. Processes that affect proteome evolution drive species diversity and adaptation. Herein, change over the course of metazoan evolution, as defined by birth/death and duplication/deletion events within protein families and domains, was examined using the proteomes of 9 metazoan and two outgroup species. Results In studying members of the three major metazoan groups, the vertebrates, arthropods, and nematodes, we found that the number of protein families increased at the majority of lineages over the course of metazoan evolution where the magnitude of these increases was greatest at the lineages leading to mammals. In contrast, the number of protein domains decreased at most lineages and at all terminal lineages. This resulted in a weak correlation between protein family birth and domain birth; however, the correlation between domain birth and domain member duplication was quite strong. These data suggest that domain birth and protein family birth occur via different mechanisms, and that domain shuffling plays a role in the formation of protein families. The ratio of protein family birth to protein domain birth (domain shuffling index) suggests that shuffling had a more demonstrable effect on protein families in nematodes and arthropods than in vertebrates. Through the contrast of high and low domain shuffling indices at the lineages of Trichinella spiralis and Gallus gallus, we propose a link between protein redundancy and evolutionary changes controlled by domain shuffling; however, the speed of adaptation among the different lineages was relatively invariant. Evaluating the functions of protein families that appeared or disappeared at the

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Strong Selection Significantly Increases Epistatic Interactions in the Long-Term Evolution of a Protein

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Aditi; Adami, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Epistatic interactions between residues determine a protein’s adaptability and shape its evolutionary trajectory. When a protein experiences a changed environment, it is under strong selection to find a peak in the new fitness landscape. It has been shown that strong selection increases epistatic interactions as well as the ruggedness of the fitness landscape, but little is known about how the epistatic interactions change under selection in the long-term evolution of a protein. Here we analyze the evolution of epistasis in the protease of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) using protease sequences collected for almost a decade from both treated and untreated patients, to understand how epistasis changes and how those changes impact the long-term evolvability of a protein. We use an information-theoretic proxy for epistasis that quantifies the co-variation between sites, and show that positive information is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition that detects epistasis in most cases. We analyze the “fossils” of the evolutionary trajectories of the protein contained in the sequence data, and show that epistasis continues to enrich under strong selection, but not for proteins whose environment is unchanged. The increase in epistasis compensates for the information loss due to sequence variability brought about by treatment, and facilitates adaptation in the increasingly rugged fitness landscape of treatment. While epistasis is thought to enhance evolvability via valley-crossing early-on in adaptation, it can hinder adaptation later when the landscape has turned rugged. However, we find no evidence that the HIV-1 protease has reached its potential for evolution after 9 years of adapting to a drug environment that itself is constantly changing. We suggest that the mechanism of encoding new information into pairwise interactions is central to protein evolution not just in HIV-1 protease, but for any protein adapting to a changing environment. PMID

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Viruses are a dominant driver of protein adaptation in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Enard, David; Cai, Le; Gwennap, Carina; Petrov, Dmitri A

    2016-01-01

    Viruses interact with hundreds to thousands of proteins in mammals, yet adaptation against viruses has only been studied in a few proteins specialized in antiviral defense. Whether adaptation to viruses typically involves only specialized antiviral proteins or affects a broad array of virus-interacting proteins is unknown. Here, we analyze adaptation in ~1300 virus-interacting proteins manually curated from a set of 9900 proteins conserved in all sequenced mammalian genomes. We show that viruses (i) use the more evolutionarily constrained proteins within the cellular functions they interact with and that (ii) despite this high constraint, virus-interacting proteins account for a high proportion of all protein adaptation in humans and other mammals. Adaptation is elevated in virus-interacting proteins across all functional categories, including both immune and non-immune functions. We conservatively estimate that viruses have driven close to 30% of all adaptive amino acid changes in the part of the human proteome conserved within mammals. Our results suggest that viruses are one of the most dominant drivers of evolutionary change across mammalian and human proteomes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12469.001 PMID:27187613

  17. 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.

  18. Exploration of the origin and evolution of globular proteins by mRNA display.

    PubMed

    Yanagawa, Hiroshi

    2013-06-04

    The questions of how proteins first appeared on the primitive earth and how they evolved into functional proteins are fundamental. If we can understand the origins and evolution of proteins, we should be able to create novel functional proteins. Evolutionary protein engineering or directed protein evolution has been used to create artificial proteins with novel functions by repeated mutation, selection, and amplification, mimicking Darwinian evolution in the laboratory. For this purpose, display technology, such as mRNA display, to link genotype with phenotype is extremely important. Here I focus on three hypotheses regarding the origin and evolution of proteins. First, Eigen's GNC hypothesis proposes that the early genetic code began from the directionless codons GNC and GNN, where N denotes U, C, A, or G. Second, Ohno's gene duplication theory proposes that gene duplication produces two functionally redundant, paralogous genes, of which one retains the original function, leaving the second free to evolve adaptively. Third, Gilbert's exon shuffling theory proposes that new genes are formed through shuffling of small segments corresponding to exons. I then review various experimental approaches to evolutionary protein engineering using mRNA display, such as the creation of functional proteins from random sequences with limited sets of amino acids, randomly mutated folded proteins, and block-shuffled sequence proteins, and I discuss the results in relation to these three hypotheses.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Protein interaction evolution from promiscuity to specificity with reduced flexibility in an increasingly complex network

    PubMed Central

    Alhindi, T.; Zhang, Z.; Ruelens, P.; Coenen, H.; Degroote, H.; Iraci, N.; Geuten, K.

    2017-01-01

    A key question regarding protein evolution is how proteins adapt to the dynamic environment in which they function and how in turn their evolution shapes the protein interaction network. We used extant and resurrected ancestral plant MADS-domain transcription factors to understand how SEPALLATA3, a protein with hub and glue properties, evolved and takes part in network organization. Although the density of dimeric interactions was saturated in the network, many new interactions became mediated by SEPALLATA3 after a whole genome triplication event. By swapping SEPALLATA3 and its ancestors between dimeric networks of different ages, we found that the protein lost the capacity of promiscuous interaction and acquired specificity in evolution. This was accompanied with constraints on conformations through proline residue accumulation, which made the protein less flexible. SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE on the other hand (non-hub) was able to gain protein-protein interactions due to a C-terminal domain insertion, allowing for a larger interaction interface. These findings illustrate that protein interaction evolution occurs at the level of conformational dynamics, when the binding mechanism concerns an induced fit or conformational selection. Proteins can evolve towards increased specificity with reduced flexibility when the complexity of the protein interaction network requires specificity. PMID:28337996

  5. 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.

  6. What evolution tells us about protein physics, and protein physics tells us about evolution.

    PubMed

    Bastolla, Ugo; Dehouck, Yves; Echave, Julian

    2016-11-16

    The integration of molecular evolution and protein biophysics is an emerging theme that steadily gained importance during the last 15 years, significantly advancing both fields. The central integrative concept is the stability of the native state, although non-native conformations are increasingly recognized to play a major role, concerning, for example, aggregation, folding kinetics, or functional dynamics. Besides molecular requirements on fitness, the stability of native and alternative conformations is modulated by a variety of factors, including population size, selective pressure on the replicative system, which determines mutation rates and biases, and epistatic effects. We discuss some of the recent advances, open questions, and integrating views in protein evolution, in light of the many underlying trade-offs, correlations, and dichotomies.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. Catalysis of protein folding by chaperones accelerates evolutionary dynamics in adapting cell populations.

    PubMed

    Cetinbaş, Murat; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2013-01-01

    Although molecular chaperones are essential components of protein homeostatic machinery, their mechanism of action and impact on adaptation and evolutionary dynamics remain controversial. Here we developed a physics-based ab initio multi-scale model of a living cell for population dynamics simulations to elucidate the effect of chaperones on adaptive evolution. The 6-loci genomes of model cells encode model proteins, whose folding and interactions in cellular milieu can be evaluated exactly from their genome sequences. A genotype-phenotype relationship that is based on a simple yet non-trivially postulated protein-protein interaction (PPI) network determines the cell division rate. Model proteins can exist in native and molten globule states and participate in functional and all possible promiscuous non-functional PPIs. We find that an active chaperone mechanism, whereby chaperones directly catalyze protein folding, has a significant impact on the cellular fitness and the rate of evolutionary dynamics, while passive chaperones, which just maintain misfolded proteins in soluble complexes have a negligible effect on the fitness. We find that by partially releasing the constraint on protein stability, active chaperones promote a deeper exploration of sequence space to strengthen functional PPIs, and diminish the non-functional PPIs. A key experimentally testable prediction emerging from our analysis is that down-regulation of chaperones that catalyze protein folding significantly slows down the adaptation dynamics.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. The role of adapter proteins in T cell activation.

    PubMed

    Koretzky, G A; Boerth, N J

    1999-12-01

    Engagement of antigen receptors on lymphocytes leads to a myriad of complex signal transduction cascades. Recently, work from several laboratories has led to the identification and characterization of novel adapter molecules, proteins with no intrinsic enzymatic activity but which integrate signal transduction pathways by mediating protein-protein interactions. Interestingly, it appears that many of these adapter proteins play as critical a role as the effector enzymes themselves in both lymphocyte development and activation. This review describes some of the biochemical and molecular features of several of these newly identified hematopoietic cell-specific adapter molecules highlighting their importance in regulating (both positively and negatively) signal transduction mediated by the T cell antigen receptor.

  16. Rate and breadth of protein evolution are only weakly correlated

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Evolution at a protein site can be characterized from two different perspectives, by its rate and by the breadth of the set of acceptable amino acids. Results There is a weak positive correlation between rates and breadths of evolution, both across individual amino acid sites and across proteins. Conclusions Rate and breadth are two distinct, and only weakly correlated, characteristics of protein evolution. The most likely explanation of their positive correlation is heterogeneity of selective constraint, such that less functionally important sites evolve faster and can accept more amino acids. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Eugene V. Koonin, Arcady R. Mushegyan, and Eugene I. Shakhnovich. PMID:22336199

  17. Evolutionary Dynamics on Protein Bi-stability Landscapes can Potentially Resolve Adaptive Conflicts

    PubMed Central

    Sikosek, Tobias; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Chan, Hue Sun

    2012-01-01

    Experimental studies have shown that some proteins exist in two alternative native-state conformations. It has been proposed that such bi-stable proteins can potentially function as evolutionary bridges at the interface between two neutral networks of protein sequences that fold uniquely into the two different native conformations. Under adaptive conflict scenarios, bi-stable proteins may be of particular advantage if they simultaneously provide two beneficial biological functions. However, computational models that simulate protein structure evolution do not yet recognize the importance of bi-stability. Here we use a biophysical model to analyze sequence space to identify bi-stable or multi-stable proteins with two or more equally stable native-state structures. The inclusion of such proteins enhances phenotype connectivity between neutral networks in sequence space. Consideration of the sequence space neighborhood of bridge proteins revealed that bi-stability decreases gradually with each mutation that takes the sequence further away from an exactly bi-stable protein. With relaxed selection pressures, we found that bi-stable proteins in our model are highly successful under simulated adaptive conflict. Inspired by these model predictions, we developed a method to identify real proteins in the PDB with bridge-like properties, and have verified a clear bi-stability gradient for a series of mutants studied by Alexander et al. (Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 2009, 106:21149–21154) that connect two sequences that fold uniquely into two different native structures via a bridge-like intermediate mutant sequence. Based on these findings, new testable predictions for future studies on protein bi-stability and evolution are discussed. PMID:23028272

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Protein and genome evolution in Mammalian cells for biotechnology applications.

    PubMed

    Majors, Brian S; Chiang, Gisela G; Betenbaugh, Michael J

    2009-06-01

    Mutation and selection are the essential steps of evolution. Researchers have long used in vitro mutagenesis, expression, and selection techniques in laboratory bacteria and yeast cultures to evolve proteins with new properties, termed directed evolution. Unfortunately, the nature of mammalian cells makes applying these mutagenesis and whole-organism evolution techniques to mammalian protein expression systems laborious and time consuming. Mammalian evolution systems would be useful to test unique mammalian cell proteins and protein characteristics, such as complex glycosylation. Protein evolution in mammalian cells would allow for generation of novel diagnostic tools and designer polypeptides that can only be tested in a mammalian expression system. Recent advances have shown that mammalian cells of the immune system can be utilized to evolve transgenes during their natural mutagenesis processes, thus creating proteins with unique properties, such as fluorescence. On a more global level, researchers have shown that mutation systems that affect the entire genome of a mammalian cell can give rise to cells with unique phenotypes suitable for commercial processes. This review examines the advances in mammalian cell and protein evolution and the application of this work toward advances in commercial mammalian cell biotechnology.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Effects of different kinds of essentiality on sequence evolution of human testis proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Julia; Zischler, Hans; Herlyn, Holger

    2017-01-01

    We asked if essentiality for either fertility or viability differentially affects sequence evolution of human testis proteins. Based on murine knockout data, we classified a set of 965 proteins expressed in human seminiferous tubules into three categories: proteins essential for prepubertal survival (“lethality proteins”), associated with male sub- or infertility (“male sub-/infertility proteins”), and nonessential proteins. In our testis protein dataset, lethality genes evolved significantly slower than nonessential and male sub-/infertility genes, which is in line with other authors’ findings. Using tissue specificity, connectivity in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, and multifunctionality as proxies for evolutionary constraints, we found that of the three categories, proteins linked to male sub- or infertility are least constrained. Lethality proteins, on the other hand, are characterized by broad expression, many PPI partners, and high multifunctionality, all of which points to strong evolutionary constraints. We conclude that compared with lethality proteins, those linked to male sub- or infertility are nonetheless indispensable, but evolve under more relaxed constraints. Finally, adaptive evolution in response to postmating sexual selection could further accelerate evolutionary rates of male sub- or infertility proteins expressed in human testis. These findings may become useful for in silico detection of human sub-/infertility genes. PMID:28272493

  7. Measuring and Detecting Molecular Adaptation in Codon Usage Against Nonsense Errors During Protein Translation

    PubMed Central

    Gilchrist, Michael A.; Shah, Premal; Zaretzki, Russell

    2009-01-01

    Codon usage bias (CUB) has been documented across a wide range of taxa and is the subject of numerous studies. While most explanations of CUB invoke some type of natural selection, most measures of CUB adaptation are heuristically defined. In contrast, we present a novel and mechanistic method for defining and contextualizing CUB adaptation to reduce the cost of nonsense errors during protein translation. Using a model of protein translation, we develop a general approach for measuring the protein production cost in the face of nonsense errors of a given allele as well as the mean and variance of these costs across its coding synonyms. We then use these results to define the nonsense error adaptation index (NAI) of the allele or a contiguous subset thereof. Conceptually, the NAI value of an allele is a relative measure of its elevation on a specific and well-defined adaptive landscape. To illustrate its utility, we calculate NAI values for the entire coding sequence and across a set of nonoverlapping windows for each gene in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae S288c genome. Our results provide clear evidence of adaptation to reduce the cost of nonsense errors and increasing adaptation with codon position and expression. The magnitude and nature of this adaptation are also largely consistent with simulation results in which nonsense errors are the only selective force driving CUB evolution. Because NAI is derived from mechanistic models, it is both easier to interpret and more amenable to future refinement than other commonly used measures of codon bias. Further, our approach can also be used as a starting point for developing other mechanistically derived measures of adaptation such as for translational accuracy. PMID:19822731

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Dietary protein requirements and adaptive advantages in athletes.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Stuart M

    2012-08-01

    Dietary guidelines from a variety of sources are generally congruent that an adequate dietary protein intake for persons over the age of 19 is between 0·8-0·9 g protein/kg body weight/d. According to the US/Canadian Dietary Reference Intakes, the RDA for protein of 0·8 g protein/kg/d is "...the average daily intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all [~98 %]… healthy individuals..." The panel also states that "...no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise." These recommendations are in contrast to recommendations from the US and Canadian Dietetic Association: "Protein recommendations for endurance and strength trained athletes range from 1·2 to 1·7 g/kg/d." The disparity between those setting dietary protein requirements and those who might be considered to be making practical recommendations for athletes is substantial. This may reflect a situation where an adaptive advantage of protein intakes higher than recommended protein requirements exists. That population protein requirements are still based on nitrogen balance may also be a point of contention since achieving balanced nitrogen intake and excretion likely means little to an athlete who has the primary goal of exercise performance. The goal of the present review is to critically analyse evidence from both acute and chronic dietary protein-based studies in which athletic performance, or correlates thereof, have been measured. An attempt will be made to distinguish between protein requirements set by data from nitrogen balance studies, and a potential adaptive 'advantage' for athletes of dietary protein in excess of the RDA.

  11. An Adaptable Investigative Graduate Laboratory Course for Teaching Protein Purification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Christopher W.; Keller, Lani C.

    2014-01-01

    This adaptable graduate laboratory course on protein purification offers students the opportunity to explore a wide range of techniques while allowing the instructor the freedom to incorporate their own personal research interests. The course design involves two sequential purification schemes performed in a single semester. The first part…

  12. Economical evolution: microbes reduce the synthetic cost of extracellular proteins.

    PubMed

    Smith, Daniel R; Chapman, Matthew R

    2010-08-24

    Protein evolution is not simply a race toward improved function. Because organisms compete for limited resources, fitness is also affected by the relative economy of an organism's proteome. Indeed, many abundant proteins contain relatively high percentages of amino acids that are metabolically less taxing for the cell to make, thus reducing cellular cost. However, not all abundant proteins are economical, and many economical proteins are not particularly abundant. Here we examined protein composition and found that the relative synthetic cost of amino acids constrains the composition of microbial extracellular proteins. In Escherichia coli, extracellular proteins contain, on average, fewer energetically expensive amino acids independent of their abundance, length, function, or structure. Economic pressures have strategically shaped the amino acid composition of multicomponent surface appendages, such as flagella, curli, and type I pili, and extracellular enzymes, including type III effector proteins and secreted serine proteases. Furthermore, in silico analysis of Pseudomonas syringae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and over 25 other microbes spanning a wide range of GC content revealed a broad bias toward more economical amino acids in extracellular proteins. The synthesis of any protein, especially those rich in expensive aromatic amino acids, represents a significant investment. Because extracellular proteins are lost to the environment and not recycled like other cellular proteins, they present a greater burden on the cell, as their amino acids cannot be reutilized during translation. We hypothesize that evolution has optimized extracellular proteins to reduce their synthetic burden on the cell.

  13. Statistics of knots, geometry of conformations, and evolution of proteins.

    PubMed

    Lua, Rhonald C; Grosberg, Alexander Y

    2006-05-01

    Like shoelaces, the backbones of proteins may get entangled and form knots. However, only a few knots in native proteins have been identified so far. To more quantitatively assess the rarity of knots in proteins, we make an explicit comparison between the knotting probabilities in native proteins and in random compact loops. We identify knots in proteins statistically, applying the mathematics of knot invariants to the loops obtained by complementing the protein backbone with an ensemble of random closures, and assigning a certain knot type to a given protein if and only if this knot dominates the closure statistics (which tells us that the knot is determined by the protein and not by a particular method of closure). We also examine the local fractal or geometrical properties of proteins via computational measurements of the end-to-end distance and the degree of interpenetration of its subchains. Although we did identify some rather complex knots, we show that native conformations of proteins have statistically fewer knots than random compact loops, and that the local geometrical properties, such as the crumpled character of the conformations at a certain range of scales, are consistent with the rarity of knots. From these, we may conclude that the known "protein universe" (set of native conformations) avoids knots. However, the precise reason for this is unknown--for instance, if knots were removed by evolution due to their unfavorable effect on protein folding or function or due to some other unidentified property of protein evolution.

  14. Evolution of a protein domain interaction network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Li-Feng; Shi, Jian-Jun; Guan, Shan

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we attempt to understand complex network evolution from the underlying evolutionary relationship between biological organisms. Firstly, we construct a Pfam domain interaction network for each of the 470 completely sequenced organisms, and therefore each organism is correlated with a specific Pfam domain interaction network; secondly, we infer the evolutionary relationship of these organisms with the nearest neighbour joining method; thirdly, we use the evolutionary relationship between organisms constructed in the second step as the evolutionary course of the Pfam domain interaction network constructed in the first step. This analysis of the evolutionary course shows: (i) there is a conserved sub-network structure in network evolution; in this sub-network, nodes with lower degree prefer to maintain their connectivity invariant, and hubs tend to maintain their role as a hub is attached preferentially to new added nodes; (ii) few nodes are conserved as hubs; most of the other nodes are conserved as one with very low degree; (iii) in the course of network evolution, new nodes are added to the network either individually in most cases or as clusters with relative high clustering coefficients in a very few cases.

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptability of protein structures to enable functional interactions and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Haliloglu, Turkan; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-12-01

    Several studies in recent years have drawn attention to the ability of proteins to adapt to intermolecular interactions by conformational changes along structure-encoded collective modes of motions. These so-called soft modes, primarily driven by entropic effects, facilitate, if not enable, functional interactions. They represent excursions on the conformational space along principal low-ascent directions/paths away from the original free energy minimum, and they are accessible to the protein even before protein-protein/ligand interactions. An emerging concept from these studies is the evolution of structures or modular domains to favor such modes of motion that will be recruited or integrated for enabling functional interactions. Structural dynamics, including the allosteric switches in conformation that are often stabilized upon formation of complexes and multimeric assemblies, emerge as key properties that are evolutionarily maintained to accomplish biological activities, consistent with the paradigm sequence→structure→dynamics→function where 'dynamics' bridges structure and function.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Molecular architecture and evolution of a modular spider silk protein gene.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, C Y; Lewis, R V

    2000-02-25

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  3. Molecular Architecture and Evolution of a Modular Spider Silk Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2000-02-01

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  4. Comparative Analysis of Testis Protein Evolution in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Leslie M.; Chuong, Edward B.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2008-01-01

    Genes expressed in testes are critical to male reproductive success, affecting spermatogenesis, sperm competition, and sperm–egg interaction. Comparing the evolution of testis proteins at different taxonomic levels can reveal which genes and functional classes are targets of natural and sexual selection and whether the same genes are targets among taxa. Here we examine the evolution of testis-expressed proteins at different levels of divergence among three rodents, mouse (Mus musculus), rat (Rattus norvegicus), and deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), to identify rapidly evolving genes. Comparison of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from testes suggests that proteins with testis-specific expression evolve more rapidly on average than proteins with maximal expression in other tissues. Genes with the highest rates of evolution have a variety of functional roles including signal transduction, DNA binding, and egg–sperm interaction. Most of these rapidly evolving genes have not been identified previously as targets of selection in comparisons among more divergent mammals. To determine if these genes are evolving rapidly among closely related species, we sequenced 11 of these genes in six Peromyscus species and found evidence for positive selection in five of them. Together, these results demonstrate rapid evolution of functionally diverse testis-expressed proteins in rodents, including the identification of amino acids under lineage-specific selection in Peromyscus. Evidence for positive selection among closely related species suggests that changes in these proteins may have consequences for reproductive isolation. PMID:18689890

  5. Advances in generating functional diversity for directed protein evolution.

    PubMed

    Shivange, Amol V; Marienhagen, Jan; Mundhada, Hemanshu; Schenk, Alexander; Schwaneberg, Ulrich

    2009-02-01

    Despite advances in screening technologies, only a very small fraction of theoretical protein sequence can be sampled in directed evolution experiments. At the current state of random mutagenesis technologies mutation frequencies have often been adjusted to values that cause a limited number of amino acid changes (often one to four amino acid changes per protein). For harvesting the power of directed evolution algorithms it is therefore important that generated mutant libraries are rich in diversity and enriched in active population. Insufficient knowledge about protein traits, mutational robustness of protein folds and technological limitations in diversity generating methods are main challenges for managing the complexity of protein sequence space. This review covers computational and experimental advances for high quality mutant library generation that have been achieved in the past two years.

  6. 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

  7. Collective Dynamics Differentiates Functional Divergence in Protein Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Glembo, Tyler J.; Farrell, Daniel W.; Gerek, Z. Nevin; Thorpe, M. F.; Ozkan, S. Banu

    2012-01-01

    Protein evolution is most commonly studied by analyzing related protein sequences and generating ancestral sequences through Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods, and/or by resurrecting ancestral proteins in the lab and performing ligand binding studies to determine function. Structural and dynamic evolution have largely been left out of molecular evolution studies. Here we incorporate both structure and dynamics to elucidate the molecular principles behind the divergence in the evolutionary path of the steroid receptor proteins. We determine the likely structure of three evolutionarily diverged ancestral steroid receptor proteins using the Zipping and Assembly Method with FRODA (ZAMF). Our predictions are within ∼2.7 Å all-atom RMSD of the respective crystal structures of the ancestral steroid receptors. Beyond static structure prediction, a particular feature of ZAMF is that it generates protein dynamics information. We investigate the differences in conformational dynamics of diverged proteins by obtaining the most collective motion through essential dynamics. Strikingly, our analysis shows that evolutionarily diverged proteins of the same family do not share the same dynamic subspace, while those sharing the same function are simultaneously clustered together and distant from those, that have functionally diverged. Dynamic analysis also enables those mutations that most affect dynamics to be identified. It correctly predicts all mutations (functional and permissive) necessary to evolve new function and ∼60% of permissive mutations necessary to recover ancestral function. PMID:22479170

  8. 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

  9. Teaching Noncovalent Interactions Using Protein Molecular Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fornasari, Maria Silvina; Parisi, Gustavo; Echave, Julian

    2008-01-01

    Noncovalent interactions and physicochemical properties of amino acids are important topics in biochemistry courses. Here, we present a computational laboratory where the capacity of each of the 20 amino acids to maintain different noncovalent interactions are used to investigate the stabilizing forces in a set of proteins coming from organisms…

  10. Intra-plastid protein trafficking: how plant cells adapted prokaryotic mechanisms to the eukaryotic condition.

    PubMed

    Celedon, Jose M; Cline, Kenneth

    2013-02-01

    Protein trafficking and localization in plastids involve a complex interplay between ancient (prokaryotic) and novel (eukaryotic) translocases and targeting machineries. During evolution, ancient systems acquired new functions and novel translocation machineries were developed to facilitate the correct localization of nuclear encoded proteins targeted to the chloroplast. Because of its post-translational nature, targeting and integration of membrane proteins posed the biggest challenge to the organelle to avoid aggregation in the aqueous compartments. Soluble proteins faced a different kind of problem since some had to be transported across three membranes to reach their destination. Early studies suggested that chloroplasts addressed these issues by adapting ancient-prokaryotic machineries and integrating them with novel-eukaryotic systems, a process called 'conservative sorting'. In the last decade, detailed biochemical, genetic, and structural studies have unraveled the mechanisms of protein targeting and localization in chloroplasts, suggesting a highly integrated scheme where ancient and novel systems collaborate at different stages of the process. In this review we focus on the differences and similarities between chloroplast ancestral translocases and their prokaryotic relatives to highlight known modifications that adapted them to the eukaryotic situation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Protein Import and Quality Control in Mitochondria and Plastids.

  11. Structure and Age Jointly Influence Rates of Protein Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Toll-Riera, Macarena; Bostick, David; Albà, M. Mar; Plotkin, Joshua B.

    2012-01-01

    What factors determine a protein's rate of evolution are actively debated. Especially unclear is the relative role of intrinsic factors of present-day proteins versus historical factors such as protein age. Here we study the interplay of structural properties and evolutionary age, as determinants of protein evolutionary rate. We use a large set of one-to-one orthologs between human and mouse proteins, with mapped PDB structures. We report that previously observed structural correlations also hold within each age group – including relationships between solvent accessibility, designabililty, and evolutionary rates. However, age also plays a crucial role: age modulates the relationship between solvent accessibility and rate. Additionally, younger proteins, despite being less designable, tend to evolve faster than older proteins. We show that previously reported relationships between age and rate cannot be explained by structural biases among age groups. Finally, we introduce a knowledge-based potential function to study the stability of proteins through large-scale computation. We find that older proteins are more stable for their native structure, and more robust to mutations, than younger ones. Our results underscore that several determinants, both intrinsic and historical, can interact to determine rates of protein evolution. PMID:22693443

  12. Pleiotropy constrains the evolution of protein but not regulatory sequences in a transcription regulatory network influencing complex social behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Molodtsova, Daria; Harpur, Brock A.; Kent, Clement F.; Seevananthan, Kajendra; Zayed, Amro

    2014-01-01

    It is increasingly apparent that genes and networks that influence complex behavior are evolutionary conserved, which is paradoxical considering that behavior is labile over evolutionary timescales. How does adaptive change in behavior arise if behavior is controlled by conserved, pleiotropic, and likely evolutionary constrained genes? Pleiotropy and connectedness are known to constrain the general rate of protein evolution, prompting some to suggest that the evolution of complex traits, including behavior, is fuelled by regulatory sequence evolution. However, we seldom have data on the strength of selection on mutations in coding and regulatory sequences, and this hinders our ability to study how pleiotropy influences coding and regulatory sequence evolution. Here we use population genomics to estimate the strength of selection on coding and regulatory mutations for a transcriptional regulatory network that influences complex behavior of honey bees. We found that replacement mutations in highly connected transcription factors and target genes experience significantly stronger negative selection relative to weakly connected transcription factors and targets. Adaptively evolving proteins were significantly more likely to reside at the periphery of the regulatory network, while proteins with signs of negative selection were near the core of the network. Interestingly, connectedness and network structure had minimal influence on the strength of selection on putative regulatory sequences for both transcription factors and their targets. Our study indicates that adaptive evolution of complex behavior can arise because of positive selection on protein-coding mutations in peripheral genes, and on regulatory sequence mutations in both transcription factors and their targets throughout the network. PMID:25566318

  13. The evolution of human cells in terms of protein innovation.

    PubMed

    Sardar, Adam J; Oates, Matt E; Fang, Hai; Forrest, Alistair R R; Kawaji, Hideya; Gough, Julian; Rackham, Owen J L

    2014-06-01

    Humans are composed of hundreds of cell types. As the genomic DNA of each somatic cell is identical, cell type is determined by what is expressed and when. Until recently, little has been reported about the determinants of human cell identity, particularly from the joint perspective of gene evolution and expression. Here, we chart the evolutionary past of all documented human cell types via the collective histories of proteins, the principal product of gene expression. FANTOM5 data provide cell-type-specific digital expression of human protein-coding genes and the SUPERFAMILY resource is used to provide protein domain annotation. The evolutionary epoch in which each protein was created is inferred by comparison with domain annotation of all other completely sequenced genomes. Studying the distribution across epochs of genes expressed in each cell type reveals insights into human cellular evolution in terms of protein innovation. For each cell type, its history of protein innovation is charted based on the genes it expresses. Combining the histories of all cell types enables us to create a timeline of cell evolution. This timeline identifies the possibility that our common ancestor Coelomata (cavity-forming animals) provided the innovation required for the innate immune system, whereas cells which now form the brain of human have followed a trajectory of continually accumulating novel proteins since Opisthokonta (boundary of animals and fungi). We conclude that exaptation of existing domain architectures into new contexts is the dominant source of cell-type-specific domain architectures.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. Directed evolution of an extremely stable fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Csaba; Temirov, Jamshid; Chasteen, Leslie; Waldo, Geoffrey S; Bradbury, Andrew R M

    2009-05-01

    In this paper we describe the evolution of eCGP123, an extremely stable green fluorescent protein based on a previously described fluorescent protein created by consensus engineering (CGP: consensus green protein). eCGP123 could not be denatured by a standard thermal melt, preserved almost full fluorescence after overnight incubation at 80 degrees C and possessed a free energy of denaturation of 12.4 kcal/mol. It was created from CGP by a recursive process involving the sequential introduction of three destabilizing heterologous inserts, evolution to overcome the destabilization and finally 'removal' of the destabilizing insert by gene synthesis. We believe that this approach may be generally applicable to the stabilization of other proteins.

  19. Adaptive resolution simulation of an atomistic protein in MARTINI water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zavadlav, Julija; Melo, Manuel Nuno; Marrink, Siewert J.; Praprotnik, Matej

    2014-02-01

    We present an adaptive resolution simulation of protein G in multiscale water. We couple atomistic water around the protein with mesoscopic water, where four water molecules are represented with one coarse-grained bead, farther away. We circumvent the difficulties that arise from coupling to the coarse-grained model via a 4-to-1 molecule coarse-grain mapping by using bundled water models, i.e., we restrict the relative movement of water molecules that are mapped to the same coarse-grained bead employing harmonic springs. The water molecules change their resolution from four molecules to one coarse-grained particle and vice versa adaptively on-the-fly. Having performed 15 ns long molecular dynamics simulations, we observe within our error bars no differences between structural (e.g., root-mean-squared deviation and fluctuations of backbone atoms, radius of gyration, the stability of native contacts and secondary structure, and the solvent accessible surface area) and dynamical properties of the protein in the adaptive resolution approach compared to the fully atomistically solvated model. Our multiscale model is compatible with the widely used MARTINI force field and will therefore significantly enhance the scope of biomolecular simulations.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Stuart M; Van Loon, Luc J C

    2011-01-01

    Opinion on the role of protein in promoting athletic performance is divided along the lines of how much aerobic-based versus resistance-based activity the athlete undertakes. Athletes seeking to gain muscle mass and strength are likely to consume higher amounts of dietary protein than their endurance-trained counterparts. The main belief behind the large quantities of dietary protein consumption in resistance-trained athletes is that it is needed to generate more muscle protein. Athletes may require protein for more than just alleviation of the risk for deficiency, inherent in the dietary guidelines, but also to aid in an elevated level of functioning and possibly adaptation to the exercise stimulus. It does appear, however, that there is a good rationale for recommending to athletes protein intakes that are higher than the RDA. Our consensus opinion is that leucine, and possibly the other branched-chain amino acids, occupy a position of prominence in stimulating muscle protein synthesis; that protein intakes in the range of 1.3-1.8 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) consumed as 3-4 isonitrogenous meals will maximize muscle protein synthesis. These recommendations may also be dependent on training status: experienced athletes would require less, while more protein should be consumed during periods of high frequency/intensity training. Elevated protein consumption, as high as 1.8-2.0 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) depending on the caloric deficit, may be advantageous in preventing lean mass losses during periods of energy restriction to promote fat loss.

  7. 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

  8. Evolution of glucose utilization: Glucokinase and glucokinase regulator protein

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, David M.; Tan, Huanran

    2014-01-01

    Glucose is an essential nutrient that must be distributed throughout the body to provide energy to sustain physiological functions. Glucose is delivered to distant tissues via be blood stream, and complex systems have evolved to maintain the levels of glucose within a narrow physiological range. Phosphorylation of glucose, by glucokinase, is an essential component of glucose homeostasis, both from the regulatory and metabolic point-of-view. Here we review the evolution of glucose utilization from the perspective of glucokinase. We discuss the origin of glucokinase, its evolution within the hexokinase gene family, and the evolution of its interacting regulatory partner, glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR). Evolution of the structure and sequence of both glucokinase and GCKR have been necessary to optimize glucokinase in its role in glucose metabolism. PMID:24075984

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. Using computational biophysics to understand protein evolution and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ytreberg, F. Marty

    2010-10-01

    Understanding how proteins evolve and function is vital for human health (e.g., developing better drugs, predicting the outbreak of disease, etc.). In spite of its importance, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these biological processes. Computational biophysics has emerged as a useful tool in this area due to its unique ability to obtain a detailed, atomistic view of proteins and how they interact. I will give two examples from our studies where computational biophysics has provided valuable insight: (i) Protein evolution in viruses. Our results suggest that the amino acid changes that occur during high temperature evolution of a virus decrease the binding free energy of the capsid, i.e., these changes increase capsid stability. (ii) Determining realistic structural ensembles for intrinsically disordered proteins. Most methods for determining protein structure rely on the protein folding into a single conformation, and thus are not suitable for disordered proteins. I will describe a new approach that combines experiment and simulation to generate structures for disordered proteins.

  13. Phenotypical Temperature Adaptation of Protein Turnover in Desert Annuals 1

    PubMed Central

    Smrcka, Alan V.; Szarek, Stan R.

    1986-01-01

    Protein synthesis and protein degradation rates were measured in three desert annual species at four different experimental temperatures. The taxa chosen for this study were the C3 winter annuals, Bowlesia incana Ruiz & Pavon and Plantago insularis Eastw., and a C4 summer annual, Atriplex elegans (Moq.) D. Dietr. Peak rates of protein synthesis correlated well with the preferred habitat temperatures of B. incana and A. elegans; optima occurred at 25 and 35°C, respectively. Plants of P. insularis showed an optimum protein synthesis rate at 35°C; however, this optimum rate was considerably lower than for the other two species. Higher activation energies for protein synthesis tended to parallel adaptation to higher temperature habitats. Responses of protein degradation to temperature in A. elegans and B. incana were consistent with their natural thermal regimes, when evaluated for the transition from 25 to 35°C. Again, protein degradation in P. insularis shows an intermediate response to temperature during the 25 to 35°C transition. PMID:16664583

  14. Massively parallel sampling of lattice proteins reveals foundations of thermal adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venev, Sergey V.; Zeldovich, Konstantin B.

    2015-08-01

    Evolution of proteins in bacteria and archaea living in different conditions leads to significant correlations between amino acid usage and environmental temperature. The origins of these correlations are poorly understood, and an important question of protein theory, physics-based prediction of types of amino acids overrepresented in highly thermostable proteins, remains largely unsolved. Here, we extend the random energy model of protein folding by weighting the interaction energies of amino acids by their frequencies in protein sequences and predict the energy gap of proteins designed to fold well at elevated temperatures. To test the model, we present a novel scalable algorithm for simultaneous energy calculation for many sequences in many structures, targeting massively parallel computing architectures such as graphics processing unit. The energy calculation is performed by multiplying two matrices, one representing the complete set of sequences, and the other describing the contact maps of all structural templates. An implementation of the algorithm for the CUDA platform is available at http://www.github.com/kzeldovich/galeprot and calculates protein folding energies over 250 times faster than a single central processing unit. Analysis of amino acid usage in 64-mer cubic lattice proteins designed to fold well at different temperatures demonstrates an excellent agreement between theoretical and simulated values of energy gap. The theoretical predictions of temperature trends of amino acid frequencies are significantly correlated with bioinformatics data on 191 bacteria and archaea, and highlight protein folding constraints as a fundamental selection pressure during thermal adaptation in biological evolution.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Successive gain of insulator proteins in arthropod evolution.

    PubMed

    Heger, Peter; George, Rebecca; Wiehe, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    Alteration of regulatory DNA elements or their binding proteins may have drastic consequences for morphological evolution. Chromatin insulators are one example of such proteins and play a fundamental role in organizing gene expression. While a single insulator protein, CTCF (CCCTC-binding factor), is known in vertebrates, Drosophila melanogaster utilizes six additional factors. We studied the evolution of these proteins and show here that-in contrast to the bilaterian-wide distribution of CTCF-all other D. melanogaster insulators are restricted to arthropods. The full set is present exclusively in the genus Drosophila whereas only two insulators, Su(Hw) and CTCF, existed at the base of the arthropod clade and all additional factors have been acquired successively at later stages. Secondary loss of factors in some lineages further led to the presence of different insulator subsets in arthropods. Thus, the evolution of insulator proteins within arthropods is an ongoing and dynamic process that reshapes and supplements the ancient CTCF-based system common to bilaterians. Expansion of insulator systems may therefore be a general strategy to increase an organism's gene regulatory repertoire and its potential for morphological plasticity.

  19. Adaptive evolution of the symbiotic gene NORK is not correlated with shifts of rhizobial specificity in the genus Medicago

    PubMed Central

    De Mita, Stéphane; Santoni, Sylvain; Ronfort, Joëlle; Bataillon, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Background The NODULATION RECEPTOR KINASE (NORK) gene encodes a Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR)-containing receptor-like protein and controls the infection by symbiotic rhizobia and endomycorrhizal fungi in Legumes. The occurrence of numerous amino acid changes driven by directional selection has been reported in this gene, using a limited number of messenger RNA sequences, but the functional reason of these changes remains obscure. The Medicago genus, where changes in rhizobial associations have been previously examined, is a good model to test whether the evolution of NORK is influenced by rhizobial interactions. Results We sequenced a region of 3610 nucleotides (encoding a 392 amino acid-long region of the NORK protein) in 32 Medicago species. We confirm that positive selection in NORK has occurred within the Medicago genus and find that the amino acid positions targeted by selection occur in sites outside of solvent-exposed regions in LRRs, and other sites in the N-terminal region of the protein. We tested if branches of the Medicago phylogeny where changes of rhizobial symbionts occurred displayed accelerated rates of amino acid substitutions. Only one branch out of five tested, leading to M. noeana, displays such a pattern. Among other branches, the most likely for having undergone positive selection is not associated with documented shift of rhizobial specificity. Conclusion Adaptive changes in the sequence of the NORK receptor have involved the LRRs, but targeted different sites than in most previous studies of LRR proteins evolution. The fact that positive selection in NORK tends not to be associated to changes in rhizobial specificity indicates that this gene was probably not involved in evolving rhizobial preferences. Other explanations (e.g. coevolutionary arms race) must be tested to explain the adaptive evolution of NORK. PMID:17986323

  20. Evolution, Energy Landscapes and the Paradoxes of Protein Folding

    PubMed Central

    Wolynes, Peter G.

    2014-01-01

    Protein folding has been viewed as a difficult problem of molecular self-organization. The search problem involved in folding however has been simplified through the evolution of folding energy landscapes that are funneled. The funnel hypothesis can be quantified using energy landscape theory based on the minimal frustration principle. Strong quantitative predictions that follow from energy landscape theory have been widely confirmed both through laboratory folding experiments and from detailed simulations. Energy landscape ideas also have allowed successful protein structure prediction algorithms to be developed. The selection constraint of having funneled folding landscapes has left its imprint on the sequences of existing protein structural families. Quantitative analysis of co-evolution patterns allows us to infer the statistical characteristics of the folding landscape. These turn out to be consistent with what has been obtained from laboratory physicochemical folding experiments signalling a beautiful confluence of genomics and chemical physics. PMID:25530262

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Convergent evolution of novel protein function in shrew and lizard venom.

    PubMed

    Aminetzach, Yael T; Srouji, John R; Kong, Chung Yin; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2009-12-01

    How do proteins evolve novel functions? To address this question, we are studying the evolution of a mammalian toxin, the serine protease BLTX [1], from the salivary glands of the North American shrew Blarina brevicauda. Here, we examine the molecular changes responsible for promoting BLTX toxicity. First, we show that regulatory loops surrounding the BLTX active site have evolved adaptively via acquisition of small insertions and subsequent accelerated sequence evolution. Second, these mutations introduce a novel chemical environment into the catalytic cleft of BLTX. Third, molecular-dynamic simulations show that the observed changes create a novel chemical and physical topology consistent with increased enzyme catalysis. Finally, we show that a toxic serine protease from the Mexican beaded lizard (GTX) [2] has evolved convergently through almost identical functional changes. Together, these results suggest that the evolution of toxicity might be predictable-arising via adaptive structural modification of analogous labile regulatory loops of an ancestral serine protease-and thus might aid in the identification of other toxic proteins.

  6. Coupling between protein level selection and codon usage optimization in the evolution of bacteria and archaea.

    PubMed

    Ran, Wenqi; Kristensen, David M; Koonin, Eugene V

    2014-03-25

    The relationship between the selection affecting codon usage and selection on protein sequences of orthologous genes in diverse groups of bacteria and archaea was examined by using the Alignable Tight Genome Clusters database of prokaryote genomes. The codon usage bias is generally low, with 57.5% of the gene-specific optimal codon frequencies (Fopt) being below 0.55. This apparent weak selection on codon usage contrasts with the strong purifying selection on amino acid sequences, with 65.8% of the gene-specific dN/dS ratios being below 0.1. For most of the genomes compared, a limited but statistically significant negative correlation between Fopt and dN/dS was observed, which is indicative of a link between selection on protein sequence and selection on codon usage. The strength of the coupling between the protein level selection and codon usage bias showed a strong positive correlation with the genomic GC content. Combined with previous observations on the selection for GC-rich codons in bacteria and archaea with GC-rich genomes, these findings suggest that selection for translational fine-tuning could be an important factor in microbial evolution that drives the evolution of genome GC content away from mutational equilibrium. This type of selection is particularly pronounced in slowly evolving, "high-status" genes. A significantly stronger link between the two aspects of selection is observed in free-living bacteria than in parasitic bacteria and in genes encoding metabolic enzymes and transporters than in informational genes. These differences might reflect the special importance of translational fine-tuning for the adaptability of gene expression to environmental changes. The results of this work establish the coupling between protein level selection and selection for translational optimization as a distinct and potentially important factor in microbial evolution. IMPORTANCE Selection affects the evolution of microbial genomes at many levels, including both

  7. Distribution and Evolution of Yersinia Leucine-Rich Repeat Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yueming; Huang, He; Hui, Xinjie; Cheng, Xi; White, Aaron P.

    2016-01-01

    Leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins are widely distributed in bacteria, playing important roles in various protein-protein interaction processes. In Yersinia, the well-characterized type III secreted effector YopM also belongs to the LRR protein family and is encoded by virulence plasmids. However, little has been known about other LRR members encoded by Yersinia genomes or their evolution. In this study, the Yersinia LRR proteins were comprehensively screened, categorized, and compared. The LRR proteins encoded by chromosomes (LRR1 proteins) appeared to be more similar to each other and different from those encoded by plasmids (LRR2 proteins) with regard to repeat-unit length, amino acid composition profile, and gene expression regulation circuits. LRR1 proteins were also different from LRR2 proteins in that the LRR1 proteins contained an E3 ligase domain (NEL domain) in the C-terminal region or an NEL domain-encoding nucleotide relic in flanking genomic sequences. The LRR1 protein-encoding genes (LRR1 genes) varied dramatically and were categorized into 4 subgroups (a to d), with the LRR1a to -c genes evolving from the same ancestor and LRR1d genes evolving from another ancestor. The consensus and ancestor repeat-unit sequences were inferred for different LRR1 protein subgroups by use of a maximum parsimony modeling strategy. Structural modeling disclosed very similar repeat-unit structures between LRR1 and LRR2 proteins despite the different unit lengths and amino acid compositions. Structural constraints may serve as the driving force to explain the observed mutations in the LRR regions. This study suggests that there may be functional variation and lays the foundation for future experiments investigating the functions of the chromosomally encoded LRR proteins of Yersinia. PMID:27217422

  8. 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

  9. Rapid Evolution of Coral Proteins Responsible for Interaction with the Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Voolstra, Christian R.; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Matz, Mikhail V.; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Buschiazzo, Emmanuel; DeSalvo, Michael K.; Lindquist, Erika; Szmant, Alina M.; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Monica

    2011-01-31

    Background: Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably. Methodology/Principal Findings: We screened a set of 2,604 putative orthologs from EST-based sequence datasets of the coral species Acropora millepora and Acropora palmata to determine the fraction and identity of proteins that may experience adaptive evolution. 7percent of the orthologs show elevated rates of evolution. Taxonomically-restricted (i.e. lineagespecific) genes show a positive selection signature more frequently than genes that are found across many animal phyla. The class of proteins that displayed elevated evolutionary rates was significantly enriched for proteins involved in immunity and defense, reproduction, and sensory perception. We also found elevated rates of evolution in several other functional groups such as management of membrane vesicles, transmembrane transport of ions and organic molecules, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress response. Proteins in these processes might be related to the endosymbiotic relationship corals maintain with dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Conclusion/Relevance: This study provides a birds-eye view of the processes potentially underlying coral adaptation, which will serve as a foundation for future work to elucidate the rates, patterns, and mechanisms of corals? evolutionary response to global climate change.

  10. Rapid Evolution of Coral Proteins Responsible for Interaction with the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Matz, Mikhail V.; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Buschiazzo, Emmanuel; DeSalvo, Michael K.; Lindquist, Erika; Szmant, Alina M.; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mónica

    2011-01-01

    Background Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably. Methodology/Principal Findings We screened a set of 2,604 putative orthologs from EST-based sequence datasets of the coral species Acropora millepora and Acropora palmata to determine the fraction and identity of proteins that may experience adaptive evolution. 7% of the orthologs show elevated rates of evolution. Taxonomically-restricted (i.e. lineage-specific) genes show a positive selection signature more frequently than genes that are found across many animal phyla. The class of proteins that displayed elevated evolutionary rates was significantly enriched for proteins involved in immunity and defense, reproduction, and sensory perception. We also found elevated rates of evolution in several other functional groups such as management of membrane vesicles, transmembrane transport of ions and organic molecules, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress response. Proteins in these processes might be related to the endosymbiotic relationship corals maintain with dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Conclusion/Relevance This study provides a birds-eye view of the processes potentially underlying coral adaptation, which will serve as a foundation for future work to elucidate the rates, patterns, and mechanisms of corals' evolutionary response to global climate change. PMID:21633702

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Simple stochastic model for the evolution of protein lengths.

    PubMed

    Destri, C; Miccio, C

    2007-07-01

    We analyze a simple discrete-time stochastic process for the theoretical modeling of the evolution of protein lengths. At every step of the process, a new protein is produced as a modification of one of the proteins already existing, and its length is assumed to be a random variable that depends only on the length of the originating protein. Thus a random recursive tree is produced over the natural numbers. If (quasi) scale invariance is assumed, the length distribution in a single history tends to a log-normal form with a specific signature of the deviations from exact Gaussianity. Comparison with the very large Similarity Matrix of Proteins database shows good agreement.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Domain tree-based analysis of protein architecture evolution.

    PubMed

    Forslund, Kristoffer; Henricson, Anna; Hollich, Volker; Sonnhammer, Erik L L

    2008-02-01

    Understanding the dynamics behind domain architecture evolution is of great importance to unravel the functions of proteins. Complex architectures have been created throughout evolution by rearrangement and duplication events. An interesting question is how many times a particular architecture has been created, a form of convergent evolution or domain architecture reinvention. Previous studies have approached this issue by comparing architectures found in different species. We wanted to achieve a finer-grained analysis by reconstructing protein architectures on complete domain trees. The prevalence of domain architecture reinvention in 96 genomes was investigated with a novel domain tree-based method that uses maximum parsimony for inferring ancestral protein architectures. Domain architectures were taken from Pfam. To ensure robustness, we applied the method to bootstrap trees and only considered results with strong statistical support. We detected multiple origins for 12.4% of the scored architectures. In a much smaller data set, the subset of completely domain-assigned proteins, the figure was 5.6%. These results indicate that domain architecture reinvention is a much more common phenomenon than previously thought. We also determined which domains are most frequent in multiply created architectures and assessed whether specific functions could be attributed to them. However, no strong functional bias was found in architectures with multiple origins.

  18. Adaptive evolution of threonine deaminase in plant defense against insect herbivores

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Howe, Gregg A.

    2011-11-07

    Gene duplication is a major source of plant chemical diversity that mediates plant-herbivore interactions. There is little direct evidence, however, that novel chemical traits arising from gene duplication reduce herbivory. Higher plants use threonine deaminase (TD) to catalyze the dehydration of threonine (Thr) to {alpha}-ketobutyrate and ammonia as the committed step in the biosynthesis of isoleucine (Ile). Cultivated tomato and related Solanum species contain a duplicated TD paralog (TD2) that is coexpressed with a suite of genes involved in herbivore resistance. Analysis of TD2-deficient tomato lines showed that TD2 has a defensive function related to Thr catabolism in the gut of lepidopteran herbivores. During herbivory, the regulatory domain of TD2 is removed by proteolysis to generate a truncated protein (pTD2) that efficiently degrades Thr without being inhibited by Ile. We show that this proteolytic activation step occurs in the gut of lepidopteran but not coleopteran herbivores, and is catalyzed by a chymotrypsin-like protease of insect origin. Analysis of purified recombinant enzymes showed that TD2 is remarkably more resistant to proteolysis and high temperature than the ancestral TD1 isoform. The crystal structure of pTD2 provided evidence that electrostatic interactions constitute a stabilizing feature associated with adaptation of TD2 to the extreme environment of the lepidopteran gut. These findings demonstrate a role for gene duplication in the evolution of a plant defense that targets and co-opts herbivore digestive physiology.

  19. Population diversity and adaptive evolution in keratinization genes: impact of environment in shaping skin phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Pramod; Chaurasia, Amit; Bhattacharya, Aniket; Grover, Ritika; Mukerji, Mitali; Natarajan, Vivek T

    2015-03-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the role of climatic factors in shaping skin phenotypes, particularly pigmentation. Keratinization is another well-designed feature of human skin, which is involved in modulating transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Although this physiological process is closely linked to climate, presently it is not clear whether genetic diversity is observed in keratinization and whether this process also responds to the environmental pressure. To address this, we adopted a multipronged approach, which involved analysis of 1) copy number variations in diverse Indian and HapMap populations from varied geographical regions; 2) genetic association with geoclimatic parameters in 61 populations of dbCLINE database in a set of 549 genes from four processes namely keratinization, pigmentation, epidermal differentiation, and housekeeping functions; 3) sequence divergence in 4,316 orthologous promoters and corresponding exonic regions of human and chimpanzee with macaque as outgroup, and 4) protein sequence divergence (Ka/Ks) across nine vertebrate classes, which differ in their extent of TEWL. Our analyses demonstrate that keratinization and epidermal differentiation genes are under accelerated evolution in the human lineage, relative to pigmentation and housekeeping genes. We show that this entire pathway may have been driven by environmental selection pressure through concordant functional polymorphisms across several genes involved in skin keratinization. Remarkably, this underappreciated function of skin may be a crucial determinant of adaptation to diverse environmental pressures across world populations.

  20. Design of protein function leaps by directed domain interface evolution

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jin; Koide, Akiko; Makabe, Koki; Koide, Shohei

    2008-01-01

    Most natural proteins performing sophisticated tasks contain multiple domains where an active site is located at the domain interface. Comparative structural analyses suggest that major leaps in protein function occur through gene recombination events that connect two or more protein domains to generate a new active site, frequently occurring at the newly created domain interface. However, such functional leaps by combination of unrelated domains have not been directly demonstrated. Here we show that highly specific and complex protein functions can be generated by joining a low-affinity peptide-binding domain with a functionally inert second domain and subsequently optimizing the domain interface. These directed evolution processes dramatically enhanced both affinity and specificity to a level unattainable with a single domain, corresponding to >500-fold and >2,000-fold increases of affinity and specificity, respectively. An x-ray crystal structure revealed that the resulting “affinity clamp” had clamshell architecture as designed, with large additional binding surface contributed by the second domain. The affinity clamps having a single-nanomolar dissociation constant outperformed a monoclonal antibody in immunochemical applications. This work establishes evolutionary paths from isolated domains with primitive function to multidomain proteins with sophisticated function and introduces a new protein-engineering concept that allows for the generation of highly functional affinity reagents to a predefined target. The prevalence and variety of natural interaction domains suggest that numerous new functions can be designed by using directed domain interface evolution. PMID:18445649

  1. The Origin and Early Evolution of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Schweighofer, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.

    2005-01-01

    Membrane proteins mediate functions that are essential to all cells. These functions include transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, capture of energy and its transduction into the form usable in chemical reactions, transmission of environmental signals to the interior of the cell, cellular growth and cell volume regulation. In the absence of membrane proteins, ancestors of cell (protocells), would have had only very limited capabilities to communicate with their environment. Thus, it is not surprising that membrane proteins are quite common even in simplest prokaryotic cells. Considering that contemporary membrane channels are large and complex, both structurally and functionally, a question arises how their presumably much simpler ancestors could have emerged, perform functions and diversify in early protobiological evolution. Remarkably, despite their overall complexity, structural motifs in membrane proteins are quite simple, with a-helices being most common. This suggests that these proteins might have evolved from simple building blocks. To explain how these blocks could have organized into functional structures, we performed large-scale, accurate computer simulations of folding peptides at a water-membrane interface, their insertion into the membrane, self-assembly into higher-order structures and function. The results of these simulations, combined with analysis of structural and functional experimental data led to the first integrated view of the origin and early evolution of membrane proteins.

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Protein engineering reveals ancient adaptive replacements in isocitrate dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Antony M.; Golding, G. Brian

    1997-01-01

    Evolutionary analysis indicates that eubacterial NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenases (EC 1.1.1.42) first evolved from an NAD-dependent precursor about 3.5 billion years ago. Selection in favor of utilizing NADP was probably a result of niche expansion during growth on acetate, where isocitrate dehydrogenase provides 90% of the NADPH necessary for biosynthesis. Amino acids responsible for differing coenzyme specificities were identified from x-ray crystallographic structures of Escherichia coli isocitrate dehydrogenase and the distantly related Thermus thermophilus NAD-dependent isopropylmalate dehydrogenase. Site-directed mutagenesis at sites lining the coenzyme binding pockets has been used to invert the coenzyme specificities of both enzymes. Reconstructed ancestral sequences indicate that these replacements are ancestral. Hence the adaptive history of molecular evolution is amenable to experimental investigation. PMID:9096353

  8. Molecular evolution of viral multifunctional proteins: the case of potyvirus HC-Pro.

    PubMed

    Hasiów-Jaroszewska, Beata; Fares, Mario A; Elena, Santiago F

    2014-01-01

    Our knowledge on the mode of evolution of the multifunctional viral proteins remains incomplete. To tackle this problem, here, we have investigated the evolutionary dynamics of the potyvirus multifunctional protein HC-Pro, with particular focus on its functional domains. The protein was partitioned into the three previously described functional domains, and each domain was analyzed separately and assembled. We searched for signatures of adaptive evolution and evolutionary dependencies of amino acid sites within and between the three domains using the entire set of available potyvirus sequences in GenBank. Interestingly, we identified strongly significant patterns of co-occurrence of adaptive events along the phylogenetic tree in the three domains. These patterns suggest that Domain I, whose main function is to mediate aphid transmission, has likely been coevolving with the other two domains, which are involved in different functions but all requiring the capacity to bind RNA. By contrast, episodes of positive selection on Domains II and III did not correlate, reflecting a trade-off between their evolvability and their evolutionary dependency likely resulting from their functional overlap. Covariation analyses have identified several groups of amino acids with evidence of concerted variation within each domain, but interdomain significant covariations were only found for Domains II and III, further reflecting their functional overlapping.

  9. [The possible role of the elements of protein secondary structure in adaptation to the action of ionizing radiation].

    PubMed

    Kharchenko, L I; Pavlovskaia, T E

    1997-01-01

    Changes in the secondary structure of enzymes induced by gamma-rays 60Co at doses not exceeding one ionization per macromolecule were studied to elucidate a possible role of radiation-chemical processes in the evolution of proteins. The data on the comparative radioresistance of various types of secondary protein structures, alpha-helix, parallel and anti-parallel beta-structures, and beta-turn, were obtained by the method of circular dichroism. It was shown that beta-turns were resistant against radiation, alpha-helix was relatively stable, and beta-layer underwent significant changes. The importance of these structural types in the evolution of proteins is discussed. A special role of beta-turn as structural elements fixing the confirmation of macromolecules and therefore responsible for adaptation of the protein structure against a constant radiation background is proposed.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Temperature adaptation at homologous sites in proteins from nine thermophile-mesophile species pairs.

    PubMed

    McDonald, John H

    2010-07-12

    Whether particular amino acids are favored by selection at high temperatures over others has long been an open question in protein evolution. One way to approach this question is to compare homologous sites in proteins from one thermophile and a closely related mesophile; asymmetrical substitution patterns have been taken as evidence for selection favoring certain amino acids over others. However, most pairs of prokaryotic species that differ in optimum temperature also differ in genome-wide GC content, and amino acid content is known to be associated with GC content. Here, I compare homologous sites in nine thermophilic prokaryotes and their mesophilic relatives, all with complete published genome sequences. After adjusting for the effects of differing GC content with logistic regression, 139 of the 190 pairs of amino acids show significant substitutional asymmetry, evidence of widespread adaptive amino acid substitution. The patterns are fairly consistent across the nine pairs of species (after taking the effects of differing GC content into account), suggesting that much of the asymmetry results from adaptation to temperature. Some amino acids in some species pairs deviate from the overall pattern in ways indicating that adaptation to other environmental or physiological differences between the species may also play a role. The property that is best correlated with the patterns of substitutional asymmetry is transfer free energy, a measure of hydrophobicity, with more hydrophobic amino acids favored at higher temperatures. The correlation of asymmetry and hydrophobicity is fairly weak, suggesting that other properties may also be important.

  15. 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.

  16. Anomalous diffusion in neutral evolution of model proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Erik D.; Grishin, Nick V.

    2015-06-01

    Protein evolution is frequently explored using minimalist polymer models, however, little attention has been given to the problem of structural drift, or diffusion. Here, we study neutral evolution of small protein motifs using an off-lattice heteropolymer model in which individual monomers interact as low-resolution amino acids. In contrast to most earlier models, both the length and folded structure of the polymers are permitted to change. To describe structural change, we compute the mean-square distance (MSD) between monomers in homologous folds separated by n neutral mutations. We find that structural change is episodic, and, averaged over lineages (for example, those extending from a single sequence), exhibits a power-law dependence on n . We show that this exponent depends on the alignment method used, and we analyze the distribution of waiting times between neutral mutations. The latter are more disperse than for models required to maintain a specific fold, but exhibit a similar power-law tail.

  17. Two-photon directed evolution of green fluorescent proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoltzfus, Caleb R.; Barnett, Lauren M.; Drobizhev, Mikhail; Wicks, Geoffrey; Mikhaylov, Alexander; Hughes, Thomas E.; Rebane, Aleksander

    2015-07-01

    Directed evolution has been used extensively to improve the properties of a variety of fluorescent proteins (FPs). Evolutionary strategies, however, have not yet been used to improve the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of a fluorescent protein, properties that are important for two-photon imaging in living tissues, including the brain. Here we demonstrate a technique for quantitatively screening the two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) efficiency and 2PA cross section of tens of thousands of mutant FPs expressed in E. coli colonies. We use this procedure to move EGFP through three rounds of two-photon directed evolution leading to new variants showing up to a 50% enhancement in peak 2PA cross section and brightness within the near-IR tissue transparency wavelength range.

  18. Substrate adaptabilities of Thermotogae mannan binding proteins as a function of their evolutionary histories.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Nathalie; Noll, Kenneth M

    2016-09-01

    The Thermotogae possess a large number of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, including two mannan binding proteins, ManD and CelE (previously called ManE). We show that a gene encoding an ancestor of these was acquired by the Thermotogae from the archaea followed by gene duplication. To address the functional evolution of these proteins as a consequence of their evolutionary histories, we measured the binding affinities of ManD and CelE orthologs from representative Thermotogae. Both proteins bind cellobiose, cellotriose, cellotetraose, β-1,4-mannotriose, and β-1,4-mannotetraose. The CelE orthologs additionally bind β-1,4-mannobiose, laminaribiose, laminaritriose and sophorose while the ManD orthologs additionally only weakly bind β-1,4-mannobiose. The CelE orthologs have higher unfolding temperatures than the ManD orthologs. An examination of codon sites under positive selection revealed that many of these encode residues located near or in the binding site, suggesting that the proteins experienced selective pressures in regions that might have changed their functions. The gene arrangement, phylogeny, binding properties, and putative regulatory networks suggest that the ancestral mannan binding protein was a CelE ortholog which gave rise to the ManD orthologs. This study provides a window on how one class of proteins adapted to new functions and temperatures to fit the physiologies of their new hosts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Comparative Genomics Identifies Epidermal Proteins Associated with the Evolution of the Turtle Shell.

    PubMed

    Holthaus, Karin Brigit; Strasser, Bettina; Sipos, Wolfgang; Schmidt, Heiko A; Mlitz, Veronika; Sukseree, Supawadee; Weissenbacher, Anton; Tschachler, Erwin; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Eckhart, Leopold

    2016-03-01

    The evolution of reptiles, birds, and mammals was associated with the origin of unique integumentary structures. Studies on lizards, chicken, and humans have suggested that the evolution of major structural proteins of the outermost, cornified layers of the epidermis was driven by the diversification of a gene cluster called Epidermal Differentiation Complex (EDC). Turtles have evolved unique defense mechanisms that depend on mechanically resilient modifications of the epidermis. To investigate whether the evolution of the integument in these reptiles was associated with specific adaptations of the sequences and expression patterns of EDC-related genes, we utilized newly available genome sequences to determine the epidermal differentiation gene complement of turtles. The EDC of the western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) comprises more than 100 genes, including at least 48 genes that encode proteins referred to as beta-keratins or corneous beta-proteins. Several EDC proteins have evolved cysteine/proline contents beyond 50% of total amino acid residues. Comparative genomics suggests that distinct subfamilies of EDC genes have been expanded and partly translocated to loci outside of the EDC in turtles. Gene expression analysis in the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) showed that EDC genes are differentially expressed in the skin of the various body sites and that a subset of beta-keratin genes within the EDC as well as those located outside of the EDC are expressed predominantly in the shell. Our findings give strong support to the hypothesis that the evolutionary innovation of the turtle shell involved specific molecular adaptations of epidermal differentiation.

  6. Dynamic evolution of venom proteins in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Huttley, Gavin A; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of toxin gene families have revolutionised our understanding of the origin and evolution of reptile venoms, leading to the current hypothesis that venom evolved once in squamate reptiles. However, because of a lack of homologous squamate non-toxin sequences, these conclusions rely on the implicit assumption that recruitments of protein families into venom are both rare and irreversible. Here we use sequences of homologous non-toxin proteins from two snake species to test these assumptions. Phylogenetic and ancestral-state analyses revealed frequent nesting of 'physiological' proteins within venom toxin clades, suggesting early ancestral recruitment into venom followed by reverse recruitment of toxins back to physiological roles. These results provide evidence that protein recruitment into venoms from physiological functions is not a one-way process, but dynamic, with reversal of function and/or co-expression of toxins in different tissues. This requires a major reassessment of our previous understanding of how animal venoms evolve.

  7. Did Convergent Protein Evolution Enable Phytoplasmas to Generate 'Zombie Plants'?

    PubMed

    Rümpler, Florian; Gramzow, Lydia; Theißen, Günter; Melzer, Rainer

    2015-12-01

    Phytoplasmas are pathogenic bacteria that reprogram plant development such that leaf-like structures instead of floral organs develop. Infected plants are sterile and mainly serve to propagate phytoplasmas and thus have been termed 'zombie plants'. The developmental reprogramming relies on specific interactions of the phytoplasma protein SAP54 with a small subset of MADS-domain transcription factors. Here, we propose that SAP54 folds into a structure that is similar to that of the K-domain, a protein-protein interaction domain of MADS-domain proteins. We suggest that undergoing convergent structural and sequence evolution, SAP54 evolved to mimic the K-domain. Given the high specificity of resulting developmental alterations, phytoplasmas might be used to study flower development in genetically intractable plants.

  8. Functional Validation of Hydrophobic Adaptation to Physiological Temperature in the Small Heat Shock Protein αA-crystallin

    PubMed Central

    Posner, Mason; Kiss, Andor J.; Skiba, Jackie; Drossman, Amy; Dolinska, Monika B.; Hejtmancik, J. Fielding; Sergeev, Yuri V.

    2012-01-01

    Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) maintain cellular homeostasis by preventing stress and disease-induced protein aggregation. While it is known that hydrophobicity impacts the ability of sHsps to bind aggregation-prone denaturing proteins, the complex quaternary structure of globular sHsps has made understanding the significance of specific changes in hydrophobicity difficult. Here we used recombinant protein of the lenticular sHsp α A-crystallin from six teleost fishes environmentally adapted to temperatures ranging from -2°C to 40°C to identify correlations between physiological temperature, protein stability and chaperone-like activity. Using sequence and structural modeling analysis we identified specific amino acid differences between the warm adapted zebrafish and cold adapted Antarctic toothfish that could contribute to these correlations and validated the functional consequences of three specific hydrophobicity-altering amino acid substitutions in αA-crystallin. Site directed mutagenesis of three residues in the zebrafish (V62T, C143S, T147V) confirmed that each impacts either protein stability or chaperone-like activity or both, with the V62T substitution having the greatest impact. Our results indicate a role for changing hydrophobicity in the thermal adaptation of α A-crystallin and suggest ways to produce sHsp variants with altered chaperone-like activity. These data also demonstrate that a comparative approach can provide new information about sHsp function and evolution. PMID:22479631

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The evolution and putative function of phosducin-like proteins in the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Putonti, Catherine; Quach, Bryan; Kooistra, Rachel L; Kanzok, Stefan M

    2013-01-01

    Ubiquitous to the proteomes of all living species is the presence of proteins containing the thioredoxin (Trx)-domain. The best characterized Trx-domain containing proteins include the enzymes involved in cellular redox metabolism facilitated by their cysteine-containing active site. But not all members of the Trx-fold superfamily exhibit this catalytic motif, e.g., the phosducin-like (PhLP) family of proteins. Genome sequencing efforts have uncovered new Trx-domain containing proteins, and their redox activity and cellular functions have yet to be determined. The genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium contains multiple thioredoxins and thioredoxin-like proteins which are of considerable interest given their role in the parasite's antioxidant defense. While adaptations within the Trx-domain have been studied, primarily with respect to redox active structures, PhLP proteins have not been examined. Using the uncharacterized phosducin-like protein from Plasmodium berghei PhLP-1, we investigated the evolution of PhLP proteins across all branches of the tree of life. As a result of our analysis, we have discovered the presence of two additional PhLP proteins in Plasmodium, PhLP-2 and PhLP-3. Sequence homology with annotated PhLP proteins in other species confirms that the Plasmodium PhLP-2 and PhLP-3 belong to the PhLP family of proteins. Furthermore, as a result of our analysis we hypothesize that the PhLP-2 thioredoxin was lost over time given its absence from higher-order eukaryotes. Probing deeper into the putative function of these proteins, inspection of the active sites indicate that PbPhLP-1 and PbPhLP-2 may be redox active while PbPhLP-3 is very likely not. The results of this phylogenetic study provide insight into the emergence of this family of Trx-domain containing proteins.

  14. 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.

  15. Conservation of Telomere protein complexes: Shuffling through Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Linger, Benjamin R.; Price, Carolyn M.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid evolution of telomere proteins has hindered identification of orthologs from diverse species and created the impression that certain groups of eukaryotes have largely non-overlapping sets of telomere proteins. However, the recent identification of additional telomere proteins from various model organisms has dispelled this notion by expanding our understanding of the composition, architecture and range of telomere protein complexes present in individual species. It is now apparent that versions of the budding yeast CST complex and mammalian shelterin are present in multiple phyla. While the precise subunit composition and architecture of these complexes vary between species, the general function is often conserved. Despite the overall conservation of telomere protein complexes, there is still considerable species specific variation, with some organisms having lost a particular subunit or even an entire complex. In some cases, complex components appear to have migrated between the telomere and the telomerase RNP. Finally, gene duplication has created telomere protein paralogs with novel functions. While one paralog may be part of a conserved telomere protein complex and have the expected function, the other paralog may serve in a completely different aspect of telomere biology. PMID:19839711

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Evolution of specifier proteins in glucosinolate-containing plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Brassicaceae lineages as suggested by the phylogeny. The ability to form non-isothiocyanate products by specifier protein activity may provide plants with a selective advantage. The evolution of specifier proteins in the Brassicaceae demonstrates the plasticity of secondary metabolism within an activated plant defense system. PMID:22839361

  20. ELAV proteins along evolution: back to the nucleus?

    PubMed

    Colombrita, Claudia; Silani, Vincenzo; Ratti, Antonia

    2013-09-01

    The complex interplay of post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms mediated by RNA-binding proteins (RBP) at different steps of RNA metabolism is pivotal for the development of the nervous system and the maintenance of adult brain activities. In this review, we will focus on the highly conserved ELAV gene family encoding for neuronal-specific RBPs which are necessary for proper neuronal differentiation and important for synaptic plasticity process. In the evolution from Drosophila to man, ELAV proteins seem to have changed their biological functions in relation to their different subcellular localization. While in Drosophila, they are localized in the nuclear compartment of neuronal cells and regulate splicing and polyadenylation, in mammals, the neuronal ELAV proteins are mainly present in the cytoplasm where they participate in regulating mRNA target stability, translation and transport into neurites. However, recent data indicate that the mammalian ELAV RBPs also have nuclear activities, similarly to their fly counterpart, being them able to continuously shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Here, we will review and comment on all the biological functions associated with neuronal ELAV proteins along evolution and will show that the post-transcriptional regulatory network mediated by these RBPs in the brain is highly complex and only at an initial stage of being fully understood. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'RNA and splicing regulation in neurodegeneration'.

  1. Evolution of yolk protein genes in the Echinodermata.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Thomas A A; Byrne, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Vitellogenin genes (vtg) encode large lipid transfer proteins (LLTPs) that are typically female-specific, functioning as precursors to major yolk proteins (MYPs). Within the phylum Echinodermata, however, the MYP of the Echinozoa (Echinoidea + Holothuroidea) is expressed by an unrelated transferrin-like gene that has a reproductive function in both sexes. We investigated egg proteins in the Asterozoa (Asteroidea + Ophiuroidea), a sister clade to the Echinozoa, showing that eggs of the asteroid Parvulastra exigua contain a vitellogenin protein (Vtg). vtg is expressed by P. exigua, a species with large eggs and nonfeeding larvae, and by the related asterinid Patiriella regularis which has small eggs and feeding larvae. In the Asteroidea, therefore, the reproductive function of vtg is conserved despite significant life history evolution. Like the echinozoan MYP gene, asteroid vtg is expressed in both sexes and may play a role in the development of both ovaries and testes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that a putative Vtg from the sea urchin genome, a likely pseudogene, does not clade with asteroid Vtg. We propose the following sequence as a potential pathway for the evolution of YP genes in the Echinodermata: (1) the ancestral echinoderm produced YPs derived from Vtg, (2) bisexual vtg expression subsequently evolved in the echinoderm lineage, (3) the reproductive function of vtg was assumed by a transferrin-like gene in the ancestral echinozoan, and (4) redundant echinozoan vtg was released from stabilizing selection.

  2. 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.

  3. [Origin and evolution of peptide-protein bioregulators].

    PubMed

    Chipens, G I; Freĭdlin, I S; Skliarova, S N

    1987-01-01

    Possible evolutionary pathways of cellular regulatory systems are discussed. Analysis of animal evolution suggests that peptide and protein bioregulators emerged at an early stage during formation of biochemical systems in prokaryotic cells involving protein synthesis on ribosomes, the processes of exo- and endocytosis and limited proteolysis reactions. Primary autocrine bioregulators are compared with growth factors. Models for cellular bioregulation are discussed in which both cell receptors and peptide/protein ligands, primarily immunoglobins, act as prehormones. Their internalization and limited proteolysis can lead to formation of low-molecular peptides (tetines) acting as autocrine or paracrine bioregulators. Basing on the concept of biochemical universality, it is suggested that the effects of many growth factors, hormones, immunoglobulins, mono- and lymphokins are mediated by identical or similar (carrying the same signatures) fragments which are produced in cells due to limited proteolysis reactions and which are directly involved in activation of biochemical systems in these cells.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. Marsupial models for understanding evolution of thyroid hormone distributor proteins.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Samantha J

    2008-10-10

    Marsupials are a group of mammals that are under-exploited, in particular in developmental and evolutionary studies of biological systems. In this review, the roles that marsupials have played in elucidating the evolution of thyroid hormone distribution systems are summarised. Marsupials are born at very early developmental stages, and most development occurs during lactation rather than in utero. Studying thyroid hormone distribution systems during marsupial development, in addition to comparing the two Orders of marsupials, gave clues as to the selection pressures acting on the hepatic gene expression of transthyretin (TTR), one of the major thyroid hormone distributor proteins in blood. The structure of TTR in marsupials is intermediate between that of avian/reptilian TTRs and eutherian ("placental mammalian") TTRs. Consequently, the function of marsupial TTR is intermediate between those of avian/reptilian TTRs and eutherian TTRs. Thus, in some respects marsupials can be considered as "missing links" in vertebrate evolution.

  13. Quantification and functional analysis of modular protein evolution in a dense phylogenetic tree.

    PubMed

    Moore, Andrew D; Grath, Sonja; Schüler, Andreas; Huylmans, Ann K; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2013-05-01

    Modularity is a hallmark of molecular evolution. Whether considering gene regulation, the components of metabolic pathways or signaling cascades, the ability to reuse autonomous modules in different molecular contexts can expedite evolutionary innovation. Similarly, protein domains are the modules of proteins, and modular domain rearrangements can create diversity with seemingly few operations in turn allowing for swift changes to an organism's functional repertoire. Here, we assess the patterns and functional effects of modular rearrangements at high resolution. Using a well resolved and diverse group of pancrustaceans, we illustrate arrangement diversity within closely related organisms, estimate arrangement turnover frequency and establish, for the first time, branch-specific rate estimates for fusion, fission, domain addition and terminal loss. Our results show that roughly 16 new arrangements arise per million years and that between 64% and 81% of these can be explained by simple, single-step modular rearrangement events. We find evidence that the frequencies of fission and terminal deletion events increase over time, and that modular rearrangements impact all levels of the cellular signaling apparatus and thus may have strong adaptive potential. Novel arrangements that cannot be explained by simple modular rearrangements contain a significant amount of repeat domains that occur in complex patterns which we term "supra-repeats". Furthermore, these arrangements are significantly longer than those with a single-step rearrangement solution, suggesting that such arrangements may result from multi-step events. In summary, our analysis provides an integrated view and initial quantification of the patterns and functional impact of modular protein evolution in a well resolved phylogenetic tree. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The emerging dynamic view of proteins: Protein plasticity in allostery, evolution and self-assembly.

  14. 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.

  15. The Evolution of Olfactory Gene Families in Drosophila and the Genomic Basis of chemical-Ecological Adaptation in Drosophila suzukii

    PubMed Central

    Ramasamy, Sukanya; Ometto, Lino; Crava, Cristina M.; Revadi, Santosh; Kaur, Rupinder; Horner, David S.; Pisani, Davide; Dekker, Teun; Anfora, Gianfranco; Rota-Stabelli, Omar

    2016-01-01

    How the evolution of olfactory genes correlates with adaption to new ecological niches is still a debated topic. We explored this issue in Drosophila suzukii, an emerging model that reproduces on fresh fruit rather than in fermenting substrates like most other Drosophila. We first annotated the repertoire of odorant receptors (ORs), odorant binding proteins (OBPs), and antennal ionotropic receptors (aIRs) in the genomes of two strains of D. suzukii and of its close relative Drosophila biarmipes. We then analyzed these genes on the phylogeny of 14 Drosophila species: whereas ORs and OBPs are characterized by higher turnover rates in some lineages including D. suzukii, aIRs are conserved throughout the genus. Drosophila suzukii is further characterized by a non-random distribution of OR turnover on the gene phylogeny, consistent with a change in selective pressures. In D. suzukii, we found duplications and signs of positive selection in ORs with affinity for short-chain esters, and loss of function of ORs with affinity for volatiles produced during fermentation. These receptors—Or85a and Or22a—are characterized by divergent alleles in the European and American genomes, and we hypothesize that they may have been replaced by some of the duplicated ORs in corresponding neurons, a hypothesis reciprocally confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. Our study quantifies the evolution of olfactory genes in Drosophila and reveals an array of genomic events that can be associated with the ecological adaptations of D. suzukii. PMID:27435796

  16. Evolutionary Genomics and Adaptive Evolution of the Hedgehog Gene Family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog – Shh; Indian hedgehog – Ihh; and Desert hedgehog – Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  17. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  18. Two Goose-Type Lysozymes in Mytilus galloprovincialis: Possible Function Diversification and Adaptive Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Zhang, Linbao; Zhao, Jianmin; You, Liping; Wu, Huifeng

    2012-01-01

    Two goose-type lysozymes (designated as MGgLYZ1 and MGgLYZ2) were identified from the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. MGgLYZ1 mRNA was widely expressed in the examined tissues and responded sensitively to bacterial challenge in hemocytes, while MGgLYZ2 mRNA was predominately expressed and performed its functions in hepatopancreas. However, immunolocalization analysis showed that both these lysozymes were expressed in all examined tissues with the exception of adductor muscle. Recombinant MGgLYZ1 and MGgLYZ2 could inhibit the growth of several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and they both showed the highest activity against Pseudomonas putida with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.95–1.91 µM and 1.20–2.40 µM, respectively. Protein sequences analysis revealed that MGgLYZ2 had lower isoelectric point and less protease cutting sites than MGgLYZ1. Recombinant MGgLYZ2 exhibited relative high activity at acidic pH of 4–5, while MGgLYZ1 have an optimum pH of 6. These results indicated MGgLYZ2 adapted to acidic environment and perhaps play an important role in digestion. Genomic structure analysis suggested that both MGgLYZ1 and MGgLYZ2 genes are composed of six exons with same length and five introns, indicating these genes were conserved and might originate from gene duplication during the evolution. Selection pressure analysis showed that MGgLYZ1 was under nearly neutral selection while MGgLYZ2 evolved under positive selection pressure with three positively selected amino acid residues (Y102, L200 and S202) detected in the mature peptide. All these findings suggested MGgLYZ2 perhaps served as a digestive lysozyme under positive selection pressure during the evolution while MGgLYZ1 was mainly involved in innate immune responses. PMID:23028813

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Adaptability of Protein Structures to Enable Functional Interactions and Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Haliloglu, Turkan; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-01-01

    Several studies in recent years have drawn attention to the ability of proteins to adapt to intermolecular interactions by conformational changes along structure-encoded collective modes of motions. These so-called soft modes, primarily driven by entropic effects, facilitate, if not enable, functional interactions. They represent excursions on the conformational space along principal low-ascent directions/paths away from the original free energy minimum, and they are accessible to the protein even prior to protein-protein/ligand interactions. An emerging concept from these studies is the evolution of structures or modular domains to favor such modes of motion that will be recruited or integrated for enabling functional interactions. Structural dynamics, including the allosteric switches in conformation that are often stabilized upon formation of complexes and multimeric assemblies, emerge as key properties that are evolutionarily maintained to accomplish biological activities, consistent with the paradigm sequence → structure → dynamics → function where ‘dynamics’ bridges structure and function. PMID:26254902

  3. Reciprocal Influence of Protein Domains in the Cold-Adapted Acyl Aminoacyl Peptidase from Sporosarcina psychrophila

    PubMed Central

    Parravicini, Federica; Natalello, Antonino; Papaleo, Elena; De Gioia, Luca; Doglia, Silvia Maria; Lotti, Marina; Brocca, Stefania

    2013-01-01

    Acyl aminoacyl peptidases are two-domain proteins composed by a C-terminal catalytic α/β-hydrolase domain and by an N-terminal β-propeller domain connected through a structural element that is at the N-terminus in sequence but participates in the 3D structure of the C-domain. We investigated about the structural and functional interplay between the two domains and the bridge structure (in this case a single helix named α1-helix) in the cold-adapted enzyme from Sporosarcina psychrophila (SpAAP) using both protein variants in which entire domains were deleted and proteins carrying substitutions in the α1-helix. We found that in this enzyme the inter-domain connection dramatically affects the stability of both the whole enzyme and the β-propeller. The α1-helix is required for the stability of the intact protein, as in other enzymes of the same family; however in this psychrophilic enzyme only, it destabilizes the isolated β-propeller. A single charged residue (E10) in the α1-helix plays a major role for the stability of the whole structure. Overall, a strict interaction of the SpAAP domains seems to be mandatory for the preservation of their reciprocal structural integrity and may witness their co-evolution. PMID:23457536

  4. Subfamily-specific adaptations in the structures of two penicillin-binding proteins from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    DOE PAGES

    Prigozhin, Daniil M.; Krieger, Inna V.; Huizar, John P.; ...

    2014-12-31

    Beta-lactam antibiotics target penicillin-binding proteins including several enzyme classes essential for bacterial cell-wall homeostasis. To better understand the functional and inhibitor-binding specificities of penicillin-binding proteins from the pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we carried out structural and phylogenetic analysis of two predicted D,D-carboxypeptidases, Rv2911 and Rv3330. Optimization of Rv2911 for crystallization using directed evolution and the GFP folding reporter method yielded a soluble quadruple mutant. Structures of optimized Rv2911 bound to phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride and Rv3330 bound to meropenem show that, in contrast to the nonspecific inhibitor, meropenem forms an extended interaction with the enzyme along a conserved surface. Phylogenetic analysis shows thatmore » Rv2911 and Rv3330 belong to different clades that emerged in Actinobacteria and are not represented in model organisms such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Clade-specific adaptations allow these enzymes to fulfill distinct physiological roles despite strict conservation of core catalytic residues. The characteristic differences include potential protein-protein interaction surfaces and specificity-determining residues surrounding the catalytic site. Overall, these structural insights lay the groundwork to develop improved beta-lactam therapeutics for tuberculosis.« less

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Protein phosphorylation and regulation of adaptive responses in bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Stock, J B; Ninfa, A J; Stock, A M

    1989-01-01

    Bacteria continuously adapt to changes in their environment. Responses are largely controlled by signal transduction systems that contain two central enzymatic components, a protein kinase that uses adenosine triphosphate to phosphorylate itself at a histidine residue and a response regulator that accepts phosphoryl groups from the kinase. This conserved phosphotransfer chemistry is found in a wide range of bacterial species and operates in diverse systems to provide different regulatory outputs. The histidine kinases are frequently membrane receptor proteins that respond to environmental signals and phosphorylate response regulators that control transcription. Four specific regulatory systems are discussed in detail: chemotaxis in response to attractant and repellent stimuli (Che), regulation of gene expression in response to nitrogen deprivation (Ntr), control of the expression of enzymes and transport systems that assimilate phosphorus (Pho), and regulation of outer membrane porin expression in response to osmolarity and other culture conditions (Omp). Several additional systems are also examined, including systems that control complex developmental processes such as sporulation and fruiting-body formation, systems required for virulent infections of plant or animal host tissues, and systems that regulate transport and metabolism. Finally, an attempt is made to understand how cross-talk between parallel phosphotransfer pathways can provide a global regulatory curcuitry. PMID:2556636

  8. Protein design by fusion: implications for protein structure prediction and evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Skorupka, Katarzyna; Han, Seong Kyu; Nam, Hyun-Jun; Kim, Sanguk; Faham, Salem

    2013-11-19

    Domain fusion is a useful tool in protein design. Here, the structure of a fusion of the heterodimeric flagella-assembly proteins FliS and FliC is reported. Although the ability of the fusion protein to maintain the structure of the heterodimer may be apparent, threading-based structural predictions do not properly fuse the heterodimer. Additional examples of naturally occurring heterodimers that are homologous to full-length proteins were identified. These examples highlight that the designed protein was engineered by the same tools as used in the natural evolution of proteins and that heterodimeric structures contain a wealth of information, currently unused, that can improve structural predictions.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Evolution of Protein Synthesis from an RNA World

    PubMed Central

    Noller, Harry F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Because of the molecular complexity of the ribosome and protein synthesis, it is a challenge to imagine how translation could have evolved from a primitive RNA World. Two specific suggestions are made here to help to address this, involving separate evolution of the peptidyl transferase and decoding functions. First, it is proposed that translation originally arose not to synthesize functional proteins, but to provide simple (perhaps random) peptides that bound to RNA, increasing its available structure space, and therefore its functional capabilities. Second, it is proposed that the decoding site of the ribosome evolved from a mechanism for duplication of RNA. This process involved homodimeric “duplicator RNAs,” resembling the anticodon arms of tRNAs, which directed ligation of trinucleotides in response to an RNA template. PMID:20610545

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  18. Prediction of protein-protein interactions: unifying evolution and structure at protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Tuncbag, Nurcan; Gursoy, Attila; Keskin, Ozlem

    2011-06-01

    The vast majority of the chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Providing details of protein interactions at the residue level and incorporating them into protein interaction networks are crucial toward the elucidation of a dynamic picture of cells. Despite the rapid increase in the number of structurally known protein complexes, we are still far away from a complete network. Given experimental limitations, computational modeling of protein interactions is a prerequisite to proceed on the way to complete structural networks. In this work, we focus on the question 'how do proteins interact?' rather than 'which proteins interact?' and we review structure-based protein-protein interaction prediction approaches. As a sample approach for modeling protein interactions, PRISM is detailed which combines structural similarity and evolutionary conservation in protein interfaces to infer structures of complexes in the protein interaction network. This will ultimately help us to understand the role of protein interfaces in predicting bound conformations.

  19. Evolution of protein complexity: the blue copper-containing oxidases and related proteins.

    PubMed

    Rydén, L G; Hunt, L T

    1993-01-01

    The blue copper proteins and their relatives have been compared by sequence alignments, by comparison of three-dimensional structures, and by construction of phylogenetic trees. The group contains proteins varying in size from 100 residues to over 2,300 residues in a single chain, containing from zero to nine copper atoms, and with a broad variation in function ranging from electron carrier proteins and oxidases to the blood coagulation factors V and VIII. Difference matrices show the sequence difference to be over 90% for many pairs in the group, yet alignment scores and other evidence suggest that they all evolved from a common ancestor. We have attempted to delineate how this evolution took place and in particular to define the mechanisms by which these proteins acquired an ever-increasing complexity in structure and function. We find evidence for six such mechanisms in this group of proteins: domain enlargement, in which a single domain increases in size from about 100 residues up to 210; domain duplication, which allows for a size increase from about 170 to about 1,000 residues; segment elongation, in which a small segment undergoes multiple successive duplications that can increase the chain size 50-fold; domain recruitment, in which a domain coded elsewhere in the genome is added on to the peptide chain; subunit formation, to form multisubunit proteins; and glycosylation, which in some cases doubles the size of the protein molecule. Size increase allows for the evolution of new catalytic properties, in particular the oxidase function, and for the formation of coagulation factors with multiple interaction sites and regulatory properties. The blood coagulation system is examined as an example in which a system of interacting proteins evolved by successive duplications of larger parts of the genome. The evolution of size, functionality, and diversity is compared with the general question of increase in size and complexity in biology.

  20. A neural network dynamics that resembles protein evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrán, Edgardo A.; Ferrara, Pascual

    1992-06-01

    We use neutral networks to classify proteins according to their sequence similarities. A network composed by 7 × 7 neurons, was trained with the Kohonen unsupervised learning algorithm using, as inputs, matrix patterns derived from the bipeptide composition of cytochrome c proteins belonging to 76 different species. As a result of the training, the network self-organized the activation of its neurons into topologically ordered maps, wherein phylogenetically related sequences were positioned close to each other. The evolution of the topological map during learning, in a representative computational experiment, roughly resembles the way in which one species evolves into several others. For instance, sequences corresponding to vertebrates, initially grouped together into one neuron, were placed in a contiguous zone of the final neural map, with sequences of fishes, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals associated to different neurons. Some apparent wrong classifications are due to the fact that some proteins have a greater degree of sequence identity than the one expected by phylogenetics. In the final neural map, each synaptic vector may be considered as the pattern corresponding to the ancestor of all the proteins that are attached to that neuron. Although it may be also tempting to link real time with learning epochs and to use this relationship to calibrate the molecular evolutionary clock, this is not correct because the evolutionary time schedule obtained with the neural network depends highly on the discrete way in which the winner neighborhood is decreased during learning.

  1. Adaptive evolution of the water stress-induced gene Asr2 in Lycopersicon species dwelling in arid habitats.

    PubMed

    Frankel, Nicolas; Hasson, Esteban; Iusem, Norberto D; Rossi, Maria Susana

    2003-12-01

    The Asr2 gene encodes a putative transcription factor that is up-regulated in leaves and roots of tomato plants exposed to water-deficit stress. This gene was first cloned and characterized in a cultivar of commercial tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Ailsa Craig). In this work, we report the complete coding sequences of the orthologous Asr2 genes in six wild tomato lineages: L. hirsutum, L. cheesmanii, L. esculentum v. cerasiforme, L. chilense, L. peruvianum v. humifusum and L. peruvianum f. glandulosum. Estimates of the Ka/Ks ratio (omega) in pairwise comparisons within the genus Lycopersicon were equal or greater than 1 (a signature of adaptive evolution) when involving L. chilense and L. peruvianum v. humifusum. Interestingly, these two species are distinct from the others in their adaptation to dry habitats. We also mapped the detected substitutions onto a phylogenetic tree of the genus Lycopersicon. Remarkably, there are two and three amino acid substitutions, which contrast with the absence of synonymous substitutions along the terminal branches leading to L. chilense and L. peruvianum v. humifusum, respectively. Likelihood ratio tests confirmed that omega values in the branches leading to these species are significantly different from the remaining branches of the tree. Moreover, inferred changes in the branches leading to these species that inhabit dry areas are nonconservative and may be associated with dramatic alterations in ASR2 protein conformation. In this work, we demonstrate accelerated rates of amino acid substitutions in the Asr2 gene of tomato lineages living in dry habitats, thus giving support to the hypothesis of adaptive Darwinian evolution.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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'.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. Comparative analysis of protein evolution in the genome of pre-epidemic and epidemic Zika virus.

    PubMed

    Ramaiah, Arunachalam; Dai, Lei; Contreras, Deisy; Sinha, Sanjeev; Sun, Ren; Arumugaswami, Vaithilingaraja

    2017-03-14

    Zika virus (ZIKV) causes microcephaly in congenital infection, neurological disorders, and poor pregnancy outcome and no vaccine is available for use in humans or approved. Although ZIKV was first discovered in 1947, the exact mechanism of virus replication and pathogenesis remains unknown. Recent outbreaks of Zika virus in the Americas clearly suggest a human-mosquito cycle or urban cycle of transmission. Understanding the conserved and adaptive features in the evolution of ZIKV genome will provide a hint on the mechanism of ZIKV adaptation to a new cycle of transmission. Here, we show comprehensive analysis of protein evolution of ZIKV strains including the current 2015-16 outbreak. To identify the constraints on ZIKV evolution, selection pressure at individual codons, immune epitopes and co-evolving sites were analyzed. Phylogenetic trees show that the ZIKV strains of the Asian genotype form distinct cluster and share a common ancestor with African genotype. The TMRCA (Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor) for the Asian lineage and the subsequently evolved Asian human strains was calculated at 88 and 34years ago, respectively. The proteome of current 2015/16 epidemic ZIKV strains of Asian genotype was found to be genetically conserved due to genome-wide negative selection, with limited positive selection. We identified a total of 16 amino acid substitutions in the epidemic and pre-epidemic strains from human, mosquito, and monkey hosts. Negatively selected amino acid sites of Envelope protein (E-protein) (positions 69, 166, and 174) and NS5 (292, 345, and 587) were located in central dimerization domains and C-terminal RNA-directed RNA polymerase regions, respectively. The predicted 137 (92 CD4 TCEs; 45 CD8 TCEs) immunogenic peptide chains comprising negatively selected amino acid sites can be considered as suitable target for sub-unit vaccine development, as these sites are less likely to generate immune-escape variants due to strong functional constrains

  10. Effects of protein conformation in docking: improved pose prediction through protein pocket adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Ajay N.

    2009-06-01

    Computational methods for docking ligands have been shown to be remarkably dependent on precise protein conformation, where acceptable results in pose prediction have been generally possible only in the artificial case of re-docking a ligand into a protein binding site whose conformation was determined in the presence of the same ligand (the "cognate" docking problem). In such cases, on well curated protein/ligand complexes, accurate dockings can be returned as top-scoring over 75% of the time using tools such as Surflex-Dock. A critical application of docking in modeling for lead optimization requires accurate pose prediction for novel ligands, ranging from simple synthetic analogs to very different molecular scaffolds. Typical results for widely used programs in the "cross-docking case" (making use of a single fixed protein conformation) have rates closer to 20% success. By making use of protein conformations from multiple complexes, Surflex-Dock yields an average success rate of 61% across eight pharmaceutically relevant targets. Following docking, protein pocket adaptation and rescoring identifies single pose families that are correct an average of 67% of the time. Consideration of the best of two pose families (from alternate scoring regimes) yields a 75% mean success rate.

  11. Effects of protein conformation in docking: improved pose prediction through protein pocket adaptation.

    PubMed

    Jain, Ajay N

    2009-06-01

    Computational methods for docking ligands have been shown to be remarkably dependent on precise protein conformation, where acceptable results in pose prediction have been generally possible only in the artificial case of re-docking a ligand into a protein binding site whose conformation was determined in the presence of the same ligand (the "cognate" docking problem). In such cases, on well curated protein/ligand complexes, accurate dockings can be returned as top-scoring over 75% of the time using tools such as Surflex-Dock. A critical application of docking in modeling for lead optimization requires accurate pose prediction for novel ligands, ranging from simple synthetic analogs to very different molecular scaffolds. Typical results for widely used programs in the "cross-docking case" (making use of a single fixed protein conformation) have rates closer to 20% success. By making use of protein conformations from multiple complexes, Surflex-Dock yields an average success rate of 61% across eight pharmaceutically relevant targets. Following docking, protein pocket adaptation and rescoring identifies single pose families that are correct an average of 67% of the time. Consideration of the best of two pose families (from alternate scoring regimes) yields a 75% mean success rate.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Simulated Evolution of Protein-Protein Interaction Networks with Realistic Topology

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, G. Jack; Pressé, Steve; Peterson, Kristin S.; Dill, Ken A.

    2012-01-01

    We model the evolution of eukaryotic protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. In our model, PPI networks evolve by two known biological mechanisms: (1) Gene duplication, which is followed by rapid diversification of duplicate interactions. (2) Neofunctionalization, in which a mutation leads to a new interaction with some other protein. Since many interactions are due to simple surface compatibility, we hypothesize there is an increased likelihood of interacting with other proteins in the target protein’s neighborhood. We find good agreement of the model on 10 different network properties compared to high-confidence experimental PPI networks in yeast, fruit flies, and humans. Key findings are: (1) PPI networks evolve modular structures, with no need to invoke particular selection pressures. (2) Proteins in cells have on average about 6 degrees of separation, similar to some social networks, such as human-communication and actor networks. (3) Unlike social networks, which have a shrinking diameter (degree of maximum separation) over time, PPI networks are predicted to grow in diameter. (4) The model indicates that evolutionarily old proteins should have higher connectivities and be more centrally embedded in their networks. This suggests a way in which present-day proteomics data could provide insights into biological evolution. PMID:22768057

  15. Gene sequence variations and expression patterns of mitochondrial genes are associated with the adaptive evolution of two Gynaephora species (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae) living in different high-elevation environments.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi-Lin; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Tian-Xuan; Wang, Juan; Zhu, Qian-Hua; Chen, Jun-Yuan; Yuan, Ming-Long

    2017-04-30

    The adaptive evolution of animals to high-elevation environments has been extensively studied in vertebrates, while few studies have focused on insects. Gynaephora species (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae) are endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and represent an important insect pest of alpine meadows. Here, we present a detailed comparative analysis of the mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of two Gynaephora species inhabiting different high-elevation environments: G. alpherakii and G. menyuanensis. The results indicated that the general mitogenomic features (genome size, nucleotide composition, codon usage and secondary structures of tRNAs) were well conserved between the two species. All of mitochondrial protein-coding genes were evolving under purifying selection, suggesting that selection constraints may play a role in ensuring adequate energy production. However, a number of substitutions and indels were identified that altered the protein conformations of ATP8 and NAD1, which may be the result of adaptive evolution of the two Gynaephora species to different high-elevation environments. Levels of gene expression for nine mitochondrial genes in nine different developmental stages were significantly suppressed in G. alpherakii, which lives at the higher elevation (~4800m above sea level), suggesting that gene expression patterns could be modulated by atmospheric oxygen content and environmental temperature. These results enhance our understanding of the genetic bases for the adaptive evolution of insects endemic to the QTP.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Extensive Positive Selection Drives the Evolution of Nonstructural Proteins in Lineage C Betacoronaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Cagliani, Rachele; Mozzi, Alessandra; Pozzoli, Uberto; Al-Daghri, Nasser; Clerici, Mario; Sironi, Manuela

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) spreads to humans via zoonotic transmission from camels. MERS-CoV belongs to lineage C of betacoronaviruses (betaCoVs), which also includes viruses isolated from bats and hedgehogs. A large portion of the betaCoV genome consists of two open reading frames (ORF1a and ORF1b) that are translated into polyproteins. These are cleaved by viral proteases to generate 16 nonstructural proteins (nsp1 to nsp16) which compose the viral replication-transcription complex. We investigated the evolution of ORF1a and ORF1b in lineage C betaCoVs. Results indicated widespread positive selection, acting mostly on ORF1a. The proportion of positively selected sites in ORF1a was much higher than that previously reported for the surface-exposed spike protein. Selected sites were unevenly distributed, with nsp3 representing the preferential target. Several pairs of coevolving sites were also detected, possibly indicating epistatic interactions; most of these were located in nsp3. Adaptive evolution at nsp3 is ongoing in MERS-CoV strains, and two selected sites (G720 and R911) were detected in the protease domain. While position 720 is variable in camel-derived viruses, suggesting that the selective event does not represent a specific adaptation to humans, the R911C substitution was observed only in human-derived MERS-CoV isolates, including the viral strain responsible for the recent South Korean outbreak. It will be extremely important to assess whether these changes affect host range or other viral phenotypes. More generally, data herein indicate that CoV nsp3 represents a major selection target and that nsp3 sequencing should be envisaged in monitoring programs and field surveys. IMPORTANCE Both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and MERS-CoV originated in bats and spread to humans via an intermediate host. This clearly highlights the potential for coronavirus host shifting and the relevance

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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].

  7. 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.

  8. Evolution of a Membrane Protein Regulon in Saccharomyces

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Hilary C.; Roop, Jeremy I.; Schraiber, Joshua G.; Hsu, Tiffany Y.; Brem, Rachel B.

    2012-01-01

    Expression variation is widespread between species. The ability to distinguish regulatory change driven by natural selection from the consequences of neutral drift remains a major challenge in comparative genomics. In this work, we used observations of mRNA expression and promoter sequence to analyze signatures of selection on groups of functionally related genes in Saccharomycete yeasts. In a survey of gene regulons with expression divergence between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. paradoxus, we found that most were subject to variation in trans-regulatory factors that provided no evidence against a neutral model. However, we identified one regulon of membrane protein genes controlled by unlinked cis- and trans-acting determinants with coherent effects on gene expression, consistent with a history of directional, nonneutral evolution. For this membrane protein group, S. paradoxus alleles at regulatory loci were associated with elevated expression and altered stress responsiveness relative to other yeasts. In a phylogenetic comparison of promoter sequences of the membrane protein genes between species, the S. paradoxus lineage was distinguished by a short branch length, indicative of strong selective constraint. Likewise, sequence variants within the S. paradoxus population, but not across strains of other yeasts, were skewed toward low frequencies in promoters of genes in the membrane protein regulon, again reflecting strong purifying selection. Our results support a model in which a distinct expression program for the membrane protein genes in S. paradoxus has been preferentially maintained by negative selection as the result of an increased importance to organismal fitness. These findings illustrate the power of integrating expression- and sequence-based tests of natural selection in the study of evolutionary forces that underlie regulatory change. PMID:22319167

  9. The evolution of function in strictosidine synthase-like proteins.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Michael A; Barber, Alan E; Giddings, Lesley-Ann; Caldwell, Jenna; O'Connor, Sarah E; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2011-11-01

    The exponential growth of sequence data provides abundant information for the discovery of new enzyme reactions. Correctly annotating the functions of highly diverse proteins can be difficult, however, hindering use of this information. Global analysis of large superfamilies of related proteins is a powerful strategy for understanding the evolution of reactions by identifying catalytic commonalities and differences in reaction and substrate specificity, even when only a few members have been biochemically or structurally characterized. A comparison of >2500 sequences sharing the six-bladed β-propeller fold establishes sequence, structural, and functional links among the three subgroups of the functionally diverse N6P superfamily: the arylesterase-like and senescence marker protein-30/gluconolactonase/luciferin-regenerating enzyme-like (SGL) subgroups, representing enzymes that catalyze lactonase and related hydrolytic reactions, and the so-called strictosidine synthase-like (SSL) subgroup. Metal-coordinating residues were identified as broadly conserved in the active sites of all three subgroups except for a few proteins from the SSL subgroup, which have been experimentally determined to catalyze the quite different strictosidine synthase (SS) reaction, a metal-independent condensation reaction. Despite these differences, comparison of conserved catalytic features of the arylesterase-like and SGL enzymes with the SSs identified similar structural and mechanistic attributes between the hydrolytic reactions catalyzed by the former and the condensation reaction catalyzed by SS. The results also suggest that despite their annotations, the great majority of these >500 SSL sequences do not catalyze the SS reaction; rather, they likely catalyze hydrolytic reactions typical of the other two subgroups instead. This prediction was confirmed experimentally for one of these proteins.

  10. Conservation and diversification of Msx protein in metazoan evolution.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hirokazu; Kamiya, Akiko; Ishiguro, Akira; Suzuki, Atsushi C; Saitou, Naruya; Toyoda, Atsushi; Aruga, Jun

    2008-01-01

    Msx (/msh) family genes encode homeodomain (HD) proteins that control ontogeny in many animal species. We compared the structures of Msx genes from a wide range of Metazoa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Nematoda, Arthropoda, Tardigrada, Platyhelminthes, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Annelida, Echiura, Echinodermata, Hemichordata, and Chordata) to gain an understanding of the role of these genes in phylogeny. Exon-intron boundary analysis suggested that the position of the intron located N-terminally to the HDs was widely conserved in all the genes examined, including those of cnidarians. Amino acid (aa) sequence comparison revealed 3 new evolutionarily conserved domains, as well as very strong conservation of the HDs. Two of the three domains were associated with Groucho-like protein binding in both a vertebrate and a cnidarian Msx homolog, suggesting that the interaction between Groucho-like proteins and Msx proteins was established in eumetazoan ancestors. Pairwise comparison among the collected HDs and their C-flanking aa sequences revealed that the degree of sequence conservation varied depending on the animal taxa from which the sequences were derived. Highly conserved Msx genes were identified in the Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, Hemichordata, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, and Anthozoa. The wide distribution of the conserved sequences in the animal phylogenetic tree suggested that metazoan ancestors had already acquired a set of conserved domains of the current Msx family genes. Interestingly, although strongly conserved sequences were recovered from the Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, and Anthozoa, the sequences from the Urochordata and Hydrozoa showed weak conservation. Because the Vertebrata-Cephalochordata-Urochordata and Anthozoa-Hydrozoa represent sister groups in the Chordata and Cnidaria, respectively, Msx sequence diversification may have occurred differentially in the course of evolution. We speculate that selective loss of the conserved domains in Msx family

  11. Evolution under pressure and the adaptation of visual pigment compressibility in deep-sea environments.

    PubMed

    Porter, Megan L; Roberts, Nicholas W; Partridge, Julian C

    2016-12-01

    Understanding the link between how proteins function in animals that live in extreme environments and selection on specific properties of amino acids has proved extremely challenging. Here we present the discovery of how the compressibility of opsin proteins in two evolutionarily distinct animal groups, teleosts and cephalopods, appears to be adapted to the high-pressure environment of the deep-sea. We report how in both groups, opsins in deeper living species are calculated to be less compressible. This is largely due to a common set of amino acid sites (bovRH# 159, 196, 213, 275) undergoing positive destabilizing selection in six of the twelve amino acid physiochemical properties that determine protein compressibility. This suggests a common evolutionary mechanism to reduce the adiabatic compressibility of opsin proteins. Intriguingly, the sites under selection are on the proteins' outer faces at locations known to be involved in opsin-opsin dimer interactions.

  12. Evolution and Structural Organization of the C Proteins of Paramyxovirinae

    PubMed Central

    Karlin, David G.

    2014-01-01

    The phosphoprotein (P) gene of most Paramyxovirinae encodes several proteins in overlapping frames: P and V, which share a common N-terminus (PNT), and C, which overlaps PNT. Overlapping genes are of particular interest because they encode proteins originated de novo, some of which have unknown structural folds, challenging the notion that nature utilizes only a limited, well-mapped area of fold space. The C proteins cluster in three groups, comprising measles, Nipah, and Sendai virus. We predicted that all C proteins have a similar organization: a variable, disordered N-terminus and a conserved, α-helical C-terminus. We confirmed this predicted organization by biophysically characterizing recombinant C proteins from Tupaia paramyxovirus (measles group) and human parainfluenza virus 1 (Sendai group). We also found that the C of the measles and Nipah groups have statistically significant sequence similarity, indicating a common origin. Although the C of the Sendai group lack sequence similarity with them, we speculate that they also have a common origin, given their similar genomic location and structural organization. Since C is dispensable for viral replication, unlike PNT, we hypothesize that C may have originated de novo by overprinting PNT in the ancestor of Paramyxovirinae. Intriguingly, in measles virus and Nipah virus, PNT encodes STAT1-binding sites that overlap different regions of the C-terminus of C, indicating they have probably originated independently. This arrangement, in which the same genetic region encodes simultaneously a crucial functional motif (a STAT1-binding site) and a highly constrained region (the C-terminus of C), seems paradoxical, since it should severely reduce the ability of the virus to adapt. The fact that it originated twice suggests that it must be balanced by an evolutionary advantage, perhaps from reducing the size of the genetic region vulnerable to mutations. PMID:24587180

  13. A Dynamic Model for the Evolution of Protein Structure.

    PubMed

    Tal, Guy; Boca, Simina Maria; Mittenthal, Jay; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo

    2016-05-01

    Domains are folded structures and evolutionary building blocks of protein molecules. Their three-dimensional atomic conformations, which define biological functions, can be coarse-grained into levels of a hierarchy. Here we build global dynamical models for the evolution of domains at fold and fold superfamily (FSF) levels. We fit the models with data from phylogenomic trees of domain structures and evaluate the distributions of the resulting parameters and their implications. The trees were inferred from a census of domain structures in hundreds of genomes from all three superkingdoms of life. The models used birth-death differential equations with the global abundances of structures as state variables, with one set of equations for folds and another for FSFs. Only the transitions present in the tree are assumed possible. Each fold or FSF diversifies in variants, eventually producing a new fold or FSF. The parameters specify rates of generation of variants and of new folds or FSFs. The equations were solved for the parameters by simplifying the trees to a comb-like topology, treating branches as emerging directly from a trunk. We found that the rate constants for folds and FSFs evolved similarly. These parameters showed a sharp transient change at about 1.5 Gyrs ago. This time coincides with a period in which domains massively combined in proteins and their arrangements distributed in novel lineages during the rise of organismal diversification. Our simulations suggest that exploration of protein structure space occurs through coarse-grained discoveries that undergo fine-grained elaboration.

  14. Thermotolerant Yeast Strains Adapted by Laboratory Evolution Show Trade-Off at Ancestral Temperatures and Preadaptation to Other Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Jens

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A major challenge for the production of ethanol from biomass-derived feedstocks is to develop yeasts that can sustain growth under the variety of inhibitory conditions present in the production process, e.g., high osmolality, high ethanol titers, and/or elevated temperatures (≥40°C). Using adaptive laboratory evolution, we previously isolated seven Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with improved growth at 40°C. Here, we show that genetic adaptations to high temperature caused a growth trade-off at ancestral temperatures, reduced cellular functions, and improved tolerance of other stresses. Thermotolerant yeast strains showed horizontal displacement of their thermal reaction norms to higher temperatures. Hence, their optimal and maximum growth temperatures increased by about 3°C, whereas they showed a growth trade-off at temperatures below 34°C. Computational analysis of the physical properties of proteins showed that the lethal temperature for yeast is around 49°C, as a large fraction of the yeast proteins denature above this temperature. Our analysis also indicated that the number of functions involved in controlling the growth rate decreased in the thermotolerant strains compared with the number in the ancestral strain. The latter is an advantageous attribute for acquiring thermotolerance and correlates with the reduction of yeast functions associated with loss of respiration capacity. This trait caused glycerol overproduction that was associated with the growth trade-off at ancestral temperatures. In combination with altered sterol composition of cellular membranes, glycerol overproduction was also associated with yeast osmotolerance and improved tolerance of high concentrations of glucose and ethanol. Our study shows that thermal adaptation of yeast is suitable for improving yeast resistance to inhibitory conditions found in industrial ethanol production processes. PMID:26199325

  15. Flagellated algae protein evolution suggests the prevalence of lineage-specific rules governing evolutionary rates of eukaryotic proteins.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ting-Yan; Liao, Ben-Yang

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the general rules governing the rate of protein evolution is fundamental to evolutionary biology. However, attempts to address this issue in yeasts and mammals have revealed considerable differences in the relative importance of determinants for protein evolutionary rates. This phenomenon was previously explained by the fact that yeasts and mammals are different in many cellular and genomic properties. Flagellated algae species have several cellular and genomic characteristics that are intermediate between yeasts and mammals. Using partial correlation analyses on the evolution of 6,921 orthologous proteins from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri, we examined factors influencing evolutionary rates of proteins in flagellated algae. Previous studies have shown that mRNA abundance and gene compactness are strong determinants for protein evolutionary rates in yeasts and mammals, respectively. We show that both factors also influence algae protein evolution with mRNA abundance having a larger impact than gene compactness on the rates of algae protein evolution. More importantly, among all the factors examined, coding sequence (CDS) length has the strongest (positive) correlation with protein evolutionary rates. This correlation between CDS length and the rates of protein evolution is not due to alignment-related issues or domain density. These results suggest no simple and universal rules governing protein evolutionary rates across different eukaryotic lineages. Instead, gene properties influence the rate of protein evolution in a lineage-specific manner.

  16. The evolution of the protein synthesis system. I - A model of a primitive protein synthesis system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizutani, H.; Ponnamperuma, C.

    1977-01-01

    A model is developed to describe the evolution of the protein synthesis system. The model is comprised of two independent autocatalytic systems, one including one gene (A-gene) and two activated amino acid polymerases (O and A-polymerases), and the other including the addition of another gene (N-gene) and a nucleotide polymerase. Simulation results have suggested that even a small enzymic activity and polymerase specificity could lead the system to the most accurate protein synthesis, as far as permitted by transitions to systems with higher accuracy.

  17. The Evolution of HD2 Proteins in Green Plants.

    PubMed

    Bourque, S; Jeandroz, S; Grandperret, V; Lehotai, N; Aimé, S; Soltis, D E; Miles, N W; Melkonian, M; Deyholos, M K; Leebens-Mack, J H; Chase, M W; Rothfels, C J; Stevenson, D W; Graham, S W; Wang, X; Wu, S; Pires, J C; Edger, P P; Yan, Z; Xie, Y; Carpenter, E J; Wong, G K S; Wendehenne, D; Nicolas-Francès, V

    2016-12-01

    In eukaryotes, protein deacetylation is carried out by two well-conserved histone deacetylase (HDAC) families: RPD3/HDA1 and SIR2. Intriguingly, model plants such as Arabidopsis express an additional plant-specific HDAC family, termed type-2 HDACs (HD2s). Transcriptomic analyses from more than 1300 green plants generated by the 1000 plants (1KP) consortium showed that HD2s appeared early in green plant evolution, the first members being detected in several streptophyte green alga. The HD2 family has expanded via several rounds of successive duplication; members are expressed in all major green plant clades. Interestingly, angiosperm species express new HD2 genes devoid of a zinc-finger domain, one of the main structural features of HD2s. These variants may have been associated with the origin and/or the biology of the ovule/seed.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution of context dependent regulation by expansion of feast/famine regulatory proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Plaisier, Christopher L.; Lo, Fang -Yin; Ashworth, Justin; Brooks, Aaron N.; Beer, Karlyn D.; Kaur, Amardeep; Pan, Min; Reiss, David J.; Facciotti, Marc T.; Baliga, Nitin S.

    2014-11-14

    Expansion of transcription factors is believed to have played a crucial role in evolution of all organisms by enabling them to deal with dynamic environments and colonize new environments. We investigated how the expansion of the Feast/Famine Regulatory Protein (FFRP) or Lrp-like proteins into an eight-member family in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 has aided in niche-adaptation of this archaeon to a complex and dynamically changing hypersaline environment. We mapped genome-wide binding locations for all eight FFRPs, investigated their preference for binding different effector molecules, and identified the contexts in which they act by analyzing transcriptional responses across 35 growth conditions that mimic different environmental and nutritional conditions this organism is likely to encounter in the wild. Integrative analysis of these data constructed an FFRP regulatory network with conditionally active states that reveal how interrelated variations in DNA-binding domains, effector-molecule preferences, and binding sites in target gene promoters have tuned the functions of each FFRP to the environments in which they act. We demonstrate how conditional regulation of similar genes by two FFRPs, AsnC (an activator) and VNG1237C (a repressor), have striking environment-specific fitness consequences for oxidative stress management and growth, respectively. This study provides a systems perspective into the evolutionary process by which gene duplication within a transcription factor family contributes to environment-specific adaptation of an organism.

  1. Evolution of context dependent regulation by expansion of feast/famine regulatory proteins

    DOE PAGES

    Plaisier, Christopher L.; Lo, Fang -Yin; Ashworth, Justin; ...

    2014-11-14

    Expansion of transcription factors is believed to have played a crucial role in evolution of all organisms by enabling them to deal with dynamic environments and colonize new environments. We investigated how the expansion of the Feast/Famine Regulatory Protein (FFRP) or Lrp-like proteins into an eight-member family in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 has aided in niche-adaptation of this archaeon to a complex and dynamically changing hypersaline environment. We mapped genome-wide binding locations for all eight FFRPs, investigated their preference for binding different effector molecules, and identified the contexts in which they act by analyzing transcriptional responses across 35 growth conditions thatmore » mimic different environmental and nutritional conditions this organism is likely to encounter in the wild. Integrative analysis of these data constructed an FFRP regulatory network with conditionally active states that reveal how interrelated variations in DNA-binding domains, effector-molecule preferences, and binding sites in target gene promoters have tuned the functions of each FFRP to the environments in which they act. We demonstrate how conditional regulation of similar genes by two FFRPs, AsnC (an activator) and VNG1237C (a repressor), have striking environment-specific fitness consequences for oxidative stress management and growth, respectively. This study provides a systems perspective into the evolutionary process by which gene duplication within a transcription factor family contributes to environment-specific adaptation of an organism.« less

  2. 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

  3. The Evolution of the Secreted Regulatory Protein Progranulin

    PubMed Central

    Palfree, Roger G. E.; Bennett, Hugh P. J.; Bateman, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Progranulin is a secreted growth factor that is active in tumorigenesis, wound repair, and inflammation. Haploinsufficiency of the human progranulin gene, GRN, causes frontotemporal dementia. Progranulins are composed of chains of cysteine-rich granulin modules. Modules may be released from progranulin by proteolysis as 6kDa granulin polypeptides. Both intact progranulin and some of the granulin polypeptides are biologically active. The granulin module occurs in certain plant proteases and progranulins are present in early diverging metazoan clades such as the sponges, indicating their ancient evolutionary origin. There is only one Grn gene in mammalian genomes. More gene-rich Grn families occur in teleost fish with between 3 and 6 members per species including short-form Grns that have no tetrapod counterparts. Our goals are to elucidate progranulin and granulin module evolution by investigating (i): the origins of metazoan progranulins (ii): the evolutionary relationships between the single Grn of tetrapods and the multiple Grn genes of fish (iii): the evolution of granulin module architectures of vertebrate progranulins (iv): the conservation of mammalian granulin polypeptide sequences and how the conserved granulin amino acid sequences map to the known three dimensional structures of granulin modules. We report that progranulin-like proteins are present in unicellular eukaryotes that are closely related to metazoa suggesting that progranulin is among the earliest extracellular regulatory proteins still employed by multicellular animals. From the genomes of the elephant shark and coelacanth we identified contemporary representatives of a precursor for short-from Grn genes of ray-finned fish that is lost in tetrapods. In vertebrate Grns pathways of exon duplication resulted in a conserved module architecture at the amino-terminus that is frequently accompanied by an unusual pattern of tandem nearly identical module repeats near the carboxyl-terminus. Polypeptide

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary mechanisms driving the evolution of a large polydnavirus gene family coding for protein tyrosine phosphatases

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gene duplications have been proposed to be the main mechanism involved in genome evolution and in acquisition of new functions. Polydnaviruses (PDVs), symbiotic viruses associated with parasitoid wasps, are ideal model systems to study mechanisms of gene duplications given that PDV genomes consist of virulence genes organized into multigene families. In these systems the viral genome is integrated in a wasp chromosome as a provirus and virus particles containing circular double-stranded DNA are injected into the parasitoids’ hosts and are essential for parasitism success. The viral virulence factors, organized in gene families, are required collectively to induce host immune suppression and developmental arrest. The gene family which encodes protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) has undergone spectacular expansion in several PDV genomes with up to 42 genes. Results Here, we present strong indications that PTP gene family expansion occurred via classical mechanisms: by duplication of large segments of the chromosomally integrated form of the virus sequences (segmental duplication), by tandem duplications within this form and by dispersed duplications. We also propose a novel duplication mechanism specific to PDVs that involves viral circle reintegration into the wasp genome. The PTP copies produced were shown to undergo conservative evolution along with episodes of adaptive evolution. In particular recently produced copies have undergone positive selection in sites most likely involved in defining substrate selectivity. Conclusion The results provide evidence about the dynamic nature of polydnavirus proviral genomes. Classical and PDV-specific duplication mechanisms have been involved in the production of new gene copies. Selection pressures associated with antagonistic interactions with parasitized hosts have shaped these genes used to manipulate lepidopteran physiology with evidence for positive selection involved in adaptation to host targets. PMID

  15. The evolution of filamin – A protein domain repeat perspective

    PubMed Central

    Light, Sara; Sagit, Rauan; Ithychanda, Sujay S.; Qin, Jun; Elofsson, Arne

    2013-01-01

    Particularly in higher eukaryotes, some protein domains are found in tandem repeats, performing broad functions often related to cellular organization. For instance, the eukaryotic protein filamin interacts with many proteins and is crucial for the cytoskeleton. The functional properties of long repeat domains are governed by the specific properties of each individual domain as well as by the repeat copy number. To provide better understanding of the evolutionary and functional history of repeating domains, we investigated the mode of evolution of the filamin domain in some detail. Among the domains that are common in long repeat proteins, sushi and spectrin domains evolve primarily through cassette tandem duplications while scavenger and immunoglobulin repeats appear to evolve through clustered tandem duplications. Additionally, immunoglobulin and filamin repeats exhibit a unique pattern where every other domain shows high sequence similarity. This pattern may be the result of tandem duplications, serve to avert aggregation between adjacent domains or it is the result of functional constraints. In filamin, our studies confirm the presence of interspersed integrin binding domains in vertebrates, while invertebrates exhibit more varied patterns, including more clustered integrin binding domains. The most notable case is leech filamin, which contains a 20 repeat expansion and exhibits unique dimerization topology. Clearly, invertebrate filamins are varied and contain examples of similar adjacent integrin-binding domains. Given that invertebrate integrin shows more similarity to the weaker filamin binder, integrin β3, it is possible that the distance between integrin-binding domains is not as crucial for invertebrate filamins as for vertebrates. PMID:22414427

  16. Protein structure comparison using the markov transition model of evolution.

    PubMed

    Kawabata, T; Nishikawa, K

    2000-10-01

    A number of automatic protein structure comparison methods have been proposed; however, their similarity score functions are often decided by the researchers' intuition and trial-and-error, and not by theoretical background. We propose a novel theory to evaluate protein structure similarity, which is based on the Markov transition model of evolution. Our similarity score between structures i and j is defined as log P(j --> i)/P(i), where P(j --> i) is the probability that structure j changes to structure i during the evolutionary process, and P(i) is the probability that structure i appears by chance. This is a reasonable definition of structure similarity, especially for finding evolutionarily related (homologous) similarity. The probability P(j --> i) is estimated by the Markov transition model, which is similar to the Dayhoff's substitution model between amino acids. To estimate the parameters of the model, homologous protein structure pairs are collected using sequence similarity, and the numbers of structure transitions within the pairs are counted. Next these numbers are transformed to a transition probability matrix of the Markov transition. Transition probabilities for longer time are obtained by multiplying the probability matrix by itself several times. In this study, we generated three types of structure similarity scores: an environment score, a residue-residue distance score, and a secondary structure elements (SSE) score. Using these scores, we developed the structure comparison program, Matras (MArkovian TRAnsition of protein Structure). It employs a hierarchical alignment algorithm, in which a rough alignment is first obtained by SSEs, and then is improved with more detailed functions. We attempted an all-versus-all comparison of the SCOP database, and evaluated its ability to recognize a superfamily relationship, which was manually assigned to be homologous in the SCOP database. A comparison with the FSSP database shows that our program can

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Evidence for Adaptive Evolution at the Divergence Between Lymphoid and Brain HIV-1 nef Genes

    PubMed Central

    Olivieri, Kevin C.; Agopian, Kristin A.; Mukerji, Joya

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection of the central nervous system frequently causes HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The role of HIV Nef and other accessory proteins in HAND pathogenesis is unclear. To determine whether HIV nef undergoes adaptive selection in brain, we cloned 100 nef sequences (n = 30 brain and n = 70 lymphoid) from four patients with AIDS and HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Normalized nonsynonymous substitutions were more frequent at the divergence of lymphoid and brain sequences, indicating stronger adaptive selection in brain compared to lymphoid tissue. Brain-specific nonsynonymous substitutions were found within an NH3-terminal CTL epitope, the PACS1 binding motif, or positions predicted to be important for activation of the myeloid-restricted Src family tyrosine kinase Hck. These results suggest that adaptive selection of HIV nef in brain may reflect altered requirements for efficient replication in macrophages and brain-specific immune selection pressures. PMID:20377428

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Contribution of Multiple Inter-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-Killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Baofa; Li, Tong; Xiao, Jinhua; Liu, Li; Zhang, Peng; Murphy, Robert W.; He, Shunmin; Huang, Dawei

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT) facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians. PMID:27630622

  6. Dynamic evolution of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins in Holozoa.

    PubMed

    Scheel, Bettina M; Hausdorf, Bernhard

    2014-07-01

    We studied the highly dynamic evolution of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins (MRPs) in Holozoa. Most major clades within Holozoa are characterized by gains and/or losses of MRPs. The usefulness of gains of MRPs as rare genomic changes in phylogenetics is undermined by the high frequency of secondary losses. However, phylogenetic analyses of the MRP sequences provide evidence for the Acrosomata hypothesis, a sister group relationship between Ctenophora and Bilateria. An extensive restructuring of the mitochondrial genome and, as a consequence, of the mitochondrial ribosomes occurred in the ancestor of metazoans. The last MRP genes encoded in the mitochondrial genome were either moved to the nuclear genome or were lost. The strong decrease in size of the mitochondrial genome was probably caused by selection for rapid replication of mitochondrial DNA during oogenesis in the metazoan ancestor. A phylogenetic analysis of MRPL56 sequences provided evidence for a horizontal gene transfer of the corresponding MRP gene between metazoans and Dictyostelidae (Amoebozoa). The hypothesis that the requisition of additional MRPs compensated for a loss of rRNA segments in the mitochondrial ribosomes is corroborated by a significant negative correlation between the number of MRPs and length of the rRNA. Newly acquired MRPs evolved faster than bacterial MRPs and positions in eukaryote-specific MRPs were more strongly affected by coevolution than positions in prokaryotic MRPs in accordance with the necessity to fit these proteins into the pre-existing structure of the mitoribosome.

  7. 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

  8. Chloroplast small heat shock proteins: Evidence for atypical evolution of an organelle-localized protein

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Elizabeth R.; Vierling, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    Knowledge of the origin and evolution of gene families is critical to our understanding of the evolution of protein function. To gain a detailed understanding of the evolution of the small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) in plants, we have examined the evolutionary history of the chloroplast (CP)-localized sHSPs. Previously, these nuclear-encoded CP proteins had been identified only from angiosperms. This study reveals the presence of the CP sHSPs in a moss, Funaria hygrometrica. Two clones for CP sHSPs were isolated from a F. hygrometrica heat shock cDNA library that represent two distinct CP sHSP genes. Our analysis of the CP sHSPs reveals unexpected evolutionary relationships and patterns of sequence conservation. Phylogenetic analysis of the CP sHSPs with other plant CP sHSPs and eukaryotic, archaeal, and bacterial sHSPs shows that the CP sHSPs are not closely related to the cyanobacterial sHSPs. Thus, they most likely evolved via gene duplication from a nuclear-encoded cytosolic sHSP and not via gene transfer from the CP endosymbiont. Previous sequence analysis had shown that all angiosperm CP sHSPs possess a methionine-rich region in the N-terminal domain. The primary sequence of this region is not highly conserved in the F. hygrometrica CP sHSPs. This lack of sequence conservation indicates that sometime in land plant evolution, after the divergence of mosses from the common ancestor of angiosperms but before the monocot–dicot divergence, there was a change in the selective constraints acting on the CP sHSPs. PMID:10588716

  9. Evolutionary adaptation of an AraC-like regulatory protein in Citrobacter rodentium and Escherichia species.

    PubMed

    Tan, Aimee; Petty, Nicola K; Hocking, Dianna; Bennett-Wood, Vicki; Wakefield, Matthew; Praszkier, Judyta; Tauschek, Marija; Yang, Ji; Robins-Browne, Roy

    2015-04-01

    The evolution of pathogenic bacteria is a multifaceted and complex process, which is strongly influenced by the horizontal acquisition of genetic elements and their subsequent expression in their new hosts. A well-studied example is the RegA regulon of the enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. The RegA regulatory protein is a member of the AraC/XylS superfamily, which coordinates the expression of a gene repertoire that is necessary for full pathogenicity of this murine pathogen. Upon stimulation by an exogenous, gut-associated signal, namely, bicarbonate ions, RegA activates the expression of a series of genes, including virulence factors, such as autotransporters, fimbriae, a dispersin-like protein, and the grlRA operon on the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island. Interestingly, the genes encoding RegA homologues are distributed across the genus Escherichia, encompassing pathogenic and nonpathogenic subtypes. In this study, we carried out a series of bioinformatic, transcriptional, and functional analyses of the RegA regulons of these bacteria. Our results demonstrated that regA has been horizontally transferred to Escherichia spp. and C. rodentium. Comparative studies of two RegA homologues, namely, those from C. rodentium and E. coli SMS-3-5, a multiresistant environmental strain of E. coli, showed that the two regulators acted similarly in vitro but differed in terms of their abilities to activate the virulence of C. rodentium in vivo, which evidently was due to their differential activation of grlRA. Our data indicate that RegA from C. rodentium has strain-specific adaptations that facilitate infection of its murine host. These findings shed new light on the development of virulence by C. rodentium and on the evolution of virulence-regulatory genes of bacterial pathogens in general.

  10. Evolutionary Adaptation of an AraC-Like Regulatory Protein in Citrobacter rodentium and Escherichia Species

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Aimee; Petty, Nicola K.; Hocking, Dianna; Bennett-Wood, Vicki; Wakefield, Matthew; Praszkier, Judyta; Tauschek, Marija; Yang, Ji

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of pathogenic bacteria is a multifaceted and complex process, which is strongly influenced by the horizontal acquisition of genetic elements and their subsequent expression in their new hosts. A well-studied example is the RegA regulon of the enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. The RegA regulatory protein is a member of the AraC/XylS superfamily, which coordinates the expression of a gene repertoire that is necessary for full pathogenicity of this murine pathogen. Upon stimulation by an exogenous, gut-associated signal, namely, bicarbonate ions, RegA activates the expression of a series of genes, including virulence factors, such as autotransporters, fimbriae, a dispersin-like protein, and the grlRA operon on the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island. Interestingly, the genes encoding RegA homologues are distributed across the genus Escherichia, encompassing pathogenic and nonpathogenic subtypes. In this study, we carried out a series of bioinformatic, transcriptional, and functional analyses of the RegA regulons of these bacteria. Our results demonstrated that regA has been horizontally transferred to Escherichia spp. and C. rodentium. Comparative studies of two RegA homologues, namely, those from C. rodentium and E. coli SMS-3-5, a multiresistant environmental strain of E. coli, showed that the two regulators acted similarly in vitro but differed in terms of their abilities to activate the virulence of C. rodentium in vivo, which evidently was due to their differential activation of grlRA. Our data indicate that RegA from C. rodentium has strain-specific adaptations that facilitate infection of its murine host. These findings shed new light on the development of virulence by C. rodentium and on the evolution of virulence-regulatory genes of bacterial pathogens in general. PMID:25624355

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptive evolution of the Streptococcus pyogenes regulatory aldolase LacD.1.

    PubMed

    Cusumano, Zachary; Caparon, Michael

    2013-03-01

    In the human-pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, the tagatose bisphosphate aldolase LacD.1 likely originated through a gene duplication event and was adapted to a role as a metabolic sensor for regulation of virulence gene transcription. Although LacD.1 retains enzymatic activity, its ancestral metabolic function resides in the LacD.2 aldolase, which is required for the catabolism of galactose. In this study, we compared these paralogous proteins to identify characteristics correlated with divergence and novel function. Surprisingly, despite the fact that these proteins have identical active sites and 82% similarity in amino acid sequence, LacD.1 was less efficient at cleaving both fructose and tagatose bisphosphates. Analysis of kinetic properties revealed that LacD.1's adaptation was associated with a decrease in k(cat) and an increase in K(m). Construction and analysis of enzyme chimeras indicated that non-active-site residues previously associated with the variable activities of human aldolase isoenzymes modulated LacD.1's affinity for substrate. Mutant LacD.1 proteins engineered to have LacD.2-like levels of enzymatic efficiency lost the ability to function as regulators, suggesting that an alteration in efficiency was required for adaptation. In competition under growth conditions that mimic a deep-tissue environment, LacD.1 conferred a significant gain in fitness that was associated with its regulatory activity. Taken together, these data suggest that LacD.1's adaptation represents a form of neofunctionalization in which duplication facilitated the gain of regulatory function important for growth in tissue and pathogenesis.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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 which scales favorably with large numbers of processors. This is accomplished by efficiently incorporating the available information from a large population, thus significantly reducing the number of generations needed to adapt the covariance matrix. The original version of the CMA-ES was designed to reliably adapt the covariance matrix in small populations but it cannot exploit large populations efficiently. Our modifications scale up the efficiency to population sizes of up to 10n, where n is the problem dimension. This method has been applied to a large number of test problems, demonstrating that in many cases the CMA-ES can be advanced from quadratic to linear time complexity.

  1. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jill T.; Inouye, David W.; McKinney, Amy M.; Colautti, Robert I.; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010–2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change. PMID:22787021

  2. Evolution of increased adult longevity in Drosophila melanogaster populations selected for adaptation to larval crowding.

    PubMed

    Shenoi, V N; Ali, S Z; Prasad, N G

    2016-02-01

    In holometabolous animals such as Drosophila melanogaster, larval crowding can affect a wide range of larval and adult traits. Adults emerging from high larval density cultures have smaller body size and increased mean life span compared to flies emerging from low larval density cultures. Therefore, adaptation to larval crowding could potentially affect adult longevity as a correlated response. We addressed this issue by studying a set of large, outbred populations of D. melanogaster, experimentally evolved for adaptation to larval crowding for 83 generations. We assayed longevity of adult flies from both selected (MCUs) and control populations (MBs) after growing them at different larval densities. We found that MCUs have evolved increased mean longevity compared to MBs at all larval densities. The interaction between selection regime and larval density was not significant, indicating that the density dependence of mean longevity had not evolved in the MCU populations. The increase in longevity in MCUs can be partially attributed to their lower rates of ageing. It is also noteworthy that reaction norm of dry body weight, a trait probably under direct selection in our populations, has indeed evolved in MCU populations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the evolution of adult longevity as a correlated response of adaptation to larval crowding.

  3. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Inouye, David W; McKinney, Amy M; Colautti, Robert I; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-09-22

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010-2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change.

  4. Amoeba host-Legionella synchronization of amino acid auxotrophy and its role in bacterial adaptation and pathogenic evolution.

    PubMed

    Price, Christopher T D; Richards, Ashley M; Von Dwingelo, Juanita E; Samara, Hala A; Abu Kwaik, Yousef

    2014-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, invades and proliferates within a diverse range of free-living amoeba in the environment, but upon transmission to humans, the bacteria hijack alveolar macrophages. Intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila in two evolutionarily distant hosts is facilitated by bacterial exploitation of conserved host processes that are targeted by bacterial protein effectors injected into the host cell. A key aspect of microbe-host interaction is microbial extraction of nutrients from the host, but understanding of this is still limited. AnkB functions as a nutritional virulence factor and promotes host proteasomal degradation of polyubiquitinated proteins generating gratuitous levels of limiting host cellular amino acids. Legionella pneumophila is auxotrophic for several amino acids including cysteine, which is a metabolically preferred source of carbon and energy during intracellular proliferation, but is limiting in both amoebae and humans. We propose that synchronization of bacterial amino acids auxotrophy with the host is a driving force in pathogenic evolution and nutritional adaptation of L. pneumophila and other intracellular bacteria to life within the host cell. Understanding microbial strategies of nutrient generation and acquisition in the host will provide novel antimicrobial strategies to disrupt pathogen access to essential sources of carbon and energy.

  5. Identification of human neutralizing antibodies against MERS-CoV and their role in virus adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xian-Chun; Agnihothram, Sudhakar S.; Jiao, Yongjun; Stanhope, Jeremy; Graham, Rachel L.; Peterson, Eric C.; Avnir, Yuval; Tallarico, Aimee St. Clair; Sheehan, Jared; Zhu, Quan; Baric, Ralph S.; Marasco, Wayne A.

    2014-01-01

    The newly emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-like disease with ∼43% mortality. Given the recent detection of virus in dromedary camels, zoonotic transfer of MERS-CoV to humans is suspected. In addition, little is known about the role of human neutralizing Ab (nAb) pressure as a driving force in MERS-CoV adaptive evolution. Here, we used a well-characterized nonimmune human Ab-phage library and a panning strategy with proteoliposomes and cells to identify seven human nAbs against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the MERS-CoV Spike protein. These nAbs bind to three different epitopes in the RBD and human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4) interface with subnanomolar/nanomolar binding affinities and block the binding of MERS-CoV Spike protein with its hDPP4 receptor. Escape mutant assays identified five amino acid residues that are critical for neutralization escape. Despite the close proximity of the three epitopes on the RBD interface, escape from one epitope did not have a major impact on neutralization with Abs directed to a different epitope. Importantly, the majority of escape mutations had negative impacts on hDPP4 receptor binding and viral fitness. To our knowledge, these results provide the first report on human nAbs against MERS-CoV that may contribute to MERS-CoV clearance and evolution. Moreover, in the absence of a licensed vaccine or antiviral for MERS, this panel of nAbs offers the possibility of developing human mAb-based immunotherapy, especially for health-care workers. PMID:24778221

  6. Recombination hotspots and host susceptibility modulate the adaptive value of recombination during maize streak virus evolution

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Maize streak virus -strain A (MSV-A; Genus Mastrevirus, Family Geminiviridae), the maize-adapted strain of MSV that causes maize streak disease throughout sub-Saharan Africa, probably arose between 100 and 200 years ago via homologous recombination between two MSV strains adapted to wild grasses. MSV recombination experiments and analyses of natural MSV recombination patterns have revealed that this recombination event entailed the exchange of the movement protein - coat protein gene cassette, bounded by the two genomic regions most prone to recombination in mastrevirus genomes; the first surrounding the virion-strand origin of replication, and the second around the interface between the coat protein gene and the short intergenic region. Therefore, aside from the likely adaptive advantages presented by a modular exchange of this cassette, these specific breakpoints may have been largely predetermined by the underlying mechanisms of mastrevirus recombination. To investigate this hypothesis, we constructed artificial, low-fitness, reciprocal chimaeric MSV genomes using alternating genomic segments from two MSV strains; a grass-adapted MSV-B, and a maize-adapted MSV-A. Between them, each pair of reciprocal chimaeric genomes represented all of the genetic material required to reconstruct - via recombination - the highly maize-adapted MSV-A genotype, MSV-MatA. We then co-infected a selection of differentially MSV-resistant maize genotypes with pairs of reciprocal chimaeras to determine the efficiency with which recombination would give rise to high-fitness progeny genomes resembling MSV-MatA. Results Recombinants resembling MSV-MatA invariably arose in all of our experiments. However, the accuracy and efficiency with which the MSV-MatA genotype was recovered across all replicates of each experiment depended on the MSV susceptibility of the maize genotypes used and the precise positions - in relation to known recombination hotspots - of the breakpoints

  7. Pre-Sleep Protein Ingestion to Improve the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise Training.

    PubMed

    Trommelen, Jorn; van Loon, Luc J C

    2016-11-28

    Protein ingestion following resistance-type exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates, and enhances the skeletal muscle adaptive response to prolonged resistance-type exercise training. As the adaptive response to a single bout of resistance exercise extends well beyond the first couple of hours of post-exercise recovery, recent studies have begun to investigate the impact of the timing and distribution of protein ingestion during more prolonged recovery periods. Recent work has shown that overnight muscle protein synthesis rates are restricted by the level of amino acid availability. Protein ingested prior to sleep is effectively digested and absorbed, and thereby stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates during overnight recovery. When applied during a prolonged period of resistance-type exercise training, protein supplementation prior to sleep can further augment gains in muscle mass and strength. Recent studies investigating the impact of pre-sleep protein ingestion suggest that at least 40 g of protein is required to display a robust increase in muscle protein synthesis rates throughout overnight sleep. Furthermore, prior exercise allows more of the pre-sleep protein-derived amino acids to be utilized for de novo muscle protein synthesis during sleep. In short, pre-sleep protein ingestion represents an effective dietary strategy to improve overnight muscle protein synthesis, thereby improving the skeletal muscle adaptive response to exercise training.

  8. Pre-Sleep Protein Ingestion to Improve the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise Training

    PubMed Central

    Trommelen, Jorn; van Loon, Luc J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Protein ingestion following resistance-type exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates, and enhances the skeletal muscle adaptive response to prolonged resistance-type exercise training. As the adaptive response to a single bout of resistance exercise extends well beyond the first couple of hours of post-exercise recovery, recent studies have begun to investigate the impact of the timing and distribution of protein ingestion during more prolonged recovery periods. Recent work has shown that overnight muscle protein synthesis rates are restricted by the level of amino acid availability. Protein ingested prior to sleep is effectively digested and absorbed, and thereby stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates during overnight recovery. When applied during a prolonged period of resistance-type exercise training, protein supplementation prior to sleep can further augment gains in muscle mass and strength. Recent studies investigating the impact of pre-sleep protein ingestion suggest that at least 40 g of protein is required to display a robust increase in muscle protein synthesis rates throughout overnight sleep. Furthermore, prior exercise allows more of the pre-sleep protein-derived amino acids to be utilized for de novo muscle protein synthesis during sleep. In short, pre-sleep protein ingestion represents an effective dietary strategy to improve overnight muscle protein synthesis, thereby improving the skeletal muscle adaptive response to exercise training. PMID:27916799

  9. Experimental evolution of a green fluorescent protein composed of 19 unique amino acids without tryptophan.

    PubMed

    Kawahara-Kobayashi, Akio; Hitotsuyanagi, Mitsuhiro; Amikura, Kazuaki; Kiga, Daisuke

    2014-04-01

    At some stage of evolution, genes of organisms may have encoded proteins that were synthesized using fewer than 20 unique amino acids. Similar to evolution of the natural 19-amino-acid proteins GroEL/ES, proteins composed of 19 unique amino acids would have been able to evolve by accumulating beneficial mutations within the 19-amino-acid repertoire encoded in an ancestral genetic code. Because Trp is thought to be the last amino acid included in the canonical 20-amino-acid repertoire, this late stage of protein evolution could be mimicked by experimental evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins without tryptophan (Trp). To further understand the evolution of proteins, we tried to mimic the evolution of a 19-amino-acid protein involving the accumulation of beneficial mutations using directed evolution by random mutagenesis on the whole targeted gene sequence. We created active 19-amino-acid green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) without Trp from a poorly fluorescent 19-amino-acid mutant, S1-W57F, by using directed evolution with two rounds of mutagenesis and selection. The N105I and S205T mutations showed beneficial effects on the S1-W57F mutant. When these two mutations were combined on S1-W57F, we observed an additive effect on the fluorescence intensity. In contrast, these mutations showed no clear improvement individually or in combination on GFPS1, which is the parental GFP mutant composed of 20 amino acids. Our results provide an additional example for the experimental evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins without Trp, and would help understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins. (236 words).

  10. Experimental Evolution of a Green Fluorescent Protein Composed of 19 Unique Amino Acids without Tryptophan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawahara-Kobayashi, Akio; Hitotsuyanagi, Mitsuhiro; Amikura, Kazuaki; Kiga, Daisuke

    2014-04-01

    At some stage of evolution, genes of organisms may have encoded proteins that were synthesized using fewer than 20 unique amino acids. Similar to evolution of the natural 19-amino-acid proteins GroEL/ES, proteins composed of 19 unique amino acids would have been able to evolve by accumulating beneficial mutations within the 19-amino-acid repertoire encoded in an ancestral genetic code. Because Trp is thought to be the last amino acid included in the canonical 20-amino-acid repertoire, this late stage of protein evolution could be mimicked by experimental evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins without tryptophan (Trp). To further understand the evolution of proteins, we tried to mimic the evolution of a 19-amino-acid protein involving the accumulation of beneficial mutations using directed evolution by random mutagenesis on the whole targeted gene sequence. We created active 19-amino-acid green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) without Trp from a poorly fluorescent 19-amino-acid mutant, S1-W57F, by using directed evolution with two rounds of mutagenesis and selection. The N105I and S205T mutations showed beneficial effects on the S1-W57F mutant. When these two mutations were combined on S1-W57F, we observed an additive effect on the fluorescence intensity. In contrast, these mutations showed no clear improvement individually or in combination on GFPS1, which is the parental GFP mutant composed of 20 amino acids. Our results provide an additional example for the experimental evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins without Trp, and would help understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of 19-amino-acid proteins. (236 words)

  11. Adaptation of Escherichia coli to Long-Term Serial Passage in Complex Medium: Evidence of Parallel Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kram, Karin E.; Geiger, Christopher; Ismail, Wazim Mohammed; Lee, Heewook; Tang, Haixu

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Experimental evolution of bacterial populations in the laboratory has led to identification of several themes, including parallel evolution of populations adapting to carbon starvation, heat stress, and pH stress. However, most of these experiments study growth in defined and/or constant environments. We hypothesized that while there would likely continue to be parallelism in more complex and changing environments, there would also be more variation in what types of mutations would benefit the cells. In order to test our hypothesis, we serially passaged Escherichia coli in a complex medium (Luria-Bertani broth) throughout the five phases of bacterial growth. This passaging scheme allowed cells to experience a wide variety of stresses, including nutrient limitation, oxidative stress, and pH variation, and therefore allowed them to adapt to several conditions. After every ~30 generations of growth, for a total of ~300 generations, we compared both the growth phenotypes and genotypes of aged populations to the parent population. After as few as 30 generations, populations exhibit changes in growth phenotype and accumulate potentially adaptive mutations. There were many genes with mutant alleles in different populations, indicating potential parallel evolution. We examined 8 of these alleles by constructing the point mutations in the parental genetic background and competed those cells with the parent population; five of these alleles were found to be adaptive. The variety and swiftness of adaptive mutations arising in the populations indicate that the cells are adapting to a complex set of stresses, while the parallel nature of several of the mutations indicates that this behavior may be generalized to bacterial evolution. IMPORTANCE With a growing body of work directed toward understanding the mechanisms of evolution using experimental systems, it is crucial to decipher what effects the experimental setup has on the outcome. If the goal of experimental

  12. Trade-offs and evolution of thermal adaptation in the Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li-Na; Zhu, Wen; Wu, E-Jiao; Yang, Ce; Thrall, Peter H; Burdon, Jeremy J; Jin, Li-Ping; Shang, Li-Ping; Zhan, Jiasui

    2016-08-01

    Temperature is one of the most important environmental parameters with crucial impacts on nearly all biological processes. Due to anthropogenic activity, average air temperatures are expected to increase by a few degrees in coming decades, accompanied by an increased occurrence of extreme temperature events. Such global trends are likely to have various major impacts on human society through their influence on natural ecosystems, food production and biotic interactions, including diseases. In this study, we used a combination of statistical genetics, experimental evolution and common garden experiments to investigate the evolutionary potential for thermal adaptation in the potato late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, and infer its likely response to changing temperatures. We found a trade-off associated with thermal adaptation to heterogeneous environments in P. infestans, with the degree of the trade-off peaking approximately at the pathogen's optimum growth temperature. A genetic trade-off in thermal adaptation was also evidenced by the negative association between a strain's growth rate and its thermal range for growth, and warm climates selecting for a low pathogen growth rate. We also found a mirror effect of phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation on growth rate. At below the optimum, phenotypic plasticity enhances pathogen's growth rate but nature selects for slower growing genotypes when temperature increases. At above the optimum, phenotypic plasticity reduces pathogen's growth rate but natural selection favours for faster growing genotypes when temperature increases further. We conclude from these findings that the growth rate of P. infestans will only be marginally affected by global warming.

  13. Graph spectral analysis of protein interaction network evolution.

    PubMed

    Thorne, Thomas; Stumpf, Michael P H

    2012-10-07

    We present an analysis of protein interaction network data via the comparison of models of network evolution to the observed data. We take a bayesian approach and perform posterior density estimation using an approximate bayesian computation with sequential Monte Carlo method. Our approach allows us to perform model selection over a selection of potential network growth models. The methodology we apply uses a distance defined in terms of graph spectra which captures the network data more naturally than previously used summary statistics such as the degree distribution. Furthermore, we include the effects of sampling into the analysis, to properly correct for the incompleteness of existing datasets, and have analysed the performance of our method under various degrees of sampling. We consider a number of models focusing not only on the biologically relevant class of duplication models, but also including models of scale-free network growth that have previously been claimed to describe such data. We find a preference for a duplication-divergence with linear preferential attachment model in the majority of the interaction datasets considered. We also illustrate how our method can be used to perform multi-model inference of network parameters to estimate properties of the full network from sampled data.

  14. Both noncoding and protein-coding RNAs contribute to gene expression evolution in the primate brain.

    PubMed

    Babbitt, Courtney C; Fedrigo, Olivier; Pfefferle, Adam D; Boyle, Alan P; Horvath, Julie E; Furey, Terrence S; Wray, Gregory A

    2010-01-18

    Despite striking differences in cognition and behavior between humans and our closest primate relatives, several studies have found little evidence for adaptive change in protein-coding regions of genes expressed primarily in the brain. Instead, changes in gene expression may underlie many cognitive and behavioral differences. Here, we used digital gene expression: tag profiling (here called Tag-Seq, also called DGE:tag profiling) to assess changes in global transcript abundance in the frontal cortex of the brains of 3 humans, 3 chimpanzees, and 3 rhesus macaques. A substantial fraction of transcripts we identified as differentially transcribed among species were not assayed in previous studies based on microarrays. Differentially expressed tags within coding regions are enriched for gene functions involved in synaptic transmission, transport, oxidative phosphorylation, and lipid metabolism. Importantly, because Tag-Seq technology provides strand-specific information about all polyadenlyated transcripts, we were able to assay expression in noncoding intragenic regions, including both sense and antisense noncoding transcripts (relative to nearby genes). We find that many noncoding transcripts are conserved in both location and expression level between species, suggesting a possible functional role. Lastly, we examined the overlap between differential gene expression and signatures of positive selection within putative promoter regions, a sign that these differences represent adaptations during human evolution. Comparative approaches may provide important insights into genes responsible for differences in cognitive functions between humans and nonhuman primates, as well as highlighting new candidate genes for studies investigating neurological disorders.

  15. Adaptive evolution of genes involved in the regulation of germline stem cells in Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans.

    PubMed

    Flores, Heather A; DuMont, Vanessa L Bauer; Fatoo, Aalya; Hubbard, Diana; Hijji, Mohammed; Barbash, Daniel A; Aquadro, Charles F

    2015-02-09

    Population genetic and comparative analyses in diverse taxa have shown that numerous genes involved in reproduction are adaptively evolving. Two genes involved in germline stem cell regulation, bag of marbles (bam) and benign gonial cell neoplasm (bgcn), have been shown previously to experience recurrent, adaptive evolution in both Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans. Here we report a population genetic survey on eight additional genes involved in germline stem cell regulation in D. melanogaster and D. simulans that reveals all eight of these genes reject a neutral model of evolution in at least one test and one species after correction for multiple testing using a false-discovery rate of 0.05. These genes play diverse roles in the regulation of germline stem cells, suggesting that positive selection in response to several evolutionary pressures may be acting to drive the adaptive evolution of these genes.

  16. Positive and strongly relaxed purifying selection drive the evolution of repeats in proteins

    PubMed Central

    Persi, Erez; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Protein repeats are considered hotspots of protein evolution, associated with acquisition of new functions and novel phenotypic traits, including disease. Paradoxically, however, repeats are often strongly conserved through long spans of evolution. To resolve this conundrum, it is necessary to directly compare paralogous (horizontal) evolution of repeats within proteins with their orthologous (vertical) evolution through speciation. Here we develop a rigorous methodology to identify highly periodic repeats with significant sequence similarity, for which evolutionary rates and selection (dN/dS) can be estimated, and systematically characterize their evolution. We show that horizontal evolution of repeats is markedly accelerated compared with their divergence from orthologues in closely related species. This observation is universal across the diversity of life forms and implies a biphasic evolutionary regime whereby new copies experience rapid functional divergence under combined effects of strongly relaxed purifying selection and positive selection, followed by fixation and conservation of each individual repeat. PMID:27857066

  17. Pre-adaptations and the evolution of pollination by sexual deception: Cope's rule of specialization revisited.

    PubMed

    Vereecken, Nicolas J; Wilson, Carol A; Hötling, Susann; Schulz, Stefan; Banketov, Sergey A; Mardulyn, Patrick

    2012-12-07

    Pollination by sexual deception is arguably one of the most unusual liaisons linking plants and insects, and perhaps the most illustrative example of extreme floral specialization in angiosperms. While considerable progress has been made in understanding the floral traits involved in sexual deception, less is known about how this remarkable mimicry system might have arisen, the role of pre-adaptations in promoting its evolution and its extent as a pollination mechanism outside the few groups of plants (primarily orchids) where it has been described to date. In the Euro-Mediterranean region, pollination by sexual deception is traditionally considered to be the hallmark of the orchid genus Ophrys. Here, we introduce two new cases outside of Ophrys, in plant groups dominated by generalized, shelter-mimicking species. On the basis of phylogenetic reconstructions of ancestral pollination strategies, we provide evidence for independent and bidirectional evolutionary transitions between generalized (shelter mimicry) and specialized (sexual deception) pollination strategies in three groups of flowering plants, and suggest that pseudocopulation has evolved from pre-adaptations (floral colours, shapes and odour bouquets) that selectively attract male pollinators through shelter mimicry. These findings, along with comparative analyses of floral traits (colours and scents), shed light on particular phenotypic changes that might have fuelled the parallel evolution of these extraordinary pollination strategies. Collectively, our results provide the first substantive insights into how pollination sexual deception might have evolved in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and demonstrate that even the most extreme cases of pollinator specialization can reverse to more generalized interactions, breaking 'Cope's rule of specialization'.

  18. 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.

  19. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition

    PubMed Central

    Voogdt, Carlos G. P.; Bouwman, Lieneke I.; Kik, Marja J. L.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; van Putten, Jos P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  20. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition.

    PubMed

    Voogdt, Carlos G P; Bouwman, Lieneke I; Kik, Marja J L; Wagenaar, Jaap A; van Putten, Jos P M

    2016-01-07

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions.

  1. Staphylococcus aureus surface proteins involved in adaptation to oxacillin identified using a novel cell shaving approach.

    PubMed

    Solis, Nestor; Parker, Benjamin L; Kwong, Stephen M; Robinson, Gareth; Firth, Neville; Cordwell, Stuart J

    2014-06-06

    Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for a variety of infections, and some strains are resistant to virtually all classes of antibiotics. Cell shaving proteomics using a novel probability scoring algorithm to compare the surfaceomes of the methicillin-resistant, laboratory-adapted S. aureus COL strain with a COL strain in vitro adapted to high levels of oxacillin (APT). APT displayed altered cell morphology compared with COL and increased aggregation in biofilm assays. Increased resistance to β-lactam antibiotics was observed, but adaptation to oxacillin did not confer multidrug resistance. Analysis of the S. aureus COL and APT surfaceomes identified 150 proteins at a threshold determined by the scoring algorithm. Proteins unique to APT included the LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) domain-containing MsrR and SACOL2302. Quantitative RT-PCR showed increased expression of sacol2302 in APT grown with oxacillin (>6-fold compared with COL). Overexpression of sacol2302 in COL to levels consistent with APT (+ oxacillin) did not influence biofilm formation or β-lactam resistance. Proteomics using iTRAQ and LC-MS/MS identified 1323 proteins (∼50% of the theoretical S. aureus proteome), and cluster analysis demonstrated elevated APT abundances of LCP proteins, capsule and peptidoglycan biosynthesis proteins, and proteins involved in wall remodelling. Adaptation to oxacillin also induced urease proteins, which maintained culture pH compared to COL. These results show that S. aureus modifies surface architecture in response to antibiotic adaptation.

  2. Optimization of reactor network design problem using Jumping Gene Adaptation of Differential Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gujarathi, Ashish M.; Purohit, S.; Srikanth, B.

    2015-06-01

    Detailed working principle of jumping gene adaptation of differential evolution (DE-JGa) is presented. The performance of the DE-JGa algorithm is compared with the performance of differential evolution (DE) and modified DE (MDE) by applying these algorithms on industrial problems. In this study Reactor network design (RND) problem is solved using DE, MDE, and DE-JGa algorithms: These industrial processes are highly nonlinear and complex with reference to optimal operating conditions with many equality and inequality constraints. Extensive computational comparisons have been made for all the chemical engineering problems considered. The results obtained in the present study show that DE-JGa algorithm outperforms the other algorithms (DE and MDE). Several comparisons are made among the algorithms with regard to the number of function evaluations (NFE)/CPU- time required to find the global optimum. The standard deviation and the variance values obtained using DE-JGa, DE and MDE algorithms also show that the DE-JGa algorithm gives consistent set of results for the majority of the test problems and the industrial real world problems.

  3. 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

  4. Directional selection for flowering time leads to adaptive evolution in Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish).

    PubMed

    Ashworth, Michael B; Walsh, Michael J; Flower, Ken C; Vila-Aiub, Martin M; Powles, Stephen B

    2016-04-01

    Herbicides have been the primary tool for controlling large populations of yield depleting weeds from agro-ecosystems, resulting in the evolution of widespread herbicide resistance. In response, nonherbicidal techniques have been developed which intercept weed seeds at harvest before they enter the soil seed bank. However, the efficiency of these techniques allows an intense selection for any trait that enables weeds to evade collection, with early-flowering ecotypes considered likely to result in early seed shedding. Using a field-collected wild radish population, five recurrent generations were selected for early maturity and three generations for late maturity. Phenology associated with flowering time and growth traits were measured. Our results demonstrate the adaptive capacity of wild radish to halve its time to flowering following five generations of early-flowering selection. Early-maturing phenotypes had reduced height and biomass at maturity, leading to less competitive, more prostrate growth forms. Following three generations of late-flowering selection, wild radish doubled its time to flowering time leading to increased biomass and flowering height at maturity. This study demonstrates the potential for the rapid evolution in growth traits in response to highly effective seed collection techniques that imposed a selection on weed populations within agro-ecosystems at harvest.

  5. Adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict: insights from experimental evolution and artificial selection

    PubMed Central

    Edward, Dominic A.; Fricke, Claudia; Chapman, Tracey

    2010-01-01

    Artificial selection and experimental evolution document natural selection under controlled conditions. Collectively, these techniques are continuing to provide fresh and important insights into the genetic basis of evolutionary change, and are now being employed to investigate mating behaviour. Here, we focus on how selection techniques can reveal the genetic basis of post-mating adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict. Alteration of the operational sex ratio of adult Drosophila over just a few tens of generations can lead to altered ejaculate allocation patterns and the evolution of resistance in females to the costly effects of elevated mating rates. We provide new data to show how male responses to the presence of rivals can evolve. For several traits, the way in which males responded to rivals was opposite in lines selected for male-biased, as opposed to female-biased, adult sex ratio. This shows that the manipulation of the relative intensity of intra- and inter-sexual selection can lead to replicable and repeatable effects on mating systems, and reveals the potential for significant contemporary evolutionary change. Such studies, with important safeguards, have potential utility for understanding sexual selection and sexual conflict across many taxa. We discuss how artificial selection studies combined with genomics will continue to deepen our knowledge of the evolutionary principles first laid down by Darwin 150 years ago. PMID:20643744

  6. Adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict: insights from experimental evolution and artificial selection.

    PubMed

    Edward, Dominic A; Fricke, Claudia; Chapman, Tracey

    2010-08-27

    Artificial selection and experimental evolution document natural selection under controlled conditions. Collectively, these techniques are continuing to provide fresh and important insights into the genetic basis of evolutionary change, and are now being employed to investigate mating behaviour. Here, we focus on how selection techniques can reveal the genetic basis of post-mating adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict. Alteration of the operational sex ratio of adult Drosophila over just a few tens of generations can lead to altered ejaculate allocation patterns and the evolution of resistance in females to the costly effects of elevated mating rates. We provide new data to show how male responses to the presence of rivals can evolve. For several traits, the way in which males responded to rivals was opposite in lines selected for male-biased, as opposed to female-biased, adult sex ratio. This shows that the manipulation of the relative intensity of intra- and inter-sexual selection can lead to replicable and repeatable effects on mating systems, and reveals the potential for significant contemporary evolutionary change. Such studies, with important safeguards, have potential utility for understanding sexual selection and sexual conflict across many taxa. We discuss how artificial selection studies combined with genomics will continue to deepen our knowledge of the evolutionary principles first laid down by Darwin 150 years ago.

  7. The evolution of fossoriality and the adaptive role of horns in the Mylagaulidae (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Samantha S.B

    2005-01-01

    Ceratogaulus, a member of the extinct fossorial rodent clade Mylagaulidae, is the only known rodent with horns and the smallest known horned mammal. The function of the large, dorsally projecting nasal horns on this burrowing animal has been the subject of wide speculation among palaeontologists; suggested uses range from sexual combat to burrowing. Mammals have evolved adaptations for digging repeatedly; horns and other cranial appendages have also evolved numerous times. These two adaptations co-occur in mammals extremely rarely: only two fossil genera (Ceratogaulus and the xenarthran Peltephilus) and no extant mammals are both horned and fossorial. Tracing the evolution of fossoriality in aplodontoid rodents (the larger clade to which Ceratogaulus belongs) reveals that Ceratogaulus descended from ancestors who dug by head-lifting. Whereas this suggests an obvious explanation for the horns of this rodent, evidence from functional morphology, anatomy, phylogeny and geologic context indicates that the horns in Ceratogaulus were used for defence, rather than digging, and evolved to offset increased predation costs associated with spending more time foraging above ground as body size increased. PMID:16087426

  8. The ALICE-HMPID Detector Control System: Its evolution towards an expert and adaptive system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Cataldo, G.; Franco, A.; Pastore, C.; Sgura, I.; Volpe, G.

    2011-05-01

    The High Momentum Particle IDentification (HMPID) detector is a proximity focusing Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) for charged hadron identification. The HMPID is based on liquid C 6F 14 as the radiator medium and on a 10 m 2 CsI coated, pad segmented photocathode of MWPCs for UV Cherenkov photon detection. To ensure full remote control, the HMPID is equipped with a detector control system (DCS) responding to industrial standards for robustness and reliability. It has been implemented using PVSS as Slow Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) environment, Programmable Logic Controller as control devices and Finite State Machines for modular and automatic command execution. In the perspective of reducing human presence at the experiment site, this paper focuses on DCS evolution towards an expert and adaptive control system, providing, respectively, automatic error recovery and stable detector performance. HAL9000, the first prototype of the HMPID expert system, is then presented. Finally an analysis of the possible application of the adaptive features is provided.

  9. Adaptive evolution of foraging-related traits in a predator-prey community.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Mimura, Masayasu; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2011-01-07

    In this paper, with the method of adaptive dynamics and geometric technique, we investigate the adaptive evolution of foraging-related phenotypic traits in a predator-prey community with trade-off structure. Specialization on one prey type is assumed to go at the expense of specialization on another. First, we identify the ecological and evolutionary conditions that allow for evolutionary branching in predator phenotype. Generally, if there is a small switching cost near the singular strategy, then this singular strategy is an evolutionary branching point, in which predator population will change from monomorphism to dimorphism. Second, we find that if the trade-off curve is globally convex, predator population eventually branches into two extreme specialists, each completely specializing on a particular prey species. However, if the trade-off curve is concave-convex-concave, after branching in predator phenotype, the two predator species will evolve to an evolutionarily stable dimorphism at which they can continue to coexist. The analysis reveals that an attractive dimorphism will always be evolutionarily stable and that no further branching is possible under this model.

  10. Adaptive evolution of defense ability leads to diversification of prey species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Wang, Jinliang; Du, Jianqiang

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, by using the adaptive dynamics approach, we investigate how the adaptive evolution of defense ability promotes the diversity of prey species in an initial one-prey-two-predator community. We assume that the prey species can evolve to a safer strategy such that it can reduce the predation risk, but a prey with a high defense ability for one predator may have a low defense ability for the other and vice versa. First, by using the method of critical function analysis, we find that if the trade-off is convex in the vicinity of the evolutionarily singular strategy, then this singular strategy is a continuously stable strategy. However, if the trade-off is weakly concave near the singular strategy and the competition between the two predators is relatively weak, then the singular strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after the branching has occurred in the prey strategy, if the trade-off curve is globally concave, then the prey species might eventually evolve into two specialists, each caught by only one predator species. However, if the trade-off curve is convex-concave-convex, the prey species might eventually branch into two partial specialists, each being caught by both of the two predators and they can stably coexist on the much longer evolutionary timescale.

  11. 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.

  12. Evolution of vertebrate genes related to prion and Shadoo proteins--clues from comparative genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Premzl, Marko; Gready, Jill E; Jermiin, Lars S; Simonic, Tatjana; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2004-12-01

    Recent findings of new genes in fish related to the prion protein (PrP) gene PRNP, including our recent report of SPRN coding for Shadoo (Sho) protein found also in mammals, raise issues of their function and evolution. Here we report additional novel fish genes found in public databases, including a duplicated SPRN gene, SPRNB, in Fugu, Tetraodon, carp, and zebrafish encoding the Sho2 protein, and we use comparative genomic analysis to analyze the evolutionary relationships and to infer evolutionary trajectories of the complete data set. Phylogenetic footprinting performed on aligned human, mouse, and Fugu SPRN genes to define candidate regulatory promoter regions, detected 16 conserved motifs, three of which are known transcription factor-binding sites for a receptor and transcription factors specific to or associated with expression in brain. This result and other homology-based (VISTA global genomic alignment; protein sequence alignment and phylogenetics) and context-dependent (genomic context; relative gene order and orientation) criteria indicate fish and mammalian SPRN genes are orthologous and suggest a strongly conserved basic function in brain. Whereas tetrapod PRNPs share context with the analogous stPrP-2-coding gene in fish, their sequences are diverged, suggesting that the tetrapod and fish genes are likely to have significantly different functions. Phylogenetic analysis predicts the SPRN/SPRNB duplication occurred before divergence of fish from tetrapods, whereas that of stPrP-1 and stPrP-2 occurred in fish. Whereas Sho appears to have a conserved function in vertebrate brain, PrP seems to have an adaptive role fine-tuned in a lineage-specific fashion. An evolutionary model consistent with our findings and literature knowledge is proposed that has an ancestral prevertebrate SPRN-like gene leading to all vertebrate PrP-related and Sho-related genes. This provides a new framework for exploring the evolution of this unusual family of proteins and for

  13. 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

  14. Adaptive radiation, correlated and contingent evolution, and net species diversification in Bromeliaceae.

    PubMed

    Givnish, Thomas J; Barfuss, Michael H J; Van Ee, Benjamin; Riina, Ricarda; Schulte, Katharina; Horres, Ralf; Gonsiska, Philip A; Jabaily, Rachel S; Crayn, Darren M; Smith, J Andrew C; Winter, Klaus; Brown, Gregory K; Evans, Timothy M; Holst, Bruce K; Luther, Harry; Till, Walter; Zizka, Georg; Berry, Paul E; Sytsma, Kenneth J

    2014-02-01

    We present an integrative model predicting associations among epiphytism, the tank habit, entangling seeds, C₃ vs. CAM photosynthesis, avian pollinators, life in fertile, moist montane habitats, and net rates of species diversification in the monocot family Bromeliaceae. We test these predictions by relating evolutionary shifts in form, physiology, and ecology to time and ancestral distributions, quantifying patterns of correlated and contingent evolution among pairs of traits and analyzing the apparent impact of individual traits on rates of net species diversification and geographic expansion beyond the ancestral Guayana Shield. All predicted patterns of correlated evolution were significant, and the temporal and spatial associations of phenotypic shifts with orogenies generally accorded with predictions. Net rates of species diversification were most closely coupled to life in fertile, moist, geographically extensive cordilleras, with additional significant ties to epiphytism, avian pollination, and the tank habit. The highest rates of net diversification were seen in the bromelioid tank-epiphytic clade (D(crown) = 1.05 My⁻¹), associated primarily with the Serra do Mar and nearby ranges of coastal Brazil, and in the core tillandsioids (D(crown) = 0.67 My⁻¹), associated primarily with the Andes and Central America. Six large-scale adaptive radiations and accompanying pulses of speciation account for 86% of total species richness in the family. This study is among the first to test a priori hypotheses about the relationships among phylogeny, phenotypic evolution, geographic spread, and net species diversification, and to argue for causality to flow from functional diversity to spatial expansion to species diversity.

  15. 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.

  16. Shooting darts: co-evolution and counter-adaptation in hermaphroditic snails

    PubMed Central

    Koene, Joris M; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2005-01-01

    Background Evolutionary conflicts of interest between the sexes often lead to co-evolutionary arms races consisting of repeated arisal of traits advantageous for one sex but harmful to the other sex, and counter-adaptations by the latter. In hermaphrodites, these antagonistic interactions are at least an equally important driving force. Here, we investigate the evolution of one of the most striking examples of sexual conflict in hermaphrodites, the so-called shooting of love-darts in land snails. Stabbing this calcareous dart through the partner's skin ultimately increases paternity. This trait is obviously beneficial for the shooter, but it manipulates sperm storage in the receiver. Hence, an arms race between the love-dart and the spermatophore receiving organs may be expected. Results We performed a detailed phylogenetic analysis of 28S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from dart-possessing land snail species. Both the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test and Bayesian posterior probabilities rejected a monophyletic origin of most reproductive structures, including the love-dart, indicating that most traits arose repeatedly. Based on the inferred phylogenetic trees, we calculated phylogenetically independent contrasts for the different reproductive traits. Subsequent principal component and correlation analyses demonstrated that these contrasts covary, meaning that correlated evolution of these traits occurred. Conclusion Our study represents the first comprehensive comparative analysis of reproductive organ characteristics in simultaneous hermaphrodites. Moreover, it strongly suggests that co-evolutionary arms races can result from sexual conflict in these organisms and play a key role in the evolution of hermaphroditic mating systems. PMID:1579