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Sample records for alternative phylogenetic hypotheses

  1. Molecular phylogenetics: testing evolutionary hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Walsh, David A; Sharma, Adrian K

    2009-01-01

    A common approach for investigating evolutionary relationships between genes and organisms is to compare extant DNA or protein sequences and infer an evolutionary tree. This methodology is known as molecular phylogenetics and may be the most informative means for exploring phage evolution, since there are few morphological features that can be used to differentiate between these tiny biological entities. In addition, phage genomes can be mosaic, meaning different genes or genomic regions can exhibit conflicting evolutionary histories due to lateral gene transfer or homologous recombination between different phage genomes. Molecular phylogenetics can be used to identify and study such genome mosaicism. This chapter provides a general introduction to the theory and methodology used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships from molecular data. Also included is a discussion on how the evolutionary history of different genes within the same set of genomes can be compared, using a collection of T4-type phage genomes as an example. A compilation of programs and packages that are available for conducting phylogenetic analyses is supplied as an accompanying appendix.

  2. Advances in the phylogenesis of Agaricales and its higher ranks and strategies for establishing phylogenetic hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Rui-Lin; Desjardin, Dennis E; Soytong, Kasem; Hyde, Kevin D

    2008-10-01

    We present an overview of previous research results on the molecular phylogenetic analyses in Agaricales and its higher ranks (Agaricomycetes/Agaricomycotina/Basidiomycota) along with the most recent treatments of taxonomic systems in these taxa. Establishing phylogenetic hypotheses using DNA sequences, from which an understanding of the natural evolutionary relationships amongst clades may be derived, requires a robust dataset. It has been recognized that single-gene phylogenies may not truly represent organismal phylogenies, but the concordant phylogenetic genealogies from multiple-gene datasets can resolve this problem. The genes commonly used in mushroom phylogenetic research are summarized.

  3. Placing the mountain goat: a total evidence approach to testing alternative hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Hall, Jocelyn C

    2010-04-01

    The interpretation of a group's evolutionary history can be altered based on the phylogenetic placement of problematic taxa. Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) epitomize a 'rogue taxon' as many placements within the Caprini tribe have been suggested. Using a total evidence approach, we reconstructed the Caprini phylogeny using parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian methods. Bayesian and likelihood methods placed mountain goats as an independent lineage sister to all Caprini except muskox and goral. Maximum parsimony placed mountain goats in a derived Caprini clade. Closer examination revealed that parsimony analysis failed to integrate over phylogenetic uncertainty. We then tested our mountain goat placement against nine published alternatives using non-parametric tests, and the parametric SOWH test. Non-parametric tests returned ambiguous results, but the SOWH test rejected all alternative hypotheses. Our study represents the first explicit testing of all hypotheses for the placement of mountain goats and supports a relatively basal position for the taxon.

  4. An Algorithm for Constructing and Searching Spaces of Alternative Hypotheses

    SciTech Connect

    Testa, Kelly M; Griffin, Christopher H

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we develop techniques for automated hypothesis-space exploration over data sets that may contain contradictions. To do so, we make use of the equivalence between two formulations: those of first-order predicate logic with prefix modal quantifiers under the finite-model hypothesis and those of mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problems. Unlike other approaches, we do not assume that all logical assertions are true without doubt. Instead, we look for alternative hypotheses about the validity of the claims by identifying alternative optimal solutions to a corresponding MILP. We use a collection of slack variables in the derived linear constraints to indicate the presence of contradictory data or assumptions. The objective is to minimize contradictions between data and assertions represented by the presence of nonzero slack in the set of linear constraints. In this paper, we present the following: 1) a correspondence between first-order predicate logic with modal quantifier prefixes under the finite-model hypothesis and MILP problems and 2) an implicit enumeration algorithm for exploring the contradiction hypothesis space.

  5. Evaluating alternative stem cell hypotheses for adult corneal epithelial maintenance

    PubMed Central

    West, John D; Dorà, Natalie J; Collinson, J Martin

    2015-01-01

    In this review we evaluate evidence for three different hypotheses that explain how the corneal epithelium is maintained. The limbal epithelial stem cell (LESC) hypothesis is most widely accepted. This proposes that stem cells in the basal layer of the limbal epithelium, at the periphery of the cornea, maintain themselves and also produce transient (or transit) amplifying cells (TACs). TACs then move centripetally to the centre of the cornea in the basal layer of the corneal epithelium and also replenish cells in the overlying suprabasal layers. The LESCs maintain the corneal epithelium during normal homeostasis and become more active to repair significant wounds. Second, the corneal epithelial stem cell (CESC) hypothesis postulates that, during normal homeostasis, stem cells distributed throughout the basal corneal epithelium, maintain the tissue. According to this hypothesis, LESCs are present in the limbus but are only active during wound healing. We also consider a third possibility, that the corneal epithelium is maintained during normal homeostasis by proliferation of basal corneal epithelial cells without any input from stem cells. After reviewing the published evidence, we conclude that the LESC and CESC hypotheses are consistent with more of the evidence than the third hypothesis, so we do not consider this further. The LESC and CESC hypotheses each have difficulty accounting for one main type of evidence so we evaluate the two key lines of evidence that discriminate between them. Finally, we discuss how lineage-tracing experiments have begun to resolve the debate in favour of the LESC hypothesis. Nevertheless, it also seems likely that some basal corneal epithelial cells can act as long-term progenitors if limbal stem cell function is compromised. Thus, this aspect of the CESC hypothesis may have a lasting impact on our understanding of corneal epithelial maintenance, even if it is eventually shown that stem cells are restricted to the limbus as proposed

  6. Chaos Versus Noisy Periodicity: Alternative Hypotheses for Childhood Epidemics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, L. F.; Schaffer, W. M.

    1990-08-01

    Whereas case rates for some childhood diseases (chickenpox) often vary according to an almost regular annual cycle, the incidence of more efficiently transmitted infections such as measles is more variable. Three hypotheses have been proposed to account for such fluctuations. (i) Irregular dynamics result from random shocks to systems with stable equilibria. (ii) The intrinsic dynamics correspond to biennial cycles that are subject to stochastic forcing. (iii) Aperiodic fluctuations are intrinsic to the epidemiology. Comparison of real world data and epidemiological models suggests that measles epidemics are inherently chaotic. Conversely, the extent to which chickenpox outbreaks approximate a yearly cycle depends inversely on the population size.

  7. A decision-theoretical alternative to testing many hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Longford, Nicholas T

    2014-01-01

    Testing a large number of hypotheses is a key problem in the analysis of microarray experiments and in other studies in which many elementary experiments are conducted, and the exceptions among them, for which a particular hypothesis does not hold, have to be identified. A class of approaches to this problem is based on controlling the false discovery rate, even though failure to discover should also be considered. We develop a decision-theoretical approach in which errors (misclassifications) of the two kinds are associated with uneven losses, and the total expected loss in the collection of the classifications (decisions made or options selected) is minimized.

  8. Advances in the phylogenesis of Agaricales and its higher ranks and strategies for establishing phylogenetic hypotheses§

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Rui-lin; Desjardin, Dennis E.; Soytong, Kasem; Hyde, Kevin D.

    2008-01-01

    We present an overview of previous research results on the molecular phylogenetic analyses in Agaricales and its higher ranks (Agaricomycetes/Agaricomycotina/Basidiomycota) along with the most recent treatments of taxonomic systems in these taxa. Establishing phylogenetic hypotheses using DNA sequences, from which an understanding of the natural evolutionary relationships amongst clades may be derived, requires a robust dataset. It has been recognized that single-gene phylogenies may not truly represent organismal phylogenies, but the concordant phylogenetic genealogies from multiple-gene datasets can resolve this problem. The genes commonly used in mushroom phylogenetic research are summarized. PMID:18837104

  9. Evolution of microgastropods (Ellobioidea, Carychiidae): integrating taxonomic, phylogenetic and evolutionary hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Current biodiversity patterns are considered largely the result of past climatic and tectonic changes. In an integrative approach, we combine taxonomic and phylogenetic hypotheses to analyze temporal and geographic diversification of epigean (Carychium) and subterranean (Zospeum) evolutionary lineages in Carychiidae (Eupulmonata, Ellobioidea). We explicitly test three hypotheses: 1) morphospecies encompass unrecognized evolutionary lineages, 2) limited dispersal results in a close genetic relationship of geographical proximally distributed taxa and 3) major climatic and tectonic events had an impact on lineage diversification within Carychiidae. Results Initial morphospecies assignments were investigated by different molecular delimitation approaches (threshold, ABGD, GMYC and SP). Despite a conservative delimitation strategy, carychiid morphospecies comprise a great number of unrecognized evolutionary lineages. We attribute this phenomenon to historic underestimation of morphological stasis and phenotypic variability amongst lineages. The first molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for the Carychiidae (based on COI, 16S and H3) reveals Carychium and Zospeum to be reciprocally monophyletic. Geographical proximally distributed lineages are often closely related. The temporal diversification of Carychiidae is best described by a constant rate model of diversification. The evolution of Carychiidae is characterized by relatively few (long distance) colonization events. We find support for an Asian origin of Carychium. Zospeum may have arrived in Europe before extant members of Carychium. Distantly related Carychium clades inhabit a wide spectrum of the available bioclimatic niche and demonstrate considerable niche overlap. Conclusions Carychiid taxonomy is in dire need of revision. An inferred wide distribution and variable phenotype suggest underestimated diversity in Zospeum. Several Carychium morphospecies are results of past taxonomic lumping. By collecting

  10. How the mainstream limits the spreading of alternative hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalenda, Pavel

    2014-05-01

    that prof. Djuric had tried for more than 10 years to publish this article in various peer-reviewed journals. So, prof. Djuric got into the official book (list) of "scientific dissidents" among hundreds of other professors and doctors of science (De Climont 2012). These "scientific dissidents" do not have access to established journals and may possibly publish privately or at best on the web in marginal journals whose list was published by De Climont (2012). Such a marginal journal in the field of geophysics and geology is New Concepts in Global Tectonics. This journal has been established because the current hypothesis about the movement of the continents due to convection currents in the mantle becomes under the weight of new observation quite untenable. 4) Scientific consensus History has known many hypotheses that were accepted as proven truth but later, in the light of new knowledge, they completely failed. - No one has the right to decide which scientific hypotheses will be accepted and which will not get into print. Perhaps the worst situation is in climatology (due to global effects and impacts), when the plenary session of IPCC consensually stated that the current global warming was mainly due to the human activity. References De Climont, J. (2012): The worldwide list of dissident scientists. http://astrojan.hostei.com/droa.htm. Djurič, J. (2006): Unification Of Gravitation And Electromagnetism. http://jovandjuric.tripod.com/ David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson and S. Fred Singer (2007): A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, 15 November 2008, Pages: 1693-1701. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1651/pdf. Einstein, A. : List of scientific publications by Albert Einstein. /wiki/List_of_scientific_publications_by_Albert_Einstein. Kolínský, P., Valenta, J. and Gaždová, R. (2012): Seismicity, groundwater level variations and earth tides in

  11. Using multiple analytical methods to improve phylogenetic hypotheses in Minaria (Apocynaceae).

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Patrícia Luz; Rapini, Alessandro; Silva, Uiara Catharina Soares E; Berg, Cássio van den

    2012-12-01

    Metastelmatinae is a neotropical subtribe of Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae), comprising 13 genera and around 260 species whose phylogenetic relationships are often unresolved or incongruent between plastid and nuclear datasets. The genus Minaria is one of the first lineages to emerge in the Metastelmatinae and is highly supported based on plastid markers. It comprises 21 species, most of which are endemic to small areas with open vegetation in the Espinhaço Range, Brazil. In the work presented here, we use plastid (rps16, trnH-psbA, trnS-trnG, and trnD-trnT) and nuclear (ITS and ETS) datasets to investigate the relationships within Minaria. We show that the three methods mostly used in phylogenetic studies, namely, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian Inference, have different performances and that a pluralistic analytical approach combining results from them can increase tree resolution and clade confidence, providing valuable phylogenetic information.

  12. Phylemon 2.0: a suite of web-tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Rubén; Serra, François; Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Carbonell, José; Pulido, Luis; de María, Alejandro; Capella-Gutíerrez, Salvador; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-07-01

    Phylemon 2.0 is a new release of the suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing. It has been designed as a response to the increasing demand of molecular sequence analyses for experts and non-expert users. Phylemon 2.0 has several unique features that differentiates it from other similar web resources: (i) it offers an integrated environment that enables evolutionary analyses, format conversion, file storage and edition of results; (ii) it suggests further analyses, thereby guiding the users through the web server; and (iii) it allows users to design and save phylogenetic pipelines to be used over multiple genes (phylogenomics). Altogether, Phylemon 2.0 integrates a suite of 30 tools covering sequence alignment reconstruction and trimming; tree reconstruction, visualization and manipulation; and evolutionary hypotheses testing.

  13. Consider the Alternative: The Effects of Causal Knowledge on Representing and Using Alternative Hypotheses in Judgments under Uncertainty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Brett K.; Hawkins, Guy E.; Newell, Ben R.

    2016-01-01

    Four experiments examined the locus of impact of causal knowledge on consideration of alternative hypotheses in judgments under uncertainty. Two possible loci were examined; overcoming neglect of the alternative when developing a representation of a judgment problem and improving utilization of statistics associated with the alternative…

  14. Integrating phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of multiple loci to test species divergence hypotheses in Passerina buntings.

    PubMed

    Carling, Matt D; Brumfield, Robb T

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of DNA sequence data from 10 nuclear loci were used to test species divergence hypotheses within Passerina buntings, with special focus on a strongly supported, but controversial, sister relationship between Passerina amoena and P. caerulea inferred from a previous mitochondrial study. Here, a maximum-likelihood analysis of a concatenated 10-locus data set, as well as minimize-deep-coalescences and maximum-likelihood analyses of the locus-specific gene trees, recovered the traditional sister relationship between P. amoena and P. cyanea. In addition, a more recent divergence time estimate between P. amoena and P. cyanea than between P. amoena and P. caerulea provided evidence for the traditional sister relationship. These results provide a compelling example of how lineage sorting stochasticity can lead to incongruence between gene trees and species trees, and illustrate how phylogenetic and population genetic analyses can be integrated to investigate evolutionary relationships between recently diverged taxa.

  15. Muscle fiber-type variation in lizards (Squamata) and phylogenetic reconstruction of hypothesized ancestral states.

    PubMed

    Bonine, Kevin E; Gleeson, Todd T; Garland, Theodore

    2005-12-01

    Previously, we found that phrynosomatid lizards, a diverse group common in the southwestern USA, vary markedly in fiber-type composition of the iliofibularis (a hindlimb muscle important in locomotion). Phrynosomatidae comprises three subclades: the closely related sand and horned lizards, and their relatives the Sceloporus group. The variation in muscle fiber-type composition for 11 phrynosomatid species is attributable mainly to differences between the sand- and horned-lizard subclades. Here, we expand the phrynosomatid database with three additional species and compare these results with data collected for 10 outgroup (distantly related) species. Our goal was to determine if the patterns found in Phrynosomatidae hold across a broader phylogenetic range of the extant lizards and to elucidate the evolution of muscle fiber-type composition and related traits. To allow for meaningful comparisons, data were collected from species that are primarily terrestrial and relatively small in size (3.5-65 g body mass). Results indicate that the fiber-type variation observed within the Phrynosomatidae almost spans the range of variation observed in our sample of 24 species from eight families. However, one species of Acanthodactylus (Lacertidae) had a consistent region of large tonic fibers (that did not stain darkly for either succinic dehydrogenase or myosin ATPase activity), a fiber-type only occasionally seen in the other 23 species examined. Many species have a large proportion of either fast-twitch glycolytic (FG; e.g. sand lizards and Aspidoscelis) or fast-twitch oxidative-glycolytic (FOG) fibers (e.g. horned lizards), with the slow-oxidative proportion occupying only 1-17% of the iliofibularis. Importantly, the negative relationship between FG and FOG composition observed in Phrynosomatidae appears to be a characteristic of lizards in general, and could lead to functional trade-offs in aspects of locomotor performance, as has previously been reported for Lacertidae

  16. Testing for seasonality using circular distributions based on non-negative trigonometric sums as alternative hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Durán, J J; Gregorio-Domínguez, M M

    2014-06-01

    In medical and epidemiological studies, the importance of detecting seasonal patterns in the occurrence of diseases makes testing for seasonality highly relevant. There are different parametric and non-parametric tests for seasonality. One of the most widely used parametric tests in the medical literature is the Edwards test. The Edwards test considers a parametric alternative that is a sinusoidal curve with one peak and one trough. The Cave and Freedman test is an extension of the Edwards test that is also frequently applied and considers a sinusoidal curve with two peaks and two troughs as the alternative hypothesis. The Kuiper, Hewitt and David and Newell are common non-parametric tests. Fernández-Durán (2004) developed a family of univariate circular distributions based on non-negative trigonometric (Fourier) sums (series) (NNTS) that can account for an arbitrary number of peaks and troughs. In this article, this family of distributions is used to construct a likelihood ratio test for seasonality considering parametric alternative hypotheses that are NNTS distributions.

  17. Gene set analysis for self-contained tests: complex null and specific alternative hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Rahmatallah, Y.; Glazko, G.

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: The analysis of differentially expressed gene sets became a routine in the analyses of gene expression data. There is a multitude of tests available, ranging from aggregation tests that summarize gene-level statistics for a gene set to true multivariate tests, accounting for intergene correlations. Most of them detect complex departures from the null hypothesis but when the null hypothesis is rejected, the specific alternative leading to the rejection is not easily identifiable. Results: In this article we compare the power and Type I error rates of minimum-spanning tree (MST)-based non-parametric multivariate tests with several multivariate and aggregation tests, which are frequently used for pathway analyses. In our simulation study, we demonstrate that MST-based tests have power that is for many settings comparable with the power of conventional approaches, but outperform them in specific regions of the parameter space corresponding to biologically relevant configurations. Further, we find for simulated and for gene expression data that MST-based tests discriminate well against shift and scale alternatives. As a general result, we suggest a two-step practical analysis strategy that may increase the interpretability of experimental data: first, apply the most powerful multivariate test to find the subset of pathways for which the null hypothesis is rejected and second, apply MST-based tests to these pathways to select those that support specific alternative hypotheses. Contact: gvglazko@uams.edu or yrahmatallah@uams.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23044539

  18. Habitat structure mediates predation risk for sedentary prey: Experimental tests of alternative hypotheses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Predation is an important and ubiquitous selective force that can shape habitat preferences of prey species, but tests of alternative mechanistic hypotheses of habitat influences on predation risk are lacking. 2. We studied predation risk at nest sites of a passerine bird and tested two hypotheses based on theories of predator foraging behaviour. The total-foliage hypothesis predicts that predation will decline in areas of greater overall vegetation density by impeding cues for detection by predators. The potential-prey-site hypothesis predicts that predation decreases where predators must search more unoccupied potential nest sites. 3. Both observational data and results from a habitat manipulation provided clear support for the potential-prey-site hypothesis and rejection of the total-foliage hypothesis. Birds chose nest patches containing both greater total foliage and potential nest site density (which were correlated in their abundance) than at random sites, yet only potential nest site density significantly influenced nest predation risk. 4. Our results therefore provided a clear and rare example of adaptive nest site selection that would have been missed had structural complexity or total vegetation density been considered alone. 5. Our results also demonstrated that interactions between predator foraging success and habitat structure can be more complex than simple impedance or occlusion by vegetation. ?? 2008 British Ecological Society.

  19. Phylogenetic relationships among Agamid lizards of the Laudakia caucasia species group: testing hypotheses of biogeographic fragmentation and an area cladogram for the Iranian Plateau.

    PubMed

    Macey, J R; Schulte, J A; Ananjeva, N B; Larson, A; Rastegar-Pouyani, N; Shammakov, S M; Papenfuss, T J

    1998-08-01

    Phylogenetic relationships within the Laudakia caucasia species group on the Iranian Plateau were investigated using 1708 aligned bases of mitochondrial DNA sequence from the genes encoding ND1 (subunit one of NADH dehydrogenase), tRNAGln, tRNAIle, tRNAMet, ND2, tRNATrp, tRNAAla, tRNAAsn, tRNACys, tRNATyr, and COI (subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase). The aligned sequences contain 207 phylogenetically informative characters. Three hypotheses for historical fragmentation of Laudakia populations on the Iranian Plateau were tested. In two hypotheses, fragmentation of populations is suggested to have proceeded along continuous mountain belts that surround the Iranian Plateau. In another hypothesis, fragmentation is suggested to have resulted from a north-south split caused by uplifting of the Zagros Mountains in the late Miocene or early Pliocene [5-10 MYBP (million years before present)]. The shortest tree suggest the later hypothesis, and statistical tests reject the other two hypothesis. The phylogenetic tree is exceptional in that every branch is well supported. Geologic history provides dates for most branches of the tree. A plot of DNA substitutions against dates from geologic history refines the date for the north-south split across the Iranian Plateau to 9 MYBP (late Miocene). The rate of evolution for this segment of mtDNA is 0.65% (0.61-0.70%) change per lineage per million years. A hypothesis of area relationships for the biota of the Iranian Plateau is generated from the phylogenetic tree.

  20. Reconstructions of the axial muscle insertions in the occipital region of dinosaurs: evaluations of past hypotheses on marginocephalia and tyrannosauridae using the extant phylogenetic bracket approach.

    PubMed

    Tsuihiji, Takanobu

    2010-08-01

    The insertions of the cervical axial musculature on the occiput in marginocephalian and tyrannosaurid dinosaurs have been reconstructed in several studies with a view to their functional implications. Most of the past reconstructions on marginocephalians, however, relied on the anatomy of just one clade of reptiles, Lepidosauria, and lack phylogenetic justification. In this study, these past reconstructions were evaluated using the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket approach based on the anatomy of various extant diapsids. Many muscle insertions reconstructed in this study were substantially different from those in the past studies, demonstrating the importance of phylogenetically justified inferences based on the conditions of Aves and Crocodylia for reconstructing the anatomy of non-avian dinosaurs. The present reconstructions show that axial muscle insertions were generally enlarged in derived marginocephalians, apparently correlated with expansion of their parietosquamosal shelf/frill. Several muscle insertions on the occiput in tyrannosaurids reconstructed in this study using the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket approach were also rather different from recent reconstructions based on the same, phylogenetic and parsimony-based method. Such differences are mainly due to differences in initial identifications of muscle insertion areas or different hypotheses on muscle homologies in extant diapsids. This result emphasizes the importance of accurate and detailed observations on the anatomy of extant animals as the basis for paleobiological inferences such as anatomical reconstructions and functional analyses.

  1. A Test of Three Alternative Hypotheses regarding the Effects of Early Delinquency on Adolescent Psychosocial Functioning and Substance Involvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, W. Alex; Hitchings, Julia E.; McMahon, Robert J.; Spoth, Richard L.

    2007-01-01

    This study compared alternative hypotheses (from general deviance, life course, and developmental psychopathology perspectives) regarding the effects of early adolescent delinquency on psychosocial functioning in family, school, and peer contexts, and on alcohol use. Analyses also examined parent-child negative affective quality, prosocial school…

  2. Confirmatory and Competitive Evaluation of Alternative Gene-Environment Interaction Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belsky, Jay; Pluess, Michael; Widaman, Keith F.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Most gene-environment interaction (GXE) research, though based on clear, vulnerability-oriented hypotheses, is carried out using exploratory rather than hypothesis-informed statistical tests, limiting power and making formal evaluation of competing GXE propositions difficult. Method: We present and illustrate a new regression technique…

  3. Testing alternative hypotheses for variation in amphipod behaviour and life history in relation to parasitism.

    PubMed

    McCurdy, D G; Forbes, M R; Boates, J S

    1999-07-01

    We tested two hypotheses concerning changes in investment in current reproduction for parasitised hosts, using amphipods (Corophium volutator) which act as second intermediate hosts for trematodes (Gynaecoyla aduncta). One hypothesis requires that parasites exert control over their hosts (parasite manipulation), whereas the other predicts that hosts control decisions over investment (adaptive host response). Although these hypotheses are viewed as mutually exclusive, our various results support both hypotheses. For example, female amphipods infected by late-stage larvae were often found crawling at times when predation by sandpipers (Calidris pusilla), which are the final hosts for trematodes, was likely, while uninfected females typically remained in their burrows. Furthermore, old females that were newly-infected by trematodes often aborted and ate their young. Both of these responses seem inconsistent with female investment in current reproduction, but can be interpreted as adaptive parasite manipulation. In contrast, young non-ovigerous females that were newly-infected hastened the onset of their parturial moult and thus, time to becoming receptive. This response can be explained as a host adaptation to minimise the cost of parasites. We contend that differences between parasitised and unparasitised hosts in behaviour or investment can be explained as both parasite and host adaptations, expressed at different times in the host's life history. Such compromise will help explain the persistence of parasite-host associations in nature.

  4. Is sociality required for the evolution of communicative complexity? Evidence weighed against alternative hypotheses in diverse taxonomic groups.

    PubMed

    Ord, Terry J; Garcia-Porta, Joan

    2012-07-05

    Complex social communication is expected to evolve whenever animals engage in many and varied social interactions; that is, sociality should promote communicative complexity. Yet, informal comparisons among phylogenetically independent taxonomic groups seem to cast doubt on the putative role of social factors in the evolution of complex communication. Here, we provide a formal test of the sociality hypothesis alongside alternative explanations for the evolution of communicative complexity. We compiled data documenting variations in signal complexity among closely related species for several case study groups--ants, frogs, lizards and birds--and used new phylogenetic methods to investigate the factors underlying communication evolution. Social factors were only implicated in the evolution of complex visual signals in lizards. Ecology, and to some degree allometry, were most likely explanations for complexity in the vocal signals of frogs (ecology) and birds (ecology and allometry). There was some evidence for adaptive evolution in the pheromone complexity of ants, although no compelling selection pressure was identified. For most taxa, phylogenetic null models were consistently ranked above adaptive models and, for some taxa, signal complexity seems to have accumulated in species via incremental or random changes over long periods of evolutionary time. Becoming social presumably leads to the origin of social communication in animals, but its subsequent influence on the trajectory of signal evolution has been neither clear-cut nor general among taxonomic groups.

  5. Rheostat re-wired: alternative hypotheses for the control of thioredoxin reduction potentials.

    PubMed

    Bewley, Kathryn D; Dey, Mishtu; Bjork, Rebekah E; Mitra, Sangha; Chobot, Sarah E; Drennan, Catherine L; Elliott, Sean J

    2015-01-01

    Thioredoxins are small soluble proteins that contain a redox-active disulfide (CXXC). These disulfides are tuned to oxidizing or reducing potentials depending on the function of the thioredoxin within the cell. The mechanism by which the potential is tuned has been controversial, with two main hypotheses: first, that redox potential (Em) is specifically governed by a molecular 'rheostat'-the XX amino acids, which influence the Cys pKa values, and thereby, Em; and second, the overall thermodynamics of protein folding stability regulates the potential. Here, we use protein film voltammetry (PFV) to measure the pH dependence of the redox potentials of a series of wild-type and mutant archaeal Trxs, PFV and glutathionine-equilibrium to corroborate the measured potentials, the fluorescence probe BADAN to measure pKa values, guanidinium-based denaturation to measure protein unfolding, and X-ray crystallography to provide a structural basis for our functional analyses. We find that when these archaeal thioredoxins are probed directly using PFV, both the high and low potential thioredoxins display consistent 2H+:2e- coupling over a physiological pH range, in conflict with the conventional 'rheostat' model. Instead, folding measurements reveals an excellent correlation to reduction potentials, supporting the second hypothesis and revealing the molecular mechanism of reduction potential control in the ubiquitous Trx family.

  6. Scientifically based nurture and nature: alternative but non exclusive hypotheses on attention development.

    PubMed

    Chiappedi, Matteo; Balottin, Umberto; Baschenis, Ilaria M C; Piazza, Fausta; De Bernardi, Elisabetta; Bejor, Maurizio

    2010-11-01

    Attention is an important neuropsychological function in child development. A lot of literature has been devoted to trying to separate the role of nature (i.e. mainly the genetic basis) from that of nurture (i.e. parenting and life events). The case of preterm born children is an opportunity to try and further study this relationship. We hypothesize that children born preterm might have a reduced attention due to an interaction of factors, to be conceptualized both as nature (mainly the genetic background and the specific consequences of preterm birth and of its complications) and nurture (therapeutic techniques used, alteration in parents-child relationship and so on). The contribution of each of these factors needs to be disembodied from the raw finding of a reduced attention: this is especially important because experience-dependent learning, in which individualized experiences have neural effects, can go on throughout life and this opens interesting rehabilitative possibilities. Different research lines which could be useful to entangle the specific contributions of the above mentioned factors are discussed: the results could in turn inform clinical practice with this highly at risk and increasing in number population, with a view largely corresponding to the one founding the OMS International Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health.

  7. Analyzing Heterogeneous Complexity in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research: A Systems Biology Solution via Parsimony Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Asab, Mones; Koithan, Mary; Shaver, Joan; Amri, Hakima

    2012-01-01

    Summary Systems biology offers cutting-edge tools for the study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The advent of ‘omics’ techniques and the resulting avalanche of scientific data have introduced an unprecedented level of complexity and heterogeneous data to biomedical research, leading to the development of novel research approaches. Statistical averaging has its limitations and is unsuitable for the analysis of heterogeneity, as it masks diversity by homogenizing otherwise heterogeneous populations. Unfortunately, most researchers are unaware of alternative methods of analysis capable of accounting for individual variability. This paper describes a systems biology solution to data complexity through the application of parsimony phylogenetic analysis. Maximum parsimony (MP) provides a data-based modeling paradigm that will permit a priori stratification of the study cohort(s), better assessment of early diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment efficacy within each stratum, and a method that could be used to explore, identify and describe complex human patterning. PMID:22327551

  8. A molecular test of alternative hypotheses of tetraodontiform (Acanthomorpha: Tetraodontiformes) sister group relationships using data from the RAG1 gene.

    PubMed

    Holcroft, Nancy I

    2004-09-01

    Two primary competing hypotheses regarding the identity of the sister group of the order Tetraodontiformes exist. The first hypothesis holds that some or all acanthuroid fishes represent the sister of Tetraodontiformes. The second, proposed in 1984 by Rosen, holds that the order Zeiformes is sister to Tetraodontiformes and that the family Caproidae is sister to this Zeiformes + Tetraodontiformes clade. These two hypotheses were tested using data from the single-copy nuclear gene RAG1. Representatives of most major orders of acanthomorph fishes were included to provide an appropriate context in which to place Tetraodontiformes and its hypothesized sister groups. The results of an unweighted parsimony analysis indicate that Zeiformes is not the sister group of Tetraodontiformes. In addition, Caproidae appears unrelated to Zeiformes. A monophyletic Tetraodontiformes was recovered as the sister group of the clade Ephippidae + Drepanidae and was more distantly related to the included zeiform and caproid representatives.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of the enigmatic bigheadedturtle (Platysternon): description of unusual genomic features and thereconciliation of phylogenetic hypotheses based on mitochondrial andnuclear DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Parham, James F.; Feldman, Chris R.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-28

    The big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) from east Asia is the sole living representative of a poorly-studied turtle lineage (Platysternidae). It has no close living relatives, and its phylogenetic position within turtles is one of the outstanding controversies in turtle systematics. Platysternon was traditionally considered to be close to snapping turtles (Chelydridae) based on some studies of its morphology and mitochondrial (mt) DNA, however, other studies of morphology and nuclear (nu) DNA do not support that hypothesis. We sequenced the complete mt genome of Platysternon and the nearly complete mt genomes of two other relevant turtles and compared them to turtle mt genomes from the literature to form the largest molecular dataset used to date to address this issue. The resulting phylogeny robustly rejects the placement of Platysternon with Chelydridae, but instead shows that it is a member of the Testudinoidea, a diverse, nearly globally-distributed group that includes pond turtles and tortoises. We also discovered that Platysternon mtDNA has large-scale gene rearrangements and possesses two, nearly identical, control regions, features that distinguish it from all other studied turtles. Our study robustly determines the phylogenetic placement of Platysternon and provides a well-resolved outline of major turtle lineages, while demonstrating the significantly greater resolving power of comparing large amounts of mt sequence over that of short fragments. Earlier phylogenies placing Platysternon with chelydrids required a temporal gap in the fossil record that is now unnecessary. The duplicated control regions and gene rearrangements of the Platysternon mt DNA probably resulted from the duplication of part of the genome and then the subsequent loss of redundant genes. Although it is possible that having two control regions may provide some advantage, explaining why the control regions would be maintained while some of the duplicated genes were eroded

  10. Mapping Phylogenetic Trees to Reveal Distinct Patterns of Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Michelle; Colijn, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary relationships are frequently described by phylogenetic trees, but a central barrier in many fields is the difficulty of interpreting data containing conflicting phylogenetic signals. We present a metric-based method for comparing trees which extracts distinct alternative evolutionary relationships embedded in data. We demonstrate detection and resolution of phylogenetic uncertainty in a recent study of anole lizards, leading to alternate hypotheses about their evolutionary relationships. We use our approach to compare trees derived from different genes of Ebolavirus and find that the VP30 gene has a distinct phylogenetic signature composed of three alternatives that differ in the deep branching structure. Key words: phylogenetics, evolution, tree metrics, genetics, sequencing. PMID:27343287

  11. Patterns and processes in complex landscapes: testing alternative biogeographical hypotheses through integrated analysis of phylogeography and community ecology in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Eldon, Jon; Price, Jonathan P; Magnacca, Karl; Price, Donald K

    2013-07-01

    The Island of Hawai'i is a dynamic assemblage of five volcanoes with wet forest habitat currently existing in four distinct natural regions that vary in area, age and geographical isolation. In this complex landscape, alternative assumptions of the relative importance of specific habitat characteristics on evolutionary and ecological processes predict strikingly different general patterns of local diversity and regional similarity. In this study, we compare alternative a priori hypotheses against observed patterns within two distinct biological systems and scales: community composition of wet forest vascular plant species and mitochondrial and nuclear genes of Drosophila sproati, a wet-forest-restricted endemic. All observed patterns display strong and similar regional structuring, with the greatest local diversity found in Kohala and the windward side of Mauna Loa, the least in Ka'ū and Kona, and a distinctive pattern of regional similarity that probably reflects the historical development of this habitat on the island. These observations largely corroborate a biogeographical model that integrates multiple lines of evidence, including climatic reconstruction, over those relying on single measures, such as current habitat configuration or substrate age. This method of testing alternative hypotheses across biological systems and scales is an innovative approach for understanding complex landscapes and should prove valuable in diverse biogeographical systems.

  12. Alternative hypotheses to explain why biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships are concave-up in some natural ecosystems but concave-down in manipulative experiments

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Camilo; Danovaro, Roberto; Loreau, Michel

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies of the relationship between biodiversity and functioning in marine ecosystems have yielded non-saturating patterns that contrast sharply with the results of experimental studies, where ecosystem functioning rapidly saturates with increases in biodiversity. Here we provide a simple theoretical framework of three alternative hypotheses that, individually or combined, are likely to explain this contrast: i) the use of functional richness instead of species richness, ii) an increased production efficiency of species in producing biomass when more ecological interactions are present, and iii) the fact that communities are likely assembled in an ordered succession of species from low to high ecological efficiency. Our results provide theoretical support for concave-up biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in natural ecosystems and confirm that the loss of species can have substantially larger effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems than anticipated from controlled manipulative experiments. PMID:24962477

  13. Alternative hypotheses to explain why biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships are concave-up in some natural ecosystems but concave-down in manipulative experiments.

    PubMed

    Mora, Camilo; Danovaro, Roberto; Loreau, Michel

    2014-06-25

    Recent studies of the relationship between biodiversity and functioning in marine ecosystems have yielded non-saturating patterns that contrast sharply with the results of experimental studies, where ecosystem functioning rapidly saturates with increases in biodiversity. Here we provide a simple theoretical framework of three alternative hypotheses that, individually or combined, are likely to explain this contrast: i) the use of functional richness instead of species richness, ii) an increased production efficiency of species in producing biomass when more ecological interactions are present, and iii) the fact that communities are likely assembled in an ordered succession of species from low to high ecological efficiency. Our results provide theoretical support for concave-up biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in natural ecosystems and confirm that the loss of species can have substantially larger effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems than anticipated from controlled manipulative experiments.

  14. Higher-level crustacean phylogeny: consensus and conflicting hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Jenner, Ronald A

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of current hypotheses of higher-level crustacean phylogeny in order to assist and help focus further research. It concentrates on hypotheses proposed or debated in the recent literature based on morphological, molecular and combined evidence phylogenetic analyses. It can be concluded that crustacean phylogeny remains essentially unresolved. Conflict is rife, irrespective of whether one compares different morphological studies, molecular studies, or both. Using the number of recently proposed alternative sister group hypotheses for each of the major tetraconatan taxa as a rough estimate of phylogenetic uncertainty, it can be concluded that the phylogenetic position of Malacostraca remains the most problematic, closely followed by Branchiopoda, Cephalocarida, Remipedia, Ostracoda, Branchiura, Copepoda and Hexapoda. Future progress will depend upon a broader taxon sampling in molecular analyses, and the further exploration of new molecular phylogenetic markers. However, the need for continued revision and expansion of morphological datasets remains undiminished given the conspicuous lack of agreement between molecules and morphology for positioning several taxa. In view of the unparalleled morphological diversity of Crustacea, and the likely nesting of Hexapoda somewhere within Crustacea, working out a detailed phylogeny of Tetraconata is a crucial step towards understanding arthropod body plan evolution.

  15. Testing Alternative Hypotheses about Animal Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Lang, Michael; Lawson, Anton E.

    Research indicates that the effectiveness of instruction in the elementary classroom is enhanced when it incorporates materials that actively engage students in the generation of scientific explanations. To this end, this document describes an exercise that allows Kindergarten students to explore the basic principles of animal behavior in an…

  16. Unleashing the force of cladistics? Metazoan phylogenetics and hypothesis testing.

    PubMed

    Jenner, Ronald A

    2003-02-01

    The accumulation of multiple phylogenetic hypotheses for the Metazoa invites an evaluation of current progress in the field. I discuss three case studies from the recent literature to assess how cladistic analyses of metazoan morphology have contributed to our understanding of animal evolution. The first case study on cleavage cross patterns examines whether a decade of unanimous character scoring across different cladistic studies can be considered a reliable indicator of accumulated wisdom. The two remaining case studies illustrate how the unique strength of cladistic analyses to arbitrate between competing hypotheses can be crippled when insufficient attention is directed towards the construction of the data matrix. The second case study discusses a recent morphological cladistic analysis aimed at providing insight into the evolution of larval ciliary bands (prototrochs) in the Spiralia, and the third case study evaluates how four subsequent morphological cladistic analyses have contributed to our understanding of the phylogenetic placement of a problematicum, the Myzostomida. I conclude that current phylogenetic analyses of the Metazoa have not fully exploited the power of cladistics to test available alternative hypotheses. If our goal is to generate genuine progress in understanding rather than stochastic variation of opinions through time, we have to shift our attention from using cladistics as an easy tool to generate "novel" hypotheses of metazoan relationships, towards employing cladistics more critically as an effective instrument to test the relative merit of available multiple alternative hypotheses.

  17. Transplantation psychoneuroimmunology: building hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Klapheke, M M

    2000-06-01

    The research findings of psychoneuroimmunology have not yet been fully applied to the field of transplantation psychiatry. Though much study has been devoted to the impact of psychiatric disease on the immunosuppressed state and disease progression in HIV-related illness, little has yet been written on the immunology implications of psychiatric disturbances in the immunosuppressed post-transplant patient. Utilizing Medline literature searches to review relevant research data in psychoneuroimmunology and transplantation immunology, the author formulates and examines four transplantation psychoneuroimmunology hypotheses involving the potential impact of depression on post-transplant organ rejection, cancer, coronary artery disease, and infections. The author concludes that though major questions remain, it appears reasonable to include the impact of depression, and possibly other psychological states, among factors that may affect the net state of immunosuppression in transplant patients.

  18. Testing hypotheses in macroevolution.

    PubMed

    Bromham, Lindell

    2016-02-01

    Experimental manipulation of microevolution (changes in frequency of heritable traits in populations) has shed much light on evolutionary processes. But many evolutionary processes occur on scales that are not amenable to experimental manipulation. Indeed, one of the reasons that macroevolution (changes in biodiversity over time, space and lineages) has sometimes been a controversial topic is that processes underlying the generation of biological diversity generally operate at scales that are not open to direct observation or manipulation. Macroevolutionary hypotheses can be tested by using them to generate predictions then asking whether observations from the biological world match those predictions. Each study that identifies significant correlations between evolutionary events, processes or outcomes can generate new predictions that can be further tested with different datasets, allowing a cumulative process that may narrow down on plausible explanations, or lead to rejection of other explanations as inconsistent or unsupported. A similar approach can be taken even for unique events, for example by comparing patterns in different regions, lineages, or time periods. I will illustrate the promise and pitfalls of these approaches using a range of examples, and discuss the problems of inferring causality from significant evolutionary associations.

  19. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics yields Strongly Supported Hypotheses for Ascaridomorph Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guo-Hua; Nadler, Steven A.; Liu, Shan-Shan; Podolska, Magdalena; D’Amelio, Stefano; Shao, Renfu; Gasser, Robin B.; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2016-01-01

    Ascaridomorph nematodes threaten the health of humans and other animals worldwide. Despite their medical, veterinary and economic importance, the identification of species lineages and establishing their phylogenetic relationships have proved difficult in some cases. Many working hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of ascaridomorphs have been based on single-locus data, most typically nuclear ribosomal RNA. Such single-locus hypotheses lack independent corroboration, and for nuclear rRNA typically lack resolution for deep relationships. As an alternative approach, we analyzed the mitochondrial (mt) genomes of anisakids (~14 kb) from different fish hosts in multiple countries, in combination with those of other ascaridomorphs available in the GenBank database. The circular mt genomes range from 13,948-14,019 bp in size and encode 12 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs and 22 transfer RNA genes. Our analysis showed that the Pseudoterranova decipiens complex consists of at least six cryptic species. In contrast, the hypothesis that Contracaecum ogmorhini represents a complex of cryptic species is not supported by mt genome data. Our analysis recovered several fundamental and uncontroversial ascaridomorph clades, including the monophyly of superfamilies and families, except for Ascaridiidae, which was consistent with the results based on nuclear rRNA analysis. In conclusion, mt genome analysis provided new insights into the phylogeny and taxonomy of ascaridomorph nematodes. PMID:27982084

  20. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics yields Strongly Supported Hypotheses for Ascaridomorph Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guo-Hua; Nadler, Steven A; Liu, Shan-Shan; Podolska, Magdalena; D'Amelio, Stefano; Shao, Renfu; Gasser, Robin B; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2016-12-16

    Ascaridomorph nematodes threaten the health of humans and other animals worldwide. Despite their medical, veterinary and economic importance, the identification of species lineages and establishing their phylogenetic relationships have proved difficult in some cases. Many working hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of ascaridomorphs have been based on single-locus data, most typically nuclear ribosomal RNA. Such single-locus hypotheses lack independent corroboration, and for nuclear rRNA typically lack resolution for deep relationships. As an alternative approach, we analyzed the mitochondrial (mt) genomes of anisakids (~14 kb) from different fish hosts in multiple countries, in combination with those of other ascaridomorphs available in the GenBank database. The circular mt genomes range from 13,948-14,019 bp in size and encode 12 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs and 22 transfer RNA genes. Our analysis showed that the Pseudoterranova decipiens complex consists of at least six cryptic species. In contrast, the hypothesis that Contracaecum ogmorhini represents a complex of cryptic species is not supported by mt genome data. Our analysis recovered several fundamental and uncontroversial ascaridomorph clades, including the monophyly of superfamilies and families, except for Ascaridiidae, which was consistent with the results based on nuclear rRNA analysis. In conclusion, mt genome analysis provided new insights into the phylogeny and taxonomy of ascaridomorph nematodes.

  1. Profiling phylogenetic informativeness.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Jeffrey P

    2007-04-01

    The resolution of four controversial topics in phylogenetic experimental design hinges upon the informativeness of characters about the historical relationships among taxa. These controversies regard the power of different classes of phylogenetic character, the relative utility of increased taxonomic versus character sampling, the differentiation between lack of phylogenetic signal and a historical rapid radiation, and the design of taxonomically broad phylogenetic studies optimized by taxonomically sparse genome-scale data. Quantification of the informativeness of characters for resolution of phylogenetic hypotheses during specified historical epochs is key to the resolution of these controversies. Here, such a measure of phylogenetic informativeness is formulated. The optimal rate of evolution of a character to resolve a dated four-taxon polytomy is derived. By scaling the asymptotic informativeness of a character evolving at a nonoptimal rate by the derived asymptotic optimum, and by normalizing so that net phylogenetic informativeness is equivalent for all rates when integrated across all of history, an informativeness profile across history is derived. Calculation of the informativeness per base pair allows estimation of the cost-effectiveness of character sampling. Calculation of the informativeness per million years allows comparison across historical radiations of the utility of a gene for the inference of rapid adaptive radiation. The theory is applied to profile the phylogenetic informativeness of the genes BRCA1, RAG1, GHR, and c-myc from a muroid rodent sequence data set. Bounded integrations of the phylogenetic profile of these genes over four epochs comprising the diversifications of the muroid rodents, the mammals, the lobe-limbed vertebrates, and the early metazoans demonstrate the differential power of these genes to resolve the branching order among ancestral lineages. This measure of phylogenetic informativeness yields a new kind of information

  2. Environmental hypotheses of hominin evolution.

    PubMed

    Potts, R

    1998-01-01

    The study of human evolution has long sought to explain major adaptations and trends that led to the origin of Homo sapiens. Environmental scenarios have played a pivotal role in this endeavor. They represent statements or, more commonly, assumptions concerning the adaptive context in which key hominin traits emerged. In many cases, however, these scenarios are based on very little if any data about the past settings in which early hominins lived. Several environmental hypotheses of human evolution are presented in this paper. Explicit test expectations are laid out, and a preliminary assessment of the hypotheses is made by examining the environmental records of Olduvai, Turkana, Olorgesailie, Zhoukoudian, Combe Grenal, and other hominin localities. Habitat-specific hypotheses have prevailed in almost all previous accounts of human adaptive history. The rise of African dry savanna is often cited as the critical event behind the development of terrestrial bipedality, stone toolmaking, and encephalized brains, among other traits. This savanna hypothesis has been countered recently by the woodland/forest hypothesis, which claims that Pliocene hominins had evolved in and were primarily attracted to closed habitats. The ideas that human evolution was fostered by cold habitats in higher latitudes or by seasonal variations in tropical and temperate zones also have their proponents. An alternative view, the variability selection hypothesis, states that large disparities in environmental conditions were responsible for important episodes of adaptive evolution. The resulting adaptations enhanced behavioral versatility and ultimately ecological diversity in the human lineage. Global environmental records for the late Cenozoic and specific records at hominin sites show the following: 1) early human habitats were subject to large-scale remodeling over time; 2) the evidence for environmental instability does not support habitat-specific explanations of key adaptive changes; 3

  3. Continental monophyly of cichlid fishes and the phylogenetic position of Heterochromis multidens.

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

    The incredibly species-rich cichlid fish faunas of both the Neotropics and Africa are generally thought to be reciprocally monophyletic. However, the phylogenetic affinity of the African cichlid Heterochromis multidens is ambiguous, and this distinct lineage could make African cichlids paraphyletic. In past studies, Heterochromis has been variously suggested to be one of the earliest diverging lineages within either the Neotropical or the African cichlid radiations, and it has even been hypothesized to be the sister lineage to a clade containing all Neotropical and African cichlids. We examined the phylogenetic relationships among a representative sample of cichlids with a dataset of 29 nuclear loci to assess the support for the different hypotheses of the phylogenetic position of Heterochromis. Although individual gene trees in some instances supported alternative relationships, a majority of gene trees, integration of genes into species trees, and hypothesis testing of putative topologies all supported Heterochromis as belonging to the clade of African cichlids.

  4. The phylogenetic position and diversity of the enigmatic mongrel frog Nothophryne Poynton, 1963 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Bittencourt-Silva, Gabriela B; Conradie, Werner; Siu-Ting, Karen; Tolley, Krystal A; Channing, Alan; Cunningham, Michael; Farooq, Harith M; Menegon, Michele; Loader, Simon P

    2016-06-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of the African mongrel frog genus Nothophryne are poorly understood. We provide the first molecular assessment of the phylogenetic position of, and diversity within, this monotypic genus from across its range-the Afromontane regions of Malawi and Mozambique. Our analysis using a two-tiered phylogenetic approach allowed us to place the genus in Pyxicephalidae. Within the family, Nothophryne grouped with Tomopterna, a hypothesis judged significantly better than alternative hypotheses proposed based on morphology. Our analyses of populations across the range of Nothophryne suggest the presence of several cryptic species, at least one species per mountain. Formal recognition of these species is pending but there is a major conservation concern for these narrowly distributed populations in an area impacted by major habitat change. The phylogenetic tree of pyxicephalids is used to examine evolution of life history, ancestral habitat, and biogeography of this group.

  5. Hypotheses, Limits, Models and Life

    PubMed Central

    Bains, William

    2014-01-01

    Life is launching a new section, called Hypotheses in the Life Sciences. The new Section will complement the other sections of Life, providing a feedstock of ideas whose tests can be published in the wider Life family, and elsewhere. We will consider hypotheses that are supported by real world, rigorous evidence, by clear arguments, and which provide a potential solution to a genuine gap in our understanding of any aspect of the life sciences. PMID:25551680

  6. Covariance hypotheses for LANDSAT data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Decell, H. P.; Peters, C.

    1983-01-01

    Two covariance hypotheses are considered for LANDSAT data acquired by sampling fields, one an autoregressive covariance structure and the other the hypothesis of exchangeability. A minimum entropy approximation of the first structure by the second is derived and shown to have desirable properties for incorporation into a mixture density estimation procedure. Results of a rough test of the exchangeability hypothesis are presented.

  7. [Foundations of the new phylogenetics].

    PubMed

    Pavlinov, I Ia

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary idea is the core of the modern biology. Due to this, phylogenetics dealing with historical reconstructions in biology takes a priority position among biological disciplines. The second half of the 20th century witnessed growth of a great interest to phylogenetic reconstructions at macrotaxonomic level which replaced microevolutionary studies dominating during the 30s-60s. This meant shift from population thinking to phylogenetic one but it was not revival of the classical phylogenetics; rather, a new approach emerged that was baptized The New Phylogenetics. It arose as a result of merging of three disciplines which were developing independently during 60s-70s, namely cladistics, numerical phyletics, and molecular phylogenetics (now basically genophyletics). Thus, the new phylogenetics could be defined as a branch of evolutionary biology aimed at elaboration of "parsimonious" cladistic hypotheses by means of numerical methods on the basis of mostly molecular data. Classical phylogenetics, as a historical predecessor of the new one, emerged on the basis of the naturphilosophical worldview which included a superorganismal idea of biota. Accordingly to that view, historical development (the phylogeny) was thought an analogy of individual one (the ontogeny) so its most basical features were progressive parallel developments of "parts" (taxa), supplemented with Darwinian concept of monophyly. Two predominating traditions were diverged within classical phylogenetics according to a particular interpretation of relation between these concepts. One of them (Cope, Severtzow) belittled monophyly and paid most attention to progressive parallel developments of morphological traits. Such an attitude turned this kind of phylogenetics to be rather the semogenetics dealing primarily with evolution of structures and not of taxa. Another tradition (Haeckel) considered both monophyletic and parallel origins of taxa jointly: in the middle of 20th century it was split into

  8. Refuting phylogenetic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Bucknam, James; Boucher, Yan; Bapteste, Eric

    2006-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic methods are philosophically grounded, and so can be philosophically biased in ways that limit explanatory power. This constitutes an important methodologic dimension not often taken into account. Here we address this dimension in the context of concatenation approaches to phylogeny. Results We discuss some of the limits of a methodology restricted to verificationism, the philosophy on which gene concatenation practices generally rely. As an alternative, we describe a software which identifies and focuses on impossible or refuted relationships, through a simple analysis of bootstrap bipartitions, followed by multivariate statistical analyses. We show how refuting phylogenetic relationships could in principle facilitate systematics. We also apply our method to the study of two complex phylogenies: the phylogeny of the archaea and the phylogeny of the core of genes shared by all life forms. While many groups are rejected, our results left open a possible proximity of N. equitans and the Methanopyrales, of the Archaea and the Cyanobacteria, and as well the possible grouping of the Methanobacteriales/Methanoccocales and Thermosplasmatales, of the Spirochaetes and the Actinobacteria and of the Proteobacteria and firmicutes. Conclusion It is sometimes easier (and preferable) to decide which species do not group together than which ones do. When possible topologies are limited, identifying local relationships that are rejected may be a useful alternative to classical concatenation approaches aiming to find a globally resolved tree on the basis of weak phylogenetic markers. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Mark Ragan, Eugene V Koonin and J Peter Gogarten. PMID:16956399

  9. Assessing evidence and testing appropriate hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Fenton, Norman

    2015-01-01

    It is crucial to identify the most appropriate hypotheses if one is to apply probabilistic reasoning to evaluate and properly understand the impact of evidence. Subtle changes to the choice of a prosecution hypothesis can result in drastically different posterior probabilities to a defence hypothesis from the same evidence. To illustrate the problem we consider a real case in which probabilistic arguments assumed that the prosecution hypothesis “both babies were murdered” was the appropriate alternative to the defence hypothesis “both babies died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)”. Since it would have been sufficient for the prosecution to establish just one murder, a more appropriate alternative hypothesis was “at least one baby was murdered”. Based on the same assumptions used by one of the probability experts who examined the case, the prior odds in favour of the defence hypothesis over the double murder hypothesis are 30 to 1. However, the prior odds in favour of the defence hypothesis over the alternative ‘at least one murder’ hypothesis are only 5 to 2. Assuming that the medical and other evidence has a likelihood ratio of 5 in favour of the prosecution hypothesis results in very different conclusions about the posterior probability of the defence hypothesis. PMID:25498940

  10. Assessing evidence and testing appropriate hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Fenton, Norman

    2014-12-01

    It is crucial to identify the most appropriate hypotheses if one is to apply probabilistic reasoning to evaluate and properly understand the impact of evidence. Subtle changes to the choice of a prosecution hypothesis can result in drastically different posterior probabilities to a defence hypothesis from the same evidence. To illustrate the problem we consider a real case in which probabilistic arguments assumed that the prosecution hypothesis "both babies were murdered" was the appropriate alternative to the defence hypothesis "both babies died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)". Since it would have been sufficient for the prosecution to establish just one murder, a more appropriate alternative hypothesis was "at least one baby was murdered". Based on the same assumptions used by one of the probability experts who examined the case, the prior odds in favour of the defence hypothesis over the double murder hypothesis are 30 to 1. However, the prior odds in favour of the defence hypothesis over the alternative 'at least one murder' hypothesis are only 5 to 2. Assuming that the medical and other evidence has a likelihood ratio of 5 in favour of the prosecution hypothesis results in very different conclusions about the posterior probability of the defence hypothesis.

  11. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Papionina using concatenation and species tree methods.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Elaine E; Steiper, Michael E

    2014-01-01

    The Papionina is a geographically widespread subtribe of African cercopithecid monkeys whose evolutionary history is of particular interest to anthropologists. The phylogenetic relationships among arboreal mangabeys (Lophocebus), baboons (Papio), and geladas (Theropithecus) remain unresolved. Molecular phylogenetic analyses have revealed marked gene tree incongruence for these taxa, and several recent concatenated phylogenetic analyses of multilocus datasets have supported different phylogenetic hypotheses. To address this issue, we investigated the phylogeny of the Lophocebus + Papio + Theropithecus group using concatenation methods, as well as alternative methods that incorporate gene tree heterogeneity to estimate a 'species tree.' Our compiled DNA sequence dataset was ∼56 kb pairs long and included 57 independent partitions. All analyses of concatenated alignments strongly supported a Lophocebus + Papio clade and a basal position for Theropithecus. The Bayesian concordance analysis supported the same phylogeny. A coalescent-based Bayesian method resulted in a very poorly resolved species tree. The topological agreement between concatenation and the Bayesian concordance analysis offers considerable support for a Lophocebus + Papio clade as the dominant relationship across the genome. However, the results of the Bayesian concordance analysis indicate that almost half the genome has an alternative history. As such, our results offer a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis for the Papio/Lophocebus/Theropithecus trichotomy, while at the same time providing evidence for a complex evolutionary history that likely includes hybridization among lineages.

  12. Do we need many genes for phylogenetic inference?

    PubMed

    Aleshin, V V; Konstantinova, A V; Mikhailov, K V; Nikitin, M A; Petrov, N B

    2007-12-01

    Fifty-six nuclear protein coding genes from Taxonomically Broad EST Database and other databases were selected for phylogenomic-based examination of alternative phylogenetic hypotheses concerning intergroup relationship between multicellular animals (Metazoa) and other representatives of Opisthokonta. The results of this work support sister group relationship between Metazoa and Choanoflagellata. Both of these groups form the taxon Holozoa along with the monophyletic Ichthyosporea or Mesomycetozoea (a group that includes Amoebidium parasiticum, Sphaeroforma arctica, and Capsaspora owczarzaki). These phylogenetic hypotheses receive high statistical support both when utilizing whole alignment and when only 5000 randomly selected alignment positions are used. The presented results suggest subdivision of Fungi into Eumycota and lower fungi, Chytridiomycota. The latter form a monophyletic group that comprises Chytridiales+Spizellomycetales+Blastocladiales (Batrachochytrium, Spizellomyces, Allomyces, Blastocladiella), contrary to the earlier reports based on the analysis of 18S rRNA and a limited set of protein coding genes. The phylogenetic distribution of genes coding for a ubiquitin-fused ribosomal protein S30 implies at least three independent cases of gene fusion: in the ancestors of Holozoa, in heterotrophic Heterokonta (Oomycetes and Blastocystis) and in the ancestors of Cryptophyta and Glaucophyta. Ubiquitin-like sequences fused with ribosomal protein S30 outside of Holozoa are not FUBI orthologs. Two independent events of FUBI replacement by the ubiquitin sequence were detected in the lineage of C. owczarzaki and in the monophyletic group of nematode worms Tylenchomorpha+Cephalobidae. Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Aphelenchoidoidea) retains a state typical of the rest of the Metazoa. The data emphasize the fact that the reliability of phylogenetic reconstructions depends on the number of analyzed genes to a lesser extent than on our ability to recognize

  13. The World Hypotheses Scale: Rationale, Reliability and Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Maxine; And Others

    1977-01-01

    Four alternative cognitive assumptions concerning the fundamental meaning of events are presented: formism, or everyday thinking; mechanism, or experimental scientist's thinking; organicism, or systems thinking; and contextualism, or relational thinking. The measurement of individual preferences for these hypotheses and behavioral correlates of…

  14. Holographic assessment of a hypothesized microwave hearing mechanism.

    PubMed

    Frey, A H; Coren, E

    1979-10-12

    Exposure of the head to pulse-modulated microwaves induces the perception of a sound. It has been hypothesized that the electromagnetic energy is converted to acoustic energy in the skull and then conducted through the bone. Dynamic time-averaged interferometric holography showed that the predicted motion of head tissue did not occur. An alternative locus for this hearing effect is suggested.

  15. Deficiency in the Opioid Hypotheses of Self-Injurious Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Bryan H.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    This commentary critiques two papers by Curt Sandman, pointing out interpretive problems in models explaining self-injurious behavior in terms of opioids. Withdrawal effects are emphasized as an alternative to hypotheses asserting congenital opioid excess as a cause of sensory depression or an addiction to a relative excess of opioid activity in…

  16. Molecular Phylogenetic Information on the Identity of the Closest Living Relative(s) of Land Vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    The phylogenetic position of tetrapods relative to the other two living sarcopterygian lineages (lungfishes and the coelacanth) has been subject to debate for many decades, yet remains unresolved. There are three possible alternatives for the phylogenetic relationships among these three living lineages of sarcopterygians, i.e., lungfish as living sister group of tetrapods, the coelacanth as closest living relative of tetrapods, and lungfish and coelacanth equally closely related to tetrapods. To resolve this important evolutionary question several molecular data sets have been collected in recent years, the largest being the almost complete 28S rRNA gene sequences (about 3500bp) and the complete mitochondrial genomes of the coelacanth and a lungfish (about 16500bp each). Phylogenetic analyses of several molecular data sets had not provided unequivocal support for any of the three hypotheses. However, a lungfish+tetrapod or a lungfish+coelacanth clade were predominantly favored over a coelacanth+tetrapod grouping when the entire mitochondrial genomes alone or in combination with the nuclear 28S rRNA gene data were analyzed with maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, and maximum likelihood phylogenetic methods. Also, current paleontological and morphological data seem to concur with these molecular results. Therefore the currently available molecular data seems to rule out a coelacanth+tetrapod relationship, the traditional textbook hypothesis. These tentative molecular phylogenetic results point to the inherent difficulty in resolving relationships among lineages which apparently originated in rapid succession during the Devonian.

  17. Molecular phylogenetic information on the identity of the closest living relative(s) of land vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    1997-09-01

    The phylogenetic position of tetrapods relative to the other two living sarcopterygian lineages (lungfishes and the coelacanth) has been subject to debate for many decades, yet remains unresolved. There are three possible alternatives for the phylogenetic relationships among these three living lineages of sarcopterygians, i.e., lungfish as living sister group of tetrapods, the coelacanth as closest living relative of tetrapods, and lungfish and coelacanth equally closely related to tetrapods. To resolve this important evolutionary question several molecular data sets have been collected in recent years, the largest being the almost complete 28S rRNA gene sequences (about 3500 bp) and the complete mitochondrial genomes of the coelacanth and a lungfish (about 16,500 bp each). Phylogenetic analyses of several molecular data sets had not provided unequivocal support for any of the three hypotheses. However, a lungfish + tetrapod or a lungfish + coelacanth clade were predominantly favored over a coelacanth + tetrapod grouping when the entire mitochondrial genomes alone or in combination with the nuclear 28S rRNA gene data were analyzed with maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, and maximum likelihood phylogenetic methods. Also, current paleontological and morphological data seem to concur with these molecular results. Therefore the currently available molecular data seems to rule out a coelacanth + tetrapod relationship, the traditional textbook hypothesis. These tentative molecular phylogenetic results point to the inherent difficulty in resolving relationships among lineages which apparently originated in rapid succession during the Devonian.

  18. Directional biases in phylogenetic structure quantification: a Mediterranean case study

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Roquet, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Recent years have seen an increasing effort to incorporate phylogenetic hypotheses to the study of community assembly processes. The incorporation of such evolutionary information has been eased by the emergence of specialized software for the automatic estimation of partially resolved supertrees based on published phylogenies. Despite this growing interest in the use of phylogenies in ecological research, very few studies have attempted to quantify the potential biases related to the use of partially resolved phylogenies and to branch length accuracy, and no work has examined how tree shape may affect inference of community phylogenetic metrics. In this study, using a large plant community and elevational dataset, we tested the influence of phylogenetic resolution and branch length information on the quantification of phylogenetic structure; and also explored the impact of tree shape (stemminess) on the loss of accuracy in phylogenetic structure quantification due to phylogenetic resolution. For this purpose, we used 9 sets of phylogenetic hypotheses of varying resolution and branch lengths to calculate three indices of phylogenetic structure: the mean phylogenetic distance (NRI), the mean nearest taxon distance (NTI) and phylogenetic diversity (stdPD) metrics. The NRI metric was the less sensitive to phylogenetic resolution, stdPD showed an intermediate sensitivity, and NTI was the most sensitive one; NRI was also less sensitive to branch length accuracy than NTI and stdPD, the degree of sensitivity being strongly dependent on the dating method and the sample size. Directional biases were generally towards type II errors. Interestingly, we detected that tree shape influenced the accuracy loss derived from the lack of phylogenetic resolution, particularly for NRI and stdPD. We conclude that well-resolved molecular phylogenies with accurate branch length information are needed to identify the underlying phylogenetic structure of communities, and also that

  19. Indel Reliability in Indel-Based Phylogenetic Inference

    PubMed Central

    Ashkenazy, Haim; Cohen, Ofir; Pupko, Tal; Huchon, Dorothée

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that it is unlikely that the same insertion or deletion (indel) event occurred at the same position in two independent evolutionary lineages, and thus, indel-based inference of phylogeny should be less subject to homoplasy compared with standard inference which is based on substitution events. Indeed, indels were successfully used to solve debated evolutionary relationships among various taxonomical groups. However, indels are never directly observed but rather inferred from the alignment and thus indel-based inference may be sensitive to alignment errors. It is hypothesized that phylogenetic reconstruction would be more accurate if it relied only on a subset of reliable indels instead of the entire indel data. Here, we developed a method to quantify the reliability of indel characters by measuring how often they appear in a set of alternative multiple sequence alignments. Our approach is based on the assumption that indels that are consistently present in most alternative alignments are more reliable compared with indels that appear only in a small subset of these alignments. Using simulated and empirical data, we studied the impact of filtering and weighting indels by their reliability scores on the accuracy of indel-based phylogenetic reconstruction. The new method is available as a web-server at http://guidance.tau.ac.il/RELINDEL/. PMID:25409663

  20. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Evan L; Matthews, Luke J; Hare, Brian A; Nunn, Charles L; Anderson, Rindy C; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M; Emery, Nathan J; Haun, Daniel B M; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F; Platt, Michael L; Rosati, Alexandra G; Sandel, Aaron A; Schroepfer, Kara K; Seed, Amanda M; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P; Wobber, Victoria

    2012-03-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution.

  1. Molecular phylogenetics of the hummingbird genus Coeligena.

    PubMed

    Parra, Juan Luis; Remsen, J V; Alvarez-Rebolledo, Mauricio; McGuire, Jimmy A

    2009-11-01

    Advances in the understanding of biological radiations along tropical mountains depend on the knowledge of phylogenetic relationships among species. Here we present a species-level molecular phylogeny based on a multilocus dataset for the Andean hummingbird genus Coeligena. We compare this phylogeny to previous hypotheses of evolutionary relationships and use it as a framework to understand patterns in the evolution of sexual dichromatism and in the biogeography of speciation within the Andes. Previous phylogenetic hypotheses based mostly on similarities in coloration conflicted with our molecular phylogeny, emphasizing the unreliability of color characters for phylogenetic inference. Two major clades, one monochromatic and the other dichromatic, were found in Coeligena. Closely related species were either allopatric or parapatric on opposite mountain slopes. No sister lineages replaced each other along an elevational gradient. Our results indicate the importance of geographic isolation for speciation in this group and the potential interaction between isolation and sexual selection to promote diversification.

  2. Furious Frederich: Nietzsche's neurosyphilis diagnosis and new hypotheses.

    PubMed

    André, Charles; Rios, André Rangel

    2015-12-01

    The causes of Friedrich Nietzsche's mental breakdown in early 1889 and of the subsequent slow decay to end-stage dementia along ten years will possibly remain open to debate. The diagnosis of syphilitic dementia paralytica, based only on medical anamnesis and physical examination, was considered indisputable by Otto Binswanger. On the other hand, taking into account recently described diseases, selectively collected evidence lend some support to alternative hypotheses: basal forebrain meningioma, CADASIL, MELAS and frontotemporal dementia.

  3. Phylogenetic analysis of adenovirus sequences.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Balázs; Benko, Mária

    2007-01-01

    Members of the family Adenoviridae have been isolated from a large variety of hosts, including representatives from every major vertebrate class from fish to mammals. The high prevalence, together with the fairly conserved organization of the central part of their genomes, make the adenoviruses one of (if not the) best models for studying viral evolution on a larger time scale. Phylogenetic calculation can infer the evolutionary distance among adenovirus strains on serotype, species, and genus levels, thus helping the establishment of a correct taxonomy on the one hand, and speeding up the process of typing new isolates on the other. Initially, four major lineages corresponding to four genera were recognized. Later, the demarcation criteria of lower taxon levels, such as species or types, could also be defined with phylogenetic calculations. A limited number of possible host switches have been hypothesized and convincingly supported. Application of the web-based BLAST and MultAlin programs and the freely available PHYLIP package, along with the TreeView program, enables everyone to make correct calculations. In addition to step-by-step instruction on how to perform phylogenetic analysis, critical points where typical mistakes or misinterpretation of the results might occur will be identified and hints for their avoidance will be provided.

  4. Exploring hypotheses in attitude control fault diagnosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Benjamin

    1987-01-01

    A system which analyzes telemetry and evaluates hypotheses to explain any anomalies that are observed is described. Results achieved from a sample set of failure cases are presented, followed by a brief discussion of the benefits derived from this approach.

  5. Quantitative Linking Hypotheses for Infant Eye Movements

    PubMed Central

    Yurovsky, Daniel; Hidaka, Shohei; Wu, Rachel

    2012-01-01

    The study of cognitive development hinges, largely, on the analysis of infant looking. But analyses of eye gaze data require the adoption of linking hypotheses: assumptions about the relationship between observed eye movements and underlying cognitive processes. We develop a general framework for constructing, testing, and comparing these hypotheses, and thus for producing new insights into early cognitive development. We first introduce the general framework – applicable to any infant gaze experiment – and then demonstrate its utility by analyzing data from a set of experiments investigating the role of attentional cues in infant learning. The new analysis uncovers significantly more structure in these data, finding evidence of learning that was not found in standard analyses and showing an unexpected relationship between cue use and learning rate. Finally, we discuss general implications for the construction and testing of quantitative linking hypotheses. MATLAB code for sample linking hypotheses can be found on the first author's website. PMID:23110071

  6. Is PDGF really important? Testing the hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Bowen-Pope, D F; van Koppen, A; Schatteman, G

    1991-01-01

    Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) has been proposed to be one of the growth factors that drive proliferation during normal development and in various pathological conditions. Support for these hypotheses has been largely circumstantial. We discuss the pros and cons of the different experimental approaches that have been taken to test these hypotheses, and evaluate the information to be gained by characterizing the consequences of deletion of one of the PDGF receptor genes in the Patch mutant mouse.

  7. Designing Good Experiments to Test Bad Hypotheses

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-15

    and detailed analysis of moment to moment behavior of people -- typically ordinary college students -- operating in this context (e.g., Mynatt ...work and the work of others (e.g., Mynatt et al. 1977), were not testing multiple hypotheses is revealing. In this study, subjects were given hypotheses...McGraw-Hill. Mynatt , C. R., Doherty, M. E., & Tweney, R.D. (1977). Confirmation bias in a simulated research environment: an experimental study of

  8. Global biodiversity and phylogenetic evaluation of remipedia (crustacea).

    PubMed

    Neiber, Marco T; Hartke, Tamara R; Stemme, Torben; Bergmann, Alexandra; Rust, Jes; Iliffe, Thomas M; Koenemann, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Remipedia is one of the most recently discovered classes of crustaceans, first described in 1981 from anchialine caves in the Bahamas Archipelago. The class is divided into the order Enantiopoda, represented by two fossil species, and Nectiopoda, which contains all known extant remipedes. Since their discovery, the number of nectiopodan species has increased to 24, half of which were described during the last decade. Nectiopoda exhibit a disjunct global distribution pattern, with the highest abundance and diversity in the Caribbean region, and isolated species in the Canary Islands and in Western Australia. Our review of Remipedia provides an overview of their ecological characteristics, including a detailed list of all anchialine marine caves, from which species have been recorded. We discuss alternative hypotheses of the phylogenetic position of Remipedia within Arthropoda, and present first results of an ongoing molecular-phylogenetic analysis that do not support the monophyly of several nectiopodan taxa. We believe that a taxonomic revision of Remipedia is absolutely essential, and that a comprehensive revision should include a reappraisal of the fossil record.

  9. Global Biodiversity and Phylogenetic Evaluation of Remipedia (Crustacea)

    PubMed Central

    Neiber, Marco T.; Hartke, Tamara R.; Stemme, Torben; Bergmann, Alexandra; Rust, Jes; Iliffe, Thomas M.; Koenemann, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Remipedia is one of the most recently discovered classes of crustaceans, first described in 1981 from anchialine caves in the Bahamas Archipelago. The class is divided into the order Enantiopoda, represented by two fossil species, and Nectiopoda, which contains all known extant remipedes. Since their discovery, the number of nectiopodan species has increased to 24, half of which were described during the last decade. Nectiopoda exhibit a disjunct global distribution pattern, with the highest abundance and diversity in the Caribbean region, and isolated species in the Canary Islands and in Western Australia. Our review of Remipedia provides an overview of their ecological characteristics, including a detailed list of all anchialine marine caves, from which species have been recorded. We discuss alternative hypotheses of the phylogenetic position of Remipedia within Arthropoda, and present first results of an ongoing molecular-phylogenetic analysis that do not support the monophyly of several nectiopodan taxa. We believe that a taxonomic revision of Remipedia is absolutely essential, and that a comprehensive revision should include a reappraisal of the fossil record. PMID:21625553

  10. Application of RAD-based phylogenetics to complex relationships among variously related taxa in a species flock.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tetsumi; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2014-11-01

    Restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequences from entire genomes can be used to resolve complex phylogenetic problems. However, the processed data matrix varies depending on the strategies used to determine orthologous loci and to filter loci according to the number of taxa with sequence data for the loci, and often contains plenty of missing data. To explore the utility of RAD sequences for elucidating the phylogenetics of variously related species, we conducted RAD sequencing for the Ohomopterus ground beetles and attempted maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses using 42 data matrices ranging from 1.6×10(4) to 8.1×10(6) base pairs, with 11-72% missing data. We demonstrate that robust phylogenetic trees, in terms of bootstrap values, do not necessarily result from larger data matrices, as previously suggested. Robust trees for distantly related and closely related taxa resulted from different data matrices, and topologically different robust trees for distantly related taxa resulted from various data matrices. For closely related taxa, moderately large data matrices strongly supported a topology that is incompatible with morphological evidence, possibly due to the effect of introgressive hybridization. Practically, exploring variously prepared data matrices is an effective way to propose important alternative phylogenetic hypotheses for this study group.

  11. Phylogenetic analysis of Mediterranean Mugilids by allozymes and 16S mt-rRNA genes investigation: are the Mediterranean species of Liza monophyletic?

    PubMed

    Rossi, Anna Rita; Ungaro, Andrea; De Innocentiis, Sabina; Crosetti, Donatella; Sola, Luciana

    2004-10-01

    The family Mugilidae (Pisces, Mugiliformes) includes species which are present in all tropical and temperate regions. Six species, Chelon labrosus, Mugil cephalus, Liza aurata, L. ramada, L. saliens, Oedalechilus labeo, are commonly found in the Mediterranean. These species have been widely studied through morphological, biochemical, and molecular markers. However, their phylogenetic relationships, and therefore the assumed monophyly of Liza species, still remain unclear: To further investigate this topic, gene-enzyme systems and sequences of the partial 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene were analyzed in Italian samples of all six Mediterranean species. The phylogenetic reconstructions indicated M. cephalus as being the most divergent species and the existence of a main cluster including all the Mediterranean species of Liza and C. labrosus. The parametric bootstrap approach adopted to test alternative phylogenetic hypotheses indicated that the Mediterranean species of Liza do not form a monophyletic group exclusive of Chelon.

  12. Cnidarian phylogenetic relationships as revealed by mitogenomics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cnidaria (corals, sea anemones, hydroids, jellyfish) is a phylum of relatively simple aquatic animals characterized by the presence of the cnidocyst: a cell containing a giant capsular organelle with an eversible tubule (cnida). Species within Cnidaria have life cycles that involve one or both of the two distinct body forms, a typically benthic polyp, which may or may not be colonial, and a typically pelagic mostly solitary medusa. The currently accepted taxonomic scheme subdivides Cnidaria into two main assemblages: Anthozoa (Hexacorallia + Octocorallia) – cnidarians with a reproductive polyp and the absence of a medusa stage – and Medusozoa (Cubozoa, Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, Staurozoa) – cnidarians that usually possess a reproductive medusa stage. Hypothesized relationships among these taxa greatly impact interpretations of cnidarian character evolution. Results We expanded the sampling of cnidarian mitochondrial genomes, particularly from Medusozoa, to reevaluate phylogenetic relationships within Cnidaria. Our phylogenetic analyses based on a mitochogenomic dataset support many prior hypotheses, including monophyly of Hexacorallia, Octocorallia, Medusozoa, Cubozoa, Staurozoa, Hydrozoa, Carybdeida, Chirodropida, and Hydroidolina, but reject the monophyly of Anthozoa, indicating that the Octocorallia + Medusozoa relationship is not the result of sampling bias, as proposed earlier. Further, our analyses contradict Scyphozoa [Discomedusae + Coronatae], Acraspeda [Cubozoa + Scyphozoa], as well as the hypothesis that Staurozoa is the sister group to all the other medusozoans. Conclusions Cnidarian mitochondrial genomic data contain phylogenetic signal informative for understanding the evolutionary history of this phylum. Mitogenome-based phylogenies, which reject the monophyly of Anthozoa, provide further evidence for the polyp-first hypothesis. By rejecting the traditional Acraspeda and Scyphozoa hypotheses, these analyses suggest that

  13. Under the Skin: On the Impartial Treatment of Genetic and Environmental Hypotheses of Racial Differences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, David C.

    2005-01-01

    Environmental and genetic explanations have been given for Black-White racial differences in intelligence and other traits. In science, viable, alternative hypotheses are ideally given equal Bayesian prior weights; but this has not been true in the study of racial differences. This article advocates testing environmental and genetic hypotheses of…

  14. Dissolution of hypotheses in biochemistry: three case studies.

    PubMed

    Fry, Michael

    2016-12-01

    The history of biochemistry and molecular biology is replete with examples of erroneous theories that persisted for considerable lengths of time before they were rejected. This paper examines patterns of dissolution of three such erroneous hypotheses: The idea that nucleic acids are tetrads of the four nucleobases ('the tetranucleotide hypothesis'); the notion that proteins are collinear with their encoding genes in all branches of life; and the hypothesis that proteins are synthesized by reverse action of proteolytic enzymes. Analysis of these cases indicates that amassed contradictory empirical findings did not prompt critical experimental testing of the prevailing theories nor did they elicit alternative hypotheses. Rather, the incorrect models collapsed when experiments that were not purposely designed to test their validity exposed new facts.

  15. Formative Assessment Probes: To Hypothesize or Not

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2010-01-01

    Formative assessment probes are used not only to uncover the ideas students bring to their learning, they can also be used to reveal teachers' common misconceptions. Consider a process widely used in inquiry science--developing hypotheses. In this article, the author features the probe "Is It a Hypothesis?", which serves as an example of how…

  16. Biological hypotheses and biomarkers of bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Sigitova, Ekaterina; Fišar, Zdeněk; Hroudová, Jana; Cikánková, Tereza; Raboch, Jiří

    2017-02-01

    The most common mood disorders are major depressive disorders and bipolar disorders (BD). The pathophysiology of BD is complex, multifactorial, and not fully understood. Creation of new hypotheses in the field gives impetus for studies and for finding new biomarkers for BD. Conversely, new biomarkers facilitate not only diagnosis of a disorder and monitoring of biological effects of treatment, but also formulation of new hypotheses about the causes and pathophysiology of the BD. BD is characterized by multiple associations between disturbed brain development, neuroplasticity, and chronobiology, caused by: genetic and environmental factors; defects in apoptotic, immune-inflammatory, neurotransmitter, neurotrophin, and calcium-signaling pathways; oxidative and nitrosative stress; cellular bioenergetics; and membrane or vesicular transport. Current biological hypotheses of BD are summarized, including related pathophysiological processes and key biomarkers, which have been associated with changes in genetics, systems of neurotransmitter and neurotrophic factors, neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, cytokines, stress axis activity, chronobiology, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Here we also discuss the therapeutic hypotheses and mechanisms of the switch between depressive and manic state.

  17. Estimating Bayesian Phylogenetic Information Content

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Paul O.; Chen, Ming-Hui; Kuo, Lynn; Lewis, Louise A.; Fučíková, Karolina; Neupane, Suman; Wang, Yu-Bo; Shi, Daoyuan

    2016-01-01

    Measuring the phylogenetic information content of data has a long history in systematics. Here we explore a Bayesian approach to information content estimation. The entropy of the posterior distribution compared with the entropy of the prior distribution provides a natural way to measure information content. If the data have no information relevant to ranking tree topologies beyond the information supplied by the prior, the posterior and prior will be identical. Information in data discourages consideration of some hypotheses allowed by the prior, resulting in a posterior distribution that is more concentrated (has lower entropy) than the prior. We focus on measuring information about tree topology using marginal posterior distributions of tree topologies. We show that both the accuracy and the computational efficiency of topological information content estimation improve with use of the conditional clade distribution, which also allows topological information content to be partitioned by clade. We explore two important applications of our method: providing a compelling definition of saturation and detecting conflict among data partitions that can negatively affect analyses of concatenated data. [Bayesian; concatenation; conditional clade distribution; entropy; information; phylogenetics; saturation.] PMID:27155008

  18. Phylogenetic Trees From Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryvkin, Paul; Wang, Li-San

    In this chapter, we review important concepts and approaches for phylogeny reconstruction from sequence data.We first cover some basic definitions and properties of phylogenetics, and briefly explain how scientists model sequence evolution and measure sequence divergence. We then discuss three major approaches for phylogenetic reconstruction: distance-based phylogenetic reconstruction, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood. In the third part of the chapter, we review how multiple phylogenies are compared by consensus methods and how to assess confidence using bootstrapping. At the end of the chapter are two sections that list popular software packages and additional reading.

  19. Pectus excavatum: history, hypotheses and treatment options.

    PubMed

    Brochhausen, Christoph; Turial, Salmai; Müller, Felix K P; Schmitt, Volker H; Coerdt, Wiltrud; Wihlm, Jean-Marie; Schier, Felix; Kirkpatrick, C James

    2012-06-01

    Pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum represent the most frequent chest wall deformations. However, the pathogenesis is still poorly understood and research results remain inconsistent. To focus on the recent state of knowledge, we summarize and critically discuss the pathological concepts based on the history of these entities, beginning with the first description in the sixteenth century. Based on the early clinical descriptions, we review and discuss the different pathogenetic hypotheses. To open new perspectives for the potential pathomechanisms, the embryonic and foetal development of the ribs and the sternum is highlighted following the understanding that the origin of these deformities is given by the disruption in the maturation of the parasternal region. In the second, different therapeutical techniques are highlighted and based on the pathogenetic hypotheses and the embryological knowledge potential new biomaterial-based perspectives with interesting insights for tissue engineering-based treatment options are presented.

  20. Evaluation of seven hypotheses for metamemory performance in rhesus monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Basile, Benjamin M.; Schroeder, Gabriel R.; Brown, Emily Kathryn; Templer, Victoria L.; Hampton, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the extent to which nonhumans and humans share mechanisms for metacognition will advance our understanding of cognitive evolution and will improve selection of model systems for biomedical research. Some nonhuman species avoid difficult cognitive tests, seek information when ignorant, or otherwise behave in ways consistent with metacognition. There is agreement that some nonhuman animals “succeed” in these metacognitive tasks, but little consensus about the cognitive mechanisms underlying performance. In one paradigm, rhesus monkeys visually searched for hidden food when ignorant of the location of the food, but acted immediately when knowledgeable. This result has been interpreted as evidence that monkeys introspectively monitored their memory to adaptively control information seeking. However, convincing alternative hypotheses have been advanced that might also account for the adaptive pattern of visual searching. We evaluated seven hypotheses using a computerized task in which monkeys chose either to take memory tests immediately or to see the answer again before proceeding to the test. We found no evidence to support the hypotheses of behavioral cue association, rote response learning, expectancy violation, response competition, generalized search strategy, or postural mediation. In contrast, we repeatedly found evidence to support the memory monitoring hypothesis. Monkeys chose to see the answer when memory was poor, either from natural variation or experimental manipulation. We found limited evidence that monkeys also monitored the fluency of memory access. Overall, the evidence indicates that rhesus monkeys can use memory strength as a discriminative cue for information seeking, consistent with introspective monitoring of explicit memory. PMID:25365530

  1. The Savannah hypotheses: origin, reception and impact on paleoanthropology.

    PubMed

    Bender, Renato; Tobias, Phillip V; Bender, Nicole

    2012-01-01

    The reconstruction of the human past is a complex task characterized by a high level of interdisciplinarity. How do scientists from different fields reach consensus on crucial aspects of paleoanthropological research? The present paper explores this question through an historical analysis of the origin, development, and reception of the savannah hypotheses (SHs). We show that this model neglected to investigate crucial biological aspects which appeared to be irrelevant in scenarios depicting early hominins evolving in arid or semi-arid open plains. For instance, the exploitation of aquatic food resources and other aspects of hominin interaction with water were largely ignored in classical paleoanthropology. These topics became central to alternative ideas on human evolution known as aquatic hypotheses. Since the aquatic model is commonly regarded as highly controversial, its rejection led to a stigmatization of the whole spectrum of topics around water use in non-human hominoids and hominins. We argue that this bias represents a serious hindrance to a comprehensive reconstruction of the human past. Progress in this field depends on clear differentiation between hypotheses proposed to contextualize early hominin evolution in specific environmental settings and research topics which demand the investigation of all relevant facets of early hominins' interaction with complex landscapes.

  2. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  3. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors.

    PubMed

    Cau, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  4. Phylogenetic lineages in Entomophthoromycota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomophthoromycota Humber is one of five major phylogenetic lineages among the former phylum Zygomycota. These early terrestrial fungi share evolutionarily ancestral characters such as coenocytic mycelium and gametangiogamy as a sexual process resulting in zygospore formation. Previous molecular st...

  5. Multilocus phylogenetic and geospatial analyses illuminate diversification patterns and the biogeographic history of Malagasy endemic plated lizards (Gerrhosauridae: Zonosaurinae).

    PubMed

    Blair, C; Noonan, B P; Brown, J L; Raselimanana, A P; Vences, M; Yoder, A D

    2015-02-01

    Although numerous studies have attempted to find single unifying mechanisms for generating Madagascar's unique flora and fauna, little consensus has been reached regarding the relative importance of climatic, geologic and ecological processes as catalysts of diversification of the region's unique biota. Rather, recent work has shown that both biological and physical drivers of diversification are best analysed in a case-by-case setting with attention focused on the ecological and life-history requirements of the specific phylogenetic lineage under investigation. Here, we utilize a comprehensive analytical approach to examine evolutionary drivers and elucidate the biogeographic history of Malagasy plated lizards (Zonosaurinae). Data from three genes are combined with fossil information to construct time-calibrated species trees for zonosaurines and their African relatives, which are used to test alternative diversification hypotheses. Methods are utilized for explicitly incorporating phylogenetic uncertainty into downstream analyses. Species distribution models are created for 14 of 19 currently recognized species, which are then used to estimate spatial patterns of species richness and endemicity. Spatially explicit analyses are employed to correlate patterns of diversity with both topographic heterogeneity and climatic stability through geologic time. We then use inferred geographic ranges to estimate the biogeographic history of zonosaurines within each of Madagascar's major biomes. Results suggest constant Neogene and Quaternary speciation with divergence from the African most recent common ancestor ~30 million years ago when oceanic currents and African rivers facilitated dispersal. Spatial patterns of diversity appear concentrated along coastal regions of northern and southern Madagascar. We find no relationship between either topographic heterogeneity or climatic stability and patterns of diversity. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest that western dry

  6. Are evolutionary hypotheses for motion sickness "just-so" stories?

    PubMed

    Oman, Charles M

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrates have evolved rapidly conditionable nausea and vomiting reflexes mediated by gut and brainstem receptors, clearly as a defense against neurotoxin ingestion. In 1977 Treisman proposed that sensory orientation linkages to emetic centers evolved for the same reason, and that motion sickness was an accidental byproduct. It was an "adaptationist" explanation for motion sickness, since it assumed that evolution has shaped all phenotypic traits for survival advantage. Treisman's "poison" theory is plausible, and frequently cited as the accepted scientific explanation for motion sickness. However, alternative explanations have been proposed. The creation of hypotheses is an essential part of science - provided they are testable. This paper reviews the evidence for the Poison theory and several other adaptationist explanations. These hypotheses are certainly not "just-so stories", but supporting evidence is equivocal, and contradictory evidence exists Parsimony suggests an alternative "pluralistic" view: The vertebrate reticular formation maintains oxygenated blood flow to the brain, discriminates unexpected sensory stimuli- including postural disturbances, and detects and expels ingested neurotoxins. The three systems share neuroarchitectural elements but normally function independently. Brainstem sensory conflict neurons normally discriminate brief postural disturbances, but can be abnormally stimulated during prolonged passive transport (e.g. by boat, beginning about 150-200 generations ago). Sensory conflict signals cross couple into the neurotoxin expulsion and avoidance system, producing an arguably maladaptive emetic phenotype.

  7. Resolution of the phylogenetic position of the Congo peafowl, Afropavo congensis: a biogeographic and evolutionary enigma.

    PubMed

    Kimball, R T; Braun, E L; Ligon, J D

    1997-10-22

    Afropavo congensis, the Congo peafowl, has long fascinated ornithologists because of its uncertain phylogenetic position and unusual geographic distribution. While some researchers have placed Afropavo as a sister taxon to the true peafowl, Pavo species, others have suggested relationships with the guineafowl or an Old World partridge, Francolinus. These divergent opinions are due, at least in part, to (i) the unique morphological characteristics, lack of elaborate ornamentation, and monogamous mating system in Afropavo which differentiates it from Pavo; and (ii) the restricted distribution of Afropavo in Zaire, which is far removed from the Asian distribution of all other pheasant species. We obtained complete cytochrome b and partial D-loop sequences of Afropavo and compared them to Pavo, guineafowl, Francolinus and other galliform taxa. Our results strongly support a close relationship between Afropavo and Pavo, and we were able to reject alternative phylogenetic hypotheses. Molecular clock estimates of the divergence time place the separation of Afropavo and Pavo in the late Miocene. We also discuss other relatives of Afropavo and Pavo and use this information to propose hypotheses regarding the evolution of ornamentation and sexual dimorphism within this group of pheasants.

  8. Resolution of the phylogenetic position of the Congo peafowl, Afropavo congensis: a biogeographic and evolutionary enigma.

    PubMed Central

    Kimball, R T; Braun, E L; Ligon, J D

    1997-01-01

    Afropavo congensis, the Congo peafowl, has long fascinated ornithologists because of its uncertain phylogenetic position and unusual geographic distribution. While some researchers have placed Afropavo as a sister taxon to the true peafowl, Pavo species, others have suggested relationships with the guineafowl or an Old World partridge, Francolinus. These divergent opinions are due, at least in part, to (i) the unique morphological characteristics, lack of elaborate ornamentation, and monogamous mating system in Afropavo which differentiates it from Pavo; and (ii) the restricted distribution of Afropavo in Zaire, which is far removed from the Asian distribution of all other pheasant species. We obtained complete cytochrome b and partial D-loop sequences of Afropavo and compared them to Pavo, guineafowl, Francolinus and other galliform taxa. Our results strongly support a close relationship between Afropavo and Pavo, and we were able to reject alternative phylogenetic hypotheses. Molecular clock estimates of the divergence time place the separation of Afropavo and Pavo in the late Miocene. We also discuss other relatives of Afropavo and Pavo and use this information to propose hypotheses regarding the evolution of ornamentation and sexual dimorphism within this group of pheasants. PMID:9364791

  9. Poisson's ratio over two centuries: challenging hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Greaves, G. Neville

    2013-01-01

    This article explores Poisson's ratio, starting with the controversy concerning its magnitude and uniqueness in the context of the molecular and continuum hypotheses competing in the development of elasticity theory in the nineteenth century, moving on to its place in the development of materials science and engineering in the twentieth century, and concluding with its recent re-emergence as a universal metric for the mechanical performance of materials on any length scale. During these episodes France lost its scientific pre-eminence as paradigms switched from mathematical to observational, and accurate experiments became the prerequisite for scientific advance. The emergence of the engineering of metals followed, and subsequently the invention of composites—both somewhat separated from the discovery of quantum mechanics and crystallography, and illustrating the bifurcation of technology and science. Nowadays disciplines are reconnecting in the face of new scientific demands. During the past two centuries, though, the shape versus volume concept embedded in Poisson's ratio has remained invariant, but its application has exploded from its origins in describing the elastic response of solids and liquids, into areas such as materials with negative Poisson's ratio, brittleness, glass formation, and a re-evaluation of traditional materials. Moreover, the two contentious hypotheses have been reconciled in their complementarity within the hierarchical structure of materials and through computational modelling. PMID:24687094

  10. Going to the 'Dogs' to Test Hypotheses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1982-01-01

    Describes an alternative method for using live animals in the classroom. A toy dog, the "Trail Tracker Hound Dog" (manufactured by CPG Products Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio), is used to encourage development of such skills as observation, hypothesis testing, and collection and analysis of scientific data. (Author/JN)

  11. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  12. The phylogenetic likelihood library.

    PubMed

    Flouri, T; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F; Darriba, D; Aberer, A J; Nguyen, L-T; Minh, B Q; Von Haeseler, A; Stamatakis, A

    2015-03-01

    We introduce the Phylogenetic Likelihood Library (PLL), a highly optimized application programming interface for developing likelihood-based phylogenetic inference and postanalysis software. The PLL implements appropriate data structures and functions that allow users to quickly implement common, error-prone, and labor-intensive tasks, such as likelihood calculations, model parameter as well as branch length optimization, and tree space exploration. The highly optimized and parallelized implementation of the phylogenetic likelihood function and a thorough documentation provide a framework for rapid development of scalable parallel phylogenetic software. By example of two likelihood-based phylogenetic codes we show that the PLL improves the sequential performance of current software by a factor of 2-10 while requiring only 1 month of programming time for integration. We show that, when numerical scaling for preventing floating point underflow is enabled, the double precision likelihood calculations in the PLL are up to 1.9 times faster than those in BEAGLE. On an empirical DNA dataset with 2000 taxa the AVX version of PLL is 4 times faster than BEAGLE (scaling enabled and required). The PLL is available at http://www.libpll.org under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  13. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    SciTech Connect

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.

  14. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    DOE PAGES

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the truemore » transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.« less

  15. Etiopathogenesis of catatonia: generalizations and working hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Dhossche, Dirk M; Stoppelbein, Laura; Rout, Ujjwal K

    2010-12-01

    Catatonia has been rediscovered over the last 2 decades as a unique syndrome that consists of specific motor signs with a characteristic and uniform response to benzodiazepines and electroconvulsive therapy. Further inquiry into its developmental, environmental, psychological, and biological underpinnings is warranted. In this review, medical catatonia models of motor circuitry dysfunction, abnormal neurotransmitters, epilepsy, genetic risk factors, endocrine dysfunction, and immune abnormalities are discussed. Developmental, environmental, and psychological risk factors for catatonia are currently unknown. The following hypotheses need to be tested: neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a drug-induced form of malignant catatonia; Prader-Willi syndrome is a clinical GABAergic genetic-endocrine model of catatonia; Kleine-Levin syndrome represents a periodic form of adolescent catatonia; and anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune type of catatonia.

  16. Payment for Environmental Services: Hypotheses and Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Alston, Lee J.; Andersson, Krister; Smith, Steven M.

    2014-01-01

    The use of payment for environmental services (PES) is not a new type of contract, but PES programs have become more in vogue because of the potential for sequestering carbon by paying to prevent deforestation and degradation of forestlands. We provide a framework utilizing transaction costs to hypothesize which services are more likely to be provided effectively. We then interpret the literature on PES programs to see the extent to which transaction costs vary as predicted across the type of service and to assess the performance of PES programs. As predicted, we find that transaction costs are the least for club goods like water and greatest for pure public goods like carbon reduction. Actual performance is difficult to measure and varies across the examples. More work and experimentation are needed to gain a better outlook on what elements support effective delivery of environmental services. PMID:25143798

  17. Recent etiologic hypotheses concerning breast cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Gammon, M.D.; John, E.M. )

    1993-01-01

    A few studies have noted moderate elevation in the risk of breast cancer among women with residential exposure to electromagnetic fields, among women without a history of much strenuous physical activity, and among women with in utero exposures that may indicate high levels of maternal estrogen. The relative risk for each of these associations has generally been less than 2, with little adjustment for possible confounding factors. Also, several studies have not been able to confirm these relations. Currently there is scant or no evidence that silicone breast implants or psychological factors increase the risk of breast cancer. Despite the limited number of studies, the inconsistent results, and the difficulty of measuring several of these exposures, the plausible biologic mechanisms for each indicate that more research on these hypotheses is warranted. 66 refs.

  18. Payment for Environmental Services: Hypotheses and Evidence.

    PubMed

    Alston, Lee J; Andersson, Krister; Smith, Steven M

    2013-06-01

    The use of payment for environmental services (PES) is not a new type of contract, but PES programs have become more in vogue because of the potential for sequestering carbon by paying to prevent deforestation and degradation of forestlands. We provide a framework utilizing transaction costs to hypothesize which services are more likely to be provided effectively. We then interpret the literature on PES programs to see the extent to which transaction costs vary as predicted across the type of service and to assess the performance of PES programs. As predicted, we find that transaction costs are the least for club goods like water and greatest for pure public goods like carbon reduction. Actual performance is difficult to measure and varies across the examples. More work and experimentation are needed to gain a better outlook on what elements support effective delivery of environmental services.

  19. Assessing hypotheses about nesting site occupancy dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bled, Florent; Royle, J. Andrew; Cam, Emmanuelle

    2011-01-01

    Hypotheses about habitat selection developed in the evolutionary ecology framework assume that individuals, under some conditions, select breeding habitat based on expected fitness in different habitat. The relationship between habitat quality and fitness may be reflected by breeding success of individuals, which may in turn be used to assess habitat quality. Habitat quality may also be assessed via local density: if high-quality sites are preferentially used, high density may reflect high-quality habitat. Here we assessed whether site occupancy dynamics vary with site surrogates for habitat quality. We modeled nest site use probability in a seabird subcolony (the Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla) over a 20-year period. We estimated site persistence (an occupied site remains occupied from time t to t + 1) and colonization through two subprocesses: first colonization (site creation at the timescale of the study) and recolonization (a site is colonized again after being deserted). Our model explicitly incorporated site-specific and neighboring breeding success and conspecific density in the neighborhood. Our results provided evidence that reproductively "successful'' sites have a higher persistence probability than "unsuccessful'' ones. Analyses of site fidelity in marked birds and of survival probability showed that high site persistence predominantly reflects site fidelity, not immediate colonization by new owners after emigration or death of previous owners. There is a negative quadratic relationship between local density and persistence probability. First colonization probability decreases with density, whereas recolonization probability is constant. This highlights the importance of distinguishing initial colonization and recolonization to understand site occupancy. All dynamics varied positively with neighboring breeding success. We found evidence of a positive interaction between site-specific and neighboring breeding success. We addressed local

  20. Telocytes and Their Extracellular Vesicles—Evidence and Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Cretoiu, Dragos; Xu, Jiahong; Xiao, Junjie; Cretoiu, Sanda M.

    2016-01-01

    Entering the new millennium, nobody believed that there was the possibility of discovering a new cellular type. Nevertheless, telocytes (TCs) were described as a novel kind of interstitial cell. Ubiquitously distributed in the extracellular matrix of any tissue, TCs are regarded as cells with telopodes involved in intercellular communication by direct homo- and heterocellular junctions or by extracellular vesicle (EVs) release. Their discovery has aroused the interest of many research groups worldwide, and many researchers regard them as potentially regenerative cells. Given the experience of our laboratory, where these cells were first described, we review the evidence supporting the fact that TCs release EVs, and discuss alternative hypotheses about their future implications. PMID:27529228

  1. Evidence for phylogenetic correlation of plant–AMF assemblages?

    PubMed Central

    Montesinos-Navarro, A.; Segarra-Moragues, J. G.; Valiente-Banuet, A.; Verdú, M.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Specificity in biotic interactions is mediated' by functional traits inducing shifts in the community species composition. Functional traits are often evolutionarily conserved, resulting in closely related species tending to interact with similar species. This tendency may initially shape the phylogenetic composition of coexisting guilds, but other intraguild ecological processes may either blur or promote the mirroring of the phylogenetic compositions between guilds. The roles of intra- and interguild interactions in shaping the phylogenetic community composition are largely unknown, beyond the mere selectivity in the interguild interactions. Plant facilitation is a phylogenetically structured species-specific process involving interactions not only between the same guild of plants, but also between plants and other guilds such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). In this study it is hypothesized that reciprocal plant–AMF interactions will leave an interdependent phylogenetic signal in the community composition of both plants and AMF. Methods A correlation was used to test for a relationship between the phylogenetic composition of plant and AMF assemblages in a patchy xeric shrubland environment shaped by plant facilitation. In addition, a null model was used to test whether this correlation can be solely explained by selectivity in plant–AMF interactions. Key Results A significant correlation was observed between the phylogenetic composition of plant and AMF assemblages. Plant phylogenetic composition in a patch was related to the predominance of plant species with high nursery quality that can influence the community assembly. AMF phylogenetic composition was related to the AMF phylogenetic diversity in each patch. Conclusions This study shows that shifts in the phylogenetic composition of plants and AMF assemblages do not occur independently. It is suggested that besides selectivity in plant–AMF interactions, inter-related succession

  2. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  3. Molecular phylogenetics before sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ragan, Mark A; Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2014-01-01

    From 1971 to 1985, Carl Woese and colleagues generated oligonucleotide catalogs of 16S/18S rRNAs from more than 400 organisms. Using these incomplete and imperfect data, Carl and his colleagues developed unprecedented insights into the structure, function, and evolution of the large RNA components of the translational apparatus. They recognized a third domain of life, revealed the phylogenetic backbone of bacteria (and its limitations), delineated taxa, and explored the tempo and mode of microbial evolution. For these discoveries to have stood the test of time, oligonucleotide catalogs must carry significant phylogenetic signal; they thus bear re-examination in view of the current interest in alignment-free phylogenetics based on k-mers. Here we consider the aims, successes, and limitations of this early phase of molecular phylogenetics. We computationally generate oligonucleotide sets (e-catalogs) from 16S/18S rRNA sequences, calculate pairwise distances between them based on D2 statistics, compute distance trees, and compare their performance against alignment-based and k-mer trees. Although the catalogs themselves were superseded by full-length sequences, this stage in the development of computational molecular biology remains instructive for us today. PMID:24572375

  4. Understanding phylogenetic incongruence: lessons from phyllostomid bats

    PubMed Central

    Dávalos, Liliana M; Cirranello, Andrea L; Geisler, Jonathan H; Simmons, Nancy B

    2012-01-01

    All characters and trait systems in an organism share a common evolutionary history that can be estimated using phylogenetic methods. However, differential rates of change and the evolutionary mechanisms driving those rates result in pervasive phylogenetic conflict. These drivers need to be uncovered because mismatches between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic models can lead to high confidence in incorrect hypotheses. Incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species. For more than a decade, evolutionary relationships among members of the New World bat family Phyllostomidae inferred from morphological and molecular data have been in conflict. Here, we develop and apply methods to minimize systematic biases, uncover the biological mechanisms underlying phylogenetic conflict, and outline data requirements for future phylogenomic and morphological data collection. We introduce new morphological data for phyllostomids and outgroups and expand previous molecular analyses to eliminate methodological sources of phylogenetic conflict such as taxonomic sampling, sparse character sampling, or use of different algorithms to estimate the phylogeny. We also evaluate the impact of biological sources of conflict: saturation in morphological changes and molecular substitutions, and other processes that result in incongruent trees, including convergent morphological and molecular evolution. Methodological sources of incongruence play some role in generating phylogenetic conflict, and are relatively easy to eliminate by matching taxa, collecting more characters, and applying the same algorithms to optimize phylogeny. The evolutionary patterns uncovered are consistent with multiple biological sources of conflict, including saturation in morphological and molecular changes, adaptive

  5. Perceptions as Hypotheses: Saccades as Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Friston, Karl; Adams, Rick A.; Perrinet, Laurent; Breakspear, Michael

    2012-01-01

    If perception corresponds to hypothesis testing (Gregory, 1980); then visual searches might be construed as experiments that generate sensory data. In this work, we explore the idea that saccadic eye movements are optimal experiments, in which data are gathered to test hypotheses or beliefs about how those data are caused. This provides a plausible model of visual search that can be motivated from the basic principles of self-organized behavior: namely, the imperative to minimize the entropy of hidden states of the world and their sensory consequences. This imperative is met if agents sample hidden states of the world efficiently. This efficient sampling of salient information can be derived in a fairly straightforward way, using approximate Bayesian inference and variational free-energy minimization. Simulations of the resulting active inference scheme reproduce sequential eye movements that are reminiscent of empirically observed saccades and provide some counterintuitive insights into the way that sensory evidence is accumulated or assimilated into beliefs about the world. PMID:22654776

  6. Vertical nystagmus: clinical facts and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Pierrot-Deseilligny, C; Milea, D

    2005-06-01

    hypoactive after pontine or caudal medullary lesions, thereby eliciting UBN, and hyperactive after floccular lesions, thereby eliciting DBN. Lastly, since gravity influences UBN and DBN and may facilitate the downward vestibular system and restrain the upward vestibular system, it is hypothesized that the excitatory SVN-VTT pathway, along with its specific floccular inhibition, has developed to counteract the gravity pull. This anatomical hyperdevelopment is apparently associated with a physiological upward velocity bias, since the gain of all upward slow eye movements is greater than that of downward slow eye movements in normal human subjects and in monkeys.

  7. About hypotheses and paradigms: exploring the Discreetness-Chance Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Kaellis, Eugene

    2006-01-01

    Hypotheses generally conform to paradigms which, over time, change, usually tardily, after they have become increasingly difficult to sustain under the impact of non-conforming evidence and alternative hypotheses, but more important, when they no longer are comfortably ensconced in the surrounding social-economic-political-cultural milieu. It is asserted that this milieu is the most important factor in shaping scientific theorizing. Some examples are cited: the rejection of the evidence that the world orbits around the sun (suspected by Pythagoras) in favor of centuries-long firm adherence to the Ptolemaic geocentric system; the early acceptance of Natural Selection in spite of its tautological essence and only conjectural supporting evidence, because it justified contemporaneous social-political ideologies as typified by, e.g., Spencer and Malthus. Economic, social, and cultural factors are cited as providing the ground, i.e., ideational substrate, for what is cited as the Discreetness-Chance Paradigm (DCP), that has increasingly dominated physics, biology, and medicine for over a century and which invokes small, discrete packets of energy/matter (quanta, genes, microorganisms, aberrant cells) functioning within an environment of statistical, not determined, causality. There is speculation on a possible paradigmatic shift from the DCP, which has fostered the proliferation, parallel with ("splitting") taxonomy, of alleged individual disease entities, their diagnoses, and, when available, their specific remedies, something particularly prominent in, e.g., psychiatry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a codified compendium of alleged mental and behavioral disorders, but evident in any textbook of diagnosis and treatment of physical ailments. This presumed paradigm shift may be reflected in Western medicine, presently increasingly empirical and atomized, towards a growing acceptance of a more generalized, subject-oriented, approach to health and disease, a non

  8. Sticky Genomes: Using NGS Evidence to Test Hybrid Speciation Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Morgan-Richards, Mary; Hills, Simon F. K.; Biggs, Patrick J.; Trewick, Steven A.

    2016-01-01

    Hypotheses of hybrid origin are common. Here we use next generation sequencing to test a hybrid hypothesis for a non-model insect with a large genome. We compared a putative hybrid triploid stick insect species (Acanthoxyla geisovii) with its putative paternal diploid taxon (Clitarchus hookeri), a relationship that provides clear predictions for the relative genetic diversity within each genome. The parental taxon is expected to have comparatively low allelic diversity that is nested within the diversity of the hybrid daughter genome. The scale of genome sequencing required was conveniently achieved by extracting mRNA and sequencing cDNA to examine expressed allelic diversity. This allowed us to test hybrid-progenitor relationships among non-model organisms with large genomes and different ploidy levels. Examination of thousands of independent loci avoids potential problems produced by the silencing of parts of one or other of the parental genomes, a phenomenon sometimes associated with the process of stabilisation of a hybrid genome. Transcript assembles were assessed for evidence of paralogs and/or alternative splice variants before proceeding. Comparison of transcript assemblies was not an appropriate measure of genetic variability, but by mapping reads back to clusters derived from each species we determined levels of allelic diversity. We found greater cDNA sequence diversity among alleles in the putative hybrid species (Acanthoxyla geisovii) than the non-hybrid. The allelic diversity within the putative paternal species (Clitachus hookeri) nested within the hybrid-daughter genome, supports the current view of a hybrid-progenitor relationship for these stick insect species. Next generation sequencing technology provides opportunities for testing evolutionary hypotheses with non-model organisms, including, as here, genomes that are large due to polyploidy. PMID:27187689

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of the South american and the Australian lungfish: testing of the phylogenetic performance of mitochondrial data sets for phylogenetic problems in tetrapod relationships.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Henner; Denk, Angelika; Zitzler, Jürgen; Joss, Jean J; Meyer, Axel

    2004-12-01

    different reconstruction methods applied and cannot significantly rule out any of the three alternative hypotheses. Nuclear protein-coding genes, which might be better phylogenetic markers for this question, support the lungfish-tetrapod sister-group relationship (Brinkmann et al. 2004).

  10. A novel approach to generating CER hypotheses based on mining clinical data.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuo; Li, Lin; Yu, Yiqin; Sun, Xingzhi; Xu, Linhao; Zhao, Wei; Teng, Xiaofei; Pan, Yue

    2013-01-01

    Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is a scientific method of investigating the effectiveness of alternative intervention methods. In a CER study, clinical researchers typically start with a CER hypothesis, and aim to evaluate it by applying a series of medical statistical methods. Traditionally, the CER hypotheses are defined manually by clinical researchers. This makes the task of hypothesis generation very time-consuming and the quality of hypothesis heavily dependent on the researchers' skills. Recently, with more electronic medical data being collected, it is highly promising to apply the computerized method for discovering CER hypotheses from clinical data sets. In this poster, we proposes a novel approach to automatically generating CER hypotheses based on mining clinical data, and presents a case study showing that the approach can facilitate clinical researchers to identify potentially valuable hypotheses and eventually define high quality CER studies.

  11. Phylogenetic Comparative Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husemann, Peter; Stoye, Jens

    Recent high throughput sequencing technologies are capable of generating a huge amount of data for bacterial genome sequencing projects. Although current sequence assemblers successfully merge the overlapping reads, often several contigs remain which cannot be assembled any further. It is still costly and time consuming to close all the gaps in order to acquire the whole genomic sequence. Here we propose an algorithm that takes several related genomes and their phylogenetic relationships into account to create a contig adjacency graph. From this a layout graph can be computed which indicates putative adjacencies of the contigs in order to aid biologists in finishing the complete genomic sequence.

  12. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  13. Consensus Protein Design Without Phylogenetic Bias

    PubMed Central

    Jäckel, Christian; Bloom, Jesse D; Kast, Peter; Arnold, Frances H; Hilvert, Donald

    2010-01-01

    Consensus design is an appealing strategy for the stabilization of proteins. It exploits amino acid conservation in sets of homologous proteins to identify likely beneficial mutations. Nevertheless, its success depends on the phylogenetic diversity of the sequence set available. Here we show that randomization of a single protein represents a reliable alternative source of sequence diversity essentially free of phylogenetic bias. A small number of functional protein sequences selected from binary-patterned libraries suffices as input for consensus design of active enzymes that are easier to produce and substantially more stable than individual members of the starting data set. Although catalytic activity correlates less consistently with sequence conservation in these extensively randomized proteins, less extreme mutagenesis strategies might be adopted in practice to augment stability while maintaining function. PMID:20433850

  14. Entanglement, Invariants, and Phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, J. G.

    2007-10-01

    This thesis develops and expands upon known techniques of mathematical physics relevant to the analysis of the popular Markov model of phylogenetic trees required in biology to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of taxonomic units from biomolecular sequence data. The techniques of mathematical physics are plethora and have been developed for some time. The Markov model of phylogenetics and its analysis is a relatively new technique where most progress to date has been achieved by using discrete mathematics. This thesis takes a group theoretical approach to the problem by beginning with a remarkable mathematical parallel to the process of scattering in particle physics. This is shown to equate to branching events in the evolutionary history of molecular units. The major technical result of this thesis is the derivation of existence proofs and computational techniques for calculating polynomial group invariant functions on a multi-linear space where the group action is that relevant to a Markovian time evolution. The practical results of this thesis are an extended analysis of the use of invariant functions in distance based methods and the presentation of a new reconstruction technique for quartet trees which is consistent with the most general Markov model of sequence evolution.

  15. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom L

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  16. Evolutionary relationships of the Critically Endangered frog Ericabatrachus baleensis Largen, 1991 with notes on incorporating previously unsampled taxa into large-scale phylogenetic analyses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The phylogenetic relationships of many taxa remain poorly known because of a lack of appropriate data and/or analyses. Despite substantial recent advances, amphibian phylogeny remains poorly resolved in many instances. The phylogenetic relationships of the Ethiopian endemic monotypic genus Ericabatrachus has been addressed thus far only with phenotypic data and remains contentious. Results We obtained fresh samples of the now rare and Critically Endangered Ericabatrachus baleensis and generated DNA sequences for two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes. Analyses of these new data using de novo and constrained-tree phylogenetic reconstructions strongly support a close relationship between Ericabatrachus and Petropedetes, and allow us to reject previously proposed alternative hypotheses of a close relationship with cacosternines or Phrynobatrachus. Conclusions We discuss the implications of our results for the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of E. baleensis, and suggest a two-tiered approach to the inclusion and analyses of new data in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of previously unsampled taxa. Such approaches will be important in the future given the increasing availability of relevant mega-alignments and potential framework phylogenies. PMID:24612655

  17. Elucidating the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida and first mitochondrial genomes of Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha and Polycladida (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Golombek, Anja; Tobergte, Sarah; Struck, Torsten H

    2015-05-01

    Gnathostomulida is a taxon of small marine worms, which exclusively inhabit the interstitium. The evolution of Gnathostomulida has been discussed for decades. Originally regarded as primitive animals with affinities to flatworms, the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida has been debated. Given the lack of an anus a close relationship to Platyhelminthes has been maintained (i.e., Plathelminthomorpha hypothesis). Alternative hypotheses proposed Gnathostomulida as being close to Gastrotricha due to the presence of a monociliary epidermis (i.e., Monokonta/Neotrichozoa hypothesis) or to Syndermata based on the complicated jaw apparatus (i.e., Gnathifera hypothesis). Molecular analyses using only few genes were inconclusive. Recent phylogenomic studies brought some progress by placing Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata, but support for this relationship was low and depended on the analytical strategy. Herein we present the first data of complete or nearly complete mitochondrial genomes for two gnathostomulids (Gnathostomula paradoxa &G. armata), one gastrotrich (Lepidodermella squamata) and one polyclad flatworm (Stylochoplana maculata) to address the uncertain phylogenetic affinity of Gnathostomulida. Our analyses found Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata (Gnathifera hypothesis). Thorough sensitivity analyses addressing taxon instability, branch length heterogeneity (also known as long branch attraction) and base composition heterogeneity showed that the position of Gnathostomulida is consistent across the different analyses and, hence, independent of potential misleading biases. Moreover, by ameliorating these different biases nodal support values could be increased to maximum values. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that the different jaw apparatuses of Syndermata and Gnathostomulida are indeed homologous structures as proposed by the Gnathifera hypothesis.

  18. Alpha synchronization and anxiety: implications for inhibition vs. alertness hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Knyazev, Gennady G; Savostyanov, Alexander N; Levin, Evgenij A

    2006-02-01

    Although there is much evidence that alpha oscillations are linked with processes of perception, attention and semantic memory, their functional significance remains uncertain. Synchronization in the alpha frequency range is taken to be a marker of cognitive inactivity, active inhibition of sensory information, or a means of inhibition of non-task relevant cortical areas. Here we propose an alternative interpretation which posits that higher alpha power during reference interval signifies higher readiness of alpha system to information processing. Predictions derived from the inhibition and alertness hypotheses were tested during presentation of acoustic stimuli (tone 1000 Hz) and neutral words to 30 males (18-25 years) with different levels of trait anxiety. On the whole, predictions derived from the inhibition theory were not confirmed and findings more corresponded to the alertness hypothesis. High-anxiety subjects showed higher alpha power during reference interval simultaneously with higher magnitude of event-related desynchronization and higher amplitude of phase-locked alpha responses. These findings are discussed in terms of functional significance of alpha band synchronization and desynchronization.

  19. Phylogenetic Diversification of the Globin Gene Superfamily in Chordates

    PubMed Central

    Storz, Jay F.; Opazo, Juan C.; Hoffmann, Federico G.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Phylogenetic reconstructions provide a means of inferring the branching relationships among members of multigene families that have diversified via successive rounds of gene duplication and divergence. Such reconstructions can illuminate the pathways by which particular expression patterns and protein functions evolved. For example, phylogenetic analyses can reveal cases in which similar expression patterns or functional properties evolved independently in different lineages, either through convergence, parallelism, or evolutionary reversals. The purpose of this paper is to provide a robust phylogenetic framework for interpreting experimental data and for generating hypotheses about the functional evolution of globin proteins in chordate animals. To do this we present a consensus phylogeny of the chordate globin gene superfamily. We document the relative roles of gene duplication and whole-genome duplication in fueling the functional diversification of vertebrate globins, and we unravel patterns of shared ancestry among globin genes from representatives of the three chordate subphyla (Craniata, Urochordata, and Cephalochordata). Our results demonstrate the value of integrating phylogenetic analyses with genomic analyses of conserved synteny to infer the duplicative origins and evolutionary histories of globin genes. We also discuss a number of case studies that illustrate the importance of phylogenetic information when making inferences about the evolution of globin gene expression and protein function. Finally, we discuss why the globin gene superfamily presents special challenges for phylogenetic analysis, and we describe methodological approaches that can be used to meet those challenges. PMID:21557448

  20. The phylogenetic diversity of metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Kembel, Steven W; Eisen, Jonathan A; Pollard, Katherine S; Green, Jessica L

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity--patterns of phylogenetic relatedness among organisms in ecological communities--provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying community assembly. Studies that measure phylogenetic diversity in microbial communities have primarily been limited to a single marker gene approach, using the small subunit of the rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) to quantify phylogenetic relationships among microbial taxa. In this study, we present an approach for inferring phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms based on the random metagenomic sequencing of DNA fragments. To overcome challenges caused by the fragmentary nature of metagenomic data, we leveraged fully sequenced bacterial genomes as a scaffold to enable inference of phylogenetic relationships among metagenomic sequences from multiple phylogenetic marker gene families. The resulting metagenomic phylogeny can be used to quantify the phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities based on metagenomic data sets. We applied this method to understand patterns of microbial phylogenetic diversity and community assembly along an oceanic depth gradient, and compared our findings to previous studies of this gradient using SSU-rRNA gene and metagenomic analyses. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity was highest at intermediate depths beneath the ocean surface, whereas taxonomic diversity (diversity measured by binning sequences into taxonomically similar groups) showed no relationship with depth. Phylogenetic diversity estimates based on the SSU-rRNA gene and the multi-gene metagenomic phylogeny were broadly concordant, suggesting that our approach will be applicable to other metagenomic data sets for which corresponding SSU-rRNA gene sequences are unavailable. Our approach opens up the possibility of using metagenomic data to study microbial diversity in a phylogenetic context.

  1. Incompletely resolved phylogenetic trees inflate estimates of phylogenetic conservatism.

    PubMed

    Davies, T Jonathan; Kraft, Nathan J B; Salamin, Nicolas; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M

    2012-02-01

    The tendency for more closely related species to share similar traits and ecological strategies can be explained by their longer shared evolutionary histories and represents phylogenetic conservatism. How strongly species traits co-vary with phylogeny can significantly impact how we analyze cross-species data and can influence our interpretation of assembly rules in the rapidly expanding field of community phylogenetics. Phylogenetic conservatism is typically quantified by analyzing the distribution of species values on the phylogenetic tree that connects them. Many phylogenetic approaches, however, assume a completely sampled phylogeny: while we have good estimates of deeper phylogenetic relationships for many species-rich groups, such as birds and flowering plants, we often lack information on more recent interspecific relationships (i.e., within a genus). A common solution has been to represent these relationships as polytomies on trees using taxonomy as a guide. Here we show that such trees can dramatically inflate estimates of phylogenetic conservatism quantified using S. P. Blomberg et al.'s K statistic. Using simulations, we show that even randomly generated traits can appear to be phylogenetically conserved on poorly resolved trees. We provide a simple rarefaction-based solution that can reliably retrieve unbiased estimates of K, and we illustrate our method using data on first flowering times from Thoreau's woods (Concord, Massachusetts, USA).

  2. Student interpretations of phylogenetic trees in an introductory biology course.

    PubMed

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa relatedness on phylogenetic trees, to measure the prevalence of correct taxa-relatedness interpretations, and to determine how student reasoning and correctness change in response to instruction and over time. Counting synapomorphies and nodes between taxa were the most common forms of incorrect reasoning, which presents a pedagogical dilemma concerning labeled synapomorphies on phylogenetic trees. Students also independently generated an alternative form of correct reasoning using monophyletic groups, the use of which decreased in popularity over time. Approximately half of all students were able to correctly interpret taxa relatedness on phylogenetic trees, and many memorized correct reasoning without understanding its application. Broad initial instruction that allowed students to generate inferences on their own contributed very little to phylogenetic tree understanding, while targeted instruction on evolutionary relationships improved understanding to some extent. Phylogenetic trees, which can directly affect student understanding of evolution, appear to offer introductory biology instructors a formidable pedagogical challenge.

  3. Phylogenetic analysis in Myrcia section Aulomyrcia and inferences on plant diversity in the Atlantic rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Staggemeier, Vanessa Graziele; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Forest, Félix; Lucas, Eve

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrcia section Aulomyrcia includes ∼120 species that are endemic to the Neotropics and disjunctly distributed in the moist Amazon and Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil. This paper presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic study of this group and this phylogeny is used as a basis to evaluate recent classification systems and to test alternative hypotheses associated with the history of this clade. Methods Fifty-three taxa were sampled out of the 120 species currently recognized, plus 40 outgroup taxa, for one nuclear marker (ribosomal internal transcribed spacer) and four plastid markers (psbA-trnH, trnL-trnF, trnQ-rpS16 and ndhF). The relationships were reconstructed based on Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses. Additionally, a likelihood approach, ‘geographic state speciation and extinction’, was used to estimate region- dependent rates of speciation, extinction and dispersal, comparing historically climatic stable areas (refugia) and unstable areas. Key Results Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inferences indicate that Myrcia and Marlierea are polyphyletic, and the internal groupings recovered are characterized by combinations of morphological characters. Phylogenetic relationships support a link between Amazonian and north-eastern species and between north-eastern and south-eastern species. Lower extinction rates within glacial refugia suggest that these areas were important in maintaining diversity in the Atlantic forest biodiversity hotspot. Conclusions This study provides a robust phylogenetic framework to address important ecological questions for Myrcia s.l. within an evolutionary context, and supports the need to unite taxonomically the two traditional genera Myrcia and Marlierea in an expanded Myrcia s.l. Furthermore, this study offers valuable insights into the diversification of plant species in the highly impacted Atlantic forest of South America; evidence is presented that the lowest extinction rates are found inside

  4. Phylogenetic relationships among families of Gadiformes (Teleostei, Paracanthopterygii) based on nuclear and mitochondrial data.

    PubMed

    Roa-Varón, Adela; Ortí, Guillermo

    2009-09-01

    Phylogenetic hypotheses among Gadiformes fishes at the suborder, family, and subfamily levels are controversial. To address this problem, we analyze nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences for the most extensive taxonomic sampling compiled to date, representing all of the recognized families and subfamilies in the order (except the monotypic family Lyconidae). Our study sampled 117 species from 46 genera, comprising around 20% of the species described for the order (more than 60% of all genera in the order) and produced 2740 bp of DNA sequence data for each species. Our analysis was successful in confirming the monophyly of Gadiformes and most of the proposed families for the order, but alternative hypotheses of sister-group relationships among families were poorly resolved. Our results are consistent with dividing Gadiformes into 12 families in three suborders, Muraenolepidoidei, Macrouroidei, and Gadoidei. Muraenolepidoidei contains the single family Muraenolepididae. The suborder Macrouroidei includes at least three families: Macrouridae, Macruronidae and Steindachneriidae. Macrouridae is deeply divided into two well-supported subfamilies: Macrourinae and Bathygadinae, suggesting that Bathygadinae may be ranked at the family level. The suborder Gadoidei includes the families: Merlucciidae, Melanonidae, Euclichthyidae, Gadidae, Ranicipitidae, and Bregmacerotidae. Additionally, Trachyrincinae could be ranked at family level including two subfamilies: Trachyrincinae and Macrouroidinae within Gadoidei. Further taxonomic sampling and sequencing efforts are needed in order to corroborate these relationships.

  5. Bridging the Rubicon: phylogenetic analysis reveals repeated colonizations of marine and fresh waters by thalassiosiroid diatoms.

    PubMed

    Alverson, Andrew J; Jansen, Robert K; Theriot, Edward C

    2007-10-01

    Salinity imposes a significant barrier to the distribution of many organisms, including diatoms. Diatoms are ancestrally marine, and the number of times they have independently colonized fresh waters and the physiological adaptations that facilitated these transitions remain outstanding questions in diatom evolution. The colonization of fresh waters by diatoms has been compared to "crossing the Rubicon," implying that successful colonization events are rare, irreversible, and lead to substantial species diversification. To test these hypotheses, we reconstructed the phylogeny of Thalassiosirales, a diatom lineage with high diversity in both marine and fresh waters. We collected approximately 5.3kb of DNA sequence data from the nuclear (SSU and partial LSU rDNA) and chloroplast genomes (psbC and rbcL) and reconstructed the phylogeny using parsimony and Bayesian methods. Alternative topology tests strongly reject all previous colonization hypotheses, including monophyly of the predominantly freshwater Stephanodiscaceae. Results showed at least three independent colonizations of fresh waters, and whereas previous accounts of freshwater-to-marine transitions have been discounted, these results provide compelling evidence for as many as three independent re-colonizations of the marine habitat, two of which led to speciation events. This study adds valuable phylogenetic context to previous debate about the nature of the salinity barrier in diatoms and provides compelling evidence that, at least for Thalassiosirales, the salinity barrier might be less formidable than previously thought.

  6. Diversity and Phylogenetic Structure of Two Complex Marine Microbial Communities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-09-01

    Marine Scienmces. University of North Carolina, marsh. Between eary June and August, Spartina roots Chapel Hill , NC. USA. grow rapidly and leak large...and Bak, 1992 ), and it is thus .SOUND hypothesized that these play an important role in the Row*.Y marsh. 1 ir Among the major phylogenetic groups of...Widdel and Bak, 1992 ). microdiversity represents populations occupying differen- This suggests that Desuffobacter, which almost exclu- tiated niche

  7. Geometric morphometric character suites as phylogenetic data: extracting phylogenetic signal from gastropod shells.

    PubMed

    Smith, Ursula E; Hendricks, Jonathan R

    2013-05-01

    . In 33-45% of the test cases (depending upon the approach used for measuring success), it was possible to place the pseudofossil taxon into the correct regions of the phylogeny using only the morphometric characters. This suggests that the incorporation of extinct Conus taxa into phylogenetic hypotheses will be possible, permitting a wide range of macroevolutionary questions to be addressed within this genus. This methodology also has potential to contribute to phylogenetic reconstructions for other major components of the fossil record that lack numerous discrete characters.

  8. Phylogenetic analysis reveals a scattered distribution of autumn colours

    PubMed Central

    Archetti, Marco

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Leaf colour in autumn is rarely considered informative for taxonomy, but there is now growing interest in the evolution of autumn colours and different hypotheses are debated. Research efforts are hindered by the lack of basic information: the phylogenetic distribution of autumn colours. It is not known when and how autumn colours evolved. Methods Data are reported on the autumn colours of 2368 tree species belonging to 400 genera of the temperate regions of the world, and an analysis is made of their phylogenetic relationships in order to reconstruct the evolutionary origin of red and yellow in autumn leaves. Key Results Red autumn colours are present in at least 290 species (70 genera), and evolved independently at least 25 times. Yellow is present independently from red in at least 378 species (97 genera) and evolved at least 28 times. Conclusions The phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that autumn colours have been acquired and lost many times during evolution. This scattered distribution could be explained by hypotheses involving some kind of coevolutionary interaction or by hypotheses that rely on the need for photoprotection. PMID:19126636

  9. Phylogenetic constraints on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Dominique; Bell, Thomas; Barbera, Claire; Combe, Marine; Pommier, Thomas; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    There is consensus that biodiversity losses will result in declining ecosystem functioning if species have different functional traits. Phylogenetic diversity has recently been suggested as a predictor of ecosystem functioning because it could approximate the functional complementarity among species. Here we describe an experiment that takes advantage of the rapid evolutionary response of bacteria to disentangle the role of phylogenetic and species diversity. We impose a strong selection regime on marine bacterial lineages and assemble the ancestral and evolved lines in microcosms of varying lineage and phylogenetic diversity. We find that the relationship between phylogenetic diversity and productivity is strong for the ancestral lineages but brakes down for the evolved lineages. Our results not only emphasize the potential of using phylogeny to evaluate ecosystem functioning, but also they warn against using phylogenetics as a proxy for functional diversity without good information on species evolutionary history.

  10. The vestigial olfactory receptor subgenome of odontocete whales: phylogenetic congruence between gene-tree reconciliation and supermatrix methods.

    PubMed

    McGowen, Michael R; Clark, Clay; Gatesy, John

    2008-08-01

    The macroevolutionary transition of whales (cetaceans) from a terrestrial quadruped to an obligate aquatic form involved major changes in sensory abilities. Compared to terrestrial mammals, the olfactory system of baleen whales is dramatically reduced, and in toothed whales is completely absent. We sampled the olfactory receptor (OR) subgenomes of eight cetacean species from four families. A multigene tree of 115 newly characterized OR sequences from these eight species and published data for Bos taurus revealed a diverse array of class II OR paralogues in Cetacea. Evolution of the OR gene superfamily in toothed whales (Odontoceti) featured a multitude of independent pseudogenization events, supporting anatomical evidence that odontocetes have lost their olfactory sense. We explored the phylogenetic utility of OR pseudogenes in Cetacea, concentrating on delphinids (oceanic dolphins), the product of a rapid evolutionary radiation that has been difficult to resolve in previous studies of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of OR pseudogenes using both gene-tree reconciliation and supermatrix methods yielded fully resolved, consistently supported relationships among members of four delphinid subfamilies. Alternative minimizations of gene duplications, gene duplications plus gene losses, deep coalescence events, and nucleotide substitutions plus indels returned highly congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. Novel DNA sequence data for six single-copy nuclear loci and three mitochondrial genes (> 5000 aligned nucleotides) provided an independent test of the OR trees. Nucleotide substitutions and indels in OR pseudogenes showed a very low degree of homoplasy in comparison to mitochondrial DNA and, on average, provided more variation than single-copy nuclear DNA. Our results suggest that phylogenetic analysis of the large OR superfamily will be effective for resolving relationships within Cetacea whether supermatrix or gene-tree reconciliation procedures are

  11. Phylogenetic molecular function annotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Jordan, Michael I.; Repo, Susanna T.; Brenner, Steven E.

    2009-07-01

    It is now easier to discover thousands of protein sequences in a new microbial genome than it is to biochemically characterize the specific activity of a single protein of unknown function. The molecular functions of protein sequences have typically been predicted using homology-based computational methods, which rely on the principle that homologous proteins share a similar function. However, some protein families include groups of proteins with different molecular functions. A phylogenetic approach for predicting molecular function (sometimes called "phylogenomics") is an effective means to predict protein molecular function. These methods incorporate functional evidence from all members of a family that have functional characterizations using the evolutionary history of the protein family to make robust predictions for the uncharacterized proteins. However, they are often difficult to apply on a genome-wide scale because of the time-consuming step of reconstructing the phylogenies of each protein to be annotated. Our automated approach for function annotation using phylogeny, the SIFTER (Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships) methodology, uses a statistical graphical model to compute the probabilities of molecular functions for unannotated proteins. Our benchmark tests showed that SIFTER provides accurate functional predictions on various protein families, outperforming other available methods.

  12. Phylogenetic molecular function annotation

    PubMed Central

    Engelhardt, Barbara E; Jordan, Michael I; Repo, Susanna T; Brenner, Steven E

    2010-01-01

    It is now easier to discover thousands of protein sequences in a new microbial genome than it is to biochemically characterize the specific activity of a single protein of unknown function. The molecular functions of protein sequences have typically been predicted using homology-based computational methods, which rely on the principle that homologous proteins share a similar function. However, some protein families include groups of proteins with different molecular functions. A phylogenetic approach for predicting molecular function (sometimes called “phylogenomics”) is an effective means to predict protein molecular function. These methods incorporate functional evidence from all members of a family that have functional characterizations using the evolutionary history of the protein family to make robust predictions for the uncharacterized proteins. However, they are often difficult to apply on a genome-wide scale because of the time-consuming step of reconstructing the phylogenies of each protein to be annotated. Our automated approach for function annotation using phylogeny, the SIFTER (Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships) methodology, uses a statistical graphical model to compute the probabilities of molecular functions for unannotated proteins. Our benchmark tests showed that SIFTER provides accurate functional predictions on various protein families, outperforming other available methods. PMID:20664722

  13. Using climate, energy, and spatial-based hypotheses to interpret macroecological patterns of North America chelonians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Agha, Mickey; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Hazzard, Sarah C.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2016-01-01

    Our study investigates how factors, such as latitude, productivity, and several environmental variables, influence contemporary patterns of the species richness in North American turtles. In particular, we test several hypotheses explaining broad-scale species richness patterns on several species richness data sets: (i) total turtles, (ii) freshwater turtles only, (iii) aquatic turtles, (iv) terrestrial turtles only, (v) Emydidae, and (vi) Kinosternidae. In addition to spatial data, we used a combination of 25 abiotic variables in spatial regression models to predict species richness patterns. Our results provide support for multiple hypotheses related to broad-scale patterns of species richness, and in particular, hypotheses related to climate, productivity, water availability, topography, and latitude. In general, species richness patterns were positively associated with temperature, precipitation, diversity of streams, coefficient of variation of elevation, and net primary productivity. We also found that North America turtles follow the general latitudinal diversity gradient pattern (i.e., increasing species richness towards equator) by exhibiting a negative association with latitude. Because of the incongruent results among our six data sets, our study highlights the importance of considering phylogenetic constraints and guilds when interpreting species richness patterns, especially for taxonomic groups that occupy a myriad of habitats.

  14. Head size, weaponry, and cervical adaptation: Testing craniocervical evolutionary hypotheses in Ceratopsia.

    PubMed

    VanBuren, Collin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Evans, David C

    2015-07-01

    The anterior cervical vertebrae form the skeletal connection between the cranial and postcranial skeletons in higher tetrapods. As a result, the morphology of the atlas-axis complex is likely to be shaped by selection pressures acting on either the head or neck. The neoceratopsian (Reptilia:Dinosauria) syncervical represents one of the most highly modified atlas-axis regions in vertebrates, being formed by the complete coalescence of the three most anterior cervical vertebrae. In ceratopsids, the syncervical has been hypothesized to be an adaptation to support a massive skull, or to act as a buttress during intraspecific head-to-head combat. Here, we test these functional/adaptive hypotheses within a phylogenetic framework and critically examine the previously proposed methods for quantifying relative head size in the fossil record for the first time. Results indicate that neither the evolution of cranial weaponry nor large head size correlates with the origin of cervical fusion in ceratopsians, and we, therefore, reject both adaptive hypotheses for the origin of the syncervical. Anterior cervical fusion has evolved independently in a number of amniote clades, and further research on extant groups with this peculiar anatomy is needed to understand the evolutionary basis for cervical fusion in Neoceratopsia.

  15. Introducing First-Year Medical Students to Early Diagnostic Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, P. J.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    A method of instruction in gynecology is described that encouraged the formulation of early diagnostic hypotheses, an important part of clinical problem-solving. Students were given a set of clinical clues to help them make broad diagnostic hypotheses. Student ability, results, and student perceptions of the course are provided. (Author/LBH)

  16. Phylogenetic metrics of community similarity.

    PubMed

    Ives, Anthony R; Helmus, Matthew R

    2010-11-01

    We derive a new metric of community similarity that takes into account the phylogenetic relatedness among species. This metric, phylogenetic community dissimilarity (PCD), can be partitioned into two components, a nonphylogenetic component that reflects shared species between communities (analogous to Sørensen' s similarity metric) and a phylogenetic component that reflects the evolutionary relationships among nonshared species. Therefore, even if a species is not shared between two communities, it will increase the similarity of the two communities if it is phylogenetically related to species in the other community. We illustrate PCD with data on fish and aquatic macrophyte communities from 59 temperate lakes. Dissimilarity between fish communities associated with environmental differences between lakes often has a phylogenetic component, whereas this is not the case for macrophyte communities. With simulations, we then compare PCD with two other metrics of phylogenetic community similarity, II(ST) and UniFrac. Of the three metrics, PCD was best at identifying environmental drivers of community dissimilarity, showing lower variability and greater statistical power. Thus, PCD is a statistically powerful metric that separates the effects of environmental drivers on compositional versus phylogenetic components of community structure.

  17. Test of Alternative Hypotheses Explaining the Comorbidity between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Conduct Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhee, Soo Hyun; Willcutt, Erik G.; Hartman, Christie A.; Pennington, Bruce F.; DeFries, John C.

    2008-01-01

    There is significant comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD). The conclusions of studies that examined the causes of comorbidity between ADHD and CD conflict, with some researchers finding support for the three independent disorders model and others finding support for the correlated risk…

  18. Testing alternative hypotheses for evolutionary diversification in an African songbird: rainforest refugia versus ecological gradients.

    PubMed

    Kirschel, Alexander N G; Slabbekoorn, Hans; Blumstein, Daniel T; Cohen, Rachel E; de Kort, Selvino R; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2011-11-01

    Geographic isolation in rainforest refugia and local adaptation to ecological gradients may both be important drivers of evolutionary diversification. However, their relative importance and the underlying mechanisms of these processes remain poorly understood because few empirical studies address both putative processes in a single system. A key question is to what extent is divergence in signals that are important in mate and species recognition driven by isolation in rainforest refugia or by divergent selection across ecological gradients? We studied the little greenbul, Andropadus virens, an African songbird, in Cameroon and Uganda, to determine whether refugial isolation or ecological gradients better explain existing song variation. We then tested whether song variation attributable to refugial or ecological divergence was biologically meaningful using reciprocal playback experiments to territorial males. We found that much of the existing song variation can be explained by both geographic isolation and ecological gradients, but that divergence across the gradient, and not geographic isolation, affects male response levels. These data suggest that ecologically divergent traits, independent of historical isolation during glacial cycles, can promote reproductive isolation. Our study provides further support for the importance of ecology in explaining patterns of evolutionary diversification in ecologically diverse regions of the planet.

  19. Does Ease to Block a Ball Affect Perceived Ball Speed? Examination of Alternative Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witt, Jessica K.; Sugovic, Mila

    2012-01-01

    According to an action-specific account of perception, the perceived speed of a ball can be a function of the ease to block the ball. Balls that are easier to stop look like they are moving slower than balls that are more difficult to stop. This was recently demonstrated with a modified version of the classic computer game Pong (Witt & Sugovic,…

  20. Phylogenetics and the Human Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Matsen, Frederick A.

    2015-01-01

    The human microbiome is the ensemble of genes in the microbes that live inside and on the surface of humans. Because microbial sequencing information is now much easier to come by than phenotypic information, there has been an explosion of sequencing and genetic analysis of microbiome samples. Much of the analytical work for these sequences involves phylogenetics, at least indirectly, but methodology has developed in a somewhat different direction than for other applications of phylogenetics. In this article, I review the field and its methods from the perspective of a phylogeneticist, as well as describing current challenges for phylogenetics coming from this type of work. PMID:25102857

  1. Phylogenetics and the human microbiome.

    PubMed

    Matsen, Frederick A

    2015-01-01

    The human microbiome is the ensemble of genes in the microbes that live inside and on the surface of humans. Because microbial sequencing information is now much easier to come by than phenotypic information, there has been an explosion of sequencing and genetic analysis of microbiome samples. Much of the analytical work for these sequences involves phylogenetics, at least indirectly, but methodology has developed in a somewhat different direction than for other applications of phylogenetics. In this article, I review the field and its methods from the perspective of a phylogeneticist, as well as describing current challenges for phylogenetics coming from this type of work.

  2. Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Ginglymodian Fishes (Actinopterygii: Neopterygii)

    PubMed Central

    López-Arbarello, Adriana

    2012-01-01

    The Ginglymodi is one of the most common, though poorly understood groups of neopterygians, which includes gars, macrosemiiforms, and “semionotiforms.” In particular, the phylogenetic relationships between the widely distributed “semionotiforms,” and between them and other ginglymodians have been enigmatic. Here, the phylogenetic relationships between eight of the 11 “semionotiform” genera, five genera of living and fossil gars and three macrosemiid genera, are analysed through cladistic analysis, based on 90 morphological characters and 37 taxa, including 7 out-group taxa. The results of the analysis show that the Ginglymodi includes two main lineages: Lepisosteiformes and †Semionotiformes. The genera †Pliodetes, †Araripelepidotes, †Lepidotes, †Scheenstia, and †Isanichthys are lepisosteiforms, and not semionotiforms, as previously thought, and these taxa extend the stratigraphic range of the lineage leading to gars back up to the Early Jurassic. A monophyletic †Lepidotes is restricted to the Early Jurassic species, whereas the strongly tritoral species previously referred to †Lepidotes are referred to †Scheenstia. Other species previously referred to †Lepidotes represent other genera or new taxa. The macrosemiids are well nested within semionotiforms, together with †Semionotidae, here restricted to †Semionotus, and a new family including †Callipurbeckia n. gen. minor (previously referred to †Lepidotes), †Macrosemimimus, †Tlayuamichin, †Paralepidotus, and †Semiolepis. Due to the numerous taxonomic changes needed according to the phylogenetic analysis, this article also includes formal taxonomic definitions and diagnoses for all generic and higher taxa, which are new or modified. The study of Mesozoic ginglymodians led to confirm Patterson’s observation that these fishes show morphological affinities with both halecomorphs and teleosts. Therefore, the compilation of large data sets including the Mesozoic

  3. Phylogenetic relationships within the lophophorate lineages (Ectoprocta, Brachiopoda and Phoronida).

    PubMed

    Hausdorf, Bernhard; Helmkampf, Martin; Nesnidal, Maximilian P; Bruchhaus, Iris

    2010-06-01

    We produced two new EST datasets of so far uncovered clades of ectoprocts to investigate the phylogenetic relationships within the lophophorate lineages, Ectoprocta, Brachiopoda and Phoronida. Maximum-likelihood analyses based on 78 ribosomal proteins of 62 metazoan taxa support the monophyly of Ectoprocta and a sister group relationship of Phylactolaemata living in freshwater and the mainly marine Gymnolaemata. Hypotheses suggesting that Ectoprocta is diphyletic with phylactolaemates forming a clade with phoronids or paraphyletic with respect to Entoprocta could be rejected by topology tests. The hypotheses that Stenolaemata are the sister group of all other ectoprocts, that Stenolaemata constitutes a monophyletic group with Cheilostomata, and that Phylactolaemata have been derived from Ctenostomata could also be excluded. However, the hypothesis that Phylactolaemata and Stenolaemata form a monophyletic group could not be rejected. Brachiopoda and Phoronida constitute a monophylum, Brachiozoa. The hypotheses that phoronids are the sister group of articulate or inarticulate brachiopods could be rejected by topology tests, thus confirming the monophyly of Brachiopoda.

  4. A survey of etiologic hypotheses among testicular cancer researchers.

    PubMed

    Stang, A; Trabert, B; Rusner, C; Poole, C; Almstrup, K; Rajpert-De Meyts, E; McGlynn, K A

    2015-01-01

    Basic research results can provide new ideas and hypotheses to be examined in epidemiological studies. We conducted a survey among testicular cancer researchers on hypotheses concerning the etiology of this malignancy. All researchers on the mailing list of Copenhagen Testis Cancer Workshops and corresponding authors of PubMed-indexed articles identified by the search term 'testicular cancer' and published within 10 years (in total 2750 recipients) were invited to respond to an e-mail-based survey. Participants of the 8th Copenhagen Testis Cancer Workshop in May 2014 were subsequently asked to rate the plausibility of the suggested etiologic hypotheses on a scale of 1 (very implausible) to 10 (very plausible). This report describes the methodology of the survey, the score distributions by individual hypotheses, hypothesis group, and the participants' major research fields, and discuss the hypotheses that scored as most plausible. We also present plans for improving the survey that may be repeated at a next international meeting of experts in testicular cancer. Overall 52 of 99 (53%) registered participants of the 8th Copenhagen Testis Cancer Workshop submitted the plausibility rating form. Fourteen of 27 hypotheses were related to exposures during pregnancy. Hypotheses with the highest mean plausibility ratings were either related to pre-natal exposures or exposures that might have an effect during pregnancy and in post-natal life. The results of the survey may be helpful for triggering more specific etiologic hypotheses that include factors related to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, inflammation, and nutrition during pregnancy. The survey results may stimulate a multidisciplinary discussion about new etiologic hypotheses of testicular cancer.

  5. Phylogenetics: bats united, microbats divided.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S

    2013-11-18

    Phylogenetic analyses on four new bat genomes provide convincing support for the placement of bats relative to other placental mammals, suggest that microbats are an unnatural group, and have important implications for understanding the evolution of echolocation.

  6. Phylogenetic lineages in Pseudocercospora

    PubMed Central

    Crous, P.W.; Braun, U.; Hunter, G.C.; Wingfield, M.J.; Verkley, G.J.M.; Shin, H.-D.; Nakashima, C.; Groenewald, J.Z.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudocercospora is a large cosmopolitan genus of plant pathogenic fungi that are commonly associated with leaf and fruit spots as well as blights on a wide range of plant hosts. They occur in arid as well as wet environments and in a wide range of climates including cool temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. Pseudocercospora is now treated as a genus in its own right, although formerly recognised as either an anamorphic state of Mycosphaerella or having mycosphaerella-like teleomorphs. The aim of this study was to sequence the partial 28S nuclear ribosomal RNA gene of a selected set of isolates to resolve phylogenetic generic limits within the Pseudocercospora complex. From these data, 14 clades are recognised, six of which cluster in Mycosphaerellaceae. Pseudocercospora s. str. represents a distinct clade, sister to Passalora eucalypti, and a clade representing the genera Scolecostigmina, Trochophora and Pallidocercospora gen. nov., taxa formerly accommodated in the Mycosphaerella heimii complex and characterised by smooth, pale brown conidia, as well as the formation of red crystals in agar media. Other clades in Mycosphaerellaceae include Sonderhenia, Microcyclosporella, and Paracercospora. Pseudocercosporella resides in a large clade along with Phloeospora, Miuraea, Cercospora and Septoria. Additional clades represent Dissoconiaceae, Teratosphaeriaceae, Cladosporiaceae, and the genera Xenostigmina, Strelitziana, Cyphellophora and Thedgonia. The genus Phaeomycocentrospora is introduced to accommodate Mycocentrospora cantuariensis, primarily distinguished from Pseudocercospora based on its hyaline hyphae, broad conidiogenous loci and hila. Host specificity was considered for 146 species of Pseudocercospora occurring on 115 host genera from 33 countries. Partial nucleotide sequence data for three gene loci, ITS, EF-1α, and ACT suggest that the majority of these species are host specific. Species identified on the basis of host, symptomatology and general

  7. Tests of compensatory vs. additive hypotheses of mortality in mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burnham, Kenneth P.; Anderson, David R.

    1984-01-01

    Band recovery data from over 410 000 adult Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) banded in North America between 1950 and 1979 were analyzed to examine the effect of exploitation on annual survival rate. Two extreme hypotheses were defined: completely compensatory, and totally additive, and an explicit mathematical model was presented to represent each hypothesis. Comparison of the values of the log-likelihood functions at their maxima allowed discrimination between the two models (hypotheses). Extensive Monte Carlo studies were made on the performance of the discriminant test and the power of the test under the two extreme hypotheses and a range of intermediate hypotheses. The results of the discriminant tests on the data agreed closely with the expected performance of the test if the true underlying process was compensatory. We rejected the hypothesis of total additivity (P=.001). Instead, it appears that hunting mortalities are largely compensated for by other forms of mortality.

  8. Phylogenetic review of tonal sound production in whales in relation to sociality

    PubMed Central

    May-Collado, Laura J; Agnarsson, Ingi; Wartzok, Douglas

    2007-01-01

    Background It is widely held that in toothed whales, high frequency tonal sounds called 'whistles' evolved in association with 'sociality' because in delphinids they are used in a social context. Recently, whistles were hypothesized to be an evolutionary innovation of social dolphins (the 'dolphin hypothesis'). However, both 'whistles' and 'sociality' are broad concepts each representing a conglomerate of characters. Many non-delphinids, whether solitary or social, produce tonal sounds that share most of the acoustic characteristics of delphinid whistles. Furthermore, hypotheses of character correlation are best tested in a phylogenetic context, which has hitherto not been done. Here we summarize data from over 300 studies on cetacean tonal sounds and social structure and phylogenetically test existing hypotheses on their co-evolution. Results Whistles are 'complex' tonal sounds of toothed whales that demark a more inclusive clade than the social dolphins. Whistles are also used by some riverine species that live in simple societies, and have been lost twice within the social delphinoids, all observations that are inconsistent with the dolphin hypothesis as stated. However, cetacean tonal sounds and sociality are intertwined: (1) increased tonal sound modulation significantly correlates with group size and social structure; (2) changes in tonal sound complexity are significantly concentrated on social branches. Also, duration and minimum frequency correlate as do group size and mean minimum frequency. Conclusion Studying the evolutionary correlation of broad concepts, rather than that of their component characters, is fraught with difficulty, while limits of available data restrict the detail in which component character correlations can be analyzed in this case. Our results support the hypothesis that sociality influences the evolution of tonal sound complexity. The level of social and whistle complexity are correlated, suggesting that complex tonal sounds play an

  9. Testing hypotheses of convergence with multivariate data: morphological and functional convergence among herbivorous lizards.

    PubMed

    Stayton, C Tristan

    2006-04-01

    Despite its importance to evolutionary theory, convergence remains an understudied phenomenon and is usually investigated using qualitative data. This paper advances a new, multidimensional view of convergence. Three patterns indicative of convergence are discussed, and techniques to discover and test convergent patterns in a quantitative framework are developed. These concepts and methods are applied to a dataset of digitized coordinates on 1554 lizard skulls and 1292 lower jaws to test hypotheses of convergence among herbivorous lizards. Encompassing seven independent acquisitions of herbivory, this lizard sample provides an ideal natural experiment for exploring ideas of convergence among different systems (here, morphological and functional). Three related questions are addressed: (1) Do herbivorous lizards show evidence of convergence in skull and lower jaw morphology? (2) What, if any, is the morphospace pattern associated with this convergence? (3) Is it possible to predict the direction of convergence using functional models? Relative warp analysis and permutation tests reveal that the skulls and lower jaws of herbivorous lizards do show evidence of convergence. Herbivore skulls deviate from their carnivorous or omnivorous sister groups toward the same area of morphospace. Without a phylogenetic perspective, this pattern would not be recognizable. Lower jaws of herbivores are not convergent in morphology but are convergent in function: herbivores deviate away from their carnivorous sister groups toward higher values of mechanical advantage. These results illustrate the desirability of quantitative methods, informed by phylogenetic information, in the study of convergence.

  10. Molecular phylogenetics of New World searobins (Triglidae; Prionotinae).

    PubMed

    Portnoy, David S; Willis, Stuart C; Hunt, Elizabeth; Swift, Dominic G; Gold, John R; Conway, Kevin W

    2017-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among members of the New World searobin genera Bellator and Prionotus (Family Triglidae, Subfamily Prionotinae) and among other searobins in the families Triglidae and Peristediidae were investigated using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Phylogenetic hypotheses derived from maximum likelihood and Bayesian methodologies supported a monophyletic Prionotinae that included four well resolved clades of uncertain relationship; three contained species in the genus Prionotus and one contained species in the genus Bellator. Bellator was always recovered within the genus Prionotus, a result supported by post hoc model testing. Two nominal species of Prionotus (P. alatus and P. paralatus) were not recovered as exclusive lineages, suggesting the two may comprise a single species. Phylogenetic hypotheses also supported a monophyletic Triglidae but only if armored searobins (Family Peristediidae) were included. A robust morphological assessment is needed to further characterize relationships and suggest classification of clades within Prionotinae; for the time being we recommend that Bellator be considered a synonym of Prionotus. Relationships between armored searobins (Family Peristediidae) and searobins (Family Triglidae) and relationships within Triglidae also warrant further study.

  11. Your place or mine? A phylogenetic comparative analysis of marital residence in Indo-European and Austronesian societies

    PubMed Central

    Fortunato, Laura; Jordan, Fiona

    2010-01-01

    Accurate reconstruction of prehistoric social organization is important if we are to put together satisfactory multidisciplinary scenarios about, for example, the dispersal of human groups. Such considerations apply in the case of Indo-European and Austronesian, two large-scale language families that are thought to represent Neolithic expansions. Ancestral kinship patterns have mostly been inferred through reconstruction of kin terminologies in ancestral proto-languages using the linguistic comparative method, and through geographical or distributional arguments based on the comparative patterns of kin terms and ethnographic kinship ‘facts’. While these approaches are detailed and valuable, the processes through which conclusions have been drawn from the data fail to provide explicit criteria for systematic testing of alternative hypotheses. Here, we use language trees derived using phylogenetic tree-building techniques on Indo-European and Austronesian vocabulary data. With these trees, ethnographic data and Bayesian phylogenetic comparative methods, we statistically reconstruct past marital residence and infer rates of cultural change between different residence forms, showing Proto-Indo-European to be virilocal and Proto-Malayo-Polynesian uxorilocal. The instability of uxorilocality and the rare loss of virilocality once gained emerge as common features of both families. PMID:21041215

  12. Alternative security

    SciTech Connect

    Weston, B.H. )

    1990-01-01

    This book contains the following chapters: The Military and Alternative Security: New Missions for Stable Conventional Security; Technology and Alternative Security: A Cherished Myth Expires; Law and Alternative Security: Toward a Just World Peace; Politics and Alternative Security: Toward a More Democratic, Therefore More Peaceful, World; Economics and Alternative Security: Toward a Peacekeeping International Economy; Psychology and Alternative Security: Needs, Perceptions, and Misperceptions; Religion and Alternative Security: A Prophetic Vision; and Toward Post-Nuclear Global Security: An Overview.

  13. apex: phylogenetics with multiple genes.

    PubMed

    Jombart, Thibaut; Archer, Frederick; Schliep, Klaus; Kamvar, Zhian; Harris, Rebecca; Paradis, Emmanuel; Goudet, Jérome; Lapp, Hilmar

    2017-01-01

    Genetic sequences of multiple genes are becoming increasingly common for a wide range of organisms including viruses, bacteria and eukaryotes. While such data may sometimes be treated as a single locus, in practice, a number of biological and statistical phenomena can lead to phylogenetic incongruence. In such cases, different loci should, at least as a preliminary step, be examined and analysed separately. The r software has become a popular platform for phylogenetics, with several packages implementing distance-based, parsimony and likelihood-based phylogenetic reconstruction, and an even greater number of packages implementing phylogenetic comparative methods. Unfortunately, basic data structures and tools for analysing multiple genes have so far been lacking, thereby limiting potential for investigating phylogenetic incongruence. In this study, we introduce the new r package apex to fill this gap. apex implements new object classes, which extend existing standards for storing DNA and amino acid sequences, and provides a number of convenient tools for handling, visualizing and analysing these data. In this study, we introduce the main features of the package and illustrate its functionalities through the analysis of a simple data set.

  14. Formulating appropriate statistical hypotheses for treatment comparison in clinical trial design and analysis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Peng; Ou, Ai-hua; Piantadosi, Steven; Tan, Ming

    2014-11-01

    We discuss the problem of properly defining treatment superiority through the specification of hypotheses in clinical trials. The need to precisely define the notion of superiority in a one-sided hypothesis test problem has been well recognized by many authors. Ideally designed null and alternative hypotheses should correspond to a partition of all possible scenarios of underlying true probability models P={P(ω):ω∈Ω} such that the alternative hypothesis Ha={P(ω):ω∈Ωa} can be inferred upon the rejection of null hypothesis Ho={P(ω):ω∈Ω(o)} However, in many cases, tests are carried out and recommendations are made without a precise definition of superiority or a specification of alternative hypothesis. Moreover, in some applications, the union of probability models specified by the chosen null and alternative hypothesis does not constitute a completed model collection P (i.e., H(o)∪H(a) is smaller than P). This not only imposes a strong non-validated assumption of the underlying true models, but also leads to different superiority claims depending on which test is used instead of scientific plausibility. Different ways to partition P fro testing treatment superiority often have different implications on sample size, power, and significance in both efficacy and comparative effectiveness trial design. Such differences are often overlooked. We provide a theoretical framework for evaluating the statistical properties of different specification of superiority in typical hypothesis testing. This can help investigators to select proper hypotheses for treatment comparison inclinical trial design.

  15. Phylogenetic relationship among horseshoe crab species: effect of substitution models on phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Xia, X

    2000-03-01

    The horseshoe crabs, known as living fossils, have maintained their morphology almost unchanged for the past 150 million years. The little morphological differentiation among horseshoe crab lineages has resulted in substantial controversy concerning the phylogenetic relationship among the extant species of horseshoe crabs, especially among the three species in the Indo-Pacific region. Previous studies suggest that the three species constitute a phylogenetically unresolvable trichotomy, the result of a cladogenetic process leading to the formation of all three Indo-Pacific species in a short geological time. Data from two mitochondrial genes (for 16S ribosomal rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I) and one nuclear gene (for coagulogen) in the four species of horseshoe crabs and outgroup species were used in a phylogenetic analysis with various substitution models. All three genes yield the same tree topology, with Tachypleus-gigas and Carcinoscorpius-rotundicauda grouped together as a monophyletic taxon. This topology is significantly better than all the alternatives when evaluated with the RELL (resampling estimated log-likelihood) method.

  16. Delinquency and Peer Acceptance in Adolescence: A Within-Person Test of Moffitt’s Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Rulison, Kelly L; Kreager, Derek A.; Osgood, D. Wayne

    2015-01-01

    We tested two hypotheses derived from Moffitt’s (1993) taxonomic theory of antisocial behavior, both of which are central to her explanation for the rise in delinquency during adolescence. Specifically, we tested whether persistently delinquent individuals become more accepted by their peers during adolescence and whether individuals who abstain from delinquent behavior become less accepted. Participants were 4,359 adolescents from 14 communities in the PROSPER study, which assessed friendship networks and delinquency from 6th (M = 11.8 years) to 9th (M = 15.3 years) grade. We operationalized peer acceptance as: number of nominations received (indegree centrality), attractiveness as a friend (adjusted indegree centrality), and network bridging potential (betweenness centrality) and tested the hypotheses using multilevel modeling. Contrary to Moffitt’s hypothesis, persistently delinquent youth did not become more accepted between early and middle adolescence, and although abstainers were less accepted in early adolescence, they became more accepted over time. Results were similar for boys and girls; when differences occurred, they provided no support for Moffitt’s hypotheses for boys and were opposite of her hypotheses for girls. Sensitivity analyses using alternative strategies and additional data to identify persistently delinquent adolescents produced similar results. We explore the implications of these results for Moffitt’s assertions that social mimicry of persistently antisocial adolescents leads to increases in delinquency and that social isolation leads to abstention. PMID:25243328

  17. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Esther; Bushnell, Brian; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Bowers, Robert M; Levy, Asaf; Gies, Esther A; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Copeland, Alex; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Hallam, Steven J; Hugenholtz, Philip; Tringe, Susannah G; Woyke, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, high-throughput short-read 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing has eclipsed clone-dependent long-read Sanger sequencing for microbial community profiling. The transition to new technologies has provided more quantitative information at the expense of taxonomic resolution with implications for inferring metabolic traits in various ecosystems. We applied single-molecule real-time sequencing for microbial community profiling, generating full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences at high throughput, which we propose to name PhyloTags. We benchmarked and validated this approach using a defined microbial community. When further applied to samples from the water column of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, we show that while community structures at the phylum level are comparable between PhyloTags and Illumina V4 16S rRNA gene sequences (iTags), variance increases with community complexity at greater water depths. PhyloTags moreover allowed less ambiguous classification. Last, a platform-independent comparison of PhyloTags and in silico generated partial 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated significant differences in community structure and phylogenetic resolution across multiple taxonomic levels, including a severe underestimation in the abundance of specific microbial genera involved in nitrogen and methane cycling across the Lake's water column. Thus, PhyloTags provide a reliable adjunct or alternative to cost-effective iTags, enabling more accurate phylogenetic resolution of microbial communities and predictions on their metabolic potential. PMID:26859772

  18. Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Crocodylian History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brochu, Christopher A.

    A review of crocodylian phylogeny reveals a more complex history than might have been anticipated from a direct reading of the fossil record without consideration of phylogenetic relationships. The three main extant crocodylian lineagesGavialoidea, Alligatoroidea, Crocodyloideaare known from fossils in the Late Cretaceous, and the group is found nearly worldwide during the Cenozoic. Some groups have distributions that are best explained by the crossing of marine barriers during the Tertiary. Early Tertiary crocodylian faunas are phylogenetically composite, and clades tend to be morphologically uniform and geographically widespread. Later in the Tertiary, Old World crocodylian faunas are more endemic. Crocodylian phylogeneticists face numerous challenges, the most important being the phylogenetic relationships and time of divergence of the two living gharials (Gavialis gangeticus and Tomistoma schlegelii), the relationships among living true crocodiles (Crocodylus), and the relationships among caimans.

  19. The Beaver’s Phylogenetic Lineage Illuminated by Retroposon Reads

    PubMed Central

    Doronina, Liliya; Matzke, Andreas; Churakov, Gennady; Stoll, Monika; Huge, Andreas; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    Solving problematic phylogenetic relationships often requires high quality genome data. However, for many organisms such data are still not available. Among rodents, the phylogenetic position of the beaver has always attracted special interest. The arrangement of the beaver’s masseter (jaw-closer) muscle once suggested a strong affinity to some sciurid rodents (e.g., squirrels), placing them in the Sciuromorpha suborder. Modern molecular data, however, suggested a closer relationship of beaver to the representatives of the mouse-related clade, but significant data from virtually homoplasy-free markers (for example retroposon insertions) for the exact position of the beaver have not been available. We derived a gross genome assembly from deposited genomic Illumina paired-end reads and extracted thousands of potential phylogenetically informative retroposon markers using the new bioinformatics coordinate extractor fastCOEX, enabling us to evaluate different hypotheses for the phylogenetic position of the beaver. Comparative results provided significant support for a clear relationship between beavers (Castoridae) and kangaroo rat-related species (Geomyoidea) (p < 0.0015, six markers, no conflicting data) within a significantly supported mouse-related clade (including Myodonta, Anomaluromorpha, and Castorimorpha) (p < 0.0015, six markers, no conflicting data). PMID:28256552

  20. Two issues in archaeological phylogenetics: taxon construction and outgroup selection.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Michael J; Lyman, R Lee; Saab, Youssef; Saab, Elias; Darwent, John; Glover, Daniel S

    2002-03-21

    Cladistics is widely used in biology and paleobiology to construct phylogenetic hypotheses, but rarely has it been applied outside those disciplines. There is, however, no reason to suppose that cladistics is not applicable to anything that evolves by cladogenesis and produces a nested hierarchy of taxa. This includes cultural phenomena such as languages and tools recovered from archaeological contexts. Two methodological issues assume primacy in attempts to extend cladistics to archaeological materials: the construction of analytical taxa and the selection of appropriate outgroups. In biology the species is the primary taxonomic unit used, irrespective of the debates that have arisen in phylogenetic theory over the nature of species. Also in biology the phylogenetic history of a group of taxa usually is well enough known that an appropriate taxon can be selected as an outgroup. No analytical unit parallel to the species exists in archaeology, and thus taxa have to be constructed specifically for phylogenetic analysis. One method of constructing taxa is paradigmatic classification, which defines classes (taxa) on the basis of co-occurring, unweighted character states. Once classes have been created, a form of occurrence seriation-an archaeological method based on the theory of cultural transmission and heritability-offers an objective basis for selecting an outgroup.

  1. [Whose borderline is it? Hypothesized etiologies of borderline personality].

    PubMed

    Gil, Tsvi E

    2008-11-01

    Borderline personality is a well known concept in psychiatric literature, however, not fully understood as to its very nature. This article presents a short review of hypothesized etiologies of the borderline personality, starting with so called traditional theories, namely, borderline personality as a consolidated personality organization, in which the patient pathologically deals with his or her inner aggression, or with an enduring developmental failure. More modern hypotheses focus on possible childhood sexual abuse as the origin of the borderline, viewing the adult personality as a chronic, unresolved, post-traumatic disorder. Additionally, a neuro-epigenetic view hypothesized that a unique congenital neurological structure interacts with consequential events in early childhood to create the borderline personality.

  2. Current hypotheses regarding the pathophysiology behind the takotsubo syndrome.

    PubMed

    Redfors, Björn; Shao, Yangzhen; Ali, Anwar; Omerovic, Elmir

    2014-12-20

    Takotsubo syndrome is an increasingly recognized acute cardiac affliction which is characterized by severe regional left ventricular dysfunction that cannot be explained by one or more occlusive culprit lesions of a coronary artery. A preceding somatic and/or emotional stressor can be identified in a majority of these patients and older women are overrepresented among the afflicted. Catecholamine levels are elevated in patients with takotsubo and exogenous catecholamine administration may cause or exacerbate the condition. Hence, catecholamines appear implicated in the pathogenesis. However, beyond catecholamine the pathogenesis of the takotsubo syndrome is unclear. Five distinct hypotheses have been postulated which attempt to explain why specific regions within the left ventricle are affected in takotsubo. In this manuscript we critically review these hypotheses in light of the available data. We discuss how the different hypotheses may be complementary to each other and to which extent they are contradicting one another.

  3. Testing species-level diversification hypotheses in Madagascar: the case of microendemic Brookesia leaf chameleons.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Ted M; Vieites, David R; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2009-12-01

    Madagascar's flora and fauna are remarkable both for their diversity and supraspecific endemism. Moreover, many taxa contain large numbers of species with limited distributions. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this high level of microendemism, including 1) riverine barrier, 2) mountain refuge, and 3) watershed contraction hypotheses, the latter 2 of which center on fragmentation due to climatic shifts associated with Pliocene/Pleistocene glaciations. The Malagasy leaf chameleon genus Brookesia is a speciose group with a high proportion of microendemic taxa, thus making it an excellent candidate to test these vicariance scenarios. We used mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data to construct a Brookesia phylogeny, and temporal concordance with Pliocene/Pleistocene speciation scenarios was tested by estimating divergence dates using a relaxed-clock Bayesian method. We strongly reject a role for Pliocene/Pleistocene climatic fluctuations in species-level diversification of Brookesia. We also used simulations to test the spatial predictions of the watershed contraction model in a phylogenetic context, independent of its temporal component, and found no statistical support for this model. The riverine barrier model is likewise a qualitatively poor fit to our data, but some relationships support a more ancient mountain refuge effect. We assessed support for the 3 hypotheses in a nonphylogenetic context by examining altitude and species richness and found a significant positive correlation between these variables. This is consistent with a mountain refuge effect but does not support the watershed contraction or riverine barrier models. Finally, we find repeated higher level east-west divergence patterns 1) between the 2 sister clades comprising the Brookesia minima group and 2) within the clade of larger leaf chameleons, which shows a basal divergence between western and eastern/northern sister clades. Our results highlight the central role of phylogeny in

  4. The life cycle of Phaeocystis (Prymnesiophycaea): evidence and hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousseau, V.; Vaulot, D.; Casotti, R.; Cariou, V.; Lenz, J.; Gunkel, J.; Baumann, M.

    1994-04-01

    The present paper reviews the literature related to the life cycle of the prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis and its controlling factors and proposes novel hypotheses based on unpublished observations in culture and in the field. We chiefly refer to P. globosa Scherffel as most of the observations concern this species. P. globosa exhibits a complex alternation between several types of free-living cells (non-motile, flagellates, microzoopores and possibly macrozoospores) and colonies for which neither forms nor pathways have been completely identified and described. The different types of Phaeocystis cells were reappraised on the basis of existing microscopic descriptions complemented by unpublished flow cytometric investigations. This analysis revealed the existence of at least three different types of free-living cells identified on the basis of a combination of size, motility and ploidy characteristics: non-motile cells, flagellates and microzoospores. Their respective function within Phaeocystis life cycle, and in particular their involvement in colony formation is not completely understood. Observational evidence shows that Phaeocystis colonies are initiated at the early stage of their bloom each by one free-living cell. The mechanisms controlling this cellular transformation are still uncertain due to the lack of information on the overwintering Phaeocystis fomms and on the cell type responsible for colony induction. The existence of haploid microzoospores released from senescent colonies gives however some support to sexuality involvement at some stages of colony formation. Once colonies are formed, at least two mechanisms were identified as responsible of the spreading of colony form: colony multiplication by colonial division or budding and induction of new colony from colonial cells released in the external medium after colony disruption. The latter mechanism was clearly identified, involving at least two successive cell differentiations in the following sequence

  5. Supporting the design of translational clinical studies through the generation and verification of conceptual knowledge-anchored hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Payne, Philip R O; Payne, Philip Richard Orrin; Borlawsky, Tara B; Borlawsky, Tara; Kwok, Alan; Greaves, Andrew W; Greaves, Andrew

    2008-11-06

    The ability to generate hypotheses based upon the contents of large-scale, heterogeneous data sets is critical to the design of translational clinical studies. In previous reports, we have described the application of a conceptual knowledge engineering technique, known as constructive induction (CI) in order to satisfy such needs. However, one of the major limitations of this method is the need to engage multiple subject matter experts to verify potential hypotheses generated using CI. In this manuscript, we describe an alternative verification technique that leverages published biomedical literature abstracts. Our report will be framed in the context of an ongoing project to generate hypotheses related to the contents of a translational research data repository maintained by the CLL Research Consortium. Such hypotheses will are intended to inform the design of prospective clinical studies that can elucidate the relationships that may exist between biomarkers and patient phenotypes.

  6. Evolutionary Phylogenetic Networks: Models and Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakhleh, Luay

    Phylogenetic networks are special graphs that generalize phylogenetic trees to allow for modeling of non-treelike evolutionary histories. The ability to sequence multiple genetic markers from a set of organisms and the conflicting evolutionary signals that these markers provide in many cases, have propelled research and interest in phylogenetic networks to the forefront in computational phylogenetics. Nonetheless, the term 'phylogenetic network' has been generically used to refer to a class of models whose core shared property is tree generalization. Several excellent surveys of the different flavors of phylogenetic networks and methods for their reconstruction have been written recently. However, unlike these surveys, this chapte focuses specifically on one type of phylogenetic networks, namely evolutionary phylogenetic networks, which explicitly model reticulate evolutionary events. Further, this chapter focuses less on surveying existing tools, and addresses in more detail issues that are central to the accurate reconstruction of phylogenetic networks.

  7. Phylogenetic position of tetraodontiform fishes within the higher teleosts: Bayesian inferences based on 44 whole mitochondrial genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Yamanoue, Yusuke; Miya, Masaki; Matsuura, Keiichi; Yagishita, Naoki; Mabuchi, Kohji; Sakai, Harumi; Katoh, Masaya; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2007-10-01

    Tetraodontiformes includes approximately 350 species assigned to nine families, sharing several reduced morphological features of higher teleosts. The order has been accepted as a monophyletic group by many authors, although several alternative hypotheses exist regarding its phylogenetic position within the higher teleosts. To date, acanthuroids, zeiforms, and lophiiforms have been proposed as sister-groups of the tetraodontiforms. The monophyly and sister-group status was investigated using whole mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequences from 44 purposefully-chosen species (26 sequences newly-determined during the study) that fully represent the major tetraodontiform lineages plus all the groups that have been hypothesized as being close relatives. Partitioned Bayesian analyses were conducted with the three datasets that comprised concatenated nucleotide sequences from 13 protein-coding genes (with and without, or with RY-coding, 3rd codon positions), plus 22 transfer RNA and two ribosomal RNA genes. The resultant trees were well resolved and largely congruent, with most internal branches being supported by high posterior probabilities. Mitogenomic data strongly supported the monophyly of tetraodontiform fishes, placing them as a sister-group of either Lophiiformes plus Caproidei or Caproidei only. The sister-group relationship between Acanthuroidei and Tetraodontiformes was statistically rejected using Bayes factors. These results were confirmed by a reanalysis of the previously published nuclear RAG1 gene sequences using the Bayesian method. Within the Tetraodontiformes, however, monophylies of the three superfamilies were not recovered and further taxonomic sampling and subsequent efforts should clarify these relationships.

  8. Phylogenetic relationships among Maloideae species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Maloideae is a highly diverse sub-family of the Rosaceae containing several agronomically important species (Malus sp. and Pyrus sp.) and their wild relatives. Previous phylogenetic work within the group has revealed extensive intergeneric hybridization and polyploidization. In order to develop...

  9. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding how landscape characteristics affect local biodiversity patterns and ecological processes is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest the following seven hypotheses, which we hope w...

  10. Modelling Analysis of Students' Processes of Generating Scientific Explanatory Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Jongwon

    2006-01-01

    It has recently been determined that generating an explanatory hypothesis to explain a discrepant event is important for students' conceptual change. The purpose of this study is to investigate how students' generate new explanatory hypotheses. To achieve this goal, questions are used to identify students prior ideas related to electromagnetic…

  11. Dimeric pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids: synthetic approaches and biosynthetic hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao; Ma, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xiaolei; De, Saptarshi; Ma, Yuyong; Chen, Chuo

    2014-08-14

    The pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids are a group of structurally unique and biologically interesting marine sponge metabolites. Among them, the cyclic dimers have caught synthetic chemists' attention particularly. Numerous synthetic strategies have been developed and various biosynthetic hypotheses have been proposed for these fascinating natural products. We discuss herein the synthetic approaches and the biosynthetic insights obtained from these studies.

  12. Use of the Competing-Hypotheses Heuristic to Reduce "Pseudodiagnosticity."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Fredric M. And Others

    1988-01-01

    The efficacy of an educational intervention in teaching medical students to select optimal diagnostic data consistent with the competing-hypotheses heuristic and Bayes' theorem when solving clinical problems was examined. The results suggest that some problem-solving skills can be enhanced or learned independent of the acquisition of content…

  13. Toward Valid Measurement of Stephen Pepper's World Hypotheses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, John A.

    Two measures of the "world hypotheses" of Stephen Pepper were mailed to 100 sociobiologists, 87 behaviorists, 79 personality psychologists, and 45 human developmentalists. The World Hypothesis Scale (WHS) was designed to measure Pepper's four world views: (1) formism; (2) mechanism; (3) organicism; and (4) contextualism. The…

  14. Bayes Factor Approaches for Testing Interval Null Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morey, Richard D.; Rouder, Jeffrey N.

    2011-01-01

    Psychological theories are statements of constraint. The role of hypothesis testing in psychology is to test whether specific theoretical constraints hold in data. Bayesian statistics is well suited to the task of finding supporting evidence for constraint, because it allows for comparing evidence for 2 hypotheses against each another. One issue…

  15. Can Scientifically Useful Hypotheses Be Tested with Correlations?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bentler, Peter M.

    2007-01-01

    Historically, interesting psychological theories have been phrased in terms of correlation coefficients, which are standardized covariances, and various statistics derived from them. Methodological practice over the last 40 years, however, has suggested it is necessary to transform such theories into hypotheses on covariances and statistics…

  16. The response of rodents to scent marks: four broad hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, Michael H

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many terrestrial mammals must be able to distinguish between the myriad of scent marks they encounter in order for them to facilitate or deter direct interactions with their scent donors. I review studies that examine how rodents, mainly meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), respond when they encounter the scent marks of conspecifics and heterospecifics, and how context, as well as the age and condition of senders and receivers, affect their responses. The review uses four broad hypotheses to discuss the response of rodents to scent marks. The four hypotheses are as follows: 1) Scent marks convey accurate information to the receiver about the sender's state and phenotype and genotype. 2) Scent marks are individually distinct. 3) The response of receivers to scent marks is flexible and would be modulated by the cognitive abilities of receivers. 4) Receivers respond to the information contained or conveyed by the scent mark in a manner that will increase their survival and fitness. The studies cited in this review show that scent marks signal accurate information about the sender's phenotype, genotype, and condition, which receivers use to distinguish among the scent marks of different conspecifics and heterospecifics, and by doing so, receivers tailor their response accordingly to increase their survival and fitness. Thus, the four broad hypotheses may serve as guide to increase our understanding of the response of receivers to scent marks and provide a conceptual framework for future research and the development of additional hypotheses.

  17. Addressing Moderated Mediation Hypotheses: Theory, Methods, and Prescriptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Preacher, Kristopher J.; Rucker, Derek D.; Hayes, Andrew F.

    2007-01-01

    This article provides researchers with a guide to properly construe and conduct analyses of conditional indirect effects, commonly known as moderated mediation effects. We disentangle conflicting definitions of moderated mediation and describe approaches for estimating and testing a variety of hypotheses involving conditional indirect effects. We…

  18. Causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines: Hypotheses and predictions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cryan, P.M.; Barclay, R.M.R.

    2009-01-01

    Thousands of industrial-scale wind turbines are being built across the world each year to meet the growing demand for sustainable energy. Bats of certain species are dying at wind turbines in unprecedented numbers. Species of bats consistently affected by turbines tend to be those that rely on trees as roosts and most migrate long distances. Although considerable progress has been made in recent years toward better understanding the problem, the causes of bat fatalities at turbines remain unclear. In this synthesis, we review hypothesized causes of bat fatalities at turbines. Hypotheses of cause fall into 2 general categoriesproximate and ultimate. Proximate causes explain the direct means by which bats die at turbines and include collision with towers and rotating blades, and barotrauma. Ultimate causes explain why bats come close to turbines and include 3 general types: random collisions, coincidental collisions, and collisions that result from attraction of bats to turbines. The random collision hypothesis posits that interactions between bats and turbines are random events and that fatalities are representative of the bats present at a site. Coincidental hypotheses posit that certain aspects of bat distribution or behavior put them at risk of collision and include aggregation during migration and seasonal increases in flight activity associated with feeding or mating. A surprising number of attraction hypotheses suggest that bats might be attracted to turbines out of curiosity, misperception, or as potential feeding, roosting, flocking, and mating opportunities. Identifying, prioritizing, and testing hypothesized causes of bat collisions with wind turbines are vital steps toward developing practical solutions to the problem. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  19. IsoSel: Protein Isoform Selector for phylogenetic reconstructions

    PubMed Central

    Philippon, Héloïse; Souvane, Alexia; Brochier-Armanet, Céline

    2017-01-01

    The reliability of molecular phylogenies is strongly dependent on the quality of the assembled datasets. In the case of eukaryotes, the selection of only one protein isoform per genomic locus is mandatory to avoid biases linked to redundancy. Here, we present IsoSel, a tool devoted to the selection of alternative isoforms in the context of phylogenetic reconstruction. It provides a better alternative to the widely used approach consisting in the selection of the longest isoforms and it performs better than Guidance, its only available counterpart. IsoSel is publicly available at http://doua.prabi.fr/software/isosel. PMID:28323858

  20. The inheritance procedure: multiple testing of tree-structured hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Goeman, Jelle J; Finos, Livio

    2012-01-21

    Hypotheses tests in bioinformatics can often be set in a tree structure in a very natural way, e.g. when tests are performed at probe, gene, and chromosome level. Exploiting this graph structure in a multiple testing procedure may result in a gain in power or increased interpretability of the results.We present the inheritance procedure, a method of familywise error control for hypotheses structured in a tree. The method starts testing at the top of the tree, following up on those branches in which it finds significant results, and following up on leaf nodes in the neighborhood of those leaves. The method is a uniform improvement over a recently proposed method by Meinshausen. The inheritance procedure has been implemented in the globaltest package which is available on www.bioconductor.org.

  1. Lake Shorelines: Earth Analogs for Hypothesized Martian Coastal Features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Williams, S. H.; Johnston, A. K.; Head, James W.

    2004-01-01

    The possibility of oceans on Mars has generated a lot of interest in the science community, but conclusive evidence supporting or refuting the ocean hypothesis has remained somewhat elusive. Precise topographic measurements of fresh-appearing shorelines from glacial Lake Lahontan were collected recently in an effort to obtain well-constrained data for comparison with the hypothesized Martian shorelines. This report summarizes the first results of the on-going research project.

  2. Construction of a phylogenetic tree of photosynthetic prokaryotes based on average similarities of whole genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Soichirou; Mimuro, Mamoru; Tanaka, Ayumi

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees have been constructed for a wide range of organisms using gene sequence information, especially through the identification of orthologous genes that have been vertically inherited. The number of available complete genome sequences is rapidly increasing, and many tools for construction of genome trees based on whole genome sequences have been proposed. However, development of a reasonable method of using complete genome sequences for construction of phylogenetic trees has not been established. We have developed a method for construction of phylogenetic trees based on the average sequence similarities of whole genome sequences. We used this method to examine the phylogeny of 115 photosynthetic prokaryotes, i.e., cyanobacteria, Chlorobi, proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes and nonphotosynthetic organisms including Archaea. Although the bootstrap values for the branching order of phyla were low, probably due to lateral gene transfer and saturated mutation, the obtained tree was largely consistent with the previously reported phylogenetic trees, indicating that this method is a robust alternative to traditional phylogenetic methods.

  3. Phylogenetic diversity of nonmarine picocyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Callieri, Cristiana; Coci, Manuela; Corno, Gianluca; Macek, Miroslav; Modenutti, Beatriz; Balseiro, Esteban; Bertoni, Roberto

    2013-08-01

    We studied the phylogenetic diversity of nonmarine picocyanobacteria broadening the sequence data set with 43 new sequences of the 16S rRNA gene. The sequences were derived from monoclonal strains isolated from four volcanic high-altitude athalassohaline lakes in Mexico, five glacial ultraoligotrophic North Patagonian lakes and six Italian lakes of glacial, volcanic and morenic origin. The new sequences fall into a number of both novel and previously described clades within the phylogenetic tree of 16S rRNA gene. The new cluster of Lake Nahuel Huapi (North Patagonia) forms a sister clade to the subalpine cluster II and the marine Synechococcus subcluster 5.2. Our finding of the novel clade of 'halotolerants' close to the marine subcluster 5.3 (Synechococcus RCC307) constitutes an important demonstration that euryhaline and marine strains affiliate closely. The intriguing results obtained shed new light on the importance of the nonmarine halotolerants in the phylogenesis of picocyanobacteria.

  4. Exploring Phylogenetic Relationships within Myriapoda and the Effects of Matrix Composition and Occupancy on Phylogenomic Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Rosa; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-01-01

    Myriapods, including the diverse and familiar centipedes and millipedes, are one of the dominant terrestrial arthropod groups. Although molecular evidence has shown that Myriapoda is monophyletic, its internal phylogeny remains contentious and understudied, especially when compared to those of Chelicerata and Hexapoda. Until now, efforts have focused on taxon sampling (e.g., by including a handful of genes from many species) or on maximizing matrix size (e.g., by including hundreds or thousands of genes in just a few species), but a phylogeny maximizing sampling at both levels remains elusive. In this study, we analyzed 40 Illumina transcriptomes representing 3 of the 4 myriapod classes (Diplopoda, Chilopoda, and Symphyla); 25 transcriptomes were newly sequenced to maximize representation at the ordinal level in Diplopoda and at the family level in Chilopoda. Ten supermatrices were constructed to explore the effect of several potential phylogenetic biases (e.g., rate of evolution, heterotachy) at 3 levels of gene occupancy per taxon (50%, 75%, and 90%). Analyses based on maximum likelihood and Bayesian mixture models retrieved monophyly of each myriapod class, and resulted in 2 alternative phylogenetic positions for Symphyla, as sister group to Diplopoda + Chilopoda, or closer to Diplopoda, the latter hypothesis having been traditionally supported by morphology. Within centipedes, all orders were well supported, but 2 deep nodes remained in conflict in the different analyses despite dense taxon sampling at the family level. Relationships among centipede orders in all analyses conducted with the most complete matrix (90% occupancy) are at odds not only with the sparser but more gene-rich supermatrices (75% and 50% supermatrices) and with the matrices optimizing phylogenetic informativeness or most conserved genes, but also with previous hypotheses based on morphology, development, or other molecular data sets. Our results indicate that a high percentage of ribosomal

  5. Exploring Phylogenetic Relationships within Myriapoda and the Effects of Matrix Composition and Occupancy on Phylogenomic Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Rosa; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-09-01

    Myriapods, including the diverse and familiar centipedes and millipedes, are one of the dominant terrestrial arthropod groups. Although molecular evidence has shown that Myriapoda is monophyletic, its internal phylogeny remains contentious and understudied, especially when compared to those of Chelicerata and Hexapoda. Until now, efforts have focused on taxon sampling (e.g., by including a handful of genes from many species) or on maximizing matrix size (e.g., by including hundreds or thousands of genes in just a few species), but a phylogeny maximizing sampling at both levels remains elusive. In this study, we analyzed 40 Illumina transcriptomes representing 3 of the 4 myriapod classes (Diplopoda, Chilopoda, and Symphyla); 25 transcriptomes were newly sequenced to maximize representation at the ordinal level in Diplopoda and at the family level in Chilopoda. Ten supermatrices were constructed to explore the effect of several potential phylogenetic biases (e.g., rate of evolution, heterotachy) at 3 levels of gene occupancy per taxon (50%, 75%, and 90%). Analyses based on maximum likelihood and Bayesian mixture models retrieved monophyly of each myriapod class, and resulted in 2 alternative phylogenetic positions for Symphyla, as sister group to Diplopoda + Chilopoda, or closer to Diplopoda, the latter hypothesis having been traditionally supported by morphology. Within centipedes, all orders were well supported, but 2 deep nodes remained in conflict in the different analyses despite dense taxon sampling at the family level. Relationships among centipede orders in all analyses conducted with the most complete matrix (90% occupancy) are at odds not only with the sparser but more gene-rich supermatrices (75% and 50% supermatrices) and with the matrices optimizing phylogenetic informativeness or most conserved genes, but also with previous hypotheses based on morphology, development, or other molecular data sets. Our results indicate that a high percentage of ribosomal

  6. Point estimates in phylogenetic reconstructions

    PubMed Central

    Benner, Philipp; Bačák, Miroslav; Bourguignon, Pierre-Yves

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: The construction of statistics for summarizing posterior samples returned by a Bayesian phylogenetic study has so far been hindered by the poor geometric insights available into the space of phylogenetic trees, and ad hoc methods such as the derivation of a consensus tree makeup for the ill-definition of the usual concepts of posterior mean, while bootstrap methods mitigate the absence of a sound concept of variance. Yielding satisfactory results with sufficiently concentrated posterior distributions, such methods fall short of providing a faithful summary of posterior distributions if the data do not offer compelling evidence for a single topology. Results: Building upon previous work of Billera et al., summary statistics such as sample mean, median and variance are defined as the geometric median, Fréchet mean and variance, respectively. Their computation is enabled by recently published works, and embeds an algorithm for computing shortest paths in the space of trees. Studying the phylogeny of a set of plants, where several tree topologies occur in the posterior sample, the posterior mean balances correctly the contributions from the different topologies, where a consensus tree would be biased. Comparisons of the posterior mean, median and consensus trees with the ground truth using simulated data also reveals the benefits of a sound averaging method when reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Availability and implementation: We provide two independent implementations of the algorithm for computing Fréchet means, geometric medians and variances in the space of phylogenetic trees. TFBayes: https://github.com/pbenner/tfbayes, TrAP: https://github.com/bacak/TrAP. Contact: philipp.benner@mis.mpg.de PMID:25161244

  7. Vestige: Maximum likelihood phylogenetic footprinting

    PubMed Central

    Wakefield, Matthew J; Maxwell, Peter; Huttley, Gavin A

    2005-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic footprinting is the identification of functional regions of DNA by their evolutionary conservation. This is achieved by comparing orthologous regions from multiple species and identifying the DNA regions that have diverged less than neutral DNA. Vestige is a phylogenetic footprinting package built on the PyEvolve toolkit that uses probabilistic molecular evolutionary modelling to represent aspects of sequence evolution, including the conventional divergence measure employed by other footprinting approaches. In addition to measuring the divergence, Vestige allows the expansion of the definition of a phylogenetic footprint to include variation in the distribution of any molecular evolutionary processes. This is achieved by displaying the distribution of model parameters that represent partitions of molecular evolutionary substitutions. Examination of the spatial incidence of these effects across regions of the genome can identify DNA segments that differ in the nature of the evolutionary process. Results Vestige was applied to a reference dataset of the SCL locus from four species and provided clear identification of the known conserved regions in this dataset. To demonstrate the flexibility to use diverse models of molecular evolution and dissect the nature of the evolutionary process Vestige was used to footprint the Ka/Ks ratio in primate BRCA1 with a codon model of evolution. Two regions of putative adaptive evolution were identified illustrating the ability of Vestige to represent the spatial distribution of distinct molecular evolutionary processes. Conclusion Vestige provides a flexible, open platform for phylogenetic footprinting. Underpinned by the PyEvolve toolkit, Vestige provides a framework for visualising the signatures of evolutionary processes across the genome of numerous organisms simultaneously. By exploiting the maximum-likelihood statistical framework, the complex interplay between mutational processes, DNA repair and

  8. Lifelong Socio Economic Position and biomarkers of later life health: testing the contribution of competing hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Ploubidis, George B; Benova, Lenka; Grundy, Emily; Laydon, Daniel; DeStavola, Bianca

    2014-10-01

    The relative contribution of early or later life Socio Economic Position (SEP) to later life health is not fully understood and there are alternative hypotheses about the pathways through which they may influence health. We used data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing with a formal approach for the identification of mediating factors in order to investigate alternative hypotheses about life course influences on biomarkers of later life health. We found that early life SEP predicts physical health at least 65 years later. However, a more complicated pattern of associations than that implied by previous findings was also observed. Age group specific effects emerged, with current SEP dominating the effect on later life physical health and fibrinogen levels in participants under 65, while early life SEP had a more prominent role in explaining inequalities in physical health for men and women over 75. We extend previous findings on mid adulthood and early old age, to old age and the beginnings of late old age. The complexity of our findings highlights the need for further research on the mechanisms that underlie the association between SEP and later life health.

  9. Two hypotheses of dense breasts and viral infection for explaining incidence of breast cancer by age group in Korean women.

    PubMed

    Bae, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Breast cancer, the second leading type of cancer in Korean women, has shown increasing incidence over the past 10 years. However, the curves of incidence by age group cast doubt on the birth cohort effect hypothesis. To explain the curves, here I suggest two alternative hypotheses of breast density and viral infection based on pre-existing evidences. Evaluating these hypotheses would require important clues to find unknown risk factors of breast cancer and to plan more effective strategies for breast cancer control in Korean women.

  10. Alternative Fuels

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Alternative fuels include gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas, and propane; alcohols such as ethanol, methanol, and butanol; vegetable and waste-derived oils; and electricity. Overview of alternative fuels is here.

  11. Alternative Therapies

    MedlinePlus

    ... Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors © Alternative Therapies Alternative therapies, also called complementary, can support ... of motion, pain, and fatigue are often reported. Energy work includes acupuncture and acupressure, traditional Chinese medicine ...

  12. An Optimization-Based Sampling Scheme for Phylogenetic Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misra, Navodit; Blelloch, Guy; Ravi, R.; Schwartz, Russell

    Much modern work in phylogenetics depends on statistical sampling approaches to phylogeny construction to estimate probability distributions of possible trees for any given input data set. Our theoretical understanding of sampling approaches to phylogenetics remains far less developed than that for optimization approaches, however, particularly with regard to the number of sampling steps needed to produce accurate samples of tree partition functions. Despite the many advantages in principle of being able to sample trees from sophisticated probabilistic models, we have little theoretical basis for concluding that the prevailing sampling approaches do in fact yield accurate samples from those models within realistic numbers of steps. We propose a novel approach to phylogenetic sampling intended to be both efficient in practice and more amenable to theoretical analysis than the prevailing methods. The method depends on replacing the standard tree rearrangement moves with an alternative Markov model in which one solves a theoretically hard but practically tractable optimization problem on each step of sampling. The resulting method can be applied to a broad range of standard probability models, yielding practical algorithms for efficient sampling and rigorous proofs of accurate sampling for some important special cases. We demonstrate the efficiency and versatility of the method in an analysis of uncertainty in tree inference over varying input sizes. In addition to providing a new practical method for phylogenetic sampling, the technique is likely to prove applicable to many similar problems involving sampling over combinatorial objects weighted by a likelihood model.

  13. [Molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of tree shrews].

    PubMed

    Xu, Ling; Fan, Yu; Jiang, Xue-Long; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2013-04-01

    The tree shrew is currently located in the Order Scandentia and is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South China. Due to its unique characteristics, such as small body size, high brain-to-body mass ratio, short reproductive cycle and life span, and low-cost of maintenance, the tree shrew has been proposed as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. However, there is unresolved debate regarding the phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to primates and their phylogenetic position in Euarchontoglires. To help settle this debate, we summarized the available molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of the tree shrew. Most nuclear DNA data, including recent genome data, suggested that the tree shrew belongs to the Euarchonta clade harboring primates and flying lemurs (colugos). However, analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data suggested a close relationship to lagomorphs and rodents. These different clustering patterns could be explained by nuclear gene data and mtDNA data discrepancies, as well as the different phylogenetic approaches used in previous studies. Taking all available conclusions together, the robust data from whole genome of this species supports tree shrews being genetically closely related to primates.

  14. Using directed phylogenetic networks to retrace species dispersal history.

    PubMed

    Layeghifard, Mehdi; Peres-Neto, Pedro R; Makarenkov, Vladimir

    2012-07-01

    Methods designed for inferring phylogenetic trees have been widely applied to reconstruct biogeographic history. Because traditional phylogenetic methods used in biogeographic reconstruction are based on trees rather than networks, they follow the strict assumption in which dispersal among geographical units have occurred on the basis of single dispersal routes across regions and are, therefore, incapable of modelling multiple alternative dispersal scenarios. The goal of this study is to describe a new method that allows for retracing species dispersal by means of directed phylogenetic networks obtained using a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) detection method as well as to draw parallels between the processes of HGT and biogeographic reconstruction. In our case study, we reconstructed the biogeographic history of the postglacial dispersal of freshwater fishes in the Ontario province of Canada. This case study demonstrated the utility and robustness of the new method, indicating that the most important events were south-to-north dispersal patterns, as one would expect, with secondary faunal interchange among regions. Finally, we showed how our method can be used to explore additional questions regarding the commonalities in dispersal history patterns and phylogenetic similarities among species.

  15. Ant Abundance along a Productivity Gradient: Addressing Two Conflicting Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Udi; Kigel, Jaime; Lubin, Yael; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-01-01

    The number of individuals within a population or community and their body size can be associated with changes in resource supply. While these relationships may provide a key to better understand the role of abiotic vs. biotic constraints in animal communities, little is known about the way size and abundance of organisms change along resource gradients. Here, we studied this interplay in ants, addressing two hypotheses with opposite predictions regarding variation in population densities along resource gradients- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ and the ‘productivity-based thinning hypothesis’. The hypotheses were tested in two functional groups of ground-dwelling ants that are directly primary consumers feeding on seeds: specialized seed-eaters and generalist species. We examined variations in colony density and foraging activity (a size measurement of the forager caste) in six ant assemblages along a steep productivity gradient in a semi-arid region, where precipitation and plant biomass vary 6-fold over a distance of 250km. An increase in the density or foraging activity of ant colonies along productivity gradients is also likely to affect competitive interactions among colonies, and consequently clinal changes in competition intensity were also examined. Ant foraging activity increased with productivity for both functional groups. However, colony density revealed opposing patterns: it increased with productivity for the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased for the generalist species. Competition intensity, evaluated by spatial partitioning of species at food baits and distribution of colonies, was uncorrelated with productivity in the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased with increasing productivity in the generalists. Our results provide support for two contrasting hypotheses regarding the effect of resource availability on the abundance of colonial organisms- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ for specialized seed-eaters and the

  16. Conceptual change, crucial experiments and auxiliary hypotheses. A theoretical contribution.

    PubMed

    Levinas, Marcelo Leonardo; Carretero, Mario

    2010-12-01

    Theories about conceptual change have been generally related to historical and philosophical analysis of science. Yet, there is still much debate on how ideas coming from the history of science and their implications can be applied in this field. Our study intends to investigate the complex structure of conceptual change, by making use of some particularly representative features of the History and Philosophy of science, while considering the structure of so-called crucial experiments and the specific role of implicit hypotheses. Due to their historical importance and logical reasoning aspects, examining these issues may contribute to understand how conceptual change may take place.

  17. Generalized procedures for testing hypotheses about survival or recovery rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, J.R.; Williams, B.K.

    1989-01-01

    Comparisons of survival or recovery rates from different time periods or geographic regions may be difficult to accomplish using the Z-tests suggested by Brownie et al. (1985). We propose a general Chi-square statistic that addresses an unambiguous null hypothesis of homogeneity among several survival or recovery rates. With this statistic, specific hypotheses of differences in rates can be simultaneously tested using contrasts. If necessary, a posteriori multiple comparisons can also be conducted that incorporate an adjustment for Type I error.

  18. [Hypotheses for the genesis of cancer: a historical perspective].

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2014-01-01

    The explanation of cancer has always been tightly related to the state of knowledge in biology, and its transformations. The present situation is not different. New techniques, such as deep sequencing, are rapidly moving our vision of cancer in an impredictable way. Systems biology, epigenetics, and the study of stem cells are generating new hypotheses on cancer and its evolution. New roles for aleatory events in the genesis of cancer have been proposed. In the traditional opposition between holism and reductionism, organisms and molecules, an intermediary level, the cancer cell, seems to be the most appropriate to study oncogenesis.

  19. Vaccines and autism: a tale of shifting hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Jeffrey S; Offit, Paul A

    2009-02-15

    Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that vaccines might cause autism. Three specific hypotheses have been proposed: (1) the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining, which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins; (2) thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system; and (3) the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system. We will discuss the genesis of each of these theories and review the relevant epidemiological evidence.

  20. The use of extremal hypotheses as a means of predicting alluvial channel dimensions for river restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tranmer, A.; Goodwin, P.

    2013-12-01

    In designing fluvial infrastructure and restoration projects the question often arises, what are the cross sectional characteristics of width, depth, roughness, and slope necessary to ensure no net aggradation or degradation occurs within a given reach of river? Current fluvial design utilizes empirical and numerical methods to calculate the required slope and geometry of alluvial channels; however, no solution has been proposed that fully incorporates the necessary 3-dimensional mechanics of open channels due to the complicated processes and feedbacks that occur during mobile bed conditions. This is further compounded by numerous local geologic constraints and perturbations that must be considered, which interrupt the evolution towards a balance of deposition and erosion, or the condition of dynamic-equilibrium. However, given the moderate success of power law relations, such as regime theory and hydraulic geometry, it is evident self-organizing processes are present in watersheds that scale channel size and sinuosity to some average condition in order to maintain a balance of fluid and sediment flux from the upstream catchment. Extremal hypotheses have been developed as an alternative to solving the reach scale 3-dimensional conservation laws for fluid and sediment, to provide a first order means of predicting channel dimensions in an objective and reproducible manner. This study evaluates the performance of extremal hypotheses in identifying the trend towards dynamic-equilibrium over unique spatial gradients in 2 gravel-bed river systems. Using a location-for-time-substitution approach, extremal hypotheses were examined over a longitudinal gradient of channel evolution towards reaches found to be near equilibrium in an unconfined, transport-limited river in the undisturbed rain forest of Chilean Patagonia and a supply-limited, semi-confined canyon system in Central Idaho, USA. Field data from these two sites imply alluvial systems attempt to minimize their

  1. Comparison of tree-child phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Cardona, Gabriel; Rosselló, Francesc; Valiente, Gabriel

    2009-01-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that allow for the representation of nontreelike evolutionary events, like recombination, hybridization, or lateral gene transfer. While much progress has been made to find practical algorithms for reconstructing a phylogenetic network from a set of sequences, all attempts to endorse a class of phylogenetic networks (strictly extending the class of phylogenetic trees) with a well-founded distance measure have, to the best of our knowledge and with the only exception of the bipartition distance on regular networks, failed so far. In this paper, we present and study a new meaningful class of phylogenetic networks, called tree-child phylogenetic networks, and we provide an injective representation of these networks as multisets of vectors of natural numbers, their path multiplicity vectors. We then use this representation to define a distance on this class that extends the well-known Robinson-Foulds distance for phylogenetic trees and to give an alignment method for pairs of networks in this class. Simple polynomial algorithms for reconstructing a tree-child phylogenetic network from its path multiplicity vectors, for computing the distance between two tree-child phylogenetic networks and for aligning a pair of tree-child phylogenetic networks, are provided. They have been implemented as a Perl package and a Java applet, which can be found at http://bioinfo.uib.es/~recerca/phylonetworks/mudistance/.

  2. Seed dormancy and germination-emerging mechanisms and new hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Nonogaki, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Seed dormancy has played a significant role in adaptation and evolution of seed plants. While its biological significance is clear, molecular mechanisms underlying seed dormancy induction, maintenance and alleviation still remain elusive. Intensive efforts have been made to investigate gibberellin and abscisic acid metabolism in seeds, which greatly contributed to the current understanding of seed dormancy mechanisms. Other mechanisms, which might be independent of hormones, or specific to the seed dormancy pathway, are also emerging from genetic analysis of "seed dormancy mutants." These studies suggest that chromatin remodeling through histone ubiquitination, methylation and acetylation, which could lead to transcription elongation or gene silencing, may play a significant role in seed dormancy regulation. Small interfering RNA and/or long non-coding RNA might be a trigger of epigenetic changes at the seed dormancy or germination loci, such as DELAY OF GERMINATION1. While new mechanisms are emerging from genetic studies of seed dormancy, novel hypotheses are also generated from seed germination studies with high throughput gene expression analysis. Recent studies on tissue-specific gene expression in tomato and Arabidopsis seeds, which suggested possible "mechanosensing" in the regulatory mechanisms, advanced our understanding of embryo-endosperm interaction and have potential to re-draw the traditional hypotheses or integrate them into a comprehensive scheme. The progress in basic seed science will enable knowledge translation, another frontier of research to be expanded for food and fuel production.

  3. Current hypotheses for the evolution of sex and recombination.

    PubMed

    Hartfield, Matthew; Keightley, Peter D

    2012-06-01

    The evolution of sex is one of the most important and controversial problems in evolutionary biology. Although sex is almost universal in higher animals and plants, its inherent costs have made its maintenance difficult to explain. The most famous of these is the twofold cost of males, which can greatly reduce the fecundity of a sexual population, compared to a population of asexual females. Over the past century, multiple hypotheses, along with experimental evidence to support these, have been put forward to explain widespread costly sex. In this review, we outline some of the most prominent theories, along with the experimental and observational evidence supporting these. Historically, there have been 4 classes of theories: the ability of sex to fix multiple novel advantageous mutants (Fisher-Muller hypothesis); sex as a mechanism to stop the build-up of deleterious mutations in finite populations (Muller's ratchet); recombination creating novel genotypes that can resist infection by parasites (Red Queen hypothesis); and the ability of sex to purge bad genomes if deleterious mutations act synergistically (mutational deterministic hypothesis). Current theoretical and experimental evidence seems to favor the hypothesis that sex breaks down selection interference between new mutants, or it acts as a mechanism to shuffle genotypes in order to repel parasitic invasion. However, there is still a need to collect more data from natural populations and experimental studies, which can be used to test different hypotheses.

  4. Hypothesizing dopaminergic genetic antecedents in schizophrenia and substance seeking behavior.

    PubMed

    Blum, Kenneth; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Palomo, Tomas; Gold, Mark S

    2014-05-01

    The dopamine system has been implicated in both substance use disorder (SUD) and schizophrenia. A recent meta-analysis suggests that A1 allele of the DRD2 gene imposes genetic risk for SUD, especially alcoholism and has been implicated in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). We hypothesize that dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene Taq1 A2 allele is associated with a subtype of non-SUD schizophrenics and as such may act as a putative protective agent against the development of addiction to alcohol or other drugs of abuse. Schizophrenics with SUD may be carriers of the DRD2 Taq1 A1 allele, and/or other RDS reward polymorphisms and have hypodopaminergic reward function. One plausible mechanism for alcohol seeking in schizophrenics with SUD, based on previous research, may be a deficiency of gamma type endorphins that has been linked to schizophrenic type psychosis. We also propose that alcohol seeking behavior in schizophrenics, may serve as a physiological self-healing process linked to the increased function of the gamma endorphins, thereby reducing abnormal dopaminergic activity at the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These hypotheses warrant further investigation and cautious interpretation. We, therefore, encourage research involving neuroimaging, genome wide association studies (GWAS), and epigenetic investigation into the relationship between neurogenetics and systems biology to unravel the role of dopamine in psychiatric illness and SUD.

  5. Hypothesizing Dopaminergic Genetic Antecedents in Schizophrenia and Substance Seeking Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Blum, Kenneth; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Badgaiyan, Rajendra; Palomo, Tomas; Gold, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    The dopamine system has been implicated in both substance use disorder (SUD) and schizophrenia. A recent meta- analysis suggests that A1 allele of the DRD2 gene imposes genetic risk for SUD, especially alcoholism and has been implicated in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). We hypothesize that dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene Taq1 A2 allele is associated with a subtype of non- SUD schizophrenics and as such may act as a putative protective agent against the development of addiction to alcohol or other drugs of abuse. Schizophrenics with SUD may be carriers of the DRD2 Taq1 A1 allele, and/or other RDS reward polymorphisms and have hypodopaminergic reward function. One plausible mechanism for alcohol seeking in schizophrenics with SUD, based on previous research, may be a deficiency of gamma type endorphins that has been linked to schizophrenic type psychosis.. We also propose that alcohol seeking behavior in schizophrenics, may serve as a physiological self-healing process linked to the increased function of the gamma endorphins, thereby reducing abnormal dopaminergic activity at the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These hypotheses warrant further investigation and cautious interpretation. We, therefore, encourage research involving neuroimaging, genome wide association studies (GWAS), and epigenetic investigation into the relationship between neurogenetics and systems biology to unravel the role of dopamine in psychiatric illness and SUD. PMID:24636783

  6. Seed dormancy and germination—emerging mechanisms and new hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Nonogaki, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Seed dormancy has played a significant role in adaptation and evolution of seed plants. While its biological significance is clear, molecular mechanisms underlying seed dormancy induction, maintenance and alleviation still remain elusive. Intensive efforts have been made to investigate gibberellin and abscisic acid metabolism in seeds, which greatly contributed to the current understanding of seed dormancy mechanisms. Other mechanisms, which might be independent of hormones, or specific to the seed dormancy pathway, are also emerging from genetic analysis of “seed dormancy mutants.” These studies suggest that chromatin remodeling through histone ubiquitination, methylation and acetylation, which could lead to transcription elongation or gene silencing, may play a significant role in seed dormancy regulation. Small interfering RNA and/or long non-coding RNA might be a trigger of epigenetic changes at the seed dormancy or germination loci, such as DELAY OF GERMINATION1. While new mechanisms are emerging from genetic studies of seed dormancy, novel hypotheses are also generated from seed germination studies with high throughput gene expression analysis. Recent studies on tissue-specific gene expression in tomato and Arabidopsis seeds, which suggested possible “mechanosensing” in the regulatory mechanisms, advanced our understanding of embryo-endosperm interaction and have potential to re-draw the traditional hypotheses or integrate them into a comprehensive scheme. The progress in basic seed science will enable knowledge translation, another frontier of research to be expanded for food and fuel production. PMID:24904627

  7. Testing hypotheses that link wood anatomy to cavitation resistance and hydraulic conductivity in the genus Acer.

    PubMed

    Lens, Frederic; Sperry, John S; Christman, Mairgareth A; Choat, Brendan; Rabaey, David; Jansen, Steven

    2011-05-01

    • Vulnerability to cavitation and conductive efficiency depend on xylem anatomy. We tested a large range of structure-function hypotheses, some for the first time, within a single genus to minimize phylogenetic 'noise' and maximize detection of functionally relevant variation. • This integrative study combined in-depth anatomical observations using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy of seven Acer taxa, and compared these observations with empirical measures of xylem hydraulics. • Our results reveal a 2 MPa range in species' mean cavitation pressure (MCP). MCP was strongly correlated with intervessel pit structure (membrane thickness and porosity, chamber depth), weakly correlated with pit number per vessel, and not related to pit area per vessel. At the tissue level, there was a strong correlation between MCP and mechanical strength parameters, and some of the first evidence is provided for the functional significance of vessel grouping and thickenings on inner vessel walls. In addition, a strong trade-off was observed between xylem-specific conductivity and MCP. Vessel length and intervessel wall characteristics were implicated in this safety-efficiency trade-off. • Cavitation resistance and hydraulic conductivity in Acer appear to be controlled by a very complex interaction between tissue, vessel network and pit characteristics.

  8. Phylogenetic trees and Euclidean embeddings.

    PubMed

    Layer, Mark; Rhodes, John A

    2017-01-01

    It was recently observed by de Vienne et al. (Syst Biol 60(6):826-832, 2011) that a simple square root transformation of distances between taxa on a phylogenetic tree allowed for an embedding of the taxa into Euclidean space. While the justification for this was based on a diffusion model of continuous character evolution along the tree, here we give a direct and elementary explanation for it that provides substantial additional insight. We use this embedding to reinterpret the differences between the NJ and BIONJ tree building algorithms, providing one illustration of how this embedding reflects tree structures in data.

  9. Phylogenetic placement of the Spirosomaceae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.; Maloy, S.; Mandelco, L.; Raj, H. D.

    1990-01-01

    Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA sequences shows that the family Spirosomaceae belongs within the eubacterial phylum defined by the flavobacteria and bacteriodes. Its constituent genera, Spirosoma, Flectobacillus, and Runella form a monophyletic grouping therein. The phylogenetic assignment is based not only upon evolutionary distance analysis, but also upon sequence signatures and higher order structural synapomorphies in 16S rRNA. Another genus peripherally associated with the Spirosomaceae, Ancylobacter ("Microcyclus"), does not cluster with the flavobacteria and their relatives, but rather belongs to the alpha subdivision of the purple bacteria.

  10. Serial Learning in Rats: A Test of Three Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Capaldi, E. J.; Miller, Ronald Mellado

    2004-01-01

    Findings obtained by providing rats with a single fixed series of events, A-B-C-..., often are equally compatible with three alternative serial learning interpretations: that the signal for items is (A) their position in the series (position view), (B) the prior item of the series (chaining view), and (C) one, two, or more prior items of the…

  11. Phylogenetically and Spatially Close Marine Sponges Harbour Divergent Bacterial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Hardoim, Cristiane C. P.; Esteves, Ana I. S.; Pires, Francisco R.; Gonçalves, Jorge M. S.; Cox, Cymon J.; Xavier, Joana R.; Costa, Rodrigo

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have unravelled the diversity of sponge-associated bacteria that may play essential roles in sponge health and metabolism. Nevertheless, our understanding of this microbiota remains limited to a few host species found in restricted geographical localities, and the extent to which the sponge host determines the composition of its own microbiome remains a matter of debate. We address bacterial abundance and diversity of two temperate marine sponges belonging to the Irciniidae family - Sarcotragus spinosulus and Ircinia variabilis – in the Northeast Atlantic. Epifluorescence microscopy revealed that S. spinosulus hosted significantly more prokaryotic cells than I. variabilis and that prokaryotic abundance in both species was about 4 orders of magnitude higher than in seawater. Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) profiles of S. spinosulus and I. variabilis differed markedly from each other – with higher number of ribotypes observed in S. spinosulus – and from those of seawater. Four PCR-DGGE bands, two specific to S. spinosulus, one specific to I. variabilis, and one present in both sponge species, affiliated with an uncultured sponge-specific phylogenetic cluster in the order Acidimicrobiales (Actinobacteria). Two PCR-DGGE bands present exclusively in S. spinosulus fingerprints affiliated with one sponge-specific phylogenetic cluster in the phylum Chloroflexi and with sponge-derived sequences in the order Chromatiales (Gammaproteobacteria), respectively. One Alphaproteobacteria band specific to S. spinosulus was placed in an uncultured sponge-specific phylogenetic cluster with a close relationship to the genus Rhodovulum. Our results confirm the hypothesized host-specific composition of bacterial communities between phylogenetically and spatially close sponge species in the Irciniidae family, with S. spinosulus displaying higher bacterial community diversity and distinctiveness than I. variabilis. These

  12. An experimentally determined evolutionary model dramatically improves phylogenetic fit.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Jesse D

    2014-08-01

    All modern approaches to molecular phylogenetics require a quantitative model for how genes evolve. Unfortunately, existing evolutionary models do not realistically represent the site-heterogeneous selection that governs actual sequence change. Attempts to remedy this problem have involved augmenting these models with a burgeoning number of free parameters. Here, I demonstrate an alternative: Experimental determination of a parameter-free evolutionary model via mutagenesis, functional selection, and deep sequencing. Using this strategy, I create an evolutionary model for influenza nucleoprotein that describes the gene phylogeny far better than existing models with dozens or even hundreds of free parameters. Emerging high-throughput experimental strategies such as the one employed here provide fundamentally new information that has the potential to transform the sensitivity of phylogenetic and genetic analyses.

  13. Phylogenetic Conservatism in Plant Phenology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davies, T. Jonathan; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Salamin, Nicolas; Allen, Jenica M.; Ault, Toby R.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Bolmgren, Kjell; Cleland, Elsa E.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Crimmins, Theresa M.; Mazer, Susan J.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Pau, Stephanie; Regetz, Jim; Schwartz, Mark D.; Travers, Steven E.

    2013-01-01

    Phenological events defined points in the life cycle of a plant or animal have been regarded as highly plastic traits, reflecting flexible responses to various environmental cues. The ability of a species to track, via shifts in phenological events, the abiotic environment through time might dictate its vulnerability to future climate change. Understanding the predictors and drivers of phenological change is therefore critical. Here, we evaluated evidence for phylogenetic conservatism the tendency for closely related species to share similar ecological and biological attributes in phenological traits across flowering plants. We aggregated published and unpublished data on timing of first flower and first leaf, encompassing 4000 species at 23 sites across the Northern Hemisphere. We reconstructed the phylogeny for the set of included species, first, using the software program Phylomatic, and second, from DNA data. We then quantified phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology within and across sites. We show that more closely related species tend to flower and leaf at similar times. By contrasting mean flowering times within and across sites, however, we illustrate that it is not the time of year that is conserved, but rather the phenological responses to a common set of abiotic cues. Our findings suggest that species cannot be treated as statistically independent when modelling phenological responses.Closely related species tend to resemble each other in the timing of their life-history events, a likely product of evolutionarily conserved responses to environmental cues. The search for the underlying drivers of phenology must therefore account for species' shared evolutionary histories.

  14. Individualist and collectivist values: hypotheses suggested by Alexis de Tocqueville.

    PubMed

    Watson, P J; Morris, Ronald J

    2002-05-01

    The work of Alexis de Tocqueville, the 19th-century social theorist who coined the term individualism, supplied a conceptual foundation for hypothesizing that individualism and collectivism, as value systems, should be directly correlated. In previous research (D. K.-S. Chan, 1994), individualist and collectivist values were negatively correlated in a sample of men, and in a combined sample of men and women (P. J. Watson, J. Sherbak, & R. J. Morris, 1998) these values were positively correlated. In the present study, a positive relationship was in fact observed in both men and women. Linkages with other measures of self and social functioning uncovered a few small associations of individualist values with maladjustment. Collectivist values predicted adjustment. These data confirm that individualist and collectivist values are compatible, just as Tocqueville had suggested, and that gender differences do not explain the conflicting results previously reported in this literature.

  15. Optimum testing of multiple hypotheses in quantum detection theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yuen, H. P.; Kennedy, R. S.; Lax, M.

    1975-01-01

    The problem of specifying the optimum quantum detector in multiple hypotheses testing is considered for application to optical communications. The quantum digital detection problem is formulated as a linear programming problem on an infinite-dimensional space. A necessary and sufficient condition is derived by the application of a general duality theorem specifying the optimum detector in terms of a set of linear operator equations and inequalities. Existence of the optimum quantum detector is also established. The optimality of commuting detection operators is discussed in some examples. The structure and performance of the optimal receiver are derived for the quantum detection of narrow-band coherent orthogonal and simplex signals. It is shown that modal photon counting is asymptotically optimum in the limit of a large signaling alphabet and that the capacity goes to infinity in the absence of a bandwidth limitation.

  16. Common vs. Rare Allele Hypotheses for Complex Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Schork, Nicholas J.; Murray, Sarah S.; Frazer, Kelly A.; Topol, Eric J.

    2010-01-01

    There has been growing debate over the nature of the genetic contribution to individual susceptibility to common complex diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. The ‘Common Disease, Common Variant (CDCV)’ hypothesis argues that genetic variations with appreciable frequency in the population at large, but relatively low ‘penetrance’ (or the probability that a carrier of the relevant variants will express the disease), are the major contributors to genetic susceptibility to common diseases. The ‘Common Disease, Rare Variant (CDRV)’ hypothesis, on the other hand, argues that multiple rare DNA sequence variations, each with relatively high penetrance, are the major contributors to genetic susceptibility to common diseases. Both hypotheses have their place in current research efforts. PMID:19481926

  17. Molecular modelling of miraculin: Structural analyses and functional hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Paladino, Antonella; Costantini, Susan; Colonna, Giovanni; Facchiano, Angelo M

    2008-02-29

    Miraculin is a plant protein that displays the peculiar property of modifying taste by swiching sour into a sweet taste. Its monomer is flavourless at all pH as well as at high concentration; the dimer form elicits its taste-modifying activity at acidic pH; a tetrameric form is also reported as active. Two histidine residues, located in exposed regions, are the main responsible of miraculin activity, as demonstrated by mutagenesis studies. Since structural data of miraculin are not available, we have predicted its three-dimensional structure and simulated both its dimer and tetramer forms by comparative modelling and molecular docking techniques. Finally, molecular dynamics simulations at different pH conditions have indicated that at acidic pH the dimer assumes a widely open conformation, in agreement with the hypotheses coming from other studies.

  18. From themes to hypotheses: following up with quantitative methods.

    PubMed

    Morgan, David L

    2015-06-01

    One important category of mixed-methods research designs consists of quantitative studies that follow up on qualitative research. In this case, the themes that serve as the results from the qualitative methods generate hypotheses for testing through the quantitative methods. That process requires operationalization to translate the concepts from the qualitative themes into quantitative variables. This article illustrates these procedures with examples that range from simple operationalization to the evaluation of complex models. It concludes with an argument for not only following up qualitative work with quantitative studies but also the reverse, and doing so by going beyond integrating methods within single projects to include broader mutual attention from qualitative and quantitative researchers who work in the same field.

  19. Hypotheses to explain the origin of species in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Haffer, J

    2008-11-01

    The main hypotheses proposed to explain barrier formation separating populations and causing the differentiation of species in Amazonia during the course of geological history are based on different factors, as follow: (1) Changes in the distribution of land and sea or in the landscape due to tectonic movements or sea level fluctuations (Paleogeography hypothesis), (2) the barrier effect of Amazonian rivers (River hypothesis), (3) a combination of the barrier effect of broad rivers and vegetational changes in northern and southern Amazonia (River-refuge hypothesis), (4) the isolation of humid rainforest blocks near areas of surface relief in the periphery of Amazonia separated by dry forests, savannas and other intermediate vegetation types during dry climatic periods of the Tertiary and Quaternary (Refuge hypothesis), (5) changes in canopy-density due to climatic reversals (Canopy-density hypothesis) (6) the isolation and speciation of animal populations in small montane habitat pockets around Amazonia due to climatic fluctuations without major vegetational changes (Museum hypothesis), (7) competitive species interactions and local species isolations in peripheral regions of Amazonia due to invasion and counterinvasion during cold/warm periods of the Pleistocene (Disturbance-vicariance hypothesis) and (8) parapatric speciation across steep environmental gradients without separation of the respective populations (Gradient hypothesis). Several of these hypotheses probably are relevant to a different degree for the speciation processes in different faunal groups or during different geological periods. The basic paleogeography model refers mainly to faunal differentiation during the Tertiary and in combination with the Refuge hypothesis. Milankovitch cycles leading to global main hypotheses proposed to explain barrier formation separating populations and causing the differentiation of species in Amazonia during the course of geological history are based on different

  20. Hypotheses for Near-Surface Exchange of Methane on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu; Bloom, A. Anthony; Gao, Peter; Miller, Charles E.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2016-07-01

    The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually. In particular, the 10-fold elevation during the southern winter indicates episodic sources of methane that are yet to be discovered. Here we suggest a near-surface reservoir could explain this variability. Using the temperature and humidity measurements from the rover, we find that perchlorate salts in the regolith deliquesce to form liquid solutions, and deliquescence progresses to deeper subsurface in the season of the methane spikes. We therefore formulate the following three testable hypotheses. The first scenario is that the regolith in Gale Crater adsorbs methane when dry and releases this methane to the atmosphere upon deliquescence. The adsorption energy needs to be 36 kJ mol-1 to explain the magnitude of the methane spikes, higher than existing laboratory measurements. The second scenario is that microorganisms convert organic matter in the soil to methane when they are in liquid solutions. This scenario does not require regolith adsorption but entails extant life on Mars. The third scenario is that deep subsurface aquifers produce the bursts of methane. Continued in situ measurements of methane and water, as well as laboratory studies of adsorption and deliquescence, will test these hypotheses and inform the existence of the near-surface reservoir and its exchange with the atmosphere.

  1. Testing evolutionary hypotheses for phenotypic divergence using landscape genetics.

    PubMed

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

    Understanding the evolutionary causes of phenotypic variation among populations has long been a central theme in evolutionary biology. Several factors can influence phenotypic divergence, including geographic isolation, genetic drift, divergent natural or sexual selection, and phenotypic plasticity. But the relative importance of these factors in generating phenotypic divergence in nature is still a tantalizing and unresolved problem in evolutionary biology. The origin and maintenance of phenotypic divergence is also at the root of many ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which gene flow constrains adaptive divergence (Garant et al. 2007) and the relative importance of genetic drift, natural selection, and sexual selection in initiating reproductive isolation and speciation (Coyne & Orr 2004). In this issue, Wang & Summers (2010) test the causes of one of the most fantastic examples of phenotypic divergence in nature: colour pattern divergence among populations of the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Panama and Costa Rica (Fig. 1). This study provides a beautiful example of the use of the emerging field of landscape genetics to differentiate among hypotheses for phenotypic divergence. Using landscape genetic analyses, Wang & Summers were able to reject the hypotheses that colour pattern divergence is due to isolation-by-distance (IBD) or landscape resistance. Instead, the hypothesis left standing is that colour divergence is due to divergent selection, in turn driving reproductive isolation among populations with different colour morphs. More generally, this study provides a wonderful example of how the emerging field of landscape genetics, which has primarily been applied to questions in conservation and ecology, now plays an essential role in evolutionary research.

  2. Alternative fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-07-01

    This paper presents the preliminary results of a review, of the experiences of Brazil, Canada, and New Zealand, which have implemented programs to encourage the use of alternative motor fuels. It will also discuss the results of a separate completed review of the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in implementing the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988. The act calls for, among other things, the federal government to use alternative-fueled vehicles in its fleet. The Persian Gulf War, environmental concerns, and the administration's National Energy Strategy have greatly heightened interest in the use of alternative fuels in this country.

  3. Molecular Phylogenetics: Concepts for a Newcomer.

    PubMed

    Ajawatanawong, Pravech

    2016-10-26

    Molecular phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relationships among organisms using molecular sequence data. The aim of this review is to introduce the important terminology and general concepts of tree reconstruction to biologists who lack a strong background in the field of molecular evolution. Some modern phylogenetic programs are easy to use because of their user-friendly interfaces, but understanding the phylogenetic algorithms and substitution models, which are based on advanced statistics, is still important for the analysis and interpretation without a guide. Briefly, there are five general steps in carrying out a phylogenetic analysis: (1) sequence data preparation, (2) sequence alignment, (3) choosing a phylogenetic reconstruction method, (4) identification of the best tree, and (5) evaluating the tree. Concepts in this review enable biologists to grasp the basic ideas behind phylogenetic analysis and also help provide a sound basis for discussions with expert phylogeneticists.

  4. Phylogenetic analysis of the evolution of lactose digestion in adults.

    PubMed

    Holden, C; Mace, R

    1997-10-01

    In most of the world's population the ability to digest lactose declines sharply after infancy. High lactose digestion capacity in adults is common only in populations of European and circum-Mediterranean origin and is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation to millennia of drinking milk from domestic livestock. Milk can also be consumed in a processed form, such as cheese or soured milk, which has a reduced lactose content. Two other selective pressures for drinking fresh milk with a high lactose content have been proposed: promotion of calcium uptake in high-latitude populations prone to vitamin-D deficiency and maintainance of water and electrolytes in the body in highly and environments. These three hypotheses are all supported by the geographic distribution of high lactose digestion capacity in adults. However, the relationships between environmental variables and adult lactose digestion capacity are highly confounded by the shared ancestry of many populations whose lactose digestion capacity has been tested. The three hypotheses for the evolution of high adult lactose digestion capacity are tested here using a comparative method of analysis that takes the problem of phylogenetic confounding into account. This analysis supports the hypothesis that high adult lactose digestion capacity is an adaptation to dairying but does not support the hypotheses that lactose digestion capacity is additionally selected for either at high latitudes or in highly arid environments. Furthermore, methods using maximum likelihood are used to show that the evolution of milking preceded the evolution of high lactose digestion.

  5. Spatial overlap in a solitary carnivore: support for the land tenure, kinship or resource dispersion hypotheses?

    PubMed

    Elbroch, L Mark; Lendrum, Patrick E; Quigley, Howard; Caragiulo, Anthony

    2016-03-01

    There are several alternative hypotheses about the effects of territoriality, kinship and prey availability on individual carnivore distributions within populations. The first is the land-tenure hypothesis, which predicts that carnivores regulate their density through territoriality and temporal avoidance. The second is the kinship hypothesis, which predicts related individuals will be clumped within populations, and the third is the resource dispersion hypothesis, which suggests that resource richness may explain variable sociality, spatial overlap or temporary aggregations of conspecifics. Research on the socio-spatial organization of animals is essential in understanding territoriality, intra- and interspecific competition, and contact rates that influence diverse ecology, including disease transmission between conspecifics and courtship behaviours. We explored these hypotheses with data collected on a solitary carnivore, the cougar (Puma concolor), from 2005 to 2012 in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, Wyoming, USA. We employed 27 annual home ranges for 13 cougars to test whether home range overlap was better explained by land tenure, kinship, resource dispersion or some combination of the three. We found support for both the land tenure and resource dispersion hypotheses, but not for kinship. Cougar sex was the primary driver explaining variation in home range overlap. Males overlapped significantly with females, whereas the remaining dyads (F-F, M-M) overlapped significantly less. In support for the resource dispersion hypothesis, hunting opportunity (the probability of a cougar killing prey in a given location) was often higher in overlapping than in non-overlapping portions of cougar home ranges. In particular, winter hunt opportunity rather than summer hunt opportunity was higher in overlapping portions of female-female and male-female home ranges. Our results may indicate that solitary carnivores are more tolerant of sharing key resources with unrelated

  6. Evaluation of conditional and biconditional hypotheses in information-use tasks during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Langford, P E

    1993-03-01

    This article describes three studies of the evaluation of conditional and biconditional hypotheses by adolescents and young adults in the age range 11-29 years. Patterns of responding were in accordance with the predictions of the two-stage model of such tasks proposed by Langford (1992). Conditionals and biconditionals gave rise to similar response patterns, suggesting that they are interpreted in similar ways. Conditionals and biconditionals involving changes in variables were more difficult than those involving individual events. The mention of a second possible antecedent to the consequent had little influence on the tendency to convert conditionals to biconditionals. This contradicts the notion that discourse presuppositions are the major source of such conversion. The most plausible alternative explanation is the Piagetian view that individuals seek to avoid the complications of dealing with three factors.

  7. Pleasant Alternatives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unks, Gerald

    1981-01-01

    The author feels that the current wave of political conservatism may prove beneficial to education if the national mood of decentralization and decontrol leads to a resurgence of community involvement and locally-developed alternatives. He cites several examples of successful urban alternative schools. (SJL)

  8. Alternative Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Annett, Larry D.

    A model is presented for the categorizing of alternative schools, then the nature of the free school, which represents the essence of the alternative school movement, is examined. Strengths and weaknesses of court, legislative, and administrative approaches to resolve governance issues are set forth. This is followed by an analysis of three…

  9. Alternative Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stefonek, Tom; And Others

    1991-01-01

    This special double issue focuses on the issue of alternative assessment and its place in educational reform. "Alternative Assessment: A National Perspective" (T. Stefonek) emphasizes that the fundamental purposes of new assessment methods are grounded in educational goals, meaningful outcomes, and curricular and instructional programs…

  10. Eastern Scotian Shelf trophic dynamics: A review of the evidence for diverse hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, Michael; Power, Michael; Head, Erica; Li, William K. W.; McMahon, Michael; Mohn, Robert; O'Boyle, Robert; Swain, Douglas; Tremblay, John

    2015-11-01

    Two hypotheses have been proposed to account for trophic dynamic control of the eastern Scotian Shelf ecosystem off Atlantic Canada: (1) top-down: fishery induced trophic cascade and (2) bottom-up: climate variability. We evaluate the evidence in support of these hypotheses: including observations on top-down drivers (fishing effort and predation by grey seals), bottom-up drivers (nutrient supply and water column stratification), and the several trophic levels (groundfish, macro-invertebrates, small pelagic fish, and plankton). There is limited support for the fishery-induced trophic cascade hypothesis. The predictions of the climate variability hypothesis are generally met for the lower and middle trophic levels, but the ongoing high levels of natural mortality of groundfish are not accounted for. We propose an alternative hypothesis encompassing concurrent top-down and bottom-up processes, and conclude that many species of groundfish (including cod) and small pelagic fish stocks (including herring) will not recover with the ongoing high levels of natural mortality generated by grey seal predation. Predictions on future trends in abundance of the commercially important macro-invertebrate species (lobster, snow crab, and shrimp) are not possible based on the available evidence.

  11. Testing hypotheses of bird extinctions at Rio Palenque, Ecuador, with informal species lists.

    PubMed

    Pearson, David L; Anderson, Corey Devin; Mitchell, Brian R; Rosenberg, Michael S; Navarrete, Ronald; Coopmans, Paul

    2010-04-01

    Informally gathered species lists are a potential source of data for conservation biology, but most remain unused because of questions of reliability and statistical issues. We applied two alternative analytical methods (contingency tests and occupancy modeling) to a 35-year data set (1973-2007) to test hypotheses about local bird extinction. We compiled data from bird lists collected by expert amateurs and professional scientists in a 2-km(2) fragment of lowland tropical forest in coastal Ecuador. We tested the effects of the following on local extinction: trophic level, sociality, foraging specialization, light tolerance, geographical range area, and biogeographic source. First we assessed extinction on the basis of the number of years in which a species was not detected on the site and used contingency tests with each factor to compare the frequency of expected and observed extinction events among different species categories. Then we defined four multiyear periods that reflected different stages of deforestation and isolation of the study site and used occupancy modeling to test extinction hypotheses singly and in combination. Both types of analyses supported the biogeographic source hypothesis and the species-range hypothesis as causes of extinction; however, occupancy modeling indicated the model incorporating all factors except foraging specialization best fit the data.

  12. Alu elements and hominid phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Salem, Abdel-Halim; Ray, David A; Xing, Jinchuan; Callinan, Pauline A; Myers, Jeremy S; Hedges, Dale J; Garber, Randall K; Witherspoon, David J; Jorde, Lynn B; Batzer, Mark A

    2003-10-28

    Alu elements have inserted in primate genomes throughout the evolution of the order. One particular Alu lineage (Ye) began amplifying relatively early in hominid evolution and continued propagating at a low level as many of its members are found in a variety of hominid genomes. This study represents the first conclusive application of short interspersed elements, which are considered nearly homoplasy-free, to elucidate the phylogeny of hominids. Phylogenetic analysis of Alu Ye5 elements and elements from several other subfamilies reveals high levels of support for monophyly of Hominidae, tribe Hominini and subtribe Hominina. Here we present the strongest evidence reported to date for a sister relationship between humans and chimpanzees while clearly distinguishing the chimpanzee and human lineages.

  13. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Rand, Tatyana A; Didham, Raphael K; Fahrig, Lenore; Batáry, Péter; Bengtsson, Janne; Clough, Yann; Crist, Thomas O; Dormann, Carsten F; Ewers, Robert M; Fründ, Jochen; Holt, Robert D; Holzschuh, Andrea; Klein, Alexandra M; Kleijn, David; Kremen, Claire; Landis, Doug A; Laurance, William; Lindenmayer, David; Scherber, Christoph; Sodhi, Navjot; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thies, Carsten; van der Putten, Wim H; Westphal, Catrin

    2012-08-01

    Understanding how landscape characteristics affect biodiversity patterns and ecological processes at local and landscape scales is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest eight hypotheses, which we hope will encourage more systematic research on the role of landscape composition and configuration in determining the structure of ecological communities, ecosystem functioning and services. We organize the eight hypotheses under four overarching themes. Section A: 'landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns' includes (1) the landscape species pool hypothesis-the size of the landscape-wide species pool moderates local (alpha) biodiversity, and (2) the dominance of beta diversity hypothesis-landscape-moderated dissimilarity of local communities determines landscape-wide biodiversity and overrides negative local effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Section B: 'landscape moderation of population dynamics' includes (3) the cross-habitat spillover hypothesis-landscape-moderated spillover of energy, resources and organisms across habitats, including between managed and natural ecosystems, influences landscape-wide community structure and associated processes and (4) the landscape-moderated concentration and dilution hypothesis-spatial and temporal changes in landscape composition can cause transient concentration or dilution of populations with functional consequences. Section C: 'landscape moderation of functional trait selection' includes (5) the landscape-moderated functional trait selection hypothesis-landscape moderation of species trait selection shapes the functional role and trajectory of community assembly, and (6) the landscape-moderated insurance hypothesis-landscape complexity provides spatial and temporal insurance, i.e. high resilience and stability of ecological processes in changing environments. Section D: 'landscape constraints on

  14. Not drowning, (hand)waving? Molecular phylogenetics, biogeography and evolutionary tempo of the 'Gondwanan' midge Stictocladius Edwards (Diptera: Chironomidae).

    PubMed

    Krosch, Matt; Cranston, Peter S

    2013-09-01

    Many insect clades, especially within the Diptera (true flies), have been considered classically 'Gondwanan', with an inference that distributions derive from vicariance of the southern continents. Assessing the role that vicariance has played in the evolution of austral taxa requires testing the location and tempo of diversification and speciation against the well-established predictions of fragmentation of the ancient super-continent. Several early (anecdotal) hypotheses that current austral distributions originate from the breakup of Gondwana derive from studies of taxa within the family Chironomidae (non-biting midges). With the advent of molecular phylogenetics and biogeographic analytical software, these studies have been revisited and expanded to test such conclusions better. Here we studied the midge genus Stictocladius Edwards, from the subfamily Orthocladiinae, which contains austral-distributed clades that match vicariance-based expectations. We resolve several issues of systematic relationships among morphological species and reveal cryptic diversity within many taxa. Time-calibrated phylogenetic relationships among taxa accorded partially with the predicted tempo from geology. For these apparently vagile insects, vicariance-dated patterns persist for South America and Australia. However, as often found, divergence time estimates for New Zealand at c. 50 mya post-date separation of Zealandia from Antarctica and the remainder of Gondwana, but predate the proposed Oligocene 'drowning' of these islands. We detail other such 'anomalous' dates and suggest a single common explanation rather than stochastic processes. This could involve synchronous establishment following recovery from 'drowning' and/or deleteriously warming associated with the mid-Eocene climatic optimum (hence 'waving', which refers to cycles of drowning events) plus new availability of topography providing of cool running waters, or all these factors in combination. Alternatively a

  15. Exploration of miRNA families for hypotheses generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamanu, Timothy K. K.; Radovanovic, Aleksandar; Archer, John A. C.; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2013-10-01

    Technological improvements have resulted in increased discovery of new microRNAs (miRNAs) and refinement and enrichment of existing miRNA families. miRNA families are important because they suggest a common sequence or structure configuration in sets of genes that hint to a shared function. Exploratory tools to enhance investigation of characteristics of miRNA families and the functions of family-specific miRNA genes are lacking. We have developed, miRNAVISA, a user-friendly web-based tool that allows customized interrogation and comparisons of miRNA families for hypotheses generation, and comparison of per-species chromosomal distribution of miRNA genes in different families. This study illustrates hypothesis generation using miRNAVISA in seven species. Our results unveil a subclass of miRNAs that may be regulated by genomic imprinting, and also suggest that some miRNA families may be species-specific, as well as chromosome- and/or strand-specific.

  16. Vitiligo: pathogenetic hypotheses and targets for current therapies.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Liliana; Dellambra, Elena; Brescia, Serena; Raskovic, Desanka

    2010-06-01

    Vitiligo is a multifactorial disorder characterized by the appearance of white maculae that may spread over the entire body skin. Depigmentation arises from the loss of functioning melanocytes. Non segmental vitiligo (NSV) is the most common form of the disease: it is usually progressive and may be associated with familiarity and autoimmunity. Segmental vitiligo (SV) frequently stabilizes few years after its onset. Vitiligo etiology involves multiple pathogenetic factors, most of them working in concert. Impaired antioxidative defences lead to accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which affect melanocytes. Mitochondrial membrane lipid peroxidation may participate to ROS overproduction. A temporal sequence may connect oxidative stress and autoimmunity. Overall, a genetic predisposition renders vitiligo melanocytes more susceptible to precipitating factors than normal healthy melanocytes. The definition of isolated or superimposed manifestations of polygenic skin disorders has been proposed for SV and SV-NSV association. Keratinocytes and melanocytes are both affected and apoptosis, ageing or melanocythorragy are the ultimate effects of the complex deregulation in vitiligo skin. Pathogenetic therapies mainly act by inducing immunosuppression and stimulation of melanocyte proliferation and migration. Here the most popular hypotheses for the pathogenesis of vitiligo are summarized. Fundamental cellular, biochemical and molecular alterations accounting for melanocyte destruction in vitiligo are also described. Last, pathogenetic approaches in the treatment of such a complex disease are discussed, with particular consideration on the cellular and molecular targets of the current therapies.

  17. Acupuncture-brain interactions as hypothesized by mood scale recordings.

    PubMed

    Acker, Helmut; Schmidt-Rathjens, Claudia; Acker, Till; Fandrey, Joachim; Ehleben, Wilhelm

    2015-09-01

    Mood expressions encompassing positive scales like "activity, elation, contemplation, calmness" and negative scales like "anger, excitement, depression, fatigue" were applied for introducing a new tool to assess the effects of acupuncture on brain structures. Traditional acupuncture points defined in the literature for their effects on task negative and task positive brain structures were applied to chronic disease patients supposed to have dominant negative mood scales. Burn-out syndrome (n=10) and female chronic pain patients (n=22) showed a significant improvement on positive mood scales and a decline in negative mood scales after 10 acupuncture sessions. We observed a direct effect of acupuncture on brain structures in 5 burn-out syndrome patients showing an immediate, fast suppression of unusual slow high amplitude EEG waves in response to acupuncture needle rotation. These EEG waves described here for the first time in awake patients disappeared after 10 sessions but gradually returned after 1-1.5 years without acupuncture. This was accompanied with deterioration of positive mood scales and a return to negative mood scales. Both male (n=16) and female chronic pain patients reported a significant decrease of pain intensity after 10 sessions. Female patients only, however, showed a linear correlation between initial pain intensity and pain relief as well as a linear correlation between changes in pain intensity and mood scales accompanied by a drop of their heart rate during the acupuncture sessions. We hypothesized that mood scale recordings are a sensitive and specific new tool to reveal individual acupuncture-brain interaction.

  18. Plant reproduction systems in microgravity: experimental data and hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordyum, E. L.

    Elucidation of the possibilities for higher plants to realize complete ontogenesis, from seed to seed, and to propagate by seeds in microgravity, is a fundamental task of space biology connected with the working of the CELSS program. At present, there are results of only 6 spaceflight experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana, an ephemeral plant which will flower and fruit in orbit. Morphogenesis of generative organs occurs normally in microgravity, but unlike the ground control, buds and flowers mainly contain sterile elements of the androecium and gynoecium which degenerate at different stages of development in microgravity. Cytological peculiarities of male and female sterility in microgravity are similar to those occurring naturally during sexual differentiation. Many of the seed formed in microgravity are: 1) nutritional deficiency, 2) insufficient light, 3) intensification of the influence of the above-mentioned factors by microgravity, 4) disturbances of a hormonal nature, and 5) the absence of pollination and fertilization. Possible ways for testing these hypotheses and obtaining viable seeds in microgravity are discussed.

  19. Phylogenetic analysis of Attalea (Arecaceae): insights on the historical biogeography of a recently diversified Neotropical plant group

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract Here we present a dated phylogenetic tree of the neotropical palm genus Attalea (Arecaceae). We used six orthologs from the nuclear WRKY gene family across 98 accessions to address relationships among species and biogeographic hypotheses. Here we found that the formerly recognized...

  20. Phylogenetic Reconstruction as a Broadly Applicable Teaching Tool in the Biology Classroom: The Value of Data in Estimating Likely Answers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Julius, Matthew L.; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.

    2006-01-01

    This laboratory exercise introduces students to a fundamental tool in evolutionary biology--phylogenetic inference. Students are required to create a data set via observation and through mining preexisting data sets. These student data sets are then used to develop and compare competing hypotheses of vertebrate phylogeny. The exercise uses readily…

  1. Classifying and counting linear phylogenetic invariants for the Jukes-Cantor model.

    PubMed

    Steel, M A; Fu, Y X

    1995-01-01

    Linear invariants are useful tools for testing phylogenetic hypotheses from aligned DNA/RNA sequences, particularly when the sites evolve at different rates. Here we give a simple, graph theoretic classification for each phylogenetic tree T, of its associated vector space I(T) of linear invariants under the Jukes-Cantor one-parameter model of nucleotide substitution. We also provide an easily described basis for I(T), and show that if I is a binary (fully resolved) phylogenetic tree with n sequences at its leaves then: dim[I(T)] = 4n-F2n-2 where Fn is the nth Fibonacci number. Our method applies a recently developed Hadamard matrix-based technique to describe elements of I(T) in terms of edge-disjoint packings of subtrees in T, and thereby complements earlier more algebraic treatments.

  2. Molecular phylogenetics and character evolution of the "sacaca" clade: novel relationships of Croton section Cleodora (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    Caruzo, Maria Beatriz R; van Ee, Benjamin W; Cordeiro, Inês; Berry, Paul E; Riina, Ricarda

    2011-08-01

    Phylogenetic relationships of Croton section Cleodora (Klotzsch) Baill. were evaluated using the nuclear ribosomal ITS and the chloroplast trnL-F and trnH-psbA regions. Our results show a strongly supported clade containing most previously recognized section Cleodora species, plus some other species morphologically similar to them. Two morphological synapomorphies that support section Cleodora as a clade include pistillate flowers in which the sepals overlap to some degree, and styles that are connate at the base to varying degrees. The evolution of vegetative and floral characters that have previously been relied on for taxonomic decisions within this group are evaluated in light of the phylogenetic hypotheses. Within section Cleodora there are two well-supported clades, which are proposed here as subsections (subsection Sphaerogyni and subsection Spruceani). The resulting phylogenetic hypothesis identifies the closest relatives of the medicinally important and essential oil-rich Croton cajucara Benth. as candidates for future screening in phytochemical and pharmacological studies.

  3. Barcoding a quantified food web: crypsis, concepts, ecology and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Smith, M Alex; Eveleigh, Eldon S; McCann, Kevin S; Merilo, Mark T; McCarthy, Peter C; Van Rooyen, Kathleen I

    2011-01-01

    The efficient and effective monitoring of individuals and populations is critically dependent on correct species identification. While this point may seem obvious, identifying the majority of the more than 100 natural enemies involved in the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana--SBW) food web remains a non-trivial endeavor. Insect parasitoids play a major role in the processes governing the population dynamics of SBW throughout eastern North America. However, these species are at the leading edge of the taxonomic impediment and integrating standardized identification capacity into existing field programs would provide clear benefits. We asked to what extent DNA barcoding the SBW food web would alter our understanding of the diversity and connectence of the food web and the frequency of generalists vs. specialists in different forest habitats. We DNA barcoded over 10% of the insects collected from the SBW food web in three New Brunswick forest plots from 1983 to 1993. For 30% of these specimens, we amplified at least one additional nuclear region. When the nodes of the food web were estimated based on barcode divergences (using molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU) or phylogenetic diversity (PD)--the food web became much more diverse and connectence was reduced. We tested one measure of food web structure (the "bird feeder effect") and found no difference compared to the morphologically based predictions. Many, but not all, of the presumably polyphagous parasitoids now appear to be morphologically-cryptic host-specialists. To our knowledge, this project is the first to barcode a food web in which interactions have already been well-documented and described in space, time and abundance. It is poised to be a system in which field-based methods permit the identification capacity required by forestry scientists. Food web barcoding provided an effective tool for the accurate identification of all species involved in the cascading effects of future budworm

  4. Phylogenetic incongruence arising from fragmented speciation in enteric bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Retchless, Adam C.; Lawrence, Jeffrey G.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary relationships among species are often assumed to be fundamentally unambiguous, where genes within a genome are thought to evolve in concert and phylogenetic incongruence between individual orthologs is attributed to idiosyncrasies in their evolution. We have identified substantial incongruence between the phylogenies of orthologous genes in Escherichia, Salmonella, and Citrobacter, or E. coli, E. fergusonii, and E. albertii. The source of incongruence was inferred to be recombination, because individual genes support conflicting topology more robustly than expected from stochastic sequence homoplasies. Clustering of phylogenetically informative sites on the genome indicated that the regions of recombination extended over several kilobases. Analysis of phylogenetically distant taxa resulted in consensus among individual gene phylogenies, suggesting that recombination is not ongoing; instead, conflicting relationships among genes in descendent taxa reflect recombination among their ancestors. Incongruence could have resulted from random assortment of ancestral polymorphisms if species were instantly created from the division of a recombining population. However, the estimated branch lengths in alternative phylogenies would require ancestral populations with far more diversity than is found in extant populations. Rather, these and previous data collectively suggest that genome-wide recombination rates decreased gradually, with variation in rate among loci, leading to pluralistic relationships among their descendent taxa. PMID:20534528

  5. Treeness triangles: visualizing the loss of phylogenetic signal.

    PubMed

    White, W T; Hills, S F; Gaddam, R; Holland, B R; Penny, David

    2007-09-01

    It is well known that molecular data "saturates" with increasing sequence divergence (thereby losing phylogenetic information) and that in addition the accumulation of misleading information due to chance similarities or to systematic bias may accompany saturation as well. Exploratory data analysis methods that can quantify the extent of signal loss or convergence for a given data set are scarce. Such methods are needed because genomics delivers very long sequence alignments spanning substantial phylogenetic depth, where site saturation may be compounded by systematic biases or other alternative signals. Here we introduce the Treeness Triangle (TT) graph, in which signals detectable by Hadamard (spectral) analysis are summed into 3 categories--those supporting 1) external and 2) internal branches in the optimal tree, in addition to 3) the residuals (potential internal branches not present in the optimal tree). These 3 values are plotted in a standard ternary coordinate system. The approach is illustrated with simulated and real data sets, the latter from complete chloroplast genomes, where potential problems of paralogy or lateral gene acquisition can be excluded. The TT uncovers the divergence-dependent loss of phylogenetic signal as subsets of chloroplast genomes are investigated that span increasingly deeper evolutionary timescales. The rate of signal loss (or signal retention) varies with the gene and/or the method of analysis.

  6. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated. PMID:10835397

  7. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated.

  8. Twelve testable hypotheses on the geobiology of weathering.

    PubMed

    Brantley, S L; Megonigal, J P; Scatena, F N; Balogh-Brunstad, Z; Barnes, R T; Bruns, M A; Van Cappellen, P; Dontsova, K; Hartnett, H E; Hartshorn, A S; Heimsath, A; Herndon, E; Jin, L; Keller, C K; Leake, J R; McDowell, W H; Meinzer, F C; Mozdzer, T J; Petsch, S; Pett-Ridge, J; Pregitzer, K S; Raymond, P A; Riebe, C S; Shumaker, K; Sutton-Grier, A; Walter, R; Yoo, K

    2011-03-01

    Critical Zone (CZ) research investigates the chemical, physical, and biological processes that modulate the Earth's surface. Here, we advance 12 hypotheses that must be tested to improve our understanding of the CZ: (1) Solar-to-chemical conversion of energy by plants regulates flows of carbon, water, and nutrients through plant-microbe soil networks, thereby controlling the location and extent of biological weathering. (2) Biological stoichiometry drives changes in mineral stoichiometry and distribution through weathering. (3) On landscapes experiencing little erosion, biology drives weathering during initial succession, whereas weathering drives biology over the long term. (4) In eroding landscapes, weathering-front advance at depth is coupled to surface denudation via biotic processes. (5) Biology shapes the topography of the Critical Zone. (6) The impact of climate forcing on denudation rates in natural systems can be predicted from models incorporating biogeochemical reaction rates and geomorphological transport laws. (7) Rising global temperatures will increase carbon losses from the Critical Zone. (8) Rising atmospheric P(CO2) will increase rates and extents of mineral weathering in soils. (9) Riverine solute fluxes will respond to changes in climate primarily due to changes in water fluxes and secondarily through changes in biologically mediated weathering. (10) Land use change will impact Critical Zone processes and exports more than climate change. (11) In many severely altered settings, restoration of hydrological processes is possible in decades or less, whereas restoration of biodiversity and biogeochemical processes requires longer timescales. (12) Biogeochemical properties impart thresholds or tipping points beyond which rapid and irreversible losses of ecosystem health, function, and services can occur.

  9. Kidney cancer mortality in Spain: geographic patterns and possible hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    López-Abente, Gonzalo; Aragonés, Nuria; Pérez-Gómez, Beatriz; Ramis, Rebeca; Vidal, Enrique; García-Pérez, Javier; Fernández-Navarro, Pablo; Pollán, Marina

    2008-01-01

    Background Since the second half of the 1990s, kidney cancer mortality has tended to stabilize and decline in many European countries, due to the decrease in the prevalence of smokers. Nevertheless, incidence of kidney cancer is rising across the sexes in some of these countries, a trend which may possibly reflect the fact that improvements in diagnostic techniques are being outweighed by the increased prevalence of some of this tumor's risk factors. This study sought to: examine the geographic pattern of kidney cancer mortality in Spain; suggest possible hypotheses that would help explain these patterns; and enhance existing knowledge about the large proportion of kidney tumors whose cause remains unknown. Methods Smoothed municipal relative risks (RRs) for kidney cancer mortality were calculated in men and women, using the conditional autoregressive model proposed by Besag, York and Molliè. Maps were plotted depicting smoothed relative risk estimates, and the distribution of the posterior probability of RR>1 by sex. Results Municipal maps displayed a marked geographic pattern, with excess mortality in both sexes, mainly in towns along the Bay of Biscay, including areas of Asturias, the Basque Country and, to a lesser extent, Cantabria. Among women, the geographic pattern was strikingly singular, not in evidence for any other tumors, and marked by excess risk in towns situated in the Salamanca area and Extremaduran Autonomous Region. This difference would lead one to postulate the existence of different exposures of environmental origin in the various regions. Conclusion The reasons for this pattern of distribution are not clear, and it would thus be of interest if the effect of industrial emissions on this disease could be studied. The excess mortality observed among women in towns situated in areas with a high degree of natural radiation could reflect the influence of exposures which derive from the geologic composition of the terrain and then become manifest

  10. Alternative Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pritchett, Stanley; Kimsey, Steve

    2002-01-01

    Describes the design of the DeKalb Alternative School in Atlanta, Georgia, located in a renovated shopping center. Purchasing commercial land and renovating the existing building saved the school system time and money. (EV)

  11. [Neural mechanisms of memory: synaptic and genomic hypotheses].

    PubMed

    Arshavskiĭ, Iu I

    2011-01-01

    Memorizing of new facts and events means that entering signals produce definite changes within the brain. According to the commonly accepted hypothesis, traces of memory are stored through modifications in the strength of synaptic connections, resulting in formations of new patterns of neural activity. This synaptic hypothesis of memory determines the main direction of experimental studies in the field. It is shown in this review that the synaptic hypothesis can hardly explain the mechanism of long-term (often life-long) memory storage as well as memory resistance to both uncontrolled synaptic activity (epileptic seizures) and various adverse effects on the brain (anesthesia, injury, concussion, etc.). Arguments for an alternative hypothesis are given that long-term memory is mainly formed at the intraneural level through modifications of DNA molecules and associated proteins. This genomic hypothesis allows for a new approach to understanding the etiology ofAlzheimer's disease, whose initial symptom is solely memory impairment.

  12. Insect phylogenetics in the digital age.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Christopher H; Dmitriev, Dmitry A

    2016-12-01

    Insect systematists have long used digital data management tools to facilitate phylogenetic research. Web-based platforms developed over the past several years support creation of comprehensive, openly accessible data repositories and analytical tools that support large-scale collaboration, accelerating efforts to document Earth's biota and reconstruct the Tree of Life. New digital tools have the potential to further enhance insect phylogenetics by providing efficient workflows for capturing and analyzing phylogenetically relevant data. Recent initiatives streamline various steps in phylogenetic studies and provide community access to supercomputing resources. In the near future, automated, web-based systems will enable researchers to complete a phylogenetic study from start to finish using resources linked together within a single portal and incorporate results into a global synthesis.

  13. The wings before the bird: an evaluation of flapping-based locomotory hypotheses in bird antecedents

    PubMed Central

    Larsson, Hans C.E.; Habib, Michael B.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Powered flight is implicated as a major driver for the success of birds. Here we examine the effectiveness of three hypothesized pathways for the evolution of the flight stroke, the forelimb motion that powers aerial locomotion, in a terrestrial setting across a range of stem and basal avians: flap running, Wing Assisted Incline Running (WAIR), and wing-assisted leaping. Methods: Using biomechanical mathematical models based on known aerodynamic principals and in vivo experiments and ground truthed using extant avians we seek to test if an incipient flight stroke may have contributed sufficient force to permit flap running, WAIR, or leaping takeoff along the phylogenetic lineage from Coelurosauria to birds. Results: None of these behaviours were found to meet the biomechanical threshold requirements before Paraves. Neither was there a continuous trend of refinement for any of these biomechanical performances across phylogeny nor a signal of universal applicability near the origin of birds. None of these flap-based locomotory models appear to have been a major influence on pre-flight character acquisition such as pennaceous feathers, suggesting non-locomotory behaviours, and less stringent locomotory behaviours such as balancing and braking, played a role in the evolution of the maniraptoran wing and nascent flight stroke. We find no support for widespread prevalence of WAIR in non-avian theropods, but can’t reject its presence in large winged, small-bodied taxa like Microraptor and Archaeopteryx. Discussion: Using our first principles approach we find that “near flight” locomotor behaviors are most sensitive to wing area, and that non-locomotory related selection regimes likely expanded wing area well before WAIR and other such behaviors were possible in derived avians. These results suggest that investigations of the drivers for wing expansion and feather elongation in theropods need not be intrinsically linked to locomotory adaptations, and this

  14. The impacts of comparative anatomy of electric rays (Batoidea: Torpediniformes) on their systematic hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Claeson, Kerin M

    2014-06-01

    The Comparative anatomy of the 11 recognized genera within Torpediniformes is described, systematically categorized, and illustrated in a comprehensive photo-atlas. Data are compiled into a character matrix and cladistically analyzed using parsimony to test hypotheses about the previously recognized subfamilies, while reconstructing the possible evolutionary history of Torpediniformes. Results are consistent with the previous rank-based classifications, regardless of the parsimony criteria used to generate the phylogenetic hypothesis, with one notable exception: a monophyletic Narcininae was never recovered. Torpedinoidea (=Hypnos + Torpedo) is supported by the presence of long, slender, flexible jaw cartilages, absence of a large rostral fontanelle, presence of suprascapular antimeres that are each shorter than the scapular process of the scapulocoracoid, antorbital cartilages that articulate on the anterior aspect of the nasal capsules and absence of a frontoparietal fontanelle. Subfamilial names Hypninae and Torpedininae are redundant with the genus names Hypnos and Torpedo and are not adopted here. Narcinoidea (=nontorpedinoid torpediniforms) is supported by unambiguous character transformations to the presence of a divided lower lip, labial cartilages, laterolingually compressed palatoquadrates, bifurcated antorbital cartilages, a rostral fontanelle, ventrally projecting nasal capsules, a dorsal rim of the synarcual mouth posterior to occipital condyle, posteriorly positioned lateral stays, and obtuse anterior margins of lateral stays. Narkidae is supported by unambiguous character transformations to the presence of an uncovered eye that protrudes above dorsal surface, a shared rim between the spiracle and the eye, an anterior nasal turret that projects ventrally, a nasal curtain that covers the upper lip and dentition when the mouth is closed, tab-like prepelvic processes, a mesopterygium that is shorter than propterygium but longer than metapterygium, a

  15. SUNPLIN: Simulation with Uncertainty for Phylogenetic Investigations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic comparative analyses usually rely on a single consensus phylogenetic tree in order to study evolutionary processes. However, most phylogenetic trees are incomplete with regard to species sampling, which may critically compromise analyses. Some approaches have been proposed to integrate non-molecular phylogenetic information into incomplete molecular phylogenies. An expanded tree approach consists of adding missing species to random locations within their clade. The information contained in the topology of the resulting expanded trees can be captured by the pairwise phylogenetic distance between species and stored in a matrix for further statistical analysis. Thus, the random expansion and processing of multiple phylogenetic trees can be used to estimate the phylogenetic uncertainty through a simulation procedure. Because of the computational burden required, unless this procedure is efficiently implemented, the analyses are of limited applicability. Results In this paper, we present efficient algorithms and implementations for randomly expanding and processing phylogenetic trees so that simulations involved in comparative phylogenetic analysis with uncertainty can be conducted in a reasonable time. We propose algorithms for both randomly expanding trees and calculating distance matrices. We made available the source code, which was written in the C++ language. The code may be used as a standalone program or as a shared object in the R system. The software can also be used as a web service through the link: http://purl.oclc.org/NET/sunplin/. Conclusion We compare our implementations to similar solutions and show that significant performance gains can be obtained. Our results open up the possibility of accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty in evolutionary and ecological analyses of large datasets. PMID:24229408

  16. Which came first: The lizard or the egg? Robustness in phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states.

    PubMed

    Wright, April M; Lyons, Kathleen M; Brandley, Matthew C; Hillis, David M

    2015-09-01

    rare. The three putative reversals to oviparity with the strongest phylogenetic support occurred in the snakes Eryx jayakari and Lachesis, and the lizard, Liolaemus calchaqui. Our results emphasize that because the conclusions of ancestral state reconstruction studies are often highly sensitive to the methods and assumptions of analysis, researchers should carefully consider this sensitivity when evaluating alternative hypotheses of character-state evolution.

  17. RAG-1 sequences resolve phylogenetic relationships within Charadriiform birds.

    PubMed

    Paton, Tara A; Baker, Allan J; Groth, Jeff G; Barrowclough, George F

    2003-11-01

    The Charadriiformes is a large and diverse order of shorebirds currently classified into 19 families, including morphologically aberrant forms that are of uncertain phylogenetic placement within non-passerine birds in general. Recent attempts using morphological characters have failed to recover a well-supported phylogeny depicting higher level relationships within Charadriiformes and the limits to the order, primarily because of inconsistency and homoplasy in these data. Moreover, these trees are incongruent with the relationships presented in the DNA hybridization tapestry of, including the location of the root and the branching order of major clades within the shorebirds. To help clarify this systematic confusion we therefore sequenced the large RAG-1 nuclear exon (2850 bp) from 36 species representing 17 families of shorebirds for which DNA was available. Trees built with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood or Bayesian methods are topologically identical and fully resolved, with high support at basal nodes. This further attests to the phylogenetic utility of the RAG-1 sequences at higher taxonomic levels within birds. The RAG-1 tree is topologically similar to the DNA hybridization tree in depicting three major subordinal clades of shorebirds, the Charadrii (thick-knees, sheathbills, plovers, oystercatchers, and allies), Scolopaci (sandpipers and jacanas) and the Lari (coursers, pratincoles, gulls, terns, skimmers, and skuas). However, the basal split in the RAG-1 tree is between Charadrii and (Scolopaci+Lari), whereas in the DNA hybridization tree Scolopaci is the sister group to the (Charadrii+Lari). Thus in both of these DNA-based trees the Alcidae (auks, murres, and allies) are not basal among shorebirds as hypothesized in morphological trees, but instead are placed as a tip clade within Lari. The enigmatic buttonquails (Turnicidae), variously hypothesized as being allied to either the Galliformes, Gruiformes, or Charadriiformes, are shown to be a basal

  18. Phylogenetic mapping of bacterial morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siefert, J. L.; Fox, G. E.

    1998-01-01

    The availability of a meaningful molecular phylogeny for bacteria provides a context for examining the historical significance of various developments in bacterial evolution. Herein, the classical morphological descriptions of selected members of the domain Bacteria are mapped upon the genealogical ancestry deduced from comparison of small-subunit rRNA sequences. For the species examined in this study, a distinct pattern emerges which indicates that the coccus shape has arisen and accumulated independently multiple times in separate lineages and typically survived as a persistent end-state morphology. At least two other morphologies persist but have evolved only once. This study demonstrates that although bacterial morphology is not useful in defining bacterial phylogeny, it is remarkably consistent with that phylogeny once it is known. An examination of the experimental evidence available for morphogenesis as well as microbial fossil evidence corroborates these findings. It is proposed that the accumulation of persistent morphologies is a result of the biophysical properties of peptidoglycan and their genetic control, and that an evolved body-plan strategy based on peptidoglycan may have been a fate-sealing step in the evolution of Bacteria. More generally, this study illustrates that significant evolutionary insights can be obtained by examining biological and biochemical data in the context of a reliable phylogenetic structure.

  19. Phylogenetic fields of species: cross-species patterns of phylogenetic structure and geographical coexistence.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Fabricio; Rangel, Thiago F; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F

    2013-04-07

    Differential coexistence among species underlies geographical patterns of biodiversity. Understanding such patterns has relied either on ecological or historical approaches applied separately. Recently, macroecology and community phylogenetics have tried to integrate both ecological and historical approaches. However, macroecology is mostly non-phylogenetic, whereas community phylogenetics is largely focused on local scales. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to link macroecology and community phylogenetics by exploring the evolutionary context of large-scale species coexistence, introducing the phylogenetic field concept. This is defined as the phylogenetic structure of species co-occurrence within a focal species' geographical range. We developed concepts and methods for analysing phylogenetic fields and applied them to study coexistence patterns of the bat family Phyllostomidae. Our analyses showed that phyllostomid bats coexist mostly with closely related species, revealing a north-south gradient from overdispersed to clustered phylogenetic fields. Patterns at different phylogenetic levels (i.e. all species versus close relatives only) presented the same gradient. Results support the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, potentially mediated by higher speciation rates in the region of origin coupled with shared environmental preferences among species. The phylogenetic field approach enables species-based community phylogenetics, instead of those that are site-based, allowing the description of historical processes at more appropriate macroecological and biogeographic scales.

  20. Declining scaup populations: issues, hypotheses, and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.S.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issuesof concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breedingground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser

  1. Molecular phylogenetics of the Neotropical fish family Prochilodontidae (Teleostei: Characiformes).

    PubMed

    Melo, Bruno F; Sidlauskas, Brian L; Hoekzema, Kendra; Frable, Benjamin W; Vari, Richard P; Oliveira, Claudio

    2016-09-01

    Migratory detritivores of the characiform family Prochilodontidae occur throughout the freshwaters of much of South America. Prochilodontids often form massive populations and many species achieve substantial body sizes; a combination that makes them one of the most commercially important fish groups on the continent. Their economic significance notwithstanding, prochilodontids have never been the subject of a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis. Using three mitochondrial and three nuclear loci spanning all prochilodontid species, we generated a novel phylogenetic hypothesis for the family. Our results strongly support monophyly of the family and the three included genera. A novel, highly supported placement of Ichthyoelephas sister to the clade containing Prochilodus and Semaprochilodus diverges from a previous morphological hypothesis. Most previously hypothesized interspecific relationships are corroborated and some longstanding polytomies within Prochilodus and Semaprochilodus are resolved. The morphologically similar P. brevis, P. lacustris, P. nigricans and P. rubrotaeniatus are embedded within what is herein designated as the P. nigricans group. Species limits and distributions of these species are problematic and the group clearly merits taxonomic revision.

  2. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change.

  3. Big and slow: phylogenetic estimates of molecular evolution in baleen whales (suborder mysticeti).

    PubMed

    Jackson, J A; Baker, C S; Vant, M; Steel, D J; Medrano-González, L; Palumbi, S R

    2009-11-01

    Baleen whales are the largest animals that have ever lived. To develop an improved estimation of substitution rate for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA for this taxon, we implemented a relaxed-clock phylogenetic approach using three fossil calibration dates: the divergence between odontocetes and mysticetes approximately 34 million years ago (Ma), between the balaenids and balaenopterids approximately 28 Ma, and the time to most recent common ancestor within the Balaenopteridae approximately 12 Ma. We examined seven mitochondrial genomes, a large number of mitochondrial control region sequences (219 haplotypes for 465 bp) and nine nuclear introns representing five species of whales, within which multiple species-specific alleles were sequenced to account for within-species diversity (1-15 for each locus). The total data set represents >1.65 Mbp of mitogenome and nuclear genomic sequence. The estimated substitution rate for the humpback whale control region (3.9%/million years, My) was higher than previous estimates for baleen whales but slow relative to other mammal species with similar generation times (e.g., human-chimp mean rate > 20%/My). The mitogenomic third codon position rate was also slow relative to other mammals (mean estimate 1%/My compared with a mammalian average of 9.8%/My for the cytochrome b gene). The mean nuclear genomic substitution rate (0.05%/My) was substantially slower than average synonymous estimates for other mammals (0.21-0.37%/My across a range of studies). The nuclear and mitogenome rate estimates for baleen whales were thus roughly consistent with an 8- to 10-fold slowing due to a combination of large body size and long generation times. Surprisingly, despite the large data set of nuclear intron sequences, there was only weak and conflicting support for alternate hypotheses about the phylogeny of balaenopterid whales, suggesting that interspecies introgressions or a rapid radiation has obscured species relationships in the nuclear genome.

  4. Differences in muscle fiber size and associated energetic costs in phylogenetically paired tropical and temperate birds.

    PubMed

    Jimenez, Ana Gabriela; Williams, Joseph B

    2014-01-01

    Tropical and temperate birds provide a unique system to examine mechanistic consequences of life-history trade-offs at opposing ends of the pace-of-life spectrum; tropical birds tend to have a slow pace of life whereas temperate birds the opposite. Birds in the tropics have a lower whole-animal basal metabolic rate and peak metabolic rate, lower rates of reproduction, and longer survival than birds in temperate regions. Although skeletal muscle has a relatively low tissue-specific metabolism at rest, it makes up the largest fraction of body mass and therefore contributes more to basal metabolism than any other tissue. A principal property of muscle cells that influences their rate of metabolism is fiber size. The optimal fiber size hypothesis attempts to link whole-animal basal metabolic rate to the cost of maintaining muscle mass by stating that larger fibers may be metabolically cheaper to maintain since the surface area∶volume ratio (SA∶V) is reduced compared with smaller fibers and thus the amount of area to transport ions is also reduced. Because tropical birds have a reduced whole-organism metabolism, we hypothesized that they would have larger muscle fibers than temperate birds, given that larger muscle fibers have reduced energy demand from membrane Na(+)-K(+) pumps. Alternatively, smaller muscle fibers could result in a lower capacity for shivering and exercise. To test this idea, we examined muscle fiber size and Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity in 16 phylogenetically paired species of tropical and temperate birds. We found that 3 of the 16 paired comparisons indicated that tropical birds had significantly larger fibers, contrary to our hypothesis. Our data show that SA∶V is proportional to Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity in muscles of birds.

  5. Vigilance of kit foxes at water sources: a test of competing hypotheses for a solitary carnivore subject to predation.

    PubMed

    Hall, Lucas K; Day, Casey C; Westover, Matthew D; Edgel, Robert J; Larsen, Randy T; Knight, Robert N; McMillan, Brock R

    2013-03-01

    Animals that are potential prey do not respond equally to direct and indirect cues related to risk of predation. Based on differential responses to cues, three hypotheses have been proposed to explain spatial variation in vigilance behavior. The predator-vigilance hypothesis proposes that prey increase vigilance where there is evidence of predators. The visibility-vigilance hypothesis suggests that prey increase vigilance where visibility is obstructed. Alternatively, the refuge-vigilance hypothesis proposes that prey may perceive areas with low visibility (greater cover) as refuges and decrease vigilance. We evaluated support for these hypotheses using the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis), a solitary carnivore subject to intraguild predation, as a model. From 2010 to 2012, we used infrared-triggered cameras to record video of kit fox behavior at water sources in Utah, USA. The refuge-vigilance hypothesis explained more variation in vigilance behavior of kit foxes than the other two hypotheses (AICc model weight=0.37). Kit foxes were less vigilant at water sources with low overhead cover (refuge) obstructing visibility. Based on our results, the predator-vigilance and visibility-vigilance hypotheses may not be applicable to all species of prey. Solitary prey, unlike gregarious prey, may use areas with concealing cover to maximize resource acquisition and minimize vigilance.

  6. Bovid mortality profiles in paleoecological context falsify hypotheses of endurance running-hunting and passive scavenging by early Pleistocene hominins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunn, Henry T.; Pickering, Travis Rayne

    2010-11-01

    The world's first archaeological traces from 2.6 million years ago (Ma) at Gona, in Ethiopia, include sharp-edged cutting tools and cut-marked animal bones, which indicate consumption of skeletal muscle by early hominin butchers. From that point, evidence of hominin meat-eating becomes increasingly more common throughout the Pleistocene archaeological record. Thus, the substantive debate about hominin meat-eating now centers on mode(s) of carcass resource acquisition. Two prominent hypotheses suggest, alternatively, (1) that early Homo hunted ungulate prey by running them to physiological failure and then dispatching them, or (2) that early Homo was relegated to passively scavenging carcass residues abandoned by carnivore predators. Various paleontologically testable predictions can be formulated for both hypotheses. Here we test four predictions concerning age-frequency distributions for bovids that contributed carcass remains to the 1.8 Ma. old FLK 22 Zinjanthropus (FLK Zinj, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) fauna, which zooarchaeological and taphonomic data indicate was formed predominantly by early Homo. In all but one case, the bovid mortality data from FLK Zinj violate test predictions of the endurance running-hunting and passive scavenging hypotheses. When combined with other taphonomic data, these results falsify both hypotheses, and lead to the hypothesis that early Homo operated successfully as an ambush predator.

  7. Classic Bernoulli’s principle derivation and its working hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marciotto, Edson R.

    2016-07-01

    The Bernoulli’s principle states that the quantity p+ρ gz+ρ {{v}2}/2 must be conserved in a streamtube if some conditions are matched, namely: steady and irrotational flow of an inviscid and incompressible fluid. In most physics textbooks this result is demonstrated invoking the energy conservation of a fluid material volume at two different positions of a pipe whose cross-section and height vary along its way. Although the final result is correct the right justifications presented in textbooks are usually unclear or absent. The main problem rests on the work done by pressure, which are not found to be fully justified via free-body diagrams as depicted in many general physics textbooks, not to mention plenty of videos on YouTube that incur in similar omissions. In this article I will discuss this issue and how it is solved without resorting to alternative demonstrations. In addition, I discuss the needs of the assumptions to get the Bernoulli’s principle in a way viable to introductory physics courses.

  8. Evaluating hypotheses of basal animal phylogeny using complete sequences of large and small subunit rRNA

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Mónica; Collins, Allen G.; Silberman, Jeffrey D.; Sogin, Mitchell L.

    2001-01-01

    We studied the evolutionary relationships among basal metazoan lineages by using complete large subunit (LSU) and small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA sequences for 23 taxa. After identifying competing hypotheses, we performed maximum likelihood searches for trees conforming to each hypothesis. Kishino–Hasegawa tests were used to determine whether the data (LSU, SSU, and combined) reject any of the competing hypotheses. We also conducted unconstrained tree searches, compared the resulting topologies, and calculated bootstrap indices. Shimodaira–Hasegawa tests were applied to determine whether the data reject any of the topologies resulting from the constrained and unconstrained tree searches. LSU, SSU, and the combined data strongly contradict two assertions pertaining to sponge phylogeny. Hexactinellid sponges are not likely to be the basal lineage of a monophyletic Porifera or the sister group to all other animals. Instead, Hexactinellida and Demospongia form a well-supported clade of siliceous sponges, Silicea. It remains unclear, on the basis of these data alone, whether the calcarean sponges are more closely related to Silicea or to nonsponge animals. The SSU and combined data reject the hypothesis that Bilateria is more closely related to Ctenophora than it is to Cnidaria, whereas LSU data alone do not refute either hypothesis. LSU and SSU data agree in supporting the monophyly of Bilateria, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, and Metazoa. LSU sequence data reveal phylogenetic structure in a data set with limited taxon sampling. Continued accumulation of LSU sequences should increase our understanding of animal phylogeny. PMID:11504944

  9. Evaluating hypotheses of basal animal phylogeny using complete sequences of large and small subunit rRNA

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica; Collins, Allen G.; Silberman, Jeffrey; Sogin, Mitchell L.

    2001-06-21

    We studied the evolutionary relationships among basal metazoan lineages by using complete large subunit (LSU) and small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA sequences for 23 taxa. After identifying competing hypotheses, we performed maximum likelihood searches for trees conforming to each hypothesis. Kishino-Hasegawa tests were used to determine whether the data (LSU, SSU, and combined) reject any of the competing hypotheses. We also conducted unconstrained tree searches, compared the resulting topologies, and calculated bootstrap indices. Shimodaira-Hasegawa tests were applied to determine whether the data reject any of the topologies resulting from the constrained and unconstrained tree searches. LSU, SSU, and the combined data strongly contradict two assertions pertaining to sponge phylogeny. Hexactinellid sponges are not likely to be the basal lineage of amonophyletic Porifera or the sister group to all other animals. Instead, Hexactinellida and Demospongia form a well-supported clade of siliceous sponges, Silicea. It remains unclear, on the basis of these data alone, whether the calcarean sponges are more closely related to Silicea or to nonsponge animals. The SSU and combined data reject the hypothesis that Bilateria is more closely related to Ctenophora than it is to Cnidaria, whereas LSU data alone do not refute either hypothesis. LSU and SSU data agree in supporting the monophyly of Bilateria, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, and Metazoa. LSU sequence data reveal phylogenetic structure in a data set with limited taxon sampling. Continued accumulation of LSU sequences should increase our understanding of animal phylogeny.

  10. Ridges and rivers: a test of competing hypotheses of Amazonian diversification using a dart-poison frog (Epipedobates femoralis).

    PubMed

    Lougheed, S C; Gascon, C; Jones, D A; Bogart, J P; Boag, P T

    1999-09-22

    Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequence data from a dart-poison frog, Epipedobates femoralis, were used to test two hypotheses of Amazonian diversification: the riverine barrier and the ridge hypotheses. Samples were derived from sites located on both banks of the Rio Juruá and on both sides of the Iquitos Arch in western Amazonia. The phylogeographic structure was inconsistent with predictions of the riverine barrier hypothesis. Haplotypes from opposite river banks did not form monophyletic clades in any of our phylogenetic analyses, nor was the topology within major clades consistent with the riverine hypothesis. Further, the greatest differentiation between paired sites on opposite banks was not at the river mouth where the strongest barrier to gene flow was predicted to occur. The results instead were consistent with the hypothesis that ancient ridges (arches), no longer evident on the landscape, have shaped the phylogeographic relationships of Amazonian taxa. Two robustly supported clades map onto opposite sides of the Iquitos Arch. The mean haplotypic divergence between the two clades, in excess of 12%, suggests that this cladogenic event dates to between five and 15 million years ago. These estimates span a period of major orogenesis in western South America and presumably the formation of these ancient ridges.

  11. A Phylogenetic, Biogeographic, and Taxonomic study of all Extant Species of Anolis (Squamata; Iguanidae).

    PubMed

    Poe, Steven; Nieto-Montes de Oca, Adrián; Torres-Carvajal, Omar; de Queiroz, Kevin; Velasco, Julián A; Truett, Brad; Gray, Levi N; Ryan, Mason J; Köhler, Gunther; Ayala-Varela, Fernando; Latella, Ian

    2017-02-27

    Anolis lizards (anoles) are textbook study organisms in evolution and ecology. Although several topics in evolutionary biology have been elucidated by the study of anoles, progress in some areas has been hampered by limited phylogenetic information on this group. Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of all 379 extant species of Anolis, with new phylogenetic data for 139 species including new DNA data for 101 species. We use the resulting estimates as a basis for defining anole clade names under the principles of phylogenetic nomenclature and to examine the biogeographic history of anoles. Our new taxonomic treatment achieves the supposed advantages of recent subdivisions of anoles that employed ranked Linnaean-based nomenclature while avoiding the pitfalls of those approaches regarding artificial constraints imposed by ranks. Our biogeographic analyses demonstrate complexity in the dispersal history of anoles, including multiple crossings of the Isthmus of Panama, two invasions of the Caribbean, single invasions to Jamaica and Cuba, and a single evolutionary dispersal from the Caribbean to the mainland that resulted in substantial anole diversity. Our comprehensive phylogenetic estimate of anoles should prove useful for rigorous testing of many comparative evolutionary hypotheses.

  12. Multilocus phylogenetic analyses of Hispaniolan and Bahamian trunk anoles (distichus species group).

    PubMed

    Geneva, Anthony J; Hilton, Jared; Noll, Sabina; Glor, Richard E

    2015-06-01

    The distichus species group includes six species and 21 subspecies of trunk ecomorph anoles distributed across Hispaniola and its satellite islands as well as the northern Bahamas. Although this group has long served as a model system for studies of reproductive character displacement, adaptation, behavior and speciation, it has never been the subject of a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. Our goal here is to generate a multilocus phylogenetic dataset (one mitochondrial and seven nuclear loci) and to use this dataset to infer phylogenetic relationships among the majority of the taxa assigned to the distichus species group. We use these phylogenetic trees to address three topics about the group's evolution. First, we consider longstanding taxonomic controversies about the status of several species and subspecies assigned to the distichus species group. Second, we investigate the biogeographic history of the group and specifically test the hypotheses that historical division of Hispaniola into two paleo-islands contributed to the group's diversification and that Bahamian and Hispaniolan satellite island populations are derived from colonists from the main Hispaniolan landmass. Finally, third, we use comparative phylogenetic analyses to test the hypothesis that divergence between pale yellow and darkly pigmented orange or red dewlap coloration has occurred repeatedly across the distichus species group.

  13. Evolution of specialization: a phylogenetic study of host range in the red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetraophthalmus).

    PubMed

    Rasmann, Sergio; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2011-06-01

    Specialization is common in most lineages of insect herbivores, one of the most diverse groups of organisms on earth. To address how and why specialization is maintained over evolutionary time, we hypothesized that plant defense and other ecological attributes of potential host plants would predict the performance of a specialist root-feeding herbivore (the red milkweed beetle, Tetraopes tetraophthalmus). Using a comparative phylogenetic and functional trait approach, we assessed the determinants of insect host range across 18 species of Asclepias. Larval survivorship decreased with increasing phylogenetic distance from the true host, Asclepias syriaca, suggesting that adaptation to plant traits drives specialization. Among several root traits measured, only cardenolides (toxic defense chemicals) correlated with larval survival, and cardenolides also explained the phylogenetic distance effect in phylogenetically controlled multiple regression analyses. Additionally, milkweed species having a known association with other Tetraopes beetles were better hosts than species lacking Tetraopes herbivores, and milkweeds with specific leaf area values (a trait related to leaf function and habitat affiliation) similar to those of A. syriaca were better hosts than species having divergent values. We thus conclude that phylogenetic distance is an integrated measure of phenotypic and ecological attributes of Asclepias species, especially defensive cardenolides, which can be used to explain specialization and constraints on host shifts over evolutionary time.

  14. Phylogenetic utility of nuclear introns in interfamilial relationships of Caniformia (order Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Yu, Li; Luan, Peng-Tao; Jin, Wei; Ryder, Oliver A; Chemnick, Leona G; Davis, Heidi A; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2011-03-01

    The monophyletic group Caniformia (dog-like carnivores) in the order Carnivora comprises 9 families. Except for the general consensus for the earliest divergence of Canidae and the grouping of Procyonidae and Mustelidae, conflicting phylogenetic hypotheses exist for the other caniformian families. In the present study, a data set comprising > 22 kb of 22 nuclear intron loci from 16 caniformian species is used to investigate the phylogenetic utility of nuclear introns in resolving the interfamilial relationships of Caniformia. Our phylogenetic analyses support Ailuridae as the sister taxon to a clade containing Procyonidae and Mustelidae, with Mephitinae being the sister taxon to all of them. The unresolved placements of Ursidae and Pinnipeds here emphasize a need to add more data and include more taxa to resolve this problem. The present study not only resolves some of the ambiguous relationships in Caniformia phylogeny but also shows that the noncoding nuclear markers can offer powerful complementary data for estimating the species tree. None of the newly developed introns here have previously been used for phylogeny reconstruction, thus increasing the spectrum of molecular markers available to mammalian systematics. Interestingly, all the newly developed intron data partitions exhibit intraindividual allele heterozygotes (IIAHs). There are 115 cases of IIAHs in total. The incorporation of IIAHs into phylogenetic analysis not only provides insights into the interfamilial relationships of Caniformia but also identifies two potential hybridization events occurred within Ursidae and Otariidae, respectively. Finally, the powers and pitfalls of phylogenetics using nuclear introns as markers are discussed in the context of Caniformia phylogeny.

  15. Phylogeny and phylogenetic classification of the antbirds, ovenbirds, woodcreepers, and allies (Aves: Passeriformes: Infraorder Furnariides)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moyle, R.G.; Chesser, R.T.; Brumfield, R.T.; Tello, J.G.; Marchese, D.J.; Cracraft, J.

    2009-01-01

    The infraorder Furnariides is a diverse group of suboscine passerine birds comprising a substantial component of the Neotropical avifauna. The included species encompass a broad array of morphologies and behaviours, making them appealing for evolutionary studies, but the size of the group (ca. 600 species) has limited well-sampled higher-level phylogenetic studies. Using DNA sequence data from the nuclear RAG-1 and RAG-2 exons, we undertook a phylogenetic analysis of the Furnariides sampling 124 (more than 88%) of the genera. Basal relationships among family-level taxa differed depending on phylogenetic method, but all topologies had little nodal support, mirroring the results from earlier studies in which discerning relationships at the base of the radiation was also difficult. In contrast, branch support for family-rank taxa and for many relationships within those clades was generally high. Our results support the Melanopareidae and Grallariidae as distinct from the Rhinocryptidae and Formicariidae, respectively. Within the Furnariides our data contradict some recent phylogenetic hypotheses and suggest that further study is needed to resolve these discrepancies. Of the few genera represented by multiple species, several were not monophyletic, indicating that additional systematic work remains within furnariine families and must include dense taxon sampling. We use this study as a basis for proposing a new phylogenetic classification for the group and in the process erect new family-group names for clades having high branch support across methods. ?? 2009 The Willi Hennig Society.

  16. Using asteroid families to test planetesimal differentiation hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, S.; Campins, H.; Delbo', M.; Michel, P.; Tanga, P.; Hanuš, J.; Morbidelli, A.

    2014-07-01

    consequences of the hypothesized compositional radial gradients within the planetesimal population. The circumstantial diversity (membership number, progenitor mass, and collision energy) determines how exposed the interior of the planetesimal is. Using estimates of the progenitor mass and the mass of the largest remnant (Tanga et al. 1999, Durda et al. 2007, Broz et al. 2013), we can assess the exposed nature of different asteroid families. Those with the lowest ratio of largest remnant to planetesimal mass are more exposed since more of their mass is within the asteroid family membership as opposed to being sequestered in the largest remnant. Furthermore, models of the planetesimal differentiation process are strongly size dependent since smaller bodies cool much more effectively. Therefore, progenitor mass is also a proxy for the expected degree of differentiation. Using this set of proxies, we examine a diverse array of asteroid families to test the hypothesis of differentiation or metamorphic grading.

  17. On the significance of an alternate pathway of melatonin synthesis via 5-methoxytryptamine: comparisons across species.

    PubMed

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Back, Kyoungwhan; Manchester, Lucien C; Alatorre-Jimenez, Moises A; Reiter, Russel J

    2016-08-01

    Melatonin is a phylogenetically ancient molecule. It is ubiquitously present in almost all organisms from primitive photosynthetic bacteria to humans. Its original primary function is presumable to be that of an antioxidant with other functions of this molecule having been acquired during evolution. The synthetic pathway of melatonin in vertebrates has been extensively studied. It is common knowledge that serotonin is acetylated to form N-acetylserotonin by arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) or arylamine N-acetyltransferase (SNAT or NAT) and N-acetylserotonin is, subsequently, methylated to melatonin by N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT; also known as hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase, HIOMT). This is referred to as a classic melatonin synthetic pathway. Based on new evidence, we feel that this classic melatonin pathway is not generally the prevailing route of melatonin production. An alternate pathway is known to exist, in which serotonin is first O-methylated to 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT) and, thereafter, 5-MT is N-acetylated to melatonin. Here, we hypothesize that the alternate melatonin synthetic pathway may be more important in certain organisms and under certain conditions. Evidence strongly supports that this alternate pathway prevails in some plants, bacteria, and, perhaps, yeast and may also occur in animals.

  18. Phylogenetics of Lophodermium from pine.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-García, Sol; Gernandt, David S; Stone, Jeffrey K; Johnston, Peter R; Chapela, Ignacio H; Salas-Lizana, Rodolfo; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena R

    2003-01-01

    Lophodermium comprises ascomycetous fungi that are both needle-cast pathogens and asymptomatic endophytes on a diversity of plant hosts. It is distinguished from other genera in the family Rhytismataceae by its filiform ascospores and ascocarps that open by a longitudinal slit. Nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA were used to infer phylogenetic relationships within Lophodermium. Twenty-nine sequences from approximately 11 species of Lophodermium were analyzed together with eight sequences from isolates thought to represent six other genera of Rhytismataceae: Elytroderma, Lirula, Meloderma, Terriera, Tryblidiopsis and Colpoma. Two putative Meloderma desmazieresii isolates occurred within the Lophodermium clade but separate from one another, one grouped with L. indianum and the other with L. nitens. An isolate of Elytroderma deformans also occurred within the Lophodermium clade but on a solitary branch. The occurrence of these genera within the Lophodermium clade might be due to problems in generic concepts in Rhytismataceae, such as emphasis on spore morphology to delimit genera, to difficulty of isolating Rhytismataceae needle pathogens from material that also is colonized by Lophodermium or to a combination of both factors. We also evaluated the congruence of host distribution and several morphological characters on the ITS phylogeny. Lophodermium species from pine hosts formed a monophyletic sister group to Lophodermium species from more distant hosts from the southern hemisphere, but not to L. piceae from Picea. The ITS topology indicated that Lophodermium does not show strict cospeciation with pines at deeper branches, although several closely related isolates have closely related hosts. Pathogenic species occupy derived positions in the pine clade, suggesting that pathogenicity has evolved from endophytism. A new combination is proposed, Terriera minor (Tehon) P.R. Johnst.

  19. Molecular Phylogenetics: Mathematical Framework and Unsolved Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Xuhua

    Phylogenetic relationship is essential in dating evolutionary events, reconstructing ancestral genes, predicting sites that are important to natural selection, and, ultimately, understanding genomic evolution. Three categories of phylogenetic methods are currently used: the distance-based, the maximum parsimony, and the maximum likelihood method. Here, I present the mathematical framework of these methods and their rationales, provide computational details for each of them, illustrate analytically and numerically the potential biases inherent in these methods, and outline computational challenges and unresolved problems. This is followed by a brief discussion of the Bayesian approach that has been recently used in molecular phylogenetics.

  20. Testing hypotheses of hydrologic alteration beyond ecological thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecht, J. S.; Vogel, R. M.; McManamay, R.

    2015-12-01

    Negative impacts to riverine species and ecosystems have often been observed when the hydrologic alteration following an abrupt impact to river flow, such as the construction of a dam, exceeds percent deviation thresholds. However, reported percent deviations for different pre- and post-impact flow statistics do not state the likelihood that percent deviations in excess of any threshold are due to an actual change and not sampling variability. Such probabilistic statements about the likelihood of an actual change exceeding a given percent deviation threshold are useful for guiding river restoration decisions, but are seldom available. We introduce a hypothesis testing approach for making probabilistic statements about changes between pre- and post-impact flow regimes that exceed of ecological thresholds. We create ensembles of annual flow duration curves (AFDCs), which provide signatures describing within-year and between-year daily flow variability during pre- and post-impact periods. Pre-impact AFDC ensembles are used to identify exceedance probabilities that are statistically independent from each other and have distinct ecological impacts, e.g. high flows and low flows. The central tendency of pre- and post-impact flows for the selected AFDC exceedance probabilities are compared with a nonparametric Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test. A field significance test is then employed to determine whether there has been a significant overall change in the flow regime. Through a case study of hydropower-induced flow alteration, we demonstrate how this testing approach can screen flow restoration decisions. We weight the differences between the hydropower and ecological performance of baseline and alternative dam operation policies with Type I (over-protection) and Type II (under-protection) errors. We discuss how similar decision-oriented approaches can also be applied to sequential daily flow hydrographs, or even other ecologically relevant variables, such as water temperature.

  1. Do Job Demands of Chinese Manufacturing Employees Predict Positive or Negative Outcomes? A Test of Competing Hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Janelle H; Sinclair, Robert R; Shi, Junqi; Wang, Mo

    2015-12-01

    Karasek's job demands-control (JDC) model posits that job control can buffer against the harmful effects of demands experienced by employees. A large volume of JDC research has obtained support for the main effects of demands and control, but not the interactive effects. Recent research on the challenge-hindrance stressors framework, however, found that work stressors may not always be deleterious, suggesting alternative hypotheses about the effects of demands and control. The present study therefore examined competing hypotheses concerning the effects of job demands on occupational health outcomes. Using a sample of 316 employees in a Chinese manufacturing company, we found that, consistent with the challenge-hindrance framework, production demands were challenge stressors associated with favourable outcomes (i.e. job satisfaction and psychological well-being). In addition, results showed that the interactive role of job control depended on the nature of outcome variables. Future recommendations and implications of findings are discussed.

  2. Use of mammal manure by nesting burrowing owls: a test of four functional hypotheses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, M.D.; Conway, C.J.

    2007-01-01

    Animals have evolved an impressive array of behavioural traits to avoid depredation. Olfactory camouflage of conspicuous odours is a strategy to avoid depredation that has been implicated only in a few species of birds. Burrowing owls, Athene cunicularia, routinely collect dried manure from mammals and scatter it in their nest chamber, in the tunnel leading to their nest and at the entrance to their nesting burrow. This unusual behaviour was thought to reduce nest depredation by concealing the scent of adults and juveniles, but a recent study suggests that manure functions to attract arthropod prey. However, burrowing owls routinely scatter other materials in the same way that they scatter manure, and this fact seems to be at odds with both of these hypotheses. Thus, we examined the function of this behaviour by testing four alternative hypotheses. We found no support for the widely cited olfactory-camouflage hypothesis (manure did not lower the probability of depredation), or for the mate-attraction hypothesis (males collected manure after, not before, pair formation). Predictions of the burrow-occupied hypothesis (manure indicates occupancy to conspecifics and thereby reduces agonistic interactions) were supported, but results were not statistically significant. Our results also supported several predictions of the prey-attraction hypothesis. Pitfall traps at sampling sites with manure collected more arthropod biomass (of taxa common in the diet of burrowing owls) than pitfall traps at sampling sites without manure. Scattering behaviour of burrowing owls appears to function to attract arthropod prey, but may also signal occupancy of a burrow to conspecifics. ?? 2006 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. A multiple hypotheses uncertainty analysis in hydrological modelling: about model structure, landscape parameterization, and numerical integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilz, Tobias; Francke, Till; Bronstert, Axel

    2016-04-01

    Until today a large number of competing computer models has been developed to understand hydrological processes and to simulate and predict streamflow dynamics of rivers. This is primarily the result of a lack of a unified theory in catchment hydrology due to insufficient process understanding and uncertainties related to model development and application. Therefore, the goal of this study is to analyze the uncertainty structure of a process-based hydrological catchment model employing a multiple hypotheses approach. The study focuses on three major problems that have received only little attention in previous investigations. First, to estimate the impact of model structural uncertainty by employing several alternative representations for each simulated process. Second, explore the influence of landscape discretization and parameterization from multiple datasets and user decisions. Third, employ several numerical solvers for the integration of the governing ordinary differential equations to study the effect on simulation results. The generated ensemble of model hypotheses is then analyzed and the three sources of uncertainty compared against each other. To ensure consistency and comparability all model structures and numerical solvers are implemented within a single simulation environment. First results suggest that the selection of a sophisticated numerical solver for the differential equations positively affects simulation outcomes. However, already some simple and easy to implement explicit methods perform surprisingly well and need less computational efforts than more advanced but time consuming implicit techniques. There is general evidence that ambiguous and subjective user decisions form a major source of uncertainty and can greatly influence model development and application at all stages.

  4. Magnetostrictive Alternator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger; Bruder, Geoffrey

    2013-01-01

    This innovation replaces the linear alternator presently used in Stirling engines with a continuous-gradient, impedance-matched, oscillating magnetostrictive transducer that eliminates all moving parts via compression, maintains high efficiency, costs less to manufacture, reduces mass, and eliminates the need for a bearing system. The key components of this new technology are the use of stacked magnetostrictive materials, such as Terfenol-D, under a biased magnetic and stress-induced compression, continuous-gradient impedance-matching material, coils, force-focusing metallic structure, and supports. The acoustic energy from the engine travels through an impedancematching layer that is physically connected to the magnetostrictive mass. Compression bolts keep the structure under compressive strain, allowing for the micron-scale compression of the magnetostrictive material and eliminating the need for bearings. The relatively large millimeter displacement of the pressure side of the impedance-matching material is reduced to micron motion, and undergoes stress amplification at the magnetostrictive interface. The alternating compression and expansion of the magnetostrictive material creates an alternating magnetic field that then induces an electric current in a coil that is wound around the stack. This produces electrical power from the acoustic pressure wave and, if the resonant frequency is tuned to match the engine, can replace the linear alternator that is commonly used.

  5. ALTERNATIVE OXIDANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter reports on the efforts of the USEPA to study chloramines, chlorine dioxide and ozone as alternative oxidants/disinfectants to chlorine for the control of disinfection by-rpdocuts (DBPs) in drinking water. It examines the control of DBPs like trihalomethanes and haloa...

  6. Alternative Thinking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Dan

    1999-01-01

    Explains how advances in diesel and alternative fuels has caused schools to reconsider their use for their bus fleets. Reductions in air pollution emissions, cost-savings developments, and the economies experienced from less downtime and maintenance requirements are explored. (GR)

  7. Testing for phylogenetic signal in biological traits: the ubiquity of cross-product statistics.

    PubMed

    Pavoine, Sandrine; Ricotta, Carlo

    2013-03-01

    To evaluate rates of evolution, to establish tests of correlation between two traits, or to investigate to what degree the phylogeny of a species assemblage is predictive of a trait value so-called tests for phylogenetic signal are used. Being based on different approaches, these tests are generally thought to possess quite different statistical performances. In this article, we show that the Blomberg et al. K and K*, the Abouheif index, the Moran's I, and the Mantel correlation are all based on a cross-product statistic, and are thus all related to each other when they are associated to a permutation test of phylogenetic signal. What changes is only the way phylogenetic and trait similarities (or dissimilarities) among the tips of a phylogeny are computed. The definitions of the phylogenetic and trait-based (dis)similarities among tips thus determines the performance of the tests. We shortly discuss the biological and statistical consequences (in terms of power and type I error of the tests) of the observed relatedness among the statistics that allow tests for phylogenetic signal. Blomberg et al. K* statistic appears as one on the most efficient approaches to test for phylogenetic signal. When branch lengths are not available or not accurate, Abouheif's Cmean statistic is a powerful alternative to K*.

  8. Learning about Bones at a Science Museum: Examining the Alternate Hypotheses of Ceiling Effect and Prior Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Judson, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    Groups of children at a science museum were pre- and post-assessed with a type of concept map, known as personal meaning maps, to determine what new understandings, if any, they were gaining from participation in a series of structured hands-on activities about bones and the process of bones healing. Close examination was made regarding whether…

  9. Computational Modeling to Evaluate Alternative Hypotheses for the Linkage of Aromatase Inhibition to Vitellogenin Levels in Fathead Minnows

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aromatase converts testosterone to estradiol (E2). In fish, E2 concentrations control hepatic synthesis of the glycolipoprotein vitellogenin (VTG), an egg yolk precursor protein essential to oocyte development and larval survival. Fathead minnows were exposed to the aromatase in...

  10. Migrating Seals on Shifting Sands: Testing Alternate Hypotheses for Holocene Ecological and Cultural Change on the California Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, P. L.; Newsome, S. D.; Gifford-Gonzalez, D.

    2001-12-01

    The coast of California presented Holocene humans with a diverse set of ecosystems and geomorphic features, from large islands off a semi-desert mainland in the south, to a mix of sandy and rocky beaches abutting grassland and oak forest in central California, to a rocky coast hugged by dense coniferous forest in the north. Theories explaining trends in human resource use, settlement patterns, and demography are equally diverse, but can be categorized as 1) driven by diffusion of technological innovations from outside the region, 2) driven by population growth leading to more intensive extraction of resources, or 3) driven by climatic factors that affect the resource base. With respect to climatic shifts, attention has focused on a possible regime shift ca. 5500 BP, following peak Holocene warming, and on evidence for massive droughts and a drop in marine productivity ca. 1000 BP. While evidence for a coincidence between climatic, cultural, and ecological change is present, albeit complex, in southern California, similar data are largely lacking from central and northern California. We are using isotopic and archaeofaunal analysis to test ideas for ecological and cultural change in central California. Three features of the archaeological record are relevant. First, overall use of marine resources by coastal communities declined after 1000 BP. Second, northern fur seals, which are common in earlier sites, drop in abundance relative to remaining marine animals. We have previously established that Holocene humans in central California were hunting gregariously-breeding northern fur seals from mainland rookeries. These seals breed exclusively on offshore islands today, typically at high latitudes. Their restriction to these isolated sites today may be a response to human overexploitation of their mainland rookeries prehistorically. Finally, collection of oxygen and carbon isotope data from mussels at the archaeological sites, while still in a preliminary phase, has uncovered no evidence for a conspicuous change in near shore marine temperature or productivity coincident with the loss of fur seals and the shift to use of terrestrial resources.

  11. Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Beutel, Rolf G; Friedrich, Frank; Leschen, Richard A B

    2009-11-01

    changed dramatically. With very large data sets and high throughput sampling, phylogenetic questions can be addressed without prior knowledge of morphological characters. Nevertheless, molecular studies have not lead to the great breakthrough in beetle systematics--yet. Especially the phylogeny of the extremely species rich suborder Polyphaga remains incompletely resolved. Coordinated efforts of molecular workers and of morphologists using innovative techniques may lead to more profound insights in the near future. The final aim is to develop a well-founded phylogeny, which truly reflects the evolution of this immensely species rich group of organisms.

  12. Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beutel, Rolf G.; Friedrich, Frank; Leschen, Richard A. B.

    2009-11-01

    . This has changed dramatically. With very large data sets and high throughput sampling, phylogenetic questions can be addressed without prior knowledge of morphological characters. Nevertheless, molecular studies have not lead to the great breakthrough in beetle systematics—yet. Especially the phylogeny of the extremely species rich suborder Polyphaga remains incompletely resolved. Coordinated efforts of molecular workers and of morphologists using innovative techniques may lead to more profound insights in the near future. The final aim is to develop a well-founded phylogeny, which truly reflects the evolution of this immensely species rich group of organisms.

  13. Geographic variation in plant community structure of salt marshes: species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M; Pennings, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  14. Geographic Variation in Plant Community Structure of Salt Marshes: Species, Functional and Phylogenetic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A.; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M.; Pennings, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  15. Phylogenetic Inference From Conserved sites Alignments

    SciTech Connect

    grundy, W.N.; Naylor, G.J.P.

    1999-08-15

    Molecular sequences provide a rich source of data for inferring the phylogenetic relationships among species. However, recent work indicates that even an accurate multiple alignment of a large sequence set may yield an incorrect phylogeny and that the quality of the phylogenetic tree improves when the input consists only of the highly conserved, motif regions of the alignment. This work introduces two methods of producing multiple alignments that include only the conserved regions of the initial alignment. The first method retains conserved motifs, whereas the second retains individual conserved sites in the initial alignment. Using parsimony analysis on a mitochondrial data set containing 19 species among which the phylogenetic relationships are widely accepted, both conserved alignment methods produce better phylogenetic trees than the complete alignment. Unlike any of the 19 inference methods used before to analyze this data, both methods produce trees that are completely consistent with the known phylogeny. The motif-based method employs far fewer alignment sites for comparable error rates. For a larger data set containing mitochondrial sequences from 39 species, the site-based method produces a phylogenetic tree that is largely consistent with known phylogenetic relationships and suggests several novel placements.

  16. A practical guide to phylogenetics for nonexperts.

    PubMed

    O'Halloran, Damien

    2014-02-05

    Many researchers, across incredibly diverse foci, are applying phylogenetics to their research question(s). However, many researchers are new to this topic and so it presents inherent problems. Here we compile a practical introduction to phylogenetics for nonexperts. We outline in a step-by-step manner, a pipeline for generating reliable phylogenies from gene sequence datasets. We begin with a user-guide for similarity search tools via online interfaces as well as local executables. Next, we explore programs for generating multiple sequence alignments followed by protocols for using software to determine best-fit models of evolution. We then outline protocols for reconstructing phylogenetic relationships via maximum likelihood and Bayesian criteria and finally describe tools for visualizing phylogenetic trees. While this is not by any means an exhaustive description of phylogenetic approaches, it does provide the reader with practical starting information on key software applications commonly utilized by phylogeneticists. The vision for this article would be that it could serve as a practical training tool for researchers embarking on phylogenetic studies and also serve as an educational resource that could be incorporated into a classroom or teaching-lab.

  17. A Practical Guide to Phylogenetics for Nonexperts

    PubMed Central

    O'Halloran, Damien

    2014-01-01

    Many researchers, across incredibly diverse foci, are applying phylogenetics to their research question(s). However, many researchers are new to this topic and so it presents inherent problems. Here we compile a practical introduction to phylogenetics for nonexperts. We outline in a step-by-step manner, a pipeline for generating reliable phylogenies from gene sequence datasets. We begin with a user-guide for similarity search tools via online interfaces as well as local executables. Next, we explore programs for generating multiple sequence alignments followed by protocols for using software to determine best-fit models of evolution. We then outline protocols for reconstructing phylogenetic relationships via maximum likelihood and Bayesian criteria and finally describe tools for visualizing phylogenetic trees. While this is not by any means an exhaustive description of phylogenetic approaches, it does provide the reader with practical starting information on key software applications commonly utilized by phylogeneticists. The vision for this article would be that it could serve as a practical training tool for researchers embarking on phylogenetic studies and also serve as an educational resource that could be incorporated into a classroom or teaching-lab. PMID:24562012

  18. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities.

    PubMed

    Graham, Catherine H; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten; McGuire, Jimmy A

    2009-11-17

    How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining an expensive means of locomotion at high elevations. We found that communities in the lowlands on opposite sides of the Andes tend to be phylogenetically similar despite their large differences in species composition, a pattern implicating the Andes as an important dispersal barrier. In contrast, along the steep environmental gradient between the lowlands and the Andes we found evidence that species turnover is comprised of relatively distantly related species. The integration of local and regional patterns of diversity across environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers provides insight into the potential underlying mechanisms that have shaped community composition and phylogenetic diversity in one of the most species-rich, complex regions of the world.

  19. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Catherine H.; Parra, Juan L.; Rahbek, Carsten; McGuire, Jimmy A.

    2009-01-01

    How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining an expensive means of locomotion at high elevations. We found that communities in the lowlands on opposite sides of the Andes tend to be phylogenetically similar despite their large differences in species composition, a pattern implicating the Andes as an important dispersal barrier. In contrast, along the steep environmental gradient between the lowlands and the Andes we found evidence that species turnover is comprised of relatively distantly related species. The integration of local and regional patterns of diversity across environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers provides insight into the potential underlying mechanisms that have shaped community composition and phylogenetic diversity in one of the most species-rich, complex regions of the world. PMID:19805042

  20. Orthologous repeats and mammalian phylogenetic inference

    PubMed Central

    Bashir, Ali; Ye, Chun; Price, Alkes L.; Bafna, Vineet

    2005-01-01

    Determining phylogenetic relationships between species is a difficult problem, and many phylogenetic relationships remain unresolved, even among eutherian mammals. Repetitive elements provide excellent markers for phylogenetic analysis, because their mode of evolution is predominantly homoplasy-free and unidirectional. Historically, phylogenetic studies using repetitive elements have relied on biological methods such as PCR analysis, and computational inference is limited to a few isolated repeats. Here, we present a novel computational method for inferring phylogenetic relationships from partial sequence data using orthologous repeats. We apply our method to reconstructing the phylogeny of 28 mammals, using more than 1000 orthologous repeats obtained from sequence data available from the NISC Comparative Sequencing Program. The resulting phylogeny has robust bootstrap numbers, and broadly matches results from previous studies which were obtained using entirely different data and methods. In addition, we shed light on some of the debatable aspects of the phylogeny. With rapid expansion of available partial sequence data, computational analysis of repetitive elements holds great promise for the future of phylogenetic inference. PMID:15998912

  1. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections.

  2. Network dynamics of eukaryotic LTR retroelements beyond phylogenetic trees

    PubMed Central

    Llorens, Carlos; Muñoz-Pomer, Alfonso; Bernad, Lucia; Botella, Hector; Moya, Andrés

    2009-01-01

    -represented combinations, are power-law distributed. This evidences an inflationary mode of evolution where the system diversity; 1) expands continuously alternating vertical and gradual processes of phylogenetic divergence with episodes of modular, saltatory and reticulate evolution; 2) is governed by the intrinsic capability of distinct LTR retroelement host-communities to self-organize their phenotypes according to emergent laws characteristic of complex systems. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Eugene V. Koonin, Eric Bapteste, and Enmanuelle Lerat (nominated by King Jordan) PMID:19883502

  3. Bayesian Evaluation of Inequality and Equality Constrained Hypotheses for Contingency Tables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klugkist, Irene; Laudy, Olav; Hoijtink, Herbert

    2010-01-01

    In this article, a Bayesian model selection approach is introduced that can select the best of a set of inequality and equality constrained hypotheses for contingency tables. The hypotheses are presented in terms of cell probabilities allowing researchers to test (in)equality constrained hypotheses in a format that is directly related to the data.…

  4. Phylogenetic signal in bone microstructure of sauropsids.

    PubMed

    Cubo, J; Ponton, F; Laurin, M; de Margerie, E; Castanet, J

    2005-08-01

    In spite of the fact that the potential usefulness of bone histology in systematics has been discussed for over one and a half centuries, the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the variation of histological characters has rarely been assessed. A quantitative assessment of phylogenetic signal in bone histological characters could provide a justification for performing optimizations of these traits onto independently generated phylogenetic trees (as has been done in recent years). Here we present an investigation on the quantification of the phylogenetic signal in the following bone histological, microanatomical, and morphological traits in a sample of femora of 35 species of sauropsids: vascular density, vascular orientation, index of Haversian remodeling, cortical thickness, and cross-sectional area (bone size). For this purpose, we use two methods, regressions on distance matrices tested for significance using permutations (a Mantel test) and random tree length distribution. Within sauropsids, these bone microstructural traits have an optimal systematic value in archosaurs. In this taxon, a Mantel test shows that the phylogeny explains 81.8% of the variation of bone size and 86.2% of the variation of cortical thickness. In contrast, a Mantel test suggests that the phylogenetic signal in histological traits is weak: although the phylogeny explains 18.7% of the variation of vascular density in archosaurs, the phylogenetic signal is not significant either for vascular orientation or for the index of Haversian remodeling. However, Mantel tests seem to underestimate the proportion of variance of the dependent character explained by the phylogeny, as suggested by a PVR (phylogenetic eigenvector) analysis. We also deal with some complementary questions. First, we evaluate the functional dependence of bone vascular density on bone size by using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Second, we perform a variation partitioning analysis and show that the phylogenetic

  5. Molecular phylogenetics of subclass Peritrichia (Ciliophora: Oligohymenophorea) based on expanded analyses of 18S rRNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Utz, Laura R P; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2007-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among peritrich ciliates remain unclear in spite of recent progress. To expand the analyses performed in previous studies, and to statistically test hypotheses of monophyly, we analyzed a broad sample of 18s rRNA sequences (including 15 peritrich genera), applying a conservative alignment strategy and several phylogenetic approaches. The main results are that: (i) the monophyly of Peritrichia cannot be rejected; (ii) the two main clades of Sessilida do not correspond to formally recognized taxa; (iii) the monophyly of genera Vorticella and Epistylis is significantly rejected; and (iv) morphological structures commonly used in peritrich taxonomy may be evolutionarily labile.

  6. Testing co-evolutionary hypotheses over geological timescales: interactions between Mesozoic non-avian dinosaurs and cycads.

    PubMed

    Butler, Richard J; Barrett, Paul M; Kenrick, Paul; Penn, Malcolm G

    2009-02-01

    The significance of co-evolution over ecological timescales is well established, yet it remains unclear to what extent co-evolutionary processes contribute to driving large-scale evolutionary and ecological changes over geological timescales. Some of the most intriguing and pervasive long-term co-evolutionary hypotheses relate to proposed interactions between herbivorous non-avian dinosaurs and Mesozoic plants, including cycads. Dinosaurs have been proposed as key dispersers of cycad seeds during the Mesozoic, and temporal variation in cycad diversity and abundance has been linked to dinosaur faunal changes. Here we assess the evidence for proposed hypotheses of trophic and evolutionary interactions between these two groups using diversity analyses, a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant co-occurrence data, and a geographical information system (GIS) as a visualisation tool. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that the origins of several key biological properties of cycads (e.g. toxins, bright-coloured seeds) likely predated the origin of dinosaurs. Direct evidence of dinosaur-cycad interactions is lacking, but evidence from extant ecosystems suggests that dinosaurs may plausibly have acted as seed dispersers for cycads, although it is likely that other vertebrate groups (e.g. birds, early mammals) also played a role. Although the Late Triassic radiations of dinosaurs and cycads appear to have been approximately contemporaneous, few significant changes in dinosaur faunas coincide with the late Early Cretaceous cycad decline. No significant spatiotemporal associations between particular dinosaur groups and cycads can be identified - GIS visualisation reveals disparities between the spatiotemporal distributions of some dinosaur groups (e.g. sauropodomorphs) and cycads that are inconsistent with co-evolutionary hypotheses. The available data provide no unequivocal support for any of the proposed co-evolutionary interactions between cycads and herbivorous dinosaurs

  7. Issues in Woman's Role in Economic Development: Critique and Alternatives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huntington, Suellen

    1975-01-01

    This paper explores issues and hypotheses concerned with women's work in developing economies. The relationships among agricultural labor, marketing, and trading activity rates in traditional and modernizing economies are not supported by the data. Alternative hypotheses explain the differential employment rates of women in modernizing economies.…

  8. Alternative fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grobman, J. S.; Butze, H. F.; Friedman, R.; Antoine, A. C.; Reynolds, T. W.

    1977-01-01

    Potential problems related to the use of alternative aviation turbine fuels are discussed and both ongoing and required research into these fuels is described. This discussion is limited to aviation turbine fuels composed of liquid hydrocarbons. The advantages and disadvantages of the various solutions to the problems are summarized. The first solution is to continue to develop the necessary technology at the refinery to produce specification jet fuels regardless of the crude source. The second solution is to minimize energy consumption at the refinery and keep fuel costs down by relaxing specifications.

  9. Conservation priority of global Galliformes species based on phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Youhua

    2014-06-01

    In this study, based on phylogenetic diversity (PD), I develop a conservation strategy for Galliformes species around the world. A cladogram of 197 Galliformes species derived from a previous study was used for calculating PD metrics. Branch length is an important aspect of the phylogenetic information a tree can convey, but 2 traditionally-used metrics, the number of phylogenetic groups to which a taxon belongs (I) and the proportion that each taxon contributes to the total diversity of the group (W), are fully node-based and do not take branch length into account. Therefore, to measure PD more appropriately, I combined a branch-related metric, pendant edge (P), in addition to I and W. A final combined rank for Galliformes species was obtained by summing the ranks of the 3 metrics. My results showed that the 5% top priority species for conserving evolutionary potential were Galloperdix lunulata, Haematortyx sanguiniceps, Margaroperdix madagarensis, Syrmaticus soemmerringii, Coturnix pectoralis, Polyplectron napoleonis, Alectoris melanocephala, Xenoperdix udzungwensis, Afropavo congensis and Syrmaticus reevesii. The current species priority ranking based on pylogenetic diversity and the official International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranking of Galliformes species was significantly correlated when considering the 5 categories of IUCN (critical endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened and least concern). This indicated the feasibility of introducing the PD index into the network of IUCN regional Red List assessment. The 5% top priority countries selected using the complementarity principle possessing diversified Galliformes genetic resources were China, Indonesia, Mexico, India, Colombia, Australia, Brazil, Angola, Congo and Japan (in descending order). China, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, India and Colombia are consistently selected among the 4 top priority sets of richness, rarity, endemicity and PD. This result indicated that the priority

  10. Functional and phylogenetic structure of island bird communities.

    PubMed

    Si, Xingfeng; Cadotte, Marc W; Zeng, Di; Baselga, Andrés; Zhao, Yuhao; Li, Jiaqi; Wu, Yiru; Wang, Siyu; Ding, Ping

    2017-02-13

    Biodiversity change in anthropogenically transformed habitats is often nonrandom, yet the nature and importance of the different mechanisms shaping community structure are unclear. Here, we extend the classic Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) to account for nonrandom processes by incorporating species traits and phylogenetic relationships into a study of faunal relaxation following habitat loss and fragmentation. Two possible mechanisms can create nonrandom community patterns on fragment islands. First, small and isolated islands might consist of similar or closely related species because they are environmentally homogeneous or select for certain shared traits, such as dispersal ability. Alternatively, communities on small islands might contain more dissimilar or distantly related species than on large islands because limited space and resource availability result in greater competitive exclusion among species with high niche overlap. Breeding birds were surveyed on 36 islands and two mainland sites annually from 2010 to 2014 in the Thousand Island Lake region, China. We assessed community structure of breeding birds on these subtropical land-bridge islands by integrating species' trait and evolutionary distances. We additionally analysed habitat heterogeneity and variance in size ratios to distinguish biotic and abiotic processes of community assembly. Results showed that functional-phylogenetic diversity increased with island area, and decreased with isolation. Bird communities on the mainland were more diverse and generally less clustered than island bird communities and not different than randomly assembled communities. Bird communities on islands tend to be functionally similar and phylogenetically clustered, especially on small and isolated islands. The nonrandom decline in species diversity and change in bird community structure with island area and isolation, along with the relatively homogeneous habitats on small islands, support the environmental

  11. Increased taxon sampling greatly reduces phylogenetic error.

    PubMed

    Zwickl, Derrick J; Hillis, David M

    2002-08-01

    Several authors have argued recently that extensive taxon sampling has a positive and important effect on the accuracy of phylogenetic estimates. However, other authors have argued that there is little benefit of extensive taxon sampling, and so phylogenetic problems can or should be reduced to a few exemplar taxa as a means of reducing the computational complexity of the phylogenetic analysis. In this paper we examined five aspects of study design that may have led to these different perspectives. First, we considered the measurement of phylogenetic error across a wide range of taxon sample sizes, and conclude that the expected error based on randomly selecting trees (which varies by taxon sample size) must be considered in evaluating error in studies of the effects of taxon sampling. Second, we addressed the scope of the phylogenetic problems defined by different samples of taxa, and argue that phylogenetic scope needs to be considered in evaluating the importance of taxon-sampling strategies. Third, we examined the claim that fast and simple tree searches are as effective as more thorough searches at finding near-optimal trees that minimize error. We show that a more complete search of tree space reduces phylogenetic error, especially as the taxon sample size increases. Fourth, we examined the effects of simple versus complex simulation models on taxonomic sampling studies. Although benefits of taxon sampling are apparent for all models, data generated under more complex models of evolution produce higher overall levels of error and show greater positive effects of increased taxon sampling. Fifth, we asked if different phylogenetic optimality criteria show different effects of taxon sampling. Although we found strong differences in effectiveness of different optimality criteria as a function of taxon sample size, increased taxon sampling improved the results from all the common optimality criteria. Nonetheless, the method that showed the lowest overall

  12. Targeted recovery of novel phylogenetic diversity from next-generation sequence data.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael D J; Bartram, Andrea K; Neufeld, Josh D

    2012-11-01

    Next-generation sequencing technologies have led to recognition of a so-called 'rare biosphere'. These microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) are defined by low relative abundance and may be specifically adapted to maintaining low population sizes. We hypothesized that mining of low-abundance next-generation 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene data would lead to the discovery of novel phylogenetic diversity, reflecting microorganisms not yet discovered by previous sampling efforts. Here, we test this hypothesis by combining molecular and bioinformatic approaches for targeted retrieval of phylogenetic novelty within rare biosphere OTUs. We combined BLASTN network analysis, phylogenetics and targeted primer design to amplify 16S rRNA gene sequences from unique potential bacterial lineages, comprising part of the rare biosphere from a multi-million sequence data set from an Arctic tundra soil sample. Demonstrating the feasibility of the protocol developed here, three of seven recovered phylogenetic lineages represented extremely divergent taxonomic entities. These divergent target sequences correspond to (a) a previously unknown lineage within the BRC1 candidate phylum, (b) a sister group to the early diverging and currently recognized monospecific Cyanobacteria Gloeobacter, a genus containing multiple plesiomorphic traits and (c) a highly divergent lineage phylogenetically resolved within mitochondria. A comparison to twelve next-generation data sets from additional soils suggested persistent low-abundance distributions of these novel 16S rRNA genes. The results demonstrate this sequence analysis and retrieval pipeline as applicable for exploring underrepresented phylogenetic novelty and recovering taxa that may represent significant steps in bacterial evolution.

  13. Millimeter-Scale Patterns of Phylogenetic and Trait Diversity in a Salt Marsh Microbial Mat

    PubMed Central

    Armitage, David W.; Gallagher, Kimberley L.; Youngblut, Nicholas D.; Buckley, Daniel H.; Zinder, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    Intertidal microbial mats are comprised of distinctly colored millimeter-thick layers whose communities organize in response to environmental gradients such as light availability, oxygen/sulfur concentrations, and redox potential. Here, slight changes in depth correspond to sharp niche boundaries. We explore the patterns of biodiversity along this depth gradient as it relates to functional groups of bacteria, as well as trait-encoding genes. We used molecular techniques to determine how the mat’s layers differed from one another with respect to taxonomic, phylogenetic, and trait diversity, and used these metrics to assess potential drivers of community assembly. We used a range of null models to compute the degree of phylogenetic and functional dispersion for each layer. The SSU-rRNA reads were dominated by Cyanobacteria and Chromatiales, but contained a high taxonomic diversity. The composition of each mat core was significantly different for developmental stage, year, and layer. Phylogenetic richness and evenness positively covaried with depth, and trait richness tended to decrease with depth. We found evidence for significant phylogenetic clustering for all bacteria below the surface layer, supporting the role of habitat filtering in the assembly of mat layers. However, this signal disappeared when the phylogenetic dispersion of particular functional groups, such as oxygenic phototrophs, was measured. Overall, trait diversity measured by orthologous genes was also lower than would be expected by chance, except for genes related to photosynthesis in the topmost layer. Additionally, we show how the choice of taxa pools, null models, spatial scale, and phylogenies can impact our ability to test hypotheses pertaining to community assembly. Our results demonstrate that given the appropriate physiochemical conditions, strong phylogenetic, and trait variation, as well as habitat filtering, can occur at the millimeter-scale. PMID:22908010

  14. Millimeter-scale patterns of phylogenetic and trait diversity in a salt marsh microbial mat.

    PubMed

    Armitage, David W; Gallagher, Kimberley L; Youngblut, Nicholas D; Buckley, Daniel H; Zinder, Stephen H

    2012-01-01

    Intertidal microbial mats are comprised of distinctly colored millimeter-thick layers whose communities organize in response to environmental gradients such as light availability, oxygen/sulfur concentrations, and redox potential. Here, slight changes in depth correspond to sharp niche boundaries. We explore the patterns of biodiversity along this depth gradient as it relates to functional groups of bacteria, as well as trait-encoding genes. We used molecular techniques to determine how the mat's layers differed from one another with respect to taxonomic, phylogenetic, and trait diversity, and used these metrics to assess potential drivers of community assembly. We used a range of null models to compute the degree of phylogenetic and functional dispersion for each layer. The SSU-rRNA reads were dominated by Cyanobacteria and Chromatiales, but contained a high taxonomic diversity. The composition of each mat core was significantly different for developmental stage, year, and layer. Phylogenetic richness and evenness positively covaried with depth, and trait richness tended to decrease with depth. We found evidence for significant phylogenetic clustering for all bacteria below the surface layer, supporting the role of habitat filtering in the assembly of mat layers. However, this signal disappeared when the phylogenetic dispersion of particular functional groups, such as oxygenic phototrophs, was measured. Overall, trait diversity measured by orthologous genes was also lower than would be expected by chance, except for genes related to photosynthesis in the topmost layer. Additionally, we show how the choice of taxa pools, null models, spatial scale, and phylogenies can impact our ability to test hypotheses pertaining to community assembly. Our results demonstrate that given the appropriate physiochemical conditions, strong phylogenetic, and trait variation, as well as habitat filtering, can occur at the millimeter-scale.

  15. Worldwide Phylogenetic Relationship of Avian Poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups, and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g., starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy. PMID:23408635

  16. Prioritizing Populations for Conservation Using Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O.

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations. PMID:24586451

  17. Primate molecular phylogenetics in a genomic era.

    PubMed

    Ting, Nelson; Sterner, Kirstin N

    2013-02-01

    A primary objective of molecular phylogenetics is to use molecular data to elucidate the evolutionary history of living organisms. Dr. Morris Goodman founded the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution as a forum where scientists could further our knowledge about the tree of life, and he recognized that the inference of species trees is a first and fundamental step to addressing many important evolutionary questions. In particular, Dr. Goodman was interested in obtaining a complete picture of the primate species tree in order to provide an evolutionary context for the study of human adaptations. A number of recent studies use multi-locus datasets to infer well-resolved and well-supported primate phylogenetic trees using consensus approaches (e.g., supermatrices). It is therefore tempting to assume that we have a complete picture of the primate tree, especially above the species level. However, recent theoretical and empirical work in the field of molecular phylogenetics demonstrates that consensus methods might provide a false sense of support at certain nodes. In this brief review we discuss the current state of primate molecular phylogenetics and highlight the importance of exploring the use of coalescent-based analyses that have the potential to better utilize information contained in multi-locus data.

  18. Worldwide phylogenetic relationship of avian poxviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gyuranecz, Miklós; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we have expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g. starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy.

  19. Genomic Repeat Abundances Contain Phylogenetic Signal

    PubMed Central

    Dodsworth, Steven; Chase, Mark W.; Kelly, Laura J.; Leitch, Ilia J.; Macas, Jiří; Novák, Petr; Piednoël, Mathieu; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Leitch, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of genomic information, particularly repetitive elements, is usually ignored when researchers are using next-generation sequencing. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of this repetitive fraction in phylogenetic analyses, utilizing comparative graph-based clustering of next-generation sequence reads, which results in abundance estimates of different classes of genomic repeats. Phylogenetic trees are then inferred based on the genome-wide abundance of different repeat types treated as continuously varying characters; such repeats are scattered across chromosomes and in angiosperms can constitute a majority of nuclear genomic DNA. In six diverse examples, five angiosperms and one insect, this method provides generally well-supported relationships at interspecific and intergeneric levels that agree with results from more standard phylogenetic analyses of commonly used markers. We propose that this methodology may prove especially useful in groups where there is little genetic differentiation in standard phylogenetic markers. At the same time as providing data for phylogenetic inference, this method additionally yields a wealth of data for comparative studies of genome evolution. PMID:25261464

  20. Phylogenetic tree shapes resolve disease transmission patterns

    PubMed Central

    Colijn, Caroline; Gardy, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Whole-genome sequencing is becoming popular as a tool for understanding outbreaks of communicable diseases, with phylogenetic trees being used to identify individual transmission events or to characterize outbreak-level overall transmission dynamics. Existing methods to infer transmission dynamics from sequence data rely on well-characterized infectious periods, epidemiological and clinical metadata which may not always be available, and typically require computationally intensive analysis focusing on the branch lengths in phylogenetic trees. We sought to determine whether the topological structures of phylogenetic trees contain signatures of the transmission patterns underlying an outbreak. Methodology: We use simulated outbreaks to train and then test computational classifiers. We test the method on data from two real-world outbreaks. Results: We show that different transmission patterns result in quantitatively different phylogenetic tree shapes. We describe topological features that summarize a phylogeny’s structure and find that computational classifiers based on these are capable of predicting an outbreak’s transmission dynamics. The method is robust to variations in the transmission parameters and network types, and recapitulates known epidemiology of previously characterized real-world outbreaks. Conclusions and implications: There are simple structural properties of phylogenetic trees which, when combined, can distinguish communicable disease outbreaks with a super-spreader, homogeneous transmission and chains of transmission. This is possible using genome data alone, and can be done during an outbreak. We discuss the implications for management of outbreaks. PMID:24916411

  1. Fungal phylogenetic diversity drives plant facilitation.

    PubMed

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Segarra-Moragues, J G; Valiente-Banuet, A; Verdú, M

    2016-06-01

    Plant-plant facilitation is a crucial ecological process, as many plant species (facilitated) require the presence of an established individual (nurse) to recruit. Some plant facilitative interactions disappear during the ontogenetic development of the facilitated plant but others persist, even when the two plants are adults. We test whether the persistence of plant facilitative interactions is explained by the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi that the nurse and the facilitated species add to the shared rhizosphere. We classify plant facilitative interactions as persistent and non-persistent interactions and quantify the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi added by the plant species to the shared rhizosphere. Our results show that the facilitated species add less phylogenetic diversity of non-mutualistic fungi when plant facilitative interactions persist than when they do not persist. However, persistent and non-persistent facilitative interactions did not differ in the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic fungi added by the facilitated species to the shared rhizosphere. Finally, the fungal phylogenetic diversity added by the nurse to the shared rhizosphere did not differ between persistent and non-persistent interactions. This study suggests that considering the fungal associates of the plant species involved in facilitative interactions can shed light on the mechanisms of persistence for plant-plant interactions.

  2. No evidence for phylogenetic constraint on natural defense evolution among wild tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Haak, David C; Ballenger, Blake A; Moyle, Leonie C

    2014-06-01

    Plant defense traits can be shaped by evolutionary and physiological constraints, as well as local ecological selection. We assessed the relative importance of these factors in shaping defense trait variation across the wild tomato clade (a group of 13 closely related species) using an herbivore bioassay (Manduca sexta). With phylogenetic comparative methods, we evaluated patterns of constitutive and induced defense variation, and the extent of coupling between alternative defense strategies. We detected substantial variation among species and found no evidence for phylogenetic conservatism among defensive traits, unlike for two other ecologically relevant (reproductive) traits. In addition, constitutive and induced defense syndromes were unassociated. These data indicate that, in this group, there is no evidence for either phylogenetic conservatism of shared consumer guilds that shape defense traits, or for constraints on defense trait evolution, including mechanistic trade-offs between defense strategies. Our data suggest that defense trait variation in this clade instead results from rapid responses to local ecological conditions.

  3. Quantifying phylogenetic beta diversity: distinguishing between 'true' turnover of lineages and phylogenetic diversity gradients.

    PubMed

    Leprieur, Fabien; Albouy, Camille; De Bortoli, Julien; Cowman, Peter F; Bellwood, David R; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    The evolutionary dissimilarity between communities (phylogenetic beta diversity PBD) has been increasingly explored by ecologists and biogeographers to assess the relative roles of ecological and evolutionary processes in structuring natural communities. Among PBD measures, the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices have been widely used to assess the level of turnover of lineages over geographical and environmental gradients. However, these indices can be considered as 'broad-sense' measures of phylogenetic turnover as they incorporate different aspects of differences in evolutionary history between communities that may be attributable to phylogenetic diversity gradients. In the present study, we extend an additive partitioning framework proposed for compositional beta diversity to PBD. Specifically, we decomposed the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices into two separate components accounting for 'true' phylogenetic turnover and phylogenetic diversity gradients, respectively. We illustrated the relevance of this framework using simple theoretical and archetypal examples, as well as an empirical study based on coral reef fish communities. Overall, our results suggest that using PhyloSor and UniFrac may greatly over-estimate the level of spatial turnover of lineages if the two compared communities show contrasting levels of phylogenetic diversity. We therefore recommend that future studies use the 'true' phylogenetic turnover component of these indices when the studied communities encompass a large phylogenetic diversity gradient.

  4. Teaching Molecular Phylogenetics through Investigating a Real-World Phylogenetic Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiaorong

    2012-01-01

    A phylogenetics exercise is incorporated into the "Introduction to biocomputing" course, a junior-level course at Savannah State University. This exercise is designed to help students learn important concepts and practical skills in molecular phylogenetics through solving a real-world problem. In this application, students are required to identify…

  5. Larger phylogenetic distances in litter mixtures: lower microbial biomass and higher C/N ratios but equal mass loss.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xu; Berg, Matty P; Butenschoen, Olaf; Murray, Phil J; Bartish, Igor V; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Dong, Ming; Prinzing, Andreas

    2015-05-07

    Phylogenetic distances of coexisting species differ greatly within plant communities, but their consequences for decomposers and decomposition remain unknown. We hypothesized that large phylogenetic distance of leaf litter mixtures increases differences of their litter traits, which may, in turn, result in increased resource complementarity or decreased resource concentration for decomposers and hence increased or decreased chemical transformation and reduction of litter. We conducted a litter mixture experiment including 12 common temperate tree species (evolutionarily separated by up to 106 Myr), and sampled after seven months, at which average mass loss was more than 50%. We found no effect of increased phylogenetic distance on litter mass loss or on abundance and diversity of invertebrate decomposers. However, phylogenetic distance decreased microbial biomass and increased carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios of litter mixtures. Consistently, four litter traits showed (marginally) significant phylogenetic signal and in three of these traits increasing trait difference decreased microbial biomass and increased C/N. We suggest that phylogenetic proximity of litter favours microbial decomposers and chemical transformation of litter owing to a resource concentration effect. This leads to a new hypothesis: closely related plant species occurring in the same niche should promote and profit from increased nutrient availability.

  6. Larger phylogenetic distances in litter mixtures: lower microbial biomass and higher C/N ratios but equal mass loss

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Xu; Berg, Matty P.; Butenschoen, Olaf; Murray, Phil J.; Bartish, Igor V.; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.; Dong, Ming; Prinzing, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic distances of coexisting species differ greatly within plant communities, but their consequences for decomposers and decomposition remain unknown. We hypothesized that large phylogenetic distance of leaf litter mixtures increases differences of their litter traits, which may, in turn, result in increased resource complementarity or decreased resource concentration for decomposers and hence increased or decreased chemical transformation and reduction of litter. We conducted a litter mixture experiment including 12 common temperate tree species (evolutionarily separated by up to 106 Myr), and sampled after seven months, at which average mass loss was more than 50%. We found no effect of increased phylogenetic distance on litter mass loss or on abundance and diversity of invertebrate decomposers. However, phylogenetic distance decreased microbial biomass and increased carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios of litter mixtures. Consistently, four litter traits showed (marginally) significant phylogenetic signal and in three of these traits increasing trait difference decreased microbial biomass and increased C/N. We suggest that phylogenetic proximity of litter favours microbial decomposers and chemical transformation of litter owing to a resource concentration effect. This leads to a new hypothesis: closely related plant species occurring in the same niche should promote and profit from increased nutrient availability. PMID:25876845

  7. Phylogenetic trees and the future of mammalian biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Davies, T. Jonathan; Fritz, Susanne A.; Grenyer, Richard; Orme, C. David L.; Bielby, Jon; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf R. P.; Cardillo, Marcel; Jones, Kate E.; Gittleman, John L.; Mace, Georgina M.; Purvis, Andy

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenies describe the origins and history of species. However, they can also help to predict species' fates and so can be useful tools for managing the future of biodiversity. This article starts by sketching how phylogenetic, geographic, and trait information can be combined to elucidate present mammalian diversity patterns and how they arose. Recent diversification rates and standing diversity show different geographic patterns, indicating that cradles of diversity have moved over time. Patterns in extinction risk reflect both biological differences among mammalian lineages and differences in threat intensity among regions. Phylogenetic comparative analyses indicate that for small-bodied mammals, extinction risk is governed mostly by where the species live and the intensity of the threats, whereas for large-bodied mammals, ecological differences also play an important role. This modeling approach identifies species whose intrinsic biology renders them particularly vulnerable to increased human pressure. We outline how the approach might be extended to consider future trends in anthropogenic drivers, to identify likely future battlegrounds of mammalian conservation, and the likely casualties. This framework could help to highlight consequences of choosing among different future climatic and socioeconomic scenarios. We end by discussing priority-setting, showing how alternative currencies for diversity can suggest very different priorities. We argue that aiming to maximize long-term evolutionary responses is inappropriate, that conservation planning needs to consider costs as well as benefits, and that proactive conservation of largely intact systems should be part of a balanced strategy. PMID:18695230

  8. Improved harmonic mean estimator for phylogenetic model evidence.

    PubMed

    Arima, Serena; Tardella, Luca

    2012-04-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods are generating noticeable enthusiasm in the field of molecular systematics. Many phylogenetic models are often at stake, and different approaches are used to compare them within a Bayesian framework. The Bayes factor, defined as the ratio of the marginal likelihoods of two competing models, plays a key role in Bayesian model selection. We focus on an alternative estimator of the marginal likelihood whose computation is still a challenging problem. Several computational solutions have been proposed, none of which can be considered outperforming the others simultaneously in terms of simplicity of implementation, computational burden and precision of the estimates. Practitioners and researchers, often led by available software, have privileged so far the simplicity of the harmonic mean (HM) estimator. However, it is known that the resulting estimates of the Bayesian evidence in favor of one model are biased and often inaccurate, up to having an infinite variance so that the reliability of the corresponding conclusions is doubtful. We consider possible improvements of the generalized harmonic mean (GHM) idea that recycle Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations from the posterior, share the computational simplicity of the original HM estimator, but, unlike it, overcome the infinite variance issue. We show reliability and comparative performance of the improved harmonic mean estimators comparing them to approximation techniques relying on improved variants of the thermodynamic integration.

  9. Visualizing Phylogenetic Treespace Using Cartographic Projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundberg, Kenneth; Clement, Mark; Snell, Quinn

    Phylogenetic analysis is becoming an increasingly important tool for biological research. Applications include epidemiological studies, drug development, and evolutionary analysis. Phylogenetic search is a known NP-Hard problem. The size of the data sets which can be analyzed is limited by the exponential growth in the number of trees that must be considered as the problem size increases. A better understanding of the problem space could lead to better methods, which in turn could lead to the feasible analysis of more data sets. We present a definition of phylogenetic tree space and a visualization of this space that shows significant exploitable structure. This structure can be used to develop search methods capable of handling much larger datasets.

  10. Phylogenetic conservatism of extinctions in marine bivalves.

    PubMed

    Roy, Kaustuv; Hunt, Gene; Jablonski, David

    2009-08-07

    Evolutionary histories of species and lineages can influence their vulnerabilities to extinction, but the importance of this effect remains poorly explored for extinctions in the geologic past. When analyzed using a standardized taxonomy within a phylogenetic framework, extinction rates of marine bivalves estimated from the fossil record for the last approximately 200 million years show conservatism at multiple levels of evolutionary divergence, both within individual families and among related families. The strength of such phylogenetic clustering varies over time and is influenced by earlier extinction history, especially by the demise of volatile taxa in the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Analyses of the evolutionary roles of ancient extinctions and predictive models of vulnerability of taxa to future natural and anthropogenic stressors should take phylogenetic relationships and extinction history into account.

  11. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhengting; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-09-02

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

  12. A Comprehensive Phylogenetic Analysis of Deadenylases

    PubMed Central

    Pavlopoulou, Athanasia; Vlachakis, Dimitrios; Balatsos, Nikolaos A.A.; Kossida, Sophia

    2013-01-01

    Deadenylases catalyze the shortening of the poly(A) tail at the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) 3′-end in eukaryotes. Therefore, these enzymes influence mRNA decay, and constitute a major emerging group of promising anti-cancer pharmacological targets. Herein, we conducted full phylogenetic analyses of the deadenylase homologs in all available genomes in an effort to investigate evolutionary relationships between the deadenylase families and to identify invariant residues, which probably play key roles in the function of deadenylation across species. Our study includes both major Asp-Glu-Asp-Asp (DEDD) and exonuclease-endonuclease-phospatase (EEP) deadenylase superfamilies. The phylogenetic analysis has provided us with important information regarding conserved and invariant deadenylase amino acids across species. Knowledge of the phylogenetic properties and evolution of the domain of deadenylases provides the foundation for the targeted drug design in the pharmaceutical industry and modern exonuclease anti-cancer scientific research. PMID:24348009

  13. Morphological and molecular convergences in mammalian phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Zhengting; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Phylogenetic species delimitation for crayfishes of the genus Pacifastacus

    PubMed Central

    Castelin, Magalie; Williams, Bronwyn W.; Olden, Julian D.; Abbott, Cathryn L.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular genetic approaches are playing an increasing role in conservation science by identifying biodiversity that may not be evident by morphology-based taxonomy and systematics. So-called cryptic species are particularly prevalent in freshwater environments, where isolation of dispersal-limited species, such as crayfishes, within dendritic river networks often gives rise to high intra- and inter-specific genetic divergence. We apply here a multi-gene molecular approach to investigate relationships among extant species of the crayfish genus Pacifastacus, representing the first comprehensive phylogenetic study of this taxonomic group. Importantly, Pacifastacus includes both the widely invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus, as well as several species of conservation concern like the Shasta crayfish Pacifastacus fortis. Our analysis used 83 individuals sampled across the four extant Pacifastacus species (omitting the extinct Pacifastacus nigrescens), representing the known taxonomic diversity and geographic distributions within this genus as comprehensively as possible. We reconstructed phylogenetic trees from mitochondrial (16S, COI) and nuclear genes (GAPDH), both separately and using a combined or concatenated dataset, and performed several species delimitation analyses (PTP, ABGD, GMYC) on the COI phylogeny to propose Primary Species Hypotheses (PSHs) within the genus. All phylogenies recovered the genus Pacifastacus as monophyletic, within which we identified a range of six to 21 PSHs; more abundant PSHs delimitations from GMYC and ABGD were always nested within PSHs delimited by the more conservative PTP method. Pacifastacus leniusculus included the majority of PSHs and was not monophyletic relative to the other Pacifastacus species considered. Several of these highly distinct P. leniusculus PSHs likely require urgent conservation attention. Our results identify research needs and conservation priorities for Pacifastacus crayfishes in western

  15. Syphilis at the Crossroad of Phylogenetics and Paleopathology

    PubMed Central

    de Melo, Fernando Lucas; de Mello, Joana Carvalho Moreira; Fraga, Ana Maria; Nunes, Kelly; Eggers, Sabine

    2010-01-01

    The origin of syphilis is still controversial. Different research avenues explore its fascinating history. Here we employed a new integrative approach, where paleopathology and molecular analyses are combined. As an exercise to test the validity of this approach we examined different hypotheses on the origin of syphilis and other human diseases caused by treponemes (treponematoses). Initially, we constructed a worldwide map containing all accessible reports on palaeopathological evidences of treponematoses before Columbus's return to Europe. Then, we selected the oldest ones to calibrate the time of the most recent common ancestor of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, T. pallidum subsp. endemicum and T. pallidum subsp. pertenue in phylogenetic analyses with 21 genetic regions of different T. pallidum strains previously reported. Finally, we estimated the treponemes' evolutionary rate to test three scenarios: A) if treponematoses accompanied human evolution since Homo erectus; B) if venereal syphilis arose very recently from less virulent strains caught in the New World about 500 years ago, and C) if it emerged in the Americas between 16,500 and 5,000 years ago. Two of the resulting evolutionary rates were unlikely and do not explain the existent osseous evidence. Thus, treponematoses, as we know them today, did not emerge with H. erectus, nor did venereal syphilis appear only five centuries ago. However, considering 16,500 years before present (yBP) as the time of the first colonization of the Americas, and approximately 5,000 yBP as the oldest probable evidence of venereal syphilis in the world, we could not entirely reject hypothesis C. We confirm that syphilis seems to have emerged in this time span, since the resulting evolutionary rate is compatible with those observed in other bacteria. In contrast, if the claims of precolumbian venereal syphilis outside the Americas are taken into account, the place of origin remains unsolved. Finally, the endeavor of

  16. The phylogenetic significance of colour patterns in marine teleost larvae

    PubMed Central

    Baldwin, Carole C

    2013-01-01

    Ichthyologists, natural-history artists, and tropical-fish aquarists have described, illustrated, or photographed colour patterns in adult marine fishes for centuries, but colour patterns in marine fish larvae have largely been neglected. Yet the pelagic larval stages of many marine fishes exhibit subtle to striking, ephemeral patterns of chromatophores that warrant investigation into their potential taxonomic and phylogenetic significance. Colour patterns in larvae of over 200 species of marine teleosts, primarily from the western Caribbean, were examined from digital colour photographs, and their potential utility in elucidating evolutionary relationships at various taxonomic levels was assessed. Larvae of relatively few basal marine teleosts exhibit erythrophores, xanthophores, or iridophores (i.e. nonmelanistic chromatophores), but one or more of those types of chromatophores are visible in larvae of many basal marine neoteleosts and nearly all marine percomorphs. Whether or not the presence of nonmelanistic chromatophores in pelagic marine larvae diagnoses any major teleost taxonomic group cannot be determined based on the preliminary survey conducted, but there is a trend toward increased colour from elopomorphs to percomorphs. Within percomorphs, patterns of nonmelanistic chromatophores may help resolve or contribute evidence to existing hypotheses of relationships at multiple levels of classification. Mugilid and some beloniform larvae share a unique ontogenetic transformation of colour pattern that lends support to the hypothesis of a close relationship between them. Larvae of some tetraodontiforms and lophiiforms are strikingly similar in having the trunk enclosed in an inflated sac covered with xanthophores, a character that may help resolve the relationships of these enigmatic taxa. Colour patterns in percomorph larvae also appear to diagnose certain groups at the interfamilial, familial, intergeneric, and generic levels. Slight differences in generic

  17. Phylogenetic origins of Lophocereus (Cactaceae) and the senita cactus-senita moth pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Stefanie; Nason, John D; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2002-07-01

    Recent ecological research has revealed that the Sonoran Desert columnar cactus Lophocereus and the pyralid moth Upiga virescens form an obligate pollination mutualism, a rare but important case of coevolution. To investigate the phylogenetic origins of this unusual pollination system, we used molecular sequence data to reconstruct the phylogeny of the four taxa within the genus Lophocereus and to determine the phylogenetic position of Lophocereus within the North American columnar cacti (tribe Pachycereeae). Our analysis included Lophocereus, six Pachycereus species, Carnegiea gigantea, and Neobuxbaumia tetetzo within the subtribe Pachycereinae, and Stenocereus thurberi as an outgroup within the Stenocereinae. Extensive screening of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes failed to reveal sequence variation within Lophocereus. At a deeper phylogenetic level, however, we found strong support for the placement of Lophocereus within Pachycereus as sister group to the hummingbird-pollinated P. marginatus. We discuss possible hypotheses that may explain the transition from bat pollination (ancestral) to moth and hummingbird pollination in Lophocereus and P. marginatus, respectively. Additional phylogenetic analyses suggest that the genus Pachycereus should be expanded to include Lophocereus, Carnegiea, Neobuxbaumia, and perhaps other species, whereas P. hollianus may need to be excluded from this clade. Future study will be needed to test taxonomic distinctions within Lophocereus, to test for parallel cladogenesis between phylogroups within Lophocereus and Upiga, and to fully delineate the genus Pachycereus and relationships among genera in the Pachycereinae.

  18. Environmental filtering of eudicot lineages underlies phylogenetic clustering in tropical South American flooded forests.

    PubMed

    Aldana, Ana M; Carlucci, Marcos B; Fine, Paul V A; Stevenson, Pablo R

    2017-02-01

    The phylogenetic community assembly approach has been used to elucidate the role of ecological and historical processes in shaping tropical tree communities. Recent studies have shown that stressful environments, such as seasonally dry, white-sand and flooded forests tend to be phylogenetically clustered, arguing for niche conservatism as the main driver for this pattern. Very few studies have attempted to identify the lineages that contribute to such assembly patterns. We aimed to improve our understanding of the assembly of flooded forest tree communities in Northern South America by asking the following questions: are seasonally flooded forests phylogenetically clustered? If so, which angiosperm lineages are over-represented in seasonally flooded forests? To assess our hypotheses, we investigated seasonally flooded and terra firme forests from the Magdalena, Orinoco and Amazon Basins, in Colombia. Our results show that, regardless of the river basin in which they are located, seasonally flooded forests of Northern South America tend to be phylogenetically clustered, which means that the more abundant taxa in these forests are more closely related to each other than expected by chance. Based on our alpha and beta phylodiversity analyses we interpret that eudicots are more likely to adapt to extreme environments such as seasonally flooded forests, which indicates the importance of environmental filtering in the assembly of the Neotropical flora.

  19. Evolution and Phylogenetic Diversity of Yam Species (Dioscorea spp.): Implication for Conservation and Agricultural Practices.

    PubMed

    Ngo Ngwe, Marie Florence Sandrine; Omokolo, Denis Ndoumou; Joly, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Yams (Dioscorea spp.) consist of approximately 600 species. Presently, these species are threatened by genetic erosion due to many factors such as pest attacks and farming practices. In parallel, complex taxonomic boundaries in this genus makes it more challenging to properly address the genetic diversity of yam and manage its germplasm. As a first step toward evaluating and preserving the genetic diversity yam species, we use a phylogenetic diversity (PD) approach that has the advantage to investigate phylogenetic relationships and test hypotheses of species monophyly while alleviating to the problem of ploidy variation within and among species. The Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 62 accessions from 7 species from three regions of Cameroon showed that most Dioscorea sections were monophyletic, but species within sections were generally non-monophyletic. The wild species D. praehensilis and cultivated D. cayenensis were the species with the highest PD. At the opposite, D. esculenta has a low PD and future studies should focus on this species to properly address its conservation status. We also show that wild species show a stronger genetic structure than cultivated species, which potentially reflects the management of the yam germplasm by farmers. These findings show that phylogenetic diversity is a promising approach for an initial investigation of genetic diversity in a crop consisting of closely related species.

  20. Probabilistic graphical model representation in phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Höhna, Sebastian; Heath, Tracy A; Boussau, Bastien; Landis, Michael J; Ronquist, Fredrik; Huelsenbeck, John P

    2014-09-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid expansion of the model space explored in statistical phylogenetics, emphasizing the need for new approaches to statistical model representation and software development. Clear communication and representation of the chosen model is crucial for: (i) reproducibility of an analysis, (ii) model development, and (iii) software design. Moreover, a unified, clear and understandable framework for model representation lowers the barrier for beginners and nonspecialists to grasp complex phylogenetic models, including their assumptions and parameter/variable dependencies. Graphical modeling is a unifying framework that has gained in popularity in the statistical literature in recent years. The core idea is to break complex models into conditionally independent distributions. The strength lies in the comprehensibility, flexibility, and adaptability of this formalism, and the large body of computational work based on it. Graphical models are well-suited to teach statistical models, to facilitate communication among phylogeneticists and in the development of generic software for simulation and statistical inference. Here, we provide an introduction to graphical models for phylogeneticists and extend the standard graphical model representation to the realm of phylogenetics. We introduce a new graphical model component, tree plates, to capture the changing structure of the subgraph corresponding to a phylogenetic tree. We describe a range of phylogenetic models using the graphical model framework and introduce modules to simplify the representation of standard components in large and complex models. Phylogenetic model graphs can be readily used in simulation, maximum likelihood inference, and Bayesian inference using, for example, Metropolis-Hastings or Gibbs sampling of the posterior distribution.

  1. Phylogenetic approach to the evolution of color term systems.

    PubMed

    Haynie, Hannah J; Bowern, Claire

    2016-11-29

    The naming of colors has long been a topic of interest in the study of human culture and cognition. Color term research has asked diverse questions about thought and communication, but no previous research has used an evolutionary framework. We show that there is broad support for the most influential theory of color term development (that most strongly represented by Berlin and Kay [Berlin B, Kay P (1969) (Univ of California Press, Berkeley, CA)]); however, we find extensive evidence for the loss (as well as gain) of color terms. We find alternative trajectories of color term evolution beyond those considered in the standard theories. These results not only refine our knowledge of how humans lexicalize the color space and how the systems change over time; they illustrate the promise of phylogenetic methods within the domain of cognitive science, and they show how language change interacts with human perception.

  2. [Analysis phylogenetic relationship of Gynostemma (Cucurbitaceae)].

    PubMed

    Qin, Shuang-shuang; Li, Hai-tao; Wang, Zhou-yong; Cui, Zhan-hu; Yu, Li-ying

    2015-05-01

    The sequences of ITS, matK, rbcL and psbA-trnH of 9 Gynostemma species or variety including 38 samples were compared and analyzed by molecular phylogeny method. Hemsleya macrosperma was designated as outgroup. The MP and NJ phylogenetic tree of Gynostemma was built based on ITS sequence, the results of PAUP phylogenetic analysis showed the following results: (1) The eight individuals of G. pentaphyllum var. pentaphyllum were not supported as monophyletic in the strict consensus trees and NJ trees. (2) It is suspected whether G. longipes and G. laxum should be classified as the independent species. (3)The classification of subgenus units of Gynostemma plants is supported.

  3. Phylogenetic relationships between chlorophytes, chrysophytes, and oomycetes.

    PubMed Central

    Gunderson, J H; Elwood, H; Ingold, A; Kindle, K; Sogin, M L

    1987-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among the chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the chrysophyte Ochromonas danica, and the oomycete Achyla bisexualis were explored by comparing the sequences of their small-subunit ribosomal RNA coding regions. Comparisons of similarity values or inspection of phylogenetic trees constructed by distance matrix methods reveal a very close relationship between oomycetes and chrysophytes. The separation of chrysophytes from chlorophytes is comparable to that of plants from animals, and both separations are far antedated by the divergence of a number of other protist groups. PMID:3475703

  4. Haunted hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Albon, S

    1998-10-01

    American Pronghorn: Social Adaptations and the Ghosts of Predators Past by J.A. Byers The University of Chicago Press, 1998. $70.00/£55.95 hbk, $23.95/£19.25 pbk (xviii+300 pages) ISBN 0 226 08698 4/0 226 08699 2.

  5. A comparative approach to testing hypotheses for the evolution of sex-biased dispersal in bean beetles.

    PubMed

    Downey, Michelle H; Searle, Rebecca; Bellur, Sunil; Geiger, Adam; Maitner, Brian S; Ohm, Johanna R; Tuda, Midori; Miller, Tom E X

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the selective forces that shape dispersal strategies is a fundamental goal of evolutionary ecology and is increasingly important in changing, human-altered environments. Sex-biased dispersal (SBD) is common in dioecious taxa, and understanding variation in the direction and magnitude of SBD across taxa has been a persistent challenge. We took a comparative, laboratory-based approach using 16 groups (species or strains) of bean beetles (genera Acanthoscelides, Callosobruchus, and Zabrotes, including 10 strains of one species) to test two predictions that emerge from dominant hypotheses for the evolution of SBD: (1) groups that suffer greater costs of inbreeding should exhibit greater SBD in favor of either sex (inbreeding avoidance hypothesis) and (2) groups with stronger local mate competition should exhibit greater male bias in dispersal (kin competition avoidance hypothesis). We used laboratory experiments to quantify SBD in crawling dispersal, the fitness effects of inbreeding, and the degree of polygyny (number of female mates per male), a proxy for local mate competition. While we found that both polygyny and male-biased dispersal were common across bean beetle groups, consistent with the kin competition avoidance hypothesis, quantitative relationships between trait values did not support the predictions. Across groups, there was no significant association between SBD and effects of inbreeding nor SBD and degree of polygyny, using either raw values or phylogenetically independent contrasts. We discuss possible limitations of our experimental approach for detecting the predicted relationships, as well as reasons why single-factor hypotheses may be too simplistic to explain the evolution of SBD.

  6. Evolution and origins of the Mazatec hallucinogenic sage, Salvia divinorum (Lamiaceae): a molecular phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Jenks, Aaron A; Walker, Jay B; Kim, Seung-Chul

    2011-09-01

    Salvia divinorum Epl. & Játiva-M. (Lamiaceae) is a potent hallucinogenic plant that is classified within Salvia subgenus Calosphace, section Dusenostachys, and hypothesized to be an interspecific hybrid. It is of ethnobotanical significance due to its employment in traditional healing ceremonies by the Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico, and due to its unique pharmacology-a highly selective, non-nitrogenous, κ-opioid receptor agonist. In order to test its phylogenetic position and putative hybridity, we sequenced multiple DNA regions (ITS, trnL-trnF, and psbA-trnH) of 52 species-representing the major lineages of subgenus Calosphace-and six accessions of S. divinorum. Our molecular phylogenetic results suggest that S. divinorum should not be classified within Dusenostachys and that it is not a hybrid. Additionally, we determine that the closest known relative of this psychoactive Mexican sage is S. venulosa, a rare endemic of Colombia.

  7. Phylogenetic diversity, functional trait diversity and extinction: avoiding tipping points and worst-case losses.

    PubMed

    Faith, Daniel P

    2015-02-19

    The phylogenetic diversity measure, ('PD'), measures the relative feature diversity of different subsets of taxa from a phylogeny. At the level of feature diversity, PD supports the broad goal of biodiversity conservation to maintain living variation and option values. PD calculations at the level of lineages and features include those integrating probabilities of extinction, providing estimates of expected PD. This approach has known advantages over the evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) methods. Expected PD methods also have limitations. An alternative notion of expected diversity, expected functional trait diversity, relies on an alternative non-phylogenetic model and allows inferences of diversity at the level of functional traits. Expected PD also faces challenges in helping to address phylogenetic tipping points and worst-case PD losses. Expected PD may not choose conservation options that best avoid worst-case losses of long branches from the tree of life. We can expand the range of useful calculations based on expected PD, including methods for identifying phylogenetic key biodiversity areas.

  8. Incorporating molecular phylogenetics with larval morphology while mitigating the effects of substitution saturation on phylogeny estimation: A new hypothesis of relationships for the flatfish family Pleuronectidae (Percomorpha: Pleuronectiformes).

    PubMed

    Roje, Dawn M

    2010-08-01

    The family Pleuronectidae contains 23 genera and 60 species of primarily dextral flatfishes that maintain a broad distribution, inhabiting all oceans of the Northern Hemisphere. Adults are asymmetrical fishes that are mostly benthic; however, pre-transformation larvae are symmetrical, swimming upright in the water column. A previous phylogenetic analysis, utilizing characters of adult morphology, recovered four major lineages of Pleuronectidae. Evidence from external larval morphology, however, indicates an alternative hypothesis. To resolve intergeneric relationships, DNA sequences (totaling 2391 bp) from the nuclear recombination activating gene 2 (RAG2), and the mitochondrial genes, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) and 16S, for 22 pleuronectid genera, were analyzed using Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods. The markers were partitioned and analyzed for substitution saturation and only the third codon position of ND1 (ND1-3) was found to have reached saturation. Two datasets, one with the saturated data and one without, were analyzed and compared to assess the effects of the saturated data on topology and clade support. Change-point analysis was carried out on saturated transitions and was used to determine the first point where the saturation curve began behaving non-linearly. The level 1 change point was then treated as a threshold pairwise genetic distance. Those clades whose members all had a pairwise distance less than this value were treated as inferred from unsaturated data. Ancestral state reconstruction, utilizing parsimony with unordered states, was carried out on the molecular phylogenies and was used to determine the distribution of character states of larval morphology within the family. The presence of postanal ventral melanophores, distal finfold pigment, preopercular and otic spines, and the pattern of melanophores in the median finfolds of larvae maintain strong phylogenetic signals in the context of these new molecular phylogenies. These

  9. Constructing Student Problems in Phylogenetic Tree Construction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Steven D.

    Evolution is often equated with natural selection and is taught from a primarily functional perspective while comparative and historical approaches, which are critical for developing an appreciation of the power of evolutionary theory, are often neglected. This report describes a study of expert problem-solving in phylogenetic tree construction.…

  10. Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takeshi; Nikaido, Masato; Hamilton, Healy; Goto, Mutsuo; Kato, Hidehiro; Kanda, Naohisa; Pastene, Luis; Cao, Ying; Fordyce, R; Hasegawa, Masami; Okada, Norihiro

    2005-02-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among baleen whales (Order: Cetacea) remain uncertain despite extensive research in cetacean molecular phylogenetics and a potential morphological sample size of over 2 million animals harvested. Questions remain regarding the number of species and the monophyly of genera, as well as higher order relationships. Here, we approach mysticete phylogeny with complete mitochondrial genome sequence analysis. We determined complete mtDNA sequences of 10 extant Mysticeti species, inferred their phylogenetic relationships, and estimated node divergence times. The mtDNA sequence analysis concurs with previous molecular studies in the ordering of the principal branches, with Balaenidae (right whales) as sister to all other mysticetes base, followed by Neobalaenidae (pygmy right whale), Eschrichtiidae (gray whale), and finally Balaenopteridae (rorquals + humpback whale). The mtDNA analysis further suggests that four lineages exist within the clade of Eschrichtiidae + Balaenopteridae, including a sister relationship between the humpback and fin whales, and a monophyletic group formed by the blue, sei, and Bryde's whales, each of which represents a newly recognized phylogenetic relationship in Mysticeti. We also estimated the divergence times of all extant mysticete species, accounting for evolutionary rate heterogeneity among lineages. When the mtDNA divergence estimates are compared with the mysticete fossil record, several lineages have molecular divergence estimates strikingly older than indicated by paleontological data. We suggest this discrepancy reflects both a large amount of ancestral polymorphism and long generation times of ancestral baleen whale populations.

  11. On the analysis of phylogenetically paired designs

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Jennifer L; Rakovski, Cyril S; Macpherson, J Michael

    2015-01-01

    As phylogenetically controlled experimental designs become increasingly common in ecology, the need arises for a standardized statistical treatment of these datasets. Phylogenetically paired designs circumvent the need for resolved phylogenies and have been used to compare species groups, particularly in the areas of invasion biology and adaptation. Despite the widespread use of this approach, the statistical analysis of paired designs has not been critically evaluated. We propose a mixed model approach that includes random effects for pair and species. These random effects introduce a “two-layer” compound symmetry variance structure that captures both the correlations between observations on related species within a pair as well as the correlations between the repeated measurements within species. We conducted a simulation study to assess the effect of model misspecification on Type I and II error rates. We also provide an illustrative example with data containing taxonomically similar species and several outcome variables of interest. We found that a mixed model with species and pair as random effects performed better in these phylogenetically explicit simulations than two commonly used reference models (no or single random effect) by optimizing Type I error rates and power. The proposed mixed model produces acceptable Type I and II error rates despite the absence of a phylogenetic tree. This design can be generalized to a variety of datasets to analyze repeated measurements in clusters of related subjects/species. PMID:25750719

  12. Quantifying MCMC Exploration of Phylogenetic Tree Space

    PubMed Central

    Whidden, Chris; Matsen, Frederick A.

    2015-01-01

    In order to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of phylogenetic Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), it is important to understand how quickly the empirical distribution of the MCMC converges to the posterior distribution. In this article, we investigate this problem on phylogenetic tree topologies with a metric that is especially well suited to the task: the subtree prune-and-regraft (SPR) metric. This metric directly corresponds to the minimum number of MCMC rearrangements required to move between trees in common phylogenetic MCMC implementations. We develop a novel graph-based approach to analyze tree posteriors and find that the SPR metric is much more informative than simpler metrics that are unrelated to MCMC moves. In doing so, we show conclusively that topological peaks do occur in Bayesian phylogenetic posteriors from real data sets as sampled with standard MCMC approaches, investigate the efficiency of Metropolis-coupled MCMC (MCMCMC) in traversing the valleys between peaks, and show that conditional clade distribution (CCD) can have systematic problems when there are multiple peaks. PMID:25631175

  13. Quantifying MCMC exploration of phylogenetic tree space.

    PubMed

    Whidden, Chris; Matsen, Frederick A

    2015-05-01

    In order to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of phylogenetic Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), it is important to understand how quickly the empirical distribution of the MCMC converges to the posterior distribution. In this article, we investigate this problem on phylogenetic tree topologies with a metric that is especially well suited to the task: the subtree prune-and-regraft (SPR) metric. This metric directly corresponds to the minimum number of MCMC rearrangements required to move between trees in common phylogenetic MCMC implementations. We develop a novel graph-based approach to analyze tree posteriors and find that the SPR metric is much more informative than simpler metrics that are unrelated to MCMC moves. In doing so, we show conclusively that topological peaks do occur in Bayesian phylogenetic posteriors from real data sets as sampled with standard MCMC approaches, investigate the efficiency of Metropolis-coupled MCMC (MCMCMC) in traversing the valleys between peaks, and show that conditional clade distribution (CCD) can have systematic problems when there are multiple peaks.

  14. The missing link of Jewish European ancestry: contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Elhaik, Eran

    2013-01-01

    The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The "Rhineland hypothesis" depicts Eastern European Jews as a "population isolate" that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the "Khazarian hypothesis" suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo-Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars' contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies.

  15. The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Elhaik, Eran

    2013-01-01

    The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the “Khazarian hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco–Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo–Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo–Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars’ contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies. PMID:23241444

  16. The rigid-plate and shrinking-plate hypotheses: Implications for the azimuths of transform faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Jay Kumar; Gordon, Richard G.

    2016-08-01

    The rigid-plate hypothesis implies that oceanic lithosphere does not contract horizontally as it cools (hereinafter "rigid plate"). An alternative hypothesis, that vertically averaged tensional thermal stress in the competent lithosphere is fully relieved by horizontal thermal contraction (hereinafter "shrinking plate"), predicts subtly different azimuths for transform faults. The size of the predicted difference is as large as 2.44° with a mean and median of 0.46° and 0.31°, respectively, and changes sign between right-lateral (RL)-slipping and left-lateral (LL)-slipping faults. For the MORVEL transform-fault data set, all six plate pairs with both RL- and LL-slipping faults differ in the predicted sense, with the observed difference averaging 1.4° ± 0.9° (95% confidence limits), which is consistent with the predicted difference of 0.9°. The sum-squared normalized misfit, r, to global transform-fault azimuths is minimized for γ = 0.8 ± 0.4 (95% confidence limits), where γ is the fractional multiple of the predicted difference in azimuth between the shrinking-plate (γ = 1) and rigid-plate (γ = 0) hypotheses. Thus, observed transform azimuths differ significantly between RL-slipping and LL-slipping faults, which is inconsistent with the rigid-plate hypothesis but consistent with the shrinking-plate hypothesis, which indicates horizontal shrinking rates of 2% Ma-1 for newly created lithosphere, 1% Ma-1 for 0.1 Ma old lithosphere, 0.2% Ma-1 for 1 Ma old lithosphere, and 0.02% Ma-1 for 10 Ma old lithosphere, which are orders of magnitude higher than the mean intraplate seismic strain rate of 10-6 Ma-1 (5 × 10-19 s-1).

  17. Phyloclimatic modeling: combining phylogenetics and bioclimatic modeling.

    PubMed

    Yesson, C; Culham, A

    2006-10-01

    We investigate the impact of past climates on plant diversification by tracking the "footprint" of climate change on a phylogenetic tree. Diversity within the cosmopolitan carnivorous plant genus Drosera (Droseraceae) is focused within Mediterranean climate regions. We explore whether this diversity is temporally linked to Mediterranean-type climatic shifts of the mid-Miocene and whether climate preferences are conservative over phylogenetic timescales. Phyloclimatic modeling combines environmental niche (bioclimatic) modeling with phylogenetics in order to study evolutionary patterns in relation to climate change. We present the largest and most complete such example to date using Drosera. The bioclimatic models of extant species demonstrate clear phylogenetic patterns; this is particularly evident for the tuberous sundews from southwestern Australia (subgenus Ergaleium). We employ a method for establishing confidence intervals of node ages on a phylogeny using replicates from a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. This chronogram shows that many clades, including subgenus Ergaleium and section Bryastrum, diversified during the establishment of the Mediterranean-type climate. Ancestral reconstructions of bioclimatic models demonstrate a pattern of preference for this climate type within these groups. Ancestral bioclimatic models are projected into palaeo-climate reconstructions for the time periods indicated by the chronogram. We present two such examples that each generate plausible estimates of ancestral lineage distribution, which are similar to their current distributions. This is the first study to attempt bioclimatic projections on evolutionary time scales. The sundews appear to have diversified in response to local climate development. Some groups are specialized for Mediterranean climates, others show wide-ranging generalism. This demonstrates that Phyloclimatic modeling could be repeated for other plant groups and is fundamental to the understanding of

  18. Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Telleria, Jenny; Biron, David G.; Brizard, Jean-Paul; Demettre, Edith; Séveno, Martial; Barnabé, Christian; Ayala, Francisco J.; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2010-01-01

    We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi–subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10−4) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens. PMID:21059959

  19. Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha to Evaluate Informative Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okada, Kensuke

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a new method to evaluate informative hypotheses for meta-analysis of Cronbach's coefficient alpha using a Bayesian approach. The coefficient alpha is one of the most widely used reliability indices. In meta-analyses of reliability, researchers typically form specific informative hypotheses beforehand, such as "alpha of…

  20. Black/White Differences in Adolescent Drug Use: A Test of Six Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rote, Sunshine M.; Taylor, John

    2014-01-01

    Six specific hypotheses have been developed to account for why Caucasians have higher rates of drug use compared to African-Americans. This article utilizes data from a South Florida-based community study of 893 young adults (1998-2002) to test these hypotheses. Specifically, Caucasians (1) initiate drug use at younger ages than African-Americans…

  1. Deep phylogenetic incongruence in the angiosperm clade Rosidae.

    PubMed

    Sun, Miao; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Zhu, Xinyu; Burleigh, J Gordon; Chen, Zhiduan

    2015-02-01

    Analysis of large data sets can help resolve difficult nodes in the tree of life and also reveal complex evolutionary histories. The placement of the Celastrales-Oxalidales-Malpighiales (COM) clade within Rosidae remains one of the most confounding phylogenetic questions in angiosperms, with previous analyses placing it with either Fabidae or Malvidae. To elucidate the position of COM, we assembled multi-gene matrices of chloroplast, mitochondrial, and nuclear sequences, as well as large single- and multi-copy nuclear gene data sets. Analyses of multi-gene data sets demonstrate conflict between the chloroplast and both nuclear and mitochondrial data sets, and the results are robust to various character-coding and data-exclusion treatments. Analyses of single- and multi-copy nuclear loci indicate that most loci support the placement of COM with Malvidae, fewer loci support COM with Fabidae, and almost no loci support COM outside a clade of Fabidae and Malvidae. Although incomplete lineage sorting and ancient introgressive hybridization remain as plausible explanations for the conflict among loci, more complete sampling is necessary to evaluate these hypotheses fully. Our results emphasize the importance of genomic data sets for revealing deep incongruence and complex patterns of evolution.

  2. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P; Clark, John M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Feil, Edward J; Urrutia, Araxi O

    2015-10-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation.

  3. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice

    PubMed Central

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M.; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P.; Clark, John M.; Reynolds, Stuart E.; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Feil, Edward J.; Urrutia, Araxi O.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation. PMID:26169943

  4. Can treefrog phylogeographical clades and species' phylogenetic topologies be recovered by bioacoustical analyses?

    PubMed

    Forti, Lucas Rodriguez; Lingnau, Rodrigo; Encarnação, Lais Carvalho; Bertoluci, Jaime; Toledo, Luís Felipe

    2017-01-01

    Phenotypic traits, such as the frog advertisement call, are generally correlated with interspecific genetic variation, and, as a consequence of strong sexual selection, these behaviors may carry a phylogenetic signal. However, variation in acoustic traits is not always correlated with genetic differences between populations (intraspecific variation); phenotypic plasticity and environmental variables may explain part of such variation. For example, local processes can affect acoustic properties in different lineages due to differences in physical structure, climatic conditions, and biotic interactions, particularly when populations are isolated. However, acoustic traits can be used to test phylogenetic hypotheses. We analyzed the advertisement calls of Dendropsophus elegans males from 18 sites and compared them with those of four closely related congeneric species, in order to test for differences between inter and intraspecific variation. We analyzed 451 calls of 45 males of these five species. Because males from distant sites were grouped together without population congruence, differences found in advertisement calls among individuals were not correlated with phylogeographical clades. Phylogenetic and cluster analyses of the D. elegans clades and those of closely related species grouped all five species into the same topology, as reported by previous molecular and morphological phylogenies. However, the topology of the D. elegans phylogeographical clades did not match the topology previously reported. Acoustic communication in D. elegans seems to be conserved among populations, and the phylogeographical history of the species does not explain the variation among lineages in call properties, despite some congruent phylogenetic signals evident at the species level. Based on molecular clocks retrieved from the literature, it seems that more than 6.5 million years of divergence (late Miocene) are necessary to allow significant changes to occur in the acoustic

  5. Can treefrog phylogeographical clades and species’ phylogenetic topologies be recovered by bioacoustical analyses?

    PubMed Central

    Forti, Lucas Rodriguez; Lingnau, Rodrigo; Encarnação, Lais Carvalho; Bertoluci, Jaime; Toledo, Luís Felipe

    2017-01-01

    Phenotypic traits, such as the frog advertisement call, are generally correlated with interspecific genetic variation, and, as a consequence of strong sexual selection, these behaviors may carry a phylogenetic signal. However, variation in acoustic traits is not always correlated with genetic differences between populations (intraspecific variation); phenotypic plasticity and environmental variables may explain part of such variation. For example, local processes can affect acoustic properties in different lineages due to differences in physical structure, climatic conditions, and biotic interactions, particularly when populations are isolated. However, acoustic traits can be used to test phylogenetic hypotheses. We analyzed the advertisement calls of Dendropsophus elegans males from 18 sites and compared them with those of four closely related congeneric species, in order to test for differences between inter and intraspecific variation. We analyzed 451 calls of 45 males of these five species. Because males from distant sites were grouped together without population congruence, differences found in advertisement calls among individuals were not correlated with phylogeographical clades. Phylogenetic and cluster analyses of the D. elegans clades and those of closely related species grouped all five species into the same topology, as reported by previous molecular and morphological phylogenies. However, the topology of the D. elegans phylogeographical clades did not match the topology previously reported. Acoustic communication in D. elegans seems to be conserved among populations, and the phylogeographical history of the species does not explain the variation among lineages in call properties, despite some congruent phylogenetic signals evident at the species level. Based on molecular clocks retrieved from the literature, it seems that more than 6.5 million years of divergence (late Miocene) are necessary to allow significant changes to occur in the acoustic

  6. Looking for an Alternative.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Jack

    1999-01-01

    Argues that high school newspapers might do well to create stronger ties with alternative weeklies. Discusses issues of niche marketing, alternative content, and alternative presentation. Notes that high school papers could learn a lot from alternative newspapers. (SR)

  7. Development of working hypotheses linking management of the Missouri River to population dynamics of Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jacobson, Robert B.; Parsley, Michael J.; Annis, Mandy L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Welker, Timothy L.; James, Daniel A.

    2016-01-20

    The initial set of candidate hypotheses provides a useful starting point for quantitative modeling and adaptive management of the river and species. We anticipate that hypotheses will change from the set of working management hypotheses as adaptive management progresses. More importantly, hypotheses that have been filtered out of our multistep process are still being considered. These filtered hypotheses are archived and if existing hypotheses are determined to be inadequate to explain observed population dynamics, new hypotheses can be created or filtered hypotheses can be reinstated.

  8. Molecular phylogenetics of mastodon and Tyrannosaurus rex.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Schweitzer, Mary H; Zheng, Wenxia; Freimark, Lisa M; Cantley, Lewis C; Asara, John M

    2008-04-25

    We report a molecular phylogeny for a nonavian dinosaur, extending our knowledge of trait evolution within nonavian dinosaurs into the macromolecular level of biological organization. Fragments of collagen alpha1(I) and alpha2(I) proteins extracted from fossil bones of Tyrannosaurus rex and Mammut americanum (mastodon) were analyzed with a variety of phylogenetic methods. Despite missing sequence data, the mastodon groups with elephant and the T. rex groups with birds, consistent with predictions based on genetic and morphological data for mastodon and on morphological data for T. rex. Our findings suggest that molecular data from long-extinct organisms may have the potential for resolving relationships at critical areas in the vertebrate evolutionary tree that have, so far, been phylogenetically intractable.

  9. A phylogenetic analysis of the phylum Fibrobacteres.

    PubMed

    Jewell, Kelsea A; Scott, Jarrod J; Adams, Sandra M; Suen, Garret

    2013-09-01

    Members of the phylum Fibrobacteres are highly efficient cellulolytic bacteria, best known for their role in rumen function and as potential sources of novel enzymes for bioenergy applications. Despite being key members of ruminants and other digestive microbial communities, our knowledge of this phylum remains incomplete, as much of our understanding is focused on two recognized species, Fibrobacter succinogenes and F. intestinalis. As a result, we lack insights regarding the environmental niche, host range, and phylogenetic organization of this phylum. Here, we analyzed over 1000 16S rRNA Fibrobacteres sequences available from public databases to establish a phylogenetic framework for this phylum. We identify both species- and genus-level clades that are suggestive of previously unknown taxonomic relationships between Fibrobacteres in addition to their putative lifestyles as host-associated or free-living. Our results shed light on this poorly understood phylum and will be useful for elucidating the function, distribution, and diversity of these bacteria in their niches.

  10. Morphological Phylogenetics in the Genomic Age.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael S Y; Palci, Alessandro

    2015-10-05

    Evolutionary trees underpin virtually all of biology, and the wealth of new genomic data has enabled us to reconstruct them with increasing detail and confidence. While phenotypic (typically morphological) traits are becoming less important in reconstructing evolutionary trees, they still serve vital and unique roles in phylogenetics, even for living taxa for which vast amounts of genetic information are available. Morphology remains a powerful independent source of evidence for testing molecular clades, and - through fossil phenotypes - the primary means for time-scaling phylogenies. Morphological phylogenetics is therefore vital for transforming undated molecular topologies into dated evolutionary trees. However, if morphology is to be employed to its full potential, biologists need to start scrutinising phenotypes in a more objective fashion, models of phenotypic evolution need to be improved, and approaches for analysing phenotypic traits and fossils together with genomic data need to be refined.

  11. Alignment-free phylogenetics and population genetics.

    PubMed

    Haubold, Bernhard

    2014-05-01

    Phylogenetics and population genetics are central disciplines in evolutionary biology. Both are based on comparative data, today usually DNA sequences. These have become so plentiful that alignment-free sequence comparison is of growing importance in the race between scientists and sequencing machines. In phylogenetics, efficient distance computation is the major contribution of alignment-free methods. A distance measure should reflect the number of substitutions per site, which underlies classical alignment-based phylogeny reconstruction. Alignment-free distance measures are either based on word counts or on match lengths, and I apply examples of both approaches to simulated and real data to assess their accuracy and efficiency. While phylogeny reconstruction is based on the number of substitutions, in population genetics, the distribution of mutations along a sequence is also considered. This distribution can be explored by match lengths, thus opening the prospect of alignment-free population genomics.

  12. The phylogenetic position of the Critically Endangered Saint Croix ground lizard Ameiva polops: revisiting molecular systematics of West Indian Ameiva.

    PubMed

    Hurtado, Luis A; Santamaria, Carlos A; Fitzgerald, Lee A

    2014-05-06

    The phylogenetic position of the critically endangered Saint Croix ground lizard Ameiva polops is presently unknown and several hypotheses have been proposed. We investigated the phylogenetic position of this species using molecular phylogenetic methods. We obtained sequences of DNA fragments of the mitochondrial ribosomal genes 12S rDNA and 16S rDNA for this species. We aligned these sequences with published sequences of other Ameiva species, which include most of the Ameiva species from the West Indies, three Ameiva species from Central America and South America, and one from the teiid lizard Tupinambis teguixin, which was used as outgroup. We conducted Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses. The phylogenetic reconstructions among the different methods were very similar, supporting the monophyly of West Indian Ameiva and showing within this lineage, a basal polytomy of four clades that are separated geographically. Ameiva polops grouped in a cluster that included the other two Ameiva species found in the Puerto Rican Bank: A. wetmorei and A. exsul. A sister relationship between A. polops and A. wetmorei is suggested by our analyses. We compare our results with a previous study on molecular systematics of West Indian Ameiva. 

  13. Diel metabolomics analysis of a hot spring chlorophototrophic microbial mat leads to new hypotheses of community member metabolisms

    DOE PAGES

    Kim, Young-Mo; Nowack, Shane; Olsen, Millie; ...

    2015-04-17

    Dynamic environmental factors such as light, nutrients, salt, and temperature continuously affect chlorophototrophic microbial mats, requiring adaptative and acclimative responses to stabilize composition and function. Quantitative metabolomics analysis can provide insights into metabolite dynamics for understanding community response to such changing environmental conditions. In this study, we quantified volatile organic acids, polar metabolites (amino acids, glycolytic and citric acid cycle intermediates, nucleobases, nucleosides, and sugars), wax esters, and polyhydroxyalkanoates, resulting in the identification of 104 metabolites and related molecules in thermal chlorophototrophic microbial mat cores collected over a diel cycle in Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park. A limited number ofmore » predominant taxa inhabiting this community and their functional potentials have been previously identified through metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses and in situ metabolisms and metabolic interactions among these taxa have been hypothesized. Our metabolomics results confirmed the diel cycling of photorespiration (e.g. glycolate) and fermentation (e.g. acetate, propionate, and lactate) products, the carbon storage polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates, and dissolved gases (e.g. H2 and CO2) in the waters overlying the mat, which were hypothesized to occur in major mat chlorophototrophic community members. In addition, we have formulated the following new hypotheses: 1) the morning hours are a time of biosynthesis of amino acids, DNA, and RNA; 2) Synechococcus spp. produce CH4 via metabolism of phosphonates, and photo-inhibited cells may also produce lactate via fermentation as an alternate metabolism; 3) glycolate and lactate are exchanged among Synechococcus and Roseiflexus spp.; and 4) fluctuations in many metabolite pools (e.g. wax esters) at different times of day result from species found at different depths within the mat responding to temporal differences

  14. Diel metabolomics analysis of a hot spring chlorophototrophic microbial mat leads to new hypotheses of community member metabolisms

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Young-Mo; Nowack, Shane; Olsen, Millie; Becraft, Eric; Wood, Jason M.; Thiel, Vera; Klapper, Isaac; Kuhl, Michael; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Bryant, Donald A.; Ward, David M.; Metz, Thomas O.

    2015-04-17

    Dynamic environmental factors such as light, nutrients, salt, and temperature continuously affect chlorophototrophic microbial mats, requiring adaptative and acclimative responses to stabilize composition and function. Quantitative metabolomics analysis can provide insights into metabolite dynamics for understanding community response to such changing environmental conditions. In this study, we quantified volatile organic acids, polar metabolites (amino acids, glycolytic and citric acid cycle intermediates, nucleobases, nucleosides, and sugars), wax esters, and polyhydroxyalkanoates, resulting in the identification of 104 metabolites and related molecules in thermal chlorophototrophic microbial mat cores collected over a diel cycle in Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park. A limited number of predominant taxa inhabiting this community and their functional potentials have been previously identified through metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses and in situ metabolisms and metabolic interactions among these taxa have been hypothesized. Our metabolomics results confirmed the diel cycling of photorespiration (e.g. glycolate) and fermentation (e.g. acetate, propionate, and lactate) products, the carbon storage polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates, and dissolved gases (e.g. H2 and CO2) in the waters overlying the mat, which were hypothesized to occur in major mat chlorophototrophic community members. In addition, we have formulated the following new hypotheses: 1) the morning hours are a time of biosynthesis of amino acids, DNA, and RNA; 2) Synechococcus spp. produce CH4 via metabolism of phosphonates, and photo-inhibited cells may also produce lactate via fermentation as an alternate metabolism; 3) glycolate and lactate are exchanged among Synechococcus and Roseiflexus spp.; and 4) fluctuations in many metabolite pools (e.g. wax esters) at different times of day result from species found at different depths within the mat responding to temporal differences in their

  15. Diel metabolomics analysis of a hot spring chlorophototrophic microbial mat leads to new hypotheses of community member metabolisms

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young-Mo; Nowack, Shane; Olsen, Millie T.; Becraft, Eric D.; Wood, Jason M.; Thiel, Vera; Klapper, Isaac; Kühl, Michael; Fredrickson, James K.; Bryant, Donald A.; Ward, David M.; Metz, Thomas O.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic environmental factors such as light, nutrients, salt, and temperature continuously affect chlorophototrophic microbial mats, requiring adaptive and acclimative responses to stabilize composition and function. Quantitative metabolomics analysis can provide insights into metabolite dynamics for understanding community response to such changing environmental conditions. In this study, we quantified volatile organic acids, polar metabolites (amino acids, glycolytic and citric acid cycle intermediates, nucleobases, nucleosides, and sugars), wax esters, and polyhydroxyalkanoates, resulting in the identification of 104 metabolites and related molecules in thermal chlorophototrophic microbial mat cores collected over a diel cycle in Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park. A limited number of predominant taxa inhabit this community and their functional potentials have been previously identified through metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses and in situ metabolisms, and metabolic interactions among these taxa have been hypothesized. Our metabolomics results confirmed the diel cycling of photorespiration (e.g., glycolate) and fermentation (e.g., acetate, propionate, and lactate) products, the carbon storage polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates, and dissolved gasses (e.g., H2 and CO2) in the waters overlying the mat, which were hypothesized to occur in major mat chlorophototrophic community members. In addition, we have formulated the following new hypotheses: (1) the morning hours are a time of biosynthesis of amino acids, DNA, and RNA; (2) photo-inhibited cells may also produce lactate via fermentation as an alternate metabolism; (3) glycolate and lactate are exchanged among Synechococcus and Roseiflexus spp.; and (4) fluctuations in many metabolite pools (e.g., wax esters) at different times of day result from species found at different depths within the mat responding to temporal differences in their niches. PMID:25941514

  16. Phylogenetics and Computational Biology of Multigene Families

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liò, Pietro; Brilli, Matteo; Fani, Renato

    This chapter introduces the study of the major evolutionary forces operating in large gene families. The reconstruction of duplication history and phylogenetic analysis provide an interpretative framework of the evolution of multigene families. We present here two case studies, the first coming from Eukaryotes (chemokine receptors) and the second from Prokaryotes (TIM barrel proteins), showing how functional and structural constraints have shaped gene duplication events.

  17. How can Teachers Help Students Formulate Scientific Hypotheses? Some Strategies Found in Abductive Inquiry Activities of Earth Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Phil Seok

    2010-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to find how the teacher could help students formulate scientific hypotheses. Data came from two microteaching episodes in which two groups of pre-service secondary science teachers taught high school students as they were engaged in abductive inquiry activities of earth science. Multiple data sources including video recordings of the microteaching, the pre-service teachers' oral and written reports, student worksheets, and instructional materials were examined. The analysis identified four categories of teaching strategies which could be used by science teachers to help students in hypothesis-generating inquiry. These included: (1) expanding and activating students' background knowledge, (2) providing analogies, (3) questioning, and (4) encouraging students to use alternative forms of representation. Implications for science education as well as for further research are suggested.

  18. Phylogenetic proximity revealed by neurodevelopmental event timings.

    PubMed

    Nagarajan, Radhakrishnan; Clancy, Barbara

    2008-01-01

    Statistical properties such as distribution and correlation signatures were investigated using a temporal database of common neurodevelopmental events in the three species most frequently used in experimental studies, rat, mouse, and macaque. There was a fine nexus between phylogenetic proximity and empirically derived dates of the occurrences of 40 common events including the neurogenesis of cortical layers and outgrowth milestones of developing axonal projections. Exponential and power-law approximations to the distribution of the events reveal strikingly similar decay patterns in rats and mice when compared to macaques. Subsequent hierarchical clustering of the common event timings also captures phylogenetic proximity, an association further supported by multivariate linear regression data. These preliminary results suggest that statistical analyses of the timing of developmental milestones may offer a novel measure of phylogenetic classifications. This may have added pragmatic value in the specific support it offers for the reliability of rat/mouse comparative modeling, as well as in the broader implications for the potential of meta-analyses using databases assembled from the extensive empirical literature.

  19. Phylogenetic Stochastic Mapping Without Matrix Exponentiation

    PubMed Central

    Irvahn, Jan; Minin, Vladimir N.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Phylogenetic stochastic mapping is a method for reconstructing the history of trait changes on a phylogenetic tree relating species/organism carrying the trait. State-of-the-art methods assume that the trait evolves according to a continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC) and works well for small state spaces. The computations slow down considerably for larger state spaces (e.g., space of codons), because current methodology relies on exponentiating CTMC infinitesimal rate matrices—an operation whose computational complexity grows as the size of the CTMC state space cubed. In this work, we introduce a new approach, based on a CTMC technique called uniformization, which does not use matrix exponentiation for phylogenetic stochastic mapping. Our method is based on a new Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm that targets the distribution of trait histories conditional on the trait data observed at the tips of the tree. The computational complexity of our MCMC method grows as the size of the CTMC state space squared. Moreover, in contrast to competing matrix exponentiation methods, if the rate matrix is sparse, we can leverage this sparsity and increase the computational efficiency of our algorithm further. Using simulated data, we illustrate advantages of our MCMC algorithm and investigate how large the state space needs to be for our method to outperform matrix exponentiation approaches. We show that even on the moderately large state space of codons our MCMC method can be significantly faster than currently used matrix exponentiation methods. PMID:24918812

  20. Exploring hierarchical visualization designs using phylogenetic trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaomeng; Crouser, R. Jordan; Griffin, Garth; Gramazio, Connor; Schulz, Hans-Jörg; Childs, Hank; Chang, Remco

    2015-01-01

    Ongoing research on information visualization has produced an ever-increasing number of visualization designs. Despite this activity, limited progress has been made in categorizing this large number of information visualizations. This makes understanding their common design features challenging, and obscures the yet unexplored areas of novel designs. With this work, we provide categorization from an evolutionary perspective, leveraging a computational model to represent evolutionary processes, the phylogenetic tree. The result - a phylogenetic tree of a design corpus of hierarchical visualizations - enables better understanding of the various design features of hierarchical information visualizations, and further illuminates the space in which the visualizations lie, through support for interactive clustering and novel design suggestions. We demonstrate these benefits with our software system, where a corpus of two-dimensional hierarchical visualization designs is constructed into a phylogenetic tree. This software system supports visual interactive clustering and suggesting for novel designs; the latter capacity is also demonstrated via collaboration with an artist who sketched new designs using our system.

  1. The evolution of HIV: Inferences using phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Castro-Nallar, Eduardo; Pérez-Losada, Marcos; Burton, Gregory F.; Crandall, Keith A.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetics has revolutionized the study of not only evolution but also disparate fields such as genomics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, ecology, microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry. Particularly significant are its achievements in population genetics as a result of the development of coalescent theory, which have contributed to more accurate model-based parameter estimation and explicit hypothesis testing. The study of the evolution of many microorganisms, and HIV in particular, have benefited from these new methodologies. HIV is well suited for such sophisticated population analyses because of its large population sizes, short generation times, high substitution rates and relatively small genomes. All these factors make HIV an ideal and fascinating model to study molecular evolution in real time. Here we review the significant advances made in HIV evolution through the application of phylogenetic approaches. We first examine the relative roles of mutation and recombination on the molecular evolution of HIV and its adaptive response to drug therapy and tissue allocation. We then review some of the fundamental questions in HIV evolution in relation to its origin and diversification and describe some of the insights gained using phylogenies. Finally, we show how phylogenetic analysis has advanced our knowledge of HIV dynamics (i.e., phylodynamics). PMID:22138161

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of cubilin (CUBN) gene

    PubMed Central

    Shaik, Abjal Pasha; Alsaeed, Abbas H; Kiranmayee, S; Bammidi, VK; Sultana, Asma

    2013-01-01

    Cubilin, (CUBN; also known as intrinsic factor-cobalamin receptor [Homo sapiens Entrez Pubmed ref NM_001081.3; NG_008967.1; GI: 119606627]), located in the epithelium of intestine and kidney acts as a receptor for intrinsic factor – vitamin B12 complexes. Mutations in CUBN may play a role in autosomal recessive megaloblastic anemia. The current study investigated the possible role of CUBN in evolution using phylogenetic testing. A total of 588 BLAST hits were found for the cubilin query sequence and these hits showed putative conserved domain, CUB superfamily (as on 27th Nov 2012). A first-pass phylogenetic tree was constructed to identify the taxa which most often contained the CUBN sequences. Following this, we narrowed down the search by manually deleting sequences which were not CUBN. A repeat phylogenetic analysis of 25 taxa was performed using PhyML, RAxML and TreeDyn softwares to confirm that CUBN is a conserved protein emphasizing its importance as an extracellular domain and being present in proteins mostly known to be involved in development in many chordate taxa but not found in prokaryotes, plants and yeast.. No horizontal gene transfers have been found between different taxa. PMID:23390341

  3. Phylogenetic analysis of cubilin (CUBN) gene.

    PubMed

    Shaik, Abjal Pasha; Alsaeed, Abbas H; Kiranmayee, S; Bammidi, Vk; Sultana, Asma

    2013-01-01

    Cubilin, (CUBN; also known as intrinsic factor-cobalamin receptor [Homo sapiens Entrez Pubmed ref NM_001081.3; NG_008967.1; GI: 119606627]), located in the epithelium of intestine and kidney acts as a receptor for intrinsic factor - vitamin B12 complexes. Mutations in CUBN may play a role in autosomal recessive megaloblastic anemia. The current study investigated the possible role of CUBN in evolution using phylogenetic testing. A total of 588 BLAST hits were found for the cubilin query sequence and these hits showed putative conserved domain, CUB superfamily (as on 27(th) Nov 2012). A first-pass phylogenetic tree was constructed to identify the taxa which most often contained the CUBN sequences. Following this, we narrowed down the search by manually deleting sequences which were not CUBN. A repeat phylogenetic analysis of 25 taxa was performed using PhyML, RAxML and TreeDyn softwares to confirm that CUBN is a conserved protein emphasizing its importance as an extracellular domain and being present in proteins mostly known to be involved in development in many chordate taxa but not found in prokaryotes, plants and yeast.. No horizontal gene transfers have been found between different taxa.

  4. A Consistent Phylogenetic Backbone for the Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Ebersberger, Ingo; de Matos Simoes, Ricardo; Kupczok, Anne; Gube, Matthias; Kothe, Erika; Voigt, Kerstin; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2012-01-01

    The kingdom of fungi provides model organisms for biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, and life sciences in general. Only when their phylogenetic relationships are stably resolved, can individual results from fungal research be integrated into a holistic picture of biology. However, and despite recent progress, many deep relationships within the fungi remain unclear. Here, we present the first phylogenomic study of an entire eukaryotic kingdom that uses a consistency criterion to strengthen phylogenetic conclusions. We reason that branches (splits) recovered with independent data and different tree reconstruction methods are likely to reflect true evolutionary relationships. Two complementary phylogenomic data sets based on 99 fungal genomes and 109 fungal expressed sequence tag (EST) sets analyzed with four different tree reconstruction methods shed light from different angles on the fungal tree of life. Eleven additional data sets address specifically the phylogenetic position of Blastocladiomycota, Ustilaginomycotina, and Dothideomycetes, respectively. The combined evidence from the resulting trees supports the deep-level stability of the fungal groups toward a comprehensive natural system of the fungi. In addition, our analysis reveals methodologically interesting aspects. Enrichment for EST encoded data—a common practice in phylogenomic analyses—introduces a strong bias toward slowly evolving and functionally correlated genes. Consequently, the generalization of phylogenomic data sets as collections of randomly selected genes cannot be taken for granted. A thorough characterization of the data to assess possible influences on the tree reconstruction should therefore become a standard in phylogenomic analyses. PMID:22114356

  5. Phylogenetic evidence of a rapid radiation of pleurocarpous mosses (Bryophyta).

    PubMed

    Shaw, A J; Cox, C J; Goffinet, B; Buck, W R; Boles, S B

    2003-10-01

    Pleurocarpous mosses, characterized by lateral female gametangia and highly branched, interwoven stems, comprise three orders and some 5000 species, or almost half of all moss diversity. Recent phylogenetic analyses resolve the Ptychomniales as sister to the Hypnales plus Hookeriales. Species richness is highly asymmetric with approximately 100 Ptychomniales, 750 Hookeriales, and 4400 Hypnales. Chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences were obtained to compare partitioning of molecular diversity among the orders with estimates of species richness, and to test the hypothesis that either the Hookeriales or Hypnales underwent a period (or periods) of exceptionally rapid diversification. Levels of biodiversity were quantified using explicitly historical "phylogenetic diversity" and non-historical estimates of standing sequence diversity. Diversification rates were visualized using lineage-through-time (LTT) plots, and statistical tests of alternative diversification models were performed using the methods of Paradis (1997). The effects of incomplete sampling on the shape of LTT plots and performance of statistical tests were investigated using simulated phylogenies with incomplete sampling. Despite a much larger number of accepted species, the Hypnales contain lower levels of (cpDNA) biodiversity than their sister group, the Hookeriales, based on all molecular measures. Simulations confirm previous results that incomplete sampling yields diversification patterns that appear to reflect a decreasing rate through time, even when the true phylogenies were simulated with constant rates. Comparisons between simulated results and empirical data indicate that a constant rate of diversification cannot be rejected for the Hookeriales. The Hypnales, however, appear to have undergone a period of exceptionally rapid diversification for the earliest 20% of their history.

  6. Historical diversification of a terra-firme forest bird superspecies: a phylogeographic perspective on the role of different hypotheses of Amazonian diversification.

    PubMed

    Aleixo, Alexandre

    2004-06-01

    Among those few hypotheses of Amazonian diversification amenable to falsification by phylogenetic and population genetics methods, three can be singled out because of their general application to vertebrates: the riverine barrier, the refuge, and the Miocene marine incursion hypotheses. I used phylogenetic and population genetics methods to reconstruct the diversification history of the upland (terra-firme) forest superspecies Xiphorhynchus spixii/elegans (Aves: Dendrocolaptidae) in Amazonia, and to evaluate predictions of the riverine barrier, refuge, and Miocene marine incursion hypotheses. Phylogeographic and population genetics analyses of the X. spixiilelegans superspecies indicated that the main prediction of the riverine barrier hypothesis (that sister lineages occur across major rivers) hold only for populations separated by "clear-water" rivers located on the Brazilian shield, in central and eastern Amazonia; in contrast, "white-water" rivers located in western Amazonia did not represent areas of primary divergence for populations of this superspecies. The main prediction derived from the refuge hypothesis (that populations of the X. spixii/elegans superspecies would show signs of past population bottlenecks and recent demographic expansions) was supported only for populations found in western Amazonia, where paleoecological data have failed to support past rainforest fragmentation and expansion of open vegetation types; conversely, populations from the eastern and central parts of Amazonia, where paleoecological data are consistent with an historical interplay between rainforest and open vegetation types, did not show population genetics attributes expected under the refuge hypothesis. Phylogeographic and population genetics data were consistent with the prediction made by the Miocene marine incursion hypothesis that populations of the X. spixii/elegans superspecies found on the Brazilian shield were older than populations from other parts of Amazonia. In

  7. Early Miocene hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla) constrain the phylogenetic and spatiotemporal settings of hippopotamid origin

    PubMed Central

    Orliac, Maeva; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; MacLatchy, Laura; Lihoreau, Fabrice

    2010-01-01

    The affinities of the Hippopotamidae are at the core of the phylogeny of Cetartiodactyla (even-toed mammals: cetaceans, ruminants, camels, suoids, and hippos). Molecular phylogenies support Cetacea as sister group of the Hippopotamidae, implying a long ghost lineage between the earliest cetaceans (∼53 Ma) and the earliest hippopotamids (∼16 Ma). Morphological studies have proposed two different sister taxa for hippopotamids: suoids (notably palaeochoerids) or anthracotheriids. Evaluating these phylogenetic hypotheses requires substantiating the poorly known early history of the Hippopotamidae. Here, we undertake an original morphological phylogenetic analysis including several “suiform” families and previously unexamined early Miocene taxa to test previous conflicting hypotheses. According to our results, Morotochoerus ugandensis and Kulutherium rusingensis, until now regarded as the sole African palaeochoerid and the sole African bunodont anthracotheriid, respectively, are unambiguously included within the Hippopotamidae. They are the earliest known hippopotamids and set the family fossil record back to the early Miocene (∼21 Ma). The analysis reveals that hippopotamids displayed an unsuspected taxonomic and body size diversity and remained restricted to Africa during most of their history, until the latest Miocene. Our results also confirm the deep nesting of Hippopotamidae within the paraphyletic Anthracotheriidae; this finding allows us to reconstruct the sequence of dental innovations that links advanced selenodont anthracotheriids to hippopotamids, previously a source of major disagreements on hippopotamid origins. The analysis demonstrates a close relationship between Eocene choeropotamids and anthracotheriids, a relationship that potentially fills the evolutionary gap between earliest hippopotamids and cetaceans implied by molecular analyses. PMID:20547829

  8. Multigene analysis of lophophorate and chaetognath phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Bruchhaus, Iris; Hausdorf, Bernhard

    2008-01-01

    Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses of seven concatenated fragments of nuclear-encoded housekeeping genes indicate that Lophotrochozoa is monophyletic, i.e., the lophophorate groups Bryozoa, Brachiopoda and Phoronida are more closely related to molluscs and annelids than to Deuterostomia or Ecdysozoa. Lophophorates themselves, however, form a polyphyletic assemblage. The hypotheses that they are monophyletic and more closely allied to Deuterostomia than to Protostomia can be ruled out with both the approximately unbiased test and the expected likelihood weights test. The existence of Phoronozoa, a putative clade including Brachiopoda and Phoronida, has also been rejected. According to our analyses, phoronids instead share a more recent common ancestor with bryozoans than with brachiopods. Platyhelminthes is the sister group of Lophotrochozoa. Together these two constitute Spiralia. Although Chaetognatha appears as the sister group of Priapulida within Ecdysozoa in our analyses, alternative hypothesis concerning chaetognath relationships could not be rejected.

  9. Why are we not evaluating multiple competing hypotheses in ecology and evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Avgar, Tal; Fryxell, John M.

    2017-01-01

    The use of multiple working hypotheses to gain strong inference is widely promoted as a means to enhance the effectiveness of scientific investigation. Only 21 of 100 randomly selected studies from the ecological and evolutionary literature tested more than one hypothesis and only eight tested more than two hypotheses. The surprising rarity of application of multiple working hypotheses suggests that this gap between theory and practice might reflect some fundamental issues. Here, we identify several intellectual and practical barriers that discourage us from using multiple hypotheses in our scientific investigation. While scientists have developed a number of ways to avoid biases, such as the use of double-blind controls, we suspect that few scientists are fully aware of the potential influence of cognitive bias on their decisions and they have not yet adopted many techniques available to overcome intellectual and practical barriers in order to improve scientific investigation. PMID:28280578

  10. Testable Hypotheses for Opportunity's Traverse from Santa Maria to the Rim of Endeavour Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraeman, A. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Murchie, S. L.; Seelos, F. P.; McGovern, J. A.

    2011-03-01

    The purpose of this abstract is to present working hypotheses to help guide the acquisition and analysis of continued MRO coverage and Opportunity observations as the rover departs Santa Maria, traverses across the plains, and ascends Endeavour’s rim.

  11. Phylogenetic relationships in Nuphar (Nymphaeaceae): evidence from morphology, chloroplast DNA, and nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

    Padgett, D J; Les, D H; Crow, G E

    1999-09-01

    The genus Nuphar consists of yellow-flowered waterlilies and is widely distributed in north-temperate bodies of water. Despite regular taxonomic evaluation of these plants, no explicit phylogenetic hypotheses have been proposed for the genus. We investigated phylogenetic relationships in Nuphar using morphology and sequences of the chloroplast gene matK and of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. Two major lineages within Nuphar are consistently resolved with the morphological and molecular data sets. One lineage comprises New World taxa and the other represents a primarily Old World lineage. Relationships within the major lineages were poorly resolved by morphology and ITS, yet certain relationships were elucidated by all analyses. Most notable is the strong support for a monophyletic lineage of dwarf taxa and the alliance of the North American N. microphylla with the Eurasian taxa. Minor discordance between the independent cladograms is accounted for by hybridization. The common taxonomic practice of uniting all North American and Eurasian taxa under one species is not supported phylogenetically.

  12. Congruent phylogenetic and fossil signatures of mammalian diversification dynamics driven by Tertiary abiotic change.

    PubMed

    Cantalapiedra, Juan L; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Azanza, Beatriz; Morales, Jorge

    2015-11-01

    Computational methods for estimating diversification rates from extant species phylogenetic trees have become abundant in evolutionary research. However, little evidence exists about how their outcome compares to a complementary and direct source of information: the fossil record. Furthermore, there is virtually no direct test for the congruence of evolutionary rates based on these two sources. This task is only achievable in clades with both a well-known fossil record and a complete phylogenetic tree. Here, we compare the evolutionary rates of ruminant mammals as estimated from their vast paleontological record--over 1200 species spanning 50 myr--and their living-species phylogeny. Significantly, our results revealed that the ruminant's fossil record and phylogeny reflect congruent evolutionary processes. The concordance is especially strong for the last 25 myr, when living groups became a dominant part of ruminant diversity. We found empirical support for previous hypotheses based on simulations and neontological data: The pattern captured by the tree depends on how clade specific the processes are and which clades are involved. Also, we report fossil evidence for a postradiation speciation slowdown coupled with constant, moderate extinction in the Miocene. The recent deceleration in phylogenetic rates is connected to rapid extinction triggered by recent climatic fluctuations.

  13. Evolutionary history of woodpeckers and allies (Aves: Picidae): placing key taxa on the phylogenetic tree.

    PubMed

    Benz, Brett W; Robbins, Mark B; Peterson, A Townsend

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed 2995 base pairs of nucleotide sequence data (nuclear beta-fibrinogen intron 7 and mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND2 genes), using parsimony and model-based approaches to infer phylogenetic relationships of the woodpeckers and allies, yielding novel hypotheses for several critical gaps in the knowledge of picid phylogeny. We tested the monophyly of sub-families within the Picidae, and sampled from widely distributed and diverse genera (Celeus, Colaptes, Dryocopus, Melanerpes, Picoides, Picumnus, Sasia, Piculus, and Picus). Relationships of three poorly known Southeast Asian genera (Dinopium, Reinwardtipicus, and Blythipicus) were also examined, revealing unexpected sister relationships. All phylogenetic approaches recovered largely congruent topologies, supporting a monophyletic Picinae and paraphyletic Picumninae, with the monotypic piculet, Nesoctites micromegas, as sister to the Picinae. We report paraphyly for Celeus and Piculus, whereas the broadly distributed genera Picumnus and Dryocopus were supported as monophyletic. Our phylogenetic results indicate a complex geographic history for the Picidae, with multiple disjunct sister lineages distributed between the New World and Asia. The relationships and geographic distribution of basal picid lineages indicates an Old World origin of the Picidae; however, the geographic origin of the Picinae remains equivocal, as the sister relationship between the Caribbean N. micromegas and the true woodpeckers presents the possibility of a New World origin for the Picinae.

  14. Placing cryptic, recently extinct, or hypothesized taxa into an ultrametric phylogeny using continuous character data: a case study with the lizard Anolis roosevelti.

    PubMed

    Revell, Liam J; Mahler, D Luke; Reynolds, R Graham; Slater, Graham J

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, enormous effort and investment has been put into assembling the tree of life: a phylogenetic history for all species on Earth. Overwhelmingly, this progress toward building an ever increasingly complete phylogeny of living things has been accomplished through sophisticated analysis of molecular data. In the modern genomic age, molecular genetic data have become very easy and inexpensive to obtain for many species. However, some lineages are poorly represented in or absent from tissue collections, or are unavailable for molecular analysis for other reasons such as restrictive biological sample export laws. Other species went extinct recently and are only available in formalin museum preparations or perhaps even as subfossils. In this brief communication we present a new method for placing cryptic, recently extinct, or hypothesized taxa into an ultrametric phylogeny of extant taxa using continuous character data. This method is based on a relatively simple modification of an established maximum likelihood (ML) method for phylogeny inference from continuous traits. We show that the method works well on simulated trees and data. We then apply it to the case of placing the Culebra Island Giant Anole (Anolis roosevelti) into a phylogeny of Caribbean anoles. Anolis roosevelti is a "crown-giant" ecomorph anole hypothesized to have once been found throughout the Spanish, United States, and British Virgin Islands, but that has not been encountered or collected since the 1930s. Although this species is widely thought to be closely related to the Puerto Rican giant anole, A. cuvieri, our ML method actually places A. roosevelti in a different part of the tree and closely related to a clade of morphologically similar species. We are unable, however, to reject a phylogenetic position for A. roosevelti that places it as sister taxon to A. cuvieri; although close relationship with the remainder of Puerto Rican anole species is strongly rejected by our method.

  15. Reconstruction of Family-Level Phylogenetic Relationships within Demospongiae (Porifera) Using Nuclear Encoded Housekeeping Genes

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Malcolm S.; Hill, April L.; Lopez, Jose; Peterson, Kevin J.; Pomponi, Shirley; Diaz, Maria C.; Thacker, Robert W.; Adamska, Maja; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Cárdenas, Paco; Chaves-Fonnegra, Andia; Danka, Elizabeth; De Laine, Bre-Onna; Formica, Dawn; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Klontz, Sarah; Morrow, Christine C.; Patel, Jignasa; Picton, Bernard; Pisani, Davide; Pohlmann, Deborah; Redmond, Niamh E.; Reed, John; Richey, Stacy; Riesgo, Ana; Rubin, Ewelina; Russell, Zach; Rützler, Klaus; Sperling, Erik A.; di Stefano, Michael; Tarver, James E.; Collins, Allen G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Demosponges are challenging for phylogenetic systematics because of their plastic and relatively simple morphologies and many deep divergences between major clades. To improve understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae, we sequenced and analyzed seven nuclear housekeeping genes involved in a variety of cellular functions from a diverse group of sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated data from each of the four sponge classes (i.e., Calcarea, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, and Homoscleromorpha), but focused on family-level relationships within demosponges. With data for 21 newly sampled families, our Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian-based approaches recovered previously phylogenetically defined taxa: Keratosap, Myxospongiaep, Spongillidap, Haploscleromorphap (the marine haplosclerids) and Democlaviap. We found conflicting results concerning the relationships of Keratosap and Myxospongiaep to the remaining demosponges, but our results strongly supported a clade of Haploscleromorphap+Spongillidap+Democlaviap. In contrast to hypotheses based on mitochondrial genome and ribosomal data, nuclear housekeeping gene data suggested that freshwater sponges (Spongillidap) are sister to Haploscleromorphap rather than part of Democlaviap. Within Keratosap, we found equivocal results as to the monophyly of Dictyoceratida. Within Myxospongiaep, Chondrosida and Verongida were monophyletic. A well-supported clade within Democlaviap, Tetractinellidap, composed of all sampled members of Astrophorina and Spirophorina (including the only lithistid in our analysis), was consistently revealed as the sister group to all other members of Democlaviap. Within Tetractinellidap, we did not recover monophyletic Astrophorina or Spirophorina. Our results also reaffirmed the monophyly of order Poecilosclerida (excluding Desmacellidae and Raspailiidae), and polyphyly of Hadromerida and Halichondrida. Conclusions/Significance These results, using an

  16. Molecular phylogeny of the spiny lobster genus Palinurus (Decapoda: Palinuridae) with hypotheses on speciation in the NE Atlantic/Mediterranean and SW Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Groeneveld, Johan C; Gopal, Keshni; George, Ray W; Matthee, Conrad A

    2007-10-01

    Sequence data derived from the mitochondrial DNA 16S rRNA and COI genes were used to determine the phylogenetic relationships among six Palinurus spiny lobster species. Three species (P. charlestoni, P. elephas, and P. mauritanicus) occur in the northeastern Atlantic/Mediterranean, and the others (P. barbarae, P. delagoae and P. gilchristi) inhabit the southwestern Indian Ocean. Parsimony and model based phylogenetics strongly supported the monophyly of the genus. A combined parsimony analysis based on 1001bp and 274 parsimony informative characters recovered the most resolved phylogeny with >70% bootstrap support for associations among species. The Atlantic P. charlestoni consistently clusters nested within the Indian Ocean clade, and the mtDNA sequence divergence between the two most distant species is 8.24%. If the northward collision of Africa with Eurasia in the Miocene caused the final physical separation between the Atlantic and Indian Ocean taxa, then the Palinurus mtDNA (COI and 16S combined) evolved no faster than 0.18% (lower bound) to 0.36% (upper bound) per lineage per million years. The six extant species occur in the pathways of the North Atlantic and South Indian Ocean gyres, and hypotheses on their radiation are developed relative to the strengthening of boundary currents in the Miocene and life history traits congruent with survival in strong ocean currents.

  17. Genomic biodiversity, phylogenetics, and coevolution in proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pollock, David D

    2010-01-01

    Comprehensive sampling of genomic biodiversity is fast becoming a reality for some genomic regions and complete organelle genomes. Genomic biodiversity is defined as large genomic sequences from many species, and here some recent work is reviewed that demonstrates the potential benefits of genomic biodiversity for molecular evolutionary analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction. This work shows that using likelihood-based approaches, taxon addition can dramatically improve phylogenetic reconstruction. Features or dynamics of the evolutionary process are much more easily inferred with large numbers of taxa, and large numbers are essential for discriminating differences in evolutionary patterns between sites. Accurate prediction of site-specific patterns can improve phylogenetic reconstruction by an amount equivalent to quadrupling sequence length. Genomic biodiversity is particularly central to research relating patterns of evolution, adaptation and coevolution to structural and functional features of proteins. Research on detecting coevolution between amino acid residues in proteins demonstrates a clear need for much greater numbers of closely related taxa to better discriminate site-specific patterns of interaction, and to allow more detailed analysis of coevolutionary interactions between subunits in protein complexes. It is argued that parsing out coevolutionary and other context-dependent substitution probabilities is essential for discriminating between coevolution and adaptation, and for more realistically modelling the evolution of proteins. Also reviewed is research that argues for increasing the efficiency of acquiring genomic biodiversity, and suggests that this might be done by simultaneously shotgun cloning and sequencing genomic mixtures from many species. Increased efficiency is a prerequisite if genomic biodiversity levels are to rapidly increase by orders of magnitude, and thus lead to dramatically improved understanding of interactions between

  18. Molecular phylogenetic study in genus Hydra.

    PubMed

    Kawaida, Hitomi; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Fujisawa, Toshitaka; Tachida, Hidenori; Kobayakawa, Yoshitaka

    2010-11-15

    Among 8000-9000 species of Cnidaria, only several dozens of species of Hydrozoa have been found in the fresh water. Hydra is such a fresh water polyp and has been used as a good material for research in developmental biology, regeneration and pattern formation. Although the genus Hydra has only a few ten species, its distribution is cosmopolitan. The phylogenetic relationship between hydra species is fascinating from the aspect of evolutionary biology and biogeography. However, only a few molecular phylogenetic studies have been reported on hydra. Therefore, we conducted a molecular phylogenetic study of the genus Hydra based on mitochondrial and nuclear nucleotide sequences using a hydra collection that has been kept in the National Institute of Genetics (NIG) of Japan. The results support the idea that four species groups comprise the genus Hydra. Within the viridissima group (green hydra) and braueri group, genetic distances between strains were relatively large. In contrast, genetic distances between strains among the vulgaris and oligactis groups were small irrespective of their geographic distribution. The vulgaris group strains were classified at least (as far as our investigated samples) into three sub-groups, vulgaris sub-group, carnea sub-group, and H. sp. (K5 and K6) sub-group. All of the vulgaris sub-group and H. sp. (K5 and K6) sub-group strains were collected in Eurasia. The carnea sub-group strains in NIG collection were all collected in North America. A few newly collected samples in Japan, however, suggested belonging to the carnea sub-group according to the molecular phylogenic analysis. This suggests a trans-Pacific distribution of the carnea sub-group hydra.

  19. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.

  20. Modularized Evolution in Archaeal Methanogens Phylogenetic Forest

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Wong, Chi-Fat; Wong, Mabel Ting; Huang, He; Leung, Frederick C.

    2014-01-01

    Methanogens are methane-producing archaea that plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. To date, the evolutionary history of methanogens and closely related nonmethanogen species remains unresolved among studies conducted upon different genetic markers, attributing to horizontal gene transfers (HGTs). With an effort to decipher both congruent and conflicting evolutionary events, reconstruction of coevolved gene clusters and hierarchical structure in the archaeal methanogen phylogenetic forest, comprehensive evolution, and network analyses were performed upon 3,694 gene families from 41 methanogens and 33 closely related archaea. Our results show that 1) greater than 50% of genes are in topological dissonance with others; 2) the prevalent interorder HGTs, even for core genes, in methanogen genomes led to their scrambled phylogenetic relationships; 3) most methanogenesis-related genes have experienced at least one HGT; 4) greater than 20% of the genes in methanogen genomes were transferred horizontally from other archaea, with genes involved in cell-wall synthesis and defense system having been transferred most frequently; 5) the coevolution network contains seven statistically robust modules, wherein the central module has the highest average node strength and comprises a majority of the core genes; 6) different coevolutionary module genes boomed in different time and evolutionary lineage, constructing diversified pan-genome structures; 7) the modularized evolution is also closely related to the vertical evolution signals and the HGT rate of the genes. Overall, this study presented a modularized phylogenetic forest that describes a combination of complicated vertical and nonvertical evolutionary processes for methanogenic archaeal species. PMID:25502908

  1. MINER: software for phylogenetic motif identification.

    PubMed

    La, David; Livesay, Dennis R

    2005-07-01

    MINER is web-based software for phylogenetic motif (PM) identification. PMs are sequence regions (fragments) that conserve the overall familial phylogeny. PMs have been shown to correspond to a wide variety of catalytic regions, substrate-binding sites and protein interfaces, making them ideal functional site predictions. The MINER output provides an intuitive interface for interactive PM sequence analysis and structural visualization. The web implementation of MINER is freely available at http://www.pmap.csupomona.edu/MINER/. Source code is available to the academic community on request.

  2. Budgeted phylogenetic diversity on circular split systems.

    PubMed

    Minh, Bui Quang; Pardi, Fabio; Klaere, Steffen; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2009-01-01

    In the last 15 years, Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) has gained interest in the community of conservation biologists as a surrogate measure for assessing biodiversity. We have recently proposed two approaches to select taxa for maximizing PD, namely PD with budget constraints and PD on split systems. In this paper, we will unify these two strategies and present a dynamic programming algorithm to solve the unified framework of selecting taxa with maximal PD under budget constraints on circular split systems. An improved algorithm will also be given if the underlying split system is a tree.

  3. Concepts of Classification and Taxonomy Phylogenetic Classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraix-Burnet, D.

    2016-05-01

    Phylogenetic approaches to classification have been heavily developed in biology by bioinformaticians. But these techniques have applications in other fields, in particular in linguistics. Their main characteristics is to search for relationships between the objects or species in study, instead of grouping them by similarity. They are thus rather well suited for any kind of evolutionary objects. For nearly fifteen years, astrocladistics has explored the use of Maximum Parsimony (or cladistics) for astronomical objects like galaxies or globular clusters. In this lesson we will learn how it works.

  4. Molecular phylogenetic evaluation of classification and scenarios of character evolution in calcareous sponges (Porifera, Class Calcarea).

    PubMed

    Voigt, Oliver; Wülfing, Eilika; Wörheide, Gert

    2012-01-01

    Calcareous sponges (Phylum Porifera, Class Calcarea) are known to be taxonomically difficult. Previous molecular studies have revealed many discrepancies between classically recognized taxa and the observed relationships at the order, family and genus levels; these inconsistencies question underlying hypotheses regarding the evolution of certain morphological characters. Therefore, we extended the available taxa and character set by sequencing the complete small subunit (SSU) rDNA and the almost complete large subunit (LSU) rDNA of additional key species and complemented this dataset by substantially increasing the length of available LSU sequences. Phylogenetic analyses provided new hypotheses about the relationships of Calcarea and about the evolution of certain morphological characters. We tested our phylogeny against competing phylogenetic hypotheses presented by previous classification systems. Our data reject the current order-level classification by again finding non-monophyletic Leucosolenida, Clathrinida and Murrayonida. In the subclass Calcinea, we recovered a clade that includes all species with a cortex, which is largely consistent with the previously proposed order Leucettida. Other orders that had been rejected in the current system were not found, but could not be rejected in our tests either. We found several additional families and genera polyphyletic: the families Leucascidae and Leucaltidae and the genus Leucetta in Calcinea, and in Calcaronea the family Amphoriscidae and the genus Ute. Our phylogeny also provided support for the vaguely suspected close relationship of several members of Grantiidae with giantortical diactines to members of Heteropiidae. Similarly, our analyses revealed several unexpected affinities, such as a sister group relationship between Leucettusa (Leucaltidae) and Leucettidae and between Leucascandra (Jenkinidae) and Sycon carteri (Sycettidae). According to our results, the taxonomy of Calcarea is in desperate need of a

  5. Bryozoans are returning home: recolonization of freshwater ecosystems inferred from phylogenetic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Koletić, Nikola; Novosel, Maja; Rajević, Nives; Franjević, Damjan

    2015-01-01

    Bryozoans are aquatic invertebrates that inhabit all types of aquatic ecosystems. They are small animals that form large colonies by asexual budding. Colonies can reach the size of several tens of centimeters, while individual units within a colony are the size of a few millimeters. Each individual within a colony works as a separate zooid and is genetically identical to each other individual within the same colony. Most freshwater species of bryozoans belong to the Phylactolaemata class, while several species that tolerate brackish water belong to the Gymnolaemata class. Tissue samples for this study were collected in the rivers of Adriatic and Danube basin and in the wetland areas in the continental part of Croatia (Europe). Freshwater and brackish taxons of bryozoans were genetically analyzed for the purpose of creating phylogenetic relationships between freshwater and brackish taxons of the Phylactolaemata and Gymnolaemata classes and determining the role of brackish species in colonizing freshwater and marine ecosystems. Phylogenetic relationships inferred on the genes for 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, COI, and ITS2 region confirmed Phylactolaemata bryozoans as radix bryozoan group. Phylogenetic analysis proved Phylactolaemata bryozoan's close relations with taxons from Phoronida phylum as well as the separation of the Lophopodidae family from other families within the Plumatellida genus. Comparative analysis of existing knowledge about the phylogeny of bryozoans and the expansion of known evolutionary hypotheses is proposed with the model of settlement of marine and freshwater ecosystems by the bryozoans group during their evolutionary past. In this case study, brackish bryozoan taxons represent a link for this ecological phylogenetic hypothesis. Comparison of brackish bryozoan species Lophopus crystallinus and Conopeum seurati confirmed a dual colonization of freshwater ecosystems throughout evolution of this group of animals. PMID:25691955

  6. Phylogenetic relationships and the evolution of BMP4 in triggerfishes and filefishes (Balistoidea).

    PubMed

    McCord, Charlene L; Westneat, Mark W

    2016-01-01

    The triggerfishes (family Balistidae) and filefishes (family Monacanthidae) comprise a charismatic superfamily (Balistoidea) within the diverse order Tetraodontiformes. This group of largely marine fishes occupies an impressive ecological range across the world's oceans, and is well known for its locomotor and feeding diversity, unusual body shapes, small genome size, and ecological and economic importance. In order to investigate the evolutionary history of these important fish families, we used multiple phylogenetic methods to analyze molecular data from 86 species spanning the extant biodiversity of Balistidae and Monacanthidae. In addition to three gene regions that have been used extensively in phylogenetic analyses, we include sequence data for two mitochondrial regions, two nuclear markers, and the growth factor gene bmp4, which is involved with cranial development. Phylogenetic analyses strongly support the monophyly of the superfamily Balistoidea, the sister-family relationship of Balistidae and Monacanthidae, as well as three triggerfish and four filefish clades that are well resolved. A new classification for the Balistidae is proposed based on phylogenetic groups. Bayesian topology, as well as the timing of major cladogenesis events, is largely congruent with previous hypotheses of balistid phylogeny. However, we present a novel topology for major clades in the filefish family that illustrate the genera Aluterus and Stephanolepis are more closely related than previously posited. Molecular rates suggest a Miocene and Oligocene origin for the families Balistidae and Monacanthidae, respectively, and significant divergence of species in both families within the past 5 million years. A second key finding of this study is that, relative to the other protein-coding gene regions in our DNA supermatrix, bmp4 shows a rapid accumulation of both synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions, especially within the family Monacanthidae. Overall substitution patterns in

  7. Multigene analysis of phylogenetic relationships and divergence times of primate sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura).

    PubMed

    Light, Jessica E; Reed, David L

    2009-02-01

    Cospeciation between hosts and parasites offers a unique opportunity to use information from parasites to infer events in host evolutionary history. Although lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) are known to cospeciate with their hosts and have frequently served as important markers to infer host evolutionary history, most molecular studies are based on only one or two markers. Resulting phylogenies may, therefore, represent gene histories (rather than species histories), and analyses of multiple molecular markers are needed to increase confidence in the results of phylogenetic analyses. Herein, we phylogenetically examine nine molecular markers in primate sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) and we use these markers to estimate divergence times among louse lineages. Individual and combined analyses of these nine markers are, for the most part, congruent, supporting relationships hypothesized in previous studies. Only one marker, the nuclear protein-coding gene Histone 3, has a significantly different tree topology compared to the other markers. The disparate evolutionary history of this marker, however, has no significant effect on topology or nodal support in the combined phylogenetic analyses. Therefore, phylogenetic results from the combined data set likely represent a solid hypothesis of species relationships. Additionally, we find that simultaneous use of multiple markers and calibration points provides the most reliable estimates of louse divergence times, in agreement with previous studies estimating divergences among species. Estimates of phylogenies and divergence times also allow us to verify the results of [Reed, D.L., Light, J.E., Allen, J.M., Kirchman, J.J., 2007. Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: the evolutionary history of anthropoid primate lice. BMC Biol. 5, 7.]; there was probable contact between gorilla and archaic hominids roughly 3 Ma resulting in a host switch of Pthirus lice from gorillas to archaic hominids. Thus, these results provide

  8. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the historical biogeography and evolution of Brachyrhaphis fishes.

    PubMed

    Ingley, Spencer J; Reina, Ruth G; Bermingham, Eldredge; Johnson, Jerald B

    2015-08-01

    The livebearing fish genus Brachyrhaphis (Poeciliidae) has become an increasingly important model in evolution and ecology research, yet the phylogeny of this group is not well understood, nor has it been examined thoroughly using modern phylogenetic methods. Here, we present the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of Brachyrhaphis by using four molecular markers (3mtDNA, 1nucDNA) to infer relationships among species in this genus. We tested the validity of this genus as a monophyletic group using extensive outgroup sampling based on recent phylogenetic hypotheses of Poeciliidae. We also tested the validity of recently described species of Brachyrhaphis that are part of the B. episcopi complex in Panama. Finally, we examined the impact of historical events on diversification of Brachyrhaphis, and made predictions regarding the role of different ecological environments on evolutionary diversification where known historical events apparently fail to explain speciation. Based on our results, we reject the monophyly of Brachyrhaphis, and question the validity of two recently described species (B. hessfeldi and B. roswithae). Historical biogeography of Brachyrhaphis generally agrees with patterns found in other freshwater taxa in Lower Central America, which show that geological barriers frequently predict speciation. Specifically, we find evidence in support of an 'island' model of Lower Central American formation, which posits that the nascent isthmus was partitioned by several marine connections before linking North and South America. In some cases where historic events (e.g., vicariance) fail to explain allopatric species breaks in Brachyrhaphis, ecological processes (e.g., divergent predation environments) offer additional insight into our understanding of phylogenetic diversification in this group.

  9. Bryozoans are returning home: recolonization of freshwater ecosystems inferred from phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Koletić, Nikola; Novosel, Maja; Rajević, Nives; Franjević, Damjan

    2015-01-01

    Bryozoans are aquatic invertebrates that inhabit all types of aquatic ecosystems. They are small animals that form large colonies by asexual budding. Colonies can reach the size of several tens of centimeters, while individual units within a colony are the size of a few millimeters. Each individual within a colony works as a separate zooid and is genetically identical to each other individual within the same colony. Most freshwater species of bryozoans belong to the Phylactolaemata class, while several species that tolerate brackish water belong to the Gymnolaemata class. Tissue samples for this study were collected in the rivers of Adriatic and Danube basin and in the wetland areas in the continental part of Croatia (Europe). Freshwater and brackish taxons of bryozoans were genetically analyzed for the purpose of creating phylogenetic relationships between freshwater and brackish taxons of the Phylactolaemata and Gymnolaemata classes and determining the role of brackish species in colonizing freshwater and marine ecosystems. Phylogenetic relationships inferred on the genes for 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, COI, and ITS2 region confirmed Phylactolaemata bryozoans as radix bryozoan group. Phylogenetic analysis proved Phylactolaemata bryozoan's close relations with taxons from Phoronida phylum as well as the separation of the Lophopodidae family from other families within the Plumatellida genus. Comparative analysis of existing knowledge about the phylogeny of bryozoans and the expansion of known evolutionary hypotheses is proposed with the model of settlement of marine and freshwater ecosystems by the bryozoans group during their evolutionary past. In this case study, brackish bryozoan taxons represent a link for this ecological phylogenetic hypothesis. Comparison of brackish bryozoan species Lophopus crystallinus and Conopeum seurati confirmed a dual colonization of freshwater ecosystems throughout evolution of this group of animals.

  10. Phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic parasite, Polypodium hydriforme, within the Phylum Cnidaria

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Polypodium hydriforme is a parasite with an unusual life cycle and peculiar morphology, both of which have made its systematic position uncertain. Polypodium has traditionally been considered a cnidarian because it possesses nematocysts, the stinging structures characteristic of this phylum. However, recent molecular phylogenetic studies using 18S rDNA sequence data have challenged this interpretation, and have shown that Polypodium is a close relative to myxozoans and together they share a closer affinity to bilaterians than cnidarians. Due to the variable rates of 18S rDNA sequences, these results have been suggested to be an artifact of long-branch attraction (LBA). A recent study, using multiple protein coding markers, shows that the myxozoan Buddenbrockia, is nested within cnidarians. Polypodium was not included in this study. To further investigate the phylogenetic placement of Polypodium, we have performed phylogenetic analyses of metazoans with 18S and partial 28S rDNA sequences in a large dataset that includes Polypodium and a comprehensive sampling of cnidarian taxa. Results Analyses of a combined dataset of 18S and partial 28S sequences, and partial 28S alone, support the placement of Polypodium within Cnidaria. Removal of the long-branched myxozoans from the 18S dataset also results in Polypodium being nested within Cnidaria. These results suggest that previous reports showing that Polypodium and Myxozoa form a sister group to Bilateria were an artifact of long-branch attraction. Conclusion By including 28S rDNA sequences and a comprehensive sampling of cnidarian taxa, we demonstrate that previously conflicting hypotheses concerning the phylogenetic placement of Polypodium can be reconciled. Specifically, the data presented provide evidence that Polypodium is indeed a cnidarian and is either the sister taxon to Hydrozoa, or part of the hydrozoan clade, Leptothecata. The former hypothesis is consistent with the traditional view that Polypodium

  11. Approaches to Alternative Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamayan, Else V.

    1995-01-01

    Examines the major characteristics of nontraditional or alternative assessment in language learning, the uses of alternative assessment procedures, and different types of alternative assessment. An annotated bibliography discusses eight important works in the field. (75 references) (MDM)

  12. Morphological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the spirurid nematode Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942).

    PubMed

    Vidal, V; Ortiz, J; Diaz, J I; Zafrilla, B; Bonete, M J; Ruiz De Ybañez, M R; Palacios, M J; Benzal, J; Valera, F; De La Cruz, C; Motas, M; Bautista, V; Machordom, A; Barbosa, A

    2016-03-01

    Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942) is a gastrointestinal parasite found in Antarctic seabirds. The original description of the species, which was based only on females, is poor and fragmented with some unclear diagnostic characters. This study provides new morphometric and molecular data on this previously poorly described parasite. Nuclear rDNA sequences (18S, 5.8S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions) were isolated from S. macronectes specimens collected from the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica Forster on Deception Island, Antarctica. Using 18S rDNA sequences, phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference) of the order Spirurida were performed to determine the phylogenetic location of this species. Primer pairs of the ITS regions were designed for genus-level identification of specimens, regardless of their cycle, as an alternative to coprological methods. The utility of this molecular method for identification of morphologically altered specimens is also discussed.

  13. Diversity, phylogenetic distribution, and origins of venomous catfishes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The study of venomous fishes is in a state of relative infancy when compared to that of other groups of venomous organisms. Catfishes (Order Siluriformes) are a diverse group of bony fishes that have long been known to include venomous taxa, but the extent and phylogenetic distribution of this venomous species diversity has never been documented, while the nature of the venoms themselves also remains poorly understood. In this study, I used histological preparations from over 100 catfish genera, basic biochemical and toxicological analyses of fin spine extracts from several species, and previous systematic studies of catfishes to examine the distribution of venom glands in this group. These results also offer preliminary insights into the evolutionary history of venom glands in the Siluriformes. Results Histological examinations of 158 catfish species indicate that approximately 1250-1625+ catfish species should be presumed to be venomous, when viewed in conjunction with several hypotheses of siluriform phylogeny. Maximum parsimony character optimization analyses indicate two to three independent derivations of venom glands within the Siluriformes. A number of putative toxic peptides were identified in the venoms of catfish species from many of the families determined to contain venomous representatives. These peptides elicit a wide array of physiological effects in other fishes, though any one species examined produced no more than three distinct putative toxins in its venom. The molecular weights and effects produced by these putative toxic peptides show strong similarities to previously characterized toxins found in catfish epidermal secretions. Conclusion Venom glands have evolved multiple times in catfishes (Order Siluriformes), and venomous catfishes may outnumber the combined diversity of all other venomous vertebrates. The toxic peptides found in catfish venoms may be derived from epidermal secretions that have been demonstrated to accelerate the

  14. Evidence from nuclear DNA sequences sheds light on the phylogenetic relationships of Pinnipedia: single origin with affinity to Musteloidea.

    PubMed

    Sato, Jun J; Wolsan, Mieczysław; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Hosoda, Tetsuji; Yamaguchi, Yasunori; Hiyama, Kozue; Kobayashi, Mari; Minami, Shinji

    2006-02-01

    Considerable long-standing controversy and confusion surround the phylogenetic affinities of pinnipeds, the largely marine group of "fin-footed" members of the placental mammalian order Carnivora. Until most recently, the two major competing hypotheses were that the pinnipeds have a single (monophyletic) origin from a bear-like ancestor, or that they have a dual (diphyletic) origin, with sea lions (Otariidae) derived from a bear-like ancestor, and seals (Phocidae) derived from an otter-, mustelid-, or musteloid-like ancestor. We examined phylogenetic relationships among 29 species of arctoid carnivorans using a concatenated sequence of 3228 bp from three nuclear loci (apolipoprotein B, APOB; interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, IRBP; recombination-activating gene 1, RAG1). The species represented Pinnipedia (Otariidae: Callorhinus, Eumetopias; Phocidae: Phoca), bears (Ursidae: Ursus, Melursus), and Musteloidea (Mustelidae: Mustela, Enhydra, Melogale, Martes, Gulo, Meles; Procyonidae: Procyon; Ailuridae: Ailurus; Mephitidae: Mephitis). Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference phylogenetic analyses of separate and combined datasets produced trees with largely congruent topologies. The analyses of the combined dataset resulted in well-resolved and well-supported phylogeny reconstructions. Evidence from nuclear DNA evolution presented here contradicts the two major hypotheses of pinniped relationships and strongly suggests a single origin of the pinnipeds from an arctoid ancestor shared with Musteloidea to the exclusion of Ursidae.

  15. Bayesian meta-analysis of Cronbach's coefficient alpha to evaluate informative hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Okada, Kensuke

    2015-12-01

    This paper proposes a new method to evaluate informative hypotheses for meta-analysis of Cronbach's coefficient alpha using a Bayesian approach. The coefficient alpha is one of the most widely used reliability indices. In meta-analyses of reliability, researchers typically form specific informative hypotheses beforehand, such as 'alpha of this test is greater than 0.8' or 'alpha of one form of a test is greater than the others.' The proposed method enables direct evaluation of these informative hypotheses. To this end, a Bayes factor is calculated to evaluate the informative hypothesis against its complement. It allows researchers to summarize the evidence provided by previous studies in favor of their informative hypothesis. The proposed approach can be seen as a natural extension of the Bayesian meta-analysis of coefficient alpha recently proposed in this journal (Brannick and Zhang, 2013). The proposed method is illustrated through two meta-analyses of real data that evaluate different kinds of informative hypotheses on superpopulation: one is that alpha of a particular test is above the criterion value, and the other is that alphas among different test versions have ordered relationships. Informative hypotheses are supported from the data in both cases, suggesting that the proposed approach is promising for application.

  16. Hidden decay of impact after education for self-management of chronic illnesses: hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Park, M J; Green, Joseph; Ishikawa, Hirono; Kiuchi, Takahiro

    2013-03-01

    People with chronic illnesses can benefit from self-management education. However, those benefits are said to decay over time (there is some evidence that this 'decay of impact' does occur), and the reinforcements used to prevent that decay appear to be ineffective. We hypothesize that the reinforcements appear to be ineffective because decay of impact occurs only in a subgroup of these programs' participants, so any benefits of reinforcements in that subgroup are concealed by whole-group summary statistics. We also hypothesize that reinforcements can benefit those who need them - those who would otherwise have decay. One approach to testing these hypotheses requires analysis of individual-level data, which is uncommon in this field. Some useful data could come from studies that have already been completed, but the strongest evidence will require prospectively designed tests in future trials. If the hypotheses are false, then time and resources spent on reinforcements can be saved or redirected. If the hypotheses are true, then reinforcements can be implemented with less waste and they can be made more effective. These programs can also be improved to better fit their users' needs, and there can be a new basis for evaluating the programs' effectiveness.

  17. Phylogenetic Classification at Generic Level in the Absence of Distinct Phylogenetic Patterns of Phenotypical Variation: A Case Study in Graphidaceae (Ascomycota)

    PubMed Central

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Lücking, Robert; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogenies often reveal that taxa circumscribed by phenotypical characters are not monophyletic. While re-examination of phenotypical characters often identifies the presence of characters characterizing clades, there is a growing number of studies that fail to identify diagnostic characters, especially in organismal groups lacking complex morphologies. Taxonomists then can either merge the groups or split taxa into smaller entities. Due to the nature of binomial nomenclature, this decision is of special importance at the generic level. Here we propose a new approach to choose among classification alternatives using a combination of morphology-based phylogenetic binning and a multiresponse permutation procedure to test for morphological differences among clades. We illustrate the use of this method in the tribe Thelotremateae focusing on the genus Chapsa, a group of lichenized fungi in which our phylogenetic estimate is in conflict with traditional classification and the morphological and chemical characters do not show a clear phylogenetic pattern. We generated 75 new DNA sequences of mitochondrial SSU rDNA, nuclear LSU rDNA and the protein-coding RPB2. This data set was used to infer phylogenetic estimates using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. The genus Chapsa was found to be polyphyletic, forming four well-supported clades, three of which clustering into one unsupported clade, and the other, supported clade forming two supported subclades. While these clades cannot be readily separated morphologically, the combined binning/multiresponse permutation procedure showed that accepting the four clades as different genera each reflects the phenotypical pattern significantly better than accepting two genera (or five genera if splitting the first clade). Another species within the Thelotremateae, Thelotrema petractoides, a unique taxon with carbonized excipulum resembling Schizotrema, was shown to fall outside Thelotrema. Consequently, the new

  18. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    PubMed

    Gatesy, John; Geisler, Jonathan H; Chang, Joseph; Buell, Carl; Berta, Annalisa; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S; McGowen, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life.

  19. Phylogenetic relationships among Ehrlichia ruminantium isolates.

    PubMed

    Allsopp, M T E P; Van Heerden, H; Steyn, H C; Allsopp, B A

    2003-06-01

    Ehrlichia ruminantium, the causative agent of heartwater, is a tick-borne pathogen infecting ruminants throughout sub-Saharan Africa and on some Caribbean islands. The most reliable test for E. ruminantium is PCR-based, but this gives positive results in some areas free of clinical heartwater and of the known Amblyomma spp. tick vectors. To investigate the molecular basis for this finding we have sequenced and carried out phylogenetic analysis of a range of genes from a number of E. ruminantium isolates. The genes include ribonuclease III and cytochrome c oxidase assembly protein genes (the pCS20 region), groESL, citrate synthase (gltA), and 16S ribosomal RNA. Relationships among major antigenic protein (map1) genes have been exhaustively investigated in a previous study that showed that the genes are variable in length, have non-synonymous mutations, and show no geographical specificity among isolates. The 16S sequences are highly conserved, except in the V1 loop region. The pCS20, groESL, and gltA genes show only single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) dispersed throughout the sequenced regions. Phylogenetic analysis using pCS20 data differentiates the western African isolates into a single clade, which also includes a southern African isolate. All other southern African isolates and a Caribbean isolate fall into a further clade, which is subdivided into two groups. Sequence variation within this clade is greater than that within the western African clade, suggesting that E. ruminantium originated in southern Africa.

  20. A Distance Measure for Genome Phylogenetic Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Minh Duc; Allison, Lloyd; Dix, Trevor

    Phylogenetic analyses of species based on single genes or parts of the genomes are often inconsistent because of factors such as variable rates of evolution and horizontal gene transfer. The availability of more and more sequenced genomes allows phylogeny construction from complete genomes that is less sensitive to such inconsistency. For such long sequences, construction methods like maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood are often not possible due to their intensive computational requirement. Another class of tree construction methods, namely distance-based methods, require a measure of distances between any two genomes. Some measures such as evolutionary edit distance of gene order and gene content are computational expensive or do not perform well when the gene content of the organisms are similar. This study presents an information theoretic measure of genetic distances between genomes based on the biological compression algorithm expert model. We demonstrate that our distance measure can be applied to reconstruct the consensus phylogenetic tree of a number of Plasmodium parasites from their genomes, the statistical bias of which would mislead conventional analysis methods. Our approach is also used to successfully construct a plausible evolutionary tree for the γ-Proteobacteria group whose genomes are known to contain many horizontally transferred genes.

  1. Phylogenetic analysis of honey bee behavioral evolution.

    PubMed

    Raffiudin, Rika; Crozier, Ross H

    2007-05-01

    DNA sequences from three mitochondrial (rrnL, cox2, nad2) and one nuclear gene (itpr) from all 9 known honey bee species (Apis), a 10th possible species, Apis dorsata binghami, and three outgroup species (Bombus terrestris, Melipona bicolor and Trigona fimbriata) were used to infer Apis phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian analysis. The dwarf honey bees were confirmed as basal, and the giant and cavity-nesting species to be monophyletic. All nodes were strongly supported except that grouping Apis cerana with A. nigrocincta. Two thousand post-burnin trees from the phylogenetic analysis were used in a Bayesian comparative analysis to explore the evolution of dance type, nest structure, comb structure and dance sound within Apis. The ancestral honey bee species was inferred with high support to have nested in the open, and to have more likely than not had a silent vertical waggle dance and a single comb. The common ancestor of the giant and cavity-dwelling bees is strongly inferred to have had a buzzing vertical directional dance. All pairwise combinations of characters showed strong association, but the multiple comparisons problem reduces the ability to infer associations between states between characters. Nevertheless, a buzzing dance is significantly associated with cavity-nesting, several vertical combs, and dancing vertically, a horizontal dance is significantly associated with a nest with a single comb wrapped around the support, and open nesting with a single pendant comb and a silent waggle dance.

  2. Phylogenetic Quantification of Intra-tumour Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Roland F.; Trinh, Anne; Sipos, Botond; Brenton, James D.; Goldman, Nick; Markowetz, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Intra-tumour genetic heterogeneity is the result of ongoing evolutionary change within each cancer. The expansion of genetically distinct sub-clonal populations may explain the emergence of drug resistance, and if so, would have prognostic and predictive utility. However, methods for objectively quantifying tumour heterogeneity have been missing and are particularly difficult to establish in cancers where predominant copy number variation prevents accurate phylogenetic reconstruction owing to horizontal dependencies caused by long and cascading genomic rearrangements. To address these challenges, we present MEDICC, a method for phylogenetic reconstruction and heterogeneity quantification based on a Minimum Event Distance for Intra-tumour Copy-number Comparisons. Using a transducer-based pairwise comparison function, we determine optimal phasing of major and minor alleles, as well as evolutionary distances between samples, and are able to reconstruct ancestral genomes. Rigorous simulations and an extensive clinical study show the power of our method, which outperforms state-of-the-art competitors in reconstruction accuracy, and additionally allows unbiased numerical quantification of tumour heterogeneity. Accurate quantification and evolutionary inference are essential to understand the functional consequences of tumour heterogeneity. The MEDICC algorithms are independent of the experimental techniques used and are applicable to both next-generation sequencing and array CGH data. PMID:24743184

  3. The phylogenetic utility and functional constraint of microRNA flanking sequences

    PubMed Central

    Kenny, Nathan J.; Sin, Yung Wa; Hayward, Alexander; Paps, Jordi; Chu, Ka Hou; Hui, Jerome H. L.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently risen to prominence as novel factors responsible for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNA genes have been posited as highly conserved in the clades in which they exist. Consequently, miRNAs have been used as rare genome change characters to estimate phylogeny by tracking their gain and loss. However, their short length (21–23 bp) has limited their perceived utility in sequenced-based phylogenetic inference. Here, using reference taxa with established phylogenetic relationships, we demonstrate that miRNA sequences are of high utility in quantitative, rather than in qualitative, phylogenetic analysis. The clear orthology among miRNA genes from different species makes it straightforward to identify and align these sequences from even fragmentary datasets. We also identify significant sequence conservation in the regions directly flanking miRNA genes, and show that this too is of utility in phylogenetic analysis, as well as highlighting conserved regions that will be of interest to other fields. Employing miRNA sequences from 12 sequenced drosophilid genomes, together with a Tribolium castaneum outgroup, we demonstrate that this approach is robust using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods. The utility of these characters is further demonstrated in the rhabditid nematodes and primates. As next-generation sequencing makes it more cost-effective to sequence genomes and small RNA libraries, this methodology provides an alternative data source for phylogenetic analysis. The approach allows rapid resolution of relationships between both closely related and rapidly evolving species, and provides an additional tool for investigation of relationships within the tree of life. PMID:25694624

  4. Strong phylogenetic signals and phylogenetic niche conservatism in ecophysiological traits across divergent lineages of Magnoliaceae

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hui; Xu, Qiuyuan; He, Pengcheng; Santiago, Louis S.; Yang, Keming; Ye, Qing

    2015-01-01

    The early diverged Magnoliaceae shows a historical temperate-tropical distribution among lineages indicating divergent evolution, yet which ecophysiological traits are phylogenetically conserved, and whether these traits are involved in correlated evolution remain unclear. Integrating phylogeny and 20 ecophysiological traits of 27 species, from the four largest sections of Magnoliaceae, we tested the phylogenetic signals of these traits and the correlated evolution between trait pairs. Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) in water-conducting and nutrient-use related traits was identified, and correlated evolution of several key functional traits was demonstrated. Among the three evergreen sections of tropical origin, Gwillimia had the lowest hydraulic-photosynthetic capacity and the highest drought tolerance compared with Manglietia and Michelia. Contrastingly, the temperate centred deciduous section, Yulania, showed high rates of hydraulic conductivity and photosynthesis at the cost of drought tolerance. This study elucidated the regulation of hydraulic and photosynthetic processes in the temperate-tropical adaptations for Magnoliaceae species, which led to strong phylogenetic signals and PNC in ecophysiological traits across divergent lineages of Magnoliaceae. PMID:26179320

  5. Strong phylogenetic signals and phylogenetic niche conservatism in ecophysiological traits across divergent lineages of Magnoliaceae.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Xu, Qiuyuan; He, Pengcheng; Santiago, Louis S; Yang, Keming; Ye, Qing

    2015-07-16

    The early diverged Magnoliaceae shows a historical temperate-tropical distribution among lineages indicating divergent evolution, yet which ecophysiological traits are phylogenetically conserved, and whether these traits are involved in correlated evolution remain unclear. Integrating phylogeny and 20 ecophysiological traits of 27 species, from the four largest sections of Magnoliaceae, we tested the phylogenetic signals of these traits and the correlated evolution between trait pairs. Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) in water-conducting and nutrient-use related traits was identified, and correlated evolution of several key functional traits was demonstrated. Among the three evergreen sections of tropical origin, Gwillimia had the lowest hydraulic-photosynthetic capacity and the highest drought tolerance compared with Manglietia and Michelia. Contrastingly, the temperate centred deciduous section, Yulania, showed high rates of hydraulic conductivity and photosynthesis at the cost of drought tolerance. This study elucidated the regulation of hydraulic and photosynthetic processes in the temperate-tropical adaptations for Magnoliaceae species, which led to strong phylogenetic signals and PNC in ecophysiological traits across divergent lineages of Magnoliaceae.

  6. A phylogenetic approach to disentangling the role of competition and habitat filtering in community assembly of Neotropical forest birds.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Juan Pablo; Bravo, Gustavo A; Brumfield, Robb T; Tello, José G; Cadena, Carlos Daniel

    2010-11-01

    1. Methods that assess patterns of phylogenetic relatedness, as well as character distribution and evolution, allow one to infer the ecological processes involved in community assembly. Assuming niche conservatism, assemblages should shift from phylogenetic clustering to evenness with decreasing geographic scale because the relative importance of mechanisms that shape assemblages is hypothesized to be scale-dependent. Whereas habitat filtering is more likely to act at regional scales because of increased habitat heterogeneity that allows sorting of ecologically similar species in contrasting environments, competition is more likely to act at local scales because low habitat heterogeneity provides few opportunities for niche partitioning. 2. We used species lists to assess assemblage composition, data on ecologically-relevant traits, and a molecular phylogeny, to examine the phylogenetic structure of antbird (Thamnophilidae) assemblages at three different geographical scales: regional (ecoregions), intermediate (100-ha plots) and local (mixed-flocks). In addition, we used patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity and beta diversity to separate the factors that structure antbird assemblages at regional scales. 3. Contrary to previous findings, we found a shift from phylogenetic evenness to clustering with decreasing geographical scale. We argue that this does not reject the hypothesis that habitat filtering is the predominant force in regional community assembly, because analyses of trait evolution and structure indicated a lack of niche conservatism in antbirds. 4. In some cases, phylogenetic evenness at regional scales can be an effect of historical biogeographic processes instead of niche-based processes. However, regional patterns of beta diversity and phylogenetic beta diversity suggested that phylogenetic structure in our study cannot be explained by the history of speciation and dispersal of antbirds, further supporting the habitat-filtering hypothesis. 5. Our

  7. Healthy migrant and salmon bias hypotheses: a study of health and internal migration in China.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yao; Qin, Lijian

    2014-02-01

    The existing literature has often underscored the "healthy migrant" effect and the "salmon bias" in understanding the health of migrants. Nevertheless, direct evidence for these two hypotheses, particularly the "salmon bias," is limited. Using data from a national longitudinal survey conducted between 2003 and 2007 in China, we provide tests of these hypotheses in the case of internal migration in China. To examine the healthy migrant effect, we study how pre-migration self-reported health is associated with an individual's decision to migrate and the distance of migration. To test the salmon bias hypothesis, we compare the self-reported health of migrants who stay in destinations and who return or move closer to home villages. The results provide support for both hypotheses. Specifically, healthier individuals are more likely to migrate and to move further away from home. Among migrants, those with poorer health are more likely to return or to move closer to their origin communities.

  8. Dreaming and waking experiences in schizophrenia: how should the (dis)continuity hypotheses be approached empirically?

    PubMed

    Noreika, Valdas

    2011-06-01

    A number of differences between the dreams of schizophrenia patients and those of healthy participants have been linked to changes in waking life that schizophrenia may cause. This way, the "continuity hypothesis" has become a standard way to relate dreaming and waking experiences in schizophrenia. Nevertheless, some of the findings in dream literature are not compatible with the continuity hypothesis and suggest some other ways how dream content and waking experiences could interact. Conceptually, the continuity hypothesis could be sharpened into the "waking-to-dreaming" and the "dreaming-to-waking" hypotheses, whereas a less explored type of "discontinuity" could embrace the "compensated waking" and the "compensated dreaming" hypotheses. A careful consideration and empirical testing of each of those hypotheses may reveal a multiplicity of the ways how dreaming and waking life interact in schizophrenia.

  9. Mitochondrial DNA sequences of five squamates: phylogenetic affiliation of snakes.

    PubMed

    Kumazawa, Yoshinori

    2004-04-30

    Complete or nearly complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were determined from four lizards (Western fence lizard, Warren's spinytail lizard, Terrestrial arboreal alligator lizard, and Chinese crocodile lizard) and a snake (Texas blind snake). These genomes had a typical gene organization found in those of most mammals and fishes, except for a translocation of the glutamine tRNA gene in the blind snake and a tandem duplication of the threonine and proline tRNA genes in the spinytail lizard. Although previous work showed the existence of duplicate control regions in mitochondrial DNAs of several snakes, the blind snake did not have this characteristic. Phylogenetic analyses based on different tree-building methods consistently supported that the blind snake and a colubrid snake (akamata) make a sister clade relative to all the lizard taxa from six different families. An alternative hypothesis that snakes evolved from a lineage of varanoids was not favored and nearly statistically rejected by the Kishino-Hasegawa test. It is therefore likely that the apparent similarity of the tongue structure between snakes and varanoids independently evolved and that the duplication of the control region occurred on a snake lineage after divergence of the blind snake.

  10. What is the phylogenetic signal limit from mitogenomes? The reconciliation between mitochondrial and nuclear data in the Insecta class phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Efforts to solve higher-level evolutionary relationships within the class Insecta by using mitochondrial genomic data are hindered due to fast sequence evolution of several groups, most notably Hymenoptera, Strepsiptera, Phthiraptera, Hemiptera and Thysanoptera. Accelerated rates of substitution on their sequences have been shown to have negative consequences in phylogenetic inference. In this study, we tested several methodological approaches to recover phylogenetic signal from whole mitochondrial genomes. As a model, we used two classical problems in insect phylogenetics: The relationships within Paraneoptera and within Holometabola. Moreover, we assessed the mitochondrial phylogenetic signal limits in the deeper Eumetabola dataset, and we studied the contribution of individual genes. Results Long-branch attraction (LBA) artefacts were detected in all the datasets. Methods using Bayesian inference outperformed maximum likelihood approaches, and LBA was avoided in Paraneoptera and Holometabola when using protein sequences and the site-heterogeneous mixture model CAT. The better performance of this method was evidenced by resulting topologies matching generally accepted hypotheses based on nuclear and/or morphological data, and was confirmed by cross-validation and simulation analyses. Using the CAT model, the order Strepsiptera was recovered as sister to Coleoptera for the first time using mitochondrial sequences, in agreement with recent results based on large nuclear and morphological datasets. Also the Hymenoptera-Mecopterida association was obtained, leaving Coleoptera and Strepsiptera as the basal groups of the holometabolan insects, which coincides with one of the two main competing hypotheses. For the Paraneroptera, the currently accepted non-monophyly of Homoptera was documented as a phylogenetic novelty for mitochondrial data. However, results were not satisfactory when exploring the entire Eumetabola, revealing the limits of the phylogenetic

  11. Macroevolutionary patterns of glucosinolate defense and tests of defense-escalation and resource availability hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Cacho, N Ivalú; Kliebenstein, Daniel J; Strauss, Sharon Y

    2015-11-01

    We explored macroevolutionary patterns of plant chemical defense in Streptanthus (Brassicaceae), tested for evolutionary escalation of defense, as predicted by Ehrlich and Raven's plant-herbivore coevolutionary arms-race hypothesis, and tested whether species inhabiting low-resource or harsh environments invest more in defense, as predicted by the resource availability hypothesis (RAH). We conducted phylogenetically explicit analyses using glucosinolate profiles, soil nutrient analyses, and microhabitat bareness estimates across 30 species of Streptanthus inhabiting varied environments and soils. We found weak to moderate phylogenetic signal in glucosinolate classes and no signal in total glucosinolate production; a trend toward evolutionary de-escalation in the numbers and diversity of glucosinolates, accompanied by an evolutionary increase in the proportion of aliphatic glucosinolates; some support for the RAH relative to soil macronutrients, but not relative to serpentine soil use; and that the number of glucosinolates increases with microhabitat bareness, which is associated with increased herbivory and drought. Weak phylogenetic signal in chemical defense has been observed in other plant systems. A more holistic approach incorporating other forms of defense might be necessary to confidently reject escalation of defense. That defense increases with microhabitat bareness supports the hypothesis that habitat bareness is an underappreciated selective force on plants in harsh environments.

  12. Phylogenetic diversity and nature conservation: where are we?

    PubMed

    Winter, Marten; Devictor, Vincent; Schweiger, Oliver

    2013-04-01

    To date, there is little evidence that phylogenetic diversity has contributed to nature conservation. Here, we discuss the scientific justification of using phylogenetic diversity in conservation and the reasons for its neglect. We show that, apart from valuing the rarity and richness aspect, commonly quoted justifications based on the usage of phylogenetic diversity as a proxy for functional diversity or evolutionary potential are still based on uncertainties. We discuss how a missing guideline through the variety of phylogenetic diversity metrics and their relevance for conservation might be responsible for the hesitation to include phylogenetic diversity in conservation practice. We outline research routes that can help to ease uncertainties and bridge gaps between research and conservation with respect to phylogenetic diversity.

  13. Wood nitrogen concentrations in tropical trees: phylogenetic patterns and ecological correlates.

    PubMed

    Martin, Adam R; Erickson, David L; Kress, W John; Thomas, Sean C

    2014-11-01

    In tropical and temperate trees, wood chemical traits are hypothesized to covary with species' life-history strategy along a 'wood economics spectrum' (WES), but evidence supporting these expected patterns remains scarce. Due to its role in nutrient storage, we hypothesize that wood nitrogen (N) concentration will covary along the WES, being higher in slow-growing species with high wood density (WD), and lower in fast-growing species with low WD. In order to test this hypothesis we quantified wood N concentrations in 59 Panamanian hardwood species, and used this dataset to examine ecological correlates and phylogenetic patterns of wood N. Wood N varied > 14-fold among species between 0.04 and 0.59%; closely related species were more similar in wood N than expected by chance. Wood N was positively correlated with WD, and negatively correlated with log-transformed relative growth rates, although these relationships were relatively weak. We found evidence for co-evolution between wood N and both WD and log-transformed mortality rates. Our study provides evidence that wood N covaries with tree life-history parameters, and that these patterns consistently co-evolve in tropical hardwoods. These results provide some support for the hypothesized WES, and suggest that wood is an increasingly important N pool through tropical forest succession.

  14. Phylogenetic tree construction based on 2D graphical representation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Bo; Shan, Xinzhou; Zhu, Wen; Li, Renfa

    2006-04-01

    A new approach based on the two-dimensional (2D) graphical representation of the whole genome sequence [Bo Liao, Chem. Phys. Lett., 401(2005) 196.] is proposed to analyze the phylogenetic relationships of genomes. The evolutionary distances are obtained through measuring the differences among the 2D curves. The fuzzy theory is used to construct phylogenetic tree. The phylogenetic relationships of H5N1 avian influenza virus illustrate the utility of our approach.

  15. Networks in a Large-Scale Phylogenetic Analysis: Reconstructing Evolutionary History of Asparagales (Lilianae) Based on Four Plastid Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chase, Mark W.; Kim, Joo-Hwan

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis aims to produce a bifurcating tree, which disregards conflicting signals and displays only those that are present in a large proportion of the data. However, any character (or tree) conflict in a dataset allows the exploration of support for various evolutionary hypotheses. Although data-display network approaches exist, biologists cannot easily and routinely use them to compute rooted phylogenetic networks on real datasets containing hundreds of taxa. Here, we constructed an original neighbour-net for a large dataset of Asparagales to highlight the aspects of the resulting network that will be important for interpreting phylogeny. The analyses were largely conducted with new data collected for the same loci as in previous studies, but from different species accessions and greater sampling in many cases than in published analyses. The network tree summarised the majority data pattern in the characters of plastid sequences before tree building, which largely confirmed the currently recognised phylogenetic relationships. Most conflicting signals are at the base of each group along the Asparagales backbone, which helps us to establish the expectancy and advance our understanding of some difficult taxa relationships and their phylogeny. The network method should play a greater role in phylogenetic analyses than it has in the past. To advance the understanding of evolutionary history of the largest order of monocots Asparagales, absolute diversification times were estimated for family-level clades using relaxed molecular clock analyses. PMID:23544071

  16. Predictors of floater status in a long-lived bird: a cross-sectional and longitudinal test of hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Sergio, Fabrizio; Blas, Julio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    1. Few studies have been capable of monitoring the nonterritorial sector of a population because of the typically secretive behaviour of floating individuals, despite the existing consensus over the demographic importance of floating. Furthermore, there is almost no information on floating behaviour for migratory species. 2. The factors that determine whether an individual will be a floater or a territory owner have been framed into five, non-mutually exclusive hypotheses: (i) territory holders are morphologically superior to floaters (resource-holding potential hypothesis); (ii) age confers skills and fighting motivation which lead to social dominance and territory ownership (age hypothesis); (iii) occupancy time of a site determines asymmetries in its knowledge, familiarity and value for potential contenders (site-dominance hypothesis); (iv) contenders use an arbitrary rule to settle contests leading to pre-defined cut-off points for a biologically meaningful trait (e.g. age, body size) separating floaters from territory holders (arbitrary convention hypothesis); and (v) floaters set up a 'war of attrition' at arbitrarily chosen territories (arbitrary attrition hypothesis). 3. We tested these hypotheses using long-term data on a long-lived, migratory raptor, the black kite Milvus migrans Boddaert. 4. Floating status was best explained by the concerted action of mechanisms consistent with the age and site-dominance hypotheses. 5. In both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, acquisition of a territory was determined by a complex interaction between age and early arrival from migration, suggesting: (i) a progressive incorporation of early arriving individuals in the territorial contingent of the population, and (ii) the existence of an alternative restraint strategy of delayed territoriality mediated by long-term acquisition of social dominance. 6. Such results suggested that territory acquisition was mediated by the establishment of site dominance through pre

  17. Applications of phylogenetics to solve practical problems in insect conservation.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Thomas R

    2016-12-01

    Phylogenetic approaches have much promise for the setting of conservation priorities and resource allocation. There has been significant development of analytical methods for the measurement of phylogenetic diversity within and among ecological communities as a way of setting conservation priorities. Application of these tools to insects has been low as has been the uptake by conservation managers. A critical reason for the lack of uptake includes the scarcity of detailed phylogenetic and species distribution data from much of insect diversity. Environmental DNA technologies offer a means for the high throughout collection of phylogenetic data across landscapes for conservation planning.

  18. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure.

  19. Spatial predictions of phylogenetic diversity in conservation decision making.

    PubMed

    Pio, Dorothea V; Broennimann, Olivier; Barraclough, Timothy G; Reeves, Gail; Rebelo, Anthony G; Thuiller, Wilfried; Guisan, Antoine; Salamin, Nicolas

    2011-12-01

    Considering genetic relatedness among species has long been argued as an important step toward measuring biological diversity more accurately, rather than relying solely on species richness. Some researchers have correlated measures of phylogenetic diversity and species richness across a series of sites and suggest that values of phylogenetic diversity do not differ enough from those of species richness to justify their inclusion in conservation planning. We compared predictions of species richness and 10 measures of phylogenetic diversity by creating distribution models for 168 individual species of a species-rich plant family, the Cape Proteaceae. When we used average amounts of land set aside for conservation to compare areas selected on the basis of species richness with areas selected on the basis of phylogenetic diversity, correlations between species richness and different measures of phylogenetic diversity varied considerably. Correlations between species richness and measures that were based on the length of phylogenetic tree branches and tree shape were weaker than those that were based on tree shape alone. Elevation explained up to 31% of the segregation of species rich versus phylogenetically rich areas. Given these results, the increased availability of molecular data, and the known ecological effect of phylogenetically rich communities, consideration of phylogenetic diversity in conservation decision making may be feasible and informative.

  20. treespace: statistical exploration of landscapes of phylogenetic trees.

    PubMed

    Jombart, Thibaut; Kendall, Michelle; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Colijn, Caroline

    2017-04-04

    The increasing availability of large genomic datasets as well as the advent of Bayesian phylogenetics facilitate the investigation of phylogenetic incongruence, which can result in the impossibility of representing phylogenetic relationships using a single tree. While sometimes considered as a nuisance, phylogenetic incongruence can also reflect meaningful biological processes as well as relevant statistical uncertainty, both of which can yield valuable insights in evolutionary studies. We introduce a new tool for investigating phylogenetic incongruence through the exploration of phylogenetic tree landscapes. Our approach, implemented in the R package treespace, combines tree metrics and multivariate analysis to provide low dimensional representations of the topological variability in a set of trees, which can be used for identifying clusters of similar trees and group-specific consensus phylogenies. treespace also provides a user-friendly web interface for interactive data analysis. treespace is integrated alongside existing standards for phylogenetics and is easily accessible through a web interface. It fills a gap in the current phylogenetics toolbox in R and will facilitate the investigation of phylogenetic results. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. All About Alternatives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, Robert D.; And Others

    1972-01-01

    A primer on alternative schools. Described are existing programs in different areas, philosophy of the alternative schools, funding, student behavior, community relations, accountability, State regulations, management, and the environment of the alternative school. A list of sources of additional information on alternative schools is included.…

  2. The rapidly changing landscape of insect phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Maddison, David R

    2016-12-01

    Insect phylogenetics is being profoundly changed by many innovations. Although rapid developments in genomics have center stage, key progress has been made in phenomics, field and museum science, digital databases and pipelines, analytical tools, and the culture of science. The importance of these methodological and cultural changes to the pace of inference of the hexapod Tree of Life is discussed. The innovations have the potential, when synthesized and mobilized in ways as yet unforeseen, to shine light on the million or more clades in insects, and infer their composition with confidence. There are many challenges to overcome before insects can enter the 'phylocognisant age', but because of the promise of genomics, phenomics, and informatics, that is now an imaginable future.

  3. Tanglegrams: a Reduction Tool for Mathematical Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Matsen, Frederick; Billey, Sara; Kas, Arnold; Konvalinka, Matjaz

    2016-10-03

    Many discrete mathematics problems in phylogenetics are defined in terms of the relative labeling of pairsof leaf-labeled trees. These relative labelings are naturally formalized as tanglegrams, which have previously been an object of study in coevolutionary analysis. Although there has been considerable work on planar drawings of tanglegrams, they have not been fully explored as combinatorial objects until recently. In this paper, we describe how many discrete mathematical questions on trees "factor" through a problem on tanglegrams, and how understanding that factoring can simplify analysis. Depending on the problem, it may be useful to consider a unordered version of tanglegrams, and/or their unrooted counterparts. For all of these definitions, we show how the isomorphism types of tanglegrams can be understood in terms of double cosets of the symmetric group, and we investigate their automorphisms. Understanding tanglegrams better will isolate the distinct problems on leaf-labeled pairs of trees and reveal natural symmetries of spaces associated with such problems.

  4. Zika Virus: Emergence, Phylogenetics, Challenges, and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Rajah, Maaran M; Pardy, Ryan D; Condotta, Stephanie A; Richer, Martin J; Sagan, Selena M

    2016-11-11

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging arthropod-borne pathogen that has recently gained notoriety due to its rapid and ongoing geographic expansion and its novel association with neurological complications. Reports of ZIKV-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome as well as fetal microcephaly place emphasis on the need to develop preventative measures and therapeutics to combat ZIKV infection. Thus, it is imperative that models to study ZIKV replication and pathogenesis and the immune response are developed in conjunction with integrated vector control strategies to mount an efficient response to the pandemic. This paper summarizes the current state of knowledge on ZIKV, including the clinical features, phylogenetic analyses, pathogenesis, and the immune response to infection. Potential challenges in developing diagnostic tools, treatment, and prevention strategies are also discussed.

  5. Dating human cultural capacity using phylogenetic principles

    PubMed Central

    Lind, J.; Lindenfors, P.; Ghirlanda, S.; Lidén, K.; Enquist, M.

    2013-01-01

    Humans have genetically based unique abilities making complex culture possible; an assemblage of traits which we term “cultural capacity”. The age of this capacity has for long been subject to controversy. We apply phylogenetic principles to date this capacity, integrating evidence from archaeology, genetics, paleoanthropology, and linguistics. We show that cultural capacity is older than the first split in the modern human lineage, and at least 170,000 years old, based on data on hyoid bone morphology, FOXP2 alleles, agreement between genetic and language trees, fire use, burials, and the early appearance of tools comparable to those of modern hunter-gatherers. We cannot exclude that Neanderthals had cultural capacity some 500,000 years ago. A capacity for complex culture, therefore, must have existed before complex culture itself. It may even originated long before. This seeming paradox is resolved by theoretical models suggesting that cultural evolution is exceedingly slow in its initial stages. PMID:23648831

  6. Dating human cultural capacity using phylogenetic principles.

    PubMed

    Lind, J; Lindenfors, P; Ghirlanda, S; Lidén, K; Enquist, M

    2013-01-01

    Humans have genetically based unique abilities making complex culture possible; an assemblage of traits which we term "cultural capacity". The age of this capacity has for long been subject to controversy. We apply phylogenetic principles to date this capacity, integrating evidence from archaeology, genetics, paleoanthropology, and linguistics. We show that cultural capacity is older than the first split in the modern human lineage, and at least 170,000 years old, based on data on hyoid bone morphology, FOXP2 alleles, agreement between genetic and language trees, fire use, burials, and the early appearance of tools comparable to those of modern hunter-gatherers. We cannot exclude that Neanderthals had cultural capacity some 500,000 years ago. A capacity for complex culture, therefore, must have existed before complex culture itself. It may even originated long before. This seeming paradox is resolved by theoretical models suggesting that cultural evolution is exceedingly slow in its initial stages.

  7. Molecular evolutionary dynamics of cytochrome b in strepsirrhine primates: the phylogenetic significance of third-position transversions.

    PubMed

    Yoder, A D; Vilgalys, R; Ruvolo, M

    1996-12-01

    DNA sequences of the complete cytochrome b gene are shown to contain robust phylogenetic signal for the strepsirrhine primates (i.e., lemurs and lorises). The phylogeny derived from these data conforms to other molecular studies of strepsirrhine relationships despite the fact that uncorrected nucleotide distances are high for nearly all intrastrepsirrhine comparisons, with most in the 15%-20% range. Cytochrome b sequences support the hypothesis that Malagasy lemuriforms and Afro-Asian lorisiforms each comprise clades that share a sister-group relationship. A study (Adkins and Honeycutt 1994) of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII) gene placed one Malagasy primate (Daubentonia) at the base of the strepsirrhine clade, thereby suggesting a diphyletic Lemuriformes. The reanalysis of COII third-position transversions, either alone or in combination with cytochrome b third-position transversions, however, yields a tree that is congruent with phylogenetic hypotheses derived from cytochrome b and other genetic data sets.

  8. Factors that Affect the Physical Science Career Interest of Female Students: Testing Five Common Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hazari, Zahra; Potvin, Geoff; Lock, Robynne M.; Lung, Florin; Sonnert, Gerhard; Sadler, Philip M.

    2013-01-01

    There are many hypotheses regarding factors that may encourage female students to pursue careers in the physical sciences. Using multivariate matching methods on national data drawn from the Persistence Research in Science and Engineering (PRiSE) project ("n" = 7505), we test the following five commonly held beliefs regarding what…

  9. Aggression among Children with ADHD, Anxiety, or Co-Occurring Symptoms: Competing Exacerbation and Attenuation Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Becker, Stephen P.; Luebbe, Aaron M.; Stoppelbein, Laura; Greening, Leilani; Fite, Paula J.

    2012-01-01

    Competing hypotheses for explaining the role of anxiety in the relation between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and childhood aggression were evaluated. Two studies tested whether anxiety exacerbated, attenuated, or had no effect on the relation between ADHD and aggression subtypes among psychiatrically hospitalized…

  10. Basing the Treatment of Stereotypic and Self-Injurious Behaviors on Hypotheses of Their Causes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Repp, Alan C.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Method of treatment of self-injurious behaviors for three severely retarded students (ages six-seven) was selected by matching one of three hypotheses (self-stimulation, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement) to a judgment concerning cause. Results supported the argument that treatment programs should be based on a functional analysis of…

  11. Testing Social Cognitive Interest and Choice Hypotheses across Holland Types in Italian High School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lent, Robert W.; Brown, Steven D.; Nota, Laura; Soresi, Salvatore

    2003-01-01

    Italian high school students (n=796) completed measures related to Social Cognitive Career Theory and Holland's personality types. Findings supported hypotheses that self-efficacy and outcome expectations predict interests. Whether the mediation effect of interests was full or partial varied across types. Social supports/barriers related to career…

  12. Using Epidemiologic Methods to Test Hypotheses regarding Causal Influences on Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lahey, Benjamin B.; D'Onofrio, Brian M.; Waldman, Irwin D.

    2009-01-01

    Epidemiology uses strong sampling methods and study designs to test refutable hypotheses regarding the causes of important health, mental health, and social outcomes. Epidemiologic methods are increasingly being used to move developmental psychopathology from studies that catalogue correlates of child and adolescent mental health to designs that…

  13. A Refined Computer Harassment Paradigm: Validation, and Test of Hypotheses about Target Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siebler, Frank; Sabelus, Saskia; Bohner, Gerd

    2008-01-01

    A refined computer paradigm for assessing sexual harassment is presented, validated, and used for testing substantive hypotheses. Male participants were given an opportunity to send sexist jokes to a computer-simulated female chat partner. In Study 1 (N = 44), the harassment measure (number of sexist jokes sent) correlated positively with…

  14. The Effect of Prior Knowledge Activation on Text Recall: An Investigation of Two Conflicting Hypotheses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Machiels-Bongaerts, Maureen; And Others

    Two hypotheses, the cognitive capacity hypothesis and the selective attention hypothesis, try to account for the facilitation effects of prior knowledge activation. They appear to be mutually exclusive since they predict different recall patterns as a result of prior knowledge activation. This study was designed to determine whether the two…

  15. What Constrains the Accuracy of Metacomprehension Judgments? Testing the Transfer-Appropriate-Monitoring and Accessibility Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlosky, J.; Rawson, K.A.; Middleton, E.L.

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated two hypotheses-transfer appropriate monitoring (TAM) and the accessibility hypothesis-that explain why the accuracy of metacomprehension judgments is commonly low. In 2 experiments, participants read six expository texts, made global judgments about how well they would perform on a test over each text, and made term-specific judgments…

  16. Effects of Stimulus Congruence on Hypotheses Held in a Concept Identification Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cotton, Jown W.

    This investigation compares overt judgments about tenable hypotheses to choices in a concept identification task, as a function of stimulus similarity on successive trials. Two mathematical models are tested: (a) A 1-element local consistency version of Restle's concept identification model and (b) the same model with two additional passive states…

  17. Why Consumers Choose Managed Mutual Funds over Index Funds: Hypotheses from Consumer Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lichtenstein, Donald R.; Kaufmann, Patrick J.; Bhagat, Sanjai

    1999-01-01

    Using the literature of psychology, consumer behavior, and behavioral finance, a series of hypotheses is presented that account for consumer choices of managed over index mutual funds. Results indicate a need for consumer education to increase awareness of the benefits of index investing. (SK)

  18. MULTICORR: A Computer Program for Fast, Accurate, Small-Sample Testing of Correlational Pattern Hypotheses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steiger, James H.

    1979-01-01

    The program presented computes a chi-square statistic for testing pattern hypotheses on correlation matrices. The statistic is based on a multivariate generalization of the Fisher r-to-z transformation. This statistic has small sample performance which is superior to an analogous likelihood ratio statistic obtained via the analysis of covariance…

  19. Bayesian Procedures for Prediction Analysis of Implication Hypotheses in 2 X 2 Contingency Tables.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lecoutre, Bruno; Charron, Camilo

    2000-01-01

    Illustrates procedures for prediction analysis in 2 X 2 contingency tables through the analyses of solutions of six types of problems associated with the acquisition of fractions. Reviews and extends confidence interval procedures previously proposed for an index of predictive efficiency of implication hypotheses. Compares frequentist coverage…

  20. Light on Trial: Using a Courtroom Drama to Compare Competing Scientific Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Frank A.

    2006-01-01

    A narrative in the form of a courtroom trial is used to compare evidence on the nature of light as part of an introductory college physics course. Prosecuting and defense attorneys present evidence for and against competing wave and particle hypotheses for light behavior while students play the roles of jurors. (Contains 5 figures.)

  1. Examining Preservice Science Teachers' Skills of Formulating Hypotheses and Identifying Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aydogdu, Bülent

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine preservice science teachers' skills of formulating hypotheses and identifying variables. The research has a phenomenological research design. The data was gathered qualitatively. In this study, preservice science teachers were first given two scenarios (Scenario-1 & Scenario-2) containing two different…

  2. Contextual Factors in the Activation of First Hypotheses: Expert-Novice Differences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobus, Pie P. M.; And Others

    The role of contextual information in the generation of early hypotheses during the clinical interview was studied with expert and novice medical diagnosticians: 18 experienced family physicians versus 5 new physicians and 12 final-year medical students. The 18 experts and 17 novices were presented with 32 short case histories each presented on…

  3. Learned Helplessness and Depression in a Clinical Population: A Test of Two Behavioral Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    And Others; Price, Kenneth P.

    1978-01-01

    This study was undertaken to extend the learned helplessness phenomenon to a clinical population and to test the competing hypotheses of Seligman and Lewinsohn. 96 male hospitalized psychiatric and medical patients were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. Results replicate the learned helplessness phenomenon in a group of…

  4. Vestigial Biological Structures: A Classroom-Applicable Test of Creationist Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Senter, Phil; Ambrocio, Zenis; Andrade, Julia B.; Foust, Katanya K.; Gaston, Jasmine E.; Lewis, Ryshonda P.; Liniewski, Rachel M.; Ragin, Bobby A.; Robinson, Khanna L.; Stanley, Shane G.

    2015-01-01

    Lists of vestigial biological structures in biology textbooks are so short that some young-Earth creationist authors claim that scientists have lost confidence in the existence of vestigial structures and can no longer identify any verifiable ones. We tested these hypotheses with a method that is easily adapted to biology classes. We used online…

  5. Roles of Abductive Reasoning and Prior Belief in Children's Generation of Hypotheses about Pendulum Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Yong-Ju; Jeong, Jin-Su; Park, Yun-Bok

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that student's abductive reasoning skills play an important role in the generation of hypotheses on pendulum motion tasks. To test the hypothesis, a hypothesis-generating test on pendulum motion, and a prior-belief test about pendulum motion were developed and administered to a sample of…

  6. Delinquency and Peer Acceptance in Adolescence: A Within-Person Test of Moffitt's Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rulison, Kelly L.; Kreager, Derek A.; Osgood, D. Wayne

    2014-01-01

    We tested 2 hypotheses derived from Moffitt's (1993) taxonomic theory of antisocial behavior, both of which are central to her explanation for the rise in delinquency during adolescence. We tested whether persistently delinquent individuals become more accepted by their peers during adolescence and whether individuals who abstain from delinquent…

  7. Improving the Readability of ASR Results for Lectures Using Multiple Hypotheses and Sentence-Level Knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Yasuhisa; Yamamoto, Kazumasa; Nakagawa, Seiichi

    This paper presents a novel method for improving the readability of automatic speech recognition (ASR) results for classroom lectures. Because speech in a classroom is spontaneous and contains many ill-formed utterances with various disfluencies, the ASR result should be edited to improve the readability before presenting it to users, by applying some operations such as removing disfluencies, determining sentence boundaries, inserting punctuation marks and repairing dropped words. Owing to the presence of many kinds of domain-dependent words and casual styles, even state-of-the-art recognizers can only achieve a 30-50% word error rate for speech in classroom lectures. Therefore, a method for improving the readability of ASR results is needed to make it robust to recognition errors. We can use multiple hypotheses instead of the single-best hypothesis as a method to achieve a robust response to recognition errors. However, if the multiple hypotheses are represented by a lattice (or a confusion network), it is difficult to utilize sentence-level knowledge, such as chunking and dependency parsing, which are imperative for determining the discourse structure and therefore imperative for improving readability. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm that infers clean, readable transcripts from spontaneous multiple hypotheses represented by a confusion network while integrating sentence-level knowledge. Automatic and manual evaluations showed that using multiple hypotheses and sentence-level knowledge is effective to improve the readability of ASR results, while preserving the understandability.

  8. Bullying Victimization and Adolescent Self-Harm: Testing Hypotheses from General Strain Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hay, Carter; Meldrum, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    Self-harm is widely recognized as a significant adolescent social problem, and recent research has begun to explore its etiology. Drawing from Agnew's (1992) social psychological strain theory of deviance, this study considers this issue by testing three hypotheses about the effects of traditional and cyber bullying victimization on deliberate…

  9. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  10. Utility of Krashen's Five Hypotheses in the Saudi Context of Foreign Language Acquisition/Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulzar, Malik Ajmal; Gulnaz, Fahmeeda; Ijaz, Attiya

    2014-01-01

    In the last twenty years, the paradigm that has dominated the discipline of language teaching is the SLA theory and Krashen's five hypotheses which are still proving flexible to accommodate earlier reforms. This paper reviews second language acquisition (SLA) theory to establish an understanding of its role in the EFL/ESL classrooms. Other areas…

  11. Coping with the Stigma of Mental Illness: Empirically-Grounded Hypotheses from Computer Simulations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kroska, Amy; Har, Sarah K.

    2011-01-01

    This research demonstrates how affect control theory and its computer program, "Interact", can be used to develop empirically-grounded hypotheses regarding the connection between cultural labels and behaviors. Our demonstration focuses on propositions in the modified labeling theory of mental illness. According to the MLT, negative societal…

  12. Naming Is Taming: Outlining Psycho-Social Hypotheses with Regard to the Present Global Situation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rauch, Herbert

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to encourage a discourse aiming to better understand the "psycho-social situation" of many people--from a global perspective. The following "first hypotheses" are formulated; pointing to crucial "hidden agendas" which shall be "named" in order to focus attention towards…

  13. Evaluation of Extremal Hypotheses as a Criterion to Resolve Channel Indeterminacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tranmer, A.

    2012-12-01

    Design criteria for river restoration and sustainable development have significantly advanced in recent decades, yet complete deterministic formulations to address channel form and sinuosity still prove elusive. Many hypotheses have been presented to ascertain the dynamic-equilibrium of a stream at both the cross sectional and reach level. These efforts to better understand the functioning of alluvial systems include regime theory, stability theory, perturbation analysis, threshold theory, reference reach comparison, downstream hydraulic geometry, and extremal hypotheses. The latter of these theories, the extremal hypothesis, is based on optimizing one variable or criterion in the alluvial system in order to find closure to the channel design problem. Currently, there is no method to directly compare the various hypotheses at the system scale, understanding of their sensitivity to the various formulae employed or consensus regarding which hypothesis is most appropriate. This study analyzed the various extremal hypotheses in as close to a pristine environment as exists (a remote part of Patagonia, Chile), in order to assess which hypothesis (or collective hypotheses) is most appropriate for channel design. Extremal hypotheses were applied in the longitudinal direction, under the assumption of a space-for-time substitution, to evaluate the geomorphic trends of a river evolving during deglaciation. The space-for-time model assumes the watershed reaches stable, dynamic-equilibrium in its lower meandering reaches and the point of equilibrium extends upstream through its braiding reaches as the watershed adapts to new climatic and environmental conditions. Extremal hypotheses applied in a downstream fashion are then expected to predict chaotic and oversized channel characteristics in the upstream reaches and trend towards a point of equilibrium (minimum/maximum of tested hypothesis). Initial findings indicate that many hypotheses predict similar geometry and sinuosity

  14. A book of ideas collected from Medical Hypotheses: Death can be cured by Roger Dobson.

    PubMed

    Charlton, Bruce G

    2008-01-01

    A new collection of ideas from Medical Hypotheses by Roger Dobson is entitled Death can be cured and 99 other Medical Hypotheses. It consists of humorous summaries of Medical Hypotheses articles from the past 30 years. The book's humour derives mainly from the subject matter, although sometimes also from the 'unconventional' approach of the authors with respect to matters such as evidence, argument or inference. Medical Hypotheses has generated such a lot of apparently- or actually-bizarre ideas because it aims to be open to potentially revolutionary science. The journal's official stance is that more harm is done by a failure to publish one idea that might have been true, than by publishing a dozen ideas that turn out to be false. Bizarre ideas tend to catch attention, and may stimulate a valuable response--even when a paper is mostly-wrong. A paper may be flawed but still contain the germ of an idea that can be elaborated and developed. The journal review process is susceptible to both false positives and false negatives. False positives occur when we publish an idea that is wrong; false negatives occur when we fail to publish an important idea that is right, and a potential scientific breakthrough never happens. False positives are more obvious, since the paper will be ignored, refuted, or fail to be replicated--and often attracts criticism and controversy. Editors may therefore take the more cautious path of avoiding false positives more assiduously than false negatives; however, this policy progressively favours less-ambitious science. Consequently, in Medical Hypotheses the 'set point' of risk is nearer to the false positive end of the spectrum than for most journals - and the publication of many apparently-bizarre papers is a natural consequence of this policy.

  15. Conservation biology of Malagasy strepsirhines: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Shawn M

    2006-06-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of extant lemurs represents one of the most important but least studied aspects of the conservation biology of primates. The phylogenetic diversity of a species is inversely proportional to the relative number and closeness of its phylogenetic relatives. Phylogenetic diversity can then be used to determine conservation priorities for specific biogeographic regions. Although Malagasy strepsirhines represent the highest phylogenetic diversity among primates at the global level, there are few phylogenetic data on species-specific and regional conservation plans for lemurs in Madagascar. Therefore, in this paper the following questions are addressed for extant lemurs: 1) how does the measure of taxonomic uniqueness used by Mittermeier et al. (1992 Lemurs of Madagascar; Gland, Switzerland: IUCN) equate with an index of phylogenetic diversity, 2) what are the regional conservation priorities based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in extant lemurs, and 3) what conservation recommendations can be made based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in lemurs? Taxonomic endemicity standardized weight (TESW) indices of phylogenetic diversity were used to determine the evolutionary component of biodiversity and to prioritize regions for conserving lemur taxa. TESW refers to the standardization of phylogenetic diversity indices for widespread taxa and endemicity of species. The phylogenetic data came from recent genetic studies of Malagasy strepsirhines at the species level. Lemur species were assigned as being either present or absent in six biogeographic regions. TESW indices were combined with data on lemur complementarity and protected areas to assign conservation priorities at the regional level. Although there were no overall differences between taxonomic ranks and phylogenetic rankings, there were significant differences for the top-ranked taxa. The phylogenetic component of lemur diversity is greatest for Daubentonia madagascariensis

  16. Do homoiologies impede phylogenetic analyses of the fossil hominids? An assessment based on extant papionin craniodental morphology.

    PubMed

    Lycett, Stephen J; Collard, Mark

    2005-11-01

    Homoiologies are phylogenetically misleading resemblances among taxa that can be attributed to phenotypic plasticity. Recently, it has been claimed that homoiologies are widespread in the hominid skull, especially in those regions affected by mastication-related strain, and that their prevalence is a major reason why researchers have so far been unable to obtain a reliable estimate of hominid phylogeny. To evaluate this "homoiology hypothesis", we carried out analyses of a group of extant primates for which a robust molecular phylogeny is available-the papionins. We compiled a craniometric dataset from measurements that differ in their susceptibility to mastication-related strain according to developmental considerations and experimental evidence. We used the coefficient of variation and analysis of variance with post hoc least significant difference comparisons in order to evaluate the variability of the measurements. The prediction from the homoiology hypothesis was that dental measurements, which do not remodel in response to strain, should be less variable than low-to-moderate-strain measurements, and that the latter should be less variable than high-strain measurements. We then performed phylogenetic analyses using characters derived from the measurements and compared the resulting phylogenetic hypotheses to the group's consensus molecular phylogeny. The prediction was that, if the homoiology hypothesis is correct, the agreement between the craniometric and molecular phylogenies would be best in the analyses of dental characters, intermediate in the analyses of low-to-moderate-strain characters, and least in the analyses of high-strain characters. The results of this study support the suggestion that mastication-related mechanical loading can result in variation in hominid cranial characters. However, they do not support the hypothesis that homoiology is a major reason why phylogenetic analyses of hominid crania have so far yielded conflicting and weakly

  17. Multilocus phylogenetic inference in subfamily Chlorogaloideae and related genera of Agavaceae - informing questions in taxonomy at multiple ranks.

    PubMed

    Archibald, Jenny K; Kephart, Susan R; Theiss, Kathryn E; Petrosky, Anna L; Culley, Theresa M

    2015-03-01

    A series of taxonomic questions at the subfamilial, generic, and intrageneric levels have remained within subfamily Chlorogaloideae s.s. (comprising Camassia, Chlorogalum, Hastingsia, and Schoenolirion) and relatives in Agavaceae. We present the first phylogenetic hypotheses focused on Chlorogaloideae that are based on multiple independent loci and include a wide sampling of outgroups across Agavaceae. In addition to chloroplast regions ndhF and trnL-trnF, we used nrDNA ITS for phylogenetic inference. Incomplete concerted evolution of the latter is indicated by intra-individual site polymorphisms for nearly half of the individuals. Comparisons of four coding and analysis methods for these characters indicate that the region remains phylogenetically informative. Our results confirm that Chlorogaloideae s.s. is not monophyletic, due to the close relationship of Schoenolirion with Hesperaloe and Hesperoyucca, as well as the likely sister relationship between Hesperocallis and core Chlorogaloideae (Camassia, Chlorogalum, and Hastingsia). Chlorogalum is also not monophyletic, being divided with strong support into vespertine and diurnal clades. This study produced the first phylogenetic hypotheses across Hesperaloe, allowing initial tests of several taxonomic disagreements within this genus. Our results reveal the lack of cohesion of H. funifera, indicating that H. funifera ssp. funifera may be more closely related to H. campanulata than to H. funifera ssp. chiangii (=H. chiangii). With potential gene flow between many members of Hesperaloe and a possible hybrid origin for H. campanulata, the genetic relationships within this genus appear complex. Further population-level investigation of many of the taxa in Chlorogaloideae s.l. would benefit our understanding of the evolution and taxonomy of these groups; Camassia and Hastingsia are the current focus of ongoing study.

  18. A multi-locus analysis of phylogenetic relationships within cheilostome bryozoans supports multiple origins of ascophoran frontal shields.

    PubMed

    Knight, Sarah; Gordon, Dennis P; Lavery, Shane D

    2011-11-01

    Phylogenetic relationships within the bryozoan order Cheilostomata are currently uncertain, with many morphological hypotheses proposed but scarcely tested by independent means of molecular analysis. This research uses DNA sequence data across five loci of both mitochondrial and nuclear origin from 91 species of cheilostome Bryozoa (34 species newly sequenced). This vastly improved the taxonomic coverage and number of loci used in a molecular analysis of this order and allowed a more in-depth look into the evolutionary history of Cheilostomata. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of individual loci were carried out along with a partitioned multi-locus approach, plus a range of topology tests based on morphological hypotheses. Together, these provide a comprehensive set of phylogenetic analyses of the order Cheilostomata. From these results inferences are made about the evolutionary history of this order and proposed morphological hypotheses are discussed in light of the independent evidence gained from the molecular data. Infraorder Ascophorina was demonstrated to be non-monophyletic, and there appears to be multiple origins of the ascus and associated structures involved in lophophore extension. This was further supported by the lack of monophyly within each of the four ascophoran grades (acanthostegomorph/spinocystal, hippothoomorph/gymnocystal, umbonulomorph/umbonuloid, lepraliomorph/lepralioid) defined by frontal-shield morphology. Chorizopora, currently classified in the ascophoran grade Hippothoomorpha, is phylogenetically distinct from Hippothoidae, providing strong evidence for multiple origins of the gymnocystal frontal shield type. Further evidence is produced to support the morphological hypothesis of multiple umbonuloid origins of lepralioid frontal shields, using a step-wise set of topological hypothesis tests combined with examination of multi-locus phylogenies.

  19. A new phylogenetic marker, apolipoprotein B, provides compelling evidence for eutherian relationships.

    PubMed

    Amrine-Madsen, Heather; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Wayne, Robert K; Springer, Mark S

    2003-08-01

    . Statistical tests that employed APOB to examine a priori hypotheses for the root of the placental tree rejected rooting on myomorphs and hedgehog, but did not discriminate between rooting at the base of Afrotheria, at the base of Xenarthra, or between Atlantogenata (Xenarthra+Afrotheria) and Boreoeutheria. An orthologous deletion of 363bp in the aligned APOB sequences proved phylogenetically informative for the grouping of the order Carnivora with the order Pholidota into the superordinal clade Ostentoria. A smaller deletion of 237-246bp was diagnostic of the superordinal clade Afrotheria.

  20. Phylogenetic Relationships and the Evolution of Regulatory Gene Sequences in the Parrotfishes

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lydia L.; Fessler, Jennifer L.; Alfaro, Michael E.; Streelman, J. Todd; Westneat, Mark W.

    2008-01-01

    Regulatory genes control the expression of other genes and are key components of developmental processes such as segmentation and embryonic construction of the skull in vertebrates. Here we examine the variability and evolution of three vertebrate regulatory genes, addressing issues of their utility for phylogenetics and comparing the rates of genetic change seen in regulatory loci to the rates seen in other genes in the parrotfishes. The parrotfishes are a diverse group of colorful fishes from coral reefs and seagrasses worldwide and have been placed phylogenetically within the family Labridae. We tested phylogenetic hypotheses among the parrotfishes, with a focus on the genera Chlorurus and Scarus, by analyzing eight gene fragments for 42 parrotfishes and eight outgroup species. We sequenced mitochondrial 12s rRNA (967 bp), 16s rRNA (577 bp), and cytochrome b (477 bp). From the nuclear genome, we sequenced part of the protein-coding genes rag2 (715 bp), tmo4c4 (485 bp), and the developmental regulatory genes otx1 (672 bp), bmp4 (488 bp), and dlx2 (522 bp). Bayesian, likelihood, and parsimony analyses on the resulting 4903 bp of DNA sequence produced similar topologies that confirm the monophyly of the scarines and provide a phylogeny at the species level for portions of the genera Scarus and Chlorurus. Four major clades of Scarus were recovered, with three distributed in the Indo-Pacific and one containing Caribbean/Atlantic taxa. Molecular rates suggest a Miocene origin of the parrotfishes (22 mya) and a recent divergence of species within Scarus and Chlorurus, within the past 5 million years. Developmentally important genes made a significant contribution to phylogenetic structure, and rates of genetic evolution were high in bmp4, similar to other coding nuclear genes, but low in otx1 and the dlx2 exons. Synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution patterns in developmental regulatory genes support the hypothesis of stabilizing selection during the history of

  1. Evaluation of alternative host bacteria as vehicles for oral administration of bacteriophages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Survival of bacteriophages through the upper gastrointestinal tract (UGIT) and persistence in the lower gastrointestinal tract (LGIT) is essential for treatment of enteric bacterial infections. We have hypothesized that non-pathogenic Alternative Host Bacteriophage (AHB), originally isolated from p...

  2. Student Interpretations of Phylogenetic Trees in an Introductory Biology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…

  3. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic inferences of Dermanyssus gallinae isolates in Italy within an European framework.

    PubMed

    Marangi, M; Cantacessi, C; Sparagano, O A E; Camarda, A; Giangaspero, A

    2014-12-01

    In order to investigate the genetic relationships between Dermanyssus gallinae (Metastigmata: Dermanyssidae) (de Geer) isolates from poultry farms in Italy and other European countries, phylogenetic analysis was performed using a portion of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of the mitochondrial DNA and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1+5.8S+ITS2) of the ribosomal DNA. A total of 360 cox1 sequences and 360 ITS+ sequences were obtained from mites collected on 24 different poultry farms in 10 different regions of Northern and Southern Italy. Phylogenetic analysis of the cox1 sequences resulted in the clustering of two groups (A and B), whereas phylogenetic analysis of the ITS+ resulted in largely unresolved clusters. Knowledge of the genetic make-up of mite populations within countries, together with comparative analyses of D. gallinae isolates from different countries, will provide better understanding of the population dynamics of D. gallinae. This will also allow the identification of genetic markers of emerging acaricide resistance and the development of alternative strategies for the prevention and treatment of infestations.

  4. Phylogenetic and trait similarity to a native species predict herbivory on non-native oaks

    PubMed Central

    Pearse, Ian S.; Hipp, Andrew L.

    2009-01-01

    Introduced plants tend to experience less herbivory than natives, although herbivore loads vary widely. Herbivores may switch hosts onto an introduced plant for at least two reasons. They may recognize the novel plant as a potential host based on similarity of the plant's traits to the traits of one of its native hosts, a similarity that may or may not exhibit phylogenetic signal. Alternatively, herbivores may feed optimally, assessing which introduced plants provide the best nutrition irrespective of similarity to native species. Here, we created a phylogeny of 57 oak (Quercus) taxa, which were grown outside of their ranges in a common botanical garden that contained one abundant native oak (Quercus lobata). We used the phylogeny to estimate the phylogenetic conservatism of herbivory by two feeding guilds of insects (leaf chewers and leaf miners) and 11 plant traits expected to affect herbivore performance. We found high phylogenetic signal in chewing damage but not mining damage and all traits except for leaf maturation time. Introduced oaks that are more closely related to the native oak received more chewing and mining damage than distantly related oaks, and introduced oaks that had greater overall similarity in leaf traits also received higher chewing damage but not mining damage. These results demonstrate that interactions between introduced plants and their herbivores are driven independently by traits that track plant phylogeny and leaf traits that likely affect herbivore performance. PMID:19841257

  5. Phylogenetic relationships of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex) from an isolated coastal mountain range in southern Sonora, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, E; Markow, T A

    2008-10-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the control region and 12S rRNA in leopard frogs from the Sierra El Aguaje of southern Sonora, Mexico, together with GenBank sequences, were used to infer taxonomic identity and provide phylogenetic hypotheses for relationships with other members of the Rana pipiens complex. We show that frogs from the Sierra El Aguaje belong to the Rana berlandieri subgroup, or Scurrilirana clade, of the R. pipiens group, and are most closely related to Rana magnaocularis from Nayarit, Mexico. We also provide further evidence that Rana magnaocularis and R. yavapaiensis are close relatives.

  6. Radiogenic metabolism: an alternative cellular energy source.

    PubMed

    Benford, M S

    2001-01-01

    The concept of 'healing energy' is commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine; however, efforts to define this concept using contemporary scientific theory, and measure it using modern scientific methods, have been limited to date. Recent experimental testing by Benford et al. observed a uniform, substantial, and consistent decrease in gamma radiation during alternative healing sessions, thus supporting a new energy-balance paradigm hypothesizing ionizing radiation as an alternative cellular energy source. This hypothesis extends the known elements of radiogenic metabolism to potentially explain a number of presumably biopositive energy-related phenomena, including fasting and radiation hormesis, as well as to demystify unexplained anomalies such as idiopathic thermogenesis, halos and auras, and incorruptibility of human corpses.

  7. Could mucin 16 and colony-stimulating factor 2-receptor beta possible graft versus host disease biomarkers? Medical hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Souza, Milena Monteiro de; de Paula, Fabiana Martins; Hsieh, Ricardo; Macedo, Maria Cristina Martins Almeida; Corral, Marcelo Andreetta; Nunes, Thaís Borguezan; De Paula, Fernanda; Lourenço, Silvia Vanessa

    2017-03-01

    Graft versus host disease (GVHD) occurs after bone marrow transplantation and is one of the most important causes of death worldwide. Reviews demonstrated GVHD patients with involvement of various tissues and organs, such as salivary glands. The diagnosis of acute GVHD has been the biopsies and the histopathologic evaluation of tissue from an involved organ. These procedures are invasive. Saliva proteins as possible biomarker for GVHD could facilitate the management and diagnosis accuracy. For support the proposed hypotheses, in this pilot study we collected whole saliva samples from patients with undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and from healthy subjects. Samples were collected prospectively between pre-transplant, thirty days, one hundred and, two hundred days after transplant. The proteomic profile was analyzed using SDS-PAGE and LCMS-ESI-IT-TOF mass spectrometry. The relevant personal data, past medical history were also recorded. The most relevant proteins found exclusively in GVHD patients were: CSF2RB, Protocadherin (Pcdh) Fat 2 precursor, protein capicua homolog isoform CIC-S, MUC16 and RGPD8_HUMAN RANBP2. This study aims to conduct an initial evaluation of the possible presence of such biomarkers in saliva from GVHD patients, and suggested a potential application of proteomics analysis as a alternative method to diagnose GVHD.

  8. Open Reading Frame Phylogenetic Analysis on the Cloud

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis has become essential in researching the evolutionary relationships between viruses. These relationships are depicted on phylogenetic trees, in which viruses are grouped based on sequence similarity. Viral evolutionary relationships are identified from open reading frames rather than from complete sequences. Recently, cloud computing has become popular for developing internet-based bioinformatics tools. Biocloud is an efficient, scalable, and robust bioinformatics computing service. In this paper, we propose a cloud-based open reading frame phylogenetic analysis service. The proposed service integrates the Hadoop framework, virtualization technology, and phylogenetic analysis methods to provide a high-availability, large-scale bioservice. In a case study, we analyze the phylogenetic relationships among Norovirus. Evolutionary relationships are elucidated by aligning different open reading frame sequences. The proposed platform correctly identifies the evolutionary relationships between members of Norovirus. PMID:23671843

  9. Plant DNA sequencing for phylogenetic analyses: from plants to sequences.

    PubMed

    Neves, Susana S; Forrest, Laura L

    2011-01-01

    DNA sequences are important sources of data for phylogenetic analysis. Nowadays, DNA sequencing is a routine technique in molecular biology laboratories. However, there are specific questions associated with project design and sequencing of plant samples for phylogenetic analysis, which may not be familiar to researchers starting in the field. This chapter gives an overview of methods and protocols involved in the sequencing of plant samples, including general recommendations on the selection of species/taxa and DNA regions to be sequenced, and field collection of plant samples. Protocols of plant sample preparation, DNA extraction, PCR and cloning, which are critical to the success of molecular phylogenetic projects, are described in detail. Common problems of sequencing (using the Sanger method) are also addressed. Possible applications of second-generation sequencing techniques in plant phylogenetics are briefly discussed. Finally, orientation on the preparation of sequence data for phylogenetic analyses and submission to public databases is also given.

  10. Disentangling determinants of egg size in the Geometridae (Lepidoptera) using an advanced phylogenetic comparative method.

    PubMed

    Davis, Robert B; Javoiš, J; Pienaar, J; Õunap, E; Tammaru, T

    2012-01-01

    We present a phylogenetic comparative study assessing the evolutionary determinants of egg size in the moth family Geometridae. These moths were found to show a strong negative allometric relationship between egg size and maternal body size. Using recently developed comparative methods based on an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, we show that maternal body size explains over half the variation in egg size. However, other determinants are less clear: ecological factors, previously hypothesized to affect egg size, were not found to have a considerable influence in the Geometridae. The limited role of such third factors suggests a direct causal link between egg size and body size rather than an indirect correlation mediated by some ecological factors. Notably, no large geometrid species lay small eggs. This pattern suggests that maternal body size poses a physical constraint on egg size, but within these limits, there appears to be a rather invariable selection for larger eggs.

  11. Phylogenetic niche conservatism explains an inverse latitudinal diversity gradient in freshwater arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Morinière, Jérôme; Van Dam, Matthew H.; Hawlitschek, Oliver; Bergsten, Johannes; Michat, Mariano C.; Hendrich, Lars; Ribera, Ignacio; Toussaint, Emmanuel F.A.; Balke, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the general increase in species richness from temperate regions to the tropics remain equivocal. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this astonishing pattern but additional empirical studies are needed to shed light on the drivers at work. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan diving beetle subfamily Colymbetinae, the majority of which are found in the Northern hemisphere, hence exhibiting an inversed latitudinal diversity gradient. We reconstructed a dated phylogeny using 12 genes, to investigate the biogeographical history and diversification dynamics in the Colymbetinae. We aimed to identify the role that phylogenetic niche conservatism plays in the inversed diversification pattern seen in this group. Our results suggest that Colymbetinae originated in temperate climates, which supports the hypothesis that their distribution is the result of an ancestral adaptation to temperate environmental conditions rather than tropical origins, and that temperate niche conservatism can generate and/or maintain inverse latitudinal diversity gradients. PMID:27215956

  12. Phylogenetic niche conservatism explains an inverse latitudinal diversity gradient in freshwater arthropods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morinière, Jérôme; van Dam, Matthew H.; Hawlitschek, Oliver; Bergsten, Johannes; Michat, Mariano C.; Hendrich, Lars; Ribera, Ignacio; Toussaint, Emmanuel F. A.; Balke, Michael

    2016-05-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the general increase in species richness from temperate regions to the tropics remain equivocal. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this astonishing pattern but additional empirical studies are needed to shed light on the drivers at work. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan diving beetle subfamily Colymbetinae, the majority of which are found in the Northern hemisphere, hence exhibiting an inversed latitudinal diversity gradient. We reconstructed a dated phylogeny using 12 genes, to investigate the biogeographical history and diversification dynamics in the Colymbetinae. We aimed to identify the role that phylogenetic niche conservatism plays in the inversed diversification pattern seen in this group. Our results suggest that Colymbetinae originated in temperate climates, which supports the hypothesis that their distribution is the result of an ancestral adaptation to temperate environmental conditions rather than tropical origins, and that temperate niche conservatism can generate and/or maintain inverse latitudinal diversity gradients.

  13. Phylogenetic Analyses Indicate an Atypical Nurse-to-Patient Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

    PubMed Central

    Goujon, Christophe P.; Schneider, Véronique M.; Grofti, Jaouad; Montigny, Joëlle; Jeantils, Vincent; Astagneau, Pascal; Rozenbaum, Willy; Lot, Florence; Frocrain-Herchkovitch, Claudie; Delphin, Nathalie; Le Gal, Frédéric; Nicolas, Jean-Claude; Milinkovitch, Michel C.; Dény, Paul

    2000-01-01

    A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative patient with no risk factor experienced HIV type 1 (HIV-1) primary infection 4 weeks after being hospitalized for surgery. Among the medical staff, only two night shift nurses were identified as HIV-1 seropositive. No exposure to blood was evidenced. To test the hypothesis of a possible nurse-to-patient transmission, phylogenetic analyses were conducted using two HIV-1 genomic regions (pol reverse transcriptase [RT] and env C2C4), each compared with reference strains and large local control sets (57 RT and 41 C2C4 local controls). Extensive analyses using multiple methodologies allowed us to test the robustness of phylogeny inference and to assess transmission hypotheses. Results allow us to unambiguously exclude one HIV-positive nurse and strongly suggest the other HIV-positive nurse as the source of infection of the patient. PMID:10684266

  14. Phylogenetic relationships of Loxosceles and Sicarius spiders are consistent with Western Gondwanan vicariance.

    PubMed

    Binford, Greta J; Callahan, Melissa S; Bodner, Melissa R; Rynerson, Melody R; Núñez, Pablo Berea; Ellison, Christopher E; Duncan, Rebecca P

    2008-11-01

    The modern geographic distribution of the spider family Sicariidae is consistent with an evolutionary origin on Western Gondwana. Both sicariid genera, Loxosceles and Sicarius are diverse in Africa and South/Central America. Loxosceles are also diverse in North America and the West Indies, and have species described from Mediterranean Europe and China. We tested vicariance hypotheses using molecular phylogenetics and molecular dating analyses of 28S, COI, 16S, and NADHI sequences. We recover reciprocal monophyly of African and South American Sicarius, paraphyletic Southern African Loxosceles and monophyletic New World Loxosceles within which an Old World species group that includes L. rufescens is derived. These patterns are consistent with a sicariid common ancestor on Western Gondwana. North American Loxosceles are monophyletic, sister to Caribbean taxa, and resolved in a larger clade with South American Loxosceles. With fossil data this pattern is consistent with colonization of North America via a land bridge predating the modern Isthmus of Panama.

  15. Human ecology in pathogenic landscapes: two hypotheses on how land use change drives viral emergence

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Kris. A.; Daszak, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of novel viral diseases is driven by socioeconomic, demographic and environmental changes. These include land use changes such as deforestation, agricultural expansion and habitat degradation. However, the links between land use change and disease emergence are poorly understood and likely complex. In this review, we propose two hypotheses for the mechanisms by which land use change can lead to viral emergence: 1) by perturbing disease dynamics in multi-host disease systems via impacts on cross-species transmission rates (the ‘perturbation’ hypothesis); and 2) by allowing exposure of novel hosts to a rich pool of pathogen diversity (the ‘pathogen pool’ hypothesis). We discuss ways that these two hypotheses might be tested using a combination of ecological and virological approaches, and how this may provide novel control and prevention strategies. PMID:23415415

  16. Bipedality in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus): testing hypotheses on the evolution of bipedalism.

    PubMed

    Videan, Elaine N; McGrew, W C

    2002-06-01

    A host of ecological, anatomical, and physiological selective pressures are hypothesized to have played a role in the evolution of hominid bipedalism. A referential model, based on the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus), was used to test through experimental manipulation four hypotheses on the evolution of hominid bipedalism. The introduction of food piles (Carry hypothesis) increased locomotor bipedality in both species. Neither the introduction of branches (Display hypothesis) nor the construction of visual barriers (Vigilance hypothesis) altered bipedality in either species. Introduction of raised foraging structures (Forage hypothesis) increased postural bipedality in chimpanzees. These experimental manipulations provided support for carrying of portable objects and foraging on elevated food-items as plausible mechanisms that shaped bipedalism in hominids.

  17. An Integrative Computational Framework for Hypotheses-Driven Systems Biology Research in Proteomics and Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, William R.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Willse, Alan R.; Singhal, Mudita; McCue, Lee Ann; McDermott, Jason E.; Taylor, Ronald C.; Waters, Katrina M.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2009-04-01

    Systems biology research is sometimes categorized as either discovery science or hypothesis-driven science. However, we believe that hypotheses are always used regardless, and that explicit recognition that hypothesis testing underlies all high-throughput data analysis leads to better experimental designs, data analysis and interpretation of the data. We outline the current use of hypothesis testing for proteomics data analysis in systems biology research for several projects at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and provide examples of where scientific principles can be used to formulate the hypotheses used to analyze the data. We additionally discuss the data infrastructure is required to (1) track the data from different projects and diverse assays, (2) pull the data together in a congruent manner, (3) analyze the data with respect to cellular networks, and (4) visualize the resulting networks and contrast those with information from bioinformatics databases.

  18. A powerful truncated tail strength method for testing multiple null hypotheses in one dataset.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Bo; Zhang, Xiao; Zuo, Yijun; Kang, Guolian

    2011-05-21

    In microarray analysis, medical imaging analysis and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we often need to test an overall null hypothesis involving a large number of single hypotheses (usually larger than 1000) in one dataset. A tail strength statistic (Taylor and Tibshirani, 2006) and Fisher's probability method are useful and can be applied to measure an overall significance for a large set of independent single hypothesis tests with the overall null hypothesis assuming that all single hypotheses are true. In this paper we propose a new method that improves the tail strength statistic by considering only the values whose corresponding p-values are less than some pre-specified cutoff. We call it truncated tail strength statistic. We illustrate our method using a simulation study and two genome-wide datasets by chromosome. Our method not only controls type one error rate quite well, but also has significantly higher power than the tail strength method and Fisher's method in most cases.