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Sample records for large salamander genome

  1. Sequence capture and next-generation sequencing of ultraconserved elements in a large-genome salamander.

    PubMed

    Newman, Catherine E; Austin, Christopher C

    2016-12-01

    Amidst the rapid advancement in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology over the last few years, salamanders have been left behind. Salamanders have enormous genomes-up to 40 times the size of the human genome-and this poses challenges to generating NGS data sets of quality and quantity similar to those of other vertebrates. However, optimization of laboratory protocols is time-consuming and often cost prohibitive, and continued omission of salamanders from novel phylogeographic research is detrimental to species facing decline. Here, we use a salamander endemic to the southeastern United States, Plethodon serratus, to test the utility of an established protocol for sequence capture of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) in resolving intraspecific phylogeographic relationships and delimiting cryptic species. Without modifying the standard laboratory protocol, we generated a data set consisting of over 600 million reads for 85 P. serratus samples. Species delimitation analyses support recognition of seven species within P. serratus sensu lato, and all phylogenetic relationships among the seven species are fully resolved under a coalescent model. Results also corroborate previous data suggesting nonmonophyly of the Ouachita and Louisiana regions. Our results demonstrate that established UCE protocols can successfully be used in phylogeographic studies of salamander species, providing a powerful tool for future research on evolutionary history of amphibians and other organisms with large genomes.

  2. LTR retrotransposons contribute to genomic gigantism in plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; Shepard, Donald B; Chong, Rebecca A; López Arriaza, José; Hall, Kathryn; Castoe, Todd A; Feschotte, Cédric; Pollock, David D; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 613 species. Salamander genome sizes range from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Because genome size is correlated with nucleus and cell sizes, as well as other traits, morphological evolution in salamanders has been profoundly affected by genomic gigantism. However, the molecular mechanisms driving genomic expansion in this clade remain largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of transposable element (TE) content in salamanders. Using high-throughput sequencing, we generated genomic shotgun data for six species from the Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. We then developed a pipeline to mine TE sequences from shotgun data in taxa with limited genomic resources, such as salamanders. Our summaries of overall TE abundance and diversity for each species demonstrate that TEs make up a substantial portion of salamander genomes, and that all of the major known types of TEs are represented in salamanders. The most abundant TE superfamilies found in the genomes of our six focal species are similar, despite substantial variation in genome size. However, our results demonstrate a major difference between salamanders and other vertebrates: salamander genomes contain much larger amounts of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, primarily Ty3/gypsy elements. Thus, the extreme increase in genome size that occurred in salamanders was likely accompanied by a shift in TE landscape. These results suggest that increased proliferation of LTR retrotransposons was a major molecular mechanism contributing to genomic expansion in salamanders.

  3. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Keinath, Melissa C.; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A.; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y.; Tsonis, Panagiotis A.; Voss, S. Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J.

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes. PMID:26553646

  4. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2015-11-10

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes.

  5. Slow DNA loss in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; López Arriaza, José R; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary changes in genome size result from the combined effects of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Insertion and deletion mutations (indels) directly impact genome size by adding or removing sequences. Most species lose more DNA through small indels (i.e., ~1-30 bp) than they gain, which can result in genome reduction over time. Because this rate of DNA loss varies across species, small indel dynamics have been suggested to contribute to genome size evolution. Species with extremely large genomes provide interesting test cases for exploring the link between small indels and genome size; however, most large genomes remain relatively unexplored. Here, we examine rates of DNA loss in the tetrapods with the largest genomes-the salamanders. We used low-coverage genomic shotgun sequence data from four salamander species to examine patterns of insertion, deletion, and substitution in neutrally evolving non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon sequences. For comparison, we estimated genome-wide DNA loss rates in non-LTR retrotransposon sequences from five other vertebrate genomes: Anolis carolinensis, Danio rerio, Gallus gallus, Homo sapiens, and Xenopus tropicalis. Our results show that salamanders have significantly lower rates of DNA loss than do other vertebrates. More specifically, salamanders experience lower numbers of deletions relative to insertions, and both deletions and insertions are skewed toward smaller sizes. On the basis of these patterns, we conclude that slow DNA loss contributes to genomic gigantism in salamanders. We also identify candidate molecular mechanisms underlying these differences and suggest that natural variation in indel dynamics provides a unique opportunity to study the basis of genome stability.

  6. Hellbender genome sequences shed light on genomic expansion at the base of crown salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2014-07-01

    Among animals, genome sizes range from 20 Mb to 130 Gb, with 380-fold variation across vertebrates. Most of the largest vertebrate genomes are found in salamanders, an amphibian clade of 660 species. Thus, salamanders are an important system for studying causes and consequences of genomic gigantism. Previously, we showed that plethodontid salamander genomes accumulate higher levels of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons than do other vertebrates, although the evolutionary origins of such sequences remained unexplored. We also showed that some salamanders in the family Plethodontidae have relatively slow rates of DNA loss through small insertions and deletions. Here, we present new data from Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, the hellbender. Cryptobranchus and Plethodontidae span the basal phylogenetic split within salamanders; thus, analyses incorporating these taxa can shed light on the genome of the ancestral crown salamander lineage, which underwent expansion. We show that high levels of LTR retrotransposons likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that disproportionate expansion of this transposable element (TE) class contributed to genomic expansion. Phylogenetic and age distribution analyses of salamander LTR retrotransposons indicate that salamanders' high TE levels reflect persistence and diversification of ancestral TEs rather than horizontal transfer events. Finally, we show that relatively slow DNA loss rates through small indels likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that a decreased DNA loss rate contributed to genomic expansion at the clade's base. Our identification of shared genomic features across phylogenetically distant salamanders is a first step toward identifying the evolutionary processes underlying accumulation and persistence of high levels of repetitive sequence in salamander genomes.

  7. Low levels of LTR retrotransposon deletion by ectopic recombination in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Frahry, Matthew Blake; Sun, Cheng; Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2015-02-01

    Across the tree of life, species vary dramatically in nuclear genome size. Mutations that add or remove sequences from genomes-insertions or deletions, or indels-are the ultimate source of this variation. Differences in the tempo and mode of insertion and deletion across taxa have been proposed to contribute to evolutionary diversity in genome size. Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, an amphibian clade with genome sizes ranging from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Salamander genomes have been shown to experience slower rates of DNA loss through small (i.e., <30 bp) deletions than do other vertebrate genomes. However, no studies have addressed DNA loss from salamander genomes resulting from larger deletions. Here, we focus on one type of large deletion-ectopic-recombination-mediated removal of LTR retrotransposon sequences. In ectopic recombination, double-strand breaks are repaired using a "wrong" (i.e., ectopic, or non-allelic) template sequence-typically another locus of similar sequence. When breaks occur within the LTR portions of LTR retrotransposons, ectopic-recombination-mediated repair can produce deletions that remove the internal transposon sequence and the equivalent of one of the two LTR sequences. These deletions leave a signature in the genome-a solo LTR sequence. We compared levels of solo LTRs in the genomes of four salamander species with levels present in five vertebrates with smaller genomes. Our results demonstrate that salamanders have low levels of solo LTRs, suggesting that ectopic-recombination-mediated deletion of LTR retrotransposons occurs more slowly than in other vertebrates with smaller genomes.

  8. The dynamic evolutionary history of genome size in North American woodland salamanders.

    PubMed

    Newman, Catherine E; Gregory, T Ryan; Austin, Christopher C

    2017-04-01

    The genus Plethodon is the most species-rich salamander genus in North America, and nearly half of its species face an uncertain future. It is also one of the most diverse families in terms of genome sizes, which range from 1C = 18.2 to 69.3 pg, or 5-20 times larger than the human genome. Large genome size in salamanders results in part from accumulation of transposable elements and is associated with various developmental and physiological traits. However, genome sizes have been reported for only 25% of the species of Plethodon (14 of 55). We collected genome size data for Plethodon serratus to supplement an ongoing phylogeographic study, reconstructed the evolutionary history of genome size in Plethodontidae, and inferred probable genome sizes for the 41 species missing empirical data. Results revealed multiple genome size changes in Plethodon: genomes of western Plethodon increased, whereas genomes of eastern Plethodon decreased, followed by additional decreases or subsequent increases. The estimated genome size of P. serratus was 21 pg. New understanding of variation in genome size evolution, along with genome size inferences for previously unstudied taxa, provide a foundation for future studies on the biology of plethodontid salamanders.

  9. Variation in salamanders: an essay on genomes, development, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration is studied in a few model species of salamanders, but the ten families of salamanders show considerable variation, and this has implications for our understanding of salamander biology. The most recent classification of the families identifies the cryptobranchoidea as the basal group which diverged in the early Jurassic. Variation in the sizes of genomes is particularly obvious, and reflects a major contribution from transposable elements which is already present in the basal group.Limb development has been a focus for evodevo studies, in part because of the variable property of pre-axial dominance which distinguishes salamanders from other tetrapods. This is thought to reflect the selective pressures that operate on a free-living aquatic larva, and might also be relevant for the evolution of limb regeneration. Recent fossil evidence suggests that both pre-axial dominance and limb regeneration were present 300 million years ago in larval temnospondyl amphibians that lived in mountain lakes. A satisfying account of regeneration in salamanders may need to address all these different aspects in the future.

  10. Higher-level salamander relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Wake, David B

    2009-11-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the salamander families have been difficult to resolve, largely because the window of time in which major lineages diverged was very short relative to the subsequently long evolutionary history of each family. We present seven new complete mitochondrial genomes representing five salamander families that have no or few mitogenome records in GenBank in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of all salamander families from a mitogenomic perspective. Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining the entire mitogenome sequence except for the D-loop, and the other combining the deduced amino acid sequences of all 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes-produce nearly identical well-resolved topologies. The monophyly of each family is supported, including the controversial Proteidae. The internally fertilizing salamanders are demonstrated to be a clade, concordant with recent results using nuclear genes. The internally fertilizing salamanders include two well-supported clades: one is composed of Ambystomatidae, Dicamptodontidae, and Salamandridae, the other Proteidae, Rhyacotritonidae, Amphiumidae, and Plethodontidae. In contrast to results from nuclear loci, our results support the conventional morphological hypothesis that Sirenidae is the sister-group to all other salamanders and they statistically reject the hypothesis from nuclear genes that the suborder Cryptobranchoidea (Cryptobranchidae+Hynobiidae) branched earlier than the Sirenidae. Using recently recommended fossil calibration points and a "soft bound" calibration strategy, we recalculated evolutionary timescales for tetrapods with an emphasis on living salamanders, under a Bayesian framework with and without a rate-autocorrelation assumption. Our dating results indicate: (i) the widely used rate-autocorrelation assumption in relaxed clock analyses is problematic and the accuracy of molecular dating for early lissamphibian evolution is questionable; (ii) the initial

  11. Evolution along the mutation gradient in the dynamic mitochondrial genome of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are intracellular organelles where oxidative phosphorylation is carried out to complete ATP synthesis. Mitochondria have their own genome; in metazoans, this is a small, circular molecule encoding 13 electron transport proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs. In invertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is common, and it is correlated with increased substitution rates. In vertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is rare, and its relationship to substitution rate remains unexplored. Mitochondrial genes can also show spatial variation in substitution rates around the genome due to the mechanism of mtDNA replication, which produces a mutation gradient. To date, however, the strength of the mutation gradient and whether movement along the gradient in rearranged (or otherwise modified) genomes impacts genic substitution rates remain unexplored in the majority of vertebrates. Salamanders include both normal mitochondrial genomes and independently derived rearrangements and expansions, providing a rare opportunity to test the effects of large-scale changes to genome architecture on vertebrate mitochondrial gene sequence evolution. We show that: 1) rearranged/expanded genomes have higher substitution rates; 2) most genes in rearranged/expanded genomes maintain their position along the mutation gradient, substitution rates of the genes that do move are unaffected by their new position, and the gradient in salamanders is weak; and 3) genomic rearrangements/expansions occur independent of levels of selective constraint on genes. Together, our results demonstrate that large-scale changes to genome architecture impact mitochondrial gene evolution in predictable ways; however, despite these impacts, the same functional constraints act on mitochondrial protein-coding genes in both modified and normal genomes.

  12. Evolution Along the Mutation Gradient in the Dynamic Mitochondrial Genome of Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Rebecca A.; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are intracellular organelles where oxidative phosphorylation is carried out to complete ATP synthesis. Mitochondria have their own genome; in metazoans, this is a small, circular molecule encoding 13 electron transport proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs. In invertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is common, and it is correlated with increased substitution rates. In vertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is rare, and its relationship to substitution rate remains unexplored. Mitochondrial genes can also show spatial variation in substitution rates around the genome due to the mechanism of mtDNA replication, which produces a mutation gradient. To date, however, the strength of the mutation gradient and whether movement along the gradient in rearranged (or otherwise modified) genomes impacts genic substitution rates remain unexplored in the majority of vertebrates. Salamanders include both normal mitochondrial genomes and independently derived rearrangements and expansions, providing a rare opportunity to test the effects of large-scale changes to genome architecture on vertebrate mitochondrial gene sequence evolution. We show that: 1) rearranged/expanded genomes have higher substitution rates; 2) most genes in rearranged/expanded genomes maintain their position along the mutation gradient, substitution rates of the genes that do move are unaffected by their new position, and the gradient in salamanders is weak; and 3) genomic rearrangements/expansions occur independent of levels of selective constraint on genes. Together, our results demonstrate that large-scale changes to genome architecture impact mitochondrial gene evolution in predictable ways; however, despite these impacts, the same functional constraints act on mitochondrial protein-coding genes in both modified and normal genomes. PMID:23918809

  13. Genetic drift and mutational hazard in the evolution of salamander genomic gigantism.

    PubMed

    Mohlhenrich, Erik Roger; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2016-12-01

    Salamanders have the largest nuclear genomes among tetrapods and, excepting lungfishes, among vertebrates as a whole. Lynch and Conery (2003) have proposed the mutational-hazard hypothesis to explain variation in genome size and complexity. Under this hypothesis, noncoding DNA imposes a selective cost by increasing the target for degenerative mutations (i.e., the mutational hazard). Expansion of noncoding DNA, and thus genome size, is driven by increased levels of genetic drift and/or decreased mutation rates; the former determines the efficiency with which purifying selection can remove excess DNA, whereas the latter determines the level of mutational hazard. Here, we test the hypothesis that salamanders have experienced stronger long-term, persistent genetic drift than frogs, a related clade with more typically sized vertebrate genomes. To test this hypothesis, we compared dN/dS and Kr/Kc values of protein-coding genes between these clades. Our results do not support this hypothesis; we find that salamanders have not experienced stronger genetic drift than frogs. Additionally, we find evidence consistent with a lower nucleotide substitution rate in salamanders. This result, along with previous work showing lower rates of small deletion and ectopic recombination in salamanders, suggests that a lower mutational hazard may contribute to genomic gigantism in this clade. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Large geographic range size reflects a patchwork of divergent lineages in the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum).

    PubMed

    Lee-Yaw, J A; Irwin, D E

    2012-11-01

    For northern taxa, persistence in multiple vs. single Pleistocene refugia may have been an important determinant of contemporary range size, with larger ranges achieved by species that colonized the north from several glacial refugia. Under this hypothesis, widespread species are expected to demonstrate marked phylogeographic structure in previously glaciated regions. We use a genome-wide survey to characterize genetic structure and evaluate this hypothesis in the most widely distributed salamander in the Pacific Northwest, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum). Patterns of variation based on 751 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci and mitochondrial sequence data were concordant and support the recognition of at least four distinct lineages of long-toed salamander. The distributions of these lineages indicate that multiple refugia contributed to the species' large contemporary range. At the same time, with up to 133 AFLP bands differing between lineages and levels of sequence divergence ranging from 2.5 to 5.8%, these lineages would be considered separate species by some definitions. Such splitting would partition the large geographic range of the long-toed salamander into several relatively restricted ranges. Our results thus also underscore the potential for estimates of geographic range size to vary considerably depending on the taxonomic treatment of cryptic lineages.

  15. Evolutionary cytogenetics in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sessions, Stanley K

    2008-01-01

    Salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata/Urodela) have been the subject of numerous cytogenetic studies, and data on karyotypes and genome sizes are available for most groups. Salamanders show a more-or-less distinct dichotomy between families with large chromosome numbers and interspecific variation in chromosome number, relative size, and shape (i.e. position of the centromere), and those that exhibit very little variation in these karyological features. This dichotomy is the basis of a major model of karyotype evolution in salamanders involving a kind of 'karyotypic orthoselection'. Salamanders are also characterized by extremely large genomes (in terms of absolute mass of nuclear DNA) and extensive variation in genome size (and overall size of the chromosomes), which transcends variation in chromosome number and shape. The biological significance and evolution of chromosome number and shape within the karyotype is not yet understood, but genome size variation has been found to have strong phenotypic, biogeographic, and phylogenetic correlates that reveal information about the biological significance of this cytogenetic variable. Urodeles also present the advantage of only 10 families and less than 600 species, which facilitates the analysis of patterns within the entire order. The purpose of this review is to present a summary of what is currently known about overall patterns of variation in karyology and genome size in salamanders. These patterns are discussed within an evolutionary context.

  16. Rapid fixation of non-native alleles revealed by genome-wide SNP analysis of hybrid tiger salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Johnson, Jarrett R; Kump, D Kevin; Shaffer, H Bradley; Smith, Jeramiah J; Voss, S Randal

    2009-01-01

    Background Hybrid zones represent valuable opportunities to observe evolution in systems that are unusually dynamic and where the potential for the origin of novelty and rapid adaptation co-occur with the potential for dysfunction. Recently initiated hybrid zones are particularly exciting evolutionary experiments because ongoing natural selection on novel genetic combinations can be studied in ecological time. Moreover, when hybrid zones involve native and introduced species, complex genetic patterns present important challenges for conservation policy. To assess variation of admixture dynamics, we scored a large panel of markers in five wild hybrid populations formed when Barred Tiger Salamanders were introduced into the range of California Tiger Salamanders. Results At three of 64 markers, introduced alleles have largely displaced native alleles within the hybrid populations. Another marker (GNAT1) showed consistent heterozygote deficits in the wild, and this marker was associated with embryonic mortality in laboratory F2's. Other deviations from equilibrium expectations were idiosyncratic among breeding ponds, consistent with highly stochastic demographic effects. Conclusion While most markers retain native and introduced alleles in expected proportions, strong selection appears to be eliminating native alleles at a smaller set of loci. Such rapid fixation of alleles is detectable only in recently formed hybrid zones, though it might be representative of dynamics that frequently occur in nature. These results underscore the variable and mosaic nature of hybrid genomes and illustrate the potency of recombination and selection in promoting variable, and often unpredictable genetic outcomes. Introgression of a few, strongly selected introduced alleles should not necessarily affect the conservation status of California Tiger Salamanders, but suggests that genetically pure populations of this endangered species will be difficult to maintain. PMID:19630983

  17. Rapid fixation of non-native alleles revealed by genome-wide SNP analysis of hybrid tiger salamanders.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Johnson, Jarrett R; Kump, D Kevin; Shaffer, H Bradley; Smith, Jeramiah J; Voss, S Randal

    2009-07-24

    Hybrid zones represent valuable opportunities to observe evolution in systems that are unusually dynamic and where the potential for the origin of novelty and rapid adaptation co-occur with the potential for dysfunction. Recently initiated hybrid zones are particularly exciting evolutionary experiments because ongoing natural selection on novel genetic combinations can be studied in ecological time. Moreover, when hybrid zones involve native and introduced species, complex genetic patterns present important challenges for conservation policy. To assess variation of admixture dynamics, we scored a large panel of markers in five wild hybrid populations formed when Barred Tiger Salamanders were introduced into the range of California Tiger Salamanders. At three of 64 markers, introduced alleles have largely displaced native alleles within the hybrid populations. Another marker (GNAT1) showed consistent heterozygote deficits in the wild, and this marker was associated with embryonic mortality in laboratory F2's. Other deviations from equilibrium expectations were idiosyncratic among breeding ponds, consistent with highly stochastic demographic effects. While most markers retain native and introduced alleles in expected proportions, strong selection appears to be eliminating native alleles at a smaller set of loci. Such rapid fixation of alleles is detectable only in recently formed hybrid zones, though it might be representative of dynamics that frequently occur in nature. These results underscore the variable and mosaic nature of hybrid genomes and illustrate the potency of recombination and selection in promoting variable, and often unpredictable genetic outcomes. Introgression of a few, strongly selected introduced alleles should not necessarily affect the conservation status of California Tiger Salamanders, but suggests that genetically pure populations of this endangered species will be difficult to maintain.

  18. Transcriptional and phylogenetic analysis of five complete ambystomatid salamander mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Samuels, Amy K; Weisrock, David W; Smith, Jeramiah J; France, Katherine J; Walker, John A; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, S Randal

    2005-04-11

    We report on a study that extended mitochondrial transcript information from a recent EST project to obtain complete mitochondrial genome sequence for 5 tiger salamander complex species (Ambystoma mexicanum, A. t. tigrinum, A. andersoni, A. californiense, and A. dumerilii). We describe, for the first time, aspects of mitochondrial transcription in a representative amphibian, and then use complete mitochondrial sequence data to examine salamander phylogeny at both deep and shallow levels of evolutionary divergence. The available mitochondrial ESTs for A. mexicanum (N=2481) and A. t. tigrinum (N=1205) provided 92% and 87% coverage of the mitochondrial genome, respectively. Complete mitochondrial sequences for all species were rapidly obtained by using long distance PCR and DNA sequencing. A number of genome structural characteristics (base pair length, base composition, gene number, gene boundaries, codon usage) were highly similar among all species and to other distantly related salamanders. Overall, mitochondrial transcription in Ambystoma approximated the pattern observed in other vertebrates. We inferred from the mapping of ESTs onto mtDNA that transcription occurs from both heavy and light strand promoters and continues around the entire length of the mtDNA, followed by post-transcriptional processing. However, the observation of many short transcripts corresponding to rRNA genes indicates that transcription may often terminate prematurely to bias transcription of rRNA genes; indeed an rRNA transcription termination signal sequence was observed immediately following the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analyses of salamander family relationships consistently grouped Ambystomatidae in a clade containing Cryptobranchidae and Hynobiidae, to the exclusion of Salamandridae. This robust result suggests a novel alternative hypothesis because previous studies have consistently identified Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae as closely related taxa. Phylogenetic analyses of tiger

  19. Phylogeny and genetic history of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870) inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, Boris; Derenko, Miroslava; Denisova, Galina

    2013-05-01

    We assessed phylogeny of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870), the most northern ectothermic, terrestrial vertebrate in Eurasia, by sequence analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes in 26 specimens from different localities (China, Khabarovsk region, Sakhalin, Yakutia, Magadan region, Chukotka, Kamchatka, Ural, European part of Russia). In addition, a complete mitochondrial genome of the Schrenck salamander, Salamandrella schrenckii, was determined for the first time. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the entire mtDNA genomes of S. keyserlingii demonstrates that two haplotype clades, AB and C, radiated about 1.4 million years ago (Mya). Bayesian skyline plots of population size change through time show an expansion around 250 thousand years ago (kya) and then a decline around the Last Glacial Maximum (25 kya) with subsequent restoration of population size. Climatic changes during the Quaternary period have dramatically affected the population genetic structure of the Siberian salamanders. In addition, complete mtDNA sequence analysis allowed us to recognize that the vast area of Northern Eurasia was colonized only by the Siberian salamander clade C1b during the last 150 kya. Meanwhile, we were unable to find evidence of molecular adaptation in this clade by analyzing the whole mitochondrial genomes of the Siberian salamanders.

  20. Plethodontid salamander mitochondrial genomics: A parsimonyevaluation of character conflict and implications for historicalbiogeography

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert

    2005-01-19

    A new parsimony analysis of 27 complete mitochondrial genomic sequences is conducted to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of plethodontid salamanders. This analysis focuses on the amount of character conflict between phylogenetic trees recovered from newly conducted parsimony searches and the Bayesian and maximum likelihood topology reported by Mueller et al. (2004, PNAS, 101, 13820-13825). Strong support for Hemidactylium as the sister taxon to all other plethodontids is recovered from parsimony analyses. Plotting area relationships on the most parsimonious phylogenetic tree suggests that eastern North America is the origin of the family Plethodontidae supporting the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis. A new taxonomy that recognizes clades recovered from phylogenetic analyses is proposed.

  1. Cryptic sex? Estimates of genome exchange in unisexual mole salamanders (Ambystoma sp.).

    PubMed

    Gibbs, H Lisle; Denton, Robert D

    2016-06-01

    Cryptic sex has been argued to explain the exceptional longevity of certain parthenogenetic vertebrate lineages, yet direct measurements of genetic exchange between sexual and apparently parthenogenetic forms are rare. Female unisexual mole salamanders (Ambystoma sp.) are the oldest known unisexual vertebrate lineage (~5 million years), and one hypothesis for their persistence is that allopolyploid female unisexuals periodically exchange haploid genomes 'genome exchange' during gynogenetic reproduction with males from sympatric sexual species. We test this hypothesis by using genome-specific microsatellite DNA markers to estimate the rates of genome exchange between sexual males and unisexual females in two ponds in NE Ohio. We also test the prediction that levels of gene flow should be higher for 'sympatric' (sexual males present) genomes in unisexuals compared to 'allopatric' (sexual males absent) unisexual genomes. We used a model testing framework in the coalescent-based program MIGRATE-N to compare models where unidirectional gene flow is present and absent between sexual species and unisexuals. As predicted, our results show higher levels of gene flow between sexuals and sympatric unisexual genomes compared to lower (likely artefactual) levels of gene flow between sexuals and allopatric unisexual genomes. Our results provide direct evidence that genome exchange between sexual and unisexual Ambystoma occurs and demonstrate that the magnitude depends on which sexual species are present. The relatively high levels of gene flow suggest that unisexuals must be at a selective advantage over sexual forms so as to avoid extinction due to genetic swamping through genome exchange. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Effects of microhabitat and large-scale land use on stream salamander occupancy in the coalfields of Central Appalachia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweeten, Sara E.; Ford, W. Mark

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale coal mining practices, particularly surface coal extraction and associated valley fills as well as residential wastewater discharge, are of ecological concern for aquatic systems in central Appalachia. Identifying and quantifying alterations to ecosystems along a gradient of spatial scales is a necessary first-step to aid in mitigation of negative consequences to aquatic biota. In central Appalachian headwater streams, apart from fish, salamanders are the most abundant vertebrate predator that provide a significant intermediate trophic role linking aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Stream salamander species are considered to be sensitive to aquatic stressors and environmental alterations, as past research has shown linkages among microhabitat parameters, large-scale land use such as urbanization and logging, and salamander abundances. However, there is little information examining these relationships between environmental conditions and salamander occupancy in the coalfields of central Appalachia. In the summer of 2013, 70 sites (sampled two to three times each) in the southwest Virginia coalfields were visited to collect salamanders and quantify stream and riparian microhabitat parameters. Using an information-theoretic framework, effects of microhabitat and large-scale land use on stream salamander occupancy were compared. The findings indicate that Desmognathus spp. occupancy rates are more correlated to microhabitat parameters such as canopy cover than to large-scale land uses. However, Eurycea spp. occupancy rates had a strong association with large-scale land uses, particularly recent mining and forest cover within the watershed. These findings suggest that protection of riparian habitats is an important consideration for maintaining aquatic systems in central Appalachia. If this is not possible, restoration riparian areas should follow guidelines using quick-growing tree species that are native to Appalachian riparian areas. These types of trees

  3. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected.

  4. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (Bayesian posterior probability >0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these evolutionary relationships suggests that (i) a larval life history stage reevolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times; (ii) there is no phylogenetic support for the “Out of Appalachia” hypothesis of plethodontid origins; and (iii) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative. PMID:15365171

  5. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-08-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent, molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, ML, and MP phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (PP > 0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three out of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these new evolutionary relationships suggests that (1) a larval life history stage re-evolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times, (2) there is no phylogenetic support for the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis of plethodontid origins, and (3) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these novel scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative.

  6. A Comprehensive Expressed Sequence Tag Linkage Map for Tiger Salamander and Mexican Axolotl: Enabling Gene Mapping and Comparative Genomics in Ambystoma

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. J.; Kump, D. K.; Walker, J. A.; Parichy, D. M.; Voss, S. R.

    2005-01-01

    Expressed sequence tag (EST) markers were developed for Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum (Eastern tiger salamander) and for A. mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) to generate the first comprehensive linkage map for these model amphibians. We identified 14 large linkage groups (125.5–836.7 cM) that presumably correspond to the 14 haploid chromosomes in the Ambystoma genome. The extent of genome coverage for these linkage groups is apparently high because the total map size (5251 cM) falls within the range of theoretical estimates and is consistent with independent empirical estimates. Unlike most vertebrate species, linkage map size in Ambystoma is not strongly correlated with chromosome arm number. Presumably, the large physical genome size (∼30 Gbp) is a major determinant of map size in Ambystoma. To demonstrate the utility of this resource, we mapped the position of two historically significant A. mexicanum mutants, white and melanoid, and also met, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that contributes to variation in metamorphic timing. This new collection of EST-based PCR markers will better enable the Ambystoma system by facilitating development of new molecular probes, and the linkage map will allow comparative studies of this important vertebrate group. PMID:16079226

  7. A comprehensive expressed sequence tag linkage map for tiger salamander and Mexican axolotl: enabling gene mapping and comparative genomics in Ambystoma.

    PubMed

    Smith, J J; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Parichy, D M; Voss, S R

    2005-11-01

    Expressed sequence tag (EST) markers were developed for Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum (Eastern tiger salamander) and for A. mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) to generate the first comprehensive linkage map for these model amphibians. We identified 14 large linkage groups (125.5-836.7 cM) that presumably correspond to the 14 haploid chromosomes in the Ambystoma genome. The extent of genome coverage for these linkage groups is apparently high because the total map size (5251 cM) falls within the range of theoretical estimates and is consistent with independent empirical estimates. Unlike most vertebrate species, linkage map size in Ambystoma is not strongly correlated with chromosome arm number. Presumably, the large physical genome size ( approximately 30 Gbp) is a major determinant of map size in Ambystoma. To demonstrate the utility of this resource, we mapped the position of two historically significant A. mexicanum mutants, white and melanoid, and also met, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that contributes to variation in metamorphic timing. This new collection of EST-based PCR markers will better enable the Ambystoma system by facilitating development of new molecular probes, and the linkage map will allow comparative studies of this important vertebrate group.

  8. Quantity discrimination in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Krusche, Paul; Uller, Claudia; Dicke, Ursula

    2010-06-01

    We investigated discrimination of large quantities in salamanders of the genus Plethodon. Animals were challenged with two different quantities (8 vs 12 or 8 vs 16) in a two-alternative choice task. Stimuli were live crickets, videos of live crickets or images animated by a computer program. Salamanders reliably chose the larger of two quantities when the ratio between the sets was 1:2 and stimuli were live crickets or videos thereof. Magnitude discrimination was not successful when the ratio was 2:3, or when the ratio was 1:2 when stimuli were computer animated. Analysis of the salamanders' success and failure as well as analysis of stimulus features points towards movement as a dominant feature for quantity discrimination. The results are generally consistent with large quantity discrimination investigated in many other animals (e.g. primates, fish), current models of quantity representation (analogue magnitudes) and data on sensory aspects of amphibian prey-catching behaviour (neuronal motion processing).

  9. Plethodon cinereus (Redback Salamander) predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Ward, W.L.; Kings, C.O.; Weir, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    In 1999 at the Patuxent Research Refuge, we observed a large rove beetle (Staphylinus maculosus) consuming an eviscerated redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus) underneath a coverboard. Rove beetles typically eat invertebrates.

  10. Salamander Saver

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ilseman, Kelly; Hoffmann, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    On a spring morning in Maine, traps made of nets rise above vernal pools in a small wetland, ready to collect salamanders. The traps were designed by groups of rural and urban high school students from Maine and Massachusetts participating in the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science Program (UBMS) at the university campus in Orono, Maine.…

  11. Salamander Saver

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ilseman, Kelly; Hoffmann, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    On a spring morning in Maine, traps made of nets rise above vernal pools in a small wetland, ready to collect salamanders. The traps were designed by groups of rural and urban high school students from Maine and Massachusetts participating in the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science Program (UBMS) at the university campus in Orono, Maine.…

  12. Beyond editing to writing large genomes.

    PubMed

    Chari, Raj; Church, George M

    2017-08-30

    Recent exponential advances in genome sequencing and engineering technologies have enabled an unprecedented level of interrogation into the impact of DNA variation (genotype) on cellular function (phenotype). Furthermore, these advances have also prompted realistic discussion of writing and radically re-writing complex genomes. In this Perspective, we detail the motivation for large-scale engineering, discuss the progress made from such projects in bacteria and yeast and describe how various genome-engineering technologies will contribute to this effort. Finally, we describe the features of an ideal platform and provide a roadmap to facilitate the efficient writing of large genomes.

  13. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ziemba, Julie L; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M; Anthony, Carl D

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from "non-invaded" and "pheretimoid invaded" sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance following Asian

  14. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Ziemba, Julie L.

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from “non-invaded” and “pheretimoid invaded” sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance

  15. Diseases of salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, K.A.; Green, D.E.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.

    2005-01-01

    Few diseases are reported in salamanders. Two notable exceptions are infections by Ranavirus and Ichthyophonus. Except for mortality events associated with ranaviruses in tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) and spotted salamanders (A. maculatum), dieoffs of salamanders are rarely detected or reported. Diseases presented in this chapter are those encountered in free-living salamanders of the United States and Canada. A few additional diseases that are occasionally seen in captive and zoo animals have been reviewed by Green (2001). This chapter on Diseases of Salamanders will address five common infectious diseases of free-living larval and adult salamanders: Ranavirus (iridovims) infection, chytrid fungal infection, ichthyophoniasis, Clinostomum metacercaria, chiggers. Many helminthic parasites infect salamanders, but with few exceptions, these infections are unlikely to cause illness (morbidity) or death (mortality). Readers are referred to parasitology texts for a review of protozoan, helminthic and ectoparasitic organisms of amphibians (Flynn, 1973; Poynton and Whitaker, 2001).

  16. Comparative Genomics of Large Mitochondria in Placozoans

    PubMed Central

    Signorovitch, Ana Y; Buss, Leo W; Dellaporta, Stephen L

    2007-01-01

    The first sequenced mitochondrial genome of a placozoan, Trichoplax adhaerens, challenged the conventional wisdom that a compact mitochondrial genome is a common feature among all animals. Three additional placozoan mitochondrial genomes representing highly divergent clades have been sequenced to determine whether the large Trichoplax mtDNA is a shared feature among members of the phylum Placozoa or a uniquely derived condition. All three mitochondrial genomes were found to be very large, 32- to 37-kb, circular molecules, having the typical 12 respiratory chain genes, 24 tRNAs, rnS, and rnL. They share with the Trichoplax mitochondrial genome the absence of atp8, atp9, and all ribosomal protein genes, the presence of several cox1 introns, and a large open reading frame containing an intron group I LAGLIDADG endonuclease domain. The differences in mtDNA size within Placozoa are due to variation in intergenic spacer regions and the presence or absence of long open reading frames of unknown function. Phylogenetic analyses of the 12 respiratory chain genes support the monophyly of Placozoa. The similarities in composition and structure between the three mitochondrial genomes reported here and that of Trichoplax's mtDNA suggest that their uncompacted state is a shared ancestral feature to other nonmetazoans while their gene content is a derived feature shared only among the Metazoa. PMID:17222063

  17. Ancestry of unisexual salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hedges, S B; Bogart, J P; Maxson, L R

    1992-04-23

    In eastern North America there are populations of all-female salamanders that incorporate the nuclear genomes of two or three of four sympatric bisexual species. The hybrids can be diploid, triploid, tetraploid or pentaploid, and 18 different combinations have been reported. All hybrids require sperm from a sympatric male of one of the bisexual species to reproduce, but the sperm may or may not be incorporated in the egg. Some of the hybrids are believed to represent separate, clonal species, but little is known of the origin of this hybrid complex. Vertebrate mitochondrial DNA is inherited maternally, allowing identification of the female parent that gave rise to hybrid lineages. A portion of the cytochrome b gene was sequenced from diploid and triploid hybrids that represent combinations of all four species. Nearly all hybrids had a similar mitochondrial genome sequence, independent of nuclear genome composition and ploidy, and the sequence was distinct from that of any of the four bisexual species. The hybrids maintain a mitochondrial lineage that has evolved independently of their nuclear genome and represent the most ancient known unisexual vertebrate lineage.

  18. The Large Genome Constraint Hypothesis: Evolution, Ecology and Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    KNIGHT, CHARLES A.; MOLINARI, NICOLE A.; PETROV, DMITRI A.

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims If large genomes are truly saturated with unnecessary ‘junk’ DNA, it would seem natural that there would be costs associated with accumulation and replication of this excess DNA. Here we examine the available evidence to support this hypothesis, which we term the ‘large genome constraint’. We examine the large genome constraint at three scales: evolution, ecology, and the plant phenotype. • Scope In evolution, we tested the hypothesis that plant lineages with large genomes are diversifying more slowly. We found that genera with large genomes are less likely to be highly specious – suggesting a large genome constraint on speciation. In ecology, we found that species with large genomes are under-represented in extreme environments – again suggesting a large genome constraint for the distribution and abundance of species. Ultimately, if these ecological and evolutionary constraints are real, the genome size effect must be expressed in the phenotype and confer selective disadvantages. Therefore, in phenotype, we review data on the physiological correlates of genome size, and present new analyses involving maximum photosynthetic rate and specific leaf area. Most notably, we found that species with large genomes have reduced maximum photosynthetic rates – again suggesting a large genome constraint on plant performance. Finally, we discuss whether these phenotypic correlations may help explain why species with large genomes are trimmed from the evolutionary tree and have restricted ecological distributions. • Conclusion Our review tentatively supports the large genome constraint hypothesis. PMID:15596465

  19. Large insert environmental genomic library production.

    PubMed

    Taupp, Marcus; Lee, Sangwon; Hawley, Alyse; Yang, Jinshu; Hallam, Steven J

    2009-09-23

    The vast majority of microbes in nature currently remain inaccessible to traditional cultivation methods. Over the past decade, culture-independent environmental genomic (i.e. metagenomic) approaches have emerged, enabling researchers to bridge this cultivation gap by capturing the genetic content of indigenous microbial communities directly from the environment. To this end, genomic DNA libraries are constructed using standard albeit artful laboratory cloning techniques. Here we describe the construction of a large insert environmental genomic fosmid library with DNA derived from the vertical depth continuum of a seasonally hypoxic fjord. This protocol is directly linked to a series of connected protocols including coastal marine water sampling [1], large volume filtration of microbial biomass [2] and a DNA extraction and purification protocol [3]. At the outset, high quality genomic DNA is end-repaired with the creation of 5 -phosphorylated blunt ends. End-repaired DNA is subjected to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) for size selection and gel extraction is performed to recover DNA fragments between 30 and 60 thousand base pairs (Kb) in length. Size selected DNA is purified away from the PFGE gel matrix and ligated to the phosphatase-treated blunt-end fosmid CopyControl vector pCC1 (EPICENTRE http://www.epibio.com/item.asp?ID=385). Linear concatemers of pCC1 and insert DNA are subsequently headfull packaged into phage particles by lambda terminase, with subsequent infection of phage-resistant E. coli cells. Successfully transduced clones are recovered on LB agar plates under antibiotic selection and archived in 384-well plate format using an automated colony picking robot (Qpix2, GENETIX). The current protocol draws from various sources including the CopyControl Fosmid Library Production Kit from EPICENTRE and the published works of multiple research groups [4-7]. Each step is presented with best practice in mind. Whenever possible we highlight subtleties

  20. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  1. On the ecological role of salamanders

    Treesearch

    Robert D. Davic; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.

    2004-01-01

    Salamanders are cryptic and, though largely unrecognized as such, extremely abundant vertebrates in a variety of primarily forest and grassland environments, where they regulate food webs and contribute to ecosystem resilience-resistance (= stability) in several ways: (a) As mid-level vertebrate predators, they provide direct and indirect biotic control of species...

  2. Perceived predation risk as a function of predator dietary cues in terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

    predators rather than dead salamanders may be largely responsible for the release of such chemicals. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. Simplified DGS procedure for large-scale genome structural study.

    PubMed

    Jung, Yong-Chul; Xu, Jia; Chen, Jun; Kim, Yeong; Winchester, David; Wang, San Ming

    2009-11-01

    Ditag genome scanning (DGS) uses next-generation DNA sequencing to sequence the ends of ditag fragments produced by restriction enzymes. These sequences are compared to known genome sequences to determine their structure. In order to use DGS for large-scale genome structural studies, we have substantially revised the original protocol by replacing the in vivo genomic DNA cloning with in vitro adaptor ligation, eliminating the ditag concatemerization steps, and replacing the 454 sequencer with Solexa or SOLiD sequencers for ditag sequence collection. This revised protocol further increases genome coverage and resolution and allows DGS to be used to analyze multiple genomes simultaneously.

  4. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  5. Effects of Red-Backed Salamanders on Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hocking, Daniel J.; Babbitt, Kimberly J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m2 plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m2) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m−2). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types. PMID:24466269

  6. Precision Editing of Large Animal Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Wenfang (Spring); Carlson, Daniel F.; Walton, Mark W.; Fahrenkrug, Scott C.; Hackett, Perry B.

    2013-01-01

    Transgenic animals are an important source of protein and nutrition for most humans and will play key roles in satisfying the increasing demand for food in an ever-increasing world population. The past decade has experienced a revolution in the development of methods that permit the introduction of specific alterations to complex genomes. This precision will enhance genome-based improvement of farm animals for food production. Precision genetics also will enhance the development of therapeutic biomaterials and models of human disease as resources for the development of advanced patient therapies. PMID:23084873

  7. Transcriptomic Analysis of Endangered Chinese Salamander: Identification of Immune, Sex and Reproduction-Related Genes and Genetic Markers

    PubMed Central

    Che, Rongbo; Sun, Yuena; Wang, Rixin; Xu, Tianjun

    2014-01-01

    Background The Chinese salamander (Hynobius chinensis), an endangered amphibian species of salamander endemic to China, has attracted much attention because of its value of studying paleontology evolutionary history and decreasing population size. Despite increasing interest in the Hynobius chinensis genome, genomic resources for the species are still very limited. A comprehensive transcriptome of Hynobius chinensis, which will provide a resource for genome annotation, candidate genes identification and molecular marker development should be generated to supplement it. Principal Findings We performed a de novo assembly of Hynobius chinensis transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. A total of 148,510 nonredundant unigenes with an average length of approximately 580 bp were obtained. In all, 60,388 (40.66%) unigenes showed homologous matches in at least one database and 33,537 (22.58%) unigenes were annotated by all four databases. In total, 41,553 unigenes were categorized into 62 sub-categories by BLAST2GO search, and 19,468 transcripts were assigned to 140 KEGG pathways. A large number of unigenes involved in immune system, local adaptation, reproduction and sex determination were identified, as well as 31,982 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 460,923 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Conclusion This dataset represents the first transcriptome analysis of the Chinese salamander (Hynobius chinensis), an endangered species, to be also the first time of hynobiidae. The transcriptome will provide valuable resource for further research in discovery of new genes, protection of population, adaptive evolution and survey of various pathways, as well as development of molecule markers in Chinese salamander; and reference information for closely related species. PMID:24498226

  8. GDC 2: Compression of large collections of genomes

    PubMed Central

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-01-01

    The fall of prices of the high-throughput genome sequencing changes the landscape of modern genomics. A number of large scale projects aimed at sequencing many human genomes are in progress. Genome sequencing also becomes an important aid in the personalized medicine. One of the significant side effects of this change is a necessity of storage and transfer of huge amounts of genomic data. In this paper we deal with the problem of compression of large collections of complete genomic sequences. We propose an algorithm that is able to compress the collection of 1092 human diploid genomes about 9,500 times. This result is about 4 times better than what is offered by the other existing compressors. Moreover, our algorithm is very fast as it processes the data with speed 200 MB/s on a modern workstation. In a consequence the proposed algorithm allows storing the complete genomic collections at low cost, e.g., the examined collection of 1092 human genomes needs only about 700 MB when compressed, what can be compared to about 6.7 TB of uncompressed FASTA files. The source code is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/REFRESH/index.php?page=projects&project=gdc&subpage=about. PMID:26108279

  9. GDC 2: Compression of large collections of genomes.

    PubMed

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-06-25

    The fall of prices of the high-throughput genome sequencing changes the landscape of modern genomics. A number of large scale projects aimed at sequencing many human genomes are in progress. Genome sequencing also becomes an important aid in the personalized medicine. One of the significant side effects of this change is a necessity of storage and transfer of huge amounts of genomic data. In this paper we deal with the problem of compression of large collections of complete genomic sequences. We propose an algorithm that is able to compress the collection of 1092 human diploid genomes about 9,500 times. This result is about 4 times better than what is offered by the other existing compressors. Moreover, our algorithm is very fast as it processes the data with speed 200 MB/s on a modern workstation. In a consequence the proposed algorithm allows storing the complete genomic collections at low cost, e.g., the examined collection of 1092 human genomes needs only about 700 MB when compressed, what can be compared to about 6.7 TB of uncompressed FASTA files. The source code is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/REFRESH/index.php?page=projects&project=gdc&subpage=about.

  10. Terrestrial salamander abundance on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining, a large-scale disturbance affecting vegetation, soil structure, and topography, converts landscapes from mature forests to extensive grassland and shrubland habitats. We sampled salamanders using drift-fence arrays and coverboard transects on and near mountaintop removal mines in southern West Virginia, USA, during 2000–2002. We compared terrestrial salamander relative abundance and species richness of un-mined, intact forest with habitats on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines (reclaimed grassland, reclaimed shrubland, and fragmented forest). Salamanders within forests increased in relative abundance with increasing distance from reclaimed mine edge. Reclaimed grassland and shrubland habitats had lower relative abundance and species richness than forests. Characteristics of reclaimed habitats that likely contributed to lower salamander abundance included poor soils (dry, compacted, little organic matter, high rock content), reduced vertical structure of vegetation and little tree cover, and low litter and woody debris cover. Past research has shown that salamander populations reduced by clearcutting may rebound in 15–24 years. Time since disturbance was 7–28 years in reclaimed habitats on our study areas and salamander populations had not reached levels found in adjacent mature forests.

  11. Identification of large-scale genomic variation in cancer genomes using in silico reference models

    PubMed Central

    Killcoyne, Sarah; del Sol, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Identifying large-scale structural variation in cancer genomes continues to be a challenge to researchers. Current methods rely on genome alignments based on a reference that can be a poor fit to highly variant and complex tumor genomes. To address this challenge we developed a method that uses available breakpoint information to generate models of structural variations. We use these models as references to align previously unmapped and discordant reads from a genome. By using these models to align unmapped reads, we show that our method can help to identify large-scale variations that have been previously missed. PMID:26264669

  12. Exon capture optimization in amphibians with large genomes.

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Mount, Genevieve G; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2016-09-01

    Gathering genomic-scale data efficiently is challenging for nonmodel species with large, complex genomes. Transcriptome sequencing is accessible for organisms with large genomes, and sequence capture probes can be designed from such mRNA sequences to enrich and sequence exonic regions. Maximizing enrichment efficiency is important to reduce sequencing costs, but relatively few data exist for exon capture experiments in nonmodel organisms with large genomes. Here, we conducted a replicated factorial experiment to explore the effects of several modifications to standard protocols that might increase sequence capture efficiency for amphibians and other taxa with large, complex genomes. Increasing the amounts of c0 t-1 repetitive sequence blocker and individual input DNA used in target enrichment reactions reduced the rates of PCR duplication. This reduction led to an increase in the percentage of unique reads mapping to target sequences, essentially doubling overall efficiency of the target capture from 10.4% to nearly 19.9% and rendering target capture experiments more efficient and affordable. Our results indicate that target capture protocols can be modified to efficiently screen vertebrates with large genomes, including amphibians. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Large-scale and global features of complex genomic signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristea, Paul D.

    2003-10-01

    The paper briefly reviews the methodology of the symbolic nucleic sequence conversion into genomic signals and presents large scale and global features of the resulting genomic signals. Whole chromosomes or whole genomes are converted into complex signals and phase analysis is performed. The phase, cumulated phase and unwrapped phase of genomic signals are studied as tools for revealing important features of to the first and second order statistics of nucleotide distribution along DNA strands. It is shown that the unwrapped phase displays an almost linear variation along whole chromosomes. The property holds for all the investigated genomes, being shared by both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, while the magnitude and sign of the unwrapped phase slope is specific for each taxon and chromosome. The comparison between the behavior of the cumulated phase and of the unwrapped phase across the putative origins and termini of the replichores suggests a model of the 'patchy' structure of the chromosomes.

  14. Effects of microhabitat and land use on stream salamander abundance in the southwest Virginia coalfields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweeten, Sara E.; Ford, William

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale land uses such as residential wastewater discharge and coal mining practices, particularly surface coal extraction and associated valley fills, are of particular ecological concern in central Appalachia. Identification and quantification of both alterations across scales are a necessary first-step to mitigate negative consequences to biota. In central Appalachian headwater streams absent of fish, salamanders are the dominant, most abundant vertebrate predator providing a significant intermediate trophic role. Stream salamander species are considered to be sensitive to aquatic stressors and environmental alterations, and past research has shown linkages among microhabitat parameters, large-scale land use such as urbanization and logging with salamander abundances. However, little is known about these linkages in the coalfields of central Appalachia. In the summer of 2013, we visited 70 sites (sampled three times each) in the southwest Virginia coalfields to survey salamanders and quantify stream and riparian microhabitat parameters. Using an information-theoretic framework we compared the effects of microhabitat and large-scale land use on salamander abundances. Our findings indicate that dusky salamander (Desmognathus spp.) abundances are more correlated to microhabitat parameters such as canopy cover than to subwatershed land uses. Brook salamander (Eurycea spp.) abundances show strong negative associations to the suspended sediments and stream substrate embeddedness. Neither Desmognathus spp. nor Eurycea spp. abundances were influenced by water conductivity. These suggest protection or restoration of riparian habitats and erosion control is an important conservation component for maintaining stream salamanders in the mined landscapes of central Appalachia.

  15. Territorial Polymers and Large Scale Genome Organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosberg, Alexander

    2012-02-01

    Chromatin fiber in interphase nucleus represents effectively a very long polymer packed in a restricted volume. Although polymer models of chromatin organization were considered, most of them disregard the fact that DNA has to stay not too entangled in order to function properly. One polymer model with no entanglements is the melt of unknotted unconcatenated rings. Extensive simulations indicate that rings in the melt at large length (monomer numbers) N approach the compact state, with gyration radius scaling as N^1/3, suggesting every ring being compact and segregated from the surrounding rings. The segregation is consistent with the known phenomenon of chromosome territories. Surface exponent β (describing the number of contacts between neighboring rings scaling as N^β) appears only slightly below unity, β 0.95. This suggests that the loop factor (probability to meet for two monomers linear distance s apart) should decay as s^-γ, where γ= 2 - β is slightly above one. The later result is consistent with HiC data on real human interphase chromosomes, and does not contradict to the older FISH data. The dynamics of rings in the melt indicates that the motion of one ring remains subdiffusive on the time scale well above the stress relaxation time.

  16. Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes.

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, Holger; Streitner, Corinna; Lampe, Ulrike; Franzke, Alexandra; Reinhold, Klaus

    2014-12-01

    Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in high numbers. We ranked male grasshoppers by song characteristics that are known to affect female preferences in this species and scored genome sizes of attractive and unattractive individuals from the extremes of this distribution. We find that attractive singers have significantly smaller genomes, demonstrating that genome size is reflected in male courtship songs and that females prefer songs of males with small genomes. Such a genome size dependent mate preference effectively selects against selfish genetic elements that tend to increase genome size. The data therefore provide a novel example of how sexual selection can reinforce natural selection and can act as an agent in an intragenomic arms race. Furthermore, our findings indicate an underappreciated route of how choosy females could gain indirect benefits.

  17. Large-scale data mining pilot project in human genome

    SciTech Connect

    Musick, R.; Fidelis, R.; Slezak, T.

    1997-05-01

    This whitepaper briefly describes a new, aggressive effort in large- scale data Livermore National Labs. The implications of `large- scale` will be clarified Section. In the short term, this effort will focus on several @ssion-critical questions of Genome project. We will adapt current data mining techniques to the Genome domain, to quantify the accuracy of inference results, and lay the groundwork for a more extensive effort in large-scale data mining. A major aspect of the approach is that we will be fully-staffed data warehousing effort in the human Genome area. The long term goal is strong applications- oriented research program in large-@e data mining. The tools, skill set gained will be directly applicable to a wide spectrum of tasks involving a for large spatial and multidimensional data. This includes applications in ensuring non-proliferation, stockpile stewardship, enabling Global Ecology (Materials Database Industrial Ecology), advancing the Biosciences (Human Genome Project), and supporting data for others (Battlefield Management, Health Care).

  18. Large-scale investigation of genomic markers for severe periodontitis.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Asami; Ji, Guijin; Numabe, Yukihiro; Ishii, Keisuke; Muramatsu, Masaaki; Kamoi, Kyuichi

    2004-09-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the genomic markers for periodontitis, using large-scale single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association studies comparing healthy volunteers and patients with periodontitis. Genomic DNA was obtained from 19 healthy volunteers and 22 patients with severe periodontitis, all of whom were Japanese. The subjects were genotyped at 637 SNPs in 244 genes on a large scale, using the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. Statistically significant differences in allele and genotype frequencies were analyzed with Fisher's exact test. We found statistically significant differences (P < 0.01) between the healthy volunteers and patients with severe periodontitis in the following genes; gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GNRH1), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory 1 (PIK3R1), dipeptidylpeptidase 4 (DPP4), fibrinogen-like 2 (FGL2), and calcitonin receptor (CALCR). These results suggest that SNPs in the GNRH1, PIK3R1, DPP4, FGL2, and CALCR genes are genomic markers for severe periodontitis. Our findings indicate the necessity of analyzing SNPs in genes on a large scale (i.e., genome-wide approach), to identify genomic markers for periodontitis.

  19. Low metabolic rates in salamanders are correlated with weak selective constraints on mitochondrial genes.

    PubMed

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-03-01

    Mitochondria are the site for the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the final steps of ATP synthesis via cellular respiration. Each mitochondrion contains its own genome; in vertebrates, this is a small, circular DNA molecule that encodes 13 subunits of the multiprotein OXPHOS electron transport complexes. Vertebrate lineages vary dramatically in metabolic rates; thus, functional constraints on mitochondrial-encoded proteins likely differ, potentially impacting mitochondrial genome evolution. Here, we examine mitochondrial genome evolution in salamanders, which have the lowest metabolic requirements among tetrapods. We show that salamanders experience weaker purifying selection on protein-coding sequences than do frogs, a comparable amphibian clade with higher metabolic rates. In contrast, we find no evidence for weaker selection against mitochondrial genome expansion in salamanders. Together, these results suggest that different aspects of mitochondrial genome evolution (i.e., nucleotide substitution, accumulation of noncoding sequences) are differently affected by metabolic variation across tetrapod lineages.

  20. EUPAN enables pan-genome studies of a large number of eukaryotic genomes.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhiqiang; Sun, Chen; Lu, Kuang-Chen; Chu, Xixia; Zhao, Yue; Lu, Jinyuan; Shi, Jianxin; Wei, Chaochun

    2017-08-01

    Pan-genome analyses are routinely carried out for bacteria to interpret the within-species gene presence/absence variations (PAVs). However, pan-genome analyses are rare for eukaryotes due to the large sizes and higher complexities of their genomes. Here we proposed EUPAN, a eukaryotic pan-genome analysis toolkit, enabling automatic large-scale eukaryotic pan-genome analyses and detection of gene PAVs at a relatively low sequencing depth. In the previous studies, we demonstrated the effectiveness and high accuracy of EUPAN in the pan-genome analysis of 453 rice genomes, in which we also revealed widespread gene PAVs among individual rice genomes. Moreover, EUPAN can be directly applied to the current re-sequencing projects primarily focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms. EUPAN is implemented in Perl, R and C ++. It is supported under Linux and preferred for a computer cluster with LSF and SLURM job scheduling system. EUPAN together with its standard operating procedure (SOP) is freely available for non-commercial use (CC BY-NC 4.0) at http://cgm.sjtu.edu.cn/eupan/index.html . ccwei@sjtu.edu.cn or jianxin.shi@sjtu.edu.cn. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  1. The maize genome as a model for efficient sequence analysis of large plant genomes.

    PubMed

    Rabinowicz, Pablo D; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L

    2006-04-01

    The genomes of flowering plants vary in size from about 0.1 to over 100 gigabase pairs (Gbp), mostly because of polyploidy and variation in the abundance of repetitive elements in intergenic regions. High-quality sequences of the relatively small genomes of Arabidopsis (0.14 Gbp) and rice (0.4 Gbp) have now been largely completed. The sequencing of plant genomes that have a more representative size (the mean for flowering plant genomes is 5.6 Gbp) has been seen as a daunting task, partly because of their size and partly because of the numerous highly conserved repeats. Nevertheless, creative strategies and powerful new tools have been generated recently in the plant genetics community, so that sequencing large plant genomes is now a realistic possibility. Maize (2.4-2.7 Gbp) will be the first gigabase-size plant genome to be sequenced using these novel approaches. Pilot studies on maize indicate that the new gene-enrichment, gene-finishing and gene-orientation technologies are efficient, robust and comprehensive. These strategies will succeed in sequencing the gene-space of large genome plants, and in locating all of these genes and adjacent sequences on the genetic and physical maps.

  2. Invasive hybrid tiger salamander genotypes impact native amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M

    2009-07-07

    Although the ecological consequences of species invasions are well studied, the ecological impacts of genetic introgression through hybridization are less understood. This is particularly true of the impacts of hybridization on "third party" community members not genetically involved in hybridization. We also know little about how direct interactions between hybrid and parental individuals influence fitness. Here, we examined the ecological effects of hybridization between the native, threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). Native x introduced hybrids are widespread in California, where they are top predators in seasonal ponds. We examined the impacts of early generation hybrids (first 2 generations of parental crosses) and contemporary hybrids derived from ponds where hybrids have been under selection in the wild for 20 generations. We found that most classes of hybrid tiger salamander larvae dramatically reduced survival of 2 native community members, the Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) and the California Newt (Taricha torosa). We also found that native A. californiense larvae were negatively impacted by the presence of hybrid larvae: Native survival and size at metamorphosis were reduced and time to metamorphosis was extended. We also observed a large influence of Mendelian dominance on size, metamorphic timing and predation rate of hybrid tiger salamanders. These results suggest that both genetic and ecological factors are likely to influence the dynamics of admixture, and that tiger salamander hybridization might constitute a threat to additional pond-breeding species of concern in the region.

  3. Invasive hybrid tiger salamander genotypes impact native amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Maureen E.; Johnson, Jarrett R.; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M.

    2009-01-01

    Although the ecological consequences of species invasions are well studied, the ecological impacts of genetic introgression through hybridization are less understood. This is particularly true of the impacts of hybridization on “third party” community members not genetically involved in hybridization. We also know little about how direct interactions between hybrid and parental individuals influence fitness. Here, we examined the ecological effects of hybridization between the native, threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). Native x introduced hybrids are widespread in California, where they are top predators in seasonal ponds. We examined the impacts of early generation hybrids (first 2 generations of parental crosses) and contemporary hybrids derived from ponds where hybrids have been under selection in the wild for 20 generations. We found that most classes of hybrid tiger salamander larvae dramatically reduced survival of 2 native community members, the Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) and the California Newt (Taricha torosa). We also found that native A. californiense larvae were negatively impacted by the presence of hybrid larvae: Native survival and size at metamorphosis were reduced and time to metamorphosis was extended. We also observed a large influence of Mendelian dominance on size, metamorphic timing and predation rate of hybrid tiger salamanders. These results suggest that both genetic and ecological factors are likely to influence the dynamics of admixture, and that tiger salamander hybridization might constitute a threat to additional pond-breeding species of concern in the region. PMID:19564601

  4. Salamander paedomorphosis: linking thyroid hormone to life history and life cycle evolution.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Carlena K; Voss, S Randal

    2013-01-01

    Many salamanders have biphasic life cycles with aquatic larval and terrestrial adult phases. In these species, the transition between phases-metamorphosis-requires thyroid hormone (TH) activation of transcriptional programs that cause regression of larval traits and development of adult traits. During salamander evolution, TH signaling pathways have been altered in biphasic species to yield paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits and attain sexual maturity in larval aquatic habitats. We review literature concerning the ecology, evolution, and hormonal regulation of metamorphic, paedomorphic, and facultative salamander life histories. We then discuss recent microarray results that detail gene expression signatures of metamorphosis and paedomorphosis, and genetic results that establish TH responsiveness as a continuous trait with a quantitative trait locus (QTL) basis. TH-responsive QTL from ambystomatid salamanders explain variation in metamorphic timing, expression of metamorphosis versus paedomorphosis, and adult fitness traits. We propose a model for salamander life history evolution that links adaptation to aquatic habitats with TH-responsive loci that pleiotropically alter metamorphic timing and adult body size. Future studies that adopt genetic and genomic approaches will further establish salamanders as ideal models for investigating TH signaling mechanisms that regulate postembryonic development and the expression of alternate life histories.

  5. Large-scale genomic analysis of ovarian carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Gorringe, Kylie L; Campbell, Ian G

    2009-04-01

    Epithelial ovarian cancers are typified by frequent genomic aberrations that have been difficult to unravel. Recently, high-resolution array technologies have provided the first glimpse of the remarkable complexity of these aberrations with some ovarian cancers containing hundreds of copy number breakpoints, micro-deletions and amplifications. Many of these alterations contain cancer-related genes suggesting that the majority is disease-associated and not just the product of random genomic instability. Future developments such as next-generation sequencing and integrated analysis of data from multiple array platforms on large numbers of samples are poised to revolutionize our understanding of this complex disease.

  6. From lamprey to salamander: an exploratory modeling study on the architecture of the spinal locomotor networks in the salamander.

    PubMed

    Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    The evolutionary transition from water to land required new locomotor modes and corresponding adjustments of the spinal "central pattern generators" for locomotion. Salamanders resemble the first terrestrial tetrapods and represent a key animal for the study of these changes. Based on recent physiological data from salamanders, and previous work on the swimming, limbless lamprey, we present a model of the basic oscillatory network in the salamander spinal cord, the spinal segment. Model neurons are of the Hodgkin-Huxley type. Spinal hemisegments contain sparsely connected excitatory and inhibitory neuron populations, and are coupled to a contralateral hemisegment. The model yields a large range of experimental findings, especially the NMDA-induced oscillations observed in isolated axial hemisegments and segments of the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. The model reproduces most of the effects of the blockade of AMPA synapses, glycinergic synapses, calcium-activated potassium current, persistent sodium current, and [Formula: see text]-current. Driving segments with a population of brainstem neurons yields fast oscillations in the in vivo swimming frequency range. A minimal modification to the conductances involved in burst-termination yields the slower stepping frequency range. Slow oscillators can impose their frequency on fast oscillators, as is likely the case during gait transitions from swimming to stepping. Our study shows that a lamprey-like network can potentially serve as a building block of axial and limb oscillators for swimming and stepping in salamanders.

  7. Landmark learning by juvenile salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).

    PubMed

    Heuring, Whitney L; Mathis, Alicia

    2014-10-01

    Learning to use a landmark as a beacon to locate resources is one of the simplest forms of spatial learning. We tested whether landmark learning occurs in a semifossorial salamander that migrates annually to breeding ponds as adults. Juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were tested in square containers with a plastic feeding dish in each corner, and a piece of earthworm was placed in one randomly-chosen dish. For landmark-trained salamanders, a rock was placed beside the dish containing the prey. For control salamanders, the rock was placed beside a randomly selected feeding dish. Each salamander was trained once every 2 days for 30 days. Significantly more landmark-trained salamanders than control salamanders entered the landmark area first, and landmark-trained individuals had faster latencies to enter the landmark area and longer stay-times. These results suggest that spotted salamanders are able to locate resources by associating their positions with landmarks.

  8. Next-generation sequencing and large genome assemblies.

    PubMed

    Henson, Joseph; Tischler, German; Ning, Zemin

    2012-06-01

    The next-generation sequencing (NGS) revolution has drastically reduced time and cost requirements for sequencing of large genomes, and also qualitatively changed the problem of assembly. This article reviews the state of the art in de novo genome assembly, paying particular attention to mammalian-sized genomes. The strengths and weaknesses of the main sequencing platforms are highlighted, leading to a discussion of assembly and the new challenges associated with NGS data. Current approaches to assembly are outlined and the various software packages available are introduced and compared. The question of whether quality assemblies can be produced using short-read NGS data alone, or whether it must be combined with more expensive sequencing techniques, is considered. Prospects for future assemblers and tests of assembly performance are also discussed.

  9. Next-generation sequencing and large genome assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Joseph; Tischler, German; Ning, Zemin

    2012-01-01

    The next-generation sequencing (NGS) revolution has drastically reduced time and cost requirements for sequencing of large genomes, and also qualitatively changed the problem of assembly. This article reviews the state of the art in de novo genome assembly, paying particular attention to mammalian-sized genomes. The strengths and weaknesses of the main sequencing platforms are highlighted, leading to a discussion of assembly and the new challenges associated with NGS data. Current approaches to assembly are outlined and the various software packages available are introduced and compared. The question of whether quality assemblies can be produced using short-read NGS data alone, or whether it must be combined with more expensive sequencing techniques, is considered. Prospects for future assemblers and tests of assembly performance are also discussed. PMID:22676195

  10. Genome resequencing in Populus: Revealing large-scale genome variation and implications on specialized-trait genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Muchero, Wellington; Labbe, Jessy L; Priya, Ranjan; DiFazio, Steven P; Tuskan, Gerald A

    2014-01-01

    To date, Populus ranks among a few plant species with a complete genome sequence and other highly developed genomic resources. With the first genome sequence among all tree species, Populus has been adopted as a suitable model organism for genomic studies in trees. However, far from being just a model species, Populus is a key renewable economic resource that plays a significant role in providing raw materials for the biofuel and pulp and paper industries. Therefore, aside from leading frontiers of basic tree molecular biology and ecological research, Populus leads frontiers in addressing global economic challenges related to fuel and fiber production. The latter fact suggests that research aimed at improving quality and quantity of Populus as a raw material will likely drive the pursuit of more targeted and deeper research in order to unlock the economic potential tied in molecular biology processes that drive this tree species. Advances in genome sequence-driven technologies, such as resequencing individual genotypes, which in turn facilitates large scale SNP discovery and identification of large scale polymorphisms are key determinants of future success in these initiatives. In this treatise we discuss implications of genome sequence-enable technologies on Populus genomic and genetic studies of complex and specialized-traits.

  11. [Phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella based on variability of nuclear genes].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2015-01-01

    Based on sequence variation of three nuclear genome genes (BDNF, POMC, and RAG1), the phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander (S. keyserlingii) and Schrenk salamander (S. schrenkii), were examined. Both species demonstrated high levels of heterozygosity determined by intraspecific polymorphism. Fixed interspecific differences were revealed at one nucleotide position of the RAG1 gene, and thus the level of interspecific divergence over the three genes constituted only 0.04%. Analysis of the RAG1 polymorphism across the whole range of S. keyserlingii showed that only one gene variant, encoding for modified RAG1 recombinase, had the highest distribution to the north of the Amur region (west and northeast of Siberia). It is possible that the changes in the RAG1 gene in Siberian salamander are of an adaptive nature. However, cases of interspecific hybridization were identified in Jewish autonomous oblast (JAO), which contains one of the range borders between the two Salamandrella species.

  12. Genomic divergences among cattle, dog and human estimated from large-scale alignments of genomic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Liu, George E; Matukumalli, Lakshmi K; Sonstegard, Tad S; Shade, Larry L; Van Tassell, Curtis P

    2006-01-01

    Background Approximately 11 Mb of finished high quality genomic sequences were sampled from cattle, dog and human to estimate genomic divergences and their regional variation among these lineages. Results Optimal three-way multi-species global sequence alignments for 84 cattle clones or loci (each >50 kb of genomic sequence) were constructed using the human and dog genome assemblies as references. Genomic divergences and substitution rates were examined for each clone and for various sequence classes under different functional constraints. Analysis of these alignments revealed that the overall genomic divergences are relatively constant (0.32–0.37 change/site) for pairwise comparisons among cattle, dog and human; however substitution rates vary across genomic regions and among different sequence classes. A neutral mutation rate (2.0–2.2 × 10(-9) change/site/year) was derived from ancestral repetitive sequences, whereas the substitution rate in coding sequences (1.1 × 10(-9) change/site/year) was approximately half of the overall rate (1.9–2.0 × 10(-9) change/site/year). Relative rate tests also indicated that cattle have a significantly faster rate of substitution as compared to dog and that this difference is about 6%. Conclusion This analysis provides a large-scale and unbiased assessment of genomic divergences and regional variation of substitution rates among cattle, dog and human. It is expected that these data will serve as a baseline for future mammalian molecular evolution studies. PMID:16759380

  13. Genomic evidence for a large-Z effect.

    PubMed

    Ellegren, Hans

    2009-01-22

    The 'large-X effect' suggests that sex chromosomes play a disproportionate role in adaptive evolution. Theoretical work indicates that this effect may be most pronounced in genetic systems with female heterogamety under both good-genes and Fisher's runaway models of sexual selection (males ZZ, females ZW). Here, I use a comparative genomic approach (alignments of several thousands of chicken-zebra finch-human-mouse-opossum orthologues) to show that avian Z-linked genes are highly overrepresented among those bird-mammalian orthologues that show evidence of accelerated rate of functional evolution in birds relative to mammals; the data suggest a twofold excess of such genes on the Z chromosome. A reciprocal analysis of genes accelerated in mammals found no evidence for an excess of X-linkage. This would be compatible with theoretical expectations for differential selection on sex-linked genes under male and female heterogamety, although the power in this case was not sufficient to statistically show that 'large-Z' was more pronounced than 'large-X'. Accelerated Z-linked genes include a variety of functional categories and are characterized by higher non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rate ratios than both accelerated autosomal and non-accelerated genes. This points at a genomic 'large-Z effect', which is widespread and of general significance for adaptive divergence in birds.

  14. Large-Scale Sequencing: The Future of Genomic Sciences Colloquium

    SciTech Connect

    Margaret Riley; Merry Buckley

    2009-01-01

    Genetic sequencing and the various molecular techniques it has enabled have revolutionized the field of microbiology. Examining and comparing the genetic sequences borne by microbes - including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and microbial eukaryotes - provides researchers insights into the processes microbes carry out, their pathogenic traits, and new ways to use microorganisms in medicine and manufacturing. Until recently, sequencing entire microbial genomes has been laborious and expensive, and the decision to sequence the genome of an organism was made on a case-by-case basis by individual researchers and funding agencies. Now, thanks to new technologies, the cost and effort of sequencing is within reach for even the smallest facilities, and the ability to sequence the genomes of a significant fraction of microbial life may be possible. The availability of numerous microbial genomes will enable unprecedented insights into microbial evolution, function, and physiology. However, the current ad hoc approach to gathering sequence data has resulted in an unbalanced and highly biased sampling of microbial diversity. A well-coordinated, large-scale effort to target the breadth and depth of microbial diversity would result in the greatest impact. The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium to discuss the scientific benefits of engaging in a large-scale, taxonomically-based sequencing project. A group of individuals with expertise in microbiology, genomics, informatics, ecology, and evolution deliberated on the issues inherent in such an effort and generated a set of specific recommendations for how best to proceed. The vast majority of microbes are presently uncultured and, thus, pose significant challenges to such a taxonomically-based approach to sampling genome diversity. However, we have yet to even scratch the surface of the genomic diversity among cultured microbes. A coordinated sequencing effort of cultured organisms is an appropriate place to begin

  15. Annotation-based genome-wide SNP discovery in the large and complex Aegilops tauschii genome using next-generation sequencing without a reference genome sequence

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    An annotation-based, genome-wide SNP discovery pipeline is reported using NGS data for large and complex genomes without a reference genome sequence. Roche 454 shotgun reads with low genome coverage of one genotype are annotated in order to distinguish single-copy sequences and repeat junctions fr...

  16. A large and diverse collection of bovine genome sequences from the Canadian Cattle Genome Project.

    PubMed

    Stothard, Paul; Liao, Xiaoping; Arantes, Adriano S; De Pauw, Mary; Coros, Colin; Plastow, Graham S; Sargolzaei, Mehdi; Crowley, John J; Basarab, John A; Schenkel, Flavio; Moore, Stephen; Miller, Stephen P

    2015-01-01

    The Canadian Cattle Genome Project is a large-scale international project that aims to develop genomics-based tools to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of beef and dairy production. Obtaining DNA sequence information is an important part of achieving this goal as it facilitates efforts to associate specific DNA differences with phenotypic variation. These associations can be used to guide breeding decisions and provide valuable insight into the molecular basis of traits. We describe a dataset of 379 whole-genome sequences, taken primarily from key historic Bos taurus animals, along with the analyses that were performed to assess data quality. The sequenced animals represent ten populations relevant to beef or dairy production. Animal information (name, breed, population), sequence data metrics (mapping rate, depth, concordance), and sequence repository identifiers (NCBI BioProject and BioSample IDs) are provided to enable others to access and exploit this sequence information. The large number of whole-genome sequences generated as a result of this project will contribute to ongoing work aiming to catalogue the variation that exists in cattle as well as efforts to improve traits through genotype-guided selection. Studies of gene function, population structure, and sequence evolution are also likely to benefit from the availability of this resource.

  17. A single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders.

    PubMed

    Greenwald, Katherine R; Lisle Gibbs, H

    2012-03-01

    Unisexual (all female) salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are animals of variable ploidy (2N-5N) that reproduce via a unique system of 'leaky' gynogenesis. As a result, these salamanders have a diverse array of nuclear genome combinations from up to five sexual species: the blue-spotted (A. laterale), Jefferson (A. jeffersonianum), smallmouth (A. texanum), tiger (A. tigrinum) and streamside (A. barbouri) salamanders. Identifying the genome complement, or biotype, is a critical first step in addressing a broad range of ecological and evolutionary questions about these salamanders. Previous work relied upon genome-related differences in allele size distributions for specific microsatellite loci, but overlap in these distributions among different genomes makes definitive identification and ploidy determination in unisexuals difficult or impossible. Here, we develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual biotypes, based on species-specific nucleotide polymorphisms in noncoding DNA loci. Tests with simulated and natural unisexual DNA samples show that this method can accurately identify genome complement and estimate ploidy, making this a valuable tool for assessing the genome composition of unisexual samples.

  18. Digit reduction, body size, and paedomorphosis in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J; Hoverman, Jason T

    2008-01-01

    The loss of digits is a widespread evolutionary trend in tetrapods which occurs in nearly every major clade. Alberch and Gale showed that the order in which digits are evolutionarily lost in salamanders versus frogs corresponds to the order in which they develop in each group, providing a classic example of developmental constraint. However, what actually drives the loss of digits in salamanders has remained unclear. Alberch and Gale suggested that loss of digits might be associated with paedomorphosis or with reduced body size. We test these hypotheses by combining morphometric and phylogenetic information for 98 species of salamanders. We find that digit loss is associated with both paedomorphosis and reduction in body size. However, these trends are surprisingly contradictory, in that paedomorphosis is significantly associated with an increase in body size in salamanders. Thus, much of the extreme digit reduction is found in the smaller species within paedomorphic clades that have, on average, unusually large body size. Our results show that the consequences of changes in body size on morphology are highly context dependent. We also show (possibly for the first time) a significant association between paedomorphosis and increased body size, rather than the expected association with reduced body size.

  19. The ClinSeq Project: Piloting large-scale genome sequencing for research in genomic medicine

    PubMed Central

    Biesecker, Leslie G.; Mullikin, James C.; Facio, Flavia M.; Turner, Clesson; Cherukuri, Praveen F.; Blakesley, Robert W.; Bouffard, Gerard G.; Chines, Peter S.; Cruz, Pedro; Hansen, Nancy F.; Teer, Jamie K.; Maskeri, Baishali; Young, Alice C.; Manolio, Teri A.; Wilson, Alexander F.; Finkel, Toren; Hwang, Paul; Arai, Andrew; Remaley, Alan T.; Sachdev, Vandana; Shamburek, Robert; Cannon, Richard O.; Green, Eric D.

    2009-01-01

    ClinSeq is a pilot project to investigate the use of whole-genome sequencing as a tool for clinical research. By piloting the acquisition of large amounts of DNA sequence data from individual human subjects, we are fostering the development of hypothesis-generating approaches for performing research in genomic medicine, including the exploration of issues related to the genetic architecture of disease, implementation of genomic technology, informed consent, disclosure of genetic information, and archiving, analyzing, and displaying sequence data. In the initial phase of ClinSeq, we are enrolling roughly 1000 participants; the evaluation of each includes obtaining a detailed family and medical history, as well as a clinical evaluation. The participants are being consented broadly for research on many traits and for whole-genome sequencing. Initially, Sanger-based sequencing of 300–400 genes thought to be relevant to atherosclerosis is being performed, with the resulting data analyzed for rare, high-penetrance variants associated with specific clinical traits. The participants are also being consented to allow the contact of family members for additional studies of sequence variants to explore their potential association with specific phenotypes. Here, we present the general considerations in designing ClinSeq, preliminary results based on the generation of an initial 826 Mb of sequence data, the findings for several genes that serve as positive controls for the project, and our views about the potential implications of ClinSeq. The early experiences with ClinSeq illustrate how large-scale medical sequencing can be a practical, productive, and critical component of research in genomic medicine. PMID:19602640

  20. Optimizing restriction fragment fingerprinting methods for ordering large genomic libraries

    SciTech Connect

    Branscomb, E.; Slezak, T.; Pae, R.; Carrano, A.V. ); Galas, D.; Waterman, M. )

    1990-01-01

    The authors present a statistical analysis of the problem of ordering large genomic cloned libraries through overlap detection based on restriction fingerprinting. Such ordering projects involve a large investment of effort involving many repetitious experiments. Their primary purpose here is to provide methods of maximizing the efficiency of such efforts. To this end, they adopt a statistical approach that uses the likelihood ratio as a statistic to detect overlap. The main advantages of this approach are that (1) it allows the relatively straightforward incorporation of the observed statistical properties of the data; (2) it permits the efficiency of a particular experimental method for detecting overlap to be quantitatively defined so that alternative experimental designs may be compared and optimized; and (3) it yields a direct estimate of the probability that any two library members overlap. This estimate is a critical tool for the accurate, automatic assembly of overlapping sets of fragments into islands called contigs.' These contigs must subsequently be connected by other methods to provide an ordered set of overlapping fragments covering the entire genome.

  1. The detection of large deletions or duplications in genomic DNA.

    PubMed

    Armour, J A L; Barton, D E; Cockburn, D J; Taylor, G R

    2002-11-01

    While methods for the detection of point mutations and small insertions or deletions in genomic DNA are well established, the detection of larger (>100 bp) genomic duplications or deletions can be more difficult. Most mutation scanning methods use PCR as a first step, but the subsequent analyses are usually qualitative rather than quantitative. Gene dosage methods based on PCR need to be quantitative (i.e., they should report molar quantities of starting material) or semi-quantitative (i.e., they should report gene dosage relative to an internal standard). Without some sort of quantitation, heterozygous deletions and duplications may be overlooked and therefore be under-ascertained. Gene dosage methods provide the additional benefit of reporting allele drop-out in the PCR. This could impact on SNP surveys, where large-scale genotyping may miss null alleles. Here we review recent developments in techniques for the detection of this type of mutation and compare their relative strengths and weaknesses. We emphasize that comprehensive mutation analysis should include scanning for large insertions and deletions and duplications. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Genomic Characterization of Large Heterochromatic Gaps in the Human Genome Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Altemose, Nicolas; Miga, Karen H.; Maggioni, Mauro; Willard, Huntington F.

    2014-01-01

    The largest gaps in the human genome assembly correspond to multi-megabase heterochromatic regions composed primarily of two related families of tandem repeats, Human Satellites 2 and 3 (HSat2,3). The abundance of repetitive DNA in these regions challenges standard mapping and assembly algorithms, and as a result, the sequence composition and potential biological functions of these regions remain largely unexplored. Furthermore, existing genomic tools designed to predict consensus-based descriptions of repeat families cannot be readily applied to complex satellite repeats such as HSat2,3, which lack a consistent repeat unit reference sequence. Here we present an alignment-free method to characterize complex satellites using whole-genome shotgun read datasets. Utilizing this approach, we classify HSat2,3 sequences into fourteen subfamilies and predict their chromosomal distributions, resulting in a comprehensive satellite reference database to further enable genomic studies of heterochromatic regions. We also identify 1.3 Mb of non-repetitive sequence interspersed with HSat2,3 across 17 unmapped assembly scaffolds, including eight annotated gene predictions. Finally, we apply our satellite reference database to high-throughput sequence data from 396 males to estimate array size variation of the predominant HSat3 array on the Y chromosome, confirming that satellite array sizes can vary between individuals over an order of magnitude (7 to 98 Mb) and further demonstrating that array sizes are distributed differently within distinct Y haplogroups. In summary, we present a novel framework for generating initial reference databases for unassembled genomic regions enriched with complex satellite DNA, and we further demonstrate the utility of these reference databases for studying patterns of sequence variation within human populations. PMID:24831296

  3. Rapid construction of genome map for large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) by the whole-genome mapping in BioNano Genomics Irys system.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Shijun; Li, Jiongtang; Ma, Fengshou; Fang, Lujing; Xu, Shuangbin; Chen, Wei; Wang, Zhi Yong

    2015-09-03

    Large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) is an important commercial fish in China and East-Asia. The annual product of the species from the aqua-farming industry is about 90 thousand tons. In spite of its economic importance, genetic studies of economic traits and genomic selections of the species are hindered by the lack of genomic resources. Specifically, a whole-genome physical map of large yellow croaker is still missing. The traditional BAC-based fingerprint method is extremely time- and labour-consuming. Here we report the first genome map construction using the high-throughput whole-genome mapping technique by nanochannel arrays in BioNano Genomics Irys system. For an optimal marker density of ~10 per 100 kb, the nicking endonuclease Nt.BspQ1 was chosen for the genome map generation. 645,305 DNA molecules with a total length of ~112 Gb were labelled and detected, covering more than 160X of the large yellow croaker genome. Employing IrysView package and signature patterns in raw DNA molecules, a whole-genome map of large yellow croaker was assembled into 686 maps with a total length of 727 Mb, which was consistent with the estimated genome size. The N50 length of the whole-genome map, including 126 maps, was up to 1.7 Mb. The excellent hybrid alignment with large yellow croaker draft genome validated the consensus genome map assembly and highlighted a promising application of whole-genome mapping on draft genome sequence super-scaffolding. The genome map data of large yellow croaker are accessible on lycgenomics.jmu.edu.cn/pm. Using the state-of-the-art whole-genome mapping technique in Irys system, the first whole-genome map for large yellow croaker has been constructed and thus highly facilitates the ongoing genomic and evolutionary studies for the species. To our knowledge, this is the first public report on genome map construction by the whole-genome mapping for aquatic-organisms. Our study demonstrates a promising application of the whole-genome

  4. Age-related changes in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Townes-Anderson, E; Colantonio, A; St Jules, R S

    1998-05-01

    Tiger salamanders have been used in visual science because of the large size of their cells and the ease of preparation and maintenance of in vitro retinal preparations. We have found that salamanders over 27 cm in length show a variety of visual abnormalities. Compared to smaller animals (15-23 cm), large animals exhibited a decrease in visual responses determined by tests of the optomotor reflex. Small animals responded correctly an average of 84.5% of the time in visual testing at three light levels compared to an average of 68.4% for the large animals with the poorest visual performance at the lowest level of illumination. In addition, large animals contained (i) histological degeneration of the outer retina, in particular, loss and disruption of outer segments and abnormalities of the retinal pigmented epithelium, (ii) loss of cells, including photoreceptors, by apoptosis as evaluated with the TUNEL technique, and (iii) an increase in the number of macrophages and lymphocytes within the retina as determined by morphological examination. These histological changes were present in all large animals and all quadrants of their retinas. In contrast, small animals showed virtually no retinal degeneration, no TUNEL-positive cells, and few immune-like cells in the retina. Since large animals are also older animals. the visual changes are age-related. Loss of visual function and histological degeneration in the outer retina also typify aged human eyes. Thus, we propose that large salamanders serve as an animal model for age-related retinal degeneration. In addition to providing a source of aging retina that is readily accessible to experimental manipulation, the salamander provides a pigmented retina with a mixed (2:1, rod:cone) population of photoreceptors, similar to the degeneration-prone parafoveal region of the human eye.

  5. Methodological considerations for detection of terrestrial small-body salamander eDNA and implications for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Walker, Donald M; Leys, Jacob E; Dunham, Kelly E; Oliver, Joshua C; Schiller, Emily E; Stephenson, Kelsey S; Kimrey, John T; Wooten, Jessica; Rogers, Mark W

    2017-03-15

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used as an assessment tool to detect populations of threatened species and provide fine-scale data required to make management decisions. The objectives of this project were to use quantitative PCR (qPCR) to: (i) detect spiked salamander DNA in soil, (ii) quantify eDNA degradation over time, (iii) determine detectability of salamander eDNA in a terrestrial environment using soil, faeces, and skin swabs, (iv) detect salamander eDNA in a mesocosm experiment. Salamander eDNA was positively detected in 100% of skin swabs and 66% of faecal samples and concentrations did not differ between the two sources. However, eDNA was not detected in soil samples collected from directly underneath wild-caught living salamanders. Salamander genomic DNA (gDNA) was detected in all qPCR reactions when spiked into soil at 10.0, 5.0, and 1.0 ng/g soil and spike concentration had a significant effect on detected concentrations. Only 33% of samples showed recoverable eDNA when spiked with 0.25 ng/g soil, which was the low end of eDNA detection. To determine the rate of eDNA degradation, gDNA (1 ng/g soil) was spiked into soil and quantified over seven days. Salamander eDNA concentrations decreased across days, but eDNA was still amplifiable at day 7. Salamander eDNA was detected in two of 182 mesocosm soil samples over 12 weeks (n = 52 control samples; n = 65 presence samples; n = 65 eviction samples). The discrepancy in detection success between experiments indicates the potential challenges for this method to be used as a monitoring technique for small-bodied wild terrestrial salamander populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Estimation of stream salamander (Plethodontidae, Desmognathinae and Plethodontinae) populations in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Sauer, J.R.; Addison, C.; Rau, R.D.; Shirk, J.L.; Whissel, J.C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders in the family Plethodontidae constitute a large biomass in and near headwater streams in the eastern United States and are promising indicators of stream ecosystem health. Many studies of stream salamanders have relied on population indices based on counts rather than population estimates based on techniques such as capture-recapture and removal. Application of estimation procedures allows the calculation of detection probabilities (the proportion of total animals present that are detected during a survey) and their associated sampling error, and may be essential for determining salamander population sizes and trends. In 1999, we conducted capture-recapture and removal population estimation methods for Desmognathus salamanders at six streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA. Removal sampling appeared more efficient and detection probabilities from removal data were higher than those from capture-recapture. During 2001-2004, we used removal estimation at eight streams in the park to assess the usefulness of this technique for long-term monitoring of stream salamanders. Removal detection probabilities ranged from 0.39 to 0.96 for Desmognathus, 0.27 to 0.89 for Eurycea and 0.27 to 0.75 for northern spring (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) and northern red (Pseudotriton ruber) salamanders across stream transects. Detection probabilities did not differ across years for Desmognathus and Eurycea, but did differ among streams for Desmognathus. Population estimates of Desmognathus decreased between 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 which may be related to changes in stream flow conditions. Removal-based procedures may be a feasible approach for population estimation of salamanders, but field methods should be designed to meet the assumptions of the sampling procedures. New approaches to estimating stream salamander populations are discussed.

  7. Dramatic declines in neotropical salamander populations are an important part of the global amphibian crisis

    PubMed Central

    Rovito, Sean M.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Vásquez-Almazán, Carlos R.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    We document major declines of many species of salamanders at several sites in Central America and Mexico, with emphasis on the San Marcos region of Guatemala, one of the best studied and most diverse salamander communities in the Neotropics. Profound declines of several formerly abundant species, including 2 apparent extinctions, are revealed. Terrestrial microhabitat specialists at mid- to high elevations have declined more than microhabitat generalists. These terrestrial microhabitat specialists have largely disappeared from multiple sites in western Guatemala, including in well-protected areas, suggesting that the phenomenon cannot be explained solely by localized habitat destruction. Major declines in southern Mexican plethodontid salamanders occurred in the late 1970s to early 1980s, concurrent with or preceding many reported frog declines. The species in decline comprise several major evolutionary lineages of tropical salamanders, underscoring that significant portions of the phylogenetic diversity of Neotropical salamanders are at risk. Our results highlight the urgent need to document and understand Neotropical salamander declines as part of the larger effort to conserve global amphibian diversity. PMID:19204286

  8. Pathology, isolation, and preliminary molecular characterization of a novel iridovirus from tiger salamanders in Saskatchewan.

    PubMed

    Bollinger, T K; Mao, J; Schock, D; Brigham, R M; Chinchar, V G

    1999-07-01

    All iridovirus was confirmed to be the cause of an epizootic in larval and adult tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli) from four separate ponds in southern Saskatchewan (Canada) during the summer of 1997. This organism also is suspected, based on electron microscopic findings, to be the cause of mortality of larval tiger salamanders in a pond over 200 km to the north during the same year. Salamanders developed a generalized viremia which resulted in various lesions including: necrotizing, vesicular and ulcerative dermatitis; gastrointestinal ulceration; and necrosis of hepatic, splenic, renal, lymphoid, and hematopoietic tissues. In cells associated with these lesions, large lightly basophilic cytoplasmic inclusions and vacuolated nuclei with marginated chromatin were consistently found. Virus was isolated from tissue homogenates of infected salamanders following inoculation of epithelioma papilloma cyprini (EPC) cells. The virus, provisionally designated Regina ranavirus (RRV), was initially identified as an iridovirus by electron microscopy. Subsequent molecular characterization, including partial sequence analysis of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene, confirmed this assignment and established that RRV was a ranavirus distinct from frog virus 3 (FV3) and other members of the genus Ranavirus. Intraperitoneal inoculation of 5 x 10(6.23) TCID50 of the field isolate caused mortality in inoculated salamanders at 13 days post infection. Field, clinical, and molecular studies jointly suggest that the etiological agent of recent salamander mortalities is a highly infectious novel ranavirus.

  9. Thermal equilibrium and temperature differences among body regions in European plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Canciani, Giancarlo; Scarì, Giorgio; Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2016-08-01

    Information on species thermal physiology is extremely important to understand species responses to environmental heterogeneity and changes. Thermography is an emerging technology that allows high resolution and accurate measurement of body temperature, but until now it has not been used to study thermal physiology of amphibians in the wild. Hydromantes terrestrial salamanders are strongly depending on ambient temperature for their activity and gas exchanges, but information on their body temperature is extremely limited. In this study we tested if Hydromantes salamanders are thermoconform, we assessed whether there are temperature differences among body regions, and evaluated the time required to reach the thermal equilibrium. During summers of 2014 and 2015 we analysed 56 salamanders (Hydromantes ambrosii and Hydromantes italicus) using infrared thermocamera. We photographed salamanders at the moment in which we found them and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 15min after having kept them in the hands. Body temperature was equal to air temperature; salamanders attained the equilibrium with air temperature in about 8min, the time required to reach equilibrium was longer in individuals with large body size. We detected small temperature differences between body parts, the head being slightly warmer than the body and the tail (mean difference: 0.05°C). These salamanders quickly reach the equilibrium with the environment, thus microhabitat measurement allows obtaining accurate information on their tolerance limits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Comparative genomic hybridizations reveal absence of large Streptomyces coelicolor genomic islands in Streptomyces lividans

    PubMed Central

    Jayapal, Karthik P; Lian, Wei; Glod, Frank; Sherman, David H; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2007-01-01

    Background The genomes of Streptomyces coelicolor and Streptomyces lividans bear a considerable degree of synteny. While S. coelicolor is the model streptomycete for studying antibiotic synthesis and differentiation, S. lividans is almost exclusively considered as the preferred host, among actinomycetes, for cloning and expression of exogenous DNA. We used whole genome microarrays as a comparative genomics tool for identifying the subtle differences between these two chromosomes. Results We identified five large S. coelicolor genomic islands (larger than 25 kb) and 18 smaller islets absent in S. lividans chromosome. Many of these regions show anomalous GC bias and codon usage patterns. Six of them are in close vicinity of tRNA genes while nine are flanked with near perfect repeat sequences indicating that these are probable recent evolutionary acquisitions into S. coelicolor. Embedded within these segments are at least four DNA methylases and two probable methyl-sensing restriction endonucleases. Comparison with S. coelicolor transcriptome and proteome data revealed that some of the missing genes are active during the course of growth and differentiation in S. coelicolor. In particular, a pair of methylmalonyl CoA mutase (mcm) genes involved in polyketide precursor biosynthesis, an acyl-CoA dehydrogenase implicated in timing of actinorhodin synthesis and bldB, a developmentally significant regulator whose mutation causes complete abrogation of antibiotic synthesis belong to this category. Conclusion Our findings provide tangible hints for elucidating the genetic basis of important phenotypic differences between these two streptomycetes. Importantly, absence of certain genes in S. lividans identified here could potentially explain the relative ease of DNA transformations and the conditional lack of actinorhodin synthesis in S. lividans. PMID:17623098

  11. Origin and diversification of a salamander sex pheromone system.

    PubMed

    Janssenswillen, Sunita; Vandebergh, Wim; Treer, Dag; Willaert, Bert; Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-02-01

    Sex pheromones form an important facet of reproductive strategies in many organisms throughout the Animal Kingdom. One of the oldest known sex pheromones in vertebrates are proteins of the Sodefrin Precursor-like Factor (SPF) system, which already had a courtship function in early salamanders. The subsequent evolution of salamanders is characterized by a diversification in courtship and reproduction, but little is known on how the SPF pheromone system diversified in relation to changing courtship strategies. Here, we combined transcriptomic, genomic, and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the evolution of the SPF pheromone system in nine salamandrid species with distinct courtship displays. First, we show that SPF originated from vertebrate three-finger proteins and diversified through multiple gene duplications in salamanders, while remaining a single copy in frogs. Next, we demonstrate that tail-fanning newts have retained a high phylogenetic diversity of SPFs, whereas loss of tail-fanning has been associated with a reduced importance or loss of SPF expression in the cloacal region. Finally, we show that the attractant decapeptide sodefrin is cleaved from larger SPF precursors that originated by a 62 bp insertion and consequent frameshift in an ancestral Cynops lineage. This led to the birth of a new decapeptide that rapidly evolved a pheromone function independently from uncleaved proteins.

  12. A little bit is better than nothing: the incomplete parthenogenesis of salamanders, frogs and fish.

    PubMed

    Lampert, Kathrin P; Schartl, Manfred

    2010-08-03

    A re-examination of the mitochondrial genomes of unisexual salamander lineages, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, shows them to be the oldest unisexual vertebrates known, having been around for 5 million years. This presents a challenge to the prediction that lack of genetic recombination is a fast track to extinction. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/238.

  13. Volume visualization of multiple alignment of large genomicDNA

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, Nameeta; Dillard, Scott E.; Weber, Gunther H.; Hamann, Bernd

    2005-07-25

    Genomes of hundreds of species have been sequenced to date, and many more are being sequenced. As more and more sequence data sets become available, and as the challenge of comparing these massive ''billion basepair DNA sequences'' becomes substantial, so does the need for more powerful tools supporting the exploration of these data sets. Similarity score data used to compare aligned DNA sequences is inherently one-dimensional. One-dimensional (1D) representations of these data sets do not effectively utilize screen real estate. As a result, tools using 1D representations are incapable of providing informatory overview for extremely large data sets. We present a technique to arrange 1D data in 3D space to allow us to apply state-of-the-art interactive volume visualization techniques for data exploration. We demonstrate our technique using multi-millions-basepair-long aligned DNA sequence data and compare it with traditional 1D line plots. The results show that our technique is superior in providing an overview of entire data sets. Our technique, coupled with 1D line plots, results in effective multi-resolution visualization of very large aligned sequence data sets.

  14. Genomic analysis of regulatory network dynamics reveals large topological changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luscombe, Nicholas M.; Madan Babu, M.; Yu, Haiyuan; Snyder, Michael; Teichmann, Sarah A.; Gerstein, Mark

    2004-09-01

    Network analysis has been applied widely, providing a unifying language to describe disparate systems ranging from social interactions to power grids. It has recently been used in molecular biology, but so far the resulting networks have only been analysed statically. Here we present the dynamics of a biological network on a genomic scale, by integrating transcriptional regulatory information and gene-expression data for multiple conditions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We develop an approach for the statistical analysis of network dynamics, called SANDY, combining well-known global topological measures, local motifs and newly derived statistics. We uncover large changes in underlying network architecture that are unexpected given current viewpoints and random simulations. In response to diverse stimuli, transcription factors alter their interactions to varying degrees, thereby rewiring the network. A few transcription factors serve as permanent hubs, but most act transiently only during certain conditions. By studying sub-network structures, we show that environmental responses facilitate fast signal propagation (for example, with short regulatory cascades), whereas the cell cycle and sporulation direct temporal progression through multiple stages (for example, with highly inter-connected transcription factors). Indeed, to drive the latter processes forward, phase-specific transcription factors inter-regulate serially, and ubiquitously active transcription factors layer above them in a two-tiered hierarchy. We anticipate that many of the concepts presented here-particularly the large-scale topological changes and hub transience-will apply to other biological networks, including complex sub-systems in higher eukaryotes.

  15. Genomic analysis of regulatory network dynamics reveals large topological changes.

    PubMed

    Luscombe, Nicholas M; Babu, M Madan; Yu, Haiyuan; Snyder, Michael; Teichmann, Sarah A; Gerstein, Mark

    2004-09-16

    Network analysis has been applied widely, providing a unifying language to describe disparate systems ranging from social interactions to power grids. It has recently been used in molecular biology, but so far the resulting networks have only been analysed statically. Here we present the dynamics of a biological network on a genomic scale, by integrating transcriptional regulatory information and gene-expression data for multiple conditions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We develop an approach for the statistical analysis of network dynamics, called SANDY, combining well-known global topological measures, local motifs and newly derived statistics. We uncover large changes in underlying network architecture that are unexpected given current viewpoints and random simulations. In response to diverse stimuli, transcription factors alter their interactions to varying degrees, thereby rewiring the network. A few transcription factors serve as permanent hubs, but most act transiently only during certain conditions. By studying sub-network structures, we show that environmental responses facilitate fast signal propagation (for example, with short regulatory cascades), whereas the cell cycle and sporulation direct temporal progression through multiple stages (for example, with highly inter-connected transcription factors). Indeed, to drive the latter processes forward, phase-specific transcription factors inter-regulate serially, and ubiquitously active transcription factors layer above them in a two-tiered hierarchy. We anticipate that many of the concepts presented here--particularly the large-scale topological changes and hub transience--will apply to other biological networks, including complex sub-systems in higher eukaryotes.

  16. Ecological radiation with limited morphological diversification in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Blankers, Thomas; Adams, D C; Wiens, J J

    2012-04-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to explain morphological diversity among species. Many studies suggest that much morphological variation is explained by adaptation to different microhabitats. Here, we test whether morphology and microhabitat use are related in plethodontid salamanders, which contain the majority of salamander species, and have radiated into a striking diversity of microhabitats. We obtained microhabitat data for 189 species that also had both morphometric and phylogenetic data. We then tested for associations between morphology and microhabitat categories using phylogenetic comparative methods. Associations between morphology and ecology in plethodontids are largely confined to a single clade within one subfamily (Bolitoglossinae), whereas variation in morphology across other plethodontids is unrelated to microhabitat categories. These results demonstrate that ecological radiation and morphological evolution can be largely decoupled in a major clade. The results also offer a striking contrast to lizards, which typically show close relationships between morphology and microhabitat.

  17. Science Review for the Scott Bar Salamander (Plethodon asupak) and the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander (P. stormi): Biology, Taxonomy, Habitat, and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeGross, Douglas J.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The Plethodon elongatus Complex in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion of southern Oregon and northern California includes three species: the Del Norte salamander, Plethodon elongatus; the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, P. stormi; and the Scott Bar salamander, P. asupak. This review aims to summarize the current literature and information available on select topics for P. stormi and P. asupak. These are both terrestrial salamanders belonging to the Family Plethodontidae, which contains more species and has a wider geographic distribution than any other family of salamanders (Wake 1966, 2006; Pough 1989). The genera of this family have greatly diversified ecologically across North America, Central America, northern South America, Sardinia, southeastern France and northwestern Italy, and have recently been discovered on the Korean peninsula (Min et al. 2005). The genus Plethodon is found exclusively in North America and is split into three distinct clades, based upon morphology and phylogenetics (Highton and Larson 1979): eastern small Plethodon, eastern large Plethodon, and the western Plethodon. The western Plethodon are the greatest representation of Plethodontidae in the Pacific Northwest, with 8 species. The two species with the most restricted ranges of these regional congeners are the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders. These salamanders occupy the interior of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion which straddles the California and Oregon state lines, between Siskiyou County (CA) and Jackson and Josephine Counties (OR). The relatively recent discovery of P. asupak (Mead et al. 2005) and the limited range of both species have created an environment of uncertain conservation status for these species. This review will focus on four central topics of concern for land and resource managers: Biology; Taxonomy; Habitat; and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy.

  18. 'Salamander plague' on Britain's doorstep.

    PubMed

    Mills, Georgina

    2015-01-24

    Chytridiomycosis can cause mass declines in amphibians, and the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the classic cause of this disease. However, recently, a second strain of chytrid fungus has emerged in Europe, resulting in major declines in fire salamanders. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) discussed this, and the implications for the UK, at a meeting in December in London. Georgina Mills reports. British Veterinary Association.

  19. CGCI Investigators Reveal Comprehensive Landscape of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Genomes | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Researchers from British Columbia Cancer Agency used whole genome sequencing to analyze 40 DLBCL cases and 13 cell lines in order to fill in the gaps of the complex landscape of DLBCL genomes. Their analysis, “Mutational and structural analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using whole genome sequencing,” was published online in Blood on May 22. The authors are Ryan Morin, Marco Marra, and colleagues.  

  20. Evidence of a new niche for a North American salamander: Aneides vagrans residing in the canopy of old-growth redwood forest

    Treesearch

    James C. Spickler; Stephen C. Sillett; Sharyn B. Marks; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated habitat use and movements of the wandering salamander, Aneides vagrans, in an old-growth forest canopy. We conducted a mark-recapture study of salamanders in the crowns of five large redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California. This represented a first attempt to document the...

  1. Evolution and Diversity of Transposable Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Sotero-Caio, Cibele G.; Platt, Roy N.; Suh, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are selfish genetic elements that mobilize in genomes via transposition or retrotransposition and often make up large fractions of vertebrate genomes. Here, we review the current understanding of vertebrate TE diversity and evolution in the context of recent advances in genome sequencing and assembly techniques. TEs make up 4–60% of assembled vertebrate genomes, and deeply branching lineages such as ray-finned fishes and amphibians generally exhibit a higher TE diversity than the more recent radiations of birds and mammals. Furthermore, the list of taxa with exceptional TE landscapes is growing. We emphasize that the current bottleneck in genome analyses lies in the proper annotation of TEs and provide examples where superficial analyses led to misleading conclusions about genome evolution. Finally, recent advances in long-read sequencing will soon permit access to TE-rich genomic regions that previously resisted assembly including the gigantic, TE-rich genomes of salamanders and lungfishes. PMID:28158585

  2. Molecular characterization of major histocompatibility complex class II alleles in wild tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Bos, David H; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2005-11-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes are usually among the most polymorphic in vertebrate genomes because of their critical role (antigen presentation) in immune response. Prior to this study, the MHC was poorly characterized in tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), but the congeneric axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is thought to have an unusual MHC. Most notably, axolotl class II genes lack allelic variation and possess a splice variant without a full peptide binding region (PBR). The axolotl is considered immunodeficient, but it is unclear how or to what extent MHC genetics and immunodeficiency are interrelated. To study the evolution of MHC genes in urodele amphibians, we describe for the first time an expressed polymorphic class II gene in wild tiger salamanders. We sequenced the PBR of a class II gene from wild A. tigrinum (n=33) and identified nine distinct alleles. Observed heterozygosity was 73%, and there were a total of 46 polymorphic sites, most of which correspond to amino acid positions that bind peptides. Patterns of nucleotide substitutions exhibit the signature of diversifying selection, but no recombination was detected. Not surprisingly, trans-species evolution of tiger salamander and axolotl class II alleles was apparent. We have no direct data on the immunodeficiency of tiger salamanders, but the levels of polymorphism in our study population should suffice to bind a variety of foreign peptides (unlike axolotls). Our tiger salamander data suggest that the monomorphism and immunodeficiencies associated with axolotl class II genes is a relic of their unique historical demography, not their phylogenetic legacy.

  3. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period.

  4. Large-scale parallel genome assembler over cloud computing environment.

    PubMed

    Das, Arghya Kusum; Koppa, Praveen Kumar; Goswami, Sayan; Platania, Richard; Park, Seung-Jong

    2017-06-01

    The size of high throughput DNA sequencing data has already reached the terabyte scale. To manage this huge volume of data, many downstream sequencing applications started using locality-based computing over different cloud infrastructures to take advantage of elastic (pay as you go) resources at a lower cost. However, the locality-based programming model (e.g. MapReduce) is relatively new. Consequently, developing scalable data-intensive bioinformatics applications using this model and understanding the hardware environment that these applications require for good performance, both require further research. In this paper, we present a de Bruijn graph oriented Parallel Giraph-based Genome Assembler (GiGA), as well as the hardware platform required for its optimal performance. GiGA uses the power of Hadoop (MapReduce) and Giraph (large-scale graph analysis) to achieve high scalability over hundreds of compute nodes by collocating the computation and data. GiGA achieves significantly higher scalability with competitive assembly quality compared to contemporary parallel assemblers (e.g. ABySS and Contrail) over traditional HPC cluster. Moreover, we show that the performance of GiGA is significantly improved by using an SSD-based private cloud infrastructure over traditional HPC cluster. We observe that the performance of GiGA on 256 cores of this SSD-based cloud infrastructure closely matches that of 512 cores of traditional HPC cluster.

  5. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Ranaviruses, a genus of the Iridoviridae, are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect cold-blooded vertebrates worldwide. Ranaviruses have caused severe epizootics in commercial frog and fish populations, and are currently classified as notifiable pathogens in international trade. Previous work shows that a ranavirus that infects tiger salamanders throughout Western North America (Ambystoma tigrinum virus, or ATV) is in high prevalence among salamanders in the fishing bait trade. Bait ATV strains have elevated virulence and are transported long distances by humans, providing widespread opportunities for pathogen pollution. We sequenced the genomes of 15 strains of ATV collected from tiger salamanders across western North America and performed phylogenetic and population genomic analyses and tests for recombination. We find that ATV forms a monophyletic clade within the rest of the Ranaviruses and that it likely emerged within the last several thousand years, before human activities influenced its spread. We also identify several genes under strong positive selection, some of which appear to be involved in viral virulence and/or host immune evasion. In addition, we provide support for the pathogen pollution hypothesis with evidence of recombination among ATV strains, and potential bait-endemic strain recombination. PMID:26530419

  6. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2015-11-03

    Ranaviruses, a genus of the Iridoviridae, are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect cold-blooded vertebrates worldwide. Ranaviruses have caused severe epizootics in commercial frog and fish populations, and are currently classified as notifiable pathogens in international trade. Previous work shows that a ranavirus that infects tiger salamanders throughout Western North America (Ambystoma tigrinum virus, or ATV) is in high prevalence among salamanders in the fishing bait trade. Bait ATV strains have elevated virulence and are transported long distances by humans, providing widespread opportunities for pathogen pollution. We sequenced the genomes of 15 strains of ATV collected from tiger salamanders across western North America and performed phylogenetic and population genomic analyses and tests for recombination. We find that ATV forms a monophyletic clade within the rest of the Ranaviruses and that it likely emerged within the last several thousand years, before human activities influenced its spread. We also identify several genes under strong positive selection, some of which appear to be involved in viral virulence and/or host immune evasion. In addition, we provide support for the pathogen pollution hypothesis with evidence of recombination among ATV strains, and potential bait-endemic strain recombination.

  7. Sex in unisexual salamanders: discovery of a new sperm donor with ancient affinities.

    PubMed

    Bogart, J P; Bartoszek, J; Noble, D W A; Bi, K

    2009-12-01

    Although bisexual reproduction has considerable evolutionary benefits, several all-female vertebrates exist. Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are common around the Great Lakes region in eastern North America. They originated from a hybridization event that involved a female that shared a common ancestor with Ambystoma barbouri 2.4 to 3.9 million years ago but, unexpectedly, A. barbouri nuclear genomes were unknown in unisexuals. Unisexual salamanders steal sperm from donors of normally bisexual species, so their reproductive mode is described as kleptogenesis. Most known unisexuals are polyploid and they all possess at least one A. laterale genome. One or more other genomes are taken from sperm donors that may include A. jeffersonianum, A. laterale, A. texanum and A. tigrinum. We examined unisexual adults and larvae in a southern Ohio pond where unisexual individuals coexist with male A. barbouri. This population provided an opportunity to test hypotheses pertaining to the role of A. barbouri in the evolution of the disparate cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes in unisexual salamanders. Microsatellite DNA loci, mitochondrial DNA sequences and genomic in situ hybridization were used to identify the genomic constitution of individuals. A. barbouri was found to be an acceptable sperm donor for unisexuals but only contributed genomes in ploidy-elevated individuals. In the absence of A. jeffersonianum, this Ohio population is likely experiencing a recent switch in sperm donors from A. jeffersonianum to A. barbouri and demonstrates the evolutionary flexibility and dynamics of kleptogenesis.

  8. A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data.

  9. Climate change and shrinking salamanders: alternative mechanisms for changes in plethodontid salamander body size.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Crawford, John A; Peterman, William E

    2015-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated relationships between climate trends and body size change of organisms. In many cases, climate might be expected to influence body size by altering thermoregulation, energetics or food availability. However, observed body size change can result from a variety of ecological processes (e.g. growth, selection, population dynamics) or imperfect observation of biological systems. We used two extensive datasets to evaluate alternative mechanisms for recently reported changes in the observed body size of plethodontid salamanders. We found that mean adult body size of salamanders can be highly sensitive to survey conditions, particularly rainfall. This systematic bias in the detection of larger or smaller individuals could result in a signature of body size change in relation to reported climate trends when it is simply observation error. We also identify considerable variability in body size distributions among years and find that individual growth rates can be strongly influenced by weather. Finally, our study demonstrates that measures of mean adult body size can be highly variable among surveys and that large sample sizes may be required to make reliable inferences. Identifying the effects of climate change is a critical area of research in ecology and conservation. Researchers should be aware that observed changes in certain organisms can result from multiple ecological processes or systematic bias due to nonrandom sampling of populations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Effect of acute low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Marvin, Glenn A; Davis, Kayla; Dawson, Jacob

    2016-05-01

    The low-temperature limit for feeding in some salamander species (Desmognathus, Plethodontidae) has been inferred from field studies of seasonal variation in salamander activity and gut contents, which could not determine whether feeding is more dependent on environmental conditions influencing salamander foraging behavior or prey availability and movement. We performed two controlled laboratory experiments to examine the effect of short-term (acute) low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a semiaquatic plethodontid salamander (Desmognathus conanti). In the first experiment, we quantified variation in the feeding responses of cold salamanders (at 1, 3, 5 and 7°C) to a video recording of a walking, warm (15°C) cricket to determine the lower thermal limit for predatory behavior, independent of any temperature effect on movement of prey. Experimental-group salamanders exhibited vigorous feeding responses at 5 and 7°C, large variation in feeding responses both among and within individuals (over time) at 3°C, and little to no feeding response at 1°C. Feeding responses at both 1 and 3°C were significantly less than at each higher temperature, whereas responses of control-group individuals at 15°C did not vary over time. In the second experiment, we quantified feeding by cold salamanders (at 3, 5, 7 and 11°C) on live, warm crickets to examine thermal effects on prey-capture ability. The mean feeding response to live crickets was significantly less at 3°C than at higher temperatures; however, 50% of salamanders captured and ingested prey with high efficiency at this temperature. We conclude that many individuals stalk and capture prey at very low temperatures (down to 3°C). Our results support a growing body of data that indicate many plethodontid salamanders feed at temperatures only a few degrees above freezing.

  11. Identification of a non-mammalian leptin-like gene: characterization and expression in the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Boswell, Timothy; Dunn, Ian C; Wilson, Peter W; Joseph, Nerine; Burt, David W; Sharp, Peter J

    2006-04-01

    Leptin is well established as a multifunctional cytokine in mammals. However, little is known about the evolution of the leptin gene in other vertebrates. A recently published set of ESTs from the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) contains a sequence sharing 56% nucleotide sequence identity with the human leptin cDNA. To confirm that the EST is naturally expressed in the salamander, a 409bp cDNA was amplified by RT-PCR of salamander testis and stomach mRNAs. The coding sequence of the cDNA is predicted to encode 169 amino acids, and the mature peptide to consist of 146 residues, as in mammals. Although the overall amino acid identity with mammalian leptins is only 29%, the salamander and mammalian peptides share common structural features. An intron was identified between coding exons providing evidence that the sequence is present in the salamander genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed a rate of molecular divergence consistent with the accepted view of vertebrate evolution. The pattern of tissue expression of the leptin-like cDNA differed between metamorphosed adult individuals of different sizes suggesting possible developmental regulation. Expression was most prominent in the skin and testis, but was also detected in tissues in which leptin mRNA is present in mammals, including the fat body, stomach, and muscle. The characterization of a salamander leptin-like gene provides a basis for understanding how the structure and functions of leptin have altered during the evolution of tetrapod vertebrates.

  12. Salamander rods and cones contain distinct transducin alpha subunits.

    PubMed

    Ryan, J C; Znoiko, S; Xu, L; Crouch, R K; Ma, J X

    2000-01-01

    The mammalian retina is known to contain two distinct transducins that interact with their respective rod and cone pigments. However, there are no reports of a nonmammalian species having two distinct transducins. In the present study, we report the cloning and cellular localization of two transducin a subunits (G alpha t) from the tiger salamander. Through degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent screening of a salamander retina cDNA library, we have identified two forms of G alpha t. When compared to existing sequences in GenBank, the cloned subunits showed high similarity to rod and cone transducins. The salamander G alpha t-1 has 91.2-93.7% amino acid sequence identity to mammalian rod G alpha t subunits and 79.7-80.9% to mammalian cone Gats. The salamander G alpha t-2 has 86.2-87.9% sequence identity to mammalian cone G alpha ts and 78.9-80.9% to mammalian rod G alpha ts at the amino acid level. The G alpha t-1 cDNA encodes 350 amino acids while the G alpha t-2 cDNA encodes 354 residues, which is typical for rod and cone G alpha ts, respectively, and we thus identified the G alpha t- 1 as rod and G alpha t-2 as cone G alpha t. Sequences identified as effector binding sites and GTPase activity regions are highly conserved between the two subunits. Genomic Southern blot analysis showed that rod and cone G alpha t subunits are both encoded by single-copy genes. Northern blot analysis identified retina-specific transcripts of 3.0 kb for rod G alpha t and 2.6 kb for cone G alpha t. Immunohistochemistry in the flat-mounted salamander retina demonstrated that rod G alpha t is localized to rods, predominantly in the outer segments; similarly, cone G alpha t is localized to cone outer segments. The results confirm that the two sequences encode rod and cone transducins and demonstrate that this lower vertebrate contains two distinct transducins that are localized specifically to rod and cone photoreceptors.

  13. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China.

    PubMed

    Gao, K Q; Shubin, N H

    2001-03-29

    With ten extant families, salamanders (urodeles) are one of the three major groups of modern amphibians (lissamphibians). Extant salamanders are often used as a model system to assess fundamental issues of developmental, morphological and biogeographical evolution. Unfortunately, our understanding of these issues has been hampered by the paucity of fossil evidence available to assess the early history of the group. Here we report the discovery of an extraordinary sample of salamander fossils, some with rare soft-tissue impressions, from the Upper Jurassic of China. With over 500 articulated specimens, this assemblage documents the morphological diversity of early urodeles and includes larvae and adults of both neotenic and metamorphosed taxa. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that these salamanders are primitive, and reveals that all basal salamander clades have Asian distributions. This is compelling evidence for an Asian origin of Recent salamanders, as well as for an extensive and early radiation of several major lineages. These discoveries show that the evolution of salamanders has involved phylogenetic and ecological diversification around a body plan that has remained fundamentally stable for over 150 million years.

  14. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi

    2012-01-01

    The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

  15. Antarctic krill population genomics: apparent panmixia, but genome complexity and large population size muddy the water.

    PubMed

    Deagle, Bruce E; Faux, Cassandra; Kawaguchi, So; Meyer, Bettina; Jarman, Simon N

    2015-10-01

    Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba; hereafter krill) are an incredibly abundant pelagic crustacean which has a wide, but patchy, distribution in the Southern Ocean. Several studies have examined the potential for population genetic structuring in krill, but DNA-based analyses have focused on a limited number of markers and have covered only part of their circum-Antarctic range. We used mitochondrial DNA and restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) to investigate genetic differences between krill from five sites, including two from East Antarctica. Our mtDNA results show no discernible genetic structuring between sites separated by thousands of kilometres, which is consistent with previous studies. Using standard RAD-seq methodology, we obtained over a billion sequences from >140 krill, and thousands of variable nucleotides were identified at hundreds of loci. However, downstream analysis found that markers with sufficient coverage were primarily from multicopy genomic regions. Careful examination of these data highlights the complexity of the RAD-seq approach in organisms with very large genomes. To characterize the multicopy markers, we recorded sequence counts from variable nucleotide sites rather than the derived genotypes; we also examined a small number of manually curated genotypes. Although these analyses effectively fingerprinted individuals, and uncovered a minor laboratory batch effect, no population structuring was observed. Overall, our results are consistent with panmixia of krill throughout their distribution. This result may indicate ongoing gene flow. However, krill's enormous population size creates substantial panmictic inertia, so genetic differentiation may not occur on an ecologically relevant timescale even if demographically separate populations exist. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Salamander abundance along road edges and within abandoned logging roads in Appalachian forests.

    PubMed

    Semlitsch, Raymond D; Ryan, Travis J; Hamed, Kevin; Chatfield, Matt; Drehman, Bethany; Pekarek, Nicole; Spath, Mike; Watland, Angie

    2007-02-01

    Roads may be one of the most common disturbances in otherwise continuous forested habitat in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Despite their obvious presence on the landscape, there is limited data on the ecological effects along a road edge or the size of the "road-effect zone." We sampled salamanders at current and abandoned road sites within the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina (U.S.A.) to determine the road-effect zone for an assemblage of woodland salamanders. Salamander abundance near the road was reduced significantly, and salamanders along the edges were predominantly large individuals. These results indicate that the road-effect zone for these salamanders extended 35 m on either side of the relatively narrow, low-use forest roads along which we sampled. Furthermore, salamander abundance was significantly lower on old, abandoned logging roads compared with the adjacent upslope sites. These results indicate that forest roads and abandoned logging roads have negative effects on forest-dependent species such as plethodontid salamanders. Our results may apply to other protected forests in the southern Appalachians and may exemplify a problem created by current and past land use activities in all forested regions, especially those related to road building for natural-resource extraction. Our results show that the effect of roads reached well beyond their boundary and that abandonment or the decommissioning of roads did not reverse detrimental ecological effects; rather, our results indicate that management decisions have significant repercussions for generations to come. Furthermore, the quantity of suitable forested habitat in the protected areas we studied was significantly reduced: between 28.6% and 36.9% of the area was affected by roads. Management and policy decisions must use current and historical data on land use to understand cumulative impacts on forest-dependent species and to fully protect biodiversity on national lands.

  17. Salamander growth rates increase along an experimental stream phosphorus gradient.

    PubMed

    Bumpers, Phillip M; Maerz, John C; Rosemond, Amy D; Benstead, Jonathan P

    2015-11-01

    Nutrient-driven perturbations to the resource base of food webs are predicted to attenuate with trophic distance, so it is unclear whether higher-level consumers will generally respond to anthropogenic nutrient loading. Few studies have tested whether nutrient (specifically, nitrogen [N] and phosphorus [P]) enrichment of aquatic ecosystems propagates through multiple trophic levels to affect predators, or whether N vs. P is relatively more important in driving effects on food webs. We conducted two-year whole-stream N and P additions to five streams to generate gradients in N and P concentration and N:P ratio (target N:P = 2, 8, 16, 32, 128). Larval salamanders are vertebrate predators of primary and secondary macroinvertebrate consumers in many heterotrophic headwater streams in which the basal resources are detritus and associated microorganisms. We determined the effects of N and P on the growth rates of caged and free-roaming larval Desmognathus quadramaculatus and the average body size of larval Eurycea wilderae. Growth rates and average body size increased by up to 40% and 60%, respectively, with P concentration and were negatively related to N:P ratio. These findings were consistent across both species of salamanders using different methodologies (cage vs. free-roaming) and at different temporal scales (3 months vs. 2 yr). Nitrogen concentration was not significantly related to increased growth rate or body size of the salamander species tested. Our findings suggest that salamander growth responds to the relaxation of ecosystem-level P limitation and that moderate P enrichment can have relatively large effects on vertebrate predators in detritus-based food webs.

  18. Shifty salamanders: transient trophic polymorphism and cannibalism within natural populations of larval ambystomatid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Dale M; Ferrari, Maud Co; Mathis, Alicia; Hobson, Keith A; Britzke, Eric R; Crane, Adam L; Blaustein, Andrew R; Chivers, Douglas P

    2014-01-01

    Many species of ambystomatid salamanders are dependent upon highly variable temporary wetlands for larval development. High larval densities may prompt the expression of a distinct head morphology that may facilitate cannibalism. However, few studies have characterized structural cannibalism within natural populations of larval salamanders. In this study we used two species of larval salamanders, long-toed (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and ringed salamanders (A. annulatum). Head morphometrics and stable isotopic values of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) were used to identify the presence or absence of structural cannibalism. Weather conditions were also analyzed as a potential factor associated with the expression of cannibalistic morphology. Populations of salamander larvae did not consistently exhibit cannibalistic morphologies throughout collection periods. Larval long-toed salamanders exhibited trophic polymorphisms when relatively lower precipitation amounts were observed. Larval ringed salamanders were observed to be cannibalistic but did not exhibit polymorphisms in this study. Structural cannibalism may be transient in both species; however in long-toed salamanders this morphology is necessary for cannibalism. Ringed salamanders can be cannibalistic without morphological adaptations; however the cannibal morph may prolong the viable time period for cannibalism. Additionally, weather conditions may alter pond hydroperiod, subsequently influencing head morphology and cannibalism.

  19. Effects of hatching time for larval ambystomatid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Scott, D.E.; Niewiarowski, P.H.

    2002-01-01

    In aquatic communities, the phenology of breeding may influence species interactions. In the early-breeding marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, timing of pond filling may determine whether interactions among larvae are competitive or predatory. The objectives of our studies were to determine how time of egg hatching affected size, larval period, and survival to metamorphosis in A. opacum, and if early-hatching in A. opacum influenced the competitive and predator-prey relationships with smaller larvae of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum. Salamander larvae were reared from hatching through metamorphosis in large, outdoor enclosures located in a natural temporary pond in Aiken County, South Carolina, in two experiments. In study 1, we reared early- and late-hatching A. opacum larvae separately from hatching through metamorphosis. In study 2, we examined how early- versus late-hatching A. opacum affected a syntopic species, A. talpoideum. In general, early-hatching A. opacum were larger and older at metamorphosis, had greater survival, and left the pond earlier than late-hatching larvae. Ambystoma talpoideum reared in the presence of early-hatching A. opacum had lower survival than in controls, suggesting that A. opacum may predate upon A. talpoideum when they gain a growth advantage over later-hatching larvae. Our studies demonstrate that time of pond filling and phenology of breeding may influence population dynamics and alter the nature of relationships that develop among species.

  20. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    PubMed

    Stegen, Gwij; Pasmans, Frank; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Rouffaer, Lieze O; Van Praet, Sarah; Schaub, Michael; Canessa, Stefano; Laudelout, Arnaud; Kinet, Thierry; Adriaensen, Connie; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Bert, Wim; Bossuyt, Franky; Martel, An

    2017-04-19

    The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen's disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a 'perfect storm' that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.

  1. Variation in salamander tail regeneration is associated with genetic factors that determine tail morphology.

    PubMed

    Voss, Gareth J; Kump, D Kevin; Walker, John A; Voss, S Randal

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni) was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander's tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66-68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4%) and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site.

  2. Infection of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) with Ichthyophonus-like organisms in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Ware, Joy L; Viverette, Cathy; Kleopfer, John D; Pletcher, Leeanna; Massey, Davis; Wright, Anne

    2008-01-01

    Ichthyophonus-like organisms were found in two free-ranging adult spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) captured within two different vernal ponds in the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences in Charles City County, Virginia. Histopathologic examination of necropsied specimens revealed large spores, often enclosed by granulomas. These enclosed spores resembled those caused by the fish pathogen Ichthyophonus hoeferi. One salamander displayed an externally visible large swelling beneath the jaws. The other lacked macroscopic abnormalities, but histologic sections of ventral muscle revealed early-stage Ichthyophonus-like organisms and minimal granulomatous reactions. This is the first report of Ichthyophonus-like infection of Ambystoma maculatum in Virginia.

  3. A reference transcriptome and inferred proteome for the salamander Notophthalmus viridescens.

    PubMed

    Abdullayev, Ilgar; Kirkham, Matthew; Björklund, Åsa K; Simon, András; Sandberg, Rickard

    2013-05-01

    Salamanders have a remarkable capacity to regenerate complex tissues, such as limbs and brain, and are therefore an important comparative model system for regenerative medicine. Despite these unique properties among adult vertebrates, the genomic information for amphibians in general, and salamanders in particular, is scarce. Here, we used massive parallel sequencing to reconstruct a de novo reference transcriptome of the red spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) containing 118,893 transcripts with a N50 length of 2016 nts. Comparisons to other vertebrates revealed a newt transcriptome that is comparable in size and characteristics to well-annotated vertebrate transcriptomes. Identification of putative open reading frames (ORFs) enabled us to infer a comprehensive proteome, including the annotation of 19,903 newt proteins. We used the identified domain architectures (DAs) to assign ORFs phylogenetic positions, which also revealed putative salamander specific proteins. The reference transcriptome and inferred proteome of the red spotted newt will facilitate the use of systematic genomic technologies for regeneration studies in salamanders and enable evolutionary analyses of vertebrate regeneration at the molecular level.

  4. Sal-Site: integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Walker, John A; Kump, D Kevin; Samuels, Amy K; Monaghan, James R; Weisrock, David W; Staben, Chuck; Voss, S Randal

    2005-12-16

    Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1) Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2) Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3) Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4) Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5) Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6) Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at http://www.ambystoma.org.

  5. Sal-Site: Integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Walker, John A; Kump, D Kevin; Samuels, Amy K; Monaghan, James R; Weisrock, David W; Staben, Chuck; Voss, S Randal

    2005-01-01

    Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1) Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2) Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3) Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4) Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5) Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6) Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at . PMID:16359543

  6. A De-Novo Genome Analysis Pipeline (DeNoGAP) for large-scale comparative prokaryotic genomics studies.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Shalabh; Guttman, David S

    2016-06-30

    Comparative analysis of whole genome sequence data from closely related prokaryotic species or strains is becoming an increasingly important and accessible approach for addressing both fundamental and applied biological questions. While there are number of excellent tools developed for performing this task, most scale poorly when faced with hundreds of genome sequences, and many require extensive manual curation. We have developed a de-novo genome analysis pipeline (DeNoGAP) for the automated, iterative and high-throughput analysis of data from comparative genomics projects involving hundreds of whole genome sequences. The pipeline is designed to perform reference-assisted and de novo gene prediction, homolog protein family assignment, ortholog prediction, functional annotation, and pan-genome analysis using a range of proven tools and databases. While most existing methods scale quadratically with the number of genomes since they rely on pairwise comparisons among predicted protein sequences, DeNoGAP scales linearly since the homology assignment is based on iteratively refined hidden Markov models. This iterative clustering strategy enables DeNoGAP to handle a very large number of genomes using minimal computational resources. Moreover, the modular structure of the pipeline permits easy updates as new analysis programs become available. DeNoGAP integrates bioinformatics tools and databases for comparative analysis of a large number of genomes. The pipeline offers tools and algorithms for annotation and analysis of completed and draft genome sequences. The pipeline is developed using Perl, BioPerl and SQLite on Ubuntu Linux version 12.04 LTS. Currently, the software package accompanies script for automated installation of necessary external programs on Ubuntu Linux; however, the pipeline should be also compatible with other Linux and Unix systems after necessary external programs are installed. DeNoGAP is freely available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/denogap/ .

  7. Endoparasites of plethodontid salamanders from Paradise Brook, New Hampshire.

    PubMed

    Muzzall, P M; Peebles, C R; Burton, T M

    1997-12-01

    Totals of 52 dusky salamanders Desmognathus fuscus, 51 two-lined salamanders Eurycea bislineata, 54 red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus, and 3 spring salamanders Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (Plethodontidae) collected in June and August 1995 from Paradise Brook, a tributary to Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, were examined for parasites. Parasites found were Brachycoelium storeriae, Brachycoelium sp., Bothriocephalus rarus, Falcaustra sp., Omeia sp., Batracholandros magnavulvaris, and Cepedietta michiganensis. Eighty-six percent of the red-backed salamanders, a terrestrial species, harbored 1 or more parasites. Among the aquatic and semiaquatic species, 27% of the dusky and 45% of the two-lined salamanders were infected with 1 or more parasites.

  8. Impacts of a gape limited Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, on larval Northwestern salamander, Ambystoma gracile, growth: A field enclosure experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Currens, C.R.; Liss, W.J.; Hoffman, R.L.

    2007-01-01

    The formation of amphibian population structure is directly affected by predation. Although aquatic predators have been shown to have direct negative effects on larval salamanders in laboratory and field experiments, the potential impacts of gape-limited fish on larval salamander growth has been largely underexplored. We designed an enclosure experiment conducted in situ to quantify the effects of gape-limited Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on larval Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile) growth. We specifically tested whether the presence of fish too small to consume larvae had a negative effect on larval growth. The results of this study indicate that the presence of a gape-limited S. fontinalis can have a negative effect on growth of larval A. gracile salamanders. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  9. Fast and sensitive multiple alignment of large genomic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Brudno, Michael; Chapman, Michael; Göttgens, Berthold; Batzoglou, Serafim; Morgenstern, Burkhard

    2003-01-01

    Background Genomic sequence alignment is a powerful method for genome analysis and annotation, as alignments are routinely used to identify functional sites such as genes or regulatory elements. With a growing number of partially or completely sequenced genomes, multiple alignment is playing an increasingly important role in these studies. In recent years, various tools for pair-wise and multiple genomic alignment have been proposed. Some of them are extremely fast, but often efficiency is achieved at the expense of sensitivity. One way of combining speed and sensitivity is to use an anchored-alignment approach. In a first step, a fast search program identifies a chain of strong local sequence similarities. In a second step, regions between these anchor points are aligned using a slower but more accurate method. Results Herein, we present CHAOS, a novel algorithm for rapid identification of chains of local pair-wise sequence similarities. Local alignments calculated by CHAOS are used as anchor points to improve the running time of DIALIGN, a slow but sensitive multiple-alignment tool. We show that this way, the running time of DIALIGN can be reduced by more than 95% for BAC-sized and longer sequences, without affecting the quality of the resulting alignments. We apply our approach to a set of five genomic sequences around the stem-cell-leukemia (SCL) gene and demonstrate that exons and small regulatory elements can be identified by our multiple-alignment procedure. Conclusion We conclude that the novel CHAOS local alignment tool is an effective way to significantly speed up global alignment tools such as DIALIGN without reducing the alignment quality. We likewise demonstrate that the DIALIGN/CHAOS combination is able to accurately align short regulatory sequences in distant orthologues. PMID:14693042

  10. Electrical discharges in Chinese salamander Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Olshanskii, V M; Baron, V D; Wei, Xue

    2016-11-01

    In 2-year-old Chinese giant salamanders Andrias davidianus, occasional electric discharges with a characteristic pattern similar to the electric discharges of weakly electric catfish, Polypterus and Protopterus, were recorded for the first time. The discharges markedly differ in shape from the myograms accompanying abrupt movements of the salamander or exceeded them in amplitude by more than an order of magnitude. The discharges were recorded both in the autonomous experiment in the absence of experimenters and at a weak tactile stimulation.

  11. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  12. Targeted Large-Scale Deletion of Bacterial Genomes Using CRISPR-Nickases.

    PubMed

    Standage-Beier, Kylie; Zhang, Qi; Wang, Xiao

    2015-11-20

    Programmable CRISPR-Cas systems have augmented our ability to produce precise genome manipulations. Here we demonstrate and characterize the ability of CRISPR-Cas derived nickases to direct targeted recombination of both small and large genomic regions flanked by repetitive elements in Escherichia coli. While CRISPR directed double-stranded DNA breaks are highly lethal in many bacteria, we show that CRISPR-guided nickase systems can be programmed to make precise, nonlethal, single-stranded incisions in targeted genomic regions. This induces recombination events and leads to targeted deletion. We demonstrate that dual-targeted nicking enables deletion of 36 and 97 Kb of the genome. Furthermore, multiplex targeting enables deletion of 133 Kb, accounting for approximately 3% of the entire E. coli genome. This technology provides a framework for methods to manipulate bacterial genomes using CRISPR-nickase systems. We envision this system working synergistically with preexisting bacterial genome engineering methods.

  13. Conservation assessment for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander in northern California.

    SciTech Connect

    Vinikour, W. S.; LaGory, K. E.; Adduci, J. J.; Environmental Science Division

    2006-10-20

    The purpose of this conservation assessment is to summarize existing knowledge regarding the biology and ecology of the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander, identify threats to the two species, and identify conservation considerations to aid federal management for persistence of the species. The conservation assessment will serve as the basis for a conservation strategy for the species.

  14. Early Miocene origin and cryptic diversification of South American salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The currently recognized species richness of South American salamanders is surprisingly low compared to North and Central America. In part, this low richness may be due to the salamanders being a recent arrival to South America. Additionally, the number of South American salamander species may be underestimated because of cryptic diversity. The aims of our present study were to infer evolutionary relationships, lineage diversity, and timing of divergence of the South American Bolitoglossa using mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from specimens primarily from localities in the Andes and upper Amazon Basin. We also estimated time of colonization of South America to test whether it is consistent with arrival via the Panamanian Isthmus, or land bridge connection, at its traditionally assumed age of 3 million years. Results Divergence time estimates suggest that Bolitoglossa arrived in South America from Central America by at least the Early Miocene, ca. 23.6 MYA (95% HPD 15.9-30.3 MYA), and subsequently diversified. South American salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa show strong phylogeographic structure at fine geographic scales and deep divergences at the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (Cytb) and high diversity at the nuclear recombination activating gene-1 (Rag1). Species often contain multiple genetically divergent lineages that are occasionally geographically overlapping. Single specimens from two southeastern localities in Ecuador are sister to the equatoriana-peruviana clade and genetically distinct from all other species investigated to date. Another single exemplar from the Andes of northwestern Ecuador is highly divergent from all other specimens and is sister to all newly studied samples. Nevertheless, all sampled species of South American Bolitoglossa are members of a single clade that is one of several constituting the subgenus Eladinea, one of seven subgenera in this large genus. Conclusions The ancestors of South American salamanders

  15. Improving mammalian genome scaffolding using large insert mate-pair next-generation sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Paired-tag sequencing approaches are commonly used for the analysis of genome structure. However, mammalian genomes have a complex organization with a variety of repetitive elements that complicate comprehensive genome-wide analyses. Results Here, we systematically assessed the utility of paired-end and mate-pair (MP) next-generation sequencing libraries with insert sizes ranging from 170 bp to 25 kb, for genome coverage and for improving scaffolding of a mammalian genome (Rattus norvegicus). Despite a lower library complexity, large insert MP libraries (20 or 25 kb) provided very high physical genome coverage and were found to efficiently span repeat elements in the genome. Medium-sized (5, 8 or 15 kb) MP libraries were much more efficient for genome structure analysis than the more commonly used shorter insert paired-end and 3 kb MP libraries. Furthermore, the combination of medium- and large insert libraries resulted in a 3-fold increase in N50 in scaffolding processes. Finally, we show that our data can be used to evaluate and improve contig order and orientation in the current rat reference genome assembly. Conclusions We conclude that applying combinations of mate-pair libraries with insert sizes that match the distributions of repetitive elements improves contig scaffolding and can contribute to the finishing of draft genomes. PMID:23590730

  16. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  17. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  18. Annotation-based genome-wide SNP discovery in the large and complex Aegilops tauschii genome using next-generation sequencing without a reference genome sequence

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Many plants have large and complex genomes with an abundance of repeated sequences. Many plants are also polyploid. Both of these attributes typify the genome architecture in the tribe Triticeae, whose members include economically important wheat, rye and barley. Large genome sizes, an abundance of repeated sequences, and polyploidy present challenges to genome-wide SNP discovery using next-generation sequencing (NGS) of total genomic DNA by making alignment and clustering of short reads generated by the NGS platforms difficult, particularly in the absence of a reference genome sequence. Results An annotation-based, genome-wide SNP discovery pipeline is reported using NGS data for large and complex genomes without a reference genome sequence. Roche 454 shotgun reads with low genome coverage of one genotype are annotated in order to distinguish single-copy sequences and repeat junctions from repetitive sequences and sequences shared by paralogous genes. Multiple genome equivalents of shotgun reads of another genotype generated with SOLiD or Solexa are then mapped to the annotated Roche 454 reads to identify putative SNPs. A pipeline program package, AGSNP, was developed and used for genome-wide SNP discovery in Aegilops tauschii-the diploid source of the wheat D genome, and with a genome size of 4.02 Gb, of which 90% is repetitive sequences. Genomic DNA of Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78 was sequenced with the Roche 454 NGS platform. Genomic DNA and cDNA of Ae. tauschii accession AS75 was sequenced primarily with SOLiD, although some Solexa and Roche 454 genomic sequences were also generated. A total of 195,631 putative SNPs were discovered in gene sequences, 155,580 putative SNPs were discovered in uncharacterized single-copy regions, and another 145,907 putative SNPs were discovered in repeat junctions. These SNPs were dispersed across the entire Ae. tauschii genome. To assess the false positive SNP discovery rate, DNA containing putative SNPs was

  19. Decoding Synteny Blocks and Large-Scale Duplications in Mammalian and Plant Genomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Qian; Alekseyev, Max A.; Tesler, Glenn; Pevzner, Pavel A.

    The existing synteny block reconstruction algorithms use anchors (e.g., orthologous genes) shared over all genomes to construct the synteny blocks for multiple genomes. This approach, while efficient for a few genomes, cannot be scaled to address the need to construct synteny blocks in many mammalian genomes that are currently being sequenced. The problem is that the number of anchors shared among all genomes quickly decreases with the increase in the number of genomes. Another problem is that many genomes (plant genomes in particular) had extensive duplications, which makes decoding of genomic architecture and rearrangement analysis in plants difficult. The existing synteny block generation algorithms in plants do not address the issue of generating non-overlapping synteny blocks suitable for analyzing rearrangements and evolution history of duplications. We present a new algorithm based on the A-Bruijn graph framework that overcomes these difficulties and provides a unified approach to synteny block reconstruction for multiple genomes, and for genomes with large duplications.

  20. Life history as a predictor of salamander recovery rate from timber harvest in southern appalachian forests, USA.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Forest management often represents a balance between social, economic, and ecological objectives. In the eastern United States, numerous studies have established that terrestrial salamander populations initially decline in abundance following timber harvest, yet the large-scale and long-term consequences are relatively unknown. We used count data from terrestrial survey points to examine the relation between salamander abundance and historic timber harvest while accounting for imperfect detection of individuals. Overall, stream- and terrestrial-breeding salamanders appeared to differ by magnitude of population decline, rate of population recovery, and extent of recolonization from surrounding forest. Specifically, estimated abundance of both species groups was positively associated with stand age and recovery rates were predicted to increase over time for red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani) and decrease in stream-breeding species. Abundance of stream-breeding salamanders was predicted to reach a peak by 100 years after timber harvest, and the population growth rate of red-legged salamanders was predicted to undergo a significant increase 100 years after harvest. Estimated abundance of stream-breeding salamanders in young forest stands was also negatively associated with the distance to adjacent forest, a result that suggests immigration has a role in the recovery of these species. Our results indicate that salamander abundance in young forest stands may be only modestly lower than in more mature forest but that full recovery from timber harvest may take a substantial amount of time and that species life history may affect patterns of recovery. Historia de Vida como un Vaticinador de la Tasa de Recuperación de una Salamandra a la Colecta de Madera en los Bosques del Sur de los Apalaches, E.U.A. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in montane lakes with and without fish, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2002-01-01

    In Mount Rainier National Park, the northwestern salamander usually inhabits relatively large and deep lakes and ponds (average size = 0.3 ha; average depth > 2 m) that contain flocculent, organic bottom sediments and abundant coarse wood. Prior to 1970, salmonids were introduced into many of the park's lakes and ponds that were typical habitat of the northwestern salamander. The objective of this study was to compare, in lakes and ponds with suitable habitat characteristics for northwestern salamanders, the observed abundances of larvae in takes and ponds with and without these introduced salmonids. Day surveys of 61 lakes were conducted between 1993 and 1999. Fish were limited to takes and ponds deeper than 2 in. For the 48 lakes and ponds deeper than 2 in (i.e., 25 fishless lakes and 23 fish lakes), the mean and median observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in fishless lakes and ponds was significantly greater than the mean and median observed abundances of larvae in lakes and ponds with fish. Northwestern salamander larvae were not observed in 11 fish lakes. These lakes were similar in median elevation, surface area, and maximum depth to the fishless lakes. The 12 fish lakes with observed larvae were significantly lower in median elevation, larger in median surface area, and deeper in median maximum depth than the fishless lakes. Low to null observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in lakes and ponds with fish were attributed to a combination of fish predation of larvae and changes in larval behavior.

  2. Mutational and structural analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using whole genome sequencing | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Abstract: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a genetically heterogeneous cancer comprising at least two molecular subtypes that differ in gene expression and distribution of mutations. Recently, application of genome/exome sequencing and RNA-seq to DLBCL has revealed numerous genes that are recurrent targets of somatic point mutation in this disease.

  3. GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app): a new software tool for large-scale collaborative genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Michael A; Lebrigio, Rafael F Acosta; Van Booven, Derek; Ulloa, Rick H; Powell, Eric; Speziani, Fiorella; Tekin, Mustafa; Schüle, Rebecca; Züchner, Stephan

    2013-06-01

    Novel genes are now identified at a rapid pace for many Mendelian disorders, and increasingly, for genetically complex phenotypes. However, new challenges have also become evident: (1) effectively managing larger exome and/or genome datasets, especially for smaller labs; (2) direct hands-on analysis and contextual interpretation of variant data in large genomic datasets; and (3) many small and medium-sized clinical and research-based investigative teams around the world are generating data that, if combined and shared, will significantly increase the opportunities for the entire community to identify new genes. To address these challenges, we have developed GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app), a software tool to annotate, manage, visualize, and analyze large genomic datasets (https://genomics.med.miami.edu/). GEM.app currently contains ∼1,600 whole exomes from 50 different phenotypes studied by 40 principal investigators from 15 different countries. The focus of GEM.app is on user-friendly analysis for nonbioinformaticians to make next-generation sequencing data directly accessible. Yet, GEM.app provides powerful and flexible filter options, including single family filtering, across family/phenotype queries, nested filtering, and evaluation of segregation in families. In addition, the system is fast, obtaining results within 4 sec across ∼1,200 exomes. We believe that this system will further enhance identification of genetic causes of human disease. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app): A new software tool for large-scale collaborative genome analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Michael A.; Acosta Lebrigio, Rafael F.; Van Booven, Derek; Ulloa, Rick H.; Powell, Eric; Speziani, Fiorella; Tekin, Mustafa; Schule, Rebecca; Zuchner, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Novel genes are now identified at a rapid pace for many Mendelian disorders, and increasingly, for genetically complex phenotypes. However, new challenges have also become evident: (1) effectively managing larger exome and/or genome datasets, especially for smaller labs; (2) direct hands-on analysis and contextual interpretation of variant data in large genomic datasets; and (3) many small and medium-sized clinical and research-based investigative teams around the world are generating data that, if combined and shared, will significantly increase the opportunities for the entire community to identify new genes. To address these challenges we have developed GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app), a software tool to annotate, manage, visualize, and analyze large genomic datasets (https://genomics.med.miami.edu/). GEM.app currently contains ~1,600 whole exomes from 50 different phenotypes studied by 40 principal investigators from 15 different countries. The focus of GEM.app is on user-friendly analysis for non-bioinformaticians to make NGS data directly accessible. Yet, GEM.app provides powerful and flexible filter options, including single family filtering, across family/phenotype queries, nested filtering, and evaluation of segregation in families. In addition, the system is fast, obtaining results within 4 seconds across ~1,200 exomes. We believe that this system will further enhance identification of genetic causes of human disease. PMID:23463597

  5. Small genomes and large seeds: chromosome numbers, genome size and seed mass in diploid Aesculus species (Sapindaceae).

    PubMed

    Krahulcová, Anna; Trávnícek, Pavel; Krahulec, František; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2017-04-01

    Aesculus L. (horse chestnut, buckeye) is a genus of 12-19 extant woody species native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. This genus is known for unusually large seeds among angiosperms. While chromosome counts are available for many Aesculus species, only one has had its genome size measured. The aim of this study is to provide more genome size data and analyse the relationship between genome size and seed mass in this genus. Chromosome numbers in root tip cuttings were confirmed for four species and reported for the first time for three additional species. Flow cytometric measurements of 2C nuclear DNA values were conducted on eight species, and mean seed mass values were estimated for the same taxa. The same chromosome number, 2 n = 40, was determined in all investigated taxa. Original measurements of 2C values for seven Aesculus species (eight taxa), added to just one reliable datum for A. hippocastanum , confirmed the notion that the genome size in this genus with relatively large seeds is surprisingly low, ranging from 0·955 pg 2C -1 in A. parviflora to 1·275 pg 2C -1 in A. glabra var. glabra. The chromosome number of 2 n = 40 seems to be conclusively the universal 2 n number for non-hybrid species in this genus. Aesculus genome sizes are relatively small, not only within its own family, Sapindaceae, but also within woody angiosperms. The genome sizes seem to be distinct and non-overlapping among the four major Aesculus clades. These results provide an extra support for the most recent reconstruction of Aesculus phylogeny. The correlation between the 2C values and seed masses in examined Aesculus species is slightly negative and not significant. However, when the four major clades are treated separately, there is consistent positive association between larger genome size and larger seed mass within individual lineages.

  6. Mapping DNA-protein interactions in large genomes by sequence tag analysis of genomic enrichment.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jonghwan; Bhinge, Akshay A; Morgan, Xochitl C; Iyer, Vishwanath R

    2005-01-01

    Identifying the chromosomal targets of transcription factors is important for reconstructing the transcriptional regulatory networks underlying global gene expression programs. We have developed an unbiased genomic method called sequence tag analysis of genomic enrichment (STAGE) to identify the direct binding targets of transcription factors in vivo. STAGE is based on high-throughput sequencing of concatemerized tags derived from target DNA enriched by chromatin immunoprecipitation. We first used STAGE in yeast to confirm that RNA polymerase III genes are the most prominent targets of the TATA-box binding protein. We optimized the STAGE protocol and developed analysis methods to allow the identification of transcription factor targets in human cells. We used STAGE to identify several previously unknown binding targets of human transcription factor E2F4 that we independently validated by promoter-specific PCR and microarray hybridization. STAGE provides a means of identifying the chromosomal targets of DNA-associated proteins in any sequenced genome.

  7. SPANDx: a genomics pipeline for comparative analysis of large haploid whole genome re-sequencing datasets.

    PubMed

    Sarovich, Derek S; Price, Erin P

    2014-09-08

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is now a commonplace tool for molecular characterisation of virtually any species of interest. Despite the ever-increasing use of NGS in laboratories worldwide, analysis of whole genome re-sequencing (WGS) datasets from start to finish remains nontrivial due to the fragmented nature of NGS software and the lack of experienced bioinformaticists in many research teams. We describe SPANDx (Synergised Pipeline for Analysis of NGS Data in Linux), a new tool for high-throughput comparative analysis of haploid WGS datasets comprising one through thousands of genomes. SPANDx consolidates several well-validated, open-source packages into a single tool, mitigating the need to learn and manipulate individual NGS programs. SPANDx incorporates BWA for alignment of raw NGS reads against a reference genome or pan-genome, followed by data filtering, variant calling and annotation using Picard, GATK, SAMtools and SnpEff. BEDTools has also been included for genetic locus presence/absence (P/A) determination to easily visualise the core and accessory genomes. Additional SPANDx features include construction of error-corrected single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and insertion-deletion matrices, and P/A matrices, to enable user-friendly visualisation of genetic variants. The SNP matrices generated using VCFtools and GATK are directly importable into PAUP*, PHYLIP or RAxML for downstream phylogenetic analysis. SPANDx has been developed to handle NGS data from Illumina, Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) and 454 platforms, and we demonstrate that it has comparable performance across Illumina MiSeq/HiSeq2000 and Ion PGM data. SPANDx is an all-in-one tool for comprehensive haploid WGS analysis. SPANDx is open source and is freely available at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/spandx/.

  8. Evidence for Sex Chromosome Turnover in Proteid Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sessions, Stanley K; Bizjak Mali, Lilijana; Green, David M; Trifonov, Vladimir; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm

    2016-01-01

    A major goal of genomic and reproductive biology is to understand the evolution of sex determination and sex chromosomes. Species of the 2 genera of the Salamander family Proteidae - Necturus of eastern North America, and Proteus of Southern Europe - have similar-looking karyotypes with the same chromosome number (2n = 38), which differentiates them from all other salamanders. However, Necturus possesses strongly heteromorphic X and Y sex chromosomes that Proteus lacks. Since the heteromorphic sex chromosomes of Necturus were detectable only with C-banding, we hypothesized that we could use C-banding to find sex chromosomes in Proteus. We examined mitotic material from colchicine-treated intestinal epithelium, and meiotic material from testes in specimens of Proteus, representing 3 genetically distinct populations in Slovenia. We compared these results with those from Necturus. We performed FISH to visualize telomeric sequences in meiotic bivalents. Our results provide evidence that Proteus represents an example of sex chromosome turnover in which a Necturus-like Y-chromosome has become permanently translocated to another chromosome converting heteromorphic sex chromosomes to homomorphic sex chromosomes. These results may be key to understanding some unusual aspects of demographics and reproductive biology of Proteus, and are discussed in the context of models of the evolution of sex chromosomes in amphibians.

  9. Diversity of cutaneous bacteria with antifungal activity isolated from female four-toed salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lauer, Antje; Simon, Mary Alice; Banning, Jenifer L; Lam, Brianna A; Harris, Reid N

    2008-02-01

    Among the microbiota of amphibian skin are bacteria that produce antifungal compounds. We isolated cutaneous bacteria from the skins of three populations of the nest-attending plethodontid salamander Hemidactylium scutatum and subsequently tested the bacterial isolates against two different fungi (related to Mariannaea elegans and Rhizomucor variabilis) that were obtained from dead salamander eggs. The culturable antifungal bacteria were phylogenetically characterized based on 16S rRNA phylogeny, and belonged to four phyla, comprising 14 bacterial families, 16 genera and 48 species. We found that about half of the antifungal bacterial genera and families were shared with a related salamander species, but there was virtually no overlap at the species level. The proportion of culturable antifungal bacterial taxa shared between two large populations of H. scutatum was the same as the proportion of taxa shared between H. scutatum and Plethodon cinereus, suggesting that populations within a species have unique antifungal bacterial species. Approximately 30% of individuals from both salamander species carried anti-M. elegans cutaneous bacteria and almost 90% of P. cinereus and 100% of H. scutatum salamanders carried anti-R. variabilis cutaneous bacteria. A culture independent method (PCR/DGGE) revealed a shared resident bacterial community of about 25% of the entire resident bacterial community within and among populations of H. scutatum. Thus, the culturable antifungal microbiota was far more variable on salamander skins than was the bacterial microbiota detected by PCR/DGGE. The resident cutaneous antifungal bacteria may play an important role in amphibians' innate defense against pathogens, including the lethal chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

  10. BactoGeNIE: A large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    DOE PAGES

    Aurisano, Jillian; Reda, Khairi; Johnson, Andrew; ...

    2015-08-13

    The volume of complete bacterial genome sequence data available to comparative genomics researchers is rapidly increasing. However, visualizations in comparative genomics--which aim to enable analysis tasks across collections of genomes--suffer from visual scalability issues. While large, multi-tiled and high-resolution displays have the potential to address scalability issues, new approaches are needed to take advantage of such environments, in order to enable the effective visual analysis of large genomics datasets. In this paper, we present Bacterial Gene Neighborhood Investigation Environment, or BactoGeNIE, a novel and visually scalable design for comparative gene neighborhood analysis on large display environments. We evaluate BactoGeNIE throughmore » a case study on close to 700 draft Escherichia coli genomes, and present lessons learned from our design process. In conclusion, BactoGeNIE accommodates comparative tasks over substantially larger collections of neighborhoods than existing tools and explicitly addresses visual scalability. Given current trends in data generation, scalable designs of this type may inform visualization design for large-scale comparative research problems in genomics.« less

  11. BactoGeNIE: A large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    SciTech Connect

    Aurisano, Jillian; Reda, Khairi; Johnson, Andrew; Marai, Elisabeta G.; Leigh, Jason

    2015-08-13

    The volume of complete bacterial genome sequence data available to comparative genomics researchers is rapidly increasing. However, visualizations in comparative genomics--which aim to enable analysis tasks across collections of genomes--suffer from visual scalability issues. While large, multi-tiled and high-resolution displays have the potential to address scalability issues, new approaches are needed to take advantage of such environments, in order to enable the effective visual analysis of large genomics datasets. In this paper, we present Bacterial Gene Neighborhood Investigation Environment, or BactoGeNIE, a novel and visually scalable design for comparative gene neighborhood analysis on large display environments. We evaluate BactoGeNIE through a case study on close to 700 draft Escherichia coli genomes, and present lessons learned from our design process. In conclusion, BactoGeNIE accommodates comparative tasks over substantially larger collections of neighborhoods than existing tools and explicitly addresses visual scalability. Given current trends in data generation, scalable designs of this type may inform visualization design for large-scale comparative research problems in genomics.

  12. Nitric oxide synthase in tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Kurenni, D E; Thurlow, G A; Turner, R W; Moroz, L L; Sharkey, K A; Barnes, S

    1995-10-23

    Previous studies have indicated that nitric oxide, a labile freely diffusible biological messenger synthesized by nitric oxide synthase, may modulate light transduction and signal transmission in the retina. In the present work, the large size of retinal cells in tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) allowed the utilization of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-diaphorase histochemistry and nitric oxide synthase immunocytochemistry to delineate the cell-specific intracellular localization of nitric oxide synthase. NADPH-diaphorase activity was highly concentrated in the outer retina, in rod and cone inner segment ellipsoids, and between and adjacent to the photoreceptor cell bodies in the outer nuclear layer. Examination of enzymatically isolated retinal cells indicated that outer nuclear layer NADPH-diaphorase activity was localized to the distal processes of the retinal glial (Müller) cells and to putative bipolar cell Landolt clubs. Less intense NADPH-diaphorase activity was seen in the photoreceptor inner segment myoid region, in a small number of inner nuclear layer cells, in cap-like configurations at the distal poles of cells in the ganglion cell layer and surrounding ganglion cell layer somata, and in punctate form within both plexiform layers, the pigment epithelium, and the optic nerve. Nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity was similarly localized, but was also concentrated along a thin sublamina centered within the inner plexiform layer. The potential for nitric oxide generation at multiple retinal sites suggests that this molecule may play a number of roles in the processing of visual information in the retina.

  13. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Pope, Welkin H; Bowman, Charles A; Russell, Daniel A; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Asai, David J; Cresawn, Steven G; Jacobs, William R; Hendrix, Roger W; Lawrence, Jeffrey G; Hatfull, Graham F

    2015-04-28

    The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Their genetic diversity is considerable, and there are 28 distinct genomic types (clusters) with related nucleotide sequences. However, amino acid sequence comparisons show pervasive genomic mosaicism, and quantification of inter-cluster and intra-cluster relatedness reveals a continuum of genetic diversity, albeit with uneven representation of different phages. Furthermore, rarefaction analysis shows that the mycobacteriophage population is not closed, and there is a constant influx of genes from other sources. Phage isolation and analysis was performed by a large consortium of academic institutions, illustrating the substantial benefits of a disseminated, structured program involving large numbers of freshman undergraduates in scientific discovery.

  14. Engineering large viral DNA genomes using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

    PubMed

    Suenaga, Tadahiro; Kohyama, Masako; Hirayasu, Kouyuki; Arase, Hisashi

    2014-09-01

    Manipulation of viral genomes is essential for studying viral gene function and utilizing viruses for therapy. Several techniques for viral genome engineering have been developed. Homologous recombination in virus-infected cells has traditionally been used to edit viral genomes; however, the frequency of the expected recombination is quite low. Alternatively, large viral genomes have been edited using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) plasmid system. However, cloning of large viral genomes into BAC plasmids is both laborious and time-consuming. In addition, because it is possible for insertion into the viral genome of drug selection markers or parts of BAC plasmids to affect viral function, artificial genes sometimes need to be removed from edited viruses. Herpes simplex virus (HSV), a common DNA virus with a genome length of 152 kbp, causes labialis, genital herpes and encephalitis. Mutant HSV is a candidate for oncotherapy, in which HSV is used to kill tumor cells. In this study, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-Cas9 system was used to very efficiently engineer HSV without inserting artificial genes into viral genomes. Not only gene-ablated HSV but also gene knock-in HSV were generated using this method. Furthermore, selection with phenotypes of edited genes promotes the isolation efficiencies of expectedly mutated viral clones. Because our method can be applied to other DNA viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegaloviruses, vaccinia virus and baculovirus, our system will be useful for studying various types of viruses, including clinical isolates.

  15. A guided tour of large genome size in animals: what we know and where we are heading.

    PubMed

    Dufresne, France; Jeffery, Nicholas

    2011-10-01

    The study of genome size diversity is an ever-expanding field that is highly relevant in today's world of rapid and efficient DNA sequencing. Animal genome sizes range from 0.02 to 132.83 pg but the majority of animal genomes are small, with the most of these genome sizes being less than 5 pg. Animals with large genomes (> 10 pg) are scattered within some invertebrates, including the Platyhelminthes, crustaceans, and orthopterans, and also the vertebrates including the Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, and some amphibians. In this paper, we explore the connections between organismal phenotype, physiology, and ecology to genome size. We also discuss some of the molecular mechanisms of genome shrinkage and expansion obtained through comparative studies of species with full genome sequences and how this may apply to species with large genomes. As most animal species sequenced to date have been in the small range for genome size (especially invertebrates) due to sequencing costs and to difficulties associated with large genome assemblies, an understanding of the structural composition of large genomes is still lacking. Studies using next-generation sequencing are being attempted for the first time in animals with larger genomes. Such analyses using low genome coverage are providing a glimpse of the composition of repetitive elements in animals with more complex genomes. These future studies will allow a better understanding of factors leading to genomic obesity in animals.

  16. The First Salamander Defensin Antimicrobial Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Rong, Mingqiang; Lai, Ren

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its seqeuence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders. PMID:24386139

  17. The first salamander defensin antimicrobial peptide.

    PubMed

    Meng, Ping; Yang, Shilong; Shen, Chuanbin; Jiang, Ke; Rong, Mingqiang; Lai, Ren

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its sequence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders.

  18. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic) form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph) and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76) and tiger salamander (n = 292) than were identified as shared (n = 108). All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome-wide reduction in mRNA abundance

  19. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert B; Boley, Meredith A; Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, Stephen R

    2010-06-28

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic) form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph) and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76) and tiger salamander (n = 292) than were identified as shared (n = 108). All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome-wide reduction in mRNA abundance across loci, including genes

  20. Effects of Timber Harvests and Silvicultural Edges on Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Jami E.; Williams, Rod N.

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  1. Effects of timber harvests and silvicultural edges on terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, Jami E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  2. Evolution of gigantism in amphiumid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T; Moler, Paul E; Van Devender, R Wayne; Wake, David B

    2009-05-20

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders.

  3. Social monogamy in a territorial salamander.

    PubMed

    Gillette; Jaeger; Peterson

    2000-06-01

    Social monogamy, which does not necessarily imply mating or genetic monogamy, is important in the formation of male-female pair associations. We operationally define social monogamy as occurring when two heterosexual adults, exclusive of kin-directed behaviour, direct significantly less aggression and significantly more submission towards each other, and/or spend significantly more time associating with each other relative to other adult heterosexual conspecifics. Long-term pair associations (i.e. those lasting through a lengthy breeding season) that are characteristic of social monogamy are common in some taxa but are virtually unknown in amphibians. Recent studies, however, have suggested that red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, have complex (for amphibians) social systems. Our laboratory experiments tested the hypothesis that red-backed salamanders found in pairs in the forest display behaviours consistent with social monogamy. During the summer noncourtship season, newly collected male-females pairs showed no preference to associate with their partners more than with a novel conspecific of the opposite sex. However, during the autumn courtship season, paired males and females significantly directed preferential behaviours towards their partners rather than towards a surrogate or a novel paired salamander. Focal animals showed no significant preferences when presented with their partner and a novel single salamander, but they never directed preferential behaviours towards a novel salamander (whether paired or single) or a surrogate. These results are the first to suggest that a salamander species engages in social monogamy. Furthermore, our results suggest that social monogamy may not inhibit paired males and females from displaying alternative strategies: preferring partners when extrapair associations may be disadvantageous (i.e. the extrapair animal is already paired) but not preferring partners when extrapair associations may be advantageous (i

  4. Evolution of Gigantism in Amphiumid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M.; Chippindale, Paul T.; Moler, Paul E.; Van Devender, R. Wayne; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders. PMID:19461997

  5. Salamander retina phospholipids and their localization by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry at cellular size resolution.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael C; Nakanishi, Hiroki; Takahashi, Kazuteru; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Kajihara, Shigeki; Hayasaka, Takahiro; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Ogawa, Kiyoshi; Taguchi, Ryo; Naito, Takayuki

    2011-03-01

    Salamander large cells facilitated identification and localization of lipids by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. Salamander retina lipid extract showed similarity with rodent retina lipid extract in phospholipid content and composition. Like rodent retina section, distinct layer distributions of phospholipids were observed in the salamander retina section. Phosphatidylcholines (PCs) composing saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (PC 32:0, PC 32:1, and PC 34:1) were detected mainly in the outer and inner plexiform layers (OPL and IPL), whereas PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PC 36:4, PC 38:6, and PC 40:6) composed the inner segment (IS) and outer segment (OS). The presence of PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids in the OS layer implied that these phospholipids form flexible lipid bilayers, which facilitate phototransduction process occurring in the rhodopsin rich OS layer. Distinct distributions and relative signal intensities of phospholipids also indicated their relative abundance in a particular cell or a cell part. Using salamander large cells, a single cell level localization and identification of biomolecules could be achieved by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry.

  6. The draft genome of the large yellow croaker reveals well-developed innate immunity

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Changwen; Zhang, Di; Kan, Mengyuan; Lv, Zhengmin; Zhu, Aiyi; Su, Yongquan; Zhou, Daizhan; Zhang, Jianshe; Zhang, Zhou; Xu, Meiying; Jiang, Lihua; Guo, Baoying; Wang, Ting; Chi, Changfeng; Mao, Yong; Zhou, Jiajian; Yu, Xinxiu; Wang, Hailing; Weng, Xiaoling; Jin, Jason Gang; Ye, Junyi; He, Lin; Liu, Yun

    2014-01-01

    The large yellow croaker, Larimichthys crocea, is one of the most economically important marine fish species endemic to China. Its wild stocks have severely suffered from overfishing, and the aquacultured species are vulnerable to various marine pathogens. Here we report the creation of a draft genome of a wild large yellow croaker using a whole-genome sequencing strategy. We estimate the genome size to be 728 Mb with 19,362 protein-coding genes. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the stickleback is most closely related to the large yellow croaker. Rapidly evolving genes under positive selection are significantly enriched in pathways related to innate immunity. We also confirm the existence of several genes and identify the expansion of gene families that are important for innate immunity. Our results may reflect a well-developed innate immune system in the large yellow croaker, which could aid in the development of wild resource preservation and mariculture strategies. PMID:25407894

  7. The draft genome of the large yellow croaker reveals well-developed innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Changwen; Zhang, Di; Kan, Mengyuan; Lv, Zhengmin; Zhu, Aiyi; Su, Yongquan; Zhou, Daizhan; Zhang, Jianshe; Zhang, Zhou; Xu, Meiying; Jiang, Lihua; Guo, Baoying; Wang, Ting; Chi, Changfeng; Mao, Yong; Zhou, Jiajian; Yu, Xinxiu; Wang, Hailing; Weng, Xiaoling; Jin, Jason Gang; Ye, Junyi; He, Lin; Liu, Yun

    2014-11-19

    The large yellow croaker, Larimichthys crocea, is one of the most economically important marine fish species endemic to China. Its wild stocks have severely suffered from overfishing, and the aquacultured species are vulnerable to various marine pathogens. Here we report the creation of a draft genome of a wild large yellow croaker using a whole-genome sequencing strategy. We estimate the genome size to be 728 Mb with 19,362 protein-coding genes. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the stickleback is most closely related to the large yellow croaker. Rapidly evolving genes under positive selection are significantly enriched in pathways related to innate immunity. We also confirm the existence of several genes and identify the expansion of gene families that are important for innate immunity. Our results may reflect a well-developed innate immune system in the large yellow croaker, which could aid in the development of wild resource preservation and mariculture strategies.

  8. Compression of Large genomic datasets using COMRAD on Parallel Computing Platform

    PubMed Central

    Biji, Christopher Leela; Madhu, Manu K; Vishnu, Vineetha; K, Satheesh Kumar; Vijayakumar; Nair, Achuthsankar S

    2015-01-01

    The big data storage is a challenge in a post genome era. Hence, there is a need for high performance computing solutions for managing large genomic data. Therefore, it is of interest to describe a parallel-computing approach using message-passing library for distributing the different compression stages in clusters. The genomic compression helps to reduce the on disk“foot print” of large data volumes of sequences. This supports the computational infrastructure for a more efficient archiving. The approach was shown to find utility in 21 Eukaryotic genomes using stratified sampling in this report. The method achieves an average of 6-fold disk space reduction with three times better compression time than COMRAD. Availability The source codes are written in C using message passing libraries and are available at https:// sourceforge.net/ projects/ comradmpi/files / COMRADMPI/ PMID:26124572

  9. Radiation hybrid maps of D-genome of Aegilops tauschii and their application in sequence assembly of large and complex plant genomes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The large and complex genome of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L., ~17 Gb) requires high-resolution genome maps saturated with ordered markers to assist in anchoring and orienting BAC contigs/ sequence scaffolds for whole genome sequence assembly. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping has proven to be an e...

  10. Feasibility of Large-Scale Genomic Testing to Facilitate Enrollment Onto Genomically Matched Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Meric-Bernstam, Funda; Brusco, Lauren; Shaw, Kenna; Horombe, Chacha; Kopetz, Scott; Davies, Michael A.; Routbort, Mark; Piha-Paul, Sarina A.; Janku, Filip; Ueno, Naoto; Hong, David; De Groot, John; Ravi, Vinod; Li, Yisheng; Luthra, Raja; Patel, Keyur; Broaddus, Russell; Mendelsohn, John; Mills, Gordon B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose We report the experience with 2,000 consecutive patients with advanced cancer who underwent testing on a genomic testing protocol, including the frequency of actionable alterations across tumor types, subsequent enrollment onto clinical trials, and the challenges for trial enrollment. Patients and Methods Standardized hotspot mutation analysis was performed in 2,000 patients, using either an 11-gene (251 patients) or a 46- or 50-gene (1,749 patients) multiplex platform. Thirty-five genes were considered potentially actionable based on their potential to be targeted with approved or investigational therapies. Results Seven hundred eighty-nine patients (39%) had at least one mutation in potentially actionable genes. Eighty-three patients (11%) with potentially actionable mutations went on genotype-matched trials targeting these alterations. Of 230 patients with PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN/BRAF mutations that returned for therapy, 116 (50%) received a genotype-matched drug. Forty patients (17%) were treated on a genotype-selected trial requiring a mutation for eligibility, 16 (7%) were treated on a genotype-relevant trial targeting a genomic alteration without biomarker selection, and 40 (17%) received a genotype-relevant drug off trial. Challenges to trial accrual included patient preference of noninvestigational treatment or local treatment, poor performance status or other reasons for trial ineligibility, lack of trials/slots, and insurance denial. Conclusion Broad implementation of multiplex hotspot testing is feasible; however, only a small portion of patients with actionable alterations were actually enrolled onto genotype-matched trials. Increased awareness of therapeutic implications and access to novel therapeutics are needed to optimally leverage results from broad-based genomic testing. PMID:26014291

  11. Array-comparative genomic hybridization profiling of immunohistochemical subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma shows distinct genomic alterations

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Ying; Takeuchi, Ichiro; Karnan, Sivasundaram; Miyata, Tomoko; Ohshima, Koichi; Seto, Masao

    2014-01-01

    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) displays striking heterogeneity at the clinical, genetic and molecular levels. Subtypes include germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) DLBCL and activated B-cell-like (ABC) DLBCL, according to microarray analysis, and germinal center type or non-germinal center type by immunohistochemistry. Although some reports have described genomic aberrations based upon microarray classification system, genomic aberrations based upon immunohistochemical classifications have rarely been reported. The present study aimed to ascertain the relationship between genomic aberrations and subtypes identified by immunohistochemistry, and to study the pathogenetic character of Chinese DLBCL. We conducted immunohistochemistry using antibodies against CD10, BCL6 and MUM1 in 59 samples of DLBCL from Chinese patients, and then performed microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization for each case. Characteristic genomic differences were found between GCB and non-GCB DLBCL from the array data. The GCB type was characterized by more gains at 7q (7q22.1, P < 0.05) and losses at 16q (P ≤ 0.05), while the non-GCB type was characterized by gains at 11q24.3 and 3q13.2 (P < 0.05). We found completely different mutations in BCL6+ and BCL6− non-GCB type DLBCL, whereby the BCL6− group had a higher number of gains at 1q and a loss at 14q32.13 (P ≤ 0.005), while the BCL6+ group showed a higher number of gains at 14q23.1 (P = 0.15) and losses at 6q (P = 0.07). The BCL6− group had a higher frequency of genomic imbalances compared to the BCL6+ group. In conclusion, the BCL6+ and BCL6− non-GCB type of DLBCL appear to have different mechanisms of pathogenesis. PMID:24843885

  12. Array-comparative genomic hybridization profiling of immunohistochemical subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma shows distinct genomic alterations.

    PubMed

    Guo, Ying; Takeuchi, Ichiro; Karnan, Sivasundaram; Miyata, Tomoko; Ohshima, Koichi; Seto, Masao

    2014-04-01

    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) displays striking heterogeneity at the clinical, genetic and molecular levels. Subtypes include germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) DLBCL and activated B-cell-like (ABC) DLBCL, according to microarray analysis, and germinal center type or non-germinal center type by immunohistochemistry. Although some reports have described genomic aberrations based upon microarray classification system, genomic aberrations based upon immunohistochemical classifications have rarely been reported. The present study aimed to ascertain the relationship between genomic aberrations and subtypes identified by immunohistochemistry, and to study the pathogenetic character of Chinese DLBCL. We conducted immunohistochemistry using antibodies against CD10, BCL6 and MUM1 in 59 samples of DLBCL from Chinese patients, and then performed microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization for each case. Characteristic genomic differences were found between GCB and non-GCB DLBCL from the array data. The GCB type was characterized by more gains at 7q (7q22.1, P < 0.05) and losses at 16q (P ≤ 0.05), while the non-GCB type was characterized by gains at 11q24.3 and 3q13.2 (P < 0.05). We found completely different mutations in BCL6+ and BCL6- non-GCB type DLBCL, whereby the BCL6- group had a higher number of gains at 1q and a loss at 14q32.13 (P ≤ 0.005), while the BCL6+ group showed a higher number of gains at 14q23.1 (P = 0.15) and losses at 6q (P = 0.07). The BCL6- group had a higher frequency of genomic imbalances compared to the BCL6+ group. In conclusion, the BCL6+ and BCL6- non-GCB type of DLBCL appear to have different mechanisms of pathogenesis.

  13. Large-Scale Comparative Genomics Meta-Analysis of Campylobacter jejuni Isolates Reveals Low Level of Genome Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Taboada, Eduardo N.; Acedillo, Rey R.; Carrillo, Catherine D.; Findlay, Wendy A.; Medeiros, Diane T.; Mykytczuk, Oksana L.; Roberts, Michael J.; Valencia, C. Alexander; Farber, Jeffrey M.; Nash, John H. E.

    2004-01-01

    We have used comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) on a full-genome Campylobacter jejuni microarray to examine genome-wide gene conservation patterns among 51 strains isolated from food and clinical sources. These data have been integrated with data from three previous C. jejuni CGH studies to perform a meta-analysis that included 97 strains from the four separate data sets. Although many genes were found to be divergent across multiple strains (n = 350), many genes (n = 249) were uniquely variable in single strains. Thus, the strains in each data set comprise strains with a unique genetic diversity not found in the strains in the other data sets. Despite the large increase in the collective number of variable C. jejuni genes (n = 599) found in the meta-analysis data set, nearly half of these (n = 276) mapped to previously defined variable loci, and it therefore appears that large regions of the C. jejuni genome are genetically stable. A detailed analysis of the microarray data revealed that divergent genes could be differentiated on the basis of the amplitudes of their differential microarray signals. Of 599 variable genes, 122 could be classified as highly divergent on the basis of CGH data. Nearly all highly divergent genes (117 of 122) had divergent neighbors and showed high levels of intraspecies variability. The approach outlined here has enabled us to distinguish global trends of gene conservation in C. jejuni and has enabled us to define this group of genes as a robust set of variable markers that can become the cornerstone of a new generation of genotyping methods that use genome-wide C. jejuni gene variability data. PMID:15472310

  14. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  15. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Enters the Age of Large-Scale Genomic Collaboration

    PubMed Central

    Logue, Mark W; Amstadter, Ananda B; Baker, Dewleen G; Duncan, Laramie; Koenen, Karestan C; Liberzon, Israel; Miller, Mark W; Morey, Rajendra A; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Ressler, Kerry J; Smith, Alicia K; Smoller, Jordan W; Stein, Murray B; Sumner, Jennifer A; Uddin, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is influenced by genetic factors. Although there have been some replicated candidates, the identification of risk variants for PTSD has lagged behind genetic research of other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric genetics has moved beyond examination of specific candidate genes in favor of the genome-wide association study (GWAS) strategy of very large numbers of samples, which allows for the discovery of previously unsuspected genes and molecular pathways. The successes of genetic studies of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been aided by the formation of a large-scale GWAS consortium: the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC). In contrast, only a handful of GWAS of PTSD have appeared in the literature to date. Here we describe the formation of a group dedicated to large-scale study of PTSD genetics: the PGC-PTSD. The PGC-PTSD faces challenges related to the contingency on trauma exposure and the large degree of ancestral genetic diversity within and across participating studies. Using the PGC analysis pipeline supplemented by analyses tailored to address these challenges, we anticipate that our first large-scale GWAS of PTSD will comprise over 10 000 cases and 30 000 trauma-exposed controls. Following in the footsteps of our PGC forerunners, this collaboration—of a scope that is unprecedented in the field of traumatic stress—will lead the search for replicable genetic associations and new insights into the biological underpinnings of PTSD. PMID:25904361

  16. Experimental infection of native north Carolina salamanders with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Cooper, David; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Poore, Matthew F; Levy, Michael G

    2009-07-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an often fatal fungal disease of amphibians caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This disease has been implicated in the worldwide decline of many anuran species, but studies of chytridiomycosis in wild salamanders are limited. Between August 2006 and December 2006, we tested wild amphibians in North Carolina, USA (n=212) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We identified three PCR-positive animals: one Rana clamitans and two Plethodontid salamanders. We experimentally infected two species of native North Carolina Plethodontid salamanders, the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus) and the Blue Ridge Mountain dusky salamander (Desmognathus orestes) with 1,000,000 zoospores of B. dendrobatidis per animal. Susceptibility was species dependent; all slimy salamanders developed clinical signs of chytridiomycosis, and one died, whereas dusky salamanders remained unaffected. In a second experiment, we challenged naïve slimy salamanders with either 10,000 or 100,000 motile zoospores per animal. Clinical signs consistent with chytridiomycosis were not observed at either dose or in uninfected controls during the 45 days of this experiment. All animals inoculated with B. dendrobatidis in both experiments, regardless of dose, tested positive by PCR. Our study indicates that slimy salamanders are more susceptible to clinical chytridiomycosis than dusky salamanders, and in a laboratory setting, a dose greater than 100,000 zoospores per animal is required to induce clinical disease. This study also indicates that PCR is a very sensitive tool for detecting B. dendrobatidis infection, even in animals that are clinically unaffected, thus positive results should be interpreted with caution.

  17. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V.

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO ( P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions.

  18. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    PubMed

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

  19. Rapid classical conditioning of odor response in a physiological model for olfactory research, the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Dorries, K M; White, J; Kauer, J S

    1997-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of important advances in the understanding of cellular mechanisms related to olfactory function. Hypotheses regarding the complex relationships among odorant structure, physiological activity and behavioral outcome generated by these findings, however, remain largely untested due to a paucity of psychophysical data on stimulus discrimination in the same experimental species. Comparisons between behavioral and physiological responses are essential for elucidating the critical aspects of stimulus coding in sensory systems. We have developed a method for generating psychophysical data in one of the primary model species used in olfactory research, the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. These psychophysical experiments are carried out under the same conditions as physiological experiments in our laboratory. Using classical conditioning, individual salamanders are trained over a period of 2-3 h to show skin potential responses to odor and not air. Failure to train using backward pairing demonstrates that the response is not due to sensitization or pseudoconditioning. The conditioned response is mediated by the olfactory pathway, as it is blocked by olfactory nerve section. We show that salamanders detect three odorants that are commonly used stimuli in physiological experiments (butyl alcohol, butyl acetate and amyl acetate), but cannot detect a fourth common experimental odorant, camphor. This method should be a powerful tool for studying olfactory information processing by providing data on discriminability of stimuli used in salamander physiological studies.

  20. Transcriptomic analysis of the host response to an iridovirus infection in Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yuding; Chang, Ming Xian; Ma, Jie; LaPatra, Scott E; Hu, Yi Wei; Huang, Lili; Nie, Pin; Zeng, Lingbing

    2015-11-20

    The emergence of an infectious viral disease caused by the Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV) has led to substantial economic losses. However, no more molecular information is available for the understanding of the mechanisms associated with virus-host interaction. In this study, de novo sequencing was used to obtain abundant high-quality ESTs and investigate differentially-expressed genes in the spleen of Chinese giant salamanders that were either infected or mock infected with GSIV. Comparative expression analysis indicated that 293 genes were down-regulated and 220 genes were up-regulated. Further enrichment analysis showed that the most enriched pathway is "complement and coagulation cascades", and significantly enriched diseases include "inherited thrombophilia", "immune system diseases", "primary immunodeficiency", "complement regulatory protein defects", and "disorders of nucleotide excision repair". Additionally, 30 678 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from all spleen samples, 26 355 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the spleens of uninfected animals and 36 070 SNPs from the spleens of infected animals were detected. The large amount of variation was specific for the Chinese giant salamanders that were infected with GSIV. The results reported herein provided significant and new EST information that could contribute greatly in investigations into the molecular functions of immune genes in the Chinese giant salamander.

  1. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO (P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions.

  2. A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jason S; Reisz, Robert R; Scott, Diane; Fröbisch, Nadia B; Sumida, Stuart S

    2008-05-22

    The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record. Current discussions focus on three competing hypotheses: a monophyletic origin within either Temnospondyli or Lepospondyli, or a polyphyletic origin with frogs and salamanders arising among temnospondyls and caecilians among the lepospondyls. Recent molecular analyses are also controversial, with estimations for the batrachian (frog-salamander) divergence significantly older than the palaeontological evidence supports. Here we report the discovery of an amphibamid temnospondyl from the Early Permian of Texas that bridges the gap between other Palaeozoic amphibians and the earliest known salientians and caudatans from the Mesozoic. The presence of a mosaic of salientian and caudatan characters in this small fossil makes it a key taxon close to the batrachian (frog and salamander) divergence. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the batrachian divergence occurred in the Middle Permian, rather than the late Carboniferous as recently estimated using molecular clocks, but the divergence with caecilians corresponds to the deep split between temnospondyls and lepospondyls, which is congruent with the molecular estimates.

  3. Assessing the utility of confirmatory studies following identification of large-scale genomic imbalances by microarray.

    PubMed

    Sanmann, Jennifer N; Pickering, Diane L; Golden, Denae M; Stevens, Jadd M; Hempel, Thomas E; Althof, Pamela A; Wiggins, Michele L; Starr, Lois J; Davé, Bhavana J; Sanger, Warren G

    2015-11-01

    The identification of clinically relevant genomic dosage anomalies assists in accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and medical management of affected individuals. Technological advancements within the field, such as the advent of microarray, have markedly increased the resolution of detection; however, clinical laboratories have maintained conventional techniques for confirmation of genomic imbalances identified by microarray to ensure diagnostic accuracy. In recent years the utility of this confirmatory testing of large-scale aberrations has been questioned but has not been scientifically addressed. We retrospectively reviewed 519 laboratory cases with genomic imbalances meeting reportable criteria by microarray and subsequently confirmed with a second technology, primarily fluorescence in situ hybridization. All genomic imbalances meeting reportable criteria detected by microarray were confirmed with a second technology. Microarray analysis generated no false-positive results. Confirmatory testing of large-scale genomic imbalances (deletion of ≥150 kb, duplication of ≥500 kb) solely for the purpose of microarray verification may be unwarranted. In some cases, however, adjunct testing is necessary to overcome limitations inherent to microarray. A recommended clinical strategy for adjunct testing following identified genomic imbalances using microarray is detailed.

  4. Large-scale recoding of a bacterial genome by iterative recombineering of synthetic DNA

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Yu Heng; Stirling, Finn; Kuo, James; Karrenbelt, Michiel A. P.; Chan, Yujia A.; Riesselman, Adam; Horton, Connor A.; Schäfer, Elena; Lips, David; Weinstock, Matthew T.; Gibson, Daniel G.; Way, Jeffrey C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The ability to rewrite large stretches of genomic DNA enables the creation of new organisms with customized functions. However, few methods currently exist for accumulating such widespread genomic changes in a single organism. In this study, we demonstrate a rapid approach for rewriting bacterial genomes with modified synthetic DNA. We recode 200 kb of the Salmonella typhimurium LT2 genome through a process we term SIRCAS (stepwise integration of rolling circle amplified segments), towards constructing an attenuated and genetically isolated bacterial chassis. The SIRCAS process involves direct iterative recombineering of 10–25 kb synthetic DNA constructs which are assembled in yeast and amplified by rolling circle amplification. Using SIRCAS, we create a Salmonella with 1557 synonymous leucine codon replacements across 176 genes, the largest number of cumulative recoding changes in a single bacterial strain to date. We demonstrate reproducibility over sixteen two-day cycles of integration and parallelization for hierarchical construction of a synthetic genome by conjugation. The resulting recoded strain grows at a similar rate to the wild-type strain and does not exhibit any major growth defects. This work is the first instance of synthetic bacterial recoding beyond the Escherichia coli genome, and reveals that Salmonella is remarkably amenable to genome-scale modification. PMID:28499033

  5. Aneides ferreus (clouded salamander): arboreal activity

    Treesearch

    William W. Price; Clinton P. Landon; Eric D. Forsman

    2010-01-01

    Aneides ferreus (clouded salamander) inhabits the forests of western Oregon and extreme northwestern California. Although thought to be primarily terrestrial, A. ferreus has occasionally been found as high as 60 m up in trees and two recent reports suggest that it may be more arboreal than previously believed. However, it is...

  6. Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing reveals major lineages and phylogenetic structure in the North American tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) species complex.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Eric M; Schwartz, Rachel; Bullock, C Thomas; Williams, Joshua S; Shaffer, H Bradley; Aguilar-Miguel, X; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Weisrock, David W

    2013-01-01

    Modern analytical methods for population genetics and phylogenetics are expected to provide more accurate results when data from multiple genome-wide loci are analysed. We present the results of an initial application of parallel tagged sequencing (PTS) on a next-generation platform to sequence thousands of barcoded PCR amplicons generated from 95 nuclear loci and 93 individuals sampled across the range of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) species complex. To manage the bioinformatic processing of this large data set (344 330 reads), we developed a pipeline that sorts PTS data by barcode and locus, identifies high-quality variable nucleotides and yields phased haplotype sequences for each individual at each locus. Our sequencing and bioinformatic strategy resulted in a genome-wide data set with relatively low levels of missing data and a wide range of nucleotide variation. structure analyses of these data in a genotypic format resulted in strongly supported assignments for the majority of individuals into nine geographically defined genetic clusters. Species tree analyses of the most variable loci using a multi-species coalescent model resulted in strong support for most branches in the species tree; however, analyses including more than 50 loci produced parameter sampling trends that indicated a lack of convergence on the posterior distribution. Overall, these results demonstrate the potential for amplicon-based PTS to rapidly generate large-scale data for population genetic and phylogenetic-based research.

  7. Core-SINE blocks comprise a large fraction of monotreme genomes; implications for vertebrate chromosome evolution.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Patrick J; Greaves, Ian K; Koina, Edda; Waters, Paul D; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2007-01-01

    The genomes of the egg-laying platypus and echidna are of particular interest because monotremes are the most basal mammal group. The chromosomal distribution of an ancient family of short interspersed repeats (SINEs), the core-SINEs, was investigated to better understand monotreme genome organization and evolution. Previous studies have identified the core-SINE as the predominant SINE in the platypus genome, and in this study we quantified, characterized and localized subfamilies. Dot blot analysis suggested that a very large fraction (32% of the platypus and 16% of the echidna genome) is composed of Mon core-SINEs. Core-SINE-specific primers were used to amplify PCR products from platypus and echidna genomic DNA. Sequence analysis suggests a common consensus sequence Mon 1-B, shared by platypus and echidna, as well as platypus-specific Mon 1-C and echidna specific Mon 1-D consensus sequences. FISH mapping of the Mon core-SINE products to platypus metaphase spreads demonstrates that the Mon-1C subfamily is responsible for the striking Mon core-SINE accumulation in the distal regions of the six large autosomal pairs and the largest X chromosome. This unusual distribution highlights the dichotomy between the seven large chromosome pairs and the 19 smaller pairs in the monotreme karyotype, which has some similarity to the macro- and micro-chromosomes of birds and reptiles, and suggests that accumulation of repetitive sequences may have enlarged small chromosomes in an ancestral vertebrate. In the forthcoming sequence of the platypus genome there are still large gaps, and the extensive Mon core-SINE accumulation on the distal regions of the six large autosomal pairs may provide one explanation for this missing sequence.

  8. Chloroplast genomes of two conifers lack a large inverted repeat and are extensively rearranged.

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, S H; Palmer, J D; Howe, G T; Doerksen, A H

    1988-01-01

    Chloroplast genomes of Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] and radiata (Monterey) pine [Pinus radiata D. Don], two conifers from the widespread Pinaceae, were mapped and their genomes were compared to other land plants. Douglas-fir and radiata pine lack the large (20-25 kilobases) inverted repeat that characterizes most land plants. To our knowledge, this is only the second recorded loss of this ancient and highly conserved inverted repeat among all lineages of land plants thus far examined. Loss of the repeat largely accounts for the small size of the conifer genome, 120 kilobase, versus 140-160 kilobases in most land plants. Douglas-fir possesses a major inversion of 40-50 kilobases relative to radiata pine and nonconiferous plants. Nucleotide sequence differentiation between Douglas-fir and radiata pine was estimated to be 3.8%. Both conifer genomes possess a number of rearrangements relative to Osmunda, a fern, Ginkgo, a gymnosperm, and Petunia, an angiosperm. Among land plants, structural changes of this degree have occurred primarily within tribes of the legume family (Fabaceae) that have also lost the inverted repeat. These results support the hypothesis that the presence of the large inverted repeat stabilizes the chloroplast genome against major structural rearrangements. PMID:2836862

  9. Whole genome molecular phylogeny of large dsDNA viruses using composition vector method

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Lei; Qi, Ji

    2007-01-01

    Background One important mechanism by which large DNA viruses increase their genome size is the addition of modules acquired from other viruses, host genomes or gene duplications. Phylogenetic analysis of large DNA viruses, especially using methods based on alignment, is often difficult due to the presence of horizontal gene transfer events. The recent composition vector approach, not sensitive to such events, is applied here to reconstruct the phylogeny of 124 large DNA viruses. Results The results are mostly consistent with the biologist's systematics with only a few outliers and can also provide some information for those unclassified viruses and cladistic relationships of several families. Conclusion With composition vector approach we obtained the phylogenetic tree of large DNA viruses, which not only give results comparable to biologist's systematics but also provide a new way for recovering the phylogeny of viruses. PMID:17359548

  10. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Andrew J; Garcia, Tiffany S; Jones, Jay E; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peterman, Summer; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  11. Evaluating multi-level models to test occupancy state responses of Plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Catherine; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  12. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  13. Software engineering the mixed model for genome-wide association studies on large samples

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Mixed models improve the ability to detect phenotype-genotype associations in the presence of population stratification and multiple levels of relatedness in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but for large data sets the resource consumption becomes impractical. At the same time, the sample siz...

  14. Streamlining and Large Ancestral Genomes in Archaea Inferred with a Phylogenetic Birth-and-Death Model

    PubMed Central

    Miklós, István

    2009-01-01

    Homologous genes originate from a common ancestor through vertical inheritance, duplication, or horizontal gene transfer. Entire homolog families spawned by a single ancestral gene can be identified across multiple genomes based on protein sequence similarity. The sequences, however, do not always reveal conclusively the history of large families. To study the evolution of complete gene repertoires, we propose here a mathematical framework that does not rely on resolved gene family histories. We show that so-called phylogenetic profiles, formed by family sizes across multiple genomes, are sufficient to infer principal evolutionary trends. The main novelty in our approach is an efficient algorithm to compute the likelihood of a phylogenetic profile in a model of birth-and-death processes acting on a phylogeny. We examine known gene families in 28 archaeal genomes using a probabilistic model that involves lineage- and family-specific components of gene acquisition, duplication, and loss. The model enables us to consider all possible histories when inferring statistics about archaeal evolution. According to our reconstruction, most lineages are characterized by a net loss of gene families. Major increases in gene repertoire have occurred only a few times. Our reconstruction underlines the importance of persistent streamlining processes in shaping genome composition in Archaea. It also suggests that early archaeal genomes were as complex as typical modern ones, and even show signs, in the case of the methanogenic ancestor, of an extremely large gene repertoire. PMID:19570746

  15. HiPiler: Visual Exploration of Large Genome Interaction Matrices with Interactive Small Multiples.

    PubMed

    Lekschas, Fritz; Bach, Benjamin; Kerpedjiev, Peter; Gehlenborg, Nils; Pfister, Hanspeter

    2017-08-29

    This paper presents an interactive visualization interface-HiPiler-for the exploration and visualization of regions-of-interest in large genome interaction matrices. Genome interaction matrices approximate the physical distance of pairs of regions on the genome to each other and can contain up to 3 million rows and columns with many sparse regions. Regions of interest (ROIs) can be defined, e.g., by sets of adjacent rows and columns, or by specific visual patterns in the matrix. However, traditional matrix aggregation or pan-and-zoom interfaces fail in supporting search, inspection, and comparison of ROIs in such large matrices. In HiPiler, ROIs are first-class objects, represented as thumbnail-like "snippets". Snippets can be interactively explored and grouped or laid out automatically in scatterplots, or through dimension reduction methods. Snippets are linked to the entire navigable genome interaction matrix through brushing and linking. The design of HiPiler is based on a series of semi-structured interviews with 10 domain experts involved in the analysis and interpretation of genome interaction matrices. We describe six exploration tasks that are crucial for analysis of interaction matrices and demonstrate how HiPiler supports these tasks. We report on a user study with a series of data exploration sessions with domain experts to assess the usability of HiPiler as well as to demonstrate respective findings in the data.

  16. Encroaching genomics: adapting large-scale science to small academic laboratories.

    PubMed

    Einarson, M B; Golemis, E A

    2000-04-27

    The process of conducting biological research is undergoing a profound metamorphosis due to the technological innovations and torrent of information resulting from the execution of multiple species genome projects. The further tasks of mapping polymorphisms and characterizing genome-wide protein-protein interaction (the characterization of the proteome) will continue to garner resources, talent, and public attention. Although some elements of these whole genome size projects can only be addressed by large research groups, consortia, or industry, the impact of these projects has already begun to transform the process of research in many small laboratories. Although the impact of this transformation is generally positive, laboratories engaged in types of research destined to be dominated by the efforts of a genomic consortium may be negatively impacted if they cannot rapidly adjust strategies in the face of new large-scale competition. The focus of this report is to outline a series of strategies that have been productively utilized by a number of small academic laboratories that have attempted to integrate such genomic resources into research plans with the goal of developing novel physiological insights.

  17. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

  18. Physical mapping resources for large plant genomes: radiation hybrids for wheat D-genome progenitor Aegilops tauschii

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Development of a high quality reference sequence is a daunting task in crops like wheat with large (~17Gb), highly repetitive (>80%) and polyploid genome. To achieve complete sequence assembly of such genomes, development of a high quality physical map is a necessary first step. However, due to the lack of recombination in certain regions of the chromosomes, genetic mapping, which uses recombination frequency to map marker loci, alone is not sufficient to develop high quality marker scaffolds for a sequence ready physical map. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping, which uses radiation induced chromosomal breaks, has proven to be a successful approach for developing marker scaffolds for sequence assembly in animal systems. Here, the development and characterization of a RH panel for the mapping of D-genome of wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii is reported. Results Radiation dosages of 350 and 450 Gy were optimized for seed irradiation of a synthetic hexaploid (AABBDD) wheat with the D-genome of Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78. The surviving plants after irradiation were crossed to durum wheat (AABB), to produce pentaploid RH1s (AABBD), which allows the simultaneous mapping of the whole D-genome. A panel of 1,510 RH1 plants was obtained, of which 592 plants were generated from the mature RH1 seeds, and 918 plants were rescued through embryo culture due to poor germination (<3%) of mature RH1 seeds. This panel showed a homogenous marker loss (2.1%) after screening with SSR markers uniformly covering all the D-genome chromosomes. Different marker systems mostly detected different lines with deletions. Using markers covering known distances, the mapping resolution of this RH panel was estimated to be <140kb. Analysis of only 16 RH lines carrying deletions on chromosome 2D resulted in a physical map with cM/cR ratio of 1:5.2 and 15 distinct bins. Additionally, with this small set of lines, almost all the tested ESTs could be mapped. A set of 399 most informative RH

  19. Physical mapping resources for large plant genomes: radiation hybrids for wheat D-genome progenitor Aegilops tauschii.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ajay; Simons, Kristin; Iqbal, Muhammad J; de Jiménez, Monika Michalak; Bassi, Filippo M; Ghavami, Farhad; Al-Azzam, Omar; Drader, Thomas; Wang, Yi; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Gu, Yong Q; Denton, Anne; Lazo, Gerard R; Xu, Steven S; Dvorak, Jan; Kianian, Penny M A; Kianian, Shahryar F

    2012-11-05

    Development of a high quality reference sequence is a daunting task in crops like wheat with large (~17Gb), highly repetitive (>80%) and polyploid genome. To achieve complete sequence assembly of such genomes, development of a high quality physical map is a necessary first step. However, due to the lack of recombination in certain regions of the chromosomes, genetic mapping, which uses recombination frequency to map marker loci, alone is not sufficient to develop high quality marker scaffolds for a sequence ready physical map. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping, which uses radiation induced chromosomal breaks, has proven to be a successful approach for developing marker scaffolds for sequence assembly in animal systems. Here, the development and characterization of a RH panel for the mapping of D-genome of wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii is reported. Radiation dosages of 350 and 450 Gy were optimized for seed irradiation of a synthetic hexaploid (AABBDD) wheat with the D-genome of Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78. The surviving plants after irradiation were crossed to durum wheat (AABB), to produce pentaploid RH1s (AABBD), which allows the simultaneous mapping of the whole D-genome. A panel of 1,510 RH1 plants was obtained, of which 592 plants were generated from the mature RH1 seeds, and 918 plants were rescued through embryo culture due to poor germination (<3%) of mature RH1 seeds. This panel showed a homogenous marker loss (2.1%) after screening with SSR markers uniformly covering all the D-genome chromosomes. Different marker systems mostly detected different lines with deletions. Using markers covering known distances, the mapping resolution of this RH panel was estimated to be <140kb. Analysis of only 16 RH lines carrying deletions on chromosome 2D resulted in a physical map with cM/cR ratio of 1:5.2 and 15 distinct bins. Additionally, with this small set of lines, almost all the tested ESTs could be mapped. A set of 399 most informative RH lines with an average

  20. Identification and analysis of genomic regions with large between-population differentiation in humans.

    PubMed

    Myles, S; Tang, K; Somel, M; Green, R E; Kelso, J; Stoneking, M

    2008-01-01

    The primary aim of genetic association and linkage studies is to identify genetic variants that contribute to phenotypic variation within human populations. Since the overwhelming majority of human genetic variation is found within populations, these methods are expected to be effective and can likely be extrapolated from one human population to another. However, they may lack power in detecting the genetic variants that contribute to phenotypes that differ greatly between human populations. Phenotypes that show large differences between populations are expected to be associated with genomic regions exhibiting large allele frequency differences between populations. Thus, from genome-wide polymorphism data genomic regions with large allele frequency differences between populations can be identified, and evaluated as candidates for large between-population phenotypic differences. Here we use allele frequency data from approximately 1.5 million SNPs from three human populations, and present an algorithm that identifies genomic regions containing SNPs with extreme Fst. We demonstrate that our candidate regions have reduced heterozygosity in Europeans and Chinese relative to African-Americans, and are likely enriched with genes that have experienced positive natural selection. We identify genes that are likely responsible for phenotypes known to differ dramatically between human populations and present several candidates worthy of future investigation. Our list of high Fst genomic regions is a first step in identifying the genetic variants that contribute to large phenotypic differences between populations, many of which have likely experienced positive natural selection. Our approach based on between population differences can compliment traditional within population linkage and association studies to uncover novel genotype-phenotype relationships.

  1. Lethal effects of water quality on threatened California salamanders but not on co-occurring hybrid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Lowenstine, Linda J; Picco, Angela M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2013-02-01

    Biological invasions and habitat alteration are often detrimental to native species, but their interactions are difficult to predict. Interbreeding between native and introduced species generates novel genotypes and phenotypes, and human land use alters habitat structure and chemistry. Both invasions and habitat alteration create new biological challenges and opportunities. In the intensively farmed Salinas Valley, California (U.S.A.), threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) have been replaced by hybrids between California tiger salamander and introduced barred tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). We conducted an enclosure experiment to examine the effects habitat modification and relative frequency of hybrid and native California tiger salamanders have on recruitment of salamanders and their prey, Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). We tested whether recruitment differed among genetic classes of tiger salamanders (hybrid or native) and pond hydroperiod (seasonal or perennial). Roughly 6 weeks into the experiment, 70% (of 378 total) of salamander larvae died in 4 out of 6 ponds. Native salamanders survived (n = 12) in these ponds only if they had metamorphosed prior to the die-offs. During die-offs, all larvae of native salamanders died, whereas 56% of hybrid larvae died. We necropsied native and hybrid salamanders, tested water quality, and queried the California Department of Pesticide Regulation database to investigate possible causes of the die-offs. Salamander die-offs, changes in the abundance of other community members (invertebrates, algae, and cyanobacteria), shifts in salamander sex ratio, and patterns of pesticide application in adjacent fields suggest that pesticide use may have contributed to die-offs. That all survivors were hybrids suggests that environmental stress may promote rapid displacement of native genotypes.

  2. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2009-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recovering antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina.

  3. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M.

    2013-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recoverin antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina. PMID:18977238

  4. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Pope, Welkin H; Bowman, Charles A; Russell, Daniel A; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Asai, David J; Cresawn, Steven G; Jacobs, William R; Hendrix, Roger W; Lawrence, Jeffrey G; Hatfull, Graham F; Abbazia, Patrick; Ababio, Amma; Adam, Naazneen

    2015-01-01

    The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Their genetic diversity is considerable, and there are 28 distinct genomic types (clusters) with related nucleotide sequences. However, amino acid sequence comparisons show pervasive genomic mosaicism, and quantification of inter-cluster and intra-cluster relatedness reveals a continuum of genetic diversity, albeit with uneven representation of different phages. Furthermore, rarefaction analysis shows that the mycobacteriophage population is not closed, and there is a constant influx of genes from other sources. Phage isolation and analysis was performed by a large consortium of academic institutions, illustrating the substantial benefits of a disseminated, structured program involving large numbers of freshman undergraduates in scientific discovery. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06416.001 PMID:25919952

  5. The effects of used motor oil, silt, and the water mold Saprolegnia parasitica on the growth and survival of mole salamanders (genus Ambystoma).

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Hancock, K A; Maur, K M; Rostal, D C

    1997-05-01

    Amphibians appear to be declining worldwide. One cause of their decline may be used crankcase oil which leaks from motor vehicles and washes into ponds. Once in ponds, the oil may either be directly toxic to amphibians, or may indirectly affect them by disrupting food chains. The effects of oil may also be compounded by naturally occurring materials in the water column such as silt. Silt may interfere with respiration across gill surfaces. This study examined the effects of oil and silt on the growth and metamorphosis of larval mole salamanders, Ambystoma opacum and A. tigrinum tigrinum. In Experiment One it examined ponds with and without silty water and oil pollution to determine their suitability as habitats for salamander larvae. In Experiment Two it studied the effects of low levels of oil combined with silt on animals raised in the laboratory and fed prey items not raised in oil. In Experiment Three, it explored the effects of oil at an ecosystem level by raising the salamanders in the field in plastic micromesocosms that mimicked small ponds. Finally, in Experiment Four, in the laboratory, it examined the short-term survival of salamanders in high concentrations of oil. This study found that ponds containing oil and silt produce salamanders of reduced size and weight. Furthermore, while salamanders are relatively robust to the short term effects of large concentrations of used motor oil, oil has deleterious effects on the community and therefore exerts an indirect negative effect on salamanders. In the mi- cro-mesocosms containing oil, salamanders were smaller and weighed less than animals not raised in oil. Furthermore, silt results in reduced growth, earlier metamorphosis, and increased susceptibility to the water mold Saprolegnia parasitica.

  6. FVGWAS: Fast Voxelwise Genome Wide Association Analysis of Large-scale Imaging Genetic Data 1

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Meiyan; Nichols, Thomas; Huang, Chao; Yang, Yu; Lu, Zhaohua; Feng, Qianjing; Knickmeyer, Rebecca C; Zhu, Hongtu

    2015-01-01

    More and more large-scale imaging genetic studies are being widely conducted to collect a rich set of imaging, genetic, and clinical data to detect putative genes for complexly inherited neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Several major big-data challenges arise from testing genome-wide (NC > 12 million known variants) associations with signals at millions of locations (NV ~ 106) in the brain from thousands of subjects (n ~ 103). The aim of this paper is to develop a Fast Voxelwise Genome Wide Association analysiS (FVGWAS) framework to e ciently carry out whole-genome analyses of whole-brain data. FVGWAS consists of three components including a heteroscedastic linear model, a global sure independence screening (G-SIS) procedure, and a detection procedure based on wild bootstrap methods. Specifically, for standard linear association, the computational complexity is O(nNV NC) for voxelwise genome wide association analysis (VGWAS) method compared with O((NC + NV)n2) for FVGWAS. Simulation studies show that FVGWAS is an effcient method of searching sparse signals in an extremely large search space, while controlling for the family-wise error rate. Finally, we have successfully applied FVGWAS to a large-scale imaging genetic data analysis of ADNI data with 708 subjects, 193,275 voxels in RAVENS maps, and 501,584 SNPs, and the total processing time was 203,645 seconds for a single CPU. Our FVG-WAS may be a valuable statistical toolbox for large-scale imaging genetic analysis as the field is rapidly advancing with ultra-high-resolution imaging and whole-genome sequencing. PMID:26025292

  7. Insertion sequence-caused large-scale rearrangements in the genome of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heewook; Doak, Thomas G; Popodi, Ellen; Foster, Patricia L; Tang, Haixu

    2016-09-06

    A majority of large-scale bacterial genome rearrangements involve mobile genetic elements such as insertion sequence (IS) elements. Here we report novel insertions and excisions of IS elements and recombination between homologous IS elements identified in a large collection of Escherichia coli mutation accumulation lines by analysis of whole genome shotgun sequencing data. Based on 857 identified events (758 IS insertions, 98 recombinations and 1 excision), we estimate that the rate of IS insertion is 3.5 × 10(-4) insertions per genome per generation and the rate of IS homologous recombination is 4.5 × 10(-5) recombinations per genome per generation. These events are mostly contributed by the IS elements IS1, IS2, IS5 and IS186 Spatial analysis of new insertions suggest that transposition is biased to proximal insertions, and the length spectrum of IS-caused deletions is largely explained by local hopping. For any of the ISs studied there is no region of the circular genome that is favored or disfavored for new insertions but there are notable hotspots for deletions. Some elements have preferences for non-coding sequence or for the beginning and end of coding regions, largely explained by target site motifs. Interestingly, transposition and deletion rates remain constant across the wild-type and 12 mutant E. coli lines, each deficient in a distinct DNA repair pathway. Finally, we characterized the target sites of four IS families, confirming previous results and characterizing a highly specific pattern at IS186 target-sites, 5'-GGGG(N6/N7)CCCC-3'. We also detected 48 long deletions not involving IS elements. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. Insertion sequence-caused large-scale rearrangements in the genome of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Heewook; Doak, Thomas G.; Popodi, Ellen; Foster, Patricia L.; Tang, Haixu

    2016-01-01

    A majority of large-scale bacterial genome rearrangements involve mobile genetic elements such as insertion sequence (IS) elements. Here we report novel insertions and excisions of IS elements and recombination between homologous IS elements identified in a large collection of Escherichia coli mutation accumulation lines by analysis of whole genome shotgun sequencing data. Based on 857 identified events (758 IS insertions, 98 recombinations and 1 excision), we estimate that the rate of IS insertion is 3.5 × 10−4 insertions per genome per generation and the rate of IS homologous recombination is 4.5 × 10−5 recombinations per genome per generation. These events are mostly contributed by the IS elements IS1, IS2, IS5 and IS186. Spatial analysis of new insertions suggest that transposition is biased to proximal insertions, and the length spectrum of IS-caused deletions is largely explained by local hopping. For any of the ISs studied there is no region of the circular genome that is favored or disfavored for new insertions but there are notable hotspots for deletions. Some elements have preferences for non-coding sequence or for the beginning and end of coding regions, largely explained by target site motifs. Interestingly, transposition and deletion rates remain constant across the wild-type and 12 mutant E. coli lines, each deficient in a distinct DNA repair pathway. Finally, we characterized the target sites of four IS families, confirming previous results and characterizing a highly specific pattern at IS186 target-sites, 5′-GGGG(N6/N7)CCCC-3′. We also detected 48 long deletions not involving IS elements. PMID:27431326

  9. Rainbow: a tool for large-scale whole-genome sequencing data analysis using cloud computing.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shanrong; Prenger, Kurt; Smith, Lance; Messina, Thomas; Fan, Hongtao; Jaeger, Edward; Stephens, Susan

    2013-06-27

    Technical improvements have decreased sequencing costs and, as a result, the size and number of genomic datasets have increased rapidly. Because of the lower cost, large amounts of sequence data are now being produced by small to midsize research groups. Crossbow is a software tool that can detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data from a single subject; however, Crossbow has a number of limitations when applied to multiple subjects from large-scale WGS projects. The data storage and CPU resources that are required for large-scale whole genome sequencing data analyses are too large for many core facilities and individual laboratories to provide. To help meet these challenges, we have developed Rainbow, a cloud-based software package that can assist in the automation of large-scale WGS data analyses. Here, we evaluated the performance of Rainbow by analyzing 44 different whole-genome-sequenced subjects. Rainbow has the capacity to process genomic data from more than 500 subjects in two weeks using cloud computing provided by the Amazon Web Service. The time includes the import and export of the data using Amazon Import/Export service. The average cost of processing a single sample in the cloud was less than 120 US dollars. Compared with Crossbow, the main improvements incorporated into Rainbow include the ability: (1) to handle BAM as well as FASTQ input files; (2) to split large sequence files for better load balance downstream; (3) to log the running metrics in data processing and monitoring multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances; and (4) to merge SOAPsnp outputs for multiple individuals into a single file to facilitate downstream genome-wide association studies. Rainbow is a scalable, cost-effective, and open-source tool for large-scale WGS data analysis. For human WGS data sequenced by either the Illumina HiSeq 2000 or HiSeq 2500 platforms, Rainbow can be used straight out of the box. Rainbow is available

  10. Rainbow: a tool for large-scale whole-genome sequencing data analysis using cloud computing

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Technical improvements have decreased sequencing costs and, as a result, the size and number of genomic datasets have increased rapidly. Because of the lower cost, large amounts of sequence data are now being produced by small to midsize research groups. Crossbow is a software tool that can detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data from a single subject; however, Crossbow has a number of limitations when applied to multiple subjects from large-scale WGS projects. The data storage and CPU resources that are required for large-scale whole genome sequencing data analyses are too large for many core facilities and individual laboratories to provide. To help meet these challenges, we have developed Rainbow, a cloud-based software package that can assist in the automation of large-scale WGS data analyses. Results Here, we evaluated the performance of Rainbow by analyzing 44 different whole-genome-sequenced subjects. Rainbow has the capacity to process genomic data from more than 500 subjects in two weeks using cloud computing provided by the Amazon Web Service. The time includes the import and export of the data using Amazon Import/Export service. The average cost of processing a single sample in the cloud was less than 120 US dollars. Compared with Crossbow, the main improvements incorporated into Rainbow include the ability: (1) to handle BAM as well as FASTQ input files; (2) to split large sequence files for better load balance downstream; (3) to log the running metrics in data processing and monitoring multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances; and (4) to merge SOAPsnp outputs for multiple individuals into a single file to facilitate downstream genome-wide association studies. Conclusions Rainbow is a scalable, cost-effective, and open-source tool for large-scale WGS data analysis. For human WGS data sequenced by either the Illumina HiSeq 2000 or HiSeq 2500 platforms, Rainbow can be used straight out of

  11. Convergent mechanisms of genome evolution of large and giant DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Filée, Jonathan; Chandler, Michael

    2008-06-01

    We have taken advantage of the availability of the genome sequences of a collection of large and giant viruses infecting bacteria (T4 family) and eukaryotes (NCLDV group) to assess some of the evolutionary forces which might have shaped their genomes. Despite having apparently different ancestors, these two groups of viruses are affected by convergent evolutionary forces. Both types of virus probably originated from a simple and ancient viral ancestor with a small subset of 30-35 genes encoding replication and structural proteins. The genome size and diversity of the descendants most likely grew progressively by (i) lineage-specific gene duplications, (ii) lateral gene transfers of cellular genes and (iii) accretion of diverse families of mobile genetic elements. These results argue against the hypothesis that giant viruses derive from a regressive cell.

  12. Final report. Human artificial episomal chromosome (HAEC) for building large genomic libraries

    SciTech Connect

    Jean-Michael H. Vos

    1999-12-09

    Collections of human DNA fragments are maintained for research purposes as clones in bacterial host cells. However for unknown reasons, some regions of the human genome appear to be unclonable or unstable in bacteria. Their team has developed a system using episomes (extrachromosomal, autonomously replication DNA) that maintains large DNA fragments in human cells. This human artificial episomal chromosomal (HAEC) system may prove useful for coverage of these especially difficult regions. In the broader biomedical community, the HAEC system also shows promise for use in functional genomics and gene therapy. Recent improvements to the HAEC system and its application to mapping, sequencing, and functionally studying human and mouse DNA are summarized. Mapping and sequencing the human genome and model organisms are only the first steps in determining the function of various genetic units critical for gene regulation, DNA replication, chromatin packaging, chromosomal stability, and chromatid segregation. Such studies will require the ability to transfer and manipulate entire functional units into mammalian cells.

  13. Stream salamanders as indicators of stream quality in Maryland, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Southerland, M.T.; Jung, R.E.; Baxter, D.P.; Chellman, I.C.; Mercurio, G.; Volstad, J.H.

    2004-01-01

    Biological indicators are critical to the protection of small, headwater streams and the ecological values they provide. Maryland and other state monitoring programs have determined that fish indicators are ineffective in small streams, where stream salamanders may replace fish as top predators. Because of their life history, physiology, abundance, and ubiquity, stream salamanders are likely representative of biological integrity in these streams. The goal of this study was to determine whether stream salamanders are effective indicators of ecological conditions across biogeographic regions and gradients of human disturbance. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, we intensively surveyed for stream salamanders at 76 stream sites located west of the Maryland Coastal Plain, sites also monitored by the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) and City of Gaithersburg. We found 1,584 stream salamanders, including all eight species known in Maryland, using two 15 ? 2 m transects and two 4 m2 quadrats that spanned both stream bank and channel. We performed removal sampling on transects to estimate salamander species detection probabilities, which ranged from 0.67-0.85. Stepwise regressions identified 15 of 52 non-salamander variables, representing water quality, physical habitat, land use, and biological conditions, which best predicted salamander metrics. Indicator development involved (1) identifying reference (non-degraded) and degraded sites (using percent forest, shading, riparian buffer width, aesthetic rating, and benthic macroinvertebrate and fish indices of biotic integrity); (2) testing 12 candidate salamander metrics (representing species richness and composition, abundance, species tolerance, and reproductive function) for their ability to distinguish reference from degraded sites; and (3) combining metrics into an index that effectively discriminated sites according to known stream conditions. Final indices for Highlands, Piedmont, and Non-Coastal Plain

  14. Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi M.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at sites in Louisiana (2010–12) and Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per egg mass were observed at the Mississippi site (x̄ = 78.2) than the Louisiana site (x̄ = 53.8; P < 0.001). The mean snout–vent length of female Spotted Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; P < 0.001). Opaque Spotted Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per egg mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (P = 0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; P = 0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.

  15. The Dunaliella salina organelle genomes: large sequences, inflated with intronic and intergenic DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, David R.; Lee, Robert W.; Cushman, John C.; Magnuson, Jon K.; Tran, Duc; Polle, Juergen E.

    2010-05-07

    Abstract Background: Dunaliella salina Teodoresco, a unicellular, halophilic green alga belonging to the Chlorophyceae, is among the most industrially important microalgae. This is because D. salina can produce massive amounts of β-carotene, which can be collected for commercial purposes, and because of its potential as a feedstock for biofuels production. Although the biochemistry and physiology of D. salina have been studied in great detail, virtually nothing is known about the genomes it carries, especially those within its mitochondrion and plastid. This study presents the complete mitochondrial and plastid genome sequences of D. salina and compares them with those of the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. Results: The D. salina organelle genomes are large, circular-mapping molecules with ~60% noncoding DNA, placing them among the most inflated organelle DNAs sampled from the Chlorophyta. In fact, the D. salina plastid genome, at 269 kb, is the largest complete plastid DNA (ptDNA) sequence currently deposited in GenBank, and both the mitochondrial and plastid genomes have unprecedentedly high intron densities for organelle DNA: ~1.5 and ~0.4 introns per gene, respectively. Moreover, what appear to be the relics of genes, introns, and intronic open reading frames are found scattered throughout the intergenic ptDNA regions -- a trait without parallel in other characterized organelle genomes and one that gives insight into the mechanisms and modes of expansion of the D. salina ptDNA. Conclusions: These findings confirm the notion that chlamydomonadalean algae have some of the most extreme organelle genomes of all eukaryotes. They also suggest that the events giving rise to the expanded ptDNA architecture of D. salina and other Chlamydomonadales may have occurred early in the evolution of this lineage. Although interesting from a genome evolution standpoint, the D. salina organelle DNA sequences will aid in the development of a viable

  16. Biological Consequences of Ancient Gene Acquisition and Duplication in the Large Genome of Candidatus Solibacter usitatus Ellin6076

    SciTech Connect

    Challacombe, Jean F; Eichorst, Stephanie A; Hauser, Loren John; Land, Miriam L; Xie, Gary; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2011-01-01

    Members of the bacterial phylum Acidobacteria are widespread in soils and sediments worldwide, and are abundant in many soils. Acidobacteria are challenging to culture in vitro, and many basic features of their biology and functional roles in the soil have not been determined. Candidatus Solibacter usitatus strain Ellin6076 has a 9.9 Mb genome that is approximately 2 5 times as large as the other sequenced Acidobacteria genomes. Bacterial genome sizes typically range from 0.5 to 10 Mb and are influenced by gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, gene loss and other evolutionary processes. Our comparative genome analyses indicate that the Ellin6076 large genome has arisen by horizontal gene transfer via ancient bacteriophage and/or plasmid-mediated transduction, and widespread small-scale gene duplications, resulting in an increased number of paralogs. Low amino acid sequence identities among functional group members, and lack of conserved gene order and orientation in regions containing similar groups of paralogs, suggest that most of the paralogs are not the result of recent duplication events. The genome sizes of additional cultured Acidobacteria strains were estimated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine the prevalence of the large genome trait within the phylum. Members of subdivision 3 had larger genomes than those of subdivision 1, but none were as large as the Ellin6076 genome. The large genome of Ellin6076 may not be typical of the phylum, and encodes traits that could provide a selective metabolic, defensive and regulatory advantage in the soil environment.

  17. Skeletal muscle dedifferentiation during salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Heng; Simon, András

    2016-10-01

    Salamanders can regenerate entire limbs throughout their life. A critical step during limb regeneration is formation of a blastema, which gives rise to the new extremity. Salamander limb regeneration has historically been tightly linked to the term dedifferentiation, however, with refined research tools it is important to revisit the definition of dedifferentiation in the context. To what extent do differentiated cells revert their differentiated phenotypes? To what extent do progeny from differentiated cells cross lineage boundaries during regeneration? How do cell cycle plasticity and lineage plasticity relate to each other? What is the relationship between dedifferentiation of specialized cells and activation of tissue resident stem cells in terms of their contribution to the new limb? Here we highlight these problems through the case of skeletal muscle.

  18. Kinship affects morphogenesis in cannibalistic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, D W; Collins, J P

    1993-04-29

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that organisms can often increase their fitness by helping relatives. Indeed, many animals modify their behaviour towards kin in a fashion consistent with theory. Morphogenesis may also be sensitive to kinship environment, especially in species that facultatively produce distinct morphs that differ in their ability to harm relatives, such as those that produce alternative cannibalistic and non-cannibalistic phenotypes. We tested this hypothesis by examining whether consanguinity affected the probability that structurally distinctive cannibal morphs would develop in larval Arizona tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum). We report here that when tiger salamander larvae are reared in mixed-brood groups they are significantly more likely to develop the cannibal morphology and at an earlier age than siblings reared in pure-sibship groups. In general, morphogenesis may be responsive to kinship in any species that facultatively develops structures that can be used against conspecifics as weaponry.

  19. Large-scale analysis of the yeast genome by transposon tagging and gene disruption.

    PubMed

    Ross-Macdonald, P; Coelho, P S; Roemer, T; Agarwal, S; Kumar, A; Jansen, R; Cheung, K H; Sheehan, A; Symoniatis, D; Umansky, L; Heidtman, M; Nelson, F K; Iwasaki, H; Hager, K; Gerstein, M; Miller, P; Roeder, G S; Snyder, M

    1999-11-25

    Economical methods by which gene function may be analysed on a genomic scale are relatively scarce. To fill this need, we have developed a transposon-tagging strategy for the genome-wide analysis of disruption phenotypes, gene expression and protein localization, and have applied this method to the large-scale analysis of gene function in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we present the largest collection of defined yeast mutants ever generated within a single genetic background--a collection of over 11,000 strains, each carrying a transposon inserted within a region of the genome expressed during vegetative growth and/or sporulation. These insertions affect nearly 2,000 annotated genes, representing about one-third of the 6,200 predicted genes in the yeast genome. We have used this collection to determine disruption phenotypes for nearly 8,000 strains using 20 different growth conditions; the resulting data sets were clustered to identify groups of functionally related genes. We have also identified over 300 previously non-annotated open reading frames and analysed by indirect immunofluorescence over 1,300 transposon-tagged proteins. In total, our study encompasses over 260,000 data points, constituting the largest functional analysis of the yeast genome ever undertaken.

  20. CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    ScienceCinema

    Shih, Patrick [Kerfeld Lab, UC Berkeley and JGI

    2016-07-12

    Patrick Shih, representing both the University of California, Berkeley and JGI, gives a talk titled "CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics" at the JGI 7th Annual Users Meeting: Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 22, 2012 in Walnut Creek, California.

  1. CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    SciTech Connect

    Shih, Patrick

    2012-03-22

    Patrick Shih, representing both the University of California, Berkeley and JGI, gives a talk titled "CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics" at the JGI 7th Annual Users Meeting: Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 22, 2012 in Walnut Creek, California.

  2. Bionimbus: a cloud for managing, analyzing and sharing large genomics datasets

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Allison P; Greenway, Matthew; Powell, Raymond; Spring, Jonathan; Suarez, Rafael; Hanley, David; Bandlamudi, Chai; McNerney, Megan E; White, Kevin P; Grossman, Robert L

    2014-01-01

    Background As large genomics and phenotypic datasets are becoming more common, it is increasingly difficult for most researchers to access, manage, and analyze them. One possible approach is to provide the research community with several petabyte-scale cloud-based computing platforms containing these data, along with tools and resources to analyze it. Methods Bionimbus is an open source cloud-computing platform that is based primarily upon OpenStack, which manages on-demand virtual machines that provide the required computational resources, and GlusterFS, which is a high-performance clustered file system. Bionimbus also includes Tukey, which is a portal, and associated middleware that provides a single entry point and a single sign on for the various Bionimbus resources; and Yates, which automates the installation, configuration, and maintenance of the software infrastructure required. Results Bionimbus is used by a variety of projects to process genomics and phenotypic data. For example, it is used by an acute myeloid leukemia resequencing project at the University of Chicago. The project requires several computational pipelines, including pipelines for quality control, alignment, variant calling, and annotation. For each sample, the alignment step requires eight CPUs for about 12 h. BAM file sizes ranged from 5 GB to 10 GB for each sample. Conclusions Most members of the research community have difficulty downloading large genomics datasets and obtaining sufficient storage and computer resources to manage and analyze the data. Cloud computing platforms, such as Bionimbus, with data commons that contain large genomics datasets, are one choice for broadening access to research data in genomics. PMID:24464852

  3. Bionimbus: a cloud for managing, analyzing and sharing large genomics datasets.

    PubMed

    Heath, Allison P; Greenway, Matthew; Powell, Raymond; Spring, Jonathan; Suarez, Rafael; Hanley, David; Bandlamudi, Chai; McNerney, Megan E; White, Kevin P; Grossman, Robert L

    2014-01-01

    As large genomics and phenotypic datasets are becoming more common, it is increasingly difficult for most researchers to access, manage, and analyze them. One possible approach is to provide the research community with several petabyte-scale cloud-based computing platforms containing these data, along with tools and resources to analyze it. Bionimbus is an open source cloud-computing platform that is based primarily upon OpenStack, which manages on-demand virtual machines that provide the required computational resources, and GlusterFS, which is a high-performance clustered file system. Bionimbus also includes Tukey, which is a portal, and associated middleware that provides a single entry point and a single sign on for the various Bionimbus resources; and Yates, which automates the installation, configuration, and maintenance of the software infrastructure required. Bionimbus is used by a variety of projects to process genomics and phenotypic data. For example, it is used by an acute myeloid leukemia resequencing project at the University of Chicago. The project requires several computational pipelines, including pipelines for quality control, alignment, variant calling, and annotation. For each sample, the alignment step requires eight CPUs for about 12 h. BAM file sizes ranged from 5 GB to 10 GB for each sample. Most members of the research community have difficulty downloading large genomics datasets and obtaining sufficient storage and computer resources to manage and analyze the data. Cloud computing platforms, such as Bionimbus, with data commons that contain large genomics datasets, are one choice for broadening access to research data in genomics. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  4. A rare example of germ-line chromothripsis resulting in large genomic imbalance.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Sarah E; Kamath, Arveen; Pilz, Daniela T; Morgan, Sian M

    2016-04-01

    Chromothripsis is a recently described 'chromosome catastrophe' phenomenon in which multiple genomic rearrangements are generated in a single catastrophic event. Chromothripsis has most frequently been associated with cancer, but there have also been rare reports of chromothripsis in patients with developmental disorders and congenital anomalies. In contrast to the massive DNA loss that often accompanies chromothripsis in cancer, only minimal DNA loss has been reported in the majority of cases of chromothripsis that have occurred in the germ line. Presumably, this is because in most instances, large genomic losses would be lethal in utero. We report on a female patient with developmental delay and dysmorphism. G-banded chromosome analysis detected a subtle, interstitial deletion of chromosome 13 and a complex rearrangement of one X chromosome. Subsequent array comparative genomic hybridisation studies indicated nine deletions on the X chromosome ranging from 327 kb to 8 Mb in size. A 4.4 Mb deletion on chromosome 13 was also confirmed, compatible with the patient's clinical phenotype. We propose that this is a rare example of constitutional chromothripsis in association with relatively large genomic imbalances and that these have been tolerated in this case as they have occurred in a female on the X chromosome, which has undergone preferential X inactivation.

  5. Large genomic deletions inactivate the BRCA2 gene in breast cancer families

    PubMed Central

    Agata, S; Dalla, P; Callegaro, M; Scaini, M; Menin, C; Ghiotto, C; Nicoletto, O; Zavagno, G; Chieco-Bianchi, L; D'Andrea, E; Montagna, M

    2005-01-01

    Background: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the two major genes responsible for the breast and ovarian cancers that cluster in families with a genetically determined predisposition. However, regardless of the mutation detection method employed, the percentage of families without identifiable alterations of these genes exceeds 50%, even when applying stringent criteria for family selection. A small but significant increase in mutation detection rate has resulted from the discovery of large genomic alterations in BRCA1. A few studies have addressed the question of whether BRCA2 might be inactivated by the same kinds of alteration, but most were either done on a relatively small number of samples or employed cumbersome mutation detection methods of variable sensitivity. Objective: To analyse 121 highly selected families using the recently available BRCA2 multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technique. Results: Three different large genomic deletions were identified and confirmed by analysis of the mutant transcript and genomic characterisation of the breakpoints. Conclusions: Contrary to initial suggestions, the presence of BRCA2 genomic rearrangements is worth investigating in high risk breast or ovarian cancer families. PMID:16199546

  6. Comparing population size estimators for plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, L.L.; Simons, T.R.; Pollock, K.H.

    2004-01-01

    Despite concern over amphibian declines, few studies estimate absolute abundances because of logistic and economic constraints and previously poor estimator performance. Two estimation approaches recommended for amphibian studies are mark-recapture and depletion (or removal) sampling. We compared abundance estimation via various mark-recapture and depletion methods, using data from a three-year study of terrestrial salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our results indicate that short-term closed-population, robust design, and depletion methods estimate surface population of salamanders (i.e., those near the surface and available for capture during a given sampling occasion). In longer duration studies, temporary emigration violates assumptions of both open- and closed-population mark-recapture estimation models. However, if the temporary emigration is completely random, these models should yield unbiased estimates of the total population (superpopulation) of salamanders in the sampled area. We recommend using Pollock's robust design in mark-recapture studies because of its flexibility to incorporate variation in capture probabilities and to estimate temporary emigration probabilities.

  7. The Use of Weighted Graphs for Large-Scale Genome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Fang; Toivonen, Hannu; King, Ross D.

    2014-01-01

    There is an acute need for better tools to extract knowledge from the growing flood of sequence data. For example, thousands of complete genomes have been sequenced, and their metabolic networks inferred. Such data should enable a better understanding of evolution. However, most existing network analysis methods are based on pair-wise comparisons, and these do not scale to thousands of genomes. Here we propose the use of weighted graphs as a data structure to enable large-scale phylogenetic analysis of networks. We have developed three types of weighted graph for enzymes: taxonomic (these summarize phylogenetic importance), isoenzymatic (these summarize enzymatic variety/redundancy), and sequence-similarity (these summarize sequence conservation); and we applied these types of weighted graph to survey prokaryotic metabolism. To demonstrate the utility of this approach we have compared and contrasted the large-scale evolution of metabolism in Archaea and Eubacteria. Our results provide evidence for limits to the contingency of evolution. PMID:24619061

  8. Plethodontid salamander response to Silvilcultural Practices in Missouri Ozark forests

    Treesearch

    Laura A. Herbeck; David R. Larsen

    1999-01-01

    There is little information on the effects of tree harvest on salamander populations in the midwestern United States. We present data on plethodontid salamander densities in replicated stands of three forest age classes in the southeastern Ozarks of Missouri. Forest age classes consisted of regeneration-cut sites

  9. Bromeliad Selection by Two Salamander Species in a Harsh Environment

    PubMed Central

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M.; Ladle, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment. PMID:24892414

  10. Characterization of the ecological requirements for three plethodontid salamander species

    Treesearch

    Jessica A. Wooten; William B. Sutton; Thomas K. Pauley

    2010-01-01

    Increased availability of habitat and climate data has facilitated much research concerning the influence of these characteristics on the structure of salamander communities. We aimed to outline environmental requirements influencing the distribution of three sympatric plethodontid salamander species, including Plethodon cinereus, Desmognathus ochrophaeus...

  11. Predicting variation in microhabitat utilization of terrestrial salamanders

    Treesearch

    Katherine M. O' Donnell; Frank R. Thompson; Raymond D. Semlitsch

    2014-01-01

    Understanding patterns of microhabitat use among terrestrial salamanders is important for predicting their responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The dependence of terrestrial salamanders on cutaneous respiration limits their spatial distribution to moist, humid areas. Although many studies have shown negative effects of canopy removal on terrestrial...

  12. Bromeliad selection by two salamander species in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M; Ladle, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment.

  13. Cannabinoid receptor activation differentially modulates ion channels in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Straiker, Alex; Sullivan, Jane M

    2003-05-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors have been detected in retinas of numerous species, with prominent labeling in photoreceptor terminals of the chick and monkey. CB1 labeling is well-conserved across species, suggesting that CB1 receptors might also be present in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. Synaptic transmission in vertebrate photoreceptors is mediated by L-type calcium currents-currents that are modulated by CB1 receptors in bipolar cells of the tiger salamander. Presence of CB1 receptors in photoreceptor terminals would therefore be consistent with presynaptic modulation of synaptic transmission, a role seen for cannabinoids in other parts of the brain. Here we report immunohistochemical and electrophysiological evidence for the presence of functional CB1 receptors in rod and cone photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 enhances calcium currents of rod photoreceptors by 39% but decreases calcium currents of large single cones by 50%. In addition, WIN 55212-2 suppresses potassium currents of rods and large single cones by 44 and 48%, respectively. Thus functional CB1 receptors, present in the terminals of rod and cone photoreceptors, differentially modulate calcium and potassium currents in rods and large single cones. CB1 receptors are therefore well positioned to modulate neurotransmitter release at the first synapse of the visual system.

  14. Fusion of Large-Scale Genomic Knowledge and Frequency Data Computationally Prioritizes Variants in Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Ian M.; Rao, Mitchell; Arredondo, Sean D.; Lalani, Seema R.; Xia, Zhilian; Kang, Sung-Hae L.; Bi, Weimin; Breman, Amy M.; Smith, Janice L.; Bacino, Carlos A.; Beaudet, Arthur L.; Patel, Ankita; Cheung, Sau Wai; Lupski, James R.; Stankiewicz, Paweł; Ramocki, Melissa B.; Shaw, Chad A.

    2013-01-01

    Curation and interpretation of copy number variants identified by genome-wide testing is challenged by the large number of events harbored in each personal genome. Conventional determination of phenotypic relevance relies on patterns of higher frequency in affected individuals versus controls; however, an increasing amount of ascertained variation is rare or private to clans. Consequently, frequency data have less utility to resolve pathogenic from benign. One solution is disease-specific algorithms that leverage gene knowledge together with variant frequency to aid prioritization. We used large-scale resources including Gene Ontology, protein-protein interactions and other annotation systems together with a broad set of 83 genes with known associations to epilepsy to construct a pathogenicity score for the phenotype. We evaluated the score for all annotated human genes and applied Bayesian methods to combine the derived pathogenicity score with frequency information from our diagnostic laboratory. Analysis determined Bayes factors and posterior distributions for each gene. We applied our method to subjects with abnormal chromosomal microarray results and confirmed epilepsy diagnoses gathered by electronic medical record review. Genes deleted in our subjects with epilepsy had significantly higher pathogenicity scores and Bayes factors compared to subjects referred for non-neurologic indications. We also applied our scores to identify a recently validated epilepsy gene in a complex genomic region and to reveal candidate genes for epilepsy. We propose a potential use in clinical decision support for our results in the context of genome-wide screening. Our approach demonstrates the utility of integrative data in medical genomics. PMID:24086149

  15. Whole-genome mapping reveals a large chromosomal inversion on Iberian Brucella suis biovar 2 strains.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ana Cristina; Dias, Ricardo; de Sá, Maria Inácia Corrêa; Tenreiro, Rogério

    2016-08-30

    Optical mapping is a technology able to quickly generate high resolution ordered whole-genome restriction maps of bacteria, being a proven approach to search for diversity among bacterial isolates. In this work, optical whole-genome maps were used to compare closely-related Brucella suis biovar 2 strains. This biovar is the unique isolated in domestic pigs and wild boars in Portugal and Spain and most of the strains share specific molecular characteristics establishing an Iberian clonal lineage that can be differentiated from another lineage mainly isolated in several Central European countries. We performed the BamHI whole-genome optical maps of five B. suis biovar 2 field strains, isolated from wild boars in Portugal and Spain (three from the Iberian lineage and two from the Central European one) as well as of the reference strain B. suis biovar 2 ATCC 23445 (Central European lineage, Denmark). Each strain showed a distinct, highly individual configuration of 228-231 BamHI fragments. Nevertheless, a low divergence was globally observed in chromosome II (1.6%) relatively to chromosome I (2.4%). Optical mapping also disclosed genomic events associated with B. suis strains in chromosome I, namely one indel (3.5kb) and one large inversion (944kb). By using targeted-PCR in a set of 176 B. suis strains, including all biovars and haplotypes, the indel was found to be specific of the reference strain ATCC 23445 and the large inversion was shown to be an exclusive genomic marker of the Iberian clonal lineage of biovar 2. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. An overview of comparative modelling and resources dedicated to large-scale modelling of genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Lam, Su Datt; Das, Sayoni; Sillitoe, Ian; Orengo, Christine

    2017-08-01

    Computational modelling of proteins has been a major catalyst in structural biology. Bioinformatics groups have exploited the repositories of known structures to predict high-quality structural models with high efficiency at low cost. This article provides an overview of comparative modelling, reviews recent developments and describes resources dedicated to large-scale comparative modelling of genome sequences. The value of subclustering protein domain superfamilies to guide the template-selection process is investigated. Some recent cases in which structural modelling has aided experimental work to determine very large macromolecular complexes are also cited.

  17. An overview of comparative modelling and resources dedicated to large-scale modelling of genome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Su Datt; Das, Sayoni; Sillitoe, Ian; Orengo, Christine

    2017-01-01

    Computational modelling of proteins has been a major catalyst in structural biology. Bioinformatics groups have exploited the repositories of known structures to predict high-quality structural models with high efficiency at low cost. This article provides an overview of comparative modelling, reviews recent developments and describes resources dedicated to large-scale comparative modelling of genome sequences. The value of subclustering protein domain superfamilies to guide the template-selection process is investigated. Some recent cases in which structural modelling has aided experimental work to determine very large macromolecular complexes are also cited. PMID:28777078

  18. Improved white spruce (Picea glauca) genome assemblies and annotation of large gene families of conifer terpenoid and phenolic defense metabolism.

    PubMed

    Warren, René L; Keeling, Christopher I; Yuen, Macaire Man Saint; Raymond, Anthony; Taylor, Greg A; Vandervalk, Benjamin P; Mohamadi, Hamid; Paulino, Daniel; Chiu, Readman; Jackman, Shaun D; Robertson, Gordon; Yang, Chen; Boyle, Brian; Hoffmann, Margarete; Weigel, Detlef; Nelson, David R; Ritland, Carol; Isabel, Nathalie; Jaquish, Barry; Yanchuk, Alvin; Bousquet, Jean; Jones, Steven J M; MacKay, John; Birol, Inanc; Bohlmann, Joerg

    2015-07-01

    White spruce (Picea glauca), a gymnosperm tree, has been established as one of the models for conifer genomics. We describe the draft genome assemblies of two white spruce genotypes, PG29 and WS77111, innovative tools for the assembly of very large genomes, and the conifer genomics resources developed in this process. The two white spruce genotypes originate from distant geographic regions of western (PG29) and eastern (WS77111) North America, and represent elite trees in two Canadian tree-breeding programs. We present an update (V3 and V4) for a previously reported PG29 V2 draft genome assembly and introduce a second white spruce genome assembly for genotype WS77111. Assemblies of the PG29 and WS77111 genomes confirm the reconstructed white spruce genome size in the 20 Gbp range, and show broad synteny. Using the PG29 V3 assembly and additional white spruce genomics and transcriptomics resources, we performed MAKER-P annotation and meticulous expert annotation of very large gene families of conifer defense metabolism, the terpene synthases and cytochrome P450s. We also comprehensively annotated the white spruce mevalonate, methylerythritol phosphate and phenylpropanoid pathways. These analyses highlighted the large extent of gene and pseudogene duplications in a conifer genome, in particular for genes of secondary (i.e. specialized) metabolism, and the potential for gain and loss of function for defense and adaptation.

  19. Intracapsular algae provide fixed carbon to developing embryos of the salamander Ambystoma maculatum.

    PubMed

    Graham, Erin R; Fay, Scott A; Davey, Adam; Sanders, Robert W

    2013-02-01

    Each spring, North American spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) females each lay hundreds of eggs in shallow pools of water. Eggs are surrounded by jelly layers and are deposited as large gelatinous masses. Following deposition, masses are penetrated by a mutualistic green alga, Oophila amblystomatis, which enters individual egg capsules, proliferates and aggregates near the salamander embryo, providing oxygen that enhances development. We examined the effects of population density of intracapsular O. amblystomatis on A. maculatum embryos and show that larger algal populations promote faster embryonic growth and development. Also, we show that carbon fixed by O. amblystomatis is transferred to the embryos, providing the first evidence of direct translocation of photosynthate from a symbiont to a vertebrate host.

  20. Tissue lesions of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum): relationship to sewage effluents.

    PubMed

    Rose, F L

    1978-09-29

    A population of facultative neotenous tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum) inhabiting a sewage lagoon at Reese AFB, Hurlwood, Texas, was found to have an exceptionally high rate of spontaneous tissue lesions. The population is composed of an estimated 28,000 large, reproductively mature larvae that are restricted to the lagoon. Only about 17% of the population metamorphoses normally. In contrast, tiger salamanders from uncontaminated lagoons in the same general vicinity metamorphose normally; however, no neoplasms were discovered in larvae sampled from the nonsewage lagoosn. N-nitrosamine analyses of water and tissue samples of larvae were negative. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon analyses revealed traces of benzo[a]pyrene in the sludge; however, perylene, a constituent of jet fuel, was found in high concentration (300 ppb). These results indicate tat preylene, which was previously found not be tumorigenic to mice and rats, should be retested as a possible agent for nonmammalian species.

  1. DNA from Dust: Comparative Genomics of Large DNA Viruses in Field Surveillance Samples

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Utsav; Bell, Andrew S.; Renner, Daniel W.; Kennedy, David A.; Shreve, Jacob T.; Cairns, Chris L.; Jones, Matthew J.; Dunn, Patricia A.; Read, Andrew F.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The intensification of the poultry industry over the last 60 years facilitated the evolution of increased virulence and vaccine breaks in Marek’s disease virus (MDV-1). Full-genome sequences are essential for understanding why and how this evolution occurred, but what is known about genome-wide variation in MDV comes from laboratory culture. To rectify this, we developed methods for obtaining high-quality genome sequences directly from field samples without the need for sequence-based enrichment strategies prior to sequencing. We applied this to the first characterization of MDV-1 genomes from the field, without prior culture. These viruses were collected from vaccinated hosts that acquired naturally circulating field strains of MDV-1, in the absence of a disease outbreak. This reflects the current issue afflicting the poultry industry, where virulent field strains continue to circulate despite vaccination and can remain undetected due to the lack of overt disease symptoms. We found that viral genomes from adjacent field sites had high levels of overall DNA identity, and despite strong evidence of purifying selection, had coding variations in proteins associated with virulence and manipulation of host immunity. Our methods empower ecological field surveillance, make it possible to determine the basis of viral virulence and vaccine breaks, and can be used to obtain full genomes from clinical samples of other large DNA viruses, known and unknown. IMPORTANCE Despite both clinical and laboratory data that show increased virulence in field isolates of MDV-1 over the last half century, we do not yet understand the genetic basis of its pathogenicity. Our knowledge of genome-wide variation between strains of this virus comes exclusively from isolates that have been cultured in the laboratory. MDV-1 isolates tend to lose virulence during repeated cycles of replication in the laboratory, raising concerns about the ability of cultured isolates to accurately

  2. DNA from Dust: Comparative Genomics of Large DNA Viruses in Field Surveillance Samples.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Utsav; Bell, Andrew S; Renner, Daniel W; Kennedy, David A; Shreve, Jacob T; Cairns, Chris L; Jones, Matthew J; Dunn, Patricia A; Read, Andrew F; Szpara, Moriah L

    2016-01-01

    The intensification of the poultry industry over the last 60 years facilitated the evolution of increased virulence and vaccine breaks in Marek's disease virus (MDV-1). Full-genome sequences are essential for understanding why and how this evolution occurred, but what is known about genome-wide variation in MDV comes from laboratory culture. To rectify this, we developed methods for obtaining high-quality genome sequences directly from field samples without the need for sequence-based enrichment strategies prior to sequencing. We applied this to the first characterization of MDV-1 genomes from the field, without prior culture. These viruses were collected from vaccinated hosts that acquired naturally circulating field strains of MDV-1, in the absence of a disease outbreak. This reflects the current issue afflicting the poultry industry, where virulent field strains continue to circulate despite vaccination and can remain undetected due to the lack of overt disease symptoms. We found that viral genomes from adjacent field sites had high levels of overall DNA identity, and despite strong evidence of purifying selection, had coding variations in proteins associated with virulence and manipulation of host immunity. Our methods empower ecological field surveillance, make it possible to determine the basis of viral virulence and vaccine breaks, and can be used to obtain full genomes from clinical samples of other large DNA viruses, known and unknown. IMPORTANCE Despite both clinical and laboratory data that show increased virulence in field isolates of MDV-1 over the last half century, we do not yet understand the genetic basis of its pathogenicity. Our knowledge of genome-wide variation between strains of this virus comes exclusively from isolates that have been cultured in the laboratory. MDV-1 isolates tend to lose virulence during repeated cycles of replication in the laboratory, raising concerns about the ability of cultured isolates to accurately reflect virus in

  3. A Glimpse of Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Virus Biodiversity through the Eukaryotic Genomics Window

    PubMed Central

    Gallot-Lavallée, Lucie; Blanc, Guillaume

    2017-01-01

    The nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) are a group of extremely complex double-stranded DNA viruses, which are major parasites of a variety of eukaryotes. Recent studies showed that certain eukaryotes contain fragments of NCLDV DNA integrated in their genome, when surprisingly many of these organisms were not previously shown to be infected by NCLDVs. We performed an update survey of NCLDV genes hidden in eukaryotic sequences to measure the incidence of this phenomenon in common public sequence databases. A total of 66 eukaryotic genomic or transcriptomic datasets—many of which are from algae and aquatic protists—contained at least one of the five most consistently conserved NCLDV core genes. Phylogenetic study of the eukaryotic NCLDV-like sequences identified putative new members of already recognized viral families, as well as members of as yet unknown viral clades. Genomic evidence suggested that most of these sequences resulted from viral DNA integrations rather than contaminating viruses. Furthermore, the nature of the inserted viral genes helped predicting original functional capacities of the donor viruses. These insights confirm that genomic insertions of NCLDV DNA are common in eukaryotes and can be exploited to delineate the contours of NCLDV biodiversity. PMID:28117696

  4. Comparative Genomics of Amphibian-like Ranaviruses, Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses of Poikilotherms

    PubMed Central

    Price, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent research on genome evolution of large DNA viruses has highlighted a number of incredibly dynamic processes that can facilitate rapid adaptation. The genomes of amphibian-like ranaviruses – double-stranded DNA viruses infecting amphibians, reptiles, and fish (family Iridoviridae) – were examined to assess variation in genome content and evolutionary processes. The viruses studied were closely related, but their genome content varied considerably, with 29 genes identified that were not present in all of the major clades. Twenty-one genes had evidence of recombination, while a virus isolated from a captive reptile appeared to be a mosaic of two divergent parents. Positive selection was also found to be acting on more than a quarter of Ranavirus genes and was found most frequently in the Spanish common midwife toad virus, which has had a severe impact on amphibian host communities. Efforts to resolve the root of this group by inclusion of an outgroup were inconclusive, but a set of core genes were identified, which recovered a well-supported species tree. PMID:27812275

  5. A Glimpse of Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Virus Biodiversity through the Eukaryotic Genomics Window.

    PubMed

    Gallot-Lavallée, Lucie; Blanc, Guillaume

    2017-01-20

    The nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) are a group of extremely complex double-stranded DNA viruses, which are major parasites of a variety of eukaryotes. Recent studies showed that certain eukaryotes contain fragments of NCLDV DNA integrated in their genome, when surprisingly many of these organisms were not previously shown to be infected by NCLDVs. We performed an update survey of NCLDV genes hidden in eukaryotic sequences to measure the incidence of this phenomenon in common public sequence databases. A total of 66 eukaryotic genomic or transcriptomic datasets-many of which are from algae and aquatic protists-contained at least one of the five most consistently conserved NCLDV core genes. Phylogenetic study of the eukaryotic NCLDV-like sequences identified putative new members of already recognized viral families, as well as members of as yet unknown viral clades. Genomic evidence suggested that most of these sequences resulted from viral DNA integrations rather than contaminating viruses. Furthermore, the nature of the inserted viral genes helped predicting original functional capacities of the donor viruses. These insights confirm that genomic insertions of NCLDV DNA are common in eukaryotes and can be exploited to delineate the contours of NCLDV biodiversity.

  6. Efficient and rapid generation of large genomic variants in rats and mice using CRISMERE

    PubMed Central

    Birling, Marie-Christine; Schaeffer, Laurence; André, Philippe; Lindner, Loic; Maréchal, Damien; Ayadi, Abdel; Sorg, Tania; Pavlovic, Guillaume; Hérault, Yann

    2017-01-01

    Modelling Down syndrome (DS) in mouse has been crucial for the understanding of the disease and the evaluation of therapeutic targets. Nevertheless, the modelling so far has been limited to the mouse and, even in this model, generating duplication of genomic regions has been labour intensive and time consuming. We developed the CRISpr MEdiated REarrangement (CRISMERE) strategy, which takes advantage of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, to generate most of the desired rearrangements from a single experiment at much lower expenses and in less than 9 months. Deletions, duplications, and inversions of genomic regions as large as 24.4 Mb in rat and mouse founders were observed and germ line transmission was confirmed for fragment as large as 3.6 Mb. Interestingly we have been able to recover duplicated regions from founders in which we only detected deletions. CRISMERE is even more powerful than anticipated it allows the scientific community to manipulate the rodent and probably other genomes in a fast and efficient manner which was not possible before. PMID:28266534

  7. Microarray Data Processing Techniques for Genome-Scale Network Inference from Large Public Repositories.

    PubMed

    Chockalingam, Sriram; Aluru, Maneesha; Aluru, Srinivas

    2016-09-19

    Pre-processing of microarray data is a well-studied problem. Furthermore, all popular platforms come with their own recommended best practices for differential analysis of genes. However, for genome-scale network inference using microarray data collected from large public repositories, these methods filter out a considerable number of genes. This is primarily due to the effects of aggregating a diverse array of experiments with different technical and biological scenarios. Here we introduce a pre-processing pipeline suitable for inferring genome-scale gene networks from large microarray datasets. We show that partitioning of the available microarray datasets according to biological relevance into tissue- and process-specific categories significantly extends the limits of downstream network construction. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our pre-processing pipeline by inferring genome-scale networks for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana using two different construction methods and a collection of 11,760 Affymetrix ATH1 microarray chips. Our pre-processing pipeline and the datasets used in this paper are made available at http://alurulab.cc.gatech.edu/microarray-pp.

  8. Distilling Artificial Recombinants from Large Sets of Complete mtDNA Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Qing-Peng; Salas, Antonio; Sun, Chang; Fuku, Noriyuki; Tanaka, Masashi; Zhong, Li; Wang, Cheng-Ye; Yao, Yong-Gang; Bandelt, Hans-Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Background Large-scale genome sequencing poses enormous problems to the logistics of laboratory work and data handling. When numerous fragments of different genomes are PCR amplified and sequenced in a laboratory, there is a high immanent risk of sample confusion. For genetic markers, such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which are free of natural recombination, single instances of sample mix-up involving different branches of the mtDNA phylogeny would give rise to reticulate patterns and should therefore be detectable. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed a strategy for comparing new complete mtDNA genomes, one by one, to a current skeleton of the worldwide mtDNA phylogeny. The mutations distinguishing the reference sequence from a putative recombinant sequence can then be allocated to two or more different branches of this phylogenetic skeleton. Thus, one would search for two (or three) near-matches in the total mtDNA database that together best explain the variation seen in the recombinants. The evolutionary pathway from the mtDNA tree connecting this pair together with the recombinant then generate a grid-like median network, from which one can read off the exchanged segments. Conclusions We have applied this procedure to a large collection of complete human mtDNA sequences, where several recombinants could be distilled by our method. All these recombinant sequences were subsequently corrected by de novo experiments – fully concordant with the predictions from our data-analytical approach. PMID:18714389

  9. OPERA-LG: efficient and exact scaffolding of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes with performance guarantees.

    PubMed

    Gao, Song; Bertrand, Denis; Chia, Burton K H; Nagarajan, Niranjan

    2016-05-11

    The assembly of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes represents a significant challenge in genomics. While long-read technologies have made the high-quality assembly of small, microbial genomes increasingly feasible, data generation can be expensive for larger genomes. OPERA-LG is a scalable, exact algorithm for the scaffold assembly of large, repeat-rich genomes, out-performing state-of-the-art programs for scaffold correctness and contiguity. It provides a rigorous framework for scaffolding of repetitive sequences and a systematic approach for combining data from different second-generation and third-generation sequencing technologies. OPERA-LG provides an avenue for systematic augmentation and improvement of thousands of existing draft eukaryotic genome assemblies.

  10. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M; Yeo, Gene W; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2012-09-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration.

  11. Biodiversity of Costa Rican salamanders: Implications of high levels of genetic differentiation and phylogeographic structure for species formation

    PubMed Central

    García-París, Mario; Good, David A.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2000-01-01

    Although salamanders are characteristic amphibians in Holarctic temperate habitats, in tropical regions they have diversified evolutionarily only in tropical America. An adaptive radiation centered in Middle America occurred late in the history of a single clade, the supergenus Bolitoglossa (Plethodontidae), and large numbers of species now occur in diverse habitats. Sublineages within this clade decrease in number from the northern to southern parts of Middle America, and in Costa Rica, there are but three. Despite this phylogenetic constraint, Costa Rica has many species; the number of salamander species on one local elevational transect in the Cordillera de Talamanca may be the largest for any such transect in the world. Extraordinary variation in sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b within a clade of the genus Bolitoglossa in Costa Rica reveals strong phylogeographic structure within a single species, Bolitoglossa pesrubra. Allozymic variation in 19 proteins reveals a pattern largely concordant with the mitochondrial DNA phylogeography. More species exist than are currently recognized. Diversification occurs in restricted geographic areas and involves sharp geographic and elevational differentiation and zonation. In their degree of genetic differentiation at a local scale, these species of the deep tropics exceed the known variation of extratropical salamanders, which also differ in being less restricted in elevational range. Salamanders display “tropicality” in that although speciose, they are usually local in distribution and rare. They display strong ecological and physiological differentiation that may contribute importantly to morphological divergence and species formation. PMID:10677512

  12. Salamander retina phospholipids and their localization by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry at cellular size resolution[S

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Michael C.; Nakanishi, Hiroki; Takahashi, Kazuteru; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Kajihara, Shigeki; Hayasaka, Takahiro; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Ogawa, Kiyoshi; Taguchi, Ryo; Naito, Takayuki

    2011-01-01

    Salamander large cells facilitated identification and localization of lipids by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. Salamander retina lipid extract showed similarity with rodent retina lipid extract in phospholipid content and composition. Like rodent retina section, distinct layer distributions of phospholipids were observed in the salamander retina section. Phosphatidylcholines (PCs) composing saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (PC 32:0, PC 32:1, and PC 34:1) were detected mainly in the outer and inner plexiform layers (OPL and IPL), whereas PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PC 36:4, PC 38:6, and PC 40:6) composed the inner segment (IS) and outer segment (OS). The presence of PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids in the OS layer implied that these phospholipids form flexible lipid bilayers, which facilitate phototransduction process occurring in the rhodopsin rich OS layer. Distinct distributions and relative signal intensities of phospholipids also indicated their relative abundance in a particular cell or a cell part. Using salamander large cells, a single cell level localization and identification of biomolecules could be achieved by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. PMID:21149645

  13. Northwestern salamanders Ambystoma gracile in mountain lakes: record oviposition depths among salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, R.; Pearl, C.A.; Larson, G.L.; Samora, B.

    2012-01-01

    Oviposition timing, behaviors, and microhabitats of ambystomatid salamanders vary considerably (Egan and Paton 2004; Figiel and Semlitsch 1995; Howard and Wallace 1985; Mac-Cracken 2007). Regardless of species, however, females typically oviposit using sites conducive to embryo development and survival. For example, the results of an experiment by Figiel and Semlitsch (1995) on Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) oviposition indicated that females actively selected sites that were under grass clumps in wet versus dry treatments, and surmised that environmental conditions such as humidity, moisture, and temperature contributed to their results. Other factors associated with ambystomatid oviposition and embryo survival include water temperature (Anderson 1972; Brown 1976), dissolved oxygen concentration (Petranka et al. 1982; Sacerdote and King 2009), oviposition depth (Dougherty et al. 2005; Egan and Paton 2004), and oviposition attachment structures such as woody vegetation (McCracken 2007; Nussbaum et al. 1983). Resetarits (1996), in creating a model of oviposition site selection for anuran amphibians, hypothesized that oviparous organisms were also capable of modifying oviposition behavior and site selection to accommodate varying habitat conditions and to minimize potential negative effects of environmental stressors. Kats and Sih (1992), investigating the oviposition of Ambystoma barbouri (Streamside Salamander) in pools of a Kentucky stream, found that females preferred pools without predatory Lepomis cyanellus (Green Sunfish), and that the number of egg masses present in a pool historically containing fish increased significantly the year after fish had been extirpated from the pool. Palen et al. (2005) determined that Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern Salamander) and Ambystoma macrodactylum (Longtoed Salamander) eggs were deposited either at increased depth or in full shaded habitats, respectively, as water transperancy to UV-B radiation increased.

  14. Genome-scale phylogenetic function annotation of large and diverse protein families.

    PubMed

    Engelhardt, Barbara E; Jordan, Michael I; Srouji, John R; Brenner, Steven E

    2011-11-01

    The Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships (SIFTER) framework uses a statistical graphical model that applies phylogenetic principles to automate precise protein function prediction. Here we present a revised approach (SIFTER version 2.0) that enables annotations on a genomic scale. SIFTER 2.0 produces equivalently precise predictions compared to the earlier version on a carefully studied family and on a collection of 100 protein families. We have added an approximation method to SIFTER 2.0 and show a 500-fold improvement in speed with minimal impact on prediction results in the functionally diverse sulfotransferase protein family. On the Nudix protein family, previously inaccessible to the SIFTER framework because of the 66 possible molecular functions, SIFTER achieved 47.4% accuracy on experimental data (where BLAST achieved 34.0%). Finally, we used SIFTER to annotate all of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe proteins with experimental functional characterizations, based on annotations from proteins in 46 fungal genomes. SIFTER precisely predicted molecular function for 45.5% of the characterized proteins in this genome, as compared with four current function prediction methods that precisely predicted function for 62.6%, 30.6%, 6.0%, and 5.7% of these proteins. We use both precision-recall curves and ROC analyses to compare these genome-scale predictions across the different methods and to assess performance on different types of applications. SIFTER 2.0 is capable of predicting protein molecular function for large and functionally diverse protein families using an approximate statistical model, enabling phylogenetics-based protein function prediction for genome-wide analyses. The code for SIFTER and protein family data are available at http://sifter.berkeley.edu.

  15. Genome-scale phylogenetic function annotation of large and diverse protein families

    PubMed Central

    Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Jordan, Michael I.; Srouji, John R.; Brenner, Steven E.

    2011-01-01

    The Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships (SIFTER) framework uses a statistical graphical model that applies phylogenetic principles to automate precise protein function prediction. Here we present a revised approach (SIFTER version 2.0) that enables annotations on a genomic scale. SIFTER 2.0 produces equivalently precise predictions compared to the earlier version on a carefully studied family and on a collection of 100 protein families. We have added an approximation method to SIFTER 2.0 and show a 500-fold improvement in speed with minimal impact on prediction results in the functionally diverse sulfotransferase protein family. On the Nudix protein family, previously inaccessible to the SIFTER framework because of the 66 possible molecular functions, SIFTER achieved 47.4% accuracy on experimental data (where BLAST achieved 34.0%). Finally, we used SIFTER to annotate all of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe proteins with experimental functional characterizations, based on annotations from proteins in 46 fungal genomes. SIFTER precisely predicted molecular function for 45.5% of the characterized proteins in this genome, as compared with four current function prediction methods that precisely predicted function for 62.6%, 30.6%, 6.0%, and 5.7% of these proteins. We use both precision-recall curves and ROC analyses to compare these genome-scale predictions across the different methods and to assess performance on different types of applications. SIFTER 2.0 is capable of predicting protein molecular function for large and functionally diverse protein families using an approximate statistical model, enabling phylogenetics-based protein function prediction for genome-wide analyses. The code for SIFTER and protein family data are available at http://sifter.berkeley.edu. PMID:21784873

  16. Ultra Large Gene Families: A Matter of Adaptation or Genomic Parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Schiffer, Philipp H.; Gravemeyer, Jan; Rauscher, Martina; Wiehe, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication is an important mechanism of molecular evolution. It offers a fast track to modification, diversification, redundancy or rescue of gene function. However, duplication may also be neutral or (slightly) deleterious, and often ends in pseudo-geneisation. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic distribution of ultra large gene families on long and short evolutionary time scales. In particular, we focus on a family of NACHT-domain and leucine-rich-repeat-containing (NLR)-genes, which we previously found in large numbers to occupy one chromosome arm of the zebrafish genome. We were interested to see whether such a tight clustering is characteristic for ultra large gene families. Our data reconfirm that most gene family inflations are lineage-specific, but we can only identify very few gene clusters. Based on our observations we hypothesise that, beyond a certain size threshold, ultra large gene families continue to proliferate in a mechanism we term “run-away evolution”. This process might ultimately lead to the failure of genomic integrity and drive species to extinction. PMID:27509525

  17. Large-scale sequencing of human influenza reveals the dynamic nature of viral genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Ghedin, Elodie; Sengamalay, Naomi A; Shumway, Martin; Zaborsky, Jennifer; Feldblyum, Tamara; Subbu, Vik; Spiro, David J; Sitz, Jeff; Koo, Hean; Bolotov, Pavel; Dernovoy, Dmitry; Tatusova, Tatiana; Bao, Yiming; St George, Kirsten; Taylor, Jill; Lipman, David J; Fraser, Claire M; Taubenberger, Jeffery K; Salzberg, Steven L

    2005-10-20

    Influenza viruses are remarkably adept at surviving in the human population over a long timescale. The human influenza A virus continues to thrive even among populations with widespread access to vaccines, and continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The virus mutates from year to year, making the existing vaccines ineffective on a regular basis, and requiring that new strains be chosen for a new vaccine. Less-frequent major changes, known as antigenic shift, create new strains against which the human population has little protective immunity, thereby causing worldwide pandemics. The most recent pandemics include the 1918 'Spanish' flu, one of the most deadly outbreaks in recorded history, which killed 30-50 million people worldwide, the 1957 'Asian' flu, and the 1968 'Hong Kong' flu. Motivated by the need for a better understanding of influenza evolution, we have developed flexible protocols that make it possible to apply large-scale sequencing techniques to the highly variable influenza genome. Here we report the results of sequencing 209 complete genomes of the human influenza A virus, encompassing a total of 2,821,103 nucleotides. In addition to increasing markedly the number of publicly available, complete influenza virus genomes, we have discovered several anomalies in these first 209 genomes that demonstrate the dynamic nature of influenza transmission and evolution. This new, large-scale sequencing effort promises to provide a more comprehensive picture of the evolution of influenza viruses and of their pattern of transmission through human and animal populations. All data from this project are being deposited, without delay, in public archives.

  18. Biological consequences of ancient gene acquisition and duplication in the large genome soil bacterium, ""solibacter usitatus"" strain Ellin6076

    SciTech Connect

    Challacombe, Jean F; Eichorst, Stephanie A; Xie, Gary; Kuske, Cheryl R; Hauser, Loren; Land, Miriam

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial genome sizes range from ca. 0.5 to 10Mb and are influenced by gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, gene loss and other evolutionary processes. Sequenced genomes of strains in the phylum Acidobacteria revealed that 'Solibacter usistatus' strain Ellin6076 harbors a 9.9 Mb genome. This large genome appears to have arisen by horizontal gene transfer via ancient bacteriophage and plasmid-mediated transduction, as well as widespread small-scale gene duplications. This has resulted in an increased number of paralogs that are potentially ecologically important (ecoparalogs). Low amino acid sequence identities among functional group members and lack of conserved gene order and orientation in the regions containing similar groups of paralogs suggest that most of the paralogs were not the result of recent duplication events. The genome sizes of cultured subdivision 1 and 3 strains in the phylum Acidobacteria were estimated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine the prevalence of the large genome trait within the phylum. Members of subdivision 1 were estimated to have smaller genome sizes ranging from ca. 2.0 to 4.8 Mb, whereas members of subdivision 3 had slightly larger genomes, from ca. 5.8 to 9.9 Mb. It is hypothesized that the large genome of strain Ellin6076 encodes traits that provide a selective metabolic, defensive and regulatory advantage in the variable soil environment.

  19. Prey detection by vomeronasal chemoreception in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Placyk, John S; Graves, Brent M

    2002-05-01

    While chemoreception is involved in a wide variety of salamander behaviors, the chemosensory system that mediates specific behaviors is rarely known. We investigated the role of the vomeronasal system (VNS) in foraging behavior of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) by manipulating salamanders' abilities to detect nonvolatile chemical cues emitted by potential prey. Subjects received one of three treatments: (1) impaired vomeronasal system, (2) sham manipulation, and (3) no manipulation. The role of the VNS in mediating foraging on motile prey (Drosophila melanogaster) was investigated under three light conditions (bright, dim, dark). Salamanders with impaired VNSs foraged less efficiently than either of the other experimental groups by displaying the longest latency to attack and the lowest rate of prey capture, especially in the absence of visual cues. A second experiment utilized freshly killed prey to determine whether the VNS takes on added importance in the absence of visual or tactile cues associated with moving prey. Animals with impaired VNSs showed a decreased foraging efficiency on stationary prey under both dark and light conditions. In addition, a mark-recapture study of VNS-impaired and sham salamanders in the field also indicated that salamanders with impaired VNSs consumed fewer stationary prey compared to shams. The study indicates that the VNS plays a substantial role in the foraging behavior of the plethodontid salamander, P. cinereus.

  20. Ecological separation in a polymorphic terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Anthony, Carl D; Venesky, Matthew D; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M

    2008-07-01

    1. When studying speciation, researchers commonly examine reproductive isolation in recently diverged populations. Polymorphic species provide an opportunity to examine the role of reproductive isolation in populations that may be in the process of divergence. 2. We examined a polymorphic population of Plethodon cinereus (red-backed salamanders) for evidence of sympatric ecological separation by colour morphology. Recent studies have correlated temperature and climate with colour morphology in this species, but no studies have looked at differences in diet or mate choice between colour morphs. We used artificial cover objects to assess salamander diet, mating preference and surface activity over a 2-year period at a field site in north-eastern Ohio. 3. We detected differences in diet between two colour morphs, striped and unstriped. The diets of striped individuals were significantly more diverse and were made up of more profitable prey than the diets of unstriped salamanders. 4. Opposite sex pairs were made up of individuals of the same colour morph and striped males were found more often with larger females than were unstriped males. 5. We corroborate findings of earlier studies suggesting that the unstriped form is adapted to warmer conditions. Unstriped individuals were the first to withdraw from the forest floor as temperatures fell in the late fall. We found no evidence that the colour morphs responded differently to abiotic factors such as soil moisture and relative humidity, and responses to surface temperatures were also equivocal. 6. We conclude that the two colour morphs exhibit some degree of ecological separation and tend to mate assortatively, but are unlikely to be undergoing divergence given the observed frequency of intermorph pairings.

  1. Effects of urbanization on occupancy of stream salamanders.

    PubMed

    Price, Steven J; Cecala, Kristen K; Browne, Robert A; Dorcas, Michael E

    2011-06-01

    Urban development is the most common form of land conversion in the United States. Using a before-after control-impact study design, we investigated the effects of urbanization on larval and adult stages of southern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera) and northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus). Over 5 years, we estimated changes in occupancy and probabilities of colonization and survival in 13 stream catchments after urbanization and in 17 catchments that were not urbanized. We also examined effects of proportion of urbanized area in a catchment and distance of the salamander population to the nearest stream on probabilities of colonization and survival. Before urbanization, adult and larval stages of the two salamander species occupied nearly all surveyed streams, with occupancy estimates ranging from 1.0 to 0.78. Four years after urbanization mean occupancy of larval and adult two-lined salamanders had decreased from 0.87 and 0.78 to 0.57 and 0.39, respectively. Estimates of mean occupancy of larval northern dusky salamanders decreased from 1.0 to 0.57 in urban streams 4 years after urbanization; however, adult northern dusky salamander occupancy remained close to 1.0 in urban streams over 5 years. Occupancy estimates in control streams were similar for each species and stage over 5 years. Urbanization was associated with decreases in survival probabilities of adult and larval two-lined salamanders and decreases in colonization probabilities of larval dusky salamanders. Nevertheless, proportion of impervious surface and distance to nearest stream had little effect on probabilities of survival and colonization. Our results imply that in the evaluation of the effects of urbanization on species, such as amphibians, with complex life cycles, consideration of the effects of urbanization on both adult and larval stages is required. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Convergent evolutionary reduction of atrial septation in lungless salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Zachary R; Hanken, James

    2017-01-01

    Nearly two thirds of the approximately 700 species of living salamanders are lungless. These species respire entirely through the skin and buccopharyngeal mucosa. Lung loss dramatically impacts the configuration of the circulatory system but the effects of evolutionary lung loss on cardiac morphology have long been controversial. For example, there is presumably little need for an atrial septum in lungless salamanders due to the absence of pulmonary veins and the presence of a single source of mixed blood flowing into the heart, but whether lungless salamanders possess an atrial septum and whether the sinoatrial aperture is located in the left or right atrium are unresolved; authors have stated opposing claims since the late 1800s. Here, we use micro-computed tomography (μ-CT) imaging, gross dissection and histological reconstruction to compare cardiac morphology among lungless plethodontid salamanders (Plethodontidae), salamanders with lungs, and the convergently lungless species Onychodactylus japonicus (Hynobiidae). Plethodontid salamanders have partial atrial septa and incomplete separation of the atrium into left and right halves. Partial septation is also seen in O. japonicus. Hence, lungless salamanders from two lineages convergently evolved similar morphology of the atrial septum. The partial septum in lungless salamanders can make it appear that the sinoatrial aperture is in the left atrium, but this interpretation is incorrect. Outgroup comparisons demonstrate that the aperture is located in a posterodorsal extension of the right atrium into the left side of the heart. Independent evolutionary losses of the atrial septum may have a similar developmental basis. In mammals, the lungs induce formation of the atrial septum by secreting morphogens to neighboring mesenchyme. We hypothesize that the lungs induce atrial septum development in amphibians in a similar fashion to mammals, and that atrial septum reduction in lungless salamanders is a direct result

  3. Variation in Salamander Tail Regeneration Is Associated with Genetic Factors That Determine Tail Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Gareth J.; Kump, D. Kevin; Walker, John A.; Voss, S. Randal

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni) was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander’s tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66–68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4%) and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site. PMID:23843997

  4. Expression of calcium transporters in the retina of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Krizaj, David; Liu, Xiaorong; Copenhagen, David R

    2004-08-02

    Changes in intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, modulate the flow of visual signals across all stages of processing in the retina, yet the identities of Ca2+ transporters responsible for these changes are still largely unknown. In the current study, the distribution of plasma membrane and intracellular Ca2+ transporters in the retina of tiger salamander, a model system for physiological studies of retinal function, was determined. Plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs), responsible for high-affinity Ca2+ extrusion, were highly expressed in the salamander retina. PMCA isoforms 1, 2, and 4 were localized to photoreceptors, whereas the inner retina expressed all four isoforms. PMCA3 was expressed in a sparse population of amacrine and ganglion neurons, whereas PMCA2 was expressed in most amacrine and ganglion cells. Na+/Ca2+ exchangers, a high-capacity Ca2+ extrusion system, were expressed in the outer plexiform layer and in a subset of inner nuclear and ganglion layer cells. Intracellular Ca2+ store transporters were also represented prominently. SERCA2a, a splice variant of the sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic Ca2+ ATPase, was found mostly in photoreceptors, whereas SERCA2b was found in the majority of retinal neurons and in glial cells. The predominant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ channels in the salamander retina are represented by the isoform 2 of the IP3 receptor family and the isoform 2 of the ryanodine receptor family. These results indicate that Ca2+ transporters in the salamander retina are expressed in a cell type-specific manner.

  5. Expression of Calcium Transporters in the Retina of the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)

    PubMed Central

    KRIŽAJ, DAVID; LIU, XIAORONG; COPENHAGEN, DAVID R.

    2008-01-01

    Changes in intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, modulate the flow of visual signals across all stages of processing in the retina, yet the identities of Ca2+ transporters responsible for these changes are still largely unknown. In the current study, the distribution of plasma membrane and intracellular Ca2+ transporters in the retina of tiger salamander, a model system for physiological studies of retinal function, was determined. Plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs), responsible for high-affinity Ca2+ extrusion, were highly expressed in the salamander retina. PMCA isoforms 1, 2, and 4 were localized to photoreceptors, whereas the inner retina expressed all four isoforms. PMCA3 was expressed in a sparse population of amacrine and ganglion neurons, whereas PMCA2 was expressed in most amacrine and ganglion cells. Na+/Ca2+ exchangers, a high-capacity Ca2+ extrusion system, were expressed in the outer plexiform layer and in a subset of inner nuclear and ganglion layer cells. Intracellular Ca2+ store transporters were also represented prominently. SERCA2a, a splice variant of the sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic Ca2+ ATPase, was found mostly in photoreceptors, whereas SERCA2b was found in the majority of retinal neurons and in glial cells. The predominant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ channels in the salamander retina are represented by the isoform 2 of the IP3 receptor family and the isoform 2 of the ryanodine receptor family. These results indicate that Ca2+ transporters in the salamander retina are expressed in a cell type-specific manner. PMID:15236230

  6. SURGICAL IMPLANTATION OF COELOMIC RADIOTRANSMITTERS AND POSTOPERATIVE SURVIVAL OF CHINESE GIANT SALAMANDERS (ANDRIAS DAVIDIANUS) FOLLOWING REINTRODUCTION.

    PubMed

    Marcec, Ruth; Kouba, Andrew; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Hongxing; Wang, Qijun; Zhao, Hu; Jiang, Wei; Willard, Scott

    2016-03-01

    Worldwide, there are only a handful of reintroduction programs for threatened salamander species, and very few have conducted postrelease studies to examine survival, habitat selection, and dispersal. Limitations in postrelease monitoring are primarily due to size constraints of amphibians and to dimensions of the radiotransmitters available for implantation. However, due to the large size of the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), these animals make optimal candidates for surgical implantation of radiotransmitters prior to reintroduction or translocation. The objective of this study was to develop an anesthetic protocol using tricane methanesulfonate (MS-222) and test a surgical procedure for coelomic implantation of radiotransmitters for this species. A total of 32 Chinese giant salamanders from two age groups (Group A: 4.7 yr old, n = 16; Group B: 2.7 yr old, n = 16) were implanted with 4-g radiotransmitters designed for underwater monitoring of fish. Group A was held 16 wk before release while Group B was held 6 wk before release, and the salamanders' survival and postoperative complications recorded for the first month postrelease. Group A animals took longer to reach a surgical plane of anesthesia than did Group B animals, and this was directly correlated to mass of the animals. Postsurgery, one animal from Group B died of dehiscence before release while 83.9% animals survived after the first month in the wild. All of the animals that died postrelease were from Group B; three animals experienced dehiscence of the suture site and died while another two animals expired from trauma and fungal infection, respectively. Improvements for future studies include use of alternative suture material for closure after implantation and additional healing time of the incision.

  7. Reverse engineering and analysis of large genome-scale gene networks.

    PubMed

    Aluru, Maneesha; Zola, Jaroslaw; Nettleton, Dan; Aluru, Srinivas

    2013-01-07

    Reverse engineering the whole-genome networks of complex multicellular organisms continues to remain a challenge. While simpler models easily scale to large number of genes and gene expression datasets, more accurate models are compute intensive limiting their scale of applicability. To enable fast and accurate reconstruction of large networks, we developed Tool for Inferring Network of Genes (TINGe), a parallel mutual information (MI)-based program. The novel features of our approach include: (i) B-spline-based formulation for linear-time computation of MI, (ii) a novel algorithm for direct permutation testing and (iii) development of parallel algorithms to reduce run-time and facilitate construction of large networks. We assess the quality of our method by comparison with ARACNe (Algorithm for the Reconstruction of Accurate Cellular Networks) and GeneNet and demonstrate its unique capability by reverse engineering the whole-genome network of Arabidopsis thaliana from 3137 Affymetrix ATH1 GeneChips in just 9 min on a 1024-core cluster. We further report on the development of a new software Gene Network Analyzer (GeNA) for extracting context-specific subnetworks from a given set of seed genes. Using TINGe and GeNA, we performed analysis of 241 Arabidopsis AraCyc 8.0 pathways, and the results are made available through the web.

  8. Discovering novel pharmacogenomic biomarkers by imputing drug response in cancer patients from large genomics studies.

    PubMed

    Geeleher, Paul; Zhang, Zhenyu; Wang, Fan; Gruener, Robert F; Nath, Aritro; Morrison, Gladys; Bhutra, Steven; Grossman, Robert L; Huang, R Stephanie

    2017-08-28

    Obtaining accurate drug response data in large cohorts of cancer patients is very challenging; thus, most cancer pharmacogenomics discovery is conducted in preclinical studies, typically using cell lines and mouse models. However, these platforms suffer from serious limitations, including small sample sizes. Here, we have developed a novel computational method that allows us to impute drug response in very large clinical cancer genomics data sets, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The approach works by creating statistical models relating gene expression to drug response in large panels of cancer cell lines and applying these models to tumor gene expression data in the clinical data sets (e.g., TCGA). This yields an imputed drug response for every drug in each patient. These imputed drug response data are then associated with somatic genetic variants measured in the clinical cohort, such as copy number changes or mutations in protein coding genes. These analyses recapitulated drug associations for known clinically actionable somatic genetic alterations and identified new predictive biomarkers for existing drugs. © 2017 Geeleher et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  9. Potential reduction in terrestrial salamander ranges associated with Marcellus shale development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, Adrianne; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2014-01-01

    Natural gas production from the Marcellus shale is rapidly increasing in the northeastern United States. Most of the endemic terrestrial salamander species in the region are classified as ‘globally secure’ by the IUCN, primarily because much of their ranges include state- and federally protected lands, which have been presumed to be free from habitat loss. However, the proposed and ongoing development of the Marcellus gas resources may result in significant range restrictions for these and other terrestrial forest salamanders. To begin to address the gaps in our knowledge of the direct impacts of shale gas development, we developed occurrence models for five species of terrestrial plethodontid salamanders found largely within the Marcellus shale play. We predicted future Marcellus shale development under several scenarios. Under scenarios of 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 new gas wells, we predict 4%, 8%, and 20% forest loss, respectively, within the play. Predictions of habitat loss vary among species, but in general, Plethodon electromorphus and Plethodonwehrlei are predicted to lose the greatest proportion of forested habitat within their ranges if future Marcellus development is based on characteristics of the shale play. If development is based on current well locations,Plethodonrichmondi is predicted to lose the greatest proportion of habitat. Models showed high uncertainty in species’ ranges and emphasize the need for distribution data collected by widespread and repeated, randomized surveys.

  10. Pathogens as a factor limiting the spread of cannibalism in tiger salamanders.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, David W; Loeb, Michael L G; Collins, James P

    1991-10-01

    Intraspecific predation is taxonomically widespread, but few species routinely prey on conspecifics. This is surprising as conspecifics could be a valuable resource for animals limited by food. A potential cost of cannibalism that has been largely unexplored is that it may enhance the risk of acquiring debilitating pathogens or toxins from conspecifics. We examined how pathogens affect variation in the incidence of cannibalism in tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum), which occur as two environmentally-induced morphs, typicals and cannibals. Salamanders from one population were more likely than those in another to develop into cannibals, even when reared under identical conditions. Variation in the propensity to become a cannibal may be caused by variation in pathogen density. In the population with cannibals at low frequency, bacterial blooms in late summer correlated with massive die-offs of salamanders. The frequency of cannibals correlated significantly negatively with bacterial density in ten different natural lakes. In the laboratory, cannibals exposed to a diseased conspecific always preyed on the sick animal. As a result, cannibals wre more likely to acquire and die from disease than were typicals that were similarly exposed, or cannibals that were exposed to healthy conspecifics. Since conspecifics often share lethal pathogens, enhanced risk of disease may explain why cannibalism is generally infrequent. Pathogens may constrain not only the tendency to be behaviorally cannibalistic, but also the propensity to develop specialized cannibal morphologies.

  11. Generation of aneurogenic larvae by parabiosis of salamander embryos.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anoop; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration of salamanders is nerve dependent, and the removal of the nerves in early stages of limb regeneration severely curtails the proliferation of the blastemal cells and growth of the regenerate. The removal of the neural tube from a developing salamander embryo results in an aneurogenic larva and the aneurogenic limb (ANL) develops independently without innervation. Paradoxically, the limb in an ANL is capable of regeneration in a nerve-independent manner. Here, we describe a detailed method for the generation of ANL in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, for regeneration studies.

  12. Locomotion and visually guided behavior in salamander: a neuromechanical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ijspeert, Auke J.; Arbib, Michael A.

    2000-10-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying locomotion and visually-guided behavior in a lower vertebrate: the salamander. We develop connectionist models of the salamander's locomotor circuitry and visual system, and analyze their functioning by embedding them into a biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body. This work is therefore an experiment in computational neuroethology which aims at investigating how behavior results from the coupling of a central nervous system (CNS) and a body, and from the interactions of the CNS-body pair with the environment. We believe that understanding these mechanisms is not only relevant for neurobiology but also for potential applications in robotics.

  13. Could we also be regenerative superheroes, like salamanders?

    PubMed

    Dall'Agnese, Alessandra; Puri, Pier Lorenzo

    2016-09-01

    Development of methods to reawaken the semi-dormant regenerative potential that lies within adult human tissues would hold promise for the restoration of diseased or damaged organs and tissues. While most of the regeneration potential is suppressed in many vertebrates, including humans, during adult life, urodele amphibians (salamanders) retain their regenerative ability throughout adulthood. Studies in newts and axolotls, two salamander models, have provided significant knowledge about adult limb regeneration. In this review, we present a comparative analysis of salamander and mammalian regeneration and discuss how evolutionarily altered properties of the regenerative environment can be exploited to restore full regenerative potential in the human body.

  14. Mutational and structural analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using whole-genome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Morin, Ryan D.; Mungall, Karen; Pleasance, Erin; Mungall, Andrew J.; Goya, Rodrigo; Huff, Ryan D.; Scott, David W.; Ding, Jiarui; Roth, Andrew; Chiu, Readman; Corbett, Richard D.; Chan, Fong Chun; Mendez-Lago, Maria; Trinh, Diane L.; Bolger-Munro, Madison; Taylor, Greg; Hadj Khodabakhshi, Alireza; Ben-Neriah, Susana; Pon, Julia; Meissner, Barbara; Woolcock, Bruce; Farnoud, Noushin; Rogic, Sanja; Lim, Emilia L.; Johnson, Nathalie A.; Shah, Sohrab; Jones, Steven; Steidl, Christian; Holt, Robert; Birol, Inanc; Moore, Richard; Connors, Joseph M.; Gascoyne, Randy D.

    2013-01-01

    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a genetically heterogeneous cancer composed of at least 2 molecular subtypes that differ in gene expression and distribution of mutations. Recently, application of genome/exome sequencing and RNA-seq to DLBCL has revealed numerous genes that are recurrent targets of somatic point mutation in this disease. Here we provide a whole-genome-sequencing-based perspective of DLBCL mutational complexity by characterizing 40 de novo DLBCL cases and 13 DLBCL cell lines and combining these data with DNA copy number analysis and RNA-seq from an extended cohort of 96 cases. Our analysis identified widespread genomic rearrangements including evidence for chromothripsis as well as the presence of known and novel fusion transcripts. We uncovered new gene targets of recurrent somatic point mutations and genes that are targeted by focal somatic deletions in this disease. We highlight the recurrence of germinal center B-cell-restricted mutations affecting genes that encode the S1P receptor and 2 small GTPases (GNA13 and GNAI2) that together converge on regulation of B-cell homing. We further analyzed our data to approximate the relative temporal order in which some recurrent mutations were acquired and demonstrate that ongoing acquisition of mutations and intratumoral clonal heterogeneity are common features of DLBCL. This study further improves our understanding of the processes and pathways involved in lymphomagenesis, and some of the pathways mutated here may indicate new avenues for therapeutic intervention. PMID:23699601

  15. Large genomic fibrillin-1 (FBN1) gene deletions provide evidence for true haploinsufficiency in Marfan syndrome.

    PubMed

    Mátyás, Gábor; Alonso, Sira; Patrignani, Andrea; Marti, Myriam; Arnold, Eliane; Magyar, István; Henggeler, Caroline; Carrel, Thierry; Steinmann, Beat; Berger, Wolfgang

    2007-08-01

    Mutations in the FBN1 gene are the major cause of Marfan syndrome (MFS), an autosomal dominant connective tissue disorder, which displays variable manifestations in the cardiovascular, ocular, and skeletal systems. Current molecular genetic testing of FBN1 may miss mutations in the promoter region or in other noncoding sequences as well as partial or complete gene deletions and duplications. In this study, we tested for copy number variations by successively applying multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and the Affymetrix Human Mapping 500 K Array Set, which contains probes for approximately 500,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome. By analyzing genomic DNA of 101 unrelated individuals with MFS or related phenotypes in whom standard genetic testing detected no mutation, we identified FBN1 deletions in two patients with MFS. Our high-resolution approach narrowed down the deletion breakpoints. Subsequent sequencing of the junctional fragments revealed the deletion sizes of 26,887 and 302,580 bp, respectively. Surprisingly, both deletions affect the putative regulatory and promoter region of the FBN1 gene, strongly indicating that they abolish transcription of the deleted allele. This expectation of complete loss of function of one allele, i.e. true haploinsufficiency, was confirmed by transcript analyses. Our findings not only emphasize the importance of screening for large genomic rearrangements in comprehensive genetic testing of FBN1 but, importantly, also extend the molecular etiology of MFS by providing hitherto unreported evidence that true haploinsufficiency is sufficient to cause MFS.

  16. Towards defining the chloroviruses: a genomic journey through a genus of large DNA viruses

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    genes has been anecdotal in the evolutionary history of chloroviruses. We finally discuss the incongruence between compositional evidence of horizontal gene transfer and lack of close relative sequences in the databases, which suggests that the recently acquired genes originate from a still largely un-sequenced reservoir of genomes, possibly other unknown viruses that infect the same hosts. PMID:23497343

  17. Mosaic Uniparental Disomies and Aneuploidies as Large Structural Variants of the Human Genome

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Santiago, Benjamín; Malats, Núria; Rothman, Nathaniel; Armengol, Lluís; Garcia-Closas, Montse; Kogevinas, Manolis; Villa, Olaya; Hutchinson, Amy; Earl, Julie; Marenne, Gaëlle; Jacobs, Kevin; Rico, Daniel; Tardón, Adonina; Carrato, Alfredo; Thomas, Gilles; Valencia, Alfonso; Silverman, Debra; Real, Francisco X.; Chanock, Stephen J.; Pérez-Jurado, Luis A.

    2010-01-01

    Mosaicism is defined as the coexistence of cells with different genetic composition within an individual, caused by postzygotic somatic mutation. Although somatic mosaicism for chromosomal abnormalities is a well-established cause of developmental and somatic disorders and has also been detected in different tissues, its frequency and extent in the adult normal population are still unknown. We provide here a genome-wide survey of mosaic genomic variation obtained by analyzing Illumina 1M SNP array data from blood or buccal DNA samples of 1991 adult individuals from the Spanish Bladder Cancer/EPICURO genome-wide association study. We found mosaic abnormalities in autosomes in 1.7% of samples, including 23 segmental uniparental disomies, 8 complete trisomies, and 11 large (1.5–37 Mb) copy-number variants. Alterations were observed across the different autosomes with recurrent events in chromosomes 9 and 20. No case-control differences were found in the frequency of events or the percentage of cells affected, thus indicating that most rearrangements found are not central to the development of bladder cancer. However, five out of six events tested were detected in both blood and bladder tissue from the same individual, indicating an early developmental origin. The high cellular frequency of the anomalies detected and their presence in normal adult individuals suggest that this type of mosaicism is a widespread phenomenon in the human genome. Somatic mosaicism should be considered in the expanding repertoire of inter- and intraindividual genetic variation, some of which may cause somatic human diseases but also contribute to modifying inherited disorders and/or late-onset multifactorial traits. PMID:20598279

  18. Large-insert genome analysis technology detects structural variation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical strains from cystic fibrosis patients.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Hillary S; Gillett, Will; Saenphimmachak, Channakhone; Lim, Regina; Zhou, Yang; Jacobs, Michael A; Chang, Jean; Rohmer, Laurence; D'Argenio, David A; Palmieri, Anthony; Levy, Ruth; Haugen, Eric; Wong, Gane K S; Brittnacher, Mitch J; Burns, Jane L; Miller, Samuel I; Olson, Maynard V; Kaul, Rajinder

    2008-06-01

    Large-insert genome analysis (LIGAN) is a broadly applicable, high-throughput technology designed to characterize genome-scale structural variation. Fosmid paired-end sequences and DNA fingerprints from a query genome are compared to a reference sequence using the Genomic Variation Analysis (GenVal) suite of software tools to pinpoint locations of insertions, deletions, and rearrangements. Fosmids spanning regions that contain new structural variants can then be sequenced. Clonal pairs of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from four cystic fibrosis patients were used to validate the LIGAN technology. Approximately 1.5 Mb of inserted sequences were identified, including 743 kb containing 615 ORFs that are absent from published P. aeruginosa genomes. Six rearrangement breakpoints and 220 kb of deleted sequences were also identified. Our study expands the "genome universe" of P. aeruginosa and validates a technology that complements emerging, short-read sequencing methods that are better suited to characterizing single-nucleotide polymorphisms than structural variation.

  19. Functional Genome Mining for Metabolites Encoded by Large Gene Clusters through Heterologous Expression of a Whole-Genome Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Library in Streptomyces spp.

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Min; Wang, Yemin; Zhao, Zhilong; Gao, Guixi; Huang, Sheng-Xiong; Kang, Qianjin; He, Xinyi; Lin, Shuangjun; Pang, Xiuhua; Deng, Zixin

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genome sequencing projects in the last decade revealed numerous cryptic biosynthetic pathways for unknown secondary metabolites in microbes, revitalizing drug discovery from microbial metabolites by approaches called genome mining. In this work, we developed a heterologous expression and functional screening approach for genome mining from genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries in Streptomyces spp. We demonstrate mining from a strain of Streptomyces rochei, which is known to produce streptothricins and borrelidin, by expressing its BAC library in the surrogate host Streptomyces lividans SBT5, and screening for antimicrobial activity. In addition to the successful capture of the streptothricin and borrelidin biosynthetic gene clusters, we discovered two novel linear lipopeptides and their corresponding biosynthetic gene cluster, as well as a novel cryptic gene cluster for an unknown antibiotic from S. rochei. This high-throughput functional genome mining approach can be easily applied to other streptomycetes, and it is very suitable for the large-scale screening of genomic BAC libraries for bioactive natural products and the corresponding biosynthetic pathways. IMPORTANCE Microbial genomes encode numerous cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters for unknown small metabolites with potential biological activities. Several genome mining approaches have been developed to activate and bring these cryptic metabolites to biological tests for future drug discovery. Previous sequence-guided procedures relied on bioinformatic analysis to predict potentially interesting biosynthetic gene clusters. In this study, we describe an efficient approach based on heterologous expression and functional screening of a whole-genome library for the mining of bioactive metabolites from Streptomyces. The usefulness of this function-driven approach was demonstrated by the capture of four large biosynthetic gene clusters for metabolites of various chemical types, including

  20. Sexual dimorphism and age of Mediterranean salamanders.

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Sandy; Renner, Sandra; Kupfer, Alexander

    2015-02-01

    We analysed sexual size dimorphism (SSD) for two Mediterranean species of the "true" salamander clade possessing distinct life histories (Salamandra algira and Mertensiella caucasica) and equilibrated the morphometric approach to individual age by using skeletochronology. For species that have a short breeding season and live at high altitudes, such as Mediterranean amphibians, the fecundity advantage hypothesis predicts female-biased SSD to maximise reproductive success. Our results showed no SSD in either species; however, morphometric data indicated a male-biased dimorphism in limb (arm and leg) dimensions in both species when compared to body size. Limb dimorphisms are likely related to the particular mating system, which involves an amplexus during spermatophore transfer. Arm length appeared sexually dimorphic during ontogeny both in viviparous S. algira and oviparous M. caucasica. A review on SSD indicated monomorphy of body size as a common lineage-specific pattern among the "true" salamander clade, but also the common presence of other traits such as sexually dimorphic limb proportions.

  1. Estimating demographic parameters from large-scale population genomic data using Approximate Bayesian Computation.

    PubMed

    Li, Sen; Jakobsson, Mattias

    2012-03-27

    The Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach has been used to infer demographic parameters for numerous species, including humans. However, most applications of ABC still use limited amounts of data, from a small number of loci, compared to the large amount of genome-wide population-genetic data which have become available in the last few years. We evaluated the performance of the ABC approach for three 'population divergence' models - similar to the 'isolation with migration' model - when the data consists of several hundred thousand SNPs typed for multiple individuals by simulating data from known demographic models. The ABC approach was used to infer demographic parameters of interest and we compared the inferred values to the true parameter values that was used to generate hypothetical "observed" data. For all three case models, the ABC approach inferred most demographic parameters quite well with narrow credible intervals, for example, population divergence times and past population sizes, but some parameters were more difficult to infer, such as population sizes at present and migration rates. We compared the ability of different summary statistics to infer demographic parameters, including haplotype and LD based statistics, and found that the accuracy of the parameter estimates can be improved by combining summary statistics that capture different parts of information in the data. Furthermore, our results suggest that poor choices of prior distributions can in some circumstances be detected using ABC. Finally, increasing the amount of data beyond some hundred loci will substantially improve the accuracy of many parameter estimates using ABC. We conclude that the ABC approach can accommodate realistic genome-wide population genetic data, which may be difficult to analyze with full likelihood approaches, and that the ABC can provide accurate and precise inference of demographic parameters from these data, suggesting that the ABC approach will be a

  2. Estimating demographic parameters from large-scale population genomic data using Approximate Bayesian Computation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach has been used to infer demographic parameters for numerous species, including humans. However, most applications of ABC still use limited amounts of data, from a small number of loci, compared to the large amount of genome-wide population-genetic data which have become available in the last few years. Results We evaluated the performance of the ABC approach for three 'population divergence' models - similar to the 'isolation with migration' model - when the data consists of several hundred thousand SNPs typed for multiple individuals by simulating data from known demographic models. The ABC approach was used to infer demographic parameters of interest and we compared the inferred values to the true parameter values that was used to generate hypothetical "observed" data. For all three case models, the ABC approach inferred most demographic parameters quite well with narrow credible intervals, for example, population divergence times and past population sizes, but some parameters were more difficult to infer, such as population sizes at present and migration rates. We compared the ability of different summary statistics to infer demographic parameters, including haplotype and LD based statistics, and found that the accuracy of the parameter estimates can be improved by combining summary statistics that capture different parts of information in the data. Furthermore, our results suggest that poor choices of prior distributions can in some circumstances be detected using ABC. Finally, increasing the amount of data beyond some hundred loci will substantially improve the accuracy of many parameter estimates using ABC. Conclusions We conclude that the ABC approach can accommodate realistic genome-wide population genetic data, which may be difficult to analyze with full likelihood approaches, and that the ABC can provide accurate and precise inference of demographic parameters from these data, suggesting that

  3. Site-level habitat models for the endemic, threatened Cheat Mountain salamander (Plethodon nettingi): the importance of geophysical and biotic attributes for predicting occurrence

    Treesearch

    Lester O. Dillard; Kevin R. Russell; W. Mark Ford

    2008-01-01

    The federally threatened Cheat Mountain salamander (Plethodon nettingi; hereafter CMS) is known to occur in approximately 70 small, scattered populations in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, USA. Current conservation and management efforts on federal, state, and private lands involving CMS largely rely on small scale, largely...

  4. Habitat requirements of New Mexico’s endangered salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramotnik, Cindy A.; Scott, N.J.

    1988-01-01

    We measured habitat components for two state-listed endangered salamanders in New Mexico in 1986 and 1987. Both species are restricted to mesic environments within high-elevation, mixed coniferous forests. Steep slope and high elevation were the most useful variables for predicting the occurrence of Jemez Mountains salamanders and Sacramento Mountain salamanders, respectively. Although the discriminant models show some predictive value in detecting salamanders based on habitat variables, we believe that the best survey technique is ground-truth surveys in wet weather. A better fit of the discriminant models might be obtained by including variables not measured e.g., fire and logging history, and soil characteristics. We offer interim management guidelines as a result of our analysis.

  5. Salamander-like development in a seymouriamorph revealed by palaeohistology.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Sophie; Klembara, Jozef; Castanet, Jacques; Steyer, J Sébastien

    2008-08-23

    The amniotes generally lay eggs on land and are thereby differentiated from lissamphibians (salamanders, frogs and caecilians) by their developmental pattern. Although a number of 330-300-Myr old fossils are regarded as early tetrapods placed close to amniotes on the basis of anatomical data, we still do not know whether their developmental pattern was more similar to those of lissamphibians or amniotes. Here we report palaeohistological and skeletochronological evidence supporting a salamander-like development in the seymouriamorph Discosauriscus. Its long-bone growth pattern, slow diaphyseal growth rate and delayed sexual maturity (at more than 10 years old) are more comparable with growth features of extant salamanders rather than extant amniotes, even though they are mostly hypothesized to be phylogenetically closer to living amniotes than salamanders.

  6. PGen: large-scale genomic variations analysis workflow and browser in SoyKB.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Khan, Saad M; Wang, Juexin; Rynge, Mats; Zhang, Yuanxun; Zeng, Shuai; Chen, Shiyuan; Maldonado Dos Santos, Joao V; Valliyodan, Babu; Calyam, Prasad P; Merchant, Nirav; Nguyen, Henry T; Xu, Dong; Joshi, Trupti

    2016-10-06

    With the advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and significant reductions in sequencing costs, it is now possible to sequence large collections of germplasm in crops for detecting genome-scale genetic variations and to apply the knowledge towards improvements in traits. To efficiently facilitate large-scale NGS resequencing data analysis of genomic variations, we have developed "PGen", an integrated and optimized workflow using the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) high-performance computing (HPC) virtual system, iPlant cloud data storage resources and Pegasus workflow management system (Pegasus-WMS). The workflow allows users to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion-deletions (indels), perform SNP annotations and conduct copy number variation analyses on multiple resequencing datasets in a user-friendly and seamless way. We have developed both a Linux version in GitHub ( https://github.com/pegasus-isi/PGen-GenomicVariations-Workflow ) and a web-based implementation of the PGen workflow integrated within the Soybean Knowledge Base (SoyKB), ( http://soykb.org/Pegasus/index.php ). Using PGen, we identified 10,218,140 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1,398,982 indels from analysis of 106 soybean lines sequenced at 15X coverage. 297,245 non-synonymous SNPs and 3330 copy number variation (CNV) regions were identified from this analysis. SNPs identified using PGen from additional soybean resequencing projects adding to 500+ soybean germplasm lines in total have been integrated. These SNPs are being utilized for trait improvement using genotype to phenotype prediction approaches developed in-house. In order to browse and access NGS data easily, we have also developed an NGS resequencing data browser ( http://soykb.org/NGS_Resequence/NGS_index.php ) within SoyKB to provide easy access to SNP and downstream analysis results for soybean researchers. PGen workflow has been optimized for the most

  7. Cross-Platform Assessment of Genomic Imbalance Confirms the Clinical Relevance of Genomic Complexity and Reveals Loci with Potential Pathogenic Roles in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Lizalynn M.; Thodima, Venkata; Friedman, Julia; Ma, Charles; Guttapalli, Asha; Mendiratta, Geetu; Siddiqi, Imran N.; Syrbu, Sergei; Chaganti, R. S. K.; Houldsworth, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Genomic copy number alterations (CNAs) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have roles in disease pathogenesis but overall clinical relevance remains unclear. Herein, an unbiased algorithm was uniformly applied across three genome profiling datasets comprising 392 newly-diagnosed DLBCL specimens that defined 32 overlapping CNAs, involving 36 minimal common regions (MCRs). Scoring criteria were established for 50 aberrations within the MCRs while considering peak gains/losses. Application of these criteria to independent datasets revealed novel candidate genes with coordinated expression, such as CNOT2, potentially with pathogenic roles. No one single aberration significantly associated with patient outcome across datasets, but genomic complexity, defined by imbalance in more than one MCR, significantly portended adverse outcome in two of three independent datasets. Thus, the standardized scoring of CNAs currently developed can be uniformly applied across platforms, affording robust validation of genomic imbalance and complexity in DLBCL and overall clinical utility as biomarkers of patient outcome. PMID:26294112

  8. Cross-platform assessment of genomic imbalance confirms the clinical relevance of genomic complexity and reveals loci with potential pathogenic roles in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Dias, Lizalynn M; Thodima, Venkata; Friedman, Julia; Ma, Charles; Guttapalli, Asha; Mendiratta, Geetu; Siddiqi, Imran N; Syrbu, Sergei; Chaganti, R S K; Houldsworth, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Genomic copy number alterations (CNAs) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have roles in disease pathogenesis, but overall clinical relevance remains unclear. Herein, an unbiased algorithm was uniformly applied across three genome profiling datasets comprising 392 newly-diagnosed DLBCL specimens that defined 32 overlapping CNAs, involving 36 minimal common regions (MCRs). Scoring criteria were established for 50 aberrations within the MCRs while considering peak gains/losses. Application of these criteria to independent datasets revealed novel candidate genes with coordinated expression, such as CNOT2, potentially with pathogenic roles. No one single aberration significantly associated with patient outcome across datasets, but genomic complexity, defined by imbalance in more than one MCR, significantly portended adverse outcome in two of three independent datasets. Thus, the standardized scoring of CNAs currently developed can be uniformly applied across platforms, affording robust validation of genomic imbalance and complexity in DLBCL and overall clinical utility as biomarkers of patient outcome.

  9. Maintaining plethodontid salamanders in the laboratory for regeneration studies.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Claudia Marcela; Gómez-Molina, Andrea; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration studies have been extensively carried out in species of Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae families. So far limited research has been conducted in species belonging to the Plethodontidae family, where some of the species differs from other salamander families due to their direct development, thus absence of a larval life. Here, we describe a protocol to maintain the plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa species under laboratory conditions to perform regeneration studies.

  10. Large genomic rearrangement of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in familial breast cancer patients in Korea.

    PubMed

    Cho, Ja Young; Cho, Dae-Yeon; Ahn, Sei Hyun; Choi, Su-Youn; Shin, Inkyung; Park, Hyun Gyu; Lee, Jong Won; Kim, Hee Jeong; Yu, Jong Han; Ko, Beom Seok; Ku, Bo Kyung; Son, Byung Ho

    2014-06-01

    We screened large genomic rearrangements of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in Korean, familial breast cancer patients. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay was used to identify BRCA1 and BRCA2 genomic rearrangements in 226 Korean familial breast cancer patients with risk factors for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, who previously tested negative for point mutations in the two genes. We identified only one large deletion (c.4186-1593_4676-1465del) in BRCA1. No large rearrangements were found in BRCA2. Our result indicates that large genomic rearrangement in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes does not seem like a major determinant of breast cancer susceptibility in the Korean population. A large-scale study needs to validate our result in Korea.

  11. First Insights into the Large Genome of Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. et Zucc) Maxim, a Chinese Traditional Medicinal Plant

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Di; Zeng, Shao-Hua; Chen, Jian-Jun; Zhang, Yan-Jun; Xiao, Gong; Zhu, Lin-Yao; Wang, Ying

    2013-01-01

    Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. et Zucc) Maxim is a member of the Berberidaceae family of basal eudicot plants, widely distributed and used as a traditional medicinal plant in China for therapeutic effects on many diseases with a long history. Recent data shows that E. sagittatum has a relatively large genome, with a haploid genome size of ~4496 Mbp, divided into a small number of only 12 diploid chromosomes (2n = 2x = 12). However, little is known about Epimedium genome structure and composition. Here we present the analysis of 691 kb of high-quality genomic sequence derived from 672 randomly selected plasmid clones of E. sagittatum genomic DNA, representing ~0.0154% of the genome. The sampled sequences comprised at least 78.41% repetitive DNA elements and 2.51% confirmed annotated gene sequences, with a total GC% content of 39%. Retrotransposons represented the major class of transposable element (TE) repeats identified (65.37% of all TE repeats), particularly LTR (Long Terminal Repeat) retrotransposons (52.27% of all TE repeats). Chromosome analysis and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization of Gypsy-Ty3 retrotransposons were performed to survey the E. sagittatum genome at the cytological level. Our data provide the first insights into the composition and structure of the E. sagittatum genome, and will facilitate the functional genomic analysis of this valuable medicinal plant. PMID:23807511

  12. Gene map of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) provides insights into teleost genome evolution and conserved regions associated with growth.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Shijun; Wang, Panpan; Zhang, Yan; Fang, Lujing; Liu, Yang; Li, Jiong-Tang; Wang, Zhi-Yong

    2015-12-22

    The genetic map of a species is essential for its whole genome assembly and can be applied to the mapping of important traits. In this study, we performed RNA-seq for a family of large yellow croakers (Larimichthys crocea) and constructed a high-density genetic map. In this map, 24 linkage groups comprised 3,448 polymorphic SNP markers. Approximately 72.4% (2,495) of the markers were located in protein-coding regions. Comparison of the croaker genome with those of five model fish species revealed that the croaker genome structure was closer to that of the medaka than to the remaining four genomes. Because the medaka genome preserves the teleost ancestral karyotype, this result indicated that the croaker genome might also maintain the teleost ancestral genome structure. The analysis also revealed different genome rearrangements across teleosts. QTL mapping and association analysis consistently identified growth-related QTL regions and associated genes. Orthologs of the associated genes in other species were demonstrated to regulate development, indicating that these genes might regulate development and growth in croaker. This gene map will enable us to construct the croaker genome for comparative studies and to provide an important resource for selective breeding of croaker.

  13. Gene map of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) provides insights into teleost genome evolution and conserved regions associated with growth

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Shijun; Wang, Panpan; Zhang, Yan; Fang, Lujing; Liu, Yang; Li, Jiong-Tang; Wang, Zhi-Yong

    2015-01-01

    The genetic map of a species is essential for its whole genome assembly and can be applied to the mapping of important traits. In this study, we performed RNA-seq for a family of large yellow croakers (Larimichthys crocea) and constructed a high-density genetic map. In this map, 24 linkage groups comprised 3,448 polymorphic SNP markers. Approximately 72.4% (2,495) of the markers were located in protein-coding regions. Comparison of the croaker genome with those of five model fish species revealed that the croaker genome structure was closer to that of the medaka than to the remaining four genomes. Because the medaka genome preserves the teleost ancestral karyotype, this result indicated that the croaker genome might also maintain the teleost ancestral genome structure. The analysis also revealed different genome rearrangements across teleosts. QTL mapping and association analysis consistently identified growth-related QTL regions and associated genes. Orthologs of the associated genes in other species were demonstrated to regulate development, indicating that these genes might regulate development and growth in croaker. This gene map will enable us to construct the croaker genome for comparative studies and to provide an important resource for selective breeding of croaker. PMID:26689832

  14. Genome Partitioner: A web tool for multi-level partitioning of large-scale DNA constructs for synthetic biology applications

    PubMed Central

    Del Medico, Luca; Christen, Heinz; Christen, Beat

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in lower-cost DNA synthesis techniques have enabled new innovations in the field of synthetic biology. Still, efficient design and higher-order assembly of genome-scale DNA constructs remains a labor-intensive process. Given the complexity, computer assisted design tools that fragment large DNA sequences into fabricable DNA blocks are needed to pave the way towards streamlined assembly of biological systems. Here, we present the Genome Partitioner software implemented as a web-based interface that permits multi-level partitioning of genome-scale DNA designs. Without the need for specialized computing skills, biologists can submit their DNA designs to a fully automated pipeline that generates the optimal retrosynthetic route for higher-order DNA assembly. To test the algorithm, we partitioned a 783 kb Caulobacter crescentus genome design. We validated the partitioning strategy by assembling a 20 kb test segment encompassing a difficult to synthesize DNA sequence. Successful assembly from 1 kb subblocks into the 20 kb segment highlights the effectiveness of the Genome Partitioner for reducing synthesis costs and timelines for higher-order DNA assembly. The Genome Partitioner is broadly applicable to translate DNA designs into ready to order sequences that can be assembled with standardized protocols, thus offering new opportunities to harness the diversity of microbial genomes for synthetic biology applications. The Genome Partitioner web tool can be accessed at https://christenlab.ethz.ch/GenomePartitioner. PMID:28531174

  15. Comparative Genomics of 12 Strains of Erwinia amylovora Identifies a Pan-Genome with a Large Conserved Core

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Rachel A.; Smits, Theo H. M.; Bühlmann, Andreas; Blom, Jochen; Goesmann, Alexander; Frey, Jürg E.; Plummer, Kim M.; Beer, Steven V.; Luck, Joanne; Duffy, Brion; Rodoni, Brendan

    2013-01-01

    The plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora can be divided into two host-specific groupings; strains infecting a broad range of hosts within the Rosaceae subfamily Spiraeoideae (e.g., Malus, Pyrus, Crataegus, Sorbus) and strains infecting Rubus (raspberries and blackberries). Comparative genomic analysis of 12 strains representing distinct populations (e.g., geographic, temporal, host origin) of E. amylovora was used to describe the pan-genome of this major pathogen. The pan-genome contains 5751 coding sequences and is highly conserved relative to other phytopathogenic bacteria comprising on average 89% conserved, core genes. The chromosomes of Spiraeoideae-infecting strains were highly homogeneous, while greater genetic diversity was observed between Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains (and among individual Rubus-infecting strains), the majority of which was attributed to variable genomic islands. Based on genomic distance scores and phylogenetic analysis, the Rubus-infecting strain ATCC BAA-2158 was genetically more closely related to the Spiraeoideae-infecting strains of E. amylovora than it was to the other Rubus-infecting strains. Analysis of the accessory genomes of Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains has identified putative host-specific determinants including variation in the effector protein HopX1Ea and a putative secondary metabolite pathway only present in Rubus-infecting strains. PMID:23409014

  16. Comparative genomics of 12 strains of Erwinia amylovora identifies a pan-genome with a large conserved core.

    PubMed

    Mann, Rachel A; Smits, Theo H M; Bühlmann, Andreas; Blom, Jochen; Goesmann, Alexander; Frey, Jürg E; Plummer, Kim M; Beer, Steven V; Luck, Joanne; Duffy, Brion; Rodoni, Brendan

    2013-01-01

    The plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora can be divided into two host-specific groupings; strains infecting a broad range of hosts within the Rosaceae subfamily Spiraeoideae (e.g., Malus, Pyrus, Crataegus, Sorbus) and strains infecting Rubus (raspberries and blackberries). Comparative genomic analysis of 12 strains representing distinct populations (e.g., geographic, temporal, host origin) of E. amylovora was used to describe the pan-genome of this major pathogen. The pan-genome contains 5751 coding sequences and is highly conserved relative to other phytopathogenic bacteria comprising on average 89% conserved, core genes. The chromosomes of Spiraeoideae-infecting strains were highly homogeneous, while greater genetic diversity was observed between Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains (and among individual Rubus-infecting strains), the majority of which was attributed to variable genomic islands. Based on genomic distance scores and phylogenetic analysis, the Rubus-infecting strain ATCC BAA-2158 was genetically more closely related to the Spiraeoideae-infecting strains of E. amylovora than it was to the other Rubus-infecting strains. Analysis of the accessory genomes of Spiraeoideae- and Rubus-infecting strains has identified putative host-specific determinants including variation in the effector protein HopX1(Ea) and a putative secondary metabolite pathway only present in Rubus-infecting strains.

  17. Bacterial delivery of large intact genomic-DNA-containing BACs into mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Wing; Kotzamanis, George; Abdulrazzak, Hassan; Goussard, Sylvie; Kaname, Tadashi; Kotsinas, Athanassios; Gorgoulis, Vassilis G.; Grillot-Courvalin, Catherine; Huxley, Clare

    2012-01-01

    Efficient delivery of large intact vectors into mammalian cells remains problematical. Here we evaluate delivery by bacterial invasion of two large BACs of more than 150 kb in size into various cells. First, we determined the effect of several drugs on bacterial delivery of a small plasmid into different cell lines. Most drugs tested resulted in a marginal increase of the overall efficiency of delivery in only some cell lines, except the lysosomotropic drug chloroquine, which was found to increase the efficiency of delivery by 6-fold in B16F10 cells. Bacterial invasion was found to be significantly advantageous compared with lipofection in delivering large intact BACs into mouse cells, resulting in 100% of clones containing intact DNA. Furthermore, evaluation of expression of the human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene from its genomic locus, which was present in one of the BACs, showed that single copy integrations of the HPRT-containing BAC had occurred in mouse B16F10 cells and that expression of HPRT from each human copy was 0.33 times as much as from each endogenous mouse copy. These data provide new evidence that bacterial delivery is a convenient and efficient method to transfer large intact therapeutic genes into mammalian cells. PMID:22095052

  18. Bacterial delivery of large intact genomic-DNA-containing BACs into mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Wing; Kotzamanis, George; Abdulrazzak, Hassan; Goussard, Sylvie; Kaname, Tadashi; Kotsinas, Athanassios; Gorgoulis, Vassilis G; Grillot-Courvalin, Catherine; Huxley, Clare

    2012-01-01

    Efficient delivery of large intact vectors into mammalian cells remains problematical. Here we evaluate delivery by bacterial invasion of two large BACs of more than 150 kb in size into various cells. First, we determined the effect of several drugs on bacterial delivery of a small plasmid into different cell lines. Most drugs tested resulted in a marginal increase of the overall efficiency of delivery in only some cell lines, except the lysosomotropic drug chloroquine, which was found to increase the efficiency of delivery by 6-fold in B16F10 cells. Bacterial invasion was found to be significantly advantageous compared with lipofection in delivering large intact BACs into mouse cells, resulting in 100% of clones containing intact DNA. Furthermore, evaluation of expression of the human hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene from its genomic locus, which was present in one of the BACs, showed that single copy integrations of the HPRT-containing BAC had occurred in mouse B16F10 cells and that expression of HPRT from each human copy was 0.33 times as much as from each endogenous mouse copy. These data provide new evidence that bacterial delivery is a convenient and efficient method to transfer large intact therapeutic genes into mammalian cells.

  19. Direct selection: a method for the isolation of cDNAs encoded by large genomic regions.

    PubMed Central

    Lovett, M; Kere, J; Hinton, L M

    1991-01-01

    We have developed a strategy for the rapid enrichment and identification of cDNAs encoded by large genomic regions. The basis of this "direct selection" scheme is the hybridization of an entire library of cDNAs to an immobilized genomic clone. Nonspecific hybrids are eliminated and selected cDNAs are eluted. These molecules are then amplified and are either cloned or subjected to further selection/amplification cycles. This scheme was tested using a 550-kilobase yeast artificial chromosome clone that contains the EPO gene. Using this clone and a fetal kidney cDNA library, we have achieved a 1000-fold enrichment of EPO cDNAs in one cycle of enrichment. More significantly, we have further investigated one of the "anonymous" cDNAs that was selectively enriched. We confirmed that this cDNA was encoded by the yeast artificial chromosome. Its frequency in the starting library was 1 in 1 x 10(5) cDNAs and after selection comprised 2% of the selected library. DNA sequence analysis of this cDNA and of the yeast artificial chromosome clone revealed that this gene encodes the beta 2 subunit of the human guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins. Restriction mapping and hybridization data position this gene (GNB2) to within 30-70 kilobases of the EPO gene. The selective isolation and mapping of GNB2 confirms the feasibility of this direct selection strategy and suggests that it will be useful for the rapid isolation of cDNAs, including disease-related genes, across extensive portions of the human genome. Images PMID:1946378

  20. SWAP-Assembler 2: Optimization of De Novo Genome Assembler at Large Scale

    SciTech Connect

    Meng, Jintao; Seo, Sangmin; Balaji, Pavan; Wei, Yanjie; Wang, Bingqiang; Feng, Shengzhong

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we analyze and optimize the most time-consuming steps of the SWAP-Assembler, a parallel genome assembler, so that it can scale to a large number of cores for huge genomes with the size of sequencing data ranging from terabyes to petabytes. According to the performance analysis results, the most time-consuming steps are input parallelization, k-mer graph construction, and graph simplification (edge merging). For the input parallelization, the input data is divided into virtual fragments with nearly equal size, and the start position and end position of each fragment are automatically separated at the beginning of the reads. In k-mer graph construction, in order to improve the communication efficiency, the message size is kept constant between any two processes by proportionally increasing the number of nucleotides to the number of processes in the input parallelization step for each round. The memory usage is also decreased because only a small part of the input data is processed in each round. With graph simplification, the communication protocol reduces the number of communication loops from four to two loops and decreases the idle communication time. The optimized assembler is denoted as SWAP-Assembler 2 (SWAP2). In our experiments using a 1000 Genomes project dataset of 4 terabytes (the largest dataset ever used for assembling) on the supercomputer Mira, the results show that SWAP2 scales to 131,072 cores with an efficiency of 40%. We also compared our work with both the HipMER assembler and the SWAP-Assembler. On the Yanhuang dataset of 300 gigabytes, SWAP2 shows a 3X speedup and 4X better scalability compared with the HipMer assembler and is 45 times faster than the SWAP-Assembler. The SWAP2 software is available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/swapassembler.

  1. Repair of base damage and genome maintenance in the nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Redrejo-Rodríguez, Modesto; Salas, María L

    2014-01-22

    Among the DNA viruses, the so-called nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) constitute a monophyletic group that currently consists of seven families of viruses infecting a very broad variety of eukaryotes, from unicellular marine protists to humans. Many recent papers have analyzed the sequence and structure of NCLDV genomes and their phylogeny, providing detailed analysis about their genomic structure and evolutionary history and proposing their inclusion in a new viral order named Megavirales that, according to some authors, should be considered as a fourth domain of life, aside from Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. The maintenance of genetic information protected from environmental attacks and mutations is essential not only for the survival of cellular organisms but also viruses. In cellular organisms, damaged DNA bases are removed in two major repair pathways: base excision repair (BER) and nucleotide incision repair (NIR) that constitute the major pathways responsible for repairing most endogenous base lesions and abnormal bases in the genome by precise repair procedures. Like cells, many NCLDV encode proteins that might constitute viral DNA repair pathways that would remove damages through BER/NIR pathways. However, the molecular mechanisms and, specially, the biological roles of those viral repair pathways have not been deeply addressed in the literature so far. In this paper, we review viral-encoded BER proteins and the genetic and biochemical data available about them. We propose and discuss probable viral-encoded DNA repair mechanisms and pathways, as compared with the functional and molecular features of known homologs proteins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. SWAP-Assembler 2: Optimization of De Novo Genome Assembler at Large Scale

    SciTech Connect

    Meng, Jintao; Seo, Sangmin; Balaji, Pavan; Wei, Yanjie; Wang, Bingqiang; Feng, Shengzhong

    2016-08-16

    In this paper, we analyze and optimize the most time-consuming steps of the SWAP-Assembler, a parallel genome assembler, so that it can scale to a large number of cores for huge genomes with the size of sequencing data ranging from terabyes to petabytes. According to the performance analysis results, the most time-consuming steps are input parallelization, k-mer graph construction, and graph simplification (edge merging). For the input parallelization, the input data is divided into virtual fragments with nearly equal size, and the start position and end position of each fragment are automatically separated at the beginning of the reads. In k-mer graph construction, in order to improve the communication efficiency, the message size is kept constant between any two processes by proportionally increasing the number of nucleotides to the number of processes in the input parallelization step for each round. The memory usage is also decreased because only a small part of the input data is processed in each round. With graph simplification, the communication protocol reduces the number of communication loops from four to two loops and decreases the idle communication time. The optimized assembler is denoted as SWAP-Assembler 2 (SWAP2). In our experiments using a 1000 Genomes project dataset of 4 terabytes (the largest dataset ever used for assembling) on the supercomputer Mira, the results show that SWAP2 scales to 131,072 cores with an efficiency of 40%. We also compared our work with both the HipMER assembler and the SWAP-Assembler. On the Yanhuang dataset of 300 gigabytes, SWAP2 shows a 3X speedup and 4X better scalability compared with the HipMer assembler and is 45 times faster than the SWAP-Assembler. The SWAP2 software is available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/swapassembler.

  3. The Centers for Mendelian Genomics: a new large-scale initiative to identify the genes underlying rare Mendelian conditions.

    PubMed

    Bamshad, Michael J; Shendure, Jay A; Valle, David; Hamosh, Ada; Lupski, James R; Gibbs, Richard A; Boerwinkle, Eric; Lifton, Richard P; Gerstein, Mark; Gunel, Murat; Mane, Shrikant; Nickerson, Deborah A

    2012-07-01

    Next generation exome sequencing (ES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) are new powerful tools for discovering the gene(s) that underlie Mendelian disorders. To accelerate these discoveries, the National Institutes of Health has established three Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMGs): the Center for Mendelian Genomics at the University of Washington; the Center for Mendelian Genomics at Yale University; and the Baylor-Johns Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics at Baylor College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. The CMGs will provide ES/WGS and extensive analysis expertise at no cost to collaborating investigators where the causal gene(s) for a Mendelian phenotype has yet to be uncovered. Over the next few years and in collaboration with the global human genetics community, the CMGs hope to facilitate the identification of the genes underlying a very large fraction of all Mendelian disorders; see http://mendelian.org. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Rapid pair-wise synteny analysis of large bacterial genomes using web-based GeneOrder4.0

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The growing whole genome sequence databases necessitate the development of user-friendly software tools to mine these data. Web-based tools are particularly useful to wet-bench biologists as they enable platform-independent analysis of sequence data, without having to perform complex programming tasks and software compiling. Findings GeneOrder4.0 is a web-based "on-the-fly" synteny and gene order analysis tool for comparative bacterial genomics (ca. 8 Mb). It enables the visualization of synteny by plotting protein similarity scores between two genomes and it also provides visual annotation of "hypothetical" proteins from older archived genomes based on more recent annotations. Conclusions The web-based software tool GeneOrder4.0 is a user-friendly application that has been updated to allow the rapid analysis of synteny and gene order in large bacterial genomes. It is developed with the wet-bench researcher in mind. PMID:20178631

  5. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Large T Antigen Disrupts Host Genomic Integrity and Inhibits Cellular Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing; Wang, Xin; Diaz, Jason; Tsang, Sabrina H.; Buck, Christopher B.

    2013-01-01

    Clonal integration of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) DNA into the host genome has been observed in at least 80% of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). The integrated viral genome typically carries mutations that truncate the C-terminal DNA binding and helicase domains of the MCV large T antigen (LT), suggesting a selective pressure to remove this MCV LT region during tumor development. In this study, we show that MCV infection leads to the activation of host DNA damage responses (DDR). This activity was mapped to the C-terminal helicase-containing region of the MCV LT. The MCV LT-activated DNA damage kinases, in turn, led to enhanced p53 phosphorylation, upregulation of p53 downstream target genes, and cell cycle arrest. Compared to the N-terminal MCV LT fragment that is usually preserved in mutants isolated from MCC tumors, full-length MCV LT shows a decreased potential to support cellular proliferation, focus formation, and anchorage-independent cell growth. These apparently antitumorigenic effects can be reversed by a dominant-negative p53 inhibitor. Our results demonstrate that MCV LT-induced DDR activates p53 pathway, leading to the inhibition of cellular proliferation. This study reveals a key difference between MCV LT and simian vacuolating virus 40 LT, which activates a DDR but inhibits p53 function. This study also explains, in part, why truncation mutations that remove the MCV LT C-terminal region are necessary for the oncogenic progression of MCV-associated cancers. PMID:23760247

  6. Conditional Random Fields for Fast, Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Studies

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jim C.; Meek, Christopher; Kadie, Carl; Heckerman, David

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the role of genetic variation in human diseases remains an important problem to be solved in genomics. An important component of such variation consist of variations at single sites in DNA, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Typically, the problem of associating particular SNPs to phenotypes has been confounded by hidden factors such as the presence of population structure, family structure or cryptic relatedness in the sample of individuals being analyzed. Such confounding factors lead to a large number of spurious associations and missed associations. Various statistical methods have been proposed to account for such confounding factors such as linear mixed-effect models (LMMs) or methods that adjust data based on a principal components analysis (PCA), but these methods either suffer from low power or cease to be tractable for larger numbers of individuals in the sample. Here we present a statistical model for conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that accounts for such confounding factors. Our method scales in runtime quadratic in the number of individuals being studied with only a modest loss in statistical power as compared to LMM-based and PCA-based methods when testing on synthetic data that was generated from a generalized LMM. Applying our method to both real and synthetic human genotype/phenotype data, we demonstrate the ability of our model to correct for confounding factors while requiring significantly less runtime relative to LMMs. We have implemented methods for fitting these models, which are available at http://www.microsoft.com/science. PMID:21765897

  7. Searching for large genomic rearrangements of the BRCA1 gene in a Nigerian population.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Fackenthal, James D; Huo, Dezheng; Zheng, Yonglan; Olopade, Olufunmilayo I

    2010-11-01

    BRCA1/2 germline mutations predispose to breast and ovarian cancer. Large genomic rearrangements (LGRs) have widened the mutational spectrum of the BRCA1 gene, but the frequencies vary in different populations. In this study, we want to determine the spectrum of LGRs in BRCA1 gene in Nigerian breast cancer patients. The multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay was used to screen BRCA1 rearrangements in 352 patients who previously tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 point mutations and small insertions/deletions. Positive MLPA result was confirmed and located by long-range PCR. The breakpoints of the candidate rearrangement were characterized by sequencing. A novel deletion of BRCA1 exon 21 (c.5277 + 480_5332 + 672del) was detected in 1 out of 352 Nigerian breast cancer patients (0.3% occurrence frequency). Further analysis of breakpoints revealed that the deletion involves two Alu-elements: one AluSg in intron 20 and the AluY in intron 21. These data suggest that while BRCA1 genomic rearrangement exists, they do not contribute significantly to BRCA1-associated risk in the Nigerian population.

  8. Large-scale analysis of tandem repeat variability in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Duitama, Jorge; Zablotskaya, Alena; Gemayel, Rita; Jansen, An; Belet, Stefanie; Vermeesch, Joris R.; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Froyen, Guy

    2014-01-01

    Tandem repeats are short DNA sequences that are repeated head-to-tail with a propensity to be variable. They constitute a significant proportion of the human genome, also occurring within coding and regulatory regions. Variation in these repeats can alter the function and/or expression of genes allowing organisms to swiftly adapt to novel environments. Importantly, some repeat expansions have also been linked to certain neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, accurate sequencing of tandem repeats could contribute to our understanding of common phenotypic variability and might uncover missing genetic factors in idiopathic clinical conditions. However, despite long-standing evidence for the functional role of repeats, they are largely ignored because of technical limitations in sequencing, mapping and typing. Here, we report on a novel capture technique and data filtering protocol that allowed simultaneous sequencing of thousands of tandem repeats in the human genomes of a three generation family using GS-FLX-plus Titanium technology. Our results demonstrated that up to 7.6% of tandem repeats in this family (4% in coding sequences) differ from the reference sequence, and identified a de novo variation in the family tree. The method opens new routes to look at this underappreciated type of genetic variability, including the identification of novel disease-related repeats. PMID:24682812

  9. Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Cerhan, James R; Berndt, Sonja I; Vijai, Joseph; Ghesquières, Hervé; McKay, James; Wang, Sophia S; Wang, Zhaoming; Yeager, Meredith; Conde, Lucia; de Bakker, Paul I W; Nieters, Alexandra; Cox, David; Burdett, Laurie; Monnereau, Alain; Flowers, Christopher R; De Roos, Anneclaire J; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R; Lan, Qing; Severi, Gianluca; Melbye, Mads; Gu, Jian; Jackson, Rebecca D; Kane, Eleanor; Teras, Lauren R; Purdue, Mark P; Vajdic, Claire M; Spinelli, John J; Giles, Graham G; Albanes, Demetrius; Kelly, Rachel S; Zucca, Mariagrazia; Bertrand, Kimberly A; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne; Lawrence, Charles; Hutchinson, Amy; Zhi, Degui; Habermann, Thomas M; Link, Brian K; Novak, Anne J; Dogan, Ahmet; Asmann, Yan W; Liebow, Mark; Thompson, Carrie A; Ansell, Stephen M; Witzig, Thomas E; Weiner, George J; Veron, Amelie S; Zelenika, Diana; Tilly, Hervé; Haioun, Corinne; Molina, Thierry Jo; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Glimelius, Bengt; Adami, Hans-Olov; Bracci, Paige M; Riby, Jacques; Smith, Martyn T; Holly, Elizabeth A; Cozen, Wendy; Hartge, Patricia; Morton, Lindsay M; Severson, Richard K; Tinker, Lesley F; North, Kari E; Becker, Nikolaus; Benavente, Yolanda; Boffetta, Paolo; Brennan, Paul; Foretova, Lenka; Maynadie, Marc; Staines, Anthony; Lightfoot, Tracy; Crouch, Simon; Smith, Alex; Roman, Eve; Diver, W Ryan; Offit, Kenneth; Zelenetz, Andrew; Klein, Robert J; Villano, Danylo J; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zhang, Yawei; Holford, Theodore R; Kricker, Anne; Turner, Jenny; Southey, Melissa C; Clavel, Jacqueline; Virtamo, Jarmo; Weinstein, Stephanie; Riboli, Elio; Vineis, Paolo; Kaaks, Rudolph; Trichopoulos, Dimitrios; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Boeing, Heiner; Tjonneland, Anne; Angelucci, Emanuele; Di Lollo, Simonetta; Rais, Marco; Birmann, Brenda M; Laden, Francine; Giovannucci, Edward; Kraft, Peter; Huang, Jinyan; Ma, Baoshan; Ye, Yuanqing; Chiu, Brian C H; Sampson, Joshua; Liang, Liming; Park, Ju-Hyun; Chung, Charles C; Weisenburger, Dennis D; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Fraumeni, Joseph F; Slager, Susan L; Wu, Xifeng; de Sanjose, Silvia; Smedby, Karin E; Salles, Gilles; Skibola, Christine F; Rothman, Nathaniel; Chanock, Stephen J

    2014-11-01

    Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma subtype and is clinically aggressive. To identify genetic susceptibility loci for DLBCL, we conducted a meta-analysis of 3 new genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and 1 previous scan, totaling 3,857 cases and 7,666 controls of European ancestry, with additional genotyping of 9 promising SNPs in 1,359 cases and 4,557 controls. In our multi-stage analysis, five independent SNPs in four loci achieved genome-wide significance marked by rs116446171 at 6p25.3 (EXOC2; P = 2.33 × 10(-21)), rs2523607 at 6p21.33 (HLA-B; P = 2.40 × 10(-10)), rs79480871 at 2p23.3 (NCOA1; P = 4.23 × 10(-8)) and two independent SNPs, rs13255292 and rs4733601, at 8q24.21 (PVT1; P = 9.98 × 10(-13) and 3.63 × 10(-11), respectively). These data provide substantial new evidence for genetic susceptibility to this B cell malignancy and point to pathways involved in immune recognition and immune function in the pathogenesis of DLBCL.

  10. PALMA: mRNA to genome alignments using large margin algorithms.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Uta; Hepp, Bettina; Ong, Cheng Soon; Rätsch, Gunnar

    2007-08-01

    Despite many years of research on how to properly align sequences in the presence of sequencing errors, alternative splicing and micro-exons, the correct alignment of mRNA sequences to genomic DNA is still a challenging task. We present a novel approach based on large margin learning that combines accurate splice site predictions with common sequence alignment techniques. By solving a convex optimization problem, our algorithm-called PALMA-tunes the parameters of the model such that true alignments score higher than other alignments. We study the accuracy of alignments of mRNAs containing artificially generated micro-exons to genomic DNA. In a carefully designed experiment, we show that our algorithm accurately identifies the intron boundaries as well as boundaries of the optimal local alignment. It outperforms all other methods: for 5702 artificially shortened EST sequences from Caenorhabditis elegans and human, it correctly identifies the intron boundaries in all except two cases. The best other method is a recently proposed method called exalin which misaligns 37 of the sequences. Our method also demonstrates robustness to mutations, insertions and deletions, retaining accuracy even at high noise levels. Datasets for training, evaluation and testing, additional results and a stand-alone alignment tool implemented in C++ and python are available at http://www.fml.mpg.de/raetsch/projects/palma

  11. BAL31-NGS approach for identification of telomeres de novo in large genomes.

    PubMed

    Peška, Vratislav; Sitová, Zdeňka; Fajkus, Petr; Fajkus, Jiří

    2017-02-01

    This article describes a novel method to identify as yet undiscovered telomere sequences, which combines next generation sequencing (NGS) with BAL31 digestion of high molecular weight DNA. The method was applied to two groups of plants: i) dicots, genus Cestrum, and ii) monocots, Allium species (e.g. A. ursinum and A. cepa). Both groups consist of species with large genomes (tens of Gb) and a low number of chromosomes (2n=14-16), full of repeat elements. Both genera lack typical telomeric repeats and multiple studies have attempted to characterize alternative telomeric sequences. However, despite interesting hypotheses and suggestions of alternative candidate telomeres (retrotransposons, rDNA, satellite repeats) these studies have not resolved the question. In a novel approach based on the two most general features of eukaryotic telomeres, their repetitive character and sensitivity to BAL31 nuclease digestion, we have taken advantage of the capacity and current affordability of NGS in combination with the robustness of classical BAL31 nuclease digestion of chromosomal termini. While representative samples of most repeat elements were ensured by low-coverage (less than 5%) genomic shot-gun NGS, candidate telomeres were identified as under-represented sequences in BAL31-treated samples.

  12. Genomic analysis of 38 Legionella species identifies large and diverse effector repertoires.

    PubMed

    Burstein, David; Amaro, Francisco; Zusman, Tal; Lifshitz, Ziv; Cohen, Ofir; Gilbert, Jack A; Pupko, Tal; Shuman, Howard A; Segal, Gil

    2016-02-01

    Infection by the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila relies on the translocation of ∼ 300 virulence proteins, termed effectors, which manipulate host cell processes. However, almost no information exists regarding effectors in other Legionella pathogens. Here we sequenced, assembled and characterized the genomes of 38 Legionella species and predicted their effector repertoires using a previously validated machine learning approach. This analysis identified 5,885 predicted effectors. The effector repertoires of different Legionella species were found to be largely non-overlapping, and only seven core effectors were shared by all species studied. Species-specific effectors had atypically low GC content, suggesting exogenous acquisition, possibly from the natural protozoan hosts of these species. Furthermore, we detected numerous new conserved effector domains and discovered new domain combinations, which allowed the inference of as yet undescribed effector functions. The effector collection and network of domain architectures described here can serve as a roadmap for future studies of effector function and evolution.

  13. Genome-wide mapping of large deletions and their population-genetic properties in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Mesbah-Uddin, Md; Guldbrandtsen, Bernt; Iso-Touru, Terhi; Vilkki, Johanna; De Koning, Dirk-Jan; Boichard, Didier; Lund, Mogens Sandø; Sahana, Goutam

    2017-09-08

    Large genomic deletions are potential candidate for loss-of-function, which could be lethal as homozygote. Analysing whole genome data of 175 cattle, we report 8,480 large deletions (199 bp-773 KB) with an overall false discovery rate of 8.8%; 82% of which are novel compared with deletions in the dbVar database. Breakpoint sequence analyses revealed that majority (24 of 29 tested) of the deletions contain microhomology/homology at breakpoint, and therefore, most likely generated by microhomology-mediated end joining. We observed higher differentiation among breeds for deletions in some genic-regions, such as ABCA12, TTC1, VWA3B, TSHR, DST/BPAG1, and CD1D. The genes overlapping deletions are on average evolutionarily less conserved compared with known mouse lethal genes (P-value = 2.3 × 10-6). We report 167 natural gene knockouts in cattle that are apparently nonessential as live homozygote individuals are observed. These genes are functionally enriched for immunoglobulin domains, olfactory receptors, and MHC classes (FDR = 2.06 × 10-22, 2.06 × 10-22, 7.01 × 10-6, respectively). We also demonstrate that deletions are enriched for health and fertility related quantitative trait loci (2-and 1.5-fold enrichment, Fisher's P-value = 8.91 × 10-10 and 7.4 × 10-11, respectively). Finally, we identified and confirmed the breakpoint of a ∼525 KB deletion on Chr23:12,291,761-12,817,087 (overlapping BTBD9, GLO1 and DNAH8), causing stillbirth in Nordic Red Cattle. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  14. Software engineering the mixed model for genome-wide association studies on large samples.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhiwu; Buckler, Edward S; Casstevens, Terry M; Bradbury, Peter J

    2009-11-01

    Mixed models improve the ability to detect phenotype-genotype associations in the presence of population stratification and multiple levels of relatedness in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but for large data sets the resource consumption becomes impractical. At the same time, the sample size and number of markers used for GWAS is increasing dramatically, resulting in greater statistical power to detect those associations. The use of mixed models with increasingly large data sets depends on the availability of software for analyzing those models. While multiple software packages implement the mixed model method, no single package provides the best combination of fast computation, ability to handle large samples, flexible modeling and ease of use. Key elements of association analysis with mixed models are reviewed, including modeling phenotype-genotype associations using mixed models, population stratification, kinship and its estimation, variance component estimation, use of best linear unbiased predictors or residuals in place of raw phenotype, improving efficiency and software-user interaction. The available software packages are evaluated, and suggestions made for future software development.

  15. The Exceptionally Large Chloroplast Genome of the Green Alga Floydiella terrestris Illuminates the Evolutionary History of the Chlorophyceae

    PubMed Central

    Brouard, Jean-Simon; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude; Turmel, Monique

    2010-01-01

    The Chlorophyceae, an advanced class of chlorophyte green algae, comprises five lineages that form two major clades (Chlamydomonadales + Sphaeropleales and Oedogoniales + Chaetopeltidales + Chaetophorales). The four complete chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences currently available for chlorophyceans uncovered an extraordinarily fluid genome architecture as well as many structural features distinguishing this group from other green algae. We report here the 521,168-bp cpDNA sequence from a member of the Chaetopeltidales (Floydiella terrestris), the sole chlorophycean lineage not previously sampled for chloroplast genome analysis. This genome, which contains 97 conserved genes and 26 introns (19 group I and 7 group II introns), is the largest chloroplast genome ever sequenced. Intergenic regions account for 77.8% of the genome size and are populated by short repeats. Numerous genomic features are shared with the cpDNA of the chaetophoralean Stigeoclonium helveticum, notably the absence of a large inverted repeat and the presence of unique gene clusters and trans-spliced group II introns. Although only one of the Floydiella group I introns encodes a homing endonuclease gene, our finding of five free-standing reading frames having similarity with such genes suggests that chloroplast group I introns endowed with mobility were once more abundant in the Floydiella lineage. Parsimony analysis of structural genomic features and phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast sequence data unambiguously resolved the Oedogoniales as sister to the Chaetopeltidales and Chaetophorales. An evolutionary scenario of the molecular events that shaped the chloroplast genome in the Chlorophyceae is presented. PMID:20624729

  16. Microarray analysis identifies keratin loci as sensitive biomarkers for thyroid hormone disruption in the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal

    2007-02-01

    Ambystomatid salamanders offer several advantages for endocrine disruption research, including genomic and bioinformatics resources, an accessible laboratory model (Ambystoma mexicanum), and natural lineages that are broadly distributed among North American habitats. We used microarray analysis to measure the relative abundance of transcripts isolated from A. mexicanum epidermis (skin) after exogenous application of thyroid hormone (TH). Only one gene had a >2-fold change in transcript abundance after 2 days of TH treatment. However, hundreds of genes showed significantly different transcript levels at days 12 and 28 in comparison to day 0. A list of 123 TH-responsive genes was identified using statistical, BLAST, and fold level criteria. Cluster analysis identified two groups of genes with similar transcription patterns: up-regulated versus down-regulated. Most notably, several keratins exhibited dramatic (1000 fold) increases or decreases in transcript abundance. Keratin gene expression changes coincided with morphological remodeling of epithelial tissues. This suggests that keratin loci can be developed as sensitive biomarkers to assay temporal disruptions of larval-to-adult gene expression programs. Our study has identified the first collection of loci that are regulated during TH-induced metamorphosis in a salamander, thus setting the stage for future investigations of TH disruption in the Mexican axolotl and other salamanders of the genus Ambystoma.

  17. Influence of headwater site conditions and riparian buffers on terrestrial salamander response to forest thinning.

    Treesearch

    D.E. Rundio; D.H. Olson

    2007-01-01

    We examined the effect of forest thinning and riparian buffers along headwater streams on terrestrial salamanders at two sites in western Oregon. Salamander numbers were reduced postthinning at one site with lower down-wood volume. Terrestrial salamander distributions along stream-to-upslope transects suggest benefits of one and two site-potential tree-height stream...

  18. The Contribution of Short Repeats of Low Sequence Complexity to Large Conifer Genomes

    Treesearch

    A. Schmidt; R.L. Doudrick; J.S. Heslop-Harrison; T. Schmidt

    2000-01-01

    Abstract: The abundance and genomic organization of six simple sequence repeats, consisting of di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide sequence motifs, and a minisatellite repeat have been analyzed in different gymnosperms by Southern hybridization. Within the gymnosperm genomes investigated, the abundance and genomic organization of micro- and...

  19. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-01-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  20. Assessing the functional consequence of loss of function variants using electronic medical record and large-scale genomics consortium efforts

    PubMed Central

    Sleiman, Patrick; Bradfield, Jonathan; Mentch, Frank; Almoguera, Berta; Connolly, John; Hakonarson, Hakon

    2014-01-01

    Estimates from large scale genome sequencing studies indicate that each human carries up to 20 genetic variants that are predicted to results in loss of function (LOF) of protein-coding genes. While some are known disease-causing variants or common, tolerated, LOFs in non-essential genes, the majority remain of unknown consequence. We explore the possibility of using imputed GWAS data from large biorepositories such as the electronic medical record and genomics (eMERGE) consortium to determine the effects of rare LOFs. Here, we show that two hypocholesterolemia-associated LOF mutations in the PCSK9 gene can be accurately imputed into large-scale GWAS datasets which raises the possibility of assessing LOFs through genomics-linked medical records. PMID:24808909

  1. Intergenomic translocations in unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma (Amphibia, Caudata).

    PubMed

    Bi, K; Bogart, J P; Fu, J

    2007-01-01

    Intergenomic interactions that include homoeologous recombinations and intergenomic translocations are commonly observed in plant allopolyploids. Homoeologous recombinations have recently been documented in unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma and revealed exchanged chromosomal segments between A. laterale and A.jeffersonianum genomes in individual unisexuals. We discovered intergenomic translocations in two widespread unisexual triploids A.laterale--2 jeffersonianum (or LJJ) and its tetraploid derivative A.laterale--3 jeffersonianum (or LJJJ) by genomic in situ hybridization (GISH). Two different types of intergenomic translocations were observed in two unisexual populations and one contained novel chromosomes generated by an intergenomic reciprocal translocation. We also observed chromosome deletions in several individuals and these chromosome fragmentations were all derived from the A. jeffersonianum genome. These observed intergenomic reciprocal translocations are believed to be caused by non-homologous pairing during meiosis followed by breakage-rejoining events. Genomes of unisexual Ambystoma undergo complicated structural changes that include various intergenomic exchanges that offer unisexuals genetic and phenotypic complexity to escape their evolutionary demise. Unisexual Ambystoma have persisted as natural nuclear genomic hybrids for about four million years. These unisexuals provide a vertebrate model system to examine the interaction of distinct genomes and to evaluate the corresponding genetic, developmental and evolutionary implications of intergenomic exchanges. Intergenomic translocations and homoeologous recombinations appear to be frequent chromosome reconstruction events among unisexual Ambystoma.

  2. Needles: Toward Large-Scale Genomic Prediction with Marker-by-Environment Interaction.

    PubMed

    De Coninck, Arne; De Baets, Bernard; Kourounis, Drosos; Verbosio, Fabio; Schenk, Olaf; Maenhout, Steven; Fostier, Jan

    2016-05-01

    Genomic prediction relies on genotypic marker information to predict the agronomic performance of future hybrid breeds based on trial records. Because the effect of markers may vary substantially under the influence of different environmental conditions, marker-by-environment interaction effects have to be taken into account. However, this may lead to a dramatic increase in the computational resources needed for analyzing large-scale trial data. A high-performance computing solution, called Needles, is presented for handling such data sets. Needles is tailored to the particular properties of the underlying algebraic framework by exploiting a sparse matrix formalism where suited and by utilizing distributed computing techniques to enable the use of a dedicated computing cluster. It is demonstrated that large-scale analyses can be performed within reasonable time frames with this framework. Moreover, by analyzing simulated trial data, it is shown that the effects of markers with a high environmental interaction can be predicted more accurately when more records per environment are available in the training data. The availability of such data and their analysis with Needles also may lead to the discovery of highly contributing QTL in specific environmental conditions. Such a framework thus opens the path for plant breeders to select crops based on these QTL, resulting in hybrid lines with optimized agronomic performance in specific environmental conditions.

  3. Radiation hybrid maps of the D-genome of Aegilops tauschii and their application in sequence assembly of large and complex plant genomes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ajay; Seetan, Raed; Mergoum, Mohamed; Tiwari, Vijay K; Iqbal, Muhammad J; Wang, Yi; Al-Azzam, Omar; Šimková, Hana; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Dvorak, Jan; Gu, Yong Q; Denton, Anne; Kilian, Andrzej; Lazo, Gerard R; Kianian, Shahryar F

    2015-10-16

    The large and complex genome of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L., ~17 Gb) requires high resolution genome maps with saturated marker scaffolds to anchor and orient BAC contigs/ sequence scaffolds for whole genome assembly. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping has proven to be an excellent tool for the development of such maps for it offers much higher and more uniform marker resolution across the length of the chromosome compared to genetic mapping and does not require marker polymorphism per se, as it is based on presence (retention) vs. absence (deletion) marker assay. In this study, a 178 line RH panel was genotyped with SSRs and DArT markers to develop the first high resolution RH maps of the entire D-genome of Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78. To confirm map order accuracy, the AL8/78-RH maps were compared with:1) a DArT consensus genetic map constructed using more than 100 bi-parental populations, 2) a RH map of the D-genome of reference hexaploid wheat 'Chinese Spring', and 3) two SNP-based genetic maps, one with anchored D-genome BAC contigs and another with anchored D-genome sequence scaffolds. Using marker sequences, the RH maps were also anchored with a BAC contig based physical map and draft sequence of the D-genome of Ae. tauschii. A total of 609 markers were mapped to 503 unique positions on the seven D-genome chromosomes, with a total map length of 14,706.7 cR. The average distance between any two marker loci was 29.2 cR which corresponds to 2.1 cM or 9.8 Mb. The average mapping resolution across the D-genome was estimated to be 0.34 Mb (Mb/cR) or 0.07 cM (cM/cR). The RH maps showed almost perfect agreement with several published maps with regard to chromosome assignments of markers. The mean rank correlations between the position of markers on AL8/78 maps and the four published maps, ranged from 0.75 to 0.92, suggesting a good agreement in marker order. With 609 mapped markers, a total of 2481 deletions for the whole D-genome were detected with an average

  4. Identification of Mutant Genes and Introgressed Tiger Salamander DNA in the Laboratory Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2017-01-31

    The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr (a) ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr (a) has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr (a) significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.

  5. Genomic imbalances during transformation from follicular lymphoma to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Berglund, Mattias; Enblad, Gunilla; Thunberg, Ulf; Amini, Rose-Marie; Sundström, Christer; Roos, Göran; Erlanson, Martin; Rosenquist, Richard; Larsson, Catharina; Lagercrantz, Svetlana

    2007-01-01

    Follicular lymphoma is commonly transformed to a more aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In order to provide molecular characterization of this histological and clinical transformation, comparative genomic hybridization was applied to 23 follicular lymphoma and 35 transformed DLBCL tumors from a total of 30 patients. The results were also compared with our published findings in de novo DLBCL. Copy number changes were detected in 70% of follicular lymphoma and in 97% of transformed DLBCL. In follicular lymphoma, the most common alterations were +18q21 (33%), +Xq25-26 (28%), +1q31-32 (23%), and -17p (23%), whereas transformed DLBCL most frequently exhibited +Xq25-26 (36%), +12q15 (29%), +7pter-q22 (25%), +8q21 (21%), and -6q16-21(25%). Transformed DLBCL showed significantly more alterations as compared to follicular lymphoma (P=0.0001), and the alterations -6q16-21 and +7pter-q22 were only found in transformed DLBCL but not in follicular lymphoma (P=0.02). Alterations involving +13q22 were significantly less frequent, whereas -4q13-21 was more common in transformed as compared to de novo DLBCL (P=0.01 and P=0.02, respectively). Clinical progression from follicular lymphoma to transformed DLBCL is on the genetic level associated with acquisition of increasing number of genomic copy number changes, with non-random involvement of specific target regions. The findings support diverse genetic background between transformed and de novo DLBCL.

  6. Olfactory receptor gene expression in tiger salamander olfactory epithelium.

    PubMed

    Marchand, James E; Yang, Xinhai; Chikaraishi, Dona; Krieger, Jurgen; Breer, Heinz; Kauer, John S

    2004-06-28

    Physiological studies of odor-elicited responses from the olfactory epithelium and bulb in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, have elucidated a number of features of olfactory coding that appear to be conserved across several vertebrate species. This animal model has provided an accessible in vivo system for observing individual and ensemble olfactory responses to odorant stimulation using biochemical, neurophysiological, and behavioral assays. In this paper we have complemented these studies by characterizing 35 candidate odorant receptor genes. These receptor sequences are similar to those of the large families of olfactory receptors found in mammals and fish. In situ hybridization, using RNA probes to 20 of these sequences, demonstrates differential distributions of labeled cells across the extent and within the depth of the olfactory epithelium. The distributions of cells labeled with probes to different receptors show spatially restricted patterns that are generally localized to different degrees in medial-lateral and anterior-posterior directions. The patterns of receptor expression in the ventral olfactory epithelium (OE) are mirrored in the dorsal OE. We present a hypothesis as to how the sensory neuron populations expressing different receptor types responding to a particular odorant may relate to the distribution patterns of epithelial and bulbar responses previously characterized using single-unit and voltage-sensitive dye recording methods. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Life History of a Unique Asian Plethodontid Salamander, Karsenia koreana.

    PubMed

    Song, Jae-Young; Matsui, Masafumi; Matsuki, Takashi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Koo, Kyo-Soung; Oh, Hong-Shik

    2017-04-01

    Using preserved specimens, we studied the basic life history of the topotypic population of the unique Asian plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana. Of 51 individuals examined, 11 males and 13 females were judged as mature from the development of gonads. The ovarian eggs were large (diameter 3.7-4.8 mm) and yellow to orange in color, and the clutch size was about 8-10. These values approximate those of actually spawned eggs recently reported. Skeletochronological analyses revealed the average age of males (5.3 years) to be lower than females (7.3 years). The age at maturity and maximum observed longevity were four and nine years in males and five and 10 years in females, respectively. In the growth curves estimated by a von Bertalanffy growth model, the growth coefficient and asymptotic SVL did not differ between the sexes, although males (40.6 mm) were smaller than females (45.3 mm) in the average snout-vent length. The time and place of courtship behavior, oval development, hatching, and especially, whether the species shows aquatic larval stage or direct development, are important topics to be resolved in future.

  8. A salamander's flexible spinal network for locomotion, modeled at two levels of abstraction.

    PubMed

    Knüsel, Jeremie; Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-08-01

    Animals have to coordinate a large number of muscles in different ways to efficiently move at various speeds and in different and complex environments. This coordination is in large part based on central pattern generators (CPGs). These neural networks are capable of producing complex rhythmic patterns when activated and modulated by relatively simple control signals. Although the generation of particular gaits by CPGs has been successfully modeled at many levels of abstraction, the principles underlying the generation and selection of a diversity of patterns of coordination in a single neural network are still not well understood. The present work specifically addresses the flexibility of the spinal locomotor networks in salamanders. We compare an abstract oscillator model and a CPG network composed of integrate-and-fire neurons, according to their ability to account for different axial patterns of coordination, and in particular the transition in gait between swimming and stepping modes. The topology of the network is inspired by models of the lamprey CPG, complemented by additions based on experimental data from isolated spinal cords of salamanders. Oscillatory centers of the limbs are included in a way that preserves the flexibility of the axial network. Similarly to the selection of forward and backward swimming in lamprey models via different excitation to the first axial segment, we can account for the modification of the axial coordination pattern between swimming and forward stepping on land in the salamander model, via different uncoupled frequencies in limb versus axial oscillators (for the same level of excitation). These results transfer partially to a more realistic model based on formal spiking neurons, and we discuss the difference between the abstract oscillator model and the model built with formal spiking neurons.

  9. Heterochrony repolarized: a phylogenetic analysis of developmental timing in plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Disentangling evolutionary shifts in developmental timing (heterochony) is dependent upon accurate estimates of ancestral patterns. However, many classic assessments of heterochronic patterns predate robust phylogenetic hypotheses and methods for trait reconstruction, and therefore may have been polarized with untested ‘primitive’ conditions. Here we revisit the heterochronic modes of development that underlie the evolution of metamorphosis, maturation, and paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders. We focus on the tribe Spelerpini, which is a diverse clade that exhibits tremendous variation in timing of metamorphosis and maturation, as well as multiple independent instances of larval form paedomorphosis. Based on morphology and biogeography, early investigators concluded that the most recent common ancestors of plethodontids, and also spelerpines, were large salamanders, with very long larval periods and late maturation times. This prevailing assumption influenced subsequent heterochronic assessments, which concluded that most modern spelerpines (with shorter larval periods) were derived through multiple independent accelerations in larval development. It was also concluded that most occurrences of larval form paedomorphosis in this clade resulted from progenesis (acceleration of gonadal development relative to metamorphosis). Results By reconstructing the time to metamorphosis on a molecular-based phylogeny of plethodontids, we find that ancestral spelerpines likely had relatively shorter larval periods than previously proposed. Taken together with the credibility interval from our ancestral state estimation we show that very long larval periods are likely derived decelerations, only a few lineages have undergone appreciable accelerations in metamorphic timing, and the remaining taxa have lower probabilities of being different than the ancestral condition (possibly due to stasis). Reconstructing maturation age across nodes concomitant with the

  10. Large Genomic Fragment Deletions and Insertions in Mouse Using CRISPR/Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Satheka, Achim Cchitvsanzwhoh; Togo, Jacques; An, Yao; Humphrey, Mabwi; Ban, Luying; Ji, Yan; Jin, Honghong; Feng, Xuechao; Zheng, Yaowu

    2015-01-01

    ZFN, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 system have been used to generate point mutations and large fragment deletions and insertions in genomic modifications. CRISPR/Cas9 system is the most flexible and fast developing technology that has been extensively used to make mutations in all kinds of organisms. However, the most mutations reported up to date are small insertions and deletions. In this report, CRISPR/Cas9 system was used to make large DNA fragment deletions and insertions, including entire Dip2a gene deletion, about 65kb in size, and β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter gene insertion of larger than 5kb in mouse. About 11.8% (11/93) are positive for 65kb deletion from transfected and diluted ES clones. High targeting efficiencies in ES cells were also achieved with G418 selection, 46.2% (12/26) and 73.1% (19/26) for left and right arms respectively. Targeted large fragment deletion efficiency is about 21.4% of live pups or 6.0% of injected embryos. Targeted insertion of lacZ reporter with NEO cassette showed 27.1% (13/48) of targeting rate by ES cell transfection and 11.1% (2/18) by direct zygote injection. The procedures have bypassed in vitro transcription by directly co-injection of zygotes or co-transfection of embryonic stem cells with circular plasmid DNA. The methods are technically easy, time saving, and cost effective in generating mouse models and will certainly facilitate gene function studies. PMID:25803037

  11. A potential wound-healing-promoting peptide from salamander skin.

    PubMed

    Mu, Lixian; Tang, Jing; Liu, Han; Shen, Chuanbin; Rong, Mingqiang; Zhang, Zhiye; Lai, Ren

    2014-09-01

    Although it is well known that wound healing proceeds incredibly quickly in urodele amphibians, such as newts and salamanders, little is known about skin-wound healing, and no bioactive/effector substance that contributes to wound healing has been identified from these animals. As a step toward understanding salamander wound healing and skin regeneration, a potential wound-healing-promoting peptide (tylotoin; KCVRQNNKRVCK) was identified from salamander skin of Tylototriton verrucosus. It shows comparable wound-healing-promoting ability (EC50=11.14 μg/ml) with epidermal growth factor (EGF; NSDSECPLSHDGYCLHDGVCMYIEALDKYACNCVVGYIGERCQYRDLKWWELR) in a murine model of full-thickness dermal wound. Tylotoin directly enhances the motility and proliferation of keratinocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, resulting in accelerated reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation in the wound site. Tylotoin also promotes the release of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are essential in the wound healing response. Gene-encoded tylotoin secreted in salamander skin is possibly an effector molecule for skin wound healing. This study may facilitate understanding of the cellular and molecular events that underlie quick wound healing in salamanders.

  12. Thyroid hormone responsive QTL and the evolution of paedomorphic salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Voss, S R; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Shaffer, H B; Voss, G J

    2012-01-01

    The transformation of ancestral phenotypes into novel traits is poorly understood for many examples of evolutionary novelty. Ancestrally, salamanders have a biphasic life cycle with an aquatic larval stage, a brief and pronounced metamorphosis, followed by a terrestrial adult stage. Repeatedly during evolution, metamorphic timing has been delayed to exploit growth-permissive environments, resulting in paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits as adults. We used thyroid hormone (TH) to rescue metamorphic phenotypes in paedomorphic salamanders and then identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for life history traits that are associated with amphibian life cycle evolution: metamorphic timing and adult body size. We demonstrate that paedomorphic tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum complex) carry alleles at three moderate effect QTL (met1–3) that vary in responsiveness to TH and additively affect metamorphic timing. Salamanders that delay metamorphosis attain significantly larger body sizes as adults and met2 explains a significant portion of this variation. Thus, substitution of alleles at TH-responsive loci suggests an adaptive pleiotropic basis for two key life-history traits in amphibians: body size and metamorphic timing. Our study demonstrates a likely pathway for the evolution of novel paedomorphic species from metamorphic ancestors via selection of TH-response alleles that delay metamorphic timing and increase adult body size. PMID:22850698

  13. Are Salamanders Useful Indicators of Hydrologic Permanence in Headwater Streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B.; Fritz, K.

    2005-05-01

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collected in spring and summer 2003 from 59 sites located longitudinally along 17 forested streams in KY, IN, and OH. Larval Eurycea bislineata/cirrigera dominated all forests, and their abundances were highly correlated with drainage areas and channel dimensions. Appalachian streams were more diverse and had intermittent sites with more Desmognathus and Gyrinophilus spp. Of 22 sites where larvae were collected in spring, 9 sites subsequently dried in summer, suggesting salamanders either emigrated or died. We therefore only used taxa with multi-year larval stages as indicators of perennial water. Salamander larvae >1 yr old were collected from each locality in drainage areas <0.17 km2. However, these older larvae were often found in isolated pools that serve as refugia during dry periods. Findings suggest salamanders with multi-year larval periods can indicate perennial waters and that their use is more effective in Appalachia where abundance and diversity are high. Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

  14. Thyroid hormone responsive QTL and the evolution of paedomorphic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Voss, S R; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Shaffer, H B; Voss, G J

    2012-11-01

    The transformation of ancestral phenotypes into novel traits is poorly understood for many examples of evolutionary novelty. Ancestrally, salamanders have a biphasic life cycle with an aquatic larval stage, a brief and pronounced metamorphosis, followed by a terrestrial adult stage. Repeatedly during evolution, metamorphic timing has been delayed to exploit growth-permissive environments, resulting in paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits as adults. We used thyroid hormone (TH) to rescue metamorphic phenotypes in paedomorphic salamanders and then identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for life history traits that are associated with amphibian life cycle evolution: metamorphic timing and adult body size. We demonstrate that paedomorphic tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum complex) carry alleles at three moderate effect QTL (met1-3) that vary in responsiveness to TH and additively affect metamorphic timing. Salamanders that delay metamorphosis attain significantly larger body sizes as adults and met2 explains a significant portion of this variation. Thus, substitution of alleles at TH-responsive loci suggests an adaptive pleiotropic basis for two key life-history traits in amphibians: body size and metamorphic timing. Our study demonstrates a likely pathway for the evolution of novel paedomorphic species from metamorphic ancestors via selection of TH-response alleles that delay metamorphic timing and increase adult body size.

  15. Large-scale contamination of microbial isolate genomes by Illumina PhiX control.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Supratim; Huntemann, Marcel; Ivanova, Natalia; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Pati, Amrita

    2015-01-01

    With the rapid growth and development of sequencing technologies, genomes have become the new go-to for exploring solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges such as searching for alternative energy sources and exploration of genomic dark matter. However, progress in sequencing has been accompanied by its share of errors that can occur during template or library preparation, sequencing, imaging or data analysis. In this study we screened over 18,000 publicly available microbial isolate genome sequences in the Integrated Microbial Genomes database and identified more than 1000 genomes that are contaminated with PhiX, a control frequently used during Illumina sequencing runs. Approximately 10% of these genomes have been published in literature and 129 contaminated genomes were sequenced under the Human Microbiome Project. Raw sequence reads are prone to contamination from various sources and are usually eliminated during downstream quality control steps. Detection of PhiX contaminated genomes indicates a lapse in either the application or effectiveness of proper quality control measures. The presence of PhiX contamination in several publicly available isolate genomes can result in additional errors when such data are used in comparative genomics analyses. Such contamination of public databases have far-reaching consequences in the form of erroneous data interpretation and analyses, and necessitates better measures to proofread raw sequences before releasing them to the broader scientific community.

  16. Large-scale contamination of microbial isolate genomes by Illumina PhiX control

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    With the rapid growth and development of sequencing technologies, genomes have become the new go-to for exploring solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges such as searching for alternative energy sources and exploration of genomic dark matter. However, progress in sequencing has been accompanied by its share of errors that can occur during template or library preparation, sequencing, imaging or data analysis. In this study we screened over 18,000 publicly available microbial isolate genome sequences in the Integrated Microbial Genomes database and identified more than 1000 genomes that are contaminated with PhiX, a control frequently used during Illumina sequencing runs. Approximately 10% of these genomes have been published in literature and 129 contaminated genomes were sequenced under the Human Microbiome Project. Raw sequence reads are prone to contamination from various sources and are usually eliminated during downstream quality control steps. Detection of PhiX contaminated genomes indicates a lapse in either the application or effectiveness of proper quality control measures. The presence of PhiX contamination in several publicly available isolate genomes can result in additional errors when such data are used in comparative genomics analyses. Such contamination of public databases have far-reaching consequences in the form of erroneous data interpretation and analyses, and necessitates better measures to proofread raw sequences before releasing them to the broader scientific community. PMID:26203331

  17. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M.; Yeo, Gene W.; Bryant, Susan V.; Voss, S. Randal; Gardiner, David M.; Hunter, Tony

    2012-01-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration. PMID:22913491

  18. Reconstruction of oomycete genome evolution identifies differences in evolutionary trajectories leading to present-day large gene families.

    PubMed

    Seidl, Michael F; Van den Ackerveken, Guido; Govers, Francine; Snel, Berend

    2012-01-01

    The taxonomic class of oomycetes contains numerous pathogens of plants and animals but is related to nonpathogenic diatoms and brown algae. Oomycetes have flexible genomes comprising large gene families that play roles in pathogenicity. The evolutionary processes that shaped the gene content have not yet been studied by applying systematic tree reconciliation of the phylome of these species. We analyzed evolutionary dynamics of ten Stramenopiles. Gene gains, duplications, and losses were inferred by tree reconciliation of 18,459 gene trees constituting the phylome with a highly supported species phylogeny. We reconstructed a strikingly large last common ancestor of the Stramenopiles that contained ~10,000 genes. Throughout evolution, the genomes of pathogenic oomycetes have constantly gained and lost genes, though gene gains through duplications outnumber the losses. The branch leading to the plant pathogenic Phytophthora genus was identified as a major transition point characterized by increased frequency of duplication events that has likely driven the speciation within this genus. Large gene families encoding different classes of enzymes associated with pathogenicity such as glycoside hydrolases are formed by complex and distinct patterns of duplications and losses leading to their expansion in extant oomycetes. This study unveils the large-scale evolutionary dynamics that shaped the genomes of pathogenic oomycetes. By the application of phylogenetic based analyses methods, it provides additional insights that shed light on the complex history of oomycete genome evolution and the emergence of large gene families characteristic for this important class of pathogens.

  19. Using large-scale genome variation cohorts to decipher the molecular mechanism of cancer.

    PubMed

    Habermann, Nina; Mardin, Balca R; Yakneen, Sergei; Korbel, Jan O

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing genomic structural variations (SVs) in the human genome remains challenging, and there is a growing interest to understand somatic SVs occurring in cancer, a disease of the genome. A havoc-causing SV process known as chromothripsis scars the genome when localized chromosome shattering and repair occur in a one-off catastrophe. Recent efforts led to the development of a set of conceptual criteria for the inference of chromothripsis events in cancer genomes and to the development of experimental model systems for studying this striking DNA alteration process in vitro. We discuss these approaches, and additionally touch upon current "Big Data" efforts that employ hybrid cloud computing to enable studies of numerous cancer genomes in an effort to search for commonalities and differences in molecular DNA alteration processes in cancer.

  20. Evolution of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) genome: a major role for CR1 and L2 LINE elements.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Filée, Jonathan; Germon, Isabelle; Joss, Jean; Casane, Didier

    2012-11-01

    Haploid genomes greater than 25,000 Mb are rare, within the animals only the lungfish and some of the salamanders and crustaceans are known to have genomes this large. There is very little data on the structure of genomes this size. It is known, however, that for animal genomes up to 3,000 Mb, there is in general a good correlation between genome size and the percent of the genome composed of repetitive sequence and that this repetitive component is highly dynamic. In this study, we sampled the Australian lungfish genome using three mini-genomic libraries and found that with very little sequence, the results converged on an estimate of 40% of the genome being composed of recognizable transposable elements (TEs), chiefly from the CR1 and L2 long interspersed nuclear element clades. We further characterized the CR1 and L2 elements in the lungfish genome and show that although most CR1 elements probably represent recent amplifications, the L2 elements are more diverse and are more likely the result of a series of amplifications. We suggest that our sampling method has probably underestimated the recognizable TE content. However, on the basis of the most likely sources of error, we suggest that this very large genome is not largely composed of recently amplified, undetected TEs but may instead include a large component of older degenerate TEs. Based on these estimates, and on Thomson's (Thomson K. 1972. An attempt to reconstruct evolutionary changes in the cellular DNA content of lungfish. J Exp Zool. 180:363-372) inference that in the lineage leading to the extant Australian lungfish, there was massive increase in genome size between 350 and 200 mya, after which the size of the genome changed little, we speculate that the very large Australian lungfish genome may be the result of a massive amplification of TEs followed by a long period with a very low rate of sequence removal and some ongoing TE activity.

  1. Population structure of the salamander Hynobius retardatus inferred from a partial sequence of the mitochondrial DNA control region.

    PubMed

    Azuma, Noriko; Hangui, Jun-ichi; Wakahara, Masami; Michimae, Hirofumi

    2013-01-01

    We investigated population structure of the salamander Hynobius retardatus in Hokkaido, Japan using partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region (490 bp) from 105 individuals. The salamanders were collected from 28 localities representing the entire regional distribution of this species. Twenty different haplotypes distributed across three haplotype groups were identified. Group 1 was widely distributed in central, northern, and eastern Hokkaido, except Erimo; Groups 2 and 3 appeared exclusively in Erimo and southern Hokkaido, respectively. The genetic distance between the three groups was not very large, but the distributions of the groups never overlapped spatially, indicating a hierarchical population structure comprising three regional groups, which was also supported by analysis of molecular variance. The results suggest that the present population structure is affected by current genetic barriers, as well as by historical transitions of climate and landscape.

  2. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata).

    PubMed

    Burke, John N; Bergeron, Christine M; Todd, Brian D; Hopkins, William A

    2010-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17× higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected.

  3. Comparison of HapMap and 1000 Genomes Reference Panels in a Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Study

    PubMed Central

    de Vries, Paul S.; Sabater-Lleal, Maria; Chasman, Daniel I.; Trompet, Stella; Kleber, Marcus E.; Chen, Ming-Huei; Wang, Jie Jin; Attia, John R.; Marioni, Riccardo E.; Weng, Lu-Chen; Grossmann, Vera; Brody, Jennifer A.; Venturini, Cristina; Tanaka, Toshiko; Rose, Lynda M.; Oldmeadow, Christopher; Mazur, Johanna; Basu, Saonli; Yang, Qiong; Ligthart, Symen; Hottenga, Jouke J.; Rumley, Ann; Mulas, Antonella; de Craen, Anton J. M.; Grotevendt, Anne; Taylor, Kent D.; Delgado, Graciela E.; Kifley, Annette; Lopez, Lorna M.; Berentzen, Tina L.; Mangino, Massimo; Bandinelli, Stefania; Morrison, Alanna C.; Hamsten, Anders; Tofler, Geoffrey; de Maat, Moniek P. M.; Draisma, Harmen H. M.; Lowe, Gordon D.; Zoledziewska, Magdalena; Sattar, Naveed; Lackner, Karl J.; Völker, Uwe; McKnight, Barbara; Huang, Jie; Holliday, Elizabeth G.; McEvoy, Mark A.; Starr, John M.; Hysi, Pirro G.; Hernandez, Dena G.; Guan, Weihua; Rivadeneira, Fernando; McArdle, Wendy L.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Zeller, Tanja; Psaty, Bruce M.; Uitterlinden, André G.; de Geus, Eco J. C.; Stott, David J.; Binder, Harald; Hofman, Albert; Franco, Oscar H.; Rotter, Jerome I.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Spector, Tim D.; Deary, Ian J.; März, Winfried; Greinacher, Andreas; Wild, Philipp S.; Cucca, Francesco; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Watkins, Hugh; Tang, Weihong; Ridker, Paul M.; Jukema, Jan W.; Scott, Rodney J.; Mitchell, Paul; Hansen, Torben; O'Donnell, Christopher J.; Smith, Nicholas L.; Strachan, David P.

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of genome-wide association (GWA) studies are now using the higher resolution 1000 Genomes Project reference panel (1000G) for imputation, with the expectation that 1000G imputation will lead to the discovery of additional associated loci when compared to HapMap imputation. In order to assess the improvement of 1000G over HapMap imputation in identifying associated loci, we compared the results of GWA studies of circulating fibrinogen based on the two reference panels. Using both HapMap and 1000G imputation we performed a meta-analysis of 22 studies comprising the same 91,953 individuals. We identified six additional signals using 1000G imputation, while 29 loci were associated using both HapMap and 1000G imputation. One locus identified using HapMap imputation was not significant using 1000G imputation. The genome-wide significance threshold of 5×10−8 is based on the number of independent statistical tests using HapMap imputation, and 1000G imputation may lead to further independent tests that should be corrected for. When using a stricter Bonferroni correction for the 1000G GWA study (P-value < 2.5×10−8), the number of loci significant only using HapMap imputation increased to 4 while the number of loci significant only using 1000G decreased to 5. In conclusion, 1000G imputation enabled the identification of 20% more loci than HapMap imputation, although the advantage of 1000G imputation became less clear when a stricter Bonferroni correction was used. More generally, our results provide insights that are applicable to the implementation of other dense reference panels that are under development. PMID:28107422

  4. Comparison of HapMap and 1000 Genomes Reference Panels in a Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Study.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Paul S; Sabater-Lleal, Maria; Chasman, Daniel I; Trompet, Stella; Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S; Teumer, Alexander; Kleber, Marcus E; Chen, Ming-Huei; Wang, Jie Jin; Attia, John R; Marioni, Riccardo E; Steri, Maristella; Weng, Lu-Chen; Pool, Rene; Grossmann, Vera; Brody, Jennifer A; Venturini, Cristina; Tanaka, Toshiko; Rose, Lynda M; Oldmeadow, Christopher; Mazur, Johanna; Basu, Saonli; Frånberg, Mattias; Yang, Qiong; Ligthart, Symen; Hottenga, Jouke J; Rumley, Ann; Mulas, Antonella; de Craen, Anton J M; Grotevendt, Anne; Taylor, Kent D; Delgado, Graciela E; Kifley, Annette; Lopez, Lorna M; Berentzen, Tina L; Mangino, Massimo; Bandinelli, Stefania; Morrison, Alanna C; Hamsten, Anders; Tofler, Geoffrey; de Maat, Moniek P M; Draisma, Harmen H M; Lowe, Gordon D; Zoledziewska, Magdalena; Sattar, Naveed; Lackner, Karl J; Völker, Uwe; McKnight, Barbara; Huang, Jie; Holliday, Elizabeth G; McEvoy, Mark A; Starr, John M; Hysi, Pirro G; Hernandez, Dena G; Guan, Weihua; Rivadeneira, Fernando; McArdle, Wendy L; Slagboom, P Eline; Zeller, Tanja; Psaty, Bruce M; Uitterlinden, André G; de Geus, Eco J C; Stott, David J; Binder, Harald; Hofman, Albert; Franco, Oscar H; Rotter, Jerome I; Ferrucci, Luigi; Spector, Tim D; Deary, Ian J; März, Winfried; Greinacher, Andreas; Wild, Philipp S; Cucca, Francesco; Boomsma, Dorret I; Watkins, Hugh; Tang, Weihong; Ridker, Paul M; Jukema, Jan W; Scott, Rodney J; Mitchell, Paul; Hansen, Torben; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Smith, Nicholas L; Strachan, David P; Dehghan, Abbas

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of genome-wide association (GWA) studies are now using the higher resolution 1000 Genomes Project reference panel (1000G) for imputation, with the expectation that 1000G imputation will lead to the discovery of additional associated loci when compared to HapMap imputation. In order to assess the improvement of 1000G over HapMap imputation in identifying associated loci, we compared the results of GWA studies of circulating fibrinogen based on the two reference panels. Using both HapMap and 1000G imputation we performed a meta-analysis of 22 studies comprising the same 91,953 individuals. We identified six additional signals using 1000G imputation, while 29 loci were associated using both HapMap and 1000G imputation. One locus identified using HapMap imputation was not significant using 1000G imputation. The genome-wide significance threshold of 5×10-8 is based on the number of independent statistical tests using HapMap imputation, and 1000G imputation may lead to further independent tests that should be corrected for. When using a stricter Bonferroni correction for the 1000G GWA study (P-value < 2.5×10-8), the number of loci significant only using HapMap imputation increased to 4 while the number of loci significant only using 1000G decreased to 5. In conclusion, 1000G imputation enabled the identification of 20% more loci than HapMap imputation, although the advantage of 1000G imputation became less clear when a stricter Bonferroni correction was used. More generally, our results provide insights that are applicable to the implementation of other dense reference panels that are under development.

  5. Overcoming the dichotomy between open and isolated populations using genomic data from a large European dataset

    PubMed Central

    Anagnostou, Paolo; Dominici, Valentina; Battaggia, Cinzia; Pagani, Luca; Vilar, Miguel; Wells, R. Spencer; Pettener, Davide; Sarno, Stefania; Boattini, Alessio; Francalacci, Paolo; Colonna, Vincenza; Vona, Giuseppe; Calò, Carla; Destro Bisol, Giovanni; Tofanelli, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    Human populations are often dichotomized into “isolated” and “open” categories using cultural and/or geographical barriers to gene flow as differential criteria. Although widespread, the use of these alternative categories could obscure further heterogeneity due to inter-population differences in effective size, growth rate, and timing or amount of gene flow. We compared intra and inter-population variation measures combining novel and literature data relative to 87,818 autosomal SNPs in 14 open populations and 10 geographic and/or linguistic European isolates. Patterns of intra-population diversity were found to vary considerably more among isolates, probably due to differential levels of drift and inbreeding. The relatively large effective size estimated for some population isolates challenges the generalized view that they originate from small founding groups. Principal component scores based on measures of intra-population variation of isolated and open populations were found to be distributed along a continuum, with an area of intersection between the two groups. Patterns of inter-population diversity were even closer, as we were able to detect some differences between population groups only for a few multidimensional scaling dimensions. Therefore, different lines of evidence suggest that dichotomizing human populations into open and isolated groups fails to capture the actual relations among their genomic features. PMID:28145502

  6. Overcoming the dichotomy between open and isolated populations using genomic data from a large European dataset.

    PubMed

    Anagnostou, Paolo; Dominici, Valentina; Battaggia, Cinzia; Pagani, Luca; Vilar, Miguel; Wells, R Spencer; Pettener, Davide; Sarno, Stefania; Boattini, Alessio; Francalacci, Paolo; Colonna, Vincenza; Vona, Giuseppe; Calò, Carla; Destro Bisol, Giovanni; Tofanelli, Sergio

    2017-02-01

    Human populations are often dichotomized into "isolated" and "open" categories using cultural and/or geographical barriers to gene flow as differential criteria. Although widespread, the use of these alternative categories could obscure further heterogeneity due to inter-population differences in effective size, growth rate, and timing or amount of gene flow. We compared intra and inter-population variation measures combining novel and literature data relative to 87,818 autosomal SNPs in 14 open populations and 10 geographic and/or linguistic European isolates. Patterns of intra-population diversity were found to vary considerably more among isolates, probably due to differential levels of drift and inbreeding. The relatively large effective size estimated for some population isolates challenges the generalized view that they originate from small founding groups. Principal component scores based on measures of intra-population variation of isolated and open populations were found to be distributed along a continuum, with an area of intersection between the two groups. Patterns of inter-population diversity were even closer, as we were able to detect some differences between population groups only for a few multidimensional scaling dimensions. Therefore, different lines of evidence suggest that dichotomizing human populations into open and isolated groups fails to capture the actual relations among their genomic features.

  7. Salamander limb development: integrating genes, morphology, and fossils.

    PubMed

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Shubin, Neil H

    2011-05-01

    The development of the tetrapod limb during skeletogenesis follows a highly conservative pattern characterized by a general proximo-distal progression in the establishment of skeletal elements and a postaxial polarity in digit development. Salamanders represent the only exception to this pattern and display an early establishment of distal autopodial structures, specifically the basale commune, an amalgamation of distal carpal and tarsal 1 and 2, and a distinct preaxial polarity in digit development. This deviance from the conserved tetrapod pattern has resulted in a number of hypotheses to explain its developmental basis and evolutionary history. Here we summarize the current knowledge of salamander limb development under consideration of the fossil record to provide a deep time perspective of this evolutionary pathway and highlight what data will be needed in the future to gain a better understanding of salamander limb development specifically and tetrapod limb development and evolution more broadly.

  8. Duration of immobility in salamanders, genus Plethodon (Caudata: Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    1989-01-01

    Immobility is a potentially important antipredator behavior in salamanders, especially for those posessing noxious skin secretions. The duration of immobility in 15 species of terrestrial salamanders (Plethodon) varied among species. Most salamanders (78.8%) became immobile when initially contacted under field conditions, and remained immobile from 1-180 s. Immobility duration was inversely correlated with substrate temperature and covaried with air temperature, but snout-vent level (SVL) had no effect on duration. Only immobility times of Plethodon shenandoah were significantly different from any other species. Substrate temperature, air temperature, SVL, and species accounted for only a small percentage of the variance (r2=0.09). The degree of disturbance received during a predator-prey encounter is probably more important than the subtle effects of temperature and SVL in determining immobility duration.

  9. Banding differences between tiger salamander and axolotl chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Cuny, R; Malacinski, G M

    1985-10-01

    The Hoechst 33258 - Giemsa banding patterns were compared on axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) and axolotl - tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum Green) species hybrid prophase chromosomes. Approximately 369 bands per haploid chromosome set were seen in the axolotl and about 344 bands in the tiger salamander. In the haploid set of 14 chromosomes, chromosome 3 has a constant short or q-arm terminal constriction at the location of the nucleolar organizer. Chromosomes 14 Z and W carry the sex determinants, the female being the heterogametic sex (ZW). The banding patterns of chromosomes 1, 6, 11, and 14 Z of the two species are apparently indistinguishable by our banding method. In the axolotl, chromosome 9 has a small long or p-arm terminal deletion. In the tiger salamander, the remaining 10 chromosomes have terminal or internal deletions. No translocations or inversions seem to have occurred since the gene pool separation of the two closely related species.

  10. Exploring the feasibility of using copy number variants as genetic markers through large-scale whole genome sequencing experiments

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Copy number variants (CNV) are large scale duplications or deletions of genomic sequence that are caused by a diverse set of molecular phenomena that are distinct from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) formation. Due to their different mechanisms of formation, CNVs are often difficult to track us...

  11. Evaluation of two methods for measuring nonspecific immunity in tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Froese, Jennifer M W; Smits, Judit E G; Wickstrom, Mark L

    2005-01-01

    Study of amphibian immunotoxicology is a growing area of research, but very little information is available on how environmental contaminants affect disease resistance in urodele amphibians. Urodele amphibians lack the more highly evolved aspects of the specific immune system that are present in anurans, birds, and mammals. Instead, these animals rely more heavily on innate defense mechanisms than do anurans to provide rapid, nonspecific protection from pathogens. Thus, it is prudent that immunotoxicologic research with urodele amphibians includes an evaluation of effects of contaminant exposure on nonspecific immunity. The objectives of this study were to measure the phagocytic and oxidative-burst activity of peritoneal neutrophils collected from a urodele, the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and to evaluate the use of these assays in immunotoxicologic research using urodele amphibians. Using tiger salamanders collected in August 2000, phagocytosis and oxidative-burst assays modified from mammalian protocols were conducted through October 2001. Results indicated that large numbers of peritoneal neutrophils for use in immunotoxicologic tests can be collected from salamanders injected with thioglycollate. Moreover, these neutrophils readily engulfed foreign material (phagocytic activity) and produced measurable amounts of hydrogen peroxide (oxidative-burst activity). Phagocytosis was effectively inhibited by incubating cells with sodium azide (P<0.001), and quantification of phagocytosis using flow cytometry was well correlated with manual counts (r=0.84, P<0.001). Dexamethasone treatment reduced phagocytic activity as measured by manual counts (P<0.02), suggesting that this test is useful for detecting alteration by immunosuppressive agents. In contrast, oxidative function was unaffected by dexamethasone treatment, and results from the oxidative-burst assay were generally less consistent than those from the phagocytosis assay. Based on these results

  12. Voltage gain of signal transfer from retinal rods to bipolar cells in the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Capovilla, M; Hare, W A; Owen, W G

    1987-10-01

    1. Intracellular recordings of the voltage responses of rods and both functional classes of bipolar cell were made in the isolated, perfused retina of the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. 2. Brief, dim flashes of 519 nm light delivered to the receptive-field centres were used to measure the flash sensitivities of twenty-one on-centre bipolar cells and thirty-six off-centre cells. In each experiment the flash sensitivity of a rod was also measured using diffuse illumination of the same duration and wave-length. 3. The mean flash sensitivity of the rods (fifty-nine cells) was 4.47 mV photon-1 micron 2 flash. The mean flash sensitivity of the off-centre bipolar cells was 35.4 mV photon-1 micron 2 flash (thirty-six cells). The mean flash sensitivity of the on-centre bipolar cells was 12.5 mV photon-1 micron 2 flash. 4. The ratio of the flash sensitivity of the bipolar cell to that of a rod recorded in the same retina defined the gain of voltage transfer from rod to bipolar cell. For signal transfer to on-centre bipolar cells the mean value of the voltage gain was 5.05 +/- 1.34 (S.E. of mean). For signal transfer to the off-centre bipolar cells, the mean value of the gain was 10.4 +/- 1.29. 5. The on-centre cell gain in the salamander was smaller by a factor of 27 than that of the on-centre cells in the dogfish retina (Ashmore & Falk, 1980 a), while the off-centre cell gain was comparable in the two species. Possible reasons for the large difference between the voltage gains of on-centre cells in the dogfish and salamander are considered.

  13. Using counts to simultaneously estimate abundance and detection probabilities in a salamander community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.; Dorazio, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    A critical variable in both ecological and conservation field studies is determining how many individuals of a species are present within a defined sampling area. Labor intensive techniques such as capture-mark-recapture and removal sampling may provide estimates of abundance, but there are many logistical constraints to their widespread application. Many studies on terrestrial and aquatic salamanders use counts as an index of abundance, assuming that detection remains constant while sampling. If this constancy is violated, determination of detection probabilities is critical to the accurate estimation of abundance. Recently, a model was developed that provides a statistical approach that allows abundance and detection to be estimated simultaneously from spatially and temporally replicated counts. We adapted this model to estimate these parameters for salamanders sampled over a six vear period in area-constrained plots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Estimates of salamander abundance varied among years, but annual changes in abundance did not vary uniformly among species. Except for one species, abundance estimates were not correlated with site covariates (elevation/soil and water pH, conductivity, air and water temperature). The uncertainty in the estimates was so large as to make correlations ineffectual in predicting which covariates might influence abundance. Detection probabilities also varied among species and sometimes among years for the six species examined. We found such a high degree of variation in our counts and in estimates of detection among species, sites, and years as to cast doubt upon the appropriateness of using count data to monitor population trends using a small number of area-constrained survey plots. Still, the model provided reasonable estimates of abundance that could make it useful in estimating population size from count surveys.

  14. Ontogenetic evidence for the Paleozoic ancestry of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Carroll, Robert L

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic positions of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians have been difficult to establish. Data matrices based primarily on Paleozoic taxa support a monophyletic origin of all Lissamphibia but have resulted in widely divergent hypotheses of the nature of their common ancestor. Analysis that concentrates on the character states of the stem taxa of the extant orders, in contrast, suggests a polyphyletic origin from divergent Paleozoic clades. Comparison of patterns of larval development in Paleozoic and modern amphibians provides a means to test previous phylogenies based primarily on adult characteristics. This proves to be highly informative in the case of the origin of salamanders. Putative ancestors of salamanders are recognized from the Permo-Carboniferous boundary of Germany on the basis of ontogenetic changes observed in fossil remains of larval growth series. The entire developmental sequence from hatching to metamorphosis is revealed in an assemblage of over 600 specimens from a single locality, all belonging to the genus Apateon. Apateon forms the most speciose genus of the neotenic temnospondyl family Branchiosauridae. The sequence of ossification of individual bones and the changing configuration of the skull closely parallel those observed in the development of primitive living salamanders. These fossils provide a model of how derived features of the salamander skull may have evolved in the context of feeding specializations that appeared in early larval stages of members of the Branchiosauridae. Larvae of Apateon share many unique derived characters with salamanders of the families Hynobiidae, Salamandridae, and Ambystomatidae, which have not been recognized in any other group of Paleozoic amphibians.

  15. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is influencing the biology of the world’s biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms’ response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species’ responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders. PMID:27257549

  16. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information-content-fingerprinting: the distal region of the wheat ancestor Aegilops tauschii chromosome 3DS.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Physical maps employing libraries of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones are essential for comparative genomics and sequencing of large and repetitive genomes such as those of the hexaploid bread wheat. The diploid ancestor of wheat genome, Aegilops tauschii, is used as a resource for wheat...

  17. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information content fingerprinting: a distal region of wheat chromosome 3DS

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Physical maps employing libraries of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones are essential for comparative genomics and sequencing of large and repetitive genomes such as those of wheat. We report the use of the Ae. tauschii, the diploid ancestor of the wheat D genome, for the construction of t...

  18. The Genome Sequence of Avibacterium paragallinarum Strain CL Has a Large Repertoire of Insertion Sequence Elements.

    PubMed

    Horta-Valerdi, Guillermo; Sanchez-Alonso, Maria Patricia; Perez-Marquez, Victor M; Negrete-Abascal, Erasmo; Vaca-Pacheco, Sergio; Hernandez-Gonzalez, Ismael; Gomez-Lunar, Zulema; Olmedo-Álvarez, Gabriela; Vázquez-Cruz, Candelario

    2017-04-13

    The draft genome sequence of Avibacterium paragallinarum strain CL serovar C is reported here. The genome comprises 154 contigs corresponding to 2.4 Mb with 41% G+C content and many insertion sequence (IS) elements, a characteristic not previously reported in A. paragallinarum. Copyright © 2017 Horta-Valerdi et al.

  19. The Genome Sequence of Avibacterium paragallinarum Strain CL Has a Large Repertoire of Insertion Sequence Elements

    PubMed Central

    Horta-Valerdi, Guillermo; Sanchez-Alonso, Maria Patricia; Perez-Marquez, Victor M.; Negrete-Abascal, Erasmo; Vaca-Pacheco, Sergio; Hernandez-Gonzalez, Ismael; Gomez-Lunar, Zulema; Olmedo-Álvarez, Gabriela

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The draft genome sequence of Avibacterium paragallinarum strain CL serovar C is reported here. The genome comprises 154 contigs corresponding to 2.4 Mb with 41% G+C content and many insertion sequence (IS) elements, a characteristic not previously reported in A. paragallinarum. PMID:28408672

  20. Testing the large genome constraint hypothesis: plant traits, habitat and climate seasonality in Liliaceae.

    PubMed

    Carta, Angelino; Peruzzi, Lorenzo

    2016-04-01

    The factors driving genome size evolution in Liliaceae were examined. In particular, we investigated whether species with larger genomes are confined to less stressful environments with a longer vegetative season. We tested our hypotheses by correlating the genome size with other plant traits and environmental variables. To determine the adaptive nature of the genome size, we also compared the performances of Brownian motion (BM) processes with those inferred by Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) models of trait evolution. A positive correlation of genome size with plant size, mean temperature and habitat moisture and a negative correlation with altitude and precipitation seasonality were found. Models of trait evolution revealed a deviation from a drift process or BM. Instead, changes in genome size were significantly associated with precipitation regimes according to an OU process. Specifically, the evolutionary optima towards which the genome size evolves were higher for humid climates and lower for drier ones. Taken together, our results indicate that the genome size increase in Liliaceae is constrained by climate seasonality.

  1. Who ate whom? Adaptive Helicobacter genomic changes that accompanied a host jump from early humans to large felines.

    PubMed

    Eppinger, Mark; Baar, Claudia; Linz, Bodo; Raddatz, Günter; Lanz, Christa; Keller, Heike; Morelli, Giovanna; Gressmann, Helga; Achtman, Mark; Schuster, Stephan C

    2006-07-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection of humans is so old that its population genetic structure reflects that of ancient human migrations. A closely related species, Helicobacter acinonychis, is specific for large felines, including cheetahs, lions, and tigers, whereas hosts more closely related to humans harbor more distantly related Helicobacter species. This observation suggests a jump between host species. But who ate whom and when did it happen? In order to resolve this question, we determined the genomic sequence of H. acinonychis strain Sheeba and compared it to genomes from H. pylori. The conserved core genes between the genomes are so similar that the host jump probably occurred within the last 200,000 (range 50,000-400,000) years. However, the Sheeba genome also possesses unique features that indicate the direction of the host jump, namely from early humans to cats. Sheeba possesses an unusually large number of highly fragmented genes, many encoding outer membrane proteins, which may have been destroyed in order to bypass deleterious responses from the feline host immune system. In addition, the few Sheeba-specific genes that were found include a cluster of genes encoding sialylation of the bacterial cell surface carbohydrates, which were imported by horizontal genetic exchange and might also help to evade host immune defenses. These results provide a genomic basis for elucidating molecular events that allow bacteria to adapt to novel animal hosts.

  2. Comparative genome analysis identifies two large deletions in the genome of highly-passaged attenuated Streptococcus agalactiae strain YM001 compared to the parental pathogenic strain HN016.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Li, Liping; Huang, Yan; Luo, Fuguang; Liang, Wanwen; Gan, Xi; Huang, Ting; Lei, Aiying; Chen, Ming; Chen, Lianfu

    2015-11-04

    Streptococcus agalactiae (S. agalactiae), also known as group B Streptococcus (GBS), is an important pathogen for neonatal pneumonia, meningitis, bovine mastitis, and fish meningoencephalitis. The global outbreaks of Streptococcus disease in tilapia cause huge economic losses and threaten human food hygiene safety as well. To investigate the mechanism of S. agalactiae pathogenesis in tilapia and develop attenuated S. agalactiae vaccine, this study sequenced and comparatively analyzed the whole genomes of virulent wild-type S. agalactiae strain HN016 and its highly-passaged attenuated strain YM001 derived from tilapia. We performed Illumina sequencing of DNA prepared from strain HN016 and YM001. Sequencedreads were assembled and nucleotide comparisons, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) , indels were analyzed between the draft genomes of HN016 and YM001. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and prophage were detected and analyzed in different S. agalactiae strains. The genome of S. agalactiae YM001 was 2,047,957 bp with a GC content of 35.61 %; it contained 2044 genes and 88 RNAs. Meanwhile, the genome of S. agalactiae HN016 was 2,064,722 bp with a GC content of 35.66 %; it had 2063 genes and 101 RNAs. Comparative genome analysis indicated that compared with HN016, YM001 genome had two significant large deletions, at the sizes of 5832 and 11,116 bp respectively, resulting in the deletion of three rRNA and ten tRNA genes, as well as the deletion and functional damage of ten genes related to metabolism, transport, growth, anti-stress, etc. Besides these two large deletions, other ten deletions and 28 single nucleotide variations (SNVs) were also identified, mainly affecting the metabolism- and growth-related genes. The genome of attenuated S. agalactiae YM001 showed significant variations, resulting in the deletion of 10 functional genes, compared to the parental pathogenic strain HN016. The deleted and mutated functional genes all

  3. Stabilization of a salamander moving hybrid zone.

    PubMed

    Visser, Michaël; de Leeuw, Maarten; Zuiderwijk, Annie; Arntzen, Jan W

    2017-01-01

    When related species meet upon postglacial range expansion, hybrid zones are frequently formed. Theory predicts that such zones may move over the landscape until equilibrium conditions are reached. One hybrid zone observed to be moving in historical times (1950-1979) is that of the pond-breeding salamanders Triturus cristatus and Triturus marmoratus in western France. We identified the ecological correlates of the species hybrid zone as elevation, forestation, and hedgerows favoring the more terrestrial T. marmoratus and pond density favoring the more aquatic T. cristatus. The past movement of the zone of ca. 30 km over three decades has probably been driven by the drastic postwar reduction of the "bocage" hedgerow landscape, favoring T. cristatus over T. marmoratus. No further hybrid zone movement was observed from 1979 to the present. To explain the changing dynamics of the hybrid zone, we propose that it stalled, either because an equilibrium was found at an altitude of ca. 140 m a.s.l. or due to pond loss and decreased population densities. While we cannot rule out the former explanation, we found support for the latter. Under agricultural intensification, ponds in the study area are lost at an unprecedented rate of 5.5% per year, so that remaining Triturus populations are increasingly isolated, hampering dispersal and further hybrid zone movement.

  4. Modular functional organisation of the axial locomotor system in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Charrier, Vanessa; Mathou, Alexia

    2014-02-01

    Most investigations on tetrapod locomotion have been concerned with limb movements. However, there is compelling evidence that the axial musculoskeletal system contributes to important functions during locomotion. Adult salamanders offer a remarkable opportunity to examine these functions because these amphibians use axial undulations to propel themselves in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. In this article, we review the currently available biological data on axial functions during various locomotor modes in salamanders. We also present data showing the modular organisation of the neural networks that generate axial synergies during locomotion. The functional implication of this modular organisation is discussed.

  5. Biochemical plasticity in the Arizona tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum).

    PubMed

    Begun, D J; Collins, J P

    1992-01-01

    The Arizona tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum, is a developmentally polymorphic species. Some individuals become sexually mature while retaining some larval traits (paedomorphs), while other individuals mature as metamorphosed salamanders. In this study, relative enzyme activities of the products of two duplicate loci in each of three enzyme systems (aconitase, malate dehydrogenase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase) were measured in paedomorphs and in paedomorphs forced to metamorphose by treatment with thyroxine. We found that thyroxine and laboratory conditions affect enzyme activities of four of the six enzymes examined and that activities of products of duplicate loci are altered to different degrees.

  6. Deductions about the Number, Organization, and Evolution of Genes in the Tomato Genome Based on Analysis of a Large Expressed Sequence Tag Collection and Selective Genomic Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Van der Hoeven, Rutger; Ronning, Catherine; Giovannoni, James; Martin, Gregory; Tanksley, Steven

    2002-01-01

    Analysis of a collection of 120,892 single-pass ESTs, derived from 26 different tomato cDNA libraries and reduced to a set of 27,274 unique consensus sequences (unigenes), revealed that 70% of the unigenes have identifiable homologs in the Arabidopsis genome. Genes corresponding to metabolism have remained most conserved between these two genomes, whereas genes encoding transcription factors are among the fastest evolving. The majority of the 10 largest conserved multigene families share similar copy numbers in tomato and Arabidopsis, suggesting that the multiplicity of these families may have occurred before the divergence of these two species. An exception to this multigene conservation was observed for the E8-like protein family, which is associated with fruit ripening and has higher copy number in tomato than in Arabidopsis. Finally, six BAC clones from different parts of the tomato genome were isolated, genetically mapped, sequenced, and annotated. The combined analysis of the EST database and these six sequenced BACs leads to the prediction that the tomato genome encodes ∼35,000 genes, which are sequestered largely in euchromatic regions corresponding to less than one-quarter of the total DNA in the tomato nucleus. PMID:12119366

  7. GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF MITOCHONDRIAL DNA VARIANTS AND THE HISTORICAL BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE SPOTTED SALAMANDER, AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Christopher A

    1994-06-01

    I analyzed geographic partitioning of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction-site variants in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum. Two highly divergent and geographically separate genetic lineages were identified that differed by a minimum of 19 restriction sites (6% sequence divergence). One of the lineages has a disjunct distribution with very closely related haplotypes occurring in Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia. The other lineage is found in Michigan, Illinois, and Alabama. The geographic separation of highly divergent mtDNA haplotypes, a pattern that was predicted based on the sedentary nature of these salamanders, is evidence for long-term barriers to gene flow. In contrast, the large-scale disjunction of very similar haplotypes suggests recent, long-distance gene flow and does not match the phylogeographic expectation for a small terrestrial vertebrate. I explain this potential contradiction in the level of importance assigned to gene flow by a scenario in which historical barriers to gene flow account for the two divergent mtDNA assemblages, but stochastic sorting of ancestral polymorphism is responsible for the large-scale geographic disjunction. Ten of 16 populations collected in the Ozark Highlands were fixed for the same haplotype. I attribute this lack of detectable variation to recent colonization of this area, a hypothesis that is supported by paleoecological data and demonstrates the potential benefits of combining data from paleobotany, geology, and other disciplines to reconstruct the historical biogeography of a species. © 1994 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Large-scale computational and statistical analyses of high transcription potentialities in 32 prokaryotic genomes

    PubMed Central

    Sinoquet, Christine; Demey, Sylvain; Braun, Frédérique

    2008-01-01

    This article compares 32 bacterial genomes with respect to their high transcription potentialities. The σ70 promoter has been widely studied for Escherichia coli model and a consensus is known. Since transcriptional regulations are known to compensate for promoter weakness (i.e. when the promoter similarity with regard to the consensus is rather low), predicting functional promoters is a hard task. Instead, the research work presented here comes within the scope of investigating potentially high ORF expression, in relation with three criteria: (i) high similarity to the σ70 consensus (namely, the consensus variant appropriate for each genome), (ii) transcription strength reinforcement through a supplementary binding site—the upstream promoter (UP) element—and (iii) enhancement through an optimal Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequence. We show that in the AT-rich Firmicutes’ genomes, frequencies of potentially strong σ70-like promoters are exceptionally high. Besides, though they contain a low number of strong promoters (SPs), some genomes may show a high proportion of promoters harbouring an UP element. Putative SPs of lesser quality are more frequently associated with an UP element than putative strong promoters of better quality. A meaningful difference is statistically ascertained when comparing bacterial genomes with similarly AT-rich genomes generated at random; the difference is the highest for Firmicutes. Comparing some Firmicutes genomes with similarly AT-rich Proteobacteria genomes, we confirm the Firmicutes specificity. We show that this specificity is neither explained by AT-bias nor genome size bias; neither does it originate in the abundance of optimal SD sequences, a typical and significant feature of Firmicutes more thoroughly analysed in our study. PMID:18440978

  9. Accelerating matchmaking of novel dysmorphology syndromes through clinical and genomic characterization of a large cohort.

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Ranad; Patel, Nisha; Shamseldin, Hanan; Alzahrani, Fatema; Al-Yamany, Ruah; ALMoisheer, Agaadir; Ewida, Nour; Anazi, Shamsa; Alnemer, Maha; Elsheikh, Mohamed; Alfaleh, Khaled; Alshammari, Muneera; Alhashem, Amal; Alangari, Abdullah A; Salih, Mustafa A; Kircher, Martin; Daza, Riza M; Ibrahim, Niema; Wakil, Salma M; Alaqeel, Ahmed; Altowaijri, Ikhlas; Shendure, Jay; Al-Habib, Amro; Faqieh, Eissa; Alkuraya, Fowzan S

    2016-07-01

    Dysmorphology syndromes are among the most common referrals to clinical genetics specialists. Inability to match the dysmorphology pattern to a known syndrome can pose a major diagnostic challenge. With an aim to accelerate the establishment of new syndromes and their genetic etiology, we describe our experience with multiplex consanguineous families that appeared to represent novel autosomal recessive dysmorphology syndromes at the time of evaluation. Combined autozygome/exome analysis of multiplex consanguineous families with apparently novel dysmorphology syndromes. Consistent with the apparent novelty of the phenotypes, our analysis revealed a strong candidate variant in genes that were novel at the time of the analysis in the majority of cases, and 10 of these genes are published here for the first time as novel candidates (CDK9, NEK9, ZNF668, TTC28, MBL2, CADPS, CACNA1H, HYAL2, CTU2, and C3ORF17). A significant minority of the phenotypes (6/31, 19%), however, were caused by genes known to cause Mendelian phenotypes, thus expanding the phenotypic spectrum of the diseases linked to these genes. The conspicuous inheritance pattern and the highly specific phenotypes appear to have contributed to the high yield (90%) of plausible molecular diagnoses in our study cohort. Reporting detailed clinical and genomic analysis of a large series of apparently novel dysmorphology syndromes will likely lead to a trend to accelerate the establishment of novel syndromes and their underlying genes through open exchange of data for the benefit of patients, their families, health-care providers, and the research community.Genet Med 18 7, 686-695.

  10. Enhancing genetic mapping of complex genomes through the design of highly-multiplexed SNP arrays: application to the large and unsequenced genomes of white spruce and black spruce

    PubMed Central

    Pavy, Nathalie; Pelgas, Betty; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Blais, Sylvie; Gagnon, France; Gosselin, Isabelle; Lamothe, Manuel; Isabel, Nathalie; Bousquet, Jean

    2008-01-01

    Background To explore the potential value of high-throughput genotyping assays in the analysis of large and complex genomes, we designed two highly multiplexed Illumina bead arrays using the GoldenGate SNP assay for gene mapping in white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) and black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.). Results Each array included 768 SNPs, identified by resequencing genomic DNA from parents of each mapping population. For white spruce and black spruce, respectively, 69.2% and 77.1% of genotyped SNPs had valid GoldenGate assay scores and segregated in the mapping populations. For each of these successful SNPs, on average, valid genotyping scores were obtained for over 99% of progeny. SNP data were integrated to pre-existing ALFP, ESTP, and SSR markers to construct two individual linkage maps and a composite map for white spruce and black spruce genomes. The white spruce composite map contained 821 markers including 348 gene loci. Also, 835 markers including 328 gene loci were positioned on the black spruce composite map. In total, 215 anchor markers (mostly gene markers) were shared between the two species. Considering lineage divergence at least 10 Myr ago between the two spruces, interspecific comparison of homoeologous linkage groups revealed remarkable synteny and marker colinearity. Conclusion The design of customized highly multiplexed Illumina SNP arrays appears as an efficient procedure to enhance the mapping of expressed genes and make linkage maps more informative and powerful in such species with poorly known genomes. This genotyping approach will open new avenues for co-localizing candidate genes and QTLs, partial genome sequencing, and comparative mapping across conifers. PMID:18205909

  11. The influence of locus number and information content on species delimitation: an empirical test case in an endangered Mexican salamander.

    PubMed

    Hime, Paul M; Hotaling, Scott; Grewelle, Richard E; O'Neill, Eric M; Voss, S Randal; Shaffer, H Bradley; Weisrock, David W

    2016-12-01

    Perhaps the most important recent advance in species delimitation has been the development of model-based approaches to objectively diagnose species diversity from genetic data. Additionally, the growing accessibility of next-generation sequence data sets provides powerful insights into genome-wide patterns of divergence during speciation. However, applying complex models to large data sets is time-consuming and computationally costly, requiring careful consideration of the influence of both individual and population sampling, as well as the number and informativeness of loci on species delimitation conclusions. Here, we investigated how locus number and information content affect species delimitation results for an endangered Mexican salamander species, Ambystoma ordinarium. We compared results for an eight-locus, 137-individual data set and an 89-locus, seven-individual data set. For both data sets, we used species discovery methods to define delimitation models and species validation methods to rigorously test these hypotheses. We also used integrated demographic model selection tools to choose among delimitation models, while accounting for gene flow. Our results indicate that while cryptic lineages may be delimited with relatively few loci, sampling larger numbers of loci may be required to ensure that enough informative loci are available to accurately identify and validate shallow-scale divergences. These analyses highlight the importance of striking a balance between dense sampling of loci and individuals, particularly in shallowly diverged lineages. They also suggest the presence of a currently unrecognized, endangered species in the western part of A. ordinarium's range. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Insights into the mating habits of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) as revealed by genetic parentage analyses.

    PubMed

    Gopurenko, David; Williams, Rod N; McCormick, Cory R; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2006-06-01

    Among urodeles, ambystomatid salamanders are particularly amenable to genetic parentage analyses because they are explosive aggregate breeders that typically have large progeny arrays. Such analyses can lead to direct inferences about otherwise cryptic aspects of salamander natural history, including the rate of multiple mating, individual reproductive success, and the spatial distribution of clutches. In 2002, we collected eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) egg masses (> 1000 embryos) from a approximately 80 m linear transect in Indiana, USA. Embryos were genotyped at four variable microsatellite loci and the resulting progeny array data were used to reconstruct multilocus genotypes of the parental dams and sires for each egg mass. UPGMA analysis of genetic distances among embryos resolved four instances of egg mass admixture, where two or more females had oviposited at exactly the same site resulting in the mixing of independent cohorts. In total, 41 discrete egg masses were available for parentage analyses. Twenty-three egg masses (56%) consisted exclusively of full-siblings (i.e. were singly sired) and 18 (44%) were multiply sired (mean 2.6 males/clutch). Parentage could be genetically assigned to one of 17 distinct parent pairs involving at least 15 females and 14 different males. Reproductive skew was evident among males who sired multiply sired clutches. Additional evidence of the effects of sexual selection on male reproductive success was apparent via significant positive correlations between male mating and reproductive success. Females frequently partitioned their clutches into multiple discrete egg masses that were separated from one another by as many as 43 m. Collectively, these data provide the first direct evidence for polygynandry in a wild population of tiger salamanders.

  13. Assembling large genomes with single-molecule sequencing and locality-sensitive hashing.

    PubMed

    Berlin, Konstantin; Koren, Sergey; Chin, Chen-Shan; Drake, James P; Landolin, Jane M; Phillippy, Adam M

    2015-06-01

    Long-read, single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing is routinely used to finish microbial genomes, but available assembly methods have not scaled well to larger genomes. We introduce the MinHash Alignment Process (MHAP) for overlapping noisy, long reads using probabilistic, locality-sensitive hashing. Integrating MHAP with the Celera Assembler enabled reference-grade de novo assemblies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana, Drosophila melanogaster and a human hydatidiform mole cell line (CHM1) from SMRT sequencing. The resulting assemblies are highly continuous, include fully resolved chromosome arms and close persistent gaps in these reference genomes. Our assembly of D. melanogaster revealed previously unknown heterochromatic and telomeric transition sequences, and we assembled low-complexity sequences from CHM1 that fill gaps in the human GRCh38 reference. Using MHAP and the Celera Assembler, single-molecule sequencing can produce de novo near-complete eukaryotic assemblies that are 99.99% accurate when compared with available reference genomes.

  14. Leveraging Large-Scale Cancer Genomics Datasets for Germline Discovery - TCGA

    Cancer.gov

    The session will review how data types have changed over time, focusing on how next-generation sequencing is being employed to yield more precise information about the underlying genomic variation that influences tumor etiology and biology.

  15. Exceptionally large mitochondrial fragments to the nucleus in sequenced mollusk genomes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiujun; Yang, Aiguo

    2016-01-01

    The available genome sequences of three mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata, Aplysia californica and Crassostrea gigas) were first used to investigate the nuclear mitochondrial DNAs (NUMTs) in mollusks. The analysis showed that the NUMT contents were high in B. glabrata (17.738 Kb) and C. gigas (17.192 Kb), of which all or almost all mtDNA sequences were transferred to the nucleus, whereas NUMTs are rare (584 bp) in A. californica. The length of NUMTs was 61 to 5492 bp for B. glabrata, 1711 to 15,481 bp for C. gigas, and 124 to 460 bp for A. californica. The largest C. gigas NUMT covered 84.9% (15,481 bp) of its mitochondrial genome, which is rarely found in invertebrates so far. No correlation was found between NUMT content and genome size in the three sequenced mollusk genomes.

  16. Continuing Evolution of Burkholderia mallei Through Genome Reduction and Large-Scale Rearrangements

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-22

    in Materials and Methods. b NRPS, nonribosomal peptide synthase ; PKS, polyketide synthase ; RND, resistance nodulation-division like pump. Losada et al...genomics, genome erosion, bacterial virulence. ª The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology...creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/ 2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original

  17. Selection for Unequal Densities of Sigma70 Promoter-like Signalsin Different Regions of Large Bacterial Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Huerta, Araceli M.; Francino, M. Pilar; Morett, Enrique; Collado-Vides, Julio

    2006-03-01

    distribution of promoter-like signals between regulatory and nonregulatory regions detected in large bacterial genomes confers a significant, although small, fitness advantage. This study paves the way for further identification of the specific types of selective constraints that affect the organization of regulatory regions and the overall distribution of promoter-like signals through more detailed comparative analyses among closely-related bacterial genomes.

  18. 3D Bite Modeling and Feeding Mechanics of the Largest Living Amphibian, the Chinese Giant Salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their “conservative” morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints. PMID:25853557

  19. 3D bite modeling and feeding mechanics of the largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela).

    PubMed

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

  20. Large-scale evaluation of experimentally determined DNA G+C contents with whole genome sequences of prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Mincheol; Park, Sang-Cheol; Baek, Inwoo; Chun, Jongsik

    2015-03-01

    Historically, DNA G+C content has played a critical role in the description of bacterial and archaeal species. Despite its importance in prokaryote taxonomy, its accuracy has been questioned due to methodological heterogeneity and measurement errors of conventional methods. Here we investigated the extent of accuracy of experimentally determined DNA G+C contents by comparing the reference values calculated from whole genome sequences. The large-scale comparison revealed that G+C contents determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and buoyant density centrifugation methods were more similar to the genome-derived reference values than those generated by thermal denaturation method. However, there was a substantial degree of discrepancy in DNA G+C contents between values obtained by conventional methods and genome-derived reference values. The majority of the differences between them fell out of the acceptable range (i.e. 1 mol% G+C content difference) for species delimitation of prokaryotes. In contrast, when average nucleotide identity (ANI) was correlated to G+C difference among genomes, most G+C difference was confined to less than 1% within species. Therefore, erroneous conventional methods are not meaningful in the description of bacterial and archaeal species. For taxonomic purposes, DNA G+C content should be determined by calculating directly from high-quality genome sequences with at least 16× or higher sequencing depth of coverage.

  1. A large-scale, gene-driven mutagenesis approach for the functional analysis of the mouse genome

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Jens; Floss, Thomas; Van Sloun, Petra; Füchtbauer, Ernst-Martin; Vauti, Franz; Arnold, Hans-Hennig; Schnütgen, Frank; Wurst, Wolfgang; von Melchner, Harald; Ruiz, Patricia

    2003-01-01

    A major challenge of the postgenomic era is the functional characterization of every single gene within the mammalian genome. In an effort to address this challenge, we assembled a collection of mutations in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, which is the largest publicly accessible collection of such mutations to date. Using four different gene-trap vectors, we generated 5,142 sequences adjacent to the gene-trap integration sites (gene-trap sequence tags; http://genetrap.de) from >11,000 ES cell clones. Although most of the gene-trap vector insertions occurred randomly throughout the genome, we found both vector-independent and vector-specific integration “hot spots.” Because >50% of the hot spots were vector-specific, we conclude that the most effective way to saturate the mouse genome with gene-trap insertions is by using a combination of gene-trap vectors. When a random sample of gene-trap integrations was passaged to the germ line, 59% (17 of 29) produced an observable phenotype in transgenic mice, a frequency similar to that achieved by conventional gene targeting. Thus, gene trapping allows a large-scale and cost-effective production of ES cell clones with mutations distributed throughout the genome, a resource likely to accelerate genome annotation and the in vivo modeling of human disease. PMID:12904583

  2. An unexpectedly large and loosely packed mitochondrial genome in the charophycean green alga Chlorokybus atmophyticus

    PubMed Central

    Turmel, Monique; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude

    2007-01-01

    Background The Streptophyta comprises all land plants and six groups of charophycean green algae. The scaly biflagellate Mesostigma viride (Mesostigmatales) and the sarcinoid Chlorokybus atmophyticus (Chlorokybales) represent the earliest diverging lineages of this phylum. In trees based on chloroplast genome data, these two charophycean green algae are nested in the same clade. To validate this relationship and gain insight into the ancestral state of the mitochondrial genome in the Charophyceae, we sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Chlorokybus and compared this genome sequence with those of three other charophycean green algae and the bryophytes Marchantia polymorpha and Physcomitrella patens. Results The Chlorokybus genome differs radically from its 42,424-bp Mesostigma counterpart in size, gene order, intron content and density of repeated elements. At 201,763-bp, it is the largest mtDNA yet reported for a green alga. The 70 conserved genes represent 41.4% of the genome sequence and include nad10 and trnL(gag), two genes reported for the first time in a streptophyte mtDNA. At the gene order level, the Chlorokybus genome shares with its Chara, Chaetosphaeridium and bryophyte homologues eight to ten gene clusters including about 20 genes. Notably, some of these clusters exhibit gene linkages not previously found outside the Streptophyta, suggesting that they originated early during streptophyte evolution. In addition to six group I and 14 group II introns, short repeated sequences accounting for 7.5% of the genome were identified. Mitochondrial trees were unable to resolve the correct position of Mesostigma, due to analytical problems arising from accelerated sequence evolution in this lineage. Conclusion The Chlorokybus and Mesostigma mtDNAs exemplify the marked fluidity of the mitochondrial genome in charophycean green algae. The notion that the mitochondrial genome was constrained to remain compact during charophycean evolution is no longer tenable

  3. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Treesearch

    F. Harvey Pough; Richard E. Wilson

    1976-01-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In...

  4. Reproductive biology of the Del Norte salamander (Plethodon elongatus).

    Treesearch

    Clara A. Wheeler; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Lisa M. Ollivier

    2013-01-01

    We examined seasonal reproductive patterns of the Del Norte Salamander, Plethodon elongatus, in mixed conifer and hardwood forests of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. Seasonal size differences in reproductive structures suggested that maximum spermatogenic activity occurred during the late summer, with spermatozoa transfer to the...

  5. Life-history perspective of adaptive radiation in desmognathine salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    1996-01-01

    This study investigates interspecific variation in age at first reproduction, fecundity, and body size in multispecies assemblages of desmognathine salamanders. The hypotheses tested are that interspecific differences in body size among desmognathines stem proximately from variation in age at first reproduction and that variation in the latter trait is positively...

  6. Overview of the status of the Cheat Mountain salamander

    Treesearch

    Thomas K. Pauley

    2010-01-01

    Plethodon nettingi, the Cheat Mountain salamander, is endemic to the high elevations of the Allegheny Mountains in eastern West Virginia. In 1938, N.B. Green named the species from specimens collected at Barton Knob, Randolph County, in honor of his friend and colleague Graham Netting.

  7. Adaptation to temporal contrast in primate and salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Chander, D; Chichilnisky, E J

    2001-12-15

    Visual adaptation to temporal contrast (intensity modulation of a spatially uniform, randomly flickering stimulus) was examined in simultaneously recorded ensembles of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in tiger salamander and macaque monkey retina. Slow contrast adaptation similar to that recently discovered in salamander and rabbit retina was observed in monkey retina. A novel method was developed to quantify the effect of temporal contrast on steady-state sensitivity and kinetics of light responses, separately from nonlinearities that would otherwise significantly contaminate estimates of sensitivity. Increases in stimulus contrast progressively and reversibly attenuated and sped light responses in both salamander and monkey RGCs, indicating that a portion of the contrast adaptation observed in visual cortex originates in the retina. The effect of adaptation on sensitivity and kinetics differed in simultaneously recorded populations of ON and OFF cells. In salamander, adaptation affected the sensitivity of OFF cells more than ON cells. In monkey, adaptation affected the sensitivity of ON cells more than OFF cells. In both species, adaptation sped the light responses of OFF cells more than ON cells. Functionally defined subclasses of ON and OFF cells also exhibited asymmetric adaptation. These findings indicate that contrast adaptation differs in parallel retinal circuits that convey distinct visual signals to the brain.

  8. Reproductive allometry in three species of Dusky Salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Desmognathus comprises 21 currently recognized species of salamanders in eastern North America. Assemblages of 3–6 species occur in the Appalachian Mountains, wherein the larger species are more aquatic and the smaller more terrestrial. Adaptive divergence along the habitat gradient from stream to forest involves variation in such life-history traits as age and size at...

  9. Intracellular invasion of green algae in a salamander host

    PubMed Central

    Kerney, Ryan; Kim, Eunsoo; Hangarter, Roger P.; Heiss, Aaron A.; Bishop, Cory D.; Hall, Brian K.

    2011-01-01

    The association between embryos of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and green algae (“Oophila amblystomatis” Lamber ex Printz) has been considered an ectosymbiotic mutualism. We show here, however, that this symbiosis is more intimate than previously reported. A combination of imaging and algal 18S rDNA amplification reveals algal invasion of embryonic salamander tissues and cells during development. Algal cells are detectable from embryonic and larval Stages 26–44 through chlorophyll autofluorescence and algal 18S rDNA amplification. Algal cell ultrastructure indicates both degradation and putative encystment during the process of tissue and cellular invasion. Fewer algal cells were detected in later-stage larvae through FISH, suggesting that the decline in autofluorescent cells is primarily due to algal cell death within the host. However, early embryonic egg capsules also contained encysted algal cells on the inner capsule wall, and algal 18S rDNA was amplified from adult reproductive tracts, consistent with oviductal transmission of algae from one salamander generation to the next. The invasion of algae into salamander host tissues and cells represents a unique association between a vertebrate and a eukaryotic alga, with implications for research into cell–cell recognition, possible exchange of metabolites or DNA, and potential congruence between host and symbiont population structures. PMID:21464324

  10. Elevation, aspect, and cove size effects on southern Appalachian salamanders

    Treesearch

    W. Mark Ford; Michael A. Menzel; Richard H. Odom

    2002-01-01

    Using museum collection records and variables computed by digital terrain modeling in a geographic information system, we examined the relationship of elevation, aspect, and "cove" patch size to the presence or absence of 7 common woodland salamanders in mature cove hardwood and northern hardwood forests in the southern Appalachians of Georgia, North Carolina...

  11. Group-based variant calling leveraging next-generation supercomputing for large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies.

    PubMed

    Standish, Kristopher A; Carland, Tristan M; Lockwood, Glenn K; Pfeiffer, Wayne; Tatineni, Mahidhar; Huang, C Chris; Lamberth, Sarah; Cherkas, Yauheniya; Brodmerkel, Carrie; Jaeger, Ed; Smith, Lance; Rajagopal, Gunaretnam; Curran, Mark E; Schork, Nicholas J

    2015-09-22

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have become much more efficient, allowing whole human genomes to be sequenced faster and cheaper than ever before. However, processing the raw sequence reads associated with NGS technologies requires care and sophistication in order to draw compelling inferences about phenotypic consequences of variation in human genomes. It has been shown that different approaches to variant calling from NGS data can lead to different conclusions. Ensuring appropriate accuracy and quality in variant calling can come at a computational cost. We describe our experience implementing and evaluating a group-based approach to calling variants on large numbers of whole human genomes. We explore the influence of many factors that may impact the accuracy and efficiency of group-based variant calling, including group size, the biogeographical backgrounds of the individuals who have been sequenced, and the computing environment used. We make efficient use of the Gordon supercomputer cluster at the San Diego Supercomputer Center by incorporating job-packing and parallelization considerations into our workflow while calling variants on 437 whole human genomes generated as part of large association study. We ultimately find that our workflow resulted in high-quality variant calls in a computationally efficient manner. We argue that studies like ours should motivate further investigations combining hardware-oriented advances in computing systems with algorithmic developments to tackle emerging 'big data' problems in biomedical research brought on by the expansion of NGS technologies.

  12. A large maize (Zea Mays L.) SNP genotyping array: development and germplasm genotyping, and genetic mapping to compare with the B73 reference genome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    SNP genotyping arrays have been useful for many applications that require a large number of molecular markers such as high-density genetic mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection for accelerated breeding. We report the establishment of a large SNP array for maize and i...

  13. Tuataras and salamanders show that walking and running mechanics are ancient features of tetrapod locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Reilly, Stephen M; McElroy, Eric J; Andrew Odum, R; Hornyak, Valerie A

    2006-01-01

    The lumbering locomotor behaviours of tuataras and salamanders are the best examples of quadrupedal locomotion of early terrestrial vertebrates. We show they use the same walking (out-of-phase) and running (in-phase) patterns of external mechanical energy fluctuations of the centre-of-mass known in fast moving (cursorial) animals. Thus, walking and running centre-of-mass mechanics have been a feature of tetrapods since quadrupedal locomotion emerged over 400 million years ago. When walking, these sprawling animals save external mechanical energy with the same pendular effectiveness observed in cursorial animals. However, unlike cursorial animals (that change footfall patterns and mechanics with speed), tuataras and salamanders use only diagonal couplet gaits and indifferently change from walking to running mechanics with no significant change in total mechanical energy. Thus, the change from walking to running is not related to speed and the advantage of walking versus running is unclear. Furthermore, lumbering mechanics in primitive tetrapods is reflected in having total mechanical energy driven by potential energy (rather than kinetic energy as in cursorial animals) and relative centre-of-mass displacements an order of magnitude greater than cursorial animals. Thus, large vertical displacements associated with lumbering locomotion in primitive tetrapods may preclude their ability to increase speed. PMID:16777753

  14. Side-by-side secretion of Late Palaeozoic diverged courtship pheromones in an aquatic salamander

    PubMed Central

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Treer, Dag; Maex, Margo; Vandebergh, Wim; Janssenswillen, Sunita; Stegen, Gwij; Kok, Philippe; Willaert, Bert; Matthijs, Severine; Martens, Erik; Mortier, Anneleen; de Greve, Henri; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-01-01

    Males of the advanced salamanders (Salamandroidea) attain internal fertilization without a copulatory organ by depositing a spermatophore on the substrate in the environment, which females subsequently take up with their cloaca. The aquatically reproducing modern Eurasian newts (Salamandridae) have taken this to extremes, because most species do not display close physical contact during courtship, but instead largely rely on females following the male track at spermatophore deposition. Although pheromones have been widely assumed to represent an important aspect of male courtship, molecules able to induce the female following behaviour that is the prelude for successful insemination have not yet been identified. Here, we show that uncleaved sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) protein pheromones are sufficient to elicit such behaviour in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Combined transcriptomic and proteomic evidence shows that males simultaneously tail-fan multiple ca 20 kDa glycosylated SPF proteins during courtship. Notably, molecular dating estimates show that the diversification of these proteins already started in the late Palaeozoic, about 300 million years ago. Our study thus not only extends the use of uncleaved SPF proteins outside terrestrially reproducing plethodontid salamanders, but also reveals one of the oldest vertebrate pheromone systems. PMID:25694622

  15. Computer-Assisted Photo Identification Outperforms Visible Implant Elastomers in an Endangered Salamander, Eurycea tonkawae

    PubMed Central

    Bendik, Nathan F.; Morrison, Thomas A.; Gluesenkamp, Andrew G.; Sanders, Mark S.; O’Donnell, Lisa J.

    2013-01-01

    Despite recognition that nearly one-third of the 6300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, our understanding of the general ecology and population status of many amphibians is relatively poor. A widely-used method for monitoring amphibians involves injecting captured individuals with unique combinations of colored visible implant elastomer (VIE). We compared VIE identification to a less-invasive method – computer-assisted photographic identification (photoID) – in endangered Jollyville Plateau salamanders (Eurycea tonkawae), a species with a known range limited to eight stream drainages in central Texas. We based photoID on the unique pigmentation patterns on the dorsal head region of 1215 individual salamanders using identification software Wild-ID. We compared the performance of photoID methods to VIEs using both ‘high-quality’ and ‘low-quality’ images, which were taken using two different camera types and technologies. For high-quality images, the photoID method had a false rejection rate of 0.76% compared to 1.90% for VIEs. Using a comparable dataset of lower-quality images, the false rejection rate was much higher (15.9%). Photo matching scores were negatively correlated with time between captures, suggesting that evolving natural marks could increase misidentification rates in longer term capture-recapture studies. Our study demonstrates the utility of large-scale capture-recapture using photo identification methods for Eurycea and other species with stable natural marks that can be reliably photographed. PMID:23555669

  16. Introduction history and habitat variation explain the landscape genetics of hybrid tiger salamanders.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-03-01

    Genetic introgression from introduced species into native populations is a growing challenge for biological conservation, and one that raises unique practical and ethical issues. Here, we describe the extent of introgression between native California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced barred tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum mavortium) relative to habitat, distance from introduction sites, and watershed boundaries. We used ancestry informative markers (AIMs) to characterize the degree of introgression at 85 sites within the range of A. californiense. Eight unlinked markers showed concordant patterns, indicating that different chromosomal segments are introgressing at similar rates. The current distribution of introduced alleles is largely contained in the Salinas Valley, California. Within it, the distribution of nonnative alleles was best explained at a broad geographic scale by the history of introductions, with limited introgression beyond 12 km from multiple independent release sites. The spatial transition from highly admixed to nearly pure native populations was abrupt, suggesting either cryptic barriers to dispersal or locally rapid displacement of natives by an advancing hybrid swarm. At a more ecological level, highly modified perennial breeding ponds had higher introduced allele frequencies than more natural seasonal ponds, suggesting greater invasion success in perennial breeding ponds. Management favoring natural habitat characteristics may substantially decrease the rate of spread of introduced alleles.

  17. Intra-population variability in energy parameters of the salamander Plethodon Cinereus.

    PubMed

    Crump, M L

    1979-01-01

    Mean values of energetic parameters are used in ecosystem studies because only crude estimates are possible when dealing with a large scope. However, when the focus is at the population level, finer resolution is possible and thus potential ontogenetic differences should be examined. Analysis of energetic parameters of a population of terrestrial salamander, Plethodon cinereus, was undertaken in order to determine ontogenetic differences.Digestive efficiency does not differ significantly between age classes, nor is it correlated with energy intake. Adult males and non-gravid females have virtually identical mean efficiencies. Thus it is probably meaningful to calculate energy flow through the population using a mean digestive efficiency value. Percent water content decreases significantly with increasing age whereas percent ash content increases significantly. Thus when estimating energy tied up in standing crop, correction must be applied for ontogenetic differences in water and ash content. Once these corrections have been made, the AFDW-specific energy content is not significantly different between age groups (with the exception of gravid females which is higher). Salamanders accumulate energy in their tissues with increasing age, although immatures are not significantly different from non-gravid adults. Since gravid females have significantly more joules/mg wet weight than other groups, separate energy density values must be calculated for these individuals if a meaningful standing crop energy estimate is to be obtained from wet weight biomass.

  18. Estimating occurrence and detection probabilities for stream-breeding salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamb, Jennifer Y.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Qualls, Carl P.

    2017-01-01

    Large gaps exist in our knowledge of the ecology of stream-breeding plethodontid salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Data describing where these salamanders are likely to occur along environmental gradients, as well as their likelihood of detection, are important for the prevention and management of amphibian declines. We used presence/absence data from leaf litter bag surveys and a hierarchical Bayesian multispecies single-season occupancy model to estimate the occurrence of five species of plethodontids across reaches in headwater streams in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Average detection probabilities were high (range = 0.432–0.942) and unaffected by sampling covariates specific to the use of litter bags (i.e., bag submergence, sampling season, in-stream cover). Estimates of occurrence probabilities differed substantially between species (range = 0.092–0.703) and were influenced by the size of the upstream drainage area and by the maximum proportion of the reach that dried. The effects of these two factors were not equivalent across species. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical multispecies models successfully estimate occurrence parameters for both rare and common stream-breeding plethodontids. The resulting models clarify how species are distributed within stream networks, and they provide baseline values that will be useful in evaluating the conservation statuses of plethodontid species within lotic systems in the Gulf Coastal Plain.

  19. Side-by-side secretion of Late Palaeozoic diverged courtship pheromones in an aquatic salamander.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Treer, Dag; Maex, Margo; Vandebergh, Wim; Janssenswillen, Sunita; Stegen, Gwij; Kok, Philippe; Willaert, Bert; Matthijs, Severine; Martens, Erik; Mortier, Anneleen; de Greve, Henri; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-03-22

    Males of the advanced salamanders (Salamandroidea) attain internal fertilization without a copulatory organ by depositing a spermatophore on the substrate in the environment, which females subsequently take up with their cloaca. The aquatically reproducing modern Eurasian newts (Salamandridae) have taken this to extremes, because most species do not display close physical contact during courtship, but instead largely rely on females following the male track at spermatophore deposition. Although pheromones have been widely assumed to represent an important aspect of male courtship, molecules able to induce the female following behaviour that is the prelude for successful insemination have not yet been identified. Here, we show that uncleaved sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) protein pheromones are sufficient to elicit such behaviour in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Combined transcriptomic and proteomic evidence shows that males simultaneously tail-fan multiple ca 20 kDa glycosylated SPF proteins during courtship. Notably, molecular dating estimates show that the diversification of these proteins already started in the late Palaeozoic, about 300 million years ago. Our study thus not only extends the use of uncleaved SPF proteins outside terrestrially reproducing plethodontid salamanders, but also reveals one of the oldest vertebrate pheromone systems.

  20. Expanding Access to Large-Scale Genomic Data While Promoting Privacy: A Game Theoretic Approach.

    PubMed

    Wan, Zhiyu; Vorobeychik, Yevgeniy; Xia, Weiyi; Clayton, Ellen Wright; Kantarcioglu, Murat; Malin, Bradley

    2017-02-02

    Emerging scientific endeavors are creating big data repositories of data from millions of individuals. Sharing data in a privacy-respecting manner could lead to important discoveries, but high-profile demonstrations show that links between de-identified genomic data and named persons can sometimes be reestablished. Such re-identification attacks have focused on worst-case scenarios and spurred the adoption of data-sharing practices that unnecessarily impede research. To mitigate concerns, organizations have traditionally relied upon legal deterrents, like data use agreements, and are considering suppressing or adding noise to genomic variants. In this report, we use a game theoretic lens to develop more effective, quantifiable protections for genomic data sharing. This is a fundamentally different approach because it accounts for adversarial behavior and capabilities and tailors protections to anticipated recipients with reasonable resources, not adversaries with unlimited means. We demonstrate this approach via a new public resource with genomic summary data from over 8,000 individuals-the Sequence and Phenotype Integration Exchange (SPHINX)-and show that risks can be balanced against utility more effectively than with traditional approaches. We further show the generalizability of this framework by applying it to other genomic data collection and sharing endeavors. Recognizing that such models are dependent on a variety of parameters, we perform extensive sensitivity analyses to show that our findings are robust to their fluctuations.

  1. Genomic shotgun array: a procedure linking large-scale DNA sequencing with regional transcript mapping.

    PubMed

    Li, Ling-Hui; Li, Jian-Chiuan; Lin, Yung-Feng; Lin, Chung-Yen; Chen, Chung-Yung; Tsai, Shih-Feng

    2004-02-11

    To facilitate transcript mapping and to investigate alterations in genomic structure and gene expression in a defined genomic target, we developed a novel microarray-based method to detect transcriptional activity of the human chromosome 4q22-24 region. Loss of heterozygosity of human 4q22-24 is frequently observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). One hundred and eighteen well-characterized genes have been identified from this region. We took previously sequenced shotgun subclones as templates to amplify overlapping sequences for the genomic segment and constructed a chromosome-region-specific microarray. Using genomic DNA fragments as probes, we detected transcriptional activity from within this region among five different tissues. The hybridization results indicate that there are new transcripts that have not yet been identified by other methods. The existence of new transcripts encoded by genes in this region was confirmed by PCR cloning or cDNA library screening. The procedure reported here allows coupling of shotgun sequencing with transcript mapping and, potentially, detailed analysis of gene expression and chromosomal copy of the genomic sequence for the putative HCC tumor suppressor gene(s) in the 4q candidate region.

  2. A new method to compute K-mer frequencies and its application to annotate large repetitive plant genomes

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, Stefan; Narechania, Apurva; Stein, Joshua C; Ware, Doreen

    2008-01-01

    Background The challenges of accurate gene prediction and enumeration are further aggravated in large genomes that contain highly repetitive transposable elements (TEs). Yet TEs play a substantial role in genome evolution and are themselves an important subject of study. Repeat annotation, based on counting occurrences of k-mers, has been previously used to distinguish TEs from low-copy genic regions; but currently available software solutions are impractical due to high memory requirements or specialization for specific user-tasks. Results Here we introduce the Tallymer software, a flexible and memory-efficient collection of programs for k-mer counting and indexing of large sequence sets. Unlike previous methods, Tallymer is based on enhanced suffix arrays. This gives a much larger flexibility concerning the choice of the k-mer size. Tallymer can process large data sizes of several billion bases. We used it in a variety of applications to study the genomes of maize and other plant species. In particular, Tallymer was used to index a set of whole genome shotgun sequences from maize (B73) (total size 109 bp.). We analyzed k-mer frequencies for a wide range of k. At this low genome coverage (≈ 0.45×) highly repetitive 20-mers constituted 44% of the genome but represented only 1% of all possible k-mers. Similar low-complexity was seen in the repeat fractions of sorghum and rice. When applying our method to other maize data sets, High-C0t derived sequences showed the greatest enrichment for low-copy sequences. Among annotated TEs, the most highly repetitive were of the Ty3/gypsy class of retrotransposons, followed by the Ty1/copia class, and DNA transposons. Among expressed sequence tags (EST), a notable fraction contained high-copy k-mers, suggesting that transposons are still active in maize. Retrotransposons in Mo17 and McC cultivars were readily detected using the B73 20-mer frequency index, indicating their conservation despite extensive rearrangement across

  3. Seasonality and microhabitat selection in a forest-dwelling salamander.

    PubMed

    Basile, Marco; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea; Posillico, Mario; Scinti Roger, Daniele; Crisci, Aldo; Raimondi, Ranieri; Altea, Tiziana; Garfì, Vittorio; Santopuoli, Giovanni; Marchetti, Marco; Salvidio, Sebastiano; De Cinti, Bruno; Matteucci, Giorgio

    2017-09-12

    Many small terrestrial vertebrates exhibit limited spatial movement and are considerably exposed to changes in local environmental variables. Among such vertebrates, amphibians at present experience a dramatic decline due to their limited resilience to environmental change. Since the local survival and abundance of amphibians is intrinsically related to the availability of shelters, conservation plans need to take microhabitat requirements into account. In order to gain insight into the terrestrial ecology of the spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata and to identify appropriate forest management strategies, we investigated the salamander's seasonal variability in habitat use of trees as shelters in relation to tree features (size, buttresses, basal holes) and environmental variables in a beech forest in Italy. We used the occupancy approach to assess tree suitability on a non-conventional spatial scale. Our approach provides fine-grained parameters of microhabitat suitability and elucidates many aspects of the salamander's terrestrial ecology. Occupancy changed with the annual life cycle and was higher in autumn than in spring, when females were found closer to the stream in the study area. Salamanders showed a seasonal pattern regarding the trees they occupied and a clear preference for trees with a larger diameter and more burrows. With respect to forest management, we suggest maintaining a suitable number of trees with a trunk diameter exceeding 30 cm. A practice of selective logging along the banks of streams could help maintain an adequate quantity of the appropriate microhabitat. Furthermore, in areas with a presence of salamanders, a good forest management plan requires leaving an adequate buffer zone around streams, which should be wider in autumn than in spring.

  4. Seasonality and microhabitat selection in a forest-dwelling salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Marco; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea; Posillico, Mario; Scinti Roger, Daniele; Crisci, Aldo; Raimondi, Ranieri; Altea, Tiziana; Garfì, Vittorio; Santopuoli, Giovanni; Marchetti, Marco; Salvidio, Sebastiano; De Cinti, Bruno; Matteucci, Giorgio

    2017-10-01

    Many small terrestrial vertebrates exhibit limited spatial movement and are considerably exposed to changes in local environmental variables. Among such vertebrates, amphibians at present experience a dramatic decline due to their limited resilience to environmental change. Since the local survival and abundance of amphibians is intrinsically related to the availability of shelters, conservation plans need to take microhabitat requirements into account. In order to gain insight into the terrestrial ecology of the spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata and to identify appropriate forest management strategies, we investigated the salamander's seasonal variability in habitat use of trees as shelters in relation to tree features (size, buttresses, basal holes) and environmental variables in a beech forest in Italy. We used the occupancy approach to assess tree suitability on a non-conventional spatial scale. Our approach provides fine-grained parameters of microhabitat suitability and elucidates many aspects of the salamander's terrestrial ecology . Occupancy changed with the annual life cycle and was higher in autumn than in spring, when females were found closer to the stream in the study area. Salamanders showed a seasonal pattern regarding the trees they occupied and a clear preference for trees with a larger diameter and more burrows. With respect to forest management, we suggest maintaining a suitable number of trees with a trunk diameter exceeding 30 cm. A practice of selective logging along the banks of streams could help maintain an adequate quantity of the appropriate microhabitat. Furthermore, in areas with a presence of salamanders, a good forest management plan requires leaving an adequate buffer zone around streams, which should be wider in autumn than in spring.

  5. Large-scale genomics unveil polygenic architecture of human cortical surface area

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chi-Hua; Peng, Qian; Schork, Andrew J.; Lo, Min-Tzu; Fan, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Yunpeng; Desikan, Rahul S.; Bettella, Francesco; Hagler, Donald J.; McCabe, Connor; Chang, Linda; Akshoomoff, Natacha; Newman, Erik; Ernst, Thomas; Van Zijl, Peter; Kuperman, Joshua; Murray, Sarah; Bloss, Cinnamon; Appelbaum, Mark; Gamst, Anthony; Thompson, Wesley; Bartsch, Hauke; Weiner, Michael; Aisen, Paul; Petersen, Ronald; Jack Jr, Clifford R.; Jagust, William; Trojanowki, John Q.; Toga, Arthur W.; Beckett, Laurel; Green, Robert C.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Morris, John; Shaw, Leslie M.; Khachaturian, Zaven; Sorensen, Greg; Carrillo, Maria; Kuller, Lew; Raichle, Marc; Paul, Steven; Davies, Peter; Fillit, Howard; Hefti, Franz; Holtzman, Davie; Mesulman, M. Marcel; Potter, William; Snyder, Peter J.; Schwartz, Adam; Montine, Tom; Thomas, Ronald G.; Donohue, Michael; Walter, Sarah; Gessert, Devon; Sather, Tamie; Jiminez, Gus; Harvey, Danielle; Bernstein, Matthew; Fox, Nick; Thompson, Paul; Schuff, Norbert; DeCarli, Charles; Borowski, Bret; Gunter, Jeff; Senjem, Matt; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Jones, David; Kantarci, Kejal; Ward, Chad; Koeppe, Robert A.; Foster, Norm; Reiman, Eric M.; Chen, Kewei; Mathis, Chet; Landau, Susan; Cairns, Nigel J.; Householder, Erin; Taylor-Reinwald, Lisa; Lee, Virginia M.Y.; Korecka, Magdalena; Figurski, Michal; Crawford, Karen; Neu, Scott; Foroud, Tatiana M.; Potkin, Steven; Shen, Li; Faber, Kelley; Kim, Sungeun; Nho, Kwangsik; Thal, Leon; Frank, Richard; Buckholtz, Neil; Albert, Marilyn; Hsiao, John; Westlye, Lars T.; Kremen, William S.; Jernigan, Terry L.; Hellard, Stephanie Le; Steen, Vidar M.; Espeseth, Thomas; Huentelman, Matt; Håberg, Asta K.; Agartz, Ingrid; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A.; Schork, Nicholas; Dale, Anders M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about how genetic variation contributes to neuroanatomical variability, and whether particular genomic regions comprising genes or evolutionarily conserved elements are enriched for effects that influence brain morphology. Here, we examine brain imaging and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data from ∼2,700 individuals. We show that a substantial proportion of variation in cortical surface area is explained by additive effects of SNPs dispersed throughout the genome, with a larger heritable effect for visual and auditory sensory and insular cortices (h2∼0.45). Genome-wide SNPs collectively account for, on average, about half of twin heritability across cortical regions (N=466 twins). We find enriched genetic effects in or near genes. We also observe that SNPs in evolutionarily more conserved regions contributed significantly to the heritability of cortical surface area, particularly, for medial and temporal cortical regions. SNPs in less conserved regions contributed more to occipital and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. PMID:26189703

  6. Large-scale genomics unveil polygenic architecture of human cortical surface area.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chi-Hua; Peng, Qian; Schork, Andrew J; Lo, Min-Tzu; Fan, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Yunpeng; Desikan, Rahul S; Bettella, Francesco; Hagler, Donald J; Westlye, Lars T; Kremen, William S; Jernigan, Terry L; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Steen, Vidar M; Espeseth, Thomas; Huentelman, Matt; Håberg, Asta K; Agartz, Ingrid; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A; Schork, Nicholas; Dale, Anders M

    2015-07-20

    Little is known about how genetic variation contributes to neuroanatomical variability, and whether particular genomic regions comprising genes or evolutionarily conserved elements are enriched for effects that influence brain morphology. Here, we examine brain imaging and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data from ∼2,700 individuals. We show that a substantial proportion of variation in cortical surface area is explained by additive effects of SNPs dispersed throughout the genome, with a larger heritable effect for visual and auditory sensory and insular cortices (h(2)∼0.45). Genome-wide SNPs collectively account for, on average, about half of twin heritability across cortical regions (N=466 twins). We find enriched genetic effects in or near genes. We also observe that SNPs in evolutionarily more conserved regions contributed significantly to the heritability of cortical surface area, particularly, for medial and temporal cortical regions. SNPs in less conserved regions contributed more to occipital and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices.

  7. Native Salamanders and Introduced Fish: Changing the Nature of Mountain Lakes and Ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2003-01-01

    During the last century, many fishless mountain lakes and ponds in the Pacific Northwest were stocked with non-native fish, such as brook trout, for recreational purposes. These introduced fish replaced long-toed and northwestern salamander larvae as the top aquatic vertebrate predator by preying on salamander larvae. This predatory interaction has been shown to reduce the abundances of larval salamander populations. We conducted studies in two national parks to assess the abundances of salamander larvae in lakes with and without introduced fish. These studies suggest that the two salamander species were affected quite differently by the presence of introduced fish because of different life-history traits and different distributions of salamanders and fish within each park.

  8. Large Scale Sequencing of Dothideomycetes Provides Insights into Genome Evolution and Adaptation

    SciTech Connect

    Haridas, Sajeet; Crous, Pedro; Binder, Manfred; Spatafora, Joseph; Grigoriev, Igor

    2015-03-16

    Dothideomycetes is the largest and most diverse class of ascomycete fungi with 23 orders 110 families, 1300 genera and over 19,000 known species. We present comparative analysis of 70 Dothideomycete genomes including over 50 that we sequenced and are as yet unpublished. This extensive sampling has almost quadrupled the previous study of 18 species and uncovered a 10 fold range of genome sizes. We were able to clarify the phylogenetic positions of several species whose origins were unclear in previous morphological and sequence comparison studies. We analyzed selected gene families including proteases, transporters and small secreted proteins and show that major differences in gene content is influenced by speciation.

  9. Eukaryotic large nucleo-cytoplasmic DNA viruses: Clusters of orthologous genes and reconstruction of viral genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDV) comprise an apparently monophyletic class of viruses that infect a broad variety of eukaryotic hosts. Recent progress in isolation of new viruses and genome sequencing resulted in a substantial expansion of the NCLDV diversity, resulting in additional opportunities for comparative genomic analysis, and a demand for a comprehensive classification of viral genes. Results A comprehensive comparison of the protein sequences encoded in the genomes of 45 NCLDV belonging to 6 families was performed in order to delineate cluster of orthologous viral genes. Using previously developed computational methods for orthology identification, 1445 Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Virus Orthologous Groups (NCVOGs) were identified of which 177 are represented in more than one NCLDV family. The NCVOGs were manually curated and annotated and can be used as a computational platform for functional annotation and evolutionary analysis of new NCLDV genomes. A maximum-likelihood reconstruction of the NCLDV evolution yielded a set of 47 conserved genes that were probably present in the genome of the common ancestor of this class of eukaryotic viruses. This reconstructed ancestral gene set is robust to the parameters of the reconstruction procedure and so is likely to accurately reflect the gene core of the ancestral NCLDV, indicating that this virus encoded a complex machinery of replication, expression and morphogenesis that made it relatively independent from host cell functions. Conclusions The NCVOGs are a flexible and expandable platform for genome analysis and functional annotation of newly characterized NCLDV. Evolutionary reconstructions employing NCVOGs point to complex ancestral viruses. PMID:20017929

  10. RNAseq versus genome-predicted transcriptomes: a large population of novel transcripts identified in an Illumina-454 Hydra transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Evolutionary studies benefit from deep sequencing technologies that generate genomic and transcriptomic sequences from a variety of organisms. Genome sequencing and RNAseq have complementary strengths. In this study, we present the assembly of the most complete Hydra transcriptome to date along with a comparative analysis of the specific features of RNAseq and genome-predicted transcriptomes currently available in the freshwater hydrozoan Hydra vulgaris. Results To produce an accurate and extensive Hydra transcriptome, we combined Illumina and 454 Titanium reads, giving the primacy to Illumina over 454 reads to correct homopolymer errors. This strategy yielded an RNAseq transcriptome that contains 48’909 unique sequences including splice variants, representing approximately 24’450 distinct genes. Comparative analysis to the available genome-predicted transcriptomes identified 10’597 novel Hydra transcripts that encode 529 evolutionarily-conserved proteins. The annotation of 170 human orthologs points to critical functions in protein biosynthesis, FGF and TOR signaling, vesicle transport, immunity, cell cycle regulation, cell death, mitochondrial metabolism, transcription and chromatin regulation. However, a majority of these novel transcripts encodes short ORFs, at least 767 of them corresponding to pseudogenes. This RNAseq transcriptome also lacks 11’270 predicted transcripts that correspond either to silent genes or to genes expressed below the detection level of this study. Conclusions We established a simple and powerful strategy to combine Illumina and 454 reads and we produced, with genome assistance, an extensive and accurate Hydra transcriptome. The comparative analysis of the RNAseq transcriptome with genome-predicted transcriptomes lead to the identification of large populations of novel as well as missing transcripts that might reflect Hydra-specific evolutionary events. PMID:23530871

  11. RNAseq versus genome-predicted transcriptomes: a large population of novel transcripts identified in an Illumina-454 Hydra transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2013-03-25

    Evolutionary studies benefit from deep sequencing technologies that generate genomic and transcriptomic sequences from a variety of organisms. Genome sequencing and RNAseq have complementary strengths. In this study, we present the assembly of the most complete Hydra transcriptome to date along with a comparative analysis of the specific features of RNAseq and genome-predicted transcriptomes currently available in the freshwater hydrozoan Hydra vulgaris. To produce an accurate and extensive Hydra transcriptome, we combined Illumina and 454 Titanium reads, giving the primacy to Illumina over 454 reads to correct homopolymer errors. This strategy yielded an RNAseq transcriptome that contains 48'909 unique sequences including splice variants, representing approximately 24'450 distinct genes. Comparative analysis to the available genome-predicted transcriptomes identified 10'597 novel Hydra transcripts that encode 529 evolutionarily-conserved proteins. The annotation of 170 human orthologs points to critical functions in protein biosynthesis, FGF and TOR signaling, vesicle transport, immunity, cell cycle regulation, cell death, mitochondrial metabolism, transcription and chromatin regulation. However, a majority of these novel transcripts encodes short ORFs, at least 767 of them corresponding to pseudogenes. This RNAseq transcriptome also lacks 11'270 predicted transcripts that correspond either to silent genes or to genes expressed below the detection level of this study. We established a simple and powerful strategy to combine Illumina and 454 reads and we produced, with genome assistance, an extensive and accurate Hydra transcriptome. The comparative analysis of the RNAseq transcriptome with genome-predicted transcriptomes lead to the identification of large populations of novel as well as missing transcripts that might reflect Hydra-specific evolutionary events.

  12. Twenty years of artificial directional selection have shaped the genome of the Italian Large White pig breed.

    PubMed

    Schiavo, G; Galimberti, G; Calò, D G; Samorè, A B; Bertolini, F; Russo, V; Gallo, M; Buttazzoni, L; Fontanesi, L

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we investigated at the genome-wide level if 20 years of artificial directional selection based on boar genetic evaluation obtained with a classical BLUP animal model shaped the genome of the Italian Large White pig breed. The most influential boars of this breed (n = 192), born from 1992 (the beginning of the selection program of this breed) to 2012, with an estimated breeding value reliability of >0.85, were genotyped with the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. After grouping the boars in eight classes according to their year of birth, filtered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to evaluate the effects of time on genotype frequency changes using multinomial logistic regression models. Of these markers, 493 had a PBonferroni  < 0.10. However, there was an increasing number of SNPs with a decreasing level of allele frequency changes over time, representing a continuous profile across the genome. The largest proportion of the 493 SNPs was on porcine chromosome (SSC) 7, SSC2, SSC8 and SSC18 for a total of 204 haploblocks. Functional annotations of genomic regions, including the 493 shifted SNPs, reported a few Gene Ontology terms that might underly the biological processes that contributed to increase performances of the pigs over the 20 years of the selection program. The obtained results indicated that the genome of the Italian Large White pigs was shaped by a directional selection program derived by the application of methodologies assuming the infinitesimal model that captured a continuous trend of allele frequency changes in the boar population.

  13. New species of kathlaniid (Nematoda: Cosmocercoidea) collected from hynobiid salamanders in Japan.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Hideo; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2009-02-01

    Falcaustra odaiensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Cosmocercoidea: Kathlaniidae) is described from the Japanese clawed salamander, Onychodactylus japonicus (Houttuyn, 1782), and Ishizuchi salamander, Hynobius hirosei Lantz, 1931 (Caudata: Hynobiidae), in Japan. This nematode is characterized by having multiple pseudosuckers in the male. It resembles Falcaustra araxiana, Falcaustra duyagi, Falcaustra lambdiensis, Falcaustra pillaii, Falcaustra siamensis, and Falcaustra washingtonensis, but is readily distinguished by the spicule length and/or egg size. This is the first Falcaustra species described from Japanese salamanders.

  14. Variation in phenology and density differentially affects predator-prey interactions between salamanders.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Rowland, Freya E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2017-09-11

    Variation in the timing of breeding (i.e., phenological variation) can affect species interactions and community structure, in part by shifting body size differences between species. Body size differences can be further altered by density-dependent competition, though synergistic effects of density and phenology on species interactions are rarely evaluated. We tested how field-realistic variation in phenology and density affected ringed salamander (Ambystoma annulatum) predation on spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), and whether these altered salamander dynamics resulted in trophic cascades. In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated ringed salamander density (low/high) and breeding phenology (early/late) of both species. Ringed salamander body size at metamorphosis, development, and growth were reduced at higher densities, while delayed phenology increased hatchling size and larval development, but reduced relative growth rates. Survival of ringed salamanders was affected by the interactive effects of phenology and density. In contrast, spotted salamander growth, size at metamorphosis, and survival, as well as the biomass of lower trophic levels, were negatively affected primarily by ringed salamander density. In an additional mesocosm experiment, we isolated whether ringed salamanders could deplete shared resources prior to their interactions with spotted salamanders, but instead found direct interactions (e.g., predation) were the more likely mechanism by which ringed salamanders limited spotted salamanders. Overall, our results indicate the effects of phenological variability on fitness-related traits can be modified or superseded by differences in density dependence. Identifying such context dependencies will lead to greater insight into when phenological variation will likely alter species interactions.

  15. GenoMetric Query Language: a novel approach to large-scale genomic data management.

    PubMed

    Masseroli, Marco; Pinoli, Pietro; Venco, Francesco; Kaitoua, Abdulrahman; Jalili, Vahid; Palluzzi, Fernando; Muller, Heiko; Ceri, Stefano

    2015-06-15

    Improvement of sequencing technologies and data processing pipelines is rapidly providing sequencing data, with associated high-level features, of many individual genomes in multiple biological and clinical conditions. They allow for data-driven genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic characterizations, but require state-of-the-art 'big data' computing strategies, with abstraction levels beyond available tool capabilities. We propose a high-level, declarative GenoMetric Query Language (GMQL) and a toolkit for its use. GMQL operates downstream of raw data preprocessing pipelines and supports queries over thousands of heterogeneous datasets and samples; as such it is key to genomic 'big data' analysis. GMQL leverages a simple data model that provides both abstractions of genomic region data and associated experimental, biological and clinical metadata and interoperability between many data formats. Based on Hadoop framework and Apache Pig platform, GMQL ensures high scalability, expressivity, flexibility and simplicity of use, as demonstrated by several biological query examples on ENCODE and TCGA datasets. The GMQL toolkit is freely available for non-commercial use at http://www.bioinformatics.deib.polimi.it/GMQL/. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Discovery of novel phosphonate natural products and their biosynthetic pathways by large-scale genome mining

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genome mining has revolutionized the field of natural products, providing hope that new antibiotics can be discovered in time before all remainders are rendered useless against multidrug resistant pathogens. While this approach has been successful in academic settings focused on small collections or...

  17. Large-scale appearance of ultraconserved elements in tetrapod genomes and slowdown of the molecular clock.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Stuart; Pheasant, Michael; Makunin, Igor V; Mattick, John S

    2008-02-01

    Mammalian genomes contain millions of highly conserved noncoding sequences, many of which are regulatory. The most extreme examples are the 481 ultraconserved elements (UCEs) that are identical over at least 200 bp in human, mouse, and rat and show 96% identity with chicken, which diverged approximately 310 MYA. If the substitution rate in UCEs remained constant, these elements should also be present with a high level of identity in fish (approximately 450 Myr), but this is not the case, suggesting that many appeared in the amniotes or tetrapods or that the molecular clock has slowed down in these lineages, or both. Taking advantage of the availability of multiple genomes, we identified 13,736 UCEs in the human genome that are identical over at least 100 bp in at least 3 of 5 placental mammals, including 2,189 sequences over at least 200 bp, thereby greatly expanding the repertoire of known UCEs, and investigated the evolution of these sequences in opossum, chicken, frog, and fish. We conclude that there was a massive genome-wide acquisition and expansion of UCEs during tetrapod and then amniote evolution, accompanied by a slowdown of the molecular clock, particularly in the amniotes, a process consistent with their functional exaptation in these lineages. The majority of tetrapod-specific UCEs are noncoding and associated with genes involved in regulation of transcription and development. In contrast, fish genomes contain relatively few UCEs, the majority of which are common to all bony vertebrates. These elements are different from other conserved noncoding elements and appear to be important regulatory innovations that became fixed following the emergence of vertebrates from the sea to the land.

  18. Evolutionary analysis of a large mtDNA translocation (numt) into the nuclear genome of the Panthera genus species

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae-Heup; Antunes, Agostinho; Luo, Shu-Jin; Menninger, Joan; Nash, William G.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Johnson, Warren E.

    2006-01-01

    Translocation of cymtDNA into the nuclear genome, also referred to as numt, has been reported in many species, including several closely related to the domestic cat (Felis catus). We describe the recent transposition of 12,536 bp of the 17 kb mitochondrial genome into the nucleus of the common ancestor of the five Panthera genus species: tiger, P. tigris; snow leopard, P. uncia; jaguar, P. onca; leopard, P. pardus; and lion, P. leo. This nuclear integration, representing 74% of the mitochondrial genome, is one of the largest to be reported in eukaryotes. The Panthera genus numt differs from the numt previously described in the Felis genus in: (1) chromosomal location (F2 – telomeric region vs. D2 – centromeric region), (2) gene make up (from the ND5 to the ATP8 vs. from the CR to the COII), (3) size (12.5 kb vs. 7.9 kb), and (4) structure (single monomer vs. tandemly repeated in Felis). These distinctions indicate that the origin of this large numt fragment in the nuclear genome of the Panthera species is an independent insertion from that of the domestic cat lineage, which has been further supported by phylogenetic analyses. The tiger cymtDNA shared around 90% sequence identity with the homologous numt sequence, suggesting an origin for the Panthera numt at around 3.5 million years ago, prior to the radiation of the five extant Panthera species. PMID:16380222

  19. Evolutionary analysis of a large mtDNA translocation (numt) into the nuclear genome of the Panthera genus species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae-Heup; Antunes, Agostinho; Luo, Shu-Jin; Menninger, Joan; Nash, William G; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2006-02-01

    Translocation of cymtDNA into the nuclear genome, also referred to as numt, has been reported in many species, including several closely related to the domestic cat (Felis catus). We describe the recent transposition of 12,536 bp of the 17 kb mitochondrial genome into the nucleus of the common ancestor of the five Panthera genus species: tiger, P. tigris; snow leopard, P. uncia; jaguar, P. onca; leopard, P. pardus; and lion, P. leo. This nuclear integration, representing 74% of the mitochondrial genome, is one of the largest to be reported in eukaryotes. The Panthera genus numt differs from the numt previously described in the Felis genus in: (1) chromosomal location (F2-telomeric region vs. D2-centromeric region), (2) gene make up (from the ND5 to the ATP8 vs. from the CR to the COII), (3) size (12.5 vs. 7.9 kb), and (4) structure (single monomer vs. tandemly repeated in Felis). These distinctions indicate that the origin of this large numt fragment in the nuclear genome of the Panthera species is an independent insertion from that of the domestic cat lineage, which has been further supported by phylogenetic analyses. The tiger cymtDNA shared around 90% sequence identity with the homologous numt sequence, suggesting an origin for the Panthera numt at around 3.5 million years ago, prior to the radiation of the five extant Panthera species.

  20. Cloning of complete genomes of large dsDNA viruses by in vitro transposition of an F factor containing transposon.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongjie; Stojiljković, Nina; Jehle, Johannes A

    2010-07-01

    An improved bacmid technology for cloning complete genomes of large dsDNA viruses with circular genomes has been developed and tested. The system, termed EZ::BAC, is based on Escherichia coli F factor replicon, a chloramphenicol resistant marker gene with the mosaic ends recognized specifically by the transposase of the Tn5. In vitro transposition was carried out for the baculovirus shuttle vector pMON14272 (136kb) and the Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) genome (134kb) as target DNAs. Transposon EZ::BAC was inserted randomly into the target DNAs, leading to 9bp duplication of the flanking end at the insertion site. One of the obtained AcMNPV::BACs replicated in Sf21 cells after transfection. The random in vitro generation of viral bacmids using EZ::BAC facilitates the host-independent propagation of intact and functional viral genomes in E. coli cells and does not require sequence information of the target DNA as is necessary for the generation of bacmids in conventional systems. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Impact of valley fills on streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Valley fills associated with mountaintop-removal mining bury stream headwaters and affect water quality and ecological function of reaches below fills. We quantified relative abundance of streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia during 2002 in three streams below valley fills (VFS) and in three reference streams (RS). We surveyed 36 10- × 2-m stream transects, once in summer and fall, paired by order and structure. Of 2,343 salamanders captured, 66.7% were from RS. Total salamanders (adults plus larvae) were more abundant in RS than VFS for first-order and second-order reaches. Adult salamanders had greater abundance in first-order reaches of RS than VFS. Larval salamanders were more abundant in second-order reaches of RS than VFS. No stream width or mesohabitat variables differed between VFS and RS. Only two cover variables differed. Silt cover, greater in VFS than RS first-order reaches, is a likely contributor to reduced abundance of salamanders in VFS. Second-order RS had more boulder cover than second-order VFS, which may have contributed to the higher total and larval salamander abundance in RS. Water chemistry assessments of our VFS and RS reported elevated levels of metal and ion concentrations in VFS, which can depress macroinvertebrate populations and likely affect salamander abundance. Valley fills appear to have significant negative effects on stream salamander abundance due to alterations in habitat structure, water quality and chemistry, and macroinvertebrate communities in streams below fills.

  2. High occupancy of stream salamanders despite high ranavirus prevalence in a southern appalachians watershed.

    PubMed

    Rothermel, Betsie B; Travis, Emilie R; Miller, Debra L; Hill, Robert L; McGuire, Jessica L; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    The interactive effects of environmental stressors and emerging infectious disease pose potential threats to stream salamander communities and their headwater stream ecosystems. To begin assessing these threats, we conducted occupancy surveys and pathogen screening of stream salamanders (Family Plethodontidae) in a protected southern Appalachians watershed in Georgia and North Carolina, USA. Of the 101 salamanders screened for both chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus, only two exhibited low-level chytrid infections. Prevalence of Ranavirus was much higher (30.4% among five species of Desmognathus). Despite the ubiquity of ranaviral infections, we found high probabilities of site occupancy (≥0.60) for all stream salamander species.

  3. Effects of predator chemical cues and behavioral biorhythms on foraging activity of terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Maerz, J C; Panebianco, N L; Madison, D M

    2001-07-01

    Red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, show a variety of alarm responses to chemical cues from eastern garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis. We measured the foraging activity of red-backed salamanders exposed to water soiled by a garter snake (fed P. cinereus) or to unsoiled water. Salamanders exposed to snake-soiled water showed less foraging activity than salamanders exposed to unsoiled water; therefore, predators could have nonlethal effects on salamander populations. Our results also show additional factors influenced salamander foraging activity. Salamander foraging activity and responsiveness to chemical cues do not appear to have been affected by sex or food deprivation. Salamander foraging activity does appear to have been influenced by activity biorhythms. Foraging activity of animals in both treatments showed a bimodal periodicity that is consistent with natural activity patterns controlled by internal biorhythms. Exposure to snake-soiled water significantly reduced foraging activity during periods of peak foraging activity, but had a subtler effect on foraging activity during natural lulls in activity. We suggest that both activity biorhythms and exposure to chemical cues are important factors affecting salamander foraging behavior.

  4. A new species of salamander of the genus Hynobius from Central Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Kokuryo, Yasuhiro; Misawa, Yasuchika; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2004-06-01

    We describe a small salamander from south Central Honshu, Japan, as a new species, Hynobius katoi. The genetic distances between this species and several named species, including sympatric H. kimurae, derived from allozyme data from a starch gel electrophoresis, proved to be sufficiently large to differentiate it at a specific rank. Distribution of this species is confined to the montane regions of Shizuoka and Nagano Prefectures, on the Akaishi Mountains of the Chubu District, central Japan. It is regarded as a member of the naevius group of Hynobius, characterized by small number of large, pigmentless ova. The species differs from the other species of the naevius group by the combination of relatively small body size, nearly spotless body, relatively few vomerine teeth forming moderately shallow series, and unique electrophoretic pattern of isozymes.

  5. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Putta, Srikrishna; Smith, Jeramiah J; Walker, John A; Rondet, Mathieu; Weisrock, David W; Monaghan, James; Samuels, Amy K; Kump, Kevin; King, David C; Maness, Nicholas J; Habermann, Bianca; Tanaka, Elly; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2004-01-01

    Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum), species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research. PMID:15310388

  6. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Putta, Srikrishna; Smith, Jeramiah J; Walker, John A; Rondet, Mathieu; Weisrock, David W; Monaghan, James; Samuels, Amy K; Kump, Kevin; King, David C; Maness, Nicholas J; Habermann, Bianca; Tanaka, Elly; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2004-08-13

    Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum), species with deep and diverse research histories. Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human - Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research.

  7. Identification of type I IFN in Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) and the response to an iridovirus infection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qian; Ma, Jie; Fan, Yuding; Meng, Yan; Xu, Jin; Zhou, Yong; Liu, Wenzhi; Zeng, Xianhui; Zeng, Lingbing

    2015-06-01

    The type I IFNs play a major role in the first line of defense against virus infections. In this study, the type I IFN gene designated gsIFN was identified and characterized in the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). The genomic DNA of gsIFN contains 5 exons and 4 introns and has a total length of 5622 bp. The full-length cDNA sequence of gsIFN is 1113 bp and encodes a putative protein of 186 amino acids that has a 43% identity to type I IFN of Xenopus tropicalis. The deduced amino acid sequence has the C-terminal CAWE motif, that is mostly conserved in the higher vertebrate type I IFNs. Real-time fluorescence quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed broad expression of gsIFN in vivo and the highest level expression in blood, kidney and spleen. Additionally, the expression of gsIFN at the mRNA level was significantly induced in peripheral blood leucocytes after stimulation with poly I:C and after infection with the Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV). A plasmid expressing gsIFN was constructed and transfected into the Chinese giant salamander muscle cell line. Expression of the IFN-inducible gene Mx was up-regulated in the gsIFN-overexpressing cells after GSIV infection. The virus load and titer were significantly reduced compared with that in control cells. Additionally, a lower level of virus major capsid protein synthesis was confirmed by immunofluorescence assay compared to the control cells. These results suggest that the gsIFN gene plays an important role in the antiviral innate immune response.

  8. Large, Male Germ Cell-Specific Hypomethylated DNA Domains With Unique Genomic and Epigenomic Features on the Mouse X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Rieko; Shiura, Hirosuke; Numata, Koji; Sugimoto, Michihiko; Kondo, Masayo; Mise, Nathan; Suzuki, Masako; Greally, John M.; Abe, Kuniya

    2013-01-01

    To understand the epigenetic regulation required for germ cell-specific gene expression in the mouse, we analysed DNA methylation profiles of developing germ cells using a microarray-based assay adapted for a small number of cells. The analysis revealed differentially methylated sites between cell types tested. Here, we focused on a group of genomic sequences hypomethylated specifically in germline cells as candidate regions involved in the epigenetic regulation of germline gene expression. These hypomethylated sequences tend to be clustered, forming large (10 kb to ∼9 Mb) genomic domains, particularly on the X chromosome of male germ cells. Most of these regions, designated here as large hypomethylated domains (LoDs), correspond to segmentally duplicated regions that contain gene families showing germ cell- or testis-specific expression, including cancer testis antigen genes. We found an inverse correlation between DNA methylation level and expression of genes in these domains. Most LoDs appear to be enriched with H3 lysine 9 dimethylation, usually regarded as a repressive histone modification, although some LoD genes can be expressed in male germ cells. It thus appears that such a unique epigenomic state associated with the LoDs may constitute a basis for the specific expression of genes contained in these genomic domains. PMID:23861320

  9. Large-Scale Gene Relocations following an Ancient Genome Triplication Associated with the Diversification of Core Eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yupeng; Ficklin, Stephen P.; Wang, Xiyin; Feltus, F. Alex; Paterson, Andrew H.

    2016-01-01

    Different modes of gene duplication including whole-genome duplication (WGD), and tandem, proximal and dispersed duplications are widespread in angiosperm genomes. Small-scale, stochastic gene relocations and transposed gene duplications are widely accepted to be the primary mechanisms for the creation of dispersed duplicates. However, here we show that most surviving ancient dispersed duplicates in core eudicots originated from large-scale gene relocations within a narrow window of time following a genome triplication (γ) event that occurred in the stem lineage of core eudicots. We name these surviving ancient dispersed duplicates as relocated γ duplicates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, relocated γ, WGD and single-gene duplicates have distinct features with regard to gene functions, essentiality, and protein interactions. Relative to γ duplicates, relocated γ duplicates have higher non-synonymous substitution rates, but comparable levels of expression and regulation divergence. Thus, relocated γ duplicates should be distinguished from WGD and single-gene duplicates for evolutionary investigations. Our results suggest large-scale gene relocations following the γ event were associated with the diversification of core eudicots. PMID:27195960

  10. Writ large: Genomic Dissection of the Effect of Cellular Environment on Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Yosef, Nir; Regev, Aviv

    2016-01-01

    Cells of the immune system routinely respond to cues from their local environment and feedback to their surrounding through transient responses, choice of differentiation trajectories, plastic changes in cell state, and malleable adaptation to their tissue of residence. Genomic approaches have opened the way for comprehensive interrogation of such orchestrated responses. Focusing on genomic profiling of transcriptional and epigenetic cell state, we discuss how they are applied to investigate immune cells faced with various environmental cues. We highlight some of the emerging principles, on the role of dense regulatory circuitry, epigenetic memory, cell type fluidity, and reuse of regulatory modules, in achieving and maintaining appropriate responses to a changing environment. These provide a first step toward a systematic understanding of molecular circuits in complex tissues. PMID:27846493

  11. Large-scale recoding of an arbovirus genome to rebalance its insect versus mammalian preference

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Sam H.; Stauft, Charles B.; Gorbatsevych, Oleksandr; Song, Yutong; Ward, Charles B.; Yurovsky, Alisa; Mueller, Steffen; Futcher, Bruce; Wimmer, Eckard

    2015-01-01

    The protein synthesis machineries of two distinct phyla of the Animal kingdom, insects of Arthropoda and mammals of Chordata, have different preferences for how to best encode proteins. Nevertheless, arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) are capable of infecting both mammals and insects just like arboviruses that use insect vectors to infect plants. These organisms have evolved carefully balanced genomes that can efficiently use the translational machineries of different phyla, even if the phyla belong to different kingdoms. Using dengue virus as an example, we have undone the genome encoding balance and specifically shifted the encoding preference away from mammals. These mammalian-attenuated viruses grow to high titers in insect cells but low titers in mammalian cells, have dramatically increased LD50s in newborn mice, and induce high levels of protective antibodies. Recoded arboviruses with a bias toward phylum-specific expression could form the basis of a new generation of live attenuated vaccine candidates. PMID:25825721

  12. Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Kevin; Ropars, Jeanne; Renault, Pierre; Dupont, Joëlle; Gouzy, Jérôme; Branca, Antoine; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Ceppi, Maurizio; Conseiller, Emmanuel; Debuchy, Robert; Malagnac, Fabienne; Goarin, Anne; Silar, Philippe; Lacoste, Sandrine; Sallet, Erika; Bensimon, Aaron; Giraud, Tatiana; Brygoo, Yves

    2014-01-01

    While the extent and impact of horizontal transfers in prokaryotes are widely acknowledged, their importance to the eukaryotic kingdom is unclear and thought by many to be anecdotal. Here we report multiple recent transfers of a huge genomic island between Penicillium spp. found in the food environment. Sequencing of the two leading filamentous fungi used in cheese making, P. roqueforti and P. camemberti, and comparison with the penicillin producer P. rubens reveals a 575 kb long genomic island in P. roqueforti--called Wallaby--present as identical fragments at non-homologous loci in P. camemberti and P. rubens. Wallaby is detected in Penicillium collections exclusively in strains from food environments. Wallaby encompasses about 250 predicted genes, some of which are probably involved in competition with microorganisms. The occurrence of multiple recent eukaryotic transfers in the food environment provides strong evidence for the importance of this understudied and probably underestimated phenomenon in eukaryotes.

  13. Large-scale recoding of an arbovirus genome to rebalance its insect versus mammalian preference.

    PubMed

    Shen, Sam H; Stauft, Charles B; Gorbatsevych, Oleksandr; Song, Yutong; Ward, Charles B; Yurovsky, Alisa; Mueller, Steffen; Futcher, Bruce; Wimmer, Eckard

    2015-04-14

    The protein synthesis machineries of two distinct phyla of the Animal kingdom, insects of Arthropoda and mammals of Chordata, have different preferences for how to best encode proteins. Nevertheless, arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) are capable of infecting both mammals and insects just like arboviruses that use insect vectors to infect plants. These organisms have evolved carefully balanced genomes that can efficiently use the translational machineries of different phyla, even if the phyla belong to different kingdoms. Using dengue virus as an example, we have undone the genome encoding balance and specifically shifted the encoding preference away from mammals. These mammalian-attenuated viruses grow to high titers in insect cells but low titers in mammalian cells, have dramatically increased LD50s in newborn mice, and induce high levels of protective antibodies. Recoded arboviruses with a bias toward phylum-specific expression could form the basis of a new generation of live attenuated vaccine candidates.

  14. Writ large: Genomic dissection of the effect of cellular environment on immune response.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Nir; Regev, Aviv

    2016-10-07

    Cells of the immune system routinely respond to cues from their local environment and feed back to their surroundings through transient responses, choice of differentiation trajectories, plastic changes in cell state, and malleable adaptation to their tissue of residence. Genomic approaches have opened the way for comprehensive interrogation of such orchestrated responses. Focusing on genomic profiling of transcriptional and epigenetic cell states, we discuss how they are applied to investigate immune cells faced with various environmental cues. We highlight some of the emerging principles on the role of dense regulatory circuitry, epigenetic memory, cell type fluidity, and reuse of regulatory modules in achieving and maintaining appropriate responses to a changing environment. These provide a first step toward a systematic understanding of molecular circuits in complex tissues. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. HelitronScanner uncovers a large overlooked cache of Helitron transposons in many plant genomes.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wenwei; He, Limei; Lai, Jinsheng; Dooner, Hugo K; Du, Chunguang

    2014-07-15

    Transposons make up the bulk of eukaryotic genomes, but are difficult to annotate because they evolve rapidly. Most of the unannotated portion of sequenced genomes is probably made up of various divergent transposons that have yet to be categorized. Helitrons are unusual rolling circle eukaryotic transposons that often capture gene sequences, making them of considerable evolutionary importance. Unlike other DNA transposons, Helitrons do not end in inverted repeats or create target site duplications, so they are particularly challenging to identify. Here we present HelitronScanner, a two-layered local combinational variable (LCV) tool for generalized Helitron identification that represents a major improvement over previous identification programs based on DNA sequence or structure. HelitronScanner identified 64,654 Helitrons from a wide range of plant genomes in a highly automated way. We tested HelitronScanner's predictive ability in maize, a species with highly heterogeneous Helitron elements. LCV scores for the 5' and 3' termini of the predicted Helitrons provide a primary confidence level and element copy number provides a secondary one. Newly identified Helitrons were validated by PCR assays or by in silico comparative analysis of insertion site polymorphism among multiple accessions. Many new Helitrons were identified in model species, such as maize, rice, and Arabidopsis, and in a variety of organisms where Helitrons had not been reported previously to our knowledge, leading to a major upward reassessment of their abundance in plant genomes. HelitronScanner promises to be a valuable tool in future comparative and evolutionary studies of this major transposon superfamily.

  16. Strain Dependent Genetic Networks for Antibiotic-Sensitivity in a Bacterial Pathogen with a Large Pan-Genome.

    PubMed

    van Opijnen, Tim; Dedrick, Sandra; Bento, José

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between an antibiotic and bacterium is not merely restricted to the drug and its direct target, rather antibiotic induced stress seems to resonate through the bacterium, creating selective pressures that drive the emergence of adaptive mutations not only in the direct target, but in genes involved in many different fundamental processes as well. Surprisingly, it has been shown that adaptive mutations do not necessarily have the same effect in all species, indicating that the genetic background influences how phenotypes are manifested. However, to what extent the genetic background affects the manner in which a bacterium experiences antibiotic stress, and how this stress is processed is unclear. Here we employ the genome-wide tool Tn-Seq to construct daptomycin-sensitivity profiles for two strains of the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. Remarkably, over half of the genes that are important for dealing with antibiotic-induced stress in one strain are dispensable in another. By confirming over 100 genotype-phenotype relationships, probing potassium-loss, employing genetic interaction mapping as well as temporal gene-expression experiments we reveal genome-wide conditionally important/essential genes, we discover roles for genes with unknown function, and uncover parts of the antibiotic's mode-of-action. Moreover, by mapping the underlying genomic network for two query genes we encounter little conservation in network connectivity between strains as well as profound differences in regulatory relationships. Our approach uniquely enables genome-wide fitness comparisons across strains, facilitating the discovery that antibiotic responses are complex events that can vary widely between strains, which suggests that in some cases the emergence of resistance could be strain specific and at least for species with a large pan-genome less predictable.

  17. Strain Dependent Genetic Networks for Antibiotic-Sensitivity in a Bacterial Pathogen with a Large Pan-Genome

    PubMed Central

    van Opijnen, Tim; Bento, José

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between an antibiotic and bacterium is not merely restricted to the drug and its direct target, rather antibiotic induced stress seems to resonate through the bacterium, creating selective pressures that drive the emergence of adaptive mutations not only in the direct target, but in genes involved in many different fundamental processes as well. Surprisingly, it has been shown that adaptive mutations do not necessarily have the same effect in all species, indicating that the genetic background influences how phenotypes are manifested. However, to what extent the genetic background affects the manner in which a bacterium experiences antibiotic stress, and how this stress is processed is unclear. Here we employ the genome-wide tool Tn-Seq to construct daptomycin-sensitivity profiles for two strains of the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. Remarkably, over half of the genes that are important for dealing with antibiotic-induced stress in one strain are dispensable in another. By confirming over 100 genotype-phenotype relationships, probing potassium-loss, employing genetic interaction mapping as well as temporal gene-expression experiments we reveal genome-wide conditionally important/essential genes, we discover roles for genes with unknown function, and uncover parts of the antibiotic’s mode-of-action. Moreover, by mapping the underlying genomic network for two query genes we encounter little conservation in network connectivity between strains as well as profound differences in regulatory relationships. Our approach uniquely enables genome-wide fitness comparisons across strains, facilitating the discovery that antibiotic responses are complex events that can vary widely between strains, which suggests that in some cases the emergence of resistance could be strain specific and at least for species with a large pan-genome less predictable. PMID:27607357

  18. Genomic diversity of large-plaque-forming podoviruses infecting the phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Takeru; Narulita, Erlia; Matsunami, Minaho; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Shimizu, Mio; Fujie, Makoto; Bhunchoth, Anjana; Phironrit, Namthip; Chatchawankanphanich, Orawan; Yamada, Takashi

    2016-05-01

    The genome organization, gene structure, and host range of five podoviruses that infect Ralstonia solanacearum, the causative agent of bacterial wilt disease were characterized. The phages fell into two distinctive groups based on the genome position of the RNA polymerase gene (i.e., T7-type and ϕKMV-type). One-step growth experiments revealed that ϕRSB2 (a T7-like phage) lysed host cells more efficiently with a shorter infection cycle (ca. 60 min corresponding to half the doubling time of the host) than ϕKMV-like phages such as ϕRSB1 (with an infection cycle of ca. 180 min). Co-infection experiments with ϕRSB1 and ϕRSB2 showed that ϕRSB2 always predominated in the phage progeny independent of host strains. Most phages had wide host-ranges and the phage particles usually did not attach to the resistant strains; when occasionally some did, the phage genome was injected into the resistant strain's cytoplasm, as revealed by fluorescence microscopy with SYBR Gold-labeled phage particles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis.

  20. Large scale DNA sequencing: new challenges emerge--the 2007 Human Genome Variation Society scientific meeting.

    PubMed

    Oetting, William S

    2008-05-01

    The annual scientific meeting of the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) was held on 23 October 2007, in San Diego, CA. The major theme of this meeting was "New DNA Sequencing Technologies & Human Genome Variation." A series of speakers provided information on several new technologies that produce DNA sequence data on a scale far beyond what was possible even a few years ago. These new technologies produce up to gigabases of nucleotides on a single run. Already, two individuals have had their entire genome sequenced, resulting in the identification of many novel DNA variants. Several new questions now need to be answered. What impact do these novel variants have on the phenotypes? How are we to associate private variants in a single individual with disease, especially when current association studies require genotyping thousands of individuals? Further work will be required to create methodologies to analyze these variants to determine if they are potentially disease-producing or are phenotypically silent. For the technology to be useful in a medical setting it will be crucial to answer to these questions.

  1. A high-density SNP genome-wide linkage scan in a large autism extended pedigree.

    PubMed

    Allen-Brady, K; Miller, J; Matsunami, N; Stevens, J; Block, H; Farley, M; Krasny, L; Pingree, C; Lainhart, J; Leppert, M; McMahon, W M; Coon, H

    2009-06-01

    We performed a high-density, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), genome-wide scan on a six-generation pedigree from Utah with seven affected males, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Using a two-stage linkage design, we first performed a nonparametric analysis on the entire genome using a 10K SNP chip to identify potential regions of interest. To confirm potentially interesting regions, we eliminated SNPs in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) using a principal components analysis (PCA) method and repeated the linkage results. Three regions met genome-wide significance criteria after controlling for LD: 3q13.2-q13.31 (nonparametric linkage (NPL), 5.58), 3q26.31-q27.3 (NPL, 4.85) and 20q11.21-q13.12 (NPL, 5.56). Two regions met suggestive criteria for significance 7p14.1-p11.22 (NPL, 3.18) and 9p24.3 (NPL, 3.44). All five chromosomal regions are consistent with other published findings. Haplotype sharing results showed that five of the affected subjects shared more than a single chromosomal region of interest with other affected subjects. Although no common autism susceptibility genes were found for all seven autism cases, these results suggest that multiple genetic loci within these regions may contribute to the autism phenotype in this family, and further follow-up of these chromosomal regions is warranted.

  2. Overview of PSB track on gene structure identification in large-scale genomic sequence

    SciTech Connect

    Uberbacher, E.C.; Xu, Y.

    1998-12-31

    The recent funding of more than a dozen major genome centers to begin community-wide high-throughput sequencing of the human genome has created a significant new challenge for the computational analysis of DNA sequence and the prediction of gene structure and function. It has been estimated that on average from 1996 to 2003, approximately 2 million bases of newly finished DNA sequence will be produced every day and be made available on the Internet and in central databases. The finished (fully assembled) sequence generated each day will represent approximately 75 new genes (and their respective proteins), and many times this number will be represented in partially completed sequences. The information contained in these is of immeasurable value to medical research, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry and researchers in a host of fields ranging from microorganism metabolism, to structural biology, to bioremediation. Sequencing of microorganisms and other model organisms is also ramping up at a very rapid rate. The genomes for yeast and several microorganisms such as H. influenza have recently been fully sequenced, although the significance of many genes remains to be determined.

  3. Large-Scale Mutagenesis of the Yeast Genome Using a Tn7-Derived Multipurpose Transposon

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anuj; Seringhaus, Michael; Biery, Matthew C.; Sarnovsky, Robert J.; Umansky, Lara; Piccirillo, Stacy; Heidtman, Matthew; Cheung, Kei-Hoi; Dobry, Craig J.; Gerstein, Mark B.; Craig, Nancy L.; Snyder, Michael

    2004-01-01

    We present here an unbiased and extremely versatile insertional library of yeast genomic DNA generated by in vitro mutagenesis with a multipurpose element derived from the bacterial transposon Tn7. This mini-Tn7 element has been engineered such that a single insertion can be used to generate a lacZ fusion, gene disruption, and epitope-tagged gene product. Using this transposon, we generated a plasmid-based library of ∼300,000 mutant alleles; by high-throughput screening in yeast, we identified and sequenced 9032 insertions affecting 2613 genes (45% of the genome). From analysis of 7176 insertions, we found little bias in Tn7 target-site selection in vitro. In contrast, we also sequenced 10,174 Tn3 insertions and found a markedly stronger preference for an AT-rich 5-base pair target sequence. We further screened 1327 insertion alleles in yeast for hypersensitivity to the chemotherapeutic cisplatin. Fifty-one genes were identified, including four functionally uncharacterized genes and 25 genes involved in DNA repair, replication, transcription, and chromatin structure. In total, the collection reported here constitutes the largest plasmid-based set of sequenced yeast mutant alleles to date and, as such, should be singularly useful for gene and genome-wide functional analysis. PMID:15466296

  4. Large-scale mutagenesis of the yeast genome using a Tn7-derived multipurpose transposon.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anuj; Seringhaus, Michael; Biery, Matthew C; Sarnovsky, Robert J; Umansky, Lara; Piccirillo, Stacy; Heidtman, Matthew; Cheung, Kei-Hoi; Dobry, Craig J; Gerstein, Mark B; Craig, Nancy L; Snyder, Michael

    2004-10-01

    We present here an unbiased and extremely versatile insertional library of yeast genomic DNA generated by in vitro mutagenesis with a multipurpose element derived from the bacterial transposon Tn7. This mini-Tn7 element has been engineered such that a single insertion can be used to generate a lacZ fusion, gene disruption, and epitope-tagged gene product. Using this transposon, we generated a plasmid-based library of approximately 300,000 mutant alleles; by high-throughput screening in yeast, we identified and sequenced 9032 insertions affecting 2613 genes (45% of the genome). From analysis of 7176 insertions, we found little bias in Tn7 target-site selection in vitro. In contrast, we also sequenced 10,174 Tn3 insertions and found a markedly stronger preference for an AT-rich 5-base pair target sequence. We further screened 1327 insertion alleles in yeast for hypersensitivity to the chemotherapeutic cisplatin. Fifty-one genes were identified, including four functionally uncharacterized genes and 25 genes involved in DNA repair, replication, transcription, and chromatin structure. In total, the collection reported here constitutes the largest plasmid-based set of sequenced yeast mutant alleles to date and, as such, should be singularly useful for gene and genome-wide functional analysis.

  5. Complete Genome Sequence of the Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strain AbH12O-A2, Isolated during a Large Outbreak in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Merino, M.; Alvarez-Fraga, L.; Gómez, M. J.; Aransay, A. M.; Lavín, J. L.; Chaves, F.

    2014-01-01

    We report the complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii strain AbH12O-A2, isolated during a large outbreak in Spain. The genome has 3,875,775 bp and 3,526 coding sequences, with 39.4% G+C content. The availability of this genome will facilitate the study of the pathogenicity of the Acinetobacter species. PMID:25395646

  6. Completion of the swine genome will simplify the production of swine as a large animal biomedical model

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anatomic and physiological similarities to the human make swine an excellent large animal model for human health and disease. Methods Cloning from a modified somatic cell, which can be determined in cells prior to making the animal, is the only method available for the production of targeted modifications in swine. Results Since some strains of swine are similar in size to humans, technologies that have been developed for swine can be readily adapted to humans and vice versa. Here the importance of swine as a biomedical model, current technologies to produce genetically enhanced swine, current biomedical models, and how the completion of the swine genome will promote swine as a biomedical model are discussed. Conclusions The completion of the swine genome will enhance the continued use and development of swine as models of human health, syndromes and conditions. PMID:23151353

  7. Apparent predation by Gray Jays, Perisoreus canadensis, on Long-toed Salamanders, Ambystoma macrodactylum, in the Oregon Cascade Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, M.P.; Pearl, C.A.; Bury, R.B.

    2005-01-01

    We report observations of Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) appearing to consume larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in a drying subalpine pond in Oregon, USA. Corvids are known to prey upon a variety of anuran amphibians, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of predation by any corvid on aquatic salamanders. Long-toed Salamanders appear palatable to Gray Jays, and may provide a food resource to Gray Jays when salamander larvae are concentrated in drying temporary ponds.

  8. Genome-Wide Survey of Large Rare Copy Number Variants in Alzheimer’s Disease Among Caribbean Hispanics

    PubMed Central

    Ghani, Mahdi; Pinto, Dalila; Lee, Joseph H.; Grinberg, Yakov; Sato, Christine; Moreno, Danielle; Scherer, Stephen W.; Mayeux, Richard; St. George-Hyslop, Peter; Rogaeva, Ekaterina

    2012-01-01

    Recently genome-wide association studies have identified significant association between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and variations in CLU, PICALM, BIN1, CR1, MS4A4/MS4A6E, CD2AP, CD33, EPHA1, and ABCA7. However, the pathogenic variants in these loci have not yet been found. We conducted a genome-wide scan for large copy number variation (CNV) in a dataset of Caribbean Hispanic origin (554 controls and 559 AD cases that were previously investigated in a SNP-based genome-wide association study using Illumina HumanHap 650Y platform). We ran four CNV calling algorithms to obtain high-confidence calls for large CNVs (>100 kb) that were detected by at least two algorithms. Global burden analyses did not reveal significant difference