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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

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. In the fast lane: large-scale bacterial genome engineering.

    PubMed

    Fehér, Tamás; Burland, Valerie; Pósfai, György

    2012-07-31

    The last few years have witnessed rapid progress in bacterial genome engineering. The long-established, standard ways of DNA synthesis, modification, transfer into living cells, and incorporation into genomes have given way to more effective, large-scale, robust genome modification protocols. Expansion of these engineering capabilities is due to several factors. Key advances include: (i) progress in oligonucleotide synthesis and in vitro and in vivo assembly methods, (ii) optimization of recombineering techniques, (iii) introduction of parallel, large-scale, combinatorial, and automated genome modification procedures, and (iv) rapid identification of the modifications by barcode-based analysis and sequencing. Combination of the brute force of these techniques with sophisticated bioinformatic design and modeling opens up new avenues for the analysis of gene functions and cellular network interactions, but also in engineering more effective producer strains. This review presents a summary of recent technological advances in bacterial genome engineering.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Genomic libraries: II. Subcloning, sequencing, and assembling large-insert genomic DNA clones.

    PubMed

    Quail, Mike A; Matthews, Lucy; Sims, Sarah; Lloyd, Christine; Beasley, Helen; Baxter, Simon W

    2011-01-01

    Sequencing large insert clones to completion is useful for characterizing specific genomic regions, identifying haplotypes, and closing gaps in whole genome sequencing projects. Despite being a standard technique in molecular laboratories, DNA sequencing using the Sanger method can be highly problematic when complex secondary structures or sequence repeats are encountered in genomic clones. Here, we describe methods to isolate DNA from a large insert clone (fosmid or BAC), subclone the sample, and sequence the region to the highest industry standard. Troubleshooting solutions for sequencing difficult templates are discussed.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. [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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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.

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.  

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. In Silico Prediction of Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions in Large Genomic Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Frisch, Matthias; Frech, Kornelie; Klingenhoff, Andreas; Cartharius, Kerstin; Liebich, Ines; Werner, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    Scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) are essential regulatory DNA elements of eukaryotic cells. They are major determinants of locus control of gene expression and can shield gene expression from position effects. Experimental detection of S/MARs requires substantial effort and is not suitable for large-scale screening of genomic sequences. In silico prediction of S/MARs can provide a crucial first selection step to reduce the number of candidates. We used experimentally defined S/MAR sequences as the training set and generated a library of new S/MAR-associated, AT-rich patterns described as weight matrices. A new tool called SMARTest was developed that identifies potential S/MARs by performing a density analysis based on the S/MAR matrix library (http://www.genomatix.de/cgi-bin/smartest_pd/smartest.pl). S/MAR predictions were evaluated by using six genomic sequences from animal and plant for which S/MARs and non-S/MARs were experimentally mapped. SMARTest reached a sensitivity of 38% and a specificity of 68%. In contrast to previous algorithms, the SMARTest approach does not depend on the sequence context and is suitable to analyze long genomic sequences up to the size of whole chromosomes. To demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale S/MAR prediction, we analyzed the recently published chromosome 22 sequence and found 1198 S/MAR candidates. PMID:11827955

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. BK Polyomavirus Genomic Integration and Large T Antigen Expression: Evolving Paradigms in Human Oncogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kenan, D J; Mieczkowski, P A; Latulippe, E; Côté, I; Singh, H K; Nickeleit, V

    2016-12-31

    Human polyomaviruses are ubiquitous, with primary infections that typically occur during childhood and subsequent latency that may last a lifetime. Polyomavirus-mediated disease has been described in immunocompromised patients; its relationship to oncogenesis is poorly understood. We present deep sequencing data from a high-grade BK virus-associated tumor expressing large T antigen. The carcinoma arose in a kidney allograft 6 years after transplantation. We identified a novel genotype 1a BK polyomavirus, called Chapel Hill BK polyomavirus 2 (CH-2), that was integrated into the BRE gene in chromosome 2 of tumor cells. At the chromosomal integration site, viral break points were found, disrupting late BK gene sequences encoding capsid proteins VP1 and VP2/3. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization studies demonstrated that the integrated BK virus was replication incompetent. We propose that the BK virus CH-2 was integrated into the human genome as a concatemer, resulting in alterations of feedback loops and overexpression of large T antigen. Collectively, these findings support the emerging understanding that viral integration is a nearly ubiquitous feature in polyomavirus-associated malignancy and that unregulated large T antigen expression drives a proliferative state that is conducive to oncogenesis. Based on the current observations, we present an updated model of polyomavirus-mediated oncogenesis.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2017-12-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Exploring the feasibility of using copy number variants as genetic markers through large-scale whole genome sequencing experiments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information-content-fingerprinting: the distal region of the wheat ancestor Aegilops tauschii chromosome 3DS.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information content fingerprinting: a distal region of wheat chromosome 3DS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. A large maize (Zea Mays L.) SNP genotyping array: development and germplasm genotyping, and genetic mapping to compare with the B73 reference genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. A large set of 26 new reference transcriptomes dedicated to comparative population genomics in crops and wild relatives.

    PubMed

    Sarah, Gautier; Homa, Felix; Pointet, Stéphanie; Contreras, Sandy; Sabot, François; Nabholz, Benoit; Santoni, Sylvain; Sauné, Laure; Ardisson, Morgane; Chantret, Nathalie; Sauvage, Christopher; Tregear, James; Jourda, Cyril; Pot, David; Vigouroux, Yves; Chair, Hana; Scarcelli, Nora; Billot, Claire; Yahiaoui, Nabila; Bacilieri, Roberto; Khadari, Bouchaib; Boccara, Michel; Barnaud, Adéline; Péros, Jean-Pierre; Labouisse, Jean-Pierre; Pham, Jean-Louis; David, Jacques; Glémin, Sylvain; Ruiz, Manuel

    2016-08-04

    We produced a unique large data set of reference transcriptomes to obtain new knowledge about the evolution of plant genomes and crop domestication. For this purpose, we validated a RNA-Seq data assembly protocol to perform comparative population genomics. For the validation, we assessed and compared the quality of de novo Illumina short-read assemblies using data from two crops for which an annotated reference genome was available, namely grapevine and sorghum. We used the same protocol for the release of 26 new transcriptomes of crop plants and wild relatives, including still understudied crops such as yam, pearl millet and fonio. The species list has a wide taxonomic representation with the inclusion of 15 monocots and 11 eudicots. All contigs were annotated using BLAST, prot4EST and Blast2GO. A strong originality of the data set is that each crop is associated with close relative species, which will permit whole-genome comparative evolutionary studies between crops and their wild-related species. This large resource will thus serve research communities working on both crops and model organisms. All the data are available at http://arcad-bioinformatics.southgreen.fr/.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparative genomics uncovers large tandem chromosomal duplications in Mycobacterium bovis BCG Pasteur.

    PubMed

    Brosch, R; Gordon, S V; Buchrieser, C; Pym, A S; Garnier, T; Cole, S T

    2000-06-30

    On direct comparison of minimal sets of ordered clones from bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries representing the complete genomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and the vaccine strain, Mycobacterium bovis BCG Pasteur, two major rearrangements were identified in the genome of M. bovis BCG Pasteur. These were shown to correspond to two tandem duplications, DU1 and DU2, of 29 668 bp and 36 161 bp, respectively. While DU1 resulted from a single duplication event, DU2 apparently arose from duplication of a 100 kb genomic segment that subsequently incurred an internal deletion of 64 kb. Several lines of evidence suggest that DU2 may continue to expand, since two copies were detected in a subpopulation of BCG Pasteur cells. BCG strains harbouring DU1 and DU2 are diploid for at least 58 genes and contain two copies of oriC, the chromosomal origin of replication. These findings indicate that these genomic regions of the BCG genome are still dynamic. Although the role of DU1 and DU2 in the attenuation and/or altered immunogenicity of BCG is yet unknown, knowledge of their existence will facilitate quality control of BCG vaccine lots and may help in monitoring the efficacy of the world's most widely used vaccine.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Discovery of novel phosphonate natural products and their biosynthetic pathways by large-scale genome mining

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 differences between cases and controls in CNV rate, distribution of deletions or duplications, total or average CNV size; or number of genes affected by CNVs. However, we observed a nominal association between AD and a ∼470 kb duplication on chromosome 15q11.2 (P = 0.037). This duplication, encompassing up to five genes (TUBGCP5, CYFIP1, NIPA2, NIPA1, and WHAMML1) was present in 10 cases (2.6%) and 3 controls (0.8%). The dosage increase of CYFIP1 and NIPA1 genes was further confirmed by quantitative PCR. The current study did not detect CNVs that affect novel AD loci identified by recent genome-wide association studies. However, because the array technology used in our study has limitations in detecting small CNVs, future studies must carefully assess novel AD genes for the presence of disease-related CNVs. PMID:22384383

  17. Re-annotation, improved large-scale assembly and establishment of a catalogue of noncoding loci for the genome of the model brown alga Ectocarpus.

    PubMed

    Cormier, Alexandre; Avia, Komlan; Sterck, Lieven; Derrien, Thomas; Wucher, Valentin; Andres, Gwendoline; Monsoor, Misharl; Godfroy, Olivier; Lipinska, Agnieszka; Perrineau, Marie-Mathilde; Van De Peer, Yves; Hitte, Christophe; Corre, Erwan; Coelho, Susana M; Cock, J Mark

    2017-04-01

    The genome of the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus was the first to be completely sequenced from within the brown algal group and has served as a key reference genome both for this lineage and for the stramenopiles. We present a complete structural and functional reannotation of the Ectocarpus genome. The large-scale assembly of the Ectocarpus genome was significantly improved and genome-wide gene re-annotation using extensive RNA-seq data improved the structure of 11 108 existing protein-coding genes and added 2030 new loci. A genome-wide analysis of splicing isoforms identified an average of 1.6 transcripts per locus. A large number of previously undescribed noncoding genes were identified and annotated, including 717 loci that produce long noncoding RNAs. Conservation of lncRNAs between Ectocarpus and another brown alga, the kelp Saccharina japonica, suggests that at least a proportion of these loci serve a function. Finally, a large collection of single nucleotide polymorphism-based markers was developed for genetic analyses. These resources are available through an updated and improved genome database. This study significantly improves the utility of the Ectocarpus genome as a high-quality reference for the study of many important aspects of brown algal biology and as a reference for genomic analyses across the stramenopiles.

  18. 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.

  19. The integration of recombination and physical maps in a large-genome monocot using haploid genome analysis in a trihybrid allium population.

    PubMed

    Khrustaleva, L I; de Melo, P E; van Heusden, A W; Kik, C

    2005-03-01

    Integrated mapping in large-genome monocots has been carried out on a limited number of species. Furthermore, integrated maps are difficult to construct for these species due to, among other reasons, the specific plant populations needed. To fill these gaps, Alliums were chosen as target species and a new strategy for constructing suitable populations was developed. This strategy involves the use of trihybrid genotypes in which only one homeolog of a chromosome pair is recombinant due to interspecific recombination. We used genotypes from a trihybrid Allium cepa x (A. roylei x A. fistulosum) population. Recombinant chromosomes 5 and 8 from the interspecific parent were analyzed using genomic in situ hybridization visualization of recombination points and the physical positions of recombination were integrated into AFLP linkage maps of both chromosomes. The integrated maps showed that in Alliums recombination predominantly occurs in the proximal half of chromosome arms and that 57.9% of PstI/MseI markers are located in close proximity to the centromeric region, suggesting the presence of genes in this region. These findings are different from data obtained on cereals, where recombination rate and gene density tends to be higher in distal regions.

  20. The Integration of Recombination and Physical Maps in a Large-Genome Monocot Using Haploid Genome Analysis in a Trihybrid Allium Population

    PubMed Central

    Khrustaleva, L. I.; de Melo, P. E.; van Heusden, A. W.; Kik, C.

    2005-01-01

    Integrated mapping in large-genome monocots has been carried out on a limited number of species. Furthermore, integrated maps are difficult to construct for these species due to, among other reasons, the specific plant populations needed. To fill these gaps, Alliums were chosen as target species and a new strategy for constructing suitable populations was developed. This strategy involves the use of trihybrid genotypes in which only one homeolog of a chromosome pair is recombinant due to interspecific recombination. We used genotypes from a trihybrid Allium cepa × (A. roylei × A. fistulosum) population. Recombinant chromosomes 5 and 8 from the interspecific parent were analyzed using genomic in situ hybridization visualization of recombination points and the physical positions of recombination were integrated into AFLP linkage maps of both chromosomes. The integrated maps showed that in Alliums recombination predominantly occurs in the proximal half of chromosome arms and that 57.9% of PstI/MseI markers are located in close proximity to the centromeric region, suggesting the presence of genes in this region. These findings are different from data obtained on cereals, where recombination rate and gene density tends to be higher in distal regions. PMID:15654085

  1. Characterization of displaced bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Maple, Bruce R; Zhang, Jian; Pang, Ji-Jie; Gao, Fan; Wu, Samuel M

    2005-03-01

    In immunocytochemical studies of the tiger salamander retina, 17% of neurons in the outer nuclear layer did not label for recoverin, a photoreceptor marker. Lucifer yellow injection showed a population of cells in the ONL to be displaced bipolar cells, with axon terminals that stratified exclusively in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), and predominately within the cone-dominated region of the OFF sublamina. Glutamate generated a dendritic cationic conductance increase in all displaced bipolar cells tested, and typical cone-dominated bipolar cell light responses were observed among displaced cells that stratified in the central IPL. We conclude that displaced bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina are entirely OFF-center cells, and predominately cone-dominated cells.

  2. Salamander Blue-sensitive Cones Lost During Metamorphosis†

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ying; Znoiko, Sergey; DeGrip, Willem J.; Crouch, Rosalie K.; Ma, Jian-xing

    2009-01-01

    The tiger salamander lives in shallow water with bright light in the aquatic phase, and in dim tunnels or caves in the terrestrial phase. In the aquatic phase, there are five types of photoreceptors—two types of rods and three types of cones. Our previous studies showed that the green rods and blue-sensitive cones contain the same visual pigment and have the same absorbance spectra; however, the green rods have a larger photon-catch area and thus have higher light sensitivity than the blue-sensitive cones. Here we show that after metamorphosis, the terrestrial salamander looses the blue-sensitive cones, while the density of the green rods increases. Moreover, the size of the green rod outer segments is increased in the terrestrial phase, compared to that in the aquatic phase. This switch from the blue-sensitive cones to the green rods may represent an adaptation to the dim light environment of the terrestrial phase. PMID:18331398

  3. FlyBase: introduction of the Drosophila melanogaster Release 6 reference genome assembly and large-scale migration of genome annotations

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Gilberto; Schroeder, Andrew J.; Goodman, Joshua L.; Strelets, Victor B.; Crosby, Madeline A.; Thurmond, Jim; Emmert, David B.; Gelbart, William M.

    2015-01-01

    Release 6, the latest reference genome assembly of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, was released by the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project in 2014; it replaces their previous Release 5 genome assembly, which had been the reference genome assembly for over 7 years. With the enormous amount of information now attached to the D. melanogaster genome in public repositories and individual laboratories, the replacement of the previous assembly by the new one is a major event requiring careful migration of annotations and genome-anchored data to the new, improved assembly. In this report, we describe the attributes of the new Release 6 reference genome assembly, the migration of FlyBase genome annotations to this new assembly, how genome features on this new assembly can be viewed in FlyBase (http://flybase.org) and how users can convert coordinates for their own data to the corresponding Release 6 coordinates. PMID:25398896

  4. FlyBase: introduction of the Drosophila melanogaster Release 6 reference genome assembly and large-scale migration of genome annotations.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Gilberto; Schroeder, Andrew J; Goodman, Joshua L; Strelets, Victor B; Crosby, Madeline A; Thurmond, Jim; Emmert, David B; Gelbart, William M

    2015-01-01

    Release 6, the latest reference genome assembly of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, was released by the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project in 2014; it replaces their previous Release 5 genome assembly, which had been the reference genome assembly for over 7 years. With the enormous amount of information now attached to the D. melanogaster genome in public repositories and individual laboratories, the replacement of the previous assembly by the new one is a major event requiring careful migration of annotations and genome-anchored data to the new, improved assembly. In this report, we describe the attributes of the new Release 6 reference genome assembly, the migration of FlyBase genome annotations to this new assembly, how genome features on this new assembly can be viewed in FlyBase (http://flybase.org) and how users can convert coordinates for their own data to the corresponding Release 6 coordinates.

  5. Identification and distribution of photoreceptor subtypes in the neotenic tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Sherry, D M; Bui, D D; Degrip, W J

    1998-01-01

    The neotenic tiger salamander retina is a major model system for the study of retinal physiology and circuitry, yet there are unresolved issues regarding the organization of the photoreceptors and the photoreceptor mosaic. The rod and cone subtypes in the salamander retina were identified using a combination of morphological and immunocytochemical markers for specific rod and cone opsin epitopes. Because the visual pigment mechanisms present in the tiger salamander retina are well characterized and the antibodies employed in these studies are specific for particular rod and cone opsin epitopes, we also were able to identify the spectral class of the various rod and cone subtypes. Two classes of rods corresponding to the "red" and "green" rods previously reported in amphibian retinas were identified. In serial semithin section analyses, rods and cones comprised 62.4+/-1.4% and 37.6+/-1.4% of all photoreceptors, respectively. One rod type comprising 98.0+/-0.7% of all rods showed the immunological and morphological characteristics of "red" rods, which are maximally sensitive to middle wavelengths. The second rod subtype comprised 2.0+/-0.7% of all rods and possessed the immunological and morphological characteristics of "green" rods, which are maximally sensitive to short wavelengths. By morphology four cone types were identified, showing three distinct immunological signatures. Most cones (84.8+/-1.5% of all cones), including most large single cones, the accessory and principal members of the double cone, and some small single cones, showed immunolabeling by antisera that recognize long wavelength-sensitive cone opsins. A subpopulation of small single cones (8.4+/-1.7% of all cones) showed immunolabeling for short wavelength-sensitive cone opsin. A separate subpopulation of single cones which included both large and small types (6.8+/-1.4% of all cones) was identified as the UV-Cone population and showed immunolabeling by antibodies that recognize rod opsin epitopes

  6. Identification of conservation units of the hynobiid salamander Pachyhynobius shangchengensis.

    PubMed

    Su, L-N; Zhao, Y-Y; Wu, X-M; Zhang, H-F; Li, X-C

    2015-08-19

    The evolutionary significant units (ESUs) of the salamander Pachyhynobius shangchengensis (Hynobiidae) in the Dabieshan mountains, southeastern China, were identified based on mitochondrial DNA data. We used methods for detecting cryptic species, such as the minimum spanning tree, the automatic barcode gap discovery, and the generalized mixed Yule-coalescent model; geographical partitioning was also used to identify the ESUs. A total of four ESUs were identified.

  7. Predator perception of Batesian mimicry and conspicuousness in a salamander.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Andrew C; Adams, Dean C

    2014-04-01

    In Batesian mimicry a palatable mimic deceives predators by resembling an unpalatable model. The evolution of Batesian mimicry relies on the visual capabilities of the potential predators, as prey detection provides the selective force driving evolutionary change. We compared the visual capabilities of several potential predators to test predictions stemming from the hypothesis of Batesian mimicry between two salamanders: the model species Notophthalmus viridescens, and polymorphic mimic, Plethodon cinereus. First, we found mimicry to be restricted to coloration, but not brightness. Second, only bird predators appeared able to discriminate between the colors of models and nonmimic P. cinereus. Third, estimates of salamander conspicuousness were background dependent, corresponding to predictions only for backgrounds against which salamanders are most active. These results support the hypothesis that birds influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry in P. cinereus, as they are the only group examined capable of differentiating N. viridescens and nonmimetic P. cinereus. Additionally, patterns of conspicuousness suggest that selection from predators may drive the evolution of conspicuousness in this system. This study confirms the expectation that the visual abilities of predators may influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry, but the role of conspicuousness may be more complex than previously thought.

  8. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: Tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.; Gilly, William F.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins. PMID:25346116

  9. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Pedersen, Michael; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    Early tetrapods faced an auditory challenge from the impedance mismatch between air and tissue in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles during the Early Carboniferous (350 Ma). Consequently, tetrapods may have been deaf to airborne sounds for up to 100 Myr until tympanic middle ears evolved during the Triassic. The middle ear morphology of recent urodeles is similar to that of early ‘lepospondyl’ microsaur tetrapods, and experimental studies on their hearing capabilities are therefore useful to understand the evolutionary and functional drivers behind the shift from aquatic to aerial hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne sound better than fish on land. When selected for, this rudimentary hearing could have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears. PMID:25652830

  10. Detection of an enigmatic plethodontid Salamander using Environmental DNA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, Todd W.; Mckee, Anna; Spear, Stephen F.; Maerz, John C.; Camp, Carlos D.; Glenn, Travis C.

    2016-01-01

    The isolation and identification of environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a non-invasive and efficient method for the detection of rare and secretive aquatic wildlife, and it is being widely integrated into inventory and monitoring efforts. The Patch-Nosed Salamander (Urspelerpes brucei) is a tiny, recently discovered species of plethodontid salamander known only from headwater streams in a small region of Georgia and South Carolina. Here, we present results of a quantitative PCR-based eDNA assay capable of detecting Urspelerpes in more than 75% of 33 samples from five confirmed streams. We deployed the method at 31 additional streams and located three previously undocumented populations of Urspelerpes. We compare the results of our eDNA assay with our attempt to use aquatic leaf litterbags for the rapid detection of Urspelerpes and demonstrate the relative efficacy of the eDNA assay. We suggest that eDNA offers great potential for use in detecting other aquatic and semi-aquatic plethodontid salamanders.

  11. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  12. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T; Gilly, William F

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins.

  13. Mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb regeneration: lessons from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P; Gates, Phillip B

    2014-06-01

    Limb regeneration in adult salamanders proceeds by formation of a mound of progenitor cells called the limb blastema. It provides several pointers for regenerative medicine. These include the role of differentiated cells in the origin of the blastema, the role of regenerating axons of peripheral nerves and the importance of cell specification in conferring morphogenetic autonomy on the blastema. One aspect of regeneration that has received less attention is the ability to undergo multiple episodes without detectable change in the outcome, and with minimal effect of aging. We suggest that, although such pointers are valuable, it is important to understand why salamanders are the only adult tetrapod vertebrates able to regenerate their limbs. Although this remains a controversial issue, the existence of salamander-specific genes that play a significant role in the mechanism of regeneration provides evidence for the importance of local evolution, rather than a purely ancestral mechanism. The three-finger protein called Prod1 is discussed in the present article as an exemplar of this approach.

  14. Extreme morphological and ecological homoplasy in tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2001-01-01

    Fossorial salamanders typically have elongate and attenuated heads and bodies, diminutive limbs, hands and feet, and extremely elongate tails. Batrachoseps from California, Lineatriton from eastern México, and Oedipina from southern México to Ecuador, all members of the family Plethodontidae, tribe Bolitoglossini, resemble one another in external morphology, which has evolved independently. Whereas Oedipina and Batrachoseps are elongate because there are more trunk vertebrae, a widespread homoplasy (parallelism) in salamanders, the genus Lineatriton is unique in having evolved convergently by an alternate “giraffe-neck” developmental program. Lineatriton has the same number of trunk vertebrae as related, nonelongated taxa, but individual trunk vertebrae are elongated. A robust phylogenetic hypothesis, based on sequences of three mtDNA genes, finds Lineatriton to be deeply nested within a clade characterized by generalized ecology and morphology. Lineatriton lineolus, the only currently recognized taxon in the genus, shows unanticipated genetic diversity. Surprisingly, geographically separated populations of L. lineolus are not monophyletic, but are sister taxa of different species of the morphologically generalized genus Pseudoeurycea. Lineatriton, long thought to be a unique monospecific lineage, is polyphyletic. Accordingly, the specialized morphology of Lineatriton displays homoplasy at two hierarchical levels: (i) with respect to other elongate lineages in the family (convergence), and (ii) within what is currently recognized as a single taxon (parallelism). These evolutionary events are of adaptive significance because to invade the lowland tropics salamanders must be either arboreal or fossorial; the repeated evolution of elongation and attenuation has led to multiple lowland invasions. PMID:11427707

  15. A novel common large genomic deletion and two new missense mutations identified in the Romanian phenylketonuria population.

    PubMed

    Gemperle-Britschgi, Corinne; Iorgulescu, Daniela; Mager, Monica Alina; Anton-Paduraru, Dana; Vulturar, Romana; Thöny, Beat

    2016-01-15

    The mutation spectrum for the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene was investigated in a cohort of 84 hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) patients from Romania identified through newborn screening or neurometabolic investigations. Differential diagnosis identified 81 patients with classic PAH deficiency while 3 had tetrahydropterin-cofactor deficiency and/or remained uncertain due to insufficient specimen. PAH-genetic analysis included a combination of Sanger sequencing of exons and exon–intron boundaries, MLPA and NGS with genomic DNA, and cDNA analysis from immortalized lymphoblasts. A diagnostic efficiency of 99.4% was achieved, as for one allele (out of a total of 162 alleles) no mutation could be identified. The most prevalent mutation was p.Arg408Trp which was found in ~ 38% of all PKU alleles. Three novel mutations were identified, including the two missense mutations p.Gln226Lys and p.Tyr268Cys that were both disease causing by prediction algorithms, and the large genomic deletion EX6del7831 (c.509 + 4140_706 + 510del7831) that resulted in skipping of exon 6 based on PAH-cDNA analysis in immortalized lymphocytes. The genomic deletion was present in a heterozygous state in 12 patients, i.e. in ~ 8% of all the analyzed PKU alleles, and might have originated from a Romanian founder.

  16. Mapping of chimpanzee full-length cDNAs onto the human genome unveils large potential divergence of the transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Sakate, Ryuichi; Suto, Yumiko; Imanishi, Tadashi; Tanoue, Tetsuya; Hida, Munetomo; Hayasaka, Ikuo; Kusuda, Jun; Gojobori, Takashi; Hashimoto, Katsuyuki; Hirai, Momoki

    2007-09-01

    The genetic basis of the phenotypic difference between human and chimpanzee is one of the most actively pursued issues in current genomics. Although the genomic divergence between the two species has been described, the transcriptomic divergence has not been well documented. Thus, we newly sequenced and analyzed chimpanzee full-length cDNAs (FLcDNAs) representing 87 protein-coding genes. The number of nucleotide substitutions and sites of insertions/deletions (indels) was counted as a measure of sequence divergence between the chimpanzee FLcDNAs and the human genome onto which the FLcDNAs were mapped. Difference in transcription start/termination sites (TSSs/TTSs) and alternative splicing (AS) exons was also counted as a measure of structural divergence between the chimpanzee FLcDNAs and their orthologous human transcripts (NCBI RefSeq). As a result, we found that transposons (Alu) and repetitive segments caused large indels, which strikingly increased the average amount of sequence divergence up to more than 2% in the 3'-UTRs. Moreover, 20 out of the 87 transcripts contained more than 10% structural divergence in length. In particular, two-thirds of the structural divergence was found in the 3'-UTRs, and variable transcription start sites were conspicuous in the 5'-UTRs. As both transcriptional and translational efficiency were supposed to be related to 5'- and 3'-UTR sequences, these results lead to the idea that the difference in gene regulation can be a major cause of the difference in phenotype between human and chimpanzee.

  17. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Leaf-Cutter Ant Atta laevigata: A Mitogenome with a Large Number of Intergenic Spacers

    PubMed Central

    Rodovalho, Cynara de Melo; Lyra, Mariana Lúcio; Ferro, Milene; Bacci, Maurício

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe the nearly complete mitochondrial genome of the leaf-cutter ant Atta laevigata, assembled using transcriptomic libraries from Sanger and Illumina next generation sequencing (NGS), and PCR products. This mitogenome was found to be very large (18,729 bp), given the presence of 30 non-coding intergenic spacers (IGS) spanning 3,808 bp. A portion of the putative control region remained unsequenced. The gene content and organization correspond to that inferred for the ancestral pancrustacea, except for two tRNA gene rearrangements that have been described previously in other ants. The IGS were highly variable in length and dispersed through the mitogenome. This pattern was also found for the other hymenopterans in particular for the monophyletic Apocrita. These spacers with unknown function may be valuable for characterizing genome evolution and distinguishing closely related species and individuals. NGS provided better coverage than Sanger sequencing, especially for tRNA and ribosomal subunit genes, thus facilitating efforts to fill in sequence gaps. The results obtained showed that data from transcriptomic libraries contain valuable information for assembling mitogenomes. The present data also provide a source of molecular markers that will be very important for improving our understanding of genomic evolutionary processes and phylogenetic relationships among hymenopterans. PMID:24828084

  18. The mitochondrial genome of the leaf-cutter ant Atta laevigata: a mitogenome with a large number of intergenic spacers.

    PubMed

    Rodovalho, Cynara de Melo; Lyra, Mariana Lúcio; Ferro, Milene; Bacci, Maurício

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe the nearly complete mitochondrial genome of the leaf-cutter ant Atta laevigata, assembled using transcriptomic libraries from Sanger and Illumina next generation sequencing (NGS), and PCR products. This mitogenome was found to be very large (18,729 bp), given the presence of 30 non-coding intergenic spacers (IGS) spanning 3,808 bp. A portion of the putative control region remained unsequenced. The gene content and organization correspond to that inferred for the ancestral pancrustacea, except for two tRNA gene rearrangements that have been described previously in other ants. The IGS were highly variable in length and dispersed through the mitogenome. This pattern was also found for the other hymenopterans in particular for the monophyletic Apocrita. These spacers with unknown function may be valuable for characterizing genome evolution and distinguishing closely related species and individuals. NGS provided better coverage than Sanger sequencing, especially for tRNA and ribosomal subunit genes, thus facilitating efforts to fill in sequence gaps. The results obtained showed that data from transcriptomic libraries contain valuable information for assembling mitogenomes. The present data also provide a source of molecular markers that will be very important for improving our understanding of genomic evolutionary processes and phylogenetic relationships among hymenopterans.

  19. Phylogeography and evolution of the Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber).

    PubMed

    Folt, Brian; Garrison, Nicole; Guyer, Craig; Rodriguez, Juanita; Bond, Jason E

    2016-05-01

    Phylogeographic studies frequently result in the elevation of subspecific taxa to species given monophyly, or the synonymy of subspecies that are not monophyletic. However, given limited or incongruent datasets, retention of subspecies can be useful to describe hypothesized incipient species or to illustrate interesting biological phenomena driving morphological diversity. Four subspecific taxa have been used to describe largely allopatric geographic variation within the species Pseudotriton ruber, a plethodontid salamander occupying stream and spring habitats across eastern North America: P. r. vioscai occurs in lowland Coastal Plain habitats, while P. r. ruber, P. r. nitidus, and P. r. schencki occupy upland regions in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Pseudotriton ruber co-occurs through its distribution with the aposematic newt Notophthalmus viridescens, and both species are hypothesized to be part of a Müllerian mimicry complex. In this study, we sequenced regions of two mitochondrial (cytochrome b, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) and one single copy nuclear protein-coding gene (pro-opiomelanocortin) from individuals sampled across much of the distribution of P. ruber and then used maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic inference to test the monophyly of subspecies, reconstruct biogeographic history, and make inferences about morphological evolution. Phylogeographic hypotheses from mitochondrial and nuclear datasets described structure among populations of P. ruber which separated Coastal Plain and upland Appalachian populations, but subspecies were not monophyletic. Biogeographic reconstruction estimated the ancestor of all populations to have occupied and initially diverged in the Coastal Plain during the Pliocene (∼3.6mya), before one lineage subsequently invaded upland areas of Appalachia. Bold bright coloration of high elevation subspecies P. r. nitidus and P. r. schencki appears to have evolved twice. We hypothesize that the Müllerian mimicry

  20. Large-Scale Screening for Targeted Knockouts in the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model system to study contemporary biological problems. This system would be even more useful if we had mutations in all the genes of this multicellular metazoan. The combined efforts of the C. elegans Deletion Mutant Consortium and individuals within the worm community are moving us ever closer to this goal. At present, of the 20,377 protein-coding genes in this organism, 6764 genes with associated molecular lesions are either deletions or null mutations (WormBase WS220). Our three laboratories have contributed the majority of mutated genes, 6841 mutations in 6013 genes. The principal method we used to detect deletion mutations in the nematode utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR). More recently, we have used array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) to detect deletions across the entire coding part of the genome and massively parallel short-read sequencing to identify nonsense, splicing, and missense defects in open reading frames. As deletion strains can be frozen and then thawed when needed, these strains will be an enduring community resource. Our combined molecular screening strategies have improved the overall throughput of our gene-knockout facilities and have broadened the types of mutations that we and others can identify. These multiple strategies should enable us to eventually identify a mutation in every gene in this multicellular organism. This knowledge will usher in a new age of metazoan genetics in which the contribution to any biological process can be assessed for all genes. PMID:23173093

  1. Rapid phylogenetic analysis of large samples of recombinant bacterial whole genome sequences using Gubbins

    PubMed Central

    Croucher, Nicholas J.; Page, Andrew J.; Connor, Thomas R.; Delaney, Aidan J.; Keane, Jacqueline A.; Bentley, Stephen D.; Parkhill, Julian; Harris, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of new sequencing technologies has facilitated the use of bacterial whole genome alignments for evolutionary studies and outbreak analyses. These datasets, of increasing size, often include examples of multiple different mechanisms of horizontal sequence transfer resulting in substantial alterations to prokaryotic chromosomes. The impact of these processes demands rapid and flexible approaches able to account for recombination when reconstructing isolates’ recent diversification. Gubbins is an iterative algorithm that uses spatial scanning statistics to identify loci containing elevated densities of base substitutions suggestive of horizontal sequence transfer while concurrently constructing a maximum likelihood phylogeny based on the putative point mutations outside these regions of high sequence diversity. Simulations demonstrate the algorithm generates highly accurate reconstructions under realistically parameterized models of bacterial evolution, and achieves convergence in only a few hours on alignments of hundreds of bacterial genome sequences. Gubbins is appropriate for reconstructing the recent evolutionary history of a variety of haploid genotype alignments, as it makes no assumptions about the underlying mechanism of recombination. The software is freely available for download at github.com/sanger-pathogens/Gubbins, implemented in Python and C and supported on Linux and Mac OS X. PMID:25414349

  2. Perspectives on clinical informatics: integrating large-scale clinical, genomic, and health information for clinical care.

    PubMed

    Choi, In Young; Kim, Tae-Min; Kim, Myung Shin; Mun, Seong K; Chung, Yeun-Jun

    2013-12-01

    The advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) and bioinformatics (BI) represent two significant trends in healthcare. The widespread adoption of EMR systems and the completion of the Human Genome Project developed the technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization in two different domains. The massive amount of data from both clinical and biology domains is expected to provide personalized, preventive, and predictive healthcare services in the near future. The integrated use of EMR and BI data needs to consider four key informatics areas: data modeling, analytics, standardization, and privacy. Bioclinical data warehouses integrating heterogeneous patient-related clinical or omics data should be considered. The representative standardization effort by the Clinical Bioinformatics Ontology (CBO) aims to provide uniquely identified concepts to include molecular pathology terminologies. Since individual genome data are easily used to predict current and future health status, different safeguards to ensure confidentiality should be considered. In this paper, we focused on the informatics aspects of integrating the EMR community and BI community by identifying opportunities, challenges, and approaches to provide the best possible care service for our patients and the population.

  3. Perspectives on Clinical Informatics: Integrating Large-Scale Clinical, Genomic, and Health Information for Clinical Care

    PubMed Central

    Choi, In Young; Kim, Tae-Min; Kim, Myung Shin; Mun, Seong K.

    2013-01-01

    The advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) and bioinformatics (BI) represent two significant trends in healthcare. The widespread adoption of EMR systems and the completion of the Human Genome Project developed the technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization in two different domains. The massive amount of data from both clinical and biology domains is expected to provide personalized, preventive, and predictive healthcare services in the near future. The integrated use of EMR and BI data needs to consider four key informatics areas: data modeling, analytics, standardization, and privacy. Bioclinical data warehouses integrating heterogeneous patient-related clinical or omics data should be considered. The representative standardization effort by the Clinical Bioinformatics Ontology (CBO) aims to provide uniquely identified concepts to include molecular pathology terminologies. Since individual genome data are easily used to predict current and future health status, different safeguards to ensure confidentiality should be considered. In this paper, we focused on the informatics aspects of integrating the EMR community and BI community by identifying opportunities, challenges, and approaches to provide the best possible care service for our patients and the population. PMID:24465229

  4. Gene lineages and eastern North American palaeodrainage basins: phylogeography and speciation in salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Blaine, Russell A; Larson, Allan

    2006-01-01

    Contemporary North American drainage basins are composites of formerly isolated drainages, suggesting that fragmentation and fusion of palaeodrainage systems may have been an important factor generating current patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream-associated organisms. Here, we combine traditional molecular-phylogenetic, multiple-regression, nested clade, and molecular-demographic analyses to investigate the relationship between phylogeographic variation and the hydrogeological history of eastern North American drainage basins in semiaquatic plethodontid salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex. Four hundred forty-two sequences representing 1108 aligned bases from the mitochondrial genome are reported for the five formally recognized species of the E. bislineata complex and three outgroup taxa. Within the in-group, 270 haplotypes are recovered from 144 sampling locations. Geographic patterns of mtDNA-haplotype coalescence identify 13 putatively independent population-level lineages, suggesting that the current taxonomy of the group underestimates species-level diversity. Spatial and temporal patterns of phylogeographic divergence are strongly associated with historical rather than modern drainage connections, indicating that shifts in major drainage patterns played a pivotal role in the allopatric fragmentation of populations and build-up of lineage diversity in these stream-associated salamanders. More generally, our molecular genetic results corroborate geological and faunistic evidence suggesting that palaeodrainage connections altered by glacial advances and headwater erosion occurring between the mid-Miocene and Pleistocene epochs explain regional patterns of biodiversity in eastern North American streams.

  5. Molecular hybridization of iodinated 4S, 5S, and 18S + 28S RNA to salamander chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    1976-01-01

    4S, 5S, AND 18S + 28S RNA from the newt Taricha granulosa granulosa were iodinated in vitro with carrier-free 125I and hybridized to the denatured chromosomes of Taricha granulosa and Batrachoseps weighti. Iodinated 18S + 28S RNA hybridizes to the telomeric region on the shorter arm of chromosome 2 and close to the centromere on the shorter arm of chromosome 9 from T. granulosa. On this same salamander the label produced by the 5S RNA is located close to or on the centromere of chromosome 7 and the iodinated 4S RNA labels the distal end of the longer arm of chromosome 5. On the chromosomes of B. wrighti, 18S + 28S RNA hybridizes close to the centromeric region on the longer arm of the largest chromosome. Two centromeric sites are hybridized by the iodinated 5S RNA. After hybridization with iodinated 4S RNA, label is found near the end of the shorter arm of chromosome 3. It is concluded that both ribosomal and transfer RNA genes are clustered in the genome of these two salamanders. PMID:944187

  6. Ontogenetic changes of trunk muscle structure in the Japanese black salamander (Hynobius nigrescens).

    PubMed

    Omura, Ayano; Anzai, Wataru; Koyabu, Daisuke; Endo, Hideki

    2015-08-01

    We investigated ontogenetic changes in the trunk muscles of the Japanese black salamander (Hynobius nigrescens) before, during and after metamorphosis. Given that amphibians change their locomotive patterns with metamorphosis, we hypothesized that they may also change the structure of their trunk muscles. The trunk muscles were macroscopically observed, and the weight ratios of each trunk muscle group were quantified at six different developmental stages. Immediately after hatching, we found that the lateral hypaxial muscle was composed of one thick M. ventralis, from ventral edge of which M. transversus abdominis arose later, followed by M. obliquus externus and M. rectus abdominis. The weight ratios of the dorsal and abdominal muscles to the trunk muscles increased with growth. We suggest that a single thick and large lateral hypaxial muscle facilitates swimming during early developmental stages. The increase in the weight ratios of the dorsal and abdominal muscles with growth possibly assists with gravity resistance necessary for terrestrial life.

  7. Rod and cone signals in the horizontal cells of the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed Central

    Hanani, M; Vallerga, S

    1980-01-01

    1. Intracellular recordings of horizontal cell responses to monochromatic lights of various wave-lengths and intensities were made in the retina of the larval tiger salamander in order to determine the contributions of rod and cone activities to horizontal cell responses. 2. Under conditions of extensive dark adaptation, and with dim light stimulation, the horizontal cell responses reflected mainly rod activity. In the light-adapted state or at high light intensities the cone contribution was dominant. 3. Bright adapting flashes selectively suppressed the rod component of horizontal cell responses. 4. Intracellular recordings from rods and cones showed that interactions between the two receptor types are very small and cannot account for the large rod--cone mixed input observed in horizontal cells. It is concluded that this input is mediated by direct connexions between receptors and horizontal cells. PMID:7359420

  8. Short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) relationships: a large family with eight clusters common to human, animal, and plant genomes.

    PubMed

    Kallberg, Yvonne; Oppermann, Udo; Jörnvall, Hans; Persson, Bengt

    2002-03-01

    The progress in genome characterizations has opened new routes for studying enzyme families. The availability of the human genome enabled us to delineate the large family of short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) members. Although the human genome releases are not yet final, we have already found 63 members. We have also compared these SDR forms with those of three model organisms: Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and Arabidopsis thaliana. We detect eight SDR ortholog clusters in a cross-genome comparison. Four of these clusters represent extended SDR forms, a subgroup found in all life forms. The other four are classical SDRs with activities involved in cellular differentiation and signalling. We also find 18 SDR genes that are present only in the human genome of the four genomes studied, reflecting enzyme forms specific to mammals. Close to half of these gene products represent steroid dehydrogenases, emphasizing the regulatory importance of these enzymes.

  9. An examination of intergenomic exchanges in A. laterale-dependent unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma.

    PubMed

    Bi, K; Bogart, J P; Fu, J

    2009-01-01

    The evolutionary longevity of unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma may be attributed to their flexible reproductive system and meiotic intergenomic interactions. More than 20 different unisexual genomic combinations have been found and all the unisexuals live with at least one of the sexual species A. laterale, A. jeffersonianum, A. texanum, and A. tigrinum. Most unisexuals rely on A. laterale orA. jeffersonianum as sperm donors. Intergenomic exchanges were previously reported in A. jeffersonianum-dependent unisexual populations from southern Ontario and are believed to be an important meiotic mechanism that provides genetic diversity. The situations of intergenomic exchanges in many of A. laterale-dependent unisexual populations, however, remain unknown. In this study we collected specimens from populations where unisexuals use A. laterale as sperm donors, including mainly triploid A. 2 laterale--jeffersonianum (or LLJ), and employed genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) to examine the intergenomic exchanges. Five patterns of intergenomic exchanges were detected. Intergenomic exchanges are less frequent and lack association among populations in A. laterale-dependent than in A. jeffersonianum- dependent unisexual populations, but more recombined homeologues were observed in LLJ unisexuals. Our observations show that the patterns and frequencies of intergenomic exchanges are different when unisexuals use different sexual species as sperm donors. We propose a few possible mechanisms that may account for these different observations.

  10. Inferring Population Size History from Large Samples of Genome-Wide Molecular Data - An Approximate Bayesian Computation Approach

    PubMed Central

    Boitard, Simon; Rodríguez, Willy; Jay, Flora; Mona, Stefano; Austerlitz, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Inferring the ancestral dynamics of effective population size is a long-standing question in population genetics, which can now be tackled much more accurately thanks to the massive genomic data available in many species. Several promising methods that take advantage of whole-genome sequences have been recently developed in this context. However, they can only be applied to rather small samples, which limits their ability to estimate recent population size history. Besides, they can be very sensitive to sequencing or phasing errors. Here we introduce a new approximate Bayesian computation approach named PopSizeABC that allows estimating the evolution of the effective population size through time, using a large sample of complete genomes. This sample is summarized using the folded allele frequency spectrum and the average zygotic linkage disequilibrium at different bins of physical distance, two classes of statistics that are widely used in population genetics and can be easily computed from unphased and unpolarized SNP data. Our approach provides accurate estimations of past population sizes, from the very first generations before present back to the expected time to the most recent common ancestor of the sample, as shown by simulations under a wide range of demographic scenarios. When applied to samples of 15 or 25 complete genomes in four cattle breeds (Angus, Fleckvieh, Holstein and Jersey), PopSizeABC revealed a series of population declines, related to historical events such as domestication or modern breed creation. We further highlight that our approach is robust to sequencing errors, provided summary statistics are computed from SNPs with common alleles. PMID:26943927

  11. HEMATOLOGY AND PLASMA BIOCHEMISTRY INTERVALS FOR CAPTIVE-BORN CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDERS (AMBYSTOMA CALIFORNIENSE).

    PubMed

    Brady, Sean; Burgdorf-Moisuk, Anne; Kass, Philip H; Brady, Jacqueline; Wack, Raymund F

    2016-09-01

    Hematology and plasma biochemistry parameters were determined for 34 captive-born California tiger salamanders ( Ambystoma californiense ). The animals were manually restrained for general examination and venipuncture. This is the first comprehensive report of hematology and plasma biochemistry parameters in apparently healthy California tiger salamanders and may serve as a reference for clinical assessment and future study of this species.

  12. [Selective processes and adaptive evolution of the cytochrome b gene in salamanders of the genus Salamandrella].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2012-06-01

    Sequence analysis of the cytochrome b gene fragment in the salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander and Schrenk salamander was performed with the purpose to elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in these species. It was demonstrated that despite of notable influence of negative selection (expressed as very low dN/dS values), speciation and intraspecific divergence in salamanders was accompanied by the appearance of radical amino acid substitutions, caused by the influence of positive (directional) selection. To examine the evolutionary pattern of synonymous mtDNA sites, distribution of conservative and non-conservative substitutions was analyzed. The rates of conservative and non-conservative substitutions were nearly equal, pointing to neutrality of mutation process at synonymous mtDNA sites of salamanders. Analysis of conservative and non-conservative synonymous substitution distributions in different parts of phylogenetic trees showed that the differences between the synonymous groups compared were statistically significant only in one phylogenetic group of Siberian salamander (haplogroup C) (P = 0.02). In the group of single substitutions, located at terminal phylogenetic branches of Siberian salamanders from group C, increased rate of conservative substitutions was observed. Based on these findings, it was suggested that selective processes could have an influence on the formation of the synonymous substitution profile in the Siberian salamander mtDNA fragment examined.

  13. Large-Scale Release of Campylobacter Draft Genomes: Resources for Food Safety and Public Health from the 100K Pathogen Genome Project

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bihua C.; Storey, Dylan B.; Kong, Nguyet; Chen, Poyin; Arabyan, Narine; Gilpin, Brent; Mason, Carl; Townsend, Andrea K.; Smith, Woutrina A.; Byrne, Barbara A.; Taff, Conor C.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Campylobacter is a food-associated bacterium and a leading cause of foodborne illness worldwide, being associated with poultry in the food supply. This is the initial public release of 202 Campylobacter genome sequences as part of the 100K Pathogen Genome Project. These isolates represent global genomic diversity in the Campylobacter genus. PMID:28057746

  14. Generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags in the extreme large genomes Lilium and Tulipa

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Bulbous flowers such as lily and tulip (Liliaceae family) are monocot perennial herbs that are economically very important ornamental plants worldwide. However, there are hardly any genetic studies performed and genomic resources are lacking. To build genomic resources and develop tools to speed up the breeding in both crops, next generation sequencing was implemented. We sequenced and assembled transcriptomes of four lily and five tulip genotypes using 454 pyro-sequencing technology. Results Successfully, we developed the first set of 81,791 contigs with an average length of 514 bp for tulip, and enriched the very limited number of 3,329 available ESTs (Expressed Sequence Tags) for lily with 52,172 contigs with an average length of 555 bp. The contigs together with singletons covered on average 37% of lily and 39% of tulip estimated transcriptome. Mining lily and tulip sequence data for SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats) showed that di-nucleotide repeats were twice more abundant in UTRs (UnTranslated Regions) compared to coding regions, while tri-nucleotide repeats were equally spread over coding and UTR regions. Two sets of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers suitable for high throughput genotyping were developed. In the first set, no SNPs flanking the target SNP (50 bp on either side) were allowed. In the second set, one SNP in the flanking regions was allowed, which resulted in a 2 to 3 fold increase in SNP marker numbers compared with the first set. Orthologous groups between the two flower bulbs: lily and tulip (12,017 groups) and among the three monocot species: lily, tulip, and rice (6,900 groups) were determined using OrthoMCL. Orthologous groups were screened for common SNP markers and EST-SSRs to study synteny between lily and tulip, which resulted in 113 common SNP markers and 292 common EST-SSR. Lily and tulip contigs generated were annotated and described according to Gene Ontology terminology. Conclusions Two transcriptome sets

  15. Comparison of Eleven Methods for Genomic DNA Extraction Suitable for Large-Scale Whole-Genome Genotyping and Long-Term DNA Banking Using Blood Samples

    PubMed Central

    Psifidi, Androniki; Dovas, Chrysostomos I.; Bramis, Georgios; Lazou, Thomai; Russel, Claire L.; Arsenos, Georgios; Banos, Georgios

    2015-01-01

    Over the recent years, next generation sequencing and microarray technologies have revolutionized scientific research with their applications to high-throughput analysis of biological systems. Isolation of high quantities of pure, intact, double stranded, highly concentrated, not contaminated genomic DNA is prerequisite for successful and reliable large scale genotyping analysis. High quantities of pure DNA are also required for the creation of DNA-banks. In the present study, eleven different DNA extraction procedures, including phenol-chloroform, silica and magnetic beads based extractions, were examined to ascertain their relative effectiveness for extracting DNA from ovine blood samples. The quality and quantity of the differentially extracted DNA was subsequently assessed by spectrophotometric measurements, Qubit measurements, real-time PCR amplifications and gel electrophoresis. Processing time, intensity of labor and cost for each method were also evaluated. Results revealed significant differences among the eleven procedures and only four of the methods yielded satisfactory outputs. These four methods, comprising three modified silica based commercial kits (Modified Blood, Modified Tissue, Modified Dx kits) and an in-house developed magnetic beads based protocol, were most appropriate for extracting high quality and quantity DNA suitable for large-scale microarray genotyping and also for long-term DNA storage as demonstrated by their successful application to 600 individuals. PMID:25635817

  16. The genome of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus contains a series of viral DNA pieces, suggesting an ancient association with large dsDNA viruses

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Ectocarpus siliculosus virus-1 (EsV-1) is a lysogenic dsDNA virus belonging to the super family of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) that infect Ectocarpus siliculosus, a marine filamentous brown alga. Previous studies indicated that the viral genome is integrated into the host DNA. In order to find the integration sites of the viral genome, a genomic library from EsV-1-infected algae was screened using labelled EsV-1 DNA. Several fragments were isolated and some of them were sequenced and analyzed in detail. Results Analysis revealed that the algal genome is split by a copy of viral sequences that have a high identity to EsV-1 DNA sequences. These fragments are interspersed with DNA repeats, pseudogenes and genes coding for products involved in DNA replication, integration and transposition. Some of these gene products are not encoded by EsV-1 but are present in the genome of other members of the NCLDV family. Further analysis suggests that the Ectocarpus algal genome contains traces of the integration of a large dsDNA viral genome; this genome could be the ancestor of the extant NCLDV genomes. Furthermore, several lines of evidence indicate that the EsV-1 genome might have originated in these viral DNA pieces, implying the existence of a complex integration and recombination system. A protein similar to a new class of tyrosine recombinases might be a key enzyme of this system. Conclusion Our results support the hypothesis that some dsDNA viruses are monophyletic and evolved principally through genome reduction. Moreover, we hypothesize that phaeoviruses have probably developed an original replication system. PMID:18405387

  17. The large-scale blast score ratio (LS-BSR) pipeline: a method to rapidly compare genetic content between bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Sahl, Jason W; Caporaso, J Gregory; Rasko, David A; Keim, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Background. As whole genome sequence data from bacterial isolates becomes cheaper to generate, computational methods are needed to correlate sequence data with biological observations. Here we present the large-scale BLAST score ratio (LS-BSR) pipeline, which rapidly compares the genetic content of hundreds to thousands of bacterial genomes, and returns a matrix that describes the relatedness of all coding sequences (CDSs) in all genomes surveyed. This matrix can be easily parsed in order to identify genetic relationships between bacterial genomes. Although pipelines have been published that group peptides by sequence similarity, no other software performs the rapid, large-scale, full-genome comparative analyses carried out by LS-BSR. Results. To demonstrate the utility of the method, the LS-BSR pipeline was tested on 96 Escherichia coli and Shigella genomes; the pipeline ran in 163 min using 16 processors, which is a greater than 7-fold speedup compared to using a single processor. The BSR values for each CDS, which indicate a relative level of relatedness, were then mapped to each genome on an independent core genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based phylogeny. Comparisons were then used to identify clade specific CDS markers and validate the LS-BSR pipeline based on molecular markers that delineate between classical E. coli pathogenic variant (pathovar) designations. Scalability tests demonstrated that the LS-BSR pipeline can process 1,000 E. coli genomes in 27-57 h, depending upon the alignment method, using 16 processors. Conclusions. LS-BSR is an open-source, parallel implementation of the BSR algorithm, enabling rapid comparison of the genetic content of large numbers of genomes. The results of the pipeline can be used to identify specific markers between user-defined phylogenetic groups, and to identify the loss and/or acquisition of genetic information between bacterial isolates. Taxa-specific genetic markers can then be translated into clinical

  18. Even modest prediction accuracy of genomic models can have large clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Dhurandhar, Emily J.; Vazquez, Ana I.; Argyropoulos, George A.; Allison, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Whole Genome Prediction (WGP) jointly fits thousands of SNPs into a regression model to yield estimates for the contribution of markers to the overall variance of a particular trait, and for their associations with that trait. To date, WGP has offered only modest prediction accuracy, but in some cases even modest prediction accuracy may be useful. We provide an illustration of this using a theoretical simulation that used WGP to predict weight loss after bariatric surgery with moderate accuracy (R2 = 0.07) to assess the clinical utility of WGP despite these limitations. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) post-surgery was considered the major outcome. Treating only patients above predefined threshold of predicted weight loss in our simulation, in the realistic context of finite resources for the surgery, significantly reduced lifetime risk of T2DM in the treatable population by selecting those most likely to succeed. Thus, our example illustrates how WGP may be clinically useful in some situations, and even with moderate accuracy, may provide a clear path for turning personalized medicine from theory to reality. PMID:25506355

  19. Physiological properties of rod photoreceptor electrical coupling in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2005-05-01

    Using dual whole-cell voltage and current clamp recording techniques, we investigated the gap junctional conductance and the coupling coefficient between neighbouring rods in live salamander retinal slices. The application of sinusoidal stimuli over a wide range of temporal frequencies allowed us to characterize the band-pass filtering properties of the rod network. We found that the electrical coupling of all neighbouring rods exhibited reciprocal and symmetrical conductivities. On average, the junctional conductance between paired rods was 500 pS and the coupling coefficient (the ratio of voltage responses of the follower cell to those of the driver cell), or K-value, was 0.07. Our experimental results also demonstrated that the rod network behaved like a band-pass filter with a peak frequency of about 2-5 Hz. However, the gap junctions between adjacent rods exhibited linearity and voltage independency within the physiological range of rods. These gap junctions did not contribute to the filtering mechanisms of the rod network. Combined with the computational modelling, our data suggest that the filtering of higher frequency rod signals by the network is largely mediated by the passive resistive and capacitive (RC) properties of rod plasma membranes. Furthermore, we found several attributes of rod electrical coupling resembling the physiological properties of gene-encoded Cx35/36 gap junctions examined in other in vitro studies. This indicates that the previously found Cx35/36 expression in the salamander rod network may be functionally involved in rod-rod electrical coupling.

  20. Posterior tail development in the salamander Eurycea cirrigera: exploring cellular dynamics across life stages.

    PubMed

    Vaglia, Janet L; Fornari, Chet; Evans, Paula K

    2017-03-01

    During embryogenesis, the body axis elongates and specializes. In vertebrate groups such as salamanders and lizards, elongation of the posterior body axis (tail) continues throughout life. This phenomenon of post-embryonic tail elongation via addition of vertebrae has remained largely unexplored, and little is known about the underlying developmental mechanisms that promote vertebral addition. Our research investigated tail elongation across life stages in a non-model salamander species, Eurycea cirrigera (Plethodontidae). Post-embryonic addition of segments suggests that the tail tip retains some aspects of embryonic cell/tissue organization and gene expression throughout the life cycle. We describe cell and tissue differentiation and segmentation of the posterior tail using serial histology and expression of the axial tissue markers, MF-20 and Pax6. Embryonic expression patterns of HoxA13 and C13 are shown with in situ hybridization. Tissue sections reveal that the posterior spinal cord forms via cavitation and precedes development of the underlying cartilaginous rod after embryogenesis. Post-embryonic tail elongation occurs in the absence of somites and mesenchymal cells lateral to the midline express MF-20. Pax6 expression was observed only in the spinal cord and some mesenchymal cells of adult Eurycea tails. Distinct temporal and spatial patterns of posterior Hox13 gene expression were observed throughout embryogenesis. Overall, important insights to cell organization, differentiation, and posterior Hox gene expression may be gained from this work. We suggest that further work on gene expression in the elongating adult tail could shed light on mechanisms that link continual axial elongation with regeneration.

  1. Accuracy of genomic selection models in a large population of open-pollinated families in white spruce

    PubMed Central

    Beaulieu, J; Doerksen, T; Clément, S; MacKay, J; Bousquet, J

    2014-01-01

    Genomic selection (GS) is of interest in breeding because of its potential for predicting the genetic value of individuals and increasing genetic gains per unit of time. To date, very few studies have reported empirical results of GS potential in the context of large population sizes and long breeding cycles such as for boreal trees. In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of marker-aided selection in an undomesticated white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) population of large effective size using a GS approach. A discovery population of 1694 trees representative of 214 open-pollinated families from 43 natural populations was phenotyped for 12 wood and growth traits and genotyped for 6385 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mined in 2660 gene sequences. GS models were built to predict estimated breeding values using all the available SNPs or SNP subsets of the largest absolute effects, and they were validated using various cross-validation schemes. The accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs) varied from 0.327 to 0.435 when the training and the validation data sets shared half-sibs that were on average 90% of the accuracies achieved through traditionally estimated breeding values. The trend was also the same for validation across sites. As expected, the accuracy of GEBVs obtained after cross-validation with individuals of unknown relatedness was lower with about half of the accuracy achieved when half-sibs were present. We showed that with the marker densities used in the current study, predictions with low to moderate accuracy could be obtained within a large undomesticated population of related individuals, potentially resulting in larger gains per unit of time with GS than with the traditional approach. PMID:24781808

  2. Detecting a hierarchical genetic population structure: the case study of the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in Northern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Pisa, Giulia; Orioli, Valerio; Spilotros, Giulia; Fabbri, Elena; Randi, Ettore; Bani, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    The multistep method here applied in studying the genetic structure of a low dispersal and philopatric species, such as the Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra, was proved to be effective in identifying the hierarchical structure of populations living in broad-leaved forest ecosystems in Northern Italy. In this study, 477 salamander larvae, collected in 28 sampling populations (SPs) in the Prealpine and in the foothill areas of Northern Italy, were genotyped at 16 specie-specific microsatellites. SPs showed a significant overall genetic variation (Global FST = 0.032, P < 0.001). The genetic population structure was assessed by using STRUCTURE 2.3.4. We found two main genetic groups, one represented by SPs inhabiting the Prealpine belt, which maintain connections with those of the Eastern foothill lowland (PEF), and a second group with the SPs of the Western foothill lowland (WF). The two groups were significantly distinct with a Global FST of 0.010 (P < 0.001). While the first group showed a moderate structure, with only one divergent SP (Global FST = 0.006, P < 0.001), the second group proved more structured being divided in four clusters (Global FST = 0.017, P = 0.058). This genetic population structure should be due to the large conurbations and main roads that separate the WF group from the Prealpine belt and the Eastern foothill lowland. The adopted methods allowed the analysis of the genetic population structure of Fire Salamander from wide to local scale, identifying different degrees of genetic divergence of their populations derived from forest fragmentation induced by urban and infrastructure sprawl. PMID:25691995

  3. Detecting a hierarchical genetic population structure: the case study of the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Pisa, Giulia; Orioli, Valerio; Spilotros, Giulia; Fabbri, Elena; Randi, Ettore; Bani, Luciano

    2015-02-01

    The multistep method here applied in studying the genetic structure of a low dispersal and philopatric species, such as the Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra, was proved to be effective in identifying the hierarchical structure of populations living in broad-leaved forest ecosystems in Northern Italy. In this study, 477 salamander larvae, collected in 28 sampling populations (SPs) in the Prealpine and in the foothill areas of Northern Italy, were genotyped at 16 specie-specific microsatellites. SPs showed a significant overall genetic variation (Global F ST = 0.032, P < 0.001). The genetic population structure was assessed by using STRUCTURE 2.3.4. We found two main genetic groups, one represented by SPs inhabiting the Prealpine belt, which maintain connections with those of the Eastern foothill lowland (PEF), and a second group with the SPs of the Western foothill lowland (WF). The two groups were significantly distinct with a Global F ST of 0.010 (P < 0.001). While the first group showed a moderate structure, with only one divergent SP (Global F ST = 0.006, P < 0.001), the second group proved more structured being divided in four clusters (Global F ST = 0.017, P = 0.058). This genetic population structure should be due to the large conurbations and main roads that separate the WF group from the Prealpine belt and the Eastern foothill lowland. The adopted methods allowed the analysis of the genetic population structure of Fire Salamander from wide to local scale, identifying different degrees of genetic divergence of their populations derived from forest fragmentation induced by urban and infrastructure sprawl.

  4. Excavating the Genome: Large Scale Mutagenesis Screening for the Discovery of New Mouse Models

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, John P.; Dadras, Soheil S.; Silva, Kathleen A.; Kennedy, Victoria E.; Murray, Stephen A.; Denegre, James; Schofield, Paul N.; King, Lloyd E.; Wiles, Michael; Pratt, C. Herbert

    2016-01-01

    Technology now exists for rapid screening of mutated laboratory mice to identify phenotypes associated with specific genetic mutations. Large repositories exist for spontaneous mutants and those induced by chemical mutagenesis, many of which have never been studied or comprehensively evaluated. To supplement these resources, a variety of techniques have been consolidated in an international effort to create mutations in all known protein coding genes in the mouse. With targeted embryonic stem cell lines now available for almost all protein coding genes and more recently CRISPR/Cas9 technology, large-scale efforts are underway to create novel mutant mouse strains and to characterize their phenotypes. However, accurate diagnosis of skin, hair, and nail diseases still relies on careful gross and histological analysis. While not automated to the level of the physiological phenotyping, histopathology provides the most direct and accurate diagnosis and correlation with human diseases. As a result of these efforts, many new mouse dermatological disease models are being developed. PMID:26551941

  5. A new way to protect privacy in large-scale genome-wide association studies

    PubMed Central

    Kamm, Liina; Bogdanov, Dan; Laur, Sven; Vilo, Jaak

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Increased availability of various genotyping techniques has initiated a race for finding genetic markers that can be used in diagnostics and personalized medicine. Although many genetic risk factors are known, key causes of common diseases with complex heritage patterns are still unknown. Identification of such complex traits requires a targeted study over a large collection of data. Ideally, such studies bring together data from many biobanks. However, data aggregation on such a large scale raises many privacy issues. Results: We show how to conduct such studies without violating privacy of individual donors and without leaking the data to third parties. The presented solution has provable security guarantees. Contact: jaak.vilo@ut.ee Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23413435

  6. Integrating large-scale functional genomics data to dissect metabolic networks for hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Harwood, Caroline S

    2012-12-17

    The goal of this project is to identify gene networks that are critical for efficient biohydrogen production by leveraging variation in gene content and gene expression in independently isolated Rhodopseudomonas palustris strains. Coexpression methods were applied to large data sets that we have collected to define probabilistic causal gene networks. To our knowledge this a first systems level approach that takes advantage of strain-to strain variability to computationally define networks critical for a particular bacterial phenotypic trait.

  7. Large gene overlaps and tRNA processing in the compact mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Armadillidium vulgare

    PubMed Central

    Doublet, Vincent; Ubrig, Elodie; Alioua, Abdelmalek; Bouchon, Didier; Marcadé, Isabelle; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    A faithful expression of the mitochondrial DNA is crucial for cell survival. Animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) presents a highly compact gene organization. The typical 16.5 kbp animal mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. In the backyard pillbug Armadillidium vulgare, the rather small 13.9 kbp mtDNA encodes the same set of proteins and rRNAs as compared to animal kingdom mtDNA, but seems to harbor an incomplete set of tRNA genes. Here, we first confirm the expression of 13 tRNA genes in this mtDNA. Then we show the extensive repair of a truncated tRNA, the expression of tRNA involved in large gene overlaps and of tRNA genes partially or fully integrated within protein-coding genes in either direct or opposite orientation. Under selective pressure, overlaps between genes have been likely favored for strong genome size reduction. Our study underlines the existence of unknown biochemical mechanisms for the complete gene expression of A. vulgare mtDNA, and of co-evolutionary processes to keep overlapping genes functional in a compacted mitochondrial genome. PMID:26361137

  8. Experimental validation of the regulated expression of large numbers of non-coding RNAs from the mouse genome

    PubMed Central

    Ravasi, Timothy; Suzuki, Harukazu; Pang, Ken C.; Katayama, Shintaro; Furuno, Masaaki; Okunishi, Rie; Fukuda, Shiro; Ru, Kelin; Frith, Martin C.; Gongora, M. Milena; Grimmond, Sean M.; Hume, David A.; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Mattick, John S.

    2006-01-01

    Recent large-scale analyses of mainly full-length cDNA libraries generated from a variety of mouse tissues indicated that almost half of all representative cloned sequences did not contain an apparent protein-coding sequence, and were putatively derived from non-protein-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes. However, many of these clones were singletons and the majority were unspliced, raising the possibility that they may be derived from genomic DNA or unprocessed pre-mRNA contamination during library construction, or alternatively represent nonspecific “transcriptional noise.” Here we show, using reverse transcriptase-dependent PCR, microarray, and Northern blot analyses, that many of these clones were derived from genuine transcripts of unknown function whose expression appears to be regulated. The ncRNA transcripts have larger exons and fewer introns than protein-coding transcripts. Analysis of the genomic landscape around these sequences indicates that some cDNA clones were produced not from terminal poly(A) tracts but internal priming sites within longer transcripts, only a minority of which is encompassed by known genes. A significant proportion of these transcripts exhibit tissue-specific expression patterns, as well as dynamic changes in their expression in macrophages following lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Taken together, the data provide strong support for the conclusion that ncRNAs are an important, regulated component of the mammalian transcriptome. PMID:16344565

  9. Large gene overlaps and tRNA processing in the compact mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Armadillidium vulgare.

    PubMed

    Doublet, Vincent; Ubrig, Elodie; Alioua, Abdelmalek; Bouchon, Didier; Marcadé, Isabelle; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    A faithful expression of the mitochondrial DNA is crucial for cell survival. Animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) presents a highly compact gene organization. The typical 16.5 kbp animal mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. In the backyard pillbug Armadillidium vulgare, the rather small 13.9 kbp mtDNA encodes the same set of proteins and rRNAs as compared to animal kingdom mtDNA, but seems to harbor an incomplete set of tRNA genes. Here, we first confirm the expression of 13 tRNA genes in this mtDNA. Then we show the extensive repair of a truncated tRNA, the expression of tRNA involved in large gene overlaps and of tRNA genes partially or fully integrated within protein-coding genes in either direct or opposite orientation. Under selective pressure, overlaps between genes have been likely favored for strong genome size reduction. Our study underlines the existence of unknown biochemical mechanisms for the complete gene expression of A. vulgare mtDNA, and of co-evolutionary processes to keep overlapping genes functional in a compacted mitochondrial genome.

  10. Genomic characterization of a large panel of patient-derived hepatocellular carcinoma xenograft tumor models for preclinical development.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qingyang; Zhang, Bin; Sun, Hongye; Xu, Qiang; Tan, Yexiong; Wang, Guan; Luo, Qin; Xu, Weiguo; Yang, Shuqun; Li, Jian; Fu, Jing; Chen, Lei; Yuan, Shengxian; Liang, Guibai; Ji, Qunsheng; Chen, Shu-Hui; Chan, Chi-Chung; Zhou, Weiping; Xu, Xiaowei; Wang, Hongyang; Fang, Douglas D

    2015-08-21

    Lack of clinically relevant tumor models dramatically hampers development of effective therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Establishment of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models that faithfully recapitulate the genetic and phenotypic features of HCC becomes important. In this study, we first established a cohort of 65 stable PDX models of HCC from corresponding Chinese patients. Then we showed that the histology and gene expression patterns of PDX models were highly consistent between xenografts and case-matched original tumors. Genetic alterations, including mutations and DNA copy number alterations (CNAs), of the xenografts correlated well with the published data of HCC patient specimens. Furthermore, differential responses to sorafenib, the standard-of-care agent, in randomly chosen xenografts were unveiled. Finally, in the models expressing high levels of FGFR1 gene according to the genomic data, FGFR1 inhibitor lenvatinib showed greater efficacy than sorafenib. Taken together, our data indicate that PDX models resemble histopathological and genomic characteristics of clinical HCC tumors, as well as recapitulate the differential responses of HCC patients to the standard-of-care treatment. Overall, this large collection of PDX models becomes a clinically relevant platform for drug screening, biomarker discovery and translational research in preclinical setting.

  11. DBG2OLC: Efficient Assembly of Large Genomes Using Long Erroneous Reads of the Third Generation Sequencing Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Chengxi; Hill, Christopher M.; Wu, Shigang; Ruan, Jue; Ma, Zhanshan (Sam)

    2016-01-01

    The highly anticipated transition from next generation sequencing (NGS) to third generation sequencing (3GS) has been difficult primarily due to high error rates and excessive sequencing cost. The high error rates make the assembly of long erroneous reads of large genomes challenging because existing software solutions are often overwhelmed by error correction tasks. Here we report a hybrid assembly approach that simultaneously utilizes NGS and 3GS data to address both issues. We gain advantages from three general and basic design principles: (i) Compact representation of the long reads leads to efficient alignments. (ii) Base-level errors can be skipped; structural errors need to be detected and corrected. (iii) Structurally correct 3GS reads are assembled and polished. In our implementation, preassembled NGS contigs are used to derive the compact representation of the long reads, motivating an algorithmic conversion from a de Bruijn graph to an overlap graph, the two major assembly paradigms. Moreover, since NGS and 3GS data can compensate for each other, our hybrid assembly approach reduces both of their sequencing requirements. Experiments show that our software is able to assemble mammalian-sized genomes orders of magnitude more quickly than existing methods without consuming a lot of memory, while saving about half of the sequencing cost. PMID:27573208

  12. Dobzhansky-Muller model of hybrid dysfunction supported by poor burst-speed performance in hybrid tiger salamanders.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, B M

    2008-01-01

    Speciation may result from 'complementary' genetic differences that cause dysfunction when brought together in hybrids despite having no deleterious effects within pure species genomes. The theory of complementary genes, independently proposed by Dobzhansky and Muller, yields specific predictions about the genetics of hybrid fitness. Here, I show how alternative models of hybrid dysfunction can be compared using a simple multivariate analysis of hybrid indices calculated from molecular markers. I use the approach to fit models of hybrid dysfunction to swimming performance in hybrid tiger salamander larvae. Poor burst-speed performance is a dysfunction suggesting low vigour and could translate directly into low survival. My analyses show that the Dobzhansky-Muller model fits these data better than heterozygote disadvantage. The approach demonstrated here can be applied to a broad array of nonmodel species, potentially leading to important generalizations about the genetics of hybrid dysfunction.

  13. Telocytes in ileum of the Chinese giant salamander: ultrastructural evidence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhou, Zuohong; Guo, Xiaoquan

    2016-03-01

    Telocytes (TCs) and their telopodes (Tps) have been found in various organs of many mammals, including in lower animals. However, knowledge of TCs in lower animals is still very limited. This study identified TCs and their Tps in the ileum of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus (Amphibia: Caudata), by transmission electron microscopy. The TCs/Tps were found near epithelial cells, glandular cells and unmyelinated nerve fibres. Moreover, exosomes were also found to be present in between TCs/Tps and these cells.

  14. What Do Owls, Salamanders, Flycatchers and Cuckoos Have In Common?

    SciTech Connect

    Musgrave, Maria A.

    2016-09-27

    This is an article from the Los Alamos Living magazine. Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on a beautiful and unique landscape that provides important protected habitat to many species, including a few that are federally-listed as threatened or endangered. These species are the Jemez Mountains Salamander, the Mexican Spotted Owl, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse. Part of the job of the Laboratory's wildlife biologists is to survey for these species each year and determine what actions need to be taken if they are found.

  15. Genome-wide association study for the level of serum electrolytes in Italian Large White pigs.

    PubMed

    Bovo, S; Schiavo, G; Mazzoni, G; Dall'Olio, S; Galimberti, G; Calò, D G; Scotti, E; Bertolini, F; Buttazzoni, L; Samorè, A B; Fontanesi, L

    2016-10-01

    Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are essential electrolytes involved in a large number of biological processes. Imbalance of these minerals in blood may indicate clinically relevant conditions and are important in inferring acute or chronic pathologies in humans and animals. In this work, we carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the level of these three electrolytes in the serum of 843 performance-tested Italian Large White pigs. All pigs were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip, and GWAS was carried out using genome-wide efficient mixed-model association. For the level of Ca(2+) , eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significant, considering a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, and another eight were above the moderate association threshold (Pnominal value  < 5.00E-05). These SNPs are distributed in four porcine chromosomes (SSC): SSC8, SSC11, SSC12 and SSC13. In particular, a few putative different signals of association detected on SSC13 and one on SSC12 were in genes or close to genes involved in calcium metabolism (P2RY1, RAP2B, SLC9A9, C3orf58, TSC22D2, PLCH1 and CACNB1). Only one SNP (on SSC7) and six SNPs (on SSC2 and SSC7) showed moderate association with the level of magnesium and phosphorus respectively. The association signals for these two latter minerals might identify genes not known thus far for playing a role in their biological functions and regulations. In conclusion, our GWAS contributed to increased knowledge on the role that calcium, magnesium and phosphorus may play in the genetically determined physiological mechanisms affecting the natural variability of mineral levels in mammalian blood.

  16. Extensive Capsule Locus Variation and Large-Scale Genomic Recombination within the Klebsiella pneumoniae Clonal Group 258.

    PubMed

    Wyres, Kelly L; Gorrie, Claire; Edwards, David J; Wertheim, Heiman F L; Hsu, Li Yang; Van Kinh, Nguyen; Zadoks, Ruth; Baker, Stephen; Holt, Kathryn E

    2015-04-10

    Klebsiella pneumoniae clonal group (CG) 258, comprising sequence types (STs) 258, 11, and closely related variants, is associated with dissemination of the K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC). Hospital outbreaks of KPC CG258 infections have been observed globally and are very difficult to treat. As a consequence, there is renewed interest in alternative infection control measures such as vaccines and phage or depolymerase treatments targeting the K. pneumoniae polysaccharide capsule. To date, 78 immunologically distinct capsule variants have been described in K. pneumoniae. Previous investigations of ST258 and a small number of closely related strains suggested that capsular variation was limited within this clone; only two distinct ST258 capsule polysaccharide synthesis (cps) loci have been identified, both acquired through large-scale recombination events (>50 kb). In contrast to previous studies, we report a comparative genomic analysis of the broader K. pneumoniae CG258 (n = 39). We identified 11 different cps loci within CG258, indicating that capsular switching is actually common within the complex. We observed several insertion sequences (IS) within the cps loci, and show further intraclone diversification of two cps loci through IS activity. Our data also indicate that several large-scale recombination events have shaped the genomes of CG258, and that definition of the complex should be broadened to include ST395 (also reported to harbor KPC). As only the second report of extensive intraclonal cps variation among Gram-negative bacterial species, our findings alter our understanding of the evolution of these organisms and have key implications for the design of control measures targeting K. pneumoniae capsules.

  17. Organization of the large mitochondrial genome in the isopod Armadillidium vulgare.

    PubMed Central

    Raimond, R; Marcadé, I; Bouchon, D; Rigaud, T; Bossy, J P; Souty-Grosset, C

    1999-01-01

    The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in animals is generally a circular molecule of approximately 15 kb, but there are many exceptions such as linear molecules and larger ones. RFLP studies indicated that the mtDNA in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare varied from 20 to 42 kb. This variation depended on the restriction enzyme used, and on the restriction profile generated by a given enzyme. The DNA fragments had characteristic electrophoretic behaviors. Digestions with two endonucleases always generated fewer fragments than expected; denaturation of restriction profiles reduced the size of two bands by half; densitometry indicated that a number of small fragments were present in stoichiometry, which has approximately twice the expected concentration. Finally, hybridization to a 550-bp 16S rDNA probe often revealed two copies of this gene. These results cannot be due to the genetic rearrangements generally invoked to explain large mtDNA. We propose that the large A. vulgare mtDNA is produced by the tripling of a 14-kb monomer with a singular rearrangement: one monomer is linear and the other two form a circular dimer. Densitometry suggested that these two molecular structures were present in different proportions within a single individual. The absence of mutations within the dimers also suggests that replication occurs during the monomer phase. PMID:9872960

  18. Ontology-based annotations and semantic relations in large-scale (epi)genomics data.

    PubMed

    Galeota, Eugenia; Pelizzola, Mattia

    2016-05-03

    Public repositories of large-scale biological data currently contain hundreds of thousands of experiments, including high-throughput sequencing and microarray data. The potential of using these resources to assemble data sets combining samples previously not associated is vastly unexplored. This requires the ability to associate samples with clear annotations and to relate experiments matched with different annotation terms. In this study, we illustrate the semantic annotation of Gene Expression Omnibus samples metadata using concepts from biomedical ontologies, focusing on the association of thousands of chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) samples with a given target, tissue and disease state. Next, we demonstrate the feasibility of quantitatively measuring the semantic similarity between different samples, with the aim of combining experiments associated with the same or similar semantic annotations, thus allowing the generation of large data sets without the need of additional experiments. We compared tools based on Unified Medical Language System with tools that use topic-specific ontologies, showing that the second approach outperforms the first both in the annotation process and in the computation of semantic similarity measures. Finally, we demonstrated the potential of this approach by identifying semantically homogeneous groups of ChIP-seq samples targeting the Myc transcription factor, and expanding this data set with semantically coherent epigenetic samples. The semantic information of these data sets proved to be coherent with the ChIP-seq signal and with the current knowledge about this transcription factor.

  19. Genome-wide scans to detect positive selection in Large White and Tongcheng pigs.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiuling; Yang, Songbai; Tang, Zhonglin; Li, Kui; Rothschild, Max F; Liu, Bang; Fan, Bin

    2014-06-01

    Due to the direction, intensity, duration and consistency of genetic selection, especially recent artificial selection, the production performance of domestic pigs has been greatly changed. Therefore, we reasoned that there must be footprints or selection signatures that had been left during domestication. In this study, with porcine 60K BeadChip genotyping data from both commercial Large White and local Chinese Tongcheng pigs, we calculated the extended haplotype homozygosity values of the two breeds using the long-range haplotype method to detect selection signatures. We found 34 candidate regions, including 61 known genes, from Large White pigs and 25 regions comprising 57 known genes from Tongcheng pigs. Many selection signatures were found on SSC1, SSC4, SSC7 and SSC14 regions in both populations. According to quantitative trait loci and network pathway analyses, most of the regions and genes were linked to growth, reproduction and immune responses. In addition, the average genetic differentiation coefficient FST was 0.254, which means that there had already been a significant differentiation between the breeds. The findings from this study can contribute to further research on molecular mechanisms of pig evolution and domestication and also provide valuable references for improvement of their breeding and cultivation.

  20. Bioinformatic evidence and characterization of novel putative large conjugative transposons residing in genomes of genera Bacteroides and Prevotella.

    PubMed

    Gorenc, Katja; Accetto, Tomaž; Avguštin, Gorazd

    2012-07-01

    Bioinformatic evidence of the presence of a large conjugative transposon in ruminal bacterium Prevotella bryantii B(1)4(T) is presented. The described transposon appears to be related to another large conjugative transposon CTnBST, described in Bacteroides uniformis WH207 and to the conjugative transposon CTn3-Bf, which was observed in the genome of Bacteroides fragilis strain YCH46. All three transposons share tra gene regions with high amino acid identity and clearly conserved gene order. Additionally, a second conserved region consisting of hypothetical genes was discovered in all three transposons and named the GG region. This region served as a specific sequence signature and made possible the discovery of several other apparently related hypothetical conjugative transposons in bacteria from the genus Bacteroides. A cluster of genes involved in sugar utilization and metabolism was discovered within the hypothetical CTnB(1)4, to a certain extent resembling the polysaccharide utilization loci which were described recently in some Bacteroides strains. This is the first firm report on the presence of a large mobile genetic element in any strain from the genus Prevotella.

  1. Genome-Wide Association Study of Event-Free Survival in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Immunochemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Ghesquieres, Hervé; Slager, Susan L.; Jardin, Fabrice; Veron, Amelie S.; Asmann, Yan W.; Maurer, Matthew J.; Fest, Thierry; Habermann, Thomas M.; Bene, Marie C.; Novak, Anne J.; Mareschal, Sylvain; Haioun, Corinne; Lamy, Thierry; Ansell, Stephen M.; Tilly, Herve; Witzig, Thomas E.; Weiner, George J.; Feldman, Andrew L.; Dogan, Ahmet; Cunningham, Julie M.; Olswold, Curtis L.; Molina, Thierry Jo; Link, Brian K.; Milpied, Noel; Cox, David G.; Salles, Gilles A.; Cerhan, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose We performed a multistage genome-wide association study to identify inherited genetic variants that predict outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients treated with immunochemotherapy. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis of two genome-wide association study data sets, one from the LNH2003B trial (N = 540), a prospective clinical trial from the Lymphoma Study Association, and the other from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource study (N = 312), a prospective observational study from the University of Iowa–Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence. Top single nucleotide polymorphisms were then genotyped in independent cohorts of patients from the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (N = 391) and the Groupe Ouest-Est des Leucémies Aiguës et Maladies du Sang (GOELAMS) -075 randomized trial (N = 294). We calculated the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) using a log-additive genetic model with adjustment for age, sex, and age-adjusted International Prognostic Index. Results In a meta-analysis of the four studies, the top loci for EFS were marked by rs7712513 at 5q23.2 (near SNX2 and SNCAIP; HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.57; P = 2.08 × 10−7), and rs7765004 at 6q21 (near MARCKS and HDAC2; HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.22 to 1.57; P = 7.09 × 10−7), although they did not reach conventional genome-wide significance (P = 5 × 10−8). Both rs7712513 (HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.29 to 1.72; P = 3.53 × 10−8) and rs7765004 (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.71; P = 5.36 × 10−7) were also associated with OS. In exploratory analyses, a two–single nucleotide polymorphism risk score was highly predictive of EFS (P = 1.78 × 10−12) and was independent of treatment, IPI, and cell-of-origin classification. Conclusion Our study provides encouraging evidence for associations between loci at 5q23.2 and 6q21 with EFS and OS in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with immunochemotherapy

  2. A field test of the effect of acidic rain on ion balance in a woodland salamander

    SciTech Connect

    Frisbie, M.P.; Wyman, R.L. )

    1994-06-01

    Earlier laboratory studies demonstrated that red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, are susceptible to osmotic disruption by low pH substrates. In natural systems, however, acidic input from precipitation may be mediated by soils before it impacts salamanders. We tested the effect of acidic rain on sodium balance in salamanders by confining individuals in enclosure in two forest types (hemlock, beech) for 34 d. Enclosures received artificial rain of either pH 3 or 5 every 3-4 d. Soils inside enclosures in the hemlock forest were more acidic than those in the beech forest at the outset. At termination, [H[sup +

  3. Extreme negative temperatures and body mass loss in the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, amphibia, hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Bulakhova, N A

    2016-05-01

    Frozen Siberian salamander safely tolerates long (45 days) stay at-35°C. Short-term (3 days) cooling down to-50°C was tolerable for 40% of adult individuals; down to-55°C, for 80% of the underyearlings. Generally, the salamanders lose about 28% of the body mass during the pre-hibernating period (before winter, at temperatures as low as 0°C) and during the process of freezing (as low as-5°C). The body weight remained constant upon further cooling (to-35°C). The frozen salamanders have no physiological mechanisms protecting from sublimation.

  4. A new species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae, Bolitoglossa) from Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    García-Gutiérrez, Javier; Escalona, Moisés; Mora, Andrés; Díaz De Pascual, Amelia; Fermin, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    In this article, a new species of salamander of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the cloud forest near La Mucuy in Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuelan Andes, is described. Bolitoglossa mucuyensis sp. nov. differs from all Venezuelan salamanders, except B. orestes, by a larger SVL/TL ratio, and from La Culata salamander B. orestes by a reduced webbing extension of the front and hind limbs. Additionally, B. mucuyensis sp. nov. and B. orestes diverge 3.12% in terms of the nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene, as previously reported, and in 8.1% for the cytb gene as shown in this study.

  5. Ancestry of an isolated subspecies of salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi Lowe: the evolutionary significance of hybridization.

    PubMed

    Jones, T R; Routman, E J; Begun, D J; Collins, J P

    1995-06-01

    Most phylogenetic systematists assume speciation results in dichotomously branching phylogenies. Hybridization that gives rise to a new lineage can produce character homoplasty that might obscure a species' true history. We report the results of a restriction-enzyme analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in three tiger salamander subspecies (Ambystoma trigrinum mavortium, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum, and Ambystoma trigrinum stebbinsi) and compare the results to studies of morphological and allozymic variation in these taxa. Allozymically, A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum share most of their genomes (although each has several unique alleles), yet color pattern and mtDNA haplotypes are distinct. Color pattern and allozyme data suggest that A. t. stebbinsi shares a common ancestor with A. t. mavortium, while the A. t. stebbinsi mtDNA haplotype is derived from an A. t. nebulosum haplotype. Thus, our data suggest that A. t. stebbinsi originated through hybridization between A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum. That hybridization can produce recognizably distinct evolutionary entities has long been recognized for plants, but the evolutionary significance of hybridization in animals should be examined more closely. Conservation agencies must recognize that hybrids and hybrid taxa are not necessarily evolutionary "mistakes," and they might have significant importance in the production of natural biodiversity.

  6. Germline large genomic alterations on 7q in patients with multiple primary cancers

    PubMed Central

    Villacis, R. A. R.; Basso, T. R.; Canto, L. M.; Nóbrega, A. F.; Achatz, M. I.; Rogatto, S. R.

    2017-01-01

    Patients with multiple primary cancers (MPCs) are suspected to have a hereditary cancer syndrome. However, only a small proportion may be explained by mutations in high-penetrance genes. We investigate two unrelated MPC patients that met Hereditary Breast and Ovaria Cancer criteria, both presenting triple negative breast tumors and no mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53 genes. Germline rearrangements on chromosome 7q, involving over 40 Mb of the same region, were found in both patients: one with mosaic loss (80% of cells) and the other with cnLOH (copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity) secondary to maternal allele duplication. Five children tested had no alterations on 7q. The patients shared 330 genes in common on 7q22.1-q34, including several tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) previously related to breast cancer risk and imprinted genes. The analysis of the triple negative BC from one patient revealed a mosaic gain of 7q translated for over-expressed cancer-related genes. The involvement of TSGs and imprinted genes, mapped on 7q, has the potential of being associated to MPC risk, as well as cancer progression. To our knowledge, this is the first description of patients with MPCs that harbor constitutive large alterations on 7q. PMID:28139749

  7. Genomic islands of divergence in hybridizing Heliconius butterflies identified by large-scale targeted sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Nadeau, Nicola J.; Whibley, Annabel; Jones, Robert T.; Davey, John W.; Dasmahapatra, Kanchon K.; Baxter, Simon W.; Quail, Michael A.; Joron, Mathieu; ffrench-Constant, Richard H.; Blaxter, Mark L.; Mallet, James; Jiggins, Chris D.

    2012-01-01

    Heliconius butterflies represent a recent radiation of species, in which wing pattern divergence has been implicated in speciation. Several loci that control wing pattern phenotypes have been mapped and two were identified through sequencing. These same gene regions play a role in adaptation across the whole Heliconius radiation. Previous studies of population genetic patterns at these regions have sequenced small amplicons. Here, we use targeted next-generation sequence capture to survey patterns of divergence across these entire regions in divergent geographical races and species of Heliconius. This technique was successful both within and between species for obtaining high coverage of almost all coding regions and sufficient coverage of non-coding regions to perform population genetic analyses. We find major peaks of elevated population differentiation between races across hybrid zones, which indicate regions under strong divergent selection. These ‘islands’ of divergence appear to be more extensive between closely related species, but there is less clear evidence for such islands between more distantly related species at two further points along the ‘speciation continuum’. We also sequence fosmid clones across these regions in different Heliconius melpomene races. We find no major structural rearrangements but many relatively large (greater than 1 kb) insertion/deletion events (including gain/loss of transposable elements) that are variable between races. PMID:22201164

  8. Iteroparity in the variable environment of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Church, D.R.; Bailey, L.L.; Wilbur, H.M.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    Simultaneous estimation of survival, reproduction, and movement is essential to understanding how species maximize lifetime reproduction in environments that vary across space and time. We conducted a four-year, capture–recapture study of three populations of eastern tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and used multistate mark–recapture statistical methods to estimate the manner in which movement, survival, and breeding probabilities vary under different environmental conditions across years and among populations and habitats. We inferred how individuals may mitigate risks of mortality and reproductive failure by deferring breeding or by moving among populations. Movement probabilities among populations were extremely low despite high spatiotemporal variation in reproductive success and survival, suggesting possible costs to movements among breeding ponds. Breeding probabilities varied between wet and dry years and according to whether or not breeding was attempted in the previous year. Estimates of survival in the nonbreeding, forest habitat varied among populations but were consistent across time. Survival in breeding ponds was generally high in years with average or high precipitation, except for males in an especially ephemeral pond. A drought year incurred severe survival costs in all ponds to animals that attempted breeding. Female salamanders appear to defer these episodic survival costs of breeding by choosing not to breed in years when the risk of adult mortality is high. Using stochastic simulations of survival and breeding under historical climate conditions, we found that an interaction between breeding probabilities and mortality limits the probability of multiple breeding attempts differently between the sexes and among populations.

  9. Population dynamics and regulation in the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano

    2007-05-01

    Time series analysis has been used to evaluate the mechanisms regulating population dynamics of mammals and insects, but has been rarely applied to amphibian populations. In this study, the influence of endogenous (density-dependent) and exogenous (density-independent) factors regulating population dynamics of the terrestrial plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii was analysed by means of time series and multiple regression analyses. During the period 1993 2005, S. strinatii population abundance, estimated by a standardised temporary removal method, displayed relatively low fluctuations, and the autocorrelation function (ACF) analysis showed that the time series had a noncyclic structure. The partial rate correlation function (PRCF) indicated that a strong first-order negative feedback dominated the endogenous dynamics. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the only climatic factor influencing population growth rate was the minimum winter temperature. Thus, at least during the study period, endogenous, density-dependent negative feedback was the main factor affecting the growth rate of the salamander population, whereas stochastic environmental variables, such as temperature and rainfall, seemed to play a minor role in regulation. These results stress the importance of considering both exogenous and endogenous factors when analysing amphibian long-term population dynamics.

  10. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring.

  11. Conservation genetics of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah, Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, D.W.; Jung, R.E.; Sites, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is restricted to three isolated talus outcrops in Shenandoah National Park, VA, USA and has one of the smallest ranges of any tetrapod vertebrate. This species was listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act in 1989 over concern that direct competition with the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), successional habitat changes, and human impacts may cause its decline and possible extinction. We address two issues herein: (1) whether extensive introgression (through long-term hybridization) is present between the two species and threatens the survival of P. shenandoah, and (2) the level of population structure within P. shenandoah. We provide evidence from mtDNA haplotypes that shows no genetic differentiation among the three isolates of P. shenandoah, suggesting that their fragmentation is a geologically recent event, and/or that the isolates are still connected by occasional gene flow. There is also no evidence for extensive introgression of alleles in either direction between P. cinereus and P. shenandoah, which suggests that P. shenandoah may not be in danger of being genetically swamped out through hybridization with P. cinereus.

  12. Atrazine increases ranavirus susceptibility in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Forson, Diane Denise; Storfer, Andrew

    2006-12-01

    Pathogenic diseases and environmental contaminants are two of the leading hypotheses for global amphibian declines, yet few studies have examined the influence of contaminants on disease susceptibility. In this study, we examined effects of ecologically relevant doses of atrazine (0, 1.6, 16, and 160 microg/L), sodium nitrate (0, 6.8, 68 mg/L), and their interactions on susceptibility of four laboratory-bred tiger salamander families to Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV), a pathogen implicated in global amphibian die-offs. Salamanders were from Arizona populations where a coevolutionary history with ATV is supported, and thus cofactors rather than recent introduction may contribute to disease epizootics. Use of atrazine and nitrogenous fertilizers are ubiquitous; therefore, the impact of these cofactors on disease susceptibility is an important consideration. Atrazine and sodium nitrate significantly decreased peripheral leukocyte levels, suggesting an impact of these contaminants on the immune system. As expected from this result, atrazine significantly increased susceptibility of larvae to ATV infection. In contrast, nitrate had a marginally significant main effect and significantly decreased infection rate at the highest level. However, neither atrazine nor sodium nitrate had significant effects on viral copy number per individual. These results suggest that ecologically relevant concentrations of atrazine and nitrates have immunosuppressive effects, and atrazine may contribute to ATV epizootics, raising concerns about the influence of contaminants on diseases in general.

  13. Iteroparity in the variable environment of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Church, Don R; Bailey, Larissa L; Wilbur, Henry M; Kendall, William L; Hines, James E

    2007-04-01

    Simultaneous estimation of survival, reproduction, and movement is essential to understanding how species maximize lifetime reproduction in environments that vary across space and time. We conducted a four-year, capture-recapture study of three populations of eastern tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and used multistate mark-recapture statistical methods to estimate the manner in which movement, survival, and breeding probabilities vary under different environmental conditions across years and among populations and habitats. We inferred how individuals may mitigate risks of mortality and reproductive failure by deferring breeding or by moving among populations. Movement probabilities among populations were extremely low despite high spatiotemporal variation in reproductive success and survival, suggesting possible costs to movements among breeding ponds. Breeding probabilities varied between wet and dry years and according to whether or not breeding was attempted in the previous year. Estimates of survival in the nonbreeding, forest habitat varied among populations but were consistent across time. Survival in breeding ponds was generally high in years with average or high precipitation, except for males in an especially ephemeral pond. A drought year incurred severe survival costs in all ponds to animals that attempted breeding. Female salamanders appear to defer these episodic survival costs of breeding by choosing not to breed in years when the risk of adult mortality is high. Using stochastic simulations of survival and breeding under historical climate conditions, we found that an interaction between breeding probabilities and mortality limits the probability of multiple breeding attempts differently between the sexes and among populations.

  14. Sensitivity of two salamander (Ambystoma) species to ultraviolet radiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calfee, R.D.; Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2006-01-01

    Increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the Earth's surface has been implicated in amphibian declines. Recent studies have shown that many amphibian species have differences in sensitivity depending on developmental stage. Embryos and larvae of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and larvae of Ambystoma talpoideum (Mole Salamander) were exposed to five simulated UV-B treatments in controlled laboratory experiments to determine the relative sensitivity of different lifestages. Hatching success of the embryos exceeded 95% in all treatments; however, the larvae of both species exhibited greater sensitivity to UV-B exposure. Older larvae of A. maculatum that were not exposed to UV-B as embryos were more sensitive than larvae that had hatched during exposure to UV-B. Growth of surviving larvae of A. maculatum was significantly reduced as UV-B intensity increased, whereas growth of A. talpoideum was unaffected. These results were compared to ambient UV-B conditions in natural environments. It appears that the embryo stage is relatively unaffected by UV-B levels observed in natural habitats, probably because of protection from vegetation, organic matter in the water column, oviposition depth, and egg jelly. The larval stage of these species may be at greater risk, particularly if there is an increase in UV-B radiation exposure caused by increases in water clarity and/or decreases in dissolved organic carbon.

  15. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring. PMID:26413402

  16. Variation in mating systems of salamanders: mate guarding or territoriality?

    PubMed

    Deitloff, Jennifer; Alcorn, Michael A; Graham, Sean P

    2014-07-01

    Two of the most common mating tactics in vertebrates are mate guarding and territoriality, yet much of the research on these strategies has focused on mating systems in birds, despite novel insights gained from studying less traditional systems. North American stream salamanders that comprise the Eurycea bislineata complex represent an excellent nontraditional system for comparing mating strategies because these species exhibit a continuum of male morphologies, diverse habitat associations, and various potential mating strategies. We studied two species within this complex that exhibit the extremes of this continuum, Eurycea aquatica (robust morph) and Eurycea cirrigera (slender morph). The larger head in males of E. aquatica is due to larger musculature around the jaw and may be associated with aggressive behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that the robust morphology exhibited by males of E. aquatica provides benefits during either territorial defense or mate defense and that males of E. cirrigera would not exhibit aggression in either scenario. We found that neither species exhibited aggressive behavior to defend a territory. However, in the presence of a female, males of E. aquatica were significantly more aggressive toward intruding males than were males of E. cirrigera. Therefore, mate-guarding behavior occurs in E. aquatica, and the enlarged head of males likely aids in deterring rivals. This is the first demonstration of mate-guarding behavior in a plethodontid, the most speciose family of salamanders.

  17. Macrophages are required for adult salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Godwin, James W; Pinto, Alexander R; Rosenthal, Nadia A

    2013-06-04

    The failure to replace damaged body parts in adult mammals results from a muted growth response and fibrotic scarring. Although infiltrating immune cells play a major role in determining the variable outcome of mammalian wound repair, little is known about the modulation of immune cell signaling in efficiently regenerating species such as the salamander, which can regrow complete body structures as adults. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of immune signaling during limb regeneration in axolotl, an aquatic salamander, and reveal a temporally defined requirement for macrophage infiltration in the regenerative process. Although many features of mammalian cytokine/chemokine signaling are retained in the axolotl, they are more dynamically deployed, with simultaneous induction of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers within the first 24 h after limb amputation. Systemic macrophage depletion during this period resulted in wound closure but permanent failure of limb regeneration, associated with extensive fibrosis and disregulation of extracellular matrix component gene expression. Full limb regenerative capacity of failed stumps was restored by reamputation once endogenous macrophage populations had been replenished. Promotion of a regeneration-permissive environment by identification of macrophage-derived therapeutic molecules may therefore aid in the regeneration of damaged body parts in adult mammals.

  18. Elevated plasma corticosterone increases metabolic rate in a terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Wack, Corina L; DuRant, Sarah E; Hopkins, William A; Lovern, Matthew B; Feldhoff, Richard C; Woodley, Sarah K

    2012-02-01

    Plasma glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) increase intermediary metabolism, which may be reflected in whole-animal metabolic rate. Studies in fish, birds, and reptiles have shown that GCs may alter whole-animal energy expenditure, but results are conflicting and often involve GC levels that are not physiologically relevant. A previous study in red-legged salamanders found that male courtship pheromone increased plasma corticosterone (CORT; the primary GC in amphibians) concentrations in males, which could elevate metabolic processes to sustain courtship behaviors. To understand the possible metabolic effect of elevated plasma CORT, we measured the effects of male courtship pheromone and exogenous application of CORT on oxygen consumption in male red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani). Exogenous application of CORT elevated plasma CORT to physiologically relevant levels. Compared to treatment with male courtship pheromone and vehicle, treatment with CORT increased oxygen consumption rates for several hours after treatment, resulting in 12% more oxygen consumed (equivalent to 0.33 J) during our first 2h sampling period. Contrary to our previous work, treatment with pheromone did not increase plasma CORT, perhaps because subjects used in this study were not in breeding condition. Pheromone application did not affect respiration rates. Our study is one of the few to evaluate the influence of physiologically relevant elevations in CORT on whole-animal metabolism in vertebrates, and the first to show that elevated plasma CORT increases metabolism in an amphibian.

  19. Mutation accumulation in real branches: fitness assays for genomic deleterious mutation rate and effect in large-statured plants.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Stewart T; Scofield, Douglas G

    2009-08-01

    The genomic deleterious mutation rate and mean effect are central to the biology and evolution of all species. Large-statured plants, such as trees, are predicted to have high mutation rates due to mitotic mutation and the absence of a sheltered germ line, but their size and generation time has hindered genetic study. We develop and test approaches for estimating deleterious mutation rates and effects from viability comparisons within the canopy of large-statured plants. Our methods, inspired by E. J. Klekowski, are a modification of the classic Bateman-Mukai mutation-accumulation experiment. Within a canopy, cell lineages accumulate mitotic mutations independently. Gametes or zygotes produced at more distal points by these cell lineages contain more mitotic mutations than those at basal locations, and within-flower selfs contain more homozygous mutations than between-flower selfs. The resulting viability differences allow demonstration of lethal mutation with experiments similar in size to assays of genetic load and allow estimates of the rate and effect of new mutations with moderate precision and bias similar to that of classic mutation-accumulation experiments in small-statured organisms. These methods open up new possibilities with the potential to provide valuable new insights into the evolutionary genetics of plants.

  20. A genome-wide association study in large white and landrace pig populations for number piglets born alive.

    PubMed

    Bergfelder-Drüing, Sarah; Grosse-Brinkhaus, Christine; Lind, Bianca; Erbe, Malena; Schellander, Karl; Simianer, Henner; Tholen, Ernst

    2015-01-01

    The number of piglets born alive (NBA) per litter is one of the most important traits in pig breeding due to its influence on production efficiency. It is difficult to improve NBA because the heritability of the trait is low and it is governed by a high number of loci with low to moderate effects. To clarify the biological and genetic background of NBA, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed using 4,012 Large White and Landrace pigs from herdbook and commercial breeding companies in Germany (3), Austria (1) and Switzerland (1). The animals were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. Because of population stratifications within and between breeds, clusters were formed using the genetic distances between the populations. Five clusters for each breed were formed and analysed by GWAS approaches. In total, 17 different significant markers affecting NBA were found in regions with known effects on female reproduction. No overlapping significant chromosome areas or QTL between Large White and Landrace breed were detected.

  1. Tracing the first step to speciation: ecological and genetic differentiation of a salamander population in a small forest.

    PubMed

    Steinfartz, Sebastian; Weitere, Markus; Tautz, Diethard

    2007-11-01

    Mechanisms and processes of ecologically driven adaptive speciation are best studied in natural situations where the splitting process is still occurring, i.e. before complete reproductive isolation is achieved. Here, we present a case of an early stage of adaptive differentiation under sympatric conditions in the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, that allows inferring the underlying processes for the split. Larvae of S. salamandra normally mature in small streams until metamorphosis, but in an old, continuous forest area near Bonn (the Kottenforst), we found salamander larvae not only in small streams but also in shallow ponds, which are ecologically very different from small streams. Common-environment experiments with larvae from both habitat types reveal specific adaptations to these different ecological conditions. Mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses show that the two ecologically differentiated groups also show signs of genetic differentiation. A parallel analysis of animals from a neighbouring much larger forest area (the Eifel), in which larvae mature only in streams, shows no signs of genetic differentiation, indicating that gene flow between ecologically similar types can occur over large distances. Hence, geographical factors cannot explain the differential larval habitat adaptations in the Kottenforst, in particular since adult life and mating of S. salamandra is strictly terrestrial and not associated with larval habitats. We propose therefore that the evolution of these adaptations was coupled with the evolution of cues for assortative mating which would be in line with models of sympatric speciation that suggest a co-evolution of habitat adaptations and associated mating signals.

  2. RNA-seq pinpoints a Xanthomonas TAL-effector activated resistance gene in a large-crop genome.

    PubMed

    Strauss, Tina; van Poecke, Remco M P; Strauss, Annett; Römer, Patrick; Minsavage, Gerald V; Singh, Sylvia; Wolf, Christina; Strauss, Axel; Kim, Seungill; Lee, Hyun-Ah; Yeom, Seon-In; Parniske, Martin; Stall, Robert E; Jones, Jeffrey B; Choi, Doil; Prins, Marcel; Lahaye, Thomas

    2012-11-20

    Transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins of the plant pathogenic bacterial genus Xanthomonas bind to and transcriptionally activate host susceptibility genes, promoting disease. Plant immune systems have taken advantage of this mechanism by evolving TALE binding sites upstream of resistance (R) genes. For example, the pepper Bs3 and rice Xa27 genes are hypersensitive reaction plant R genes that are transcriptionally activated by corresponding TALEs. Both R genes have a hallmark expression pattern in which their transcripts are detectable only in the presence and not the absence of the corresponding TALE. By transcriptome profiling using next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq), we tested whether we could avoid laborious positional cloning for the isolation of TALE-induced R genes. In a proof-of-principle experiment, RNA-seq was used to identify a candidate for Bs4C, an R gene from pepper that mediates recognition of the Xanthomonas TALE protein AvrBs4. We identified one major Bs4C candidate transcript by RNA-seq that was expressed exclusively in the presence of AvrBs4. Complementation studies confirmed that the candidate corresponds to the Bs4C gene and that an AvrBs4 binding site in the Bs4C promoter directs its transcriptional activation. Comparison of Bs4C with a nonfunctional allele that is unable to recognize AvrBs4 revealed a 2-bp polymorphism within the TALE binding site of the Bs4C promoter. Bs4C encodes a structurally unique R protein and Bs4C-like genes that are present in many solanaceous genomes seem to be as tightly regulated as pepper Bs4C. These findings demonstrate that TALE-specific R genes can be cloned from large-genome crops with a highly efficient RNA-seq approach.

  3. ``Black Holes" and Bacterial Pathogenicity: A Large Genomic Deletion that Enhances the Virulence of Shigella spp. and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurelli, Anthony T.; Fernandez, Reinaldo E.; Bloch, Craig A.; Rode, Christopher K.; Fasano, Alessio

    1998-03-01

    Plasmids, bacteriophages, and pathogenicity islands are genomic additions that contribute to the evolution of bacterial pathogens. For example, Shigella spp., the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, differ from the closely related commensal Escherichia coli in the presence of a plasmid in Shigella that encodes virulence functions. However, pathogenic bacteria also may lack properties that are characteristic of nonpathogens. Lysine decarboxylate (LDC) activity is present in ≈ 90% of E. coli strains but is uniformly absent in Shigella strains. When the gene for LDC, cadA, was introduced into Shigella flexneri 2a, virulence became attenuated, and enterotoxin activity was inhibited greatly. The enterotoxin inhibitor was identified as cadaverine, a product of the reaction catalyzed by LDC. Comparison of the S. flexneri 2a and laboratory E. coli K-12 genomes in the region of cadA revealed a large deletion in Shigella. Representative strains of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive E. coli displayed similar deletions of cadA. Our results suggest that, as Shigella spp. evolved from E. coli to become pathogens, they not only acquired virulence genes on a plasmid but also shed genes via deletions. The formation of these ``black holes,'' deletions of genes that are detrimental to a pathogenic lifestyle, provides an evolutionary pathway that enables a pathogen to enhance virulence. Furthermore, the demonstration that cadaverine can inhibit enterotoxin activity may lead to more general models about toxin activity or entry into cells and suggests an avenue for antitoxin therapy. Thus, understanding the role of black holes in pathogen evolution may yield clues to new treatments of infectious diseases.

  4. "Black holes" and bacterial pathogenicity: a large genomic deletion that enhances the virulence of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Maurelli, A T; Fernández, R E; Bloch, C A; Rode, C K; Fasano, A

    1998-03-31

    Plasmids, bacteriophages, and pathogenicity islands are genomic additions that contribute to the evolution of bacterial pathogens. For example, Shigella spp., the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, differ from the closely related commensal Escherichia coli in the presence of a plasmid in Shigella that encodes virulence functions. However, pathogenic bacteria also may lack properties that are characteristic of nonpathogens. Lysine decarboxylase (LDC) activity is present in approximately 90% of E. coli strains but is uniformly absent in Shigella strains. When the gene for LDC, cadA, was introduced into Shigella flexneri 2a, virulence became attenuated, and enterotoxin activity was inhibited greatly. The enterotoxin inhibitor was identified as cadaverine, a product of the reaction catalyzed by LDC. Comparison of the S. flexneri 2a and laboratory E. coli K-12 genomes in the region of cadA revealed a large deletion in Shigella. Representative strains of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive E. coli displayed similar deletions of cadA. Our results suggest that, as Shigella spp. evolved from E. coli to become pathogens, they not only acquired virulence genes on a plasmid but also shed genes via deletions. The formation of these "black holes," deletions of genes that are detrimental to a pathogenic lifestyle, provides an evolutionary pathway that enables a pathogen to enhance virulence. Furthermore, the demonstration that cadaverine can inhibit enterotoxin activity may lead to more general models about toxin activity or entry into cells and suggests an avenue for antitoxin therapy. Thus, understanding the role of black holes in pathogen evolution may yield clues to new treatments of infectious diseases.

  5. Genomic structure and promoter functional analysis of GnRH3 gene in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea).

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Zhang, Jianshe; Liao, Zhi; Lv, Zhenming; Wu, Huifei; Zhu, Aiyi; Wu, Changwen

    2016-01-15

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone III (GnRH3) is considered to be a key neurohormone in fish reproduction control. In the present study, the cDNA and genomic sequences of GnRH3 were cloned and characterized from large yellow croaker Larimichthys crocea. The cDNA encoded a protein of 99 amino acids with four functional motifs. The full-length genome sequence was composed of 3797 nucleotides, including four exons and three introns. Higher identities of amino acid sequences and conserved exon-intron organizations were found between LcGnRH3 and other GnRH3 genes. In addition, some special features of the sequences were detected in partial species. For example, two specific residues (V and A) were found in the family Sciaenidae, and the unique 75-72 bp type of the open reading frame 2 and 3 existed in the family Cyprinidae. Analysis of the 2576 bp promoter fragment of LcGnRH3 showed a number of transcription factor binding sites, such as AP1, CREB, GATA-1, HSF, FOXA2, and FOXL1. Promoter functional analysis using an EGFP reporter fusion in zebrafish larvae presented positive signals in the brain, including the olfactory region, the terminal nerve ganglion, the telencephalon, and the hypothalamus. The expression pattern was generally consistent with the endogenous GnRH3 GFP-expressing transgenic zebrafish lines, but the details were different. These results indicate that the structure and function of LcGnRH3 are generally similar to the other teleost GnRH3 genes, but there exist some distinctions among them.

  6. Large number of replacement polymorphisms in rapidly evolving genes of Drosophila. Implications for genome-wide surveys of DNA polymorphism.

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, K J; Nigro, L; Aquadro, C F; Tautz, D

    1999-01-01

    We present a survey of nucleotide polymorphism of three novel, rapidly evolving genes in populations of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans. Levels of silent polymorphism are comparable to other loci, but the number of replacement polymorphisms is higher than that in most other genes surveyed in D. melanogaster and D. simulans. Tests of neutrality fail to reject neutral evolution with one exception. This concerns a gene located in a region of high recombination rate in D. simulans and in a region of low recombination rate in D. melanogaster, due to an inversion. In the latter case it shows a very low number of polymorphisms, presumably due to selective sweeps in the region. Patterns of nucleotide polymorphism suggest that most substitutions are neutral or nearly neutral and that weak (positive and purifying) selection plays a significant role in the evolution of these genes. At all three loci, purifying selection of slightly deleterious replacement mutations appears to be more efficient in D. simulans than in D. melanogaster, presumably due to different effective population sizes. Our analysis suggests that current knowledge about genome-wide patterns of nucleotide polymorphism is far from complete with respect to the types and range of nucleotide substitutions and that further analysis of differences between local populations will be required to understand the forces more completely. We note that rapidly diverging and nearly neutrally evolving genes cannot be expected only in the genome of Drosophila, but are likely to occur in large numbers also in other organisms and that their function and evolution are little understood so far. PMID:10581279

  7. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  8. Overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles negatively affect Salamanders and Anurans in native amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2004-01-01

    We examined the interactive effects of overwintered Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles and pond hydroperiod on a community of larval amphibians in outdoor mesocosms including American Toads (Bufo americanus), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) - species within the native range of Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders and Southern Leopard Frogs were negatively influenced by the presence of overwintered Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders had shorter larval periods and slightly smaller masses at metamorphosis, and Southern Leopard Frogs had smaller masses at metamorphosis when reared with Bullfrogs than without. Presence of overwintered Bullfrogs, however, did not significantly affect American Toads. Longer pond hydroperiods resulted in greater survival, greater size at metamorphosis, longer larval periods, and later time until emergence of the first metamorphs for Southern Leopard Frog tadpoles and Spotted Salamander larvae. Our study demonstrated that overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles can respond to changing pond hydroperiods and can negatively impact metamorphosis of native amphibians.

  9. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  10. Salamander regeneration as a model for developing novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Fior, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Among vertebrates, urodele amphibians are the only tetrapods with the ability to regenerate complex structures such as limbs, tail, and spinal cord throughout their lives. Furthermore, the salamander regeneration process has been shown to reverse tumorigenicity. Fibroblasts are essential for salamander regeneration, but the mechanisms underlying their role in the formation of a regeneration blastema remain unclear. Here, I review the role of fibroblasts in salamander limb regeneration and how their activity compares with that of human fibroblasts. In addition, the question of whether salamander blastema tissue could induce regeneration and tumor regression in animals with a limited regeneration ability is discussed. A deeper understanding of these processes may lead to the development of novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

  11. Phylogenetic relationships of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) and other salamanders of the Plethodon cinereus group (Caudata : Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sites, J.W.; Morando, M.; Highton, R.; Huber, F.; Jung, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah), known from isolated talus slopes on three of the highest mountains in Shenandoah National Park, is listed as state-endangered in Virginia and federally endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. A 1999 paper by G. R. Thurow described P. shenandoah-like salamanders from three localities further south in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, which, if confirmed, would represent a range extension for P. shenandoah of approximately 90 km from its nearest known locality. Samples collected from two of these three localities were included in a molecular phylogenetic study of the known populations of P. shenandoah, and all other recognized species in the Plethodon cinereus group, using a 792 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. Phylogenetic estimates were based on Bayesian, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods and topologies examined for placement of the new P. shenandoah-like samples relative to all others. All topologies recovered all haplotypes of the P. shenandoah-like animals nested within P. cinereus, and a statistical comparison of the best likelihood tree topology with one with an enforced (Thurow + Shenandoah P. shenandoah) clade revealed that the unconstrained tree had a significantly lower -In L score (P < 0.05, using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test) than the constraint tree. This result and other anecdotal information give us no solid reason to consider the Thurow report valid. The current recovery program for P. shenandoah should remain focused on populations in Shenandoah National Park.

  12. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events.

    PubMed

    Docherty, Douglas E; Meteyer, Carol U; Wang, Jun; Mao, Jinghe; Case, Steven T; Chinchar, V Gregory

    2003-07-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  13. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Docherty, D.E.; Meteyer, C.U.; Wang, Jingyuan; Mao, J.; Case, S.T.; Chinchar, V.G.

    2003-01-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  14. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M; Willard, Scott T; Kouba, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration.

  15. Local and landscape scale factors influencing edge effects on woodland salamanders.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Kurtis R; Ford, W Mark; Edwards, John W

    2009-04-01

    We examined local and landscape-scale variable influence on the depth and magnitude of edge effects on woodland salamanders in mature mixed mesophytic and northern hardwood forest adjacent to natural gas well sites maintained as wildlife openings. We surveyed woodland salamander occurrence from June-August 2006 at 33 gas well sites in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. We used an information-theoretic approach to test nine a priori models explaining landscape-scale effects on woodland salamander capture proportion within 20 m of field edge. Salamander capture proportion was greater within 0-60 m than 61-100 m of field edges. Similarly, available coarse woody debris proportion was greater within 0-60 m than 61-100 m of field edge. Our ASPECT model, that incorporated the single variable aspect, received the strongest support for explaining landscape-scale effects on salamander capture proportion within 20 m of opening edge. The ASPECT model indicated that fewer salamanders occurred within 20 m of opening edges on drier, hotter southwestern aspects than in moister, cooler northeastern aspects. Our results suggest that forest habitat adjacent to maintained edges and with sufficient cover still can provide suitable habitat for woodland salamander species in central Appalachian mixed mesophytic and northern hardwood forests. Additionally, our modeling results support the contention that edge effects are more severe on southwesterly aspects. These results underscore the importance of distinguishing among different edge types as well as placing survey locations within a landscape context when investigating edge impacts on woodland salamanders.

  16. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M.; Willard, Scott T.; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration. PMID:27258650

  17. Evaluation of terrestrial and streamside salamander monitoring techniques at Shenandoah National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Droege, S.; Sauer, J.R.; Landy, R.B.

    2000-01-01

    In response to concerns about amphibian declines, a study evaluating and validating amphibian monitoring techniques was initiated in Shenandoah and Big Bend National Parks in the spring of 1998. We evaluate precision, bias, and efficiency of several sampling methods for terrestrial and streamside salamanders in Shenandoah National Park and assess salamander abundance in relation to environmental variables, notably soil and water pH. Terrestrial salamanders, primarily redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), were sampled by searching under cover objects during the day in square plots (10 to 35 m2). We compared population indices (mean daily and total counts) with adjusted population estimates from capture-recapture. Analyses suggested that the proportion of salamanders detected (p) during sampling varied among plots, necessitating the use of adjusted population estimates. However, adjusted population estimates were less precise than population indices, and may not be efficient in relating salamander populations to environmental variables. In future sampling, strategic use of capture-recapture to verify consistency of p's among sites may be a reasonable compromise between the possibility of bias in estimation of population size and deficiencies due to inefficiency associated with the estimation of p. The streamside two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata) was surveyed using four methods: leaf litter refugia bags, 1 m2 quadrats, 50 x 1 m visual encounter transects, and electric shocking. Comparison of survey methods at nine streams revealed congruent patterns of abundance among sites, suggesting that relative bias among the methods is similar, and that choice of survey method should be based on precision and logistical efficiency. Redback and two-lined salamander abundance were not significantly related to soil or water pH, respectively.

  18. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    PubMed

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  19. Implementation of genomic recursions in single-step genomic best linear unbiased predictor for US Holsteins with a large number of genotyped animals.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Y; Misztal, I; Tsuruta, S; Legarra, A; Aguilar, I; Lourenco, D A L; Fragomeni, B O; Lawlor, T J

    2016-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to develop and evaluate an efficient implementation in the computation of the inverse of genomic relationship matrix with the recursion algorithm, called the algorithm for proven and young (APY), in single-step genomic BLUP. We validated genomic predictions for young bulls with more than 500,000 genotyped animals in final score for US Holsteins. Phenotypic data included 11,626,576 final scores on 7,093,380 US Holstein cows, and genotypes were available for 569,404 animals. Daughter deviations for young bulls with no classified daughters in 2009, but at least 30 classified daughters in 2014 were computed using all the phenotypic data. Genomic predictions for the same bulls were calculated with single-step genomic BLUP using phenotypes up to 2009. We calculated the inverse of the genomic relationship matrix GAPY(-1) based on a direct inversion of genomic relationship matrix on a small subset of genotyped animals (core animals) and extended that information to noncore animals by recursion. We tested several sets of core animals including 9,406 bulls with at least 1 classified daughter, 9,406 bulls and 1,052 classified dams of bulls, 9,406 bulls and 7,422 classified cows, and random samples of 5,000 to 30,000 animals. Validation reliability was assessed by the coefficient of determination from regression of daughter deviation on genomic predictions for the predicted young bulls. The reliabilities were 0.39 with 5,000 randomly chosen core animals, 0.45 with the 9,406 bulls, and 7,422 cows as core animals, and 0.44 with the remaining sets. With phenotypes truncated in 2009 and the preconditioned conjugate gradient to solve mixed model equations, the number of rounds to convergence for core animals defined by bulls was 1,343; defined by bulls and cows, 2,066; and defined by 10,000 random animals, at most 1,629. With complete phenotype data, the number of rounds decreased to 858, 1,299, and at most 1,092, respectively. Setting up GAPY(-1

  20. Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, W. Mark; Mahoney, Kathleen R.; Russell, Kevin R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Riddle, Jason D.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Adams, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Forest management practices that mimic natural canopy disturbances, including prescribed fire and timber harvests, may reduce competition and facilitate establishment of favorable vegetative species within various ecosystems. Fire suppression in the central Appalachian region for almost a century has contributed to a transition from oak-dominated to more mesophytic, fire-intolerant forest communities. Prescribed fire coupled with timber removal is currently implemented to aid in oak regeneration and establishment but responses of woodland salamanders to this complex silvicultural system is poorly documented. The purpose of our research was to determine how woodland salamanders respond to shelterwood harvests following successive burns in a central Appalachian mixed-oak forest. Woodland salamanders were surveyed using coverboard arrays in May, July, and August–September 2011 and 2012. Surveys were conducted within fenced shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires, shelterwood harvest, and fencing to prevent white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus] herbivory), shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires and shelterwood harvest), and control plots. Relative abundance was modeled in relation to habitat variables measured within treatments for mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), slimy salamanders (Plethodon glutinosus), and eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Mountain dusky salamander relative abundance was positively associated with canopy cover and there were significantly more individuals within controls than either shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments. Conversely, habitat variables associated with slimy salamanders and eastern red-backed salamanders did not differ among treatments. Salamander age-class structure within controls did not differ from shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments for any species. Overall, the woodland salamander assemblage remained relatively intact throughout the shelterwoodburn

  1. Soil acidity affects distribution, behavior, and physiology of the salamander Plethodon cinereus

    SciTech Connect

    Wyman, R.L.; Hawksley-Lescault, D.S.

    1987-12-01

    Censuses at two sites in Delaware County, New York from spring 1981 through spring 1985 indicated that the density and distribution of Plethodon cinereus were influenced by soil pH but not by soil temperature or moisture. Of 1044 1-m/sup 2/ quadrats of forest litter searched, 284 had a pH of 3.7 or less and only 25 of these (8.8%) contained salamanders. Of 760 quadrats with a pH 3.8 or more, 386 (50.8%) contained salamanders. Juvenile salamanders were never found on soils with a pH less than or equal to 3.7. Seasonal salamander density was correlated (r = -0.92) with the percentage of quadrats with a pH of 3.7 and less. Salamanders apparently were excluded from 27% of forest habitat because of low soil pH. In the laboratory, P. cinereus preferred to occupy substrates near neutral pH when given a choice among three levels of substrate acidity. The acutely lethal pH was between 2.5 and 3 and the 8-mo chronically lethal pH was between 3 and 4. Growth and respiration were reduced at low pHs. The influence of soil pH on salamander distribution might fundamentally change the forest floor decomposer food web of which P. cinereus is an upper-level consumer.

  2. Leaf litter bags as an index to populations of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalmers, R.J.; Droege, S.

    2002-01-01

    Concern about recent amphibian declines has led to research on amphibian populations, but few statistically tested, standardized methods of counting amphibians exist. We tested whether counts of northern two-lined salamander larvae (Eurycea bislineata) sheltered in leaf litter bags--a relatively new, easily replicable survey technique--had a linear correlation to total number of larvae. Using experimental enclosures placed in streams, we compared number of salamanders found in artificial habitat (leaf litter bags) with total number of salamanders in each enclosure. Low numbers of the animals were found in leaf litter bags, and the relative amount of variation in the index (number of animals in leaf litter bags compared to total number of animals in stream enclosures) was high. The index of salamanders in leaf litter bags was not significantly related to total number of salamanders in enclosures for two-thirds of the replicates or with pooled replicates (P= 0.066). Consequently, we cannot recommend using leaf litter bags to index populations of northern two-lined salamanders.

  3. Mercury bioaccumulation in northern two-lined salamanders from streams in the northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Bank, Michael S; Loftin, Cynthia S; Jung, Robin E

    2005-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in salamanders has received little attention despite widespread Hg contamination of aquatic ecosystems and worldwide amphibian declines. Here we report concentrations of methyl Hg (MeHg) and total Hg in larval northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) collected from streams in Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine, and Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM; a paired, gauged watershed treated with bimonthly applications (25 kg/ha/yr) of ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2SO4]) since 1989), and Shenandoah National Park (SNP), Virginia. MeHg comprised 73-97% of total Hg in the larval salamander composite samples from ANP. At BBWM we detected significantly higher total. Hg levels in larvae from the (NH4)2SO4 treatment watershed. At ANP total Hg concentrations in salamander larvae were significantly higher from streams in unburned watersheds in contrast with larval samples collected from streams located in watersheds burned by the 1947 Bar Harbor fire. Additionally, total Hg levels were significantly higher in salamander larvae collected at ANP in contrast with SNP. Our results suggest that watershed-scale attributes including fire history, whole-catchment (NH4)2SO4 additions, wetland extent, and forest cover type influence mercury bioaccumulation in salamanders inhabiting lotic environments. We also discuss the use of this species as an indicator of Hg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  4. Spatial variation in water loss predicts terrestrial salamander distribution and population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peterman, W E; Semlitsch, R D

    2014-10-01

    Many patterns observed in ecology, such as species richness, life history variation, habitat use, and distribution, have physiological underpinnings. For many ectothermic organisms, temperature relationships shape these patterns, but for terrestrial amphibians, water balance may supersede temperature as the most critical physiologically limiting factor. Many amphibian species have little resistance to water loss, which restricts them to moist microhabitats, and may significantly affect foraging, dispersal, and courtship. Using plaster models as surrogates for terrestrial plethodontid salamanders (Plethodon albagula), we measured water loss under ecologically relevant field conditions to estimate the duration of surface activity time across the landscape. Surface activity time was significantly affected by topography, solar exposure, canopy cover, maximum air temperature, and time since rain. Spatially, surface activity times were highest in ravine habitats and lowest on ridges. Surface activity time was a significant predictor of salamander abundance, as well as a predictor of successful recruitment; the probability of a juvenile salamander occupying an area with high surface activity time was two times greater than an area with limited predicted surface activity. Our results suggest that survival, recruitment, or both are demographic processes that are affected by water loss and the ability of salamanders to be surface-active. Results from our study extend our understanding of plethodontid salamander ecology, emphasize the limitations imposed by their unique physiology, and highlight the importance of water loss to spatial population dynamics. These findings are timely for understanding the effects that fluctuating temperature and moisture conditions predicted for future climates will have on plethodontid salamanders.

  5. Organisation of the spinal central pattern generators for locomotion in the salamander: biology and modelling.

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Stéphanie; Jan Ijspeert, Auke; Ryczko, Dimitri; Nagy, Frédéric; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie

    2008-01-01

    Among living tetrapods, salamanders are regarded as most closely resembling the first terrestrial vertebrates, and are therefore an interesting group in which the evolutionary changes in the locomotor behaviour from aquatic to terrestrial habitats can be inferred. Salamanders exhibit two locomotor modes: swimming and terrestrial stepping. The swimming is anguilliform and resembles closely that of the lamprey. On the ground, the salamander switches to a stepping gait with axial undulations that is also observed in many reptiles. The salamander is therefore ideally suited for examining the neural mechanisms for the generation of these two locomotor modes, as well as the neural mechanisms of gait transition. In the present paper, we describe the kinematics and patterns of activation of axial and limb muscles during stepping and swimming in adult salamanders. We then review the current neurobiological data about the organisation of the spinal networks underlying swimming and stepping, and the mechanisms of gait transition. Finally we report modelling studies aimed at understanding the organisation and operation of the salamander locomotor circuits. Altogether, the neurobiological and the modelling data support the hypothesis of a phylogenetic conservatism from agnathians to amphibians of the spinal locomotor networks generating axial motor patterns.

  6. Mercury bioaccumulation in northern two-lined salamanders from streams in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bank, M.S.; Loftin, C.S.; Jung, R.E.

    2005-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in salamanders has received little attention despite widespread Hg contamination of aquatic ecosystems and worldwide amphibian declines. Here we report concentrations of methyl Hg (MeHg) and total Hg in larval northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) collected from streams in Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine, and Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM; a paired, gauged watershed treated with bimonthly applications (25 kg/ha/yr) of ammonium sulfate [(NH4)(2)SO4]) since 1989), and Shenandoah National Park (SNP), Virginia. MeHg comprised 73-97% of total Hg in the larval salamander composite samples from ANP. At BBWM we detected significantly higher total Hg levels in larvae from the (NH4)(2)SO4 treatment watershed. At ANP total Hg concentrations in salamander larvae were significantly higher from streams in unburned watersheds in contrast with larval samples collected from streams located in watersheds burned by the 1947 Bar Harbor fire. Additionally, total Hg levels were significantly higher in salamander larvae collected at ANP in contrast with SNP. Our results suggest that watershed-scale attributes including. re history, whole-catchment (NH4)(2)SO4 additions, wetland extent, and forest cover type influence mercury bioaccumulation in salamanders inhabiting lotic environments. We also discuss the use of this species as an indicator of Hg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  7. Three decades of urbanization: Estimating the impact of land-cover change on stream salamander populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, S.J.; Dorcas, M.E.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Willson, J.D.

    2006-01-01

    Urbanization has become the dominant form of landscape disturbance in parts of the United States. Small streams in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States support high densities of salamanders and are often the first habitats to be affected by landscape-altering factors such as urbanization. We used US Geological Survey land cover data from 1972 to 2000 and a relation between stream salamanders and land cover, established from recent research, to estimate the impact of contemporary land-cover change on the abundance of stream salamanders near Davidson, North Carolina, a Piedmont locale that has experienced rapid urbanization during this time. Our analysis indicates that southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) populations have decreased from 32% to 44% while northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus) have decreased from 21% to 30% over the last three decades. Our results suggest that the widespread conversion of forest to urban land in small catchments has likely resulted in a substantial decline of populations of stream salamanders and could have serious effects on stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endemic salamander species from central Texas.

    PubMed

    Gaertner, James P; Forstner, Michael R J; O'Donnell, Lisa; Hahn, Dittmar

    2009-03-01

    A nested PCR protocol was used to analyze five endemic salamander species from Central Texas for the presence of the emerging pathogen, chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Chytrid fungus was detected from samples of each of the five species sampled: with low abundance, in the Texas salamander (Eurycea neotenes) (1 positive out of 16 individuals tested; 1/16), the Blanco River Springs salamander (E. pterophila) (1/20), the threatened San Marcos salamander (E. nana) (1/17), and the endangered Barton Springs salamander (E. sosorum) (1/7); much higher abundance was obtained for the Jollyville Plateau salamander (E. tonkawae) (6/14), which has recently been petitioned for addition to the USA endangered species list. With one exception, sequences of PCR products were identical to the 5.8S rRNA gene, and nearly so for the flanking internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of B. dendrobatidis which confirmed the detection of chytrid fungus, and thus demonstrated the presence of this pathogen in populations of endangered species in Central Texas. These confirmations were obtained from nonconsumptive tail clippings which confirms the applicability of historically collected samples from other studies in the examination of the fungus across time.

  9. Plethodon cinerius (eastern red-backed salamander) movement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sterrett, Sean; Brand, Adrianne; Fields, William R.; Katz, Rachel A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Lungless salamanders (family Plethodontidae) are relatively sedentary and are presumed to have limited dispersal ability (Marsh et al. 2004. Ecology 85:3396–3405). Site fidelity in Plethodontidae is high, and individuals displaced 90 m return to home territories (Kleeberger and Werner 1982. Copeia 1982:409–415). Individuals defend territories (Jaeger et al. 1982. Anim. Behav. 30:490–496) and female home ranges have been estimated to be 24.34 m2 (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). Females may seek out suitable subsurface habitat to oviposit eggs, yet little is known about their maximum movement distances (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. 587 pp.).On 18 September 2014, a female P. cinereus (lead back morphotype; SVL = 44.68 mm; 0.89 g) was found under a coverboard during a standard sampling event and uniquely marked using visual implant elastomer at the S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, Massachusetts, USA (42.59280°N, 72.58070°W, datum WGS84; elev. 74 m). This individual was subsequently recaptured at ~1500 h on 8 October 2014 under a coverboard within 3 m of the original capture location and then again ~1430 h on 16 October 2014 under a log, within the same forest patch, though in a 50 x 150 m area adjacent to the original study area. Because we found the marked salamander while collecting multiple individuals for a laboratory study, the exact recapture location of the marked individual is not known. However, the distance between the 8 October capture location and the nearest edge of the 16 October search area (i.e. 50 x 150 m) was 143 m, indicating a minimum movement distance. As far as we are aware, this is the longest recorded movement for P. cinereus by more than 53 m (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). This finding followed a rain event of 1.63 cm within 24 h and the second largest sustained rain event during October. The movement we observed may have been due to

  10. Nanochannel Platform for Single-DNA Studies; From DNA-Protein Interaction to Large Scale Genome Sequencing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Maarel, Johan; van Kan, Jeroen; Zhang, Ce

    2014-03-01

    The study of nanochannel-confined DNA molecules is of importance from both biotechnological and biophysical points of view. We produce nanochannels in elastomer-based biochips with soft lithography using proton beam writing technology. The cross-sectional diameter of the channels is in the range of 50 to 300 nm. Single DNA molecules confined inside these channels can be visualized with fluorescence microscopy. Two related issues concerning DNA confined in such a nanospace will be discussed. For the first issue, the dynamic effects of nucleoid associated proteins (H-NS and HU) and protamine on the conformation and condensation of DNA will be presented. We use a novel, cross-channel device, which allows the monitoring of the conformational response after a change in environmental solution conditions in situ. The second issue concerns bottlebrush-coated DNA. The bottlebrush has an increased bending rigidity and thickness, which results in an amplified stretch once it is confined inside a nanochannel. It will be demonstrated that large-scale genomic organization can be sequenced using single DNA molecules on an array of elastomeric nanochannels with cross-sectional diameters of 200 nm. Overall, our results show that the effects of proteins on the conformation and folding of DNA are not only related to protein binding, osmolarity, and charge, but that the interplay with confinement in a nanospace is of paramount importance.

  11. Patterns of metabolite changes identified from large-scale gene perturbations in Arabidopsis using a genome-scale metabolic network.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taehyong; Dreher, Kate; Nilo-Poyanco, Ricardo; Lee, Insuk; Fiehn, Oliver; Lange, Bernd Markus; Nikolau, Basil J; Sumner, Lloyd; Welti, Ruth; Wurtele, Eve S; Rhee, Seung Y

    2015-04-01

    Metabolomics enables quantitative evaluation of metabolic changes caused by genetic or environmental perturbations. However, little is known about how perturbing a single gene changes the metabolic system as a whole and which network and functional properties are involved in this response. To answer this question, we investigated the metabolite profiles from 136 mutants with single gene perturbations of functionally diverse Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes. Fewer than 10 metabolites were changed significantly relative to the wild type in most of the mutants, indicating that the metabolic network was robust to perturbations of single metabolic genes. These changed metabolites were closer to each other in a genome-scale metabolic network than expected by chance, supporting the notion that the genetic perturbations changed the network more locally than globally. Surprisingly, the changed metabolites were close to the perturbed reactions in only 30% of the mutants of the well-characterized genes. To determine the factors that contributed to the distance between the observed metabolic changes and the perturbation site in the network, we examined nine network and functional properties of the perturbed genes. Only the isozyme number affected the distance between the perturbed reactions and changed metabolites. This study revealed patterns of metabolic changes from large-scale gene perturbations and relationships between characteristics of the perturbed genes and metabolic changes.

  12. Analysis of BRCA1and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements in Sri Lankan familial breast cancer patients and at risk individuals

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Majority of mutations found to date in the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes in breast and/or ovarian cancer families are point mutations or small insertions and deletions scattered over the coding sequence and splice junctions. Such mutations and sequence variants of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were previously identified in a group of Sri Lankan breast cancer patients. Large genomic rearrangements have been characterized in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in several populations but these have not been characterized in Sri Lankan breast cancer patients. Findings A cohort of familial breast cancer patients (N = 57), at risk individuals (N = 25) and healthy controls (N = 23) were analyzed using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification method to detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements. One familial breast cancer patient showed an ambiguous deletion in exon 6 of BRCA1 gene. Full sequencing of the ambiguous region was used to confirm MLPA results. Ambiguous deletion detected by MLPA was found to be a false positive result confirming that BRCA1 large genomic rearrangements were absent in the subjects studied. No BRCA2 rearrangement was also identified in the cohort. Conclusion Thus this study demonstrates that BRCA1 and BRCA2 large genomic rearrangements are unlikely to make a significant contribution to aetiology of breast cancer in Sri Lanka. PMID:24906410

  13. Effects of egg size on success of larval salamanders in complex aquatic environments. [Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D. ); Whitfield Gibbons, J. )

    1990-10-01

    Effects of egg size on growth, survival, and metamorphosis of larval salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum) were examined in varying environments. Pond drying regime and presence vs. absence of an interspecific competitor were manipulated in a factorial experiment using artificial ponds to measure the responses of larvae. Females that were 4 yr old produced larger eggs and hatchlings than 1-yr-old females. Differences in body size at hatching persisted through day 49 of the experiment but disappeared by day 129. Drying regime also affected body size at day 49 but not at day 129. Larvae from large eggs, and larvae in constant water level ponds, had higher survival to day 129 than larvae from small eggs, and in drying ponds. There was also a significant interaction between egg size and drying regime. Larvae from large eggs survived better than larvae from small eggs in the constant water level ponds, but not in drying ponds. Interspecific competitors did not affect growth or survival to day 129. More individuals metamorphosed from drying ponds than from constant water level ponds. The growth advantages conferred by larger body size at hatching are transient and may disappear during compensatory growth later in the larval period. Body size advantages early in the larval period, however, probably account for increased survival through size-specific mechanisms at a time when newly hatched larvae are most vulnerable.

  14. Streambed microstructure predicts evolution of development and life history mode in the plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T

    2006-01-01

    Background Habitat variation strongly influences the evolution of developmentally flexible traits, and may drive speciation and diversification. The plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis is endemic to the geologically diverse Ozark Plateau of south-central North America, and comprises both strictly aquatic paedomorphic populations (achieving reproductive maturity while remaining in the larval form) and more terrestrial metamorphic populations. The switch between developmental modes has occurred many times, but populations typically exhibit a single life history mode. This unique system offers an opportunity to study the specific ecological circumstances under which alternate developmental and life history modes evolve. We use phylogenetic independent contrasts to test for relationships between a key microhabitat feature (streambed sediment) and this major life history polymorphism. Results We find streambed microstructure (sediment particle size, type and degree of sorting) to be highly correlated with life-history mode. Eurycea tynerensis is paedomorphic in streams containing large chert gravel, but metamorphoses in nearby streams containing poorly sorted, clastic material such as sandstone or siltstone. Conclusion Deposits of large chert gravel create loosely associated streambeds, which provide access to subsurface water during dry summer months. Conversely, streambeds composed of more densely packed sandstone and siltstone sediments leave no subterranean refuge when surface water dries, presumably necessitating metamorphosis and use of terrestrial habitats. This represents a clear example of the relationship between microhabitat structure and evolution of a major developmental and life history trait, and has broad implications for the role of localized ecological conditions on larger-scale evolutionary processes. PMID:16512919

  15. Innovative techniques for sampling stream-inhabiting salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    T.M. Luhring; C.A. Young

    2006-01-01

    Although salamanders are excellent indicators of environmental health, the ability to catch them efficiently without substantially disrupting their habitat is not always practical or even possible with current techniques. Ripping open logs and raking leaf packs onto shore (Bruce 1972) are examples of such practices that are disruptive but widely used by herpetologists who have no other means of efficient collection. Drift fences with pitfall traps are effective in catching animals moving within or between habitats but are time consuming and require an initial financial investment and constant upkeep to maintain functionality and prevent animal fatalities (Gibbons and Semlitsch 1981). One current alternative to drift fences is the use of coverboards (Grant et al. 1992), which require less maintenance and sampling effort than drift fences. However, coverboards do not integrate captures over a long time period and often result in a lower number of captures per trap (Grant et al. 1992).

  16. Ambient ultraviolet radiation causes mortality in salamander eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Edmond, B.; Kiesecker, J.M.

    1995-08-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibian species have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some anuran species, ambient levels of UV-B cause mortality in embryonic stages and hatching success is significantly reduced. Projected increases in UV-B may affect an increasing number of species. The adverse effects of UV-B may eventually be manifested at the population level and may ultimately contribute to population declines. Using field experiments, we investigated the effects of ambient UV-B on salamander (Ambystoma gracile) embryos developing at natural oviposition sites. We show that the hatching success of eggs of A. gracile shielded from UV-B is significantly higher than those not shielded from UV-B. 27 refs., 1 fig.

  17. Predator-prey relationships among larval dragonflies, salamanders, and frogs.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O

    1980-09-01

    Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.

  18. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    PubMed

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations.

  19. Positional identity of adult stem cells in salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2007-01-01

    Limb regeneration in larval and adult salamanders proceeds from a mound of mesenchymal stem cells called the limb blastema. The blastema gives rise just to those structures distal to its level of origin, and this property of positional identity is reset to more proximal values by treatment with retinoic acid. We have identified a cell surface protein, called Prod1/CD59, which appears to be a determinant of proximodistal identity. Prod1 is expressed in an exponential gradient in an adult limb as determined by detection of both mRNA and immunoreactive protein. Prod1 protein is up-regulated after treatment of distal blastemas with RA and this is particularly marked in cells of the dermis. These cells have previously been implicated in pattern formation during limb regeneration.

  20. Whole Genome Sequence Analysis of a Large Isoniazid-Resistant Tuberculosis Outbreak in London: A Retrospective Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Casali, Nicola; Broda, Agnieszka; Harris, Simon R.; Brown, Timothy; Drobniewski, Francis

    2016-01-01

    Background A large isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis outbreak centred on London, United Kingdom, has been ongoing since 1995. The aim of this study was to investigate the power and value of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to resolve the transmission network compared to current molecular strain typing approaches, including analysis of intra-host diversity within a specimen, across body sites, and over time, with identification of genetic factors underlying the epidemiological success of this cluster. Methods and Findings We sequenced 344 outbreak isolates from individual patients collected over 14 y (2 February 1998–22 June 2012). This demonstrated that 96 (27.9%) were indistinguishable, and only one differed from this major clone by more than five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The maximum number of SNPs between any pair of isolates was nine SNPs, and the modal distance between isolates was two SNPs. WGS was able to reveal the direction of transmission of tuberculosis in 16 cases within the outbreak (4.7%), including within a multidrug-resistant cluster that carried a rare rpoB mutation associated with rifampicin resistance. Eleven longitudinal pairs of patient pulmonary isolates collected up to 48 mo apart differed from each other by between zero and four SNPs. Extrapulmonary dissemination resulted in acquisition of a SNP in two of five cases. WGS analysis of 27 individual colonies cultured from a single patient specimen revealed ten loci differed amongst them, with a maximum distance between any pair of six SNPs. A limitation of this study, as in previous studies, is that indels and SNPs in repetitive regions were not assessed due to the difficulty in reliably determining this variation. Conclusions Our study suggests that (1) certain paradigms need to be revised, such as the 12 SNP distance as the gold standard upper threshold to identify plausible transmissions; (2) WGS technology is helpful to rule out the possibility of direct transmission when

  1. A Large Genome-Wide Association Study of Age-Related Hearing Impairment Using Electronic Health Records

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Thomas J.; Keats, Bronya J.; Yoshikawa, Noriko; Risch, Neil

    2016-01-01

    Age-related hearing impairment (ARHI), one of the most common sensory disorders, can be mitigated, but not cured or eliminated. To identify genetic influences underlying ARHI, we conducted a genome-wide association study of ARHI in 6,527 cases and 45,882 controls among the non-Hispanic whites from the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort. We identified two novel genome-wide significant SNPs: rs4932196 (odds ratio = 1.185, p = 4.0x10-11), 52Kb 3’ of ISG20, which replicated in a meta-analysis of the other GERA race/ethnicity groups (1,025 cases, 12,388 controls, p = 0.00094) and in a UK Biobank case-control analysis (30,802 self-reported cases, 78,586 controls, p = 0.015); and rs58389158 (odds ratio = 1.132, p = 1.8x10-9), which replicated in the UK Biobank (p = 0.00021). The latter SNP lies just outside exon 8 and is highly correlated (r2 = 0.96) with the missense SNP rs5756795 in exon 7 of TRIOBP, a gene previously associated with prelingual nonsyndromic hearing loss. We further tested these SNPs in phenotypes from audiologist notes available on a subset of GERA (4,903 individuals), stratified by case/control status, to construct an independent replication test, and found a significant effect of rs58389158 on speech reception threshold (SRT; overall GERA meta-analysis p = 1.9x10-6). We also tested variants within exons of 132 other previously-identified hearing loss genes, and identified two common additional significant SNPs: rs2877561 (synonymous change in ILDR1, p = 6.2x10-5), which replicated in the UK Biobank (p = 0.00057), and had a significant GERA SRT (p = 0.00019) and speech discrimination score (SDS; p = 0.0019); and rs9493627 (missense change in EYA4, p = 0.00011) which replicated in the UK Biobank (p = 0.0095), other GERA groups (p = 0.0080), and had a consistent significant result for SRT (p = 0.041) and suggestive result for SDS (p = 0.081). Large cohorts with GWAS data and electronic health records may be a useful

  2. Redefining the differences in gene content between Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis using large-scale comparative genomics

    PubMed Central

    Califf, Katy J.; Keim, Paul S.; Wagner, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is best known for historical pandemics, but still actively causes disease in many parts of the world. Y. pestis is a recently derived clone of the pathogenic species Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, but is more associated with human infection. Numerous studies have documented genomic changes since the two species differentiated, although all of these studies used a relatively small sample set for defining these differences. In this study, we compared the complete genomic content between a diverse set of Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis genomes, and identified unique loci that could serve as diagnostic markers or for better understanding the evolution and pathogenesis of each group. Comparative genomics analyses also identified subtle variations in gene content between individual monophyletic clades within these species, based on a core genome single nucleotide polymorphism phylogeny that would have been undetected in a less comprehensive genome dataset. We also screened loci that were identified in other published studies as unique to either species and generally found a non-uniform distribution, suggesting that the assignment of these unique genes to either species should be re-evaluated in the context of current sequencing efforts. Overall, this study provides a high-resolution view into the genomic differences between Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis, demonstrating fine-scale differentiation and unique gene composition in both species. PMID:28348813

  3. Sodium-dependent calcium extrusion and sensitivity regulation in retinal cones of the salamander.

    PubMed Central

    Nakatani, K; Yau, K W

    1989-01-01

    1. Membrane current was recorded from an isolated, dark-adapted salamander cone by sucking its inner segment into a tight-fitting glass pipette containing Ringer solution. The outer segment of the cell was exposed to a bath solution that could be changed rapidly. 2. After removing Na+ from the bath Ringer solution for a short period of time in darkness (the 'loading period'), a transient inward current was observed upon restoring it in bright light. A similar but longer-lasting current was observed when Na+ was restored in the light after a large Ca2+ influx was induced through the light-sensitive conductance in darkness. 3. The above transient current was not observed if Li+ or guanidinium was substituted for Na+ in the light, or if Ba2+ was substituted for Ca2+ during the dark loading period. However, a current was observed if Sr2+ was the substituting ion for Ca2+ during loading. These observations suggested that the current was associated with an electrogenic Na+-dependent Ca2+ efflux at the cone outer segment. 4. The saturated amplitude of the exchange current was 12-25 pA with a mean around 16 pA. This is very comparable to that measured in the outer segment of a salamander rod under similar conditions. 5. By comparing a known Ca2+ load in a cone outer segment to the subsequent charge transfer through the exchange, we estimated that the stoichiometry of the exchange was near 3Na+:1Ca2+. 6. With a small Ca2+ load, or in the presence of Cs+ around the inner segment, the final temporal decline of the Na+-Ca2+ exchange current was roughly exponential, with a mean time constant of about 100 ms. This decline is about four times faster than that measured in rods. We interpret the shorter time constant in cones to reflect a faster rate of decline of intracellular free Ca2+ in their outer segments resulting from the exchange activity. 7. In the absence of external Na+, and hence any Na+-dependent Ca2+ efflux, the absolute sensitivity of a cone to a dim flash was

  4. A connectionist central pattern generator for the aquatic and terrestrial gaits of a simulated salamander.

    PubMed

    Ijspeert, A J

    2001-05-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying salamander locomotion, and develops a biologically plausible connectionist model of a central pattern generator capable of producing the typical aquatic and terrestrial gaits of the salamander. It investigates, in particular, what type of neural circuitry can produce and modulate the two locomotor programs identified within the salamander's spinal cord; namely, a traveling wave of neural activity for swimming and a standing wave for trotting. A two-dimensional biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body is developed whose muscle contraction is determined by the locomotion controller simulated as a leaky-integrator neural network. While the connectivity of the neural circuitry underlying locomotion in the salamander has not been decoded for the moment, this article presents the design of a neural circuit that has a general organization corresponding to that hypothesized by neurobiologists. In particular, the locomotion controller is based on a body central pattern generator (CPG) corresponding to a lamprey-like swimming controller, and is extended with a limb CPG for controlling the salamander's limbs. The complete controller is developed in three stages: first the development of segmental oscillators, second the development of intersegmental coupling for the making of a lamprey-like swimming CPG, and finally the development of the limb CPG and its coupling to the body CPG. A genetic algorithm is used to determine the parameters of the neural circuit for the different stages, given a high-level description of the desired state space trajectories of the different subnetworks. A controller is thus developed that can produce neural activities and locomotion gaits very similar to those observed in the real salamander. By varying the tonic (i.e. non-oscillating) excitation applied to the network, the speed, direction and type of gait can be varied.

  5. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation.

  6. Genome Reduction Uncovers a Large Dispensable Genome and Adaptive Role for Copy Number Variation in Asexually Propagated Solanum tuberosum[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hardigan, Michael A.; Crisovan, Emily; Hamilton, John P.; Laimbeer, Parker; Leisner, Courtney P.; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C.; Newton, Linsey; Pham, Gina M.; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Zeng, Zixian; Jiang, Jiming

    2016-01-01

    Clonally reproducing plants have the potential to bear a significantly greater mutational load than sexually reproducing species. To investigate this possibility, we examined the breadth of genome-wide structural variation in a panel of monoploid/doubled monoploid clones generated from native populations of diploid potato (Solanum tuberosum), a highly heterozygous asexually propagated plant. As rare instances of purely homozygous clones, they provided an ideal set for determining the degree of structural variation tolerated by this species and deriving its minimal gene complement. Extensive copy number variation (CNV) was uncovered, impacting 219.8 Mb (30.2%) of the potato genome with nearly 30% of genes subject to at least partial duplication or deletion, revealing the highly heterogeneous nature of the potato genome. Dispensable genes (>7000) were associated with limited transcription and/or a recent evolutionary history, with lower deletion frequency observed in genes conserved across angiosperms. Association of CNV with plant adaptation was highlighted by enrichment in gene clusters encoding functions for environmental stress response, with gene duplication playing a part in species-specific expansions of stress-related gene families. This study revealed unique impacts of CNV in a species with asexual reproductive habits and how CNV may drive adaption through evolution of key stress pathways. PMID:26772996

  7. A BAC pooling strategy combined with PCR-based screenings in a large, highly repetitive genome enables integration of the maize genetic and physical maps

    PubMed Central

    Yim, Young-Sun; Moak, Patricia; Sanchez-Villeda, Hector; Musket, Theresa A; Close, Pamela; Klein, Patricia E; Mullet, John E; McMullen, Michael D; Fang, Zheiwei; Schaeffer, Mary L; Gardiner, Jack M; Coe, Edward H; Davis, Georgia L

    2007-01-01

    Background Molecular markers serve three important functions in physical map assembly. First, they provide anchor points to genetic maps facilitating functional genomic studies. Second, they reduce the overlap required for BAC contig assembly from 80 to 50 percent. Finally, they validate assemblies based solely on BAC fingerprints. We employed a six-dimensional BAC pooling strategy in combination with a high-throughput PCR-based screening method to anchor the maize genetic and physical maps. Results A total of 110,592 maize BAC clones (~ 6x haploid genome equivalents) were pooled into six different matrices, each containing 48 pools of BAC DNA. The quality of the BAC DNA pools and their utility for identifying BACs containing target genomic sequences was tested using 254 PCR-based STS markers. Five types of PCR-based STS markers were screened to assess potential uses for the BAC pools. An average of 4.68 BAC clones were identified per marker analyzed. These results were integrated with BAC fingerprint data generated by the Arizona Genomics Institute (AGI) and the Arizona Genomics Computational Laboratory (AGCoL) to assemble the BAC contigs using the FingerPrinted Contigs (FPC) software and contribute to the construction and anchoring of the physical map. A total of 234 markers (92.5%) anchored BAC contigs to their genetic map positions. The results can be viewed on the integrated map of maize [1,2]. Conclusion This BAC pooling strategy is a rapid, cost effective method for genome assembly and anchoring. The requirement for six replicate positive amplifications makes this a robust method for use in large genomes with high amounts of repetitive DNA such as maize. This strategy can be used to physically map duplicate loci, provide order information for loci in a small genetic interval or with no genetic recombination, and loci with conflicting hybridization-based information. PMID:17291341

  8. Large scale full-length cDNA sequencing reveals a unique genomic landscape in a lepidopteran model insect, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Yoshitaka; Futahashi, Ryo; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kadono-Okuda, Keiko; Sasanuma, Shun-ichi; Narukawa, Junko; Ajimura, Masahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Namiki, Nobukazu; Shimomura, Michihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Suzuki, Masataka G; Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Taniai, Kiyoko; Asaoka, Kiyoshi; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kawaoka, Shinpei; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Noda, Hiroaki; Kasahara, Masahiro; Sugano, Sumio; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Arunkumar, Kallare P; Tomar, Archana; Nagaraju, Javaregowda; Goldsmith, Marian R; Feng, Qili; Xia, Qingyou; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Shimada, Toru; Mita, Kazuei

    2013-09-04

    The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes.

  9. Large Scale Full-Length cDNA Sequencing Reveals a Unique Genomic Landscape in a Lepidopteran Model Insect, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Suetsugu, Yoshitaka; Futahashi, Ryo; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kadono-Okuda, Keiko; Sasanuma, Shun-ichi; Narukawa, Junko; Ajimura, Masahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Namiki, Nobukazu; Shimomura, Michihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Suzuki, Masataka G; Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Taniai, Kiyoko; Asaoka, Kiyoshi; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kawaoka, Shinpei; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Noda, Hiroaki; Kasahara, Masahiro; Sugano, Sumio; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Arunkumar, Kallare P.; Tomar, Archana; Nagaraju, Javaregowda; Goldsmith, Marian R.; Feng, Qili; Xia, Qingyou; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Shimada, Toru; Mita, Kazuei

    2013-01-01

    The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes. PMID:23821615

  10. Evidence that the large noncoding sequence is the main control region of maternally and paternally transmitted mitochondrial genomes of the marine mussel (Mytilus spp.).

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Liqin; Kenchington, Ellen; Zouros, Eleftherios; Rodakis, George C

    2004-01-01

    Both the maternal (F-type) and paternal (M-type) mitochondrial genomes of the Mytilus species complex M. edulis/galloprovincialis contain a noncoding sequence between the l-rRNA and the tRNA(Tyr) genes, here called the large unassigned region (LUR). The LUR, which is shorter in M genomes, is capable of forming secondary structures and contains motifs of significant sequence similarity with elements known to have specific functions in the sea urchin and the mammalian control region. Such features are not present in other noncoding regions of the F or M Mytilus mtDNA. The LUR can be divided on the basis of indels and nucleotide variation in three domains, which is reminiscent of the tripartite structure of the mammalian control region. These features suggest that the LUR is the main control region of the Mytilus mitochondrial genome. The middle domain has diverged by only 1.5% between F and M genomes, while the average divergence over the whole molecule is approximately 20%. In contrast, the first domain is among the most divergent parts of the genome. This suggests that different parts of the LUR are under different selection constraints that are also different from those acting on the coding parts of the molecule. PMID:15238532

  11. Adaptation to changes in higher-order stimulus statistics in the salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Tkačik, Gašper; Ghosh, Anandamohan; Schneidman, Elad; Segev, Ronen

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation in the retina is thought to optimize the encoding of natural light signals into sequences of spikes sent to the brain. While adaptive changes in retinal processing to the variations of the mean luminance level and second-order stimulus statistics have been documented before, no such measurements have been performed when higher-order moments of the light distribution change. We therefore measured the ganglion cell responses in the tiger salamander retina to controlled changes in the second (contrast), third (skew) and fourth (kurtosis) moments of the light intensity distribution of spatially uniform temporally independent stimuli. The skew and kurtosis of the stimuli were chosen to cover the range observed in natural scenes. We quantified adaptation in ganglion cells by studying linear-nonlinear models that capture well the retinal encoding properties across all stimuli. We found that the encoding properties of retinal ganglion cells change only marginally when higher-order statistics change, compared to the changes observed in response to the variation in contrast. By analyzing optimal coding in LN-type models, we showed that neurons can maintain a high information rate without large dynamic adaptation to changes in skew or kurtosis. This is because, for uncorrelated stimuli, spatio-temporal summation within the receptive field averages away non-gaussian aspects of the light intensity distribution.

  12. Genetic drift and rapid evolution of viviparity in insular fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra)

    PubMed Central

    Velo-Antón, G; Zamudio, K R; Cordero-Rivera, A

    2012-01-01

    Continental islands offer an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptive processes and to time microevolutionary changes that precede macroevolutionary events. We performed a population genetic study of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), a species that displays unique intraspecific diversity of reproductive strategies, to address the microevolutionary processes leading to phenotypic and genetic differentiation of island, coastal and interior populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to estimate genetic diversity, population structure and demographic parameters in viviparous insular populations and ovoviviparous coastal and interior populations. Our results show considerable genetic differentiation (FST range: 0.06–0.27), and no clear signs of gene flow among populations, except between the large and admixed interior populations. We find no support for island colonization by rafting or intentional/accidental anthropogenic introductions, indicating that rising sea levels were responsible for isolation of the island populations approximately 9000 years ago. Our study provides evidence of rapid genetic differentiation between island and coastal populations, and rapid evolution of viviparity driven by climatic selective pressures on island populations, geographic isolation with genetic drift, or a combination of these factors. Studies of these viviparous island populations in early stages of divergence help us better understand the microevolutionary processes involved in rapid phenotypic shifts. PMID:22086081

  13. Batesian mimics influence the evolution of conspicuousness in an aposematic salamander.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, A C; Serb, J M; Adams, D C

    2015-05-01

    Conspicuousness, or having high contrast relative to the surrounding background, is a common feature of unpalatable species. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the occurrence of conspicuousness, and while most involve the role of conspicuousness as a direct signal of unpalatability to potential predators, one hypothesis suggests that exaggerated conspicuousness may evolve in unpalatable species to reduce predator confusion with palatable species (potential Batesian mimics). This hypothesis of antagonistic coevolution between palatable and unpalatable species hinges on the 'cost of conspicuousness', in which conspicuousness increases the likelihood of predation more in palatable species than in unpalatable species. Under this mimicry scenario, four patterns are expected: (i) mimics will more closely resemble local models than models from other localities, (ii) there will be a positive relationship between mimic and model conspicuousness, (iii) models will be more conspicuous in the presence of mimics, and (iv) when models and mimics differ in conspicuousness, mimics will be less conspicuous than models. We tested these predictions in the salamander mimicry system involving Notophthalmus viridescens (model) and one colour morph of Plethodon cinereus (mimic). All predictions were supported, indicating that selection for Batesian mimicry not only influences the evolution of mimics, but also the evolution of the models they resemble. These findings indicate that mimicry plays a large role in the evolution of model warning signals, particularly influencing the evolution of conspicuousness.

  14. Notes on cranial ontogeny and delayed metamorphosis in the hynobiid salamander Ranodon sibiricus Kessler, 1866 (Urodela).

    PubMed

    Jömann, Norbert; Clemen, Günter; Greven, Hartmut

    2005-07-01

    The skull of larvae, juveniles and adults of the rare and primitive hynobiid salamander Ranodon sibiricus was re-examined using transparencies and illustrated by new graphics. The earliest larva available for investigations already had the dominant bones. The maxillary, however, was still lacking. Previous descriptions regarding the appearance and growth of bones could be largely confirmed. The vomer, first seen as a relatively small obliquely arranged dentate bar in the 3.8 cm long larva, became larger during ontogeny, but did not change its position remarkably. The vomerine pars dentalis with only a single tooth line was straight in larvae and juveniles, but was slightly curved in adults allowing for distinction of an outer and inner portion. This feature is typical and more pronounced in most other hynobiids. The significance of the vomer and vomerine dentition for systematic and phylogenetic purposes and its changes during metamorphosis are briefly discussed. Two of the specimens examined showed delayed metamorphosis very likely caused by low temperatures. Here the temporal course of transformation was "stretched" and therefore some alterations, e.g. regression of the palatinal portion of the palatopterygoid, were shown more clearly. Continuous growth of some skull elements in these individuals suggested a relative independence from metamorphosis perhaps due to variable thyroid activity and/or independent changes in individual tissue sensitivities. It is suggested that remodelling of the mouth roof could be used for staging urodele ontogeny.

  15. Acute toxicity of some hydrazine compounds to salamander larvae, Ambystoma spp

    SciTech Connect

    Slonim, A.R.

    1986-11-01

    Although hydrazine compounds have been used extensively by industry for a very long time, they have become important in recent years as propellants for aerospace operations. The study of hydrazine compounds in this laboratory began about two decades ago and developed into a large pharmacological and toxicological research program that included also environmental considerations. Subsequently, acute toxicity studies were conducted on the common guppy (Lebistes reticulatus Peters) using four hydrazine compounds of interest. The toxicity of these propellants were evaluated next on other species of aquatic organisms such as mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) and amphibians. Two different studies were conducted on amphibians: One utilized amphibian eggs and the other amphibian larvae. The larvae of spotted and marbled salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum and A. opacum, respectively) were used primarily in numerous static bioassays to determine the acute toxicity of hydrazine, UDMH and Aerozine-50 on these organisms. The remaining larvae were used in other tests mainly to corroborate previous experimental results (e.g., to see whether toxicity is affected by organism size, aeration of test solutions, and water hardness). The results on the larvae are presented in this paper.

  16. Genetic drift and rapid evolution of viviparity in insular fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra).

    PubMed

    Velo-Antón, G; Zamudio, K R; Cordero-Rivera, A

    2012-04-01

    Continental islands offer an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptive processes and to time microevolutionary changes that precede macroevolutionary events. We performed a population genetic study of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), a species that displays unique intraspecific diversity of reproductive strategies, to address the microevolutionary processes leading to phenotypic and genetic differentiation of island, coastal and interior populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to estimate genetic diversity, population structure and demographic parameters in viviparous insular populations and ovoviviparous coastal and interior populations. Our results show considerable genetic differentiation (F(ST) range: 0.06-0.27), and no clear signs of gene flow among populations, except between the large and admixed interior populations. We find no support for island colonization by rafting or intentional/accidental anthropogenic introductions, indicating that rising sea levels were responsible for isolation of the island populations approximately 9000 years ago. Our study provides evidence of rapid genetic differentiation between island and coastal populations, and rapid evolution of viviparity driven by climatic selective pressures on island populations, geographic isolation with genetic drift, or a combination of these factors. Studies of these viviparous island populations in early stages of divergence help us better understand the microevolutionary processes involved in rapid phenotypic shifts.

  17. Mitochondrial cytochrome B phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus (Amphibia, Caudata).

    PubMed

    Aoki, Gen; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2013-03-01

    The Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus Boulenger, 1883, is a lentic breeding species widespread throughout montane regions of northeastern Japan. To explore intraspecific genetic variation and infer evolutionary history of H. lichenatus, we performed mitochondrial DNA analysis (complete 1141 bp sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene) using 215 adult and larval individuals collected from 75 localities, encompassing known distributional range of the species. Hynobius lichenatus proved to be monophyletic, including three well-supported and geographically structured clades (Clade I from northern Kanto, Clade II from southern Tohoku, and Clade III from northern Tohoku). These clades, respectively, comprise several subclades, and show genetic distances as large as those seen between different species of Hynobius. Results of population statistic analyses indicate that all clades and most subclades have maintained high genetic diversity and demographic stability over long periods. Molecular dating indicates divergence in H. lichenatus concords with topographic evolution of northeastern Japan from late Miocene to early Pleistocene, suggesting that paleogeographic events in this region, such as orogenesis, sea level change, and volcanic activity, have been crucial for shaping genetic patterns and diversity in this species. Hynobius lichenatus greatly differs from many other animal species from northeastern Japan in its much older periods and the pattern of genetic differentiation, and is suggested as an old faunal element in this region.

  18. Stoichiometry of a semi-aquatic plethodontid salamander: intraspecific variation due to location, size and diet.

    PubMed

    Milanovich, Joseph R; Hopton, Matthew E

    2014-11-01

    Ecological stoichiometry provides a framework to investigate an organism's relationship to nutrient cycles. An organism's stoichiometry is thought to constrain its contribution to nutrient cycles (recycling or storage), and to limit its growth and reproduction. Factors that influence the stoichiometry of a consumer are largely unstudied, but what is known is that consumer stoichiometry is influenced by the elemental requirements of the consumer (e.g. for growth, reproduction and cell maintenance) and the availability of elements. We examined whole-body stoichiometry of larval southern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera) and described the influence of location, body size, stoichiometry of diet items, and environmental nutrient supply on whole-body stoichiometry. Mean composition of phosphorous was 2.6%, nitrogen was 11.3%, and carbon was 39.6%, which are similar for other aquatic vertebrate taxa. The most significant predictor of whole-body stoichiometry was the site where the samples were collected, which was significant for each nutrient and nutrient ratio. Body size and stoichiometry of diet items were also predictors of Eurycea cirrigera stoichiometry. Our study suggests that spatial differences in environmental nutrient supply have a stronger influence on consumer whole-body stoichiometry among similar-sized larvae compared to life history traits, such as body size or diet.

  19. Description of a New Salamander of the Genus Onychodactylus from Shikoku and Western Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Matsui, Masafumi; Tanabe, Shingo; Okayama, Takehito

    2013-01-01

    Recent phylogenetic studies using mtDNA and allozymes clarified the presence of multiple distinct genetic lineages in the Japanese clawed salamander, Onychodactylus japonicus, of which two from northern regions of the country have already been described as new species. Based on morphological analyses of the remaining genetic lineages, we describe the lineage from Shikoku Island and Chugoku Mountains of western Honshu, in western Japan, as a new species, Onychodactylus kinneburi sp. nov. It belongs to the O. japonicus complex and is morphologically similar to O. japonicus (sensu stricto), but is distinguishable from all the other members of the complex by sharply defined yellowish-orange dorsal stripe on black ground color, lack of dark marking on chest, whitish ventrum, comparatively large body size, and relatively narrow head, usually with 19 presacral vertebrae, 13 costal grooves, and relatively smaller number of vomerine tooth series. The new species occurs exclusively in Shikoku Island, but is sympatric with O. japonicus in Chugoku Mountains.

  20. 76 FR 55413 - Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for California Red-legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Smith...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-07

    ... Tiger Salamander, Smith's Blue Butterfly, and Yadon's Piperia at Palo Corona Regional Park, Monterey... californiense) and federally endangered Smith's blue butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) under the Endangered..., California tiger salamander, Smith's blue butterfly, and Yadon's piperia on the property subject to...

  1. 76 FR 44036 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, AT&T Portable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-22

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger... potential for ``take'' of one Federally listed animal, the California tiger salamander. The applicant would... for the California tiger salamander into a new storage facility for portable generators within...

  2. IMPACT OF GUTHION ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF THE FROG PSEUDACRIS REGILLA AND THE SALAMANDERS AMBYSTOMA GRACILE AND AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of the insecticides Guthion (technical grade) and Guthion 2S(commercial formulation) on survival and growth of tadpoles of the Pacific treefrog Pseudacris regilla, and larvae of the Northwestern salamander Ambystoma gracile and the spotted salamander Ambystoma macula...

  3. e2g: an interactive web-based server for efficiently mapping large EST and cDNA sets to genomic sequences.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Jan; Sczyrba, Alexander; Kurtz, Stefan; Giegerich, Robert

    2004-07-01

    e2g is a web-based server which efficiently maps large expressed sequence tag (EST) and cDNA datasets to genomic DNA. It significantly extends the volume of data that can be mapped in reasonable time, and makes this improved efficiency available as a web service. Our server hosts large collections of EST sequences (e.g. 4.1 million mouse ESTs of 1.87 Gb) in precomputed indexed data structures for efficient sequence comparison. The user can upload a genomic DNA sequence of interest and rapidly compare this to the complete collection of ESTs on the server. This delivers a mapping of the ESTs on the genomic DNA. The e2g web interface provides a graphical overview of the mapping. Alignments of the mapped EST regions with parts of the genomic sequence are visualized. Zooming functions allow the user to interactively explore the results. Mapped sequences can be downloaded for further analysis. e2g is available on the Bielefeld University Bioinformatics Server at http://bibiserv.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/e2g/.

  4. Stream water temperature limits occupancy of salamanders in mid-Atlantic protected areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Rice, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    Stream ecosystems are particularly sensitive to urbanization, and tolerance of water-quality parameters is likely important to population persistence of stream salamanders. Forecasted climate and landscape changes may lead to significant changes in stream flow, chemical composition, and temperatures in coming decades. Protected areas where landscape alterations are minimized will therefore become increasingly important for salamander populations. We surveyed 29 streams at three national parks in the highly urbanized greater metropolitan area of Washington, DC. We investigated relationships among water-quality variables and occupancy of three species of stream salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus, Eurycea bislineata, and Pseudotriton ruber). With the use of a set of site-occupancy models, and accounting for imperfect detection, we found that stream-water temperature limits salamander occupancy. There was substantial uncertainty about the effects of the other water-quality variables, although both specific conductance (SC) and pH were included in competitive models. Our estimates of occupancy suggest that temperature, SC, and pH have some importance in structuring stream salamander distribution.

  5. Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and development. Field studies in lakes with and without trout were corroborated by experimental enclosures, where prey were exposed only to visual and chemical cues of predators. We found that salamanders in lakes with trout were consistently smaller than in lakes without trout: 38% lower weight, 24% shorter body length, and 29% shorter tail length. Similarly, salamanders in protective enclosures grew 2.9 times slower when exposed to visual and olfactory trout cues than when no trout cues were present. Salamanders in trout-free lakes and enclosures were 22.7 times and 1.48 times, respectively, more likely to metamorphose during the summer season than those exposed to trout in lakes and/or their cues. Observed changes in larval growth rate and development likely resulted from a facultative response to predator-avoidance behavior and demonstrate NCEs occurred even when predation risk was only perceived. Reduced body size and growth, as well as delayed metamorphosis, could have ecological consequences for salamander populations existing with fish if those effects carry-over into lower recruitment, survival, and fecundity.

  6. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  7. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M.; Shaffer, H. Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50–60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown. PMID:17884982

  8. Anatomy, function, and evolution of jaw and hyobranchial muscles in cryptobranchoid salamander larvae.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Matsui, Masafumi; Haas, Alexander

    2014-02-01

    Larval salamanders (Lissamphibia: Caudata) are known to be effective suction feeders in their aquatic environments, although they will eventually transform into terrestrial tongue feeding adults during metamorphosis. Early tetrapods may have had a similar biphasic life cycle and this makes larval salamanders a particularly interesting model to study the anatomy, function, development, and evolution of the feeding apparatus in terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we provide a description of the muscles that are involved in the feeding strike in salamander larvae of the Hynobiidae and compare them to larvae of the paedomorphic Cryptobranchidae. We provide a functional and evolutionary interpretation for the observed muscle characters. The cranial muscles in larvae from species of the Hynobiidae and Cryptobranchidae are generally very similar. Most notable are the differences in the presence of the m. hyomandibularis, a muscle that connects the hyobranchial apparatus with the lower jaw. We found this muscle only in Onychodactylus japonicus (Hynobiidae) but not in other hynobiid or cryptobranchid salamanders. Interestingly, the m. hyomandibularis in O. japonicus originates from the ceratobranchial I and not the ceratohyal, and thus exhibits what was previously assumed to be the derived condition. Finally, we applied a biomechanical model to simulate suction feeding in larval salamanders. We provide evidence that a flattened shape of the hyobranchial apparatus in its resting position is beneficial for a fast and successful suction feeding strike.

  9. A case for using Plethodontid salamanders for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem integrity of North American forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H.; Droege, S.

    2001-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders of the family P!ethodontidae have unique attributes that make them excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in forested habitats. Their longevity, small territory size, site fidelity, sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, tendency to occur in high densities, and low sampling costs mean that counts of plethodontid salamanders provide numerous advantages over counts of other North American forest organisms for indicating environmental change. Furthermore, they are tightly linked physiologically to microclimatic and successional processes that influence the distribution and abundance of numerous other hydrophilic but difficult-to-study forest-dwelling plants and animals. Ecosystem processes such as moisture cycling, food-web dynamics, and succession, with their related structural and microclimatic variability, all affect forest biodiversity and have been shown to affect salamander populations as well. We determined the variability associated with sampling for plethodontid salamanders by estimating the coefficient of variation (CV) from available time-series data. The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodonticis (27%) than in lepidoptera (93%), passerine birds (57%), small mammals (69%), or other amphibians (37-46%), which means plethodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health.