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Sample records for large salamander genome

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:23175715

  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. PMID:25115007

  6. Hellbender Genome Sequences Shed Light on Genomic Expansion at the Base of Crown Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Cheng; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25115007

  7. Complete Genome Sequence of a Ranavirus Isolated from Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Wang, Na; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Lifeng; Jing, Hongli; Jiang, Yulin; Wu, Shaoqiang; Lin, Xiangmei

    2014-01-09

    A ranavirus (RV) was isolated from Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) in China in 2010 and provisionally designated Andrias davidianus ranavirus (ADRV). The complete genome sequence is 106,719 nucleotides long. Genomic sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that ADRV has a high degree of conservation with other RVs.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:23415986

  10. Accommodating the load: The transposable element content of very large genomes.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Casane, Didier

    2013-03-01

    Very large genomes, that is, those above 20 Gb, are rare but widely distributed throughout the eukaryotes. They are found within the diatoms, dinoflagellates, metazoans and green plants, but so far have not been found in the excavates. There is a known positive correlation between genome size and the proportion of the genome composed of transposable elements (TEs). Very large genomes may therefore be expected to be almost entirely composed of TEs. Of the large genomes examined, in the angiosperms, gymnosperms and the dinoflagellates only a small portion of the genome was identified as TEs, most of these genomes were unidentified and may be novel or diverse TEs. In the salamanders and lungfish, 25 to 47% of the genome were identifiable retrotransposons, that is, TEs that copy themselves before insertion. However, the predominant class of TEs found in the lungfish was not the same as that found in the salamanders. The little data we have at the moment suggests therefore that the diversity and abundance of TEs is variable between taxa with large genomes, similar to patterns found in taxa with smaller genomes. Based on results from the human genome, we suggest that the 'missing' portion of the lungfish and salamander genomes are old, highly divergent, and therefore inactive copies of TEs. The data available indicate that, unlike plants with large genomes, neither the lungfish nor the salamanders show an increased risk of extinction. Based on a slow rate of DNA loss in salamanders it has been suggested that the large salamander genome is the result of run-away genome expansion involving genome size increases via TE proliferation associated with reduced recombination rate. We know of no studies on DNA loss or recombination rates in lungfish genomes, however a similar scenario could describe the process of genome expansion in the lungfish. A series of waves of TE transposition and sequence decay would describe the pattern of TE content seen in both the lungfish and the

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27100619

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:14604788

  15. 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.

  16. [Episodes of adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genome in Asiatic salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae)].

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    To elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in Asiatic salamanders of the family Hynobiidae, nucleotide sequences of 12 protein-coding genes were analyzed. Using a mixed effects model of evolution, it was found that, in spite of the pronounced effect of negative selection on the mtDNA evolution in Hynobiidae (which is typical for the animals in general), two phylogenetic clusters, the West Asian one, represented by the genera Ranodon and Paradactylodon, and North Eurasian one, represented by the genus Salamandrella, were formed under the influence of episodic positive selection. Analysis of protein sequences encoded by the mitochondrial genome also supported the influence of positive selection on the evolution of Hynobiidae at some stages of their cladogenesis. It is suggested that the signatures of adaptive evolution detected in the mtDNA of Hynobiidae were determined by the complex and long-lasting history of their formation, accompanied by adaptation to the changing environment. PMID:25711027

  17. Identification of intergenomic recombinations in unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma by genomic in situ hybridization (GISH).

    PubMed

    Bi, K; Bogart, J P

    2006-01-01

    Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma (Amphibia, Caudata) are endemic to eastern North America and are mostly all-female polyploids. Two to four of the bisexual species, A. laterale, A. jeffersonianum, A. texanum and A. tigrinum, contribute to the nuclear genome of unisexuals and more than 20 combinations that range from diploid to pentaploid have been identified in this complex. Because the karyotypes of the four bisexual species are similar, homologous and homoeologous chromosomes in the unisexuals can not be distinguished by conventional or banded karyotypes. We chose two widespread unisexual genomic combinations (A.laterale-2 jeffersonianum [or LJJ] and A. 2 laterale-jeffersonianum [or LLJ]) and employed genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) to identify the genomes in these unisexuals. Under optimum conditions, GISH reliably distinguishes the respective chromosomes attributed to both A.laterale and A. jeffersonianum. Of four populations examined, two were found to have independently evolved homoeologous recombinants that persist in both LJJ and LLJ individuals. Our results refute the previous hypothesis of clonal integrity and independent evolution of the genome combinations in these unisexuals. Our data provide evidence for intergenomic interactions between maternal chromosomes during meiosis in unisexuals and help to explain previously observed non-homologous bivalents and/or quadrivalents among lampbrush chromosomes that were possibly initiated by partial homosequential pairing among the homo(eo)logues. To explore the utility of GISH in other members of the complex, probes developed from A. laterale were also applied to unisexuals that contained A. tigrinum and A. texanum genomes. GISH is an effective tool that can be used to identify and to quantify genomic constituents and to investigate intergenomic interactions in unisexual salamanders. GISH also has potential application to examine possible genomic evolution in other unisexuals. PMID:16484787

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Atypical regions in large genomic DNA sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Scherer, S. |; McPeek, M.S.; Speed, T.P.

    1994-07-19

    Large genomic DNA sequences contain regions with distinctive patterns of sequence organization. The authors describe a method using logarithms of probabilities based on seventh-order Markov chains to rapidly identify genomic sequences that do not resemble models of genome organization built from compilations of octanucleotide usage. Data bases have been constructed from Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA sequences of >1000 nt and human sequences of >10,000 nt. Atypical genes and clusters of genes have been located in bacteriophage, yeast, and primate DNA sequences. The authors consider criteria for statistical significance of the results, offer possible explanations for the observed variation in genome organization, and give additional applications of these methods in DNA sequence analysis.

  3. Global Alignment System for Large Genomic Sequencing

    2002-03-01

    AVID is a global alignment system tailored for the alignment of large genomic sequences up to megabases in length. Features include the possibility of one sequence being in draft form, fast alignment, robustness and accuracy. The method is an anchor based alignment using maximal matches derived from suffix trees.

  4. Paedomorphosis and simplification in the nervous system of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Roth, G; Nishikawa, K C; Naujoks-Manteuffel, C; Schmidt, A; Wake, D B

    1993-01-01

    Comparative neuroanatomists since Herrick [1914] have been aware of the paradox that the brain of amphibians, especially salamanders, is less complex than one would expect based on their phylogenetic position among the Tetrapoda. Many features of the brain are less differentiated in salamanders than in tetrapod outgroups, including chondrichthyans and bony fishes, and for some brain characters, the salamander brain is even more simple than that of the agnathans. Here, we perform a cladistic analysis on 23 characters of four sensory systems (visual, auditory, lateral line and olfactory) and the brain. Our taxa include myxinoids, lampreys, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians, Latimeria, Neoceratodus and the lepidosirenid lungfishes, amniotes, frogs, caecilians, salamanders and bolitoglossine salamanders. Of the 23 characters we examined, 19 are most parsimoniously interpreted as secondarily simplified in salamanders from a more complex ancestral state, two characters are equally parsimonious under both hypotheses, one character (well developed ipsilateral retinotectal projections) is more complex in bolitoglossine salamanders than in vertebrates generally, and only one character (migration of neurons in the medial pallium) is most parsimoniously interpreted as retention of the plesiomorphically simple condition. Secondary simplification of the salamander brain appears to result from paedomorphosis, or retention of juvenile or embryonic morphology into adulthood. Paedomorphosis is correlated with an increase in genome size, which in turn is positively correlated with cell size, but negatively correlated with cell proliferation and differentiation rates. Available data suggest that, although increasing genome size and paedomorphosis tend to compromise the function of the salamander brain, compensating mechanisms have evolved that may restore or even enhance brain function. PMID:8364715

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

    predators rather than dead salamanders may be largely responsible for the release of such chemicals. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10053069

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:24466269

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Distinctive features of large complex virus genomes and proteomes

    PubMed Central

    Mrázek, Jan; Karlin, Samuel

    2007-01-01

    More than a dozen large DNA viruses exceeding 240-kb genome size were recently discovered, including the “giant” mimivirus with a 1.2-Mb genome size. The detection of mimivirus and other large viruses has stimulated new analysis and discussion concerning the early evolution of life and the complexity and mechanisms of evolutionary transitions. This paper presents analysis in three contexts. (i) Genome signatures of large viruses tend to deviate from the genome signatures of their hosts, perhaps indicating that the large viruses are lytic in the hosts. (ii) Proteome composition within these viral genomes contrast with cellular organisms; for example, most eukaryotic genomes, with respect to acidic residue usages, select Glu over Asp, but the opposite generally prevails for the large viral genomes preferring Asp more than Glu. In comparing Phe vs. Tyr usage, the viral genomes select mostly Tyr over Phe, whereas in almost all bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, Phe is used more than Tyr. Interpretations of these contrasts are proffered with respect to protein structure and function. (iii) Frequent oligonucleotides and peptides are characterized in the large viral genomes. The frequent words may provide structural flexibility to interact with host proteins. PMID:17360339

  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. GDC 2: Compression of large collections of genomes

    PubMed Central

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:25444775

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:27223337

  1. BACFinder: genomic localisation of large insert genomic clones based on restriction fingerprinting

    PubMed Central

    Crowe, Mark L.; Rana, Debashis; Fraser, Fiona; Bancroft, Ian; Trick, Martin

    2002-01-01

    We have developed software that allows the prediction of the genomic location of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone, or other large genomic clone, based on a simple restriction digest of the BAC. The mapping is performed by comparing the experimentally derived restriction digest of the BAC DNA with a virtual restriction digest of the whole genome sequence. Our trials indicate that this program identified the genomic regions represented by BAC clones with a degree of accuracy comparable to that of end-sequencing, but at considerably less cost. Although the program has been developed principally for use with Arabidopsis BACs, it should align large insert genomic clones to any fully sequenced genome. PMID:12409477

  2. [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. PMID:25857197

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Mills, Georgina

    2015-01-24

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

  6. Kernel methods for large-scale genomic data analysis

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Eric P.; Schaid, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Machine learning, particularly kernel methods, has been demonstrated as a promising new tool to tackle the challenges imposed by today’s explosive data growth in genomics. They provide a practical and principled approach to learning how a large number of genetic variants are associated with complex phenotypes, to help reveal the complexity in the relationship between the genetic markers and the outcome of interest. In this review, we highlight the potential key role it will have in modern genomic data processing, especially with regard to integration with classical methods for gene prioritizing, prediction and data fusion. PMID:25053743

  7. 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.

  8. Indexes of large genome collections on a PC.

    PubMed

    Danek, Agnieszka; Deorowicz, Sebastian; Grabowski, Szymon

    2014-01-01

    The availability of thousands of individual genomes of one species should boost rapid progress in personalized medicine or understanding of the interaction between genotype and phenotype, to name a few applications. A key operation useful in such analyses is aligning sequencing reads against a collection of genomes, which is costly with the use of existing algorithms due to their large memory requirements. We present MuGI, Multiple Genome Index, which reports all occurrences of a given pattern, in exact and approximate matching model, against a collection of thousand(s) genomes. Its unique feature is the small index size, which is customisable. It fits in a standard computer with 16-32 GB, or even 8 GB, of RAM, for the 1000GP collection of 1092 diploid human genomes. The solution is also fast. For example, the exact matching queries (of average length 150 bp) are handled in average time of 39 µs and with up to 3 mismatches in 373 µs on the test PC with the index size of 13.4 GB. For a smaller index, occupying 7.4 GB in memory, the respective times grow to 76 µs and 917 µs. Software is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/mugi under a free license. Data S1 is available at PLOS One online. PMID:25289699

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

    PubMed

    Mills, Georgina

    2015-01-24

    Chytridiomycosis can cause mass declines in amphibians, and the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the classic cause of this disease. However, recently, a second strain of chytrid fungus has emerged in Europe, resulting in major declines in fire salamanders. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) discussed this, and the implications for the UK, at a meeting in December in London. Georgina Mills reports. PMID:25614547

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:22268991

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27503719

  16. 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. PMID:10479075

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:12660782

  2. Evolutionary genomics of nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Balaji, S; Koonin, Eugene V; Aravind, L

    2006-04-01

    A previous comparative-genomic study of large nuclear and cytoplasmic DNA viruses (NCLDVs) of eukaryotes revealed the monophyletic origin of four viral families: poxviruses, asfarviruses, iridoviruses, and phycodnaviruses [Iyer, L.M., Aravind, L., Koonin, E.V., 2001. Common origin of four diverse families of large eukaryotic DNA viruses. J. Virol. 75 (23), 11720-11734]. Here we update this analysis by including the recently sequenced giant genome of the mimiviruses and several additional genomes of iridoviruses, phycodnaviruses, and poxviruses. The parsimonious reconstruction of the gene complement of the ancestral NCLDV shows that it was a complex virus with at least 41 genes that encoded the replication machinery, up to four RNA polymerase subunits, at least three transcription factors, capping and polyadenylation enzymes, the DNA packaging apparatus, and structural components of an icosahedral capsid and the viral membrane. The phylogeny of the NCLDVs is reconstructed by cladistic analysis of the viral gene complements, and it is shown that the two principal lineages of NCLDVs are comprised of poxviruses grouped with asfarviruses and iridoviruses grouped with phycodnaviruses-mimiviruses. The phycodna-mimivirus grouping was strongly supported by several derived shared characters, which seemed to rule out the previously suggested basal position of the mimivirus [Raoult, D., Audic, S., Robert, C., Abergel, C., Renesto, P., Ogata, H., La Scola, B., Suzan, M., Claverie, J.M. 2004. The 1.2-megabase genome sequence of Mimivirus. Science 306 (5700), 1344-1350]. These results indicate that the divergence of the major NCLDV families occurred at an early stage of evolution, prior to the divergence of the major eukaryotic lineages. It is shown that subsequent evolution of the NCLDV genomes involved lineage-specific expansion of paralogous gene families and acquisition of numerous genes via horizontal gene transfer from the eukaryotic hosts, other viruses, and bacteria

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25641384

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data. PMID:21723399

  9. 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. PMID:19639004

  10. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China.

    PubMed

    Gao, K Q; Shubin, N H

    2001-03-29

    With ten extant families, salamanders (urodeles) are one of the three major groups of modern amphibians (lissamphibians). Extant salamanders are often used as a model system to assess fundamental issues of developmental, morphological and biogeographical evolution. Unfortunately, our understanding of these issues has been hampered by the paucity of fossil evidence available to assess the early history of the group. Here we report the discovery of an extraordinary sample of salamander fossils, some with rare soft-tissue impressions, from the Upper Jurassic of China. With over 500 articulated specimens, this assemblage documents the morphological diversity of early urodeles and includes larvae and adults of both neotenic and metamorphosed taxa. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that these salamanders are primitive, and reveals that all basal salamander clades have Asian distributions. This is compelling evidence for an Asian origin of Recent salamanders, as well as for an extensive and early radiation of several major lineages. These discoveries show that the evolution of salamanders has involved phylogenetic and ecological diversification around a body plan that has remained fundamentally stable for over 150 million years. PMID:11279493

  11. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China.

    PubMed

    Gao, K Q; Shubin, N H

    2001-03-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27070018

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26939728

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.  

  8. Intron-genome size relationship on a large evolutionary scale.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, A E

    1999-09-01

    The intron-genome size relationship was studied across a wide evolutionary range (from slime mold and yeast to human and maize), as well as the relationship between genome size and the ratio of intervening/coding sequence size. The average intron size is scaled to genome size with a slope of about one-fourth for the log-transformed values; i.e., on the global scale its increase in evolution is lower than the increase in genome size by four orders of magnitude. There are exceptions to the general trend. In baker's yeast introns are extraordinarily long for its genome size. Tetrapods also have longer introns than expected for their genome sizes. In teleost fish the mean intron size does not differ significantly, notwithstanding the differences in genome size. In contrast to previous reports, avian introns were not found to be significantly shorter than introns of mammals, although avian genomes are smaller than genomes of mammals on average by about a factor of 2.5. The extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA can be higher in fungi than in animals, notwithstanding the smaller fungal genomes. In vertebrates and invertebrates taken separately, this ratio is increasing as the increase in genome size. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain the variation in the extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA in organisms with similar numbers of genes: transition (dynamic) and equilibrium (static). According to the transition model, this variation arises with the rapid shift of genome size because the bulk of extragenic DNA can be changed more rapidly than the finely interspersed intron sequences. The equilibrium model assumes that this variation is a result of selective adjustment of genome size with constraints imposed on the intron size due to its putative link to chromatin structure (and constraints of the splicing machinery). PMID:10473779

  9. 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

  10. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  12. Combining p-values in large-scale genomics experiments.

    PubMed

    Zaykin, Dmitri V; Zhivotovsky, Lev A; Czika, Wendy; Shao, Susan; Wolfinger, Russell D

    2007-01-01

    In large-scale genomics experiments involving thousands of statistical tests, such as association scans and microarray expression experiments, a key question is: Which of the L tests represent true associations (TAs)? The traditional way to control false findings is via individual adjustments. In the presence of multiple TAs, p-value combination methods offer certain advantages. Both Fisher's and Lancaster's combination methods use an inverse gamma transformation. We identify the relation of the shape parameter of that distribution to the implicit threshold value; p-values below that threshold are favored by the inverse gamma method (GM). We explore this feature to improve power over Fisher's method when L is large and the number of TAs is moderate. However, the improvement in power provided by combination methods is at the expense of a weaker claim made upon rejection of the null hypothesis - that there are some TAs among the L tests. Thus, GM remains a global test. To allow a stronger claim about a subset of p-values that is smaller than L, we investigate two methods with an explicit truncation: the rank truncated product method (RTP) that combines the first K-ordered p-values, and the truncated product method (TPM) that combines p-values that are smaller than a specified threshold. We conclude that TPM allows claims to be made about subsets of p-values, while the claim of the RTP is, like GM, more appropriately about all L tests. GM gives somewhat higher power than TPM, RTP, Fisher, and Simes methods across a range of simulations. PMID:17879330

  13. Combining p-values in large scale genomics experiments

    PubMed Central

    Zaykin, Dmitri V.; Zhivotovsky, Lev A.; Czika, Wendy; Shao, Susan; Wolfinger, Russell D.

    2008-01-01

    Summary In large-scale genomics experiments involving thousands of statistical tests, such as association scans and microarray expression experiments, a key question is: Which of the L tests represent true associations (TAs)? The traditional way to control false findings is via individual adjustments. In the presence of multiple TAs, p-value combination methods offer certain advantages. Both Fisher’s and Lancaster’s combination methods use an inverse gamma transformation. We identify the relation of the shape parameter of that distribution to the implicit threshold value; p-values below that threshold are favored by the inverse gamma method (GM). We explore this feature to improve power over Fisher’s method when L is large and the number of TAs is moderate. However, the improvement in power provided by combination methods is at the expense of a weaker claim made upon rejection of the null hypothesis – that there are some TAs among the L tests. Thus, GM remains a global test. To allow a stronger claim about a subset of p-values that is smaller than L, we investigate two methods with an explicit truncation: the rank truncated product method (RTP) that combines the first K ordered p-values, and the truncated product method (TPM) that combines p-values that are smaller than a specified threshold. We conclude that TPM allows claims to be made about subsets of p-values, while the claim of the RTP is, like GM, more appropriately about all L tests. GM gives somewhat higher power than TPM, RTP, Fisher, and Simes methods across a range of simulations. PMID:17879330

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Phylogeny, evolution, and biogeography of Asiatic Salamanders (Hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yue-Qin; Zhou, Hui; Liu, Yi-Fei; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Wake, David B; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2006-05-01

    We sequenced 15 complete mitochondrial genomes and performed comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analyses to study the origin and phylogeny of the Hynobiidae, an ancient lineage of living salamanders. Our phylogenetic analyses show that the Hynobiidae is a clade with well resolved relationships, and our results contrast with a morphology-based phylogenetic hypothesis. These salamanders have low vagility and are limited in their distribution primarily by deserts, mountains, and oceans. Our analysis suggests that the relationships among living hynobiids have been shaped primarily by geography. We show that four-toed species assigned to Batrachuperus do not form a monophyletic group, and those that occur in Afghanistan and Iran are transferred to the resurrected Paradactylodon. Convergent morphological characters in different hynobiid lineages are likely produced by similar environmental selective pressures. Clock-independent molecular dating suggests that hynobiids originated in the Middle Cretaceous [ approximately 110 million years ago (Mya)]. We propose an "out of North China" hypothesis for hynobiid origins and hypothesize an ancestral stream-adapted form. Given the particular distributional patterns and our molecular dating estimates, we hypothesize that: (i) the interior desertification from Mongolia to Western Asia began approximately 50 Mya; (ii) the Tibetan plateau (at least on the eastern fringe) experienced rapid uplift approximately 40 Mya and reached an altitude of at least 2,500 m; and (iii) the Ailao-Red River shear zone underwent the most intense orogenic movement approximately 24 Mya.

  17. 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. PMID:27351721

  18. Data congruence, paedomorphosis and salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Struck, Torsten H

    2007-01-01

    Background The retention of ancestral juvenile characters by adult stages of descendants is called paedomorphosis. However, this process can mislead phylogenetic analyses based on morphological data, even in combination with molecular data, because the assessment if a character is primary absent or secondary lost is difficult. Thus, the detection of incongruence between morphological and molecular data is necessary to investigate the reliability of simultaneous analyses. Different methods have been proposed to detect data congruence or incongruence. Five of them (PABA, PBS, NDI, LILD, DRI) are used herein to assess incongruence between morphological and molecular data in a case study addressing salamander phylogeny, which comprises several supposedly paedomorphic taxa. Therefore, previously published data sets were compiled herein. Furthermore, two strategies ameliorating effects of paedomorphosis on phylogenetic studies were tested herein using a statistical rigor. Additionally, efficiency of the different methods to assess incongruence was analyzed using this empirical data set. Finally, a test statistic is presented for all these methods except DRI. Results The addition of morphological data to molecular data results in both different positions of three of the four paedomorphic taxa and strong incongruence, but treating the morphological data using different strategies ameliorating the negative impact of paedomorphosis revokes these changes and minimizes the conflict. Of these strategies the strategy to just exclude paedomorphic character traits seem to be most beneficial. Of the three molecular partitions analyzed herein the RAG1 partition seems to be the most suitable to resolve deep salamander phylogeny. The rRNA and mtDNA partition are either too conserved or too variable, respectively. Of the different methods to detect incongruence, the NDI and PABA approaches are more conservative in the indication of incongruence than LILD and PBS. Conclusion

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    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 PMID:20687905

  20. 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.

  1. Social monogamy in a territorial salamander.

    PubMed

    Gillette; Jaeger; Peterson

    2000-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-scale Genomic Data

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Sharon R.; Andersen, Kristian G.; Shlyakhter, Ilya; Tabrizi, Shervin; Winnicki, Sarah; Yen, Angela; Park, Daniel J.; Griesemer, Dustin; Karlsson, Elinor K.; Wong, Sunny H.; Cabili, Moran; Adegbola, Richard A.; Bamezai, Rameshwar N. K.; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Vannberg, Fredrik O.; Rinn, John L.; Lander, Eric S.; Schaffner, Stephen F.; Sabeti, Pardis C.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY While several hundred regions of the human genome harbor signals of positive natural selection, few of the relevant adaptive traits and variants have been elucidated. Using full-genome sequence variation from the 1000 Genomes Project (1000G) and the Composite of Multiple Signals (CMS) test, we investigated 412 candidate signals and leveraged functional annotation, protein structure modeling, epigenetics, and association studies to identify and extensively annotate candidate causal variants. The resulting catalog provides a tractable list for experimental follow-up; it includes thirty-five high-scoring non-synonymous variants, fifty-nine variants associated with expression levels of a nearby coding gene or lincRNA, and numerous variants associated with susceptibility to infectious disease and other phenotypes. We experimentally characterized one candidate non-synonymous variant in TLR5, and show that it leads to altered NF-κB signaling in response to bacterial flagellin. PMID:23415221

  6. Galaxy: a platform for interactive large-scale genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Giardine, Belinda; Riemer, Cathy; Hardison, Ross C; Burhans, Richard; Elnitski, Laura; Shah, Prachi; Zhang, Yi; Blankenberg, Daniel; Albert, Istvan; Taylor, James; Miller, Webb; Kent, W James; Nekrutenko, Anton

    2005-10-01

    Accessing and analyzing the exponentially expanding genomic sequence and functional data pose a challenge for biomedical researchers. Here we describe an interactive system, Galaxy, that combines the power of existing genome annotation databases with a simple Web portal to enable users to search remote resources, combine data from independent queries, and visualize the results. The heart of Galaxy is a flexible history system that stores the queries from each user; performs operations such as intersections, unions, and subtractions; and links to other computational tools. Galaxy can be accessed at http://g2.bx.psu.edu.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Assessing Genome-Wide Statistical Significance for Large p Small n Problems

    PubMed Central

    Diao, Guoqing; Vidyashankar, Anand N.

    2013-01-01

    Assessing genome-wide statistical significance is an important issue in genetic studies. We describe a new resampling approach for determining the appropriate thresholds for statistical significance. Our simulation results demonstrate that the proposed approach accurately controls the genome-wide type I error rate even under the large p small n situations. PMID:23666935

  10. Assessing genome-wide statistical significance for large p small n problems.

    PubMed

    Diao, Guoqing; Vidyashankar, Anand N

    2013-07-01

    Assessing genome-wide statistical significance is an important issue in genetic studies. We describe a new resampling approach for determining the appropriate thresholds for statistical significance. Our simulation results demonstrate that the proposed approach accurately controls the genome-wide type I error rate even under the large p small n situations.

  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 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:18497824

  15. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26589400

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. BactoGeNIE: a large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:26329021

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

    DOE PAGES

    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 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25919952

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M.

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Identification of repeat structure in large genomes using repeat probability clouds.

    PubMed

    Gu, Wanjun; Castoe, Todd A; Hedges, Dale J; Batzer, Mark A; Pollock, David D

    2008-09-01

    The identification of repeat structure in eukaryotic genomes can be time-consuming and difficult because of the large amount of information ( approximately 3 x 10(9) bp) that needs to be processed and compared. We introduce a new approach based on exact word counts to evaluate, de novo, the repeat structure present within large eukaryotic genomes. This approach avoids sequence alignment and similarity search, two of the most time-consuming components of traditional methods for repeat identification. Algorithms were implemented to efficiently calculate exact counts for any length oligonucleotide in large genomes. Based on these oligonucleotide counts, oligonucleotide excess probability clouds, or "P-clouds," were constructed. P-clouds are composed of clusters of related oligonucleotides that occur, as a group, more often than expected by chance. After construction, P-clouds were mapped back onto the genome, and regions of high P-cloud density were identified as repetitive regions based on a sliding window approach. This efficient method is capable of analyzing the repeat content of the entire human genome on a single desktop computer in less than half a day, at least 10-fold faster than current approaches. The predicted repetitive regions strongly overlap with known repeat elements as well as other repetitive regions such as gene families, pseudogenes, and segmental duplicons. This method should be extremely useful as a tool for use in de novo identification of repeat structure in large newly sequenced genomes.

  10. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Large-scale profiling of microRNAs for The Cancer Genome Atlas

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Andy; Robertson, Gordon; Brooks, Denise; Mungall, Andrew J.; Birol, Inanc; Coope, Robin; Ma, Yussanne; Jones, Steven; Marra, Marco A.

    2016-01-01

    The comprehensive multiplatform genomics data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network is an enabling resource for cancer research. It includes an unprecedented amount of microRNA sequence data: ∼11 000 libraries across 33 cancer types. Combined with initiatives like the National Cancer Institute Genomics Cloud Pilots, such data resources will make intensive analysis of large-scale cancer genomics data widely accessible. To support such initiatives, and to enable comparison of TCGA microRNA data to data from other projects, we describe the process that we developed and used to generate the microRNA sequence data, from library construction through to submission of data to repositories. In the context of this process, we describe the computational pipeline that we used to characterize microRNA expression across large patient cohorts. PMID:26271990

  15. 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

  16. Large-scale profiling of microRNAs for The Cancer Genome Atlas.

    PubMed

    Chu, Andy; Robertson, Gordon; Brooks, Denise; Mungall, Andrew J; Birol, Inanc; Coope, Robin; Ma, Yussanne; Jones, Steven; Marra, Marco A

    2016-01-01

    The comprehensive multiplatform genomics data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network is an enabling resource for cancer research. It includes an unprecedented amount of microRNA sequence data: ~11 000 libraries across 33 cancer types. Combined with initiatives like the National Cancer Institute Genomics Cloud Pilots, such data resources will make intensive analysis of large-scale cancer genomics data widely accessible. To support such initiatives, and to enable comparison of TCGA microRNA data to data from other projects, we describe the process that we developed and used to generate the microRNA sequence data, from library construction through to submission of data to repositories. In the context of this process, we describe the computational pipeline that we used to characterize microRNA expression across large patient cohorts.

  17. Novel Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Variant with Large Genomic Deletion, South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Park, Seongjun; Kim, Sanghyun; Song, Daesub

    2014-01-01

    Since 1992, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been one of the most common porcine diarrhea–associated viruses in South Korea. We conducted a large-scale investigation of the incidence of PEDV in pigs with diarrhea in South Korea and consequently identified and characterized a novel PEDV variant with a large genomic deletion. PMID:25424875

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-05-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. PMID:24892414

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:18185983

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

    PubMed

    Rose, F L

    1978-09-29

    A population of facultative neotenous tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum) inhabiting a sewage lagoon at Reese AFB, Hurlwood, Texas, was found to have an exceptionally high rate of spontaneous tissue lesions. The population is composed of an estimated 28,000 large, reproductively mature larvae that are restricted to the lagoon. Only about 17% of the population metamorphoses normally. In contrast, tiger salamanders from uncontaminated lagoons in the same general vicinity metamorphose normally; however, no neoplasms were discovered in larvae sampled from the nonsewage lagoosn. N-nitrosamine analyses of water and tissue samples of larvae were negative. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon analyses revealed traces of benzo[a]pyrene in the sludge; however, perylene, a constituent of jet fuel, was found in high concentration (300 ppb). These results indicate tat preylene, which was previously found not be tumorigenic to mice and rats, should be retested as a possible agent for nonmammalian species. PMID:280184

  8. Ecological separation in a polymorphic terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Placyk, John S; Graves, Brent M

    2002-05-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. Efficient de novo assembly of large genomes using compressed data structures

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Jared T.; Durbin, Richard

    2012-01-01

    De novo genome sequence assembly is important both to generate new sequence assemblies for previously uncharacterized genomes and to identify the genome sequence of individuals in a reference-unbiased way. We present memory efficient data structures and algorithms for assembly using the FM-index derived from the compressed Burrows-Wheeler transform, and a new assembler based on these called SGA (String Graph Assembler). We describe algorithms to error-correct, assemble, and scaffold large sets of sequence data. SGA uses the overlap-based string graph model of assembly, unlike most de novo assemblers that rely on de Bruijn graphs, and is simply parallelizable. We demonstrate the error correction and assembly performance of SGA on 1.2 billion sequence reads from a human genome, which we are able to assemble using 54 GB of memory. The resulting contigs are highly accurate and contiguous, while covering 95% of the reference genome (excluding contigs <200 bp in length). Because of the low memory requirements and parallelization without requiring inter-process communication, SGA provides the first practical assembler to our knowledge for a mammalian-sized genome on a low-end computing cluster. PMID:22156294

  13. Vertebrate Protein CTCF and its Multiple Roles in a Large-Scale Regulation of Genome Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nikolaev, L.G; Akopov, S.B; Didych, D.A; Sverdlov, E.D

    2009-01-01

    The CTCF transcription factor is an 11 zinc fingers multifunctional protein that uses different zinc finger combinations to recognize and bind different sites within DNA. CTCF is thought to participate in various gene regulatory networks including transcription activation and repression, formation of independently functioning chromatin domains and regulation of imprinting. Sequencing of human and other genomes opened up a possibility to ascertain the genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites and to identify CTCF-dependent cis-regulatory elements, including insulators. In the review, we summarized recent data on genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites in the human and other genomes within a framework of the loop domain hypothesis of large-scale regulation of the genome activity. We also tried to formulate possible lines of studies on a variety of CTCF functions which probably depend on its ability to specifically bind DNA, interact with other proteins and form di- and multimers. These three fundamental properties allow CTCF to serve as a transcription factor, an insulator and a constitutive dispersed genome-wide demarcation tool able to recruit various factors that emerge in response to diverse external and internal signals, and thus to exert its signal-specific function(s). PMID:20119526

  14. Vertebrate Protein CTCF and its Multiple Roles in a Large-Scale Regulation of Genome Activity.

    PubMed

    Nikolaev, L G; Akopov, S B; Didych, D A; Sverdlov, E D

    2009-08-01

    The CTCF transcription factor is an 11 zinc fingers multifunctional protein that uses different zinc finger combinations to recognize and bind different sites within DNA. CTCF is thought to participate in various gene regulatory networks including transcription activation and repression, formation of independently functioning chromatin domains and regulation of imprinting. Sequencing of human and other genomes opened up a possibility to ascertain the genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites and to identify CTCF-dependent cis-regulatory elements, including insulators. In the review, we summarized recent data on genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites in the human and other genomes within a framework of the loop domain hypothesis of large-scale regulation of the genome activity. We also tried to formulate possible lines of studies on a variety of CTCF functions which probably depend on its ability to specifically bind DNA, interact with other proteins and form di- and multimers. These three fundamental properties allow CTCF to serve as a transcription factor, an insulator and a constitutive dispersed genome-wide demarcation tool able to recruit various factors that emerge in response to diverse external and internal signals, and thus to exert its signal-specific function(s). PMID:20119526

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Digital genotyping of sorghum – a diverse plant species with a large repeat-rich genome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Rapid acquisition of accurate genotyping information is essential for all genetic marker-based studies. For species with relatively small genomes, complete genome resequencing is a feasible approach for genotyping; however, for species with large and highly repetitive genomes, the acquisition of whole genome sequences for the purpose of genotyping is still relatively inefficient and too expensive to be carried out on a high-throughput basis. Sorghum bicolor is a C4 grass with a sequenced genome size of ~730 Mb, of which ~80% is highly repetitive. We have developed a restriction enzyme targeted genome resequencing method for genetic analysis, termed Digital Genotyping (DG), to be applied to sorghum and other grass species with large repeat-rich genomes. Results DG templates are generated using one of three methylation sensitive restriction enzymes that recognize a nested set of 4, 6 or 8 bp GC-rich sequences, enabling varying depth of analysis and integration of results among assays. Variation in sequencing efficiency among DG markers was correlated with template GC-content and length. The expected DG allele sequence was obtained 97.3% of the time with a ratio of expected to alternative allele sequence acquisition of >20:1. A genetic map aligned to the sorghum genome sequence with an average resolution of 1.47 cM was constructed using 1,772 DG markers from 137 recombinant inbred lines. The DG map enhanced the detection of QTL for variation in plant height and precisely aligned QTL such as Dw3 to underlying genes/alleles. Higher-resolution NgoMIV-based DG haplotypes were used to trace the origin of DNA on SBI-06, spanning Ma1 and Dw2 from progenitors to BTx623 and IS3620C. DG marker analysis identified the correct location of two miss-assembled regions and located seven super contigs in the sorghum reference genome sequence. Conclusion DG technology provides a cost-effective approach to rapidly generate accurate genotyping data in sorghum. Currently

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:27338874

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27010279

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Bringing large-scale multiple genome analysis one step closer: ScalaBLAST and beyond

    SciTech Connect

    Oehmen, Christopher S.; Sofia, Heidi J.; Baxter, Douglas; Szeto, Ernest; Hugenholtz, Philip; Kyrpides, Nikos; Markowitz, Victor; Straatsma, Tjerk P.

    2007-06-01

    Genome sequence comparisons of exponentially growing data sets form the foundation for the comparative analysis tools provided by community biological data resources such as the Integrated Microbial Genome (IMG) system at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). We present an example of how ScalaBLAST, a high-throughput sequence analysis program harnesses increasingly critical high-performance computing to perform sequence analysis which is a critical component of maintaining a state-of-the-art sequence data repository. The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system1 is a data management and analysis platform for microbial genomes hosted at the JGI. IMG contains both draft and complete JGI genomes integrated with other publicly available microbial genomes of all three domains of life. IMG provides tools and viewers for interactive analysis of genomes, genes and functions, individually or in a comparative context. Most of these tools are based on pre-computed pairwise sequence similarities involving millions of genes. These computations are becoming prohibitively time consuming with the rapid increase in the number of newly sequenced genomes incorporated into IMG and the need to refresh regularly the content of IMG in order to reflect changes in the annotations of existing genomes. Thus, building IMG 2.0 (released on December 1st 2006) entailed reloading from NCBI's RefSeq all the genomes in the previous version of IMG (IMG 1.6, as of September 1st, 2006) together with 1,541 new public microbial,viral and eukaryal genomes, bringing the total of IMG genomes to 2,301. A critical part of building IMG 2.0 involved using PNNL ScalaBLAST software for computing pairwise similarities for over 2.2 million genes in under 26 hours on 1,000 processors, thus illustrating the impact that new generation bioinformatics tools are poised to make in biology. The BLAST algorithm2, 3 is a familiar bioinformatics application for computing sequence similarity, and has become a workhorse in large

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Hyper-expansion of large DNA segments in the genome of kuruma shrimp, Marsupenaeus japonicus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Higher crustaceans (class Malacostraca) represent the most species-rich and morphologically diverse group of non-insect arthropods and many of its members are commercially important. Although the crustacean DNA sequence information is growing exponentially, little is known about the genome organization of Malacostraca. Here, we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and performed BAC-end sequencing to provide genomic information for kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus), one of the most widely cultured species among crustaceans, and found the presence of a redundant sequence in the BAC library. We examined the BAC clone that includes the redundant sequence to further analyze its length, copy number and location in the kuruma shrimp genome. Results Mj024A04 BAC clone, which includes one redundant sequence, contained 27 putative genes and seemed to display a normal genomic DNA structure. Notably, of the putative genes, 3 genes encode homologous proteins to the inhibitor of apoptosis protein and 7 genes encode homologous proteins to white spot syndrome virus, a virulent pathogen known to affect crustaceans. Colony hybridization and PCR analysis of 381 BAC clones showed that almost half of the BAC clones maintain DNA segments whose sequences are homologous to the representative BAC clone Mj024A04. The Mj024A04 partial sequence was detected multiple times in the kuruma shrimp nuclear genome with a calculated copy number of at least 100. Microsatellites based BAC genotyping clearly showed that Mj024A04 homologous sequences were cloned from at least 48 different chromosomal loci. The absence of micro-syntenic relationships with the available genomic sequences of Daphnia and Drosophila suggests the uniqueness of these fragments in kuruma shrimp from current arthropod genome sequences. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that hyper-expansion of large DNA segments took place in the kuruma shrimp genome. Although we analyzed only a part of the

  12. The large (134.9 kb) mitochondrial genome of the glomeromycete Funneliformis mosseae.

    PubMed

    Nadimi, Maryam; Stefani, Franck O P; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Funneliformis mosseae is among the most ecologically and economically important glomeromycete species and occurs both in natural and disturbed areas in a wide range of habitats and climates. In this study, we report the sequencing of the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of F. mosseae isolate FL299 using 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina HiSeq technologies. This mt genome is a full-length circular chromosome of 134,925 bp, placing it among the largest mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) in the fungal kingdom. A comparative analysis with publically available arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal mtDNAs revealed that the mtDNA of F. mosseae FL299 contained a very large number of insertions contributing to its expansion. The gene synteny was completely reshuffled compared to previously published glomeromycotan mtDNAs and several genes were oriented in an anti-sense direction. Furthermore, the presence of different types of introns and insertions in rnl (14 introns) made this gene very distinctive in Glomeromycota. The presence of alternative genetic codes in both initiation (GUG) and termination (UGA) codons was another new feature in this mtDNA compared to previously published glomeromycotan mt genomes. The phylogenetic analysis inferred from the analysis of 14 protein mt genes confirmed the position of the Glomeromycota clade as a sister group of Mortierellomycotina. This mt genome is the largest observed so far in Glomeromycota and the first mt genome within the Funneliformis clade, providing new opportunities to better understand their evolution and to develop molecular markers.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shih, Patrick

    2012-03-22

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Habitat requirements of New Mexico’s endangered salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

  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. PMID:18460423

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

    Optical mapping is a technology able to quickly generate high resolution ordered whole-genome restriction maps of bacteria, being a proven approach to search for diversity among bacterial isolates. In this work, optical whole-genome maps were used to compare closely-related Brucella suis biovar 2 strains. This biovar is the unique isolated in domestic pigs and wild boars in Portugal and Spain and most of the strains share specific molecular characteristics establishing an Iberian clonal lineage that can be differentiated from another lineage mainly isolated in several Central European countries. We performed the BamHI whole-genome optical maps of five B. suis biovar 2 field strains, isolated from wild boars in Portugal and Spain (three from the Iberian lineage and two from the Central European one) as well as of the reference strain B. suis biovar 2 ATCC 23445 (Central European lineage, Denmark). Each strain showed a distinct, highly individual configuration of 228-231 BamHI fragments. Nevertheless, a low divergence was globally observed in chromosome II (1.6%) relatively to chromosome I (2.4%). Optical mapping also disclosed genomic events associated with B. suis strains in chromosome I, namely one indel (3.5kb) and one large inversion (944kb). By using targeted-PCR in a set of 176 B. suis strains, including all biovars and haplotypes, the indel was found to be specific of the reference strain ATCC 23445 and the large inversion was shown to be an exclusive genomic marker of the Iberian clonal lineage of biovar 2. PMID:27527786

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Fusion of large-scale genomic knowledge and frequency data computationally prioritizes variants in epilepsy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:26017574

  4. 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.

  5. Paleogenomic data suggest mammal-like genome size in the ancestral amniote and derived large genome size in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Organ, C L; Canoville, A; Reisz, R R; Laurin, M

    2011-02-01

    An unsolved question in evolutionary genomics is whether amniote genomes have been expanding or contracting since the common ancestor of this diverse group. Here, we report on the polarity of amniote genome size evolution using genome size estimates for 14 extinct tetrapod genera from the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic Eras using osteocyte lacunae size as a correlate. We find substantial support for a phylogenetically controlled regression model relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae size (P of slopes <0.01, r²=0.65, phylogenetic signal λ=0.83). Genome size appears to have been homogeneous across Paleozoic crown-tetrapod lineages (average haploid genome size 2.9-3.7 pg) with values similar to those of extant mammals. The differentiation in genome size and underlying architecture among extant tetrapod lineages likely evolved in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras, with expansion in amphibians, contractions along the diapsid lineage, and no directional change within the synapsid lineage leading to mammals.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Global patterns of large copy number variations in the human genome reveal complexity in chromosome organization.

    PubMed

    Veerappa, Avinash M; Suresh, Raviraj V; Vishweswaraiah, Sangeetha; Lingaiah, Kusuma; Murthy, Megha; Manjegowda, Dinesh S; Padakannaya, Prakash; Ramachandra, Nallur B

    2015-01-01

    Global patterns of copy number variations (CNVs) in chromosomes are required to understand the dynamics of genome organization and complexity. For this study, analysis was performed using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 chip and CytoScan High-Density arrays. We identified a total of 44 109 CNVs from 1715 genomes with a mean of 25 CNVs in an individual, which established the first drafts of population-specific CNV maps providing a rationale for prioritizing chromosomal regions. About 19 905 ancient CNVs were identified across all chromosomes and populations at varying frequencies. CNV count, and sometimes CNV size, contributed to the bulk CNV size of the chromosome. Population specific lengthening and shortening of chromosomal length was observed. Sex bias for CNV presence was largely dependent on ethnicity. Lower CNV inheritance rate was observed for India, compared to YRI and CEU. A total of 33 candidate CNV hotspots from 5382 copy number (CN) variable region (CNVR) clusters were identified. Population specific CNV distribution patterns in p and q arms disturbed the assumption that CNV counts in the p arm are less common compared to long arms, and the CNV occurrence and distribution in chromosomes is length independent. This study unraveled the force of independent evolutionary dynamics on genome organization and complexity across chromosomes and populations. PMID:26390810

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-11

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

  10. A recent polyploidy superimposed on older large-scale duplications in the Arabidopsis genome.

    PubMed

    Blanc, Guillaume; Hokamp, Karsten; Wolfe, Kenneth H

    2003-02-01

    The Arabidopsis genome contains numerous large duplicated chromosomal segments, but the different approaches used in previous analyses led to different interpretations regarding the number and timing of ancestral large-scale duplication events. Here, using more appropriate methodology and a more recent version of the genome sequence annotation, we investigate the scale and timing of segmental duplications in Arabidopsis. We used protein sequence similarity searches to detect duplicated blocks in the genome, used the level of synonymous substitution between duplicated genes to estimate the relative ages of the blocks containing them, and analyzed the degree of overlap between adjacent duplicated blocks. We conclude that the Arabidopsis lineage underwent at least two distinct episodes of duplication. One was a polyploidy that occurred much more recently than estimated previously, before the Arabidopsis/Brassica rapa split and probably during the early emergence of the crucifer family (24-40 Mya). An older set of duplicated blocks was formed after the monocot/dicot divergence, and the relatively low level of overlap among these blocks indicates that at least some of them are remnants of a larger duplication such as a polyploidy or aneuploidy.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chockalingam, Sriram; Aluru, Maneesha; Aluru, Srinivas

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27657141

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

    PubMed

    Chockalingam, Sriram; Aluru, Maneesha; Aluru, Srinivas

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27657141

  14. The large (134.9 kb) mitochondrial genome of the glomeromycete Funneliformis mosseae.

    PubMed

    Nadimi, Maryam; Stefani, Franck O P; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Funneliformis mosseae is among the most ecologically and economically important glomeromycete species and occurs both in natural and disturbed areas in a wide range of habitats and climates. In this study, we report the sequencing of the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of F. mosseae isolate FL299 using 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina HiSeq technologies. This mt genome is a full-length circular chromosome of 134,925 bp, placing it among the largest mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) in the fungal kingdom. A comparative analysis with publically available arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal mtDNAs revealed that the mtDNA of F. mosseae FL299 contained a very large number of insertions contributing to its expansion. The gene synteny was completely reshuffled compared to previously published glomeromycotan mtDNAs and several genes were oriented in an anti-sense direction. Furthermore, the presence of different types of introns and insertions in rnl (14 introns) made this gene very distinctive in Glomeromycota. The presence of alternative genetic codes in both initiation (GUG) and termination (UGA) codons was another new feature in this mtDNA compared to previously published glomeromycotan mt genomes. The phylogenetic analysis inferred from the analysis of 14 protein mt genes confirmed the position of the Glomeromycota clade as a sister group of Mortierellomycotina. This mt genome is the largest observed so far in Glomeromycota and the first mt genome within the Funneliformis clade, providing new opportunities to better understand their evolution and to develop molecular markers. PMID:27246226

  15. A Roadmap for Natural Product Discovery Based on Large-Scale Genomics and Metabolomics

    PubMed Central

    Doroghazi, James R.; Albright, Jessica C.; Goering, Anthony W.; Ju, Kou-San; Haines, Robert R.; Tchalukov, Konstantin A.; Labeda, David P.; Kelleher, Neil L.; Metcalf, William W.

    2014-01-01

    Actinobacteria encode a wealth of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (NPGCs), whose systematic study is complicated by numerous repetitive motifs. By combining several metrics we developed a method for global classification of these gene clusters into families (GCFs) and analyzed the biosynthetic capacity of Actinobacteria in 830 genome sequences, including 344 obtained for this project. The GCF network, comprised of 11,422 gene clusters grouped into 4,122 GCFs, was validated in hundreds of strains by correlating confident mass spectrometric detection of known small molecules with the presence/absence of their established biosynthetic gene clusters. The method also linked previously unassigned GCFs to known natural products, an approach that will enable de novo, bioassay-free discovery of novel natural products using large data sets. Extrapolation from the 830-genome dataset reveals that Actinobacteria encode hundreds of thousands of future drug leads, while the strong correlation between phylogeny and GCFs frames a roadmap to efficiently access them. PMID:25262415

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. From the double-helix to novel approaches to the sequencing of large genomes.

    PubMed

    Szybalski, W

    1993-12-15

    Elucidation of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick [Nature 171 (1953) 737-738] has led to many crucial molecular experiments, including studies on DNA replication, transcription, physical mapping, and most recently to serious attempts directed toward the sequencing of large genomes [Watson, Science 248 (1990) 44-49]. I am totally convinced of the great importance of the Human Genome Project, and toward achieving this goal I strongly favor 'top-down' approaches consisting of the physical mapping and preparation of contiguous 50-100-kb fragments directly from the genome, followed by their automated sequencing based on the rapid assembly of primers by hexamer ligation together with primer walking. Our 'top-down' procedures totally avoids conventional cloning, subcloning and random sequencing, which are the elements of the present 'bottom-up' procedures. Fragments of 50-100 kb are prepared in sufficient quantities either by in vitro excision with rare-cutting restriction systems (including Achilles' heel cleavage [AC] or the RecA-AC procedures of Koob et al. [Nucleic Acids Res. 20 (1992) 5831-5836]) or by in vivo excision and amplification using the yeast FRT/Flp system or the phage lambda att/Int system. Such fragments, when derived directly from the Escherichia coli genome, are arranged in consecutive order, so that 50 specially constructed strains of E. coli would supply 50 end-to-end arranged approx. 100-kb fragments, which will cover the entire approx. 5-Mb E. coli genome. For the 150-Mb Drosophila melanogaster genome, 1500 of such consecutive 100-kb fragments (supplied by 1500 strains) are required to cover the entire genome. The fragments will be sequenced by the SPEL-6 method involving hexamer ligation [Szybalski, Gene 90 (1990) 177-178; Fresenius J. Anal. Chem. 4 (1992) 343] and primer walking. The 18-mer primers are synthesized in only a few minutes from three contiguous hexamers annealed to the DNA strand to be sequenced when using an over 100-fold

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A tadpole-induced polyphenism in the salamander Hynobius retardatus.

    PubMed

    Michimae, Hirofumi; Wakahara, Masami

    2002-10-01

    Larvae of the salamander Hynobius retardatus have two distinct morphs: normal and broad-headed, cannibal morphs. We performed three experiments to differentiate among the following hypotheses: The broad-headed morph is induced to allow: (1) feeding on nutritious conspecifics; (2) exclusion of strong competitors for food or space; or (3) feeding on large, tough prey when smaller prey items are unavailable. When newly hatched larvae were reared with a heterospecific, Rana pirica (an anuran amphibian) tadpoles, the broad-headed morph was induced more frequently compared with those reared with conspecifics. The phenotype expressed depended on the size of the tadpoles: The broad-headed morph occurred more frequently with small and the normal morph with large tadpoles. Metamorphosis occurred sooner in larvae fed conspecifics compared with those fed heterospecific tadpoles, and the mean growth rate of larvae fed conspecifics was significantly faster than that of those fed tadpoles, suggesting that the heterospecific tadpoles were less nutritive than the conspecifics. These results do not support the hypotheses that the broad-headed morph evolved for consuming conspecifics because of their better balance of nutrients or for excluding strong competitors for food or space. We tentatively conclude that the morph evolved to eat large, tough prey, including both conspecifics and heterospecific tadpoles. Because H. retardatus usually spawns very early in the spring in small ponds partially covered with ice and snow, newly hatched larvae may starve from the lack of proper food owing to extremely low water temperatures. Thus, the broad-headed morph of H. retardatus may represent a cold-habitat adaptation to overcome the severe circumstance when the only food items available are relatively large conspecifics or heterospecific tadpoles. PMID:12449490

  3. Breeding signatures of rice improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from a large germplasm collection.

    PubMed

    Xie, Weibo; Wang, Gongwei; Yuan, Meng; Yao, Wen; Lyu, Kai; Zhao, Hu; Yang, Meng; Li, Pingbo; Zhang, Xing; Yuan, Jing; Wang, Quanxiu; Liu, Fang; Dong, Huaxia; Zhang, Lejing; Li, Xinglei; Meng, Xiangzhou; Zhang, Wan; Xiong, Lizhong; He, Yuqing; Wang, Shiping; Yu, Sibin; Xu, Caiguo; Luo, Jie; Li, Xianghua; Xiao, Jinghua; Lian, Xingming; Zhang, Qifa

    2015-09-29

    Intensive rice breeding over the past 50 y has dramatically increased productivity especially in the indica subspecies, but our knowledge of the genomic changes associated with such improvement has been limited. In this study, we analyzed low-coverage sequencing data of 1,479 rice accessions from 73 countries, including landraces and modern cultivars. We identified two major subpopulations, indica I (IndI) and indica II (IndII), in the indica subspecies, which corresponded to the two putative heterotic groups resulting from independent breeding efforts. We detected 200 regions spanning 7.8% of the rice genome that had been differentially selected between IndI and IndII, and thus referred to as breeding signatures. These regions included large numbers of known functional genes and loci associated with important agronomic traits revealed by genome-wide association studies. Grain yield was positively correlated with the number of breeding signatures in a variety, suggesting that the number of breeding signatures in a line may be useful for predicting agronomic potential and the selected loci may provide targets for rice improvement.

  4. Breeding signatures of rice improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from a large germplasm collection

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Weibo; Wang, Gongwei; Yuan, Meng; Yao, Wen; Lyu, Kai; Zhao, Hu; Yang, Meng; Li, Pingbo; Zhang, Xing; Yuan, Jing; Wang, Quanxiu; Liu, Fang; Dong, Huaxia; Zhang, Lejing; Li, Xinglei; Meng, Xiangzhou; Zhang, Wan; Xiong, Lizhong; He, Yuqing; Wang, Shiping; Yu, Sibin; Xu, Caiguo; Luo, Jie; Li, Xianghua; Xiao, Jinghua; Lian, Xingming; Zhang, Qifa

    2015-01-01

    Intensive rice breeding over the past 50 y has dramatically increased productivity especially in the indica subspecies, but our knowledge of the genomic changes associated with such improvement has been limited. In this study, we analyzed low-coverage sequencing data of 1,479 rice accessions from 73 countries, including landraces and modern cultivars. We identified two major subpopulations, indica I (IndI) and indica II (IndII), in the indica subspecies, which corresponded to the two putative heterotic groups resulting from independent breeding efforts. We detected 200 regions spanning 7.8% of the rice genome that had been differentially selected between IndI and IndII, and thus referred to as breeding signatures. These regions included large numbers of known functional genes and loci associated with important agronomic traits revealed by genome-wide association studies. Grain yield was positively correlated with the number of breeding signatures in a variety, suggesting that the number of breeding signatures in a line may be useful for predicting agronomic potential and the selected loci may provide targets for rice improvement. PMID:26358652

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

    PubMed

    Redrejo-Rodríguez, Modesto; Salas, María L

    2014-01-22

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:18445516

  8. A salamander's flexible spinal network for locomotion, modeled at two levels of abstraction.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    Animals have to coordinate a large number of muscles in different ways to efficiently move at various speeds and in different and complex environments. This coordination is in large part based on central pattern generators (CPGs). These neural networks are capable of producing complex rhythmic patterns when activated and modulated by relatively simple control signals. Although the generation of particular gaits by CPGs has been successfully modeled at many levels of abstraction, the principles underlying the generation and selection of a diversity of patterns of coordination in a single neural network are still not well understood. The present work specifically addresses the flexibility of the spinal locomotor networks in salamanders. We compare an abstract oscillator model and a CPG network composed of integrate-and-fire neurons, according to their ability to account for different axial patterns of coordination, and in particular the transition in gait between swimming and stepping modes. The topology of the network is inspired by models of the lamprey CPG, complemented by additions based on experimental data from isolated spinal cords of salamanders. Oscillatory centers of the limbs are included in a way that preserves the flexibility of the axial network. Similarly to the selection of forward and backward swimming in lamprey models via different excitation to the first axial segment, we can account for the modification of the axial coordination pattern between swimming and forward stepping on land in the salamander model, via different uncoupled frequencies in limb versus axial oscillators (for the same level of excitation). These results transfer partially to a more realistic model based on formal spiking neurons, and we discuss the difference between the abstract oscillator model and the model built with formal spiking neurons.

  9. Heterochrony repolarized: a phylogenetic analysis of developmental timing in plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Disentangling evolutionary shifts in developmental timing (heterochony) is dependent upon accurate estimates of ancestral patterns. However, many classic assessments of heterochronic patterns predate robust phylogenetic hypotheses and methods for trait reconstruction, and therefore may have been polarized with untested ‘primitive’ conditions. Here we revisit the heterochronic modes of development that underlie the evolution of metamorphosis, maturation, and paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders. We focus on the tribe Spelerpini, which is a diverse clade that exhibits tremendous variation in timing of metamorphosis and maturation, as well as multiple independent instances of larval form paedomorphosis. Based on morphology and biogeography, early investigators concluded that the most recent common ancestors of plethodontids, and also spelerpines, were large salamanders, with very long larval periods and late maturation times. This prevailing assumption influenced subsequent heterochronic assessments, which concluded that most modern spelerpines (with shorter larval periods) were derived through multiple independent accelerations in larval development. It was also concluded that most occurrences of larval form paedomorphosis in this clade resulted from progenesis (acceleration of gonadal development relative to metamorphosis). Results By reconstructing the time to metamorphosis on a molecular-based phylogeny of plethodontids, we find that ancestral spelerpines likely had relatively shorter larval periods than previously proposed. Taken together with the credibility interval from our ancestral state estimation we show that very long larval periods are likely derived decelerations, only a few lineages have undergone appreciable accelerations in metamorphic timing, and the remaining taxa have lower probabilities of being different than the ancestral condition (possibly due to stasis). Reconstructing maturation age across nodes concomitant with the

  10. Managing Large-Scale Genomic Datasets and Translation into Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary Objective To summarize excellent current research in the field of Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics with application in the health domain. Method We provide a synopsis of the articles selected for the IMIA Yearbook 2014, from which we attempt to derive a synthetic overview of current and future activities in the field. A first step of selection was performed by querying MEDLINE with a list of MeSH descriptors completed by a list of terms adapted to the section. Each section editor evaluated independently the set of 1,851 articles and 15 articles were retained for peer-review. Results The selection and evaluation process of this Yearbook’s section on Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics yielded three excellent articles regarding data management and genome medicine. In the first article, the authors present VEST (Variant Effect Scoring Tool) which is a supervised machine learning tool for prioritizing variants found in exome sequencing projects that are more likely involved in human Mendelian diseases. In the second article, the authors show how to infer surnames of male individuals by crossing anonymous publicly available genomic data from the Y chromosome and public genealogy data banks. The third article presents a statistical framework called iCluster+ that can perform pattern discovery in integrated cancer genomic data. This framework was able to determine different tumor subtypes in colon cancer. Conclusions The current research activities still attest the continuous convergence of Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics, with a focus this year on large-scale biological, genomic, and Electronic Health Records data. Indeed, there is a need for powerful tools for managing and interpreting complex data, but also a need for user-friendly tools developed for the clinicians in their daily practice. All the recent research and development efforts are contributing to the challenge of impacting clinically the results and even going towards a

  11. Spontaneous nephroblastoma in a Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus).

    PubMed

    Kawasumi, Taiga; Kudo, Tomoo; Une, Yumi

    2012-05-01

    An adult male Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) died accidentally, and necropsy showed a white mass (23 × 15 mm) in the left kidney and hepatorrhexis with hemoperitoneum. Histologically, the renal mass was mainly composed of immature nephroblastic tumor cells. In the tumor tissue, a trabecular pattern lined by oval to polygonal tumor cells with a rich interstitium, solid growth and a few tubular structures was observed. Nephroblastic tumor cells were strongly positive for vimentin and weakly positive, and epithelium-like tumor cells were strongly positive for cytokeratin. However, antibody for Wilms' tumor protein 1 did not react with the salamander's cells. On electron microscopy, a desmosome junction was observed between tumor cells. This is the first report of nephroblastoma in a Japanese giant salamander.

  12. 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

  13. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro

    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

  14. Ontogenetic evidence for the Paleozoic ancestry of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Carroll, Robert L

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic positions of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians have been difficult to establish. Data matrices based primarily on Paleozoic taxa support a monophyletic origin of all Lissamphibia but have resulted in widely divergent hypotheses of the nature of their common ancestor. Analysis that concentrates on the character states of the stem taxa of the extant orders, in contrast, suggests a polyphyletic origin from divergent Paleozoic clades. Comparison of patterns of larval development in Paleozoic and modern amphibians provides a means to test previous phylogenies based primarily on adult characteristics. This proves to be highly informative in the case of the origin of salamanders. Putative ancestors of salamanders are recognized from the Permo-Carboniferous boundary of Germany on the basis of ontogenetic changes observed in fossil remains of larval growth series. The entire developmental sequence from hatching to metamorphosis is revealed in an assemblage of over 600 specimens from a single locality, all belonging to the genus Apateon. Apateon forms the most speciose genus of the neotenic temnospondyl family Branchiosauridae. The sequence of ossification of individual bones and the changing configuration of the skull closely parallel those observed in the development of primitive living salamanders. These fossils provide a model of how derived features of the salamander skull may have evolved in the context of feeding specializations that appeared in early larval stages of members of the Branchiosauridae. Larvae of Apateon share many unique derived characters with salamanders of the families Hynobiidae, Salamandridae, and Ambystomatidae, which have not been recognized in any other group of Paleozoic amphibians. PMID:12752770

  15. A new tool called DISSECT for analysing large genomic data sets using a Big Data approach

    PubMed Central

    Canela-Xandri, Oriol; Law, Andy; Gray, Alan; Woolliams, John A.; Tenesa, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale genetic and genomic data are increasingly available and the major bottleneck in their analysis is a lack of sufficiently scalable computational tools. To address this problem in the context of complex traits analysis, we present DISSECT. DISSECT is a new and freely available software that is able to exploit the distributed-memory parallel computational architectures of compute clusters, to perform a wide range of genomic and epidemiologic analyses, which currently can only be carried out on reduced sample sizes or under restricted conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of our new tool by addressing the challenge of predicting phenotypes from genotype data in human populations using mixed-linear model analysis. We analyse simulated traits from 470,000 individuals genotyped for 590,004 SNPs in ∼4 h using the combined computational power of 8,400 processor cores. We find that prediction accuracies in excess of 80% of the theoretical maximum could be achieved with large sample sizes. PMID:26657010

  16. 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.

  17. Salamander locomotion-induced head movement and retinal motion sensitivity in a correlation-based motion detector model.

    PubMed

    Begley, Jeffrey R; Arbib, Michael A

    2007-06-01

    We report on a computational model of retinal motion sensitivity based on correlation-based motion detectors. We simulate object motion detection in the presence of retinal slip caused by the salamander's head movements during locomotion. Our study offers new insights into object motion sensitive ganglion cells in the salamander retina. A sigmoidal transformation of the spatially and temporally filtered retinal image substantially improves the sensitivity of the system in detecting a small target moving in place against a static natural background in the presence of comparatively large, fast simulated eye movements, but is detrimental to the direction-selectivity of the motion detector. The sigmoid has insignificant effects on detector performance in simulations of slow, high contrast laboratory stimuli. These results suggest that the sigmoid reduces the system's noise sensitivity.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Large BRCA1 and BRCA2 genomic rearrangements in Malaysian high risk breast-ovarian cancer families.

    PubMed

    Kang, Peter; Mariapun, Shivaani; Phuah, Sze Yee; Lim, Linda Shushan; Liu, Jianjun; Yoon, Sook-Yee; Thong, Meow Keong; Mohd Taib, Nur Aishah; Yip, Cheng Har; Teo, Soo-Hwang

    2010-11-01

    Early studies of genetic predisposition due to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have focused largely on sequence alterations, but it has now emerged that 4-28% of inherited mutations in the BRCA genes may be due to large genomic rearrangements of these genes. However, to date, there have been relatively few studies of large genomic rearrangements in Asian populations. We have conducted a full sequencing and large genomic rearrangement analysis (using Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification, MLPA) of 324 breast cancer patients who were selected from a multi-ethnic hospital-based cohort on the basis of age of onset of breast cancer and/or family history. Three unrelated individuals were found to have large genomic rearrangements: 2 in BRCA1 and 1 in BRCA2, which accounts for 2/24 (8%) of the total mutations detected in BRCA1 and 1/23 (4%) of the mutations in BRCA2 detected in this cohort. Notably, the family history of the individuals with these mutations is largely unremarkable suggesting that family history alone is a poor predictor of mutation status in Asian families. In conclusion, this study in a multi-ethnic (Malay, Chinese, Indian) cohort suggests that large genomic rearrangements are present at a low frequency but should nonetheless be included in the routine testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2. PMID:20617377

  1. Large BRCA1 and BRCA2 genomic rearrangements in Malaysian high risk breast-ovarian cancer families.

    PubMed

    Kang, Peter; Mariapun, Shivaani; Phuah, Sze Yee; Lim, Linda Shushan; Liu, Jianjun; Yoon, Sook-Yee; Thong, Meow Keong; Mohd Taib, Nur Aishah; Yip, Cheng Har; Teo, Soo-Hwang

    2010-11-01

    Early studies of genetic predisposition due to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have focused largely on sequence alterations, but it has now emerged that 4-28% of inherited mutations in the BRCA genes may be due to large genomic rearrangements of these genes. However, to date, there have been relatively few studies of large genomic rearrangements in Asian populations. We have conducted a full sequencing and large genomic rearrangement analysis (using Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification, MLPA) of 324 breast cancer patients who were selected from a multi-ethnic hospital-based cohort on the basis of age of onset of breast cancer and/or family history. Three unrelated individuals were found to have large genomic rearrangements: 2 in BRCA1 and 1 in BRCA2, which accounts for 2/24 (8%) of the total mutations detected in BRCA1 and 1/23 (4%) of the mutations in BRCA2 detected in this cohort. Notably, the family history of the individuals with these mutations is largely unremarkable suggesting that family history alone is a poor predictor of mutation status in Asian families. In conclusion, this study in a multi-ethnic (Malay, Chinese, Indian) cohort suggests that large genomic rearrangements are present at a low frequency but should nonetheless be included in the routine testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Frequent occurrence of large duplications at reciprocal genomic rearrangement breakpoints in multiple myeloma and other tumors

    PubMed Central

    Demchenko, Yulia; Roschke, Anna; Chen, Wei-Dong; Asmann, Yan; Bergsagel, Peter Leif; Kuehl, Walter Michael

    2016-01-01

    Using a combination of array comparative genomic hybridization, mate pair and cloned sequences, and FISH analyses, we have identified in multiple myeloma cell lines and tumors a novel and recurrent type of genomic rearrangement, i.e. interchromosomal rearrangements (translocations or insertions) and intrachromosomal inversions that contain long (1–4000 kb; median ∼100 kb) identical sequences adjacent to both reciprocal breakpoint junctions. These duplicated sequences were generated from sequences immediately adjacent to the breakpoint from at least one—but sometimes both—chromosomal donor site(s). Tandem duplications had a similar size distribution suggesting the possibility of a shared mechanism for generating duplicated sequences at breakpoints. Although about 25% of apparent secondary rearrangements contained these duplications, primary IGH translocations rarely, if ever, had large duplications at breakpoint junctions. Significantly, these duplications often contain super-enhancers and/or oncogenes (e.g. MYC) that are dysregulated by rearrangements during tumor progression. We also found that long identical sequences often were identified at both reciprocal breakpoint junctions in six of eight other tumor types. Finally, we have been unable to find reports of similar kinds of rearrangements in wild-type or mutant prokaryotes or lower eukaryotes such as yeast. PMID:27353332

  8. Large-scale metabolome analysis and quantitative integration with genomics and proteomics data in Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Maier, Tobias; Marcos, Josep; Wodke, Judith A H; Paetzold, Bernhard; Liebeke, Manuel; Gutiérrez-Gallego, Ricardo; Serrano, Luis

    2013-07-01

    Systems metabolomics, the identification and quantification of cellular metabolites and their integration with genomics and proteomics data, promises valuable functional insights into cellular biology. However, technical constraints, sample complexity issues and the lack of suitable complementary quantitative data sets prevented accomplishing such studies in the past. Here, we present an integrative metabolomics study of the genome-reduced bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. We experimentally analysed its metabolome using a cross-platform approach. We explain intracellular metabolite homeostasis by quantitatively integrating our results with the cellular inventory of proteins, DNA and other macromolecules, as well as with available building blocks from the growth medium. We calculated in vivo catalytic parameters of glycolytic enzymes, making use of measured reaction velocities, as well as enzyme and metabolite pool sizes. A quantitative, inter-species comparison of absolute and relative metabolite abundances indicated that metabolic pathways are regulated as functional units, thereby simplifying adaptive responses. Our analysis demonstrates the potential for new scientific insight by integrating different types of large-scale experimental data from a single biological source.

  9. LCGserver: A Webserver for Exploring Evolutionary Trajectory of Gene Orders in a Large Number of Genomes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dapeng; Yu, Jun

    2015-09-01

    Genes and chromosomes are highly organized; together with protein-coding sequence, gene structure at per gene level and gene order at cluster level are both variable in a context of lineages and under natural selection. How gene order and chromosome organization are related and selected remains to be illuminated. The number of newly-sequenced genomes from various taxa has been increasing rapidly, but there have not been easy-to-use web tools that allow better visualization for gene order in a large genome collection. Here, we describe a webserver, LCGserver (http://lcgbase.big.ac.cn/LCGserver/), for exploring evolutionary dynamics of gene orders over diverse lineages. This server provides gene order information at three levels: single gene, paired gene (a minimal cluster), and clustered gene (more than two genes). The most exclusive feature of LCGserver is alignment and visualization of neighboring genes based on orthology, allowing users to inspect all conserved and dynamic events of gene order along chromosomes in a lineage-specific manner. In addition, it categories paired genes into six patterns and identifies fully-conserved gene clusters within and among lineages.

  10. 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.

  11. Intracellular invasion of green algae in a salamander host

    PubMed Central

    Kerney, Ryan; Kim, Eunsoo; Hangarter, Roger P.; Heiss, Aaron A.; Bishop, Cory D.; Hall, Brian K.

    2011-01-01

    The association between embryos of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and green algae (“Oophila amblystomatis” Lamber ex Printz) has been considered an ectosymbiotic mutualism. We show here, however, that this symbiosis is more intimate than previously reported. A combination of imaging and algal 18S rDNA amplification reveals algal invasion of embryonic salamander tissues and cells during development. Algal cells are detectable from embryonic and larval Stages 26–44 through chlorophyll autofluorescence and algal 18S rDNA amplification. Algal cell ultrastructure indicates both degradation and putative encystment during the process of tissue and cellular invasion. Fewer algal cells were detected in later-stage larvae through FISH, suggesting that the decline in autofluorescent cells is primarily due to algal cell death within the host. However, early embryonic egg capsules also contained encysted algal cells on the inner capsule wall, and algal 18S rDNA was amplified from adult reproductive tracts, consistent with oviductal transmission of algae from one salamander generation to the next. The invasion of algae into salamander host tissues and cells represents a unique association between a vertebrate and a eukaryotic alga, with implications for research into cell–cell recognition, possible exchange of metabolites or DNA, and potential congruence between host and symbiont population structures. PMID:21464324

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:16689907

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:22734051

  20. Computer-assisted photo identification outperforms visible implant elastomers in an endangered salamander, Eurycea tonkawae.

    PubMed

    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

  1. Tuataras and salamanders show that walking and running mechanics are ancient features of tetrapod locomotion.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Stephen M; McElroy, Eric J; Andrew Odum, R; Hornyak, Valerie A

    2006-06-22

    The lumbering locomotor behaviours of tuataras and salamanders are the best examples of quadrupedal locomotion of early terrestrial vertebrates. We show they use the same walking (out-of-phase) and running (in-phase) patterns of external mechanical energy fluctuations of the centre-of-mass known in fast moving (cursorial) animals. Thus, walking and running centre-of-mass mechanics have been a feature of tetrapods since quadrupedal locomotion emerged over 400 million years ago. When walking, these sprawling animals save external mechanical energy with the same pendular effectiveness observed in cursorial animals. However, unlike cursorial animals (that change footfall patterns and mechanics with speed), tuataras and salamanders use only diagonal couplet gaits and indifferently change from walking to running mechanics with no significant change in total mechanical energy. Thus, the change from walking to running is not related to speed and the advantage of walking versus running is unclear. Furthermore, lumbering mechanics in primitive tetrapods is reflected in having total mechanical energy driven by potential energy (rather than kinetic energy as in cursorial animals) and relative centre-of-mass displacements an order of magnitude greater than cursorial animals. Thus, large vertical displacements associated with lumbering locomotion in primitive tetrapods may preclude their ability to increase speed.

  2. Embryonic yolk removal affects a suite of larval salamander life history traits.

    PubMed

    Landberg, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Egg size is a key life history trait affecting fitness, and it varies abundantly. The value of egg size to a mother and her offspring is often determined by a trade-off between investing more yolk in a few large eggs or less yolk into many more, smaller eggs. Smaller eggs are generally expected to be phenotypically inferior or females could increase their fitness by making more smaller eggs. However, many females produce a mix of egg sizes and natural yolk variation induces normal developmental responses which may persist into subsequent stages of a complex life history. Since sources of phenotypic variation are easily confounded, I surgically removed yolk from embryonic spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) using a sham surgery as a control and a split-clutch design to isolate the effects of yolk reserve variation from genetic sources of variation. Yolk removal induced early hatching, reduced developmental stage and hatchling body size. Small hatchlings stayed relatively small through the early larval period, but 17 weeks later the correlation with early larval body size was lost. When the experiment ended, larger individuals were further along in metamorphic development but mortality was independent of early larval body size. Variation in spotted salamander yolk reserves affects a suite of hatchling life history traits that persists into the larval period. Outside the laboratory, egg size effects may cascade throughout complex amphibian life histories. Applied experimentally and comparatively, this simple yolk removal technique may help identify how traits increase or decrease their response to maternal yolk investment.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Genomic structure of the large RNA segment of infectious bursal disease virus.

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, P J; McKern, N M; Power, B E; Azad, A A

    1986-01-01

    The larger RNA segment of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV: Australian strain 002-73) has been characterized by cDNA cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis. We believe IBDV is the first birnavirus to be sequenced and so have confirmed the coding region by N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis of intact viral proteins and several tryptic peptide fragments. The large RNA segment encodes in order the 37-kDa, 28-kDa and 32-kDa proteins within a continuous open reading frame and the primary translation product appears to be subsequently processed into the mature viral proteins. The large protein precursor is still processed into the 32-kDa host protective immunogen when expressed as a fusion protein in E. coli. These results are in marked contrast to the predictions from in vitro translation data that birnavirus genomes are expressed as polycistronic templates. We can now propose that birnaviruses, in particular IBDV, possess monocistronic segments and that the precursor is proteolytically processed in vivo. The sequence data presented for the 32-kDa host protective immunogen may provide the basic information needed for the production of an effective subunit vaccine against this commercially important virus. Images PMID:3014441

  6. 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.

  7. The genomic and physical organization of Ty1-copia-like sequences as a component of large genomes in Pinus elliottii var. elliottii and other gymnosperms.

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

    A DNA sequence, TPE1, representing the internal domain of a Ty1-copia retroelement, was isolated from genomic DNA of Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii (slash pine). Genomic Southern analysis showed that this sequence, carrying partial reverse transcriptase and integrase gene sequences, is highly amplified within the genome of slash pine and part of a dispersed element >4.8 kbp. Fluorescent in situ hybridization to metaphase chromosomes shows that the element is relatively uniformly dispersed over all 12 chromosome pairs and is highly abundant in the genome. It is largely excluded from centromeric regions and intercalary chromosomal sites representing the 18S-5.8S-25S rRNA genes. Southern hybridization with specific DNA probes for the reverse transcriptase gene shows that TPE1 represents a large subgroup of heterogeneous Ty1-copia retrotransposons in Pinus species. Because no TPE1 transcription could be detected, it is most likely an inactive element--at least in needle tissue. Further evidence for inactivity was found in recombinant reverse transcriptase and integrase sequences. The distribution of TPE1 within different gymnosperms that contain Ty1-copia group retrotransposons, as shown by a PCR assay, was investigated by Southern hybridization. The TPE1 family is highly amplified and conserved in all Pinus species analyzed, showing a similar genomic organization in the three- and five-needle pine species investigated. It is also present in spruce, bald cypress (swamp cypress), and in gingko but in fewer copies and a different genomic organization. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8610105

  8. PyPop update--a software pipeline for large-scale multilocus population genomics.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, A K; Single, R M; Solberg, O D; Nelson, M P; Thomson, G

    2007-04-01

    Population genetic statistics from multilocus genotype data inform our understanding of the patterns of genetic variation and their implications for evolutionary studies, generally, and human disease studies in particular. In any given population one can estimate haplotype frequencies, identify deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, test for balancing or directional selection, and investigate patterns of linkage disequilibrium. Existing software packages are oriented primarily toward the computation of such statistics on a population-by-population basis, not on comparisons among populations and across different statistics. We developed PyPop (Python for Population Genomics) to facilitate the analyses of population genetic statistics across populations and the relationships among different statistics within and across populations. PyPop is an open-source framework for performing large-scale population genetic analyses on multilocus genotype data. It computes the statistics described above, among others. PyPop deploys a standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) output format and can integrate the results of multiple analyses on various populations that were performed at different times into a common output format that can be read into a spreadsheet. The XML output format allows PyPop to be embedded as part of a larger analysis pipeline. Originally developed to analyze the highly polymorphic genetic data of the human leukocyte antigen region of the human genome, PyPop has applicability to any kind of multilocus genetic data. It is the primary analysis platform for analyzing data collected for the Anthropological component of the 13th and 14th International Histocompatibility Workshops. PyPop has also been successfully used in studies by our group, with collaborators, and in publications by several independent research teams.

  9. Diversity and relationships of cocirculating modern human rotaviruses revealed using large-scale comparative genomics.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Sarah M; McKell, Allison O; Rippinger, Christine M; McAllen, John K; Akopov, Asmik; Kirkness, Ewen F; Payne, Daniel C; Edwards, Kathryn M; Chappell, James D; Patton, John T

    2012-09-01

    Group A rotaviruses (RVs) are 11-segmented, double-stranded RNA viruses and are primary causes of gastroenteritis in young children. Despite their medical relevance, the genetic diversity of modern human RVs is poorly understood, and the impact of vaccine use on circulating strains remains unknown. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence analysis of 58 RVs isolated from children with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN, during the years spanning community vaccine implementation (2005 to 2009). The RVs analyzed include 36 G1P[8], 18 G3P[8], and 4 G12P[8] Wa-like genogroup 1 strains with VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5/6 genotype constellations of I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we identified 2 to 5 subgenotype alleles for each gene. The results show evidence of intragenogroup gene reassortment among the cocirculating strains. However, several isolates from different seasons maintained identical allele constellations, consistent with the notion that certain RV clades persisted in the community. By comparing the genes of VUMC RVs to those of other archival and contemporary RV strains for which sequences are available, we defined phylogenetic lineages and verified that the diversity of the strains analyzed in this study reflects that seen in other regions of the world. Importantly, the VP4 and VP7 proteins encoded by VUMC RVs and other contemporary strains show amino acid changes in or near neutralization domains, which might reflect antigenic drift of the virus. Thus, this large-scale, comparative genomic study of modern human RVs provides significant insight into how this pathogen evolves during its spread in the community. PMID:22696651

  10. Diversity and Relationships of Cocirculating Modern Human Rotaviruses Revealed Using Large-Scale Comparative Genomics

    PubMed Central

    McKell, Allison O.; Rippinger, Christine M.; McAllen, John K.; Akopov, Asmik; Kirkness, Ewen F.; Payne, Daniel C.; Edwards, Kathryn M.; Chappell, James D.; Patton, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Group A rotaviruses (RVs) are 11-segmented, double-stranded RNA viruses and are primary causes of gastroenteritis in young children. Despite their medical relevance, the genetic diversity of modern human RVs is poorly understood, and the impact of vaccine use on circulating strains remains unknown. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence analysis of 58 RVs isolated from children with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN, during the years spanning community vaccine implementation (2005 to 2009). The RVs analyzed include 36 G1P[8], 18 G3P[8], and 4 G12P[8] Wa-like genogroup 1 strains with VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5/6 genotype constellations of I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we identified 2 to 5 subgenotype alleles for each gene. The results show evidence of intragenogroup gene reassortment among the cocirculating strains. However, several isolates from different seasons maintained identical allele constellations, consistent with the notion that certain RV clades persisted in the community. By comparing the genes of VUMC RVs to those of other archival and contemporary RV strains for which sequences are available, we defined phylogenetic lineages and verified that the diversity of the strains analyzed in this study reflects that seen in other regions of the world. Importantly, the VP4 and VP7 proteins encoded by VUMC RVs and other contemporary strains show amino acid changes in or near neutralization domains, which might reflect antigenic drift of the virus. Thus, this large-scale, comparative genomic study of modern human RVs provides significant insight into how this pathogen evolves during its spread in the community. PMID:22696651

  11. Genealogical relationships of southern Ontario polyploid unisexual salamanders (genus Ambystoma) inferred from intergenomic exchanges and major rDNA cytotypes.

    PubMed

    Bi, Ke; Bogart, James P; Fu, Jinzhong

    2008-01-01

    North American unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are common around the Great Lakes region of North America. They contain an almost identical mitochondrial genome across their distribution that is unlike that of any of the four species whose genomes may be included in their nuclei. Thus, sequence-based phylogenies of unisexual populations are confusing. We used chromosomal intergenomic exchanges and major rDNA cytotypes as combined cytogenetic markers to tentatively construct a genealogy of unisexual Ambystoma in southern Ontario. We employed GISH and sequential/simultaneous GISH/FISH-rDNA to reveal intergenomic exchanges and rDNA cytotypes in unisexual A. laterale--2 jeffersonianum (LJJ) triploids and their tetraploid derivative A. laterale--3 jeffersonianum (LJJJ). We identified 10 different patterns of intergenomic exchanges from 18 isolated populations and used them as primary cytogenetic markers. Major rDNA cytotypes served as independent and supplementary markers. Our results suggest that current LJJ and LJJJ populations in southern Ontario are likely derived from a few unisexual individuals. Intergenomic exchanges are common phenomena and widely distributed in the salamanders of the A. laterale--A. jeffersonianum unisexual complex. Integration of GISH and FISH can exhibit multiple unrelated chromosomal markers on the same chromosome spread and demonstrate lineage relationships in unisexual populations. Similar methods may be applied for studying the molecular cytogenetics of other unisexuals to improve our understanding of their genealogical relationships and historical dispersal. PMID:18175200

  12. 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.

  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. PMID:27342254

  14. Effects of predator chemical cues and behavioral biorhythms on foraging activity of terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Maerz, J C; Panebianco, N L; Madison, D M

    2001-07-01

    Red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, show a variety of alarm responses to chemical cues from eastern garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis. We measured the foraging activity of red-backed salamanders exposed to water soiled by a garter snake (fed P. cinereus) or to unsoiled water. Salamanders exposed to snake-soiled water showed less foraging activity than salamanders exposed to unsoiled water; therefore, predators could have nonlethal effects on salamander populations. Our results also show additional factors influenced salamander foraging activity. Salamander foraging activity and responsiveness to chemical cues do not appear to have been affected by sex or food deprivation. Salamander foraging activity does appear to have been influenced by activity biorhythms. Foraging activity of animals in both treatments showed a bimodal periodicity that is consistent with natural activity patterns controlled by internal biorhythms. Exposure to snake-soiled water significantly reduced foraging activity during periods of peak foraging activity, but had a subtler effect on foraging activity during natural lulls in activity. We suggest that both activity biorhythms and exposure to chemical cues are important factors affecting salamander foraging behavior.

  15. 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.

  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. 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...

  18. Draft Genome Sequence of Rheinheimera sp. F8, a Biofilm-Forming Strain Which Produces Large Amounts of Extracellular DNA

    PubMed Central

    Szewzyk, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Rheinheimera sp. strain F8 is a biofilm-forming gammaproteobacterium that has been found to produce large amounts of filamentous extracellular DNA. Here, we announce the de novo assembly of its genome. It is estimated to be 4,464,511 bp in length, with 3,970 protein-coding sequences and 92 RNA-coding sequences. PMID:26966195

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The exceptionally large genome of Hendra virus: support for creation of a new genus within the family Paramyxoviridae.

    PubMed

    Wang, L F; Yu, M; Hansson, E; Pritchard, L I; Shiell, B; Michalski, W P; Eaton, B T

    2000-11-01

    An outbreak of acute respiratory disease in Hendra, a suburb of Brisbane, Australia, in September 1994 resulted in the deaths of 14 racing horses and a horse trainer. The causative agent was a new member of the family Paramyxoviridae. The virus was originally called Equine morbillivirus but was renamed Hendra virus (HeV) when molecular characterization highlighted differences between it and members of the genus Morbillivirus. Less than 5 years later, the closely related Nipah virus (NiV) emerged in Malaysia, spread rapidly through the pig population, and caused the deaths of over 100 people. We report the characterization of the HeV L gene and protein, the genome termini, and gene boundary sequences, thus completing the HeV genome sequence. In the highly conserved region of the L protein, the HeV sequence GDNE differs from the GDNQ found in almost all other nonsegmented negative-strand (NNS) RNA viruses. HeV has an absolutely conserved intergenic trinucleotide sequence, 3'-GAA-5', and highly conserved transcription initiation and termination sequences similar to those of respiroviruses and morbilliviruses. The large genome size (18,234 nucleotides), the unique complementary genome terminal sequences of HeV, and the limited homology with other members of the Paramyxoviridae suggest that HeV, together with NiV, should be classified in a new genus in this family. The large genome of HeV also fills a gap in the spectrum of genome sizes observed with NNS RNA virus genomes. As such, it provides a further piece in the puzzle of NNS RNA virus evolution.

  2. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii: an ultra-large metazoan mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun-Guo; Kurokawa, Tadahide; Sekino, Masashi; Tanabe, Toru; Watanabe, Kazuhito

    2013-03-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii was determined using long PCR and a genome walking sequencing strategy with genus-specific primers. The S. broughtonii mt genome (GenBank accession number AB729113) contained 12 protein-coding genes (the atp8 gene is missing, as in most bivalves), 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 42 transfer tRNA genes, in a length of 46,985 nucleotides for the size of mtDNA with only one copy of the heteroplasmic tandem repeat (HTR) unit. Moreover the S. broughtonii mt genome shows size variation; these genomes ranged in size from about 47 kb to about 50 kb because of variation in the number of repeat sequences in the non-coding region. The mt-genome of S. broughtonii is, to date, the longest reported metazoan mtDNA sequence. Sequence duplication in non-coding region and the formation of HTR arrays were two of the factors responsible for the ultra-large size of this mt genome. All the tRNA genes were found within the S. broughtonii mt genome, unlike the other bivalves usually lacking one or more tRNA genes. Twelve additional specimens were used to analyze the patterns of tandem repeat arrays by PCR amplification and agarose electrophoresis. Each of the 12 specimens displayed extensive heteroplasmy and had 8-10 length variants. The motifs of the HTR arrays are about 353-362 bp and the number of repeats ranges from 1 to 11. PMID:23291309

  3. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii: an ultra-large metazoan mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun-Guo; Kurokawa, Tadahide; Sekino, Masashi; Tanabe, Toru; Watanabe, Kazuhito

    2013-03-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii was determined using long PCR and a genome walking sequencing strategy with genus-specific primers. The S. broughtonii mt genome (GenBank accession number AB729113) contained 12 protein-coding genes (the atp8 gene is missing, as in most bivalves), 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 42 transfer tRNA genes, in a length of 46,985 nucleotides for the size of mtDNA with only one copy of the heteroplasmic tandem repeat (HTR) unit. Moreover the S. broughtonii mt genome shows size variation; these genomes ranged in size from about 47 kb to about 50 kb because of variation in the number of repeat sequences in the non-coding region. The mt-genome of S. broughtonii is, to date, the longest reported metazoan mtDNA sequence. Sequence duplication in non-coding region and the formation of HTR arrays were two of the factors responsible for the ultra-large size of this mt genome. All the tRNA genes were found within the S. broughtonii mt genome, unlike the other bivalves usually lacking one or more tRNA genes. Twelve additional specimens were used to analyze the patterns of tandem repeat arrays by PCR amplification and agarose electrophoresis. Each of the 12 specimens displayed extensive heteroplasmy and had 8-10 length variants. The motifs of the HTR arrays are about 353-362 bp and the number of repeats ranges from 1 to 11.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Obligate Insect Endosymbionts Exhibit Increased Ortholog Length Variation and Loss of Large Accessory Proteins Concurrent with Genome Shrinkage

    PubMed Central

    Kenyon, Laura J.; Sabree, Zakee L.

    2014-01-01

    Extreme genome reduction has been observed in obligate intracellular insect mutualists and is an assumed consequence of fixed, long-term host isolation. Rapid accumulation of mutations and pseudogenization of genes no longer vital for an intracellular lifestyle, followed by deletion of many genes, are factors that lead to genome reduction. Size reductions in individual genes due to small-scale deletions have also been implicated in contributing to overall genome shrinkage. Conserved protein functional domains are expected to exhibit low tolerance for mutations and therefore remain relatively unchanged throughout protein length reduction while nondomain regions, presumably under less selective pressures, would shorten. This hypothesis was tested using orthologous protein sets from the Flavobacteriaceae (phylum: Bacteroidetes) and Enterobacteriaceae (subphylum: Gammaproteobacteria) families, each of which includes some of the smallest known genomes. Upon examination of protein, functional domain, and nondomain region lengths, we found that proteins were not uniformly shrinking with genome reduction, but instead increased length variability and variability was observed in both the functional domain and nondomain regions. Additionally, as complete gene loss also contributes to overall genome shrinkage, we found that the largest proteins in the proteomes of nonhost-restricted bacteroidetial and gammaproteobacterial species often were inferred to be involved in secondary metabolic processes, extracellular sensing, or of unknown function. These proteins were absent in the proteomes of obligate insect endosymbionts. Therefore, loss of genes encoding large proteins not required for host-restricted lifestyles in obligate endosymbiont proteomes likely contributes to extreme genome reduction to a greater degree than gene shrinkage. PMID:24671745

  17. Selection for Unequal Densities of Sigma70 Promoter-like Signalsin Different Regions of Large Bacterial Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Huerta, Araceli M.; Francino, M. Pilar; Morett, Enrique; Collado-Vides, Julio

    2006-03-01

    distribution of promoter-like signals between regulatory and nonregulatory regions detected in large bacterial genomes confers a significant, although small, fitness advantage. This study paves the way for further identification of the specific types of selective constraints that affect the organization of regulatory regions and the overall distribution of promoter-like signals through more detailed comparative analyses among closely-related bacterial genomes.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    OMURA, Ayano; ANZAI, Wataru; KOYABU, Daisuke; ENDO, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25816856

  20. 77 FR 36287 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, Calaveras...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-18

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger... listed animal, the threatened Central California Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander (tiger salamander). The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and...

  1. Habitat relationships of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in Appalachian grazing systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Altered microclimates and vegetation structure after timber harvest can result in longterm population declines of some Appalachian salamanders. If changes in forest structure following harvest alter woodland salamander habitat quality, conversion of forests to pastures or meadows is believed to resu...

  2. Complete genome sequence analysis of human echovirus 30 isolated during a large outbreak in Guangdong Province of China, in 2012.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Hong; Huang, Keyong; Li, Ling; Wu, Xianbo; Zheng, Li; Wan, Chengsong; Zhao, Wei; Ke, Changwen; Zhang, Bao

    2014-02-01

    In May and June 2012, an outbreak of aseptic meningitis caused by Echovirus 30 (E30) occurred on a large scale in Luoding, Guangdong Province, China. Our team successfully isolated one subtype, strain 2012EM161, and its complete genome was sequenced. The phylogenetic tree of viral protein (VP) 1 gene sequences showed that the viral isolate was similar to the E30 strain prevalent in Fujian (2011), with identity of 98.05-99.32 % and 98.63-99.32 % for nucleotides and amino acids respectively. Whole genome-based phylogenetic analysis indicated that 2012EM161 contained the most proximate consensus to DQ246620 (Zhejiang, 2003) and FDJS03 (AY948442, Jiangsu, 2005), with nucleotide homogeneity of 87.09 % and 86.98 % respectively. The RDP4.16 and Simplot analysis showed that the newly discovered 2012EM161 was probably a recombinant, which was closely related to the strain of E30 (DQ246620) in the first half of the genome and the strain of E6 (JX976771) in genomic P3 region. The whole genome sequence of 2012EM161 will allow further study of the origin, evolution, and the molecular epidemiology of E30 strains.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:19372668

  5. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Trung D.; Cao, Hieu X.; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Novák, Petr; Vu, Giang T. H.; Macas, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution. Genlisea nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1,550 Mbp) possess identical chromosome numbers (2n = 40) but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n ≈ 104) and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n = 80), are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2), while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2n = 38) the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1,622 Mbp, 2n = 40). In G. nigrocaulis 11 chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea. PMID:26347752

  6. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences.

    PubMed

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Novák, Petr; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution. Genlisea nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1,550 Mbp) possess identical chromosome numbers (2n = 40) but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n ≈ 104) and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n = 80), are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2), while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2n = 38) the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1,622 Mbp, 2n = 40). In G. nigrocaulis 11 chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea.

  7. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences.

    PubMed

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Novák, Petr; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution. Genlisea nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1,550 Mbp) possess identical chromosome numbers (2n = 40) but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n ≈ 104) and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n = 80), are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2), while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2n = 38) the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1,622 Mbp, 2n = 40). In G. nigrocaulis 11 chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea. PMID:26347752

  8. Participants' recall and understanding of genomic research and large-scale data sharing.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Jill Oliver; Slashinski, Melody J; Wang, Tao; Hilsenbeck, Susan G; McGuire, Amy L

    2013-10-01

    As genomic researchers are urged to openly share generated sequence data with other researchers, it is important to examine the utility of informed consent documents and processes, particularly as these relate to participants' engagement with and recall of the information presented to them, their objective or subjective understanding of the key elements of genomic research (e.g., data sharing), as well as how these factors influence or mediate the decisions they make. We conducted a randomized trial of three experimental informed consent documents (ICDs) with participants (n = 229) being recruited to genomic research studies; each document afforded varying control over breadth of release of genetic information. Recall and understanding, their impact on data sharing decisions, and comfort in decision making were assessed in a follow-up structured interview. Over 25% did not remember signing an ICD to participate in a genomic study, and the majority (54%) could not correctly identify with whom they had agreed to share their genomic data. However, participants felt that they understood enough to make an informed decision, and lack of recall did not impact final data sharing decisions or satisfaction with participation. These findings raise questions about the types of information participants need in order to provide valid informed consent, and whether subjective understanding and comfort with decision making are sufficient to satisfy the ethical principle of respect for persons.

  9. Maintenance of Large Numbers of Virus Genomes in Human Cytomegalovirus-Infected T98G Glioblastoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Ying-Liang; Ye, Han-Qing; Zavala, Anamaria G.; Yang, Cui-Qing; Miao, Ling-Feng; Fu, Bi-Shi; Seo, Keun Seok; Davrinche, Christian

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT After infection, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) persists for life. Primary infections and reactivation of latent virus can both result in congenital infection, a leading cause of central nervous system birth defects. We previously reported long-term HCMV infection in the T98G glioblastoma cell line (1). HCMV infection has been further characterized in T98Gs, emphasizing the presence of HCMV DNA over an extended time frame. T98Gs were infected with either HCMV Towne or AD169-IE2-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) strains. Towne infections yielded mixed IE1 antigen-positive and -negative (Ag+/Ag−) populations. AD169-IE2-eGFP infections also yielded mixed populations, which were sorted to obtain an IE2− (Ag−) population. Viral gene expression over the course of infection was determined by immunofluorescent analysis (IFA) and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The presence of HCMV genomes was determined by PCR, nested PCR (n-PCR), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Compared to the HCMV latency model, THP-1, Towne-infected T98Gs expressed IE1 and latency-associated transcripts for longer periods, contained many more HCMV genomes during early passages, and carried genomes for a greatly extended period of passaging. Large numbers of HCMV genomes were also found in purified Ag− AD169-infected cells for the first several passages. Interestingly, latency transcripts were observed from very early times in the Towne-infected cells, even when IE1 was expressed at low levels. Although AD169-infected Ag− cells expressed no detectable levels of either IE1 or latency transcripts, they also maintained large numbers of genomes within the cell nuclei for several passages. These results identify HCMV-infected T98Gs as an attractive new model in the study of the long-term maintenance of virus genomes in the context of neural cell types. IMPORTANCE Our previous work showed that T98G glioblastoma cells were semipermissive to HCMV infection; virus

  10. Merlin: Computer-Aided Oligonucleotide Design for Large Scale Genome Engineering with MAGE.

    PubMed

    Quintin, Michael; Ma, Natalie J; Ahmed, Samir; Bhatia, Swapnil; Lewis, Aaron; Isaacs, Farren J; Densmore, Douglas

    2016-06-17

    Genome engineering technologies now enable precise manipulation of organism genotype, but can be limited in scalability by their design requirements. Here we describe Merlin ( http://merlincad.org ), an open-source web-based tool to assist biologists in designing experiments using multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE). Merlin provides methods to generate pools of single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (oligos) for MAGE experiments by performing free energy calculation and BLAST scoring on a sliding window spanning the targeted site. These oligos are designed not only to improve recombination efficiency, but also to minimize off-target interactions. The application further assists experiment planning by reporting predicted allelic replacement rates after multiple MAGE cycles, and enables rapid result validation by generating primer sequences for multiplexed allele-specific colony PCR. Here we describe the Merlin oligo and primer design procedures and validate their functionality compared to OptMAGE by eliminating seven AvrII restriction sites from the Escherichia coli genome.

  11. A large genome centre’s improvements to the Illumina sequencing system

    PubMed Central

    Quail, Michael A.; Kozarewa, Iwanka; Smith, Frances; Scally, Aylwyn; Stephens, Philip J.; Durbin, Richard; Swerdlow, Harold; Turner, Daniel J.

    2008-01-01

    Preface The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world’s largest genome centres, and a substantial amount of our sequencing is performed on ‘next generation’ massively parallel sequencing technologies: in June 2008 the quantity of purity filtered sequence data generated by our Genome Analyzer (Illumina) platforms reached 1 terabase, and our average weekly Illumina production output is currently 64gigabases (Gb). Here we describe a set of improvements we have made to the standard Illumina protocols to make the library preparation more reliable in a high throughput environment, to reduce bias, tighten insert size distribution, and reliably obtain high yields of data. PMID:19034268

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of tail skin on the morphology and morphogenesis of limb regenerates in the red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Dinsmore, C E

    1982-10-01

    Tail skin cuffs have been grafted to the upper forelimb of red-backed salamanders in either normal or 180 degrees-rotated dorsoventral orientation. Subsequent amputation through the graft region resulted in arrested regeneration, distally deficient or typical four-digit regenerates. Distribution was not substantially influenced by graft orientation nor were there any supernumerary limbs induced by the axially dislocated tail skin on the limb stumps. Furthermore, regenerates bore no indication of tail-like structures other than large granular skin glands proximally. These data indicate that, unlike limb skin, tail skin is not morphogenetically active in the epimorphic process of limb regeneration. In addition, the species used in this study is a fin-less, round-tailed salamander. It is therefore suggested that the previously reported morphogenetic effects of tail skin on limb regeneration may be related to the presence of tail fins on the species studied.

  15. Kmasker--a tool for in silico prediction of single-copy FISH probes for the large-genome species Hordeum vulgare.

    PubMed

    Schmutzer, T; Ma, L; Pousarebani, N; Bull, F; Stein, N; Houben, A; Scholz, U

    2014-01-01

    Specific localization of large genomic fragments by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is challenging in large- genome plant species due to the high content of repetitive sequences. We report the automated work flow (Kmasker) for in silico extraction of unique genomic sequences of large genomic fragments suitable for FISH in barley. This method can be widely used for the integration of genetic and cytogenetic maps in plants and other species with large and complex genomes if the probe sequence (e.g. BACs, sequence contigs) and a low coverage (8-fold) of unassembled sequences of the species of interest are available. Kmasker has been made publicly available as a web tool at http://webblast.ipk-gatersleben.de/kmasker. PMID:24335088

  16. A Protocol for mtGenome Analysis on Large Sample Numbers

    PubMed Central

    Hamoy, Igor G; Ribeiro-dos-Santos, André M; Alvarez, Luiz; Barbosa, Silvanira; Silva, Artur; Santos, Sidney; Gusmão, Leonor; Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Ândrea

    2014-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome is widely studied in a variety of fields, such as population, forensic, and human and medical genetics. Most studies have been limited to a small portion of the sequence that, although highly diverse, does not describe the total variability. The arrival of modern high-throughput sequencing technologies has made it possible to investigate larger sequences in a shorter amount of time as well as in a more affordable fashion. This work aims to describe a protocol for sequencing and analyzing the complete mitochondrial genome with the Ion PGM™ platform. To evaluate the protocol, the mitochondrial genome was sequenced to approximately 210 Mbp, with high-quality sequences distributed between 12 samples that had an average coverage of 1023× per sample. Several variant callers were compared to improve the protocol outcome. The results suggest that it is possible to run up to 120 samples per run without any loss of any significant quality. Therefore, this protocol is an efficient and accurate tool for full mitochondrial genome analysis. PMID:25002812

  17. 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...

  18. From RNA-seq to large-scale genotyping - genomics resources for rye (Secale cereale L.)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The improvement of agricultural crops with regard to yield, resistance and environmental adaptation is a perpetual challenge for both breeding and research. Exploration of the genetic potential and implementation of genome-based breeding strategies for efficient rye (Secale cereale L.) cultivar improvement have been hampered by the lack of genome sequence information. To overcome this limitation we sequenced the transcriptomes of five winter rye inbred lines using Roche/454 GS FLX technology. Results More than 2.5 million reads were assembled into 115,400 contigs representing a comprehensive rye expressed sequence tag (EST) resource. From sequence comparisons 5,234 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified to develop the Rye5K high-throughput SNP genotyping array. Performance of the Rye5K SNP array was investigated by genotyping 59 rye inbred lines including the five lines used for sequencing, and five barley, three wheat, and two triticale accessions. A balanced distribution of allele frequencies ranging from 0.1 to 0.9 was observed. Residual heterozygosity of the rye inbred lines varied from 4.0 to 20.4% with higher average heterozygosity in the pollen compared to the seed parent pool. Conclusions The established sequence and molecular marker resources will improve and promote genetic and genomic research as well as genome-based breeding in rye. PMID:21951788

  19. Evolutionary analysis of a large mtDNA translocation (numt) into the nuclear genome of the Panthera genus species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae-Heup; Antunes, Agostinho; Luo, Shu-Jin; Menninger, Joan; Nash, William G; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2006-02-01

    Translocation of cymtDNA into the nuclear genome, also referred to as numt, has been reported in many species, including several closely related to the domestic cat (Felis catus). We describe the recent transposition of 12,536 bp of the 17 kb mitochondrial genome into the nucleus of the common ancestor of the five Panthera genus species: tiger, P. tigris; snow leopard, P. uncia; jaguar, P. onca; leopard, P. pardus; and lion, P. leo. This nuclear integration, representing 74% of the mitochondrial genome, is one of the largest to be reported in eukaryotes. The Panthera genus numt differs from the numt previously described in the Felis genus in: (1) chromosomal location (F2-telomeric region vs. D2-centromeric region), (2) gene make up (from the ND5 to the ATP8 vs. from the CR to the COII), (3) size (12.5 vs. 7.9 kb), and (4) structure (single monomer vs. tandemly repeated in Felis). These distinctions indicate that the origin of this large numt fragment in the nuclear genome of the Panthera species is an independent insertion from that of the domestic cat lineage, which has been further supported by phylogenetic analyses. The tiger cymtDNA shared around 90% sequence identity with the homologous numt sequence, suggesting an origin for the Panthera numt at around 3.5 million years ago, prior to the radiation of the five extant Panthera species.

  20. Evolved Populations of Shigella flexneri Phage Sf6 Acquire Large Deletions, Altered Genomic Architecture, and Faster Life Cycles.

    PubMed

    Dover, John A; Burmeister, Alita R; Molineux, Ian J; Parent, Kristin N

    2016-01-01

    Genomic architecture is the framework within which genes and regulatory elements evolve and where specific constructs may constrain or potentiate particular adaptations. One such construct is evident in phages that use a headful packaging strategy that results in progeny phage heads packaged with DNA until full rather than encapsidating a simple unit-length genome. Here, we investigate the evolution of the headful packaging phage Sf6 in response to barriers that impede efficient phage adsorption to the host cell. Ten replicate populations evolved faster Sf6 life cycles by parallel mutations found in a phage lysis gene and/or by large, 1.2- to 4.0-kb deletions that remove a mobile genetic IS911 element present in the ancestral phage genome. The fastest life cycles were found in phages that acquired both mutations. No mutations were found in genes encoding phage structural proteins, which were a priori expected from the experimental design that imposed a challenge for phage adsorption by using a Shigella flexneri host lacking receptors preferred by Sf6. We used DNA sequencing, molecular approaches, and physiological experiments on 82 clonal isolates taken from all 10 populations to reveal the genetic basis of the faster Sf6 life cycle. The majority of our isolates acquired deletions in the phage genome. Our results suggest that deletions are adaptive and can influence the duration of the phage life cycle while acting in conjunction with other lysis time-determining point mutations. PMID:27497318

  1. 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. PMID:16380222

  2. 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.

  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. PMID:25691995

  4. Axial dynamics during locomotion in vertebrates lesson from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke; Lamarque, Stéphanie; Ryczko, Dimitri

    2010-01-01

    Much of what we know about the flexibility of the locomotor networks in vertebrates is derived from studies examining the adaptation of limb movements during stepping in various conditions. However, the body movements play important roles during locomotion: they produce the thrust during undulatory locomotion and they help to increase the stride length during legged locomotion. In this chapter, we review our current knowledge about the flexibility in the neuronal circuits controlling the body musculature during locomotion. We focus especially on salamander because, as an amphibian, this animal is able to display a rich repertoire of aquatic and terrestrial locomotor modes.

  5. Acid precipitation and embryonic mortality of spotted salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum.

    PubMed

    Pough, F H

    1976-04-01

    Spotted salamanders breed in temporary pools formed in early spring by melted snow and rain. Many of these pools reflect the low pH of precipitation in the northeastern United States. Egg mortality is low (less than 1 percent) in pools near neutrality, but high (greater than 60 percent) in pools more acid than pH 6. Developmental anomalies and the embryonic stage at which death occurs are the same in field situations as at corresponding pH's in laboratory experiments.

  6. 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. PMID:26805522

  7. Earthworms, as ecosystem engineers, influence multiple aspects of a salamander's ecology.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Tami S

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers create habitat that can be used by other species in multiple ways, such as refugees from predators, places to breed, or areas with increased prey resources. I conducted a series of enclosure experiments to: (1) determine if salamanders use earthworm burrows, and (2) examine the potential influence of earthworm burrow use and indirect effects on salamander intra- and interspecific competition, predator avoidance, and seasonal performance. I found that one species of woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus, used earthworm burrows 50% of the time when burrows were present. Neither adults nor juveniles of the congeneric P. glutinosus used earthworm burrows. Intraspecific, but not interspecific, competition by P. cinereus affected salamander behavior when earthworms were absent, with P. cinereus found under cover objects >70% of the time when alone or with a P. glutinosus, but only 40% of the time when with another P. cinereus. When earthworms were present, the behavior of P. cinereus was similar across salamander treatments. Earthworms decreased the amount of leaf litter and microinvertebrates, although this did not affect salamander mass. In subsequent experiments using only P. cinereus, the refuge provided by earthworm burrows increased the survival of P. cinereus over the winter and allowed P. cinereus to avoid being consumed by the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Because earthworm burrows provide a refuge for P. cinereus during intraspecific encounters, in the presence of a predator and over the winter, they may serve as an important belowground-aboveground linkage in eastern forests where salamanders are common.

  8. 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

  9. Large, Male Germ Cell-Specific Hypomethylated DNA Domains With Unique Genomic and Epigenomic Features on the Mouse X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Rieko; Shiura, Hirosuke; Numata, Koji; Sugimoto, Michihiko; Kondo, Masayo; Mise, Nathan; Suzuki, Masako; Greally, John M.; Abe, Kuniya

    2013-01-01

    To understand the epigenetic regulation required for germ cell-specific gene expression in the mouse, we analysed DNA methylation profiles of developing germ cells using a microarray-based assay adapted for a small number of cells. The analysis revealed differentially methylated sites between cell types tested. Here, we focused on a group of genomic sequences hypomethylated specifically in germline cells as candidate regions involved in the epigenetic regulation of germline gene expression. These hypomethylated sequences tend to be clustered, forming large (10 kb to ∼9 Mb) genomic domains, particularly on the X chromosome of male germ cells. Most of these regions, designated here as large hypomethylated domains (LoDs), correspond to segmentally duplicated regions that contain gene families showing germ cell- or testis-specific expression, including cancer testis antigen genes. We found an inverse correlation between DNA methylation level and expression of genes in these domains. Most LoDs appear to be enriched with H3 lysine 9 dimethylation, usually regarded as a repressive histone modification, although some LoD genes can be expressed in male germ cells. It thus appears that such a unique epigenomic state associated with the LoDs may constitute a basis for the specific expression of genes contained in these genomic domains. PMID:23861320

  10. First complete genome sequence of a capsicum chlorosis tospovirus isolate from Australia with an unusually large S RNA intergenic region.

    PubMed

    Widana Gamage, Shirani; Persley, Denis M; Higgins, Colleen M; Dietzgen, Ralf G

    2015-03-01

    The first complete genome sequence of capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV) from Australia was determined using a combination of Illumina HiSeq RNA and Sanger sequencing technologies. Australian CaCV had a tripartite genome structure like other CaCV isolates. The large (L) RNA was 8913 nucleotides (nt) in length and contained a single open reading frame (ORF) of 8634 nt encoding a predicted RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) in the viral-complementary (vc) sense. The medium (M) and small (S) RNA segments were 4846 and 3944 nt in length, respectively, each containing two non-overlapping ORFs in ambisense orientation, separated by intergenic regions (IGR). The M segment contained ORFs encoding the predicted non-structural movement protein (NSm; 927 nt) and precursor of glycoproteins (GP; 3366 nt) in the viral sense (v) and vc strand, respectively, separated by a 449-nt IGR. The S segment coded for the predicted nucleocapsid (N) protein (828 nt) and non-structural suppressor of silencing protein (NSs; 1320 nt) in the vc and v strand, respectively. The S RNA contained an IGR of 1663 nt, being the largest IGR of all CaCV isolates sequenced so far. Comparison of the Australian CaCV genome with complete CaCV genome sequences from other geographic regions showed highest sequence identity with a Taiwanese isolate. Genome sequence comparisons and phylogeny of all available CaCV isolates provided evidence for at least two highly diverged groups of CaCV isolates that may warrant re-classification of AIT-Thailand and CP-China isolates as unique tospoviruses, separate from CaCV.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:27607357

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24407037

  16. 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.

  17. Unisexual salamanders (genus Ambystoma) present a new reproductive mode for eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Bogart, James P; Bi, Ke; Fu, Jinzong; Noble, Daniel W A; Niedzwiecki, John

    2007-02-01

    To persist, unisexual and asexual eukaryotes must have reproductive modes that circumvent normal bisexual reproduction. Parthenogenesis, gynogenesis, and hybridogenesis are the modes that have generally been ascribed to various unisexuals. Unisexual Ambystoma are abundant around the Great Lakes region of North America, and have variously been described as having all 3 reproductive modes. Diploid and polyploid unisexuals have nuclear genomes that combine the haploid genomes of 2 to 4 distinct sexual species, but the mtDNA is unlike any of those 4 species and is similar to another species, Ambystoma barbouri. To obtain better resolution of the reproductive mode used by unisexual Ambystoma and to explore the relationship of A. barbouri to the unisexuals, we sequenced the mitochondrial control and highly variable intergenic spacer region of 48 ambystomatids, which included 28 unisexuals, representatives of the 4 sexual species and A. barbouri. The unisexuals have similar sequences over most of their range, and form a close sister group to A. barbouri, with an estimated time of divergence of 2.4-3.9 million years ago. Individuals from the Lake Erie Islands (Kelleys, Pelee, North Bass) have a haplotype that demonstrates an isolation event. We examined highly variable microsatellite loci, and found that the genetic makeup of the unisexuals is highly variable and that unisexual individuals share microsatellite alleles with sexual individuals within populations. Although many progeny from the same female had the same genotype for 5 microsatellite DNA loci, there was no indication that any particular genome is consistently inherited in a clonal fashion in a population. The reproductive mode used by unisexual Ambystoma appears to be unique; we suggest kleptogenesis as a new unisexual reproductive mode that is used by these salamanders. PMID:17546077

  18. Completion of the swine genome will simplify the production of swine as a large animal biomedical model

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anatomic and physiological similarities to the human make swine an excellent large animal model for human health and disease. Methods Cloning from a modified somatic cell, which can be determined in cells prior to making the animal, is the only method available for the production of targeted modifications in swine. Results Since some strains of swine are similar in size to humans, technologies that have been developed for swine can be readily adapted to humans and vice versa. Here the importance of swine as a biomedical model, current technologies to produce genetically enhanced swine, current biomedical models, and how the completion of the swine genome will promote swine as a biomedical model are discussed. Conclusions The completion of the swine genome will enhance the continued use and development of swine as models of human health, syndromes and conditions. PMID:23151353

  19. 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. PMID:26901487

  20. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis.

  1. 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.

  2. Overview of PSB track on gene structure identification in large-scale genomic sequence

    SciTech Connect

    Uberbacher, E.C.; Xu, Y.

    1998-12-31

    The recent funding of more than a dozen major genome centers to begin community-wide high-throughput sequencing of the human genome has created a significant new challenge for the computational analysis of DNA sequence and the prediction of gene structure and function. It has been estimated that on average from 1996 to 2003, approximately 2 million bases of newly finished DNA sequence will be produced every day and be made available on the Internet and in central databases. The finished (fully assembled) sequence generated each day will represent approximately 75 new genes (and their respective proteins), and many times this number will be represented in partially completed sequences. The information contained in these is of immeasurable value to medical research, biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry and researchers in a host of fields ranging from microorganism metabolism, to structural biology, to bioremediation. Sequencing of microorganisms and other model organisms is also ramping up at a very rapid rate. The genomes for yeast and several microorganisms such as H. influenza have recently been fully sequenced, although the significance of many genes remains to be determined.

  3. Characterization of genomic imbalances in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by detailed SNP-chip analysis.

    PubMed

    Scholtysik, René; Kreuz, Markus; Hummel, Michael; Rosolowski, Maciej; Szczepanowski, Monika; Klapper, Wolfram; Loeffler, Markus; Trümper, Lorenz; Siebert, Reiner; Küppers, Ralf

    2015-03-01

    The pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) is only partly understood. We analyzed 148 DLBCL by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-chips to characterize genomic imbalances. Seventy-nine cases were of the germinal center B-cell like (GCB) type of DLBCL, 49 of the activated B-cell like (ABC) subtype and 20 were unclassified DLBCL. Twenty-four regions of recurrent genomic gains and 38 regions of recurrent genomic losses were identified over the whole cohort, with a median of 25 imbalances per case for ABC-DLBCL and 19 per case for GCB-DLBCL. Several recurrent copy number changes showed differential frequencies in the GCB- and ABC-DLBCL subgroups, including gains of HDAC7A predominantly in GCB-DLBCL (38% of cases) and losses of BACH2 and CASP8AP2 predominantly in ABC-DLBCL (35%), hinting at disparate pathogenetic mechanisms in these entities. Correlating gene expression and copy number revealed a strong gene dosage effect in all tumors, with 34% of probesets showing a concordant expression change in affected regions. Two new potential tumor suppressor genes emerging from the analysis, CASP3 and IL5RA, were sequenced in ten and 16 candidate cases, respectively. However, no mutations were found, pointing to a potential haploinsufficiency effect of these genes, considering their reduced expression in cases with deletions. Our study thus describes differences and similarities in the landscape of genomic aberrations in the DLBCL subgroups in a large collection of cases, confirming already known targets, but also discovering novel copy number changes with possible pathogenetic relevance.

  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. 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 +

  6. 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. PMID:27411827

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of Agreia bicolorata Strain AC-1804, a Producer of Large Amounts of Carotenoid Pigments, Isolated from Narrow Reed Grass Infected by the Phytoparasitic Nematode

    PubMed Central

    Siniagina, Maria; Malanin, Sergey; Boulygina, Eugenia; Grygoryeva, Tatiana; Yarullina, Dina; Ilinskaya, Olga

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Agreia bicolorata strain AC-1804, isolated from narrow reed grass galls induced by a plant-parasitic nematode which is able to produce large amounts of carotenoid pigments. The draft genome sequence of 3,919,485 bp provides a resource for carotenoid pathway research. PMID:26634752

  8. 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. PMID:15654085

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:17536706

  15. Comparison of histological grading and large-scale genomic status (DNA ploidy) as prognostic tools in oral dysplasia.

    PubMed

    Sudbø, J; Bryne, M; Johannessen, A C; Kildal, W; Danielsen, H E; Reith, A

    2001-07-01

    Approximately one in ten oral white patches (leukoplakia) are histologically classified as dysplasia, with a well-documented potential for developing into oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Histological grading in oral dysplasia has limited prognostic value, whereas large-scale genomic status (DNA ploidy, nuclear DNA content) is an early marker of malignant transformation in several tissues. Biopsies from 196 patients with oral leukoplakia histologically typed as dysplasia were investigated. Inter-observer agreement among four experienced pathologists performing a simplified grading was assessed by Cohen's kappa values. For 150 of the 196 cases, it was also possible to assess large-scale genomic status and compare its prognostic impact with that of histological grading. Disease-free survival was estimated by life-table methods, with a mean follow-up time of 103 months (range 4-165 months). The primary considered end-point was the subsequent occurrence of OSCC. For grading of the total of 196 cases, kappa values ranged from 0.17 to 0.33 when three grading groups (mild, moderate, and severe dysplasia) were considered, and from 0.21 to 0.32 when two groups (low grade and high grade) were considered (p=0.41). For the 150 cases in which large-scale genomic status was also assessed, kappa values for the histological grading ranged from 0.21 to 0.33 for three grading groups and from 0.27 to 0.34 for two grading groups (p=0.47). In survival analysis, histological grading was without significant prognostic value for any of the four observers (p 0.14-0.44), in contrast to DNA ploidy (p=0.001). It is concluded that DNA ploidy in oral dysplasia has a practical prognostic value, unlike histological grading of the same lesions. PMID:11439362

  16. A genome-wide linkage analysis for reproductive traits in F2 Large White × Meishan cross gilts

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, S C; Finlayson, H A; Ashworth, C J; Haley, C S; Archibald, A L

    2014-01-01

    Female reproductive performance traits in pigs have low heritabilities thus limiting improvement through traditional selective breeding programmes. However, there is substantial genetic variation found between pig breeds with the Chinese Meishan being one of the most prolific pig breeds known. In this study, three cohorts of Large White × Meishan F2 cross-bred pigs were analysed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with effects on reproductive traits, including ovulation rate, teat number, litter size, total born alive and prenatal survival. A total of 307 individuals were genotyped for 174 genetic markers across the genome. The genome-wide analysis of the trait-recorded F2 gilts in their first parity/litter revealed one QTL for teat number significant at the genome level and a total of 12 QTL, which are significant at the chromosome-wide level, for: litter size (three QTL), total born alive (two QTL), ovulation rate (four QTL), prenatal survival (one QTL) and teat number (two QTL). Further support for eight of these QTL is provided by results from other studies. Four of these 12 QTL were mapped for the first time in this study: on SSC15 for ovulation rate and on SSC18 for teat number, ovulation rate and litter size. PMID:24456574

  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. Retinal pigment epithelial fine structure in the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1992-07-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinerus) consists of a single layer of large squamous shaped cells. The RPE cells are but minimally infolded basally (sclerally) but show many large apical (vitreal) processes interdigitating with the rod outer segments. These epithelial cells are joined laterally by prominent tight junctions located in the mid region of the cells. Internally smooth endoplasmic reticulum is very plentiful while rough endoplasmic reticulum is not. Polysomes, small dense mitochondria and small round to oval melanosomes are plentiful. Golgi zones and lysosome-like bodies are also present as are phagosomes of outer segment material and myeloid bodies. The RPE cell nucleus is large and vesicular. It is felt that the melanosomes undergo retinomotor movements but as only light-adapted specimens were examined it is not known how extensive are these movements. Bruch's membrane or complexus basalis shows the typical pentalaminate structure noted for most vertebrates. The choriocapillaris is a single layer of large anastomosing capillaries which are minimally fenestrated facing Bruch's membrane.

  19. Sequence variants from whole genome sequencing a large group of Icelanders.

    PubMed

    Gudbjartsson, Daniel F; Sulem, Patrick; Helgason, Hannes; Gylfason, Arnaldur; Gudjonsson, Sigurjon A; Zink, Florian; Oddson, Asmundur; Magnusson, Gisli; Halldorsson, Bjarni V; Hjartarson, Eirikur; Sigurdsson, Gunnar Th; Kong, Augustine; Helgason, Agnar; Masson, Gisli; Magnusson, Olafur Th; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Stefansson, Kari

    2015-01-01

    We have accumulated considerable data on the genetic makeup of the Icelandic population by sequencing the whole genomes of 2,636 Icelanders to depth of at least 10X and by chip genotyping 101,584 more. The sequencing was done with Illumina technology. The median sequencing depth was 20X and 909 individuals were sequenced to a depth of at least 30X. We found 20 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1.5 million insertions/deletions (indels) that passed stringent quality control. Almost all the common SNPs (derived allele frequency (DAF) over 2%) that we identified in Iceland have been observed by either dbSNP (build 137) or the Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) while only 60 and 20% of rare (DAF<0.5%) SNPs and indels in coding regions, the most heavily studied parts of the genome, have been observed in the public databases. Features of our variant data, such as the transition/transversion ratio and the length distribution of indels, are similar to published reports. PMID:25977816

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Genome-wide association study of porcine hematological parameters in a Large White × Minzhu F2 resource population.

    PubMed

    Luo, Weizhen; Chen, Shaokang; Cheng, Duxue; Wang, Ligang; Li, Yong; Ma, Xiaojun; Song, Xin; Liu, Xin; Li, Wen; Liang, Jing; Yan, Hua; Zhao, Kebin; Wang, Chuduan; Wang, Lixian; Zhang, Longchao

    2012-01-01

    Hematological traits, which are important indicators of immune function in animals, have been commonly examined as biomarkers of disease and disease severity in humans and animals. Genome-wide significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) provide important information for use in breeding programs of animals such as pigs. QTLs for hematological parameters (hematological traits) have been detected in pig chromosomes, although these are often mapped by linkage analysis to large intervals making identification of the underlying mutation problematic. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the common form of genetic variation among individuals and are thought to account for the majority of inherited traits. In this study, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to detect regions of association with hematological traits in a three-generation resource population produced by intercrossing Large White boars and Minzhu sows during the period from 2007 to 2011. Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip technology was used to genotype each animal and seven hematological parameters were measured (hematocrit (HCT), hemoglobin (HGB), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red blood cell count (RBC) and red blood cell volume distribution width (RDW)). Data were analyzed in a three step Genome-wide Rapid Association using the Mixed Model and Regression-Genomic Control (GRAMMAR-GC) method. A total of 62 genome-wide significant and three chromosome-wide significant SNPs associated with hematological parameters were detected in this GWAS. Seven and five SNPs were associated with HCT and HGB, respectively. These SNPs were all located within the region of 34.6-36.5 Mb on SSC7. Four SNPs within the region of 43.7-47.0 Mb and fifty-five SNPs within the region of 42.2-73.8 Mb on SSC8 showed significant association with MCH and MCV, respectively. At chromosome-wide significant level, one SNP at 29.2 Mb on SSC1

  4. i-ADHoRe 3.0—fast and sensitive detection of genomic homology in extremely large data sets

    PubMed Central

    Proost, Sebastian; Fostier, Jan; De Witte, Dieter; Dhoedt, Bart; Demeester, Piet; Van de Peer, Yves; Vandepoele, Klaas

    2012-01-01

    Comparative genomics is a powerful means to gain insight into the evolutionary processes that shape the genomes of related species. As the number of sequenced genomes increases, the development of software to perform accurate cross-species analyses becomes indispensable. However, many implementations that have the ability to compare multiple genomes exhibit unfavorable computational and memory requirements, limiting the number of genomes that can be analyzed in one run. Here, we present a software package to unveil genomic homology based on the identification of conservation of gene content and gene order (collinearity), i-ADHoRe 3.0, and its application to eukaryotic genomes. The use of efficient algorithms and support for parallel computing enable the analysis of large-scale data sets. Unlike other tools, i-ADHoRe can process the Ensembl data set, containing 49 species, in 1 h. Furthermore, the profile search is more sensitive to detect degenerate genomic homology than chaining pairwise collinearity information based on transitive homology. From ultra-conserved collinear regions between mammals and birds, by integrating coexpression information and protein–protein interactions, we identified more than 400 regions in the human genome showing significant functional coherence. The different algorithmical improvements ensure that i-ADHoRe 3.0 will remain a powerful tool to study genome evolution. PMID:22102584

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  7. 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 ...

  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. 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 ...

  10. Distinct Origin of the Y and St Genome in Elymus Species: Evidence from the Analysis of a Large Sample of St Genome Species Using Two Nuclear Genes

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Chi; Sun, Genlou; Sun, Dongfa

    2011-01-01

    Background Previous cytological and single copy nuclear genes data suggested the St and Y genome in the StY-genomic Elymus species originated from different donors: the St from a diploid species in Pseudoroegneria and the Y from an unknown diploid species, which are now extinct or undiscovered. However, ITS data suggested that the Y and St genome shared the same progenitor although rather few St genome species were studied. In a recent analysis of many samples of St genome species Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) À. Löve suggested that one accession of P. spicata species was the most likely donor of the Y genome. The present study tested whether intraspecific variation during sampling could affect the outcome of analyses to determining the origin of Y genome in allotetraploid StY species. We also explored the evolutionary dynamics of these species. Methodology/Principal Findings Two single copy nuclear genes, the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2) and the translation elongation factor G (EF-G) sequences from 58 accessions of Pseudoroegneria and Elymus species, together with those from Hordeum (H), Agropyron (P), Australopyrum (W), Lophopyrum (Ee), Thinopyrum (Ea), Thinopyrum (Eb), and Dasypyrum (V) were analyzed using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. Sequence comparisons among all these genomes revealed that the St and Y genomes are relatively dissimilar. Extensive sequence variations have been detected not only between the sequences from St and Y genome, but also among the sequences from diploid St genome species. Phylogenetic analyses separated the Y sequences from the St sequences. Conclusions/Significance Our results confirmed that St and Y genome in Elymus species have originated from different donors, and demonstrated that intraspecific variation does not affect the identification of genome origin in polyploids. Moreover, sequence data showed evidence to support the suggestion of the genome convergent evolution in

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:26796198

  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. PMID:27258650

  15. Using a GIS model to assess terrestrial salamander response to alternative forest management plans.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, E J; Murphy, N L; Crow, T R

    2001-11-01

    A GIS model predicting the spatial distribution of terrestrial salamander abundance based on topography and forest age was developed using parameters derived from the literature. The model was tested by sampling salamander abundance across the full range of site conditions used in the model. A regression of the predictions of our GIS model against these sample data showed that the model has a modest but significant ability to predict both salamander abundance and mass per unit area. The model was used to assess the impacts of alternative management plans for the Hoosier National Forest (Indiana, USA) on salamanders. These plans differed in the spatial delineation of management areas where timber harvest was permitted, and the intensity of timber harvest within those management areas. The spatial pattern of forest openings produced by alternative forest management scenarios based on these plans was projected over 150 years using a timber-harvest simulator (HARVEST). We generated a predictive map of salamander abundance for each scenario over time, and summarized each map by calculating mean salamander abundance and the mean colonization distance (average distance from map cells with low predicted abundance to those with relatively high abundance). Projected salamander abundance was affected more by harvest rate (area harvested each decade) than by the management area boundaries. The alternatives had a varying effect on the mean distance salamanders would have to travel to colonize regenerating stands. Our GIS modeling approach is an example of a spatial analytical tool that could help resource management planners to evaluate the potential ecological impact of management alternatives. PMID:11775500

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Genomic Characterization of a Large Outbreak of Legionella pneumophila Serogroup 1 Strains in Quebec City, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Mendis, Nilmini; Cantin, Philippe; Marchand, Geneviève; Charest, Hugues; Raymond, Frédéric; Huot, Caroline; Goupil-Sormany, Isabelle; Desbiens, François; Faucher, Sébastien P.; Corbeil, Jacques; Tremblay, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    During the summer of 2012, a major Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 outbreak occurred in Quebec City, Canada, which caused 182 declared cases of Legionnaire's disease and included 13 fatalities. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates from 23 patients as well as from 32 cooling towers located in the vicinity of the outbreak were recovered for analysis. In addition, 6 isolates from the 1996 Quebec City outbreak and 4 isolates from patients unrelated to both outbreaks were added to allow comparison. We characterized the isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, sequence-based typing, and whole genome sequencing. The comparison of patients-isolated strains to cooling tower isolates allowed the identification of the tower that was the source of the outbreak. Legionella pneumophila strain Quebec 2012 was identified as a ST-62 by sequence-based typing methodology. Two new Legionellaceae plasmids were found only in the epidemic strain. The LVH type IV secretion system was found in the 2012 outbreak isolates but not in the ones from the 1996 outbreak and only in half of the contemporary human isolates. The epidemic strains replicated more efficiently and were more cytotoxic to human macrophages than the environmental strains tested. At least four Icm/Dot effectors in the epidemic strains were absent in the environmental strains suggesting that some effectors could impact the intracellular replication in human macrophages. Sequence-based typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis combined with whole genome sequencing allowed the identification and the analysis of the causative strain including its likely environmental source. PMID:25105285

  19. Genomic characterization of a large outbreak of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains in Quebec City, 2012.

    PubMed

    Lévesque, Simon; Plante, Pier-Luc; Mendis, Nilmini; Cantin, Philippe; Marchand, Geneviève; Charest, Hugues; Raymond, Frédéric; Huot, Caroline; Goupil-Sormany, Isabelle; Desbiens, François; Faucher, Sébastien P; Corbeil, Jacques; Tremblay, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    During the summer of 2012, a major Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 outbreak occurred in Quebec City, Canada, which caused 182 declared cases of Legionnaire's disease and included 13 fatalities. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates from 23 patients as well as from 32 cooling towers located in the vicinity of the outbreak were recovered for analysis. In addition, 6 isolates from the 1996 Quebec City outbreak and 4 isolates from patients unrelated to both outbreaks were added to allow comparison. We characterized the isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, sequence-based typing, and whole genome sequencing. The comparison of patients-isolated strains to cooling tower isolates allowed the identification of the tower that was the source of the outbreak. Legionella pneumophila strain Quebec 2012 was identified as a ST-62 by sequence-based typing methodology. Two new Legionellaceae plasmids were found only in the epidemic strain. The LVH type IV secretion system was found in the 2012 outbreak isolates but not in the ones from the 1996 outbreak and only in half of the contemporary human isolates. The epidemic strains replicated more efficiently and were more cytotoxic to human macrophages than the environmental strains tested. At least four Icm/Dot effectors in the epidemic strains were absent in the environmental strains suggesting that some effectors could impact the intracellular replication in human macrophages. Sequence-based typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis combined with whole genome sequencing allowed the identification and the analysis of the causative strain including its likely environmental source. PMID:25105285

  20. Candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility show enriched association within a large genome-wide association study for BMI

    PubMed Central

    Vimaleswaran, Karani S.; Tachmazidou, Ioanna; Zhao, Jing Hua; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Dudbridge, Frank; Loos, Ruth J.F.

    2012-01-01

    Before the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWASs), hundreds of candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility had been identified through a variety of approaches. We examined whether those obesity candidate genes are enriched for associations with body mass index (BMI) compared with non-candidate genes by using data from a large-scale GWAS. A thorough literature search identified 547 candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility based on evidence from animal studies, Mendelian syndromes, linkage studies, genetic association studies and expression studies. Genomic regions were defined to include the genes ±10 kb of flanking sequence around candidate and non-candidate genes. We used summary statistics publicly available from the discovery stage of the genome-wide meta-analysis for BMI performed by the genetic investigation of anthropometric traits consortium in 123 564 individuals. Hypergeometric, rank tail-strength and gene-set enrichment analysis tests were used to test for the enrichment of association in candidate compared with non-candidate genes. The hypergeometric test of enrichment was not significant at the 5% P-value quantile (P = 0.35), but was nominally significant at the 25% quantile (P = 0.015). The rank tail-strength and gene-set enrichment tests were nominally significant for the full set of genes and borderline significant for the subset without SNPs at P < 10−7. Taken together, the observed evidence for enrichment suggests that the candidate gene approach retains some value. However, the degree of enrichment is small despite the extensive number of candidate genes and the large sample size. Studies that focus on candidate genes have only slightly increased chances of detecting associations, and are likely to miss many true effects in non-candidate genes, at least for obesity-related traits. PMID:22791748

  1. Candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility show enriched association within a large genome-wide association study for BMI.

    PubMed

    Vimaleswaran, Karani S; Tachmazidou, Ioanna; Zhao, Jing Hua; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Dudbridge, Frank; Loos, Ruth J F

    2012-10-15

    Before the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWASs), hundreds of candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility had been identified through a variety of approaches. We examined whether those obesity candidate genes are enriched for associations with body mass index (BMI) compared with non-candidate genes by using data from a large-scale GWAS. A thorough literature search identified 547 candidate genes for obesity-susceptibility based on evidence from animal studies, Mendelian syndromes, linkage studies, genetic association studies and expression studies. Genomic regions were defined to include the genes ±10 kb of flanking sequence around candidate and non-candidate genes. We used summary statistics publicly available from the discovery stage of the genome-wide meta-analysis for BMI performed by the genetic investigation of anthropometric traits consortium in 123 564 individuals. Hypergeometric, rank tail-strength and gene-set enrichment analysis tests were used to test for the enrichment of association in candidate compared with non-candidate genes. The hypergeometric test of enrichment was not significant at the 5% P-value quantile (P = 0.35), but was nominally significant at the 25% quantile (P = 0.015). The rank tail-strength and gene-set enrichment tests were nominally significant for the full set of genes and borderline significant for the subset without SNPs at P < 10(-7). Taken together, the observed evidence for enrichment suggests that the candidate gene approach retains some value. However, the degree of enrichment is small despite the extensive number of candidate genes and the large sample size. Studies that focus on candidate genes have only slightly increased chances of detecting associations, and are likely to miss many true effects in non-candidate genes, at least for obesity-related traits.

  2. 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

  3. Comparison of eleven methods for genomic DNA extraction suitable for large-scale whole-genome genotyping and long-term DNA banking using blood samples.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  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. A re-examination and re-evaluation of salamander orbital glands.

    PubMed

    Rehorek, Susan J; Grand-Pierre, Alix E; Cummings, Joshua R; Jewell, Bridgette; Constantine, Julieanne; Hillenius, W Jaap

    2013-11-01

    The amphibian integument contains numerous multicellular glands. Although two of these, the nasolabial and orbital glands and the associated nasolacrimal duct (NLD), have historically received considerable attention, interpretation of the original observations can be problematic in the context of current literature. Salamanders, in particular, are frequently regarded as at least indicative of aspects of the morphology of the common ancestor to all extant tetrapods; hence, an understanding of these glands in salamanders might prove to be informative about their evolution. For this study, the orbitonasal region of salamanders from three families was histologically examined. Three themes emerged: (1) examination of the effect of phylogeny on the nasolabial gland and NLD revealed a combination of features that may be unique to plethodontid salamanders, and may be correlated to their nose-tapping behavior by which substances are moved into the vomeronasal organ; (2) ecology appears to impact the relative development of the orbital glands, but not necessarily the nasolabial gland, with smaller glands being present in the aquatic species; (3) the nomenclature of the salamander orbital gland remains problematic, especially in light of comparative studies, as several alternate possibilities are viable. From this nomenclatural conundrum, however, it could be concluded that there may be a global pattern in the location of tetrapod orbital gland development. Molecular questions in terms of ontogeny and genetic homology affect the nature of the debate on orbital gland nomenclature. These observations suggest that rather than reflecting an ancestral condition, salamanders may instead represent a case of specialized, convergent evolution.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biogeographic Patterns in Genomic Diversity among a Large Collection of Vibrio cholerae Isolates▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Keymer, Daniel P.; Lam, Lilian H.; Boehm, Alexandria B.

    2009-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae strains are capable of inhabiting multiple niches in the aquatic environment and in some cases cause disease in humans. However, the ecology and biodiversity of these bacteria in environmental settings remains poorly understood. We used the genomic fingerprinting technique enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence PCR (ERIC-PCR) to profile 835 environmental isolates from waters and sediments obtained at nine sites along the central California coast. We identified 115 ERIC-PCR genotypes from 998 fingerprints, with a reproducibility of 98.5% and a discriminatory power of 0.971. When the temporal dynamics at a subset of sampling sites were explored, several genotypes provided evidence for cosmopolitan or geographically restricted distributions, and other genotypes displayed nonrandom patterns of cooccurrence. Partial Mantel tests confirmed that genotypic similarity of isolates across all sampling events was correlated with environmental similarity (0.04 ≤ r ≤ 0.05), temporal proximity (r = 0.09), and geographic distance (r = 0.09). A neutral community model for all sampling events explained 61% of the variation in genotype abundance. Cooccurrence indices (C-score, C-board, and Combo) were significantly different than expected by chance, suggesting that the V. cholerae population may have a competitive structure, especially at the regional scale. Even though stochastic processes are undoubtedly important in generating biogeographic patterns in diversity, deterministic factors appear to play a significant, albeit small, role in shaping the V. cholerae population structure in this system. PMID:19139224

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

    PubMed

    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 (R (2) = 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.

  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. Phylogeography of the Alpine salamander, Salamandra atra (Salamandridae) and the influence of the Pleistocene climatic oscillations on population divergence.

    PubMed

    Riberon, A; Miaud, C; Grossenbacher, K; Taberlet, P

    2001-10-01

    Fifty individuals of the endemic Alpine salamander, Salamandra atra, representing 13 populations throughout the range of the two currently recognized subspecies, atra and aurorae, were examined for sequence variation in a large portion (1050 bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. We revealed a large number of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes (10). Interpopulation sequence divergence was very low, ranging from 0 to 3.1%. The relationships among haplotypes were poorly resolved. The divergence time estimate between several mtDNA haplotypes suggested a pre-Pleistocene differentiation approximately 3 million years ago. Moreover, the impact of the Pleistocene glaciations on the phylogeographical patterns appears to have been secondary, although a somewhat reduced genetic variability was found in populations living in areas that were directly affected by the glaciation.

  20. High proportion of large genomic deletions and a genotype–phenotype update in 80 unrelated families with juvenile polyposis syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Aretz, S; Stienen, D; Uhlhaas, S; Stolte, M; Entius, M M; Loff, S; Back, W; Kaufmann, A; Keller, K‐M; Blaas, S H; Siebert, R; Vogt, S; Spranger, S; Holinski‐Feder, E; Sunde, L; Propping, P; Friedl, W

    2007-01-01

    Background In patients with juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) the frequency of large genomic deletions in the SMAD4 and BMPR1A genes was unknown. Methods Mutation and phenotype analysis was used in 80 unrelated patients of whom 65 met the clinical criteria for JPS (typical JPS) and 15 were suspected to have JPS. Results By direct sequencing of the two genes, point mutations were identified in 30 patients (46% of typical JPS). Using MLPA, large genomic deletions were found in 14% of all patients with typical JPS (six deletions in SMAD4 and three deletions in BMPR1A). Mutation analysis of the PTEN gene in the remaining 41 mutation negative cases uncovered a point mutation in two patients (5%). SMAD4 mutation carriers had a significantly higher frequency of gastric polyposis (73%) than did patients with BMPR1A mutations (8%) (p<0.001); all seven cases of gastric cancer occurred in families with SMAD4 mutations. SMAD4 mutation carriers with gastric polyps were significantly older at gastroscopy than those without (p<0.001). In 22% of the 23 unrelated SMAD4 mutation carriers, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) was also diagnosed clinically. The documented histologic findings encompassed a wide distribution of different polyp types, comparable with that described in hereditary mixed polyposis syndromes (HMPS). Conclusions Screening for large deletions raised the mutation detection rate to 60% in the 65 patients with typical JPS. A strong genotype‐phenotype correlation for gastric polyposis, gastric cancer, and HHT was identified, which should have implications for counselling and surveillance. Histopathological results in hamartomatous polyposis syndromes must be critically interpreted. PMID:17873119

  1. Analysis of FOXO1 mutations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Abstract: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) accounts for 30% to 40% of newly diagnosed lymphomas and has an overall cure rate of approximately 60%. Previously, we observed FOXO1 mutations in non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient samples. To explore the effects of FOXO1 mutations, we assessed FOXO1 status in 279 DLBCL patient samples and 22 DLBCL-derived cell lines.

  2. Retinal photoreceptor fine structure in the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1992-07-01

    The retinal photoreceptors of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinerus) have been studied by light and electron microscopy. Rods and single cones are present in this duplex retina in a ratio of about 25:1. The photoreceptors in this amphibian species are much larger than is reported for most vertebrates. In the light-adapted state, rods reach deep into the retinal epithelial (RPE) layer. The rod outer segment is composed of discs of uniform diameter displaying several very deep incisors. The rod inner segment displays a distal elliposid of mitochondria and a short stout myoid region. Rod nuclei are electron dense and often protrude through the external limiting membrane. Rod synaptic spherules are large and display several invaginated synaptic sites as well as superficial synapses. It is felt that the rods do not undergo retinomotor movements. The cone photoreceptors are much smaller than the rods and display a tapering outer segment, an unusual modified ellipsoid and a large parabolid of glycogen in the inner segment. Cone nuclei are less electron dense than rods and are located at all levels within the outer nuclear layer. The synaptic pedicle of the cones is larger, more electron lucent and display more synaptic sites (both invaginated and superficial) than that of rods. It is felt that cone photomechanical responses are minimal.

  3. 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.

  4. Genome-Wide Association Studies Identify the Loci for 5 Exterior Traits in a Large White × Minzhu Pig Population

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Hua; Liu, Xin; Li, Na; Liang, Jing; Pu, Lei; Zhang, Yuebo; Shi, Huibi; Zhao, Kebin; Wang, Lixian

    2014-01-01

    As one of the main breeding selection criteria, external appearance has special economic importance in the hog industry. In this study, an Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip was used to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 605 pigs of the F2 generation derived from a Large White × Minzhu intercross. Traits under study were abdominal circumference (AC), body height (BH), body length (BL), cannon bone circumference (CBC), chest depth (CD), chest width (CW), rump circumference (RC), rump width (RW), scapula width (SW), and waist width (WW). A total of 138 SNPs (the most significant being MARC0033464) on chromosome 7 were found to be associated with BH, BL, CBC, and RC (P-value  = 4.15E-6). One SNP on chromosome 1 was found to be associated with CD at genome-wide significance levels. The percentage phenotypic variance of these significant SNPs ranged from 0.1–25.48%. Moreover, a conditional analysis revealed that the significant SNPs were derived from a single quantitative trait locus (QTL) and indicated additional chromosome-wide significant association for 25 SNPs on SSC4 (BL, CBC) and 9 SNPs on SSC7 (RC). Linkage analysis revealed two complete linkage disequilibrium haplotype blocks that contained seven and four SNPs, respectively. In block 1, the most significant SNP, MARC0033464, was present. Annotations from pig reference genome suggested six genes (GRM4, HMGA1, NUDT3, RPS10, SPDEF and PACSIN1) in block 1 (495 kb), and one gene (SCUBE3) in block 3 (124 kb). Functional analysis indicated that HMGA1 and SCUBE3 genes are the potential genes controlling BH, BL, and RC in pigs, with an application in breeding programs. We screened several candidate intervals and genes based on SNP location and gene function, and predicted their function using bioinformatics analyses. PMID:25090094

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Genomic organization and reproductive regulation of a large lipid transfer protein in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman).

    PubMed

    Cabrera, A R; Shirk, P D; Duehl, A J; Donohue, K V; Grozinger, C M; Evans, J D; Teal, P E A

    2013-10-01

    The complete genomic region and corresponding transcript of the most abundant protein in phoretic varroa mites, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman), were sequenced and have homology with acarine hemelipoglycoproteins and the large lipid transfer protein (LLTP) super family. The genomic sequence of VdLLTP included 14 introns and the mature transcript coded for a predicted polypeptide of 1575 amino acid residues. VdLLTP shared a minimum of 25% sequence identity with acarine LLTPs. Phylogenetic assessment showed VdLLTP was most closely related to Metaseiulus occidentalis vitellogenin and LLTP proteins of ticks; however, no heme binding by VdLLTP was detected. Analysis of lipids associated with VdLLTP showed that it was a carrier for free and esterified C12 -C22 fatty acids from triglycerides, diacylglycerides and monoacylglycerides. Additionally, cholesterol and β-sitosterol were found as cholesterol esters linked to common fatty acids. Transcript levels of VdLLTP were 42 and 310 times higher in phoretic female mites when compared with males and quiescent deutonymphs, respectively. Coincident with initiation of the reproductive phase, VdLLTP transcript levels declined to a third of those in phoretic female mites. VdLLTP functions as an important lipid transporter and should provide a significant RNA interference target for assessing the control of varroa mites.

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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. PMID:26361137

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26062443

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Large genomic fragment deletion and functional gene cassette knock-in via Cas9 protein mediated genome editing in one-cell rodent embryos.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liren; Shao, Yanjiao; Guan, Yuting; Li, Liang; Wu, Lijuan; Chen, Fangrui; Liu, Meizhen; Chen, Huaqing; Ma, Yanlin; Ma, Xueyun; Liu, Mingyao; Li, Dali

    2015-01-01

    The CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided system has versatile uses in many organisms and allows modification of multiple target sites simultaneously. Generating novel genetically modified mouse and rat models is one valuable application of this system. Through the injection of Cas9 protein instead of mRNA into embryos, we observed fewer off-target effects of Cas9 and increased point mutation knock-in efficiency. Large genomic DNA fragment (up to 95 kb) deletion mice were generated for in vivo study of lncRNAs and gene clusters. Site-specific insertion of a 2.7 kb CreERT2 cassette into the mouse Nfatc1 locus allowed labeling and tracing of hair follicle stem cells. In addition, we combined the Cre-Loxp system with a gene-trap strategy to insert a GFP reporter in the reverse orientation into the rat Lgr5 locus, which was later inverted by Cre-mediated recombination, yielding a conditional knockout/reporter strategy suitable for mosaic mutation analysis. PMID:26620761

  16. 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

  17. Nonhomologous recombination between the large unassigned region of the male and female mitochondrial genomes in the mussel, Mytilus trossulus.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Paul D

    2005-12-01

    Doubly uniparental inheritance of mtDNA (DUI) is commonly observed in several genera of bivalves. Under DUI, female offspring inherit mtDNA from their mothers, while male offspring inherit mtDNA from both parents but preferentially transmit the paternally inherited mtDNA to their sons. Several studies have shown that the female- and male-specific mtDNA lineages in blue mussels, Mytilus spp., vary by upward of 20% at the nucleotide level. In addition to high levels of nucleotide substitution, the present study observed substantial gender-based length polymorphism in the presumptive mitochondrial control region (=large unassigned region; LUR) of North American M. trossulus. In this species, female lineage LUR haplotypes are over 2 kb larger than male lineage LUR haplotypes. Analysis of sequence data for these length variants indicates that the F LUR haplotypes of North American M. trossulus contain sequences similar to the F lineage control region in the congeners M. edulis and M. galloprovincialis. Relative to the F LUR in the latter two species, however, the F lineage LUR haplotypes in M. trossulus contain two large sequence insertions, each nearly 1 kb in size. One of these insertions has high sequence similarity to the male lineage LUR of M. trossulus. The tandem arrangement of F and M control region sequences in the F lineage LUR of M. trossulus is most likely the result of nonhomologous recombination between the male and the female mitochondrial genomes in M. trossulus, a finding that has important implications regarding the transmission and evolution of blue mussel mitochondrial genomes.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25861820

  19. 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

    2015-05-01

    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. PMID:25861820

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27296164

  2. A large-scale genomic approach affords unprecedented resolution for the molecular epidemiology and evolutionary history of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Virginie; Verdier, Axel; Thiaucourt, François; Manso-Silván, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), caused by Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (Mccp), is a devastating disease of domestic goats and of some wild ungulate species. The disease is currently spreading in Africa and Asia and poses a serious threat to disease-free areas. A comprehensive view of the evolutionary history and dynamics of Mccp is essential to understand the epidemiology of CCPP. Yet, analysing the diversity of genetically monomorphic pathogens, such as Mccp, is complicated due to their low variability. In this study, the molecular epidemiology and evolution of CCPP was investigated using a large-scale genomic approach based on next-generation sequencing technologies, applied to a sample of strains representing the global distribution of this disease. A highly discriminatory multigene typing system was developed, allowing the differentiation of 24 haplotypes among 25 Mccp strains distributed in six genotyping groups, which showed some correlation with geographic origin. A Bayesian approach was used to infer the first robust phylogeny of the species and to date the principal events of its evolutionary history. The emergence of Mccp was estimated only at about 270 years ago, which explains the low genetic diversity of this species despite its high mutation rate, evaluated at 1.3 × 10(-6) substitutions per site per year. Finally, plausible scenarios were proposed to elucidate the evolution and dynamics of CCPP in Asia and Africa, though limited by the paucity of Mccp strains, particularly in Asia. This study shows how combining large-scale genomic data with spatial and temporal data makes it possible to obtain a comprehensive view of the epidemiology of CCPP, a precondition for the development of improved disease surveillance and control measures. PMID:26149260

  3. A genome-wide scan for common genetic variants with a large influence on warfarin maintenance dose

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Gregory M.; Johnson, Julie A.; Langaee, Taimour Y.; Feng, Hua; Stanaway, Ian B.; Schwarz, Ute I.; Ritchie, Marylyn D.; Stein, C. Michael; Roden, Dan M.; Smith, Joshua D.; Veenstra, David L.; Rettie, Allan E.

    2008-01-01

    Warfarin dosing is correlated with polymorphisms in vitamin K epoxide reductase complex 1 (VKORC1) and the cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) genes. Recently, the FDA revised warfarin labeling to raise physician awareness about these genetic effects. Randomized clinical trials are underway to test genetically based dosing algorithms. It is thus important to determine whether common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in other gene(s) have a large effect on warfarin dosing. A retrospective genome-wide association study was designed to identify polymorphisms that could explain a large fraction of the dose variance. White patients from an index warfarin population (n = 181) and 2 independent replication patient populations (n = 374) were studied. From the approximately 550 000 polymorphisms tested, the most significant independent effect was associated with VKORC1 polymorphisms (P = 6.2 × 10−13) in the index patients. CYP2C9 (rs1057910 CYP2C9*3) and rs4917639) was associated with dose at moderate significance levels (P ∼ 10−4). Replication polymorphisms (355 SNPs) from the index study did not show any significant effects in the replication patient sets. We conclude that common SNPs with large effects on warfarin dose are unlikely to be discovered outside of the CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genes. Randomized clinical trials that account for these 2 genes should therefore produce results that are definitive and broadly applicable. PMID:18535201

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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 fully 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 further 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, and while not automated to the level of the physiological phenotyping, histopathology still 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 characterized and developed. PMID:26551941

  5. Adaptation to Changes in Higher-Order Stimulus Statistics in the Salamander Retina

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24465742

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:22086081

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. Acid-base balance and temperature in a predominantly skin-breathing salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis.

    PubMed

    Moalli, R; Meyers, R S; Ultsch, G R; Jackson, D C

    1981-01-01

    Blood gases and pH and plasma [Na+], [K+], [Cl-] and [lactate] were measured on arterial blood of the large predominantly skin-breathing salamander, the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), at 5, 15 and 25 degrees C, both with and without access to air. Access to air had no effect of any of the acid-base variables, but temperature had significant effects on both pH and PCO2. Blood pH decreased with temperature by about 0.016 unit/degrees C both in vivo and in vitro (over the range studied) which is similar to the change previously observed on other ectotherms. Blood PCO2 rose significantly with temperature while plasma [HCO-3] rose slightly but insignificantly. Other ions were unaffected by temperature. This is the first demonstration that the characteristics ectothermic acid-base response to temperature occurs in a vertebrate respiring exclusively through its skin. We suggest that the response in this animal is essentially passive and uncontrolled and is due to: (1) the proportional effects of temperature upon metabolic CO2 production and blood PCO2, and (2) the temperature-independent CO2 conductance of the skin. PMID:6787680

  14. deBWT: parallel construction of Burrows–Wheeler Transform for large collection of genomes with de Bruijn-branch encoding

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bo; Zhu, Dixian; Wang, Yadong

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: With the development of high-throughput sequencing, the number of assembled genomes continues to rise. It is critical to well organize and index many assembled genomes to promote future genomics studies. Burrows–Wheeler Transform (BWT) is an important data structure of genome indexing, which has many fundamental applications; however, it is still non-trivial to construct BWT for large collection of genomes, especially for highly similar or repetitive genomes. Moreover, the state-of-the-art approaches cannot well support scalable parallel computing owing to their incremental nature, which is a bottleneck to use modern computers to accelerate BWT construction. Results: We propose de Bruijn branch-based BWT constructor (deBWT), a novel parallel BWT construction approach. DeBWT innovatively represents and organizes the suffixes of input sequence with a novel data structure, de Bruijn branch encoding. This data structure takes the advantage of de Bruijn graph to facilitate the comparison between the suffixes with long common prefix, which breaks the bottleneck of the BWT construction of repetitive genomic sequences. Meanwhile, deBWT also uses the structure of de Bruijn graph for reducing unnecessary comparisons between suffixes. The benchmarking suggests that, deBWT is efficient and scalable to construct BWT for large dataset by parallel computing. It is well-suited to index many genomes, such as a collection of individual human genomes, with multiple-core servers or clusters. Availability and implementation: deBWT is implemented in C language, the source code is available at https://github.com/hitbc/deBWT or https://github.com/DixianZhu/deBWT Contact: ydwang@hit.edu.cn Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27307614

  15. Comparative genomics supports a deep evolutionary origin for the large, four-module transcriptional mediator complex.

    PubMed

    Bourbon, Henri-Marc

    2008-07-01

    The multisubunit Mediator (MED) complex bridges DNA-bound transcriptional regulators to the RNA polymerase II (PolII) initiation machinery. In yeast, the 25 MED subunits are distributed within three core subcomplexes and a separable kinase module composed of Med12, Med13 and the Cdk8-CycC pair thought to control the reversible interaction between MED and PolII by phosphorylating repeated heptapeptides within the Rpb1 carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD). Here, MED conservation has been investigated across the eukaryotic kingdom. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Med2, Med3/Pgd1 and Med5/Nut1 subunits are apparent homologs of metazoan Med29/Intersex, Med27/Crsp34 and Med24/Trap100, respectively, and these and other 30 identified human MED subunits have detectable counterparts in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, indicating that none is specific to metazoans. Indeed, animal/fungal subunits are also conserved in plants, green and red algae, entamoebids, oomycetes, diatoms, apicomplexans, ciliates and the 'deep-branching' protists Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia lamblia. Surprisingly, although lacking CTD heptads, T. vaginalis displays 44 MED subunit homologs, including several CycC, Med12 and Med13 paralogs. Such observations have allowed the identification of a conserved 17-subunit framework around which peripheral subunits may be assembled, and support a very ancient eukaryotic origin for a large, four-module MED. The implications of this comprehensive work for MED structure-function relationships are discussed.

  16. 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

  17. Estimation of the type locality of Hynobius naevius (Temminck and Schlegel, 1838), a salamander from Japan (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi

    2007-09-01

    A small Japanese salamander, Hynobius naevius, long considered a single species, has recently proven to include two groups (Group A=large type and Group B=small type) that are split at the species level. We compared the type series of H. naevius with specimens of the two groups to clarify which of them corresponds to true H. naevius, and to estimate the type locality of this species, which was not given in detail in its original description. Results of various morphological analyses altogether indicated that the type series belongs to Group A and that the population sample from Mt. Tara-dake, located on northwestern Kyushu, is most similar to the type series. Therefore, the type locality of the species is estimated to be in northwestern Kyushu. These results also indicate that Group B obviously represents a cryptic species whose scientific name remains to be determined. PMID:17961000

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Apparent survival of the salamander Salamandra salamandra is low because of high migratory activity

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Benedikt R; Schaub, Michael; Steinfartz, Sebastian

    2007-01-01

    Background Understanding the demographic processes underlying population dynamics is a central theme in ecology. Populations decline if losses from the population (i.e., mortality and emigration) exceed gains (i.e., recruitment and immigration). Amphibians are thought to exhibit little movement even though local populations often fluctuate dramatically and are likely to go exinct if there is no rescue effect through immigration from nearby populations. Terrestrial salamanders are generally portrayed as amphibians with low migratory activity. Our study uses demographic analysis as a key to unravel whether emigration or mortality is the main cause of "losses" from the population. In particular, we use the analysis to challenge the common belief that terrestrial salamanders show low migratory activity. Results The mark-recapture analysis of adult salamanders showed that monthly survival was high (> 90%) without a seasonal pattern. These estimates, however, translate into rather low rates of local annual survival of only ~40% and suggest that emigration was important. The estimated probability of emigration was 49%. Conclusion Our analysis shows that terrestrial salamanders exhibit more migratory activity than commonly thought. This may be due either because the spatial extent of salamander populations is underestimated or because there is a substantial exchange of individuals between populations. Our current results are in line with several other studies that suggest high migratory activity in amphibians. In particular, many amphibian populations may be characterized by high proportions of transients and/or floaters. PMID:17803829

  1. 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.

  2. Decoding the mechanisms of gait generation in salamanders by combining neurobiology, modeling and robotics.

    PubMed

    Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Knuesel, Jérémie; Harischandra, Nalin; Charrier, Vanessa; Ekeberg, Örjan; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    Vertebrate animals exhibit impressive locomotor skills. These locomotor skills are due to the complex interactions between the environment, the musculo-skeletal system and the central nervous system, in particular the spinal locomotor circuits. We are interested in decoding these interactions in the salamander, a key animal from an evolutionary point of view. It exhibits both swimming and stepping gaits and is faced with the problem of producing efficient propulsive forces using the same musculo-skeletal system in two environments with significant physical differences in density, viscosity and gravitational load. Yet its nervous system remains comparatively simple. Our approach is based on a combination of neurophysiological experiments, numerical modeling at different levels of abstraction, and robotic validation using an amphibious salamander-like robot. This article reviews the current state of our knowledge on salamander locomotion control, and presents how our approach has allowed us to obtain a first conceptual model of the salamander spinal locomotor networks. The model suggests that the salamander locomotor circuit can be seen as a lamprey-like circuit controlling axial movements of the trunk and tail, extended by specialized oscillatory centers controlling limb movements. The interplay between the two types of circuits determines the mode of locomotion under the influence of sensory feedback and descending drive, with stepping gaits at low drive, and swimming at high drive.

  3. Digits Lost or Gained? Evidence for Pedal Evolution in the Dwarf Salamander Complex (Eurycea, Plethodontidae)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Change in digit number, particularly digit loss, has occurred repeatedly over the evolutionary history of tetrapods. Although digit loss has been documented among distantly related species of salamanders, it is relatively uncommon in this amphibian order. For example, reduction from five to four toes appears to have evolved just three times in the morphologically and ecologically diverse family Plethodontidae. Here we report a molecular phylogenetic analysis for one of these four-toed lineages – the Eurycea quadridigitata complex (dwarf salamanders) – emphasizing relationships to other species in the genus. A multilocus phylogeny reveals that dwarf salamanders are paraphyletic with respect to a complex of five-toed, paedomorphic Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau in Texas. We use this phylogeny to examine evolution of digit number within the dwarf−Edwards Plateau clade, testing contrasting hypotheses of digit loss (parallelism among dwarf salamanders) versus digit gain (re-evolution in the Edwards Plateau complex). Bayes factors analysis provides statistical support for a five-toed common ancestor at the dwarf-Edwards node, favoring, slightly, the parallelism hypothesis for digit loss. More importantly, our phylogenetic results pinpoint a rare event in the pedal evolution of plethodontid salamanders. PMID:22649536

  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. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response.

  6. 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.

  7. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response. PMID:26503775

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Efficient inference of population size histories and locus-specific mutation rates from large-sample genomic variation data

    PubMed Central

    Bhaskar, Anand; Wang, Y.X. Rachel; Song, Yun S.

    2015-01-01

    With the recent increase in study sample sizes in human genetics, there has been growing interest in inferring historical population demography from genomic variation data. Here, we present an efficient inference method that can scale up to very large samples, with tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals. Specifically, by utilizing analytic results on the expected frequency spectrum under the coalescent and by leveraging the technique of automatic differentiation, which allows us to compute gradients exactly, we develop a very efficient algorithm to infer piecewise-exponential models of the historical effective population size from the distribution of sample allele frequencies. Our method is orders of magnitude faster than previous demographic inference methods based on the frequency spectrum. In addition to inferring demography, our method can also accurately estimate locus-specific mutation rates. We perform extensive validation of our method on simulated data and show that it can accurately infer multiple recent epochs of rapid exponential growth, a signal that is difficult to pick up with small sample sizes. Lastly, we use our method to analyze data from recent sequencing studies, including a large-sample exome-sequencing data set of tens of thousands of individuals assayed at a few hundred genic regions. PMID:25564017

  12. Genome-wide association study identifies a variant in HDAC9 associated with large vessel ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Genetic factors have been implicated in stroke risk but few replicated associations have been reported. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in ischemic stroke and its subtypes in 3,548 cases and 5,972 controls, all of European ancestry. Replication of potential signals was performed in 5,859 cases and 6,281 controls. We replicated reported associations between variants close to PITX2 and ZFHX3 with cardioembolic stroke, and a 9p21 locus with large vessel stroke. We identified a novel association for a SNP within the histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) gene on chromosome 7p21.1 which was associated with large vessel stroke including additional replication in a further 735 cases and 28583 controls (rs11984041, combined P = 1.87×10−11, OR=1.42 (95% CI) 1.28-1.57). All four loci exhibit evidence for heterogeneity of effect across the stroke subtypes, with some, and possibly all, affecting risk for only one subtype. This suggests differing genetic architectures for different stroke subtypes. PMID:22306652

  13. Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Studies and Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Change in Adult Lung Function

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Wenbo; Kowgier, Matthew; Loth, Daan W.; Soler Artigas, María; Joubert, Bonnie R.; Hodge, Emily; Gharib, Sina A.; Smith, Albert V.; Ruczinski, Ingo; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Mathias, Rasika A.; Harris, Tamara B.; Hansel, Nadia N.; Launer, Lenore J.; Barnes, Kathleen C.; Hansen, Joyanna G.; Albrecht, Eva; Aldrich, Melinda C.; Allerhand, Michael; Barr, R. Graham; Brusselle, Guy G.; Couper, David J.; Curjuric, Ivan; Davies, Gail; Deary, Ian J.; Dupuis, Josée; Fall, Tove; Foy, Millennia; Franceschini, Nora; Gao, Wei; Gläser, Sven; Gu, Xiangjun; Hancock, Dana B.; Heinrich, Joachim; Hofman, Albert; Imboden, Medea; Ingelsson, Erik; James, Alan; Karrasch, Stefan; Koch, Beate; Kritchevsky, Stephen B.; Kumar, Ashish; Lahousse, Lies; Li, Guo; Lind, Lars; Lindgren, Cecilia; Liu, Yongmei; Lohman, Kurt; Lumley, Thomas; McArdle, Wendy L.; Meibohm, Bernd; Morris, Andrew P.; Morrison, Alanna C.; Musk, Bill; North, Kari E.; Palmer, Lyle J.; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M.; Psaty, Bruce M.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Rotter, Jerome I.; Schulz, Holger; Smith, Lewis J.; Sood, Akshay; Starr, John M.; Strachan, David P.; Teumer, Alexander; Uitterlinden, André G.; Völzke, Henry; Voorman, Arend; Wain, Louise V.; Wells, Martin T.; Wilk, Jemma B.; Williams, O. Dale; Heckbert, Susan R.; Stricker, Bruno H.; London, Stephanie J.; Fornage, Myriam; Tobin, Martin D.; O′Connor, George T.; Hall, Ian P.; Cassano, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function. Methods We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis. Results The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P  =  5.71 × 10-7). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P  =  2.18 × 10-8) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively. Conclusions In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function. PMID:24983941

  14. ``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.

  15. "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.

  16. Comment on Schielzeth et al. (2014): "Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: Evidence for sexual selection against large genomes".

    PubMed

    Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2016-06-01

    Schielzeth et al. (2014) concluded that attractive grasshopper singers have significantly smaller genomes thus suggesting a possible role for sexual selection on genome size. Whereas this conclusion could still be conceivably valid, it is not supported by the data presented due to some technical flaws. In addition, the interpretation of the results, speculating on the possible presence of B chromosomes, is not justified. PMID:27327141

  17. Testicular structure and germ cells morphology in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, Mari Carmen; Mejía-Roa, Víctor

    2014-01-01

    Testes of salamanders or urodeles are paired elongated organs that are attached to the dorsal wall of the body by a mesorchium. The testes are composed of one or several lobes. Each lobe is morphologically and functionally a similar testicular unit. The lobes of the testis are joined by cords covered by a single peritoneal epithelium and subjacent connective tissue. The cords contain spermatogonia. Spermatogonia associate with Sertoli cells to form spermatocysts or cysts. The spermatogenic cells in a cyst undergo their development through spermatogenesis synchronously. The distribution of cysts displays the cephalo-caudal gradient in respect to the stage of spermatogenesis. The formation of cysts at cephalic end of the testis causes their migration along the lobules to the caudal end. Consequently, the disposition in cephalo-caudal regions of spermatogenesis can be observed in longitudinal sections of the testis. The germ cells are spermatogonia, diploid cells with mitotic activity; primary and second spermatocytes characterized by meiotic divisions that develop haploid spermatids; during spermiogenesis the spermatids differentiate to spermatozoa. During spermiation the cysts open and spermatozoa leave the testicular lobules. After spermiation occurs the development of Leydig cells into glandular tissue. This glandular tissue regressed at the end of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26413406

  18. Multiple paternity in a salamander with socially monogamous behaviour.

    PubMed

    Liebgold, Eric B; Cabe, Paul R; Jaeger, Robert G; Leberg, Paul L

    2006-11-01

    In the majority of birds and mammals, social monogamy is not congruent with genetic monogamy. No research to date has compared social and genetic monogamy in amphibians. We analysed paternity in clutches of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), a species in which social monogamy has been demonstrated in the laboratory, and 28% of individuals in the forest are found in male-female pairs in the noncourtship season. We collected 16 clutches of eggs of P. cinereus in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and collected tail clippings from attending mothers. We genotyped embryos and adults at five microsatellite loci in order to analyse paternity of clutches. Most clutches (84.6%) had multiple sires, with two to three sires per clutch. In this study, 25% of clutches had males in addition to females attending eggs. None of the mothers of these clutches were genetically monogamous. All attending males sired some of the offspring in the clutch that they attended (between 9% and 50%) but never sired a majority in that clutch. We conclude that, at least in this population, social monogamy in P. cinereus is not concomitant with genetic monogamy.

  19. Asymmetric Introgression in a Spotted Salamander Hybrid Zone.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Benjamin B; White, Thomas A; Phillips, Christopher A; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-01-01

    Before the establishment of reproductive isolation, deeply diverged intraspecific lineages can experience complex genetic and behavioral interactions as they come into secondary contact. Divergent selective and demographic processes mediate gene flow among lineages, resulting in hybrid zones with complex biogeographic structure. Discordance in the biogeographic patterns of autosomal and maternally inherited loci provides a useful window to infer the processes mediating admixture and introgression across hybrid zones. Here, we sampled 489 genotypes across a hybrid zone between 2 phylogeographic lineages of the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, and characterize discordant patterns of nuclear and mitochondrial introgression across the contact boundary. Our results indicate asymmetric introgression of nuclear DNA beyond the contact boundary from the western to eastern lineage, with introgression of eastern mitochondrial DNA into the western lineage. We discuss alternative mechanisms for this pattern and attribute this result to neutral patterns of population expansion of the western lineage into the east in combination with female mate choice for larger-bodied western males. Our results underscore the complexity of interacting mechanisms that give rise to reproductive asymmetries in the earliest stages of the speciation process. PMID:26136297

  20. Phylogenetic history underlies elevational biodiversity patterns in tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; García-París, Mario; Wake, David B

    2007-01-01

    Elevational variation in species richness is ubiquitous and important for conservation, but remains poorly explained. Numerous studies have documented higher species richness at mid-elevations, but none have addressed the underlying evolutionary and biogeographic processes that ultimately explain this pattern (i.e. speciation, extinction and dispersal). Here, we address the evolutionary causes of the mid-elevational diversity hump in the most species-rich clade of salamanders, the tropical bolitoglossine plethodontids. We present a new phylogeny for the group based on DNA sequences from all 13 genera and 137 species. Using this phylogeny, we find no relationship between rates of diversification of clades and their elevational distribution, and no evidence for a rapid ‘species pump’ in tropical montane regions. Instead, we find a strong relationship between the number of species in each elevational zone and the estimated time when each elevational band was first colonized. Mid-elevation habitats were colonized early in the phylogenetic history of bolitoglossines, and given similar rates of diversification across elevations, more species have accumulated in the elevational zones that were inhabited the longest. This pattern may be widespread and suggests that mid-elevation habitats may not only harbour more species, but may also contain more phylogenetic diversity than other habitats within a region. PMID:17284409

  1. Wildlife disease. Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Martel, A; Blooi, M; Adriaensen, C; Van Rooij, P; Beukema, W; Fisher, M C; Farrer, R A; Schmidt, B R; Tobler, U; Goka, K; Lips, K R; Muletz, C; Zamudio, K R; Bosch, J; Lötters, S; Wombwell, E; Garner, T W J; Cunningham, A A; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A; Salvidio, S; Ducatelle, R; Nishikawa, K; Nguyen, T T; Kolby, J E; Van Bocxlaer, I; Bossuyt, F; Pasmans, F

    2014-10-31

    Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss.

  2. Where are we in understanding salamander locomotion: biological and robotic perspectives on kinematics.

    PubMed

    Karakasiliotis, Konstantinos; Schilling, Nadja; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    Salamanders have captured the interest of biologists and roboticists for decades because of their ability to locomote in different environments and their resemblance to early representatives of tetrapods. In this article, we review biological and robotic studies on the kinematics (i.e., angular profiles of joints) of salamander locomotion aiming at three main goals: (i) to give a clear view of the kinematics, currently available, for each body part of the salamander while moving in different environments (i.e., terrestrial stepping, aquatic stepping, and swimming), (ii) to examine what is the status of our current knowledge and what remains unclear, and (iii) to discuss how much robotics and modeling have already contributed and will potentially contribute in the future to such studies.

  3. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B.; Czarkwiani, Anna; Brockes, Jeremy P.

    2015-01-01

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern. PMID:26498026

  4. Effects of warming conditions in eastern North American forests on red-backed salamander morphology.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, James P; Karraker, Nancy E

    2006-06-01

    Several studies have reported climate-associated changes in phenotypically plastic traits of amphibians, yet it remains unknown whether amphibians can manifest an evolutionary response to global climate change at the rate and magnitude that it is occurring. To assess this issue, we examined temporal change in the morphology of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), a small, abundant woodland salamander distributed widely in eastern North America with two distinct morphotypes: striped individuals associated with cooler microclimates and unstriped individuals associated with warmer microclimates. We compiled morph frequencies for 50,960 individual salamanders from 558 sites as recorded in the published literature and in unpublished field notes of herpetologists between 1908 and 2004. We observed that striping probability increased with increasing latitude, longitude, and elevation and decreased (from 80% to 74% range wide) with time. The combined forces of regional climate warming and, particularly, forest disturbance have evidently been sufficient to cause morphological evolution in this amphibian over the last century.

  5. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-26

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern.

  6. Heterogeneous vesicles in mucous epithelial cells of posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Guo, X; Zhong, S; Ge, T; Peng, S; Yu, P; Zhou, Z

    2015-08-25

    The Chinese giant salamander belongs to an old lineage of salamanders and endangered species. Many studies of breeding and disease regarding this amphibian had been implemented. However, the studies on the ultrastructure of this amphibian are rare. In this work, we provide a histological and ultrastructural investigation on posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander. The sections of amphibian esophagus were stained by hematoxylin & eosin (H&E). Moreover, the esophageal epithelium was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that esophageal epithelium was a single layer epithelium, which consisted of mucous cells and columnar cells. The esophageal glands were present in submucosa. The columnar cells were ciliated. According to the diverging ultrastructure of mucous vesicles, three types of mucous cells could be identified in the esophageal mucosa: i) electron-lucent vesicles mucous cell (ELV-MC); ii) electron-dense vesicles mucous cell (EDV-MC); and iii) mixed vesicles mucous cell (MV-MC).

  7. Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.

    PubMed

    Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2014-02-01

    Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals. PMID:24268695

  8. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern. PMID:26498026

  9. Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.

    PubMed

    Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2014-02-01

    Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals.

  10. Heterogeneous Vesicles in Mucous Epithelial Cells of Posterior Esophagus of Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias Davidianus)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, H.; Zhong, S.; Ge, T.; Peng, S.; Yu, P.; Zhou, Z.; Guo, X.

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese giant salamander belongs to an old lineage of salamanders and endangered species. Many studies of breeding and disease regarding this amphibian had been implemented. However, the studies on the ultrastructure of this amphibian are rare. In this work, we provide a histological and ultra-structural investigation on posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander. The sections of amphibian esophagus were stained by hematoxylin & eosin (H&E). Moreover, the esophageal epithelium was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that esophageal epithelium was a single layer epithelium, which consisted of mucous cells and columnar cells. The esophageal glands were present in submucosa. The columnar cells were ciliated. According to the diverging ultrastructure of mucous vesicles, three types of mucous cells could be identified in the esophageal mucosa: i) electron-lucent vesicles mucous cell (ELV-MC); ii) electron-dense vesicles mucous cell (EDV-MC); and iii) mixed vesicles mucous cell (MV-MC). PMID:26428885

  11. Wildlife disease. Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Martel, A; Blooi, M; Adriaensen, C; Van Rooij, P; Beukema, W; Fisher, M C; Farrer, R A; Schmidt, B R; Tobler, U; Goka, K; Lips, K R; Muletz, C; Zamudio, K R; Bosch, J; Lötters, S; Wombwell, E; Garner, T W J; Cunningham, A A; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A; Salvidio, S; Ducatelle, R; Nishikawa, K; Nguyen, T T; Kolby, J E; Van Bocxlaer, I; Bossuyt, F; Pasmans, F

    2014-10-31

    Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss. PMID:25359973

  12. Resource partitioning in two stream salamanders, Dicamptodon tenebrosus and Rhyacotriton cascadae, from the Oregon Cascade Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cudmore, Wynn W.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the potential for resource partitioning between the Coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) and the Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae) by examining their diet and microhabitats in forest streams. Larval D. tenebrosus and R. cascadae fed primarily upon aquatic insect larvae. We found similar foods in larval and adult R. cascadae and combined these results. Dicamptodon larvae consumed ephemeropteran, plecopteran, and trichopteran larvae in about equal amounts whereas R. cascadae ate more trichopteran and less ephemeropteran larvae than D. tenebrosus. Diet of all R. cascadae overlapped more with smaller than larger sized D. tenebrosus larvae. Comparisons of diets with available foods indicated R. cascadae is more selective or more gape-limited in its feeding habits than D. tenebrosus larvae. The two salamanders differed in use of microhabitats in creeks, which may contribute to their diet differences.

  13. The Gut Fungus Basidiobolus ranarum Has a Large Genome and Different Copy Numbers of Putatively Functionally Redundant Elongation Factor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Henk, Daniel A.; Fisher, Matthew C.

    2012-01-01

    Fungal genomes range in size from 2.3 Mb for the microsporidian Encephalitozoon intestinalis up to 8000 Mb for Entomophaga aulicae, with a mean genome size of 37 Mb. Basidiobolus, a common inhabitant of vertebrate guts, is distantly related to all other fungi, and is unique in possessing both EF-1α and EFL genes. Using DNA sequencing and a quantitative PCR approach, we estimated a haploid genome size for Basidiobolus at 350 Mb. However, based on allelic variation, the nuclear genome is at least diploid, leading us to believe that the final genome size is at least 700 Mb. We also found that EFL was in three times the copy number of its putatively functionally overlapping paralog EF-1α. This suggests that gene or genome duplication may be an important feature of B. ranarum evolution, and also suggests that B. ranarum may have mechanisms in place that favor the preservation of functionally overlapping genes. PMID:22363602

  14. The gut fungus Basidiobolus ranarum has a large genome and different copy numbers of putatively functionally redundant elongation factor genes.

    PubMed

    Henk, Daniel A; Fisher, Matthew C

    2012-01-01

    Fungal genomes range in size from 2.3 Mb for the microsporidian Encephalitozoon intestinalis up to 8000 Mb for Entomophaga aulicae, with a mean genome size of 37 Mb. Basidiobolus, a common inhabitant of vertebrate guts, is distantly related to all other fungi, and is unique in possessing both EF-1α and EFL genes. Using DNA sequencing and a quantitative PCR approach, we estimated a haploid genome size for Basidiobolus at 350 Mb. However, based on allelic variation, the nuclear genome is at least diploid, leading us to believe that the final genome size is at least 700 Mb. We also found that EFL was in three times the copy number of its putatively functionally overlapping paralog EF-1α. This suggests that gene or genome duplication may be an important feature of B. ranarum evolution, and also suggests that B. ranarum may have mechanisms in place that favor the preservation of functionally overlapping genes. PMID:22363602

  15. 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

  16. Fictive rhythmic motor patterns produced by the tail spinal cord in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Charrier, V; Cabelguen, J-M

    2013-01-01

    Most investigations into the role of the body axis in vertebrate locomotion have focused on the trunk, although in most tetrapods, the tail also plays an active role. In salamanders, the tail contributes to propulsion during swimming and to dynamic balance and maneuverability during terrestrial locomotion. The aim of the present study was to obtain information concerning the neural mechanisms that produce tail muscle contractions during locomotion in the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. We recorded the ventral root activities in in vitro spinal cord preparations in which locomotor-like activity was induced via bath application of N-methyl-d-aspartate (20μM) and d-serine (10μM). Recordings showed that the tail spinal cord is capable of producing propagated waves of motor activity that alternate between the left and right sides. Lesion experiments further revealed that the tail rhythmogenic network is composed of a double chain of identical hemisegmental oscillators. Finally, using spinal cord preparations bathed in a chamber partitioned into two pools, we revealed efficient short-distance coupling between the trunk and tail networks. Together, our results demonstrate the existence of a pattern generator for rhythmic tail movements in the salamander and show that the global architecture of the tail network is similar to that previously proposed for the mid-trunk locomotor network in the salamander. Our findings further support the view that salamanders can control their trunk and tail independently during stepping movements. The relevance of our results in relation to the generation of tail muscle contractions in freely moving salamanders is discussed.

  17. Acute toxicity of acidity in larvae and adults of four stream salamander species (Plethodontidae).

    PubMed

    Green, Linda E; Peloquin, Jennifer E

    2008-11-01

    High levels of acid deposition have severely affected streamwater chemistry in the southern Appalachians. Plethodontid stream salamanders living in and around headwater streams rely on cutaneous respiration and are highly susceptible to changes in water quality. We examined the sensitivity to low pH conditions in four stream salamanders by monitoring the response to six pH treatments ranging from pH 2.75 to 6.5. To quantify acid tolerance, we determined median lethal concentrations (LC50) in 96-h laboratory bioassays. This is the first study to quantify the level of sensitivity of stream salamanders to acidic conditions, indicating that stream salamanders are acid tolerant compared with many other lotic organisms. We found that acid tolerance is a species-specific trait with intraspecific variation shaped by life stage and body size. Mortality occurred at pH levels less than 4.2. The acid sensitivity of Desmognathus quadramaculatus larvae (LC50 = pH 3.95) was highest compared to sensitivity of Eurycea cirrigera larvae (LC50 = 3.6), Gyrinophilus porphyriticus larvae (LC50 = 3.5), and Pseudotriton ruber larvae (LC50 = 3.5). Larval survival was lower than adult survival in low pH treatments for E. cirrigera (adult LC50 = 3.1) and D. quadramaculatus (adult LC50 = 3.5). Salamanders responded to sublethal exposure to acidity with lethargic movements and decreased swimming speed. These results suggest that episodic acid events that cause streamwater pH to drop near 4.2 may cause mortality or induce sublethal effects, such as slower swimming speed. Because salamander larvae are more sensitive to acidic conditions than adults, we recommend that population monitoring programs extend methodology to include reliable estimates of larval population sizes.

  18. Significance of pre-Quaternary climate change for montane species diversity: insights from Asian salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton).

    PubMed

    Wu, Yunke; Wang, Yuezhao; Jiang, Ke; Hanken, James

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive focus on the genetic legacy of Pleistocene glaciation, impacts of earlier climatic change on biodiversity are poorly understood. Because amphibians are highly sensitive to variations in precipitation and temperature, we use a genus of Chinese montane salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton) to study paleoclimatic change in East Asia, which experienced intensification of its monsoon circulation in the late Miocene associated with subsequent Pliocene warming. Using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences, we reconstruct the species tree under a coalescent model and demonstrate that all major lineages originated before the Quaternary. Initial speciation within the genus occurred after the summer monsoon entered a stage of substantial intensification. Heavy summer precipitation established temporary water connectivity through overflows between adjacent stream systems, which may facilitate geographic range expansion by aquatic species such as Pachytriton. Species were formed in allopatry likely through vicariant isolation during or after range expansion. To evaluate the influence of Pliocene warming on these cold-adapted salamanders, we construct a novel temperature buffer-zone model, which suggests widespread physiological stress or even extinction during the warming period. A significant deceleration of species accumulation rate is consistent with Pliocene range contraction, which affected P. granulosus and P. archospotus the most because they lack large temperature buffer zones. In contrast, demographic growth occurred in species for which refugia persist. The buffer-zone model reveals the Huangshan Mountain as a potential climatic refugium, which is similar to that found for other East Asian organisms. Our approach can incorporate future climatic data to evaluate the potential impact of ongoing global warming on montane species (particularly amphibians) and to predict possible population declines.

  19. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: A demonstration using rocky mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, C.S.; Pilliod, D.S.; Arkle, R.S.; Waits, L.P.

    2011-01-01

    Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus). We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  20. Salamanders ( Plethodon cinereus) go for more: rudiments of number in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Uller, Claudia; Jaeger, Robert; Guidry, Gena; Martin, Carolyn

    2003-06-01

    Techniques traditionally used in developmental research with infants have been widely used with nonhuman primates in the investigation of comparative cognitive abilities. Recently, researchers have shown that human infants and monkeys select the larger of two numerosities in a spontaneous forced-choice discrimination task. Here we adopt the same method to assess in a series of experiments spontaneous choice of the larger of two numerosities in a species of amphibian, red-backed salamanders ( Plethodon cinereus). The findings indicate that salamanders "go for more," just like human babies and monkeys. This rudimentary capacity is a type of numerical discrimination that is spontaneously present in this amphibian.

  1. Heat shock protein induction and induced thermal tolerance are independent in adult salamanders.

    PubMed

    Easton, D P; Rutledge, P S; Spotila, J R

    1987-02-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates become thermally tolerant (heat hardened) after exposure to heat shock. Eukaryotic cells show a similar response. Cellular thermal tolerance is correlated with the induction of heat shock proteins (hsps). We have investigated the relationship between heat hardening in salamanders and the induction of hsps in the tissues of these organisms. Although the synthesis of hsps can be induced in these animals by sublethal heat shocks, conditions required for hsp induction and heat hardening often do not coincide. We conclude that induced thermal tolerance in adult salamanders is independent of hsp induction in their tissues. PMID:3559509

  2. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xin-Yan; Jia, Li-Chao; Wang, Chen; Xie, Guang-Ming

    2016-06-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  3. Gene deregulation and spatial genome reorganization near breakpoints prior to formation of translocations in anaplastic large cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Mathas, Stephan; Kreher, Stephan; Meaburn, Karen J.; Jöhrens, Korinna; Lamprecht, Björn; Assaf, Chalid; Sterry, Wolfram; Kadin, Marshall E.; Daibata, Masanori; Joos, Stefan; Hummel, Michael; Stein, Harald; Janz, Martin; Anagnostopoulos, Ioannis; Schrock, Evelin; Misteli, Tom; Dörken, Bernd

    2009-01-01

    Although the identification and characterization of translocations have rapidly increased, little is known about the mechanisms of how translocations occur in vivo. We used anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) with and without the characteristic t(2;5)(p23;q35) translocation to study the mechanisms of formation of translocations and of ALCL transformation. We report deregulation of several genes located near the ALCL translocation breakpoint, regardless of whether the tumor contains the t(2;5). The affected genes include the oncogenic transcription factor Fra2 (located on 2p23), the HLH protein Id2 (2p25), and the oncogenic tyrosine kinase CSF1-receptor (5q33.1). Their up-regulation promotes cell survival and repression of T cell-specific gene expression programs that are characteristic for ALCL. The deregulated genes are in spatial proximity within the nuclear space of t(2;5)-negative ALCL cells, facilitating their translocation on induction of double-strand breaks. These data suggest that deregulation of breakpoint-proximal genes occurs before the formation of translocations, and that aberrant transcriptional activity of genomic regions is linked to their propensity to undergo chromosomal translocations. Also, our data demonstrate that deregulation of breakpoint-proximal genes has a key role in ALCL. PMID:19321746

  4. The genomic architecture of NLRP7 is Alu rich and predisposes to disease-associated large deletions.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Ramesh; Nguyen, Ngoc M P; Sarrabay, Guillaume; Rezaei, Maryam; Rivas, Mayra C G; Kavasoglu, Aysenur; Berkil, Hakan; Elshafey, Alaa; Nunez, Kristin P; Dreyfus, Hélène; Philippe, Merviel; Hadipour, Zahra; Durmaz, Asude; Eaton, Erin E; Schubert, Brittany; Ulker, Volkan; Hadipour, Fatemeh; Ahmadpour, Fatemeh; Touitou, Isabelle; Fardaei, Majid; Slim, Rima

    2016-10-01

    NLRP7 is a major gene responsible for recurrent hydatidiform moles. Here, we report 11 novel NLRP7 protein truncating variants, of which five deletions of more than 1-kb. We analyzed the transcriptional consequences of four variants. We demonstrate that one large homozygous deletion removes NLRP7 transcription start site and results in the complete absence of its transcripts in a patient in good health besides her reproductive problem. This observation strengthens existing data on the requirement of NLRP7 only for female reproduction. We show that two other variants affecting the splice acceptor of exon 6 lead to its in-frame skipping while another variant affecting the splice donor site of exon 9 leads to an in-frame insertion of 54 amino acids. Our characterization of the deletion breakpoints demonstrated that most of the breakpoints occurred within Alu repeats and the deletions were most likely mediated by microhomology events. Our data define a hotspot of Alu instability and deletions in intron 5 with six different breakpoints and rearrangements. Analysis of NLRP7 genomic sequences for repetitive elements demonstrated that Alu repeats represent 48% of its intronic sequences and these repeats seem to have been inserted into the common NLRP2/7 primate ancestor before its duplication into two genes.

  5. Cell birth and survival following seasonal periods of cell proliferation in the chemosensory epithelia of red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Dawley, Ellen M; Nelsen, Meaghan; Lopata, Adrianne; Schwartz, Jessica; Bierly, Alison

    2006-01-01

    In addition to the continuous low levels of neurogenesis typical of adult vertebrates to replace damaged chemoreceptor cells, red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) experience an up-regulation of chemoreceptor epithelial cell proliferation on a seasonal basis. Significantly more cell division occurs in late spring than at any other time of the year, and we investigated the fate and life span of these newly generated cells. We used 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunocytochemical cell birth dating to examine cell proliferation and cell migration in the main olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia of red-backed salamanders collected in late spring who were allowed to survive for one hour or three, four, 25, 28, 42, 49 and 100 days post-injection. We examined new neuron growth in the vomeronasal and olfactory epithelia using antibodies against Growth Associated Protein-43 (GAP-43), a protein whose synthesis is up-regulated during axon growth. We also tracked apoptosis within both types of chemosensory epithelia using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling (TUNEL). BrdU-immunoreactive cells were located extensively throughout the vomeronasal epithelia, particularly in the area posterior to the entrance of the nasolacrimal duct, not only after three days of survival, but also all of the longer experimental survival periods as well; BrdU-ir cells within the olfactory epithelia were rarely located after longer survival periods. Salamanders collected in late spring displayed extensive GAP-43 labeling in the vomeronasal epithelia posterior to the entrance of the nasolacrimal duct, indicating a large population of young vomeronasal receptor neurons. Finally, apoptotic cells were evident in this same post-nasolacrimal-duct-area of the vomeronasal organ and in the olfactory epithelium. We suggest that vomeronasal receptor neurons born in late spring function throughout the summer and may be associated with the animals' extensive territoriality

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Effect of arsenic on p53 mutation and occurrence of teratogenic salamanders: their potential as ecological indicators for arsenic contamination.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jin-Soo; Gu, Man Bock; Kim, Kyoung-Woong

    2009-05-01

    The p53 mutation in salamanders can be used as an indicator of arsenic contamination. The influence of arsenic exposure was studied on mutation of tumor suppressor gene in salamanders collected from several As-contaminated mine areas in Korea. Salamander eggs and larvae were exposed to arsenic in a toxicity test, and teratogenic salamanders found in heavy metal- and As-contaminated water from As-Bi mines were evaluated using PCR-SSCP to determine if they would be useful as an ecological indicator species. Changes in amino acids were shown to have occurred as a result of an arsenic-accumulating event that occurred after the DNA damage. In addition, both of the Hynobius leechii exposed groups were primarily affected by forms of skin damage, changes in the lateral tail/dorsal flexure and/or abnormality teratogenesis. Single-base sense mutation in codons 346 (AAG: Lys to ATG: Met), 224 (TTT: Phe to TTA: Leu), 211 (ATG: Met to AAG: Lys), 244 (TTT: Phe to TTTG: insertion), 245 (Glu GAG to Gln CAG) and 249 (TGT Cys to TGA stop) of the p53 gene were simultaneously found in mutated salamanders. Based on the results of our data illustrating the effect of arsenic exposure on the p53 mutation of salamanders in arsenic-contaminated mine areas, these mutated salamanders can be used as potential ecological indicators in the arsenic-contaminated ecosystems.

  9. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions.

  10. Glycinergic synaptic inputs to bipolar cells in the salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Maple, Bruce R; Wu, Samuel M

    1998-01-01

    Glycine activated strychnine-sensitive chloride conductances at both the dendrites and the axonal telodendria of most bipolar cells in the salamander retina. The chloride equilibrium potential of bipolar cells was found to be negative to -50 mV, indicating that glycinergic synapses on bipolar cells are inhibitory. Some bipolar cells exhibited discrete, strychnine-sensitive, chloride-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). These were elicited by focal application of glutamate at the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Glycinergic synapses were localized using simultaneous focal application of calcium to retinal slices bathed in calcium-free media. Both dendritic and telodendritic glycinergic IPSCs were observed. The decay of the telodendritic IPSCs was well fitted by a single exponential with a time constant of 17.7 ± 8.7 ms. Similar kinetics were observed for dendritic IPSCs in some cells, but in one class of on-centre bipolar cell the decay of the dendritic IPSCs was better fitted by a sum of two exponentials with time constants 9.9 ± 4.3 and 51.3 ± 24.3 ms. The dendritic IPSCs were best driven by application of glutamate at the distal IPL (the off sublamina), while the telodendritic IPSCs were driven best by application near the telodendria. These results suggest that bipolar cell dendrites receive inhibitory glycinergic inputs from interplexiform cells that are excited by off-centre bipolar cells, whereas bipolar cell telodendria receive glycinergic amacrine cell inputs that are antagonistic to the photoreceptor inputs. Both inputs could be elicited in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX), but the dendritic IPSCs were sometimes abolished by TTX, suggesting that sodium-dependent spikes play an important role in the transmission of interplexiform cell signals to the outer plexiform layer. PMID:9503334

  11. Responses of Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to chemical cues of prey presented in soluble and volatile forms.

    PubMed

    Telfer, A C; Laberge, F

    2013-04-10

    Terrestrial salamanders are able to detect prey items using chemical cues, but the nature of the cues involved is uncertain. This study aimed to tease apart the roles of the soluble and volatile components of prey cues detected by Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), assuming the likelihood that these different components are respectively detected by the vomeronasal (accessory) and main olfactory organs. Wild-caught salamanders were exposed to control or soluble and volatile cricket cues in two different behavioural assays conducted in the laboratory. The first series of assays focused on localized presentation of soluble cues on the substrate, and the second on point sources of volatile cues delivered through plastic tubes. Room temperature was varied across experiments. Salamanders increased chemoinvestigation of the substrate via nosetapping when soluble prey cues were distributed non-uniformly on the substrate. In the warmer of two temperatures tested, salamanders additionally showed a spatial preference for location of soluble cue deposition. Attraction to a point source of volatile cues was not evident when examining the responses of salamanders grouped together; however, investigation of the volatile point source was significantly correlated with side preference only when both soluble cues and a volatile point source were present. The latter suggests that a subset of salamanders were attracted to the point source of volatile cues in the presence of soluble cues on the substrate. This study indicates that soluble prey cues alone are sufficient to trigger salamander foraging behaviour, and that temperature influences this foraging response. It supports the notion that the vomeronasal system plays an important role in prey detection, but suggests that volatile cues are also investigated by some salamanders when soluble prey cues have been detected.

  12. The palaeoclimatic significance of Eurasian Giant Salamanders (Cryptobranchidae: Zaissanurus, Andrias) - indications for elevated humidity in Central Asia during global warm periods (Eocene, late Oligocene warming, Miocene Climate Optimum)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilyan, Dav