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30 Mar 2023 at 01:45
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Bibliography on: Evolution of Multicelluarity


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:45 Created: 

Evolution of Multicelluarity

Created with PubMed® Query: ( (evolution OR origin) AND (multicellularity OR multicellular) NOT 33634751[PMID] ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Barrera-Redondo J, Lotharukpong JS, Drost HG, et al (2023)

Uncovering gene-family founder events during major evolutionary transitions in animals, plants and fungi using GenEra.

Genome biology, 24(1):54.

We present GenEra (https://github.com/josuebarrera/GenEra), a DIAMOND-fueled gene-family founder inference framework that addresses previously raised limitations and biases in genomic phylostratigraphy, such as homology detection failure. GenEra also reduces computational time from several months to a few days for any genome of interest. We analyze the emergence of taxonomically restricted gene families during major evolutionary transitions in plants, animals, and fungi. Our results indicate that the impact of homology detection failure on inferred patterns of gene emergence is lineage-dependent, suggesting that plants are more prone to evolve novelty through the emergence of new genes compared to animals and fungi.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-27

Nofech-Mozes I, Soave D, Awadalla P, et al (2023)

Pan-cancer classification of single cells in the tumour microenvironment.

Nature communications, 14(1):1615.

Single-cell RNA sequencing can reveal valuable insights into cellular heterogeneity within tumour microenvironments (TMEs), paving the way for a deep understanding of cellular mechanisms contributing to cancer. However, high heterogeneity among the same cancer types and low transcriptomic variation in immune cell subsets present challenges for accurate, high-resolution confirmation of cells' identities. Here we present scATOMIC; a modular annotation tool for malignant and non-malignant cells. We trained scATOMIC on >300,000 cancer, immune, and stromal cells defining a pan-cancer reference across 19 common cancers and employ a hierarchical approach, outperforming current classification methods. We extensively confirm scATOMIC's accuracy on 225 tumour biopsies encompassing >350,000 cancer and a variety of TME cells. Lastly, we demonstrate scATOMIC's practical significance to accurately subset breast cancers into clinically relevant subtypes and predict tumours' primary origin across metastatic cancers. Our approach represents a broadly applicable strategy to analyse multicellular cancer TMEs.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Ebinghaus M, Dos Santos MDM, Tonelli GSSS, et al (2023)

Raveneliopsis, a new genus of ravenelioid rust fungi on Cenostigma (Caesalpinioideae) from the Brazilian Cerrado and Caatinga.

Mycologia, 115(2):263-276.

The multicellular discoid convex teliospore heads represent a prominent generic feature of the genus Ravenelia. However, recent molecular phylogenetic work has shown that this is a convergent trait, and that this genus does not represent a natural group. In 2000, a rust fungus infecting the Caesalpinioid species Cenostigma macrophyllum (= C. gardnerianum) was described as Ravenelia cenostigmatis. This species shows some rare features, such as an extra layer of sterile cells between the cysts and the fertile teliospores, spirally ornamented urediniospores, as well as strongly incurved paraphyses giving the telia and uredinia a basket-like appearance. Using freshly collected specimens of Rav. cenostigmatis and Rav. spiralis on C. macrophyllum, our phylogenetic analyses based on the nuc 28S, nuc 18S, and mt CO3 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 3) gene sequences demonstrated that these two rust fungi belong in a lineage within the Raveneliineae that is distinct from Ravenelia s. str. Besides proposing their recombination into the new genus Raveneliopsis (type species R. cenostigmatis) and briefly discussing their potentially close phylogenetic affiliations, we suggest that five other Ravenelia species that are morphologically and ecologically close to the type species of Raveneliopsis, i.e., Rav. corbula, Rav. corbuloides, Rav. parahybana, Rav. pileolarioides, and Rav. Striatiformis, may be recombined pending new collections and confirmation through molecular phylogenetic analyses.

RevDate: 2023-03-24

Jiao ZX, Li XG, Zhang HH, et al (2023)

Crassaminicella indica sp. nov., a novel thermophilic anaerobic bacterium isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(3):.

A novel moderately thermophilic heterotrophic bacterium, designated strain 143-21[T], was isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal chimney sample collected from the Central Indian Ridge at a depth of 2 440 m. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain 143-21[T] belongs to the genus Crassaminicella. It was most closely related to Crassaminicella thermophila SY095[T] (96.79 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity) and Crassaminicella profunda Ra1766H[T] (96.52 %). Genomic analysis showed that strain 143-21[T] shares 79.79-84.45 % average nucleotide identity and 23.50-29.20 % digital DNA-DNA hybridization with the species of the genus Crassaminicella, respectively. Cells were rod-shaped, non-motile, Gram-positive-staining. Terminal endospores were observed in stationary-phase cells when strain 143-21[T] was grown on Thermococcales rich medium. Strain 143-21[T] was able to grow at 30-60 °C (optimum, 50 °C), pH 6.5-8.5 (optimum, pH 7.0) and in 1.0-7.0 % NaCl (w/v; optimum 2.0 %, w/v). Strain 143-21[T] utilized fructose, glucose, maltose, mannose, ribose, N-acetyl-d-(+)-glucosamine and casamino acids, as well as amino acids including glutamate, lysine, histidine and cysteine. The main fermentation products from glucose were acetate (2.07 mM), H2 and CO2. It did not reduce elemental sulphur, sulphate, thiosulphate, sulphite, fumarate, nitrate, nitrite and Fe (III). The predominant cellular fatty acids were C14 : 0 (48.8 %), C16 : 0 (12.9 %), and summed feature 3 (C16 : 1 ω7c and/or C16 : 1 ω6c; 10.2 %). The major polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol, as well as two unidentified phospholipids and four unidentified aminolipids. No respiratory quinones were detected. Based on its phylogenetic analysis and physiological characteristics, strain 143-21[T] is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Crassaminicella, for which the name Crassaminicella indica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is strain 143-21[T] (=DSM 114408[T]= MCCC 1K06400[T]).

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Li Y, Kim EJ, Voshall A, et al (2023)

Small RNAs >26 nt in length associate with AGO1 and are upregulated by nutrient deprivation in the alga Chlamydomonas.

The Plant cell pii:7083138 [Epub ahead of print].

Small RNAs (sRNAs) associate with ARGONAUTE (AGO) proteins forming effector complexes with key roles in gene regulation and defense responses against molecular parasites. In multicellular eukaryotes, extensive duplication and diversification of RNA interference (RNAi) components have resulted in intricate pathways for epigenetic control of gene expression. The unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii also has a complex RNAi machinery, including three AGOs and three DICER-like (DCL) proteins. However, little is known about the biogenesis and function of most endogenous sRNAs. We demonstrate here that Chlamydomonas contains uncommonly long (>26 nt) sRNAs that associate preferentially with AGO1. Somewhat reminiscent of animal PIWI-interacting RNAs, these >26 nt sRNAs are derived from moderately repetitive genomic clusters and their biogenesis is DICER-independent. Interestingly, the sequences generating these >26-nt sRNAs have been conserved and amplified in several Chlamydomonas species. Moreover, expression of these longer sRNAs increases substantially under nitrogen or sulfur deprivation, concurrently with the downregulation of predicted target transcripts. We hypothesize that the transposon-like sequences from which >26-nt sRNAs are produced might have been ancestrally targeted for silencing by the RNAi machinery but, during evolution, certain sRNAs might have fortuitously acquired endogenous target genes and become integrated into gene regulatory networks.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Prieto I, Barbáchano A, Rodríguez-Salas N, et al (2023)

Tailored chemotherapy for colorectal cancer peritoneal metastases based on a drug-screening platform in patient-derived organoids: a case report.

Journal of gastrointestinal oncology, 14(1):442-449.

BACKGROUND: Peritoneal metastasis from colorectal cancer (CRC) has limited therapeutic options and poor prognosis. Systemic chemotherapy combined with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) or pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC) have yielded initial promising results. However, standard local therapies with oxaliplatin and mitomycin are not optimal and a better individualized management of these patients remains as an unmet clinical need. Patient-derived organoid (PDO) technology allows to culture in three dimensions normal and cancer stem cells (CSC) that self-organize in multicellular structures that recapitulates some of the features of the particular organ or tumor of origin, emerging as a promising tool for drug-testing and precision medicine. This technology could improve the efficacy of systemic and intraperitoneal chemotherapy and avoid unnecessary treatments and side effects to the patient.

CASE DESCRIPTION: Here we report a case of a 45-year-old man with a rectal adenocarcinoma with liver, lymph node and peritoneal metastases. The patient was treated with systemic chemotherapy (FOLFOXIRI plus Bevacizumab) and was subjected to mitomycin-based PIPAC. We generated patient-derived peritoneal carcinomatosis organoids in order to screen the activity of drugs for a personalized treatment. Both 5-FU and SN-38, the active irinotecan derivative, displayed strong cytotoxicity, while the response to oxaliplatin was much lower. Although the development of a colo-cutaneous fistulae prevented from further PIPAC, the patient continued with fluoropirimidine maintenance treatment based on standard clinical practice and the drug-screening test performed on organoids.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the peritoneal implant shows chemoresistance to oxaliplatin, while it might still be sensitive to irinotecan and 5-FU, which supports a potential benefit of these two drugs in the local and/or systemic treatment of our patient. This study shows the strength of the utility of the establishment of organoids for drug response assays and thus, for the personalized treatment of colorectal carcinomatosis patients.

RevDate: 2023-03-14

Bajgar A, G Krejčová (2023)

On the origin of the functional versatility of macrophages.

Frontiers in physiology, 14:1128984.

Macrophages represent the most functionally versatile cells in the animal body. In addition to recognizing and destroying pathogens, macrophages remove senescent and exhausted cells, promote wound healing, and govern tissue and metabolic homeostasis. In addition, many specialized populations of tissue-resident macrophages exhibit highly specialized functions essential for the function of specific organs. Sometimes, however, macrophages cease to perform their protective function and their seemingly incomprehensible response to certain stimuli leads to pathology. In this study, we address the question of the origin of the functional versatility of macrophages. To this end, we have searched for the evolutionary origin of macrophages themselves and for the emergence of their characteristic properties. We hypothesize that many of the characteristic features of proinflammatory macrophages evolved in the unicellular ancestors of animals, and that the functional repertoire of macrophage-like amoebocytes further expanded with the evolution of multicellularity and the increasing complexity of tissues and organ systems. We suggest that the entire repertoire of macrophage functions evolved by repurposing and diversification of basic functions that evolved early in the evolution of metazoans under conditions barely comparable to that in tissues of multicellular organisms. We believe that by applying this perspective, we may find an explanation for the otherwise counterintuitive behavior of macrophages in many human pathologies.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Lu B, Hu X, Warren A, et al (2023)

From oral structure to molecular evidence: new insights into the evolutionary phylogeny of the ciliate order Sessilida (Protista, Ciliophora), with the establishment of two new families and new contributions to the poorly studied family Vaginicolidae.

Science China. Life sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Ciliated protists represent one of the most primitive and diverse lineages of eukaryotes, with nuclear dimorphism, a distinctive sexual process (conjugation), and extensive genome rearrangements. Among divergent ciliate lineages, the peritrich order Sessilida includes members with a colonial lifestyle, which may hint to an independent evolutionary attempt for multicellularity, although they are still single-celled organisms. To date, the evolution and phylogeny of this group are still far from clear, in part due to the paucity of molecular and/or morphological data for many taxa. In this study, we extend taxon sampling of a loricate group of sessilids by obtaining 69 new rDNA (SSU rDNA, ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2, and LSU rDNA) sequences from 20 well-characterized representative species and analyze the phylogenetic relationships within Sessilida. The main findings are: (i) the genera Rhabdostyla and Campanella each represents a unique taxon at family level, supporting the establishment of two new families, i.e., Rhabdostylidae n. fam. and Campanellidae n. fam., respectively, the former being sister to a morphologically heterogeneous clade comprising Astylozoidae and several incertae sedis species and the latter occupying the basal position within the Sessilida clade; (ii) the structure of infundibular polykinety 3 is likely to be a phylogenetically informative character for resolving evolutionary relationships among sessilids; (iii) differences between sparsely and the densely arranged silverline systems could be a suprageneric taxonomic character; (iv) the monophyly of Vaginicolidae is confirmed, which is consistent with its specialized morphology, i.e., the possession of a typical peritrich lorica which might be an apomorphy for this group; (v) within Vaginicolidae, the monotypic Cothurniopsis sensu Stokes, 1893 is a synonym of Cothurnia Ehrenberg, 1831, and a new combination is created, i.e., Cothurnia valvata nov. comb.; (vi) Vaginicola sensu lato comprises at least two distinctly divergent clades, one affiliated with Thuricola and the other with a systematically puzzling clade represented by Vaginicola tincta.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Ouyang X, Wu B, Yu H, et al (2023)

DYRK1-mediated phosphorylation of endocytic components is required for extracellular lumen expansion in ascidian notochord.

Biological research, 56(1):10.

BACKGROUND: The biological tube is a basal biology structure distributed in all multicellular animals, from worms to humans, and has diverse biological functions. Formation of tubular system is crucial for embryogenesis and adult metabolism. Ascidian Ciona notochord lumen is an excellent in vivo model for tubulogenesis. Exocytosis has been known to be essential for tubular lumen formation and expansion. The roles of endocytosis in tubular lumen expansion remain largely unclear.

RESULTS: In this study, we first identified a dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1 (DYRK1), the protein kinase, which was upregulated and required for ascidian notochord extracellular lumen expansion. We demonstrated that DYRK1 interacted with and phosphorylated one of the endocytic components endophilin at Ser263 that was essential for notochord lumen expansion. Moreover, through phosphoproteomic sequencing, we revealed that in addition to endophilin, the phosphorylation of other endocytic components was also regulated by DYRK1. The loss of function of DYRK1 disturbed endocytosis. Then, we demonstrated that clathrin-mediated endocytosis existed and was required for notochord lumen expansion. In the meantime, the results showed that the secretion of notochord cells is vigorous in the apical membrane.

CONCLUSIONS: We found the co-existence of endocytosis and exocytosis activities in apical membrane during lumen formation and expansion in Ciona notochord. A novel signaling pathway is revealed that DYRK1 regulates the endocytosis by phosphorylation that is required for lumen expansion. Our finding thus indicates a dynamic balance between endocytosis and exocytosis is crucial to maintain apical membrane homeostasis that is essential for lumen growth and expansion in tubular organogenesis.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Davidescu MR, Romanczuk P, Gregor T, et al (2023)

Growth produces coordination trade-offs in Trichoplax adhaerens, an animal lacking a central nervous system.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(11):e2206163120.

How collectives remain coordinated as they grow in size is a fundamental challenge affecting systems ranging from biofilms to governments. This challenge is particularly apparent in multicellular organisms, where coordination among a vast number of cells is vital for coherent animal behavior. However, the earliest multicellular organisms were decentralized, with indeterminate sizes and morphologies, as exemplified by Trichoplax adhaerens, arguably the earliest-diverged and simplest motile animal. We investigated coordination among cells in T. adhaerens by observing the degree of collective order in locomotion across animals of differing sizes and found that larger individuals exhibit increasingly disordered locomotion. We reproduced this effect of size on order through a simulation model of active elastic cellular sheets and demonstrate that this relationship is best recapitulated across all body sizes when the simulation parameters are tuned to a critical point in the parameter space. We quantify the trade-off between increasing size and coordination in a multicellular animal with a decentralized anatomy that shows evidence of criticality and hypothesize as to the implications of this on the evolution hierarchical structures such as nervous systems in larger organisms.

RevDate: 2023-03-09

Garg A, Nam W, Wang W, et al (2023)

In Situ Spatiotemporal SERS Measurements and Multivariate Analysis of Virally Infected Bacterial Biofilms Using Nanolaminated Plasmonic Crystals.

ACS sensors [Epub ahead of print].

In situ spatiotemporal biochemical characterization of the activity of living multicellular biofilms under external stimuli remains a significant challenge. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), combining the molecular fingerprint specificity of vibrational spectroscopy with the hotspot sensitivity of plasmonic nanostructures, has emerged as a promising noninvasive bioanalysis technique for living systems. However, most SERS devices do not allow reliable long-term spatiotemporal SERS measurements of multicellular systems because of challenges in producing spatially uniform and mechanically stable SERS hotspot arrays to interface with large cellular networks. Furthermore, very few studies have been conducted for multivariable analysis of spatiotemporal SERS datasets to extract spatially and temporally correlated biological information from multicellular systems. Here, we demonstrate in situ label-free spatiotemporal SERS measurements and multivariate analysis of Pseudomonas syringae biofilms during development and upon infection by bacteriophage virus Phi6 by employing nanolaminate plasmonic crystal SERS devices to interface mechanically stable, uniform, and spatially dense hotspot arrays with the P. syringae biofilms. We exploited unsupervised multivariate machine learning methods, including principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), to resolve the spatiotemporal evolution and Phi6 dose-dependent changes of major Raman peaks originating from biochemical components in P. syringae biofilms, including cellular components, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), metabolite molecules, and cell lysate-enriched extracellular media. We then employed supervised multivariate analysis using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) for the multiclass classification of Phi6 dose-dependent biofilm responses, demonstrating the potential for viral infection diagnosis. We envision extending the in situ spatiotemporal SERS method to monitor dynamic, heterogeneous interactions between viruses and bacterial networks for applications such as phage-based anti-biofilm therapy development and continuous pathogenic virus detection.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Luque LM, Carlevaro CM, Llamoza Torres CJ, et al (2023)

Physics-based tissue simulator to model multicellular systems: A study of liver regeneration and hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence.

PLoS computational biology, 19(3):e1010920 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-22-00291 [Epub ahead of print].

We present a multiagent-based model that captures the interactions between different types of cells with their microenvironment, and enables the analysis of the emergent global behavior during tissue regeneration and tumor development. Using this model, we are able to reproduce the temporal dynamics of regular healthy cells and cancer cells, as well as the evolution of their three-dimensional spatial distributions. By tuning the system with the characteristics of the individual patients, our model reproduces a variety of spatial patterns of tissue regeneration and tumor growth, resembling those found in clinical imaging or biopsies. In order to calibrate and validate our model we study the process of liver regeneration after surgical hepatectomy in different degrees. In the clinical context, our model is able to predict the recurrence of a hepatocellular carcinoma after a 70% partial hepatectomy. The outcomes of our simulations are in agreement with experimental and clinical observations. By fitting the model parameters to specific patient factors, it might well become a useful platform for hypotheses testing in treatments protocols.

RevDate: 2023-03-08
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Bernardo N, Crespo I, Cuppari A, et al (2023)

A tetramerization domain in prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription regulators homologous to p53.

Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology, 79(Pt 3):259-267.

Transcriptional regulation usually requires the action of several proteins that either repress or activate a promotor of an open reading frame. These proteins can counteract each other, thus allowing tight regulation of the transcription of the corresponding genes, where tight repression is often linked to DNA looping or cross-linking. Here, the tetramerization domain of the bacterial gene repressor Rco from Bacillus subtilis plasmid pLS20 (RcopLS20) has been identified and its structure is shown to share high similarity to the tetramerization domain of the well known p53 family of human tumor suppressors, despite lacking clear sequence homology. In RcopLS20, this tetramerization domain is responsible for inducing DNA looping, a process that involves multiple tetramers. In accordance, it is shown that RcopLS20 can form octamers. This domain was named TetDloop and its occurrence was identified in other Bacillus species. The TetDloop fold was also found in the structure of a transcriptional repressor from Salmonella phage SPC32H. It is proposed that the TetDloop fold has evolved through divergent evolution and that the TetDloop originates from a common ancestor predating the occurrence of multicellular life.

RevDate: 2023-03-04

Du Q, P Schaap (2022)

Autophagy of the somatic stalk cells likely nurses the propagating spores of Dictyostelid social amoebas [version 2; peer review: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations].

Open research Europe, 2:104.

BACKGROUND: Autophagy (self-feeding) assists survival of starving cells by partial self-digestion, while dormancy as cysts, spores or seeds enables long-term survival. Starving Dictyostelium amoebas construct multicellular fruiting bodies with spores and stalk cells, with many Dictyostelia still able to encyst individually like their single-celled ancestors. While autophagy mostly occurs in the somatic stalk cells, autophagy gene knock-outs in Dictyostelium discoideum (D. discoideum) formed no spores and lacked cAMP induction of prespore gene expression.

METHODS: To investigate whether autophagy also prevents encystation, we knocked-out autophagy genes atg5 and atg7 in the dictyostelid Polysphondylium pallidum, which forms both spores and cysts. We measured spore and cyst differentiation and viability in the knock-out as well as stalk and spore gene expression and its regulation by cAMP. We tested a hypothesis that spores require materials derived from autophagy in stalk cells. Sporulation requires secreted cAMP acting on receptors and intracellular cAMP acting on PKA. We compared the morphology and viability of spores developed in fruiting bodies with spores induced from single cells by stimulation with cAMP and 8Br-cAMP, a membrane-permeant PKA agonist.

RESULTS: Loss of autophagy in P. pallidum reduced but did not prevent encystation. Stalk cells still differentiated but stalks were disorganised. However, no spores were formed at all and cAMP-induced prespore gene expression was lost. D. discoideum spores induced in vitro by cAMP and 8Br-cAMP were smaller and rounder than spores formed multicellularly and while they were not lysed by detergent they germinated not (strain Ax2) or poorly (strain NC4), unlike spores formed in fruiting bodies.

CONCLUSIONS: The stringent requirement of sporulation on both multicellularity and autophagy, which occurs mostly in stalk cells, suggests that stalk cells nurse the spores through autophagy. This highlights autophagy as a major cause for somatic cell evolution in early multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-03-01

Takeuchi K, Senda M, Ikeda Y, et al (2023)

Functional molecular evolution of a GTP sensing kinase: PI5P4Kβ.

The FEBS journal [Epub ahead of print].

Over 4 billion years of evolution, multiple mutations, including nucleotide substitutions, gene and genome duplications, and recombination, have established de novo genes that translate into proteins with novel properties essential for high-order cellular functions. However, molecular processes through which a protein evolutionarily acquires a novel function are mostly speculative. Recently, we have provided evidence for a potential evolutionary mechanism underlying how, in mammalian cells, phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinase β (PI5P4Kβ) evolved into a GTP sensor from ATP-utilizing kinase. Mechanistically, PI5P4Kβ has acquired the guanine efficient association (GEA) motif by mutating its nucleotide base recognition sequence, enabling the evolutionary transition from an ATP-dependent kinase to a distinct GTP/ATP dual kinase with its KM for GTP falling into physiological GTP concentrations-the genesis of GTP sensing activity. Importantly, the GTP sensing activity of PI5P4Kβ is critical for the manifestation of cellular metabolism and tumorigenic activity in the multicellular organism. The combination of structural, biochemical, and biophysical analyses used in our study provides a novel framework for analyzing how a protein can evolutionarily acquire a novel activity, which potentially introduces a critical function to the cell.

RevDate: 2023-03-01

Duan J, Y Wang (2023)

Modeling nervous system tumors with human stem cells and organoids.

Cell regeneration (London, England), 12(1):4.

Nervous system cancers are the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, many of which are difficult to diagnose and exhibit varying degrees of treatment resistance. The limitations of existing cancer models, such as patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, call for the development of novel preclinical cancer models to more faithfully mimic the patient's cancer and offer additional insights. Recent advances in human stem cell biology, organoid, and genome-editing techniques allow us to model nervous system tumors in three types of next-generation tumor models: cell-of-origin models, tumor organoids, and 3D multicellular coculture models. In this review, we introduced and compared different human stem cell/organoid-derived models, and comprehensively summarized and discussed the recently developed models for various primary tumors in the central and peripheral nervous systems, including glioblastoma (GBM), H3K27M-mutant Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG) and H3G34R-mutant High-grade Glioma (HGG), Low-grade Glioma (LGG), Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1), Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), Medulloblastoma (MB), Atypical Teratoid/rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT), and meningioma. We further compared these models with PDX and GEM models, and discussed the opportunities and challenges of precision nervous cancer modeling with human stem cells and organoids.

RevDate: 2023-03-02
CmpDate: 2023-03-02

Tang S, Pichugin Y, K Hammerschmidt (2023)

An environmentally induced multicellular life cycle of a unicellular cyanobacterium.

Current biology : CB, 33(4):764-769.e5.

Understanding the evolutionary transition to multicellularity is a key problem in biology.[1][,][2][,][3][,][4] Nevertheless, the ecological conditions driving such transitions are not well understood. The first known transition to multicellularity occurred 2.5 billion years ago in cyanobacteria,[5][,][6][,][7] and today's cyanobacteria are characterized by enormous morphological diversity. They range from unicellular species; unicellular cyanobacteria with packet-like phenotypes, e.g., tetrads; and simple filamentous species to highly differentiated filamentous species.[8][,][9][,][10] The cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, an isolate from the intertidal zone of the U.S. Gulf Coast,[11] was classified as a unicellular species.[12] We report a facultative life cycle of Cyanothece sp. in which multicellular filaments alternate with unicellular stages. In a series of experiments, we identified salinity and population density as environmental factors triggering the phenotypic switch between the two morphologies. Then, we used numerical models to test hypotheses regarding the nature of the environmental cues and the mechanisms underlying filament dissolution. While the results predict that the observed response is likely caused by an excreted compound in the medium, we cannot fully exclude changes in nutrient availability (as in Tuomi et al.[13] and Matz and Jürgens[14]). The best-fit modeling results show a nonlinear effect of the compound, which is characteristic of density-dependent sensing systems.[15][,][16] Furthermore, filament fragmentation is predicted to occur by connection cleavage rather than cell death of each alternating cell, which is supported by fluorescent and scanning electron microscopy results. The switch between unicellular and multicellular morphology constitutes an environmentally dependent life cycle that is likely an important step en route to permanent multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-03-01
CmpDate: 2023-03-01

Göbel T, Goebel B, Hyprath M, et al (2023)

Three-dimensional growth reveals fine-tuning of 5-lipoxygenase by proliferative pathways in cancer.

Life science alliance, 6(5):.

The leukotriene (LT) pathway is positively correlated with the progression of solid malignancies, but the factors that control the expression of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), the central enzyme in LT biosynthesis, in tumors are poorly understood. Here, we report that 5-LO along with other members of the LT pathway is up-regulated in multicellular colon tumor spheroids. This up-regulation was inversely correlated with cell proliferation and activation of PI3K/mTORC-2- and MEK-1/ERK-dependent pathways. Furthermore, we found that E2F1 and its target gene MYBL2 were involved in the repression of 5-LO during cell proliferation. Importantly, we found that this PI3K/mTORC-2- and MEK-1/ERK-dependent suppression of 5-LO is also existent in tumor cells from other origins, suggesting that this mechanism is widely applicable to other tumor entities. Our data show that tumor cells fine-tune 5-LO and LT biosynthesis in response to environmental changes repressing the enzyme during proliferation while making use of the enzyme under cell stress conditions, implying that tumor-derived 5-LO plays a role in the manipulation of the tumor stroma to quickly restore cell proliferation.

RevDate: 2023-02-28
CmpDate: 2023-02-28

van Oosten-Hawle P (2023)

Organismal Roles of Hsp90.

Biomolecules, 13(2):.

Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a highly conserved molecular chaperone that assists in the maturation of many client proteins involved in cellular signal transduction. As a regulator of cellular signaling processes, it is vital for the maintenance of cellular proteostasis and adaptation to environmental stresses. Emerging research shows that Hsp90 function in an organism goes well beyond intracellular proteostasis. In metazoans, Hsp90, as an environmentally responsive chaperone, is involved in inter-tissue stress signaling responses that coordinate and safeguard cell nonautonomous proteostasis and organismal health. In this way, Hsp90 has the capacity to influence evolution and aging, and effect behavioral responses to facilitate tissue-defense systems that ensure organismal survival. In this review, I summarize the literature on the organismal roles of Hsp90 uncovered in multicellular organisms, from plants to invertebrates and mammals.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Compton Z, Harris V, Mellon W, et al (2023)

Cancer Prevalence Across Vertebrates.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.02.15.527881.

Cancer is pervasive across multicellular species. Are there any patterns that can explain differences in cancer prevalence across species? Using 16,049 necropsy records for 292 species spanning three clades (amphibians, sauropsids and mammals) we found that neoplasia and malignancy prevalence increases with adult weight and decreases with gestation time, contrary to Peto’s Paradox. Evolution of cancer susceptibility appears to have undergone sudden shifts followed by stabilizing selection. Outliers for neoplasia prevalence include the common porpoise (<1.3%), the Rodrigues fruit bat (<1.6%) the black-footed penguin (<0.4%), ferrets (63%) and opossums (35%). Discovering why some species have particularly high or low levels of cancer may lead to a better understanding of cancer syndromes and novel strategies for the management and prevention of cancer.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Wang S, Yuen Chan S, Deng Y, et al (2023)

Oxidative stress induced by Etoposide anti-cancer chemotherapy drives the emergence of tumor-associated bacteria resistance to fluoroquinolones.

Journal of advanced research pii:S2090-1232(23)00062-0 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, are prevalent in lung cancer patients, resulting in poor clinical outcomes and high mortality. Etoposide (ETO) is an FDA-approved chemotherapy drug that kills cancer cells by damaging DNA through oxidative stress. However, it is unclear if ETO can cause unintentional side effects on tumor-associated microbial pathogens, such as inducing antibiotic resistance.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to show that prolonged ETO treatment could unintendedly confer fluoroquinolone antibiotic resistance to P. aeruginosa, and evaluate the effect of tumor-associated P. aeruginosa on tumor progression.

METHODS: We employed experimental evolution assay to treat P. aeruginosa with prolonged ETO exposure, evaluated the ciprofloxacin resistance, and elucidated the gene mutations by DNA sequencing. We also established a lung tumor-P. aeruginosa bacterial model to study the role of ETO-evolved intra-tumoral bacteria in tumor progression using immunostaining and confocal microscopy.

RESULTS: ETO could generate oxidative stress and lead to gene mutations in P. aeruginosa, especially the gyrase (gyrA) gene, resulting in acquired fluoroquinolone resistance. We further demonstrated using a microfluidic-based lung tumor-P. aeruginosa coculture model that bacteria can evolve ciprofloxacin (CIP) resistance in a tumor microenvironment. Moreover, ETO-induced CIP-resistant (EICR) mutants could form multicellular biofilms which protected tumor cells from ETO killing and enabled tumor progression.

CONCLUSION: Overall, our preclinical proof-of-concept provides insights into how anti-cancer chemotherapy could inadvertently allow tumor-associated bacteria to acquire antibiotic resistance mutations and shed new light on the development of novel anti-cancer treatments based on anti-bacterial strategies.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Baselga-Cervera B, Jacobsen KA, Denison RF, et al (2023)

Experimental evolution in the cyanobacterium Trichormus variabilis: increases in size and morphological diversity.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:7055285 [Epub ahead of print].

Cyanobacteria morphology has apparently remained almost unchanged for billions of years, exhibiting remarkable evolutionary stasis. Cyanobacteria appear to have reached their maximum morphological complexity in terms of size, modes of multicellularity, and cellular types by ~2 Ga. This contrasts with the increased complexity observed in other multicellular lineages, such as plants. Using experimental evolution, we show that morphological diversity can rapidly evolve in a species of filamentous cyanobacteria. Since size has such significance with regard to organismal complexity, we subjected the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Trichornus variabilis (syn. Anabaena variabilis) to selection for larger size. We observed increases in size of more than 30-fold, relative to the ancestral population, after 45 cycles of selection. Two distinguishable nascent morphological elaborations were identified in all the selected populations: Tangle (long, tangled filaments) and Cluster (clusters of short filaments) morphology. Growth from single cells indicates heritability of the evolved Tangle and Cluster morphological phenotypes. Cyanobacteria evolutionary conservatism is ascribed to developmental constraints, slow evolution rates, or ecological flexibility. These results open opportunities to study possibilities and constraints for the evolution of higher integrated biological levels of organization within this lineage.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Horjales S, Li Calzi M, Francia ME, et al (2023)

piRNA pathway evolution beyond gonad context: Perspectives from apicomplexa and trypanosomatids.

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1129194.

piRNAs function as genome defense mechanisms against transposable elements insertions within germ line cells. Recent studies have unraveled that piRNA pathways are not limited to germ cells as initially reckoned, but are instead also found in non-gonadal somatic contexts. Moreover, these pathways have also been reported in bacteria, mollusks and arthropods, associated with safeguard of genomes against transposable elements, regulation of gene expression and with direct consequences in axon regeneration and memory formation. In this Perspective we draw attention to early branching parasitic protozoa, whose genome preservation is an essential function as in late eukaryotes. However, little is known about the defense mechanisms of these genomes. We and others have described the presence of putative PIWI-related machinery members in protozoan parasites. We have described the presence of a PIWI-like protein in Trypanosoma cruzi, bound to small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) as cargo of secreted extracellular vesicles relevant in intercellular communication and host infection. Herein, we put forward the presence of members related to Argonaute pathways in both Trypanosoma cruzi and Toxoplasma gondii. The presence of PIWI-like machinery in Trypansomatids and Apicomplexa, respectively, could be evidence of an ancestral piRNA machinery that evolved to become more sophisticated and complex in multicellular eukaryotes. We propose a model in which ancient PIWI proteins were expressed broadly and had functions independent of germline maintenance. A better understanding of current and ancestral PIWI/piRNAs will be relevant to better understand key mechanisms of genome integrity conservation during cell cycle progression and modulation of host defense mechanisms by protozoan parasites.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Samuel V, Rajeev T, Ramesh L, et al (2023)

Integrin receptor trafficking in health and disease.

Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 196:271-302.

Integrins are a family of 24 different heterodimers that are indispensable for multicellular life. Cell polarity, adhesion and migration are controlled by integrins delivered to the cell surface which in turn is regulated by the exo- and endocytic trafficking of integrins. The deep integration between trafficking and cell signaling determines the spatial and temporal output from any biochemical cue. Integrin trafficking plays a key role in development and many pathological conditions, especially cancer. Several novel regulators of integrin traffic have been discovered in recent times, including a novel class of integrin carrying vesicles, the intracellular nanovesicles (INVs). The tight regulation of trafficking pathways by cell signaling, where kinases phosphorylate key small GTPases in the trafficking pathway enable coordination of cell response to the extracellular milieu. Integrin heterodimer expression and trafficking differ in different tissues and contexts. In this Chapter, we discuss recent studies on integrin trafficking and its contribution to normal physiological and pathophysiological states.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Furumizu C, RB Aalen (2023)

Peptide signaling through leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases - insight into land plant evolution.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Multicellular organisms need mechanisms for communication between cells so that they can fulfill their purpose in the organism as a whole. Over the last two decades, several small post-translationally modified peptides (PTMPs) have been identified as components of cell-to-cell signaling modules in flowering plants. Such peptides most often influence growth and development of organs not universally conserved among land plants. PTMPs have been matched to subfamily XI leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor-like kinases (RLKs) with > 20 repeats. Phylogenetic analyses, facilitated by recently published genomic sequences of non-flowering plants, have identified seven clades of such receptors with a history back to the common ancestor of bryophytes and vascular plants. This raises a number of questions: When did peptide signaling arise during land plant evolution? Have orthologous peptide-receptor pairs preserved their biological functions? Has peptide signaling contributed to major innovations, such as stomata, vasculature, roots, seeds, and flowers? Using genomic, genetic, biochemical, and structural data and non-angiosperm model species it is now possible to address these questions. The vast number of peptides that have not yet found their partners suggests furthermore that we have far more to learn about peptide signaling in the coming decades.

RevDate: 2023-02-23
CmpDate: 2023-02-23

Smith BP, Edie SM, WW Fischer (2023)

Tracing energy inputs into the seafloor using carbonate sediments.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(9):e2215833120.

Carbonate rocks provide unique and valuable sedimentary archives for secular changes in Earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes. However, reading the stratigraphic record produces overlapping, nonunique interpretations that stem from the difficulty in directly comparing competing biological, physical, or chemical mechanisms within a common quantitative framework. We built a mathematical model that decomposes these processes and casts the marine carbonate record in terms of energy fluxes across the sediment-water interface. Results showed that physical, chemical, and biological energy terms across the seafloor are subequal and that the energetic dominance of different processes varies both as a function of environment (e.g., onshore vs. offshore) as well as with time-varying changes in seawater chemistry and with evolutionary changes in animal abundance and behavior. We applied our model to observations from the end-Permian mass extinction-a massive upheaval in ocean chemistry and biology-revealing an energetic equivalence between two hypothesized drivers of changing carbonate environments: a reduction in physical bioturbation increased carbonate saturation states in the oceans. Early Triassic occurrences of 'anachronistic' carbonates-facies largely absent from marine environments after the Early Paleozoic-were likely driven more by reduction in animal biomass than by repeated perturbations to seawater chemistry. This analysis highlighted the importance of animals and their evolutionary history in physically shaping patterns in the sedimentary record via their impact on the energetics of marine environments.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Moriizumi H, Kubota Y, Tsuchiya T, et al (2023)

Caspase 3-specific cleavage of MEK1 suppresses ERK signaling and sensitizes cells to stress-induced apoptosis.

FEBS open bio [Epub ahead of print].

Proper regulation of apoptotic cell death is crucial for normal development and homeostasis in multicellular organisms and is achieved by the balance between pro-apoptotic processes, such as caspase activation, and pro-survival signaling, such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. However, the functional interplay between these opposing signaling pathways remains incompletely understood. Here, we identified MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) 1, a central component of the ERK pathway, as a specific substrate for the executioner caspase-3. During apoptosis, MEK1 is cleaved at an evolutionarily conserved Asp282 residue in the kinase domain, thereby losing its catalytic activity. Gene knockout experiments showed that MEK1 cleavage was mediated by caspase-3, but not by the other executioner caspases, caspase-6 or -7. Following exposure of cells to osmotic stress, elevated ERK activity gradually decreased, and this was accompanied by increased cleavage of MEK1. In contrast, the expression of a caspase-uncleavable MEK1(D282N) mutant in cells maintained stress-induced ERK activity and thereby attenuated apoptotic cell death. Thus, caspase-3-mediated, proteolytic inhibition of MEK1 sensitizes cells to apoptosis by suppressing pro-survival ERK signaling. Furthermore, we found that a RASopathy-associated MEK1(Y130C) mutation prevented this caspase-3-mediated proteolytic inactivation of MEK1 and efficiently protected cells from stress-induced apoptosis. Our data reveal the functional crosstalk between ERK-mediated cell survival and caspase-mediated cell death pathways and suggest that its dysregulation by a disease-associated MEK1 mutation is at least partly involved in the pathophysiology of congenital RASopathies.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Lambros M, Sella Y, A Bergman (2023)

Phenotypic pliancy and the breakdown of epigenetic polycomb mechanisms.

PLoS computational biology, 19(2):e1010889 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-22-00497 [Epub ahead of print].

Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms allow multicellular organisms to develop distinct specialized cell identities despite having the same total genome. Cell-fate choices are based on gene expression programs and environmental cues that cells experience during embryonic development, and are usually maintained throughout the life of the organism despite new environmental cues. The evolutionarily conserved Polycomb group (PcG) proteins form Polycomb Repressive Complexes that help orchestrate these developmental choices. Post-development, these complexes actively maintain the resulting cell fate, even in the face of environmental perturbations. Given the crucial role of these polycomb mechanisms in providing phenotypic fidelity (i.e. maintenance of cell fate), we hypothesize that their dysregulation after development will lead to decreased phenotypic fidelity allowing dysregulated cells to sustainably switch their phenotype in response to environmental changes. We call this abnormal phenotypic switching phenotypic pliancy. We introduce a general computational evolutionary model that allows us to test our systems-level phenotypic pliancy hypothesis in-silico and in a context-independent manner. We find that 1) phenotypic fidelity is an emergent systems-level property of PcG-like mechanism evolution, and 2) phenotypic pliancy is an emergent systems-level property resulting from this mechanism's dysregulation. Since there is evidence that metastatic cells behave in a phenotypically pliant manner, we hypothesize that progression to metastasis is driven by the emergence of phenotypic pliancy in cancer cells as a result of PcG mechanism dysregulation. We corroborate our hypothesis using single-cell RNA-sequencing data from metastatic cancers. We find that metastatic cancer cells are phenotypically pliant in the same manner as predicted by our model.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Kuang X, Guan G, Tang C, et al (2023)

MorphoSim: an efficient and scalable phase-field framework for accurately simulating multicellular morphologies.

NPJ systems biology and applications, 9(1):6.

The phase field model can accurately simulate the evolution of microstructures with complex morphologies, and it has been widely used for cell modeling in the last two decades. However, compared to other cellular models such as the coarse-grained model and the vertex model, its high computational cost caused by three-dimensional spatial discretization hampered its application and scalability, especially for multicellular organisms. Recently, we built a phase field model coupled with in vivo imaging data to accurately reconstruct the embryonic morphogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans from 1- to 8-cell stages. In this work, we propose an improved phase field model by using the stabilized numerical scheme and modified volume constriction. Then we present a scalable phase-field framework, MorphoSim, which is 100 times more efficient than the previous one and can simulate over 100 mechanically interacting cells. Finally, we demonstrate how MorphoSim can be successfully applied to reproduce the assembly, self-repairing, and dissociation of a synthetic artificial multicellular system - the synNotch system.

RevDate: 2023-02-22
CmpDate: 2023-02-22

Leptos KC, Chioccioli M, Furlan S, et al (2023)

Phototaxis of Chlamydomonas arises from a tuned adaptive photoresponse shared with multicellular Volvocine green algae.

Physical review. E, 107(1-1):014404.

A fundamental issue in biology is the nature of evolutionary transitions from unicellular to multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae are models for this transition, as they span from the unicellular biflagellate Chlamydomonas to multicellular species of Volvox with up to 50,000 Chlamydomonas-like cells on the surface of a spherical extracellular matrix. The mechanism of phototaxis in these species is of particular interest since they lack a nervous system and intercellular connections; steering is a consequence of the response of individual cells to light. Studies of Volvox and Gonium, a 16-cell organism with a plate-like structure, have shown that the flagellar response to changing illumination of the cellular photosensor is adaptive, with a recovery time tuned to the rotation period of the colony around its primary axis. Here, combining high-resolution studies of the flagellar photoresponse of micropipette-held Chlamydomonas with 3D tracking of freely swimming cells, we show that such tuning also underlies its phototaxis. A mathematical model is developed based on the rotations around an axis perpendicular to the flagellar beat plane that occur through the adaptive response to oscillating light levels as the organism spins. Exploiting a separation of timescales between the flagellar photoresponse and phototurning, we develop an equation of motion that accurately describes the observed photoalignment. In showing that the adaptive timescales in Volvocine algae are tuned to the organisms' rotational periods across three orders of magnitude in cell number, our results suggest a unified picture of phototaxis in green algae in which the asymmetry in torques that produce phototurns arise from the individual flagella of Chlamydomonas, the flagellated edges of Gonium, and the flagellated hemispheres of Volvox.

RevDate: 2023-02-15

Rusin LY (2023)

Evolution of homology: from archetype towards a holistic concept of cell type.

Journal of morphology [Epub ahead of print].

The concept of homology lies in the heart of comparative biological science. The distinction between homology as structure and analogy as function has shaped the evolutionary paradigm for a century and formed the axis of comparative anatomy and embryology, which accept the identity of structure as a ground measure of relatedness. The advent of single-cell genomics overturned the classical view of cell homology by establishing a backbone regulatory identity of cell types, the basic building blocks of tissues, organs and whole organisms. This discovery provided the first objective criteria to detect the relatedness of cells regardless of their structure, function or developmental origin, which showed that the cell is the most flexible unit of living matter and that many approaches of classical biology need to be revised to understand evolution and diversity at the cellular level. The emerging theory of cell types offers a mechanistic explanation to decouple cell identity from phenotype, essentially allowing for the divergence of evolutionarily related morphotypes beyond recognition, as well as to decouple the developmental cell lineage from cell type phylogeny. This article succinctly generalises the current progress and opinion in this field and formulates a more generalistic view of biological cell types as avatars, transient or terminal cell states deployed in a continuum of states by the developmental programme of one and the same omnipotent cell that is able to change or combine identities with distinct evolutionary histories or invent ad hoc identities which never existed in evolution or development. It highlights how the new logic grounded in the regulatory nature of cellular evolution transforms the interpretation of cell type identity, its evolutionary and ontogenetic transitions, as well as elucidates the mechanisms of morphogenesis and body plan evolution, particularly in animals (Metazoa). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-14

Cont A, Vermeil J, A Persat (2023)

Material Substrate Physical Properties Control Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Architecture.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

In the wild, bacteria are most frequently found in the form of multicellular structures called biofilms. Biofilms grow at the surface of abiotic and living materials with wide-ranging mechanical properties. The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa forms biofilms on indwelling medical devices and on soft tissues, including burn wounds and the airway mucosa. Despite the critical role of substrates in the foundation of biofilms, we still lack a clear understanding of how material mechanics regulate their architecture and the physiology of resident bacteria. Here, we demonstrate that physical properties of hydrogel material substrates define P. aeruginosa biofilm architecture. We show that hydrogel mesh size regulates twitching motility, a surface exploration mechanism priming biofilms, ultimately controlling the organization of single cells in the multicellular community. The resulting architectural transitions increase P. aeruginosa's tolerance to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic. In addition, mechanical regulation of twitching motility affects P. aeruginosa clonal lineages, so that biofilms are more mixed on relatively denser materials. Our results thereby establish material properties as a factor that dramatically affects biofilm architecture, antibiotic efficacy, and evolution of the resident population. IMPORTANCE The biofilm lifestyle is the most widespread survival strategy in the bacterial world. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms cause chronic infections and are highly recalcitrant to antimicrobials. The genetic requirements allowing P. aeruginosa to grow into biofilms are known, but not the physical stimuli that regulate their formation. Despite colonizing biological tissues, investigations of biofilms on soft materials are limited. In this work, we show that biofilms take unexpected forms when growing on soft substrates. The physical properties of the material shape P. aeruginosa biofilms by regulating surface-specific twitching motility. Physical control of biofilm morphogenesis ultimately influences the resilience of biofilms to antimicrobials, linking physical environment with tolerance to treatment. Altogether, our work established that the physical properties of a surface are a critical environmental regulator of biofilm biogenesis and evolution.

RevDate: 2023-02-15
CmpDate: 2023-02-15

Godfroy O, Zheng M, Yao H, et al (2023)

The baseless mutant links protein phosphatase 2A with basal cell identity in the brown alga Ectocarpus.

Development (Cambridge, England), 150(4):.

The first mitotic division of the initial cell is a key event in all multicellular organisms and is associated with the establishment of major developmental axes and cell fates. The brown alga Ectocarpus has a haploid-diploid life cycle that involves the development of two multicellular generations: the sporophyte and the gametophyte. Each generation deploys a distinct developmental programme autonomously from an initial cell, the first cell division of which sets up the future body pattern. Here, we show that mutations in the BASELESS (BAS) gene result in multiple cellular defects during the first cell division and subsequent failure to produce basal structures during both generations. BAS encodes a type B″ regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and transcriptomic analysis identified potential effector genes that may be involved in determining basal cell fate. The bas mutant phenotype is very similar to that observed in distag (dis) mutants, which lack a functional Tubulin-binding co-factor Cd1 (TBCCd1) protein, indicating that TBCCd1 and PP2A are two essential components of the cellular machinery that regulates the first cell division and mediates basal cell fate determination.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Brown Y, Hua S, PS Tanwar (2023)

Extracellular Matrix in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer: Advances in Understanding of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Biology.

Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology pii:S0945-053X(23)00014-8 [Epub ahead of print].

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is notoriously known as the "silent killer" of post-menopausal women as it has an insidious progression and is the deadliest gynaecological cancer. Although a dual origin of HGSOC is now widely accepted, there is growing evidence that most cases of HGSOC originate from the fallopian tube epithelium. In this review, we will address the fallopian tube origin and involvement of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in HGSOC development. There is limited research on the role of ECM at the earliest stages of HGSOC carcinogenesis. Here we aim to synthesise current understanding on the contribution of ECM to each stage of HGSOC development and progression, beginning at serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC) precursor lesions and proceeding across key events including dissemination of tumourigenic fallopian tube epithelial cells to the ovary, survival of these cells in peritoneal fluid as multicellular aggregates, and colonisation of the ovary. Likewise, as part of the metastatic series of events, serous ovarian cancer cells survive travel in peritoneal fluid, attach to, migrate across the mesothelium and invade into the sub-mesothelial matrix of secondary sites in the peritoneal cavity. Halting cancer at the pre-metastatic stage and finding ways to stop the dissemination of ovarian cancer cells from the primary site is critical for improving patient survival. The development of drug resistance also contributes to poor survival statistics in HGSOC. In this review, we provide an update on the involvement of the ECM in metastasis and drug resistance in HGSOC. Interplay between different cell-types, growth factor gradients as well as evolving ECM composition and organisation, creates microenvironment conditions that promote metastatic progression and drug resistance of ovarian cancer cells. By understanding ECM involvement in the carcinogenesis and chemoresistance of HGSOC, this may prompt ideas for further research for developing new early diagnostic tests and therapeutic strategies for HGSOC with the end goal of improving patient health outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Mitchell RL, Kenrick P, Pressel S, et al (2023)

Terrestrial surface stabilisation by modern analogues of the earliest land plants: A multi-dimensional imaging study.

Geobiology [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of the first plant-based terrestrial ecosystems in the early Palaeozoic had a profound effect on the development of soils, the architecture of sedimentary systems, and shifts in global biogeochemical cycles. In part, this was due to the evolution of complex below-ground (root-like) anchorage systems in plants, which expanded and promoted plant-mineral interactions, weathering, and resulting surface sediment stabilisation. However, little is understood about how these micro-scale processes occurred, because of a lack of in situ plant fossils in sedimentary rocks/palaeosols that exhibit these interactions. Some modern plants (e.g., liverworts, mosses, lycophytes) share key features with the earliest land plants; these include uni- or multicellular rhizoid-like anchorage systems or simple roots, and the ability to develop below-ground networks through prostrate axes, and intimate associations with fungi, making them suitable analogues. Here, we investigated cryptogamic ground covers in Iceland and New Zealand to better understand these interactions, and how they initiate the sediment stabilisation process. We employed multi-dimensional and multi-scale imaging, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Computed Tomography (μCT) of non-vascular liverworts (Haplomitriopsida and complex thalloids) and mosses, with additional imaging of vascular lycopods. We find that plants interact with their substrate in multiple ways, including: (1) through the development of extensive surface coverings as mats; (2) entrapment of sediment grains within and between networks of rhizoids; (3) grain entwining and adherence by rhizoids, through mucilage secretions, biofilm-like envelopment of thalli on surface grains; and (4) through grain entrapment within upright 'leafy' structures. Significantly, μCT imaging allows us to ascertain that rhizoids are the main method for entrapment and stabilisation of soil grains in the thalloid liverworts. This information provides us with details of how the earliest land plants may have significantly influenced early Palaeozoic sedimentary system architectures, promoted in situ weathering and proto-soil development, and how these interactions diversified over time with the evolution of new plant organ systems. Further, this study highlights the importance of cryptogamic organisms in the early stages of sediment stabilisation and soil formation today.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Feng X, Zheng J, Irisarri I, et al (2023)

Chromosome-level genomes of multicellular algal sisters to land plants illuminate signaling network evolution.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.31.526407.

UNLABELLED: The filamentous and unicellular algae of the class Zygnematophyceae are the closest algal relatives of land plants. Inferring the properties of the last common ancestor shared by these algae and land plants allows us to identify decisive traits that enabled the conquest of land by plants. We sequenced four genomes of filamentous Zygnematophyceae (three strains of Zygnema circumcarinatum and one strain of Z. cylindricum) and generated chromosome-scale assemblies for all strains of the emerging model system Z. circumcarinatum . Comparative genomic analyses reveal expanded genes for signaling cascades, environmental response, and intracellular trafficking that we associate with multicellularity. Gene family analyses suggest that Zygnematophyceae share all the major enzymes with land plants for cell wall polysaccharide synthesis, degradation, and modifications; most of the enzymes for cell wall innovations, especially for polysaccharide backbone synthesis, were gained more than 700 million years ago. In Zygnematophyceae, these enzyme families expanded, forming co-expressed modules. Transcriptomic profiling of over 19 growth conditions combined with co-expression network analyses uncover cohorts of genes that unite environmental signaling with multicellular developmental programs. Our data shed light on a molecular chassis that balances environmental response and growth modulation across more than 600 million years of streptophyte evolution.

HIGHLIGHTS: Genomes of four filamentous algae (Zygnema) sisters to land plants Zygnema are rich in genes for multicellular growth and environmental acclimation: signaling, lipid modification, and transport Cell wall innovations: diversification of hexameric rosette cellulose synthase in ZygnematophyceaeCo-expression networks reveal conserved modules for balancing growth and acclimation.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Debit A, Charton F, Pierre-Elies P, et al (2023)

Differential expression patterns of long noncoding RNAs in a pleiomorphic diatom and relation to hyposalinity.

Scientific reports, 13(1):2440.

Long non-coding (lnc)RNAs have been shown to have central roles in stress responses, cell identity and developmental processes in multicellular organisms as well as in unicellular fungi. Previous works have shown the occurrence of lncRNAs in diatoms, namely in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, many of which being expressed under specific stress conditions. Interestingly, P. tricornutum is the only known diatom that has a demonstrated morphological plasticity, occurring in three distinct morphotypes: fusiform, triradiate and oval. Although the morphotypes are interchangeable, the fusiform is the dominant one while both the triradiate and the oval forms are less common, the latter often being associated with stress conditions such as low salinity and solid culture media, amongst others. Nonetheless, the molecular basis underpinning morphotype identity in P. tricornutum remains elusive. Using twelve previously published transcriptomic datasets originating from the three morphotypes of P. tricornutum, we sought to investigate the expression patterns of lncRNAs (lincRNAs and NATs) in these distinct morphotypes, using pairwise comparisons, in order to explore the putative involvement of these noncoding molecules in morphotype identity. We found that differentially expressed lncRNAs cluster according to morphotype, indicating that lncRNAs are not randomly expressed, but rather seem to provide a specific (noncoding) transcriptomic signature of the morphotype. We also present evidence to suggest that the major differences in DE genes (both noncoding and coding) between the stress related oval morphotype and the most common fusiform morphotype could be due, to a large extent, to the hyposaline culture conditions rather than to the morphotype itself. However, several lncRNAs associated to each one of the three morphotypes were identified, which could have a potential role in morphotype (or cell) identity in P. tricornutum, similar to what has been found in both animals and plant development.

RevDate: 2023-02-10

Yang Q, Sharif Y, Zhuang Y, et al (2022)

Genome-wide identification of germin-like proteins in peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) and expression analysis under different abiotic stresses.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:1044144.

Peanut is an important food and feed crop, providing oil and protein nutrients. Germins and germin-like proteins (GLPs) are ubiquitously present in plants playing numerous roles in defense, growth and development, and different signaling pathways. However, the GLP members have not been comprehensively studied in peanut at the genome-wide scale. We carried out a genome-wide identification of the GLP genes in peanut genome. GLP members were identified comprehensively, and gene structure, genomic positions, motifs/domains distribution patterns, and phylogenetic history were studied in detail. Promoter Cis-elements, gene duplication, collinearity, miRNAs, protein-protein interactions, and expression were determined. A total of 84 GLPs (AhGLPs) were found in the genome of cultivated peanut. These GLP genes were clustered into six groups. Segmental duplication events played a key role in the evolution of AhGLPs, and purifying selection pressure was underlying the duplication process. Most AhGLPs possessed a well-maintained gene structure and motif organization within the same group. The promoter regions of AhGLPs contained several key cis-elements responsive to 'phytohormones', 'growth and development', defense, and 'light induction'. Seven microRNAs (miRNAs) from six families were found targeting 25 AhGLPs. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that AhGLPs are highly enriched in nutrient reservoir activity, aleurone grain, external encapsulating structure, multicellular organismal reproductive process, and response to acid chemicals, indicating their important biological roles. AhGLP14, AhGLP38, AhGLP54, and AhGLP76 were expressed in most tissues, while AhGLP26, AhGLP29, and AhGLP62 showed abundant expression in the pericarp. AhGLP7, AhGLP20, and AhGLP21, etc., showed specifically high expression in embryo, while AhGLP12, AhGLP18, AhGLP40, AhGLP78, and AhGLP82 were highly expressed under different hormones, water, and temperature stress. The qRT-PCR results were in accordance with the transcriptome expression data. In short, these findings provided a foundation for future functional investigations on the AhGLPs for peanut breeding programs.

RevDate: 2023-02-10
CmpDate: 2023-02-10

Zhang X, Chen S, Zhao Z, et al (2023)

Investigation of B-atp6-orfH79 distributing in Chinese populations of Oryza rufipogon and analysis of its chimeric structure.

BMC plant biology, 23(1):81.

BACKGROUND: The cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice is caused by chimeric mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that is maternally inherited in the majority of multicellular organisms. Wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) has been regarded as the ancestral progenitor of Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.). To investigate the distribution of original CMS source, and explore the origin of gametophytic CMS gene, a total of 427 individuals with seventeen representative populations of O. rufipogon were collected in from Dongxiang of Jiangxi Province to Sanya of Hainan Province, China, for the PCR amplification of atp6, orfH79 and B-atp6-orfH79, respectively.

RESULTS: The B-atp6-orfH79 and its variants (B-atp6-GSV) were detected in five among seventeen populations (i.e. HK, GZ, PS, TL and YJ) through PCR amplification, which could be divided into three haplotypes, i.e., BH1, BH2, and BH3. The BH2 haplotype was identical to B-atp6-orfH79, while the BH1 and BH3 were the novel haplotypes of B-atp6-GSV. Combined with the high-homology sequences in GenBank, a total of eighteen haplotypes have been revealed, only with ten haplotypes in orfH79 and its variants (GSV) that belong to three species (i.e. O. rufipogon, Oryza nivara and Oryza sativa). Enough haplotypes clearly demonstrated the uniform structural characteristics of the B-atp6-orfH79 as follows: except for the conserved sequence (671 bp) composed of B-atp6 (619 bp) and the downstream followed the B-atp6 (52 bp, DS), and GSV sequence, a rich variable sequence (VS, 176 bp) lies between the DS and GSV with five insertion or deletion and more than 30 single nucleotide polymorphism. Maximum likelihood analysis showed that eighteen haplotypes formed three clades with high support rate. The hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated the occurrence of variation among all populations (FST = 1; P < 0.001), which implied that the chimeric structure occurred independently. Three haplotypes (i.e., H1, H2 and H3) were detected by the primer of orfH79, which were identical to the GVS in B-atp6-GVS structure, respectively. All seventeen haplotypes of the orfH79, belonged to six species based on our results and the existing references. Seven existed single nucleotide polymorphism in GSV section can be translated into eleven various amino acid sequences.

CONCLUSIONS: Generally, this study, indicating that orfH79 was always accompanied by the B-atp6, not only provide two original CMS sources for rice breeding, but also confirm the uniform structure of B-atp-orfH79, which contribute to revealing the origin of rice gametophytic CMS genes, and the reason about frequent recombination of mitochondrial DNA.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Liu J, Xing WY, Liu B, et al (2023)

Three-dimensional coordination of cell-division site positioning in a filamentous cyanobacterium.

PNAS nexus, 2(2):pgac307.

Bacterial cells mostly divide symmetrically. In the filamentous, multicellular cyanobacterium Anabaena, cell-division planes are aligned vertically relative to the long axis of every single cell. This observation suggests that both the placement and the angle of the division planes are controlled in every single cell so that the filament can grow in one single dimension along the long axis. In this study, we showed that inactivation of patU3 encoding a cell-division inhibitor led cells to divide asymmetrically in two dimensions leading to twisted filaments, indicating that PatU3 controls not only the position but also the angle of the division planes. Deletion of the conserved minC and minD genes affected cell division symmetry, but not the angle of the division planes. Remarkably, when both patU3 and minCD were inactivated, cells could divide asymmetrically over 360° angles in three dimensions across different cellular sections, producing not only cells with irregular sizes, but also branching filaments. This study demonstrated the existence of a system operating in a three-dimensional manner for the control of cell division in Anabaena. Such a regulation may have been evolved to accommodate multicellular behaviors, a hallmark in evolution.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Piccinini G, L Milani (2023)

Germline-related molecular phenotype in Metazoa: conservation and innovation highlighted by comparative transcriptomics.

EvoDevo, 14(1):2.

BACKGROUND: In Metazoa, the germline represents the cell lineage devoted to the transmission of genetic heredity across generations. Its functions intuitively evoke the crucial roles that it plays in organism development and species evolution, and its establishment is tightly tied to animal multicellularity itself. The molecular toolkit expressed in germ cells has a high degree of conservation between species, and it also shares many components with the molecular phenotype of some animal totipotent cell lineages, like planarian neoblasts and sponge archaeocytes. The present study stems from these observations and represents a transcriptome-wide comparative analysis between germline-related samples of 9 animal species (7 phyla), comprehending also totipotent lineages classically considered somatic.

RESULTS: Differential expression analyses were performed for each species between germline-related and control somatic tissues. We then compared the different germline-related transcriptional profiles across the species without the need for an a priori set of genes. Through a phylostratigraphic analysis, we observed that the proportion of phylum- and Metazoa-specific genes among germline-related upregulated transcripts was lower than expected by chance for almost all species. Moreover, homologous genes related to proper DNA replication resulted the most common when comparing the considered species, while the regulation of transcription and post-transcriptional mechanisms appeared more variable, showing shared upregulated functions and domains, but very few homologous whole-length sequences.

CONCLUSIONS: Our wide-scale comparative analysis mostly confirmed previous molecular characterizations of specific germline-related lineages. Additionally, we observed a consistent signal throughout the whole data set, therefore comprehending both canonically defined germline samples (germ cells), and totipotent cell lineages classically considered somatic (neoblasts and archaeocytes). The phylostratigraphic analysis supported the less probable involvement of novel molecular factors in the germline-related transcriptional phenotype and highlighted the early origin of such cell programming and its conservation throughout evolution. Moreover, the fact that the mostly shared molecular factors were involved in DNA replication and repair suggests how fidelity in genetic material inheritance is a strong and conserved driver of germline-related molecular phenotype, while transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations appear differently tuned among the lineages.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-02-01

Pandey T, DK Ma (2022)

Stress-Induced Phenoptosis: Mechanistic Insights and Evolutionary Implications.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(12):1504-1511.

Evolution by natural selection results in biological traits that enable organismic adaptation and survival under various stressful environments. External stresses can be sometimes too severe to overcome, leading to organismic death either because of failure in adapting to such stress, or alternatively, through a regulated form of organismic death (phenoptosis). While regulated cell deaths, including apoptosis, have been extensively studied, little is known about the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phenoptosis and its evolutionary significance for multicellular organisms. In this article, we review documented phenomena and mechanistic evidence emerging from studies of stress-induced phenoptosis in the multicellular organism C. elegans and stress-induced deaths at cellular levels in organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals, focusing on abiotic and pathogen stresses. Genes and signaling pathways involved in phenoptosis appear to promote organismic death during severe stress and aging, while conferring fitness and immune defense during mild stress and early life, consistent with their antagonistic pleiotropy actions. As cell apoptosis during development can shape tissues and organs, stress-induced phenoptosis may also contribute to possible benefits at the population level, through mechanisms including kin selection, abortive infection, and soma-to-germline resource allocation. Current models can generate experimentally testable predictions and conceptual frameworks with implications for understanding both stress-induced phenoptosis and natural aging.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Klure DM, Greenhalgh R, Parchman TL, et al (2023)

Hybridization in the absence of an ecotone favors hybrid success in woodrats (Neotoma spp.).

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:7008940 [Epub ahead of print].

Hybridization is a common process that has broadly impacted the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes; however, how ecological factors influence this process remains poorly understood. Here, we report the findings of a 3-year recapture study of the Bryant's woodrat (Neotoma bryanti) and desert woodrat (N. lepida), two species that hybridize within a creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) shrubland in Whitewater, CA, USA. We used a genotype-by-sequencing approach to characterize the ancestry distribution of individuals across this hybrid zone coupled with Cormack-Jolly-Seber modeling to describe demography. We identified a high frequency of hybridization at this site with ~40% of individuals possessing admixed ancestry, which is the result of multigenerational backcrossing and advanced hybrid-hybrid crossing. F1, F2 and advanced generation hybrids had apparent survival rates similar to parental N. bryanti, while parental and backcross N. lepida had lower apparent survival rates and were far less abundant. Compared to bimodal hybrid zones where hybrids are often rare and selected against, we find that hybrids at Whitewater are common and have comparable survival to the dominant parental species, N. bryanti. The frequency of hybridization at Whitewater is therefore likely limited by the abundance of the less common parental species, N. lepida, rather than selection against hybrids.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Shekhar S, Guo H, Colin SP, et al (2023)

Cooperative hydrodynamics accompany multicellular-like colonial organization in the unicellular ciliate Stentor.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.10.523506.

Evolution of multicellularity from early unicellular ancestors is arguably one of the most important transitions since the origin of life [1,2] . Multicellularity is often associated with higher nutrient uptake [3] , better defense against predation, cell specialization and better division of labor [4] . While many single-celled organisms exhibit both solitary and colonial existence [3,5,6] , the organizing principles governing the transition and the benefits endowed are less clear. Using the suspension-feeding unicellular protist Stentor coeruleus , we show that hydrodynamic coupling between proximal neighbors results in faster feeding flows that depend on the separation between individuals. Moreover, we find that the accrued benefits in feeding current enhancement are typically asymmetricâ€" individuals with slower solitary currents gain more from partnering than those with faster currents. We find that colony-formation is ephemeral in Stentor and individuals in colonies are highly dynamic unlike other colony-forming organisms like Volvox carteri [3] . Our results demonstrate benefits endowed by the colonial organization in a simple unicellular organism and can potentially provide fundamental insights into the selective forces favoring early evolution of multicellular organization.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Pineau RM, Demory D, Libby E, et al (2023)

Emergence and maintenance of stable coexistence during a long-term multicellular evolution experiment.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.19.524803.

The evolution of multicellular life spurred evolutionary radiations, fundamentally changing many of Earth’s ecosystems. Yet little is known about how early steps in the evolution of multicellularity transform eco-evolutionary dynamics, e.g., via niche expansion processes that may facilitate coexistence. Using long-term experimental evolution in the snowflake yeast model system, we show that the evolution of multicellularity drove niche partitioning and the adaptive divergence of two distinct, specialized lineages from a single multicellular ancestor. Over 715 daily transfers, snowflake yeast were subject to selection for rapid growth in rich media, followed by selection favoring larger group size. Both small and large cluster-forming lineages evolved from a monomorphic ancestor, coexisting for over ~4,300 generations. These small and large sized snowflake yeast lineages specialized on divergent aspects of a trade-off between growth rate and survival, mirroring predictions from ecological theory. Through modeling and experimentation, we demonstrate that coexistence is maintained by a trade-off between organismal size and competitiveness for dissolved oxygen. Taken together, this work shows how the evolution of a new level of biological individuality can rapidly drive adaptive diversification and the expansion of a nascent multicellular niche, one of the most historically-impactful emergent properties of this evolutionary transition.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Moriel A, Wolfenson H, E Bouchbinder (2023)

Characteristic energy scales of active fluctuations in adherent cells.

Biophysical reports, 3(1):100099.

Cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion play important roles in a wide variety of physiological processes, from the single-cell level to the large scale, multicellular organization of tissues. Cells actively apply forces to their environment, either extracellular matrix or neighboring cells, as well as sense its biophysical properties. The fluctuations associated with these active processes occur on an energy scale much larger than that of ordinary thermal equilibrium fluctuations, yet their statistical properties and characteristic scales are not fully understood. Here, we compare measurements of the energy scale of active cellular fluctuations-an effective cellular temperature-in four different biophysical settings, involving both single-cell and cell-aggregate experiments under various control conditions, different cell types, and various biophysical observables. The results indicate that a similar energy scale of active fluctuations might characterize the same cell type in different settings, though it may vary among different cell types, being approximately six to eight orders of magnitude larger than the ordinary thermal energy at room temperature. These findings call for extracting the energy scale of active fluctuations over a broader range of cell types, experimental settings, and biophysical observables and for understanding the biophysical origin and significance of such cellular energy scales.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Trivedi DD, Dalai SK, SR Bakshi (2023)

The Mystery of Cancer Resistance: A Revelation Within Nature.

Journal of molecular evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Cancer, a disease due to uncontrolled cell proliferation is as ancient as multicellular organisms. A 255-million-years-old fossilized forerunner mammal gorgonopsian is probably the oldest evidence of cancer, to date. Cancer seems to have evolved by adapting to the microenvironment occupied by immune sentinel, modulating the cellular behavior from cytotoxic to regulatory, acquiring resistance to chemotherapy and surviving hypoxia. The interaction of genes with environmental carcinogens is central to cancer onset, seen as a spectrum of cancer susceptibility among human population. Cancer occurs in life forms other than human also, although their exposure to environmental carcinogens can be different. Role of genetic etiology in cancer in multiple species can be interesting with regard to not only cancer susceptibility, but also genetic conservation and adaptation in speciation. The widely used model organisms for cancer research are mouse and rat which are short-lived and reproduce rapidly. Research in these cancer prone animal models has been valuable as these have led to cancer therapy. However, another rewarding area of cancer research can be the cancer-resistant animal species. The Peto's paradox and G-value paradox are evident when natural cancer resistance is observed in large mammals, like elephant and whale, small rodents viz. Naked Mole Rat and Blind Mole Rat, and Bat. The cancer resistance remains to be explored in other small or large and long-living animals like giraffe, camel, rhinoceros, water buffalo, Indian bison, Shire horse, polar bear, manatee, elephant seal, walrus, hippopotamus, turtle and tortoise, sloth, and squirrel. Indeed, understanding the molecular mechanisms of avoiding neoplastic transformation across various life forms can be potentially having translational value for human cancer management. Adapted and Modified from (Hanahan and Weinberg 2011).

RevDate: 2023-01-26
CmpDate: 2023-01-26

Forterre P, M Gaïa (2022)

[Viruses and the evolution of modern eukaryotic cells].

Medecine sciences : M/S, 38(12):990-998.

It is now well accepted that viruses have played an important role in the evolution of modern eukaryotes. In this review, we suggest that interactions between ancient eukaryoviruses and proto-eukaryotes also played a major role in eukaryogenesis. We discuss phylogenetic analyses that highlight the viral origin of several key proteins in the molecular biology of eukaryotes. We also discuss recent observations that, by analogy, could suggest a viral origin of the cellular nucleus. Finally, we hypothesize that mechanisms of cell differentiation in multicellular organisms might have originated from mechanisms implemented by viruses to transform infected cells into virocells.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Tuohinto K, DiMaio TA, Kiss EA, et al (2023)

KSHV infection of endothelial precursor cells with lymphatic characteristics as a novel model for translational Kaposi's sarcoma studies.

PLoS pathogens, 19(1):e1010753 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-22-01283 [Epub ahead of print].

Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a hyperplasia consisting of enlarged malformed vasculature and spindle-shaped cells, the main proliferative component of KS. While spindle cells express markers of lymphatic and blood endothelium, the origin of spindle cells is unknown. Endothelial precursor cells have been proposed as the source of spindle cells. We previously identified two types of circulating endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs), ones that expressed markers of blood endothelium and ones that expressed markers of lymphatic endothelium. Here we examined both blood and lymphatic ECFCs infected with KSHV. Lymphatic ECFCs are significantly more susceptible to KSHV infection than the blood ECFCs and maintain the viral episomes during passage in culture while the blood ECFCs lose the viral episome. Only the KSHV-infected lymphatic ECFCs (K-ECFCLY) grew to small multicellular colonies in soft agar whereas the infected blood ECFCs and all uninfected ECFCs failed to proliferate. The K-ECFCLYs express high levels of SOX18, which supported the maintenance of high copy number of KSHV genomes. When implanted subcutaneously into NSG mice, the K-ECFCLYs persisted in vivo and recapitulated the phenotype of KS tumor cells with high number of viral genome copies and spindling morphology. These spindle cell hallmarks were significantly reduced when mice were treated with SOX18 inhibitor, SM4. These data suggest that KSHV-infected lymphatic ECFCs can be utilized as a KSHV infection model for in vivo translational studies to test novel inhibitors representing potential treatment modalities for KS.

RevDate: 2023-01-24
CmpDate: 2023-01-24

McShea DW (2023)

Four reasons for scepticism about a human major transition in social individuality.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210403.

The 'major transitions in evolution' are mainly about the rise of hierarchy, new individuals arising at ever higher levels of nestedness, in particular the eukaryotic cell arising from prokaryotes, multicellular individuals from solitary protists and individuated societies from multicellular individuals. Some lists include human societies as a major transition, but based on a comparison with the non-human transitions, there are reasons for scepticism. (i) The foundation of the major transitions is hierarchy, but the cross-cutting interactions in human societies undermine hierarchical structure. (ii) Natural selection operates in three modes-stability, growth and reproductive success-and only the third produces the complex adaptations seen in fully individuated higher levels. But human societies probably evolve mainly in the stability and growth modes. (iii) Highly individuated entities are marked by division of labour and commitment to morphological differentiation, but in humans differentiation is mostly behavioural and mostly reversible. (iv) As higher-level individuals arise, selection drains complexity, drains parts, from lower-level individuals. But there is little evidence of a drain in humans. In sum, a comparison with the other transitions gives reasons to doubt that human social individuation has proceeded very far, or if it has, to doubt that it is a transition of the same sort. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Townsend C, Ferraro JV, Habecker H, et al (2023)

Human cooperation and evolutionary transitions in individuality.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210414.

A major evolutionary transition in individuality involves the formation of a cooperative group and the transformation of that group into an evolutionary entity. Human cooperation shares principles with those of multicellular organisms that have undergone transitions in individuality: division of labour, communication, and fitness interdependence. After the split from the last common ancestor of hominoids, early hominins adapted to an increasingly terrestrial niche for several million years. We posit that new challenges in this niche set in motion a positive feedback loop in selection pressure for cooperation that ratcheted coevolutionary changes in sociality, communication, brains, cognition, kin relations and technology, eventually resulting in egalitarian societies with suppressed competition and rapid cumulative culture. The increasing pace of information innovation and transmission became a key aspect of the evolutionary niche that enabled humans to become formidable cooperators with explosive population growth, the ability to cooperate and compete in groups of millions, and emergent social norms, e.g. private property. Despite considerable fitness interdependence, the rise of private property, in concert with population explosion and socioeconomic inequality, subverts potential transition of human groups into evolutionary entities due to resurgence of latent competition and conflict. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Davison DR, RE Michod (2023)

Steps to individuality in biology and culture.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210407.

Did human culture arise through an evolutionary transition in individuality (ETI)? To address this question, we examine the steps of biological ETIs to see how they could apply to the evolution of human culture. For concreteness, we illustrate the ETI stages using a well-studied example, the evolution of multicellularity in the volvocine algae. We then consider how those stages could apply to a cultural transition involving integrated groups of cultural traditions and the hominins that create and transmit traditions. We focus primarily on the early Pleistocene and examine hominin carnivory and the cultural change from Oldowan to Acheulean technology. We use Pan behaviour as an outgroup comparison. We summarize the important similarities and differences we find between ETI stages in the biological and cultural realms. As we are not cultural anthropologists, we may overlook or be mistaken in the processes we associate with each step. We hope that by clearly describing these steps to individuality and illustrating them with cultural principles and processes, other researchers may build upon our initial exercise. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that human culture has undergone an ETI beginning with a Pan-like ancestor, continuing during the Pleistocene, and culminating in modern human culture. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Cofre J, K Saalfeld (2022)

The first embryo, the origin of cancer and animal phylogeny. I. A presentation of the neoplastic process and its connection with cell fusion and germline formation.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:1067248.

The decisive role of Embryology in understanding the evolution of animal forms is founded and deeply rooted in the history of science. It is recognized that the emergence of multicellularity would not have been possible without the formation of the first embryo. We speculate that biophysical phenomena and the surrounding environment of the Ediacaran ocean were instrumental in co-opting a neoplastic functional module (NFM) within the nucleus of the first zygote. Thus, the neoplastic process, understood here as a biological phenomenon with profound embryologic implications, served as the evolutionary engine that favored the formation of the first embryo and cancerous diseases and allowed to coherently create and recreate body shapes in different animal groups during evolution. In this article, we provide a deep reflection on the Physics of the first embryogenesis and its contribution to the exaptation of additional NFM components, such as the extracellular matrix. Knowledge of NFM components, structure, dynamics, and origin advances our understanding of the numerous possibilities and different innovations that embryos have undergone to create animal forms via Neoplasia during evolutionary radiation. The developmental pathways of Neoplasia have their origins in ctenophores and were consolidated in mammals and other apical groups.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Zhou Y, Li G, Han G, et al (2023)

Developmental Programmed Cell Death Involved in Ontogenesis of Dictamnus dasycarpus Capitate Glandular Hairs.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(2):.

Plant glandular trichomes have received much attention due to their commercial and biological value. Recent studies have focused on the development of various glands in plants, suggesting that programmed cell death (PCD) may play an important role during the development of plant secretory structures. However, the development processes and cytological characteristics in different types of plant secretory structures differed significantly. This study aims to provide new data on the developmental PCD of the capitate glandular hairs in Dictamnus dasycarpus. Light, scanning, immunofluorescence labeling, and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the different developmental processes of the capitate glandular hairs from a cytological perspective. Morphologically, the capitate glandular hair originates from one initial epidermal cell and differentiates into a multicellular trichome characterized by two basal cells, two lines of stalk cells, and a multicellular head. It is also histochemically detected by essential oils. TUNEL-positive reactions identified nuclei with diffused fluorescence or an irregular figure by DAPI, and Evans blue staining showed that the head and stalk cells lost their viability. Ultrastructural evidence revealed the developmental process by two possible modes of PCD. Non-autolytic PCD was characterized by buckling cell walls and degenerated nuclei, mitochondria, plastids, multivesicular body (MVB), and end-expanded endoplasmic reticulum in the condensed cytoplasm, which were mainly observed in the head cells. The MVB was detected in the degraded vacuole, a degraded nucleus with condensed chromatin and diffused membrane, and eventual loss of the vacuole membrane integrity exhibited typical evidence of vacuole-mediated autolytic PCD in the stalk cells. Furthermore, protoplasm degeneration coupled with dark oil droplets and numerous micro-dark osmiophilic substances was observed during late stages. The secretion mode of essential oils is also described in this paper.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Sui Y, Huang C, Zhang R, et al (2018)

Astronomical time scale for the lower Doushantuo Formation of early Ediacaran, South China.

Science bulletin, 63(22):1485-1494.

Nearly 90% of the Ediacaran Period (635-541 Ma) of the Neoproterozoic is represented by the Doushantuo Formation (DST Fm) in South China. Its lowest Member I is a 3.7 m-thick cap carbonate deposited at the termination of the Cryogenian Marinoan glaciation. The DST Fm consists of alternating organic-rich black shale and thinly bedded dolostone, and it contains some of the oldest records of multi-cellular life and three pronounced negative carbon isotope excursions. The Jiulongwan (JLW) section is a well-studied reference section for these Ediacaran events. Spectral analysis of geochemical data through the lower DST Fm (22.3 m) shows 27 predominant ∼90 cm sedimentary cycles that correspond to 405-ka long eccentricity cycles. The power spectra of the 405-ka tuned Ca and Fe/Ti series show significant peaks at ∼1.2-Ma, 405-ka, 133-ka, 128-ka, 100-ka, 82-ka, ∼31-ka and 29-ka periods, respectively. A 11.16 Ma-long astronomical time scale has been constructed for the lower DST Fm and provide a duration of 1.6 Ma for the cap carbonate (Member I) based on the 405-ka long eccentricity cycle tuning. Using the U-Pb age of 635.2 ± 0.6 Ma for the volcanic ash bed at the Member I/II boundary, we proposed a 636.8 Ma age for the base of the DST Fm. These ages and astronomical timescale provide important new constraints on the subdivision of Ediacaran strata, and have implications for understanding the character of the first negative δ[13]C excursion (EN1). Orbital forcing may have been played an important role for the climate changes and the evolution of Ediacaran multi-cellular life and the carbon cycle variations.

RevDate: 2023-01-20
CmpDate: 2023-01-20

Römling U (2023)

Is biofilm formation intrinsic to the origin of life?.

Environmental microbiology, 25(1):26-39.

Biofilms are multicellular, often surface-associated, communities of autonomous cells. Their formation is the natural mode of growth of up to 80% of microorganisms living on this planet. Biofilms refractory towards antimicrobial agents and the actions of the immune system due to their tolerance against multiple environmental stresses. But how did biofilm formation arise? Here, I argue that the biofilm lifestyle has its foundation already in the fundamental, surface-triggered chemical reactions and energy preserving mechanisms that enabled the development of life on earth. Subsequently, prototypical biofilm formation has evolved and diversified concomitantly in composition, cell morphology and regulation with the expansion of prokaryotic organisms and their radiation by occupation of diverse ecological niches. This ancient origin of biofilm formation thus mirrors the harnessing environmental conditions that have been the rule rather than the exception in microbial life. The subsequent emergence of the association of microbes, including recent human pathogens, with higher organisms can be considered as the entry into a nutritional and largely stress-protecting heaven. Nevertheless, basic mechanisms of biofilm formation have surprisingly been conserved and refunctionalized to promote sustained survival in new environments.

RevDate: 2023-01-20
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Nozaki H, Mori F, Tanaka Y, et al (2023)

Cryopreservation of two species of the multicellular volvocine green algal genus Astrephomene.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):16.

BACKGROUND: Astrephomene is an interesting green algal genus that, together with Volvox, shows convergent evolution of spheroidal multicellular bodies with somatic cells of the colonial or multicellular volvocine lineage. A recent whole-genome analysis of A. gubernaculifera resolved the molecular-genetic basis of such convergent evolution, and two species of Astrephomene were described. However, maintenance of culture strains of Astrephomene requires rapid inoculation of living cultures, and cryopreserved culture strains have not been established in public culture collections.

RESULTS: To establish cryopreserved culture strains of two species of Astrephomene, conditions for cryopreservation of the two species were investigated using immature and mature vegetative colonies and two cryoprotectants: N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and hydroxyacetone (HA). Rates of cell survival of the A. gubernaculifera or A. perforata strain after two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen were compared between different concentrations (3 and 6%) of DMF and HA and two types of colonies: immature colonies (small colonies newly released from the parent) and mature colonies (large colonies just before daughter colony formation). The highest rate of survival [11 ± 13% (0.36-33%) by the most probable number (MPN) method] of A. gubernaculifera strain NIES-4017 (established in 2014) was obtained when culture samples of immature colonies were subjected to cryogenic treatment with 6% DMF. In contrast, culture samples of mature colonies subjected to 3% HA cryogenic treatment showed the highest "MPN survival" [5.5 ± 5.9% (0.12-12%)] in A. perforata. Using the optimized cryopreservation conditions for each species, survival after freezing in liquid nitrogen was examined for six other strains of A. gubernaculifera (established from 1962 to 1981) and another A. perforata strain maintained in the Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (MCC-NIES). We obtained ≥0.1% MPN survival of the A. perforata strain. However, only two of the six strains of A. gubernaculifera showed ≥0.1% MPN survival. By using the optimal cryopreserved conditions obtained for each species, five cryopreserved strains of two species of Astrephomene were established and deposited in the MCC-NIES.

CONCLUSIONS: The optimal cryopreservation conditions differed between the two species of Astrephomene. Cryopreservation of long-term-maintained strains of A. gubernaculifera may be difficult; further studies of cryopreservation of these strains are needed.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Muñoz-Gómez SA (2023)

Energetics and evolution of anaerobic microbial eukaryotes.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mitochondria and aerobic respiration have been suggested to be required for the evolution of eukaryotic cell complexity. Aerobic respiration is several times more energetically efficient than fermentation. Moreover, aerobic respiration occurs at internalized mitochondrial membranes that are not constrained by a sublinear scaling with cell volume. However, diverse and complex anaerobic eukaryotes (for example, free-living and parasitic unicellular, and even small multicellular, eukaryotes) that exclusively rely on fermentation for energy generation have evolved repeatedly from aerobic ancestors. How do fermenting eukaryotes maintain their cell volumes and complexity while relying on such a low energy-yielding process? Here I propose that reduced rates of ATP generation in fermenting versus respiring eukaryotes are compensated for by longer cell cycles that satisfy lifetime energy demands. A literature survey and growth efficiency calculations show that fermenting eukaryotes divide approximately four to six times slower than aerobically respiring counterparts with similar cell volumes. Although ecological advantages such as competition avoidance offset lower growth rates and yields in the short term, fermenting eukaryotes inevitably have fewer physiological and ecological possibilities, which ultimately constrain their long-term evolutionary trajectories.

RevDate: 2023-01-15

Barrenechea Angeles I, Romero-Martínez ML, Cavaliere M, et al (2023)

Encapsulated in sediments: eDNA deciphers the ecosystem history of one of the most polluted European marine sites.

Environment international, 172:107738 pii:S0160-4120(23)00011-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The Anthropocene is characterized by dramatic ecosystem changes driven by human activities. The impact of these activities can be assessed by different geochemical and paleontological proxies. However, each of these proxies provides only a fragmentary insight into the effects of anthropogenic impacts. It is highly challenging to reconstruct, with a holistic view, the state of the ecosystems from the preindustrial period to the present day, covering all biological components, from prokaryotes to multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we used sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) archives encompassing all trophic levels of biodiversity to reconstruct the two century-natural history in Bagnoli-Coroglio (Gulf of Pozzuoli, Tyrrhenian Sea), one of the most polluted marine-coastal sites in Europe. The site was characterized by seagrass meadows and high eukaryotic diversity until the beginning of the 20th century. Then, the ecosystem completely changed, with seagrasses and associated fauna as well as diverse groups of planktonic and benthic protists being replaced by low diversity biota dominated by dinophyceans and infaunal metazoan species. The sedaDNA analysis revealed a five-phase evolution of the area, where changes appear as the result of a multi-level cascade effect of impacts associated with industrial activities, urbanization, water circulation and land-use changes. The sedaDNA allowed to infer reference conditions that must be considered when restoration actions are to be implemented.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Kuzdzal-Fick JJ, Moreno A, Broersma CME, et al (2022)

From individual behaviors to collective outcomes: fruiting body formation in Dictyostelium as a group-level phenotype.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:6873149 [Epub ahead of print].

Collective phenotypes, which arise from the interactions among individuals, can be important for the evolution of higher levels of biological organization. However, how a group's composition determines its collective phenotype remains poorly understood. When starved, cells of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum cooperate to build a multicellular fruiting body, and the morphology of the fruiting body is likely advantageous to the surviving spores. We assessed how the number of strains, as well as their genetic and geographic relationships to one another, impact the group's morphology and productivity. We find that some strains consistently enhance or detract from the productivity of their groups, regardless of the identity of the other group members. We also detect extensive pairwise and higher-order genotype interactions, which collectively have a large influence on the group phenotype. Whereas previous work in Dictyostelium has focused almost exclusively on whether spore production is equitable when strains cooperate to form multicellular fruiting bodies, our results suggest a previously unrecognized impact of chimeric co-development on the group phenotype. Our results demonstrate how interactions among members of a group influence collective phenotypes and how group phenotypes might in turn impact selection on the individual.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Iyer J, Pillai S, Munguia-Lopez JG, et al (2023)

Salivary gland bioengineering - yesterday, today, tomorrow!.

Histology and histopathology pii:HH-18-580 [Epub ahead of print].

Salivary glands are specialized structures developed as an extensively compact, arborized design through classical embryogenesis, accompanied by a cascade of events channelized by numerous growth factors and genetic regulatory pathways. Salivary secretions maintain oral homeostasis and, when diminished in certain conditions, present as xerostomia or salivary hypofunction, adversely impacting the patient's quality of life. The current available treatments primarily aim at tackling the immediate symptoms providing temporary relief to the patient. Despite scientific efforts to develop permanent and effective solutions to restore salivation, a significant permanent treatment is yet to be established. Tissue engineering has proven as a promising remedial tool in several diseases, as well as in xerostomia, and aims to restore partial loss of organ function. Recapitulating the physiological cellular microenvironment to in vitro culture conditions is constantly evolving. Replicating the dynamic multicellular interactions, genetic pathways, and cytomorphogenic forces, as displayed during salivary gland development have experienced considerable barriers. Through this review, we endeavour to provide an outlook on the evolution of in vitro salivary gland research, highlighting the key bioengineering advances and the challenges faced with the current therapeutic strategies for salivary hypofunction, with an insight into our team's scientific contributions.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Gombos S, Miras M, Howe V, et al (2023)

A high-confidence Physcomitrium patens plasmodesmata proteome by iterative scoring and validation reveals diversification of cell wall proteins during evolution.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmodesmata (PD) facilitate movement of molecules between plant cells. Regulation of this movement is still not understood. PD are hard to study, being deeply embedded within cell walls and incorporating several membrane types. Thus, structure and protein composition of PD remain enigmatic. Previous studies of PD protein composition identified protein lists with few validations, making functional conclusions difficult. We developed a PD scoring approach in iteration with large-scale systematic localization, defining a high-confidence PD proteome of Physcomitrium patens (HC300). HC300, together with bona fide PD proteins from literature, were placed in PDDB. About 65% of proteins in HC300 were not previously PD-localized. Callose-degrading glycolyl hydrolase 17 family (GHL17) is an abundant protein family with representatives across evolutionary scale. Among GHL17s, we exclusively found members of one phylogenetic clade with PD localization and orthologs occur only in species with developed PD. Phylogenetic comparison was expanded to xyloglucan endotransglucosylases/hydrolases and Exordium-like proteins, which also diversified into PD-localized and non-PD-localized members on distinct phylogenetic clades. Our high-confidence PD proteome HC300 provides insights into diversification of large protein families. Iterative and systematic large-scale localization across plant species strengthens the reliability of HC300 as basis for exploring structure, function and evolution of this important organelle.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Wu X, Liu X, Zhang S, et al (2023)

Cell Division and Meristem Dynamics in Fern Gametophytes.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(1):.

One of the most important questions in all multicellular organisms is how to define and maintain different cell fates during continuous cell division and proliferation. Plant meristems provide a unique research system to address this fundamental question because meristems dynamically maintain themselves and sustain organogenesis through balancing cell division and cell differentiation. Different from the gametophytes of seed plants that depend on their sporophytes and lack meristems, the gametophytes of seed-free ferns develop different types of meristems (including apical cell-based meristems and multicellular apical and marginal meristems) to promote independent growth and proliferation during the sexual gametophyte phase. Recent studies combining confocal time-lapse imaging and computational image analysis reveal the cellular basis of the initiation and proliferation of different types of meristems in fern gametophytes, providing new insights into the evolution of meristems in land plants. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in understanding the cell growth dynamics in fern gametophytes and discuss both conserved and diversified mechanisms underlying meristem cell proliferation in seed-free vascular plants.

RevDate: 2023-01-10
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

von der Heyde B, A Hallmann (2022)

Cell Type-Specific Pherophorins of Volvox carteri Reveal Interplay of Both Cell Types in ECM Biosynthesis.

Cells, 12(1):.

The spheroidal green algae Volvox carteri serves as a model system to investigate the formation of a complex, multifunctional extracellular matrix (ECM) in a relatively simple, multicellular organism with cell differentiation. The V. carteri ECM is mainly composed of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) and there are diverse region-specific, anatomically distinct structures in the ECM. One large protein family with importance for ECM biosynthesis stands out: the pherophorins. The few pherophorins previously extracted from the ECM and characterized, were specifically expressed by somatic cells. However, the localization and function of most pherophorins is unknown. Here, we provide a phylogenetic analysis of 153 pherophorins of V. carteri and its unicellular relative Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Our analysis of cell type-specific mRNA expression of pherophorins in V. carteri revealed that, contrary to previous assumptions, only about half (52%) of the 102 investigated pherophorin-related genes show stronger expression in somatic cells, whereas about one-third (34%) of the genes show significant higher expression in reproductive cells (gonidia). We fused two pherophorin genes that are expressed by different cell types to yfp, stably expressed them in Volvox and studied the tagged proteins by live-cell imaging. In contrast to earlier biochemical approaches, this genetic approach also allows the in vivo analysis of non-extractable, covalently cross-linked ECM proteins. We demonstrate that the soma-specific pherophorin SSG185 is localized in the outermost ECM structures of the spheroid, the boundary zone and at the flagellar hillocks. SSG185:YFP is detectable as early as 1.5 h after completion of embryogenesis. It is then present for the rest of the life cycle. The gonidia-specific pherophorin PhG is localized in the gonidial cellular zone 1 ("gonidial vesicle") suggesting its involvement in the protection of gonidia and developing embryos until hatching. Even if somatic cells produce the main portion of the ECM of the spheroids, ECM components produced by gonidia are also required to cooperatively assemble the total ECM. Our results provide insights into the evolution of the pherophorin protein family and convey a more detailed picture of Volvox ECM synthesis.

RevDate: 2023-01-04
CmpDate: 2023-01-05

Chuai M, Serrano Nájera G, Serra M, et al (2023)

Reconstruction of distinct vertebrate gastrulation modes via modulation of key cell behaviors in the chick embryo.

Science advances, 9(1):eabn5429.

The morphology of gastrulation driving the internalization of the mesoderm and endoderm differs markedly among vertebrate species. It ranges from involution of epithelial sheets of cells through a circular blastopore in amphibians to ingression of mesenchymal cells through a primitive streak in amniotes. By targeting signaling pathways controlling critical cell behaviors in the chick embryo, we generated crescent- and ring-shaped mesendoderm territories in which cells can or cannot ingress. These alterations subvert the formation of the chick primitive streak into the gastrulation modes seen in amphibians, reptiles, and teleost fish. Our experimental manipulations are supported by a theoretical framework linking cellular behaviors to self-organized multicellular flows outlined in detail in the accompanying paper. Together, this suggests that the evolution of gastrulation movements is largely determined by changes in a few critical cell behaviors in the mesendoderm territory across different species and controlled by a relatively small number of signaling pathways.

RevDate: 2023-01-04

Dang CC, LS Vinh (2023)

Estimating amino acid substitution models for metazoan evolutionary studies.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Amino acid substitution models represent the substitution rates among amino acids during the evolution of protein sequences. The models are a prerequisite for maximum likelihood or Bayesian methods to analyse the phylogenetic relationships among species based on their protein sequences. Estimating amino acid substitution models requires large protein datasets and intensive computation. In this paper, we presented the estimation of both time-reversible model (Q.met) and time non-reversible model (NQ.met) for multicellular animals (Metazoa). Analyses showed that the Q.met and NQ.met models were significantly better than existing models in analysing metazoan protein sequences. Moreover, the time non-reversible model NQ.met enables us to reconstruct the rooted phylogenetic tree for Metazoa. We recommend researchers to employ the Q.met and NQ.met models in analysing metazoan protein sequences.

RevDate: 2023-01-01

Palmiero M, Cantarosso I, di Blasio L, et al (2023)

Collective directional migration drives the formation of heteroclonal cancer cell clusters.

Molecular oncology [Epub ahead of print].

Metastasisation occurs through the acquisition of invasive and survival capabilities that allow tumour cells to colonise distant sites. While the role of multicellular aggregates in cancer dissemination is acknowledged, the mechanisms that drive the formation of multi-clonal cell aggregates are not fully elucidated. Here we show that cancer cells of different tissue of origins can perform collective directional migration and can actively form heteroclonal aggregates in 3D, through a proliferation-independent mechanism. Coalescence of distant cell clusters is mediated by subcellular actin-rich protrusions and multicellular outgrowths that extend towards neighbouring aggregates. Coherently, perturbation of cytoskeletal dynamics impairs collective migration while myosin II activation is necessary for multicellular movements. We put forward the hypothesis that cluster attraction is mediated by secreted soluble factors. Such a hypothesis is consistent with the abrogation of aggregation by inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MEK/ERK, the chemoattracting activity of conditioned culture media and with a wide screening on secreted proteins. Our results present a novel collective migration model and shed light on the mechanisms of formation of heteroclonal aggregates in cancer.

RevDate: 2023-01-03
CmpDate: 2023-01-03

Lynch M, Trickovic B, CP Kempes (2022)

Evolutionary scaling of maximum growth rate with organism size.

Scientific reports, 12(1):22586.

Data from nearly 1000 species reveal the upper bound to rates of biomass production achievable by natural selection across the Tree of Life. For heterotrophs, maximum growth rates scale positively with organism size in bacteria but negatively in eukaryotes, whereas for phototrophs, the scaling is negligible for cyanobacteria and weakly negative for eukaryotes. These results have significant implications for understanding the bioenergetic consequences of the transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, and of the expansion of some groups of the latter into multicellularity. The magnitudes of the scaling coefficients for eukaryotes are significantly lower than expected under any proposed physical-constraint model. Supported by genomic, bioenergetic, and population-genetic data and theory, an alternative hypothesis for the observed negative scaling in eukaryotes postulates that growth-diminishing mutations with small effects passively accumulate with increasing organism size as a consequence of associated increases in the power of random genetic drift. In contrast, conditional on the structural and functional features of ribosomes, natural selection has been able to promote bacteria with the fastest possible growth rates, implying minimal conflicts with both bioenergetic constraints and random genetic drift. If this extension of the drift-barrier hypothesis is correct, the interpretations of comparative studies of biological traits that have traditionally ignored differences in population-genetic environments will require revisiting.

RevDate: 2022-12-26
CmpDate: 2022-12-26

Kozlov AP (2022)

The Theory of Carcino-Evo-Devo and Its Non-Trivial Predictions.

Genes, 13(12):.

To explain the sources of additional cell masses in the evolution of multicellular organisms, the theory of carcino-evo-devo, or evolution by tumor neofunctionalization, has been developed. The important demand for a new theory in experimental science is the capability to formulate non-trivial predictions which can be experimentally confirmed. Several non-trivial predictions were formulated using carcino-evo-devo theory, four of which are discussed in the present paper: (1) The number of cellular oncogenes should correspond to the number of cell types in the organism. The evolution of oncogenes, tumor suppressor and differentiation gene classes should proceed concurrently. (2) Evolutionarily new and evolving genes should be specifically expressed in tumors (TSEEN genes). (3) Human orthologs of fish TSEEN genes should acquire progressive functions connected with new cell types, tissues and organs. (4) Selection of tumors for new functions in the organism is possible. Evolutionarily novel organs should recapitulate tumor features in their development. As shown in this paper, these predictions have been confirmed by the laboratory of the author. Thus, we have shown that carcino-evo-devo theory has predictive power, fulfilling a fundamental requirement for a new theory.

RevDate: 2022-12-30
CmpDate: 2022-12-27

Bowman JL (2022)

The origin of a land flora.

Nature plants, 8(12):1352-1369.

The origin of a land flora fundamentally shifted the course of evolution of life on earth, facilitating terrestrialization of other eukaryotic lineages and altering the planet's geology, from changing atmospheric and hydrological cycles to transforming continental erosion processes. Despite algal lineages inhabiting the terrestrial environment for a considerable preceding period, they failed to evolve complex multicellularity necessary to conquer the land. About 470 million years ago, one lineage of charophycean alga evolved complex multicellularity via developmental innovations in both haploid and diploid generations and became land plants (embryophytes), which rapidly diversified to dominate most terrestrial habitats. Genome sequences have provided unprecedented insights into the genetic and genomic bases for embryophyte origins, with some embryophyte-specific genes being associated with the evolution of key developmental or physiological attributes, such as meristems, rhizoids and the ability to form mycorrhizal associations. However, based on the fossil record, the evolution of the defining feature of embryophytes, the embryo, and consequently the sporangium that provided a reproductive advantage, may have been most critical in their rise to dominance. The long timeframe and singularity of a land flora were perhaps due to the stepwise assembly of a large constellation of genetic innovations required to conquer the terrestrial environment.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Baselga-Cervera B, Gettle N, M Travisano (2022)

Loss-of-heterozygosity facilitates a fitness valley crossing in experimentally evolved multicellular yeast.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1976):20212722.

Determining how adaptive possibilities do or do not become evolutionary realities is central to understanding the tempo and mode of evolutionary change. Some of the simplest evolutionary landscapes arise from underdominance at a single locus where the fitness valley consists of only one less-fit genotype. Despite their potential for rapid evolutionary change, few such examples have been investigated. We capitalized on an experimental system in which a significant evolutionary shift, the transition from uni-to-multicellularity, was observed in asexual diploid populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae experimentally selected for increased settling rates. The multicellular phenotype results from recessive single-locus mutations that undergo loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) events. By reconstructing the necessary heterozygous intermediate steps, we found that the evolution of multicellularity involves a decrease in size during the first steps. Heterozygous genotypes are 20% smaller in size than genotypes with functional alleles. Nevertheless, populations of heterozygotes give rise to multicellular genotypes more readily than unicellular genotypes with two functional alleles, by rapid LOH events. LOH drives adaptation that may enable rapid evolution in diploid yeast. Together these results show discordance between the phenotypic and genotypic multicellular transition. The evolutionary path to multicellularity, and the adaptive benefits of increased size, requires initial size reductions.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Liu J, Zhang W, He K, et al (2022)

Survival of the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense exposed to Earth's lower near space.

Science bulletin, 67(13):1335-1339.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Martinez P, Ustyantsev K, Biryukov M, et al (2022)

Genome assembly of the acoel flatworm Symsagittifera roscoffensis, a model for research on body plan evolution and photosymbiosis.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6948452 [Epub ahead of print].

Symsagittifera roscoffensis is a well-known member of the order Acoela that lives in symbiosis with the algae Tetraselmis convolutae during its adult stage. Its natural habitat is the eastern coast of the Atlantic, where at specific locations thousands of individuals can be found, mostly, lying in large pools on the surface of sand at low tide. As a member of the Acoela it has been thought as a proxy for ancestral bilaterian animals; however, its phylogenetic position remains still debated. In order to understand the basic structural characteristics of the acoel genome, we sequenced and assembled the genome of aposymbiotic species S. roscoffensis. The size of this genome was measured to be in range 910 - 940 Mb. Sequencing of the genome was performed using PacBio Hi-Fi technology. Hi-C and RNA-seq data were also generated to scaffold and annotate it. The resulting assembly is 1.1 Gb large (covering 118% of the estimated genome size) and highly continuous, with N50 scaffold size of 1.04 Mb. The repetitive fraction of the genome is 61%, of which 85% (half of the genome) are LTR retrotransposons. Genome-guided transcriptome assembly identified 34,493 genes, of which 29,351 are protein coding (BUSCO score 97.6%), and 30.2% of genes are spliced leader (SL) trans-spliced. The completeness of this genome suggests that it can be used extensively to characterize gene families and conduct accurate phylogenomic reconstructions.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Bonardd S, Nandi M, Hernández García JI, et al (2022)

Self-Healing Polymeric Soft Actuators.

Chemical reviews [Epub ahead of print].

Natural evolution has provided multicellular organisms with sophisticated functionalities and repair mechanisms for surviving and preserve their functions after an injury and/or infection. In this context, biological systems have inspired material scientists over decades to design and fabricate both self-healing polymeric materials and soft actuators with remarkable performance. The latter are capable of modifying their shape in response to environmental changes, such as temperature, pH, light, electrical/magnetic field, chemical additives, etc. In this review, we focus on the fusion of both types of materials, affording new systems with the potential to revolutionize almost every aspect of our modern life, from healthcare to environmental remediation and energy. The integration of stimuli-triggered self-healing properties into polymeric soft actuators endow environmental friendliness, cost-saving, enhanced safety, and lifespan of functional materials. We discuss the details of the most remarkable examples of self-healing soft actuators that display a macroscopic movement under specific stimuli. The discussion includes key experimental data, potential limitations, and mechanistic insights. Finally, we include a general table providing at first glance information about the nature of the external stimuli, conditions for self-healing and actuation, key information about the driving forces behind both phenomena, and the most important features of the achieved movement.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

La Fortezza M, GJ Velicer (2022)

Correction to: 'Social selection within aggregative multicellular development drives morphological evolution' (2021) by La Fortezza and Velicer.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1989):20222290.

RevDate: 2022-12-20

Rangarajan ES, Smith EW, T Izard (2022)

The nematode HMP1/α-catenin has an extended α-helix when bound to actin filaments.

The Journal of biological chemistry pii:S0021-9258(22)01260-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The regulation of cell-cell junctions during epidermal morphogenesis ensures tissue integrity, a process regulated by α-catenin. This cytoskeletal protein connects the cadherin complex to filamentous actin at cell-cell junctions. The cadherin-catenin complex plays key roles in cell physiology, organism development, and disease. While mutagenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans cadherin and catenin shows that these proteins are key for embryonic morphogenesis, we know surprisingly little about their structure and attachment to the cytoskeleton. In contrast to mammalian α-catenin that functions as a dimer or monomer, the nematode α-catenin ortholog HMP1 is a monomer. Here we report the cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) structure of HMP1/α-catenin. Notably, the amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of HMP1/α-catenin are disordered and not in contact with the remaining HMP1/α-catenin middle domain. Since the carboxy-terminal HMP1/α-catenin domain is the F-actin binding domain (FABD), this interdomain interaction suggests that HMP1/α-catenin is constitutively active, which we confirm by actin co-sedimentation assays. Our cryoEM structure of HMP1/α-catenin bound to F-actin reveals what is perhaps our most surprising finding. Unlike the mammalian structure of α-catenin bound to F-actin structure, binding to F-actin seems to allosterically convert a loop region of the HMP1/α-catenin FABD to extend an HMP1/α-catenin FABD α-helix. This longer α-helix increases the buried surface area compared to the mammalian α-catenin and might stabilize the FABD helical bundle. Additionally, we use cryoEM and bundling assays to show for the first time how the FABD of HMP1/α-catenin bundles actin in the absence of force. Collectively, our data provide further insights into α-catenin regulation of cell-cell contacts and additionally aid our understanding of the evolution of multicellularity in metazoans.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Nery MF, Rennó M, Picorelli A, et al (2022)

A phylogenetic review of cancer resistance highlights evolutionary solutions to Peto's Paradox.

Genetics and molecular biology, 45(3 Suppl 1):e20220133.

Cancer is a genetic disease present in all complex multicellular lineages. Finding ways to eliminate it is a goal of a large part of the scientific community and nature itself. Early, scientists realized that the cancer incidence at the species level was not related to the number of cells or lifespan, a phenomenon called Peto's Paradox. The interest in resolving this paradox triggered a growing interest in investigating the natural strategies for cancer suppression hidden in the animal's genomes. Here, we gathered information on the main mechanisms that confer resistance to cancer, currently described for lineages that have representatives with extended longevity and large body sizes. Some mechanisms to reduce or evade cancer are common and shared between lineages, while others are species-specific. The diversity of paths that evolution followed to face the cancer challenge involving coding, regulatory, and structural aspects of genomes is astonishing and much yet lacks discovery. Multidisciplinary studies involving oncology, ecology, and evolutionary biology and focusing on nonmodel species can greatly expand the frontiers of knowledge about cancer resistance in animals and may guide new promising treatments and prevention that might apply to humans.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Nguyen NM, Merle T, Broders-Bondon F, et al (2022)

Mechano-biochemical marine stimulation of inversion, gastrulation, and endomesoderm specification in multicellular Eukaryota.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:992371.

The evolutionary emergence of the primitive gut in Metazoa is one of the decisive events that conditioned the major evolutionary transition, leading to the origin of animal development. It is thought to have been induced by the specification of the endomesoderm (EM) into the multicellular tissue and its invagination (i.e., gastrulation). However, the biochemical signals underlying the evolutionary emergence of EM specification and gastrulation remain unknown. Herein, we find that hydrodynamic mechanical strains, reminiscent of soft marine flow, trigger active tissue invagination/gastrulation or curvature reversal via a Myo-II-dependent mechanotransductive process in both the metazoan Nematostella vectensis (cnidaria) and the multicellular choanoflagellate Choanoeca flexa. In the latter, our data suggest that the curvature reversal is associated with a sensory-behavioral feeding response. Additionally, like in bilaterian animals, gastrulation in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis is shown to participate in the biochemical specification of the EM through mechanical activation of the β-catenin pathway via the phosphorylation of Y654-βcatenin. Choanoflagellates are considered the closest living relative to metazoans, and the common ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans dates back at least 700 million years. Therefore, the present findings using these evolutionarily distant species suggest that the primitive emergence of the gut in Metazoa may have been initiated in response to marine mechanical stress already in multicellular pre-Metazoa. Then, the evolutionary transition may have been achieved by specifying the EM via a mechanosensitive Y654-βcatenin dependent mechanism, which appeared during early Metazoa evolution and is specifically conserved in all animals.

RevDate: 2022-12-20
CmpDate: 2022-12-20

Liau P, Kim C, Saxton MA, et al (2022)

Microbial succession in a marine sediment: Inferring interspecific microbial interactions with marine cable bacteria.

Environmental microbiology, 24(12):6348-6364.

Cable bacteria are long, filamentous, multicellular bacteria that grow in marine sediments and couple sulfide oxidation to oxygen reduction over centimetre-scale distances via long-distance electron transport. Cable bacteria can strongly modify biogeochemical cycling and may affect microbial community networks. Here we examine interspecific interactions with marine cable bacteria (Ca. Electrothrix) by monitoring the succession of 16S rRNA amplicons (DNA and RNA) and cell abundance across depth and time, contrasting sediments with and without cable bacteria growth. In the oxic zone, cable bacteria activity was positively associated with abundant predatory bacteria (Bdellovibrionota, Myxococcota, Bradymonadales), indicating putative predation on cathodic cells. At suboxic depths, cable bacteria activity was positively associated with sulfate-reducing and magnetotactic bacteria, consistent with cable bacteria functioning as ecosystem engineers that modify their local biogeochemical environment, benefitting certain microbes. Cable bacteria activity was negatively associated with chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria (Thiogranum, Sedimenticola) at oxic depths, suggesting competition, and positively correlated with these taxa at suboxic depths, suggesting syntrophy and/or facilitation. These observations are consistent with chemoautotrophic sulfur oxidizers benefitting from an oxidizing potential imparted by cable bacteria at suboxic depths, possibly by using cable bacteria as acceptors for electrons or electron equivalents, but by an as yet enigmatic mechanism.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Fisher LAB, F Schöck (2022)

The unexpected versatility of ALP/Enigma family proteins.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:963608.

One of the most intriguing features of multicellular animals is their ability to move. On a cellular level, this is accomplished by the rearrangement and reorganization of the cytoskeleton, a dynamic network of filamentous proteins which provides stability and structure in a stationary context, but also facilitates directed movement by contracting. The ALP/Enigma family proteins are a diverse group of docking proteins found in numerous cellular milieus and facilitate these processes among others. In vertebrates, they are characterized by having a PDZ domain in combination with one or three LIM domains. The family is comprised of CLP-36 (PDLIM1), Mystique (PDLIM2), ALP (PDLIM3), RIL (PDLIM4), ENH (PDLIM5), ZASP (PDLIM6), and Enigma (PDLIM7). In this review, we will outline the evolution and function of their protein domains which confers their versatility. Additionally, we highlight their role in different cellular environments, focusing specifically on recent advances in muscle research using Drosophila as a model organism. Finally, we show the relevance of this protein family to human myopathies and the development of muscle-related diseases.

RevDate: 2022-12-18

Liu Y, Cao M, Yan X, et al (2022)

Genome-wide identification of gap junction (connexins and pannexins) genes in black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii): Evolution and immune response mechanism following challenge.

Fish & shellfish immunology pii:S1050-4648(22)00832-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Cell-to-cell communication through gap junction channels is very important to coordinate the functions of cells in all multicellular biological tissues. It allows the direct exchange of ions and small molecules (including second messengers, such as Ca[2+], IP3, cyclic nucleotides, and oligonucleotides). In this study, a total of 48 members of the gap junction (GJ) protein family were identified from Sebastes schlegelii. In S. schlegelii, GJ proteins were classified into two types, connexin, and pannexin, and then connexins were divided into five subfamilies. The naming of 48 genes was verified through phylogenetic analysis and syntenic analysis. The connexin proteins contained four transmembrane fragments and two extracellular loops, the lengths of the intracellular loop and C-terminal was quite different, and the C-terminal region was highly variable after post-translational modification. PPI analysis showed that GJs interacted with tight junctions, adhesive junctions, and cell adhesions to form a complex network and participated in cell-cell junction organization, ATP binding, ion channel, voltage-gated conduction, wnt signaling pathway, Fc-γ receptor signaling pathway, and DNA replication. In addition, the S. schlegelii GJ protein was highly expressed in intestinal tissues and remarkably regulated after Edwardsiella tarda and Streptococcus iniae infection. The expression of GJs in intestinal cells of S. schlegelii was significantly regulated by LPS and poly (I:C), which was consistent with the results of intestinal tissue stimulation by pathogens. In conclusion, this study can provide valuable information for further research on the function of S. schlegelii GJ proteins.

RevDate: 2022-12-16

Barbosa FAS, Brait LAS, Coutinho FH, et al (2022)

Ecological landscape explains aquifers microbial structure.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)07925-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Aquifers have significant social, economic, and ecological importance. They supply 30 % of the freshwater for human consumption worldwide, including agricultural and industrial use. Despite aquifers' importance, the relationships between aquifer categories and their inhabiting microbial communities are still unknown. Characterizing variations within microbial communities' function and taxonomy structure at different aquifers could give a panoramic view of patterns that may enable the detection and prediction of environmental impact caused by multiple sources. Using publicly available shotgun metagenomic datasets, we examined whether soil properties, land use, and climate variables would have a more significant influence on the taxonomy and functional structure of the microbial communities than the ecological landscapes of the aquifer (i.e., Karst, Porous, Saline, Geyser, and Porous Contaminated). We found that these categories are stronger predictors of microbial communities' structure than geographical localization. In addition, our results show that microbial richness and dominance patterns are the opposite of those found in multicellular life, where extreme habitats harbour richer functional and taxonomic microbial communities. We found that low-abundant and recently described candidate taxa, such as the chemolithoautotrophic genus Candidatus Altiarcheum and the Candidate phylum Parcubacteria, are the main contributors to aquifer microbial communities' dissimilarities. Genes related to gram-negative bacteria proteins, cell wall structures, and phage activity were the primary contributors to aquifer microbial communities' dissimilarities among the aquifers' ecological landscapes. The results reported in the present study highlight the utility of using ecological landscapes for investigating aquifer microbial communities. In addition, we suggest that functions played by recently described and low abundant bacterial groups need further investigation once they might affect water quality, geochemical cycles, and the effects of anthropogenic disturbances such as pollution and climatic events on aquifers.

RevDate: 2022-12-16

Hogg DW, Reid AL, Dodsworth TL, et al (2022)

Skeletal muscle metabolism and contraction performance regulation by teneurin C-terminal-associated peptide-1.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1031264.

Skeletal muscle regulation is responsible for voluntary muscular movement in vertebrates. The genes of two essential proteins, teneurins and latrophilins (LPHN), evolving in ancestors of multicellular animals form a ligand-receptor pair, and are now shown to be required for skeletal muscle function. Teneurins possess a bioactive peptide, termed the teneurin C-terminal associated peptide (TCAP) that interacts with the LPHNs to regulate skeletal muscle contractility strength and fatigue by an insulin-independent glucose importation mechanism in rats. CRISPR-based knockouts and siRNA-associated knockdowns of LPHN-1 and-3 in the C2C12 mouse skeletal cell line shows that TCAP stimulates an LPHN-dependent cytosolic Ca[2+] signal transduction cascade to increase energy metabolism and enhance skeletal muscle function via increases in type-1 oxidative fiber formation and reduce the fatigue response. Thus, the teneurin/TCAP-LPHN system is presented as a novel mechanism that regulates the energy requirements and performance of skeletal muscle.

RevDate: 2022-12-15
CmpDate: 2022-12-14

Hao J, Liang Y, Ping J, et al (2022)

Chloroplast gene expression level is negatively correlated with evolutionary rates and selective pressure while positively with codon usage bias in Ophioglossum vulgatum L.

BMC plant biology, 22(1):580.

BACKGROUND: Characterization of the key factors determining gene expression level has been of significant interest. Previous studies on the relationship among evolutionary rates, codon usage bias, and expression level mostly focused on either nuclear genes or unicellular/multicellular organisms but few in chloroplast (cp) genes. Ophioglossum vulgatum is a unique fern and has important scientific and medicinal values. In this study, we sequenced its cp genome and transcriptome to estimate the evolutionary rates (dN and dS), selective pressure (dN/dS), gene expression level, codon usage bias, and their correlations.

RESULTS: The correlation coefficients between dN, dS, and dN/dS, and Transcripts Per Million (TPM) average values were -0.278 (P = 0.027 < 0.05), -0.331 (P = 0.008 < 0.05), and -0.311 (P = 0.013 < 0.05), respectively. The codon adaptation index (CAI) and tRNA adaptation index (tAI) were significantly positively correlated with TPM average values (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicated that when the gene expression level was higher, the evolutionary rates and selective pressure were lower, but the codon usage bias was stronger. We provided evidence from cp gene data which supported the E-R (E stands for gene expression level and R stands for evolutionary rate) anti-correlation.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Wright BA, Kvansakul M, Schierwater B, et al (2022)

Cell polarity signalling at the birth of multicellularity: What can we learn from the first animals.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:1024489.

The innovation of multicellularity has driven the unparalleled evolution of animals (Metazoa). But how is a multicellular organism formed and how is its architecture maintained faithfully? The defining properties and rules required for the establishment of the architecture of multicellular organisms include the development of adhesive cell interactions, orientation of division axis, and the ability to reposition daughter cells over long distances. Central to all these properties is the ability to generate asymmetry (polarity), coordinated by a highly conserved set of proteins known as cell polarity regulators. The cell polarity complexes, Scribble, Par and Crumbs, are considered to be a metazoan innovation with apicobasal polarity and adherens junctions both believed to be present in all animals. A better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms regulating cell polarity and tissue architecture should provide key insights into the development and regeneration of all animals including humans. Here we review what is currently known about cell polarity and its control in the most basal metazoans, and how these first examples of multicellular life can inform us about the core mechanisms of tissue organisation and repair, and ultimately diseases of tissue organisation, such as cancer.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Alarcón ME, Polo PG, Akyüz SN, et al (2022)

Evolution and ontogeny of bacteriocytes in insects.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1034066.

The ontogenetic origins of the bacteriocytes, which are cells that harbour bacterial intracellular endosymbionts in multicellular animals, are unknown. During embryonic development, a series of morphological and transcriptional changes determine the fate of distinct cell types. The ontogeny of bacteriocytes is intimately linked with the evolutionary transition of endosymbionts from an extracellular to an intracellular environment, which in turn is linked to the diet of the host insect. Here we review the evolution and development of bacteriocytes in insects. We first classify the endosymbiotic occupants of bacteriocytes, highlighting the complex challenges they pose to the host. Then, we recall the historical account of the discovery of bacteriocytes. We then summarize the molecular interactions between the endosymbiont and the host. In addition, we illustrate the genetic contexts in which the bacteriocytes develop, with examples of the genetic changes in the hosts and endosymbionts, during specific endosymbiotic associations. We finally address the evolutionary origin as well as the putative ontogenetic or developmental source of bacteriocytes in insects.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Vainshelbaum NM, Giuliani A, Salmina K, et al (2022)

The Transcriptome and Proteome Networks of Malignant Tumours Reveal Atavistic Attractors of Polyploidy-Related Asexual Reproduction.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(23): pii:ijms232314930.

The expression of gametogenesis-related (GG) genes and proteins, as well as whole genome duplications (WGD), are the hallmarks of cancer related to poor prognosis. Currently, it is not clear if these hallmarks are random processes associated only with genome instability or are programmatically linked. Our goal was to elucidate this via a thorough bioinformatics analysis of 1474 GG genes in the context of WGD. We examined their association in protein-protein interaction and coexpression networks, and their phylostratigraphic profiles from publicly available patient tumour data. The results show that GG genes are upregulated in most WGD-enriched somatic cancers at the transcriptome level and reveal robust GG gene expression at the protein level, as well as the ability to associate into correlation networks and enrich the reproductive modules. GG gene phylostratigraphy displayed in WGD+ cancers an attractor of early eukaryotic origin for DNA recombination and meiosis, and one relative to oocyte maturation and embryogenesis from early multicellular organisms. The upregulation of cancer-testis genes emerging with mammalian placentation was also associated with WGD. In general, the results suggest the role of polyploidy for soma-germ transition accessing latent cancer attractors in the human genome network, which appear as pre-formed along the whole Evolution of Life.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Aktas RG, Karski M, Issac B, et al (2022)

Long-Term Characteristics of Human-Derived Biliary Organoids under a Single Continuous Culture Condition.

Cells, 11(23): pii:cells11233797.

Organoids have been used to investigate the three-dimensional (3D) organization and function of their respective organs. These self-organizing 3D structures offer a distinct advantage over traditional two-dimensional (2D) culture techniques by creating a more physiologically relevant milieu to study complex biological systems. The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of establishing organoids from various pediatric liver diseases and characterize the long-term evolution of cholangiocyte organoids (chol-orgs) under a single continuous culture condition. We established chol-orgs from 10 different liver conditions and characterized their multicellular organization into complex epithelial structures through budding, merging, and lumen formation. Immunofluorescent staining, electron microscopy, and single-nucleus RNA (snRNA-seq) sequencing confirmed the cholangiocytic nature of the chol-orgs. There were significant cell population differences in the transcript profiles of two-dimensional and organoid cultures based on snRNA-seq. Our study provides an approach for the generation and long-term maintenance of chol-orgs from various pediatric liver diseases under a single continuous culture condition.

RevDate: 2022-12-09

Sun H, Fang T, Wang T, et al (2022)

Single-cell profiles reveal tumor cell heterogeneity and immunosuppressive microenvironment in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.

Journal of translational medicine, 20(1):576.

BACKGROUND: Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare and incurable indolent B-cell malignancy. The molecular pathogenesis and the role of immunosuppressive microenvironment in WM development are still incompletely understood.

METHODS: The multicellular ecosystem in bone marrow (BM) of WM were delineated by single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) and investigated the underlying molecular characteristics.

RESULTS: Our data uncovered the heterogeneity of malignant cells in WM, and investigated the kinetic co-evolution of WM and immune cells, which played pivotal roles in disease development and progression. Two novel subpopulations of malignant cells, CD19[+]CD3[+] and CD138[+]CD3[+], co-expressing T-cell marker genes were identified at single-cell resolution. Pseudotime-ordered analysis elucidated that CD19[+]CD3[+] malignant cells presented at an early stage of WM-B cell differentiation. Colony formation assay further identified that CD19[+]CD3[+] malignant cells acted as potential WM precursors. Based on the findings of T cell marker aberrant expressed on WM tumor cells, we speculate the long-time activation of tumor antigen-induced immunosuppressive microenvironment that is involved in the pathogenesis of WM. Therefore, our study further investigated the possible molecular mechanism of immune cell dysfunction. A precursor exhausted CD8-T cells and functional deletion of NK cells were identified in WM, and CD47 would be a potential therapeutic target to reverse the dysfunction of immune cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study facilitates further understanding of the biological heterogeneity of tumor cells and immunosuppressive microenvironment in WM. These data may have implications for the development of novel immunotherapies, such as targeting pre-exhausted CD8-T cells in WM.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

La Fortezza M, Rendueles O, Keller H, et al (2022)

Author Correction: Hidden paths to endless forms most wonderful: ecology latently shapes evolution of multicellular development in predatory bacteria.

Communications biology, 5(1):1342 pii:10.1038/s42003-022-04312-w.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Nakabachi A, Inoue H, Y Hirose (2022)

High-resolution Microbiome Analyses of Nine Psyllid Species of the Family Triozidae Identified Previously Unrecognized but Major Bacterial Populations, including Liberibacter and Wolbachia of Supergroup O.

Microbes and environments, 37(4):.

Psyllids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Psylloidea) are plant sap-sucking insects that include important agricultural pests. To obtain insights into the ecological and evolutionary behaviors of microbes, including plant pathogens, in Psylloidea, high-resolution ana-lyses of the microbiomes of nine psyllid species belonging to the family Triozidae were performed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Analyses identified various bacterial populations, showing that all nine psyllids have at least one secondary symbiont, along with the primary symbiont "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" (Gammaproteobacteria: Oceanospirillales: Halomonadaceae). The majority of the secondary symbionts were gammaproteobacteria, particularly those of the order Enterobacterales, which included Arsenophonus and Serratia symbiotica, a bacterium formerly recognized only as a secondary symbiont of aphids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphidoidea). The non-Enterobacterales gammaproteobacteria identified in the present study were Diplorickettsia (Diplorickettsiales: Diplorickettsiaceae), a potential human pathogen, and Carnimonas (Oceanospirillales: Halomonadaceae), a lineage detected for the first time in Psylloidea. Regarding alphaproteobacteria, the potential plant pathogen "Ca. Liberibacter europaeus" (Rhizobiales: Rhizobiaceae) was detected for the first time in Epitrioza yasumatsui, which feeds on the Japanese silverberry Elaeagnus umbellata (Elaeagnaceae), an aggressive invasive plant in the United States and Europe. Besides the detection of Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) of supergroup B in three psyllid species, a lineage belonging to supergroup O was identified for the first time in Psylloidea. These results suggest the rampant transfer of bacterial symbionts among animals and plants, thereby providing deeper insights into the evolution of interkingdom interactions among multicellular organisms and bacteria, which will facilitate the control of pest psyllids.

RevDate: 2022-12-07
CmpDate: 2022-12-07

Zhang DQ, Chen PC, Li ZY, et al (2022)

Topological defect-mediated morphodynamics of active-active interfaces.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(50):e2122494119.

Physical interfaces widely exist in nature and engineering. Although the formation of passive interfaces is well elucidated, the physical principles governing active interfaces remain largely unknown. Here, we combine simulation, theory, and cell-based experiment to investigate the evolution of an active-active interface. We adopt a biphasic framework of active nematic liquid crystals. We find that long-lived topological defects mechanically energized by activity display unanticipated dynamics nearby the interface, where defects perform "U-turns" to keep away from the interface, push the interface to develop local fingers, or penetrate the interface to enter the opposite phase, driving interfacial morphogenesis and cross-interface defect transport. We identify that the emergent interfacial morphodynamics stems from the instability of the interface and is further driven by the activity-dependent defect-interface interactions. Experiments of interacting multicellular monolayers with extensile and contractile differences in cell activity have confirmed our predictions. These findings reveal a crucial role of topological defects in active-active interfaces during, for example, boundary formation and tissue competition that underlie organogenesis and clinically relevant disorders.

RevDate: 2022-12-05

Colizzi ES, Hogeweg P, RMA Vroomans (2022)

Modelling the evolution of novelty: a review.

Essays in biochemistry pii:232198 [Epub ahead of print].

Evolution has been an inventive process since its inception, about 4 billion years ago. It has generated an astounding diversity of novel mechanisms and structures for adaptation to the environment, for competition and cooperation, and for organisation of the internal and external dynamics of the organism. How does this novelty come about? Evolution builds with the tools available, and on top of what it has already built - therefore, much novelty consists in repurposing old functions in a different context. In the process, the tools themselves evolve, allowing yet more novelty to arise. Despite evolutionary novelty being the most striking observable of evolution, it is not accounted for in classical evolutionary theory. Nevertheless, mathematical and computational models that illustrate mechanisms of evolutionary innovation have been developed. In the present review, we present and compare several examples of computational evo-devo models that capture two aspects of novelty: 'between-level novelty' and 'constructive novelty.' Novelty can evolve between predefined levels of organisation to dynamically transcode biological information across these levels - as occurs during development. Constructive novelty instead generates a level of biological organisation by exploiting the lower level as an informational scaffold to open a new space of possibilities - an example being the evolution of multicellularity. We propose that the field of computational evo-devo is well-poised to reveal many more exciting mechanisms for the evolution of novelty. A broader theory of evolutionary novelty may well be attainable in the near future.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Niculescu VF (2022)

A comment on the article Jaques et al. "Origin and evolution of animal multicellularity in light of phylogenomics and cancer genetics ".

Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England), 40(1):38.

For developmental biologists, the work of Jaques et al. is quite surprising. It suggests that cancer genetics and cancer phylogenomics may contribute to the origin and evolution of multicellularity in animals. My commentary complements the work of Jaques et al. from the perspective of evolutionary life cycle biology and recalls the statement of Douglas H. Erwin, who said that understanding life cycle evolution is (equally) crucial to subsequent steps [1].

RevDate: 2022-11-30

Baker EA, A Woollard (2022)

The road less travelled? Exploring the nuanced evolutionary consequences of duplicated genes.

Essays in biochemistry pii:232174 [Epub ahead of print].

Duplicated genes have long been appreciated as both substrates and catalysts of evolutionary processes. From even the simplest cell to complex multicellular animals and plants, duplicated genes have made immeasurable contributions to the phenotypic evolution of all life on Earth. Not merely drivers of morphological innovation and speciation events, however, gene duplications sculpt the evolution of genetic architecture in ways we are only just coming to understand now we have the experimental tools to do so. As such, the present article revisits our understanding of the ways in which duplicated genes evolve, examining closely the various fates they can adopt in light of recent work that yields insights from studies of paralogues from across the tree of life that challenge the classical framework.

RevDate: 2022-12-02
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Liu Y, Ma Y, Aray H, et al (2022)

Morphogenesis and cell wall composition of trichomes and their function in response to salt in halophyte Salsola ferganica.

BMC plant biology, 22(1):551.

BACKGROUND: To survive harsh environmental conditions, desert plants show various adaptions, such as the evolution of trichomes, which are protective epidermal protrusions. Currently, the morphogenesis and function of trichomes in desert plants are not well understood. Salsola ferganica is an annual halophyte distributed in cold deserts; at the seedling stage, its rod-shaped true leaves are covered with long and thick trichomes and are affected by habitat conditions. Therefore, we evaluated the trichomes on morphogenesis and cell wall composition of S. ferganica compared to Arabidopsis thaliana and cotton, related gene expression, and preliminary function in salt accumulation of the leaves.

RESULTS: The trichomes of S. ferganica were initiated from the epidermal primordium, followed by two to three rounds of cell division to form a multicellular trichome, while some genes associated with them were positively involved. Cell wall composition analysis showed that different polysaccharides including heavily methyl-esterified and fully de-esterified pectins (before maturation, probably in the primary wall), xyloglucans (in the mid-early and middle stages, probably in the secondary wall), and extensin (during the whole developmental period) were detected, which were different from those found in trichomes of Arabidopsis and cotton. Moreover, trichome development was affected by abiotic stress, and might accumulate salt from the mesophyll cells and secrete outside.

CONCLUSIONS: S. ferganica has multicellular, non-branched trichomes that undergo two to three rounds of cell division and are affected by abiotic stress. They have a unique cell wall composition which is different from that of Arabidopsis and cotton. Furthermore, several genes positively or negatively regulate trichome development. Our findings should contribute to our further understanding of the biogenesis and adaptation of plant accessory structures in desert plant species.

RevDate: 2022-11-26

Zhan A, Luo Y, Qin H, et al (2022)

Hypomagnetic Field Exposure Affecting Gut Microbiota, Reactive Oxygen Species Levels, and Colonic Cell Proliferation in Mice.

Bioelectromagnetics [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiota has been considered one of the key factors in host health, which is influenced by many environmental factors. The geomagnetic field (GMF) represents one of the important environmental conditions for living organisms. Previous studies have shown that the elimination of GMF, the so-called hypomagnetic field (HMF), could affect the physiological functions and resistance to antibiotics of some microorganisms. However, whether long-term HMF exposure could alter the gut microbiota to some extent in mammals remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of long-term (8- and 12-week) HMF exposure on the gut microbiota in C57BL/6J mice. Our results clearly showed that 8-week HMF significantly affected the diversity and function of the mouse gut microbiota. Compared with the GMF group, the concentrations of short-chain fatty acids tended to decrease in the HMF group. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that HMF promoted colonic cell proliferation, concomitant with an increased level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo finding that long-term HMF exposure could affect the mouse gut microbiota, ROS levels, and colonic cell proliferation in the colon. Moreover, the changes in gut microbiota can be restored by returning mice to the GMF environment, thus the possible harm to the microbiota caused by HMF exposure can be alleviated. © 2022 Bioelectromagnetics Society.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Kreider JJ, Janzen T, Bernadou A, et al (2022)

Resource sharing is sufficient for the emergence of division of labour.

Nature communications, 13(1):7232.

Division of labour occurs in a broad range of organisms. Yet, how division of labour can emerge in the absence of pre-existing interindividual differences is poorly understood. Using a simple but realistic model, we show that in a group of initially identical individuals, division of labour emerges spontaneously if returning foragers share part of their resources with other group members. In the absence of resource sharing, individuals follow an activity schedule of alternating between foraging and other tasks. If non-foraging individuals are fed by other individuals, their alternating activity schedule becomes interrupted, leading to task specialisation and the emergence of division of labour. Furthermore, nutritional differences between individuals reinforce division of labour. Such differences can be caused by increased metabolic rates during foraging or by dominance interactions during resource sharing. Our model proposes a plausible mechanism for the self-organised emergence of division of labour in animal groups of initially identical individuals. This mechanism could also play a role for the emergence of division of labour during the major evolutionary transitions to eusociality and multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Ojosnegros S, Alvarez JM, Grossmann J, et al (2022)

The Shared Proteome of the Apomictic Fern Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis and Its Sexual Relative Dryopteris oreades.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(22): pii:ijms232214027.

Ferns are a diverse evolutionary lineage, sister to the seed plants, which is of great ecological importance and has a high biotechnological potential. Fern gametophytes represent one of the simplest autotrophic, multicellular plant forms and show several experimental advantages, including a simple and space-efficient in vitro culture system. However, the molecular basis of fern growth and development has hardly been studied. Here, we report on a proteomic study that identified 417 proteins shared by gametophytes of the apogamous fern Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis and its sexual relative Dryopteris oreades. Most proteins are predicted to localize to the cytoplasm, the chloroplast, or the nucleus, and are linked to enzymatic, binding, and structural activities. A subset of 145 proteins are involved in growth, reproduction, phytohormone signaling and biosynthesis, and gene expression, including homologs of SHEPHERD (SHD), HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN 90-5 (CR88), TRP4, BOBBER 1 (BOB1), FLAVONE 3'-O-METHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (OMT1), ZEAXANTHIN EPOXIDASE (ABA1), GLUTAMATE DESCARBOXYLASE 1 (GAD), and dsRNA-BINDING DOMAIN-LIKE SUPERFAMILY PROTEIN (HLY1). Nearly 25% of the annotated proteins are associated with responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli. As for biotic stress, the proteins PROTEIN SGT1 HOMOLOG B (SGT1B), SUPPRESSOR OF SA INSENSITIVE2 (SSI2), PHOSPHOLIPASE D ALPHA 1 (PLDALPHA1), SERINE/THREONINE-PROTEIN KINASE SRK2E (OST1), ACYL CARRIER PROTEIN 4 (ACP4), and NONHOST RESISTANCE TO P. S. PHASEOLICOLA1 (GLPK) are worth mentioning. Regarding abiotic stimuli, we found proteins associated with oxidative stress: SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE[CU-ZN] 1 (CSD1), and GLUTATHIONE S-TRANSFERASE U19 (GSTU19), light intensity SERINE HYDROXYMETHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (SHM1) and UBIQUITIN-CONJUGATING ENZYME E2 35 (UBC35), salt and heavy metal stress included MITOCHONDRIAL PHOSPHATE CARRIER PROTEIN 3 (PHT3;1), as well as drought and thermotolerance: LEA7, DEAD-BOX ATP-DEPENDENT RNA HELICASE 38 (LOS4), and abundant heat-shock proteins and other chaperones. In addition, we identified interactomes using the STRING platform, revealing protein-protein associations obtained from co-expression, co-occurrence, text mining, homology, databases, and experimental datasets. By focusing on ferns, this proteomic study increases our knowledge on plant development and evolution, and may inspire future applications in crop species.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-28

Sowa ST, Bosetti C, Galera-Prat A, et al (2022)

An Evolutionary Perspective on the Origin, Conservation and Binding Partner Acquisition of Tankyrases.

Biomolecules, 12(11):.

Tankyrases are poly-ADP-ribosyltransferases that regulate many crucial and diverse cellular processes in humans such as Wnt signaling, telomere homeostasis, mitotic spindle formation and glucose metabolism. While tankyrases are present in most animals, functional differences across species may exist. In this work, we confirm the widespread distribution of tankyrases throughout the branches of multicellular animal life and identify the single-celled choanoflagellates as earliest origin of tankyrases. We further show that the sequences and structural aspects of TNKSs are well-conserved even between distantly related species. We also experimentally characterized an anciently diverged tankyrase homolog from the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and show that the basic functional aspects, such as poly-ADP-ribosylation activity and interaction with the canonical tankyrase binding peptide motif, are conserved. Conversely, the presence of tankyrase binding motifs in orthologs of confirmed interaction partners varies greatly between species, indicating that tankyrases may have different sets of interaction partners depending on the animal lineage. Overall, our analysis suggests a remarkable degree of conservation for tankyrases, and that their regulatory functions in cells have likely changed considerably throughout evolution.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )