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30 Jun 2022 at 01:46
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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Jun 2022 at 01:46 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-06-23
CmpDate: 2022-06-23

Cameron-Pack ME, König SG, Reyes-Guevara A, et al (2022)

A personal cost of cheating can stabilize reproductive altruism during the early evolution of clonal multicellularity.

Biology letters, 18(6):20220059.

Understanding how cooperation evolved and is maintained remains an important and often controversial topic because cheaters that reap the benefits of cooperation without paying the costs can threaten the evolutionary stability of cooperative traits. Cooperation-and especially reproductive altruism-is particularly relevant to the evolution of multicellularity, as somatic cells give up their reproductive potential in order to contribute to the fitness of the newly emerged multicellular individual. Here, we investigated cheating in a simple multicellular species-the green alga Volvox carteri, in the context of the mechanisms that can stabilize reproductive altruism during the early evolution of clonal multicellularity. We found that the benefits cheater mutants can gain in terms of their own reproduction are pre-empted by a cost in survival due to increased sensitivity to stress. This personal cost of cheating reflects the antagonistic pleiotropic effects that the gene coding for reproductive altruism-regA-has at the cell level. Specifically, the expression of regA in somatic cells results in the suppression of their reproduction potential but also confers them with increased resistance to stress. Since regA evolved from a life-history trade-off gene, we suggest that co-opting trade-off genes into cooperative traits can provide a built-in safety system against cheaters in other clonal multicellular lineages.

RevDate: 2022-06-22
CmpDate: 2022-06-22

Mori G, Delfino D, Pibiri P, et al (2022)

Origin and significance of the human DNase repertoire.

Scientific reports, 12(1):10364.

The human genome contains four DNase1 and two DNase2 genes. The origin and functional specialization of this repertoire are not fully understood. Here we use genomics and transcriptomics data to infer the evolutionary history of DNases and investigate their biological significance. Both DNase1 and DNase2 families have expanded in vertebrates since ~ 650 million years ago before the divergence of jawless and jawed vertebrates. DNase1, DNase1L1, and DNase1L3 co-existed in jawless fish, whereas DNase1L2 originated in amniotes by tandem duplication of DNase1. Among the non-human DNases, DNase1L4 and newly identified DNase1L5 derived from early duplications that were lost in terrestrial vertebrates. The ancestral gene of the DNase2 family, DNase2b, has been conserved in synteny with the Uox gene across 700 million years of animal evolution,while DNase2 originated in jawless fish. DNase1L1 acquired a GPI-anchor for plasma membrane attachment in bony fishes, and DNase1L3 acquired a C-terminal basic peptide for the degradation of microparticle DNA in jawed vertebrates. The appearance of DNase1L2, with a distinct low pH optimum and skin localization, is among the amniote adaptations to life on land. The expansion of the DNase repertoire in vertebrates meets the diversified demand for DNA debris removal in complex multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-06-13
CmpDate: 2022-06-13

Minelli A, A Valero-Gracia (2022)

Spatially and Temporally Distributed Complexity-A Refreshed Framework for the Study of GRN Evolution.

Cells, 11(11): pii:cells11111790.

Irrespective of the heuristic value of interpretations of developmental processes in terms of gene regulatory networks (GRNs), larger-angle views often suffer from: (i) an inadequate understanding of the relationship between genotype and phenotype; (ii) a predominantly zoocentric vision; and (iii) overconfidence in a putatively hierarchical organization of animal body plans. Here, we constructively criticize these assumptions. First, developmental biology is pervaded by adultocentrism, but development is not necessarily egg to adult. Second, during development, many unicells undergo transcriptomic profile transitions that are comparable to those recorded in pluricellular organisms; thus, their study should not be neglected from the GRN perspective. Third, the putatively hierarchical nature of the animal body is mirrored in the GRN logic, but in relating genotype to phenotype, independent assessments of the dynamics of the regulatory machinery and the animal's architecture are required, better served by a combinatorial than by a hierarchical approach. The trade-offs between spatial and temporal aspects of regulation, as well as their evolutionary consequences, are also discussed. Multicellularity may derive from a unicell's sequential phenotypes turned into different but coexisting, spatially arranged cell types. In turn, polyphenism may have been a crucial mechanism involved in the origin of complex life cycles.

RevDate: 2022-06-10
CmpDate: 2022-06-10

Farkas Z, Kovács K, Sarkadi Z, et al (2022)

Gene loss and compensatory evolution promotes the emergence of morphological novelties in budding yeast.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(6):763-773.

Deleterious mutations are generally considered to be irrelevant for morphological evolution. However, they could be compensated by conditionally beneficial mutations, thereby providing access to new adaptive paths. Here we use high-dimensional phenotyping of laboratory-evolved budding yeast lineages to demonstrate that new cellular morphologies emerge exceptionally rapidly as a by-product of gene loss and subsequent compensatory evolution. Unexpectedly, the capacities for invasive growth, multicellular aggregation and biofilm formation also spontaneously evolve in response to gene loss. These multicellular phenotypes can be achieved by diverse mutational routes and without reactivating the canonical regulatory pathways. These ecologically and clinically relevant traits originate as pleiotropic side effects of compensatory evolution and have no obvious utility in the laboratory environment. The extent of morphological diversity in the evolved lineages is comparable to that of natural yeast isolates with diverse genetic backgrounds and lifestyles. Finally, we show that both the initial gene loss and subsequent compensatory mutations contribute to new morphologies, with their synergistic effects underlying specific morphological changes. We conclude that compensatory evolution is a previously unrecognized source of morphological diversity and phenotypic novelties.

RevDate: 2022-06-09
CmpDate: 2022-06-09

Yuan F, Wang X, Zhao B, et al (2022)

The genome of the recretohalophyte Limonium bicolor provides insights into salt gland development and salinity adaptation during terrestrial evolution.

Molecular plant, 15(6):1024-1044.

Halophytes have evolved specialized strategies to cope with high salinity. The extreme halophyte sea lavender (Limonium bicolor) lacks trichomes but possesses salt glands on its epidermis that can excrete harmful ions, such as sodium, to avoid salt damage. Here, we report a high-quality, 2.92-Gb, chromosome-scale L. bicolor genome assembly based on a combination of Illumina short reads, single-molecule, real-time long reads, chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) data, and Bionano genome maps, greatly enriching the genomic information on recretohalophytes with multicellular salt glands. Although the L. bicolor genome contains genes that show similarity to trichome fate genes from Arabidopsis thaliana, it lacks homologs of the decision fate genes GLABRA3, ENHANCER OF GLABRA3, GLABRA2, TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA2, and SIAMESE, providing a molecular explanation for the absence of trichomes in this species. We identified key genes (LbHLH and LbTTG1) controlling salt gland development among classical trichome homologous genes and confirmed their roles by showing that their mutations markedly disrupted salt gland initiation, salt secretion, and salt tolerance, thus offering genetic support for the long-standing hypothesis that salt glands and trichomes may share a common origin. In addition, a whole-genome duplication event occurred in the L. bicolor genome after its divergence from Tartary buckwheat and may have contributed to its adaptation to high salinity. The L. bicolor genome resource and genetic evidence reported in this study provide profound insights into plant salt tolerance mechanisms that may facilitate the engineering of salt-tolerant crops.

RevDate: 2022-06-09
CmpDate: 2022-06-09

Reyes-Rivera J, Wu Y, Guthrie BGH, et al (2022)

Nitric oxide signaling controls collective contractions in a colonial choanoflagellate.

Current biology : CB, 32(11):2539-2547.e5.

Although signaling by the gaseous molecule nitric oxide (NO) regulates key physiological processes in animals, including contractility,1-3 immunity,4,5 development,6-9 and locomotion,10,11 the early evolution of animal NO signaling remains unclear. To reconstruct the role of NO in the animal stem lineage, we set out to study NO signaling in choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals.12 In animals, NO produced by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) canonically signals through cGMP by activating soluble guanylate cyclases (sGCs).13,14 We surveyed the distribution of the NO signaling pathway components across the diversity of choanoflagellates and found three species that express NOS (of either bacterial or eukaryotic origin), sGCs, and downstream genes previously shown to be involved in the NO/cGMP pathway. One of the species coexpressing sGCs and a bacterial-type NOS, Choanoeca flexa, forms multicellular sheets that undergo collective contractions controlled by cGMP.15 We found that treatment with NO induces cGMP synthesis and contraction in C. flexa. Biochemical assays show that NO directly binds C. flexa sGC1 and stimulates its cyclase activity. The NO/cGMP pathway acts independently from other inducers of C. flexa contraction, including mechanical stimuli and heat, but sGC activity is required for contractions induced by light-to-dark transitions. The output of NO signaling in C. flexa-contractions resulting in a switch from feeding to swimming-resembles the effect of NO in sponges1-3 and cnidarians,11,16,17 where it interrupts feeding and activates contractility. These data provide insights into the biology of the first animals and the evolution of NO signaling.

RevDate: 2022-06-08
CmpDate: 2022-06-08

Phillips JE, Santos M, Konchwala M, et al (2022)

Genome editing in the unicellular holozoan Capsaspora owczarzaki suggests a premetazoan role for the Hippo pathway in multicellular morphogenesis.

eLife, 11: pii:77598.

Animal development is mediated by a surprisingly small set of canonical signaling pathways such as Wnt, Hedgehog, TGF-beta, Notch, and Hippo pathways. Although once thought to be present only in animals, recent genome sequencing has revealed components of these pathways in the closest unicellular relatives of animals. These findings raise questions about the ancestral functions of these developmental pathways and their potential role in the emergence of animal multicellularity. Here, we provide the first functional characterization of any of these developmental pathways in unicellular organisms by developing techniques for genetic manipulation in Capsaspora owczarzaki, a close unicellular relative of animals that displays aggregative multicellularity. We then use these tools to characterize the Capsaspora ortholog of the Hippo signaling nuclear effector YAP/TAZ/Yorkie (coYki), a key regulator of tissue size in animals. In contrast to what might be expected based on studies in animals, we show that coYki is dispensable for cell proliferation but regulates cytoskeletal dynamics and the three-dimensional (3D) shape of multicellular structures. We further demonstrate that the cytoskeletal abnormalities of individual coYki mutant cells underlie the abnormal 3D shape of coYki mutant aggregates. Taken together, these findings implicate an ancestral role for the Hippo pathway in cytoskeletal dynamics and multicellular morphogenesis predating the origin of animal multicellularity, which was co-opted during evolution to regulate cell proliferation.

RevDate: 2022-06-07

Díaz E, Febres A, Giammarresi M, et al (2022)

G Protein-Coupled Receptors as Potential Intercellular Communication Mediators in Trypanosomatidae.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:812848.

Detection and transduction of environmental signals, constitute a prerequisite for successful parasite invasion; i.e., Leishmania transmission, survival, pathogenesis and disease manifestation and dissemination, with diverse molecules functioning as inter-cellular signaling ligands. Receptors [i.e., G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)] and their associated transduction mechanisms, well conserved through evolution, specialize in this function. However, canonical GPCR-related signal transduction systems have not been described in Leishmania, although orthologs, with reduced domains and function, have been identified in Trypanosomatidae. These inter-cellular communication means seem to be essential for multicellular and unicellular organism's survival. GPCRs are flexible in their molecular architecture and may interact with the so-called receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs), which modulate their function, changing GPCRs pharmacology, acting as chaperones and regulating signaling and/or trafficking in a receptor-dependent manner. In the skin, vasoactive- and neuro- peptides released in response to the noxious stimuli represented by the insect bite may trigger parasite physiological responses, for example, chemotaxis. For instance, in Leishmania (V.) braziliensis, sensory [Substance P, SP, chemoattractant] and autonomic [Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, VIP, and Neuropeptide Y, NPY, chemorepellent] neuropeptides at physiological levels stimulate in vitro effects on parasite taxis. VIP and NPY chemotactic effects are impaired by their corresponding receptor antagonists, suggesting that the stimulated responses might be mediated by putative GPCRs (with essential conserved receptor domains); the effect of SP is blocked by [(D-Pro 2, D-Trp7,9]-Substance P (10-6 M)] suggesting that it might be mediated by neurokinin-1 transmembrane receptors. Additionally, vasoactive molecules like Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide [CGRP] and Adrenomedullin [AM], exert a chemorepellent effect and increase the expression of a 24 kDa band recognized in western blot analysis by (human-)-RAMP-2 antibodies. In-silico search oriented towards GPCRs-like receptors and signaling cascades detected a RAMP-2-aligned sequence corresponding to Leishmania folylpolyglutamate synthase and a RAMP-3 aligned protein, a hypothetical Leishmania protein with yet unknown function, suggesting that in Leishmania, CGRP and AM activities may be modulated by RAMP- (-2) and (-3) homologs. The possible presence of proteins and molecules potentially involved in GPCRs cascades, i.e., RAMPs, signpost conservation of ancient signaling systems associated with responses, fundamental for cell survival, (i.e., taxis and migration) and may constitute an open field for description of pharmacophores against Leishmania parasites.

RevDate: 2022-06-03
CmpDate: 2022-06-03

Udayantha HMV, Samaraweera AV, Liyanage DS, et al (2022)

Molecular characterization, antiviral activity, and UV-B damage responses of Caspase-9 from Amphiprion clarkii.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 125:247-257.

Apoptosis plays a vital role in maintaining cellular homeostasis in multicellular organisms. Caspase-9 (casp-9) is one of the major initiator caspases that induces apoptosis by activating downstream intrinsic apoptosis pathway genes. Here, we isolated the cDNA sequence (1992 bp) of caspase-9 from Amphiprion clarkii (Accasp-9) that consists of a 1305 bp coding region and encodes a 434 aa protein. In silico analysis showed that Accasp-9 has a theoretical isoelectric point of 5.81 and a molecular weight of 48.45 kDa. Multiple sequence alignment revealed that the CARD domain is located at the N-terminus, whereas the large P-20 and small P-10 domains are located at the C-terminus. Moreover, a highly conserved pentapeptide active site (296QACGG301), as well as histidine and cysteine active sites, are also retained at the C-terminus. In phylogenetic analysis, Accasp-9 formed a clade with casp-9 from different species, distinct from other caspases. Accasp-9 was highly expressed in the gill and intestine compared with other tissues analyzed in healthy A. clarkii. Accasp-9 expression was significantly elevated in the blood after stimulation with Vibrio harveyi and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C; 12-48 h), but not with lipopolysaccharide. The nucleoprotein expression of the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus was significantly reduced in Accasp-9 overexpressed fathead minnow (FHM) cells compared with that in the control. In addition, other in vitro assays revealed that cell apoptosis was significantly elevated in poly I:C and UV-B-treated Accasp-9 transfected FHM cells. However, H248P or C298S mutated Accasp-9 significantly reduced apoptosis in UV-B irradiated cells. Collectively, our results show that Accasp-9 might play a defensive role against invading pathogens and UV-B radiation and H248 and C298 active residues are significantly involved in apoptosis in teleosts.

RevDate: 2022-06-03
CmpDate: 2022-06-03

Wang B, Zhu F, Shi Z, et al (2022)

Molecular characteristics, polymorphism and expression analysis of mhc Ⅱ in yellow catfish(pelteobagrus fulvidraco)responding to Flavobacterium columnare infection.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 125:90-100.

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is an important component of the immune system of vertebrates, which plays a vital role in presenting extrinsic antigens. In this study, we cloned and characterized the mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB genes of yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco. The open reading frames (ORFs) of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB genes were 708 bp and 747bp in length, encoding 235 and 248 amino acids, respectively. The structure of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB includes a signal peptide, an α1/β1 domain, an α2/β2 domain, a transmembrane region and a cytoplasmic region. Homologous identity analysis revealed that both mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB shared high protein sequence similarity with that of Chinese longsnout catfish Leiocassis longirostris. mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB showed similar expression patterns in different tissues, with the higher expression level in spleen, head kidney and gill and lower expression in liver, stomach, gall bladder and heart. The mRNA expression level of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB in different embryonic development stages also showed the similar trends. The higher expression was detected from fertilized egg to 32 cell stage, low expression from multicellular period to 3 days post hatching (dph), and then the expression increased to a higher level from 4 dph to 14 dph. The mRNA expression levels of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB were significantly up-regulated not only in the body kidney and spleen, but also in the midgut, hindgut, liver and gill after challenge of Flavobacterium columnare. The results suggest that Mhc Ⅱ plays an important role in the anti-infection process of yellow catfish P. fulvidraco.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2022-05-31

Paul B, Sterner ZR, Buchholz DR, et al (2022)

Thyroid and Corticosteroid Signaling in Amphibian Metamorphosis.

Cells, 11(10): pii:cells11101595.

In multicellular organisms, development is based in part on the integration of communication systems. Two neuroendocrine axes, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal axes, are central players in orchestrating body morphogenesis. In all vertebrates, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis controls thyroid hormone production and release, whereas the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal axis regulates the production and release of corticosteroids. One of the most salient effects of thyroid hormones and corticosteroids in post-embryonic developmental processes is their critical role in metamorphosis in anuran amphibians. Metamorphosis involves modifications to the morphological and biochemical characteristics of all larval tissues to enable the transition from one life stage to the next life stage that coincides with an ecological niche switch. This transition in amphibians is an example of a widespread phenomenon among vertebrates, where thyroid hormones and corticosteroids coordinate a post-embryonic developmental transition. The review addresses the functions and interactions of thyroid hormone and corticosteroid signaling in amphibian development (metamorphosis) as well as the developmental roles of these two pathways in vertebrate evolution.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2022-05-03

Staps M, CE Tarnita (2022)

When being flexible matters: Ecological underpinnings for the evolution of collective flexibility and task allocation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(18):e2116066119.

Task allocation is a central feature of collective organization. Living collective systems, such as multicellular organisms or social insect colonies, have evolved diverse ways to allocate individuals to different tasks, ranging from rigid, inflexible task allocation that is not adjusted to changing circumstances to more fluid, flexible task allocation that is rapidly adjusted to the external environment. While the mechanisms underlying task allocation have been intensely studied, it remains poorly understood whether differences in the flexibility of task allocation can be viewed as adaptive responses to different ecological contexts—for example, different degrees of temporal variability. Motivated by this question, we develop an analytically tractable mathematical framework to explore the evolution of task allocation in dynamic environments. We find that collective flexibility is not necessarily always adaptive, and fails to evolve in environments that change too slowly (relative to how long tasks can be left unattended) or too quickly (relative to how rapidly task allocation can be adjusted). We further employ the framework to investigate how environmental variability impacts the internal organization of task allocation, which allows us to propose adaptive explanations for some puzzling empirical observations, such as seemingly unnecessary task switching under constant environmental conditions, apparent task specialization without efficiency benefits, and high levels of individual inactivity. Altogether, this work provides a general framework for probing the evolved diversity of task allocation strategies in nature and reinforces the idea that considering a system’s ecology is crucial to explaining its collective organization.

RevDate: 2022-05-30
CmpDate: 2022-05-30

Puzakov MV, LV Puzakova (2022)

[Prevalence, Diversity, and Evolution of L18 (DD37E) Transposons in the Genomes of Cnidarians].

Molekuliarnaia biologiia, 56(3):476-490.

Transposable elements have a significant impact on the structure and functioning of multicellular genomes, and also serve as a source of new genes. Studying the diversity and evolution of transposable elements in different taxa is necessary for the fundamental understanding of their role in genomes. The Tc1/mariner elements are one of the most widespread and diverse groups of DNA transposons. In this work, the structure, distribution, diversity, and evolution of the L18 (DD37E) elements in the genomes of cnidarians (Cnidaria) were studied for the first time. As a result, it was found that the L18 group is an independent family (and not a subfamily of the TLE family, as previously thought) in the Tc1/mariner superfamily. Of the 51 detected elements, only four had potentially functional copies. It is assumed that the L18 transposons are of ancient origin, and, in addition, the elements found in the genomes of organisms of the Anthozoa and Hydrozoa classes do not come from a common ancestral transposon within the Cnidaria phylum. In organisms of the Hydrozoa class, L18 transposons appeared as a result of horizontal transfer at a later time period. An intraspecies comparison of the diversity of the L18 elements demonstrates high homogeneity with respect to "old" transposons, which have already lost their activity. At the same time, distant populations, as in the case of Hydra viridissima, have differences in the representation of DNA transposons and the number of copies. These data supplement the knowledge on the diversity and evolution of Tc1/mariner transposons and contribute to the study of the influence of mobile genetic elements on the evolution of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-05-19
CmpDate: 2022-05-19

Ritch SJ, CM Telleria (2022)

The Transcoelomic Ecosystem and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Dissemination.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 13:886533.

Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is considered the deadliest gynecological disease and is normally diagnosed at late stages, at which point metastasis has already occurred. Throughout disease progression, EOC will encounter various ecosystems and the communication between cancer cells and these microenvironments will promote the survival and dissemination of EOC. The primary tumor is thought to develop within the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, both of which provide a microenvironment with high risk of causing DNA damage and enhanced proliferation. EOC disseminates by direct extension from the primary tumors, as single cells or multicellular aggregates. Under the influence of cellular and non-cellular factors, EOC spheroids use the natural flow of peritoneal fluid to reach distant organs within the peritoneal cavity. These cells can then implant and seed distant organs or tissues, which develop rapidly into secondary tumor nodules. The peritoneal tissue and the omentum are two common sites of EOC metastasis, providing a microenvironment that supports EOC invasion and survival. Current treatment for EOC involves debulking surgery followed by platinum-taxane combination chemotherapy; however, most patients will relapse with a chemoresistant disease with tumors developed within the peritoneum. Therefore, understanding the role of the unique microenvironments that promote EOC transcoelomic dissemination is important in improving patient outcomes from this disease. In this review article, we address the process of ovarian cancer cellular fate at the site of its origin in the secretory cells of the fallopian tube or in the ovarian surface epithelial cells, their detachment process, how the cells survive in the peritoneal fluid avoiding cell death triggers, and how cancer- associated cells help them in the process. Finally, we report the mechanisms used by the ovarian cancer cells to adhere and migrate through the mesothelial monolayer lining the peritoneum. We also discuss the involvement of the transcoelomic ecosystem on the development of chemoresistance of EOC.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Zhang J, Shen N, Li C, et al (2022)

Population genomics provides insights into the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in the mushroom-forming fungus Lentinula edodes.

Journal of advanced research, 38:91-106 pii:S2090-1232(21)00189-2.

Introduction: Mushroom-forming fungi comprise diverse species that develop complex multicellular structures. In cultivated species, both ecological adaptation and artificial selection have driven genome evolution. However, little is known about the connections among genotype, phenotype and adaptation in mushroom-forming fungi.

Objectives: This study aimed to (1) uncover the population structure and demographic history of Lentinula edodes, (2) dissect the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in L. edodes, and (3) determine if genes related to fruiting body development are involved in adaptive evolution.

Methods: We analyzed genomes and fruiting body-related traits (FBRTs) in 133 L. edodes strains and conducted RNA-seq analysis of fruiting body development in the YS69 strain. Combined methods of genomic scan for divergence, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and RNA-seq were used to dissect the genetic basis of adaptive evolution.

Results: We detected three distinct subgroups of L. edodes via single nucleotide polymorphisms, which showed robust phenotypic and temperature response differentiation and correlation with geographical distribution. Demographic history inference suggests that the subgroups diverged 36,871 generations ago. Moreover, L. edodes cultivars in China may have originated from the vicinity of Northeast China. A total of 942 genes were found to be related to genetic divergence by genomic scan, and 719 genes were identified to be candidates underlying FBRTs by GWAS. Integrating results of genomic scan and GWAS, 80 genes were detected to be related to phenotypic differentiation. A total of 364 genes related to fruiting body development were involved in genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation.

Conclusion: Adaptation to the local environment, especially temperature, triggered genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation of L. edodes. A general model for genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation during adaptive evolution in L. edodes, which involves in signal perception and transduction, transcriptional regulation, and fruiting body morphogenesis, was also integrated here.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Heinz MC, Peters NA, Oost KC, et al (2022)

Liver Colonization by Colorectal Cancer Metastases Requires YAP-Controlled Plasticity at the Micrometastatic Stage.

Cancer research, 82(10):1953-1968.

Micrometastases of colorectal cancer can remain dormant for years prior to the formation of actively growing, clinically detectable lesions (i.e., colonization). A better understanding of this step in the metastatic cascade could help improve metastasis prevention and treatment. Here we analyzed liver specimens of patients with colorectal cancer and monitored real-time metastasis formation in mouse livers using intravital microscopy to reveal that micrometastatic lesions are devoid of cancer stem cells (CSC). However, lesions that grow into overt metastases demonstrated appearance of de novo CSCs through cellular plasticity at a multicellular stage. Clonal outgrowth of patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids phenocopied the cellular and transcriptomic changes observed during in vivo metastasis formation. First, formation of mature CSCs occurred at a multicellular stage and promoted growth. Conversely, failure of immature CSCs to generate more differentiated cells arrested growth, implying that cellular heterogeneity is required for continuous growth. Second, early-stage YAP activity was required for the survival of organoid-forming cells. However, subsequent attenuation of early-stage YAP activity was essential to allow for the formation of cell type heterogeneity, while persistent YAP signaling locked micro-organoids in a cellularly homogenous and growth-stalled state. Analysis of metastasis formation in mouse livers using single-cell RNA sequencing confirmed the transient presence of early-stage YAP activity, followed by emergence of CSC and non-CSC phenotypes, irrespective of the initial phenotype of the metastatic cell of origin. Thus, establishment of cellular heterogeneity after an initial YAP-controlled outgrowth phase marks the transition to continuously growing macrometastases.

SIGNIFICANCE: Characterization of the cell type dynamics, composition, and transcriptome of early colorectal cancer liver metastases reveals that failure to establish cellular heterogeneity through YAP-controlled epithelial self-organization prohibits the outgrowth of micrometastases. See related commentary by LeBleu, p. 1870.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Stange K, Keric A, Friese A, et al (2022)

Preparation of Spheroids from Primary Pig Cells in a Mid-Scale Bioreactor Retaining Their Myogenic Potential.

Cells, 11(9):.

Three-dimensional cell culture techniques mimic the in vivo cell environment more adequately than flat surfaces. Spheroids are multicellular aggregates and we aimed to produce scaffold-free spheroids of myogenic origin, called myospheres, using a mid-scale incubator and bioreactor hybrid. For the first time, we obtained spheroids from primary porcine muscle cells (PMCs) with this technology and compared their morphology and growth parameters, marker expression, and myogenic potential to C2C12-derived spheroids. Both cell types were able to form round-shaped spheroids in the bioreactor already after 24 h. The mean diameter of the C2C12 spheroids (44.6 µm) was larger than that of the PMCs (32.7 µm), and the maximum diameter exceeded 1 mm. C2C12 cells formed less aggregates than PMCs with a higher packing density (cell nuclei/mm2). After dissociation from the spheroids, C2C12 cells and PMCs started to proliferate again and were able to differentiate into the myogenic lineage, as shown by myotube formation and the expression of F-Actin, Desmin, MyoG, and Myosin. For C2C12, multinucleated syncytia and Myosin expression were observed in spheroids, pointing to accelerated myogenic differentiation. In conclusion, the mid-scale incubator and bioreactor system is suitable for spheroid formation and cultivation from primary muscle cells while preserving their myogenic potential.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Eskandari E, CJ Eaves (2022)

Paradoxical roles of caspase-3 in regulating cell survival, proliferation, and tumorigenesis.

The Journal of cell biology, 221(6):.

Caspase-3 is a widely expressed member of a conserved family of proteins, generally recognized for their activated proteolytic roles in the execution of apoptosis in cells responding to specific extrinsic or intrinsic inducers of this mode of cell death. However, accumulating evidence indicates that caspase-3 also plays key roles in regulating the growth and homeostatic maintenance of both normal and malignant cells and tissues in multicellular organisms. Given that yeast possess an ancestral caspase-like gene suggests that the caspase-3 protein may have acquired different functions later during evolution to better meet the needs of more complex multicellular organisms, but without necessarily losing all of the functions of its ancestral yeast precursor. This review provides an update on what has been learned about these interesting dichotomous roles of caspase-3, their evolution, and their potential relevance to malignant as well as normal cell biology.

RevDate: 2022-05-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-16

La Richelière F, Muñoz G, Guénard B, et al (2022)

Warm and arid regions of the world are hotspots of superorganism complexity.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1968):20211899.

Biologists have long been fascinated by the processes that give rise to phenotypic complexity of organisms, yet whether there exist geographical hotspots of phenotypic complexity remains poorly explored. Phenotypic complexity can be readily observed in ant colonies, which are superorganisms with morphologically differentiated queen and worker castes analogous to the germline and soma of multicellular organisms. Several ant species have evolved 'worker polymorphism', where workers in a single colony show quantifiable differences in size and head-to-body scaling. Here, we use 256 754 occurrence points from 8990 ant species to investigate the geography of worker polymorphism. We show that arid regions of the world are the hotspots of superorganism complexity. Tropical savannahs and deserts, which are typically species-poor relative to tropical or even temperate forests, harbour the highest densities of polymorphic ants. We discuss the possible adaptive advantages that worker polymorphism provides in arid environments. Our work may provide a window into the environmental conditions that promote the emergence of highly complex phenotypes.

RevDate: 2022-05-12
CmpDate: 2022-05-12

Toret C, Picco A, Boiero-Sanders M, et al (2022)

The cellular slime mold Fonticula alba forms a dynamic, multicellular collective while feeding on bacteria.

Current biology : CB, 32(9):1961-1973.e4.

Multicellularity evolved in fungi and animals, or the opisthokonts, from their common amoeboflagellate ancestor but resulted in strikingly distinct cellular organizations. The origins of this multicellularity divergence are not known. The stark mechanistic differences that underlie the two groups and the lack of information about ancestral cellular organizations limits progress in this field. We discovered a new type of invasive multicellular behavior in Fonticula alba, a unique species in the opisthokont tree, which has a simple, bacteria-feeding sorocarpic amoeba lifestyle. This invasive multicellularity follows germination dependent on the bacterial culture state, after which amoebae coalesce to form dynamic collectives that invade virgin bacterial resources. This bacteria-dependent social behavior emerges from amoeba density and allows for rapid and directed invasion. The motile collectives have animal-like properties but also hyphal-like search and invasive behavior. These surprising findings enrich the diverse multicellularities present within the opisthokont lineage and offer a new perspective on fungal origins.

RevDate: 2022-05-11
CmpDate: 2022-05-11

Mulcahey PJ, Chen Y, Driscoll N, et al (2022)

Multimodal, Multiscale Insights into Hippocampal Seizures Enabled by Transparent, Graphene-Based Microelectrode Arrays.

eNeuro, 9(3): pii:ENEURO.0386-21.2022.

Hippocampal seizures are a defining feature of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Area CA1 of the hippocampus is commonly implicated in the generation of seizures, which may occur because of the activity of endogenous cell populations or of inputs from other regions within the hippocampal formation. Simultaneously observing activity at the cellular and network scales in vivo remains challenging. Here, we present a novel technology for simultaneous electrophysiology and multicellular calcium imaging of CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs) in mice enabled by a transparent graphene-based microelectrode array (Gr MEA). We examine PC firing at seizure onset, oscillatory coupling, and the dynamics of the seizure traveling wave as seizures evolve. Finally, we couple features derived from both modalities to predict the speed of the traveling wave using bootstrap aggregated regression trees. Analysis of the most important features in the regression trees suggests a transition among states in the evolution of hippocampal seizures.

RevDate: 2022-05-09

de la Fuente M, M Novo (2022)

Understanding Diversity, Evolution, and Structure of Small Heat Shock Proteins in Annelida Through in Silico Analyses.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:817272 pii:817272.

Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are oligomeric stress proteins characterized by an α-crystallin domain (ACD). These proteins are localized in different subcellular compartments and play critical roles in the stress physiology of tissues, organs, and whole multicellular eukaryotes. They are ubiquitous proteins found in all living organisms, from bacteria to mammals, but they have never been studied in annelids. Here, a data set of 23 species spanning the annelid tree of life, including mostly transcriptomes but also two genomes, was interrogated and 228 novel putative sHsps were identified and manually curated. The analysis revealed very high protein diversity and showed that a significant number of sHsps have a particular dimeric architecture consisting of two tandemly repeated ACDs. The phylogenetic analysis distinguished three main clusters, two of them containing both monomeric sHsps, and ACDs located downstream in the dimeric sHsps, and the other one comprising the upstream ACDs from those dimeric forms. Our results support an evolutionary history of these proteins based on duplication events prior to the Spiralia split. Monomeric sHsps 76) were further divided into five subclusters. Physicochemical properties, subcellular location predictions, and sequence conservation analyses provided insights into the differentiating elements of these putative functional groups. Strikingly, three of those subclusters included sHsps with features typical of metazoans, while the other two presented characteristics resembling non-metazoan proteins. This study provides a solid background for further research on the diversity, evolution, and function in the family of the sHsps. The characterized annelid sHsps are disclosed as essential for improving our understanding of this important family of proteins and their pleotropic functions. The features and the great diversity of annelid sHsps position them as potential powerful molecular biomarkers of environmental stress for acting as prognostic tool in a diverse range of environments.

RevDate: 2022-05-09
CmpDate: 2022-05-09

Caipa Garcia AL, Arlt VM, DH Phillips (2022)

Organoids for toxicology and genetic toxicology: applications with drugs and prospects for environmental carcinogenesis.

Mutagenesis, 37(2):143-154.

Advances in three-dimensional (3D) cell culture technology have led to the development of more biologically and physiologically relevant models to study organ development, disease, toxicology and drug screening. Organoids have been derived from many mammalian tissues, both normal and tumour, from adult stem cells and from pluripotent stem cells. Tissue organoids can retain many of the cell types and much of the structure and function of the organ of origin. Organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells display increased complexity compared with organoids derived from adult stem cells. It has been shown that organoids express many functional xenobiotic-metabolising enzymes including cytochrome P450s (CYPs). This has benefitted the drug development field in facilitating pre-clinical testing of more personalised treatments and in developing large toxicity and efficacy screens for a range of compounds. In the field of environmental and genetic toxicology, treatment of organoids with various compounds has generated responses that are close to those obtained in primary tissues and in vivo models, demonstrating the biological relevance of these in vitro multicellular 3D systems. Toxicological investigations of compounds in different tissue organoids have produced promising results indicating that organoids will refine future studies on the effects of environmental exposures and carcinogenic risk to humans. With further development and standardised procedures, advancing our understanding on the metabolic capabilities of organoids will help to validate their use to investigate the modes of action of environmental carcinogens.

RevDate: 2022-04-26

Chaigne A, T Brunet (2022)

Incomplete abscission and cytoplasmic bridges in the evolution of eukaryotic multicellularity.

Current biology : CB, 32(8):R385-R397.

The textbook view of cell division terminates with the final separation of the two daughter cells in the process called abscission. However, in contrast to this classical view, a variety of cell types in multicellular organisms are connected through cytoplasmic bridges, which most often form by incomplete abscission or - more rarely - by local fusion of plasma membranes. In this review, we survey the distribution, function, and formation of cytoplasmic bridges across the eukaryotic tree of life. We find that cytoplasmic bridges are widespread, and were likely ancestrally present, in almost all lineages of eukaryotes with clonal multicellularity - including the five 'complex multicellular' lineages: animals, fungi, land plants, red algae, and brown algae. In animals, cytoplasmic bridges resulting from incomplete abscission are ubiquitous in the germline and common in pluripotent cell types. Although cytoplasmic bridges have been less studied than other structural mediators of multicellularity (such as adhesion proteins and extracellular matrix), we propose that they have played a pivotal role in the repeated evolution of eukaryotic clonal multicellularity - possibly by first performing a structural role and later by allowing exchange of nutrients and/or intercellular communication, which notably buffered cell-cell competition by averaging gene expression. Bridges were eventually lost from many animal tissues in concert with the evolution of spatial cell differentiation, cell motility within the organism, and other mechanisms for intercellular distribution of signals and metabolites. Finally, we discuss the molecular basis for the evolution of incomplete abscission and examine the alternative hypotheses of single or multiple origins.

RevDate: 2022-04-26
CmpDate: 2022-04-26

Bogaert KA, Blomme J, Beeckman T, et al (2022)

Auxin's origin: do PILS hold the key?.

Trends in plant science, 27(3):227-236.

Auxin is a key regulator of many developmental processes in land plants and plays a strikingly similar role in the phylogenetically distant brown seaweeds. Emerging evidence shows that the PIN and PIN-like (PILS) auxin transporter families have preceded the evolution of the canonical auxin response pathway. A wide conservation of PILS-mediated auxin transport, together with reports of auxin function in unicellular algae, would suggest that auxin function preceded the advent of multicellularity. We find that PIN and PILS transporters form two eukaryotic subfamilies within a larger bacterial family. We argue that future functional characterisation of algal PIN and PILS transporters can shed light on a common origin of an auxin function followed by independent co-option in a multicellular context.

RevDate: 2022-04-19
CmpDate: 2022-04-19

Alfieri JM, Wang G, Jonika MM, et al (2022)

A Primer for Single-Cell Sequencing in Non-Model Organisms.

Genes, 13(2):.

Single-cell sequencing technologies have led to a revolution in our knowledge of the diversity of cell types, connections between biological levels of organization, and relationships between genotype and phenotype. These advances have mainly come from using model organisms; however, using single-cell sequencing in non-model organisms could enable investigations of questions inaccessible with typical model organisms. This primer describes a general workflow for single-cell sequencing studies and considerations for using non-model organisms (limited to multicellular animals). Importantly, single-cell sequencing, when further applied in non-model organisms, will allow for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms between genotype and phenotype and the basis for biological variation.

RevDate: 2022-04-18
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

Nozaki H, Mori F, Tanaka Y, et al (2022)

Cryopreservation of vegetative cells and zygotes of the multicellular volvocine green alga Gonium pectorale.

BMC microbiology, 22(1):103.

BACKGROUND: Colonial and multicellular volvocine green algae have been extensively studied recently in various fields of the biological sciences. However, only one species (Pandorina morum) has been cryopreserved in public culture collections.

RESULTS: Here, we investigated conditions for cryopreservation of the multicellular volvocine alga Gonium pectorale using vegetative colonies or cells and zygotes. Rates of vegetative cell survival in a G. pectorale strain after two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen were compared between different concentrations (3% and 6%) of the cryoprotectant N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and two types of tubes (0.2-mL polymerase chain reaction tubes and 2-mL cryotubes) used for cryopreservation. Among the four conditions investigated, the highest rate of survival [2.7 ± 3.6% (0.54-10%) by the most probable number (MPN) method] was obtained when 2.0-mL cryotubes containing 1.0 mL of culture samples with 6% DMF were subjected to cryogenic treatment. Using these optimized cryopreservation conditions, survival rates after freezing in liquid nitrogen were examined for twelve other strains of G. pectorale and twelve strains of five other Gonium species. We obtained ≥ 0.1% MPN survival in nine of the twelve G. pectorale strains tested. However, < 0.1% MPN survival was detected in eleven of twelve strains of five other Gonium species. In total, ten cryopreserved strains of G. pectorale were newly established in the Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Although the cryopreservation of zygotes of volvocine algae has not been previously reported, high rates (approximately 60%) of G. pectorale zygote germination were observed after thawing zygotes that had been cryopreserved with 5% or 10% methanol as the cryoprotectant during two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrated that cryopreservation of G. pectorale is possible with 6% DMF as a cryoprotectant and 1.0-mL culture samples in 2.0-mL cryotubes subjected to two-step cooling in a programmable freezer.

RevDate: 2022-04-16
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Kambayashi C, Kakehashi R, Sato Y, et al (2022)

Geography-Dependent Horizontal Gene Transfer from Vertebrate Predators to Their Prey.

Molecular biology and evolution, 39(4):.

Horizontal transfer (HT) of genes between multicellular animals, once thought to be extremely rare, is being more commonly detected, but its global geographic trend and transfer mechanism have not been investigated. We discovered a unique HT pattern of Bovine-B (BovB) LINE retrotransposons in vertebrates, with a bizarre transfer direction from predators (snakes) to their prey (frogs). At least 54 instances of BovB HT were detected, which we estimate to have occurred across time between 85 and 1.3 Ma. Using comprehensive transcontinental sampling, our study demonstrates that BovB HT is highly prevalent in one geographical region, Madagascar, suggesting important regional differences in the occurrence of HTs. We discovered parasite vectors that may plausibly transmit BovB and found that the proportion of BovB-positive parasites is also high in Madagascar where BovB thus might be physically transported by parasites to diverse vertebrates, potentially including humans. Remarkably, in two frog lineages, BovB HT occurred after migration from a non-HT area (Africa) to the HT hotspot (Madagascar). These results provide a novel perspective on how the prevalence of parasites influences the occurrence of HT in a region, similar to pathogens and their vectors in some endemic diseases.

RevDate: 2022-04-18
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

Simon-Soro A, Ren Z, Krom BP, et al (2022)

Polymicrobial Aggregates in Human Saliva Build the Oral Biofilm.

mBio, 13(1):e0013122.

Biofilm community development has been established as a sequential process starting from the attachment of single cells on a surface. However, microorganisms are often found as aggregates in the environment and in biological fluids. Here, we conduct a comprehensive analysis of the native structure and composition of aggregated microbial assemblages in human saliva and investigate their spatiotemporal attachment and biofilm community development. Using multiscale imaging, cell sorting, and computational approaches combined with sequencing analysis, a diverse mixture of aggregates varying in size, structure, and microbial composition, including bacteria associated with host epithelial cells, can be found in saliva in addition to a few single-cell forms. Phylogenetic analysis reveals a mixture of complex consortia of aerobes and anaerobes in which bacteria traditionally considered early and late colonizers are found mixed together. When individually tracked during colonization and biofilm initiation, aggregates rapidly proliferate and expand tridimensionally, modulating population growth, spatial organization, and community scaffolding. In contrast, most single cells remain static or are incorporated by actively growing aggregates. These results suggest an alternative biofilm development process whereby aggregates containing different species or associated with human cells collectively adhere to the surface as "growth nuclei" to build the biofilm and shape polymicrobial communities at various spatial and taxonomic scales. IMPORTANCE Microbes in biological fluids can be found as aggregates. How these multicellular structures bind to surfaces and initiate the biofilm life cycle remains understudied. Here, we investigate the structural organization of microbial aggregates in human saliva and their role in biofilm formation. We found diverse mixtures of aggregates with different sizes, structures, and compositions in addition to free-living cells. When individually tracked during binding and growth on tooth-like surfaces, most aggregates developed into structured biofilm communities, whereas most single cells remained static or were engulfed by the growing aggregates. Our results reveal that preformed microbial consortia adhere as "buds of growth," governing biofilm initiation without specific taxonomic order or cell-by-cell succession, which provide new insights into spatial and population heterogeneity development in complex ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Suissa JS (2022)

Fern fronds that move like pine cones: humidity-driven motion of fertile leaflets governs the timing of spore dispersal in a widespread fern species.

Annals of botany, 129(5):519-528.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, is a widespread species in eastern North America and has an atypical timing of spore dispersal among temperate ferns. During early summer, this dimorphic species produces heavily modified spore-bearing fronds with leaflets tightly enveloping their sporangia and spores. These fronds senesce and persist above ground as dead mature structures until the following early spring when the leaflets finally open and spores are dispersed. While this timing of spore dispersal has been observed for over 120 years, the structural mechanisms underpinning this phenology have remained elusive.

METHODS: Based on field observations, growth chamber manipulations and scanning electron microscopy, the mechanisms underlying this distinctive timing of spore dispersal in the sensitive fern were investigated.

KEY RESULTS: I show that fertile leaflets of the sensitive fern move in direct response to changes in humidity, exhibiting structural and functional parallels with multicellular hygromorphic structures in seed plants, such as pine cones. These parallels include differences in cellulose microfibril orientation in cells on the abaxial and adaxial sides of the leaflet. The dynamics of this hygroscopic movement concomitant with regular abscission zones along the pinnules and coordinated senescence lead to the specific timing of early spring spore dispersal in the sensitive fern.

CONCLUSIONS: While hygroscopic movement is common in seed-free plants, it mostly occurs in small structures that are either one or a few cells in size, such as the leptosporangium. Given its multicellular structure and integration across many cells and tissues, the movement and construction of the sensitive fern pinnules are more similar to structures in seed plants. The evolution of this complex trait in the sensitive fern efficiently regulates the timing of spore release, leading to early spring dispersal. This phenology likely gives gametophytes and subsequent sporophytes an advantage with early germination and growth.

RevDate: 2022-04-14

Rohkin Shalom S, Weiss B, Lalzar M, et al (2022)

Abundance and Localization of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities in the Fly Parasitoid Spalangia cameroni.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Multicellular eukaryotes often host multiple microbial symbionts that may cooperate or compete for host resources, such as space and nutrients. Here, we studied the abundances and localization of four bacterial symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, in the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we measured the symbionts' titers in wasps that harbor different combinations of these symbionts. We found that the titer of each symbiont decreased as the number of symbiont species in the community increased. Symbionts' titers were higher in females than in males. Rickettsia was the most abundant symbiont in all the communities, followed by Sodalis and Wolbachia. The titers of these three symbionts were positively correlated in some of the colonies. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was in line with the qPCR results: Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Sodalis were observed in high densities in multiple organs, including brain, muscles, gut, Malpighian tubules, fat body, ovaries, and testes, while Arsenophonus was localized to fewer organs and in lower densities. Sodalis and Arsenophonus were observed in ovarian follicle cells but not within oocytes or laid eggs. This study highlights the connection between symbionts' abundance and localization. We discuss the possible connections between our findings to symbiont transmission success. IMPORTANCE Many insects carry intracellular bacterial symbionts (bacteria that reside within the cells of the insect). When multiple symbiont species cohabit in a host, they may compete or cooperate for space, nutrients, and transmission, and the nature of such interactions would be reflected in the abundance of each symbiont species. Given the widespread occurrence of coinfections with maternally transmitted symbionts in insects, it is important to learn more about how they interact, where they are localized, and how these two aspects affect their co-occurrence within individual insects. Here, we studied the abundance and the localization of four symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, that cohabit the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. We found that symbionts' titers differed between symbiotic communities. These results were corroborated by microscopy, which shows differential localization patterns. We discuss the findings in the contexts of community ecology, possible symbiont-symbiont interactions, and host control mechanisms that may shape the symbiotic community structure.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Kasperski A (2022)

Life Entrapped in a Network of Atavistic Attractors: How to Find a Rescue.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(7): pii:ijms23074017.

In view of unified cell bioenergetics, cell bioenergetic problems related to cell overenergization can cause excessive disturbances in current cell fate and, as a result, lead to a change of cell-fate. At the onset of the problem, cell overenergization of multicellular organisms (especially overenergization of mitochondria) is solved inter alia by activation and then stimulation of the reversible Crabtree effect by cells. Unfortunately, this apparently good solution can also lead to a much bigger problem when, despite the activation of the Crabtree effect, cell overenergization persists for a long time. In such a case, cancer transformation, along with the Warburg effect, may occur to further reduce or stop the charging of mitochondria by high-energy molecules. Understanding the phenomena of cancer transformation and cancer development has become a real challenge for humanity. To date, many models have been developed to understand cancer-related mechanisms. Nowadays, combining all these models into one coherent universal model of cancer transformation and development can be considered a new challenge. In this light, the aim of this article is to present such a potentially universal model supported by a proposed new model of cellular functionality evolution. The methods of fighting cancer resulting from unified cell bioenergetics and the two presented models are also considered.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Zschüntzsch J, Meyer S, Shahriyari M, et al (2022)

The Evolution of Complex Muscle Cell In Vitro Models to Study Pathomechanisms and Drug Development of Neuromuscular Disease.

Cells, 11(7): pii:cells11071233.

Many neuromuscular disease entities possess a significant disease burden and therapeutic options remain limited. Innovative human preclinical models may help to uncover relevant disease mechanisms and enhance the translation of therapeutic findings to strengthen neuromuscular disease precision medicine. By concentrating on idiopathic inflammatory muscle disorders, we summarize the recent evolution of the novel in vitro models to study disease mechanisms and therapeutic strategies. A particular focus is laid on the integration and simulation of multicellular interactions of muscle tissue in disease phenotypes in vitro. Finally, the requirements of a neuromuscular disease drug development workflow are discussed with a particular emphasis on cell sources, co-culture systems (including organoids), functionality, and throughput.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Shapiro JA (2022)

What we have learned about evolutionary genome change in the past 7 decades.

Bio Systems, 215-216:104669.

Cytogenetics and genomics have completely transformed our understanding of evolutionary genome change since the early 1950s. The point of this paper is to outline some of the empirical findings responsible for that transformation. The discovery of transposable elements (TEs) in maize by McClintock, and their subsequent rediscovery in all forms of life, tell us that organisms have the inherent capacity to evolve dispersed genomic networks encoding complex cellular and multicellular adaptations. Genomic analysis confirms the role of TEs in wiring novel networks at major evolutionary transitions. TEs and other forms of repetitive DNA are also important contributors to genome regions that serve as transcriptional templates for regulatory and other biologically functional noncoding ncRNAs. The many functions documented for ncRNAs shows the concept of abundant "selfish" or "junk" DNA in complex genomes is mistaken. Natural and artificial speciation by interspecific hybridization demonstrates that TEs and other biochemical systems of genome restructuring are subject to rapid activation and can generate changes throughout the genomes of the novel species that emerge. In addition to TEs and hybrid species, cancer cells have taught us important lessons about chromothripsis, chromoplexy and other forms of non-random multisite genome restructuring. In many of these restructured genomes, alternative end-joining processes display the capacities of eukaryotes to generate novel combinations of templated and untemplated DNA sequences at the sites of break repair. Sequence innovation by alternative end-joining is widespread among eukaryotes from single cells to advanced plants and animals. In sum, the cellular and genomic capacities of eukaryotic cells have proven to be capable of executing rapid macroevolutionary change under a variety of conditions.

RevDate: 2022-04-11
CmpDate: 2022-04-11

Davis JR, Ainslie AP, Williamson JJ, et al (2022)

ECM degradation in the Drosophila abdominal epidermis initiates tissue growth that ceases with rapid cell-cycle exit.

Current biology : CB, 32(6):1285-1300.e4.

During development, multicellular organisms undergo stereotypical patterns of tissue growth in space and time. How developmental growth is orchestrated remains unclear, largely due to the difficulty of observing and quantitating this process in a living organism. Drosophila histoblast nests are small clusters of progenitor epithelial cells that undergo extensive growth to give rise to the adult abdominal epidermis and are amenable to live imaging. Our quantitative analysis of histoblast proliferation and tissue mechanics reveals that tissue growth is driven by cell divisions initiated through basal extracellular matrix degradation by matrix metalloproteases secreted by the neighboring larval epidermal cells. Laser ablations and computational simulations show that tissue mechanical tension does not decrease as the histoblasts fill the abdominal epidermal surface. During tissue growth, the histoblasts display oscillatory cell division rates until growth termination occurs through the rapid emergence of G0/G1 arrested cells, rather than a gradual increase in cell-cycle time as observed in other systems such as the Drosophila wing and mouse postnatal epidermis. Different developing tissues can therefore achieve their final size using distinct growth termination strategies. Thus, adult abdominal epidermal development is characterized by changes in the tissue microenvironment and a rapid exit from the cell cycle.

RevDate: 2022-04-09

Koide RT (2022)

On Holobionts, Holospecies, and Holoniches: the Role of Microbial Symbioses in Ecology and Evolution.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

My goal in writing this is to increase awareness of the roles played by microbial symbionts in eukaryote ecology and evolution. Most eukaryotes host one or more species of symbiotic microorganisms, including prokaryotes and fungi. Many of these have profound impacts on the biology of their hosts. For example, microbial symbionts may expand the niches of their hosts, cause rapid adaptation of the host to the environment and re-adaptation to novel conditions via symbiont swapping, facilitate speciation, and fundamentally alter our concept of the species. In some cases, microbial symbionts and multicellular eukaryote hosts have a mutual dependency, which has obvious conservation implications. Hopefully, this contribution will stimulate a reevaluation of important ecological and evolutionary concepts including niche, adaptation, the species, speciation, and conservation of multicellular eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2022-04-08
CmpDate: 2022-04-08

Ribba AS, Fraboulet S, Sadoul K, et al (2022)

The Role of LIM Kinases during Development: A Lens to Get a Glimpse of Their Implication in Pathologies.

Cells, 11(3):.

The organization of cell populations within animal tissues is essential for the morphogenesis of organs during development. Cells recognize three-dimensional positions with respect to the whole organism and regulate their cell shape, motility, migration, polarization, growth, differentiation, gene expression and cell death according to extracellular signals. Remodeling of the actin filaments is essential to achieve these cell morphological changes. Cofilin is an important binding protein for these filaments; it increases their elasticity in terms of flexion and torsion and also severs them. The activity of cofilin is spatiotemporally inhibited via phosphorylation by the LIM domain kinases 1 and 2 (LIMK1 and LIMK2). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the phospho-regulation of cofilin has evolved as a mechanism controlling the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton during complex multicellular processes, such as those that occur during embryogenesis. In this context, the main objective of this review is to provide an update of the respective role of each of the LIM kinases during embryonic development.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Chen C, Wang P, Chen H, et al (2022)

Smart Magnetotactic Bacteria Enable the Inhibition of Neuroblastoma under an Alternating Magnetic Field.

ACS applied materials & interfaces, 14(12):14049-14058.

Magnetotactic bacteria are ubiquitous microorganisms in nature that synthesize intracellular magnetic nanoparticles called magnetosomes in a gene-controlled way and arrange them in chains. From in vitro to in vivo, we demonstrate that the intact body of Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 has potential as a natural magnetic hyperthermia material for cancer therapy. Compared to chains of magnetosomes and individual magnetosomes, the entire AMB-1 cell exhibits superior heating capability under an alternating magnetic field. When incubating with tumor cells, the intact AMB-1 cells disperse better than the other two types of magnetosomes, decreasing cellular viability under the control of an alternating magnetic field. Furthermore, in vivo experiments in nude mice with neuroblastoma found that intact AMB-1 cells had the best antitumor activity with magnetic hyperthermia therapy compared to other treatment groups. These findings suggest that the intact body of magnetotactic bacteria has enormous promise as a natural material for tumor magnetic hyperthermia. In biomedical applications, intact and living magnetotactic bacteria play an increasingly essential function as a targeting robot due to their magnetotaxis.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Pereira PHS, Garcia CRS, M Bouvier (2021)

Identifying Plasmodium falciparum receptor activation using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based biosensors in HEK293 cells.

Methods in cell biology, 166:223-233.

Throughout evolution the need for unicellular organisms to associate and form a single cluster of cells had several evolutionary advantages. G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are responsible for a large part of the senses that allow this clustering to succeed, playing a fundamental role in the perception of cell's external environment, enabling the interaction and coordinated development between each cell of a multicellular organism. GPCRs are not exclusive to complex multicellular organisms. In single-celled organisms, GPCRs are also present and have a similar function of detecting changes in the external environment and transforming them into a biological response. There are no reports of GPCRs in parasitic protozoa, such as the Plasmodium genus, and the identification of a protein of this family in P. falciparum would have a significant impact both on the understanding of the basic biology of the parasite and on the history of the evolution of GPCRs. The protocol described here was successfully applied to study a GPCR candidate in P. falciparum for the first time, and we hope that it helps other groups to use the same approach to study this deadly parasite.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Verdonck R, Legrand D, Jacob S, et al (2022)

Phenotypic plasticity through disposable genetic adaptation in ciliates.

Trends in microbiology, 30(2):120-130.

Ciliates have an extraordinary genetic system in which each cell harbors two distinct kinds of nucleus, a transcriptionally active somatic nucleus and a quiescent germline nucleus. The latter undergoes classical, heritable genetic adaptation, while adaptation of the somatic nucleus is only short-term and thus disposable. The ecological and evolutionary relevance of this nuclear dimorphism have never been well formalized, which is surprising given the long history of using ciliates such as Tetrahymena and Paramecium as model organisms. We present a novel, alternative explanation for ciliate nuclear dimorphism which, we argue, should be considered an instrument of phenotypic plasticity by somatic selection on the level of the ciliate clone, as if it were a diffuse multicellular organism. This viewpoint helps to put some enigmatic aspects of ciliate biology into perspective and presents the diversity of ciliates as a large natural experiment that we can exploit to study phenotypic plasticity and organismality.

RevDate: 2022-04-04
CmpDate: 2022-04-04

Ramon-Mateu J, Edgar A, Mitchell D, et al (2022)

Studying Ctenophora WBR Using Mnemiopsis leidyi.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2450:95-119.

Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are a clade of fragile holopelagic, carnivorous marine invertebrates, that represent one of the most ancient extant groups of multicellular animals. Ctenophores show a remarkable ability to regenerate in the adult form, being capable of replacing all body parts (i.e., whole-body regeneration) after loss/amputation. With many favorable experimental features (optical clarity, stereotyped cell lineage, multiple cell types), a full genome sequence available and their early branching phylogenetic position, ctenophores are well placed to provide information about the evolution of regenerative ability throughout the Metazoa. Here, we provide a collection of detailed protocols for use of the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi to study whole-body regeneration, including specimen collection, husbandry, surgical manipulation, and imaging techniques.

RevDate: 2022-04-04
CmpDate: 2022-04-04

von der Heyde EL, A Hallmann (2022)

Molecular and cellular dynamics of early embryonic cell divisions in Volvox carteri.

The Plant cell, 34(4):1326-1353.

Cell division is fundamental to all organisms and the green alga used here exhibits both key animal and plant functions. Specifically, we analyzed the molecular and cellular dynamics of early embryonic divisions of the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri (Chlamydomonadales). Relevant proteins related to mitosis and cytokinesis were identified in silico, the corresponding genes were cloned, fused to yfp, and stably expressed in Volvox, and the tagged proteins were studied by live-cell imaging. We reveal rearrangements of the microtubule cytoskeleton during centrosome separation, spindle formation, establishment of the phycoplast, and generation of previously unknown structures. The centrosomes participate in initiation of spindle formation and determination of spindle orientation. Although the nuclear envelope does not break down during early mitosis, intermixing of cytoplasm and nucleoplasm results in loss of nuclear identity. Finally, we present a model for mitosis in Volvox. Our study reveals enormous dynamics, clarifies spatio-temporal relationships of subcellular structures, and provides insight into the evolution of cell division.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-04-01

Dudin O, Wielgoss S, New AM, et al (2022)

Regulation of sedimentation rate shapes the evolution of multicellularity in a close unicellular relative of animals.

PLoS biology, 20(3):e3001551.

Significant increases in sedimentation rate accompany the evolution of multicellularity. These increases should lead to rapid changes in ecological distribution, thereby affecting the costs and benefits of multicellularity and its likelihood to evolve. However, how genetic and cellular traits control this process, their likelihood of emergence over evolutionary timescales, and the variation in these traits as multicellularity evolves are still poorly understood. Here, using isolates of the ichthyosporean genus Sphaeroforma-close unicellular relatives of animals with brief transient multicellular life stages-we demonstrate that sedimentation rate is a highly variable and evolvable trait affected by at least 2 distinct physical mechanisms. First, we find extensive (>300×) variation in sedimentation rates for different Sphaeroforma species, mainly driven by size and density during the unicellular-to-multicellular life cycle transition. Second, using experimental evolution with sedimentation rate as a focal trait, we readily obtained, for the first time, fast settling and multicellular Sphaeroforma arctica isolates. Quantitative microscopy showed that increased sedimentation rates most often arose by incomplete cellular separation after cell division, leading to clonal "clumping" multicellular variants with increased size and density. Strikingly, density increases also arose by an acceleration of the nuclear doubling time relative to cell size. Similar size- and density-affecting phenotypes were observed in 4 additional species from the Sphaeroforma genus, suggesting that variation in these traits might be widespread in the marine habitat. By resequencing evolved isolates to high genomic coverage, we identified mutations in regulators of cytokinesis, plasma membrane remodeling, and chromatin condensation that may contribute to both clump formation and the increase in the nuclear number-to-volume ratio. Taken together, this study illustrates how extensive cellular control of density and size drive sedimentation rate variation, likely shaping the onset and further evolution of multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Nemec-Venza Z, Madden C, Stewart A, et al (2022)

CLAVATA modulates auxin homeostasis and transport to regulate stem cell identity and plant shape in a moss.

The New phytologist, 234(1):149-163.

The CLAVATA pathway is a key regulator of stem cell function in the multicellular shoot tips of Arabidopsis, where it acts via the WUSCHEL transcription factor to modulate hormone homeostasis. Broad-scale evolutionary comparisons have shown that CLAVATA is a conserved regulator of land plant stem cell function, but CLAVATA acts independently of WUSCHEL-like (WOX) proteins in bryophytes. The relationship between CLAVATA, hormone homeostasis and the evolution of land plant stem cell functions is unknown. Here we show that in the moss, Physcomitrella (Physcomitrium patens), CLAVATA affects stem cell activity by modulating hormone homeostasis. CLAVATA pathway genes are expressed in the tip cells of filamentous tissues, regulating cell identity, filament branching, plant spread and auxin synthesis. The receptor-like kinase PpRPK2 plays the major role, and Pprpk2 mutants have abnormal responses to cytokinin, auxin and auxin transport inhibition, and show reduced expression of PIN auxin transporters. We propose a model whereby PpRPK2 modulates auxin gradients in filaments to determine stem cell identity and overall plant form. Our data indicate that CLAVATA-mediated auxin homeostasis is a fundamental property of plant stem cell function, probably exhibited by the last shared common ancestor of land plants.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Kulkarni P, Behal A, Mohanty A, et al (2022)

Co-opting disorder into order: Intrinsically disordered proteins and the early evolution of complex multicellularity.

International journal of biological macromolecules, 201:29-36.

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are proteins that lack rigid structures yet play important roles in myriad biological phenomena. A distinguishing feature of IDPs is that they often mediate specific biological outcomes via multivalent weak cooperative interactions with multiple partners. Here, we show that several proteins specifically associated with processes that were key in the evolution of complex multicellularity in the lineage leading to the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri are IDPs. We suggest that, by rewiring cellular protein interaction networks, IDPs facilitated the co-option of ancestral pathways for specialized multicellular functions, underscoring the importance of IDPs in the early evolution of complex multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Tverskoi D, S Gavrilets (2022)

The evolution of germ-soma specialization under different genetic and environmental effects.

Journal of theoretical biology, 534:110964.

Division of labor exists at different levels of biological organization - from cell colonies to human societies. One of the simplest examples of the division of labor in multicellular organisms is germ-soma specialization, which plays a key role in the evolution of organismal complexity. Here we formulate and study a general mathematical model exploring the emergence of germ-soma specialization in colonies of cells. We consider a finite population of colonies competing for resources. Colonies are of the same size and are composed by asexually reproducing haploid cells. Each cell can contribute to activity and fecundity of the colony, these contributions are traded-off. We assume that all cells within a colony are genetically identical but gene effects on fecundity and activity are influenced by variation in the microenvironment experienced by individual cells. Through analytical theory and evolutionary agent-based modeling we show that the shape of the trade-off relation between somatic and reproductive functions, the type and extent of variation in within-colony microenvironment, and, in some cases, the number of genes involved, are important predictors of the extent of germ-soma specialization. Specifically, increasing convexity of the trade-off relation, the number of different environmental gradients acting within a colony, and the number of genes (in the case of random microenvironmental effects) promote the emergence of germ-soma specialization. Overall our results contribute towards a better understanding of the role of genetic, environmental, and microenvironmental factors in the evolution of germ-soma specialization.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Irisarri I, Darienko T, Pröschold T, et al (2021)

Unexpected cryptic species among streptophyte algae most distant to land plants.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1963):20212168.

Streptophytes are one of the major groups of the green lineage (Chloroplastida or Viridiplantae). During one billion years of evolution, streptophytes have radiated into an astounding diversity of uni- and multicellular green algae as well as land plants. Most divergent from land plants is a clade formed by Mesostigmatophyceae, Spirotaenia spp. and Chlorokybophyceae. All three lineages are species-poor and the Chlorokybophyceae consist of a single described species, Chlorokybus atmophyticus. In this study, we used phylogenomic analyses to shed light into the diversity within Chlorokybus using a sampling of isolates across its known distribution. We uncovered a consistent deep genetic structure within the Chlorokybus isolates, which prompted us to formally extend the Chlorokybophyceae by describing four new species. Gene expression differences among Chlorokybus species suggest certain constitutive variability that might influence their response to environmental factors. Failure to account for this diversity can hamper comparative genomic studies aiming to understand the evolution of stress response across streptophytes. Our data highlight that future studies on the evolution of plant form and function can tap into an unknown diversity at key deep branches of the streptophytes.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Li X, Hou Z, Xu C, et al (2021)

Large Phylogenomic Data sets Reveal Deep Relationships and Trait Evolution in Chlorophyte Green Algae.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(7):.

The chlorophyte green algae (Chlorophyta) are species-rich ancient groups ubiquitous in various habitats with high cytological diversity, ranging from microscopic to macroscopic organisms. However, the deep phylogeny within core Chlorophyta remains unresolved, in part due to the relatively sparse taxon and gene sampling in previous studies. Here we contribute new transcriptomic data and reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of core Chlorophyta based on four large data sets up to 2,698 genes of 70 species, representing 80% of extant orders. The impacts of outgroup choice, missing data, bootstrap-support cutoffs, and model misspecification in phylogenetic inference of core Chlorophyta are examined. The species tree topologies of core Chlorophyta from different analyses are highly congruent, with strong supports at many relationships (e.g., the Bryopsidales and the Scotinosphaerales-Dasycladales clade). The monophyly of Chlorophyceae and of Trebouxiophyceae as well as the uncertain placement of Chlorodendrophyceae and Pedinophyceae corroborate results from previous studies. The reconstruction of ancestral scenarios illustrates the evolution of the freshwater-sea and microscopic-macroscopic transition in the Ulvophyceae, and the transformation of unicellular→colonial→multicellular in the chlorophyte green algae. In addition, we provided new evidence that serine is encoded by both canonical codons and noncanonical TAG code in Scotinosphaerales, and stop-to-sense codon reassignment in the Ulvophyceae has originated independently at least three times. Our robust phylogenetic framework of core Chlorophyta unveils the evolutionary history of phycoplast, cyto-morphology, and noncanonical genetic codes in chlorophyte green algae.

RevDate: 2022-03-19

Jiménez-Marín B, BJSC Olson (2022)

The Curious Case of Multicellularity in the Volvocine Algae.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:787665.

The evolution of multicellularity is a major evolutionary transition that underlies the radiation of many species in all domains of life, especially in eukaryotes. The volvocine green algae are an unconventional model system that holds great promise in the field given its genetic tractability, late transition to multicellularity, and phenotypic diversity. Multiple efforts at linking multicellularity-related developmental landmarks to key molecular changes, especially at the genome level, have provided key insights into the molecular innovations or lack thereof that underlie multicellularity. Twelve developmental changes have been proposed to explain the evolution of complex differentiated multicellularity in the volvocine algae. Co-option of key genes, such as cell cycle and developmental regulators has been observed, but with few exceptions, known co-option events do not seem to coincide with most developmental features observed in multicellular volvocines. The apparent lack of "master multicellularity genes" combined with no apparent correlation between gene gains for developmental processes suggest the possibility that many multicellular traits might be the product gene-regulatory and functional innovations; in other words, multicellularity can arise from shared genomic repertoires that undergo regulatory and functional overhauls.

RevDate: 2022-03-08

Palazzo AF, NS Kejiou (2022)

Non-Darwinian Molecular Biology.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:831068.

With the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA, a shift occurred in how biologists investigated questions surrounding cellular processes, such as protein synthesis. Instead of viewing biological activity through the lens of chemical reactions, this new field used biological information to gain a new profound view of how biological systems work. Molecular biologists asked new types of questions that would have been inconceivable to the older generation of researchers, such as how cellular machineries convert inherited biological information into functional molecules like proteins. This new focus on biological information also gave molecular biologists a way to link their findings to concepts developed by genetics and the modern synthesis. However, by the late 1960s this all changed. Elevated rates of mutation, unsustainable genetic loads, and high levels of variation in populations, challenged Darwinian evolution, a central tenant of the modern synthesis, where adaptation was the main driver of evolutionary change. Building on these findings, Motoo Kimura advanced the neutral theory of molecular evolution, which advocates that selection in multicellular eukaryotes is weak and that most genomic changes are neutral and due to random drift. This was further elaborated by Jack King and Thomas Jukes, in their paper "Non-Darwinian Evolution", where they pointed out that the observed changes seen in proteins and the types of polymorphisms observed in populations only become understandable when we take into account biochemistry and Kimura's new theory. Fifty years later, most molecular biologists remain unaware of these fundamental advances. Their adaptionist viewpoint fails to explain data collected from new powerful technologies which can detect exceedingly rare biochemical events. For example, high throughput sequencing routinely detects RNA transcripts being produced from almost the entire genome yet are present less than one copy per thousand cells and appear to lack any function. Molecular biologists must now reincorporate ideas from classical biochemistry and absorb modern concepts from molecular evolution, to craft a new lens through which they can evaluate the functionality of transcriptional units, and make sense of our messy, intricate, and complicated genome.

RevDate: 2022-03-09
CmpDate: 2022-03-04

Kwantes M, T Wichard (2022)

The APAF1_C/WD40 repeat domain-encoding gene from the sea lettuce Ulva mutabilis sheds light on the evolution of NB-ARC domain-containing proteins in green plants.

Planta, 255(4):76.

MAIN CONCLUSION: We advance Ulva's genetic tractability and highlight its value as a model organism by characterizing its APAF1_C/WD40 domain-encoding gene, which belongs to a family that bears homology to R genes. The multicellular chlorophyte alga Ulva mutabilis (Ulvophyceae, Ulvales) is native to coastal ecosystems worldwide and attracts both high socio-economic and scientific interest. To further understand the genetic mechanisms that guide its biology, we present a protocol, based on adapter ligation-mediated PCR, for retrieving flanking sequences in U. mutabilis vector-insertion mutants. In the created insertional library, we identified a null mutant with an insertion in an apoptotic protease activating factor 1 helical domain (APAF1_C)/WD40 repeat domain-encoding gene. Protein domain architecture analysis combined with phylogenetic analysis revealed that this gene is a member of a subfamily that arose early in the evolution of green plants (Viridiplantae) through the acquisition of a gene that also encoded N-terminal nucleotide-binding adaptor shared by APAF-1, certain R-gene products and CED-4 (NB-ARC) and winged helix-like (WH-like) DNA-binding domains. Although phenotypic analysis revealed no mutant phenotype, gene expression levels in control plants correlated to the presence of bacterial symbionts, which U. mutabilis requires for proper morphogenesis. In addition, our analysis led to the discovery of a putative Ulva nucleotide-binding site and leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) Resistance protein (R-protein), and we discuss how the emergence of these R proteins in green plants may be linked to the evolution of the APAF1_C/WD40 protein subfamily.

RevDate: 2022-02-26

Spang A, Mahendrarajah TA, Offre P, et al (2022)

Evolving perspective on the origin and diversification of cellular life and the virosphere.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6537539 [Epub ahead of print].

The tree of life (TOL) is a powerful framework to depict the evolutionary history of cellular organisms through time, from our microbial origins to the diversification of multicellular eukaryotes that shape the visible biosphere today. During the past decades, our perception of the TOL has fundamentally changed in part due to profound methodological advances which allowed a more objective approach to studying organismal and viral diversity and led to the discovery of major new branches in the TOL as well as viral lineages. Phylogenetic and comparative genomics analyses of this data have, among others, revolutionized our understanding of the deep roots and diversity of microbial life, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, eukaryotic diversity as well as the origin and diversification of viruses. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the recent discoveries on the evolutionary history of cellular organisms and their viruses and discuss a variety of complementary techniques that we consider crucial for making further progress in our understanding of the TOL and its interconnection with the virosphere.

RevDate: 2022-03-21
CmpDate: 2022-03-21

Lin HK, Cheng JH, Wu CC, et al (2022)

Functional buffering via cell-specific gene expression promotes tissue homeostasis and cancer robustness.

Scientific reports, 12(1):2974.

Functional buffering that ensures biological robustness is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis, organismal survival, and evolution of novelty. However, the mechanism underlying functional buffering, particularly in multicellular organisms, remains largely elusive. Here, we proposed that functional buffering can be mediated via expression of buffering genes in specific cells and tissues, by which we named Cell-specific Expression-BUffering (CEBU). We developed an inference index (C-score) for CEBU by computing C-scores across 684 human cell lines using genome-wide CRISPR screens and transcriptomic RNA-seq. We report that C-score-identified putative buffering gene pairs are enriched for members of the same duplicated gene family, pathway, and protein complex. Furthermore, CEBU is especially prevalent in tissues of low regenerative capacity (e.g., bone and neuronal tissues) and is weakest in highly regenerative blood cells, linking functional buffering to tissue regeneration. Clinically, the buffering capacity enabled by CEBU can help predict patient survival for multiple cancers. Our results suggest CEBU as a potential buffering mechanism contributing to tissue homeostasis and cancer robustness in humans.

RevDate: 2022-03-16
CmpDate: 2022-03-16

Day TC, Höhn SS, Zamani-Dahaj SA, et al (2022)

Cellular organization in lab-evolved and extant multicellular species obeys a maximum entropy law.

eLife, 11:.

The prevalence of multicellular organisms is due in part to their ability to form complex structures. How cells pack in these structures is a fundamental biophysical issue, underlying their functional properties. However, much remains unknown about how cell packing geometries arise, and how they are affected by random noise during growth - especially absent developmental programs. Here, we quantify the statistics of cellular neighborhoods of two different multicellular eukaryotes: lab-evolved 'snowflake' yeast and the green alga Volvox carteri. We find that despite large differences in cellular organization, the free space associated with individual cells in both organisms closely fits a modified gamma distribution, consistent with maximum entropy predictions originally developed for granular materials. This 'entropic' cellular packing ensures a degree of predictability despite noise, facilitating parent-offspring fidelity even in the absence of developmental regulation. Together with simulations of diverse growth morphologies, these results suggest that gamma-distributed cell neighborhood sizes are a general feature of multicellularity, arising from conserved statistics of cellular packing.

RevDate: 2022-02-15

Žárský J, Žárský V, Hanáček M, et al (2021)

Cryogenian Glacial Habitats as a Plant Terrestrialisation Cradle - The Origin of the Anydrophytes and Zygnematophyceae Split.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:735020.

For tens of millions of years (Ma), the terrestrial habitats of Snowball Earth during the Cryogenian period (between 720 and 635 Ma before present-Neoproterozoic Era) were possibly dominated by global snow and ice cover up to the equatorial sublimative desert. The most recent time-calibrated phylogenies calibrated not only on plants but on a comprehensive set of eukaryotes indicate that within the Streptophyta, multicellular charophytes (Phragmoplastophyta) evolved in the Mesoproterozoic to the early Neoproterozoic. At the same time, Cryogenian is the time of the likely origin of the common ancestor of Zygnematophyceae and Embryophyta and later, also of the Zygnematophyceae-Embryophyta split. This common ancestor is proposed to be called Anydrophyta; here, we use anydrophytes. Based on the combination of published phylogenomic studies and estimated diversification time comparisons, we deem it highly likely that anydrophytes evolved in response to Cryogenian cooling. Also, later in the Cryogenian, secondary simplification of multicellular anydrophytes and loss of flagella resulted in Zygnematophyceae diversification as an adaptation to the extended cold glacial environment. We propose that the Marinoan geochemically documented expansion of first terrestrial flora has been represented not only by Chlorophyta but also by Streptophyta, including the anydrophytes, and later by Zygnematophyceae, thriving on glacial surfaces until today. It is possible that multicellular early Embryophyta survived in less abundant (possibly relatively warmer) refugia, relying more on mineral substrates, allowing the retention of flagella-based sexuality. The loss of flagella and sexual reproduction by conjugation evolved in Zygnematophyceae and zygomycetous fungi during the Cryogenian in a remarkably convergent way. Thus, we support the concept that the important basal cellular adaptations to terrestrial environments were exapted in streptophyte algae for terrestrialization and propose that this was stimulated by the adaptation to glacial habitats dominating the Cryogenian Snowball Earth. Including the glacial lifestyle when considering the rise of land plants increases the parsimony of connecting different ecological, phylogenetic, and physiological puzzles of the journey from aquatic algae to terrestrial floras.

RevDate: 2022-02-24
CmpDate: 2022-02-24

Yaguchi S, Taniguchi Y, Suzuki H, et al (2022)

Planktonic sea urchin larvae change their swimming direction in response to strong photoirradiation.

PLoS genetics, 18(2):e1010033.

To survive, organisms need to precisely respond to various environmental factors, such as light and gravity. Among these, light is so important for most life on Earth that light-response systems have become extraordinarily developed during evolution, especially in multicellular animals. A combination of photoreceptors, nervous system components, and effectors allows these animals to respond to light stimuli. In most macroscopic animals, muscles function as effectors responding to light, and in some microscopic aquatic animals, cilia play a role. It is likely that the cilia-based response was the first to develop and that it has been substituted by the muscle-based response along with increases in body size. However, although the function of muscle appears prominent, it is poorly understood whether ciliary responses to light are present and/or functional, especially in deuterostomes, because it is possible that these responses are too subtle to be observed, unlike muscle responses. Here, we show that planktonic sea urchin larvae reverse their swimming direction due to the inhibitory effect of light on the cholinergic neuron signaling>forward swimming pathway. We found that strong photoirradiation of larvae that stay on the surface of seawater immediately drives the larvae away from the surface due to backward swimming. When Opsin2, which is expressed in mesenchymal cells in larval arms, is knocked down, the larvae do not show backward swimming under photoirradiation. Although Opsin2-expressing cells are not neuronal cells, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that they directly attach to cholinergic neurons, which are thought to regulate forward swimming. These data indicate that light, through Opsin2, inhibits the activity of cholinergic signaling, which normally promotes larval forward swimming, and that the light-dependent ciliary response is present in deuterostomes. These findings shed light on how light-responsive tissues/organelles have been conserved and diversified during evolution.

RevDate: 2022-03-28
CmpDate: 2022-03-28

Klein S, Distel LVR, W Neuhuber (2021)

X-ray Dose-Enhancing Impact of Functionalized Au-Fe3O4 Nanoheterodimers on MCF-7 and A549 Multicellular Tumor Spheroids.

ACS applied bio materials, 4(4):3113-3123.

The efficiency of nanoparticle-enhanced radiotherapy was studied by loading MCF-7 and A549 multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTSs) with caffeic acid- and nitrosonium-functionalized Au-Fe3O4 nanoheterodimers (Au-Fe3O4 NHDs). Transmission electron microscope images of MCTS cross-sectional sections visualized the invasion and distribution of the nitrosonium- and caffeic acid-functionalized Au-Fe3O4 NHDs (NO- and CA-NHDs) in the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs, whereas the iron content of the MCTSs were quantified using the ferrozine assay. The synergistic impact of intracellular NO- and CA-NHDs and X-ray irradiation on the growth dynamics of the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs was surveyed by monitoring their temporal evolution under a light microscope over a period of 14 days. The emergence of hypoxia during the spheroid growth was followed by detecting the lactate efflux of MCTSs without and with NO- and CA-NHDs. The performance of the NO- and CA-NHDs as X-ray dose-enhancing agents in the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs was clarified by performing clonogenic cell survival assays and determining the respective dose-modifying factors for X-ray doses of 0, 2, 4, and 6 Gy. The NO- and CA-NHDs were shown to perform as potent X-ray dose-enhancing agents in A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs. Moreover, the CA-NHDs boosted their radio-sensitizing efficacy by inhibiting the lactate efflux as impairing metabolic reprogramming. A synergistic effect on the MCTS destruction was observed for the combination of both NHDs since the surfactants differ in their antitumor effect.

RevDate: 2022-01-25
CmpDate: 2022-01-25

Sforna MC, Loron CC, Demoulin CF, et al (2022)

Intracellular bound chlorophyll residues identify 1 Gyr-old fossils as eukaryotic algae.

Nature communications, 13(1):146.

The acquisition of photosynthesis is a fundamental step in the evolution of eukaryotes. However, few phototrophic organisms are unambiguously recognized in the Precambrian record. The in situ detection of metabolic byproducts in individual microfossils is the key for the direct identification of their metabolisms. Here, we report a new integrative methodology using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence and absorption. We evidence bound nickel-geoporphyrins moieties in low-grade metamorphic rocks, preserved in situ within cells of a ~1 Gyr-old multicellular eukaryote, Arctacellularia tetragonala. We identify these moieties as chlorophyll derivatives, indicating that A. tetragonala was a phototrophic eukaryote, one of the first unambiguous algae. This new approach, applicable to overmature rocks, creates a strong new proxy to understand the evolution of phototrophy and diversification of early ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-01-24
CmpDate: 2022-01-24

Shilovsky GA, Putyatina TS, AV Markov (2021)

Altruism and Phenoptosis as Programs Supported by Evolution.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 86(12):1540-1552.

Phenoptosis is a programmed death that has emerged in the process of evolution, sometimes taking the form of an altruistic program. In particular, it is believed to be a weapon against the spread of pandemics in the past and an obstacle in fighting pandemics in the present (COVID). However, on the evolutionary scale, deterministic death is not associated with random relationships (for example, bacteria with a particular mutation), but is a product of higher nervous activity or a consequence of established hierarchy that reaches its maximal expression in eusocial communities of Hymenoptera and highly social communities of mammals. Unlike a simple association of individuals, eusociality is characterized by the appearance of non-reproductive individuals as the highest form of altruism. In contrast to primitive programs for unicellular organisms, higher multicellular organisms are characterized by the development of behavior-based phenoptotic programs, especially in the case of reproduction-associated limitation of lifespan. Therefore, we can say that the development of altruism in the course of evolution of sociality leads in its extreme manifestation to phenoptosis. Development of mathematical models for the emergence of altruism and programmed death contributes to our understanding of mechanisms underlying these paradoxical counterproductive (harmful) programs. In theory, this model can be applied not only to insects, but also to other social animals and even to the human society. Adaptive death is an extreme form of altruism. We consider altruism and programmed death as programmed processes in the mechanistic and adaptive sense, respectively. Mechanistically, this is a program existing as a predetermined chain of certain responses, regardless of its adaptive value. As to its adaptive value (regardless of the degree of "phenoptoticity"), this is a characteristic of organisms that demonstrate high levels of kinship, social organization, and physical association typical for higher-order individuals, e.g., unicellular organisms forming colonies with some characteristics of multicellular animals or colonies of multicellular animals displaying features of supraorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

Maltseva AL, Varfolomeeva MA, Gafarova ER, et al (2021)

Divergence together with microbes: A comparative study of the associated microbiomes in the closely related Littorina species.

PloS one, 16(12):e0260792.

Any multicellular organism during its life is involved in relatively stable interactions with microorganisms. The organism and its microbiome make up a holobiont, possessing a unique set of characteristics and evolving as a whole system. This study aimed to evaluate the degree of the conservativeness of microbiomes associated with intertidal gastropods. We studied the composition and the geographic and phylogenetic variability of the gut and body surface microbiomes of five closely related sympatric Littorina (Neritrema) spp. and a more distant species, L. littorea, from the sister subgenus Littorina (Littorina). Although snail-associated microbiomes included many lineages (207-603), they were dominated by a small number of OTUs of the genera Psychromonas, Vibrio, and Psychrilyobacter. The geographic variability was greater than the interspecific differences at the same collection site. While the microbiomes of the six Littorina spp. did not differ at the high taxonomic level, the OTU composition differed between groups of cryptic species and subgenera. A few species-specific OTUs were detected within the collection sites; notably, such OTUs never dominated microbiomes. We conclude that the composition of the high-rank taxa of the associated microbiome ("scaffolding enterotype") is more evolutionarily conserved than the composition of the low-rank individual OTUs, which may be site- and / or species-specific.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Brückner A, Badroos JM, Learsch RW, et al (2021)

Evolutionary assembly of cooperating cell types in an animal chemical defense system.

Cell, 184(25):6138-6156.e28.

How the functions of multicellular organs emerge from the underlying evolution of cell types is poorly understood. We deconstructed evolution of an organ novelty: a rove beetle gland that secretes a defensive cocktail. We show how gland function arose via assembly of two cell types that manufacture distinct compounds. One cell type, comprising a chemical reservoir within the abdomen, produces alkane and ester compounds. We demonstrate that this cell type is a hybrid of cuticle cells and ancient pheromone and adipocyte-like cells, executing its function via a mosaic of enzymes from each parental cell type. The second cell type synthesizes benzoquinones using a chimera of conserved cellular energy and cuticle formation pathways. We show that evolution of each cell type was shaped by coevolution between the two cell types, yielding a potent secretion that confers adaptive value. Our findings illustrate how cooperation between cell types arises, generating new, organ-level behaviors.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-08

Prostak SM, LK Fritz-Laylin (2021)

Laboratory Maintenance of the Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Current protocols, 1(12):e309.

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a skin disease associated with amphibian population declines around the world. Despite the major impact Bd is having on global ecosystems, much of Bd's basic biology remains unstudied. In addition to revealing mechanisms driving the spread of chytridiomycosis, studying Bd can shed light on the evolution of key fungal traits because chytrid fungi, including Bd, diverged before the radiation of the Dikaryotic fungi (multicellular fungi and yeast). Studying Bd in the laboratory is, therefore, of growing interest to a wide range of scientists, ranging from herpetologists and disease ecologists to molecular, cell, and evolutionary biologists. This protocol describes how to maintain developmentally synchronized liquid cultures of Bd for use in the laboratory, how to grow Bd on solid media, as well as cryopreservation and revival of frozen stocks. © 2021 The Authors. Current Protocols published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Reviving cryopreserved Bd cultures Basic Protocol 2: Establishing synchronized liquid cultures of Bd Basic Protocol 3: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd in liquid culture Alternate Protocol 1: Regular maintenance of asynchronous Bd in liquid culture Basic Protocol 4: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd on solid medium Alternate Protocol 2: Starting a culture on solid medium from a liquid culture Basic Protocol 5: Cryopreservation of Bd.

RevDate: 2022-01-07
CmpDate: 2022-01-07

Liu K, Deng S, Ye C, et al (2021)

Mapping single-cell-resolution cell phylogeny reveals cell population dynamics during organ development.

Nature methods, 18(12):1506-1514.

Mapping the cell phylogeny of a complex multicellular organism relies on somatic mutations accumulated from zygote to adult. Available cell barcoding methods can record about three mutations per barcode, enabling only low-resolution mapping of the cell phylogeny of complex organisms. Here we developed SMALT, a substitution mutation-aided lineage-tracing system that outperforms the available cell barcoding methods in mapping cell phylogeny. We applied SMALT to Drosophila melanogaster and obtained on average more than 20 mutations on a three-kilobase-pair barcoding sequence in early-adult cells. Using the barcoding mutations, we obtained high-quality cell phylogenetic trees, each comprising several thousand internal nodes with 84-93% median bootstrap support. The obtained cell phylogenies enabled a population genetic analysis that estimates the longitudinal dynamics of the number of actively dividing parental cells (Np) in each organ through development. The Np dynamics revealed the trajectory of cell births and provided insight into the balance of symmetric and asymmetric cell division.

RevDate: 2021-12-28
CmpDate: 2021-12-28

Pennemann FL, Mussabekova A, Urban C, et al (2021)

Cross-species analysis of viral nucleic acid interacting proteins identifies TAOKs as innate immune regulators.

Nature communications, 12(1):7009.

The cell intrinsic antiviral response of multicellular organisms developed over millions of years and critically relies on the ability to sense and eliminate viral nucleic acids. Here we use an affinity proteomics approach in evolutionary distant species (human, mouse and fly) to identify proteins that are conserved in their ability to associate with diverse viral nucleic acids. This approach shows a core of orthologous proteins targeting viral genetic material and species-specific interactions. Functional characterization of the influence of 181 candidates on replication of 6 distinct viruses in human cells and flies identifies 128 nucleic acid binding proteins with an impact on virus growth. We identify the family of TAO kinases (TAOK1, -2 and -3) as dsRNA-interacting antiviral proteins and show their requirement for type-I interferon induction. Depletion of TAO kinases in mammals or flies leads to an impaired response to virus infection characterized by a reduced induction of interferon stimulated genes in mammals and impaired expression of srg1 and diedel in flies. Overall, our study shows a larger set of proteins able to mediate the interaction between viral genetic material and host factors than anticipated so far, attesting to the ancestral roots of innate immunity and to the lineage-specific pressures exerted by viruses.

RevDate: 2022-03-24
CmpDate: 2022-03-24

Varahan S, S Laxman (2021)

Bend or break: how biochemically versatile molecules enable metabolic division of labor in clonal microbial communities.

Genetics, 219(2):.

In fluctuating nutrient environments, isogenic microbial cells transition into "multicellular" communities composed of phenotypically heterogeneous cells, showing functional specialization. In fungi (such as budding yeast), phenotypic heterogeneity is often described in the context of cells switching between different morphotypes (e.g., yeast to hyphae/pseudohyphae or white/opaque transitions in Candida albicans). However, more fundamental forms of metabolic heterogeneity are seen in clonal Saccharomyces cerevisiae communities growing in nutrient-limited conditions. Cells within such communities exhibit contrasting, specialized metabolic states, and are arranged in distinct, spatially organized groups. In this study, we explain how such an organization can stem from self-organizing biochemical reactions that depend on special metabolites. These metabolites exhibit plasticity in function, wherein the same metabolites are metabolized and utilized for distinct purposes by different cells. This in turn allows cell groups to function as specialized, interdependent cross-feeding systems which support distinct metabolic processes. Exemplifying a system where cells exhibit either gluconeogenic or glycolytic states, we highlight how available metabolites can drive favored biochemical pathways to produce new, limiting resources. These new resources can themselves be consumed or utilized distinctly by cells in different metabolic states. This thereby enables cell groups to sustain contrasting, even apparently impossible metabolic states with stable transcriptional and metabolic signatures for a given environment, and divide labor in order to increase community fitness or survival. We speculate on possible evolutionary implications of such metabolic specialization and division of labor in isogenic microbial communities.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Benaissa H, Ounoughi K, Aujard I, et al (2021)

Engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable color for advanced live-cell imaging.

Nature communications, 12(1):6989.

Biocompatible fluorescent reporters with spectral properties spanning the entire visible spectrum are indispensable tools for imaging the biochemistry of living cells and organisms in real time. Here, we report the engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable optical and spectral properties. A collection of fluorogenic chromophores with various electronic properties enables to generate bimolecular fluorescent assemblies that cover the visible spectrum from blue to red using a single protein tag engineered and optimized by directed evolution and rational design. The ability to tune the fluorescence color and properties through simple molecular modulation provides a broad experimental versatility for imaging proteins in live cells, including neurons, and in multicellular organisms, and opens avenues for optimizing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors in live cells. The ability to tune the spectral properties and fluorescence performance enables furthermore to match the specifications and requirements of advanced super-resolution imaging techniques.

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

Yu D, Cao H, X Wang (2021)

[Advances and applications of organoids: a review].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 37(11):3961-3974.

Novel model systems have provided powerful tools for the research of human biology. Despite of being widely used, the conventional research models could not precisely describe the human physiological phenomenon. Organoids are three-dimensional multicellular aggregates derived from stem cells or organ progenitors that could differentiate and self-organize to recapitulate some specific functionalities and architectures of their in vivo counterpart organs. Organoids can be used to simulate organogenesis because of their human origin. In addition, the genomic stability of organoids could be well maintained during long-term amplification in vitro. Moreover, organoids can be cryopreserved as a live biobank for high-throughput screening. Combinatorial use of organoids with other emerging technologies (e.g. gene editing, organ-on-a-chip and single-cell RNA sequencing) could overcome the bottlenecks of conventional models and provide valuable information for disease modelling, pharmaceutical research, precision medicine and regenerative medicine at the organ level. This review summarizes the classifications, characteristics, current applications, combined use with other technologies and future prospects of organoids.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Kertmen A, Petrenko I, Schimpf C, et al (2021)

Calcite Nanotuned Chitinous Skeletons of Giant Ianthella basta Marine Demosponge.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Marine sponges were among the first multicellular organisms on our planet and have survived to this day thanks to their unique mechanisms of chemical defense and the specific design of their skeletons, which have been optimized over millions of years of evolution to effectively inhabit the aquatic environment. In this work, we carried out studies to elucidate the nature and nanostructural organization of three-dimensional skeletal microfibers of the giant marine demosponge Ianthella basta, the body of which is a micro-reticular, durable structure that determines the ideal filtration function of this organism. For the first time, using the battery of analytical tools including three-dimensional micro-X-ray Fluorescence (3D-µXRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), infra-red (FTIR), Raman and Near Edge X-ray Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, we have shown that biomineral calcite is responsible for nano-tuning the skeletal fibers of this sponge species. This is the first report on the presence of a calcitic mineral phase in representatives of verongiid sponges which belong to the class Demospongiae. Our experimental data suggest a possible role for structural amino polysaccharide chitin as a template for calcification. Our study suggests further experiments to elucidate both the origin of calcium carbonate inside the skeleton of this sponge and the mechanisms of biomineralization in the surface layers of chitin microfibers saturated with bromotyrosines, which have effective antimicrobial properties and are responsible for the chemical defense of this organism. The discovery of the calcified phase in the chitinous template of I. basta skeleton is expected to broaden the knowledge in biomineralization science where the calcium carbonate is regarded as a valuable material for applications in biomedicine, environmental science, and even in civil engineering.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Pereira PHS, CRS Garcia (2021)

Evidence of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCR) in the Parasitic Protozoa Plasmodium falciparum-Sensing the Host Environment and Coupling within Its Molecular Signaling Toolkit.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Throughout evolution, the need for single-celled organisms to associate and form a single cluster of cells has had several evolutionary advantages. In complex, multicellular organisms, each tissue or organ has a specialty and function that make life together possible, and the organism as a whole needs to act in balance and adapt to changes in the environment. Sensory organs are essential for connecting external stimuli into a biological response, through the senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. The G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are responsible for many of these senses and therefore play a key role in the perception of the cells' external environment, enabling interaction and coordinated development between each cell of a multicellular organism. The malaria-causing protozoan parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has a complex life cycle that is extremely dependent on a finely regulated cellular signaling machinery. In this review, we summarize strong evidence and the main candidates of GPCRs in protozoan parasites. Interestingly, one of these GPCRs is a sensor for K+ shift in Plasmodium falciparum, PfSR25. Studying this family of proteins in P. falciparum could have a significant impact, both on understanding the history of the evolution of GPCRs and on finding new targets for antimalarials.

RevDate: 2022-01-26
CmpDate: 2022-01-26

Yamashita S, Yamamoto K, Matsuzaki R, et al (2021)

Genome sequencing of the multicellular alga Astrephomene provides insights into convergent evolution of germ-soma differentiation.

Scientific reports, 11(1):22231.

Germ-soma differentiation evolved independently in many eukaryotic lineages and contributed to complex multicellular organizations. However, the molecular genetic bases of such convergent evolution remain unresolved. Two multicellular volvocine green algae, Volvox and Astrephomene, exhibit convergent evolution of germ-soma differentiation. The complete genome sequence is now available for Volvox, while genome information is scarce for Astrephomene. Here, we generated the de novo whole genome sequence of Astrephomene gubernaculifera and conducted RNA-seq analysis of isolated somatic and reproductive cells. In Volvox, tandem duplication and neofunctionalization of the ancestral transcription factor gene (RLS1/rlsD) might have led to the evolution of regA, the master regulator for Volvox germ-soma differentiation. However, our genome data demonstrated that Astrephomene has not undergone tandem duplication of the RLS1/rlsD homolog or acquisition of a regA-like gene. Our RNA-seq analysis revealed the downregulation of photosynthetic and anabolic gene expression in Astrephomene somatic cells, as in Volvox. Among genes with high expression in somatic cells of Astrephomene, we identified three genes encoding putative transcription factors, which may regulate somatic cell differentiation. Thus, the convergent evolution of germ-soma differentiation in the volvocine algae may have occurred by the acquisition of different regulatory circuits that generate a similar division of labor.

RevDate: 2021-11-19
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Miller EA, Leidholt S, Galvin T, et al (2021)

Electron microscopy reveals viral-like particles and mitochondrial degradation in scombrid puffy snout syndrome.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 147:25-31.

Aquaculture is an increasingly important food resource, but its sustainability is often limited by disease. In Scombridae fishes, puffy snout syndrome (PSS) is a debilitating condition where tumor-like collagenous growths form around the eyes, nares, and mandibles which impair vision and feeding and frequently lead to mortality. While PSS is considered an infectious or metabolic disease, no disease agents or promoters have been identified. Here, we used electron microscopy (EM) to describe the cellular pathology and search for etiological agents of PSS in Pacific mackerel Scomber japonicus, the first use of this approach for PSS. We examined aquaculture specimens across a range of apparent PSS severity, comparing the results to both wild and aquaculture asymptomatic mackerel. EM imagery consistently revealed viral-like particles in PSS samples, as well as the uniform absence of bacteria, protists, fungi, and other multicellular parasites. In addition to viral-like particles, symptomatic fish had a higher mean percentage of swollen and disintegrating mitochondria than both asymptomatic aquaculture and wild mackerel. This suggests that degraded mitochondria may be related to PSS and could be important to further understanding the origin, promoters, and prevention of PSS. This study serves as a first step in identifying the etiological agents of PSS.

RevDate: 2021-12-21
CmpDate: 2021-12-21

Fortunato A, Fleming A, Aktipis A, et al (2021)

Upregulation of DNA repair genes and cell extrusion underpin the remarkable radiation resistance of Trichoplax adhaerens.

PLoS biology, 19(11):e3001471.

Trichoplax adhaerens is the simplest multicellular animal with tissue differentiation and somatic cell turnover. Like all other multicellular organisms, it should be vulnerable to cancer, yet there have been no reports of cancer in T. adhaerens or any other placozoan. We investigated the cancer resistance of T. adhaerens, discovering that they are able to tolerate high levels of radiation damage (218.6 Gy). To investigate how T. adhaerens survive levels of radiation that are lethal to other animals, we examined gene expression after the X-ray exposure, finding overexpression of genes involved in DNA repair and apoptosis including the MDM2 gene. We also discovered that T. adhaerens extrudes clusters of inviable cells after X-ray exposure. T. adhaerens is a valuable model organism for studying the molecular, genetic, and tissue-level mechanisms underlying cancer suppression.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-10

Marijuán PC, J Navarro (2021)

From Molecular Recognition to the "Vehicles" of Evolutionary Complexity: An Informational Approach.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21):.

Countless informational proposals and models have explored the singular characteristics of biological systems: from the initial choice of information terms in the early days of molecular biology to the current bioinformatic avalanche in this "omic" era. However, this was conducted, most often, within partial, specialized scopes or just metaphorically. In this paper, we attempt a consistent informational discourse, initially based on the molecular recognition paradigm, which addresses the main stages of biological organization in a new way. It considers the interconnection between signaling systems and information flows, between informational architectures and biomolecular codes, between controlled cell cycles and multicellular complexity. It also addresses, in a new way, a central issue: how new evolutionary paths are opened by the cumulated action of multiple variation engines or mutational 'vehicles' evolved for the genomic exploration of DNA sequence space. Rather than discussing the possible replacement, extension, or maintenance of traditional neo-Darwinian tenets, a genuine informational approach to evolutionary phenomena is advocated, in which systemic variation in the informational architectures may induce differential survival (self-construction, self-maintenance, and reproduction) of biological agents within their open ended environment.

RevDate: 2022-01-05
CmpDate: 2022-01-05

Vinogradov AE, OV Anatskaya (2021)

Growth of Biological Complexity from Prokaryotes to Hominids Reflected in the Human Genome.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21):.

The growth of complexity in evolution is a most intriguing phenomenon. Using gene phylostratigraphy, we showed this growth (as reflected in regulatory mechanisms) in the human genome, tracing the path from prokaryotes to hominids. Generally, the different regulatory gene families expanded at different times, yet only up to the Euteleostomi (bony vertebrates). The only exception was the expansion of transcription factors (TF) in placentals; however, we argue that this was not related to increase in general complexity. Surprisingly, although TF originated in the Prokaryota while chromatin appeared only in the Eukaryota, the expansion of epigenetic factors predated the expansion of TF. Signaling receptors, tumor suppressors, oncogenes, and aging- and disease-associated genes (indicating vulnerabilities in terms of complex organization and strongly enrichment in regulatory genes) also expanded only up to the Euteleostomi. The complexity-related gene properties (protein size, number of alternative splicing mRNA, length of untranslated mRNA, number of biological processes per gene, number of disordered regions in a protein, and density of TF-TF interactions) rose in multicellular organisms and declined after the Euteleostomi, and possibly earlier. At the same time, the speed of protein sequence evolution sharply increased in the genes that originated after the Euteleostomi. Thus, several lines of evidence indicate that molecular mechanisms of complexity growth were changing with time, and in the phyletic lineage leading to humans, the most salient shift occurred after the basic vertebrate body plan was fixed with bony skeleton. The obtained results can be useful for evolutionary medicine.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-13

Krespach MKC, Stroe MC, Flak M, et al (2021)

Bacterial marginolactones trigger formation of algal gloeocapsoids, protective aggregates on the verge of multicellularity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(45):.

Photosynthetic microorganisms including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are essential to terrestrial habitats as they start the carbon cycle by conversion of CO2 to energy-rich organic carbohydrates. Terrestrial habitats are densely populated, and hence, microbial interactions mediated by natural products are inevitable. We previously discovered such an interaction between Streptomyces iranensis releasing the marginolactone azalomycin F in the presence of C. reinhardtii Whether the alga senses and reacts to azalomycin F remained unknown. Here, we report that sublethal concentrations of azalomycin F trigger the formation of a protective multicellular structure by C. reinhardtii, which we named gloeocapsoid. Gloeocapsoids contain several cells which share multiple cell membranes and cell walls and are surrounded by a spacious matrix consisting of acidic polysaccharides. After azalomycin F removal, gloeocapsoid aggregates readily disassemble, and single cells are released. The presence of marginolactone biosynthesis gene clusters in numerous streptomycetes, their ubiquity in soil, and our observation that other marginolactones such as desertomycin A and monazomycin also trigger the formation of gloeocapsoids suggests a cross-kingdom competition with ecological relevance. Furthermore, gloeocapsoids allow for the survival of C. reinhardtii at alkaline pH and otherwise lethal concentrations of azalomycin F. Their structure and polysaccharide matrix may be ancestral to the complex mucilage formed by multicellular members of the Chlamydomonadales such as Eudorina and Volvox Our finding suggests that multicellularity may have evolved to endure the presence of harmful competing bacteria. Additionally, it underlines the importance of natural products as microbial cues, which initiate interesting ecological scenarios of attack and counter defense.

RevDate: 2022-01-24
CmpDate: 2022-01-24

Hakala SM, Meurville MP, Stumpe M, et al (2021)

Biomarkers in a socially exchanged /fluid reflect colony maturity, behavior, and distributed metabolism.

eLife, 10:.

In cooperative systems exhibiting division of labor, such as microbial communities, multicellular organisms, and social insect colonies, individual units share costs and benefits through both task specialization and exchanged materials. Socially exchanged fluids, like seminal fluid and milk, allow individuals to molecularly influence conspecifics. Many social insects have a social circulatory system, where food and endogenously produced molecules are transferred mouth-to-mouth (stomodeal trophallaxis), connecting all the individuals in the society. To understand how these endogenous molecules relate to colony life, we used quantitative proteomics to investigate the trophallactic fluid within colonies of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We show that different stages of the colony life cycle circulate different types of proteins: young colonies prioritize direct carbohydrate processing; mature colonies prioritize accumulation and transmission of stored resources. Further, colonies circulate proteins implicated in oxidative stress, ageing, and social insect caste determination, potentially acting as superorganismal hormones. Brood-caring individuals that are also closer to the queen in the social network (nurses) showed higher abundance of oxidative stress-related proteins. Thus, trophallaxis behavior could provide a mechanism for distributed metabolism in social insect societies. The ability to thoroughly analyze the materials exchanged between cooperative units makes social insect colonies useful models to understand the evolution and consequences of metabolic division of labor at other scales.

RevDate: 2021-12-21
CmpDate: 2021-12-21

Yang H, Pegoraro AF, Han Y, et al (2021)

Configurational fingerprints of multicellular living systems.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(44):.

Cells cooperate as groups to achieve structure and function at the tissue level, during which specific material characteristics emerge. Analogous to phase transitions in classical physics, transformations in the material characteristics of multicellular assemblies are essential for a variety of vital processes including morphogenesis, wound healing, and cancer. In this work, we develop configurational fingerprints of particulate and multicellular assemblies and extract volumetric and shear order parameters based on this fingerprint to quantify the system disorder. Theoretically, these two parameters form a complete and unique pair of signatures for the structural disorder of a multicellular system. The evolution of these two order parameters offers a robust and experimentally accessible way to map the phase transitions in expanding cell monolayers and during embryogenesis and invasion of epithelial spheroids.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Wan X, Saito JA, Hou S, et al (2021)

The Aphelenchus avenae genome highlights evolutionary adaptation to desiccation.

Communications biology, 4(1):1232.

Some organisms can withstand complete body water loss (losing up to 99% of body water) and stay in ametabolic state for decades until rehydration, which is known as anhydrobiosis. Few multicellular eukaryotes on their adult stage can withstand life without water. We still have an incomplete understanding of the mechanism for metazoan survival of anhydrobiosis. Here we report the 255-Mb genome of Aphelenchus avenae, which can endure relative zero humidity for years. Gene duplications arose genome-wide and contributed to the expansion and diversification of 763 kinases, which represents the second largest metazoan kinome to date. Transcriptome analyses of ametabolic state of A. avenae indicate the elevation of ATP level for global recycling of macromolecules and enhancement of autophagy in the early stage of anhydrobiosis. We catalogue 74 species-specific intrinsically disordered proteins, which may facilitate A. avenae to survive through desiccation stress. Our findings refine a molecular basis evolving for survival in extreme water loss and open the way for discovering new anti-desiccation strategies.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-06

Tanno A, Tokutsu R, Arakaki Y, et al (2021)

The four-celled Volvocales green alga Tetrabaena socialis exhibits weak photobehavior and high-photoprotection ability.

PloS one, 16(10):e0259138.

Photo-induced behavioral responses (photobehaviors) are crucial to the survival of motile phototrophic organisms in changing light conditions. Volvocine green algae are excellent model organisms for studying the regulatory mechanisms of photobehavior. We recently reported that unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and multicellular Volvox rousseletii exhibit similar photobehaviors, such as phototactic and photoshock responses, via different ciliary regulations. To clarify how the regulatory systems have changed during the evolution of multicellularity, we investigated the photobehaviors of four-celled Tetrabaena socialis. Surprisingly, unlike C. reinhardtii and V. rousseletii, T. socialis did not exhibit immediate photobehaviors after light illumination. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that the T. socialis eyespot does not function as a photoreceptor. Instead, T. socialis exhibited slow accumulation toward the light source in a photosynthesis-dependent manner. Our assessment of photosynthetic activities showed that T. socialis chloroplasts possess higher photoprotection abilities against strong light than C. reinhardtii. These data suggest that C. reinhardtii and T. socialis employ different strategies to avoid high-light stress (moving away rapidly and gaining photoprotection, respectively) despite their close phylogenetic relationship.

RevDate: 2022-01-28
CmpDate: 2022-01-28

Grochau-Wright ZI, Ferris PJ, Tumberger J, et al (2021)

Characterization and Transformation of reg Cluster Genes in Volvox powersii Enable Investigation of Convergent Evolution of Cellular Differentiation in Volvox.

Protist, 172(5-6):125834.

The evolution of germ-soma cellular differentiation represents a key step in the evolution of multicellular individuality. Volvox carteri and its relatives, the volvocine green algae, provide a model system for studying the evolution of cellular differentiation. In V. carteri, the regA gene controls somatic cell differentiation and is found in a group of paralogs called the reg cluster, along with rlsA, rlsB, and rlsC. However, the developmental program of V. carteri is derived compared to other volvocine algae. Here we examine Volvox powersii which possesses an ancestral developmental program and independent evolution of the Volvox body plan. We sequenced the reg cluster from V. powersii wild-type and a mutant with fewer cells and altered germ-soma ratio. We found that the mutant strain's rlsB gene has a deletion predicted to cause a truncated protein product. We developed a genetic transformation procedure to insert wild-type rlsB into the mutant strain. Transformation did not result in phenotypic rescue, suggesting the rlsB mutation is insufficient for generating the mutant phenotype. The transformation techniques and sequences described here provide essential tools to study V. powersii, a species well suited for studying the evolution of cellular differentiation and convergent evolution of Volvox morphology.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-03

Ni Z, X Cheng (2021)

Origin and Isoform Specific Functions of Exchange Proteins Directly Activated by cAMP: A Phylogenetic Analysis.

Cells, 10(10):.

Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPAC1 and EPAC2) are one of the several families of cellular effectors of the prototypical second messenger cAMP. To understand the origin and molecular evolution of EPAC proteins, we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of EPAC1 and EPAC2. Our study demonstrates that unlike its cousin PKA, EPAC proteins are only present in multicellular Metazoa. Within the EPAC family, EPAC1 is only associated with chordates, while EPAC2 spans the entire animal kingdom. Despite a much more contemporary origin, EPAC1 proteins show much more sequence diversity among species, suggesting that EPAC1 has undergone more selection and evolved faster than EPAC2. Phylogenetic analyses of the individual cAMP binding domain (CBD) and guanine nucleotide exchange (GEF) domain of EPACs, two most conserved regions between the two isoforms, further reveal that EPAC1 and EPAC2 are closely clustered together within both the larger cyclic nucleotide receptor and RAPGEF families. These results support the notion that EPAC1 and EPAC2 share a common ancestor resulting from a fusion between the CBD of PKA and the GEF from RAPGEF1. On the other hand, the two terminal extremities and the RAS-association (RA) domains show the most sequence diversity between the two isoforms. Sequence diversities within these regions contribute significantly to the isoform-specific functions of EPACs. Importantly, unique isoform-specific sequence motifs within the RA domain have been identified.

RevDate: 2022-02-08
CmpDate: 2022-02-08

Luna SK, FJJ Chain (2021)

Lineage-Specific Genes and Family Expansions in Dictyostelid Genomes Display Expression Bias and Evolutionary Diversification during Development.

Genes, 12(10):.

Gene duplications generate new genes that can contribute to expression changes and the evolution of new functions. Genomes often consist of gene families that undergo expansions, some of which occur in specific lineages that reflect recent adaptive diversification. In this study, lineage-specific genes and gene family expansions were studied across five dictyostelid species to determine when and how they are expressed during multicellular development. Lineage-specific genes were found to be enriched among genes with biased expression (predominant expression in one developmental stage) in each species and at most developmental time points, suggesting independent functional innovations of new genes throughout the phylogeny. Biased duplicate genes had greater expression divergence than their orthologs and paralogs, consistent with subfunctionalization or neofunctionalization. Lineage-specific expansions in particular had biased genes with both molecular signals of positive selection and high expression, suggesting adaptive genetic and transcriptional diversification following duplication. Our results present insights into the potential contributions of lineage-specific genes and families in generating species-specific phenotypes during multicellular development in dictyostelids.

RevDate: 2022-02-08
CmpDate: 2022-02-08

Cock JM (2021)

Evolution of Multicellularity.

Genes, 12(10):.

The emergence of multicellular organisms was, perhaps, the most spectacular of the major transitions during the evolutionary history of life on this planet [...].

RevDate: 2022-02-14
CmpDate: 2022-02-14

Quinting T, Heymann AK, Bicker A, et al (2021)

Myoglobin Protects Breast Cancer Cells Due to Its ROS and NO Scavenging Properties.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 12:732190.

Myoglobin (MB) is an oxygen-binding protein usually found in cardiac myocytes and skeletal muscle fibers. It may function as a temporary storage and transport protein for O2 but could also have scavenging capacity for reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. In addition, MB has recently been identified as a hallmark in luminal breast cancer and was shown to be robustly induced under hypoxia. Cellular responses to hypoxia are regulated by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). For exploring the function of MB in breast cancer, we employed the human cell line MDA-MB-468. Cells were grown in monolayer or as 3D multicellular spheroids, which mimic the in vivo avascular tumor architecture and physiology with a heterogeneous cell population of proliferating cells in the rim and non-cycling or necrotic cells in the core region. This central necrosis was increased after MB knockdown, indicating a role for MB in hypoxic tumor regions. In addition, MB knockdown caused higher levels of HIF-1α protein after treatment with NO, which also plays an important role in cancer cell survival. MB knockdown also led to higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the cells after treatment with H2O2. To further explore the role of MB in cell survival, we performed RNA-Seq after MB knockdown and NO treatment. 1029 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 45 potential HIF-1 target genes, were annotated in regulatory pathways that modulate cellular function and maintenance, cell death and survival, and carbohydrate metabolism. Of these target genes, TMEFF1, TREX2, GLUT-1, MKNK-1, and RAB8B were significantly altered. Consistently, a decreased expression of GLUT-1, MKNK-1, and RAB8B after MB knockdown was confirmed by qPCR. All three genes of interest are often up regulated in cancer and correlate with a poor clinical outcome. Thus, our data indicate that myoglobin might influence the survival of breast cancer cells, possibly due to its ROS and NO scavenging properties and could be a valuable target for cancer therapy.

RevDate: 2022-02-21
CmpDate: 2022-02-21

Zagoskin MV, J Wang (2021)

Programmed DNA elimination: silencing genes and repetitive sequences in somatic cells.

Biochemical Society transactions, 49(5):1891-1903.

In a multicellular organism, the genomes of all cells are in general the same. Programmed DNA elimination is a notable exception to this genome constancy rule. DNA elimination removes genes and repetitive elements in the germline genome to form a reduced somatic genome in various organisms. The process of DNA elimination within an organism is highly accurate and reproducible; it typically occurs during early embryogenesis, coincident with germline-soma differentiation. DNA elimination provides a mechanism to silence selected genes and repeats in somatic cells. Recent studies in nematodes suggest that DNA elimination removes all chromosome ends, resolves sex chromosome fusions, and may also promote the birth of novel genes. Programmed DNA elimination processes are diverse among species, suggesting DNA elimination likely has evolved multiple times in different taxa. The growing list of organisms that undergo DNA elimination indicates that DNA elimination may be more widespread than previously appreciated. These various organisms will serve as complementary and comparative models to study the function, mechanism, and evolution of programmed DNA elimination in metazoans.

RevDate: 2022-03-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-01

Stüeken EE, Viehmann S, SV Hohl (2022)

Contrasting nutrient availability between marine and brackish waters in the late Mesoproterozoic: Evidence from the Paranoá Group, Brazil.

Geobiology, 20(2):159-174.

Understanding the delayed rise of eukaryotic life on Earth is one of the most fundamental questions about biological evolution. Numerous studies have presented evidence for oxygen and nutrient limitations in seawater during the Mesoproterozoic era, indicating that open marine settings may not have been able to sustain a eukaryotic biosphere with complex, multicellular organisms. However, many of these data sets represent restricted marine basins, which may bias our view of habitability. Furthermore, it remains untested whether rivers could have supplied significant nutrient fluxes to coastal habitats. To better characterize the sources of the major nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, we turned to the late Mesoproterozoic Paranoá Group in Brazil (~1.1 Ga), which was deposited on a passive margin of the São Francisco craton. We present carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotope data from an open shelf setting (Fazenda Funil) and from a brackish-water environment with significant riverine input (São Gabriel). Our results show that waters were well-oxygenated and nitrate was bioavailable in the open ocean setting at Fazenda Funil; the redoxcline appears to have been deeper and further offshore compared to restricted marine basins elsewhere in the Mesoproterozoic. In contrast, the brackish site at São Gabriel received only limited input of marine nitrate and sulphate. Nevertheless, previous reports of acritarchs reveal that this brackish-water setting was habitable to eukaryotic life. Paired with previously published cadmium isotope data, which can be used as a proxy for phosphorus cycling, our results suggest that complex organisms were perhaps not strictly dependent on marine nutrient supplies. Riverine influxes of P and possibly other nutrients likely rendered coastal waters perhaps equally habitable to the Mesoproterozoic open ocean. This conclusion supports the notion that eukaryotic organisms may have thrived in brackish or perhaps even freshwater environments.

RevDate: 2022-03-14
CmpDate: 2022-03-14

Koya J, Saito Y, Kameda T, et al (2021)

Single-Cell Analysis of the Multicellular Ecosystem in Viral Carcinogenesis by HTLV-1.

Blood cancer discovery, 2(5):450-467.

Premalignant clonal expansion of human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1)-infected cells occurs before viral carcinogenesis. Here we characterize premalignant cells and the multicellular ecosystem in HTLV-1 infection with and without adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) by genome sequencing and single-cell simultaneous transcriptome and T/B-cell receptor sequencing with surface protein analysis. We distinguish malignant phenotypes caused by HTLV-1 infection and leukemogenesis and dissect clonal evolution of malignant cells with different clinical behavior. Within HTLV-1-infected cells, a regulatory T-cell phenotype associates with premalignant clonal expansion. We also delineate differences between virus- and tumor-related changes in the nonmalignant hematopoietic pool, including tumor-specific myeloid propagation. In a newly generated conditional knockout mouse model recapitulating T-cell-restricted CD274 (encoding PD-L1) gene lesions found in ATL, we demonstrate that PD-L1 overexpressed by T cells is transferred to surrounding cells, leading to their PD-L1 upregulation. Our findings provide insights into clonal evolution and immune landscape of multistep virus carcinogenesis.

Significance: Our multimodal single-cell analyses comprehensively dissect the cellular and molecular alterations of the peripheral blood in HTLV-1 infection, with and without progression to leukemia. This study not only sheds light on premalignant clonal expansion in viral carcinogenesis, but also helps to devise novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for HTLV-1-related disorders.

RevDate: 2021-10-26
CmpDate: 2021-10-26

Gao Y, Park HJ, Traulsen A, et al (2021)

Evolution of irreversible somatic differentiation.

eLife, 10:.

A key innovation emerging in complex animals is irreversible somatic differentiation: daughters of a vegetative cell perform a vegetative function as well, thus, forming a somatic lineage that can no longer be directly involved in reproduction. Primitive species use a different strategy: vegetative and reproductive tasks are separated in time rather than in space. Starting from such a strategy, how is it possible to evolve life forms which use some of their cells exclusively for vegetative functions? Here, we develop an evolutionary model of development of a simple multicellular organism and find that three components are necessary for the evolution of irreversible somatic differentiation: (i) costly cell differentiation, (ii) vegetative cells that significantly improve the organism's performance even if present in small numbers, and (iii) large enough organism size. Our findings demonstrate how an egalitarian development typical for loose cell colonies can evolve into germ-soma differentiation dominating metazoans.

RevDate: 2021-11-15
CmpDate: 2021-11-15

Wofford HA, Myers-Dean J, Vogel BA, et al (2021)

Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM): A Program to Predict Selectivity Determinants in Monosiga brevicollis PDZ Domains Using Human PDZ Data.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(19):.

Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotes with complex signaling pathways. They are considered the closest non-metazoan ancestors to mammals and other metazoans and form multicellular-like states called rosettes. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis contains over 150 PDZ domains, an important peptide-binding domain in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya). Therefore, an understanding of PDZ domain signaling pathways in choanoflagellates may provide insight into the origins of multicellularity. PDZ domains recognize the C-terminus of target proteins and regulate signaling and trafficking pathways, as well as cellular adhesion. Here, we developed a computational software suite, Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM), that analyzes peptide-binding cleft sequence identity as compared with human PDZ domains and that can be used in combination with literature searches of known human PDZ-interacting sequences to predict target specificity in choanoflagellate PDZ domains. We used this program, protein biochemistry, fluorescence polarization, and structural analyses to characterize the specificity of A9UPE9_MONBE, a M. brevicollis PDZ domain-containing protein with no homology to any metazoan protein, finding that its PDZ domain is most similar to those of the DLG family. We then identified two endogenous sequences that bind A9UPE9 PDZ with <100 μM affinity, a value commonly considered the threshold for cellular PDZ-peptide interactions. Taken together, this approach can be used to predict cellular targets of previously uncharacterized PDZ domains in choanoflagellates and other organisms. Our data contribute to investigations into choanoflagellate signaling and how it informs metazoan evolution.

RevDate: 2022-03-07
CmpDate: 2022-03-07

Schneider C (2021)

Tuft cell integration of luminal states and interaction modules in tissues.

Pflugers Archiv : European journal of physiology, 473(11):1713-1722.

Chemosensory processes are integral to the physiology of most organisms. This function is typically performed by specialized cells that are able to detect input signals and to convert them to an output dedicated to a particular group of target cells. Tuft cells are cholinergic chemosensory epithelial cells capable of producing immunologically relevant effector molecules. They are scattered throughout endoderm-derived hollow organs and function as sensors of luminal stimuli, which has been best studied in mucosal barrier epithelia. Given their epithelial origin and broad distribution, and based on their interplay with immune pathways, tuft cells can be considered a prototypical example of how complex multicellular organisms engage innate immune mechanisms to modulate and optimize organ physiology. In this review, I provide a concise overview of tuft cells and discuss how these cells influence organ adaptation to dynamic luminal conditions.

RevDate: 2022-03-16
CmpDate: 2022-03-16

Schiller EA, DT Bergstralh (2021)

Interaction between Discs large and Pins/LGN/GPSM2: a comparison across species.

Biology open, 10(11):.

The orientation of the mitotic spindle determines the direction of cell division, and therefore contributes to tissue shape and cell fate. Interaction between the multifunctional scaffolding protein Discs large (Dlg) and the canonical spindle orienting factor GPSM2 (called Pins in Drosophila and LGN in vertebrates) has been established in bilaterian models, but its function remains unclear. We used a phylogenetic approach to test whether the interaction is obligate in animals, and in particular whether Pins/LGN/GPSM2 evolved in multicellular organisms as a Dlg-binding protein. We show that Dlg diverged in C. elegans and the syncytial sponge Opsacas minuta and propose that this divergence may correspond with differences in spindle orientation requirements between these organisms and the canonical pathways described in bilaterians. We also demonstrate that Pins/LGN/GPSM2 is present in basal animals, but the established Dlg-interaction site cannot be found in either Placozoa or Porifera. Our results suggest that the interaction between Pins/LGN/GPSM2 and Dlg appeared in Cnidaria, and we therefore speculate that it may have evolved to promote accurate division orientation in the nervous system. This work reveals the evolutionary history of the Pins/LGN/GPSM2-Dlg interaction and suggests new possibilities for its importance in spindle orientation during epithelial and neural tissue development.

RevDate: 2021-12-15
CmpDate: 2021-12-15

Shrestha S, AC Clark (2021)

Evolution of the folding landscape of effector caspases.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 297(5):101249.

Caspases are a family of cysteinyl proteases that control programmed cell death and maintain homeostasis in multicellular organisms. The caspase family is an excellent model to study protein evolution because all caspases are produced as zymogens (procaspases [PCPs]) that must be activated to gain full activity; the protein structures are conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution; and some allosteric features arose with the early ancestor, whereas others are more recent evolutionary events. The apoptotic caspases evolved from a common ancestor (CA) into two distinct subfamilies: monomers (initiator caspases) or dimers (effector caspases). Differences in activation mechanisms of the two subfamilies, and their oligomeric forms, play a central role in the regulation of apoptosis. Here, we examine changes in the folding landscape by characterizing human effector caspases and their CA. The results show that the effector caspases unfold by a minimum three-state equilibrium model at pH 7.5, where the native dimer is in equilibrium with a partially folded monomeric (PCP-7, CA) or dimeric (PCP-6) intermediate. In comparison, the unfolding pathway of PCP-3 contains both oligomeric forms of the intermediate. Overall, the data show that the folding landscape was first established with the CA and was retained for >650 million years. Partially folded monomeric or dimeric intermediates in the ancestral ensemble provide mechanisms for evolutionary changes that affect stability of extant caspases. The conserved folding landscape allows for the fine-tuning of enzyme stability in a species-dependent manner while retaining the overall caspase-hemoglobinase fold.

RevDate: 2021-11-10
CmpDate: 2021-11-05

Sego TJ, Mochan ED, Ermentrout GB, et al (2022)

A multiscale multicellular spatiotemporal model of local influenza infection and immune response.

Journal of theoretical biology, 532:110918.

Respiratory viral infections pose a serious public health concern, from mild seasonal influenza to pandemics like those of SARS-CoV-2. Spatiotemporal dynamics of viral infection impact nearly all aspects of the progression of a viral infection, like the dependence of viral replication rates on the type of cell and pathogen, the strength of the immune response and localization of infection. Mathematical modeling is often used to describe respiratory viral infections and the immune response to them using ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. However, ODE models neglect spatially-resolved biophysical mechanisms like lesion shape and the details of viral transport, and so cannot model spatial effects of a viral infection and immune response. In this work, we develop a multiscale, multicellular spatiotemporal model of influenza infection and immune response by combining non-spatial ODE modeling and spatial, cell-based modeling. We employ cellularization, a recently developed method for generating spatial, cell-based, stochastic models from non-spatial ODE models, to generate much of our model from a calibrated ODE model that describes infection, death and recovery of susceptible cells and innate and adaptive responses during influenza infection, and develop models of cell migration and other mechanisms not explicitly described by the ODE model. We determine new model parameters to generate agreement between the spatial and original ODE models under certain conditions, where simulation replicas using our model serve as microconfigurations of the ODE model, and compare results between the models to investigate the nature of viral exposure and impact of heterogeneous infection on the time-evolution of the viral infection. We found that using spatially homogeneous initial exposure conditions consistently with those employed during calibration of the ODE model generates far less severe infection, and that local exposure to virus must be multiple orders of magnitude greater than a uniformly applied exposure to all available susceptible cells. This strongly suggests a prominent role of localization of exposure in influenza A infection. We propose that the particularities of the microenvironment to which a virus is introduced plays a dominant role in disease onset and progression, and that spatially resolved models like ours may be important to better understand and more reliably predict future health states based on susceptibility of potential lesion sites using spatially resolved patient data of the state of an infection. We can readily integrate the immune response components of our model into other modeling and simulation frameworks of viral infection dynamics that do detailed modeling of other mechanisms like viral internalization and intracellular viral replication dynamics, which are not explicitly represented in the ODE model. We can also combine our model with available experimental data and modeling of exposure scenarios and spatiotemporal aspects of mechanisms like mucociliary clearance that are only implicitly described by the ODE model, which would significantly improve the ability of our model to present spatially resolved predictions about the progression of influenza infection and immune response.

RevDate: 2021-11-19
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Buravkova L, Larina I, Andreeva E, et al (2021)

Microgravity Effects on the Matrisome.

Cells, 10(9):.

Gravity is fundamental factor determining all processes of development and vital activity on Earth. During evolution, a complex mechanism of response to gravity alterations was formed in multicellular organisms. It includes the "gravisensors" in extracellular and intracellular spaces. Inside the cells, the cytoskeleton molecules are the principal gravity-sensitive structures, and outside the cells these are extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The cooperation between the intracellular and extracellular compartments is implemented through specialized protein structures, integrins. The gravity-sensitive complex is a kind of molecular hub that coordinates the functions of various tissues and organs in the gravitational environment. The functioning of this system is of particular importance under extremal conditions, such as spaceflight microgravity. This review covers the current understanding of ECM and associated molecules as the matrisome, the features of the above components in connective tissues, and the role of the latter in the cell and tissue responses to the gravity alterations. Special attention is paid to contemporary methodological approaches to the matrisome composition analysis under real space flights and ground-based simulation of its effects on Earth.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Charles Campbell F (2021)

Untangling the complexities of micropapillary cancer†.

The Journal of pathology, 255(4):343-345.

Distinct morphological subtypes of colorectal cancer (CRC) confer a bleak clinical outlook. In a recent issue of The Journal of Pathology, Onuma et al investigated morphological evolution of a highly fatal CRC subtype known as micropapillary cancer (MPC). This study enhances understanding of MPC biology including essential regulatory signals, cellular and multicellular phenotypes, as well as cancer behaviour. Iterative modelling in three-dimensional (3D) patient-derived CRC tissue-originated spheroids (CTOSs) revealed spatiotemporal oscillations of Rho-ROCK hyperactivity underlying reversal of membrane polarity and suppression of lumen formation during development of multicellular MPC morphology. Corroborative studies in CTOSs, xenografts, and archival human CRCs confirm human disease relevance. Although cancer morphology has previously been considered irreversible, targeted inhibition of Rho-ROCK activity restored membrane polarity, lumenized multicellular assembly, and suppressed MPC morphology in 3D CTOS cultures and xenografts. Collectively, the study identifies molecular, biophysical, and multicellular mechanisms implicated in morphological evolution of micropapillary CRC. © 2021 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

RevDate: 2022-01-06
CmpDate: 2022-01-06

Maryenti T, Ishii T, T Okamoto (2021)

Development and regeneration of wheat-rice hybrid zygotes produced by in vitro fertilization system.

The New phytologist, 232(6):2369-2383.

Hybridization plays a decisive role in the evolution and diversification of angiosperms. However, the mechanisms of wide hybridization remain open because pre- and post-fertilization barriers limit the production and development of inter-subfamily/intergeneric zygotes, respectively. We examined hybridization between wheat and rice using an in vitro fertilization (IVF) system to bypass these barriers. Several gamete combinations of allopolyploid wheat-rice hybrid zygotes were successfully produced, and the developmental profiles of hybrid zygotes were analyzed. Hybrid zygotes derived from one rice egg cell and one wheat sperm cell ceased at the multicellular embryo-like structure stage. This developmental barrier was overcome by adding one wheat egg cell to the wheat-rice hybrid zygote. In the reciprocal combination, one wheat egg and one rice sperm cell, the resulting hybrid zygotes failed to divide. However, doubling the dosage of rice sperm cell allowed the hybrid zygotes to develop into plantlets. Rice chromosomes appeared to be progressively eliminated during the early developmental stage of these hybrid embryos, and c. 20% of regenerated plants showed abnormal morphology. These results suggest that hybrid breakdown can be overcome through optimization of gamete combinations, and the present hybrid will provide a new horizon for utilization of inter-subfamily genetic resources.

RevDate: 2022-03-02
CmpDate: 2021-09-24

Leslie AB, Simpson C, L Mander (2021)

Reproductive innovations and pulsed rise in plant complexity.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 373(6561):1368-1372.

Morphological complexity is a notable feature of multicellular life, although whether it evolves gradually or in early bursts is unclear. Vascular plant reproductive structures, such as flowers, are familiar examples of complex morphology. In this study, we use a simple approach based on the number of part types to analyze changes in complexity over time. We find that reproductive complexity increased in two pulses separated by ~250 million years of stasis, including an initial rise in the Devonian with the radiation of vascular plants and a pronounced increase in the Late Cretaceous that reflects flowering plant diversification. These pulses are associated with innovations that increased functional diversity, suggesting that shifts in complexity are linked to changes in function regardless of whether they occur early or late in the history of vascular plants.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Elsner D, Hartfelder K, J Korb (2021)

Molecular underpinnings of division of labour among workers in a socially complex termite.

Scientific reports, 11(1):18269.

Division of labour characterizes all major evolutionary transitions, such as the evolution of eukaryotic cells or multicellular organisms. Social insects are characterized by reproductive division of labour, with one or a few reproducing individuals (queens) and many non-reproducing nestmates (workers) forming a colony. Among the workers, further division of labour can occur with different individuals performing different tasks such as foraging, brood care or building. While mechanisms underlying task division are intensively studied in social Hymenoptera, less is known for termites, which independently evolved eusociality. We investigated molecular mechanisms underlying task division in termite workers to test for communality with social Hymenoptera. We compared similar-aged foraging workers with builders of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes bellicosus using transcriptomes, endocrine measures and estimators of physiological condition. Based on results for social Hymenoptera and theory, we tested the hypotheses that (i) foragers are in worse physiological conditions than builders, (ii) builders are more similar in their gene expression profile to queens than foragers are, and (iii) builders invest more in anti-ageing mechanism than foragers. Our results support all three hypotheses. We found storage proteins to underlie task division of these similar-aged termite workers and these genes also characterize reproductive division of labour between queens and workers. This implies a co-option of nutrient-based pathways to regulate division of labour across lineages of termites and social Hymenoptera, which are separated by more than 133 million years.

RevDate: 2021-11-26
CmpDate: 2021-11-26

Steventon B, Busby L, AM Arias (2021)

Establishment of the vertebrate body plan: Rethinking gastrulation through stem cell models of early embryogenesis.

Developmental cell, 56(17):2405-2418.

A striking property of vertebrate embryos is the emergence of a conserved body plan across a wide range of organisms through the process of gastrulation. As the body plan unfolds, gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and multicellular interactions (cell regulatory networks, CRNs) combine to generate a conserved set of morphogenetic events that lead to the phylotypic stage. Interrogation of these multilevel interactions requires manipulation of the mechanical environment, which is difficult in vivo. We review recent studies of stem cell models of early embryogenesis from different species showing that, independent of species origin, cells in culture form similar structures. The main difference between embryos and in vitro models is the boundary conditions of the multicellular ensembles. We discuss these observations and suggest that the mechanical and geometric boundary conditions of different embryos before gastrulation hide a morphogenetic ground state that is revealed in the stem-cell-based models of embryo development.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-03

Henriques GJB, van Vliet S, M Doebeli (2021)

Multilevel selection favors fragmentation modes that maintain cooperative interactions in multispecies communities.

PLoS computational biology, 17(9):e1008896.

Reproduction is one of the requirements for evolution and a defining feature of life. Yet, across the tree of life, organisms reproduce in many different ways. Groups of cells (e.g., multicellular organisms, colonial microbes, or multispecies biofilms) divide by releasing propagules that can be single-celled or multicellular. What conditions determine the number and size of reproductive propagules? In multicellular organisms, existing theory suggests that single-cell propagules prevent the accumulation of deleterious mutations (e.g., cheaters). However, groups of cells, such as biofilms, sometimes contain multiple metabolically interdependent species. This creates a reproductive dilemma: small daughter groups, which prevent the accumulation of cheaters, are also unlikely to contain the species diversity that is required for ecological success. Here, we developed an individual-based, multilevel selection model to investigate how such multi-species groups can resolve this dilemma. By tracking the dynamics of groups of cells that reproduce by fragmenting into smaller groups, we identified fragmentation modes that can maintain cooperative interactions. We systematically varied the fragmentation mode and calculated the maximum mutation rate that communities can withstand before being driven to extinction by the accumulation of cheaters. We find that for groups consisting of a single species, the optimal fragmentation mode consists of releasing single-cell propagules. For multi-species groups we find various optimal strategies. With migration between groups, single-cell propagules are favored. Without migration, larger propagules sizes are optimal; in this case, group-size dependent fissioning rates can prevent the accumulation of cheaters. Our work shows that multi-species groups can evolve reproductive strategies that allow them to maintain cooperative interactions.


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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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