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23 May 2019 at 01:42
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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 23 May 2019 at 01:42 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-05-22
CmpDate: 2019-05-22

Krizsán K, Almási É, Merényi Z, et al (2019)

Transcriptomic atlas of mushroom development reveals conserved genes behind complex multicellularity in fungi.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(15):7409-7418.

The evolution of complex multicellularity has been one of the major transitions in the history of life. In contrast to simple multicellular aggregates of cells, it has evolved only in a handful of lineages, including animals, embryophytes, red and brown algae, and fungi. Despite being a key step toward the evolution of complex organisms, the evolutionary origins and the genetic underpinnings of complex multicellularity are incompletely known. The development of fungal fruiting bodies from a hyphal thallus represents a transition from simple to complex multicellularity that is inducible under laboratory conditions. We constructed a reference atlas of mushroom formation based on developmental transcriptome data of six species and comparisons of >200 whole genomes, to elucidate the core genetic program of complex multicellularity and fruiting body development in mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes). Nearly 300 conserved gene families and >70 functional groups contained developmentally regulated genes from five to six species, covering functions related to fungal cell wall remodeling, targeted protein degradation, signal transduction, adhesion, and small secreted proteins (including effector-like orphan genes). Several of these families, including F-box proteins, expansin-like proteins, protein kinases, and transcription factors, showed expansions in Agaricomycetes, many of which convergently expanded in multicellular plants and/or animals too, reflecting convergent solutions to genetic hurdles imposed by complex multicellularity among independently evolved lineages. This study provides an entry point to studying mushroom development and complex multicellularity in one of the largest clades of complex eukaryotic organisms.

RevDate: 2019-05-22
CmpDate: 2019-05-22

Sebé-Pedrós A, Chomsky E, Pang K, et al (2018)

Early metazoan cell type diversity and the evolution of multicellular gene regulation.

Nature ecology & evolution, 2(7):1176-1188.

A hallmark of metazoan evolution is the emergence of genomic mechanisms that implement cell-type-specific functions. However, the evolution of metazoan cell types and their underlying gene regulatory programmes remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we use whole-organism single-cell RNA sequencing to map cell-type-specific transcription in Porifera (sponges), Ctenophora (comb jellies) and Placozoa species. We describe the repertoires of cell types in these non-bilaterian animals, uncovering diverse instances of previously unknown molecular signatures, such as multiple types of peptidergic cells in Placozoa. Analysis of the regulatory programmes of these cell types reveals variable levels of complexity. In placozoans and poriferans, sequence motifs in the promoters are predictive of cell-type-specific programmes. By contrast, the generation of a higher diversity of cell types in ctenophores is associated with lower specificity of promoter sequences and the existence of distal regulatory elements. Our findings demonstrate that metazoan cell types can be defined by networks of transcription factors and proximal promoters, and indicate that further genome regulatory complexity may be required for more diverse cell type repertoires.

RevDate: 2019-05-20
CmpDate: 2019-05-20

Fischer MS, Jonkers W, NL Glass (2019)

Integration of Self and Non-self Recognition Modulates Asexual Cell-to-Cell Communication in Neurospora crassa.

Genetics, 211(4):1255-1267.

Cells rarely exist alone, which drives the evolution of diverse mechanisms for identifying and responding appropriately to the presence of other nearby cells. Filamentous fungi depend on somatic cell-to-cell communication and fusion for the development and maintenance of a multicellular, interconnected colony that is characteristic of this group of organisms. The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa is a model for investigating the mechanisms of somatic cell-to-cell communication and fusion. N. crassa cells chemotropically grow toward genetically similar cells, which ultimately make physical contact and undergo cell fusion. Here, we describe the development of a Pprm1-luciferase reporter system that differentiates whether genes function upstream or downstream of a conserved MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling complex, by using a set of mutants required for communication and cell fusion. The vast majority of these mutants are deficient for self-fusion and for fusion when paired with wild-type cells. However, the Δham-11 mutant is unique in that it fails to undergo self-fusion, but chemotropic interactions and cell fusion are restored in Δham-11 + wild-type interactions. In genetically dissimilar cells, chemotropic interactions are regulated by genetic differences at doc-1 and doc-2, which regulate prefusion non-self recognition; cells with dissimilar doc-1 and doc-2 alleles show greatly reduced cell-fusion frequencies. Here, we show that HAM-11 functions in parallel with the DOC-1 and DOC-2 proteins to regulate the activity of the MAPK signaling complex. Together, our data support a model of integrated self and non-self recognition processes that modulate somatic cell-to-cell communication in N. crassa.

RevDate: 2019-05-13
CmpDate: 2019-05-13

Mosaffa P, Rodríguez-Ferran A, JJ Muñoz (2018)

Hybrid cell-centred/vertex model for multicellular systems with equilibrium-preserving remodelling.

International journal for numerical methods in biomedical engineering, 34(3):.

We present a hybrid cell-centred/vertex model for mechanically simulating planar cellular monolayers undergoing cell reorganisation. Cell centres are represented by a triangular nodal network, while the cell boundaries are formed by an associated vertex network. The two networks are coupled through a kinematic constraint which we allow to relax progressively. Special attention is paid to the change of cell-cell connectivity due to cell reorganisation or remodelling events. We handle these situations by using a variable resting length and applying an Equilibrium-Preserving Mapping on the new connectivity, which computes a new set of resting lengths that preserve nodal and vertex equilibrium. We illustrate the properties of the model by simulating monolayers subjected to imposed extension and during a wound healing process. The evolution of forces and the Equilibrium-Preserving Mapping are analysed during the remodelling events. As a by-product, the proposed technique enables to recover fully vertex or fully cell-centred models in a seamless manner by modifying a numerical parameter of the model.

RevDate: 2019-05-08
CmpDate: 2019-05-08

Hammarlund EU, von Stedingk K, S Påhlman (2018)

Refined control of cell stemness allowed animal evolution in the oxic realm.

Nature ecology & evolution, 2(2):220-228.

Animal diversification on Earth has long been presumed to be associated with the increasing extent of oxic niches. Here, we challenge that view. We start with the fact that hypoxia (<1-3% O2) maintains cellular immaturity (stemness), whereas adult stem cells continuously-and paradoxically-regenerate animal tissue in oxygenated settings. Novel insights from tumour biology illuminate how cell stemness nevertheless can be achieved through the action of oxygen-sensing transcription factors in oxygenated, regenerating tissue. We suggest that these hypoxia-inducible transcription factors provided animals with unprecedented control over cell stemness that allowed them to cope with fluctuating oxygen concentrations. Thus, a refinement of the cellular hypoxia-response machinery enabled cell stemness at oxic conditions and, then, animals to evolve into the oxic realm. This view on the onset of animal diversification is consistent with geological evidence and provides a new perspective on the challenges and evolution of multicellular life.

RevDate: 2019-05-07
CmpDate: 2019-05-07

Nedelcu AM (2019)

Independent evolution of complex development in animals and plants: deep homology and lateral gene transfer.

Development genes and evolution, 229(1):25-34.

The evolution of multicellularity is a premier example of phenotypic convergence: simple multicellularity evolved independently many times, and complex multicellular phenotypes are found in several distant groups. Furthermore, both animal and plant lineages have independently reached extreme levels of morphological, functional, and developmental complexity. This study explores the genetic basis for the parallel evolution of complex multicellularity and development in the animal and green plant (i.e., green algae and land plants) lineages. Specifically, the study (i) identifies the SAND domain-a DNA-binding domain with important roles in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation, as unique to animals, green algae, and land plants; and (ii) suggests that the parallel deployment of this ancestral domain in similar regulatory roles could have contributed to the independent evolution of complex development in these distant groups. Given the deep animal-green plant divergence, the limited distribution of the SAND domain is best explained by invoking a lateral gene transfer (LGT) event from a green alga to an early metazoan. The presence of a sequence motif specifically shared by a family of SAND-containing transcription factors involved in the evolution of complex multicellularity in volvocine algae and two types of SAND proteins that emerged early in the evolution of animals is consistent with this scenario. Overall, these findings imply that (i) in addition to be involved in the evolution of similar phenotypes, deep homologous sequences can also contribute to shaping parallel evolutionary trajectories in distant lineages, and (ii) LGT could provide an additional source of latent homologous sequences that can be deployed in analogous roles and affect the evolutionary potentials of distantly related groups.

RevDate: 2019-05-06
CmpDate: 2019-05-06

Taverne YJ, Merkus D, Bogers AJ, et al (2018)

Reactive Oxygen Species: Radical Factors in the Evolution of Animal Life: A molecular timescale from Earth's earliest history to the rise of complex life.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 40(3):.

Introduction of O2 to Earth's early biosphere stimulated remarkable evolutionary adaptations, and a wide range of electron acceptors allowed diverse, energy-yielding metabolic pathways. Enzymatic reduction of O2 yielded a several-fold increase in energy production, enabling evolution of multi-cellular animal life. However, utilization of O2 also presented major challenges as O2 and many of its derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) are highly toxic, possibly impeding multicellular evolution after the Great Oxidation Event. Remarkably, ROS, and especially hydrogen peroxide, seem to play a major part in early diversification and further development of cellular respiration and other oxygenic pathways, thus becoming an intricate part of evolution of complex life. Hence, although harnessing of chemical and thermo-dynamic properties of O2 for aerobic metabolism is generally considered to be an evolutionary milestone, the ability to use ROS for cell signaling and regulation may have been the first true breakthrough in development of complex life.

RevDate: 2019-05-02

Biscotti MA, Barucca M, Carducci F, et al (2019)

The p53 gene family in vertebrates: Evolutionary considerations.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The origin of the p53 gene family predates multicellular life since TP53 members of this gene family have been found in unicellular eukaryotes. In invertebrates one or two genes attributable to a TP53-like or TP63/73-like gene are present. The radiation into three genes, TP53, TP63, and TP73, has been reported as a vertebrate invention. TP53 is considered the "guardian of the genome" given its role in protecting cells against the DNA damage and cellular stressors. TP63 and TP73 play a role in epithelial development and neurogenesis, respectively. The evolution of the p53 gene family has been the subject of considerable analyses even if several questions remain still open. In this study we addressed the evolutionary history of the p53 gene family in vertebrates performing an extended microsyntenic investigation coupled with a phylogenetic analysis, together with protein domain organization and structure assessment. On the basis of our results we discussed a possible evolutionary scenario according to which a TP53/63/73 ancestor form gave rise to the current TP53 and a TP63/73 form, which in turn independently duplicated into two genes in agnathe and gnathostome lineages.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Peyraud R, Mbengue M, Barbacci A, et al (2019)

Intercellular cooperation in a fungal plant pathogen facilitates host colonization.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(8):3193-3201.

Cooperation is associated with major transitions in evolution such as the emergence of multicellularity. It is central to the evolution of many complex traits in nature, including growth and virulence in pathogenic bacteria. Whether cells of multicellular parasites function cooperatively during infection remains, however, largely unknown. Here, we show that hyphal cells of the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum reprogram toward division of labor to facilitate the colonization of host plants. Using global transcriptome sequencing, we reveal that gene expression patterns diverge markedly in cells at the center and apex of hyphae during Arabidopsis thaliana colonization compared with in vitro growth. We reconstructed a genome-scale metabolic model for S. sclerotiorum and used flux balance analysis to demonstrate metabolic heterogeneity supporting division of labor between hyphal cells. Accordingly, continuity between the central and apical compartments of invasive hyphae was required for optimal growth in planta Using a multicell model of fungal hyphae, we show that this cooperative functioning enhances fungal growth predominantly during host colonization. Our work identifies cooperation in fungal hyphae as a mechanism emerging at the multicellular level to support host colonization and virulence.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Kayser J, Schreck CF, Gralka M, et al (2018)

Collective motion conceals fitness differences in crowded cellular populations.

Nature ecology & evolution, 3(1):125-134 pii:10.1038/s41559-018-0734-9.

Many cellular populations are tightly packed, such as microbial colonies and biofilms, or tissues and tumours in multicellular organisms. The movement of one cell in these crowded assemblages requires motion of others, so that cell displacements are correlated over many cell diameters. Whenever movement is important for survival or growth, these correlated rearrangements could couple the evolutionary fate of different lineages. However, little is known about the interplay between mechanical forces and evolution in dense cellular populations. Here, by tracking slower-growing clones at the expanding edge of yeast colonies, we show that the collective motion of cells prevents costly mutations from being weeded out rapidly. Joint pushing by neighbouring cells generates correlated movements that suppress the differential displacements required for selection to act. This mechanical screening of fitness differences allows slower-growing mutants to leave more descendants than expected under non-mechanical models, thereby increasing their chance for evolutionary rescue. Our work suggests that, in crowded populations, cells cooperate with surrounding neighbours through inevitable mechanical interactions. This effect has to be considered when predicting evolutionary outcomes, such as the emergence of drug resistance or cancer evolution.

RevDate: 2019-04-30
CmpDate: 2019-04-30

Bull JK, Flynn JM, Chain FJJ, et al (2019)

Fitness and Genomic Consequences of Chronic Exposure to Low Levels of Copper and Nickel in Daphnia pulex Mutation Accumulation Lines.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 9(1):61-71 pii:g3.118.200797.

In at least some unicellular organisms, mutation rates are temporarily raised upon exposure to environmental stress, potentially contributing to the evolutionary response to stress. Whether this is true for multicellular organisms, however, has received little attention. This study investigated the effects of chronic mild stress, in the form of low-level copper and nickel exposure, on mutational processes in Daphnia pulex using a combination of mutation accumulation, whole genome sequencing and life-history assays. After over 100 generations of mutation accumulation, we found no effects of metal exposure on the rates of single nucleotide mutations and of loss of heterozygosity events, the two mutation classes that occurred in sufficient numbers to allow statistical analysis. Similarly, rates of decline in fitness, as measured by intrinsic rate of population increase and of body size at first reproduction, were negligibly affected by metal exposure. We can reject the possibility that Daphnia were insufficiently stressed to invoke genetic responses as we have previously shown rates of large-scale deletions and duplications are elevated under metal exposure in this experiment. Overall, the mutation accumulation lines did not significantly depart from initial values for phenotypic traits measured, indicating the lineage used was broadly mutationally robust. Taken together, these results indicate that the mutagenic effects of chronic low-level exposure to these metals are restricted to certain mutation classes and that fitness consequences are likely minor and therefore unlikely to be relevant in determining the evolutionary responses of populations exposed to these stressors.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Hajheidari M, Koncz C, M Bucher (2019)

Chromatin Evolution-Key Innovations Underpinning Morphological Complexity.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:454.

The history of life consists of a series of major evolutionary transitions, including emergence and radiation of complex multicellular eukaryotes from unicellular ancestors. The cells of multicellular organisms, with few exceptions, contain the same genome, however, their organs are composed of a variety of cell types that differ in both structure and function. This variation is largely due to the transcriptional activity of different sets of genes in different cell types. This indicates that complex transcriptional regulation played a key role in the evolution of complexity in eukaryotes. In this review, we summarize how gene duplication and subsequent evolutionary innovations, including the structural evolution of nucleosomes and chromatin-related factors, contributed to the complexity of the transcriptional system and provided a basis for morphological diversity.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Funayama N (2018)

The cellular and molecular bases of the sponge stem cell systems underlying reproduction, homeostasis and regeneration.

The International journal of developmental biology, 62(6-7-8):513-525.

The evolution of multicellular organisms is generally thought (and seems likely) to have been accompanied by the evolution of a stem cell system. Sponges, some of the early-evolved metazoans, have totipotent/pluripotent stem cells. Thus, uncovering the cellular and molecular bases of the sponge stem cells will not only be crucial for understanding the ancestral gene repertoire of animal stem cells, but will also give us clues to understanding the evolution of molecular mechanisms for maintaining multipotency (pluripotency) and differentiation ability during animal evolution. Sponges (Porifera) are a large phylum that includes an enormous number of species, whose cellular compositions and life cycles show striking variations. In the last decade, methodologies for molecular studies and sequencing resources have dramatically advanced and made it possible to clearly define stem cells in sponges in cellular and molecular terms. In this review, together with recent studies of sponges in various classes, the following issues will be discussed: i) recent findings that revealed that the previously proposed model that "archeocytes and choanocytes are the two types of stem cells" originally based on work in demosponges can be applied as a unified view of the stem cell system in sponges that have various cellular organizations, ii) the fact that sponge cells are more plastic than previously thought, as shown by recent studies of sponge regeneration both from dissociated cells and upon injury, and iii) the importance of transdifferentiation in sponge stem cell systems and regeneration.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Grüter C, Jongepier E, S Foitzik (2018)

Insect societies fight back: the evolution of defensive traits against social parasites.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 373(1751):.

Insect societies face many social parasites that exploit their altruistic behaviours or their resources. Due to the fitness costs these social parasites incur, hosts have evolved various behavioural, chemical, architectural and morphological defence traits. Similar to bacteria infecting multicellular hosts, social parasites have to successfully go through several steps to exploit their hosts. Here, we review how social insects try to interrupt this sequence of events. They can avoid parasite contact by choosing to nest in parasite-free locales or evade attacks by adapting their colony structure. Once social parasites attack, hosts attempt to detect them, which can be facilitated by adjustments in colony odour. If social parasites enter the nest, hosts can either aggressively defend their colony or take their young and flee. Nest structures are often shaped to prevent social parasite invasion or to safeguard host resources. Finally, if social parasites successfully establish themselves in host nests, hosts can rebel by killing the parasite brood or by reproducing in the parasites' presence. Hosts of social parasites can therefore develop multiple traits, leading to the evolution of complex defence portfolios of co-dependent traits. Social parasites can respond to these multi-level defences with counter-adaptations, potentially leading to geographical mosaics of coevolution.This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours'.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Hamada M, Schröder K, Bathia J, et al (2018)

Metabolic co-dependence drives the evolutionarily ancient Hydra-Chlorella symbiosis.

eLife, 7:.

Many multicellular organisms rely on symbiotic associations for support of metabolic activity, protection, or energy. Understanding the mechanisms involved in controlling such interactions remains a major challenge. In an unbiased approach we identified key players that control the symbiosis between Hydra viridissima and its photosynthetic symbiont Chlorella sp. A99. We discovered significant up-regulation of Hydra genes encoding a phosphate transporter and glutamine synthetase suggesting regulated nutrition supply between host and symbionts. Interestingly, supplementing the medium with glutamine temporarily supports in vitro growth of the otherwise obligate symbiotic Chlorella, indicating loss of autonomy and dependence on the host. Genome sequencing of Chlorella sp. A99 revealed a large number of amino acid transporters and a degenerated nitrate assimilation pathway, presumably as consequence of the adaptation to the host environment. Our observations portray ancient symbiotic interactions as a codependent partnership in which exchange of nutrients appears to be the primary driving force.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Soni B, Saha B, S Singh (2018)

Systems cues governing IL6 signaling in leishmaniasis.

Cytokine, 106:169-175.

IL-6 has been proposed to favor the development of Th2 responses and play an important role in the communication between cells of multicellular organisms. They are involved in the regulation of complex cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation and act as key player during inflammation and immune response. Th2 cytokines play an immunoregulatory role in early infection. Literature says in mice infected with L. major, IL-6 may promote the development of both Th1 and Th2 responses. IL-4 is also considered to be the signature cytokine of Th-2 response. IL-10 was initially characterized as a Th2 cytokine but later on it was proved to be a pleiotropic cytokine, secreted from different cell types including the macrophages. A major challenge is to understand how these complex non-linear processes are connected and regulated. Systems biology approaches may be used to tackle this challenge in an iterative process of quantitative mathematical analysis. In this study, we created an in silico model of IL6 mediated macrophage activation which suffers from an excessive impact of the negative feedback loop involving SOCS3. The strategy adopted in this framework may help to reduce the complexity of the leishmanial IL6 model analysis and also laydown various physiological or pathological conditions of IL6 signaling in future.

RevDate: 2019-04-26
CmpDate: 2019-04-26

Oxford JT, Reeck JC, MJ Hardy (2019)

Extracellular Matrix in Development and Disease.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(1): pii:ijms20010205.

The evolution of multicellular metazoan organisms was marked by the inclusion of an extracellular matrix (ECM), a multicomponent, proteinaceous network between cells that contributes to the spatial arrangement of cells and the resulting tissue organization. [...].

RevDate: 2019-04-26
CmpDate: 2019-04-26

Zumberge JA, Love GD, Cárdenas P, et al (2018)

Demosponge steroid biomarker 26-methylstigmastane provides evidence for Neoproterozoic animals.

Nature ecology & evolution, 2(11):1709-1714.

Sterane biomarkers preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks hold promise for tracking the diversification and ecological expansion of eukaryotes. The earliest proposed animal biomarkers from demosponges (Demospongiae) are recorded in a sequence around 100 Myr long of Neoproterozoic-Cambrian marine sedimentary strata from the Huqf Supergroup, South Oman Salt Basin. This C30 sterane biomarker, informally known as 24-isopropylcholestane (24-ipc), possesses the same carbon skeleton as sterols found in some modern-day demosponges. However, this evidence is controversial because 24-ipc is not exclusive to demosponges since 24-ipc sterols are found in trace amounts in some pelagophyte algae. Here, we report a new fossil sterane biomarker that co-occurs with 24-ipc in a suite of late Neoproterozoic-Cambrian sedimentary rocks and oils, which possesses a rare hydrocarbon skeleton that is uniquely found within extant demosponge taxa. This sterane is informally designated as 26-methylstigmastane (26-mes), reflecting the very unusual methylation at the terminus of the steroid side chain. It is the first animal-specific sterane marker detected in the geological record that can be unambiguously linked to precursor sterols only reported from extant demosponges. These new findings strongly suggest that demosponges, and hence multicellular animals, were prominent in some late Neoproterozoic marine environments at least extending back to the Cryogenian period.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Khasin M, Cahoon RR, Nickerson KW, et al (2018)

Molecular machinery of auxin synthesis, secretion, and perception in the unicellular chlorophyte alga Chlorella sorokiniana UTEX 1230.

PloS one, 13(12):e0205227 pii:PONE-D-17-29763.

Indole-3-acetic acid is a ubiquitous small molecule found in all domains of life. It is the predominant and most active auxin in seed plants, where it coordinates a variety of complex growth and development processes. The potential origin of auxin signaling in algae remains a matter of some controversy. In order to clarify the evolutionary context of algal auxin signaling, we undertook a genomic survey to assess whether auxin acts as a signaling molecule in the emerging model chlorophyte Chlorella sorokiniana UTEX 1230. C. sorokiniana produces the auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), which was present in both the cell pellet and in the supernatant at a concentration of ~ 1 nM, and its genome encodes orthologs of genes related to auxin synthesis, transport, and signaling in higher plants. Candidate orthologs for the canonical AUX/IAA signaling pathway were not found; however, auxin-binding protein 1 (ABP1), an alternate auxin receptor, is present and highly conserved at essential auxin binding and zinc coordinating residues. Additionally, candidate orthologs for PIN proteins, responsible for intercellular, vectorial auxin transport in higher plants, were not found, but PILs (PIN-Like) proteins, a recently discovered family that mediates intracellular auxin transport, were identified. The distribution of auxin related gene in this unicellular chlorophyte demonstrates that a core suite of auxin signaling components was present early in the evolution of plants. Understanding the simplified auxin signaling pathways in chlorophytes will aid in understanding phytohormone signaling and crosstalk in seed plants, and in understanding the diversification and integration of developmental signals during the evolution of multicellular plants.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Li Z, Fu X, Wang Y, et al (2018)

Polycomb-mediated gene silencing by the BAH-EMF1 complex in plants.

Nature genetics, 50(9):1254-1261.

Polycomb proteins implement genome-wide transcriptional repression in multicellular organisms. The evolutionarily conserved Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) catalyzes histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) that is read and effected by Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) in animals, but the interpretation of this mark remains unclear in plants. Here we report that in the eudicot Arabidopsis thaliana two homologous BAH (Bromo adjacent homology) domain-containing proteins form a plant-specific complex with EMBRYONIC FLOWER 1 (EMF1), and that the BAH-EMF1 complex (BAH-EMF1c) reads and effects the H3K27me3 mark and mediates genome-wide transcriptional repression. Furthermore, in the monocot rice a homolog of the Arabidopsis BAH-domain proteins also binds methylated H3K27 and forms a complex with the rice homolog of EMF1, suggesting that BAH-EMF1c is conserved in flowering plants. Therefore, our results show that the plant-specific BAH-EMF1c fulfills PRC1-like functions in higher plants, suggesting a convergent evolution of PRC1 activity in plants and animals.

RevDate: 2019-04-22
CmpDate: 2019-04-22

Woo C, An C, Xu S, et al (2018)

Taxonomic diversity of fungi deposited from the atmosphere.

The ISME journal, 12(8):2051-2060.

Fungi release spores into the global atmosphere. The emitted spores are deposited to the surface of the Earth by sedimentation (dry deposition) and precipitation (wet deposition), and therefore contribute to the global cycling of substances. However, knowledge is scarce regarding the diversities of fungi deposited from the atmosphere. Here, an automatic dry and wet deposition sampler and high-throughput sequencing plus quantitative PCR were used to observe taxonomic diversities and flux densities of atmospheric fungal deposition. Taxon-specific fungal deposition velocities and aerodynamic diameters (da) were determined using a collocated cascade impactor for volumetric, particle-size-resolved air sampling. Large multicellular spore-producing dothideomycetes (da ≥ 10.0 μm) were predominant in dry deposition, with a mean velocity of 0.80 cm s-1 for all fungal taxa combined. Higher taxonomic richness was observed in fungal assemblages in wet deposition than in dry deposition, suggesting the presence of fungal taxa that are deposited only in wet form. In wet deposition, agaricomycetes, including mushroom-forming fungi, and sordariomycetes, including plant pathogenic species, were enriched, indicating that such fungal spores serve as nuclei in clouds, and/or are discharged preferentially during precipitation. Moreover, this study confirmed that fungal assemblage memberships and structures were significantly different between dry and wet deposition (P-test, p < 0.001). Overall, these findings suggest taxon-specific involvement of fungi in precipitation, and provide important insights into potential links between environmental changes that can disturb regional microbial communities (e.g., deforestation) and changes in precipitation patterns that might be mediated by changes in microbial communities in the atmosphere.

RevDate: 2019-04-19

Olito C, T Connallon (2019)

Sexually Antagonistic Variation and the Evolution of Dimorphic Sexual Systems.

The American naturalist, 193(5):688-701.

Multicellular Eukaryotes use a broad spectrum of sexual reproduction strategies, ranging from simultaneous hermaphroditism to complete dioecy (separate sexes). The evolutionary pathway from hermaphroditism to dioecy involves the spread of sterility alleles that eliminate female or male reproductive functions, producing unisexual individuals. Classical theory predicts that evolutionary transitions to dioecy are feasible when female and male sex functions genetically trade off with one another (allocation to sex functions is sexually antagonistic) and rates of self-fertilization and inbreeding depression are high within the ancestral hermaphrodite population. We show that genetic linkage between sterility alleles and loci under sexually antagonistic selection significantly alters these classical predictions. We identify three specific consequences of linkage for the evolution of dimorphic sexual systems. First, linkage broadens conditions for the invasion of unisexual sterility alleles, facilitating transitions to sexual systems that are intermediate between hermaphroditism and dioecy (androdioecy and gynodioecy). Second, linkage elevates the equilibrium frequencies of unisexual individuals within androdioecious and gynodioecious populations, which promotes subsequent transitions to full dioecy. Third, linkage dampens the role of inbreeding during transitions to androdioecy and gynodioecy, making these transitions feasible in outbred populations. We discuss implications of these results for the evolution of dimorphic reproductive systems and sex chromosomes.

RevDate: 2019-04-19
CmpDate: 2019-04-19

Shingleton AW, WA Frankino (2018)

The (ongoing) problem of relative growth.

Current opinion in insect science, 25:9-19.

Differential growth, the phenomenon where parts of the body grow at different rates, is necessary to generate the complex morphologies of most multicellular organisms. Despite this central importance, how differential growth is regulated remains largely unknown. Recent discoveries, particularly in insects, have started to uncover the molecular-genetic and physiological mechanisms that coordinate growth among different tissues throughout the body and regulate relative growth. These discoveries suggest that growth is coordinated by a network of signals that emanate from growing tissues and central endocrine organs. Here we review these findings and discuss their implications for understanding the regulation of relative growth and the evolution of morphology.

RevDate: 2019-04-16
CmpDate: 2019-04-16

Rodríguez-Pascual F (2019)

How evolution made the matrix punch at the multicellularity party.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 294(3):770-771.

The basement membrane is a specialized sheet-like form of the extracellular matrix that provides structural support to epithelial cells and tissues, while influencing multiple biological functions, and was essential in the transition to multicellularity. By exploring a variety of genomes, Darris et al. provide evidence that the emergence and divergence of a multifunctional Goodpasture antigen-binding protein (GPBP), a basement membrane constituent, played a role in this transition. These findings help to explain how GPBP contributed to the formation of these extracellular matrices and to more precisely define the transition to multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2019-04-15
CmpDate: 2019-04-15

Leong SP, Aktipis A, C Maley (2018)

Cancer initiation and progression within the cancer microenvironment.

Clinical & experimental metastasis, 35(5-6):361-367.

Within the cancer microenvironment, the growth and proliferation of cancer cells in the primary site as well as in the metastatic site represent a global biological phenomenon. To understand the growth, proliferation and progression of cancer either by local expansion and/or metastasis, it is important to understand the cancer microenvironment and host response to cancer growth. Melanoma is an excellent model to study the interaction of cancer initiation and growth in relationship to its microenvironment. Social evolution with cooperative cellular groups within an organism is what gives rise to multicellularity in the first place. Cancer cells evolve to exploit their cellular environment. The foundations of multicellular cooperation break down in cancer because those cells that misbehave have an evolutionary advantage over their normally behaving neighbors. It is important to classify evolutionary and ecological aspects of cancer growth, thus, data for cancer growth and outcomes need to be collected to define these parameters so that accurate predictions of how cancer cells may proliferate and metastasize can be developed.

RevDate: 2019-04-09
CmpDate: 2019-04-09

Reeves MQ, Kandyba E, Harris S, et al (2018)

Multicolour lineage tracing reveals clonal dynamics of squamous carcinoma evolution from initiation to metastasis.

Nature cell biology, 20(6):699-709.

Tumour cells are subjected to evolutionary selection pressures during progression from initiation to metastasis. We analysed the clonal evolution of squamous skin carcinomas induced by DMBA/TPA treatment using the K5CreER-Confetti mouse and stage-specific lineage tracing. We show that benign tumours are polyclonal, but only one population contains the Hras driver mutation. Thus, benign papillomas are monoclonal in origin but recruit neighbouring epithelial cells during growth. Papillomas that never progress to malignancy retain several distinct clones, whereas progression to carcinoma is associated with a clonal sweep. Newly generated clones within carcinomas demonstrate intratumoural invasion and clonal intermixing, often giving rise to metastases containing two or more distinct clones derived from the matched primary tumour. These data demonstrate that late-stage tumour progression and dissemination are governed by evolutionary selection pressures that operate at a multicellular level and, therefore, differ from the clonal events that drive initiation and the benign-malignant transition.

RevDate: 2019-04-08

Nguyen H, Koehl MAR, Oakes C, et al (2019)

Effects of cell morphology and attachment to a surface on the hydrodynamic performance of unicellular choanoflagellates.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 16(150):20180736.

Choanoflagellates, eukaryotes that are important predators on bacteria in aquatic ecosystems, are closely related to animals and are used as a model system to study the evolution of animals from protozoan ancestors. The choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta has a complex life cycle with different morphotypes, some unicellular and some multicellular. Here we use computational fluid dynamics to study the hydrodynamics of swimming and feeding by different unicellular stages of S. rosetta: a swimming cell with a collar of prey-capturing microvilli surrounding a single flagellum, a thecate cell attached to a surface and a dispersal-stage cell with a slender body, long flagellum and short collar. We show that a longer flagellum increases swimming speed, longer microvilli reduce speed and cell shape only affects speed when the collar is very short. The flux of prey-carrying water into the collar capture zone is greater for swimming than sessile cells, but this advantage decreases with collar size. Stalk length has little effect on flux for sessile cells. We show that ignoring the collar, as earlier models have done, overestimates flux and greatly overestimates the benefit to feeding performance of swimming versus being attached, and of a longer stalk for attached cells.

RevDate: 2019-04-05

Bohlin J, JH Pettersson (2019)

Evolution of Genomic Base Composition: From Single Cell Microbes to Multicellular Animals.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 17:362-370 pii:S2001-0370(18)30183-1.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of thousands of microbial genomes has provided considerable insight into evolutionary mechanisms in the microbial world. While substantially fewer eukaryotic genomes are available for analyses the number is rapidly increasing. This mini-review summarizes broadly evolutionary dynamics of base composition in the different domains of life from the perspective of prokaryotes. Common and different evolutionary mechanisms influencing genomic base composition in eukaryotes and prokaryotes are discussed. The conclusion from the data currently available suggests that while there are similarities there are also striking differences in how genomic base composition has evolved within prokaryotes and eukaryotes. For instance, homologous recombination appears to increase GC content locally in eukaryotes due to a non-selective process termed GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC). For prokaryotes on the other hand, increase in genomic GC content seems to be driven by the environment and selection. We find that similar phenomena observed for some organisms in each respective domain may be caused by very different mechanisms: while gBGC and recombination rates appear to explain the negative correlation between GC3 (GC content based on the third codon nucleotides) and genome size in some eukaryotes uptake of AT rich DNA sequences is the main reason for a similar negative correlation observed in prokaryotes. We provide further examples that indicate that base composition in prokaryotes and eukaryotes have evolved under very different constraints.

RevDate: 2019-04-05
CmpDate: 2019-04-05

Yoshida T, Prudent M, A D'alessandro (2019)

Red blood cell storage lesion: causes and potential clinical consequences.

Blood transfusion = Trasfusione del sangue, 17(1):27-52.

Red blood cells (RBCs) are a specialised organ that enabled the evolution of multicellular organisms by supplying a sufficient quantity of oxygen to cells that cannot obtain oxygen directly from ambient air via diffusion, thereby fueling oxidative phosphorylation for highly efficient energy production. RBCs have evolved to optimally serve this purpose by packing high concentrations of haemoglobin in their cytosol and shedding nuclei and other organelles. During their circulatory lifetimes in humans of approximately 120 days, RBCs are poised to transport oxygen by metabolic/redox enzymes until they accumulate damage and are promptly removed by the reticuloendothelial system. These elaborate evolutionary adaptions, however, are no longer effective when RBCs are removed from the circulation and stored hypothermically in blood banks, where they develop storage-induced damages ("storage lesions") that accumulate over the shelf life of stored RBCs. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive view of the literature on the subject of RBC storage lesions and their purported clinical consequences by incorporating the recent exponential growth in available data obtained from "omics" technologies in addition to that published in more traditional literature. To summarise this vast amount of information, the subject is organised in figures with four panels: i) root causes; ii) RBC storage lesions; iii) physiological effects; and iv) reported outcomes. The driving forces for the development of the storage lesions can be roughly classified into two root causes: i) metabolite accumulation/depletion, the target of various interventions (additive solutions) developed since the inception of blood banking; and ii) oxidative damages, which have been reported for decades but not addressed systemically until recently. Downstream physiological consequences of these storage lesions, derived mainly by in vitro studies, are described, and further potential links to clinical consequences are discussed. Interventions to postpone the onset and mitigate the extent of the storage lesion development are briefly reviewed. In addition, we briefly discuss the results from recent randomised controlled trials on the age of stored blood and clinical outcomes of transfusion.

RevDate: 2019-04-05
CmpDate: 2019-04-05

Shabardina V, Kischka T, Kmita H, et al (2018)

Environmental adaptation of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Entamoeba histolytica at genome level as seen by comparative genomic analysis.

International journal of biological sciences, 14(3):306-320.

Amoebozoans are in many aspects interesting research objects, as they combine features of single-cell organisms with complex signaling and defense systems, comparable to multicellular organisms. Acanthamoeba castellanii is a cosmopolitan species and developed diverged feeding abilities and strong anti-bacterial resistance; Entamoeba histolytica is a parasitic amoeba, who underwent massive gene loss and its genome is almost twice smaller than that of A. castellanii. Nevertheless, both species prosper, demonstrating fitness to their specific environments. Here we compare transcriptomes of A. castellanii and E. histolytica with application of orthologs' search and gene ontology to learn how different life strategies influence genome evolution and restructuring of physiology. A. castellanii demonstrates great metabolic activity and plasticity, while E. histolytica reveals several interesting features in its translational machinery, cytoskeleton, antioxidant protection, and nutritional behavior. In addition, we suggest new features in E. histolytica physiology that may explain its successful colonization of human colon and may facilitate medical research.

RevDate: 2019-04-04
CmpDate: 2019-04-04

Lurgi M, Thomas T, Wemheuer B, et al (2019)

Modularity and predicted functions of the global sponge-microbiome network.

Nature communications, 10(1):992 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-08925-4.

Defining the organisation of species interaction networks and unveiling the processes behind their assembly is fundamental to understanding patterns of biodiversity, community stability and ecosystem functioning. Marine sponges host complex communities of microorganisms that contribute to their health and survival, yet the mechanisms behind microbiome assembly are largely unknown. We present the global marine sponge-microbiome network and reveal a modular organisation in both community structure and function. Modules are linked by a few sponge species that share microbes with other species around the world. Further, we provide evidence that abiotic factors influence the structuring of the sponge microbiome when considering all microbes present, but biotic interactions drive the assembly of more intimately associated 'core' microorganisms. These findings suggest that both ecological and evolutionary processes are at play in host-microbe network assembly. We expect mechanisms behind microbiome assembly to be consistent across multicellular hosts throughout the tree of life.

RevDate: 2019-04-03
CmpDate: 2019-04-03

Leys SP, AS Kahn (2018)

Oxygen and the Energetic Requirements of the First Multicellular Animals.

Integrative and comparative biology, 58(4):666-676.

The appearance of multicellular animals during the Neoproterozoic Era is thought to have coincided with oxygenation of the oceans; however, we know little about the physiological needs of early animals or about the environment they lived in. Approaches using biomarkers, fossils, and phylogenomics have provided some hints of the types of animals that may have been present during the Neoproterozoic, but extant animals are our best modern links to the theoretical ancestors of animals. Neoproterozoic oceans were low energy habitats, with low oxygen concentrations and sparse food availability for the first animals. We examined tolerance of extant ctenophores and sponges-as representatives of extant lineages of the earliest known metazoan groups-to feeding and oxygen use. A review of respiration rates in species across several phyla suggests that suspension feeders in general have a wide range of metabolic rates, but sponges have some of the highest of invertebrates and ctenophores some of the lowest. Our own studies on the metabolism of two groups of deep water sponges show that sponges have different approaches to deal with the cost of filtration and low food availability. We also confirmed that deep water sponges tolerate periods of hypoxia, but at the cost of filtration, indicating that normal feeding is energetically expensive. Predictions of oxygen levels in the Neoproterozoic suggest the last common ancestor of multicellular animals was unlikely to have filtered like modern sponges. Getting enough food at low oxygen would have been a more important driver of the evolution of early body plans.

RevDate: 2019-04-03
CmpDate: 2019-04-03

Tarhan LG, Droser ML, Cole DB, et al (2018)

Ecological Expansion and Extinction in the Late Ediacaran: Weighing the Evidence for Environmental and Biotic Drivers.

Integrative and comparative biology, 58(4):688-702.

The Ediacara Biota, Earth's earliest communities of complex, macroscopic, multicellular organisms, appeared during the late Ediacaran Period, just prior to the Cambrian Explosion. Ediacara fossil assemblages consist of exceptionally preserved soft-bodied forms of enigmatic morphology and affinity which nonetheless represent a critical stepping-stone in the evolution of complex animal ecosystems. The Ediacara Biota has historically been divided into three successive Assemblages-the Avalon, the White Sea, and the Nama. Although the oldest (Avalon) Assemblage documents the initial appearance of several groups of Ediacara taxa, the two younger (White Sea and Nama) Assemblages record a particularly striking suite of ecological innovations, including the appearance of diverse Ediacara body plans-in tandem with the rise of bilaterian animals-as well as the emergence of novel ecological strategies such as movement, sexual reproduction, biomineralization, and the development of dense, heterogeneous benthic communities. Many of these ecological innovations appear to be linked to adaptations to heterogeneous substrates and shallow and energetic marine settings. In spite of these innovations, the majority of Ediacara taxa disappear by the end of the Ediacaran, with interpretations for this disappearance historically ranging from the closing of preservational windows to environmentally or biotically mediated extinction. However, in spite of the unresolved affinity and eventual extinction of individual Ediacara taxa, these distinctive ecological strategies persist across the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary and are characteristic of younger animal-dominated communities of the Phanerozoic. The late Ediacaran emergence of these strategies may, therefore, have facilitated subsequent radiations of the Cambrian. In this light, the Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods, although traditionally envisioned as separate worlds, are likely to have been part of an ecological and evolutionary continuum.

RevDate: 2019-04-03
CmpDate: 2019-04-03

Müller V, de Boer RJ, Bonhoeffer S, et al (2018)

An evolutionary perspective on the systems of adaptive immunity.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 93(1):505-528.

We propose an evolutionary perspective to classify and characterize the diverse systems of adaptive immunity that have been discovered across all major domains of life. We put forward a new function-based classification according to the way information is acquired by the immune systems: Darwinian immunity (currently known from, but not necessarily limited to, vertebrates) relies on the Darwinian process of clonal selection to 'learn' by cumulative trial-and-error feedback; Lamarckian immunity uses templated targeting (guided adaptation) to internalize heritable information on potential threats; finally, shotgun immunity operates through somatic mechanisms of variable targeting without feedback. We argue that the origin of Darwinian (but not Lamarckian or shotgun) immunity represents a radical innovation in the evolution of individuality and complexity, and propose to add it to the list of major evolutionary transitions. While transitions to higher-level units entail the suppression of selection at lower levels, Darwinian immunity re-opens cell-level selection within the multicellular organism, under the control of mechanisms that direct, rather than suppress, cell-level evolution for the benefit of the individual. From a conceptual point of view, the origin of Darwinian immunity can be regarded as the most radical transition in the history of life, in which evolution by natural selection has literally re-invented itself. Furthermore, the combination of clonal selection and somatic receptor diversity enabled a transition from limited to practically unlimited capacity to store information about the antigenic environment. The origin of Darwinian immunity therefore comprises both a transition in individuality and the emergence of a new information system - the two hallmarks of major evolutionary transitions. Finally, we present an evolutionary scenario for the origin of Darwinian immunity in vertebrates. We propose a revival of the concept of the 'Big Bang' of vertebrate immunity, arguing that its origin involved a 'difficult' (i.e. low-probability) evolutionary transition that might have occurred only once, in a common ancestor of all vertebrates. In contrast to the original concept, we argue that the limiting innovation was not the generation of somatic diversity, but the regulatory circuitry needed for the safe operation of amplifiable immune responses with somatically acquired targeting. Regulatory complexity increased abruptly by genomic duplications at the root of the vertebrate lineage, creating a rare opportunity to establish such circuitry. We discuss the selection forces that might have acted at the origin of the transition, and in the subsequent stepwise evolution leading to the modern immune systems of extant vertebrates.

RevDate: 2019-04-01
CmpDate: 2019-04-01

Schuler GA, Tice AK, Pearce RA, et al (2018)

Phylogeny and Classification of Novel Diversity in Sainouroidea (Cercozoa, Rhizaria) Sheds Light on a Highly Diverse and Divergent Clade.

Protist, 169(6):853-874.

Sainouroidea is a molecularly diverse clade of cercozoan flagellates and amoebae in the eukaryotic supergroup Rhizaria. Previous 18S rDNA environmental sequencing of globally collected fecal and soil samples revealed great diversity and high sequence divergence in the Sainouroidea. However, a very limited amount of this diversity has been observed or described. The two described genera of amoebae in this clade are Guttulinopsis, which displays aggregative multicellularity, and Rosculus, which does not. Although the identity of Guttulinopsis is straightforward due to the multicellular fruiting bodies they form, the same is not true for Rosculus, and the actual identity of the original isolate is unclear. Here we isolated amoebae with morphologies like that of Guttulinopsis and Rosculus from many environments and analyzed them using 18S rDNA sequencing, light microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. We define a molecular species concept for Sainouroidea that resulted in the description of 4 novel genera and 12 novel species of naked amoebae. Aggregative fruiting is restricted to the genus Guttulinopsis, but other than this there is little morphological variation amongst these taxa. Taken together, simple identification of these amoebae is problematic and potentially unresolvable without the 18S rDNA sequence.

RevDate: 2019-03-28
CmpDate: 2019-03-28

Wang Z, Zhou W, Hameed MS, et al (2018)

Characterization and Expression Profiling of Neuropeptides and G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) for Neuropeptides in the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae).

International journal of molecular sciences, 19(12): pii:ijms19123912.

Neuropeptides are endogenous active substances that widely exist in multicellular biological nerve tissue and participate in the function of the nervous system, and most of them act on neuropeptide receptors. In insects, neuropeptides and their receptors play important roles in controlling a multitude of physiological processes. In this project, we sequenced the transcriptome from twelve tissues of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. A total of 40 candidate neuropeptide genes and 42 neuropeptide receptor genes were identified. Among the neuropeptide receptor genes, 35 of them belong to the A-family (or rhodopsin-like), four of them belong to the B-family (or secretin-like), and three of them are leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptors. The expression profile of the 82 genes across developmental stages was determined by qRT-PCR. Our study provides the first investigation on the genes of neuropeptides and their receptors in D. citri, which may play key roles in regulating the physiology and behaviors of D. citri.

RevDate: 2019-03-28
CmpDate: 2019-03-28

Crombie TA, Saber S, Saxena AS, et al (2018)

Head-to-head comparison of three experimental methods of quantifying competitive fitness in C. elegans.

PloS one, 13(10):e0201507.

Organismal fitness is relevant in many contexts in biology. The most meaningful experimental measure of fitness is competitive fitness, when two or more entities (e.g., genotypes) are allowed to compete directly. In theory, competitive fitness is simple to measure: an experimental population is initiated with the different types in known proportions and allowed to evolve under experimental conditions to a predefined endpoint. In practice, there are several obstacles to obtaining robust estimates of competitive fitness in multicellular organisms, the most pervasive of which is simply the time it takes to count many individuals of different types from many replicate populations. Methods by which counting can be automated in high throughput are desirable, but for automated methods to be useful, the bias and technical variance associated with the method must be (a) known, and (b) sufficiently small relative to other sources of bias and variance to make the effort worthwhile. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism, and the fitness effects of genotype and environmental conditions are often of interest. We report a comparison of three experimental methods of quantifying competitive fitness, in which wild-type strains are competed against GFP-marked competitors under standard laboratory conditions. Population samples were split into three replicates and counted (1) "by eye" from a saved image, (2) from the same image using CellProfiler image analysis software, and (3) with a large particle flow cytometer (a "worm sorter"). From 720 replicate samples, neither the frequency of wild-type worms nor the among-sample variance differed significantly between the three methods. CellProfiler and the worm sorter provide at least a tenfold increase in sample handling speed with little (if any) bias or increase in variance.

RevDate: 2019-03-25
CmpDate: 2019-03-25

Nagy LG, Kovács GM, K Krizsán (2018)

Complex multicellularity in fungi: evolutionary convergence, single origin, or both?.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 93(4):1778-1794.

Complex multicellularity represents the most advanced level of biological organization and it has evolved only a few times: in metazoans, green plants, brown and red algae and fungi. Compared to other lineages, the evolution of multicellularity in fungi follows different principles; both simple and complex multicellularity evolved via unique mechanisms not found in other lineages. Herein we review ecological, palaeontological, developmental and genomic aspects of complex multicellularity in fungi and discuss general principles of the evolution of complex multicellularity in light of its fungal manifestations. Fungi represent the only lineage in which complex multicellularity shows signatures of convergent evolution: it appears 8-11 times in distinct fungal lineages, which show a patchy phylogenetic distribution yet share some of the genetic mechanisms underlying complex multicellular development. To explain the patchy distribution of complex multicellularity across the fungal phylogeny we identify four key observations: the large number of apparently independent complex multicellular clades; the lack of documented phenotypic homology between these clades; the conservation of gene circuits regulating the onset of complex multicellular development; and the existence of clades in which the evolution of complex multicellularity is coupled with limited gene family diversification. We discuss how these patterns and known genetic aspects of fungal development can be reconciled with the genetic theory of convergent evolution to explain the pervasive occurrence of complex multicellularity across the fungal tree of life.

RevDate: 2019-03-25
CmpDate: 2019-03-25

Dhakshinamoorthy R, Bitzhenner M, Cosson P, et al (2018)

The Saposin-Like Protein AplD Displays Pore-Forming Activity and Participates in Defense Against Bacterial Infection During a Multicellular Stage of Dictyostelium discoideum.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 8:73.

Due to their archaic life style and microbivor behavior, amoebae may represent a source of antimicrobial peptides and proteins. The amoebic protozoon Dictyostelium discoideum has been a model organism in cell biology for decades and has recently also been used for research on host-pathogen interactions and the evolution of innate immunity. In the genome of D. discoideum, genes can be identified that potentially allow the synthesis of a variety of antimicrobial proteins. However, at the protein level only very few antimicrobial proteins have been characterized that may interact directly with bacteria and help in fighting infection of D. discoideum with potential pathogens. Here, we focus on a large group of gene products that structurally belong to the saposin-like protein (SAPLIP) family and which members we named provisionally Apls (amoebapore-like peptides) according to their similarity to a comprehensively studied antimicrobial and cytotoxic pore-forming protein of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. We focused on AplD because it is the only Apl gene that is reported to be primarily transcribed further during the multicellular stages such as the mobile slug stage. Upon knock-out (KO) of the gene, aplD- slugs became highly vulnerable to virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae. AplD- slugs harbored bacterial clumps in their interior and were unable to slough off the pathogen in their slime sheath. Re-expression of AplD in aplD- slugs rescued the susceptibility toward K. pneumoniae. The purified recombinant protein rAplD formed pores in liposomes and was also capable of permeabilizing the membrane of live Bacillus megaterium. We propose that the multifarious Apl family of D. discoideum comprises antimicrobial effector polypeptides that are instrumental to interact with bacteria and their phospholipid membranes. The variety of its members would allow a complementary and synergistic action against a variety of microbes, which the amoeba encounters in its environment.

RevDate: 2019-03-25
CmpDate: 2019-03-25

Peccoud J, Cordaux R, C Gilbert (2018)

Analyzing Horizontal Transfer of Transposable Elements on a Large Scale: Challenges and Prospects.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 40(2):.

Whoever compares the genomes of distantly related species might find aberrantly high sequence similarity at certain loci. Such anomaly can only be explained by genetic material being transferred through other means than reproduction, that is, a horizontal transfer (HT). Between multicellular organisms, the transferred material will likely turn out to be a transposable element (TE). Because TEs can move between loci and invade chromosomes by replicating themselves, HT of TEs (HTT) profoundly impacts genome evolution. Yet, very few studies have quantified HTT at large taxonomic scales. Indeed, this task currently faces difficulties that range from the variable quality of available genome sequences to limitations of analytical procedures, some of which have been overlooked. Here we review the many challenges that an extensive analysis of HTT must overcome, we expose biases and limits of current methods, suggest solutions or workarounds, and reflect upon approaches that could be developed to better quantify this phenomenon.

RevDate: 2019-03-20
CmpDate: 2019-02-19

Schneider P, Greischar MA, Birget PLG, et al (2018)

Adaptive plasticity in the gametocyte conversion rate of malaria parasites.

PLoS pathogens, 14(11):e1007371 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-18-00778.

Sexually reproducing parasites, such as malaria parasites, experience a trade-off between the allocation of resources to asexual replication and the production of sexual forms. Allocation by malaria parasites to sexual forms (the conversion rate) is variable but the evolutionary drivers of this plasticity are poorly understood. We use evolutionary theory for life histories to combine a mathematical model and experiments to reveal that parasites adjust conversion rate according to the dynamics of asexual densities in the blood of the host. Our model predicts the direction of change in conversion rates that returns the greatest fitness after perturbation of asexual densities by different doses of antimalarial drugs. The loss of a high proportion of asexuals is predicted to elicit increased conversion (terminal investment), while smaller losses are managed by reducing conversion (reproductive restraint) to facilitate within-host survival and future transmission. This non-linear pattern of allocation is consistent with adaptive reproductive strategies observed in multicellular organisms. We then empirically estimate conversion rates of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi in response to the killing of asexual stages by different doses of antimalarial drugs and forecast the short-term fitness consequences of these responses. Our data reveal the predicted non-linear pattern, and this is further supported by analyses of previous experiments that perturb asexual stage densities using drugs or within-host competition, across multiple parasite genotypes. Whilst conversion rates, across all datasets, are most strongly influenced by changes in asexual density, parasites also modulate conversion according to the availability of red blood cell resources. In summary, increasing conversion maximises short-term transmission and reducing conversion facilitates in-host survival and thus, future transmission. Understanding patterns of parasite allocation to reproduction matters because within-host replication is responsible for disease symptoms and between-host transmission determines disease spread.

RevDate: 2019-03-20
CmpDate: 2017-06-12

Cunningham JA, Vargas K, Marone F, et al (2016)

A multicellular organism with embedded cell clusters from the Ediacaran Weng'an biota (Doushantuo Formation, South China).

Evolution & development, 18(5-6):308-316.

Three-dimensional analyses of the early Ediacaran microfossils from the Weng'an biota (Doushantuo Formation) have focused predominantly on multicellular forms that have been interpreted as embryos, and yet they have defied phylogenetic interpretation principally because of absence of evidence from other stages in their life cycle. It is therefore unfortunate that the affinities of the various other Doushantuo microfossils have been neglected. A new conical fossil that is preserved at a cellular level is described here. The fossil contains distinct cell clusters that are characterized and analysed in three dimensions. These clusters are often exposed at the specimen surface, and the fossil preserves many hemispherical craters that are interpreted as positions where clusters have left the organism. The cell clusters may be either reproductive propagules or infesting organisms. Similar clusters are found in a variety of Doushantuo organisms including putative animal embryos and algae.

RevDate: 2019-03-20
CmpDate: 2017-06-12

Rödelsperger C, Menden K, Serobyan V, et al (2016)

First insights into the nature and evolution of antisense transcription in nematodes.

BMC evolutionary biology, 16(1):165.

BACKGROUND: The development of multicellular organisms is coordinated by various gene regulatory mechanisms that ensure correct spatio-temporal patterns of gene expression. Recently, the role of antisense transcription in gene regulation has moved into focus of research. To characterize genome-wide patterns of antisense transcription and to study their evolutionary conservation, we sequenced a strand-specific RNA-seq library of the nematode Pristionchus pacificus.

RESULTS: We identified 1112 antisense configurations of which the largest group represents 465 antisense transcripts (ASTs) that are fully embedded in introns of their host genes. We find that most ASTs show homology to protein-coding genes and are overrepresented in proteomic data. Together with the finding, that expression levels of ASTs and host genes are uncorrelated, this indicates that most ASTs in P. pacificus do not represent non-coding RNAs and do not exhibit regulatory functions on their host genes. We studied the evolution of antisense gene pairs across 20 nematode genomes, showing that the majority of pairs is lineage-specific and even the highly conserved vps-4, ddx-27, and sel-2 loci show abundant structural changes including duplications, deletions, intron gains and loss of antisense transcription. In contrast, host genes in general, are remarkably conserved and encode exceptionally long introns leading to unusually large blocks of conserved synteny.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study has shown that in P. pacificus antisense transcription as such does not define non-coding RNAs but is rather a feature of highly conserved genes with long introns. We hypothesize that the presence of regulatory elements imposes evolutionary constraint on the intron length, but simultaneously, their large size makes them a likely target for translocation of genomic elements including protein-coding genes that eventually end up as ASTs.

RevDate: 2019-03-19

Talbert PB, Meers MP, S Henikoff (2019)

Old cogs, new tricks: the evolution of gene expression in a chromatin context.

Nature reviews. Genetics pii:10.1038/s41576-019-0105-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Sophisticated gene-regulatory mechanisms probably evolved in prokaryotes billions of years before the emergence of modern eukaryotes, which inherited the same basic enzymatic machineries. However, the epigenomic landscapes of eukaryotes are dominated by nucleosomes, which have acquired roles in genome packaging, mitotic condensation and silencing parasitic genomic elements. Although the molecular mechanisms by which nucleosomes are displaced and modified have been described, just how transcription factors, histone variants and modifications and chromatin regulators act on nucleosomes to regulate transcription is the subject of considerable ongoing study. We explore the extent to which these transcriptional regulatory components function in the context of the evolutionarily ancient role of chromatin as a barrier to processes acting on DNA and how chromatin proteins have diversified to carry out evolutionarily recent functions that accompanied the emergence of differentiation and development in multicellular eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2019-03-19

Xu S, Stapley J, Gablenz S, et al (2019)

Low genetic variation is associated with low mutation rate in the giant duckweed.

Nature communications, 10(1):1243 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-09235-5.

Mutation rate and effective population size (Ne) jointly determine intraspecific genetic diversity, but the role of mutation rate is often ignored. Here we investigate genetic diversity, spontaneous mutation rate and Ne in the giant duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza). Despite its large census population size, whole-genome sequencing of 68 globally sampled individuals reveals extremely low intraspecific genetic diversity. Assessed under natural conditions, the genome-wide spontaneous mutation rate is at least seven times lower than estimates made for other multicellular eukaryotes, whereas Ne is large. These results demonstrate that low genetic diversity can be associated with large-Ne species, where selection can reduce mutation rates to very low levels. This study also highlights that accurate estimates of mutation rate can help to explain seemingly unexpected patterns of genome-wide variation.

RevDate: 2019-03-19
CmpDate: 2019-03-19

Radzvilavicius AL, NW Blackstone (2018)

The evolution of individuality revisited.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 93(3):1620-1633.

Evolutionary theory is formulated in terms of individuals that carry heritable information and are subject to selective pressures. However, individuality itself is a trait that had to evolve - an individual is not an indivisible entity, but a result of evolutionary processes that necessarily begin at the lower level of hierarchical organisation. Traditional approaches to biological individuality focus on cooperation and relatedness within a group, division of labour, policing mechanisms and strong selection at the higher level. Nevertheless, despite considerable theoretical progress in these areas, a full dynamical first-principles account of how new types of individuals arise is missing. To the extent that individuality is an emergent trait, the problem can be approached by recognising the importance of individuating mechanisms that are present from the very beginning of the transition, when only lower-level selection is acting. Here we review some of the most influential theoretical work on the role of individuating mechanisms in these transitions, and demonstrate how a lower-level, bottom-up evolutionary framework can be used to understand biological complexity involved in the origin of cellular life, early eukaryotic evolution, sexual life cycles and multicellular development. Some of these mechanisms inevitably stem from environmental constraints, population structure and ancestral life cycles. Others are unique to specific transitions - features of the natural history and biochemistry that are co-opted into conflict mediation. Identifying mechanisms of individuation that provide a coarse-grained description of the system's evolutionary dynamics is an important step towards understanding how biological complexity and hierarchical organisation evolves. In this way, individuality can be reconceptualised as an approximate model that with varying degrees of precision applies to a wide range of biological systems.

RevDate: 2019-03-12
CmpDate: 2019-03-12

Presting GG (2018)

Centromeric retrotransposons and centromere function.

Current opinion in genetics & development, 49:79-84.

The centromeric DNA of most multicellular eukaryotes consists of tandem repeats (TR) that bind centromere-specific proteins and act as a substrate for the efficient repair of frequent double-stranded DNA breaks. Some retrotransposons target active centromeres during integration with such specificity that they can be used to deduce current and historic centromere positions. The roles of transposons in centromere function remain incompletely understood but appear to include maintaining centromere size and increasing the repeat content of neocentromeres that lack TR. Retrotransposons are known to give rise to TR. Centromere-targeting elements thus have the potential to replace centromeric TR essentially in situ, providing a mechanism to explain the centromere paradox, that is, the presence of unrelated centromeric TRs in closely related species.

RevDate: 2019-03-11
CmpDate: 2019-03-11

Raza Q, Choi JY, Li Y, et al (2019)

Evolutionary rate covariation analysis of E-cadherin identifies Raskol as a regulator of cell adhesion and actin dynamics in Drosophila.

PLoS genetics, 15(2):e1007720 pii:PGENETICS-D-18-01886.

The adherens junction couples the actin cytoskeletons of neighboring cells to provide the foundation for multicellular organization. The core of the adherens junction is the cadherin-catenin complex that arose early in the evolution of multicellularity to link actin to intercellular adhesions. Over time, evolutionary pressures have shaped the signaling and mechanical functions of the adherens junction to meet specific developmental and physiological demands. Evolutionary rate covariation (ERC) identifies proteins with correlated fluctuations in evolutionary rate that can reflect shared selective pressures and functions. Here we use ERC to identify proteins with evolutionary histories similar to the Drosophila E-cadherin (DE-cad) ortholog. Core adherens junction components α-catenin and p120-catenin displayed positive ERC correlations with DE-cad, indicating that they evolved under similar selective pressures during evolution between Drosophila species. Further analysis of the DE-cad ERC profile revealed a collection of proteins not previously associated with DE-cad function or cadherin-mediated adhesion. We then analyzed the function of a subset of ERC-identified candidates by RNAi during border cell (BC) migration and identified novel genes that function to regulate DE-cad. Among these, we found that the gene CG42684, which encodes a putative GTPase activating protein (GAP), regulates BC migration and adhesion. We named CG42684 raskol ("to split" in Russian) and show that it regulates DE-cad levels and actin protrusions in BCs. We propose that Raskol functions with DE-cad to restrict Ras/Rho signaling and help guide BC migration. Our results demonstrate that a coordinated selective pressure has shaped the adherens junction and this can be leveraged to identify novel components of the complexes and signaling pathways that regulate cadherin-mediated adhesion.

RevDate: 2019-03-11
CmpDate: 2019-03-11

Halatek J, Brauns F, E Frey (2018)

Self-organization principles of intracellular pattern formation.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 373(1747):.

Dynamic patterning of specific proteins is essential for the spatio-temporal regulation of many important intracellular processes in prokaryotes, eukaryotes and multicellular organisms. The emergence of patterns generated by interactions of diffusing proteins is a paradigmatic example for self-organization. In this article, we review quantitative models for intracellular Min protein patterns in Escherichia coli, Cdc42 polarization in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the bipolar PAR protein patterns found in Caenorhabditis elegans By analysing the molecular processes driving these systems we derive a theoretical perspective on general principles underlying self-organized pattern formation. We argue that intracellular pattern formation is not captured by concepts such as 'activators', 'inhibitors' or 'substrate depletion'. Instead, intracellular pattern formation is based on the redistribution of proteins by cytosolic diffusion, and the cycling of proteins between distinct conformational states. Therefore, mass-conserving reaction-diffusion equations provide the most appropriate framework to study intracellular pattern formation. We conclude that directed transport, e.g. cytosolic diffusion along an actively maintained cytosolic gradient, is the key process underlying pattern formation. Thus the basic principle of self-organization is the establishment and maintenance of directed transport by intracellular protein dynamics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Self-organization in cell biology'.

RevDate: 2019-03-08
CmpDate: 2019-03-08

Lindström JB, Pierce NT, MI Latz (2017)

Role of TRP Channels in Dinoflagellate Mechanotransduction.

The Biological bulletin, 233(2):151-167.

Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels are common components of mechanosensing pathways, mainly described in mammals and other multicellular organisms. To gain insight into the evolutionary origins of eukaryotic mechanosensory proteins, we investigated the involvement of TRP channels in mechanosensing in a unicellular eukaryotic protist, the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedra. BLASTP analysis of the protein sequences predicted from the L. polyedra transcriptome revealed six sequences with high similarity to human TRPM2, TRPM8, TRPML2, TRPP1, and TRPP2; and characteristic TRP domains were identified in all sequences. In a phylogenetic tree including all mammalian TRP subfamilies and TRP channel sequences from unicellular and multicellular organisms, the L. polyedra sequences grouped with the TRPM, TPPML, and TRPP clades. In pharmacological experiments, we used the intrinsic bioluminescence of L. polyedra as a reporter of mechanoresponsivity. Capsaicin and RN1734, agonists of mammalian TRPV, and arachidonic acid, an agonist of mammalian TRPV, TRPA, TRPM, and Drosophila TRP, all stimulated bioluminescence in L. polyedra. Mechanical stimulation of bioluminescence, but not capsaicin-stimulated bioluminescence, was inhibited by gadolinium (Gd3+), a general inhibitor of mechanosensitive ion channels, and the phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122. These pharmacological results are consistent with the involvement of TRP-like channels in mechanosensing by L. polyedra. The TRP channels do not appear to be mechanoreceptors but rather are components of the mechanotransduction signaling pathway and may be activated via a PLC-dependent mechanism. The presence and function of TRP channels in a dinoflagellate emphasize the evolutionary conservation of both the channel structures and their functions.

RevDate: 2019-03-08
CmpDate: 2019-03-08

Featherston J, Arakaki Y, Hanschen ER, et al (2018)

The 4-Celled Tetrabaena socialis Nuclear Genome Reveals the Essential Components for Genetic Control of Cell Number at the Origin of Multicellularity in the Volvocine Lineage.

Molecular biology and evolution, 35(4):855-870.

Multicellularity is the premier example of a major evolutionary transition in individuality and was a foundational event in the evolution of macroscopic biodiversity. The volvocine chlorophyte lineage is well suited for studying this process. Extant members span unicellular, simple colonial, and obligate multicellular taxa with germ-soma differentiation. Here, we report the nuclear genome sequence of one of the most morphologically simple organisms in this lineage-the 4-celled colonial Tetrabaena socialis and compare this to the three other complete volvocine nuclear genomes. Using conservative estimates of gene family expansions a minimal set of expanded gene families was identified that associate with the origin of multicellularity. These families are rich in genes related to developmental processes. A subset of these families is lineage specific, which suggests that at a genomic level the evolution of multicellularity also includes lineage-specific molecular developments. Multiple points of evidence associate modifications to the ubiquitin proteasomal pathway (UPP) with the beginning of coloniality. Genes undergoing positive or accelerating selection in the multicellular volvocines were found to be enriched in components of the UPP and gene families gained at the origin of multicellularity include components of the UPP. A defining feature of colonial/multicellular life cycles is the genetic control of cell number. The genomic data presented here, which includes diversification of cell cycle genes and modifications to the UPP, align the genetic components with the evolution of this trait.

RevDate: 2019-03-06
CmpDate: 2019-03-06

Morris JJ (2018)

What is the hologenome concept of evolution?.

F1000Research, 7:.

All multicellular organisms are colonized by microbes, but a gestalt study of the composition of microbiome communities and their influence on the ecology and evolution of their macroscopic hosts has only recently become possible. One approach to thinking about the topic is to view the host-microbiome ecosystem as a "holobiont". Because natural selection acts on an organism's realized phenotype, and the phenotype of a holobiont is the result of the integrated activities of both the host and all of its microbiome inhabitants, it is reasonable to think that evolution can act at the level of the holobiont and cause changes in the "hologenome", or the collective genomic content of all the individual bionts within the holobiont. This relatively simple assertion has nevertheless been controversial within the microbiome community. Here, I provide a review of recent work on the hologenome concept of evolution. I attempt to provide a clear definition of the concept and its implications and to clarify common points of disagreement.

RevDate: 2019-03-03

Fillinger RJ, MZ Anderson (2019)

Seasons of change: Mechanisms of genome evolution in human fungal pathogens.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(19)30030-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Fungi are a diverse kingdom of organisms capable of thriving in various niches across the world including those in close association with multicellular eukaryotes. Fungal pathogens that contribute to human disease reside both within the host as commensal organisms of the microbiota and the environment. Their niche of origin dictates how infection initiates but also places specific selective pressures on the fungal pathogen that contributes to its genome organization and genetic repertoire. Recent efforts to catalogue genomic variation among major human fungal pathogens have unveiled evolutionary themes that shape the fungal genome. Mechanisms ranging from large scale changes such as aneuploidy and ploidy cycling as well as more targeted mutations like base substitutions and gene copy number variations contribute to the evolution of these species, which are often under multiple competing selective pressures with their host, environment, and other microbes. Here, we provide an overview of the major selective pressures and mechanisms acting to evolve the genome of clinically important fungal pathogens of humans.

RevDate: 2019-03-02

Kabir M, Wenlock S, Doig AJ, et al (2019)

The Essentiality Status of Mouse Duplicate Gene Pairs Correlates with Developmental Co-Expression Patterns.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3224 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-39894-9.

During the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes, gene duplication occurs frequently to generate new genes and/or functions. A duplicated gene may have a similar function to its ancestral gene. Therefore, it may be expected that duplicated genes are less likely to be critical for the survival of an organism, since there are multiple copies of the gene rendering each individual copy redundant. In this study, we explored the developmental expression patterns of duplicate gene pairs and the relationship between development co-expression and phenotypes resulting from the knockout of duplicate genes in the mouse. We define genes that generate lethal phenotypes in single gene knockout experiments as essential genes. We found that duplicate gene pairs comprised of two essential genes tend to be expressed at different stages of development, compared to duplicate gene pairs with at least one non-essential member, showing that the timing of developmental expression affects the ability of one paralogue to compensate for the loss of the other. Gene essentiality, developmental expression and gene duplication are thus closely linked.

RevDate: 2019-02-27
CmpDate: 2019-02-27

Al Habyan S, Kalos C, Szymborski J, et al (2018)

Multicellular detachment generates metastatic spheroids during intra-abdominal dissemination in epithelial ovarian cancer.

Oncogene, 37(37):5127-5135.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer, where survival rates have had modest improvement over the last 30 years. Metastasis of cancer cells is a major clinical problem, and patient mortality occurs when ovarian cancer cells spread beyond the confinement of ovaries. Disseminated ovarian cancer cells typically spread within the abdomen, where ascites accumulation aids in their transit. Metastatic ascites contain multicellular spheroids, which promote chemo-resistance and recurrence. However, little is known about the origin and mechanisms through which spheroids arise. Using live-imaging of 3D culture models and animal models, we report that epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells, the most common type of ovarian cancer, can spontaneously detach as either single cells or clusters. We report that clusters are more resistant to anoikis and have a potent survival advantage over single cells. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we found that multicellular spheroids arise preferentially from collective detachment, rather than aggregation in the abdomen. Finally, we report that multicellular spheroids from collective detachment are capable of seeding intra-abdominal metastases that retain intra-tumoral heterogeneity from the primary tumor.

RevDate: 2019-02-26
CmpDate: 2019-02-26

Israel MR, Morgan M, Tay B, et al (2018)

Toxins as tools: Fingerprinting neuronal pharmacology.

Neuroscience letters, 679:4-14.

Toxins have been used as tools for decades to study the structure and function of neuronal ion channels and receptors. The biological origin of these toxins varies from single cell organisms, including bacteria and algae, to complex multicellular organisms, including a wide variety of plants and venomous animals. Toxins are a structurally and functionally diverse group of compounds that often modulate neuronal function by interacting with an ion channel or receptor. Many of these toxins display high affinity and exquisite selectivity, making them valuable tools to probe the structure and function of neuronal ion channels and receptors. This review article provides an overview of the experimental techniques used to assess the effects that toxins have on neuronal function, as well as discussion on toxins that have been used as tools, with a focus on toxins that target voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels.

RevDate: 2019-02-21

Dunning LT, Olofsson JK, Parisod C, et al (2019)

Lateral transfers of large DNA fragments spread functional genes among grasses.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1810031116 [Epub ahead of print].

A fundamental tenet of multicellular eukaryotic evolution is that vertical inheritance is paramount, with natural selection acting on genetic variants transferred from parents to offspring. This lineal process means that an organism's adaptive potential can be restricted by its evolutionary history, the amount of standing genetic variation, and its mutation rate. Lateral gene transfer (LGT) theoretically provides a mechanism to bypass many of these limitations, but the evolutionary importance and frequency of this process in multicellular eukaryotes, such as plants, remains debated. We address this issue by assembling a chromosome-level genome for the grass Alloteropsis semialata, a species surmised to exhibit two LGTs, and screen it for other grass-to-grass LGTs using genomic data from 146 other grass species. Through stringent phylogenomic analyses, we discovered 57 additional LGTs in the A. semialata nuclear genome, involving at least nine different donor species. The LGTs are clustered in 23 laterally acquired genomic fragments that are up to 170 kb long and have accumulated during the diversification of Alloteropsis. The majority of the 59 LGTs in A. semialata are expressed, and we show that they have added functions to the recipient genome. Functional LGTs were further detected in the genomes of five other grass species, demonstrating that this process is likely widespread in this globally important group of plants. LGT therefore appears to represent a potent evolutionary force capable of spreading functional genes among distantly related grass species.

RevDate: 2019-02-15

Lipinska AP, Serrano-Serrano ML, Cormier A, et al (2019)

Rapid turnover of life-cycle-related genes in the brown algae.

Genome biology, 20(1):35 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1630-6.

BACKGROUND: Sexual life cycles in eukaryotes involve a cyclic alternation between haploid and diploid phases. While most animals possess a diploid life cycle, many plants and algae alternate between multicellular haploid (gametophyte) and diploid (sporophyte) generations. In many algae, gametophytes and sporophytes are independent and free-living and may present dramatic phenotypic differences. The same shared genome can therefore be subject to different, even conflicting, selection pressures during each of the life cycle generations. Here, we analyze the nature and extent of genome-wide, generation-biased gene expression in four species of brown algae with contrasting levels of dimorphism between life cycle generations.

RESULTS: We show that the proportion of the transcriptome that is generation-specific is broadly associated with the level of phenotypic dimorphism between the life cycle stages. Importantly, our data reveals a remarkably high turnover rate for life-cycle-related gene sets across the brown algae and highlights the importance not only of co-option of regulatory programs from one generation to the other but also of a role for newly emerged, lineage-specific gene expression patterns in the evolution of the gametophyte and sporophyte developmental programs in this major eukaryotic group. Moreover, we show that generation-biased genes display distinct evolutionary modes, with gametophyte-biased genes evolving rapidly at the coding sequence level whereas sporophyte-biased genes tend to exhibit changes in their patterns of expression.

CONCLUSION: Our analysis uncovers the characteristics, expression patterns, and evolution of generation-biased genes and underlines the selective forces that shape this previously underappreciated source of phenotypic diversity.

RevDate: 2019-02-15
CmpDate: 2019-02-15

Gao D, Chu Y, Xia H, et al (2018)

Horizontal Transfer of Non-LTR Retrotransposons from Arthropods to Flowering Plants.

Molecular biology and evolution, 35(2):354-364.

Even though lateral movements of transposons across families and even phyla within multicellular eukaryotic kingdoms have been found, little is known about transposon transfer between the kingdoms Animalia and Plantae. We discovered a novel non-LTR retrotransposon, AdLINE3, in a wild peanut species. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses indicated that AdLINE3 is a member of the RTE clade, originally identified in a nematode and rarely reported in plants. We identified RTE elements in 82 plants, spanning angiosperms to algae, including recently active elements in some flowering plants. RTE elements in flowering plants were likely derived from a single family we refer to as An-RTE. Interestingly, An-RTEs show significant DNA sequence identity with non-LTR retroelements from 42 animals belonging to four phyla. Moreover, the sequence identity of RTEs between two arthropods and two plants was higher than that of homologous genes. Phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses of RTEs from both animals and plants suggest that the An-RTE family was likely transferred horizontally into angiosperms from an ancient aphid(s) or ancestral arthropod(s). Notably, some An-RTEs were recruited as coding sequences of functional genes participating in metabolic or other biochemical processes in plants. This is the first potential example of horizontal transfer of transposons between animals and flowering plants. Our findings help to understand exchanges of genetic material between the kingdom Animalia and Plantae and suggest arthropods likely impacted on plant genome evolution.

RevDate: 2019-02-14

Junqueira Alves C, Yotoko K, Zou H, et al (2019)

Origin and evolution of plexins, semaphorins, and Met receptor tyrosine kinases.

Scientific reports, 9(1):1970 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-38512-y.

The transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms poses the question as to when genes that regulate cell-cell interactions emerged during evolution. The receptor and ligand pairing of plexins and semaphorins regulates cellular interactions in a wide range of developmental and physiological contexts. We surveyed here genomes of unicellular eukaryotes and of non-bilaterian and bilaterian Metazoa and performed phylogenetic analyses to gain insight into the evolution of plexin and semaphorin families. Remarkably, we detected plexins and semaphorins in unicellular choanoflagellates, indicating their evolutionary origin in a common ancestor of Choanoflagellida and Metazoa. The plexin domain structure is conserved throughout all clades; in contrast, semaphorins are structurally diverse. Choanoflagellate semaphorins are transmembrane proteins with multiple fibronectin type III domains following the N-terminal Sema domain (termed Sema-FN). Other previously not yet described semaphorin classes include semaphorins of Ctenophora with tandem immunoglobulin domains (Sema-IG) and secreted semaphorins of Echinoderamata (Sema-SP, Sema-SI). Our study also identified Met receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), which carry a truncated plexin extracellular domain, in several bilaterian clades, indicating evolutionary origin in a common ancestor of Bilateria. In addition, a novel type of Met-like RTK with a complete plexin extracellular domain was detected in Lophotrochozoa and Echinodermata (termed Met-LP RTK). Our findings are consistent with an ancient function of plexins and semaphorins in regulating cytoskeletal dynamics and cell adhesion that predates their role as axon guidance molecules.

RevDate: 2019-02-14

Ferrari C, Proost S, Janowski M, et al (2019)

Kingdom-wide comparison reveals the evolution of diurnal gene expression in Archaeplastida.

Nature communications, 10(1):737 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-08703-2.

Plants have adapted to the diurnal light-dark cycle by establishing elaborate transcriptional programs that coordinate many metabolic, physiological, and developmental responses to the external environment. These transcriptional programs have been studied in only a few species, and their function and conservation across algae and plants is currently unknown. We performed a comparative transcriptome analysis of the diurnal cycle of nine members of Archaeplastida, and we observed that, despite large phylogenetic distances and dramatic differences in morphology and lifestyle, diurnal transcriptional programs of these organisms are similar. Expression of genes related to cell division and the majority of biological pathways depends on the time of day in unicellular algae but we did not observe such patterns at the tissue level in multicellular land plants. Hence, our study provides evidence for the universality of diurnal gene expression and elucidates its evolutionary history among different photosynthetic eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2019-02-13

Miller PW, Pokutta S, Mitchell JM, et al (2018)

Analysis of a vinculin homolog in a sponge (phylum Porifera) reveals that vertebrate-like cell adhesions emerged early in animal evolution.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 293(30):11674-11686.

The evolution of cell-adhesion mechanisms in animals facilitated the assembly of organized multicellular tissues. Studies in traditional animal models have revealed two predominant adhesion structures, the adherens junction (AJ) and focal adhesions (FAs), which are involved in the attachment of neighboring cells to each other and to the secreted extracellular matrix (ECM), respectively. The AJ (containing cadherins and catenins) and FAs (comprising integrins, talin, and paxillin) differ in protein composition, but both junctions contain the actin-binding protein vinculin. The near ubiquity of these structures in animals suggests that AJ and FAs evolved early, possibly coincident with multicellularity. However, a challenge to this perspective is that previous studies of sponges-a divergent animal lineage-indicate that their tissues are organized primarily by an alternative, sponge-specific cell-adhesion mechanism called "aggregation factor." In this study, we examined the structure, biochemical properties, and tissue localization of a vinculin ortholog in the sponge Oscarella pearsei (Op). Our results indicate that Op vinculin localizes to both cell-cell and cell-ECM contacts and has biochemical and structural properties similar to those of vertebrate vinculin. We propose that Op vinculin played a role in cell adhesion and tissue organization in the last common ancestor of sponges and other animals. These findings provide compelling evidence that sponge tissues are indeed organized like epithelia in other animals and support the notion that AJ- and FA-like structures extend to the earliest periods of animal evolution.

RevDate: 2019-02-12

Shan M, Dai D, Vudem A, et al (2018)

Multi-scale computational study of the Warburg effect, reverse Warburg effect and glutamine addiction in solid tumors.

PLoS computational biology, 14(12):e1006584 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-18-00648.

Cancer metabolism has received renewed interest as a potential target for cancer therapy. In this study, we use a multi-scale modeling approach to interrogate the implications of three metabolic scenarios of potential clinical relevance: the Warburg effect, the reverse Warburg effect and glutamine addiction. At the intracellular level, we construct a network of central metabolism and perform flux balance analysis (FBA) to estimate metabolic fluxes; at the cellular level, we exploit this metabolic network to calculate parameters for a coarse-grained description of cellular growth kinetics; and at the multicellular level, we incorporate these kinetic schemes into the cellular automata of an agent-based model (ABM), iDynoMiCS. This ABM evaluates the reaction-diffusion of the metabolites, cellular division and motion over a simulation domain. Our multi-scale simulations suggest that the Warburg effect provides a growth advantage to the tumor cells under resource limitation. However, we identify a non-monotonic dependence of growth rate on the strength of glycolytic pathway. On the other hand, the reverse Warburg scenario provides an initial growth advantage in tumors that originate deeper in the tissue. The metabolic profile of stromal cells considered in this scenario allows more oxygen to reach the tumor cells in the deeper tissue and thus promotes tumor growth at earlier stages. Lastly, we suggest that glutamine addiction does not confer a selective advantage to tumor growth with glutamine acting as a carbon source in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, any advantage of glutamine uptake must come through other pathways not included in our model (e.g., as a nitrogen donor). Our analysis illustrates the importance of accounting explicitly for spatial and temporal evolution of tumor microenvironment in the interpretation of metabolic scenarios and hence provides a basis for further studies, including evaluation of specific therapeutic strategies that target metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-02-12

Li Y, Zuo S, Zhang Z, et al (2018)

Centromeric DNA characterization in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon provides insights on the evolution of the genus.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 93(6):1088-1101.

Brachypodium distachyon is a well-established model monocot plant, and its small and compact genome has been used as an accurate reference for the much larger and often polyploid genomes of cereals such as Avena sativa (oats), Hordeum vulgare (barley) and Triticum aestivum (wheat). Centromeres are indispensable functional units of chromosomes and they play a core role in genome polyploidization events during evolution. As the Brachypodium genus contains about 20 species that differ significantly in terms of their basic chromosome numbers, genome size, ploidy levels and life strategies, studying their centromeres may provide important insight into the structure and evolution of the genome in this interesting and important genus. In this study, we isolated the centromeric DNA of the B. distachyon reference line Bd21 and characterized its composition via the chromatin immunoprecipitation of the nucleosomes that contain the centromere-specific histone CENH3. We revealed that the centromeres of Bd21 have the features of typical multicellular eukaryotic centromeres. Strikingly, these centromeres contain relatively few centromeric satellite DNAs; in particular, the centromere of chromosome 5 (Bd5) consists of only ~40 kb. Moreover, the centromeric retrotransposons in B. distachyon (CRBds) are evolutionarily young. These transposable elements are located both within and adjacent to the CENH3 binding domains, and have similar compositions. Moreover, based on the presence of CRBds in the centromeres, the species in this study can be grouped into two distinct lineages. This may provide new evidence regarding the phylogenetic relationships within the Brachypodium genus.

RevDate: 2019-02-11

Tasic B (2018)

Single cell transcriptomics in neuroscience: cell classification and beyond.

Current opinion in neurobiology, 50:242-249.

Biology has been facing a daunting problem since the cell was understood to be the building block of metazoans: how do we study multicellular systems, when a universal approach to characterize their building blocks and classify them does not exist? Metazoan diversity has not helped: there are many model and non-model organisms, developmental and adult stages, healthy and diseased states. Here, I review the application of single cell transcriptomics to cell classification in neuroscience and its corollaries: the differentially expressed genes discovered in this process are a treasure trove for understanding cell type function and enabling specific access to those types. The advancements and widespread adoption of single-cell transcriptomics are bound to transform our understanding of neural system development, function, pathology and evolution.

RevDate: 2019-02-08

Medina-Castellanos E, Villalobos-Escobedo JM, Riquelme M, et al (2018)

Danger signals activate a putative innate immune system during regeneration in a filamentous fungus.

PLoS genetics, 14(11):e1007390 pii:PGENETICS-D-18-00898.

The ability to respond to injury is a biological process shared by organisms of different kingdoms that can even result in complete regeneration of a part or structure that was lost. Due to their immobility, multicellular fungi are prey to various predators and are therefore constantly exposed to mechanical damage. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of how fungi respond to injury is scarce. Here we show that activation of injury responses and hyphal regeneration in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma atroviride relies on the detection of two danger or alarm signals. As an early response to injury, we detected a transient increase in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) that was promoted by extracellular ATP, and which is likely regulated by a mechanism of calcium-induced calcium-release. In addition, we demonstrate that the mitogen activated protein kinase Tmk1 plays a key role in hyphal regeneration. Calcium- and Tmk1-mediated signaling cascades activated major transcriptional changes early following injury, including induction of a set of regeneration associated genes related to cell signaling, stress responses, transcription regulation, ribosome biogenesis/translation, replication and DNA repair. Interestingly, we uncovered the activation of a putative fungal innate immune response, including the involvement of HET domain genes, known to participate in programmed cell death. Our work shows that fungi and animals share danger-signals, signaling cascades, and the activation of the expression of genes related to immunity after injury, which are likely the result of convergent evolution.

RevDate: 2019-02-05

Castiglione GM, BS Chang (2018)

Functional trade-offs and environmental variation shaped ancient trajectories in the evolution of dim-light vision.

eLife, 7:.

Trade-offs between protein stability and activity can restrict access to evolutionary trajectories, but widespread epistasis may facilitate indirect routes to adaptation. This may be enhanced by natural environmental variation, but in multicellular organisms this process is poorly understood. We investigated a paradoxical trajectory taken during the evolution of tetrapod dim-light vision, where in the rod visual pigment rhodopsin, E122 was fixed 350 million years ago, a residue associated with increased active-state (MII) stability but greatly diminished rod photosensitivity. Here, we demonstrate that high MII stability could have likely evolved without E122, but instead, selection appears to have entrenched E122 in tetrapods via epistatic interactions with nearby coevolving sites. In fishes by contrast, selection may have exploited these epistatic effects to explore alternative trajectories, but via indirect routes with low MII stability. Our results suggest that within tetrapods, E122 and high MII stability cannot be sacrificed-not even for improvements to rod photosensitivity.

RevDate: 2019-02-04

Gaouda H, Hamaji T, Yamamoto K, et al (2018)

Exploring the Limits and Causes of Plastid Genome Expansion in Volvocine Green Algae.

Genome biology and evolution, 10(9):2248-2254.

Plastid genomes are not normally celebrated for being large. But researchers are steadily uncovering algal lineages with big and, in rare cases, enormous plastid DNAs (ptDNAs), such as volvocine green algae. Plastome sequencing of five different volvocine species has revealed some of the largest, most repeat-dense plastomes on record, including that of Volvox carteri (∼525 kb). Volvocine algae have also been used as models for testing leading hypotheses on organelle genome evolution (e.g., the mutational hazard hypothesis), and it has been suggested that ptDNA inflation within this group might be a consequence of low mutation rates and/or the transition from a unicellular to multicellular existence. Here, we further our understanding of plastome size variation in the volvocine line by examining the ptDNA sequences of the colonial species Yamagishiella unicocca and Eudorina sp. NIES-3984 and the multicellular Volvox africanus, which are phylogenetically situated between species with known ptDNA sizes. Although V. africanus is closely related and similar in multicellular organization to V. carteri, its ptDNA was much less inflated than that of V. carteri. Synonymous- and noncoding-site nucleotide substitution rate analyses of these two Volvox ptDNAs suggest that there are drastically different plastid mutation rates operating in the coding versus intergenic regions, supporting the idea that error-prone DNA repair in repeat-rich intergenic spacers is contributing to genome expansion. Our results reinforce the idea that the volvocine line harbors extremes in plastome size but ultimately shed doubt on some of the previously proposed hypotheses for ptDNA inflation within the lineage.

RevDate: 2019-01-31
CmpDate: 2019-01-31

Gruenheit N, Parkinson K, Brimson CA, et al (2018)

Cell Cycle Heterogeneity Can Generate Robust Cell Type Proportioning.

Developmental cell, 47(4):494-508.e4.

Cell-cell heterogeneity can facilitate lineage choice during embryonic development because it primes cells to respond to differentiation cues. However, remarkably little is known about the origin of heterogeneity or whether intrinsic and extrinsic variation can be controlled to generate reproducible cell type proportioning seen in vivo. Here, we use experimentation and modeling in D. discoideum to demonstrate that population-level cell cycle heterogeneity can be optimized to generate robust cell fate proportioning. First, cell cycle position is quantitatively linked to responsiveness to differentiation-inducing signals. Second, intrinsic variation in cell cycle length ensures cells are randomly distributed throughout the cell cycle at the onset of multicellular development. Finally, extrinsic perturbation of optimal cell cycle heterogeneity is buffered by compensatory changes in global signal responsiveness. These studies thus illustrate key regulatory principles underlying cell-cell heterogeneity optimization and the generation of robust and reproducible fate choice in development.

RevDate: 2019-01-28
CmpDate: 2019-01-28

Tverskoi D, Makarenkov V, F Aleskerov (2018)

Modeling functional specialization of a cell colony under different fecundity and viability rates and resource constraint.

PloS one, 13(8):e0201446.

The emergence of functional specialization is a core problem in biology. In this work we focus on the emergence of reproductive (germ) and vegetative viability-enhancing (soma) cell functions (or germ-soma specialization). We consider a group of cells and assume that they contribute to two different evolutionary tasks, fecundity and viability. The potential of cells to contribute to fitness components is traded off. As embodied in current models, the curvature of the trade-off between fecundity and viability is concave in small-sized organisms and convex in large-sized multicellular organisms. We present a general mathematical model that explores how the division of labor in a cell colony depends on the trade-off curvatures, a resource constraint and different fecundity and viability rates. Moreover, we consider the case of different trade-off functions for different cells. We describe the set of all possible solutions of the formulated mathematical programming problem and show some interesting examples of optimal specialization strategies found for our objective fitness function. Our results suggest that the transition to specialized organisms can be achieved in several ways. The evolution of Volvocalean green algae is considered to illustrate the application of our model. The proposed model can be generalized to address a number of important biological issues, including the evolution of specialized enzymes and the emergence of complex organs.

RevDate: 2019-01-28
CmpDate: 2019-01-28

Flamier A, Singh S, TP Rasmussen (2018)

Use of Human Embryoid Bodies for Teratology.

Current protocols in toxicology, 75:13.13.1-13.13.14.

Human birth defects are relatively common and can be caused by exposure to environmental teratogens or to pharmaceuticals with teratogenic activities. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), by virtue of their pluripotent nature, provide an excellent cellular platform for teratogen detection and risk assessment. This unit describes detailed protocols for the preparation and validation of highly pluripotent hESCs, the production of large quantities of aggregated multicellular spheroids composed of hESCs, and these spheroids' differentiation into embryoid bodies (EBs). EBs contain a variety of cells of endodermal, ectodermal, and mesodermal origin and can be subjected to compound exposure in vitro. Hence, they are useful for the detection of chemicals with teratogenic activities. Beyond describing protocols to assemble and culture EBs, this unit details methods to exploit the EB system for teratological assessment. In addition, strategies to distinguish compounds with bona fide teratogenic activity versus simple toxicity are discussed. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

RevDate: 2019-01-22

Coelho SM, Mignerot L, JM Cock (2019)

Origin and evolution of sex-determination systems in the brown algae.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Sexual reproduction is a nearly universal feature of eukaryotic organisms. Meiosis appears to have had a single ancient origin but the mechanisms underlying male or female sex determination are diverse and have emerged repeatedly and independently in the different eukaryotic groups. The brown algae are a group of multicellular photosynthetic eukaryotes that have a distinct evolutionary history compared with animals and plants, as they have been evolving independently for over a billion years. Here, we review recent work using the brown alga Ectocarpus as a model organism to study haploid sex chromosomes, and highlight how the diversity of reproductive and life cycle features of the brown algae offer unique opportunities to characterise the evolutionary forces and the mechanisms underlying the evolution of sex determination. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-01-18
CmpDate: 2019-01-18

Trigos AS, Pearson RB, Papenfuss AT, et al (2018)

How the evolution of multicellularity set the stage for cancer.

British journal of cancer, 118(2):145-152.

Neoplastic growth and many of the hallmark properties of cancer are driven by the disruption of molecular networks established during the emergence of multicellularity. Regulatory pathways and molecules that evolved to impose regulatory constraints upon networks established in earlier unicellular organisms enabled greater communication and coordination between the diverse cell types required for multicellularity, but also created liabilities in the form of points of vulnerability in the network that when mutated or dysregulated facilitate the development of cancer. These factors are usually overlooked in genomic analyses of cancer, but understanding where vulnerabilities to cancer lie in the networks of multicellular species would provide important new insights into how core molecular processes and gene regulation change during tumourigenesis. We describe how the evolutionary origins of genes influence their roles in cancer, and how connections formed between unicellular and multicellular genes that act as key regulatory hubs for normal tissue homeostasis can also contribute to malignant transformation when disrupted. Tumours in general are characterised by increased dependence on unicellular processes for survival, and major dysregulation of the control structures imposed on these processes during the evolution of multicellularity. Mounting molecular evidence suggests altered interactions at the interface between unicellular and multicellular genes play key roles in the initiation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, unicellular network regions activated in cancer show high degrees of robustness and plasticity, conferring increased adaptability to tumour cells by supporting effective responses to environmental pressures such as drug exposure. Examining how the links between multicellular and unicellular regions get disrupted in tumours has great potential to identify novel drivers of cancer, and to guide improvements to cancer treatment by identifying more effective therapeutic strategies. Recent successes in targeting unicellular processes by novel compounds underscore the logic of such approaches. Further gains could come from identifying genes at the interface between unicellular and multicellular processes and manipulating the communication between network regions of different evolutionary ages.

RevDate: 2019-01-16

Russell SL (2019)

Transmission mode is associated with environment type and taxa across bacteria-eukaryote symbioses: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5289862 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic associations between bacteria and eukaryotes exhibit a range of transmission strategies. The rates and distributions of transmission modes have not been thoroughly investigated across associations, despite their consequences on symbiont and host evolution. To address this empirically, I compiled data from the literature on bacteria-multicellular eukaryote associations for which transmission mode data was available. Of the total 528 analyzed symbioses, 21.2% were strictly horizontally transmitted, 36.0% exhibited some form of mixed mode transmission, and 42.8% were strictly vertically transmitted. Controlling for phylogenetically independent symbiosis events revealed modes were approximately equally distributed among the 113 independent associations, at 32.1 + /-0.57% horizontal, 37.8 + /-1.4% mixed mode, and 31.1 + /-1.3% vertical transmission. Binning symbioses by environment revealed an abundance of vertical transmission on land and a lack of it in aquatic environments. The naturally-occurring uneven distribution of taxa among environments prevented controlling for host/symbiont phylogeny. However, the results were robust over a large number of independently evolved associations, suggesting that many vertically transmitted bacteria are capable of horizontal transmission and barriers exist that reduce the rate of these events. Thus, both the environment type and host/symbiont taxa influence symbiont transmission mode evolution.

RevDate: 2019-01-15
CmpDate: 2019-01-15

Miller WB (Jr) (2018)

Biological information systems: Evolution as cognition-based information management.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 134:1-26.

An alternative biological synthesis is presented that conceptualizes evolutionary biology as an epiphenomenon of integrated self-referential information management. Since all biological information has inherent ambiguity, the systematic assessment of information is required by living organisms to maintain self-identity and homeostatic equipoise in confrontation with environmental challenges. Through their self-referential attachment to information space, cells are the cornerstone of biological action. That individualized assessment of information space permits self-referential, self-organizing niche construction. That deployment of information and its subsequent selection enacted the dominant stable unicellular informational architectures whose biological expressions are the prokaryotic, archaeal, and eukaryotic unicellular forms. Multicellularity represents the collective appraisal of equivocal environmental information through a shared information space. This concerted action can be viewed as systematized information management to improve information quality for the maintenance of preferred homeostatic boundaries among the varied participants. When reiterated in successive scales, this same collaborative exchange of information yields macroscopic organisms as obligatory multicellular holobionts. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) upholds that assessment of information precedes biological action, and the deployment of information through integrative self-referential niche construction and natural cellular engineering antecedes selection. Therefore, evolutionary biology can be framed as a complex reciprocating interactome that consists of the assessment, communication, deployment and management of information by self-referential organisms at multiple scales in continuous confrontation with environmental stresses.

RevDate: 2019-01-14
CmpDate: 2019-01-14

Ray A, Morford RK, Ghaderi N, et al (2018)

Dynamics of 3D carcinoma cell invasion into aligned collagen.

Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro, 10(2):100-112.

Carcinoma cells frequently expand and invade from a confined lesion, or multicellular clusters, into and through the stroma on the path to metastasis, often with an efficiency dictated by the architecture and composition of the microenvironment. Specifically, in desmoplastic carcinomas such as those of the breast, aligned collagen tracks provide contact guidance cues for directed cancer cell invasion. Yet, the evolving dynamics of this process of invasion remains poorly understood, in part due to difficulties in continuously capturing both spatial and temporal heterogeneity and progression to invasion in experimental systems. Therefore, to study the local invasion process from cell dense clusters into aligned collagen architectures found in solid tumors, we developed a novel engineered 3D invasion platform that integrates an aligned collagen matrix with a cell dense tumor-like plug. Using multiphoton microscopy and quantitative analysis of cell motility, we track the invasion of cancer cells from cell-dense bulk clusters into the pre-aligned 3D matrix, and define the temporal evolution of the advancing invasion fronts over several days. This enables us to identify and probe cell dynamics in key regions of interest: behind, at, and beyond the edge of the invading lesion at distinct time points. Analysis of single cell migration identifies significant spatial heterogeneity in migration behavior between cells in the highly cell-dense region behind the leading edge of the invasion front and cells at and beyond the leading edge. Moreover, temporal variations in motility and directionality are also observed between cells within the cell-dense tumor-like plug and the leading invasive edge as its boundary extends into the anisotropic collagen over time. Furthermore, experimental results combined with mathematical modeling demonstrate that in addition to contact guidance, physical crowding of cells is a key regulating factor orchestrating variability in single cell migration during invasion into anisotropic ECM. Thus, our novel platform enables us to capture spatio-temporal dynamics of cell behavior behind, at, and beyond the invasive front and reveals heterogeneous, local interactions that lead to the emergence and maintenance of the advancing front.

RevDate: 2019-01-11
CmpDate: 2019-01-11

Gao A, Shrinivas K, Lepeudry P, et al (2018)

Evolution of weak cooperative interactions for biological specificity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(47):E11053-E11060.

A hallmark of biological systems is that particular functions and outcomes are realized in specific contexts, such as when particular signals are received. One mechanism for mediating specificity is described by Fisher's "lock and key" metaphor, exemplified by enzymes that bind selectively to a particular substrate via specific finely tuned interactions. Another mechanism, more prevalent in multicellular organisms, relies on multivalent weak cooperative interactions. Its importance has recently been illustrated by the recognition that liquid-liquid phase transitions underlie the formation of membraneless condensates that perform specific cellular functions. Based on computer simulations of an evolutionary model, we report that the latter mechanism likely became evolutionarily prominent when a large number of tasks had to be performed specifically for organisms to function properly. We find that the emergence of weak cooperative interactions for mediating specificity results in organisms that can evolve to accomplish new tasks with fewer, and likely less lethal, mutations. We argue that this makes the system more capable of undergoing evolutionary changes robustly, and thus this mechanism has been repeatedly positively selected in increasingly complex organisms. Specificity mediated by weak cooperative interactions results in some useful cross-reactivity for related tasks, but at the same time increases susceptibility to misregulation that might lead to pathologies.

RevDate: 2019-01-07
CmpDate: 2019-01-07

Stencel A, DM Wloch-Salamon (2018)

Some theoretical insights into the hologenome theory of evolution and the role of microbes in speciation.

Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften, 137(2):197-206.

Research on symbiotic communities (microbiomes) of multicellular organisms seems to be changing our understanding of how species of plants and animals have evolved over millions of years. The quintessence of these discoveries is the emergence of the hologenome theory of evolution, founded on the concept that a holobiont (a host along with all of its associated symbiotic microorganisms) acts a single unit of selection in the process of evolution. Although the hologenome theory has become very popular among certain scientific circles, its principles are still being debated. In this paper, we argue, firstly, that only a very small number of symbiotic microorganisms are sufficiently integrated into multicellular organisms to act in concert with them as units of selection, thus rendering claims that holobionts are units of selection invalid. Secondly, even though holobionts are not units of selection, they can still constitute genuine units from an evolutionary perspective, provided we accept certain constraints: mainly, they should be considered units of co-operation. Thirdly, we propose a reconciliation of the role of symbiotic microorganisms with the theory of speciation through the use of a developed framework. Mainly, we will argue that, in order to understand the role of microorganisms in the speciation of multicellular organisms, it is not necessary to consider holobionts units of selection; it is sufficient to consider them units of co-operation.

RevDate: 2019-01-02
CmpDate: 2019-01-02

Billerbeck S, Brisbois J, Agmon N, et al (2018)

A scalable peptide-GPCR language for engineering multicellular communication.

Nature communications, 9(1):5057.

Engineering multicellularity is one of the next breakthroughs for Synthetic Biology. A key bottleneck to building multicellular systems is the lack of a scalable signaling language with a large number of interfaces that can be used simultaneously. Here, we present a modular, scalable, intercellular signaling language in yeast based on fungal mating peptide/G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) pairs harnessed from nature. First, through genome-mining, we assemble 32 functional peptide-GPCR signaling interfaces with a range of dose-response characteristics. Next, we demonstrate that these interfaces can be combined into two-cell communication links, which serve as assembly units for higher-order communication topologies. Finally, we show 56 functional, two-cell links, which we use to assemble three- to six-member communication topologies and a three-member interdependent community. Importantly, our peptide-GPCR language is scalable and tunable by genetic encoding, requires minimal component engineering, and should be massively scalable by further application of our genome mining pipeline or directed evolution.

RevDate: 2018-12-27

Tsitsekian D, Daras G, Alatzas A, et al (2018)

Comprehensive analysis of Lon proteases in plants highlights independent gene duplication events.

Journal of experimental botany pii:5260396 [Epub ahead of print].

The degradation of damaged proteins is essential for cell viability. Lon is a highly conserved ATP-dependent serine-lysine protease that maintains proteostasis. We performed a comparative genome-wide analysis to determine the evolutionary history of Lon proteases. Prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes retained a single Lon copy, whereas multicellular eukaryotes acquired a peroxisomal copy, in addition to the mitochondrial gene, to sustain the evolution of higher order organ structures. Land plants developed small Lon gene families. Despite the Lon2 peroxisomal paralog, Lon genes triplicated in the Arabidopsis lineage through sequential evolutionary events including whole-genome and tandem duplications. The retention of Lon1, Lon4, and Lon3 triplicates relied on their differential and even contrasting expression patterns, distinct subcellular targeting mechanisms, and functional divergence. Lon1 seems similar to the pre-duplication ancestral gene unit, whereas the duplication of Lon3 and Lon4 is evolutionarily recent. In the wider context of plant evolution, papaya is the only genome with a single ancestral Lon1-type gene. The evolutionary trend among plants is to acquire Lon copies with ambiguous pre-sequences for dual-targeting to mitochondria and chloroplasts, and a substrate recognition domain that deviates from the ancestral Lon1 type. Lon genes constitute a paradigm of dynamic evolution contributing to understanding the functional fate of gene duplicates.

RevDate: 2018-12-20
CmpDate: 2018-12-20

Potjewyd G, Moxon S, Wang T, et al (2018)

Tissue Engineering 3D Neurovascular Units: A Biomaterials and Bioprinting Perspective.

Trends in biotechnology, 36(4):457-472.

Neurovascular dysfunction is a central process in the pathogenesis of stroke and most neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. The multicellular neurovascular unit (NVU) combines the neural, vascular and extracellular matrix (ECM) components in an important interface whose correct functioning is critical to maintain brain health. Tissue engineering is now offering new tools and insights to advance our understanding of NVU function. Here, we review how the use of novel biomaterials to mimic the mechanical and functional cues of the ECM, coupled with precisely layered deposition of the different cells of the NVU through 3D bioprinting, is revolutionising the study of neurovascular function and dysfunction.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Nan F, Feng J, Lv J, et al (2017)

Origin and evolutionary history of freshwater Rhodophyta: further insights based on phylogenomic evidence.

Scientific reports, 7(1):2934.

Freshwater representatives of Rhodophyta were sampled and the complete chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes were determined. Characteristics of the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes were analyzed and phylogenetic relationship of marine and freshwater Rhodophyta were reconstructed based on the organelle genomes. The freshwater member Compsopogon caeruleus was determined for the largest chloroplast genome among multicellular Rhodophyta up to now. Expansion and subsequent reduction of both the genome size and GC content were observed in the Rhodophyta except for the freshwater Compsopogon caeruleus. It was inferred that the freshwater members of Rhodophyta occurred through diverse origins based on evidence of genome size, GC-content, phylogenomic analysis and divergence time estimation. The freshwater species Compsopogon caeruleus and Hildenbrandia rivularis originated and evolved independently at the inland water, whereas the Bangia atropurpurea, Batrachospermum arcuatum and Thorea hispida are derived from the marine relatives. The typical freshwater representatives Thoreales and Batrachospermales are probably derived from the marine relative Palmaria palmata at approximately 415-484 MYA. The origin and evolutionary history of freshwater Rhodophyta needs to be testified with more organelle genome sequences and wider global sampling.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Salmeán AA, Duffieux D, Harholt J, et al (2017)

Insoluble (1 → 3), (1 → 4)-β-D-glucan is a component of cell walls in brown algae (Phaeophyceae) and is masked by alginates in tissues.

Scientific reports, 7(1):2880.

Brown algae are photosynthetic multicellular marine organisms. They belong to the phylum of Stramenopiles, which are not closely related to land plants and green algae. Brown algae share common evolutionary features with other photosynthetic and multicellular organisms, including a carbohydrate-rich cell-wall. Brown algal cell walls are composed predominantly of the polyanionic polysaccharides alginates and fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides. These polymers are prevalent over neutral and crystalline components, which are believed to be mostly, if not exclusively, cellulose. In an attempt to better understand brown algal cell walls, we performed an extensive glycan array analysis of a wide range of brown algal species. Here we provide the first demonstration that mixed-linkage (1 → 3), (1 → 4)-β-D-glucan (MLG) is common in brown algal cell walls. Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography analyses indicate that MLG in brown algae solely consists of trisaccharide units of contiguous (1 → 4)-β-linked glucose residues joined by (1 → 3)-β-linkages. This regular conformation may allow long stretches of the molecule to align and to form well-structured microfibrils. At the tissue level, immunofluorescence studies indicate that MLG epitopes in brown algae are unmasked by a pre-treatment with alginate lyases to remove alginates. These findings are further discussed in terms of the origin and evolution of MLG in the Stramenopile lineage.

RevDate: 2018-12-16

Taggart JC, GW Li (2018)

Production of Protein-Complex Components Is Stoichiometric and Lacks General Feedback Regulation in Eukaryotes.

Cell systems pii:S2405-4712(18)30472-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Constituents of multiprotein complexes are required at well-defined levels relative to each other. However, it remains unknown whether eukaryotic cells typically produce precise amounts of subunits, or instead rely on degradation to mitigate imprecise production. Here, we quantified the production rates of multiprotein complexes in unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes using ribosome profiling. By resolving read-mapping ambiguities, which occur for a large fraction of ribosome footprints and distort quantitation accuracy in eukaryotes, we found that obligate components of multiprotein complexes are produced in proportion to their stoichiometry, indicating that their abundances are already precisely tuned at the synthesis level. By systematically interrogating the impact of gene dosage variations in budding yeast, we found a general lack of negative feedback regulation protecting the normally precise rates of subunit synthesis. These results reveal a core principle of proteome homeostasis and highlight the evolution toward quantitative control at every step in the central dogma.

RevDate: 2018-12-14
CmpDate: 2018-12-14

Kin K, Forbes G, Cassidy A, et al (2018)

Cell-type specific RNA-Seq reveals novel roles and regulatory programs for terminally differentiated Dictyostelium cells.

BMC genomics, 19(1):764.

BACKGROUND: A major hallmark of multicellular evolution is increasing complexity by the evolution of new specialized cell types. During Dictyostelid evolution novel specialization occurred within taxon group 4. We here aim to retrace the nature and ancestry of the novel "cup" cells by comparing their transcriptome to that of other cell types.

RESULTS: RNA-Seq was performed on purified mature spore, stalk and cup cells and on vegetative amoebas. Clustering and phylogenetic analyses showed that cup cells were most similar to stalk cells, suggesting that they share a common ancestor. The affinity between cup and stalk cells was also evident from promoter-reporter studies of newly identified cell-type genes, which revealed late expression in cups of many stalk genes. However, GO enrichment analysis reveal the unexpected prominence of GTPase mediated signalling in cup cells, in contrast to enrichment of autophagy and cell wall synthesis related transcripts in stalk cells. Combining the cell type RNA-Seq data with developmental expression profiles revealed complex expression dynamics in each cell type as well as genes exclusively expressed during terminal differentiation. Most notable were nine related hssA-like genes that were highly and exclusively expressed in cup cells.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals the unique transcriptomes of the mature cup, stalk and spore cells of D. discoideum and provides insight into the ancestry of cup cells and roles in signalling that were not previously realized. The data presented in this study will serve as an important resource for future studies into the regulation and evolution of cell type specialization.

RevDate: 2018-12-14
CmpDate: 2018-12-14

Liao Z, Kjellin J, Hoeppner MP, et al (2018)

Global characterization of the Dicer-like protein DrnB roles in miRNA biogenesis in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

RNA biology, 15(7):937-954.

Micro (mi)RNAs regulate gene expression in many eukaryotic organisms where they control diverse biological processes. Their biogenesis, from primary transcripts to mature miRNAs, have been extensively characterized in animals and plants, showing distinct differences between these phylogenetically distant groups of organisms. However, comparably little is known about miRNA biogenesis in organisms whose evolutionary position is placed in between plants and animals and/or in unicellular organisms. Here, we investigate miRNA maturation in the unicellular amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, belonging to Amoebozoa, which branched out after plants but before animals. High-throughput sequencing of small RNAs and poly(A)-selected RNAs demonstrated that the Dicer-like protein DrnB is required, and essentially specific, for global miRNA maturation in D. discoideum. Our RNA-seq data also showed that longer miRNA transcripts, generally preceded by a T-rich putative promoter motif, accumulate in a drnB knock-out strain. For two model miRNAs we defined the transcriptional start sites (TSSs) of primary (pri)-miRNAs and showed that they carry the RNA polymerase II specific m7G-cap. The generation of the 3'-ends of these pri-miRNAs differs, with pri-mir-1177 reading into the downstream gene, and pri-mir-1176 displaying a distinct end. This 3´-end is processed to shorter intermediates, stabilized in DrnB-depleted cells, of which some carry a short oligo(A)-tail. Furthermore, we identified 10 new miRNAs, all DrnB dependent and developmentally regulated. Thus, the miRNA machinery in D. discoideum shares features with both plants and animals, which is in agreement with its evolutionary position and perhaps also an adaptation to its complex lifestyle: unicellular growth and multicellular development.

RevDate: 2018-12-12

Higo A, Kawashima T, Borg M, et al (2018)

Transcription factor DUO1 generated by neo-functionalization is associated with evolution of sperm differentiation in plants.

Nature communications, 9(1):5283 pii:10.1038/s41467-018-07728-3.

Evolutionary mechanisms underlying innovation of cell types have remained largely unclear. In multicellular eukaryotes, the evolutionary molecular origin of sperm differentiation is unknown in most lineages. Here, we report that in algal ancestors of land plants, changes in the DNA-binding domain of the ancestor of the MYB transcription factor DUO1 enabled the recognition of a new cis-regulatory element. This event led to the differentiation of motile sperm. After neo-functionalization, DUO1 acquired sperm lineage-specific expression in the common ancestor of land plants. Subsequently the downstream network of DUO1 was rewired leading to sperm with distinct morphologies. Conjugating green algae, a sister group of land plants, accumulated mutations in the DNA-binding domain of DUO1 and lost sperm differentiation. Our findings suggest that the emergence of DUO1 was the defining event in the evolution of sperm differentiation and the varied modes of sexual reproduction in the land plant lineage.

RevDate: 2018-12-12
CmpDate: 2018-12-12

Moroni M, Servin-Vences MR, Fleischer R, et al (2018)

Voltage gating of mechanosensitive PIEZO channels.

Nature communications, 9(1):1096.

Mechanosensitive PIEZO ion channels are evolutionarily conserved proteins whose presence is critical for normal physiology in multicellular organisms. Here we show that, in addition to mechanical stimuli, PIEZO channels are also powerfully modulated by voltage and can even switch to a purely voltage-gated mode. Mutations that cause human diseases, such as xerocytosis, profoundly shift voltage sensitivity of PIEZO1 channels toward the resting membrane potential and strongly promote voltage gating. Voltage modulation may be explained by the presence of an inactivation gate in the pore, the opening of which is promoted by outward permeation. Older invertebrate (fly) and vertebrate (fish) PIEZO proteins are also voltage sensitive, but voltage gating is a much more prominent feature of these older channels. We propose that the voltage sensitivity of PIEZO channels is a deep property co-opted to add a regulatory mechanism for PIEZO activation in widely different cellular contexts.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Baldauf SL, Romeralo M, Fiz-Palacios O, et al (2018)

A Deep Hidden Diversity of Dictyostelia.

Protist, 169(1):64-78.

Dictyostelia is a monophyletic group of transiently multicellular (sorocarpic) amoebae, whose study is currently limited to laboratory culture. This tends to favour faster growing species with robust sorocarps, while species with smaller more delicate sorocarps constitute most of the group's taxonomic breadth. The number of known species is also small (∼150) given Dictyostelia's molecular depth and apparent antiquity (>600 myr). Nonetheless, dictyostelid sequences are rarely recovered in culture independent sampling (ciPCR) surveys. We developed ciPCR primers to specifically target dictyostelid small subunit (SSU or 18S) rDNA and tested them on total DNAs extracted from a wide range of soils from five continents. The resulting clone libraries show mostly dictyostelid sequences (∼90%), and phylogenetic analyses of these sequences indicate novel lineages in all four dictyostelid families and most genera. This is especially true for the species-rich Heterostelium and Dictyosteliaceae but also the less species-rich Raperosteliaceae. However, the most novel deep branches are found in two very species-poor taxa, including the deepest branch yet seen in the highly divergent Cavenderiaceae. These results confirm a deep hidden diversity of Dictyostelia, potentially including novel morphologies and developmental schemes. The primers and protocols presented here should also enable more comprehensive studies of dictyostelid ecology.

RevDate: 2018-11-27

Pollier J, Vancaester E, Kuzhiumparambil U, et al (2018)

A widespread alternative squalene epoxidase participates in eukaryote steroid biosynthesis.

Nature microbiology pii:10.1038/s41564-018-0305-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Steroids are essential triterpenoid molecules that are present in all eukaryotes and modulate the fluidity and flexibility of cell membranes. Steroids also serve as signalling molecules that are crucial for growth, development and differentiation of multicellular organisms1-3. The steroid biosynthetic pathway is highly conserved and is key in eukaryote evolution4-7. The flavoprotein squalene epoxidase (SQE) catalyses the first oxygenation reaction in this pathway and is rate limiting. However, despite its conservation in animals, plants and fungi, several phylogenetically widely distributed eukaryote genomes lack an SQE-encoding gene7,8. Here, we discovered and characterized an alternative SQE (AltSQE) belonging to the fatty acid hydroxylase superfamily. AltSQE was identified through screening of a gene library of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum in a SQE-deficient yeast. In accordance with its divergent protein structure and need for cofactors, we found that AltSQE is insensitive to the conventional SQE inhibitor terbinafine. AltSQE is present in many eukaryotic lineages but is mutually exclusive with SQE and shows a patchy distribution within monophyletic clades. Our discovery provides an alternative element for the conserved steroid biosynthesis pathway, raises questions about eukaryote metabolic evolution and opens routes to develop selective SQE inhibitors to control hazardous organisms.

RevDate: 2018-11-18

Joo S, Wang MH, Lui G, et al (2018)

Common ancestry of heterodimerizing TALE homeobox transcription factors across Metazoa and Archaeplastida.

BMC biology, 16(1):136 pii:10.1186/s12915-018-0605-5.

BACKGROUND: Complex multicellularity requires elaborate developmental mechanisms, often based on the versatility of heterodimeric transcription factor (TF) interactions. Homeobox TFs in the TALE superclass are deeply embedded in the gene regulatory networks that orchestrate embryogenesis. Knotted-like homeobox (KNOX) TFs, homologous to animal MEIS, have been found to drive the haploid-to-diploid transition in both unicellular green algae and land plants via heterodimerization with other TALE superclass TFs, demonstrating remarkable functional conservation of a developmental TF across lineages that diverged one billion years ago. Here, we sought to delineate whether TALE-TALE heterodimerization is ancestral to eukaryotes.

RESULTS: We analyzed TALE endowment in the algal radiations of Archaeplastida, ancestral to land plants. Homeodomain phylogeny and bioinformatics analysis partitioned TALEs into two broad groups, KNOX and non-KNOX. Each group shares previously defined heterodimerization domains, plant KNOX-homology in the KNOX group and animal PBC-homology in the non-KNOX group, indicating their deep ancestry. Protein-protein interaction experiments showed that the TALEs in the two groups all participated in heterodimerization.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that the TF dyads consisting of KNOX/MEIS and PBC-containing TALEs must have evolved early in eukaryotic evolution. Based on our results, we hypothesize that in early eukaryotes, the TALE heterodimeric configuration provided transcription-on switches via dimerization-dependent subcellular localization, ensuring execution of the haploid-to-diploid transition only when the gamete fusion is correctly executed between appropriate partner gametes. The TALE switch then diversified in the several lineages that engage in a complex multicellular organization.

RevDate: 2018-10-26

Stiller JW, Yang C, Collén J, et al (2018)

Evolution and expression of core SWI/SNF genes in red algae.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Red algae are the oldest identifiable multicellular eukaryotes, with a fossil record dating back more than a billion years. During that time two major rhodophyte lineages, bangiophytes and florideophytes, have evolved varied levels of morphological complexity. These two groups are distinguished, in part, by different patterns of multicellular development, with florideophytes exhibiting a far greater diversity of morphologies. Interestingly, during their long evolutionary history, there is no record of a rhodophyte achieving the kinds of cellular and tissue-specific differentiation present in other multicellular algal lineages. To date, the genetic underpinnings of unique aspects of red algal development are largely unexplored; however, they must reflect the complements and patterns of expression of key regulatory genes. Here we report comparative evolutionary and gene expression analyses of core subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, which is implicated in cell differentiation and developmental regulation in more well studied multicellular groups. Our results suggest that a single, canonical SWI/SNF complex was present in the rhodophyte ancestor, with gene duplications and evolutionary diversification of SWI/SNF subunits accompanying the evolution of multicellularity in the common ancestor of bangiophytes and florideophytes. Differences in how SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling evolved subsequently, in particular gene losses and more rapid divergence of SWI3 and SNF5 in bangiophytes, could help to explain why they exhibit a more limited range of morphological complexity than their florideophyte cousins.

RevDate: 2018-11-14
CmpDate: 2018-10-02

Liu Y, Liu D, Khan AR, et al (2018)

NbGIS regulates glandular trichome initiation through GA signaling in tobacco.

Plant molecular biology, 98(1-2):153-167.

KEY MESSAGE: A novel gene NbGIS positively regulates glandular trichome initiation through GA Signaling in tobacco. NbMYB123-like regulates glandular trichome initiation by acting downstream of NbGIS in tobacco. Glandular trichome is a specialized multicellular structure which has capability to synthesize and secrete secondary metabolites and protects plants from biotic and abiotic stresses. Our previous results revealed that a C2H2 zinc-finger transcription factor GIS and its sub-family genes act upstream of GL3/EGL3-GL1-TTG1 transcriptional activator complex to regulate trichome initiation in Arabidopsis. In this present study, we found that NbGIS could positively regulate glandular trichome development in Nicotiana benthamiana (tobacco). Our result demonstrated that 35S:NbGIS lines exhibited much higher densities of trichome on leaves, main stems, lateral branches and sepals than WT plants, while NbGIS:RNAi lines had the opposite phenotypes. Furthermore, our results also showed that NbGIS was required in response to GA signal to control glandular trichome initiation in Nicotiana benthamiana. In addition, our results also showed that NbGIS significantly influenced GA accumulation and expressions of marker genes of the GA biosynthesis, might result in the changes of growth and maturation in tobacco. Lastly, our results also showed that NbMYB123-like regulated glandular trichome initiation in tobacco by acting downstream of NbGIS. These findings provide new insights to discover the molecular mechanism by which C2H2 transcriptional factors regulates glandular trichome initiation through GA signaling pathway in tobacco.

RevDate: 2018-11-14
CmpDate: 2018-10-19

Oka M, Y Yoneda (2018)

Importin α: functions as a nuclear transport factor and beyond.

Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and biological sciences, 94(7):259-274.

Nucleocytoplasmic transport is an essential process in eukaryotes. The molecular mechanisms underlying nuclear transport that involve the nuclear transport receptor, small GTPase Ran, and the nuclear pore complex are highly conserved from yeast to humans. On the other hand, it has become clear that the nuclear transport system diverged during evolution to achieve various physiological functions in multicellular eukaryotes. In this review, we first summarize the molecular mechanisms of nuclear transport and how these were elucidated. Then, we focus on the diverse functions of importin α, which acts not merely an import factor but also as a multi-functional protein contributing to a variety of cellular functions in higher eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2018-11-14

Bornens M (2018)

Cell polarity: having and making sense of direction-on the evolutionary significance of the primary cilium/centrosome organ in Metazoa.

Open biology, 8(8):.

Cell-autonomous polarity in Metazoans is evolutionarily conserved. I assume that permanent polarity in unicellular eukaryotes is required for cell motion and sensory reception, integration of these two activities being an evolutionarily constrained function. Metazoans are unique in making cohesive multicellular organisms through complete cell divisions. They evolved a primary cilium/centrosome (PC/C) organ, ensuring similar functions to the basal body/flagellum of unicellular eukaryotes, but in different cells, or in the same cell at different moments. The possibility that this innovation contributed to the evolution of individuality, in being instrumental in the early specification of the germ line during development, is further discussed. Then, using the example of highly regenerative organisms like planarians, which have lost PC/C organ in dividing cells, I discuss the possibility that part of the remodelling necessary to reach a new higher-level unit of selection in multi-cellular organisms has been triggered by conflicts among individual cell polarities to reach an organismic polarity. Finally, I briefly consider organisms with a sensorimotor organ like the brain that requires exceedingly elongated polarized cells for its activity. I conclude that beyond critical consequences for embryo development, the conservation of cell-autonomous polarity in Metazoans had far-reaching implications for the evolution of individuality.

RevDate: 2018-11-14

Waldron FM, Stone GN, DJ Obbard (2018)

Metagenomic sequencing suggests a diversity of RNA interference-like responses to viruses across multicellular eukaryotes.

PLoS genetics, 14(7):e1007533 pii:PGENETICS-D-18-00517.

RNA interference (RNAi)-related pathways target viruses and transposable element (TE) transcripts in plants, fungi, and ecdysozoans (nematodes and arthropods), giving protection against infection and transmission. In each case, this produces abundant TE and virus-derived 20-30nt small RNAs, which provide a characteristic signature of RNAi-mediated defence. The broad phylogenetic distribution of the Argonaute and Dicer-family genes that mediate these pathways suggests that defensive RNAi is ancient, and probably shared by most animal (metazoan) phyla. Indeed, while vertebrates had been thought an exception, it has recently been argued that mammals also possess an antiviral RNAi pathway, although its immunological relevance is currently uncertain and the viral small RNAs (viRNAs) are not easily detectable. Here we use a metagenomic approach to test for the presence of viRNAs in five species from divergent animal phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Mollusca, and Annelida), and in a brown alga-which represents an independent origin of multicellularity from plants, fungi, and animals. We use metagenomic RNA sequencing to identify around 80 virus-like contigs in these lineages, and small RNA sequencing to identify viRNAs derived from those viruses. We identified 21U small RNAs derived from an RNA virus in the brown alga, reminiscent of plant and fungal viRNAs, despite the deep divergence between these lineages. However, contrary to our expectations, we were unable to identify canonical (i.e. Drosophila- or nematode-like) viRNAs in any of the animals, despite the widespread presence of abundant micro-RNAs, and somatic transposon-derived piwi-interacting RNAs. We did identify a distinctive group of small RNAs derived from RNA viruses in the mollusc. However, unlike ecdysozoan viRNAs, these had a piRNA-like length distribution but lacked key signatures of piRNA biogenesis. We also identified primary piRNAs derived from putatively endogenous copies of DNA viruses in the cnidarian and the echinoderm, and an endogenous RNA virus in the mollusc. The absence of canonical virus-derived small RNAs from our samples may suggest that the majority of animal phyla lack an antiviral RNAi response. Alternatively, these phyla could possess an antiviral RNAi response resembling that reported for vertebrates, with cryptic viRNAs not detectable through simple metagenomic sequencing of wild-type individuals. In either case, our findings show that the antiviral RNAi responses of arthropods and nematodes, which are highly divergent from each other and from that of plants and fungi, are also highly diverged from the most likely ancestral metazoan state.

RevDate: 2018-11-14

Dunning Hotopp JC (2018)

Grafting or pruning in the animal tree: lateral gene transfer and gene loss?.

BMC genomics, 19(1):470 pii:10.1186/s12864-018-4832-5.

BACKGROUND: Lateral gene transfer (LGT), also known as horizontal gene transfer, into multicellular eukaryotes with differentiated tissues, particularly gonads, continues to be met with skepticism by many prominent evolutionary and genomic biologists. A detailed examination of 26 animal genomes identified putative LGTs in invertebrate and vertebrate genomes, concluding that there are fewer predicted LGTs in vertebrates/chordates than invertebrates, but there is still evidence of LGT into chordates, including humans. More recently, a reanalysis of a subset of these putative LGTs into vertebrates concluded that there is not horizontal gene transfer in the human genome. One of the genes in dispute is an N-acyl-aromatic-L-amino acid amidohydrolase (ENSG00000132744), which encodes ACY3. This gene was initially identified as a putative bacteria-chordate LGT but was later debunked as it has a significant BLAST match to a more recently deposited genome of Saccoglossus kowalevskii, a flatworm, Metazoan, and hemichordate.

RESULTS: Using BLAST searches, HMM searches, and phylogenetics to assess the evidence for LGT, gene loss, and rate variation in ACY3/ASPA homologues, the most parsimonious explanation for the distribution of ACY3/ASPA genes in eukaryotes involves both gene loss and bacteria-animal LGT, albeit LGT that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago prior to the divergence of gnathostomes.

CONCLUSIONS: ACY3/ASPA is most likely a bacteria-animal LGT. LGTs at these time scales in the ancestors of humans are not unexpected given the many known, well-characterized, and adaptive LGTs from bacteria to insects and nematodes.

RevDate: 2018-11-14
CmpDate: 2018-10-30

Gao Q, Xu S, Zhu X, et al (2018)

Genome-wide identification and characterization of the RIO atypical kinase family in plants.

Genes & genomics, 40(6):669-683.

Members of the right open reading frame (RIO) atypical kinase family are present in all three domains of life. In eukaryotes, three subfamilies have been identified: RIO1, RIO2, and RIO3. Studies have shown that the yeast and human RIO1 and RIO2 kinases are essential for the biogenesis of small ribosomal subunits. Thus far, RIO3 has been found only in multicellular eukaryotes. In this study, we systematically identified members of the RIO gene family in 37 species representing the major evolutionary lineages in Viridiplantae. A total of 84 RIO genes were identified; among them, 41 were classified as RIO1 and 43 as RIO2. However, no RIO3 gene was found in any of the species examined. Phylogenetic trees constructed for plant RIO1 and RIO2 proteins were generally congruent with the species phylogeny. Subcellular localization analyses showed that the plant RIO proteins were localized mainly in the nucleus and/or cytoplasm. Expression profile analysis of rice, maize, and Arabidopsis RIO genes in different tissues revealed similar expression patterns between RIO1 and RIO2 genes, and their expression levels were high in certain tissues. In addition, the expressions of plant RIO genes were regulated by two drugs: mycophenolic acid and actinomycin D. Function prediction using genome-wide coexpression analysis revealed that most plant RIO genes may be involved in ribosome biogenesis. Our results will be useful for the evolutionary analysis of the ancient RIO kinase family and provide a basis for further functional characterization of RIO genes in plants.

RevDate: 2018-11-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-07

Smith CCR, Tittes S, Mendieta JP, et al (2018)

Genetics of alternative splicing evolution during sunflower domestication.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(26):6768-6773.

Alternative splicing enables organisms to produce the diversity of proteins necessary for multicellular life by using relatively few protein-coding genes. Although differences in splicing have been identified among divergent taxa, the shorter-term evolution of splicing is understudied. The origins of novel splice forms, and the contributions of alternative splicing to major evolutionary transitions, are largely unknown. This study used transcriptomes of wild and domesticated sunflowers to examine splice differentiation and regulation during domestication. We identified substantial splicing divergence between wild and domesticated sunflowers, mainly in the form of intron retention. Transcripts with divergent splicing were enriched for seed-development functions, suggesting that artificial selection impacted splicing patterns. Mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with 144 differential splicing cases revealed primarily trans-acting variation affecting splicing patterns. A large proportion of identified QTLs contain known spliceosome proteins and are associated with splicing variation in multiple genes. Examining a broader set of wild and domesticated sunflower genotypes revealed that most differential splicing patterns in domesticated sunflowers likely arose from standing variation in wild Helianthus annuus and gained frequency during the domestication process. However, several domesticate-associated splicing patterns appear to be introgressed from other Helianthus species. These results suggest that sunflower domestication involved selection on pleiotropic regulatory alleles. More generally, our findings indicate that substantial differences in isoform abundances arose rapidly during a recent evolutionary transition and appear to contribute to adaptation and population divergence.

RevDate: 2018-11-14
CmpDate: 2018-10-24

Ye AY, Dou Y, Yang X, et al (2018)

A model for postzygotic mosaicisms quantifies the allele fraction drift, mutation rate, and contribution to de novo mutations.

Genome research, 28(7):943-951.

The allele fraction (AF) distribution, occurrence rate, and evolutionary contribution of postzygotic single-nucleotide mosaicisms (pSNMs) remain largely unknown. In this study, we developed a mathematical model to describe the accumulation and AF drift of pSNMs during the development of multicellular organisms. By applying the model, we quantitatively analyzed two large-scale data sets of pSNMs identified from human genomes. We found that the postzygotic mutation rate per cell division during early embryogenesis, especially during the first cell division, was higher than the average mutation rate in either male or female gametes. We estimated that the stochastic cell death rate per cell cleavage during human embryogenesis was ∼5%, and parental pSNMs occurring during the first three cell divisions contributed to ∼10% of the de novo mutations observed in children. We further demonstrated that the genomic profiles of pSNMs could be used to measure the divergence distance between tissues. Our results highlight the importance of pSNMs in estimating recurrence risk and clarified the quantitative relationship between postzygotic and de novo mutations.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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