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24 Feb 2020 at 01:38
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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 24 Feb 2020 at 01:38 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: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Falz AL, SJ Müller-Schüssele (2019)

Physcomitrella as a model system for plant cell biology and organelle-organelle communication.

Current opinion in plant biology, 52:7-13.

In multicellular eukaryotic cells, metabolism and growth are sustained by the cooperative functioning of organelles in combination with cell-to-cell communication at the organism level. In land plants, multiple strategies have evolved to adapt to life outside water. As basal land plant, the moss Physcomitrella patens is used for comparative genomics, allowing to study lineage-specific features, as well as to track the evolution of fundamental parameters of plant cell organisation and physiology. P. patens is a versatile model for cell biology research, especially to investigate adaptive growth, stress biology as well as organelle dynamics and interactions. Recent advances include the use of genetically encoded biosensors for in vivo imaging of physiological parameters.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Ballinger MJ, SJ Perlman (2019)

The defensive Spiroplasma.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:36-41.

Defensive microbes are of great interest for their roles in arthropod health, disease transmission, and biocontrol efforts. Obligate bacterial passengers of arthropods, such as Spiroplasma, confer protection against the natural enemies of their hosts to improve their own fitness. Although known for less than a decade, Spiroplasma's defensive reach extends to diverse parasites, both microbial and multicellular. We provide an overview of known defensive phenotypes against nematodes, parasitoid wasps, and fungi, and highlight recent studies supporting the role of Spiroplasma-encoded ribosome-inactivating proteins in protection. With cellular features well-suited for life in the hemolymph, broad distribution among invertebrate hosts, and the capacity to repeatedly evolve vertical transmission, Spiroplasma may be uniquely equipped to form intimate, defensive associations to combat extracellular parasites. Along with insights into defensive mechanisms, recent significant advances have been made in male-killing - a phenotype with interesting evolutionary ties to defense. Finally, we look forward to an exciting decade using the genetic tools of Drosophila, and the rapidly-advancing tractability of Spiroplasma itself, to better understand mechanisms and evolution in defensive symbiosis.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Moreau CS (2020)

Symbioses among ants and microbes.

Current opinion in insect science, 39:1-5 pii:S2214-5745(20)30016-X [Epub ahead of print].

Ants have been shown to engage in symbiosis across the tree of life, although our knowledge is far from complete. These interactions range from mutualistic to parasitic with several instances of manipulation of host behavior. Nutrient contributions in these symbioses include both farming for food and nitrogen recycling by gut-associated microbes. Interestingly, the ants that are mostly likely to host diverse and likely functional gut microbial communities are those that feed on extreme diets. Although we do see many instances of symbiosis between ants and microbes, there are also examples of species without a functional gut microbiome. Symbiosis among microbes and eukaryotic hosts is common and often considered a hallmark of multicellular evolution [1]. This is true among many of the over 13000 species of ants, although symbiosis between ants and microbes are not ubiquitous. These microbial-ant symbiotic interactions span the tree of life and include microbial eukaryotes, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. These interactions range from pathogenic to mutualistic, with many relationships still not well understood. Although our knowledge of the diversity of these microbes in ants is growing rapidly, and in some cases we know the function and interaction with the host, we still have much to learn about - the little things that run the little things that run the world!

RevDate: 2020-02-20
CmpDate: 2020-02-20

St-Georges-Robillard A, Cahuzac M, Péant B, et al (2019)

Long-term fluorescence hyperspectral imaging of on-chip treated co-culture tumour spheroids to follow clonal evolution.

Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro, 11(4):130-141.

Multicellular tumour spheroids are an ideal in vitro tumour model to study clonal heterogeneity and drug resistance in cancer research because different cell types can be mixed at will. However, measuring the individual response of each cell population over time is challenging: current methods are either destructive, such as flow cytometry, or cannot image throughout a spheroid, such as confocal microscopy. Our group previously developed a wide-field fluorescence hyperspectral imaging system to study spheroids formed and cultured in microfluidic chips. In the present study, two subclones of a single parental ovarian cancer cell line transfected to express different fluorophores were produced and co-culture spheroids were formed on-chip using ratios forming highly asymmetric subpopulations. We performed a 3D proliferation assay on each cell population forming the spheroids that matched the 2D growth behaviour. Response assays to PARP inhibitors and platinum-based drugs were also performed to follow the clonal evolution of mixed populations. Our experiments show that hyperspectral imaging can detect spheroid response before observing a decrease in spheroid diameter. Hyperspectral imaging and microfluidic-based spheroid assays provide a versatile solution to study clonal heterogeneity, able to measure response in subpopulations presenting as little as 10% of the initial spheroid.

RevDate: 2020-02-16

Ishibashi K, Tanaka Y, Y Morishita (2020)

Perspectives on the evolution of aquaporin superfamily.

Vitamins and hormones, 112:1-27.

Aquaporins (AQPs) belong to a transmembrane protein superfamily composed of an internal repeat of a three membrane-spanning domain and each has a highly conserved NPA box. Based on the more variable carboxyl-terminal NPA box, AQPs can be divided into three subfamilies: (1) glycerol-channel aquaglyceroporin (gAQP) (2) water-selective AQP (wAQP), and (3) deviated superaquaporin (sAQP) in the order of passible evolution. This classification has functional and localization relevance: most wAQPs transports water selectively whereas gAQPs and sAQPs also transport small molecules with sAQPs mostly localized inside the cell. As this classification is not based on the function, some wAQPs functioning as glycerol channels will not be included in gAQPs. AQP ancestors may have first originated in eubacteria as gAQPs to transport small molecules such as glycerol. Later some of them may have acquired a water-selective filter to become wAQPs. Although AQPs are absent in many bacteria, especially in archaea, both gAQPs and wAQPs may have been carried over to eukaryotes or horizontally transferred. Finally, multicellular organisms have obtained new sAQPs, which are curiously absent in fungi and plants. Interestingly, both plants and higher insects independently have lost gAQPs, whose functions, however, have been taken over by functionally modified wAQPs partly obtained by horizontal gene transfers from bacteria. This evolutionary viewpoints on AQPs will facilitate further functional analysis of AQP-like sequences and expand our viewpoints on AQP superfamily.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Rêgo A, Messina FJ, Z Gompert (2019)

Dynamics of genomic change during evolutionary rescue in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

Molecular ecology, 28(9):2136-2154.

Rapid adaptation can prevent extinction when populations are exposed to extremely marginal or stressful environments. Factors that affect the likelihood of evolutionary rescue from extinction have been identified, but much less is known about the evolutionary dynamics (e.g., rates and patterns of allele frequency change) and genomic basis of successful rescue, particularly in multicellular organisms. We conducted an evolve-and-resequence experiment to investigate the dynamics of evolutionary rescue at the genetic level in the cowpea seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, when it is experimentally shifted to a stressful host plant, lentil. Low survival (~1%) at the onset of the experiment caused population decline. But adaptive evolution quickly rescued the population, with survival rates climbing to 69% by the F5 generation and 90% by the F10 generation. Population genomic data showed that rescue likely was caused by rapid evolutionary change at multiple loci, with many alleles fixing or nearly fixing within five generations of selection on lentil. Selection on these loci was only moderately consistent in time, but parallel evolutionary changes were evident in sublines formed after the lentil line had passed through a bottleneck. By comparing estimates of selection and genomic change on lentil across five independent C. maculatus lines (the new lentil-adapted line, three long-established lines and one case of failed evolutionary rescue), we found that adaptation on lentil occurred via somewhat idiosyncratic evolutionary changes. Overall, our results suggest that evolutionary rescue in this system can be caused by very strong selection on multiple loci driving rapid and pronounced genomic change.

RevDate: 2020-02-06

Munke A, Kimura K, Tomaru Y, et al (2020)

Capsid structure of a marine algae virus of the order Picornavirales.

Journal of virology pii:JVI.01855-19 [Epub ahead of print].

The order Picornavirales includes viruses that infect different kinds of eukaryotes and that share similar properties. The capsid proteins (CPs) of viruses in the order that infect unicellular organisms, such as algae, presumably possess certain characteristics that have changed little over the course of evolution, and thus these viruses may resemble the Picornavirales ancestor in some respects. Herein, we present the capsid structure of Chaetoceros tenuissimus RNA virus type II (CtenRNAV-II) determined using cryo-electron microscopy at a resolution of 3.1 Å, the first of an algae virus belonging to the family Marnaviridae of the order Picornavirales A structural comparison to related invertebrate and vertebrate viruses revealed a unique surface loop of the major CP VP1 that had not been observed previously, and further, that another VP1 loop obscures the so-called canyon, which is a host-receptor binding site for many of the mammalian Picornavirales viruses. VP2 has an N-terminal tail, which has previously been reported as a primordial feature of Picornavirales viruses. Based on the above-mentioned and other critical structural features, the acquired traits among Picornavirales viruses were categorized for profound discussions. The observations afford new insights on three long-standing theories among Picornavirales: the canyon hypothesis, the primordial VP2 domain swap, and the hypothesis that algae picorna-like viruses could share characteristics with the Picornavirales ancestor.ImportanceIdentifying the acquired structural traits in virus capsids is important for elucidating what functions are essential among viruses that infect different hosts. The Picornavirales viruses infect a broad spectrum of hosts, ranging from unicellular algae to insects and mammals, and include many human pathogens. Those viruses that infect unicellular protists, such as algae, are likely to have undergone fewer structural changes during the course of evolution compared to those viruses that infect multicellular eukaryotes, and thus still share some characteristics with the Picornavirales ancestor. This manuscript describes the first atomic capsid structure of an alga Marnavirus, CtenRNAV-II. A comparison to capsid structures of the related invertebrate and vertebrate viruses identified a number of structural traits that have been functionally acquired or lost during the course of evolution. These observations provide new insights on past theories on the viability and evolution of Picornavirales viruses.

RevDate: 2020-02-06
CmpDate: 2020-02-06

Thakur R, Shiratori T, KI Ishida (2019)

Taxon-rich Multigene Phylogenetic Analyses Resolve the Phylogenetic Relationship Among Deep-branching Stramenopiles.

Protist, 170(5):125682.

Stramenopiles are one of the major eukaryotic assemblages. This group comprises a wide range of species including photosynthetic unicellular and multicellular algae, fungus-like osmotrophic organisms and many free-living phagotrophic flagellates. However, the phylogeny of the Stramenopiles, especially relationships among deep-branching heterotrophs, has not yet been resolved because of a lack of adequate transcriptomic data for representative lineages. In this study, we performed multigene phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching Stramenopiles with improved taxon sampling. We sequenced transcriptomes of three deep-branching Stramenopiles: Incisomonas marina, Pseudophyllomitus vesiculosus and Platysulcus tardus. Phylogenetic analyses using 120 protein-coding genes and 56 taxa indicated that Pl. tardus is sister to all other Stramenopiles while Ps. vesiculosus is sister to MAST-4 and form a robust clade with the Labyrinthulea. The resolved phylogenetic relationships of deep-branching Stramenopiles provide insights into the ancestral traits of the Stramenopiles.

RevDate: 2020-02-06
CmpDate: 2020-02-06

Tan J, He Q, Pentz JT, et al (2019)

Copper oxide nanoparticles promote the evolution of multicellularity in yeast.

Nanotoxicology, 13(5):597-605.

Engineered nanomaterials are rapidly becoming an essential component of modern technology. Thousands of tons of nanomaterials are manufactured, used, and subsequently released into the environment annually. While the presence of these engineered nanomaterials in the environment has profound effects on various biological systems in the short term, little work has been done to understand their consequences over long, evolutionary timescales. The evolution of multicellularity is a critical step in the origin of complex life on Earth and a unique strategy for microorganisms to alleviate adverse environmental impacts, yet the selective pressures that favor the evolution of multicellular groups remain poorly understood. Here, we show that engineered nanomaterials, specifically copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs), promote the evolution of undifferentiated multicellularity in Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain Y55). Transcriptomic analysis suggests that multicellularity mitigates the negative effects of CuO NPs in yeast cells and shifts their metabolism from alcoholic fermentation towards aerobic respiration, potentially increasing resource efficiency and providing a fitness benefit during CuO NP exposure. Competition assays also confirm that the multicellular yeast possesses a fitness advantage when exposed to CuO NPs. Our results, therefore, demonstrate that nanoparticles can have profound and unexpected evolutionary consequences, underscoring the need for a more comprehensive understanding of the long-term biological impacts of nanomaterial pollution.

RevDate: 2020-01-24

Puzakov MV, Puzakova LV, SV Cheresiz (2020)

The Tc1-like elements with the spliceosomal introns in mollusk genomes.

Molecular genetics and genomics : MGG pii:10.1007/s00438-020-01645-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA sequences capable of transpositions within the genome and thus exerting a considerable influence on the genome functioning and structure and serving as a source of new genes. TE biodiversity studies in previously unexplored species are important for the fundamental understanding of the TE influence on eukaryotic genomes. TEs are classified into retrotransposons and DNA transposons. IS630/Tc1/mariner (ITm) superfamily of DNA transposons is one of the most diverse groups broadly represented among the eukaryotes. The study of 19 mollusk genomes revealed a new group of ITm superfamily elements, which we henceforth refer to as TLEWI. These TEs are characterized by the low copy number, the lack of terminal inverted repeats, the catalytic domain with DD36E signature and the presence of spliceosomal introns in transposase coding sequence. Their prevalence among the mollusks is limited to the class Bivalvia. Since TLEWI possess the features of domesticated TE and structures similar to the eukaryotic genes which are not typical for the DNA transposons, we consider the hypothesis of co-optation of TLEWI gene by the bivalves. The results of our study will fill the gap of knowledge about the prevalence, activity, and evolution of the ITm DNA transposons in multicellular genomes and will facilitate our understanding of the mechanisms of TE domestication by the host genome.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Nakamura T, Fahmi M, Tanaka J, et al (2019)

Genome-Wide Analysis of Whole Human Glycoside Hydrolases by Data-Driven Analysis in Silico.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(24):.

Glycans are involved in various metabolic processes via the functions of glycosyltransferases and glycoside hydrolases. Analysing the evolution of these enzymes is essential for improving the understanding of glycan metabolism and function. Based on our previous study of glycosyltransferases, we performed a genome-wide analysis of whole human glycoside hydrolases using the UniProt, BRENDA, CAZy and KEGG databases. Using cluster analysis, 319 human glycoside hydrolases were classified into four clusters based on their similarity to enzymes conserved in chordates or metazoans (Class 1), metazoans (Class 2), metazoans and plants (Class 3) and eukaryotes (Class 4). The eukaryote and metazoan clusters included N- and O-glycoside hydrolases, respectively. The significant abundance of disordered regions within the most conserved cluster indicated a role for disordered regions in the evolution of glycoside hydrolases. These results suggest that the biological diversity of multicellular organisms is related to the acquisition of N- and O-linked glycans.

RevDate: 2020-01-19

Lamelza P, Young JM, Noble LM, et al (2019)

Hybridization promotes asexual reproduction in Caenorhabditis nematodes.

PLoS genetics, 15(12):e1008520.

Although most unicellular organisms reproduce asexually, most multicellular eukaryotes are obligately sexual. This implies that there are strong barriers that prevent the origin or maintenance of asexuality arising from an obligately sexual ancestor. By studying rare asexual animal species we can gain a better understanding of the circumstances that facilitate their evolution from a sexual ancestor. Of the known asexual animal species, many originated by hybridization between two ancestral sexual species. The balance hypothesis predicts that genetic incompatibilities between the divergent genomes in hybrids can modify meiosis and facilitate asexual reproduction, but there are few instances where this has been shown. Here we report that hybridizing two sexual Caenorhabditis nematode species (C. nouraguensis females and C. becei males) alters the normal inheritance of the maternal and paternal genomes during the formation of hybrid zygotes. Most offspring of this interspecies cross die during embryogenesis, exhibiting inheritance of a diploid C. nouraguensis maternal genome and incomplete inheritance of C. becei paternal DNA. However, a small fraction of offspring develop into viable adults that can be either fertile or sterile. Fertile offspring are produced asexually by sperm-dependent parthenogenesis (also called gynogenesis or pseudogamy); these progeny inherit a diploid maternal genome but fail to inherit a paternal genome. Sterile offspring are hybrids that inherit both a diploid maternal genome and a haploid paternal genome. Whole-genome sequencing of individual viable worms shows that diploid maternal inheritance in both fertile and sterile offspring results from an altered meiosis in C. nouraguensis oocytes and the inheritance of two randomly selected homologous chromatids. We hypothesize that hybrid incompatibility between C. nouraguensis and C. becei modifies maternal and paternal genome inheritance and indirectly induces gynogenetic reproduction. This system can be used to dissect the molecular mechanisms by which hybrid incompatibilities can facilitate the emergence of asexual reproduction.

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Kawabe Y, Du Q, Schilde C, et al (2019)

Evolution of multicellularity in Dictyostelia.

The International journal of developmental biology, 63(8-9-10):359-369.

The well-orchestrated multicellular life cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum has fascinated biologists for over a century. Self-organisation of its amoebas into aggregates, migrating slugs and fruiting structures by pulsatile cAMP signalling and their ability to follow separate differentiation pathways in well-regulated proportions continue to be topics under investigation. A striking aspect of D. discoideum development is the recurrent use of cAMP as chemoattractant, differentiation inducing signal and second messenger for other signals that control the developmental programme. D. discoideum is one of >150 species of Dictyostelia and aggregative life styles similar to those of Dictyostelia evolved many times in eukaryotes. Here we review experimental studies investigating how phenotypic complexity and cAMP signalling co-evolved in Dictyostelia. In addition, we summarize comparative genomic studies of multicellular Dictyostelia and unicellular Amoebozoa aimed to identify evolutionary conservation and change in all genes known to be essential for D. discoideum development.

RevDate: 2019-12-07

Southworth J, Grace CA, Marron AO, et al (2019)

A genomic survey of transposable elements in the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta reveals selection on codon usage.

Mobile DNA, 10:44.

Background: Unicellular species make up the majority of eukaryotic diversity, however most studies on transposable elements (TEs) have centred on multicellular host species. Such studies may have therefore provided a limited picture of how transposable elements evolve across eukaryotes. The choanoflagellates, as the sister group to Metazoa, are an important study group for investigating unicellular to multicellular transitions. A previous survey of the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis revealed the presence of only three families of LTR retrotransposons, all of which appeared to be active. Salpingoeca rosetta is the second choanoflagellate to have its whole genome sequenced and provides further insight into the evolution and population biology of transposable elements in the closest relative of metazoans.

Results: Screening the genome revealed the presence of a minimum of 20 TE families. Seven of the annotated families are DNA transposons and the remaining 13 families are LTR retrotransposons. Evidence for two putative non-LTR retrotransposons was also uncovered, but full-length sequences could not be determined. Superfamily phylogenetic trees indicate that vertical inheritance and, in the case of one family, horizontal transfer have been involved in the evolution of the choanoflagellates TEs. Phylogenetic analyses of individual families highlight recent element activity in the genome, however six families did not show evidence of current transposition. The majority of families possess young insertions and the expression levels of TE genes vary by four orders of magnitude across families. In contrast to previous studies on TEs, the families present in S. rosetta show the signature of selection on codon usage, with families favouring codons that are adapted to the host translational machinery. Selection is stronger in LTR retrotransposons than DNA transposons, with highly expressed families showing stronger codon usage bias. Mutation pressure towards guanosine and cytosine also appears to contribute to TE codon usage.

Conclusions: S. rosetta increases the known diversity of choanoflagellate TEs and the complement further highlights the role of horizontal gene transfer from prey species in choanoflagellate genome evolution. Unlike previously studied TEs, the S. rosetta families show evidence for selection on their codon usage, which is shown to act via translational efficiency and translational accuracy.

RevDate: 2020-01-01

Chen J, N Wang (2019)

Tissue cell differentiation and multicellular evolution via cytoskeletal stiffening in mechanically stressed microenvironments.

Acta mechanica Sinica = Li xue xue bao, 35(2):270-274.

Evolution of eukaryotes from simple cells to complex multicellular organisms remains a mystery. Our postulate is that cytoskeletal stiffening is a necessary condition for evolution of complex multicellular organisms from early simple eukaryotes. Recent findings show that embryonic stem cells are as soft as primitive eukaryotes-amoebae and that differentiated tissue cells can be two orders of magnitude stiffer than embryonic stem cells. Soft embryonic stem cells become stiff as they differentiate into tissue cells of the complex multicellular organisms to match their microenvironment stiffness. We perhaps see in differentiation of embryonic stem cells (derived from inner cell mass cells) the echo of those early evolutionary events. Early soft unicellular organisms might have evolved to stiffen their cytoskeleton to protect their structural integrity from external mechanical stresses while being able to maintain form, to change shape, and to move.

RevDate: 2019-11-27

Duttke SH, Chang MW, Heinz S, et al (2019)

Identification and dynamic quantification of regulatory elements using total RNA.

Genome research, 29(11):1836-1846.

The spatial and temporal regulation of transcription initiation is pivotal for controlling gene expression. Here, we introduce capped-small RNA-seq (csRNA-seq), which uses total RNA as starting material to detect transcription start sites (TSSs) of both stable and unstable RNAs at single-nucleotide resolution. csRNA-seq is highly sensitive to acute changes in transcription and identifies an order of magnitude more regulated transcripts than does RNA-seq. Interrogating tissues from species across the eukaryotic kingdoms identified unstable transcripts resembling enhancer RNAs, pri-miRNAs, antisense transcripts, and promoter upstream transcripts in multicellular animals, plants, and fungi spanning 1.6 billion years of evolution. Integration of epigenomic data from these organisms revealed that histone H3 trimethylation (H3K4me3) was largely confined to TSSs of stable transcripts, whereas H3K27ac marked nucleosomes downstream from all active TSSs, suggesting an ancient role for posttranslational histone modifications in transcription. Our findings show that total RNA is sufficient to identify transcribed regulatory elements and capture the dynamics of initiated stable and unstable transcripts at single-nucleotide resolution in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2019-11-09

Newman SA (2020)

Cell differentiation: What have we learned in 50 years?.

Journal of theoretical biology, 485:110031.

I revisit two theories of cell differentiation in multicellular organisms published a half-century ago, Stuart Kauffman's global genome regulatory dynamics (GGRD) model and Roy Britten's and Eric Davidson's modular gene regulatory network (MGRN) model, in light of newer knowledge of mechanisms of gene regulation in the metazoans (animals). The two models continue to inform hypotheses and computational studies of differentiation of lineage-adjacent cell types. However, their shared notion (based on bacterial regulatory systems) of gene switches and networks built from them have constrained progress in understanding the dynamics and evolution of differentiation. Recent work has described unique write-read-rewrite chromatin-based expression encoding in eukaryotes, as well metazoan-specific processes of gene activation and silencing in condensed-phase, enhancer-recruiting regulatory hubs, employing disordered proteins, including transcription factors, with context-dependent identities. These findings suggest an evolutionary scenario in which the origination of differentiation in animals, rather than depending exclusively on adaptive natural selection, emerged as a consequence of a type of multicellularity in which the novel metazoan gene regulatory apparatus was readily mobilized to amplify and exaggerate inherent cell functions of unicellular ancestors. The plausibility of this hypothesis is illustrated by the evolution of the developmental role of Grainyhead-like in the formation of epithelium.

RevDate: 2019-12-18
CmpDate: 2019-12-18

Kiss E, Hegedüs B, Virágh M, et al (2019)

Comparative genomics reveals the origin of fungal hyphae and multicellularity.

Nature communications, 10(1):4080 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-12085-w.

Hyphae represent a hallmark structure of multicellular fungi. The evolutionary origins of hyphae and of the underlying genes are, however, hardly known. By systematically analyzing 72 complete genomes, we here show that hyphae evolved early in fungal evolution probably via diverse genetic changes, including co-option and exaptation of ancient eukaryotic (e.g. phagocytosis-related) genes, the origin of new gene families, gene duplications and alterations of gene structure, among others. Contrary to most multicellular lineages, the origin of filamentous fungi did not correlate with expansions of kinases, receptors or adhesive proteins. Co-option was probably the dominant mechanism for recruiting genes for hypha morphogenesis, while gene duplication was apparently less prevalent, except in transcriptional regulators and cell wall - related genes. We identified 414 novel gene families that show correlated evolution with hyphae and that may have contributed to its evolution. Our results suggest that hyphae represent a unique multicellular organization that evolved by limited fungal-specific innovations and gene duplication but pervasive co-option and modification of ancient eukaryotic functions.

RevDate: 2020-01-17
CmpDate: 2020-01-17

Cleri F (2019)

Agent-based model of multicellular tumor spheroid evolution including cell metabolism.

The European physical journal. E, Soft matter, 42(8):112.

Computational models aiming at the spatio-temporal description of cancer evolution are a suitable framework for testing biological hypotheses from experimental data, and generating new ones. Building on our recent work (J. Theor. Biol. 389, 146 (2016)) we develop a 3D agent-based model, capable of tracking hundreds of thousands of interacting cells, over time scales ranging from seconds to years. Cell dynamics is driven by a Monte Carlo solver, incorporating partial differential equations to describe chemical pathways and the activation/repression of "genes", leading to the up- or down-regulation of specific cell markers. Each cell-agent of different kind (stem, cancer, stromal etc.) runs through its cycle, undergoes division, can exit to a dormant, senescent, necrotic state, or apoptosis, according to the inputs from its systemic network. The basic network at this stage describes glucose/oxygen/ATP cycling, and can be readily extended to cancer-cell specific markers. Eventual accumulation of chemical/radiation damage to each cell's DNA is described by a Markov chain of internal states, and by a damage-repair network, whose evolution is linked to the cell systemic network. Aimed at a direct comparison with experiments of tumorsphere growth from stem cells, the present model will allow to quantitatively study the role of transcription factors involved in the reprogramming and variable radio-resistance of simulated cancer-stem cells, evolving in a realistic computer simulation of a growing multicellular tumorsphere.

RevDate: 2019-12-30
CmpDate: 2019-12-30

Annunziata R, Andrikou C, Perillo M, et al (2019)

Development and evolution of gut structures: from molecules to function.

Cell and tissue research, 377(3):445-458.

The emergence of a specialized system for food digestion and nutrient absorption was a crucial innovation for multicellular organisms. Digestive systems with different levels of complexity evolved in different animals, with the endoderm-derived one-way gut of most bilaterians to be the prevailing and more specialized form. While the molecular events regulating the early phases of embryonic tissue specification have been deeply investigated in animals occupying different phylogenetic positions, the mechanisms underlying gut patterning and gut-associated structures differentiation are still mostly obscure. In this review, we describe the main discoveries in gut and gut-associated structures development in echinoderm larvae (mainly for sea urchin and, when available, for sea star) and compare them with existing information in vertebrates. An impressive degree of conservation emerges when comparing the transcription factor toolkits recruited for gut cells and tissue differentiation in animals as diverse as echinoderms and vertebrates, thus suggesting that their function emerged in the deuterostome ancestor.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Draper GW, Shoemark DK, JC Adams (2019)

Modelling the early evolution of extracellular matrix from modern Ctenophores and Sponges.

Essays in biochemistry, 63(3):389-405 pii:EBC20180048.

Animals (metazoans) include some of the most complex living organisms on Earth, with regard to their multicellularity, numbers of differentiated cell types, and lifecycles. The metazoan extracellular matrix (ECM) is well-known to have major roles in the development of tissues during embryogenesis and in maintaining homoeostasis throughout life, yet insight into the ECM proteins which may have contributed to the transition from unicellular eukaryotes to multicellular animals remains sparse. Recent phylogenetic studies place either ctenophores or poriferans as the closest modern relatives of the earliest emerging metazoans. Here, we review the literature and representative genomic and transcriptomic databases for evidence of ECM and ECM-affiliated components known to be conserved in bilaterians, that are also present in ctenophores and/or poriferans. Whereas an extensive set of related proteins are identifiable in poriferans, there is a strikingly lack of conservation in ctenophores. From this perspective, much remains to be learnt about the composition of ctenophore mesoglea. The principal ECM-related proteins conserved between ctenophores, poriferans, and bilaterians include collagen IV, laminin-like proteins, thrombospondin superfamily members, integrins, membrane-associated proteoglycans, and tissue transglutaminase. These are candidates for a putative ancestral ECM that may have contributed to the emergence of the metazoans.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Fields C, M Levin (2019)

Somatic multicellularity as a satisficing solution to the prediction-error minimization problem.

Communicative & integrative biology, 12(1):119-132 pii:1643666.

Adaptive success in the biosphere requires the dynamic ability to adjust physiological, transcriptional, and behavioral responses to environmental conditions. From chemical networks to organisms to whole communities, biological entities at all levels of organization seek to optimize their predictive power. Here, we argue that this fundamental drive provides a novel perspective on the origin of multicellularity. One way for unicellular organisms to minimize surprise with respect to external inputs is to be surrounded by reproductively-disabled, i.e. somatic copies of themselves - highly predictable agents which in effect reduce uncertainty in their microenvironments. We show that the transition to multicellularity can be modeled as a phase transition driven by environmental threats. We present modeling results showing how multicellular bodies can arise if non-reproductive somatic cells protect their reproductive parents from environmental lethality. We discuss how a somatic body can be interpreted as a Markov blanket around one or more reproductive cells, and how the transition to somatic multicellularity can be represented as a transition from exposure of reproductive cells to a high-uncertainty environment to their protection from environmental uncertainty by this Markov blanket. This is, effectively, a transition by the Markov blanket from transparency to opacity for the variational free energy of the environment. We suggest that the ability to arrest the cell cycle of daughter cells and redirect their resource utilization from division to environmental threat amelioration is the key innovation of obligate multicellular eukaryotes, that the nervous system evolved to exercise this control over long distances, and that cancer is an escape by somatic cells from the control of reproductive cells. Our quantitative model illustrates the evolutionary dynamics of this system, provides a novel hypothesis for the origin of multicellular animal bodies, and suggests a fundamental link between the architectures of complex organisms and information processing in proto-cognitive cellular agents.

RevDate: 2019-10-25
CmpDate: 2019-10-25

Yeoh LM, Goodman CD, Mollard V, et al (2019)

Alternative splicing is required for stage differentiation in malaria parasites.

Genome biology, 20(1):151 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1756-6.

BACKGROUND: In multicellular organisms, alternative splicing is central to tissue differentiation and identity. Unicellular protists lack multicellular tissue but differentiate into variable cell types during their life cycles. The role of alternative splicing in transitions between cell types and establishing cellular identity is currently unknown in any unicellular organism.

RESULTS: To test whether alternative splicing in unicellular protists plays a role in cellular differentiation, we conduct RNA-seq to compare splicing in female and male sexual stages to asexual intraerythrocytic stages in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. We find extensive changes in alternative splicing between stages and a role for alternative splicing in sexual differentiation. Previously, general gametocyte differentiation was shown to be modulated by specific transcription factors. Here, we show that alternative splicing establishes a subsequent layer of regulation, controlling genes relating to consequent sex-specific differentiation of gametocytes.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that alternative splicing is reprogrammed during cellular differentiation of a unicellular protist. Disruption of an alternative splicing factor, PbSR-MG, perturbs sex-specific alternative splicing and decreases the ability of the parasites to differentiate into male gametes and oocysts, thereby reducing transmission between vertebrate and insect hosts. Our results reveal alternative splicing as an integral, stage-specific phenomenon in these protists and as a regulator of cellular differentiation that arose early in eukaryotic evolution.

RevDate: 2020-01-21
CmpDate: 2020-01-21

Olin-Sandoval V, Yu JSL, Miller-Fleming L, et al (2019)

Lysine harvesting is an antioxidant strategy and triggers underground polyamine metabolism.

Nature, 572(7768):249-253.

Both single and multicellular organisms depend on anti-stress mechanisms that enable them to deal with sudden changes in the environment, including exposure to heat and oxidants. Central to the stress response are dynamic changes in metabolism, such as the transition from the glycolysis to the pentose phosphate pathway-a conserved first-line response to oxidative insults1,2. Here we report a second metabolic adaptation that protects microbial cells in stress situations. The role of the yeast polyamine transporter Tpo1p3-5 in maintaining oxidant resistance is unknown6. However, a proteomic time-course experiment suggests a link to lysine metabolism. We reveal a connection between polyamine and lysine metabolism during stress situations, in the form of a promiscuous enzymatic reaction in which the first enzyme of the polyamine pathway, Spe1p, decarboxylates lysine and forms an alternative polyamine, cadaverine. The reaction proceeds in the presence of extracellular lysine, which is taken up by cells to reach concentrations up to one hundred times higher than those required for growth. Such extensive harvest is not observed for the other amino acids, is dependent on the polyamine pathway and triggers a reprogramming of redox metabolism. As a result, NADPH-which would otherwise be required for lysine biosynthesis-is channelled into glutathione metabolism, leading to a large increase in glutathione concentrations, lower levels of reactive oxygen species and increased oxidant tolerance. Our results show that nutrient uptake occurs not only to enable cell growth, but when the nutrient availability is favourable it also enables cells to reconfigure their metabolism to preventatively mount stress protection.

RevDate: 2019-10-11
CmpDate: 2019-10-08

Guo JS, Zhang Z, Qiao M, et al (2019)

Phalangispora sinensis sp. nov. from Yunnan, China and two new members of Wiesneriomycetaceae.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 69(10):3217-3223.

Phalangispora sinensis, an aquatic hyphomycete collected from south-western PR China, is described as a new species. This new species is characterized by having multicellular branched conidia composed of a curved main axis and one or two laterals, with the laterals arising from the third or fourth cell of the base of the main axis. Combined analyses of the LSU, SSU, RPB2 and TEF1 gene sequence data revealed that Phalangispora and another aquatic hyphomycete genus, Setosynnema, belonged to Wiesneriomycetaceae, Tubeufiales, Dothideomycetes, Ascomycota.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Boscaro V, Husnik F, Vannini C, et al (2019)

Symbionts of the ciliate Euplotes: diversity, patterns and potential as models for bacteria-eukaryote endosymbioses.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1907):20190693.

Endosymbioses between bacteria and eukaryotes are enormously important in ecology and evolution, and as such are intensely studied. Despite this, the range of investigated hosts is narrow in the context of the whole eukaryotic tree of life: most of the information pertains to animal hosts, while most of the diversity is found in unicellular protists. A prominent case study is the ciliate Euplotes, which has repeatedly taken up the bacterium Polynucleobacter from the environment, triggering its transformation into obligate endosymbiont. This multiple origin makes the relationship an excellent model to understand recent symbioses, but Euplotes may host bacteria other than Polynucleobacter, and a more detailed knowledge of these additional interactions is needed in order to correctly interpret the system. Here, we present the first systematic survey of Euplotes endosymbionts, adopting a classical as well as a metagenomic approach, and review the state of knowledge. The emerging picture is indeed quite complex, with some Euplotes harbouring rich, stable prokaryotic communities not unlike those of multicellular animals. We provide insights into the distribution, evolution and diversity of these symbionts (including the establishment of six novel bacterial taxa), and outline differences and similarities with the most well-understood group of eukaryotic hosts: insects.

RevDate: 2019-11-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-28

Staps M, van Gestel J, CE Tarnita (2019)

Emergence of diverse life cycles and life histories at the origin of multicellularity.

Nature ecology & evolution, 3(8):1197-1205.

The evolution of multicellularity has given rise to a remarkable diversity of multicellular life cycles and life histories. Whereas some multicellular organisms are long-lived, grow through cell division, and repeatedly release single-celled propagules (for example, animals), others are short-lived, form by aggregation, and propagate only once, by generating large numbers of solitary cells (for example, cellular slime moulds). There are no systematic studies that explore how diverse multicellular life cycles can come about. Here, we focus on the origin of multicellularity and develop a mechanistic model to examine the primitive life cycles that emerge from a unicellular ancestor when an ancestral gene is co-opted for cell adhesion. Diverse life cycles readily emerge, depending on ecological conditions, group-forming mechanism, and ancestral constraints. Among these life cycles, we recapitulate both extremes of long-lived groups that propagate continuously and short-lived groups that propagate only once, with the latter type of life cycle being particularly favoured when groups can form by aggregation. Our results show how diverse life cycles and life histories can easily emerge at the origin of multicellularity, shaped by ancestral constraints and ecological conditions. Beyond multicellularity, this finding has similar implications for other major transitions, such as the evolution of sociality.

RevDate: 2020-01-17
CmpDate: 2019-10-28

Ågren JA, Davies NG, KR Foster (2019)

Enforcement is central to the evolution of cooperation.

Nature ecology & evolution, 3(7):1018-1029.

Cooperation occurs at all levels of life, from genomes, complex cells and multicellular organisms to societies and mutualisms between species. A major question for evolutionary biology is what these diverse systems have in common. Here, we review the full breadth of cooperative systems and find that they frequently rely on enforcement mechanisms that suppress selfish behaviour. We discuss many examples, including the suppression of transposable elements, uniparental inheritance of mitochondria and plastids, anti-cancer mechanisms, reciprocation and punishment in humans and other vertebrates, policing in eusocial insects and partner choice in mutualisms between species. To address a lack of accompanying theory, we develop a series of evolutionary models that show that the enforcement of cooperation is widely predicted. We argue that enforcement is an underappreciated, and often critical, ingredient for cooperation across all scales of biological organization.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2020-01-08

Robu A, Mironov V, A Neagu (2019)

Using Sacrificial Cell Spheroids for the Bioprinting of Perfusable 3D Tissue and Organ Constructs: A Computational Study.

Computational and mathematical methods in medicine, 2019:7853586.

A long-standing problem in tissue engineering is the biofabrication of perfusable tissue constructs that can be readily connected to the patient's vasculature. It was partially solved by three-dimensional (3D) printing of sacrificial material (e.g., hydrogel) strands: upon incorporation in another cell-laden hydrogel, the strands were removed, leaving behind perfusable channels. Their complexity, however, did not match that of the native vasculature. Here, we propose to use multicellular spheroids as a sacrificial material and investigate their potential benefits in the context of 3D bioprinting of cell aggregates and/or cell-laden hydrogels. Our study is based on computer simulations of postprinting cellular rearrangements. The computational model of the biological system is built on a cubic lattice, whereas its evolution is simulated using the Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm. The simulations describe structural changes in three types of tissue constructs: a tube made of a single cell type, a tube made of two cell types, and a cell-laden hydrogel slab that incorporates a branching tube. In all three constructs, the lumen is obtained after the elimination of the sacrificial cell population. Our study suggests that sacrificial cell spheroids (sacrospheres) enable one to print tissue constructs outfitted with a finer and more complex network of channels than the ones obtained so far. Moreover, cellular interactions might give rise to a tissue microarchitecture that lies beyond the bioprinter's resolution. Although more expensive than inert materials, sacrificial cells have the potential to bring further progress towards the biofabrication of fully vascularized tissue substitutes.

RevDate: 2019-07-23
CmpDate: 2019-07-23

Muras V, Toulouse C, Fritz G, et al (2019)

Respiratory Membrane Protein Complexes Convert Chemical Energy.

Sub-cellular biochemistry, 92:301-335.

The invention of a biological membrane which is used as energy storage system to drive the metabolism of a primordial, unicellular organism represents a key event in the evolution of life. The innovative, underlying principle of this key event is respiration. In respiration, a lipid bilayer with insulating properties is chosen as the site for catalysis of an exergonic redox reaction converting substrates offered from the environment, using the liberated Gibbs free energy (ΔG) for the build-up of an electrochemical H+ (proton motive force, PMF) or Na+ gradient (sodium motive force, SMF) across the lipid bilayer. Very frequently , several redox reactions are performed in a consecutive manner, with the first reaction delivering a product which is used as substrate for the second redox reaction, resulting in a respiratory chain. From today's perspective, the (mostly) unicellular bacteria and archaea seem to be much simpler and less evolved when compared to multicellular eukaryotes. However, they are overwhelmingly complex with regard to the various respiratory chains which permit survival in very different habitats of our planet, utilizing a plethora of substances to drive metabolism. This includes nitrogen, sulfur and carbon compounds which are oxidized or reduced by specialized, respiratory enzymes of bacteria and archaea which lie at the heart of the geochemical N, S and C-cycles. This chapter gives an overview of general principles of microbial respiration considering thermodynamic aspects, chemical reactions and kinetic restraints. The respiratory chains of Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae are discussed as models for PMF- versus SMF-generating processes, respectively. We introduce main redox cofactors of microbial respiratory enzymes, and the concept of intra-and interelectron transfer. Since oxygen is an electron acceptor used by many respiratory chains, the formation and removal of toxic oxygen radicals is described. Promising directions of future research are respiratory enzymes as novel bacterial targets, and biotechnological applications relying on respiratory complexes.

RevDate: 2019-10-11
CmpDate: 2019-10-11

Yamashita S, H Nozaki (2019)

Embryogenesis of flattened colonies implies the innovation required for the evolution of spheroidal colonies in volvocine green algae.

BMC evolutionary biology, 19(1):120 pii:10.1186/s12862-019-1452-x.

BACKGROUND: Volvocine algae provide a suitable model for investigation of the evolution of multicellular organisms. Within this group, evolution of the body plan from flattened to spheroidal colonies is thought to have occurred independently in two different lineages, Volvocaceae and Astrephomene. Volvocacean species undergo inversion to form a spheroidal cell layer following successive cell divisions during embryogenesis. During inversion, the daughter protoplasts change their shape and develop acute chloroplast ends (opposite to basal bodies). By contrast, Astrephomene does not undergo inversion; rather, its daughter protoplasts rotate during successive cell divisions to form a spheroidal colony. However, the evolutionary pathways of these cellular events involved in the two tactics for formation of spheroidal colony are unclear, since the embryogenesis of extant volvocine genera with ancestral flattened colonies, such as Gonium and Tetrabaena, has not previously been investigated in detail.

RESULTS: We conducted time-lapse imaging by light microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy with staining of basal bodies, nuclei, and microtubules to observe embryogenesis in G. pectorale and T. socialis, which form 16-celled or 4-celled flattened colonies, respectively. In G. pectorale, a cup-shaped cell layer of the 16-celled embryo underwent gradual expansion after successive cell divisions, with the apical ends (position of basal bodies) of the square embryo's peripheral protoplasts separated from each other. In T. socialis, on the other hand, there was no apparent expansion of the daughter protoplasts in 4-celled embryos after successive cell divisions, however the two pairs of diagonally opposed daughter protoplasts shifted slightly and flattened after hatching. Neither of these two species exhibited rotation of daughter protoplasts during successive cell divisions as in Astrephomene or the formation of acute chloroplast ends of daughter protoplasts as in volvocacean inversion.

CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate that the ancestor of Astrephomene might have newly acquired the rotation of daughter protoplasts after it diverged from the ancestor of Gonium, while the ancestor of Volvocaceae might have newly acquired the formation of acute chloroplast ends to complete inversion after divergence from the ancestor of Goniaceae (Gonium and Astrephomene).

RevDate: 2019-12-02
CmpDate: 2019-12-02

Roy M, SD Finley (2019)

Metabolic reprogramming dynamics in tumor spheroids: Insights from a multicellular, multiscale model.

PLoS computational biology, 15(6):e1007053 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-18-01871.

Mathematical modeling provides the predictive ability to understand the metabolic reprogramming and complex pathways that mediate cancer cells' proliferation. We present a mathematical model using a multiscale, multicellular approach to simulate avascular tumor growth, applied to pancreatic cancer. The model spans three distinct spatial and temporal scales. At the extracellular level, reaction diffusion equations describe nutrient concentrations over a span of seconds. At the cellular level, a lattice-based energy driven stochastic approach describes cellular phenomena including adhesion, proliferation, viability and cell state transitions, occurring on the timescale of hours. At the sub-cellular level, we incorporate a detailed kinetic model of intracellular metabolite dynamics on the timescale of minutes, which enables the cells to uptake and excrete metabolites and use the metabolites to generate energy and building blocks for cell growth. This is a particularly novel aspect of the model. Certain defined criteria for the concentrations of intracellular metabolites lead to cancer cell growth, proliferation or death. Overall, we model the evolution of the tumor in both time and space. Starting with a cluster of tumor cells, the model produces an avascular tumor that quantitatively and qualitatively mimics experimental measurements of multicellular tumor spheroids. Through our model simulations, we can investigate the response of individual intracellular species under a metabolic perturbation and investigate how that response contributes to the response of the tumor as a whole. The predicted response of intracellular metabolites under various targeted strategies are difficult to resolve with experimental techniques. Thus, the model can give novel predictions as to the response of the tumor as a whole, identifies potential therapies to impede tumor growth, and predicts the effects of those therapeutic strategies. In particular, the model provides quantitative insight into the dynamic reprogramming of tumor cells at the intracellular level in response to specific metabolic perturbations. Overall, the model is a useful framework to study targeted metabolic strategies for inhibiting tumor growth.

RevDate: 2019-06-22

Edgar JA (2019)

L-ascorbic acid and the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes.

Journal of theoretical biology, 476:62-73.

The lifeless earth was formed around 4.5 billion years ago and the first anaerobic unicellular "organisms" may have appeared half a billion years later. Despite subsequent prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) evolving quite complex biochemistry and some eukaryote characteristics, the transition from unicellular prokaryotes to multicellular, aerobic eukaryotes took a further 2.5 billion years to begin. The key factor or factors that eventually caused this long-delayed transition is a question that has been a focus of considerable research and a topic of discussion over many years. On the basis of the extensive literature available and consideration of some of the characteristics that distinguish multicellular eukaryotes from prokaryotes, it is proposed that, as well as the development of oxygenic photosynthesis producing high levels of environmental oxygen and the formation of vital organelles such as aerobic adenosine triphosphate-generating mitochondria, the concurrent evolution of the L-ascorbic acid redox system should be considered as a key factor that led to the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes and it remains vitally involved in the maintenance of multicellularity and many other eukaryote characteristics.

RevDate: 2019-12-16

Thomas F, Madsen T, Giraudeau M, et al (2019)

Transmissible cancer and the evolution of sex.

PLoS biology, 17(6):e3000275 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-00513.

The origin and subsequent maintenance of sex and recombination are among the most elusive and controversial problems in evolutionary biology. Here, we propose a novel hypothesis, suggesting that sexual reproduction not only evolved to reduce the negative effects of the accumulation of deleterious mutations and processes associated with pathogen and/or parasite resistance but also to prevent invasion by transmissible selfish neoplastic cheater cells, henceforth referred to as transmissible cancer cells. Sexual reproduction permits systematic change of the multicellular organism's genotype and hence an enhanced detection of transmissible cancer cells by immune system. Given the omnipresence of oncogenic processes in multicellular organisms, together with the fact that transmissible cancer cells can have dramatic effects on their host fitness, our scenario suggests that the benefits of sex and concomitant recombination will be large and permanent, explaining why sexual reproduction is, despite its costs, the dominant mode of reproduction among eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Russell SL, Chappell L, W Sullivan (2019)

A symbiont's guide to the germline.

Current topics in developmental biology, 135:315-351.

Microbial symbioses exhibit astounding adaptations, yet all symbionts face the problem of how to reliably associate with host offspring every generation. A common strategy is vertical transmission, in which symbionts are directly transmitted from the female to her offspring. The diversity of symbionts and vertical transmission mechanisms is as expansive as the diversity of eukaryotic host taxa that house them. However, there are several common themes among these mechanisms based on the degree to which symbionts associate with the host germline during transmission. In this review, we detail three distinct vertical transmission strategies, starting with associations that are transmitted from host somatic cells to offspring somatic cells, either due to lacking a germline or avoiding it. A second strategy involves somatically-localized symbionts that migrate into the germline during host development. The third strategy we discuss is one in which the symbiont maintains continuous association with the germline throughout development. Unexpectedly, the vast majority of documented vertically inherited symbionts rely on the second strategy: soma-to-germline migration. Given that not all eukaryotes contain a sequestered germline and instead produce offspring from somatic stem cell lineages, this soma-to-germline migration is discussed in the context of multicellular evolution. Lastly, as recent genomics data have revealed an abundance of horizontal gene transfer events from symbiotic and non-symbiotic bacteria to host genomes, we discuss their impact on eukaryotic host evolution.

RevDate: 2019-11-19

Loron CC, François C, Rainbird RH, et al (2019)

Early fungi from the Proterozoic era in Arctic Canada.

Nature, 570(7760):232-235.

Fungi are crucial components of modern ecosystems. They may have had an important role in the colonization of land by eukaryotes, and in the appearance and success of land plants and metazoans1-3. Nevertheless, fossils that can unambiguously be identified as fungi are absent from the fossil record until the middle of the Palaeozoic era4,5. Here we show, using morphological, ultrastructural and spectroscopic analyses, that multicellular organic-walled microfossils preserved in shale of the Grassy Bay Formation (Shaler Supergroup, Arctic Canada), which dates to approximately 1,010-890 million years ago, have a fungal affinity. These microfossils are more than half a billion years older than previously reported unambiguous occurrences of fungi, a date which is consistent with data from molecular clocks for the emergence of this clade6,7. In extending the fossil record of the fungi, this finding also pushes back the minimum date for the appearance of eukaryotic crown group Opisthokonta, which comprises metazoans, fungi and their protist relatives8,9.

RevDate: 2020-01-13
CmpDate: 2020-01-13

Khan MAW, Stephens WZ, Mohammed AD, et al (2019)

Does MHC heterozygosity influence microbiota form and function?.

PloS one, 14(5):e0215946 pii:PONE-D-18-12229.

MHC molecules are essential for the adaptive immune response, and they are the most polymorphic genetic loci in vertebrates. Extreme genetic variation at these loci is paradoxical given their central importance to host health. Classic models of MHC gene evolution center on antagonistic host-pathogen interactions to promote gene diversification and allelic diversity in host populations. However, all multicellular organisms are persistently colonized by their microbiota that perform essential metabolic functions for their host and protect from infection. Here, we provide data to support the hypothesis that MHC heterozygote advantage (a main force of selection thought to drive MHC gene evolution), may operate by enhancing fitness advantages conferred by the host's microbiome. We utilized fecal 16S rRNA gene sequences and their predicted metagenome datasets collected from multiple MHC congenic homozygote and heterozygote mouse strains to describe the influence of MHC heterozygosity on microbiome form and function. We find that in contrast to homozygosity at MHC loci, MHC heterozygosity promotes functional diversification of the microbiome, enhances microbial network connectivity, and results in enrichment for a variety of microbial functions that are positively associated with host fitness. We demonstrate that taxonomic and functional diversity of the microbiome is positively correlated in MHC heterozygote but not homozygote animals, suggesting that heterozygote microbiomes are more functionally adaptive under similar environmental conditions than homozygote microbiomes. Our data complement previous observations on the role of MHC polymorphism in sculpting microbiota composition, but also provide functional insights into how MHC heterozygosity may enhance host health by modulating microbiome form and function. We also provide evidence to support that MHC heterozygosity limits functional redundancy among commensal microbes and may enhance the metabolic versatility of their microbiome. Results from our analyses yield multiple testable predictions regarding the role of MHC heterozygosity on the microbiome that will help guide future research in the area of MHC-microbiome interactions.

RevDate: 2019-11-15
CmpDate: 2019-11-15

Gao Y, Traulsen A, Y Pichugin (2019)

Interacting cells driving the evolution of multicellular life cycles.

PLoS computational biology, 15(5):e1006987 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-19-00097.

Evolution of complex multicellular life began from the emergence of a life cycle involving the formation of cell clusters. The opportunity for cells to interact within clusters provided them with an advantage over unicellular life forms. However, what kind of interactions may lead to the evolution of multicellular life cycles? Here, we combine evolutionary game theory with a model for the emergence of multicellular groups to investigate how cell interactions can influence reproduction modes during the early stages of the evolution of multicellularity. In our model, the presence of both cell types is maintained by stochastic phenotype switching during cell division. We identify evolutionary optimal life cycles as those which maximize the population growth rate. Among all interactions captured by two-player games, the vast majority promotes two classes of life cycles: (i) splitting into unicellular propagules or (ii) fragmentation into two offspring clusters of equal (or almost equal) size. Our findings indicate that the three most important characteristics, determining whether multicellular life cycles will evolve, are the average performance of homogeneous groups, heterogeneous groups, and solitary cells.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

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, 332(6):171-178.

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2020-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

Laundon D, Larson BT, McDonald K, et al (2019)

The architecture of cell differentiation in choanoflagellates and sponge choanocytes.

PLoS biology, 17(4):e3000226 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-18-01101.

Although collar cells are conserved across animals and their closest relatives, the choanoflagellates, little is known about their ancestry, their subcellular architecture, or how they differentiate. The choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta expresses genes necessary for animal development and can alternate between unicellular and multicellular states, making it a powerful model for investigating the origin of animal multicellularity and mechanisms underlying cell differentiation. To compare the subcellular architecture of solitary collar cells in S. rosetta with that of multicellular 'rosette' colonies and collar cells in sponges, we reconstructed entire cells in 3D through transmission electron microscopy on serial ultrathin sections. Structural analysis of our 3D reconstructions revealed important differences between single and colonial choanoflagellate cells, with colonial cells exhibiting a more amoeboid morphology consistent with higher levels of macropinocytotic activity. Comparison of multiple reconstructed rosette colonies highlighted the variable nature of cell sizes, cell-cell contact networks, and colony arrangement. Importantly, we uncovered the presence of elongated cells in some rosette colonies that likely represent a distinct and differentiated cell type, pointing toward spatial cell differentiation. Intercellular bridges within choanoflagellate colonies displayed a variety of morphologies and connected some but not all neighbouring cells. Reconstruction of sponge choanocytes revealed ultrastructural commonalities but also differences in major organelle composition in comparison to choanoflagellates. Together, our comparative reconstructions uncover the architecture of cell differentiation in choanoflagellates and sponge choanocytes and constitute an important step in reconstructing the cell biology of the last common ancestor of animals.

RevDate: 2020-01-01

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: 2019-11-20

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

Arimoto A, Nishitsuji K, Higa Y, et al (2019)

A siphonous macroalgal genome suggests convergent functions of homeobox genes in algae and land plants.

DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes, 26(2):183-192.

Genome evolution and development of unicellular, multinucleate macroalgae (siphonous algae) are poorly known, although various multicellular organisms have been studied extensively. To understand macroalgal developmental evolution, we assembled the ∼26 Mb genome of a siphonous green alga, Caulerpa lentillifera, with high contiguity, containing 9,311 protein-coding genes. Molecular phylogeny using 107 nuclear genes indicates that the diversification of the class Ulvophyceae, including C. lentillifera, occurred before the split of the Chlorophyceae and Trebouxiophyceae. Compared with other green algae, the TALE superclass of homeobox genes, which expanded in land plants, shows a series of lineage-specific duplications in this siphonous macroalga. Plant hormone signalling components were also expanded in a lineage-specific manner. Expanded transport regulators, which show spatially different expression, suggest that the structural patterning strategy of a multinucleate cell depends on diversification of nuclear pore proteins. These results not only imply functional convergence of duplicated genes among green plants, but also provide insight into evolutionary roots of green plants. Based on the present results, we propose cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the structural differentiation in the siphonous alga.

RevDate: 2019-08-16
CmpDate: 2019-08-09

Aripovsky AV, VN Titov (2019)

[Biologocally active peptides in metabolism regulation. Peptons, peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, lipoproteins, lipids, and the effect of nutriceuticals.].

Klinicheskaia laboratornaia diagnostika, 64(1):14-23.

According to phylogenetic theory of general pathology, formation of multicellular organisms started when each cell (a unicellular organism) reached the first level of relative biological perfection. By that time the stimuli for perfection of the unicellular exhausted, and formation of the multicellular became a biological necessity. All cells, being associated, formed the second level of relative biological perfection within the principle of biological succession. The association included highly organized unicellular organisms with their specific autocrine biological functions and reactions. At the second level of relative biological perfection all humoral mediators in paracrine regulated cell communities (PC) and organs were predominantly hydrophilic and short living. They had a small molecular weight and were probably biologically active peptides (BAP). We believe that functional difference of PC and later of organs is based on differentiation of lysosomal function and production of various enzymes involved in proteolysis of dietary proteins. This allowed various PC and organs to form chemically and functionally different BAP pools from one protein upon proteolysis. Individual peptide pools in PC created the basis for morphologically and functionally different cells and organs. Cell that produces peptides can modify their concentration, chemical parameters and ratios by varying the selectivity of its proteases. In vivo regulation of metabolism by BAP has a common root in bacteria, plants and vertebrates, including Homo sapiens. The third level of relative biological perfection in the organism has formed in close association with cognitive biological function.

RevDate: 2019-07-17
CmpDate: 2019-07-17

Moffitt L, Karimnia N, Stephens A, et al (2019)

Therapeutic Targeting of Collective Invasion in Ovarian Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(6): pii:ijms20061466.

Ovarian cancer is the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women and has the highest mortality rate of all gynaecological malignancies. It is a heterogeneous disease attributed to one of three cell types found within the reproductive milieu: epithelial, stromal, and germ cell. Each histotype differs in etiology, pathogenesis, molecular biology, risk factors, and prognosis. Furthermore, the origin of ovarian cancer remains unclear, with ovarian involvement secondary to the contribution of other gynaecological tissues. Despite these complexities, the disease is often treated as a single entity, resulting in minimal improvement to survival rates since the introduction of platinum-based chemotherapy over 30 years ago. Despite concerted research efforts, ovarian cancer remains one of the most difficult cancers to detect and treat, which is in part due to the unique mode of its dissemination. Ovarian cancers tend to invade locally to neighbouring tissues by direct extension from the primary tumour, and passively to pelvic and distal organs within the peritoneal fluid or ascites as multicellular spheroids. Once at their target tissue, ovarian cancers, like most epithelial cancers including colorectal, melanoma, and breast, tend to invade as a cohesive unit in a process termed collective invasion, driven by specialized cells termed "leader cells". Emerging evidence implicates leader cells as essential drivers of collective invasion and metastasis, identifying collective invasion and leader cells as a viable target for the management of metastatic disease. However, the development of targeted therapies specifically against this process and this subset of cells is lacking. Here, we review our understanding of metastasis, collective invasion, and the role of leader cells in ovarian cancer. We will discuss emerging research into the development of novel therapies targeting collective invasion and the leader cell population.

RevDate: 2019-09-22
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: 2020-01-07
CmpDate: 2019-07-24

Talbert PB, Meers MP, S Henikoff (2019)

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

Nature reviews. Genetics, 20(5):283-297.

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: 2019-04-17
CmpDate: 2019-04-03

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: 2019-11-28
CmpDate: 2019-11-28

Lenhart BA, Meeks B, HA Murphy (2019)

Variation in Filamentous Growth and Response to Quorum-Sensing Compounds in Environmental Isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 9(5):1533-1544 pii:g3.119.400080.

In fungi, filamentous growth is a major developmental transition that occurs in response to environmental cues. In diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is known as pseudohyphal growth and presumed to be a foraging mechanism. Rather than unicellular growth, multicellular filaments composed of elongated, attached cells spread over and into surfaces. This morphogenetic switch can be induced through quorum sensing with the aromatic alcohols phenylethanol and tryptophol. Most research investigating pseudohyphal growth has been conducted in a single lab background, Σ1278b. To investigate the natural variation in this phenotype and its induction, we assayed the diverse 100-genomes collection of environmental isolates. Using computational image analysis, we quantified the production of pseudohyphae and observed a large amount of variation. Population origin was significantly associated with pseudohyphal growth, with the West African population having the most. Surprisingly, most strains showed little or no response to exogenous phenylethanol or tryptophol. We also investigated the amount of natural genetic variation in pseudohyphal growth using a mapping population derived from a highly-heterozygous clinical isolate that contained as much phenotypic variation as the environmental panel. A bulk-segregant analysis uncovered five major peaks with candidate loci that have been implicated in the Σ1278b background. Our results indicate that the filamentous growth response is a generalized, highly variable phenotype in natural populations, while response to quorum sensing molecules is surprisingly rare. These findings highlight the importance of coupling studies in tractable lab strains with natural isolates in order to understand the relevance and distribution of well-studied traits.

RevDate: 2019-11-25
CmpDate: 2019-11-25

Riahi H, Brekelmans C, Foriel S, et al (2019)

The histone methyltransferase G9a regulates tolerance to oxidative stress-induced energy consumption.

PLoS biology, 17(3):e2006146 pii:pbio.2006146.

Stress responses are crucial processes that require activation of genetic programs that protect from the stressor. Stress responses are also energy consuming and can thus be deleterious to the organism. The mechanisms coordinating energy consumption during stress response in multicellular organisms are not well understood. Here, we show that loss of the epigenetic regulator G9a in Drosophila causes a shift in the transcriptional and metabolic responses to oxidative stress (OS) that leads to decreased survival time upon feeding the xenobiotic paraquat. During OS exposure, G9a mutants show overactivation of stress response genes, rapid depletion of glycogen, and inability to access lipid energy stores. The OS survival deficiency of G9a mutants can be rescued by a high-sugar diet. Control flies also show improved OS survival when fed a high-sugar diet, suggesting that energy availability is generally a limiting factor for OS tolerance. Directly limiting access to glycogen stores by knocking down glycogen phosphorylase recapitulates the OS-induced survival defects of G9a mutants. We propose that G9a mutants are sensitive to stress because they experience a net reduction in available energy due to (1) rapid glycogen use, (2) an inability to access lipid energy stores, and (3) an overinduced transcriptional response to stress that further exacerbates energy demands. This suggests that G9a acts as a critical regulatory hub between the transcriptional and metabolic responses to OS. Our findings, together with recent studies that established a role for G9a in hypoxia resistance in cancer cell lines, suggest that G9a is of wide importance in controlling the cellular and organismal response to multiple types of stress.

RevDate: 2019-11-12
CmpDate: 2019-11-12

Kalsoom N, Zafar M, Ahmad M, et al (2019)

Investigating Schizocarp morphology as a taxonomic tool in study of Apiaceae family by utilizing LM and SEM techniques.

Microscopy research and technique, 82(7):1012-1020.

In present study, the schizocarp morphology of 14 species belonging to Apiaceae family has been investigated. Light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have been utilized to highlight qualitative and quantitative features of studied species. Variations have been observed in macro- and micro-morphological features such as color, shape, symmetry, length, width, apex, epicuticular projections, surface patterns, anticlinal, and periclinal wall patterns. Schizocarp shapes observed were oval, round, triangular, linear, elliptic, and globose. Fruit was either homomorphic or heteromorphic. Crystalloids, stellate hair, multicellular spines, and platelets were mostly observed epicuticular projections. Surface patterns on the fruit surface were striate, rugulate-striate, reticulate, and striato-knotted. Both macro- and micro-morphological characters can serve as an important tool in classifying Apiaceae family at various taxonomic ranks. Substantial variations observed can assist as useful constraints at various taxonomic levels as they provide reliable and constant details. Disparities observed in schizocarp features can pave a path for Apiaceae family classification based on phylogenetic and molecular studies.

RevDate: 2019-11-27
CmpDate: 2019-11-27

Sequeira-Mendes J, Vergara Z, Peiró R, et al (2019)

Differences in firing efficiency, chromatin, and transcription underlie the developmental plasticity of the Arabidopsis DNA replication origins.

Genome research, 29(5):784-797.

Eukaryotic genome replication depends on thousands of DNA replication origins (ORIs). A major challenge is to learn ORI biology in multicellular organisms in the context of growing organs to understand their developmental plasticity. We have identified a set of ORIs of Arabidopsis thaliana and their chromatin landscape at two stages of post-embryonic development. ORIs associate with multiple chromatin signatures including transcription start sites (TSS) but also proximal and distal regulatory regions and heterochromatin, where ORIs colocalize with retrotransposons. In addition, quantitative analysis of ORI activity led us to conclude that strong ORIs have high GC content and clusters of GGN trinucleotides. Development primarily influences ORI firing strength rather than ORI location. ORIs that preferentially fire at early developmental stages colocalize with GC-rich heterochromatin, but at later stages with transcribed genes, perhaps as a consequence of changes in chromatin features associated with developmental processes. Our study provides the set of ORIs active in an organism at the post-embryo stage that should allow us to study ORI biology in response to development, environment, and mutations with a quantitative approach. In a wider scope, the computational strategies developed here can be transferred to other eukaryotic systems.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

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, 70:165-174.

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-04-04
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: 2019-11-25
CmpDate: 2019-11-25

Xie P, Gao M, Wang C, et al (2019)

SuperCT: a supervised-learning framework for enhanced characterization of single-cell transcriptomic profiles.

Nucleic acids research, 47(8):e48.

Characterization of individual cell types is fundamental to the study of multicellular samples. Single-cell RNAseq techniques, which allow high-throughput expression profiling of individual cells, have significantly advanced our ability of this task. Currently, most of the scRNA-seq data analyses are commenced with unsupervised clustering. Clusters are often assigned to different cell types based on the enriched canonical markers. However, this process is inefficient and arbitrary. In this study, we present a technical framework of training the expandable supervised-classifier in order to reveal the single-cell identities as soon as the single-cell expression profile is input. Using multiple scRNA-seq datasets we demonstrate the superior accuracy, robustness, compatibility and expandability of this new solution compared to the traditional methods. We use two examples of the model upgrade to demonstrate how the projected evolution of the cell-type classifier is realized.

RevDate: 2020-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

Tucci V, Isles AR, Kelsey G, et al (2019)

Genomic Imprinting and Physiological Processes in Mammals.

Cell, 176(5):952-965.

Complex multicellular organisms, such as mammals, express two complete sets of chromosomes per nucleus, combining the genetic material of both parents. However, epigenetic studies have demonstrated violations to this rule that are necessary for mammalian physiology; the most notable parental allele expression phenomenon is genomic imprinting. With the identification of endogenous imprinted genes, genomic imprinting became well-established as an epigenetic mechanism in which the expression pattern of a parental allele influences phenotypic expression. The expanding study of genomic imprinting is revealing a significant impact on brain functions and associated diseases. Here, we review key milestones in the field of imprinting and discuss mechanisms and systems in which imprinted genes exert a significant role.

RevDate: 2019-10-26

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, 116(10):4416-4425.

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: 2019-03-21
CmpDate: 2019-03-21

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: 2019-05-17
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: 2019-11-20

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

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: 2019-05-01
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: 2019-05-20
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: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-11

Baluška F, A Reber (2019)

Sentience and Consciousness in Single Cells: How the First Minds Emerged in Unicellular Species.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 41(3):e1800229.

A reductionistic, bottom-up, cellular-based concept of the origins of sentience and consciousness has been put forward. Because all life is based on cells, any evolutionary theory of the emergence of sentience and consciousness must be grounded in mechanisms that take place in prokaryotes, the simplest unicellular species. It has been posited that subjective awareness is a fundamental property of cellular life. It emerges as an inherent feature of, and contemporaneously with, the very first life-forms. All other varieties of mentation are the result of evolutionary mechanisms based on this singular event. Therefore, all forms of sentience and consciousness evolve from this original instantiation in prokaryotes. It has also been identified that three cellular structures and mechanisms that likely play critical roles here are excitable membranes, oscillating cytoskeletal polymers, and structurally flexible proteins. Finally, basic biophysical principles are proposed to guide those processes that underly the emergence of supracellular sentience from cellular sentience in multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2019-11-18
CmpDate: 2019-11-18

Kosach V, Shkarina K, Kravchenko A, et al (2018)

Nucleocytoplasmic distribution of S6K1 depends on the density and motility of MCF-7 cells in vitro.

F1000Research, 7:1332.

Background: The ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is one of the main components of the mTOR/S6K signal transduction pathway, which controls cellular metabolism, autophagy, growth, and proliferation. Overexpression of S6K1 was detected in tumors of different origin including breast cancer, and correlated with the worse disease outcome. In addition, significant accumulation of S6K1 was found in the nuclei of breast carcinoma cells suggesting the implication of kinase nuclear substrates in tumor progression. However, this aspect of S6K1 functioning is still poorly understood. The main aim of the present work was to study the subcellular localization of S6K1 in breast cancer cells with the focus on cell migration. Methods: Multicellular spheroids of MCF-7 cells were generated using agarose-coated Petri dishes. Cell migration was induced by spheroids seeding onto adhesive growth surface and subsequent cultivation for 24 to 72 hours. The subcellular localization of S6K1 was studied in human normal breast and cancer tissue samples, 2D and 3D MCF-7 cell cultures using immunofluorescence analysis and confocal microscopy. Results: Analysis of histological sections of human breast tissue samples revealed predominantly nuclear localization of S6K1 in breast malignant cells and its mainly cytoplasmic localization in conditionally normal cells. In vitro studies of MCF-7 cells demonstrated that the subcellular localization of S6K1 depends on the cell density in the monolayer culture. S6K1 relocalization from the cytoplasm into the nucleus was detected in MCF-7 cells migrating from multicellular spheroids onto growth surface. Immunofluorescence analysis of S6K1 and immunocoprecipitation assay revealed the colocalization and interaction between S6K1 and transcription factor TBR2 (T-box brain protein 2) in MCF-7 cells. Conclusions: Subcellular localization of S6K1 depends on the density and locomotor activity of the MCF-7 cells.

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: 2019-06-18
CmpDate: 2019-06-18

Belato FA, Schrago CG, Coates CJ, et al (2019)

Newly Discovered Occurrences and Gene Tree of the Extracellular Globins and Linker Chains from the Giant Hexagonal Bilayer Hemoglobin in Metazoans.

Genome biology and evolution, 11(3):597-612.

Multicellular organisms depend on oxygen-carrying proteins to transport oxygen throughout the body; therefore, proteins such as hemoglobins (Hbs), hemocyanins, and hemerythrins are essential for maintenance of tissues and cellular respiration. Vertebrate Hbs are among the most extensively studied proteins; however, much less is known about invertebrate Hbs. Recent studies of hemocyanins and hemerythrins have demonstrated that they have much wider distributions than previously thought, suggesting that oxygen-binding protein diversity is underestimated across metazoans. Hexagonal bilayer hemoglobin (HBL-Hb), a blood pigment found exclusively in annelids, is a polymer comprised up to 144 extracellular globins and 36 linker chains. To further understand the evolutionary history of this protein complex, we explored the diversity of linkers and extracellular globins from HBL-Hbs using in silico approaches on 319 metazoan and one choanoflagellate transcriptomes. We found 559 extracellular globin and 414 linker genes transcribed in 171 species from ten animal phyla with new records in Echinodermata, Hemichordata, Brachiopoda, Mollusca, Nemertea, Bryozoa, Phoronida, Platyhelminthes, and Priapulida. Contrary to previous suggestions that linkers and extracellular globins emerged in the annelid ancestor, our findings indicate that they have putatively emerged before the protostome-deuterostome split. For the first time, we unveiled the comprehensive evolutionary history of metazoan HBL-Hb components, which consists of multiple episodes of gene gains and losses. Moreover, because our study design surveyed linkers and extracellular globins independently, we were able to cross-validate our results, significantly reducing the rate of false positives. We confirmed that the distribution of HBL-Hb components has until now been underestimated among animals.

RevDate: 2019-06-18
CmpDate: 2019-06-18

Passow CN, Bronikowski AM, Blackmon H, et al (2019)

Contrasting Patterns of Rapid Molecular Evolution within the p53 Network across Mammal and Sauropsid Lineages.

Genome biology and evolution, 11(3):629-643.

Cancer is a threat to multicellular organisms, yet the molecular evolution of pathways that prevent the accumulation of genetic damage has been largely unexplored. The p53 network regulates how cells respond to DNA-damaging stressors. We know little about p53 network molecular evolution as a whole. In this study, we performed comparative genetic analyses of the p53 network to quantify the number of genes within the network that are rapidly evolving and constrained, and the association between lifespan and the patterns of evolution. Based on our previous published data set, we used genomes and transcriptomes of 34 sauropsids and 32 mammals to analyze the molecular evolution of 45 genes within the p53 network. We found that genes in the network exhibited evidence of positive selection and divergent molecular evolution in mammals and sauropsids. Specifically, we found more evidence of positive selection in sauropsids than mammals, indicating that sauropsids have different targets of selection. In sauropsids, more genes upstream in the network exhibited positive selection, and this observation is driven by positive selection in squamates, which is consistent with previous work showing rapid divergence and adaptation of metabolic and stress pathways in this group. Finally, we identified a negative correlation between maximum lifespan and the number of genes with evidence of divergent molecular evolution, indicating that species with longer lifespans likely experienced less variation in selection across the network. In summary, our study offers evidence that comparative genomic approaches can provide insights into how molecular networks have evolved across diverse species.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Coelho SM, Mignerot L, JM Cock (2019)

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

The New phytologist, 222(4):1751-1756.

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 1 billion yr. 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 characterize the evolutionary forces and the mechanisms underlying the evolution of sex determination.

RevDate: 2019-08-12
CmpDate: 2019-08-12

Peel S, Corrigan AM, Ehrhardt B, et al (2019)

Introducing an automated high content confocal imaging approach for Organs-on-Chips.

Lab on a chip, 19(3):410-421.

Organ-Chips are micro-engineered systems that aim to recapitulate the organ microenvironment. Implementation of Organ-Chips within the pharmaceutical industry aims to improve the probability of success of drugs reaching late stage clinical trial by generating models for drug discovery that are of human origin and have disease relevance. We are adopting the use of Organ-Chips for enhancing pre-clinical efficacy and toxicity evaluation and prediction. Whilst capturing cellular phenotype via imaging in response to drug exposure is a useful readout in these models, application has been limited due to difficulties in imaging the chips at scale. Here we created an end-to-end, automated workflow to capture and analyse confocal images of multicellular Organ-Chips to assess detailed cellular phenotype across large batches of chips. By automating this process, we not only reduced acquisition time, but we also minimised process variability and user bias. This enabled us to establish, for the first time, a framework of statistical best practice for Organ-Chip imaging, creating the capability of using Organ-Chips and imaging for routine testing in drug discovery applications that rely on quantitative image data for decision making. We tested our approach using benzbromarone, whose mechanism of toxicity has been linked to mitochondrial damage with subsequent induction of apoptosis and necrosis, and staurosporine, a tool inducer of apoptosis. We also applied this workflow to assess the hepatotoxic effect of an active AstraZeneca drug candidate illustrating its applicability in drug safety assessment beyond testing tool compounds. Finally, we have demonstrated that this approach could be adapted to Organ-Chips of different shapes and sizes through application to a Kidney-Chip.

RevDate: 2019-08-16
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: 2019-04-05
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: 2019-10-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-15

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, 366(3):.

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 mixed mode transmission and barriers exist that reduce the rate of horizontal transmission events. Thus, both the environment type and host/symbiont taxa influence symbiont transmission mode evolution.

RevDate: 2019-11-29
CmpDate: 2019-11-29

Škaloud P, Škaloudová M, Doskočilová P, et al (2019)

Speciation in protists: Spatial and ecological divergence processes cause rapid species diversification in a freshwater chrysophyte.

Molecular ecology, 28(5):1084-1095.

Although eukaryotic microorganisms are extremely numerous, diverse and essential to global ecosystem functioning, they are largely understudied by evolutionary biologists compared to multicellular macroscopic organisms. In particular, very little is known about the speciation mechanisms which may give rise to the diversity of microscopic eukaryotes. It was postulated that the enormous population sizes and ubiquitous distribution of these organisms could lead to a lack of population differentiation and therefore very low speciation rates. However, such assumptions have traditionally been based on morphospecies, which may not accurately reflect the true diversity, missing cryptic taxa. In this study, we aim to articulate the major diversification mechanisms leading to the contemporary molecular diversity by using a colonial freshwater flagellate, Synura sphagnicola, as an example. Phylogenetic analysis of five sequenced loci showed that S. sphagnicola differentiated into two morphologically distinct lineages approximately 15.4 million years ago, which further diverged into several evolutionarily recent haplotypes during the late Pleistocene. The most recent haplotypes are ecologically and biogeographically much more differentiated than the old lineages, presumably because of their persistent differentiation after the allopatric speciation events. Our study shows that in microbial eukaryotes, species diversification via the colonization of new geographical regions or ecological resources occurs much more readily than was previously thought. Consequently, divergence times of microorganisms in some lineages may be equivalent to the estimated times of speciation in plants and animals.

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

Bowman JL, Briginshaw LN, SN Florent (2019)

Evolution and co-option of developmental regulatory networks in early land plants.

Current topics in developmental biology, 131:35-53.

Land plants evolved from an ancestral alga from which they inherited developmental and physiological characters. A key innovation of land plants is a life cycle with an alternation of generations, with both haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophyte generations having complex multicellular bodies. The origins of the developmental genetic programs patterning these bodies, whether inherited from an algal ancestor or evolved de novo, and whether programs were co-opted between generations, are largely open questions. We first provide a framework for land plant evolution and co-option of developmental regulatory pathways and then examine two cases in more detail.

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

Hackenberg D, D Twell (2019)

The evolution and patterning of male gametophyte development.

Current topics in developmental biology, 131:257-298.

The reproductive adaptations of land plants have played a key role in their terrestrial colonization and radiation. This encompasses mechanisms used for the production, dispersal and union of gametes to support sexual reproduction. The production of small motile male gametes and larger immotile female gametes (oogamy) in specialized multicellular gametangia evolved in the charophyte algae, the closest extant relatives of land plants. Reliance on water and motile male gametes for sexual reproduction was retained by bryophytes and basal vascular plants, but was overcome in seed plants by the dispersal of pollen and the guided delivery of non-motile sperm to the female gametes. Here we discuss the evolutionary history of male gametogenesis in streptophytes (green plants) and the underlying developmental biology, including recent advances in bryophyte and angiosperm models. We conclude with a perspective on research trends that promise to deliver a deeper understanding of the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of male gametogenesis in plants.

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

Szövényi P, Waller M, A Kirbis (2019)

Evolution of the plant body plan.

Current topics in developmental biology, 131:1-34.

Land plants evolved about 470 million years ago or even earlier, in a biological crust-dominated terrestrial flora. The origin of land plants was probably one of the most significant events in Earth's history, which ultimately contributed to the greening of the terrestrial environment and opened up the way for the diversification of both plant and non-plant lineages. Fossil and phylogenetic evidence suggest that land plants have evolved from fresh-water charophycean algae, which were physiologically, genetically, and developmentally potentiated to make the transition to land. Since all land plants have biphasic life cycles, in contrast to the haplontic life cycle of Charophytes, the evolution of land plants was linked to the origin of a multicellular sporophytic phase. Land plants have evolved complex body plans in a way that overall complexity increased toward the tip of the land plant tree of life. Early forms were unbranched, with terminal sporangia and simple rhizoid rooting structures but without vasculature and leaves. Later on, branched forms with lateral sporangia appeared and paved the route for the evolution for indeterminacy. Finally, leaves and roots evolved to enable efficient nutrient transport to support a large plant body. The fossil record also suggests that almost all plant organs, such as leaves and roots, evolved multiple times independently over the course of land plant evolution. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the evolution of the land plant body plan by combining evidence of the fossil record, phylogenetics, and developmental biology.

RevDate: 2019-06-21

Tsitsekian D, Daras G, Alatzas A, et al (2019)

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

Journal of experimental botany, 70(7):2185-2197.

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: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-13

Måløy M, Måløy F, Lahoz-Beltrá R, et al (2019)

An extended Moran process that captures the struggle for fitness.

Mathematical biosciences, 308:81-104.

When a new type of individual appears in a stable population, the newcomer is typically not advantageous. Due to stochasticity, the new type can grow in numbers, but the newcomers can only become advantageous if they manage to change the environment in such a way that they increase their fitness. This dynamics is observed in several situations in which a relatively stable population is invaded by an alternative strategy, for instance the evolution of cooperation among bacteria, the invasion of cancer in a multicellular organism and the evolution of ideas that contradict social norms. These examples also show that, by generating different versions of itself, the new type increases the probability of winning the struggle for fitness. Our model captures the imposed cooperation whereby the first generation of newcomers dies while changing the environment such that the next generations become more advantageous.

RevDate: 2020-01-30
CmpDate: 2019-06-18

Chen Y, Ikeda K, Yoneshiro T, et al (2019)

Thermal stress induces glycolytic beige fat formation via a myogenic state.

Nature, 565(7738):180-185.

Environmental cues profoundly affect cellular plasticity in multicellular organisms. For instance, exercise promotes a glycolytic-to-oxidative fibre-type switch in skeletal muscle, and cold acclimation induces beige adipocyte biogenesis in adipose tissue. However, the molecular mechanisms by which physiological or pathological cues evoke developmental plasticity remain incompletely understood. Here we report a type of beige adipocyte that has a critical role in chronic cold adaptation in the absence of β-adrenergic receptor signalling. This beige fat is distinct from conventional beige fat with respect to developmental origin and regulation, and displays enhanced glucose oxidation. We therefore refer to it as glycolytic beige fat. Mechanistically, we identify GA-binding protein α as a regulator of glycolytic beige adipocyte differentiation through a myogenic intermediate. Our study reveals a non-canonical adaptive mechanism by which thermal stress induces progenitor cell plasticity and recruits a distinct form of thermogenic cell that is required for energy homeostasis and survival.

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: 2019-12-26
CmpDate: 2019-10-17

Taggart JC, GW Li (2018)

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

Cell systems, 7(6):580-589.e4.

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: 2019-12-11
CmpDate: 2019-01-30

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.

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: 2019-02-15
CmpDate: 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: 2019-04-24
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: 2019-06-10
CmpDate: 2019-06-06

Rosental B, Kowarsky M, Seita J, et al (2018)

Complex mammalian-like haematopoietic system found in a colonial chordate.

Nature, 564(7736):425-429.

Haematopoiesis is an essential process that evolved in multicellular animals. At the heart of this process are haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are multipotent and self-renewing, and generate the entire repertoire of blood and immune cells throughout an animal's life1. Although there have been comprehensive studies on self-renewal, differentiation, physiological regulation and niche occupation in vertebrate HSCs, relatively little is known about the evolutionary origin and niches of these cells. Here we describe the haematopoietic system of Botryllus schlosseri, a colonial tunicate that has a vasculature and circulating blood cells, and interesting stem-cell biology and immunity characteristics2-8. Self-recognition between genetically compatible B. schlosseri colonies leads to the formation of natural parabionts with shared circulation, whereas incompatible colonies reject each other3,4,7. Using flow cytometry, whole-transcriptome sequencing of defined cell populations and diverse functional assays, we identify HSCs, progenitors, immune effector cells and an HSC niche, and demonstrate that self-recognition inhibits allospecific cytotoxic reactions. Our results show that HSC and myeloid lineage immune cells emerged in a common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates, and also suggest that haematopoietic bone marrow and the B. schlosseri endostyle niche evolved from a common origin.

RevDate: 2019-10-08
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: 2019-02-15
CmpDate: 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: 2019-02-01
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: 2019-11-12
CmpDate: 2019-05-24

Pollier J, Vancaester E, Kuzhiumparambil U, et al (2019)

A widespread alternative squalene epoxidase participates in eukaryote steroid biosynthesis.

Nature microbiology, 4(2):226-233.

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: 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: 2019-06-20
CmpDate: 2019-06-20

Saxena AS, Salomon MP, Matsuba C, et al (2019)

Evolution of the Mutational Process under Relaxed Selection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Molecular biology and evolution, 36(2):239-251.

The mutational process varies at many levels, from within genomes to among taxa. Many mechanisms have been linked to variation in mutation, but understanding of the evolution of the mutational process is rudimentary. Physiological condition is often implicated as a source of variation in microbial mutation rate and may contribute to mutation rate variation in multicellular organisms.Deleterious mutations are an ubiquitous source of variation in condition. We test the hypothesis that the mutational process depends on the underlying mutation load in two groups of Caenorhabditis elegans mutation accumulation (MA) lines that differ in their starting mutation loads. "First-order MA" (O1MA) lines maintained under minimal selection for ∼250 generations were divided into high-fitness and low-fitness groups and sets of "second-order MA" (O2MA) lines derived from each O1MA line were maintained for ∼150 additional generations. Genomes of 48 O2MA lines and their progenitors were sequenced. There is significant variation among O2MA lines in base-substitution rate (µbs), but no effect of initial fitness; the indel rate is greater in high-fitness O2MA lines. Overall, µbs is positively correlated with recombination and proximity to short tandem repeats and negatively correlated with 10 bp and 1 kb GC content. However, probability of mutation is sufficiently predicted by the three-nucleotide motif alone. Approximately 90% of the variance in standing nucleotide variation is explained by mutability. Total mutation rate increased in the O2MA lines, as predicted by the "drift barrier" model of mutation rate evolution. These data, combined with experimental estimates of fitness, suggest that epistasis is synergistic.

RevDate: 2019-10-10
CmpDate: 2019-10-09

Rebolleda-Gómez M, M Travisano (2018)

The Cost of Being Big: Local Competition, Importance of Dispersal, and Experimental Evolution of Reversal to Unicellularity.

The American naturalist, 192(6):731-744.

Multicellularity provides multiple benefits. Nonetheless, unicellularity is ubiquitous, and there have been multiple cases of evolutionary reversal to a unicellular organization. In this article, we explore some of the costs of multicellularity as well as the possibility and dynamics of evolutionary reversals to unicellularity. We hypothesize that recently evolved multicellular organisms would face a high cost of increased competition for local resources in spatially structured environments because of larger size and increased cell densities. To test this hypothesis we conducted competition assays, computer simulations, and selection experiments using isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that recently evolved multicellularity. In well-mixed environments, multicellular isolates had lower growth rates relative to their unicellular ancestor because of limitations of space and resource acquisition. In structured environments with localized resources, cells in both multicellular and unicellular isolates grew at a similar rate. Despite similar growth, higher local density of cells in multicellular groups led to increased competition and higher fitness costs in spatially structured environments. In structured environments all of the multicellular isolates rapidly evolved a predominantly unicellular life cycle, while in well-mixed environments reversal was more gradual. Taken together, these results suggest that a lack of dispersal, leading to higher local competition, might have been one of the main constraints in the evolution of early multicellular forms.

RevDate: 2019-11-08
CmpDate: 2019-11-08

Ayoubian H, Ludwig N, Fehlmann T, et al (2019)

Epstein-Barr Virus Infection of Cell Lines Derived from Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas Alters MicroRNA Loading of the Ago2 Complex.

Journal of virology, 93(3): pii:JVI.01297-18.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive lymphoid tumor which is occasionally Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive and is further subtyped as activated B-cell DLBCL (ABC-DLBCL) and germinal center B-cell DLBCL (GCB-DLBCL), which has implications for prognosis and treatment. We performed Ago2 RNA immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput RNA sequencing (Ago2-RIP-seq) to capture functionally active microRNAs (miRNAs) in EBV-negative ABC-DLBCL and GCB-DLBCL cell lines and their EBV-infected counterparts. In parallel, total miRNA profiles of these cells were determined to capture the cellular miRNA profile for comparison with the functionally active profile. Selected miRNAs with differential abundances were validated using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and Northern blotting. We found 6 miRNAs with differential abundances (2 upregulated and 4 downregulated miRNAs) between EBV-negative and -positive ABC-DLBCL cells and 12 miRNAs with differential abundances (3 upregulated and 9 downregulated miRNAs) between EBV-negative and -positive GCB-DLBCL cells. Eight and twelve miRNAs were confirmed using RT-qPCR in ABC-DLBCL and GCB-DLBCL cells, respectively. Selected miRNAs were analyzed in additional type I/II versus type III EBV latency DLBCL cell lines. Furthermore, upregulation of miR-221-3p and downregulation of let7c-5p in ABC-DLBCL cells and upregulation of miR-363-3p and downregulation of miR-423-5p in GCB-DLBCL cells were verified using RIP-Northern blotting. Our comprehensive sequence analysis of the DLBCL miRNA profiles identified sets of deregulated miRNAs by Ago2-RIP-seq. Our Ago2-IP-seq miRNA profile could be considered an important data set for the detection of deregulated functionally active miRNAs in DLBCLs and could possibly lead to the identification of miRNAs as biomarkers for the classification of DLBCLs or even as targets for personalized targeted treatment.IMPORTANCE Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a highly aggressive tumor of lymphoid origin which is occasionally Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive. MicroRNAs are found in most multicellular organisms and even in viruses such as EBV. They regulate the synthesis of proteins by binding to their cognate mRNA. MicroRNAs are tethered to their target mRNAs by "Argonaute" proteins. Here we compared the overall miRNA content of the Ago2 complex by differential loading to the overall content of miRNAs in two DLBCL cell lines and their EBV-converted counterparts. In all cell lines, the Ago2 load was different from the overall expression of miRNAs. In addition, the loading of the Ago2 complex was changed upon infection with EBV. This indicates that the virus not only changes the overall content of miRNAs but also influences the expression of proteins by affecting the Ago complexes.

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: 2019-04-01
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.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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