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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:49 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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

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

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

Genome biology, 24(1):54.

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

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

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

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

Mycologia, 115(2):263-276.

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

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

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

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

Nature communications, 14(1):1615.

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

RevDate: 2023-03-22

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-22
CmpDate: 2023-03-22

Rusin LY (2023)

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

Journal of morphology, 284(4):e21569.

The concept of homology lies in the heart of comparative biological science. The distinction between homology as structure and analogy as function has shaped the evolutionary paradigm for a century and formed the axis of comparative anatomy and embryology, which accept the identity of structure as a ground measure of relatedness. The advent of single-cell genomics overturned the classical view of cell homology by establishing a backbone regulatory identity of cell types, the basic biological units bridging the molecular and phenotypic dimensions, to reveal that the cell is the most flexible unit of living matter and that many approaches of classical biology need to be revised to understand evolution and diversity at the cellular level. The emerging theory of cell types explicitly decouples cell identity from phenotype, essentially allowing for the divergence of evolutionarily related morphotypes beyond recognition, as well as it decouples ontogenetic cell lineage from cell-type phylogeny, whereby explicating that cell types can share common descent regardless of their structure, function or developmental origin. The article succinctly summarizes current progress and opinion in this field and formulates a more generalistic view of biological cell types as avatars, transient or terminal cell states deployed in a continuum of states by the developmental programme of one and the same omnipotent cell, capable of changing or combining identities with distinct evolutionary histories or inventing ad hoc identities that never existed in evolution or development. It highlights how the new logic grounded in the regulatory nature of cell identity transforms the concepts of cell homology and phenotypic stability, suggesting that cellular evolution is inherently and massively network-like, with one-to-one homologies being rather uncommon and restricted to shallower levels of the animal tree of life.

RevDate: 2023-03-21
CmpDate: 2023-03-21

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

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

PLoS computational biology, 19(3):e1010920.

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

RevDate: 2023-03-14
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

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

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

Biological research, 56(1):10.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-14
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-13

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

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

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

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

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

Lambros M, Sella Y, A Bergman (2023)

Phenotypic pliancy and the breakdown of epigenetic polycomb mechanisms.

PLoS computational biology, 19(2):e1010889.

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

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

Yu L, Stachowicz JJ, DuBois K, et al (2023)

Detecting clonemate pairs in multicellular diploid clonal species based on a shared heterozygosity index.

Molecular ecology resources, 23(3):592-600.

Clonal reproduction, the formation of nearly identical individuals via mitosis in the absence of genetic recombination, is a very common reproductive mode across plants, fungi and animals. To detect clonal genetic structure, genetic similarity indices based on shared alleles are widely used, such as the Jaccard index, or identity by state. Here we propose a new pairwise genetic similarity index, the SH index, based on segregating genetic marker loci (typically single nucleotide polymorphisms) that are identically heterozygous for pairs of samples (NSH). To test our method, we analyse two old seagrass clones (Posidonia australis, estimated to be around 8500 years old; Zostera marina, >750 years old) along with two young Z. marina clones of known age (17 years old). We show that focusing on shared heterozygosity amplifies the power to distinguish sample pairs belonging to different clones compared to methods focusing on all shared alleles. Our proposed workflow can successfully detect clonemates at a location dominated by a single clone. When the collected samples involve two or more clones, the SH index shows a clear gap between clonemate pairs and interclone sample pairs. Ideally NSH should be on the order of approximately ≥3000, a number easily achievable via restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing or whole-genome resequencing. Another potential application of the SH index is to detect possible parent-descendant pairs under selfing. Our proposed workflow takes advantage of the availability of the larger number of genetic markers in the genomic era, and improves the ability to distinguish clonemates from nonclonemates in multicellular diploid clonal species.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

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

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

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

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

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

Kuzdzal-Fick JJ, Moreno A, Broersma CME, et al (2023)

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

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 77(3):731-745.

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

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

Tang S, Pichugin Y, K Hammerschmidt (2023)

An environmentally induced multicellular life cycle of a unicellular cyanobacterium.

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

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

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

Dang CC, LS Vinh (2023)

Estimating amino acid substitution models for metazoan evolutionary studies.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 36(3):499-506.

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

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

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

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

Life science alliance, 6(5):.

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

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

van Oosten-Hawle P (2023)

Organismal Roles of Hsp90.

Biomolecules, 13(2):.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-24
CmpDate: 2023-02-24

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

Integrin receptor trafficking in health and disease.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-23

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

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

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1129194.

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

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

Smith BP, Edie SM, WW Fischer (2023)

Tracing energy inputs into the seafloor using carbonate sediments.

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

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

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

Rangarajan ES, Smith EW, T Izard (2023)

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

The Journal of biological chemistry, 299(2):102817.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-14
CmpDate: 2023-02-14

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

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

Scientific reports, 13(1):2440.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-13
CmpDate: 2023-02-13

Martinez P, Ustyantsev K, Biryukov M, et al (2023)

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

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 13(2):.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-09
CmpDate: 2023-02-09

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

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

BMC plant biology, 23(1):81.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-06
CmpDate: 2023-02-06

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

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

PLoS pathogens, 19(1):e1010753.

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

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

Pandey T, DK Ma (2022)

Stress-Induced Phenoptosis: Mechanistic Insights and Evolutionary Implications.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-30

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Forterre P, M Gaïa (2022)

[Viruses and the evolution of modern eukaryotic cells].

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

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

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

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

Human cooperation and evolutionary transitions in individuality.

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

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

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

Davison DR, RE Michod (2023)

Steps to individuality in biology and culture.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-17
CmpDate: 2023-01-17

Liu Y, Cao M, Yan X, et al (2023)

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

Fish & shellfish immunology, 132:108492.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-23

McShea DW (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-23
CmpDate: 2023-01-23

Sakai D, Nishikawa J, Kakiuchida H, et al (2022)

Stack of cellular lamellae forms a silvered cortex to conceal the opaque organ in a transparent gastropod in epipelagic habitat.

PeerJ, 10:e14284.

BACKGROUND: Gelatinous zooplankton in epipelagic environments often have highly transparent bodies to avoid detection by their visual predators and prey; however, the digestive systems are often exceptionally opaque even in these organisms. In a holoplanktonic gastropod, Pterotrachea coronata, the visceral nucleus is an opaque organ located at the posterior end of its alimentary system, but this organ has a mirrored surface to conceal its internal opaque tissue.

RESULTS: Our ultrastructural observation proved that the cortex of the visceral nucleus comprised a stack of thin cellular lamellae forming a Bragg reflector, and the thickness of lamellae (0.16 µm in average) and the spaces between the lamellae (0.1 µm in average) tended to become thinner toward inner lamellae. Based on the measured values, we built virtual models of the multilamellar layer comprising 50 lamellae and spaces, and the light reflection on the models was calculated using rigorous coupled wave analysis to evaluate their properties as reflectors. Our simulation supported the idea that the layer is a reflective tissue, and the thickness of the lamella/space must be chirped to reflect sunlight as white/silver light, mostly independent of the angle of incidence.

CONCLUSIONS: In P. coronata, the cortex of the visceral nucleus comprised multicellular lamellae that form a chirped Bragg reflector. It is distinct in structure from the intracellular Bragg structures of common iridophores. This novel Bragg reflector demonstrates the diversity and convergent evolution of reflective tissue using reflectin-like proteins in Mollusca.

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

Römling U (2023)

Is biofilm formation intrinsic to the origin of life?.

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

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

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

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

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

BMC microbiology, 23(1):16.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Muñoz-Gómez SA (2023)

Energetics and evolution of anaerobic microbial eukaryotes.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

von der Heyde B, A Hallmann (2022)

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

Cells, 12(1):.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21
CmpDate: 2023-01-03

Lynch M, Trickovic B, CP Kempes (2022)

Evolutionary scaling of maximum growth rate with organism size.

Scientific reports, 12(1):22586.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-09
CmpDate: 2022-12-26

Kozlov AP (2022)

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

Genes, 13(12):.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-12-27

Bowman JL (2022)

The origin of a land flora.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-11

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-22

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

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

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:992371.

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

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

Barbosa FAS, Brait LAS, Coutinho FH, et al (2023)

Ecological landscape explains aquifers microbial structure.

The Science of the total environment, 862:160822.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

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

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

Cells, 11(23):.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-04
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Nakabachi A, Inoue H, Y Hirose (2022)

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

Microbes and environments, 37(4):.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-15
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Niculescu VF (2022)

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMC plant biology, 22(1):551.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bioelectromagnetics, 43(8):462-475.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

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

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

Nature communications, 13(1):7232.

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

RevDate: 2022-12-13
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biomolecules, 12(11):.

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

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

Sepp T, M Giraudeau (2023)

Wild animals as an underused treasure trove for studying the genetics of cancer.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 45(2):e2200188.

Recent years have seen an emergence of the field of comparative cancer genomics. However, the advancements in this field are held back by the hesitation to use knowledge obtained from human studies to study cancer in other animals, and vice versa. Since cancer is an ancient disease that arose with multicellularity, oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes are amongst the oldest gene classes, shared by most animal species. Acknowledging that other animals are, in terms of cancer genetics, ecology, and evolution, rather similar to humans, creates huge potential for advancing the fields of human and animal oncology, but also biodiversity conservation. Also see the video abstract here: https://youtu.be/UFqyMx5HETY.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-21

Pinskey JM, Lagisetty A, Gui L, et al (2022)

Three-dimensional flagella structures from animals' closest unicellular relatives, the Choanoflagellates.

eLife, 11:.

In most eukaryotic organisms, cilia and flagella perform a variety of life-sustaining roles related to environmental sensing and motility. Cryo-electron microscopy has provided considerable insight into the morphology and function of flagellar structures, but studies have been limited to less than a dozen of the millions of known eukaryotic species. Ultrastructural information is particularly lacking for unicellular organisms in the Opisthokonta clade, leaving a sizeable gap in our understanding of flagella evolution between unicellular species and multicellular metazoans (animals). Choanoflagellates are important aquatic heterotrophs, uniquely positioned within the opisthokonts as the metazoans' closest living unicellular relatives. We performed cryo-focused ion beam milling and cryo-electron tomography on flagella from the choanoflagellate species Salpingoeca rosetta. We show that the axonemal dyneins, radial spokes, and central pair complex in S. rosetta more closely resemble metazoan structures than those of unicellular organisms from other suprakingdoms. In addition, we describe unique features of S. rosetta flagella, including microtubule holes, microtubule inner proteins, and the flagellar vane: a fine, net-like extension that has been notoriously difficult to visualize using other methods. Furthermore, we report barb-like structures of unknown function on the extracellular surface of the flagellar membrane. Together, our findings provide new insights into choanoflagellate biology and flagella evolution between unicellular and multicellular opisthokonts.

RevDate: 2022-12-26
CmpDate: 2022-11-18

Huang J, Zhao L, Malik S, et al (2022)

Specification of female germline by microRNA orchestrated auxin signaling in Arabidopsis.

Nature communications, 13(1):6960.

Germline determination is essential for species survival and evolution in multicellular organisms. In most flowering plants, formation of the female germline is initiated with specification of one megaspore mother cell (MMC) in each ovule; however, the molecular mechanism underlying this key event remains unclear. Here we report that spatially restricted auxin signaling promotes MMC fate in Arabidopsis. Our results show that the microRNA160 (miR160) targeted gene ARF17 (AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR17) is required for promoting MMC specification by genetically interacting with the SPL/NZZ (SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE) gene. Alterations of auxin signaling cause formation of supernumerary MMCs in an ARF17- and SPL/NZZ-dependent manner. Furthermore, miR160 and ARF17 are indispensable for attaining a normal auxin maximum at the ovule apex via modulating the expression domain of PIN1 (PIN-FORMED1) auxin transporter. Our findings elucidate the mechanism by which auxin signaling promotes the acquisition of female germline cell fate in plants.

RevDate: 2022-12-04
CmpDate: 2022-12-02

Durbagula S, Korlimarla A, Ravikumar G, et al (2022)

Prenatal epigenetic factors are predisposing for neurodevelopmental disorders-Considering placenta as a model.

Birth defects research, 114(20):1324-1342.

The heterogeneous characteristics of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) have resulted in varied perspectives on their causation. The biology behind the phenotypic heterogeneity in NDDs is not yet well-defined, but a strong genetic basis has become well accepted as causal for NDDs. Alongside this, there is growing focus on epigenetic mechanisms. The evidence mounting for in-utero origins of NDDs has promoted research focused on epigenetic mechanisms that impact genes that program early brain development. Considering that placenta is a vital organ, this review emphasizes the prenatal factors and their effects on epigenetic changes influencing the normal functioning of the placenta, and factors mediating pathology in the developing fetus. Overall, it is an attempt to bring focus on the hypothesis that "Prenatal epigenetic factors in the placenta could be predisposing to NDDs (with special interest on autism spectrum disorders)." This review finds growing evidence for epigenetic modifications in the placenta that affect glucocorticoid, nutrient, and immune signaling pathways, eventually impacting fetal brain development. This evidence largely comes from animal models. Given the multicellular nature of placenta, we conclude that, there is a need for placental research focused on employing single-cell approaches and genome-wide methylation profiles to bring insights into specific molecular pathways in the placenta that regulate early brain development.

RevDate: 2022-11-21
CmpDate: 2022-11-21

Peterson AF, Ingram K, Huang EJ, et al (2022)

Systematic analysis of the MAPK signaling network reveals MAP3K-driven control of cell fate.

Cell systems, 13(11):885-894.e4.

The classic network of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) is highly interconnected and controls a diverse array of biological processes. In multicellular eukaryotes, the MAPKs ERK, JNK, and p38 control opposing cell behaviors but are often activated simultaneously, raising questions about how input-output specificity is achieved. Here, we use multiplexed MAPK activity biosensors to investigate how cell fate control emerges from the connectivity and dynamics of the MAPK network. Through chemical and genetic perturbation, we systematically explore the outputs and functions of all the MAP3 kinases encoded in the human genome and show that MAP3Ks control cell fate by triggering unique combinations of MAPK activity. We show that these MAPK activity combinations explain the paradoxical dual role of JNK signaling as pro-apoptotic or pro-proliferative kinase. Overall, our integrative analysis indicates that the MAPK network operates as a unit to control cell fate and shifts the focus from MAPKs to MAP3Ks to better understand signaling-mediated control of cell fate.

RevDate: 2022-12-26
CmpDate: 2022-11-09

Oda AH, Tamura M, Kaneko K, et al (2022)

Autotoxin-mediated latecomer killing in yeast communities.

PLoS biology, 20(11):e3001844.

Cellular adaptation to stressful environments such as starvation is essential to the survival of microbial communities, but the uniform response of the cell community may lead to entire cell death or severe damage to their fitness. Here, we demonstrate an elaborate response of the yeast community against glucose depletion, in which the first adapted cells kill the latecomer cells. During glucose depletion, yeast cells release autotoxins, such as leucic acid and L-2keto-3methylvalerate, which can even kill the clonal cells of the ones producing them. Although these autotoxins were likely to induce mass suicide, some cells differentiated to adapt to the autotoxins without genetic changes. If nondifferentiated latecomers tried to invade the habitat, autotoxins damaged or killed the latecomers, but the differentiated cells could selectively survive. Phylogenetically distant fission and budding yeast shared this behavior using the same autotoxins, suggesting that latecomer killing may be the universal system of intercellular communication, which may be relevant to the evolutional transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-12-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-08

Alvarez FE, Carrillo JA, J Clairambault (2022)

Evolution of a structured cell population endowed with plasticity of traits under constraints on and between the traits.

Journal of mathematical biology, 85(6-7):64.

Confronted with the biological problem of managing plasticity in cell populations, which is in particular responsible for transient and reversible drug resistance in cancer, we propose a rationale consisting of an integro-differential and a reaction-advection-diffusion equation, the properties of which are studied theoretically and numerically. By using a constructive finite volume method, we show the existence and uniqueness of a weak solution and illustrate by numerical approximations and their simulations the capacity of the model to exhibit divergence of traits. This feature may be theoretically interpreted as describing a physiological step towards multicellularity in animal evolution and, closer to present-day clinical challenges in oncology, as a possible representation of bet hedging in cancer cell populations.

RevDate: 2022-11-08
CmpDate: 2022-11-07

Banijamali M, Höjer P, Nagy A, et al (2022)

Characterizing single extracellular vesicles by droplet barcode sequencing for protein analysis.

Journal of extracellular vesicles, 11(11):e12277.

Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) have in recent years evolved as a source of biomarkers for disease diagnosis and therapeutic follow up. sEV samples derived from multicellular organisms exhibit a high heterogeneous repertoire of vesicles which current methods based on ensemble measurements cannot capture. In this work we present droplet barcode sequencing for protein analysis (DBS-Pro) to profile surface proteins on individual sEVs, facilitating identification of sEV-subtypes within and between samples. The method allows for analysis of multiple proteins through use of DNA barcoded affinity reagents and sequencing as readout. High throughput single vesicle profiling is enabled through compartmentalization of individual sEVs in emulsion droplets followed by droplet barcoding through PCR. In this proof-of-concept study we demonstrate that DBS-Pro allows for analysis of single sEVs, with a mixing rate below 2%. A total of over 120,000 individual sEVs obtained from a NSCLC cell line and from malignant pleural effusion (MPE) fluid of NSCLC patients have been analyzed based on their surface proteins. We also show that the method enables single vesicle surface protein profiling and by extension characterization of sEV-subtypes, which is essential to identify the cellular origin of vesicles in heterogenous samples.

RevDate: 2022-12-23
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

León-Ruiz JA, A Cruz Ramírez (2022)

Predicted landscape of RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED LxCxE-mediated interactions across the Chloroplastida.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 112(6):1507-1524.

The colonization of land by a single streptophyte algae lineage some 450 million years ago has been linked to multiple key innovations such as three-dimensional growth, alternation of generations, the presence of stomata, as well as innovations inherent to the birth of major plant lineages, such as the origins of vascular tissues, roots, seeds and flowers. Multicellularity, which evolved multiple times in the Chloroplastida coupled with precise spatiotemporal control of proliferation and differentiation were instrumental for the evolution of these traits. RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED (RBR), the plant homolog of the metazoan Retinoblastoma protein (pRB), is a highly conserved and multifunctional core cell cycle regulator that has been implicated in the evolution of multicellularity in the green lineage as well as in plant multicellularity-related processes such as proliferation, differentiation, stem cell regulation and asymmetric cell division. RBR fulfills these roles through context-specific protein-protein interactions with proteins containing the Leu-x-Cys-x-Glu (LxCxE) short-linear motif (SLiM); however, how RBR-LxCxE interactions have changed throughout major innovations in the Viridiplantae kingdom is a question that remains unexplored. Here, we employ an in silico evo-devo approach to predict and analyze potential RBR-LxCxE interactions in different representative species of key Chloroplastida lineages, providing a valuable resource for deciphering RBR-LxCxE multiple functions. Furthermore, our analyses suggest that RBR-LxCxE interactions are an important component of RBR functions and that interactions with chromatin modifiers/remodelers, DNA replication and repair machinery are highly conserved throughout the Viridiplantae, while LxCxE interactions with transcriptional regulators likely diversified throughout the water-to-land transition.

RevDate: 2022-12-14
CmpDate: 2022-10-27

Keller J, PM Delaux (2022)

Plant phylogenetics: The never-ending cycle of evolutionary gains and losses.

Current biology : CB, 32(20):R1028-R1029.

The Zygnematophyceae is the sister clade to the land plants, but their biology remains mysterious. In a new study, a resolved phylogeny and a scenario for the evolution of multicellularity in that clade are proposed.

RevDate: 2022-10-25
CmpDate: 2022-10-24

Whye D, Wood D, Kim KH, et al (2022)

Dynamic 3D Combinatorial Generation of hPSC-Derived Neuromesodermal Organoids With Diverse Regional and Cellular Identities.

Current protocols, 2(10):e568.

Neuromesodermal progenitors represent a unique, bipotent population of progenitors residing in the tail bud of the developing embryo, which give rise to the caudal spinal cord cell types of neuroectodermal lineage as well as the adjacent paraxial somite cell types of mesodermal origin. With the advent of stem cell technologies, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the modeling of rare genetic disorders can be accomplished in vitro to interrogate cell-type specific pathological mechanisms in human patient conditions. Stem cell-derived models of neuromesodermal progenitors have been accomplished by several developmental biology groups; however, most employ a 2D monolayer format that does not fully reflect the complexity of cellular differentiation in the developing embryo. This article presents a dynamic 3D combinatorial method to generate robust populations of human pluripotent stem cell-derived neuromesodermal organoids with multi-cellular fates and regional identities. By utilizing a dynamic 3D suspension format for the differentiation process, the organoids differentiated by following this protocol display a hallmark of embryonic development that involves a morphological elongation known as axial extension. Furthermore, by employing a combinatorial screening assay, we dissect essential pathways for optimally directing the patterning of pluripotent stem cells into neuromesodermal organoids. This protocol highlights the influence of timing, duration, and concentration of WNT and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathways on enhancing early neuromesodermal identity, and later, downstream cell fate specification through combined synergies of retinoid signaling and sonic hedgehog activation. Finally, through robust inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway, this protocol accelerates the acquisition of terminal cell identities. This enhanced organoid model can serve as a powerful tool for studying normal developmental processes as well as investigating complex neurodevelopmental disorders, such as neural tube defects. © 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Robust generation of 3D hPSC-derived spheroid populations in dynamic motion settings Support Protocol 1: Pluronic F-127 reagent preparation and coating to generate low-attachment suspension culture dishes Basic Protocol 2: Enhanced specification of hPSCs into NMP organoids Support Protocol 2: Combinatorial pathway assay for NMP organoid protocol optimization Basic Protocol 3: Differentiation of NMP organoids along diverse cellular trajectories and accelerated terminal fate specification into neurons, neural crest, and sclerotome derivatives.

RevDate: 2022-11-25
CmpDate: 2022-11-25

Bano N, Aalam S, SK Bag (2022)

Tubby-like proteins (TLPs) transcription factor in different regulatory mechanism in plants: a review.

Plant molecular biology, 110(6):455-468.

Tubby-like proteins (TLPs) transcription factors are found in single-celled to multi-cellular eukaryotes in the form of large multigene families. TLPs are identified through a specific signature of carboxyl terminal tubby domain, required for plasma membrane tethering and amino terminal F-box domain communicate as functional SCF-type E3 ligases. The comprehensive distribution of TLP gene family members in diverse species indicates some conserved functions of TLPs in multicellular organisms. Plant TLPs have higher gene members than animals and these members reported important role in multiple physiological and developmental processes and various environmental stress responses. Although the TLPs are suggested to be a putative transcription factors but their functional mechanism is not much clear. This review provides significant recent updates on TLP-mediated regulation with an insight into its functional roles, origin and evolution and also phytohormones related regulation to combat with various stresses and its involvement in adaptive stress response in crop plants.

RevDate: 2022-11-03
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Günther M, Reimer C, Herbst R, et al (2022)

Yellow polyketide pigment suppresses premature hatching in social amoeba.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(43):e2116122119.

Low-molecular-weight natural products from microbes are indispensable in the development of potent drugs. However, their biological roles within an ecological context often remain elusive. Here, we shed light on natural products from eukaryotic microorganisms that have the ability to transition from single cells to multicellular organisms: the social amoebae. These eukaryotes harbor a large number of polyketide biosynthetic genes in their genomes, yet virtually none of the corresponding products can be isolated or characterized. Using complementary molecular biology approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9, we generated polyketide synthase (pks5) inactivation and overproduction strains of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Differential, untargeted metabolomics of wild-type versus mutant fruiting bodies allowed us to pinpoint candidate metabolites derived from the amoebal PKS5. Extrachromosomal expression of the respective gene led to the identification of a yellow polyunsaturated fatty acid. Analysis of the temporospatial production pattern of this compound in conjunction with detailed bioactivity studies revealed the polyketide to be a spore germination suppressor.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Kumar P, Kumar P, Mandal D, et al (2022)

The emerging role of Deubiquitinases (DUBs) in parasites: A foresight review.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:985178.

Before the discovery of the proteasome complex, the lysosomes with acidic proteases and caspases in apoptotic pathways were thought to be the only pathways for the degradation of damaged, unfolded, and aged proteins. However, the discovery of 26S and 20S proteasome complexes in eukaryotes and microbes, respectively, established that the degradation of most proteins is a highly regulated ATP-dependent pathway that is significantly conserved across each domain of life. The proteasome is part of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), where the covalent tagging of a small molecule called ubiquitin (Ub) on the proteins marks its proteasomal degradation. The type and chain length of ubiquitination further determine whether a protein is designated for further roles in multi-cellular processes like DNA repair, trafficking, signal transduction, etc., or whether it will be degraded by the proteasome to recycle the peptides and amino acids. Deubiquitination, on the contrary, is the removal of ubiquitin from its substrate molecule or the conversion of polyubiquitin chains into monoubiquitin as a precursor to ubiquitin. Therefore, deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) can maintain the dynamic state of cellular ubiquitination by releasing conjugated ubiquitin from proteins and controlling many cellular pathways that are essential for their survival. Many DUBs are well characterized in the human system with potential drug targets in different cancers. Although, proteasome complex and UPS of parasites, like plasmodium and leishmania, were recently coined as multi-stage drug targets the role of DUBs is completely unexplored even though structural domains and functions of many of these parasite DUBs are conserved having high similarity even with its eukaryotic counterpart. This review summarizes the identification & characterization of different parasite DUBs based on in silico and a few functional studies among different phylogenetic classes of parasites including Metazoan (Schistosoma, Trichinella), Apicomplexan protozoans (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium), Kinetoplastidie (Leishmania, Trypanosoma) and Microsporidia (Nosema). The identification of different homologs of parasite DUBs with structurally similar domains with eukaryotes, and the role of these DUBs alone or in combination with the 20S proteosome complex in regulating the parasite survival/death is further elaborated. We propose that small molecules/inhibitors of human DUBs can be potential antiparasitic agents due to their significant structural conservation.

RevDate: 2022-10-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Vinogradov AE, OV Anatskaya (2022)

Cellular Biogenetic Law and Its Distortion by Protein Interactions: A Possible Unified Framework for Cancer Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(19):.

The biogenetic law (recapitulation law) states that ontogenesis recapitulates phylogenesis. However, this law can be distorted by the modification of development. We showed the recapitulation of phylogenesis during the differentiation of various cell types, using a meta-analysis of human single-cell transcriptomes, with the control for cell cycle activity and the improved phylostratigraphy (gene dating). The multipotent progenitors, differentiated from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESC), showed the downregulation of unicellular (UC) genes and the upregulation of multicellular (MC) genes, but only in the case of those originating up to the Euteleostomi (bony vertebrates). This picture strikingly resembles the evolutionary profile of regulatory gene expansion due to gene duplication in the human genome. The recapitulation of phylogenesis in the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) during their differentiation resembles the ESC pattern. The unipotent erythroblasts differentiating into erythrocytes showed the downregulation of UC genes and the upregulation of MC genes originating after the Euteleostomi. The MC interactome neighborhood of a protein encoded by a UC gene reverses the gene expression pattern. The functional analysis showed that the evolved environment of the UC proteins is typical for protein modifiers and signaling-related proteins. Besides a fundamental aspect, this approach can provide a unified framework for cancer biology and regenerative/rejuvenation medicine because oncogenesis can be defined as an atavistic reversal to a UC state, while regeneration and rejuvenation require an ontogenetic reversal.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Silva VSD, CR Machado (2022)

Sex in protists: A new perspective on the reproduction mechanisms of trypanosomatids.

Genetics and molecular biology, 45(3):e20220065.

The Protist kingdom individuals are the most ancestral representatives of eukaryotes. They have inhabited Earth since ancient times and are currently found in the most diverse environments presenting a great heterogeneity of life forms. The unicellular and multicellular algae, photosynthetic and heterotrophic organisms, as well as free-living and pathogenic protozoa represents the protist group. The evolution of sex is directly associated with the origin of eukaryotes being protists the earliest protagonists of sexual reproduction on earth. In eukaryotes, the recombination through genetic exchange is a ubiquitous mechanism that can be stimulated by DNA damage. Scientific evidences support the hypothesis that reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced DNA damage can promote sexual recombination in eukaryotes which might have been a decisive factor for the origin of sex. The fact that some recombination enzymes also participate in meiotic sex in modern eukaryotes reinforces the idea that sexual reproduction emerged as consequence of specific mechanisms to cope with mutations and alterations in genetic material. In this review we will discuss about origin of sex and different strategies of evolve sexual reproduction in some protists such that cause human diseases like malaria, toxoplasmosis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-15

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

Tumor inhibition via magneto-mechanical oscillation by magnetotactic bacteria under a swing MF.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, 351:941-953.

Since magnetic micro/nano-materials can serve as multifunctional transducers for remote control of cell functions by applying diverse magnetic fields, magnetic cell manipulation provides a highly promising tool in biomedical research encompassing neuromodulation, tissue regeneration engineering and tumor cell destruction. Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), which contain natural magnetic materials, can sensitively respond to external magnetic fields via their endogenous magnetosome chains. Here, we developed a technique for magnetotactic bacteria-based cell modulation and tumor suppression combined with a swing magnetic field. We enabled MTB cells to recognize and bind to mammalian tumor cells via functional modification with RGD peptides onto the surfaces of MTB cells, and RGD-modified MTB bacteria could interact with the targeted tumor cells effectively. The magnetic torque, which was due to the interaction of the long magnetosome chain inside the MTB bacterial cell and the applied swing magnetic field, could result in obvious swing magnetic behaviors of the modified MTB bacteria bound to tumor cell surfaces and thus subsequently exert a sustained magnetomechanical oscillation on the tumor cell surfaces, which could induce a significant activation of Ca[2+] ion influx in vitro and tumor growth inhibition in vivo. These findings suggest that MTB cells mediated magnetomechanical stimulation, which is remotely controlled by dynamic magnetic fields, as an effective way to regulate cell signaling and treat tumor growth, which will shed the light on further biomedical applications utilizing whole magnetotactic bacteria.

RevDate: 2022-11-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-01

Grunt TW, P Valent (2022)

Cancer - A devastating disease, but also an eye-opener and window into the deep mysteries of life and its origins.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 175:131-139.

Although cancer is still the second leading cause of death worldwide, basic research has largely elucidated the underlying mechanisms that lead us deep into the laws of animate and inanimate nature. This review aims to demonstrate that the cancer process profoundly affects and reprograms fundamental principles and concepts of cellular life by harnessing the natural mechanisms of biological evolution. It is shown that mutation and selection - the drivers of cancer formation and progression - are mandatory consequences of Boltzmann's version of the second law of thermodynamics, which stipulates that entropy (or disorder) according to probability never decreases, followed by Darwinian evolution by filtering for the suitable geno- and karyotypes. Cancer research has shown that malignant cells can develop gradually or abruptly depending on the prevailing stress conditions. Similar principles were then observed in the evolution of species, referred to as micro- and macroevolution. Cancer cells can be related to phylogenetically older forms of life, and malignant transformation can be viewed as reverse (atavistic) evolution, accompanied by typical rearrangement of system information and loss of 'social' behavior. It becomes obvious that in nature no distinction is made between normal biology and pathobiology. Instead, everything follows the rules of natural evolution. This illustrates the depth of the cancer problem and may explain the serious difficulties faced in trying to eradicate cancer.

RevDate: 2022-11-21
CmpDate: 2022-10-06

Gauthier AE, Rotjan RD, JC Kagan (2022)

Lipopolysaccharide detection by the innate immune system may be an uncommon defence strategy used in nature.

Open biology, 12(10):220146.

Since the publication of the Janeway's Pattern Recognition hypothesis in 1989, study of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and their immuno-stimulatory activities has accelerated. Most studies in this area have been conducted in model organisms, which leaves many open questions about the universality of PAMP biology across living systems. Mammals have evolved multiple proteins that operate as receptors for the PAMP lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria, but LPS is not immuno-stimulatory in all eukaryotes. In this review, we examine the history of LPS as a PAMP in mammals, recent data on LPS structure and its ability to activate mammalian innate immune receptors, and how these activities compare across commonly studied eukaryotes. We discuss why LPS may have evolved to be immuno-stimulatory in some eukaryotes but not others and propose two hypotheses about the evolution of PAMP structure based on the ecology and environmental context of the organism in question. Understanding PAMP structures and stimulatory mechanisms across multi-cellular life will provide insights into the evolutionary origins of innate immunity and may lead to the discovery of new PAMP variations of scientific and therapeutic interest.

RevDate: 2022-10-04
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Turishcheva E, Vildanova M, Onishchenko G, et al (2022)

The Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Differentiation of Cells of Mesenchymal Origin.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(9):916-931.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifunctional membrane-enclosed organelle. One of the major ER functions is cotranslational transport and processing of secretory, lysosomal, and transmembrane proteins. Impaired protein processing caused by disturbances in the ER homeostasis results in the ER stress. Restoration of normal ER functioning requires activation of an adaptive mechanism involving cell response to misfolded proteins, the so-called unfolded protein response (UPR). Besides controlling protein folding, UPR plays a key role in other physiological processes, in particular, differentiation of cells of connective, muscle, epithelial, and neural tissues. Cell differentiation is induced by the physiological levels of ER stress, while excessive ER stress suppresses differentiation and can result in cell death. So far, it remains unknown whether UPR activation induces cell differentiation or if UPR is initiated by the upregulated synthesis of secretory proteins during cell differentiation. Cell differentiation is an important stage in the development of multicellular organisms and is tightly controlled. Suppression or excessive activation of this process can lead to the development of various pathologies in an organism. In particular, impairments in the differentiation of connective tissue cells can result in the development of fibrosis, obesity, and osteoporosis. Recently, special attention has been paid to fibrosis as one of the major complications of COVID-19. Therefore, studying the role of UPR in the activation of cell differentiation is of both theoretical and practical interest, as it might result in the identification of molecular targets for selective regulation of cell differentiation stages and as well as the potential to modulate the mechanisms involved in the development of various pathological states.

RevDate: 2022-09-30
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Chai S, Aria C, H Hua (2022)

A stem group Codium alga from the latest Ediacaran of South China provides taxonomic insight into the early diversification of the plant kingdom.

BMC biology, 20(1):199.

BACKGROUND: In recent years, Precambrian lifeforms have generated an ever-increasing interest because they revealed a rich eukaryotic diversity prior to the Cambrian explosion of modern animals. Among them, macroalgae are known to be a conspicuous component of Neoproterozoic ecosystems, and chlorophytes in particular are already documented in the Tonian, when they were so far expected to originate. However, like for other major eukaryotic lineages, and despite predictions of molecular clock analyses placing roots of these lineages well into the Neoproterozoic, a taxonomic constraint on Precambrian green algae has remained difficult.

RESULTS: Here, we present an exceptionally preserved spherical, coenocytic unicellular alga from the latest Ediacaran Dengying Formation of South China (> ca. 541 Ma), known from both external and internal morphology, fully tridimensional and in great detail. Tomographic X-ray and electronic microscopy revealed a characteristic medulla made of intertwined siphons and tightly packed peripheral utricles, suggesting these fossils belong to the Bryopsidales genus Codium. However, its distinctly smaller size compared to extant species leads us to create Protocodium sinense gen. et sp. nov. and a phylomorphospace investigation points to a possible stem group affinity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our finding has several important implications. First, Protocodium allows for a more precise calibration of Archaeplastida and directly confirms that a group as derived as Ulvophyceae was already well diversified in various ecosystems prior to the Cambrian explosion. Details of tridimensional morphology also invite a reassessment of the identification of other Ediacaran algae, such as Chuaria, to better discriminate mono-versus multicellularity, and suggest unicellular Codium-like morphotypes could be much older and widespread. More broadly, Protocodium provides insights into the early diversification of the plant kingdom, the composition of Precambrian ecosystems, and the extreme longevity of certain eukaryotic plans of organization.

RevDate: 2022-12-09
CmpDate: 2022-09-20

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

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

Communications biology, 5(1):977.

Ecological causes of developmental evolution, for example from predation, remain much investigated, but the potential importance of latent phenotypes in eco-evo-devo has received little attention. Using the predatory bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, which undergoes aggregative fruiting body development upon starvation, we tested whether adaptation to distinct growth environments that do not induce development latently alters developmental phenotypes under starvation conditions that do induce development. In an evolution experiment named MyxoEE-3, growing M. xanthus populations swarmed across agar surfaces while adapting to conditions varying at factors such as surface stiffness or prey identity. Such ecological variation during growth was found to greatly impact the latent evolution of development, including fruiting body morphology, the degree of morphological trait correlation, reaction norms, degrees of developmental plasticity and stochastic diversification. For example, some prey environments promoted retention of developmental proficiency whereas others led to its systematic loss. Our results have implications for understanding evolutionary interactions among predation, development and motility in myxobacterial life cycles, and, more broadly, how ecology can profoundly shape the evolution of developmental systems latently rather than by direct selection on developmental features.

RevDate: 2022-12-14
CmpDate: 2022-11-21

Xie Q, Xiong C, Yang Q, et al (2022)

A novel regulatory complex mediated by Lanata (Ln) controls multicellular trichome formation in tomato.

The New phytologist, 236(6):2294-2310.

Trichomes that originate from plant aerial epidermis act as mechanical and chemical barriers against herbivores. Although several regulators have recently been identified, the regulatory pathway underlying multicellular trichome formation remains largely unknown in tomato. Here, we report a novel HD-ZIP IV transcription factor, Lanata (Ln), a missense mutation which caused the hairy phenotype. Biochemical analyses demonstrate that Ln separately interacts with two trichome regulators, Woolly (Wo) and Hair (H). Genetic and molecular evidence demonstrates that Ln directly regulates the expression of H. The interaction between Ln and Wo can increase trichome density by enhancing the expression of SlCycB2 and SlCycB3, which we previously showed are involved in tomato trichome formation. Furthermore, SlCycB2 represses the transactivation of the SlCycB3 gene by Ln and vice versa. Our findings provide new insights into the novel regulatory network controlling multicellular trichome formation in tomato.

RevDate: 2022-09-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Ress V, Traulsen A, Y Pichugin (2022)

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of clonal multicellular life cycles.

eLife, 11:.

The evolution of multicellular life cycles is a central process in the course of the emergence of multicellularity. The simplest multicellular life cycle is comprised of the growth of the propagule into a colony and its fragmentation to give rise to new propagules. The majority of theoretical models assume selection among life cycles to be driven by internal properties of multicellular groups, resulting in growth competition. At the same time, the influence of interactions between groups on the evolution of life cycles is rarely even considered. Here, we present a model of colonial life cycle evolution taking into account group interactions. Our work shows that the outcome of evolution could be coexistence between multiple life cycles or that the outcome may depend on the initial state of the population - scenarios impossible without group interactions. At the same time, we found that some results of these simpler models remain relevant: evolutionary stable strategies in our model are restricted to binary fragmentation - the same class of life cycles that contains all evolutionarily optimal life cycles in the model without interactions. Our results demonstrate that while models neglecting interactions can capture short-term dynamics, they fall short in predicting the population-scale picture of evolution.

RevDate: 2022-12-23
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

Noh S, Capodanno BJ, Xu S, et al (2022)

Reduced and Nonreduced Genomes in Paraburkholderia Symbionts of Social Amoebas.

mSystems, 7(5):e0056222.

The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a predatory soil protist frequently used for studying host-pathogen interactions. A subset of D. discoideum strains isolated from soil persistently carry symbiotic Paraburkholderia, recently formally described as P. agricolaris, P. bonniea, and P. hayleyella. The three facultative symbiont species of D. discoideum present a unique opportunity to study a naturally occurring symbiosis in a laboratory model protist. There is a large difference in genome size between P. agricolaris (8.7 million base pairs [Mbp]) versus P. hayleyella and P. bonniea (4.1 Mbp). We took a comparative genomics approach and compared the three genomes of D. discoideum symbionts to 12 additional Paraburkholderia genomes to test for genome evolution patterns that frequently accompany host adaptation. Overall, P. agricolaris is difficult to distinguish from other Paraburkholderia based on its genome size and content, but the reduced genomes of P. bonniea and P. hayleyella display characteristics indicative of genome streamlining rather than deterioration during adaptation to their protist hosts. In addition, D. discoideum-symbiont genomes have increased secretion system and motility genes that may mediate interactions with their host. Specifically, adjacent BurBor-like type 3 and T6SS-5-like type 6 secretion system operons shared among all three D. discoideum-symbiont genomes may be important for host interaction. Horizontal transfer of these secretion system operons within the amoeba host environment may have contributed to the unique ability of these symbionts to establish and maintain a symbiotic relationship with D. discoideum. IMPORTANCE Protists are a diverse group of typically single cell eukaryotes. Bacteria and archaea that form long-term symbiotic relationships with protists may evolve in additional ways than those in relationships with multicellular eukaryotes such as plants, animals, or fungi. Social amoebas are a predatory soil protist sometimes found with symbiotic bacteria living inside their cells. They present a unique opportunity to explore a naturally occurring symbiosis in a protist frequently used for studying host-pathogen interactions. We show that one amoeba-symbiont species is similar to other related bacteria in genome size and content, while the two reduced-genome-symbiont species show characteristics of genome streamlining rather than deterioration during adaptation to their host. We also identify sets of genes present in all three amoeba-symbiont genomes that are potentially used for host-symbiont interactions. Because the amoeba symbionts are distantly related, the amoeba host environment may be where these genes were shared among symbionts.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-12

Anatskaya OV, AE Vinogradov (2022)

Polyploidy and Myc Proto-Oncogenes Promote Stress Adaptation via Epigenetic Plasticity and Gene Regulatory Network Rewiring.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(17):.

Polyploid cells demonstrate biological plasticity and stress adaptation in evolution; development; and pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The nature of ploidy-related advantages is still not completely understood. Here, we summarize the literature on molecular mechanisms underlying ploidy-related adaptive features. Polyploidy can regulate gene expression via chromatin opening, reawakening ancient evolutionary programs of embryonality. Chromatin opening switches on genes with bivalent chromatin domains that promote adaptation via rapid induction in response to signals of stress or morphogenesis. Therefore, stress-associated polyploidy can activate Myc proto-oncogenes, which further promote chromatin opening. Moreover, Myc proto-oncogenes can trigger polyploidization de novo and accelerate genome accumulation in already polyploid cells. As a result of these cooperative effects, polyploidy can increase the ability of cells to search for adaptive states of cellular programs through gene regulatory network rewiring. This ability is manifested in epigenetic plasticity associated with traits of stemness, unicellularity, flexible energy metabolism, and a complex system of DNA damage protection, combining primitive error-prone unicellular repair pathways, advanced error-free multicellular repair pathways, and DNA damage-buffering ability. These three features can be considered important components of the increased adaptability of polyploid cells. The evidence presented here contribute to the understanding of the nature of stress resistance associated with ploidy and may be useful in the development of new methods for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and oncological diseases.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-12

Burzacka-Hinz A, Narajczyk M, Dudek M, et al (2022)

Micromorphology of Labellum in Selected Dendrobium Sw. (Orchidaceae, Dendrobieae).

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(17):.

Dendrobium is one of the most species-rich genera of the Paleotropical orchids. It embraces more than 1000 species, most of which are epiphytes. The strong variation in floral characters causes many identification difficulties within this genus. One of the key structures, often sufficient in identification on a species level, is the labellum, which in many species of Dendrobium possesses a thickened callus and various types of trichomes and papillae. The aim of this study is to identify and describe the structures present on the labellum surface of the analyzed species, determine their distribution and density, as well as to check whether the obtained data have taxonomic value. In this paper, we present the results of a micromorphological study on the labellum of 21 species of Dendrobium, representing 13 sections, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Our studies revealed the presence of both uni- and multicellular structures on the surface of the labellum. We observed three types of trichomes (conical, cylindrical, ellipsoidal) and three types of papillae (conical, cylindrical, semicircular). Neither trichomes nor papillae were recorded for five species. In addition, we made diagrams showing the distribution and density of structures on the labellum. Based on the micromorphological results combined with the phylogenetic tree performed, we suggest that the presence/absence of labellum structures does not necessarily reflect the phylogenetic relationship and might be misleading, as in some cases, they arise due to convergence.

RevDate: 2022-12-14
CmpDate: 2022-10-27

Hess S, Williams SK, Busch A, et al (2022)

A phylogenomically informed five-order system for the closest relatives of land plants.

Current biology : CB, 32(20):4473-4482.e7.

The evolution of streptophytes had a profound impact on life on Earth. They brought forth those photosynthetic eukaryotes that today dominate the macroscopic flora: the land plants (Embryophyta).[1] There is convincing evidence that the unicellular/filamentous Zygnematophyceae-and not the morphologically more elaborate Coleochaetophyceae or Charophyceae-are the closest algal relatives of land plants.[2-6] Despite the species richness (>4,000), wide distribution, and key evolutionary position of the zygnematophytes, their internal phylogeny remains largely unresolved.[7,8] There are also putative zygnematophytes with interesting body plan modifications (e.g., filamentous growth) whose phylogenetic affiliations remain unknown. Here, we studied a filamentous green alga (strain MZCH580) from an Austrian peat bog with central or parietal chloroplasts that lack discernible pyrenoids. It represents Mougeotiopsis calospora PALLA, an enigmatic alga that was described more than 120 years ago[9] but never subjected to molecular analyses. We generated transcriptomic data of M. calospora strain MZCH580 and conducted comprehensive phylogenomic analyses (326 nuclear loci) for 46 taxonomically diverse zygnematophytes. Strain MZCH580 falls in a deep-branching zygnematophycean clade together with some unicellular species and thus represents a formerly unknown zygnematophycean lineage with filamentous growth. Our well-supported phylogenomic tree lets us propose a new five-order system for the Zygnematophyceae and provides evidence for at least five independent origins of true filamentous growth in the closest algal relatives of land plants. This phylogeny provides a robust and comprehensive framework for performing comparative analyses and inferring the evolution of cellular traits and body plans in the closest relatives of land plants.

RevDate: 2022-12-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-30

Michla M, C Wilhelm (2022)

Food for thought - ILC metabolism in the context of helminth infections.

Mucosal immunology, 15(6):1234-1242.

Helminths are multicellular ancient organisms residing as parasites at mucosal surfaces of their host. Through adaptation and co-evolution with their hosts, helminths have been able to develop tolerance mechanisms to limit inflammation and avoid expulsion. The study of helminth infections as an integral part of tissue immunology allowed us to understand fundamental aspects of mucosal and barrier immunology, which led to the discovery of a new group of tissue-resident immune cells, innate lymphoid cells (ILC), over a decade ago. Here, we review the intricate interplay between helminth infections and type 2 ILC (ILC2) biology, discuss the host metabolic adaptation to helminth infections and the metabolic pathways fueling ILC2 responses. We hypothesize that nutrient competition between host and helminths may have prevented chronic inflammation in the past and argue that a detailed understanding of the metabolic restraints imposed by helminth infections may offer new therapeutic avenues in the future.

RevDate: 2022-10-05
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Senthilkumar I, Howley E, E McEvoy (2022)

Thermodynamically-motivated chemo-mechanical models and multicellular simulation to provide new insight into active cell and tumour remodelling.

Experimental cell research, 419(2):113317.

Computational models can shape our understanding of cell and tissue remodelling, from cell spreading, to active force generation, adhesion, and growth. In this mini-review, we discuss recent progress in modelling of chemo-mechanical cell behaviour and the evolution of multicellular systems. In particular, we highlight recent advances in (i) free-energy based single cell models that can provide new fundamental insight into cell spreading, cancer cell invasion, stem cell differentiation, and remodelling in disease, and (ii) mechanical agent-based models to simulate large numbers of discrete interacting cells in proliferative tumours. We describe how new biological understanding has emerged from such theoretical models, and the trade-offs and constraints associated with current approaches. Ultimately, we aim to make a case for why theory should be integrated with an experimental workflow to optimise new in-vitro studies, to predict feedback between cells and their microenvironment, and to deepen understanding of active cell behaviour.

RevDate: 2022-09-15
CmpDate: 2022-08-29

Le NG, van Ulsen P, van Spanning R, et al (2022)

A Functional Carbohydrate Degrading Enzyme Potentially Acquired by Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Genome of the Soil Invertebrate Folsomia candida.

Genes, 13(8):.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is defined as the acquisition by an organism of hereditary material from a phylogenetically unrelated organism. This process is mostly observed among bacteria and archaea, and considered less likely between microbes and multicellular eukaryotes. However, recent studies provide compelling evidence of the evolutionary importance of HGT in eukaryotes, driving functional innovation. Here, we study an HGT event in Folsomia candida (Collembola, Hexapoda) of a carbohydrate-active enzyme homologous to glycosyl hydrase group 43 (GH43). The gene encodes an N-terminal signal peptide, targeting the product for excretion, which suggests that it contributes to the diversity of digestive capacities of the detritivore host. The predicted α-L-arabinofuranosidase shows high similarity to genes in two other Collembola, an insect and a tardigrade. The gene was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli using a cell-free protein expression system. The expressed protein showed activity against p-nitrophenyl-α-L-arabinofuranoside. Our work provides evidence for functional activity of an HGT gene in a soil-living detritivore, most likely from a bacterial donor, with genuine eukaryotic properties, such as a signal peptide. Co-evolution of metazoan GH43 genes with the Panarthropoda phylogeny suggests the HGT event took place early in the evolution of this ecdysozoan lineage.

RevDate: 2022-11-01
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Ocaña-Pallarès E, Williams TA, López-Escardó D, et al (2022)

Divergent genomic trajectories predate the origin of animals and fungi.

Nature, 609(7928):747-753.

Animals and fungi have radically distinct morphologies, yet both evolved within the same eukaryotic supergroup: Opisthokonta[1,2]. Here we reconstructed the trajectory of genetic changes that accompanied the origin of Metazoa and Fungi since the divergence of Opisthokonta with a dataset that includes four novel genomes from crucial positions in the Opisthokonta phylogeny. We show that animals arose only after the accumulation of genes functionally important for their multicellularity, a tendency that began in the pre-metazoan ancestors and later accelerated in the metazoan root. By contrast, the pre-fungal ancestors experienced net losses of most functional categories, including those gained in the path to Metazoa. On a broad-scale functional level, fungal genomes contain a higher proportion of metabolic genes and diverged less from the last common ancestor of Opisthokonta than did the gene repertoires of Metazoa. Metazoa and Fungi also show differences regarding gene gain mechanisms. Gene fusions are more prevalent in Metazoa, whereas a larger fraction of gene gains were detected as horizontal gene transfers in Fungi and protists, in agreement with the long-standing idea that transfers would be less relevant in Metazoa due to germline isolation[3-5]. Together, our results indicate that animals and fungi evolved under two contrasting trajectories of genetic change that predated the origin of both groups. The gradual establishment of two clearly differentiated genomic contexts thus set the stage for the emergence of Metazoa and Fungi.

RevDate: 2022-08-26
CmpDate: 2022-08-26

Shi B, Huang X, Fu X, et al (2022)

[Advances in the plant multicellular network analysis].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 38(8):2798-2810.

Multicellular network analysis is a method for topological properties analysis of cells. The functions of organs are determined by their inner cells. The arrangement of cells within organs endows higher-order functionality through a structure-function relationship, though the organizational properties of these multicellular configurations remain poorly understood. Multicellular network analysis with multicellular models established by 3D scanning of plants, will further discover the plant development mechanism, and provide clues for synthesizing plant multicellular systems. In this paper, we review the development of multicellular models, summarize the process of multicellular network analysis, and describe the development and application of multicellular network analysis in plants. In addition, this review also provides perspective on future development of plant multicellular network analysis.

RevDate: 2022-08-31
CmpDate: 2022-08-25

Gahan JM, Leclère L, Hernandez-Valladares M, et al (2022)

A developmental role for the chromatin-regulating CoREST complex in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis.

BMC biology, 20(1):184.

BACKGROUND: Chromatin-modifying proteins are key players in the regulation of development and cell differentiation in animals. Most chromatin modifiers, however, predate the evolution of animal multicellularity, and how they gained new functions and became integrated into the regulatory networks underlying development is unclear. One way this may occur is the evolution of new scaffolding proteins that integrate multiple chromatin regulators into larger complexes that facilitate coordinated deposition or removal of different chromatin modifications. We test this hypothesis by analyzing the evolution of the CoREST-Lsd1-HDAC complex.

RESULTS: Using phylogenetic analyses, we show that a bona fide CoREST homolog is found only in choanoflagellates and animals. We then use the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis as a model for early branching metazoans and identify a conserved CoREST complex by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry of an endogenously tagged Lsd1 allele. In addition to CoREST, Lsd1 and HDAC1/2 this complex contains homologs of HMG20A/B and PHF21A, two subunits that have previously only been identified in mammalian CoREST complexes. NvCoREST expression overlaps fully with that of NvLsd1 throughout development, with higher levels in differentiated neural cells. NvCoREST mutants, generated using CRISPR-Cas9, fail to develop beyond the primary polyp stage, thereby revealing essential roles during development and for the differentiation of cnidocytes that phenocopy NvLsd1 mutants. We also show that this requirement is cell autonomous using a cell-type-specific rescue approach.

CONCLUSIONS: The identification of a Nematostella CoREST-Lsd1-HDAC1/2 complex, its similarity in composition with the vertebrate complex, and the near-identical expression patterns and mutant phenotypes of NvCoREST and NvLsd1 suggest that the complex was present before the last common cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor and thus represents an ancient component of the animal developmental toolkit.

RevDate: 2022-11-17
CmpDate: 2022-08-24

Nyongesa S, Weber PM, Bernet È, et al (2022)

Evolution of longitudinal division in multicellular bacteria of the Neisseriaceae family.

Nature communications, 13(1):4853.

Rod-shaped bacteria typically elongate and divide by transverse fission. However, several bacterial species can form rod-shaped cells that divide longitudinally. Here, we study the evolution of cell shape and division mode within the family Neisseriaceae, which includes Gram-negative coccoid and rod-shaped species. In particular, bacteria of the genera Alysiella, Simonsiella and Conchiformibius, which can be found in the oral cavity of mammals, are multicellular and divide longitudinally. We use comparative genomics and ultrastructural microscopy to infer that longitudinal division within Neisseriaceae evolved from a rod-shaped ancestor. In multicellular longitudinally-dividing species, neighbouring cells within multicellular filaments are attached by their lateral peptidoglycan. In these bacteria, peptidoglycan insertion does not appear concentric, i.e. from the cell periphery to its centre, but as a medial sheet guillotining each cell. Finally, we identify genes and alleles associated with multicellularity and longitudinal division, including the acquisition of amidase-encoding gene amiC2, and amino acid changes in proteins including MreB and FtsA. Introduction of amiC2 and allelic substitution of mreB in a rod-shaped species that divides by transverse fission results in shorter cells with longer septa. Our work sheds light on the evolution of multicellularity and longitudinal division in bacteria, and suggests that members of the Neisseriaceae family may be good models to study these processes due to their morphological plasticity and genetic tractability.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-08-18

Jacques F, Baratchart E, Pienta KJ, et al (2022)

Origin and evolution of animal multicellularity in the light of phylogenomics and cancer genetics.

Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England), 39(11):160.

The rise of animals represents a major but enigmatic event in the evolutionary history of life. In recent years, numerous studies have aimed at understanding the genetic basis of this transition. However, genome comparisons of diverse animal and protist lineages suggest that the appearance of gene families that were previously considered animal specific indeed preceded animals. Animals' unicellular relatives, such as choanoflagellates, ichthyosporeans, and filastereans, demonstrate complex life cycles including transient multicellularity as well as genetic toolkits for temporal cell differentiation, cell-to-cell communication, apoptosis, and cell adhesion. This has warranted further exploration of the genetic basis underlying transitions in cellular organization. An alternative model for the study of transitions in cellular organization is tumors, which exploit physiological programs that characterize both unicellularity and multicellularity. Tumor cells, for example, switch adhesion on and off, up- or downregulate specific cell differentiation states, downregulate apoptosis, and allow cell migration within tissues. Here, we use insights from both the fields of phylogenomics and tumor biology to review the evolutionary history of the regulatory systems of multicellularity and discuss their overlap. We claim that while evolutionary biology has contributed to an increased understanding of cancer, broad investigations into tissue-normal and transformed-can also contribute the framework for exploring animal evolution.

RevDate: 2022-10-26
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Smith TJ, PCJ Donoghue (2022)

Evolution of fungal phenotypic disparity.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(10):1489-1500.

Organismal-grade multicellularity has been achieved only in animals, plants and fungi. All three kingdoms manifest phenotypically disparate body plans but their evolution has only been considered in detail for animals. Here we tested the general relevance of hypotheses on the evolutionary assembly of animal body plans by characterizing the evolution of fungal phenotypic variety (disparity). The distribution of living fungal form is defined by four distinct morphotypes: flagellated; zygomycetous; sac-bearing; and club-bearing. The discontinuity between morphotypes is a consequence of extinction, indicating that a complete record of fungal disparity would present a more homogeneous distribution of form. Fungal disparity expands episodically through time, punctuated by a sharp increase associated with the emergence of multicellular body plans. Simulations show these temporal trends to be non-random and at least partially shaped by hierarchical contingency. These trends are decoupled from changes in gene number, genome size and taxonomic diversity. Only differences in organismal complexity, characterized as the number of traits that constitute an organism, exhibit a meaningful relationship with fungal disparity. Both animals and fungi exhibit episodic increases in disparity through time, resulting in distributions of form made discontinuous by extinction. These congruences suggest a common mode of multicellular body plan evolution.

RevDate: 2022-08-19
CmpDate: 2022-08-12

Kim H, Skinner DJ, Glass DS, et al (2022)

4-bit adhesion logic enables universal multicellular interface patterning.

Nature, 608(7922):324-329.

Multicellular systems, from bacterial biofilms to human organs, form interfaces (or boundaries) between different cell collectives to spatially organize versatile functions[1,2]. The evolution of sufficiently descriptive genetic toolkits probably triggered the explosion of complex multicellular life and patterning[3,4]. Synthetic biology aims to engineer multicellular systems for practical applications and to serve as a build-to-understand methodology for natural systems[5-8]. However, our ability to engineer multicellular interface patterns[2,9] is still very limited, as synthetic cell-cell adhesion toolkits and suitable patterning algorithms are underdeveloped[5,7,10-13]. Here we introduce a synthetic cell-cell adhesin logic with swarming bacteria and establish the precise engineering, predictive modelling and algorithmic programming of multicellular interface patterns. We demonstrate interface generation through a swarming adhesion mechanism, quantitative control over interface geometry and adhesion-mediated analogues of developmental organizers and morphogen fields. Using tiling and four-colour-mapping concepts, we identify algorithms for creating universal target patterns. This synthetic 4-bit adhesion logic advances practical applications such as human-readable molecular diagnostics, spatial fluid control on biological surfaces and programmable self-growing materials[5-8,14]. Notably, a minimal set of just four adhesins represents 4 bits of information that suffice to program universal tessellation patterns, implying a low critical threshold for the evolution and engineering of complex multicellular systems[3,5].

RevDate: 2023-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-10-03

Raguž L, Peng CC, Rutaganira FUN, et al (2022)

Total Synthesis and Functional Evaluation of IORs, Sulfonolipid-based Inhibitors of Cell Differentiation in Salpingoeca rosetta.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 61(41):e202209105.

The choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta is an important model system to study the evolution of multicellularity. In this study we developed a new, modular, and scalable synthesis of sulfonolipid IOR-1A (six steps, 27 % overall yield), which acts as bacterial inhibitor of rosette formation in S. rosetta. The synthesis features a decarboxylative cross-coupling reaction of a sulfonic acid-containing tartaric acid derivative with alkyl zinc reagents. Synthesis of 15 modified IOR-1A derivatives, including fluorescent and photoaffinity-based probes, allowed quantification of IOR-1A, localization studies within S. rosetta cells, and evaluation of structure-activity relations. In a proof of concept study, an inhibitory bifunctional probe was employed in proteomic profiling studies, which allowed to deduce binding partners in bacteria and S. rosetta. These results showcase the power of synthetic chemistry to decipher the biochemical basis of cell differentiation processes within S. rosetta.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-07-28

Le Gloanec C, Collet L, Silveira SR, et al (2022)

Cell type-specific dynamics underlie cellular growth variability in plants.

Development (Cambridge, England), 149(14):.

Coordination of growth, patterning and differentiation is required for shaping organs in multicellular organisms. In plants, cell growth is controlled by positional information, yet the behavior of individual cells is often highly heterogeneous. The origin of this variability is still unclear. Using time-lapse imaging, we determined the source and relevance of cellular growth variability in developing organs of Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that growth is more heterogeneous in the leaf blade than in the midrib and petiole, correlating with higher local differences in growth rates between neighboring cells in the blade. This local growth variability coincides with developing stomata. Stomatal lineages follow a specific, time-dependent growth program that is different from that of their surroundings. Quantification of cellular dynamics in the leaves of a mutant lacking stomata, as well as analysis of floral organs, supports the idea that growth variability is mainly driven by stomata differentiation. Thus, the cell-autonomous behavior of specialized cells is the main source of local growth variability in otherwise homogeneously growing tissue. Those growth differences are buffered by the immediate neighbors of stomata and trichomes to achieve robust organ shapes.

RevDate: 2022-07-31

Dijkwel Y, DJ Tremethick (2022)

The Role of the Histone Variant H2A.Z in Metazoan Development.

Journal of developmental biology, 10(3):.

During the emergence and radiation of complex multicellular eukaryotes from unicellular ancestors, transcriptional systems evolved by becoming more complex to provide the basis for this morphological diversity. The way eukaryotic genomes are packaged into a highly complex structure, known as chromatin, underpins this evolution of transcriptional regulation. Chromatin structure is controlled by a variety of different epigenetic mechanisms, including the major mechanism for altering the biochemical makeup of the nucleosome by replacing core histones with their variant forms. The histone H2A variant H2A.Z is particularly important in early metazoan development because, without it, embryos cease to develop and die. However, H2A.Z is also required for many differentiation steps beyond the stage that H2A.Z-knockout embryos die. H2A.Z can facilitate the activation and repression of genes that are important for pluripotency and differentiation, and acts through a variety of different molecular mechanisms that depend upon its modification status, its interaction with histone and nonhistone partners, and where it is deposited within the genome. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge about the different mechanisms by which H2A.Z regulates chromatin function at various developmental stages and the chromatin remodeling complexes that determine when and where H2A.Z is deposited.

RevDate: 2022-11-14
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Ní Leathlobhair M, RE Lenski (2022)

Population genetics of clonally transmissible cancers.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(8):1077-1089.

Populations of cancer cells are subject to the same core evolutionary processes as asexually reproducing, unicellular organisms. Transmissible cancers are particularly striking examples of these processes. These unusual cancers are clonal lineages that can spread through populations via physical transfer of living cancer cells from one host individual to another, and they have achieved long-term success in the colonization of at least eight different host species. Population genetic theory provides a useful framework for understanding the shift from a multicellular sexual animal into a unicellular asexual clone and its long-term effects on the genomes of these cancers. In this Review, we consider recent findings from transmissible cancer research with the goals of developing an evolutionarily informed perspective on transmissible cancers, examining possible implications for their long-term fate and identifying areas for future research on these exceptional lineages.

RevDate: 2022-09-27
CmpDate: 2022-07-25

Howe J, Rink JC, Wang B, et al (2022)

Multicellularity in animals: The potential for within-organism conflict.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(32):e2120457119.

Metazoans function as individual organisms but also as "colonies" of cells whose single-celled ancestors lived and reproduced independently. Insights from evolutionary biology about multicellular group formation help us understand the behavior of cells: why they cooperate, and why cooperation sometimes breaks down. Current explanations for multicellularity focus on two aspects of development which promote cooperation and limit conflict among cells: a single-cell bottleneck, which creates organisms composed of clones, and a separation of somatic and germ cell lineages, which reduces the selective advantage of cheating. However, many obligately multicellular organisms thrive with neither, creating the potential for within-organism conflict. Here, we argue that the prevalence of such organisms throughout the Metazoa requires us to refine our preconceptions of conflict-free multicellularity. Evolutionary theory must incorporate developmental mechanisms across a broad range of organisms-such as unusual reproductive strategies, totipotency, and cell competition-while developmental biology must incorporate evolutionary principles. To facilitate this cross-disciplinary approach, we provide a conceptual overview from evolutionary biology for developmental biologists, using analogous examples in the well-studied social insects.

RevDate: 2022-08-31
CmpDate: 2022-07-22

Belcher LJ, Madgwick PG, Kuwana S, et al (2022)

Developmental constraints enforce altruism and avert the tragedy of the commons in a social microbe.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(29):e2111233119.

Organisms often cooperate through the production of freely available public goods. This can greatly benefit the group but is vulnerable to the "tragedy of the commons" if individuals lack the motivation to make the necessary investment into public goods production. Relatedness to groupmates can motivate individual investment because group success ultimately benefits their genes' own self-interests. However, systems often lack mechanisms that can reliably ensure that relatedness is high enough to promote cooperation. Consequently, groups face a persistent threat from the tragedy unless they have a mechanism to enforce investment when relatedness fails to provide adequate motivation. To understand the real threat posed by the tragedy and whether groups can avert its impact, we determine how the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum responds as relatedness decreases to levels that should induce the tragedy. We find that, while investment in public goods declines as overall within-group relatedness declines, groups avert the expected catastrophic collapse of the commons by continuing to invest, even when relatedness should be too low to incentivize any contribution. We show that this is due to a developmental buffering system that generates enforcement because insufficient cooperation perturbs the balance of a negative feedback system controlling multicellular development. This developmental constraint enforces investment under the conditions expected to be most tragic, allowing groups to avert a collapse in cooperation. These results help explain how mechanisms that suppress selfishness and enforce cooperation can arise inadvertently as a by-product of constraints imposed by selection on different traits.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

Educator

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.

Administrator

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.

Technologist

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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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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

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