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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 22 Oct 2020 at 01:47 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2020-10-19

Teulière J, Bernard G, E Bapteste (2020)

The Distribution of Genes Associated With Regulated Cell Death Is Decoupled From the Mitochondrial Phenotypes Within Unicellular Eukaryotic Hosts.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 8:536389.

Genetically regulated cell death (RCD) occurs in all domains of life. In eukaryotes, the evolutionary origin of the mitochondrion and of certain forms of RCD, in particular apoptosis, are thought to coincide, suggesting a central general role for mitochondria in cellular suicide. We tested this mitochondrial centrality hypothesis across a dataset of 67 species of protists, presenting 5 classes of mitochondrial phenotypes, including functional mitochondria, metabolically diversified mitochondria, functionally reduced mitochondria (Mitochondrion Related Organelle or MRO) and even complete absence of mitochondria. We investigated the distribution of genes associated with various forms of RCD. No homologs for described mammalian regulators of regulated necrosis could be identified in our set of 67 unicellular taxa. Protists with MRO and the secondarily a mitochondriate Monocercomonoides exilis display heterogeneous reductions of apoptosis gene sets with respect to typical mitochondriate protists. Remarkably, despite the total lack of mitochondria in M. exilis, apoptosis-associated genes could still be identified. These same species of protists with MRO and M. exilis harbored non-reduced autophagic cell death gene sets. Moreover, transiently multicellular protist taxa appeared enriched in apoptotic and autophagy associated genes compared to free-living protists. This analysis suggests that genes associated with apoptosis in animals and the presence of the mitochondria are significant yet non-essential biological components for RCD in protists. More generally, our results support the hypothesis of a selection for RCD, including both apoptosis and autophagy, as a developmental mechanism linked to multicellularity.

RevDate: 2020-10-17

Palazzo AF, EV Koonin (2020)

Functional Long Non-coding RNAs Evolve from Junk Transcripts.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(20)31244-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Transcriptome studies reveal pervasive transcription of complex genomes, such as those of mammals. Despite popular arguments for functionality of most, if not all, of these transcripts, genome-wide analysis of selective constraints indicates that most of the produced RNA are junk. However, junk is not garbage. On the contrary, junk transcripts provide the raw material for the evolution of diverse long non-coding (lnc) RNAs by non-adaptive mechanisms, such as constructive neutral evolution. The generation of many novel functional entities, such as lncRNAs, that fuels organismal complexity does not seem to be driven by strong positive selection. Rather, the weak selection regime that dominates the evolution of most multicellular eukaryotes provides ample material for functional innovation with relatively little adaptation involved.

RevDate: 2020-10-16
CmpDate: 2020-10-16

Rowe M, Veerus L, Trosvik P, et al (2020)

The Reproductive Microbiome: An Emerging Driver of Sexual Selection, Sexual Conflict, Mating Systems, and Reproductive Isolation.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 35(3):220-234.

All multicellular organisms host microbial communities in and on their bodies, and these microbiomes can have major influences on host biology. Most research has focussed on the oral, skin, and gut microbiomes, whereas relatively little is known about the reproductive microbiome. Here, we review empirical evidence to show that reproductive microbiomes can have significant effects on the reproductive function and performance of males and females. We then discuss the likely repercussions of these effects for evolutionary processes related to sexual selection and sexual conflict, as well as mating systems and reproductive isolation. We argue that knowledge of the reproductive microbiome is fundamental to our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of reproductive strategies and sexual dynamics of host organisms.

RevDate: 2020-10-15
CmpDate: 2020-10-15

Walker DM, Hill AJ, Albecker MA, et al (2020)

Variation in the Slimy Salamander (Plethodon spp.) Skin and Gut-Microbial Assemblages Is Explained by Geographic Distance and Host Affinity.

Microbial ecology, 79(4):985-997.

A multicellular host and its microbial communities are recognized as a metaorganism-a composite unit of evolution. Microbial communities have a variety of positive and negative effects on the host life history, ecology, and evolution. This study used high-throughput amplicon sequencing to characterize the complete skin and gut microbial communities, including both bacteria and fungi, of a terrestrial salamander, Plethodon glutinosus (Family Plethodontidae). We assessed salamander populations, representing nine mitochondrial haplotypes ('clades'), for differences in microbial assemblages across 13 geographic locations in the Southeastern United States. We hypothesized that microbial assemblages were structured by both host factors and geographic distance. We found a strong correlation between all microbial assemblages at close geographic distances, whereas, as spatial distance increases, the patterns became increasingly discriminate. Network analyses revealed that gut-bacterial communities have the highest degree of connectedness across geographic space. Host salamander clade was explanatory of skin-bacterial and gut-fungal assemblages but not gut-bacterial assemblages, unless the latter were analyzed within a phylogenetic context. We also inferred the function of gut-fungal assemblages to understand how an understudied component of the gut microbiome may influence salamander life history. We concluded that dispersal limitation may in part describe patterns in microbial assemblages across space and also that the salamander host may select for skin and gut communities that are maintained over time in closely related salamander populations.

RevDate: 2020-10-14
CmpDate: 2020-10-14

Wanninger A, T Wollesen (2020)

Methods in Brain Development of Molluscs.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2047:311-324.

Representatives of the phylum Mollusca have long been important models in neurobiological research. Recently, the routine application of immunocytochemistry and gene expression analyses in combination with confocal laserscanning microscopy has allowed fast generation of highly detailed reconstructions of neural structures of even the smallest multicellular animals, including early developmental stages. As a consequence, large-scale comparative analyses of neurogenesis-an important prerequisite for inferences concerning the evolution of animal nervous systems-are now possible in a reasonable amount of time. Herein, we describe immunocytochemical staining and in situ hybridization protocols for both, whole-mount preparations of developmental stages-usually 70-300 μm in size-as well as for vibratome and cryostat sections of complex brains. Although our procedures have been optimized for marine molluscs, they may easily be adapted to other (marine) organisms by the creative neurobiologist.

RevDate: 2020-10-14
CmpDate: 2020-10-14

Baade T, Paone C, Baldrich A, et al (2019)

Clustering of integrin β cytoplasmic domains triggers nascent adhesion formation and reveals a protozoan origin of the integrin-talin interaction.

Scientific reports, 9(1):5728 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-42002-6.

Integrins and integrin-dependent cell-matrix adhesions are essential for a number of physiological processes. Integrin function is tightly regulated via binding of cytoplasmic proteins to integrin intracellular domains. Yet, the complexity of cell-matrix adhesions in mammals, with more than 150 core adhesome proteins, complicates the analysis of integrin-associated protein complexes. Interestingly, the evolutionary origin of integrins dates back before the transition from unicellular life to complex multicellular animals. Though unicellular relatives of metazoa have a less complex adhesome, nothing is known about the initial steps of integrin activation and adhesion complex assembly in protozoa. Therefore, we developed a minimal, microscope-based system using chimeric integrins to investigate receptor-proximal events during focal adhesion assembly. Clustering of the human integrin β1 tail led to recruitment of talin, kindlin, and paxillin and mutation of the known talin binding site abolished recruitment of this protein. Proteins indirectly linked to integrins, such as vinculin, migfilin, p130CAS, or zyxin were not enriched around the integrin β1 tail. With the exception of integrin β4 and integrin β8, the cytoplasmic domains of all human integrin β subunits supported talin binding. Likewise, the cytoplasmic domains of integrin β subunits expressed by the protozoan Capsaspora owczarzaki readily recruited talin and this interaction was based on an evolutionary conserved NPXY/F amino acid motif. The results we present here validate the use of our novel microscopic assay to uncover details of integrin-based protein-protein interactions in a cellular context and suggest that talin binding to integrin β cytoplasmic tails is an ancient feature of integrin regulation.

RevDate: 2020-10-13
CmpDate: 2020-10-13

Reddy PC, Pradhan SJ, Karmodiya K, et al (2020)

Origin of RNA Polymerase II pause in eumetazoans: Insights from Hydra.

Journal of biosciences, 45:.

Multicellular organisms have evolved sophisticated mechanisms for responding to various developmental, environmental and physical stimuli by regulating transcription. The correlation of distribution of RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II) with transcription is well established in higher metazoans, however genome-wide information about its distribution in early metazoans, such as Hydra, is virtually absent. To gain insights into RNA Pol II-mediated transcription and chromatin organization in Hydra, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-coupled high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) for RNA Pol II and Histone H3. Strikingly, we found that Hydra RNA Pol II is uniformly distributed across the entire gene body, as opposed to its counterparts in bilaterians such as human and mouse. Furthermore, correlation with transcriptome data revealed that the levels of RNA Pol II correlate with the magnitude of gene expression. Strikingly, the characteristic peak of RNA Pol II pause typically observed in bilaterians at the transcription start sites (TSSs) was not observed in Hydra. The RNA Pol II traversing ratio in Hydra was found to be intermediate to yeast and bilaterians. The search for factors involved in RNA Pol II pause revealed that RNA Pol II pausing machinery was most likely acquired first in Cnidaria. However, only a small subset of genes exhibited the promoter proximal RNP Pol II pause. Interestingly, the nucleosome occupancy is highest over the subset of paused genes as compared to total Hydra genes, which is another indication of paused RNA Pol II at these genes. Thus, this study provides evidence for the molecular basis of RNA Pol II pause early during the evolution of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2020-10-13
CmpDate: 2020-10-13

Arcas A, Wilkinson DG, MÁ Nieto (2020)

The Evolutionary History of Ephs and Ephrins: Toward Multicellular Organisms.

Molecular biology and evolution, 37(2):379-394.

Eph receptor (Eph) and ephrin signaling regulate fundamental developmental processes through both forward and reverse signaling triggered upon cell-cell contact. In vertebrates, they are both classified into classes A and B, and some representatives have been identified in many metazoan groups, where their expression and functions have been well studied. We have extended previous phylogenetic analyses and examined the presence of Eph and ephrins in the tree of life to determine their origin and evolution. We have found that 1) premetazoan choanoflagellates may already have rudimental Eph/ephrin signaling as they have an Eph-/ephrin-like pair and homologs of downstream-signaling genes; 2) both forward- and reverse-downstream signaling might already occur in Porifera since sponges have most genes involved in these types of signaling; 3) the nonvertebrate metazoan Eph is a type-B receptor that can bind ephrins regardless of their membrane-anchoring structure, glycosylphosphatidylinositol, or transmembrane; 4) Eph/ephrin cross-class binding is specific to Gnathostomata; and 5) kinase-dead Eph receptors can be traced back to Gnathostomata. We conclude that Eph/ephrin signaling is of older origin than previously believed. We also examined the presence of protein domains associated with functional characteristics and the appearance and conservation of downstream-signaling pathways to understand the original and derived functions of Ephs and ephrins. We find that the evolutionary history of these gene families points to an ancestral function in cell-cell interactions that could contribute to the emergence of multicellularity and, in particular, to the required segregation of cell populations.

RevDate: 2020-10-13
CmpDate: 2020-10-13

Salvi M, Morbiducci U, Amadeo F, et al (2019)

Automated Segmentation of Fluorescence Microscopy Images for 3D Cell Detection in human-derived Cardiospheres.

Scientific reports, 9(1):6644 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-43137-2.

The 'cardiosphere' is a 3D cluster of cardiac progenitor cells recapitulating a stem cell niche-like microenvironment with a potential for disease and regeneration modelling of the failing human myocardium. In this multicellular 3D context, it is extremely important to decrypt the spatial distribution of cell markers for dissecting the evolution of cellular phenotypes by direct quantification of fluorescent signals in confocal microscopy. In this study, we present a fully automated method, named CARE ('CARdiosphere Evaluation'), for the segmentation of membranes and cell nuclei in human-derived cardiospheres. The proposed method is tested on twenty 3D-stacks of cardiospheres, for a total of 1160 images. Automatic results are compared with manual annotations and two open-source software designed for fluorescence microscopy. CARE performance was excellent in cardiospheres membrane segmentation and, in cell nuclei detection, the algorithm achieved the same performance as two expert operators. To the best of our knowledge, CARE is the first fully automated algorithm for segmentation inside in vitro 3D cell spheroids, including cardiospheres. The proposed approach will provide, in the future, automated quantitative analysis of markers distribution within the cardiac niche-like environment, enabling predictive associations between cell mechanical stresses and dynamic phenotypic changes.

RevDate: 2020-10-09
CmpDate: 2020-10-09

Urayama SI, Takaki Y, Hagiwara D, et al (2020)

dsRNA-seq Reveals Novel RNA Virus and Virus-Like Putative Complete Genome Sequences from Hymeniacidon sp. Sponge.

Microbes and environments, 35(2):.

Invertebrates are a source of previously unknown RNA viruses that fill gaps in the viral phylogenetic tree. Although limited information is currently available on RNA viral diversity in the marine sponge, a primordial multicellular animal that belongs to the phylum Porifera, the marine sponge is one of the well-studied holobiont systems. In the present study, we elucidated the putative complete genome sequences of five novel RNA viruses from Hymeniacidon sponge using a combination of double-stranded RNA sequencing, called fragmented and primer ligated dsRNA sequencing, and a conventional transcriptome method targeting single-stranded RNA. We identified highly diverged RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequences, including a potential novel RNA viral lineage, in the sponge and three viruses presumed to infect sponge cells.

RevDate: 2020-10-08

Jiang L, Lu Y, Zheng L, et al (2020)

The algal selenoproteomes.

BMC genomics, 21(1):699 pii:10.1186/s12864-020-07101-z.

BACKGROUND: Selenium is an essential trace element, and selenocysteine (Sec, U) is its predominant form in vivo. Proteins that contain Sec are selenoproteins, whose special structural features include not only the TGA codon encoding Sec but also the SECIS element in mRNA and the conservation of the Sec-flanking region. These unique features have led to the development of a series of bioinformatics methods to predict and research selenoprotein genes. There have been some studies and reports on the evolution and distribution of selenoprotein genes in prokaryotes and multicellular eukaryotes, but the systematic analysis of single-cell eukaryotes, especially algae, has been very limited.

RESULTS: In this study, we predicted selenoprotein genes in 137 species of algae by using a program we previously developed. More than 1000 selenoprotein genes were obtained. A database website was built to record these algae selenoprotein genes (www.selenoprotein.com). These genes belong to 42 selenoprotein families, including three novel selenoprotein gene families.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals the primordial state of the eukaryotic selenoproteome. It is an important clue to explore the significance of selenium for primordial eukaryotes and to determine the complete evolutionary spectrum of selenoproteins in all life forms.

RevDate: 2020-10-07
CmpDate: 2020-10-07

Pérez P, Soto T, Gómez-Gil E, et al (2020)

Functional interaction between Cdc42 and the stress MAPK signaling pathway during the regulation of fission yeast polarized growth.

International microbiology : the official journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology, 23(1):31-41.

Cell polarization can be defined as the generation and maintenance of directional cellular organization. The spatial distribution and protein or lipid composition of the cell are not symmetric but organized in specialized domains which allow cells to grow and acquire a certain shape that is closely linked to their physiological function. The establishment and maintenance of polarized growth requires the coordination of diverse processes including cytoskeletal dynamics, membrane trafficking, and signaling cascade regulation. Some of the major players involved in the selection and maintenance of sites for polarized growth are Rho GTPases, which recognize the polarization site and transmit the signal to regulatory proteins of the cytoskeleton. Additionally, cytoskeletal organization, polarized secretion, and endocytosis are controlled by signaling pathways including those mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Rho GTPases and the MAPK signaling pathways are strongly conserved from yeast to mammals, suggesting that the basic mechanisms of polarized growth have been maintained throughout evolution. For this reason, the study of how polarized growth is established and regulated in simple organisms such as the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has contributed to broaden our knowledge about these processes in multicellular organisms. We review here the function of the Cdc42 GTPase and the stress activated MAPK (SAPK) signaling pathways during fission yeast polarized growth, and discuss the relevance of the crosstalk between both pathways.

RevDate: 2020-10-03

Rochman ND, Wolf YI, EV Koonin (2020)

Deep phylogeny of cancer drivers and compensatory mutations.

Communications biology, 3(1):551 pii:10.1038/s42003-020-01276-7.

Driver mutations (DM) are the genetic impetus for most cancers. The DM are assumed to be deleterious in species evolution, being eliminated by purifying selection unless compensated by other mutations. We present deep phylogenies for 84 cancer driver genes and investigate the prevalence of 434 DM across gene-species trees. The DM are rare in species evolution, and 181 are completely absent, validating their negative fitness effect. The DM are more common in unicellular than in multicellular eukaryotes, suggesting a link between these mutations and cell proliferation control. 18 DM appear as the ancestral state in one or more major clades, including 3 among mammals. We identify within-gene, compensatory mutations for 98 DM and infer likely interactions between the DM and compensatory sites in protein structures. These findings elucidate the evolutionary status of DM and are expected to advance the understanding of the functions and evolution of oncogenes and tumor suppressors.

RevDate: 2020-10-02
CmpDate: 2008-01-23

NETTLESHIP A (1949)

The tissue element in the origin of the new formations; morphological proof of the multicellular origin of new growths.

Der Krebsarzt, 4(3):115.

RevDate: 2020-09-30
CmpDate: 2020-09-30

Kinsella CM, Bart A, Deijs M, et al (2020)

Entamoeba and Giardia parasites implicated as hosts of CRESS viruses.

Nature communications, 11(1):4620 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-18474-w.

Metagenomic techniques have enabled genome sequencing of unknown viruses without isolation in cell culture, but information on the virus host is often lacking, preventing viral characterisation. High-throughput methods capable of identifying virus hosts based on genomic data alone would aid evaluation of their medical or biological relevance. Here, we address this by linking metagenomic discovery of three virus families in human stool samples with determination of probable hosts. Recombination between viruses provides evidence of a shared host, in which genetic exchange occurs. We utilise networks of viral recombination to delimit virus-host clusters, which are then anchored to specific hosts using (1) statistical association to a host organism in clinical samples, (2) endogenous viral elements in host genomes, and (3) evidence of host small RNA responses to these elements. This analysis suggests two CRESS virus families (Naryaviridae and Nenyaviridae) infect Entamoeba parasites, while a third (Vilyaviridae) infects Giardia duodenalis. The trio supplements five CRESS virus families already known to infect eukaryotes, extending the CRESS virus host range to protozoa. Phylogenetic analysis implies CRESS viruses infecting multicellular life have evolved independently on at least three occasions.

RevDate: 2020-09-29
CmpDate: 2020-09-29

Prior KF, Rijo-Ferreira F, Assis PA, et al (2020)

Periodic Parasites and Daily Host Rhythms.

Cell host & microbe, 27(2):176-187.

Biological rhythms appear to be an elegant solution to the challenge of coordinating activities with the consequences of the Earth's daily and seasonal rotation. The genes and molecular mechanisms underpinning circadian clocks in multicellular organisms are well understood. In contrast, the regulatory mechanisms and fitness consequences of biological rhythms exhibited by parasites remain mysterious. Here, we explore how periodicity in parasite traits is generated and why daily rhythms matter for parasite fitness. We focus on malaria (Plasmodium) parasites which exhibit developmental rhythms during replication in the mammalian host's blood and in transmission to vectors. Rhythmic in-host parasite replication is responsible for eliciting inflammatory responses, the severity of disease symptoms, and fueling transmission, as well as conferring tolerance to anti-parasite drugs. Thus, understanding both how and why the timing and synchrony of parasites are connected to the daily rhythms of hosts and vectors may make treatment more effective and less toxic to hosts.

RevDate: 2020-09-25

Petre B (2020)

Toward the Discovery of Host-Defense Peptides in Plants.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:1825.

Defense peptides protect multicellular eukaryotes from infections. In biomedical sciences, a dominant conceptual framework refers to defense peptides as host-defense peptides (HDPs), which are bifunctional peptides with both direct antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. No HDP has been reported in plants so far, and the very concept of HDP has not been captured yet by the plant science community. Plant science thus lacks the conceptual framework that would coordinate research efforts aimed at discovering plant HDPs. In this perspective article, I used bibliometric and literature survey approaches to raise awareness about the HDP concept among plant scientists, and to encourage research efforts aimed at discovering plant HDPs. Such discovery would enrich our comprehension of the function and evolution of the plant immune system, and provide us with novel molecular tools to develop innovative strategies to control crop diseases.

RevDate: 2020-09-25
CmpDate: 2020-09-25

Heredia-Soto V, Redondo A, Kreilinger JJP, et al (2020)

3D Culture Modelling: An Emerging Approach for Translational Cancer Research in Sarcomas.

Current medicinal chemistry, 27(29):4778-4788.

Sarcomas are tumours of mesenchymal origin, which can arise in bone or soft tissues. They are rare but frequently quite aggressive and with a poor outcome. New approaches are needed to characterise these tumours and their resistance mechanisms to current therapies, responsible for tumour recurrence and treatment failure. This review is focused on the potential of three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models, including multicellular tumour spheroids (MCTS) and organoids, and the latest data about their utility for the study on important properties for tumour development. The use of spheroids as a particularly valuable alternative for compound high throughput screening (HTS) in different areas of cancer biology is also discussed, which enables the identification of new therapeutic opportunities in commonly resistant tumours.

RevDate: 2020-09-21
CmpDate: 2020-09-21

Fukushima K, DD Pollock (2020)

Amalgamated cross-species transcriptomes reveal organ-specific propensity in gene expression evolution.

Nature communications, 11(1):4459 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-18090-8.

The origins of multicellular physiology are tied to evolution of gene expression. Genes can shift expression as organisms evolve, but how ancestral expression influences altered descendant expression is not well understood. To examine this, we amalgamate 1,903 RNA-seq datasets from 182 research projects, including 6 organs in 21 vertebrate species. Quality control eliminates project-specific biases, and expression shifts are reconstructed using gene-family-wise phylogenetic Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models. Expression shifts following gene duplication result in more drastic changes in expression properties than shifts without gene duplication. The expression properties are tightly coupled with protein evolutionary rate, depending on whether and how gene duplication occurred. Fluxes in expression patterns among organs are nonrandom, forming modular connections that are reshaped by gene duplication. Thus, if expression shifts, ancestral expression in some organs induces a strong propensity for expression in particular organs in descendants. Regardless of whether the shifts are adaptive or not, this supports a major role for what might be termed preadaptive pathways of gene expression evolution.

RevDate: 2020-09-15
CmpDate: 2020-09-15

Herron MD, Borin JM, Boswell JC, et al (2019)

De novo origins of multicellularity in response to predation.

Scientific reports, 9(1):2328.

The transition from unicellular to multicellular life was one of a few major events in the history of life that created new opportunities for more complex biological systems to evolve. Predation is hypothesized as one selective pressure that may have driven the evolution of multicellularity. Here we show that de novo origins of simple multicellularity can evolve in response to predation. We subjected outcrossed populations of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to selection by the filter-feeding predator Paramecium tetraurelia. Two of five experimental populations evolved multicellular structures not observed in unselected control populations within ~750 asexual generations. Considerable variation exists in the evolved multicellular life cycles, with both cell number and propagule size varying among isolates. Survival assays show that evolved multicellular traits provide effective protection against predation. These results support the hypothesis that selection imposed by predators may have played a role in some origins of multicellularity.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Gao M, Mackley IGP, Mesbahi-Vasey S, et al (2020)

Structural Characterization and Computational Analysis of PDZ domains in Monosiga brevicollis.

Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society [Epub ahead of print].

Identification of the molecular networks that facilitated the evolution of multicellular animals from their unicellular ancestors is a fundamental problem in evolutionary cellular biology. Choanoflagellates are recognized as the closest extant non-metazoan ancestors to animals. These unicellular eukaryotes can adopt a multicellular-like "rosette" state. Therefore, they are compelling models for the study of early multicellularity. Comparative studies revealed that a number of putative human orthologs are present in choanoflagellate genomes, suggesting that a subset of these genes were necessary for the emergence of multicellularity. However, previous work is largely based on sequence alignments alone, which does not confirm structural nor functional similarity. Here, we focus on the PDZ domain, a peptide-binding domain which plays critical roles in myriad cellular signaling networks and which underwent a gene family expansion in metazoan lineages. Using a customized sequence similarity search algorithm, we identified 178 PDZ domains in the Monosiga brevicollis proteome. This includes 11 previously unidentified sequences, which we analyzed using Rosetta and homology modeling. To assess conservation of protein structure, we solved high resolution crystal structures of representative M. brevicollis PDZ domains that are homologous to human Dlg1 PDZ2, Dlg1 PDZ3, GIPC, and SHANK1 PDZ domains. To assess functional conservation, we calculated binding affinities for mbGIPC, mbSHANK1, mbSNX27, and mbDLG-3 PDZ domains from M. brevicollis. Overall, we find that peptide selectivity is generally conserved between these two disparate organisms, with one possible exception, mbDLG-3. Overall, our results provide novel insight into signaling pathways in a choanoflagellate model of primitive multicellularity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Zhu SQ, Zhang YJ, Abbas MN, et al (2020)

Hedgehog promotes cell proliferation in the midgut of silkworm, Bombyx mori.

Insect science, 27(4):697-707.

The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is one of the major regulators of embryonic development and tissue homeostasis in multicellular organisms. However, the role of this pathway in the silkworm, especially in the silkworm midgut, remains poorly understood. Here, we report that Bombyx mori Hedgehog (BmHh) is expressed in most tissues of silkworm larvae and that its functions are well-conserved throughout evolution. We further demonstrate that the messenger RNA of four Hh signaling components, BmHh ligand, BmPtch receptor, signal transducer BmSmo and transcription factor BmCi, are all upregulated following Escherichia coli or Bacillus thuringiensis infection, indicating the activation of the Hh pathway. Simultaneously, midgut cell proliferation is strongly promoted. Conversely, the repression of Hh signal transduction with double-stranded RNA or cyclopamine inhibits the expression of BmHh and BmCi and reduces cell proliferation. Overall, these findings provide new insights into the Hh signaling pathway in the silkworm, B. mori.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Zhang L, Tan Y, Fan S, et al (2019)

Phylostratigraphic analysis of gene co-expression network reveals the evolution of functional modules for ovarian cancer.

Scientific reports, 9(1):2623.

Ovarian cancer (OV) is an extremely lethal disease. However, the evolutionary machineries of OV are still largely unknown. Here, we used a method that combines phylostratigraphy information with gene co-expression networks to extensively study the evolutionary compositions of OV. The present co-expression network construction yielded 18,549 nodes and 114,985 edges based on 307 OV expression samples obtained from the Genome Data Analysis Centers database. A total of 20 modules were identified as OV related clusters. The human genome sequences were divided into 19 phylostrata (PS), the majority (67.45%) of OV genes was already present in the eukaryotic ancestor. There were two strong peaks of the emergence of OV genes screened by hypergeometric test: the evolution of the multicellular metazoan organisms (PS5 and PS6, P value = 0.002) and the emergence of bony fish (PS11 and PS12, P value = 0.009). Hence, the origin of OV is far earlier than its emergence. The integrated analysis of the topology of OV modules and the phylogenetic data revealed an evolutionary pattern of OV in human, namely, OV modules have arisen step by step during the evolution of the respective lineages. New genes have evolved and become locked into a pathway, where more and more biological pathways are fixed into OV modules by recruiting new genes during human evolution.

RevDate: 2020-09-08
CmpDate: 2020-09-08

Dhouailly D, Godefroit P, Martin T, et al (2019)

Getting to the root of scales, feather and hair: As deep as odontodes?.

Experimental dermatology, 28(4):503-508.

While every jawed vertebrate, or its recent ancestor, possesses teeth, skin appendages are characteristic of the living clades: skin denticles (odontodes) in chondrichthyans, dermal scales in teleosts, ducted multicellular glands in amphibians, epidermal scales in squamates, feathers in birds and hair-gland complexes in mammals, all of them showing a dense periodic patterning. While the odontode origin of teleost scales is generally accepted, the origin of both feather and hair is still debated. They appear long before mammals and birds, at least in the Jurassic in mammaliaforms and in ornithodires (pterosaurs and dinosaurs), and are contemporary to scales of early squamates. Epidermal scales might have appeared several times in evolution, and basal amniotes could not have developed a scaled dry integument, as the function of hair follicle requires its association with glands. In areas such as amnion, cornea or plantar pads, the formation of feather and hair is prevented early in embryogenesis, but can be easily reverted by playing with the Wnt/BMP/Shh pathways, which both imply the plasticity and the default competence of ectoderm. Conserved ectodermal/mesenchymal signalling pathways lead to placode formation, while later the crosstalk differs, as well as the final performing tissue(s): both epidermis and dermis for teeth and odontodes, mostly dermis for teleosts scales and only epidermis for squamate scale, feather and hair. We therefore suggest that tooth, dermal scale, epidermal scale, feather and hair evolved in parallel from a shared placode/dermal cell unit, which was present in a common ancestor, an early vertebrate gnathostome with odontodes, ca. 420 million years ago.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Sidorova AE, Tverdislov VA, Levashova NT, et al (2020)

A model of autowave self-organization as a hierarchy of active media in the biological evolution.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(20)30123-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Within the framework of the active media concept, we develop a biophysical model of autowave self-organization which is treated as a hierarchy of active media in the evolution of the biosphere. We also propose a mathematical model of the autowave process of speciation in a flow of mutations for the three main taxonometric groups (prokaryotes, unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes) with a naturally determined lower boundary of living matter (the appearance of prokaryotes) and an open upper boundary for the formation of new species. It is shown that the fluctuation-bifurcation description of the evolution for the formation of new taxonometric groups as a trajectory of transformation of small fluctuations into giant ones adequately reflects the process of self-organization during the formation of taxa. The major concepts of biological evolution, conditions of hierarchy formation as a fundamental manifestation of self-organization and complexity in the evolution of biological systems are considered.

RevDate: 2020-09-04
CmpDate: 2020-09-04

Karimi E, Geslain E, KleinJan H, et al (2020)

Genome Sequences of 72 Bacterial Strains Isolated from Ectocarpus subulatus: A Resource for Algal Microbiology.

Genome biology and evolution, 12(1):3647-3655.

Brown algae are important primary producers and ecosystem engineers in the ocean, and Ectocarpus has been established as a laboratory model for this lineage. Like most multicellular organisms, Ectocarpus is associated with a community of microorganisms, a partnership frequently referred to as holobiont due to the tight interconnections between the components. Although genomic resources for the algal host are well established, its associated microbiome is poorly characterized from a genomic point of view, limiting the possibilities of using these types of data to study host-microbe interactions. To address this gap in knowledge, we present the annotated draft genome sequences of seventy-two cultivable Ectocarpus-associated bacteria. A screening of gene clusters related to the production of secondary metabolites revealed terpene, bacteriocin, NRPS, PKS-t3, siderophore, PKS-t1, and homoserine lactone clusters to be abundant among the sequenced genomes. These compounds may be used by the bacteria to communicate with the host and other microbes. Moreover, detoxification and provision of vitamin B pathways have been observed in most sequenced genomes, highlighting potential contributions of the bacterial metabolism toward host fitness and survival. The genomes sequenced in this study form a valuable resource for comparative genomic analyses and evolutionary surveys of alga-associated bacteria. They help establish Ectocarpus as a model for brown algal holobionts and will enable the research community to produce testable hypotheses about the molecular interactions within this complex system.

RevDate: 2020-09-02
CmpDate: 2020-09-02

Fisher RM, Shik JZ, JJ Boomsma (2020)

The evolution of multicellular complexity: the role of relatedness and environmental constraints.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1931):20192963.

A major challenge in evolutionary biology has been to explain the variation in multicellularity across the many independently evolved multicellular lineages, from slime moulds to vertebrates. Social evolution theory has highlighted the key role of relatedness in determining multicellular complexity and obligateness; however, there is a need to extend this to a broader perspective incorporating the role of the environment. In this paper, we formally test Bonner's 1998 hypothesis that the environment is crucial in determining the course of multicellular evolution, with aggregative multicellularity evolving more frequently on land and clonal multicellularity more frequently in water. Using a combination of scaling theory and phylogenetic comparative analyses, we describe multicellular organizational complexity across 139 species spanning 14 independent transitions to multicellularity and investigate the role of the environment in determining multicellular group formation and in imposing constraints on multicellular evolution. Our results, showing that the physical environment has impacted the way in which multicellular groups form, highlight that environmental conditions might have affected the major evolutionary transition to obligate multicellularity.

RevDate: 2020-09-02
CmpDate: 2020-09-02

Coudert Y, Harris S, B Charrier (2019)

Design Principles of Branching Morphogenesis in Filamentous Organisms.

Current biology : CB, 29(21):R1149-R1162.

The radiation of life on Earth was accompanied by the diversification of multicellular body plans in the eukaryotic kingdoms Animalia, Plantae, Fungi and Chromista. Branching forms are ubiquitous in nature and evolved repeatedly in the above lineages. The developmental and genetic basis of branch formation is well studied in the three-dimensional shoot and root systems of land plants, and in animal organs such as the lung, kidney, mammary gland, vasculature, etc. Notably, recent thought-provoking studies combining experimental analysis and computational modeling of branching patterns in whole animal organs have identified global patterning rules and proposed unifying principles of branching morphogenesis. Filamentous branching forms represent one of the simplest expressions of the multicellular body plan and constitute a key step in the evolution of morphological complexity. Similarities between simple and complex branching forms distantly related in evolution are compelling, raising the question whether shared mechanisms underlie their development. Here, we focus on filamentous branching organisms that represent major study models from three distinct eukaryotic kingdoms, including the moss Physcomitrella patens (Plantae), the brown alga Ectocarpus sp. (Chromista), and the ascomycetes Neurospora crassa and Aspergillus nidulans (Fungi), and bring to light developmental regulatory mechanisms and design principles common to these lineages. Throughout the review we explore how the regulatory mechanisms of branching morphogenesis identified in other models, and in particular animal organs, may inform our thinking on filamentous systems and thereby advance our understanding of the diverse strategies deployed across the eukaryotic tree of life to evolve similar forms.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Futo M, Opašić L, Koska S, et al (2020)

Embryo-like features in developing Bacillus subtilis biofilms.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5900268 [Epub ahead of print].

Correspondence between evolution and development has been discussed for more than two centuries. Recent work reveals that phylogeny-ontogeny correlations are indeed present in developmental transcriptomes of eukaryotic clades with complex multicellularity. Nevertheless, it has been largely ignored that the pervasive presence of phylogeny-ontogeny correlations is a hallmark of development in eukaryotes. This perspective opens a possibility to look for similar parallelisms in biological settings where developmental logic and multicellular complexity are more obscure. For instance, it has been increasingly recognized that multicellular behaviour underlies biofilm formation in bacteria. However, it remains unclear whether bacterial biofilm growth shares some basic principles with development in complex eukaryotes. Here we show that the ontogeny of growing Bacillus subtilis biofilms recapitulates phylogeny at the expression level. Using time-resolved transcriptome and proteome profiles, we found that biofilm ontogeny correlates with the evolutionary measures, in a way that evolutionary younger and more diverged genes were increasingly expressed towards later timepoints of biofilm growth. Molecular and morphological signatures also revealed that biofilm growth is highly regulated and organized into discrete ontogenetic stages, analogous to those of eukaryotic embryos. Together, this suggests that biofilm formation in Bacillus is a bona fide developmental process comparable to organismal development in animals, plants and fungi. Given that most cells on Earth reside in the form of biofilms and that biofilms represent the oldest known fossils, we anticipate that the widely-adopted vision of the first life as a single-cell and free-living organism needs rethinking.

RevDate: 2020-08-24
CmpDate: 2020-08-24

Heaton LLM, Jones NS, MD Fricker (2020)

A mechanistic explanation of the transition to simple multicellularity in fungi.

Nature communications, 11(1):2594 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-16072-4.

Development of multicellularity was one of the major transitions in evolution and occurred independently multiple times in algae, plants, animals, and fungi. However recent comparative genome analyses suggest that fungi followed a different route to other eukaryotic lineages. To understand the driving forces behind the transition from unicellular fungi to hyphal forms of growth, we develop a comparative model of osmotrophic resource acquisition. This predicts that whenever the local resource is immobile, hard-to-digest, and nutrient poor, hyphal osmotrophs outcompete motile or autolytic unicellular osmotrophs. This hyphal advantage arises because transporting nutrients via a contiguous cytoplasm enables continued exploitation of remaining resources after local depletion of essential nutrients, and more efficient use of costly exoenzymes. The model provides a mechanistic explanation for the origins of multicellular hyphal organisms, and explains why fungi, rather than unicellular bacteria, evolved to dominate decay of recalcitrant, nutrient poor substrates such as leaf litter or wood.

RevDate: 2020-08-24
CmpDate: 2020-08-24

Rezaei-Lotfi S, Hunter N, RM Farahani (2019)

Coupled cycling programs multicellular self-organization of neural progenitors.

Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 18(17):2040-2054.

Self-organization is central to the morphogenesis of multicellular organisms. However, the molecular platform that coordinates the robust emergence of complex morphological patterns from local interactions between cells remains unresolved. Here we demonstrate that neural self- organization is driven by coupled cycling of progenitor cells. In a coupled cycling mode, intercellular contacts relay extrinsic cues to override the intrinsic cycling rhythm of an individual cell and synchronize the population. The stringency of coupling and hence the synchronicity of the population is programmed by recruitment of a key coupler, β-catenin, into junctional complexes. As such, multicellular self-organization is driven by the same basic mathematical principle that governs synchronized behavior of macro-scale biological systems as diverse as the synchronized chirping of crickets, flashing of fireflies and schooling of fish; that is synchronization by coupling. It is proposed that coupled cycling foreshadows a fundamental adaptive change that facilitated evolution and diversification of multicellular life forms.

RevDate: 2020-08-21
CmpDate: 2020-08-21

Yao M, Ventura PB, Jiang Y, et al (2020)

Astrocytic trans-Differentiation Completes a Multicellular Paracrine Feedback Loop Required for Medulloblastoma Tumor Growth.

Cell, 180(3):502-520.e19.

The tumor microenvironment (TME) is critical for tumor progression. However, the establishment and function of the TME remain obscure because of its complex cellular composition. Using a mouse genetic system called mosaic analysis with double markers (MADMs), we delineated TME evolution at single-cell resolution in sonic hedgehog (SHH)-activated medulloblastomas that originate from unipotent granule neuron progenitors in the brain. First, we found that astrocytes within the TME (TuAstrocytes) were trans-differentiated from tumor granule neuron precursors (GNPs), which normally never differentiate into astrocytes. Second, we identified that TME-derived IGF1 promotes tumor progression. Third, we uncovered that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is produced by tumor-associated microglia in response to interleukin-4 (IL-4) stimulation. Finally, we found that IL-4 is secreted by TuAstrocytes. Collectively, our studies reveal an evolutionary process that produces a multi-lateral network within the TME of medulloblastoma: a fraction of tumor cells trans-differentiate into TuAstrocytes, which, in turn, produce IL-4 that stimulates microglia to produce IGF1 to promote tumor progression.

RevDate: 2020-08-17

Cohen IR, A Marron (2020)

The evolution of universal adaptations of life is driven by universal properties of matter: energy, entropy, and interaction.

F1000Research, 9:626.

The evolution of multicellular eukaryotes expresses two sorts of adaptations: local adaptations like fur or feathers, which characterize species in particular environments, and universal adaptations like microbiomes or sexual reproduction, which characterize most multicellulars in any environment. We reason that the mechanisms driving the universal adaptations of multicellulars should themselves be universal, and propose a mechanism based on properties of matter and systems: energy, entropy, and interaction. Energy from the sun, earth and beyond creates new arrangements and interactions. Metabolic networks channel some of this energy to form cooperating, interactive arrangements. Entropy, used here as a term for all forces that dismantle ordered structures (rather than as a physical quantity), acts as a selective force. Entropy selects for arrangements that resist it long enough to replicate, and dismantles those that do not. Interactions, energy-charged and dynamic, restrain entropy and enable survival and propagation of integrated living systems. This fosters survival-of-the-fitted - those entities that resist entropic destruction - and not only of the fittest - the entities with the greatest reproductive success. The "unit" of evolution is not a discrete entity, such as a gene, individual, or species; what evolves are collections of related interactions at multiple scales. Survival-of-the-fitted explains universal adaptations, including resident microbiomes, sexual reproduction, continuous diversification, programmed turnover, seemingly wasteful phenotypes, altruism, co-evolving environmental niches, and advancing complexity. Indeed survival-of-the-fittest may be a particular case of the survival-of-the-fitted mechanism, promoting local adaptations that express reproductive advantages in addition to resisting entropy. Survival-of-the-fitted accounts for phenomena that have been attributed to neutral evolution: in the face of entropy, there is no neutrality; all variations are challenged by ubiquitous energy and entropy, retaining those that are "fit enough". We propose experiments to test predictions of the survival-of-the-fitted theory, and discuss implications for the wellbeing of humans and the biosphere.

RevDate: 2020-08-17
CmpDate: 2020-08-17

Tian L, Zhang B, Zhang J, et al (2019)

A magnetic compass guides the direction of foraging in a bat.

Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, 205(4):619-627.

Previously, two studies have provided evidence that bats can use magnetic field cues for homing or roosting. For insectivorous bats, it is well established that foraging represents one of the most fundamental behaviors in animals relies on their ability to echolocate. Whether echolocating bats can also use magnetic cues during foraging remains unknown, however. Here, we tested the orientation behavior of Chinese noctules (Nyctalus plancyi) during foraging in a plus-shaped, 4-channel apparatus under different magnetic field conditions. To minimize the effects of spatial memory on orientation from repeated experiments, naïve bats were tested only once in each experimental condition. As expected, under geomagnetic field and a food resource offered conditions, the bats significantly preferred to enter the channel containing food, indicating that they primarily relied on direct sensory signals unrelated to magnetic cues. In contrast, when we offered food simultaneously in all four channels and minimized any differences in all other sensory signals available, the bats exhibited a clear directional preference to forage along the magnetic field direction under either geomagnetic field or a magnetic field in which the horizontal component was rotated by 90°. Our study offers a novel evidence for the importance of a geomagnetic field during foraging.

RevDate: 2020-08-14
CmpDate: 2020-08-14

Fuchs M, JU Lohmann (2020)

Aiming for the top: non-cell autonomous control of shoot stem cells in Arabidopsis.

Journal of plant research, 133(3):297-309.

In multicellular organisms, not all cells are created equal. Instead, organismal complexity is achieved by specialisation and division of labour between distinct cell types. Therefore, the organism depends on the presence, correct proportion and function of all cell types. It follows that early development is geared towards setting up the basic body plan and to specify cell lineages. Since plants employ a post-embryonic mode of development, the continuous growth and addition of new organs require a source of new cells, as well as a strict regulation of cellular composition throughout the entire life-cycle. To meet these demands, evolution has brought about complex regulatory systems to maintain and control continuously active stem cell systems. Here, we review recent work on the mechanisms of non cell-autonomous control of shoot stem cells in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana with a strong focus on the cell-to-cell mobility and function of the WUSCHEL homeodomain transcription factor.

RevDate: 2020-08-14
CmpDate: 2020-08-14

Moody LA (2020)

Three-dimensional growth: a developmental innovation that facilitated plant terrestrialization.

Journal of plant research, 133(3):283-290.

One of the most transformative events in the history of life on earth was the transition of plants from water to land approximately 470 million years ago. Within the Charophyte green algae, the closest living relatives of land plants, body plans have evolved from those that comprise simple unicells to those that are morphologically complex, large and multicellular. The Charophytes developed these broad ranging body plans by exploiting a range of one-dimensional and two-dimensional growth strategies to produce filaments, mats and branches. When plants were confronted with harsh conditions on land, they were required to make significant changes to the way they shaped their body plans. One of the fundamental developmental transitions that occurred was the evolution of three-dimensional growth and the acquisition of apical cells with three or more cutting faces. Plants subsequently developed a range of morphological adaptations (e.g. vasculature, roots, flowers, seeds) that enabled them to colonise progressively drier environments. 3D apical growth also evolved convergently in the brown algae, completely independently of the green lineage. This review summarises the evolving developmental complexities observed in the early divergent Charophytes all the way through to the earliest conquerors of land, and investigates 3D apical growth in the brown algae.

RevDate: 2020-08-12
CmpDate: 2020-08-12

Rose CJ, Hammerschmidt K, Pichugin Y, et al (2020)

Meta-population structure and the evolutionary transition to multicellularity.

Ecology letters, 23(9):1380-1390.

The evolutionary transition to multicellularity has occurred on numerous occasions, but transitions to complex life forms are rare. Here, using experimental bacterial populations as proxies for nascent multicellular organisms, we manipulate ecological factors shaping the evolution of groups. Groups were propagated under regimes requiring reproduction via a life cycle replete with developmental and dispersal (propagule) phases, but in one treatment lineages never mixed, whereas in a second treatment, cells from different lineages experienced intense competition during the dispersal phase. The latter treatment favoured traits promoting cell growth at the expense of traits underlying group fitness - a finding that is supported by results from a mathematical model. Our results show that the transition to multicellularity benefits from ecological conditions that maintain discreteness not just of the group (soma) phase, but also of the dispersal (germline) phase.

RevDate: 2020-08-10
CmpDate: 2020-08-10

Erwin DH (2020)

The origin of animal body plans: a view from fossil evidence and the regulatory genome.

Development (Cambridge, England), 147(4): pii:147/4/dev182899.

The origins and the early evolution of multicellular animals required the exploitation of holozoan genomic regulatory elements and the acquisition of new regulatory tools. Comparative studies of metazoans and their relatives now allow reconstruction of the evolution of the metazoan regulatory genome, but the deep conservation of many genes has led to varied hypotheses about the morphology of early animals and the extent of developmental co-option. In this Review, I assess the emerging view that the early diversification of animals involved small organisms with diverse cell types, but largely lacking complex developmental patterning, which evolved independently in different bilaterian clades during the Cambrian Explosion.

RevDate: 2020-08-08

Whelan CJ, Avdieiev SS, RA Gatenby (2020)

Insights From the Ecology of Information to Cancer Control.

Cancer control : journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center, 27(3):1073274820945980.

Uniquely in nature, living systems must acquire, store, and act upon information. The survival and replicative fate of each normal cell in a multicellular organism is determined solely by information obtained from its surrounding tissue. In contrast, cancer cells as single-cell eukaryotes live in a disrupted, heterogeneous environment with opportunities and hazards. Thus, cancer cells, unlike normal somatic cells, must constantly obtain information from their environment to ensure survival and proliferation. In this study, we build upon a simple mathematical modeling framework developed to predict (1) how information promotes population persistence in a highly heterogeneous environment and (2) how disruption of information resulting from habitat fragmentation increases the probability of population extinction. Because (1) tumors grow in a highly heterogeneous microenvironment and (2) many cancer therapies fragment tumors into isolated, small cancer cell populations, we identify parallels between these 2 systems and develop ideas for cancer cure based on lessons gleaned from Anthropocene extinctions. In many Anthropocene extinctions, such as that of the North American heath hen (Tympanuchus cupido cupido), a large and widespread population was initially reduced and fragmented owing to overexploitation by humans (a "first strike"). After this, the small surviving populations are vulnerable to extinction from environmental or demographic stochastic disturbances (a "second strike"). Following this analogy, after a tumor is fragmented into small populations of isolated cancer cells by an initial therapy, additional treatment can be applied with the intent of extinction (cure). Disrupting a cancer cell's ability to acquire and use information in a heterogeneous environment may be an important tactic for causing extinction following an effective initial therapy. Thus, information, from the scale of cells within tumors to that of species within ecosystems, can be used to identify vulnerabilities to extinction and opportunities for novel treatment strategies.

RevDate: 2020-08-05
CmpDate: 2020-08-05

Laundon D, Chrismas N, Wheeler G, et al (2020)

Chytrid rhizoid morphogenesis resembles hyphal development in multicellular fungi and is adaptive to resource availability.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1928):20200433.

Key to the ecological prominence of fungi is their distinctive cell biology, our understanding of which has been principally based on dikaryan hyphal and yeast forms. The early-diverging Chytridiomycota (chytrids) are ecologically important and a significant component of fungal diversity, yet their cell biology remains poorly understood. Unlike dikaryan hyphae, chytrids typically attach to substrates and feed osmotrophically via anucleate rhizoids. The evolution of fungal hyphae appears to have occurred from rhizoid-bearing lineages and it has been hypothesized that a rhizoid-like structure was the precursor to multicellular hyphae. Here, we show in a unicellular chytrid, Rhizoclosmatium globosum, that rhizoid development exhibits striking similarities with dikaryan hyphae and is adaptive to resource availability. Rhizoid morphogenesis exhibits analogous patterns to hyphal growth and is controlled by β-glucan-dependent cell wall synthesis and actin polymerization. Chytrid rhizoids growing from individual cells also demonstrate adaptive morphological plasticity in response to resource availability, developing a searching phenotype when carbon starved and spatial differentiation when interacting with particulate organic matter. We demonstrate that the adaptive cell biology and associated developmental plasticity considered characteristic of hyphal fungi are shared more widely across the Kingdom Fungi and therefore could be conserved from their most recent common ancestor.

RevDate: 2020-08-03
CmpDate: 2020-08-03

Gonçalves AP, Heller J, Span EA, et al (2019)

Allorecognition upon Fungal Cell-Cell Contact Determines Social Cooperation and Impacts the Acquisition of Multicellularity.

Current biology : CB, 29(18):3006-3017.e3.

Somatic cell fusion and conspecific cooperation are crucial social traits for microbial unicellular-to-multicellular transitions, colony expansion, and substrate foraging but are also associated with risks of parasitism. We identified a cell wall remodeling (cwr) checkpoint that acts upon cell contact to assess genetic compatibility and regulate cell wall dissolution during somatic cell fusion in a wild population of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Non-allelic interactions between two linked loci, cwr-1 and cwr-2, were necessary and sufficient to block cell fusion: cwr-1 encodes a polysaccharide monooxygenase (PMO), a class of enzymes associated with extracellular degradative capacities, and cwr-2 encodes a predicted transmembrane protein. Mutations of sites in CWR-1 essential for PMO catalytic activity abolished the block in cell fusion between formerly incompatible strains. In Neurospora, alleles cwr-1 and cwr-2 were highly polymorphic, fell into distinct haplogroups, and showed trans-species polymorphisms. Distinct haplogroups and trans-species polymorphisms at cwr-1 and cwr-2 were also identified in the distantly related genus Fusarium, suggesting convergent evolution. Proteins involved in chemotropic processes showed extended localization at contact sites, suggesting that cwr regulates the transition between chemotropic growth and cell wall dissolution. Our work revealed an allorecognition surveillance system based on kind discrimination that inhibits cooperative behavior in fungi by blocking cell fusion upon contact, contributing to fungal immunity by preventing formation of chimeras between genetically non-identical colonies.

RevDate: 2020-07-29
CmpDate: 2020-07-29

Newman SA (2019)

Inherency and homomorphy in the evolution of development.

Current opinion in genetics & development, 57:1-8.

Organismal development occurs when expression of certain genes leads to the mobilization of physical forces and effects that shape and pattern multicellular clusters. All materials exhibit preferred forms, but the inherent morphological motifs of some, such as liquids and crystalline solids are well-characterized. Recent work has shown that the origin of the animals (Metazoa) was accompanied by the acquisition by their developing tissues of liquid-like and liquid-crystalline properties. This and the novel capacity to produce stiff internal substrata (basal laminae) set these organisms apart from their closest relatives by the propensity (predictable from their material nature) to form complex bodies and organs. Once functional forms became established, however, they were susceptible to further genetic change as well as partial or full supplanting of original physical determinants by different ones. This results in the increasingly recognized phenomenon of homomorphy, the presence of the same structure in descendent organisms, brought about by transformed developmental mechanisms.

RevDate: 2020-07-27
CmpDate: 2020-07-27

Shao S, Koh M, PG Schultz (2020)

Expanding the genetic code of the human hematopoietic system.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(16):8845-8849.

The genetic incorporation of noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) into proteins has been realized in bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells, and recently, in multicellular organisms including plants and animals. However, the addition of new building blocks to the genetic code of tissues from human origin has not yet been achieved. To this end, we report a self-replicating Epstein-Barr virus-based episomal vector for the long-term encoding of ncAAs in human hematopoietic stem cells and reconstitution of this genetically engineered hematopoietic system in mice.

RevDate: 2020-07-24
CmpDate: 2020-07-24

de Araújo Silva-Cardoso IM, Meira FS, Gomes ACMM, et al (2020)

Histology, histochemistry and ultrastructure of pre-embryogenic cells determined for direct somatic embryogenesis in the palm tree Syagrus oleracea.

Physiologia plantarum, 168(4):845-875.

Somatic embryogenesis in palm trees is, in general, a slow and highly complex process, with a predominance of the indirect route and, consequently, a lack of knowledge about the direct route. We present new knowledge related to the morphological, histochemical and ultrastructural aspects of the transition from somatic to embryogenic cells and direct formation of somatic embryos from mature zygotic embryos of Syagrus oleracea, a palm tree. The results support the general concept that 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid plays a critical role for the formation of somatic embryos of direct and multicellular origin. Seven days in medium with auxin were enough for the identification of embryogenic cells. These cells had a set of characteristics corresponding to totipotent stem cells. At 14 days on induction medium, nodular formations were observed in the distal region of inoculated embryos, which evolved into globular somatic embryos. At 120 days on induction medium, the quality of the somatic embryos was compromised. The dynamics of the mobilization of reserve compounds was also demonstrated, with emphasis on starch and protein as energy sources required for the embryogenic process. This study shows for the first time the anatomical and ultrastructural events involved in direct somatic embryogenesis in a palm tree and incites the scientific community to return to the discussion of classical concepts related to direct somatic embryogenesis, especially regarding the characteristics and location of determined pre-embryogenic cells.

RevDate: 2020-07-22
CmpDate: 2020-07-22

Kazer SW, Aicher TP, Muema DM, et al (2020)

Integrated single-cell analysis of multicellular immune dynamics during hyperacute HIV-1 infection.

Nature medicine, 26(4):511-518.

Cellular immunity is critical for controlling intracellular pathogens, but individual cellular dynamics and cell-cell cooperativity in evolving human immune responses remain poorly understood. Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) represents a powerful tool for dissecting complex multicellular behaviors in health and disease1,2 and nominating testable therapeutic targets3. Its application to longitudinal samples could afford an opportunity to uncover cellular factors associated with the evolution of disease progression without potentially confounding inter-individual variability4. Here, we present an experimental and computational methodology that uses scRNA-seq to characterize dynamic cellular programs and their molecular drivers, and apply it to HIV infection. By performing scRNA-seq on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from four untreated individuals before and longitudinally during acute infection5, we were powered within each to discover gene response modules that vary by time and cell subset. Beyond previously unappreciated individual- and cell-type-specific interferon-stimulated gene upregulation, we describe temporally aligned gene expression responses obscured in bulk analyses, including those involved in proinflammatory T cell differentiation, prolonged monocyte major histocompatibility complex II upregulation and persistent natural killer (NK) cell cytolytic killing. We further identify response features arising in the first weeks of infection, for example proliferating natural killer cells, which potentially may associate with future viral control. Overall, our approach provides a unified framework for characterizing multiple dynamic cellular responses and their coordination.

RevDate: 2020-07-22
CmpDate: 2020-07-22

Stubbendieck RM, Li H, CR Currie (2019)

Convergent evolution of signal-structure interfaces for maintaining symbioses.

Current opinion in microbiology, 50:71-78.

Symbiotic microbes are essential to the ecological success and evolutionary diversification of multicellular organisms. The establishment and stability of bipartite symbioses are shaped by mechanisms ensuring partner fidelity between host and symbiont. In this minireview, we demonstrate how the interface of chemical signals and host structures influences fidelity between legume root nodules and rhizobia, Hawaiian bobtail squid light organs and Allivibrio fischeri, and fungus-growing ant crypts and Pseudonocardia. Subsequently, we illustrate the morphological diversity and widespread phylogenetic distribution of specialized structures used by hosts to house microbial symbionts, indicating the importance of signal-structure interfaces across the history of multicellular life. These observations, and the insights garnered from well-studied bipartite associations, demonstrate the need to concentrate on the signal-structure interface in complex and multipartite systems, including the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-07-21
CmpDate: 2020-07-21

Rausch P, Rühlemann M, Hermes BM, et al (2019)

Comparative analysis of amplicon and metagenomic sequencing methods reveals key features in the evolution of animal metaorganisms.

Microbiome, 7(1):133.

BACKGROUND: The interplay between hosts and their associated microbiome is now recognized as a fundamental basis of the ecology, evolution, and development of both players. These interdependencies inspired a new view of multicellular organisms as "metaorganisms." The goal of the Collaborative Research Center "Origin and Function of Metaorganisms" is to understand why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups, ranging from sponges to humans in addition to plants.

METHODS: In order to optimize the choice of analysis procedures, which may differ according to the host organism and question at hand, we systematically compared the two main technical approaches for profiling microbial communities, 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic shotgun sequencing across our panel of ten host taxa. This includes two commonly used 16S rRNA gene regions and two amplification procedures, thus totaling five different microbial profiles per host sample.

CONCLUSION: While 16S rRNA gene-based analyses are subject to much skepticism, we demonstrate that many aspects of bacterial community characterization are consistent across methods. The resulting insight facilitates the selection of appropriate methods across a wide range of host taxa. Overall, we recommend single- over multi-step amplification procedures, and although exceptions and trade-offs exist, the V3 V4 over the V1 V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Finally, by contrasting taxonomic and functional profiles and performing phylogenetic analysis, we provide important and novel insight into broad evolutionary patterns among metaorganisms, whereby the transition of animals from an aquatic to a terrestrial habitat marks a major event in the evolution of host-associated microbial composition.

RevDate: 2020-07-20
CmpDate: 2020-07-20

Brun-Usan M, Thies C, RA Watson (2020)

How to fit in: The learning principles of cell differentiation.

PLoS computational biology, 16(4):e1006811.

Cell differentiation in multicellular organisms requires cells to respond to complex combinations of extracellular cues, such as morphogen concentrations. Some models of phenotypic plasticity conceptualise the response as a relatively simple function of a single environmental cues (e.g. a linear function of one cue), which facilitates rigorous analysis. Conversely, more mechanistic models such those implementing GRNs allows for a more general class of response functions but makes analysis more difficult. Therefore, a general theory describing how cells integrate multi-dimensional signals is lacking. In this work, we propose a theoretical framework for understanding the relationships between environmental cues (inputs) and phenotypic responses (outputs) underlying cell plasticity. We describe the relationship between environment and cell phenotype using logical functions, making the evolution of cell plasticity equivalent to a simple categorisation learning task. This abstraction allows us to apply principles derived from learning theory to understand the evolution of multi-dimensional plasticity. Our results show that natural selection is capable of discovering adaptive forms of cell plasticity associated with complex logical functions. However, developmental dynamics cause simpler functions to evolve more readily than complex ones. By using conceptual tools derived from learning theory we show that this developmental bias can be interpreted as a learning bias in the acquisition of plasticity functions. Because of that bias, the evolution of plasticity enables cells, under some circumstances, to display appropriate plastic responses to environmental conditions that they have not experienced in their evolutionary past. This is possible when the selective environment mirrors the bias of the developmental dynamics favouring the acquisition of simple plasticity functions-an example of the necessary conditions for generalisation in learning systems. These results illustrate the functional parallelisms between learning in neural networks and the action of natural selection on environmentally sensitive gene regulatory networks. This offers a theoretical framework for the evolution of plastic responses that integrate information from multiple cues, a phenomenon that underpins the evolution of multicellularity and developmental robustness.

RevDate: 2020-07-15

Bylino OV, Ibragimov AN, YV Shidlovskii (2020)

Evolution of Regulated Transcription.

Cells, 9(7): pii:cells9071675.

The genomes of all organisms abound with various cis-regulatory elements, which control gene activity. Transcriptional enhancers are a key group of such elements in eukaryotes and are DNA regions that form physical contacts with gene promoters and precisely orchestrate gene expression programs. Here, we follow gradual evolution of this regulatory system and discuss its features in different organisms. In eubacteria, an enhancer-like element is often a single regulatory element, is usually proximal to the core promoter, and is occupied by one or a few activators. Activation of gene expression in archaea is accompanied by the recruitment of an activator to several enhancer-like sites in the upstream promoter region. In eukaryotes, activation of expression is accompanied by the recruitment of activators to multiple enhancers, which may be distant from the core promoter, and the activators act through coactivators. The role of the general DNA architecture in transcription control increases in evolution. As a whole, it can be seen that enhancers of multicellular eukaryotes evolved from the corresponding prototypic enhancer-like regulatory elements with the gradually increasing genome size of organisms.

RevDate: 2020-07-15
CmpDate: 2020-07-15

Rossine FW, Martinez-Garcia R, Sgro AE, et al (2020)

Eco-evolutionary significance of "loners".

PLoS biology, 18(3):e3000642.

Loners-individuals out of sync with a coordinated majority-occur frequently in nature. Are loners incidental byproducts of large-scale coordination attempts, or are they part of a mosaic of life-history strategies? Here, we provide empirical evidence of naturally occurring heritable variation in loner behavior in the model social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. We propose that Dictyostelium loners-cells that do not join the multicellular life stage-arise from a dynamic population-partitioning process, the result of each cell making a stochastic, signal-based decision. We find evidence that this imperfectly synchronized multicellular development is affected by both abiotic (environmental porosity) and biotic (signaling) factors. Finally, we predict theoretically that when a pair of strains differing in their partitioning behavior coaggregate, cross-signaling impacts slime-mold diversity across spatiotemporal scales. Our findings suggest that loners could be critical to understanding collective and social behaviors, multicellular development, and ecological dynamics in D. discoideum. More broadly, across taxa, imperfect coordination of collective behaviors might be adaptive by enabling diversification of life-history strategies.

RevDate: 2020-07-10

Brunkard JO (2020)

Exaptive Evolution of Target of Rapamycin Signaling in Multicellular Eukaryotes.

Developmental cell pii:S1534-5807(20)30501-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Target of rapamycin (TOR) is a protein kinase that coordinates metabolism with nutrient and energy availability in eukaryotes. TOR and its primary interactors, RAPTOR and LST8, have been remarkably evolutionarily static since they arose in the unicellular last common ancestor of plants, fungi, and animals, but the upstream regulatory mechanisms and downstream effectors of TOR signaling have evolved considerable diversity in these separate lineages. Here, I focus on the roles of exaptation and adaptation in the evolution of novel signaling axes in the TOR network in multicellular eukaryotes, concentrating especially on amino acid sensing, cell-cell signaling, and cell differentiation.

RevDate: 2020-07-08
CmpDate: 2020-07-08

Kundert P, G Shaulsky (2019)

Cellular allorecognition and its roles in Dictyostelium development and social evolution.

The International journal of developmental biology, 63(8-9-10):383-393.

The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a tractable model organism to study cellular allorecognition, which is the ability of a cell to distinguish itself and its genetically similar relatives from more distantly related organisms. Cellular allorecognition is ubiquitous across the tree of life and affects many biological processes. Depending on the biological context, these versatile systems operate both within and between individual organisms, and both promote and constrain functional heterogeneity. Some of the most notable allorecognition systems mediate neural self-avoidance in flies and adaptive immunity in vertebrates. D. discoideum's allorecognition system shares several structures and functions with other allorecognition systems. Structurally, its key regulators reside at a single genomic locus that encodes two highly polymorphic proteins, a transmembrane ligand called TgrC1 and its receptor TgrB1. These proteins exhibit isoform-specific, heterophilic binding across cells. Functionally, this interaction determines the extent to which co-developing D. discoideum strains co-aggregate or segregate during the aggregation phase of multicellular development. The allorecognition system thus affects both development and social evolution, as available evidence suggests that the threat of developmental cheating represents a primary selective force acting on it. Other significant characteristics that may inform the study of allorecognition in general include that D. discoideum's allorecognition system is a continuous and inclusive trait, it is pleiotropic, and it is temporally regulated.

RevDate: 2020-07-08
CmpDate: 2020-07-08

Nanjundiah V (2019)

Individual and collective behaviour in cellular slime mould development: contributions of John Bonner (1920-2019).

The International journal of developmental biology, 63(8-9-10):333-342.

John Bonner used the cellular slime moulds to address issues that lie at the heart of evolutionary and developmental biology. He did so mostly by combining acute observation and a knack for asking the right questions with the methods of classical embryology. The present paper focusses on his contributions to understanding two phenomena that are characteristic of development in general: chemotaxis of single cells to an external attractant, and spatial patterning and proportioning of cell types in the multicellular aggregate. Brief mention is also made of other areas of slime mould biology where he made significant inputs. He saw cellular slime moulds as exemplars of development and worthy of study in their own right. His ideas continue to inspire researchers.

RevDate: 2020-07-08
CmpDate: 2020-07-08

Gulli JG, Herron MD, WC Ratcliff (2019)

Evolution of altruistic cooperation among nascent multicellular organisms.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 73(5):1012-1024.

Cooperation is a classic solution to hostile environments that limit individual survival. In extreme cases this may lead to the evolution of new types of biological individuals (e.g., eusocial super-organisms). We examined the potential for interindividual cooperation to evolve via experimental evolution, challenging nascent multicellular "snowflake yeast" with an environment in which solitary multicellular clusters experienced low survival. In response, snowflake yeast evolved to form cooperative groups composed of thousands of multicellular clusters that typically survive selection. Group formation occurred through the creation of protein aggregates, only arising in strains with high (>2%) rates of cell death. Nonetheless, it was adaptive and repeatable, although ultimately evolutionarily unstable. Extracellular protein aggregates act as a common good, as they can be exploited by cheats that do not contribute to aggregate production. These results highlight the importance of group formation as a mechanism for surviving environmental stress, and underscore the remarkable ease with which even simple multicellular entities may evolve-and lose-novel social traits.

RevDate: 2020-07-07
CmpDate: 2020-07-07

Turan ZG, Parvizi P, Dönertaş HM, et al (2019)

Molecular footprint of Medawar's mutation accumulation process in mammalian aging.

Aging cell, 18(4):e12965.

Medawar's mutation accumulation hypothesis explains aging by the declining force of natural selection with age: Slightly deleterious germline mutations expressed in old age can drift to fixation and thereby lead to aging-related phenotypes. Although widely cited, empirical evidence for this hypothesis has remained limited. Here, we test one of its predictions that genes relatively highly expressed in old adults should be under weaker purifying selection than genes relatively highly expressed in young adults. Combining 66 transcriptome datasets (including 16 tissues from five mammalian species) with sequence conservation estimates across mammals, here we report that the overall conservation level of expressed genes is lower at old age compared to young adulthood. This age-related decrease in transcriptome conservation (ADICT) is systematically observed in diverse mammalian tissues, including the brain, liver, lung, and artery, but not in others, most notably in the muscle and heart. Where observed, ADICT is driven partly by poorly conserved genes being up-regulated during aging. In general, the more often a gene is found up-regulated with age among tissues and species, the lower its evolutionary conservation. Poorly conserved and up-regulated genes have overlapping functional properties that include responses to age-associated tissue damage, such as apoptosis and inflammation. Meanwhile, these genes do not appear to be under positive selection. Hence, genes contributing to old age phenotypes are found to harbor an excess of slightly deleterious alleles, at least in certain tissues. This supports the notion that genetic drift shapes aging in multicellular organisms, consistent with Medawar's mutation accumulation hypothesis.

RevDate: 2020-07-06

Umen JG (2020)

Volvox and volvocine green algae.

EvoDevo, 11:13 pii:158.

The transition of life from single cells to more complex multicellular forms has occurred at least two dozen times among eukaryotes and is one of the major evolutionary transitions, but the early steps that enabled multicellular life to evolve and thrive remain poorly understood. Volvocine green algae are a taxonomic group that is uniquely suited to investigating the step-wise acquisition of multicellular organization. The multicellular volvocine species Volvox carteri exhibits many hallmarks of complex multicellularity including complete germ-soma division of labor, asymmetric cell divisions, coordinated tissue-level morphogenesis, and dimorphic sexes-none of which have obvious analogs in its closest unicellular relative, the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, I summarize some of the key questions and areas of study that are being addressed with Volvox carteri and how increasing genomic information and methodologies for volvocine algae are opening up the entire group as an integrated experimental system for exploring the evolution of multicellularity and more.

RevDate: 2020-07-03

Seoighe C, Kiniry SJ, Peters A, et al (2020)

Selection Shapes Synonymous Stop Codon Use in Mammals.

Journal of molecular evolution pii:10.1007/s00239-020-09957-x [Epub ahead of print].

Phylogenetic models of the evolution of protein-coding sequences can provide insights into the selection pressures that have shaped them. In the application of these models synonymous nucleotide substitutions, which do not alter the encoded amino acid, are often assumed to have limited functional consequences and used as a proxy for the neutral rate of evolution. The ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates is then used to categorize the selective regime that applies to the protein (e.g., purifying selection, neutral evolution, diversifying selection). Here, we extend the Muse and Gaut model of codon evolution to explore the extent of purifying selection acting on substitutions between synonymous stop codons. Using a large collection of coding sequence alignments, we estimate that a high proportion (approximately 57%) of mammalian genes are affected by selection acting on stop codon preference. This proportion varies substantially by codon, with UGA stop codons far more likely to be conserved. Genes with evidence of selection acting on synonymous stop codons have distinctive characteristics, compared to unconserved genes with the same stop codon, including longer [Formula: see text] untranslated regions (UTRs) and shorter mRNA half-life. The coding regions of these genes are also much more likely to be under strong purifying selection pressure. Our results suggest that the preference for UGA stop codons found in many multicellular eukaryotes is selective rather than mutational in origin.

RevDate: 2020-06-29
CmpDate: 2020-06-29

Nishino J, Watanabe S, Miya F, et al (2020)

Quantification of multicellular colonization in tumor metastasis using exome-sequencing data.

International journal of cancer, 146(9):2488-2497.

Metastasis is a major cause of cancer-related mortality, and it is essential to understand how metastasis occurs in order to overcome it. One relevant question is the origin of a metastatic tumor cell population. Although the hypothesis of a single-cell origin for metastasis from a primary tumor has long been prevalent, several recent studies using mouse models have supported a multicellular origin of metastasis. Human bulk whole-exome sequencing (WES) studies also have demonstrated a multiple "clonal" origin of metastasis, with different mutational compositions. Specifically, there has not yet been strong research to determine how many founder cells colonize a metastatic tumor. To address this question, under the metastatic model of "single bottleneck followed by rapid growth," we developed a method to quantify the "founder cell population size" in a metastasis using paired WES data from primary and metachronous metastatic tumors. Simulation studies demonstrated the proposed method gives unbiased results with sufficient accuracy in the range of realistic settings. Applying the proposed method to real WES data from four colorectal cancer patients, all samples supported a multicellular origin of metastasis and the founder size was quantified, ranging from 3 to 17 cells. Such a wide-range of founder sizes estimated by the proposed method suggests that there are large variations in genetic similarity between primary and metastatic tumors in the same subjects, which may explain the observed (dis)similarity of drug responses between tumors.

RevDate: 2020-06-26
CmpDate: 2020-06-26

Pukhlyakova EA, Kirillova AO, Kraus YA, et al (2019)

A cadherin switch marks germ layer formation in the diploblastic sea anemone Nematostella vectensis.

Development (Cambridge, England), 146(20): pii:dev.174623.

Morphogenesis is a shape-building process during development of multicellular organisms. During this process, the establishment and modulation of cell-cell contacts play an important role. Cadherins, the major cell adhesion molecules, form adherens junctions connecting epithelial cells. Numerous studies of Bilateria have shown that cadherins are associated with the regulation of cell differentiation, cell shape changes, cell migration and tissue morphogenesis. To date, the role of cadherins in non-bilaterians is unknown. Here, we study the expression and function of two paralogous classical cadherins, Cadherin 1 and Cadherin 3, in a diploblastic animal, the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis We show that a cadherin switch accompanies the formation of germ layers. Using specific antibodies, we show that both cadherins are localized to adherens junctions at apical and basal positions in ectoderm and endoderm. During gastrulation, partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of endodermal cells is marked by stepwise downregulation of Cadherin 3 and upregulation of Cadherin 1. Knockdown experiments show that both cadherins are required for maintenance of tissue integrity and tissue morphogenesis. Thus, both sea anemones and bilaterians use independently duplicated cadherins combinatorially for tissue morphogenesis and germ layer differentiation.

RevDate: 2020-06-23
CmpDate: 2020-06-23

Kapsetaki SE, SA West (2019)

The costs and benefits of multicellular group formation in algae.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 73(6):1296-1308.

The first step in the evolution of complex multicellular organisms involves single cells forming a cooperative group. Consequently, to understand multicellularity, we need to understand the costs and benefits associated with multicellular group formation. We found that in the facultatively multicellular algae Chlorella sorokiniana: (1) the presence of the flagellate Ochromonas danica or the crustacean Daphnia magna leads to the formation of multicellular groups; (2) the formation of multicellular groups reduces predation by O. danica, but not by the larger predator D. magna; (3) under conditions of relatively low light intensity, where competition for light is greater, multicellular groups grow slower than single cells; (4) in the absence of live predators, the proportion of cells in multicellular groups decreases at a rate that does not vary with light intensity. These results can explain why, in cases such as this algae species, multicellular group formation is facultative, in response to the presence of predators.

RevDate: 2020-06-22
CmpDate: 2020-06-22

Ostrowski EA (2019)

Enforcing Cooperation in the Social Amoebae.

Current biology : CB, 29(11):R474-R484.

Cooperation has been essential to the evolution of biological complexity, but many societies struggle to overcome internal conflicts and divisions. Dictyostelium discoideum, or the social amoeba, has been a useful model system for exploring these conflicts and how they can be resolved. When starved, these cells communicate, gather into groups, and build themselves into a multicellular fruiting body. Some cells altruistically die to form the rigid stalk, while the remainder sit atop the stalk, become spores, and disperse. Evolutionary theory predicts that conflict will arise over which cells die to form the stalk and which cells become spores and survive. The power of the social amoeba lies in the ability to explore how cooperation and conflict work across multiple levels, ranging from proximate mechanisms (how does it work?) to ultimate evolutionary answers (why does it work?). Recent studies point to solutions to the problem of ensuring fairness, such as the ability to suppress selfishness and to recognize and avoid unrelated individuals. This work confirms a central role for kin selection, but also suggests new explanations for how social amoebae might enforce cooperation. New approaches based on genomics are also enabling researchers to decipher for the first time the evolutionary history of cooperation and conflict and to determine its role in shaping the biology of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2020-06-17
CmpDate: 2020-06-17

Ronquist F, Forshage M, Häggqvist S, et al (2020)

Completing Linnaeus's inventory of the Swedish insect fauna: Only 5,000 species left?.

PloS one, 15(3):e0228561.

Despite more than 250 years of taxonomic research, we still have only a vague idea about the true size and composition of the faunas and floras of the planet. Many biodiversity inventories provide limited insight because they focus on a small taxonomic subsample or a tiny geographic area. Here, we report on the size and composition of the Swedish insect fauna, thought to represent roughly half of the diversity of multicellular life in one of the largest European countries. Our results are based on more than a decade of data from the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative and its massive inventory of the country's insect fauna, the Swedish Malaise Trap Project The fauna is considered one of the best known in the world, but the initiative has nevertheless revealed a surprising amount of hidden diversity: more than 3,000 new species (301 new to science) have been documented so far. Here, we use three independent methods to analyze the true size and composition of the fauna at the family or subfamily level: (1) assessments by experts who have been working on the most poorly known groups in the fauna; (2) estimates based on the proportion of new species discovered in the Malaise trap inventory; and (3) extrapolations based on species abundance and incidence data from the inventory. For the last method, we develop a new estimator, the combined non-parametric estimator, which we show is less sensitive to poor coverage of the species pool than other popular estimators. The three methods converge on similar estimates of the size and composition of the fauna, suggesting that it comprises around 33,000 species. Of those, 8,600 (26%) were unknown at the start of the inventory and 5,000 (15%) still await discovery. We analyze the taxonomic and ecological composition of the estimated fauna, and show that most of the new species belong to Hymenoptera and Diptera groups that are decomposers or parasitoids. Thus, current knowledge of the Swedish insect fauna is strongly biased taxonomically and ecologically, and we show that similar but even stronger biases have distorted our understanding of the fauna in the past. We analyze latitudinal gradients in the size and composition of known European insect faunas and show that several of the patterns contradict the Swedish data, presumably due to similar knowledge biases. Addressing these biases is critical in understanding insect biomes and the ecosystem services they provide. Our results emphasize the need to broaden the taxonomic scope of current insect monitoring efforts, a task that is all the more urgent as recent studies indicate a possible worldwide decline in insect faunas.

RevDate: 2020-06-15
CmpDate: 2020-06-15

Del Cortona A, Jackson CJ, Bucchini F, et al (2020)

Neoproterozoic origin and multiple transitions to macroscopic growth in green seaweeds.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(5):2551-2559.

The Neoproterozoic Era records the transition from a largely bacterial to a predominantly eukaryotic phototrophic world, creating the foundation for the complex benthic ecosystems that have sustained Metazoa from the Ediacaran Period onward. This study focuses on the evolutionary origins of green seaweeds, which play an important ecological role in the benthos of modern sunlit oceans and likely played a crucial part in the evolution of early animals by structuring benthic habitats and providing novel niches. By applying a phylogenomic approach, we resolve deep relationships of the core Chlorophyta (Ulvophyceae or green seaweeds, and freshwater or terrestrial Chlorophyceae and Trebouxiophyceae) and unveil a rapid radiation of Chlorophyceae and the principal lineages of the Ulvophyceae late in the Neoproterozoic Era. Our time-calibrated tree points to an origin and early diversification of green seaweeds in the late Tonian and Cryogenian periods, an interval marked by two global glaciations with strong consequent changes in the amount of available marine benthic habitat. We hypothesize that unicellular and simple multicellular ancestors of green seaweeds survived these extreme climate events in isolated refugia, and diversified in benthic environments that became increasingly available as ice retreated. An increased supply of nutrients and biotic interactions, such as grazing pressure, likely triggered the independent evolution of macroscopic growth via different strategies, including true multicellularity, and multiple types of giant-celled forms.

RevDate: 2020-06-16
CmpDate: 2020-06-16

Barger SR, James ML, Pellenz CD, et al (2019)

Human myosin 1e tail but not motor domain replaces fission yeast Myo1 domains to support myosin-I function during endocytosis.

Experimental cell research, 384(2):111625.

In both unicellular and multicellular organisms, long-tailed class I myosins function in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Myosin 1e (Myo1e) in vertebrates and Myo1 in fission yeast have similar domain organization, yet whether these proteins or their individual protein domains are functionally interchangeable remains unknown. In an effort to assess functional conservation of class I myosins, we tested whether human Myo1e could replace Myo1 in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and found that it was unable to substitute for yeast Myo1. To determine if any individual protein domain is responsible for the inability of Myo1e to function in yeast, we created human-yeast myosin-I chimeras. By functionally testing these chimeric myosins in vivo, we concluded that the Myo1e motor domain is unable to function in yeast, even when combined with the yeast Myo1 tail and a full complement of yeast regulatory light chains. Conversely, the Myo1e tail, when attached to the yeast Myo1 motor domain, supports localization to endocytic actin patches and partially rescues the endocytosis defect in myo1Δ cells. Further dissection showed that both the TH1 and TH2-SH3 domains in the human Myo1e tail are required for localization and function of chimeric myosin-I at endocytic sites. Overall, this study provides insights into the role of individual myosin-I domains, expands the utility of fission yeast as a simple model system to study the effects of disease-associated MYO1E mutations, and supports a model of co-evolution between a myosin motor and its actin track.

RevDate: 2020-06-11
CmpDate: 2020-06-11

Wu F, Ma C, Han B, et al (2019)

Behavioural, physiological and molecular changes in alloparental caregivers may be responsible for selection response for female reproductive investment in honey bees.

Molecular ecology, 28(18):4212-4227.

Reproductive investment is a central life history variable that influences all aspects of life. Hormones coordinate reproduction in multicellular organisms, but the mechanisms controlling the collective reproductive investment of social insects are largely unexplored. One important aspect of honey bee (Apis mellifera) reproductive investment consists of raising female-destined larvae into new queens by alloparental care of nurse bees in form of royal jelly provisioning. Artificial selection for commercial royal jelly production over 40 years has increased this reproductive investment by an order of magnitude. In a cross-fostering experiment, we establish that this shift in social phenotype is caused by nurse bees. We find no evidence for changes in larval signalling. Instead, the antennae of the nurse bees of the selected stock are more responsive to brood pheromones than control bees. Correspondingly, the selected royal jelly bee nurses are more attracted to brood pheromones than unselected control nurses. Comparative proteomics of the antennae from the selected and unselected stocks indicate putative molecular mechanisms, primarily changes in chemosensation and energy metabolism. We report expression differences of several candidate genes that correlate with the differences in reproductive investment. The functional relevance of these genes is supported by demonstrating that the corresponding proteins can competitively bind one previously described and one newly discovered brood pheromone. Thus, we suggest several chemosensory genes, most prominently OBP16 and CSP4, as candidate mechanisms controlling queen rearing, a key reproductive investment, in honey bees. These findings reveal novel aspects of pheromonal communication in honey bees and explain how sensory changes affect communication and lead to a drastic shift in colony-level resource allocation to sexual reproduction. Thus, pheromonal and hormonal communication may play similar roles for reproductive investment in superorganisms and multicellular organisms, respectively.

RevDate: 2020-06-10

Phansopa C, Dunning LT, Reid JD, et al (2020)

Lateral gene transfer acts as an evolutionary shortcut to efficient C4 biochemistry.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5855680 [Epub ahead of print].

The adaptation of proteins for novel functions often requires changes in their kinetics via amino acid replacement. This process can require multiple mutations, and therefore extended periods of selection. The transfer of genes among distinct species might speed up the process, by providing proteins already adapted for the novel function. However, this hypothesis remains untested in multicellular eukaryotes. The grass Alloteropsis is an ideal system to test this hypothesis due to its diversity of genes encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), an enzyme that catalyses one of the key reactions in the C4 pathway. Different accessions of Alloteropsis either use native isoforms relatively recently co-opted from other functions or isoforms that were laterally acquired from distantly related species that evolved the C4 trait much earlier. By comparing the enzyme kinetics we show that native isoforms with few amino acid replacements have substrate KM values similar to the non-C4 ancestral form, but exhibit marked increases in catalytic efficiency. The co-option of native isoforms was therefore followed by rapid catalytic improvements, which appear to rely on standing genetic variation observed within one species. Native C4 isoforms with more amino acid replacements exhibit additional changes in affinities, suggesting that the initial catalytic improvements are followed by gradual modifications. Finally, laterally acquired genes show both strong increases in catalytic efficiency and important changes in substrate handling. We conclude that the transfer of genes among distant species sharing the same physiological novelty creates an evolutionary shortcut toward more efficient enzymes, effectively accelerating evolution.

RevDate: 2020-06-08
CmpDate: 2020-06-08

Jékely G (2019)

Evolution: How Not to Become an Animal.

Current biology : CB, 29(23):R1240-R1242.

The origin of animals has always fascinated biologists. Studies on choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, have contributed major insights. The discovery of a multicellular choanoflagellate with light-regulated collective behaviour now provides a new perspective.

RevDate: 2020-06-08
CmpDate: 2020-06-08

Pirkmajer S, AV Chibalin (2019)

Hormonal regulation of Na+-K+-ATPase from the evolutionary perspective.

Current topics in membranes, 83:315-351.

Na+-K+-ATPase, an α/β heterodimer, is an ancient enzyme that maintains Na+ and K+ gradients, thus preserving cellular ion homeostasis. In multicellular organisms, this basic housekeeping function is integrated to fulfill the needs of specialized organs and preserve whole-body homeostasis. In vertebrates, Na+-K+-ATPase is essential for many fundamental physiological processes, such as nerve conduction, muscle contraction, nutrient absorption, and urine excretion. During vertebrate evolution, three key developments contributed to diversification and integration of Na+-K+-ATPase functions. Generation of novel α- and β-subunits led to formation of multiple Na+-K+-ATPase isoenyzmes with distinct functional characteristics. Development of a complex endocrine system enabled efficient coordination of diverse Na+-K+-ATPase functions. Emergence of FXYDs, small transmembrane proteins that regulate Na+-K+-ATPase, opened new ways to modulate its function. FXYDs are a vertebrate innovation and an important site of hormonal action, suggesting they played an especially prominent role in evolving interaction between Na+-K+-ATPase and the endocrine system in vertebrates.

RevDate: 2020-06-03
CmpDate: 2020-06-03

Fisher RM, B Regenberg (2019)

Multicellular group formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1910):20191098.

Understanding how and why cells cooperate to form multicellular organisms is a central aim of evolutionary biology. Multicellular groups can form through clonal development (where daughter cells stick to mother cells after division) or by aggregation (where cells aggregate to form groups). These different ways of forming groups directly affect relatedness between individual cells, which in turn can influence the degree of cooperation and conflict within the multicellular group. It is hard to study the evolution of multicellularity by focusing only on obligately multicellular organisms, like complex animals and plants, because the factors that favour multicellular cooperation cannot be disentangled, as cells cannot survive and reproduce independently. We support the use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an ideal model for studying the very first stages of the evolution of multicellularity. This is because it can form multicellular groups both clonally and through aggregation and uses a family of proteins called 'flocculins' that determine the way in which groups form, making it particularly amenable to laboratory experiments. We briefly review current knowledge about multicellularity in S. cerevisiae and then propose a framework for making predictions about the evolution of multicellular phenotypes in yeast based on social evolution theory. We finish by explaining how S. cerevisiae is a particularly useful experimental model for the analysis of open questions concerning multicellularity.

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

Hamant O, Bhat R, Nanjundiah V, et al (2019)

Does resource availability help determine the evolutionary route to multicellularity?.

Evolution & development, 21(3):115-119.

Genetic heterogeneity and homogeneity are associated with distinct sets of adaptive advantages and bottlenecks, both in developmental biology and population genetics. Whereas populations of individuals are usually genetically heterogeneous, most multicellular metazoans are genetically homogeneous. Observing that resource scarcity fuels genetic heterogeneity in populations, we propose that monoclonal development is compatible with the resource-rich and stable internal environments that complex multicellular bodies offer. In turn, polyclonal development persists in tumors and in certain metazoans, both exhibiting a closer dependence on external resources. This eco-evo-devo approach also suggests that multicellularity may originally have emerged through polyclonal development in early metazoans, because of their reduced shielding from environmental fluctuations.

RevDate: 2020-05-29
CmpDate: 2020-05-29

Singer D, Mitchell EAD, Payne RJ, et al (2019)

Dispersal limitations and historical factors determine the biogeography of specialized terrestrial protists.

Molecular ecology, 28(12):3089-3100.

Recent studies show that soil eukaryotic diversity is immense and dominated by micro-organisms. However, it is unclear to what extent the processes that shape the distribution of diversity in plants and animals also apply to micro-organisms. Major diversification events in multicellular organisms have often been attributed to long-term climatic and geological processes, but the impact of such processes on protist diversity has received much less attention as their distribution has often been believed to be largely cosmopolitan. Here, we quantified phylogeographical patterns in Hyalosphenia papilio, a large testate amoeba restricted to Holarctic Sphagnum-dominated peatlands, to test if the current distribution of its genetic diversity can be explained by historical factors or by the current distribution of suitable habitats. Phylogenetic diversity was higher in Western North America, corresponding to the inferred geographical origin of the H. papilio complex, and was lower in Eurasia despite extensive suitable habitats. These results suggest that patterns of phylogenetic diversity and distribution can be explained by the history of Holarctic Sphagnum peatland range expansions and contractions in response to Quaternary glaciations that promoted cladogenetic range evolution, rather than the contemporary distribution of suitable habitats. Species distributions were positively correlated with climatic niche breadth, suggesting that climatic tolerance is key to dispersal ability in H. papilio. This implies that, at least for large and specialized terrestrial micro-organisms, propagule dispersal is slow enough that historical processes may contribute to their diversification and phylogeographical patterns and may partly explain their very high overall diversity.

RevDate: 2020-05-28

Casanova JL, L Abel (2020)

The human genetic determinism of life-threatening infectious diseases: genetic heterogeneity and physiological homogeneity?.

Multicellular eukaryotes emerged late in evolution from an ocean of viruses, bacteria, archaea, and unicellular eukaryotes. These macroorganisms are exposed to and infected by a tremendous diversity of microorganisms. Those that are large enough can even be infected by multicellular fungi and parasites. Each interaction is unique, if only because it operates between two unique living organisms, in an infinite diversity of circumstances. This is neatly illustrated by the extraordinarily high level of interindividual clinical variability in human infections, even for a given pathogen, ranging from a total absence of clinical manifestations to death. We discuss here the idea that the determinism of human life-threatening infectious diseases can be governed by single-gene inborn errors of immunity, which are rarely Mendelian and frequently display incomplete penetrance. We briefly review the evidence in support of this notion obtained over the last two decades, referring to a number of focused and thorough reviews published by eminent colleagues in this issue of Human Genetics. It seems that almost any life-threatening infectious disease can be driven by at least one, and, perhaps, a great many diverse monogenic inborn errors, which may nonetheless be immunologically related. While the proportions of monogenic cases remain unknown, a picture in which genetic heterogeneity is combined with physiological homogeneity is emerging from these studies. A preliminary sketch of the human genetic architecture of severe infectious diseases is perhaps in sight.

RevDate: 2020-05-27
CmpDate: 2020-05-27

Pichugin Y, Park HJ, A Traulsen (2019)

Evolution of simple multicellular life cycles in dynamic environments.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 16(154):20190054.

The mode of reproduction is a critical characteristic of any species, as it has a strong effect on its evolution. As any other trait, the reproduction mode is subject to natural selection and may adapt to the environment. When the environment varies over time, different reproduction modes could be optimal at different times. The natural response to a dynamic environment seems to be bet hedging, where multiple reproductive strategies are stochastically executed. Here, we develop a framework for the evolution of simple multicellular life cycles in a dynamic environment. We use a matrix population model of undifferentiated multicellular groups undergoing fragmentation and ask which mode maximizes the population growth rate. Counterintuitively, we find that natural selection in dynamic environments generally tends to promote deterministic, not stochastic, reproduction modes.

RevDate: 2020-05-26

Kumler WE, Jorge J, Kim PM, et al (2020)

Does Formation of Multicellular Colonies by Choanoflagellates Affect Their Susceptibility to Capture by Passive Protozoan Predators?.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial eukaryotes, critical links in aquatic food webs, are unicellular, but some, such as choanoflagellates, form multicellular colonies. Are there consequences to predator avoidance of being unicellular versus forming larger colonies? Choanoflagellates share a common ancestor with animals and are used as model organisms to study the evolution of multicellularity. Escape in size from protozoan predators is suggested as a selective factor favoring evolution of multicellularity. Heterotrophic protozoans are categorized as suspension feeders, motile raptors, or passive predators that eat swimming prey which bump into them. We focused on passive predation and measured the mechanisms responsible for the susceptibility of unicellular versus multicellular choanoflagellates, Salpingoeca helianthica, to capture by passive heliozoan predators, Actinosphaerium nucleofilum, which trap prey on axopodia radiating from the cell body. Microvideography showed that unicellular and colonial choanoflagellates entered the predator's capture zone at similar frequencies, but a greater proportion of colonies contacted axopodia. However, more colonies than single cells were lost during transport by axopodia to the cell body. Thus, feeding efficiency (proportion of prey entering the capture zone that were engulfed in phagosomes) was the same for unicellular and multicellular prey, suggesting that colony formation is not an effective defense against such passive predators.

RevDate: 2020-05-18
CmpDate: 2020-05-12

Lazzaro BP, Zasloff M, J Rolff (2020)

Antimicrobial peptides: Application informed by evolution.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 368(6490):.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are essential components of immune defenses of multicellular organisms and are currently in development as anti-infective drugs. AMPs have been classically assumed to have broad-spectrum activity and simple kinetics, but recent evidence suggests an unexpected degree of specificity and a high capacity for synergies. Deeper evaluation of the molecular evolution and population genetics of AMP genes reveals more evidence for adaptive maintenance of polymorphism in AMP genes than has previously been appreciated, as well as adaptive loss of AMP activity. AMPs exhibit pharmacodynamic properties that reduce the evolution of resistance in target microbes, and AMPs may synergize with one another and with conventional antibiotics. Both of these properties make AMPs attractive for translational applications. However, if AMPs are to be used clinically, it is crucial to understand their natural biology in order to lessen the risk of collateral harm and avoid the crisis of resistance now facing conventional antibiotics.

RevDate: 2020-05-18
CmpDate: 2020-05-18

Rebolleda-Gómez M, M Travisano (2019)

Adaptation, chance, and history in experimental evolution reversals to unicellularity.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 73(1):73-83.

Evolution is often deemed irreversible. The evolution of complex traits that require many mutations makes their reversal unlikely. Even in simpler traits, reversals might become less likely as neutral or beneficial mutations, with deleterious effects in the ancestral context, become fixed in the novel background. This is especially true in changes that involve large reorganizations of the organism and its interactions with the environment. The evolution of multicellularity involves the reorganization of previously autonomous cells into a more complex organism; despite the complexity of this change, single cells have repeatedly evolved from multicellular ancestors. These repeated reversals to unicellularity undermine the generality of Dollo's law. In this article, we evaluated the dynamics of reversals to unicellularity from recently evolved multicellular phenotypes of the brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae. Even though multicellularity in this system evolved recently, it involves the evolution of new levels of selection. Strong selective pressures against multicellularity lead to rapid reversibility to single cells in all of our replicate lines, whereas counterselection favoring multicellularity led to minimal reductions to the rates of reversal. History and chance played an important role in the tempo and mode of reversibility, highlighting the interplay of deterministic and stochastic events in evolutionary reversals.

RevDate: 2020-05-16

Hörandl E, F Hadacek (2020)

Oxygen, life forms, and the evolution of sexes in multicellular eukaryotes.

Heredity pii:10.1038/s41437-020-0317-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The evolutionary advantage of different sexual systems in multicellular eukaryotes is still not well understood, because the differentiation into male and female individuals halves offspring production compared with asexuality. Here we propose that various physiological adaptations to oxidative stress could have forged sessility versus motility, and consequently the evolution of sexual systems in multicellular animals, plants, and fungi. Photosynthesis causes substantial amounts of oxidative stress in photoautotrophic plants and, likewise, oxidative chemistry of polymer breakdown, cellulose and lignin, for saprotrophic fungi. In both cases, its extent precludes motility, an additional source of oxidative stress. Sessile life form and the lack of neuronal systems, however, limit options for mate recognition and adult sexual selection, resulting in inefficient mate-searching systems. Hence, sessility requires that all individuals can produce offspring, which is achieved by hermaphroditism in plants and/or by multiple mating types in fungi. In animals, motility requires neuronal systems, and muscle activity, both of which are highly sensitive to oxidative damage. As a consequence, motility has evolved in animals as heterotrophic organisms that (1) are not photosynthetically active, and (2) are not primary decomposers. Adaptations to motility provide prerequisites for an active mating behavior and efficient mate-searching systems. These benefits compensate for the "cost of males", and may explain the early evolution of sex chromosomes in metazoans. We conclude that different sexual systems evolved under the indirect physiological constraints of lifestyles.

RevDate: 2020-05-15
CmpDate: 2020-05-15

Sudianto E (2019)

Digest: Banding together to battle adversaries has its consequences.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 73(6):1320-1321.

Why did life evolve from single-celled to multicellular organisms? Could there be advantages to this transition? What about associated fitness costs? Kapsetaki and West found that although multicellularity allows Chlorella sorokiniana to avoid predation from similarly-sized predators, it also reduces their competitiveness when resources are limited.

RevDate: 2020-05-15
CmpDate: 2020-05-15

Ruiz MC, Kljun J, Turel I, et al (2019)

Comparative antitumor studies of organoruthenium complexes with 8-hydroxyquinolines on 2D and 3D cell models of bone, lung and breast cancer.

Metallomics : integrated biometal science, 11(3):666-675.

The purpose of this work was to screen the antitumor actions of two metal organoruthenium-8-hydroxyquinolinato (Ru-hq) complexes to find a potential novel agent for bone, lung and breast chemotherapies. We showed that ruthenium compounds (1 and 2) impaired the cell viability of human bone (MG-63), lung (A549) and breast (MCF7) cancer cells with greater selectivity and specificity than cisplatin. Besides, complexes 1 and 2 decreased proliferation, migration and invasion on cell monolayers at lower concentrations (2.5-10 μM). In addition, both compounds induced genotoxicity revealed by the micronucleus test, which led to G2/M cell cycle arrest and induced the tumor cells to undergo apoptosis. On the other hand, in multicellular 3D models (multicellular spheroids; MCS), 1 and 2 overcame CDDP presenting lower IC50 values only in MCS of lung origin. Moreover, 1 outperformed 2 in MCS of bone and breast origin. Finally, our findings revealed that both compounds inhibited the cell invasion of multicellular spheroids, showing that complex 1 exhibited the most important antimetastatic action. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an interesting candidate to be tested on in vivo models as a novel strategy for anticancer therapy.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Zardoya R (2020)

Recent advances in understanding mitochondrial genome diversity.

F1000Research, 9:.

Ever since its discovery, the double-stranded DNA contained in the mitochondria of eukaryotes has fascinated researchers because of its bacterial endosymbiotic origin, crucial role in encoding subunits of the respiratory complexes, compact nature, and specific inheritance mechanisms. In the last few years, high-throughput sequencing techniques have accelerated the sequencing of mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) and uncovered the great diversity of organizations, gene contents, and modes of replication and transcription found in living eukaryotes. Some early divergent lineages of unicellular eukaryotes retain certain synteny and gene content resembling those observed in the genomes of alphaproteobacteria (the inferred closest living group of mitochondria), whereas others adapted to anaerobic environments have drastically reduced or even lost the mitogenome. In the three main multicellular lineages of eukaryotes, mitogenomes have pursued diverse evolutionary trajectories in which different types of molecules (circular versus linear and single versus multipartite), gene structures (with or without self-splicing introns), gene contents, gene orders, genetic codes, and transfer RNA editing mechanisms have been selected. Whereas animals have evolved a rather compact mitochondrial genome between 11 and 50 Kb in length with a highly conserved gene content in bilaterians, plants exhibit large mitochondrial genomes of 66 Kb to 11.3 Mb with large intergenic repetitions prone to recombination, and fungal mitogenomes have intermediate sizes of 12 to 236 Kb.

RevDate: 2020-05-12
CmpDate: 2020-05-12

Kar R, Jha NK, Jha SK, et al (2019)

A "NOTCH" Deeper into the Epithelial-To-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Program in Breast Cancer.

Genes, 10(12):.

Notch signaling is a primitive signaling pathway having various roles in the normal origin and development of each multicellular organisms. Therefore, any aberration in the pathway will inevitably lead to deadly outcomes such as cancer. It has now been more than two decades since Notch was acknowledged as an oncogene in mouse mammary tumor virus-infected mice. Since that discovery, activated Notch signaling and consequent up-regulation of tumor-promoting Notch target genes have been observed in human breast cancer. Moreover, consistent over-expression of Notch ligands and receptors has been shown to correlate with poor prognosis in human breast cancer. Notch regulates a number of key processes during breast carcinogenesis, of which, one key phenomenon is epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a key process for large-scale cell movement during morphogenesis at the time of embryonic development. Cancer cells aided by transcription factors usurp this developmental program to execute the multi-step process of tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this review, we recapitulate recent progress in breast cancer research that has provided new perceptions into the molecular mechanisms behind Notch-mediated EMT regulation during breast tumorigenesis.

RevDate: 2020-05-11
CmpDate: 2020-05-11

Booth DS, Szmidt-Middleton H, N King (2018)

Transfection of choanoflagellates illuminates their cell biology and the ancestry of animal septins.

Molecular biology of the cell, 29(25):3026-3038.

As the closest living relatives of animals, choanoflagellates offer unique insights into animal origins and core mechanisms underlying animal cell biology. However, unlike traditional model organisms, such as yeast, flies, and worms, choanoflagellates have been refractory to DNA delivery methods for expressing foreign genes. Here we report a robust method for expressing transgenes in the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta, overcoming barriers that have previously hampered DNA delivery and expression. To demonstrate how this method accelerates the study of S. rosetta cell biology, we engineered a panel of fluorescent protein markers that illuminate key features of choanoflagellate cells. We then investigated the localization of choanoflagellate septins, a family of GTP-binding cytoskeletal proteins that are hypothesized to regulate multicellular rosette development in S. rosetta. Fluorescently tagged septins localized to the basal poles of S. rosetta single cells and rosettes in a pattern resembling septin localization in animal epithelia. The establishment of transfection in S. rosetta and its application to the study of septins represent critical advances in the use of S. rosetta as an experimental model for investigating choanoflagellate cell biology, core mechanisms underlying animal cell biology, and the origin of animals.

RevDate: 2020-05-07
CmpDate: 2020-05-07

Etxebeste O, Otamendi A, Garzia A, et al (2019)

Rewiring of transcriptional networks as a major event leading to the diversity of asexual multicellularity in fungi.

Critical reviews in microbiology, 45(5-6):548-563.

Complex multicellularity (CM) is characterized by the generation of three-dimensional structures that follow a genetically controlled program. CM emerged at least five times in evolution, one of them in fungi. There are two types of CM programs in fungi, leading, respectively, to the formation of sexual or asexual spores. Asexual spores foment the spread of mycoses, as they are the main vehicle for dispersion. In spite of this key dependence, there is great morphological diversity of asexual multicellular structures in fungi. To advance the understanding of the mechanisms that control initiation and progression of asexual CM and how they can lead to such a remarkable morphological diversification, we studied 503 fungal proteomes, representing all phyla and subphyla, and most known classes. Conservation analyses of 33 regulators of asexual development suggest stepwise emergence of transcription factors. While velvet proteins constitute one of the most ancient systems, the central regulator BrlA emerged late in evolution (with the class Eurotiomycetes). Some factors, such as MoConX4, seem to be species-specific. These observations suggest that the emergence and evolution of transcriptional regulators rewire transcriptional networks. This process could reach the species level, resulting in a vast diversity of morphologies.

RevDate: 2020-05-05
CmpDate: 2020-05-04

Finoshin AD, Adameyko KI, Mikhailov KV, et al (2020)

Iron metabolic pathways in the processes of sponge plasticity.

PloS one, 15(2):e0228722.

The ability to regulate oxygen consumption evolved in ancestral animals and is intrinsically linked to iron metabolism. The iron pathways have been intensively studied in mammals, whereas data on distant invertebrates are limited. Sea sponges represent the oldest animal phylum and have unique structural plasticity and capacity to reaggregate after complete dissociation. We studied iron metabolic factors and their expression during reaggregation in the White Sea cold-water sponges Halichondria panicea and Halisarca dujardini. De novo transcriptomes were assembled using RNA-Seq data, and evolutionary trends were analyzed with bioinformatic tools. Differential expression during reaggregation was studied for H. dujardini. Enzymes of the heme biosynthesis pathway and transport globins, neuroglobin (NGB) and androglobin (ADGB), were identified in sponges. The globins mutate at higher evolutionary rates than the heme synthesis enzymes. Highly conserved iron-regulatory protein 1 (IRP1) presumably interacts with the iron-responsive elements (IREs) found in mRNAs of ferritin (FTH1) and a putative transferrin receptor NAALAD2. The reaggregation process is accompanied by increased expression of IRP1, the antiapoptotic factor BCL2, the inflammation factor NFκB (p65), FTH1 and NGB, as well as by an increase in mitochondrial density. Our data indicate a complex mechanism of iron regulation in sponge structural plasticity and help to better understand general mechanisms of morphogenetic processes in multicellular species.

RevDate: 2020-05-05
CmpDate: 2020-05-04

Xiong F, Ren JJ, Yu Q, et al (2019)

AtBUD13 affects pre-mRNA splicing and is essential for embryo development in Arabidopsis.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 98(4):714-726.

Pre-mRNA splicing is an important step for gene expression regulation. Yeast Bud13p (bud-site selection protein 13) regulates the budding pattern and pre-mRNA splicing in yeast cells; however, no Bud13p homologs have been identified in plants. Here, we isolated two mutants that carry T-DNA insertions at the At1g31870 locus and shows early embryo lethality and seed abortion. At1g31870 encodes an Arabidopsis homolog of yeast Bud13p, AtBUD13. Although AtBUD13 homologs are widely distributed in eukaryotic organisms, phylogenetic analysis revealed that their protein domain organization is more complex in multicellular species. AtBUD13 is expressed throughout plant development including embryogenesis and AtBUD13 proteins is localized in the nucleus in Arabidopsis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that AtBUD13 mutation predominantly results in the intron retention, especially for shorter introns (≤100 bases). Within this group of genes, we identified 52 genes involved in embryogenesis, out of which 22 are involved in nucleic acid metabolism. Our results demonstrate that AtBUD13 plays critical roles in early embryo development by effecting pre-mRNA splicing.

RevDate: 2020-05-04
CmpDate: 2020-05-04

Hehmeyer J (2019)

Two potential evolutionary origins of the fruiting bodies of the dictyostelid slime moulds.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 94(5):1591-1604.

Dictyostelium discoideum and the other dictyostelid slime moulds ('social amoebae') are popular model organisms best known for their demonstration of sorocarpic development. In this process, many cells aggregate to form a multicellular unit that ultimately becomes a fruiting body bearing asexual spores. Several other unrelated microorganisms undergo comparable processes, and in some it is evident that their multicellular development evolved from the differentiation process of encystation. While it has been argued that the dictyostelid fruiting body had similar origins, it has also been proposed that dictyostelid sorocarpy evolved from the unicellular fruiting process found in other amoebozoan slime moulds. This paper reviews the developmental biology of the dictyostelids and other relevant organisms and reassesses the two hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of dictyostelid development. Recent advances in phylogeny, genetics, and genomics and transcriptomics indicate that further research is necessary to determine whether or not the fruiting bodies of the dictyostelids and their closest relatives, the myxomycetes and protosporangids, are homologous.

RevDate: 2020-04-30

Hoffman SK, Seitz KW, Havird JC, et al (2020)

Phenotypic Comparability from Genotypic Variability among Physically Structured Microbial Consortia.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5827464 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbiomes represent the collective bacteria, archaea, protist, fungi, and virus communities living in or on individual organisms that are typically multicellular eukaryotes. Such consortia have become recognized as having significant impacts on the development, health, and disease status of their hosts. Since understanding the mechanistic connections between an individual's genetic makeup and their complete set of traits (i.e., genome to phenome) requires consideration at different levels of biological organization, this should include interactions with, and the organization of, microbial consortia. To understand microbial consortia organization, we elucidated the genetic constituents amongst phenotypically similar (and hypothesized functionally-analogous) layers (i.e., top orange, second orange, pink, and green layers) in the unique laminated orange cyanobacterial-bacterial crusts endemic to Hawaii's anchialine ecosystem. High-throughput amplicon sequencing of ribosomal RNA hypervariable regions (i.e., Bacteria-specific V6 and Eukarya-biased V9) revealed microbial richness increasing by crust layer depth, with samples of a given layer more similar to different layers from the same geographic site than to their phenotypically-analogous layer from different sites. Furthermore, samples from sites on the same island were more similar to each other, regardless of which layer they originated from, than to analogous layers from another island. However, cyanobacterial and algal taxa were abundant in all surface and bottom layers, with anaerobic and chemoautotrophic taxa concentrated in the middle two layers, suggesting crust oxygenation from both above and below. Thus, the arrangement of oxygenated vs. anoxygenated niches in these orange crusts are functionally distinct relative to other laminated cyanobacterial-bacterial communities examined to date, with convergent evolution due to similar environmental conditions a likely driver for these phenotypically comparable but genetically distinct microbial consortia.

RevDate: 2020-04-24
CmpDate: 2020-04-24

D'Ario M, R Sablowski (2019)

Cell Size Control in Plants.

Annual review of genetics, 53:45-65.

The genetic control of the characteristic cell sizes of different species and tissues is a long-standing enigma. Plants are convenient for studying this question in a multicellular context, as their cells do not move and are easily tracked and measured from organ initiation in the meristems to subsequent morphogenesis and differentiation. In this article, we discuss cell size control in plants compared with other organisms. As seen from yeast cells to mammalian cells, size homeostasis is maintained cell autonomously in the shoot meristem. In developing organs, vacuolization contributes to cell size heterogeneity and may resolve conflicts between growth control at the cellular and organ levels. Molecular mechanisms for cell size control have implications for how cell size responds to changes in ploidy, which are particularly important in plant development and evolution. We also discuss comparatively the functional consequences of cell size and their potential repercussions at higher scales, including genome evolution.

RevDate: 2020-04-20
CmpDate: 2020-04-20

Erkenbrack EM, JR Thompson (2019)

Cell type phylogenetics informs the evolutionary origin of echinoderm larval skeletogenic cell identity.

Communications biology, 2:160.

The multiplicity of cell types comprising multicellular organisms begs the question as to how cell type identities evolve over time. Cell type phylogenetics informs this question by comparing gene expression of homologous cell types in distantly related taxa. We employ this approach to inform the identity of larval skeletogenic cells of echinoderms, a clade for which there are phylogenetically diverse datasets of spatial gene expression patterns. We determined ancestral spatial expression patterns of alx1, ets1, tbr, erg, and vegfr, key components of the skeletogenic gene regulatory network driving identity of the larval skeletogenic cell. Here we show ancestral state reconstructions of spatial gene expression of extant eleutherozoan echinoderms support homology and common ancestry of echinoderm larval skeletogenic cells. We propose larval skeletogenic cells arose in the stem lineage of eleutherozoans during a cell type duplication event that heterochronically activated adult skeletogenic cells in a topographically distinct tissue in early development.

RevDate: 2020-04-20
CmpDate: 2020-04-20

Sicard A, Pirolles E, Gallet R, et al (2019)

A multicellular way of life for a multipartite virus.

eLife, 8:.

A founding paradigm in virology is that the spatial unit of the viral replication cycle is an individual cell. Multipartite viruses have a segmented genome where each segment is encapsidated separately. In this situation the viral genome is not recapitulated in a single virus particle but in the viral population. How multipartite viruses manage to efficiently infect individual cells with all segments, thus with the whole genome information, is a long-standing but perhaps deceptive mystery. By localizing and quantifying the genome segments of a nanovirus in host plant tissues we show that they rarely co-occur within individual cells. We further demonstrate that distinct segments accumulate independently in different cells and that the viral system is functional through complementation across cells. Our observation deviates from the classical conceptual framework in virology and opens an alternative possibility (at least for nanoviruses) where the infection can operate at a level above the individual cell level, defining a viral multicellular way of life.

RevDate: 2020-04-20
CmpDate: 2020-04-20

Arun A, Coelho SM, Peters AF, et al (2019)

Convergent recruitment of TALE homeodomain life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in land plants and brown algae.

eLife, 8:.

Three amino acid loop extension homeodomain transcription factors (TALE HD TFs) act as life cycle regulators in green algae and land plants. In mosses these regulators are required for the deployment of the sporophyte developmental program. We demonstrate that mutations in either of two TALE HD TF genes, OUROBOROS or SAMSARA, in the brown alga Ectocarpus result in conversion of the sporophyte generation into a gametophyte. The OUROBOROS and SAMSARA proteins heterodimerise in a similar manner to TALE HD TF life cycle regulators in the green lineage. These observations demonstrate that TALE-HD-TF-based life cycle regulation systems have an extremely ancient origin, and that these systems have been independently recruited to regulate sporophyte developmental programs in at least two different complex multicellular eukaryotic supergroups, Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata.

RevDate: 2020-04-14

Annenkova NV, Giner CR, R Logares (2020)

Tracing the Origin of Planktonic Protists in an Ancient Lake.

Microorganisms, 8(4): pii:microorganisms8040543.

Ancient lakes are among the most interesting models for evolution studies because their biodiversity is the result of a complex combination of migration and speciation. Here, we investigate the origin of single celled planktonic eukaryotes from the oldest lake in the world-Lake Baikal (Russia). By using 18S rDNA metabarcoding, we recovered 1414 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) belonging to protists populating surface waters (1-50 m) and representing pico/nano-sized cells. The recovered communities resembled other lacustrine freshwater assemblages found elsewhere, especially the taxonomically unclassified protists. However, our results suggest that a fraction of Baikal protists could belong to glacial relicts and have close relationships with marine/brackish species. Moreover, our results suggest that rapid radiation may have occurred among some protist taxa, partially mirroring what was already shown for multicellular organisms in Lake Baikal. We found 16% of the OTUs belonging to potential species flocks in Stramenopiles, Alveolata, Opisthokonta, Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, and Hacrobia. Putative flocks predominated in Chrysophytes, which are highly diverse in Lake Baikal. Also, the 18S rDNA of a number of species (7% of the total) differed >10% from other known sequences. These taxa as well as those belonging to the flocks may be endemic to Lake Baikal. Overall, our study points to novel diversity of planktonic protists in Lake Baikal, some of which may have emerged in situ after evolutionary diversification.

RevDate: 2020-04-08
CmpDate: 2020-04-06

Brunet T, Larson BT, Linden TA, et al (2019)

Light-regulated collective contractility in a multicellular choanoflagellate.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 366(6463):326-334.

Collective cell contractions that generate global tissue deformations are a signature feature of animal movement and morphogenesis. However, the origin of collective contractility in animals remains unclear. While surveying the Caribbean island of Curaçao for choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, we isolated a previously undescribed species (here named Choanoeca flexa sp. nov.) that forms multicellular cup-shaped colonies. The colonies rapidly invert their curvature in response to changing light levels, which they detect through a rhodopsin-cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway. Inversion requires actomyosin-mediated apical contractility and allows alternation between feeding and swimming behavior. C. flexa thus rapidly converts sensory inputs directly into multicellular contractions. These findings may inform reconstructions of hypothesized animal ancestors that existed before the evolution of specialized sensory and contractile cells.

RevDate: 2020-04-08
CmpDate: 2020-04-06

Blutt SE, Klein OD, Donowitz M, et al (2019)

Use of organoids to study regenerative responses to intestinal damage.

American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology, 317(6):G845-G852.

Intestinal organoid cultures provide an in vitro model system for studying pathways and mechanisms involved in epithelial damage and repair. Derived from either embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells or adult intestinal stem cells or tissues, these self-organizing, multicellular structures contain polarized mature cells that recapitulate both the physiology and heterogeneity of the intestinal epithelium. These cultures provide a cutting-edge technology for defining regenerative pathways that are induced following radiation or chemical damage, which directly target the cycling intestinal stem cell, or damage resulting from viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection of the epithelium. Novel signaling pathways or biological mechanisms identified from organoid studies that mediate regeneration of the epithelium following damage are likely to be important targets of preventive or therapeutic modalities to mitigate intestinal injury. The evolution of these cultures to include more components of the intestinal wall and the ability to genetically modify them are key components for defining the mechanisms that modulate epithelial regeneration.

RevDate: 2020-04-08
CmpDate: 2020-04-06

Gunaratne PH, Pan Y, Rao AK, et al (2019)

Activating p53 family member TAp63: A novel therapeutic strategy for targeting p53-altered tumors.

Cancer, 125(14):2409-2422.

BACKGROUND: Over 96% of high-grade ovarian carcinomas and 50% of all cancers are characterized by alterations in the p53 gene. Therapeutic strategies to restore and/or reactivate the p53 pathway have been challenging. By contrast, p63, which shares many of the downstream targets and functions of p53, is rarely mutated in cancer.

METHODS: A novel strategy is presented for circumventing alterations in p53 by inducing the tumor-suppressor isoform TAp63 (transactivation domain of tumor protein p63) through its direct downstream target, microRNA-130b (miR-130b), which is epigenetically silenced and/or downregulated in chemoresistant ovarian cancer.

RESULTS: Treatment with miR-130b resulted in: 1) decreased migration/invasion in HEYA8 cells (p53 wild-type) and disruption of multicellular spheroids in OVCAR8 cells (p53-mutant) in vitro, 2) sensitization of HEYA8 and OVCAR8 cells to cisplatin (CDDP) in vitro and in vivo, and 3) transcriptional activation of TAp63 and the B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)-inhibitor B-cell lymphoma 2-like protein 11 (BIM). Overexpression of TAp63 was sufficient to decrease cell viability, suggesting that it is a critical downstream effector of miR-130b. In vivo, combined miR-130b plus CDDP exhibited greater therapeutic efficacy than miR-130b or CDDP alone. Mice that carried OVCAR8 xenograft tumors and were injected with miR-130b in 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DOPC) liposomes had a significant decrease in tumor burden at rates similar to those observed in CDDP-treated mice, and 20% of DOPC-miR-130b plus CDDP-treated mice were living tumor free. Systemic injections of scL-miR-130b plus CDDP in a clinically tested, tumor-targeted nanocomplex (scL) improved survival in 60% and complete remissions in 40% of mice that carried HEYA8 xenografts.

CONCLUSIONS: The miR-130b/TAp63 axis is proposed as a new druggable pathway that has the potential to uncover broad-spectrum therapeutic options for the majority of p53-altered cancers.

RevDate: 2020-04-02
CmpDate: 2020-04-02

Masuyama N, Mori H, N Yachie (2019)

DNA barcodes evolve for high-resolution cell lineage tracing.

Current opinion in chemical biology, 52:63-71.

Mammalian development involves continuous dynamic processes in which cells propagate, differentiate, orchestrate, and decease to produce high-order functions. Although accurate cell lineage information can provide a strong foundation to understand such complex processes, the cell lineages involved in development of the whole mammalian body remain largely unclear, except for in early embryogenesis, which is observable under a microscope. With CRISPR genome editing, the concept of 'evolving DNA barcodes' has rapidly emerged for large-scale, high-resolution cell lineage tracing, where cell-embedded DNA barcodes continuously accumulate random mutations that are inherited from mother to daughter cells. Similar to evolutionary tree reconstruction using species' DNA sequences, cell lineages can be reconstructed using shared mutation patterns in the DNA barcodes identified using massively parallel sequencing. The dramatic developments of single-cell and imaging technologies have enabled analyses of the molecular and spatial architecture of heterogeneous cells. The evolving DNA barcodes can also consolidate this information on a reconstructed cell lineage tree and accelerate our understanding of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2020-03-31

Mikhailovsky G, R Gordon (2020)

Shuffling type of biological evolution based on horizontal gene transfer and the biosphere gene pool hypothesis.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(20)30036-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Widespread horizontal gene transfer (HGT) may appear a significant factor that accelerates biological evolution. Here we look at HGT primarily from the point of view of prokaryote clones, which we take as the descendants of a single cell, all of whom have exactly the same nucleotide sequence. Any novelty that emerges as a random mutation, creating a new clone, could either disappear before its first HGT, or survive for a period and be transferred to another clone. Due to the chain character of HGT, each gene with an adaptive mutation is thus spread among numerous existing clones, creating further new clones in the process. This makes propagation far faster than elimination, and such genes become practically immortal and form a kind of "biosphere gene pool" (BGP). Not all of these genes exist in every clone, and moreover not all of them are expressed. A significant fraction of the BGP includes of genes repressed by regulatory genes. However, these genes express often enough to be subject to natural selection. In a changing environment, both repressed and expressed genes, after transferring to another clone, may prove useful in an alternative environment, and this will give rise to new clones. This mechanism for testing repressed genes for adaptability can be thought as a "shuffle of a deck of genes" by analogy with shuffling a deck of cards. In the Archean and Proterozoic eons, both BGP and the operational part of each genome were rather poor, and the probability of incorporation of randomly expressed genes into the operational part of each genome was very small. Accordingly, biological evolution during these eons was slow due to rare adaptive mutations. This explains why the realm of prokaryotes as the sole organisms on Earth lasted so long. However, over about 3.5 billion years before the Phanerozoic eon, the BGP gradually accumulated a huge number of genes. Each of them was useful in a certain environment of past eras. We suggest that multicellular eukaryotes that appeared at the end of the Proterozoic eon could shuffle these genes accumulated in BGP via HGT from prokaryotes that live in these multicellular organisms. Perhaps this was the cause of the "Cambrian explosion" and the high (and increasing) rate of evolution in the Phanerozoic eon compared with the Archean and Proterozoic.

RevDate: 2020-03-31
CmpDate: 2020-03-31

Forbes G, Chen ZH, Kin K, et al (2019)

Phylogeny-wide conservation and change in developmental expression, cell-type specificity and functional domains of the transcriptional regulators of social amoebas.

BMC genomics, 20(1):890.

BACKGROUND: Dictyostelid social amoebas self-organize into fruiting bodies, consisting of spores and up to four supporting cell types in the phenotypically most complex taxon group 4. High quality genomes and stage- and cell-type specific transcriptomes are available for representative species of each of the four taxon groups. To understand how evolution of gene regulation in Dictyostelia contributed to evolution of phenotypic complexity, we analysed conservation and change in abundance, functional domain architecture and developmental regulation of their transcription factors (TFs).

RESULTS: We detected 440 sequence-specific TFs across 33 families, of which 68% were upregulated in multicellular development and about half conserved throughout Dictyostelia. Prespore cells expressed two times more TFs than prestalk cells, but stalk cells expressed more TFs than spores, suggesting that gene expression events that define spores occur earlier than those that define stalk cells. Changes in TF developmental expression, but not in TF abundance or functional domains occurred more frequently between group 4 and groups 1-3, than between the more distant branches formed by groups 1 + 2 and 3 + 4.

CONCLUSIONS: Phenotypic innovation is correlated with changes in TF regulation, rather than functional domain- or TF acquisition. The function of only 34 TFs is known. Of 12 TFs essential for cell differentiation, 9 are expressed in the cell type for which they are required. The information acquired here on conserved cell type specifity of 120 additional TFs can effectively guide further functional analysis, while observed evolutionary change in TF developmental expression may highlight how genotypic change caused phenotypic innovation.

RevDate: 2020-03-30
CmpDate: 2020-03-30

Murphy DP, Hughes AE, Lawrence KA, et al (2019)

Cis-regulatory basis of sister cell type divergence in the vertebrate retina.

eLife, 8:.

Multicellular organisms evolved via repeated functional divergence of transcriptionally related sister cell types, but the mechanisms underlying sister cell type divergence are not well understood. Here, we study a canonical pair of sister cell types, retinal photoreceptors and bipolar cells, to identify the key cis-regulatory features that distinguish them. By comparing open chromatin maps and transcriptomic profiles, we found that while photoreceptor and bipolar cells have divergent transcriptomes, they share remarkably similar cis-regulatory grammars, marked by enrichment of K50 homeodomain binding sites. However, cell class-specific enhancers are distinguished by enrichment of E-box motifs in bipolar cells, and Q50 homeodomain motifs in photoreceptors. We show that converting K50 motifs to Q50 motifs represses reporter expression in bipolar cells, while photoreceptor expression is maintained. These findings suggest that partitioning of Q50 motifs within cell type-specific cis-regulatory elements was a critical step in the evolutionary divergence of the bipolar transcriptome from that of photoreceptors.

RevDate: 2020-03-30
CmpDate: 2020-03-30

Newman SA (2019)

Inherent forms and the evolution of evolution.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution, 332(8):331-338.

John Bonner presented a provocative conjecture that the means by which organisms evolve has itself evolved. The elements of his postulated nonuniformitarianism in the essay under discussion-the emergence of sex, the enhanced selection pressures on larger multicellular forms-center on a presumed close mapping of genotypic to phenotypic change. A different view emerges from delving into earlier work of Bonner's in which he proposed the concept of "neutral phenotypes" and "neutral morphologies" allied to D'Arcy Thompson's analysis of physical determinants of form and studied the conditional elicitation of intrinsic organizational properties of cell aggregates in social amoebae. By comparing the shared and disparate mechanistic bases of morphogenesis and developmental outcomes in the embryos of metazoans (animals), closely related nonmetazoan holozoans, more distantly related dictyostelids, and very distantly related volvocine algae, I conclude, in agreement with Bonner's earlier proposals, that understanding the evolution of multicellular evolution requires knowledge of the inherent forms of diversifying lineages, and that the relevant causative factors extend beyond genes and adaptation to the physics of materials.

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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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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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