Molecular Biology and Evolution

http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org

List of Papers (Total 5,254)

A Thousand Fly Genomes: An Expanded Drosophila Genome Nexus

The Drosophila Genome Nexus is a population genomic resource that provides D. melanogaster genomes from multiple sources. To facilitate comparisons across data sets, genomes are aligned using a common reference alignment pipeline which involves two rounds of mapping. Regions of residual heterozygosity, identity-by-descent, and recent population admixture are annotated to enable...

Fast, Accurate and Automatic Ancient Nucleosome and Methylation Maps with epiPALEOMIX

The first epigenomes from archaic hominins (AH) and ancient anatomically modern humans (AMH) have recently been characterized, based, however, on a limited number of samples. The extent to which ancient genome-wide epigenetic landscapes can be reconstructed thus remains contentious. Here, we present epiPALEOMIX, an open-source and user-friendly pipeline that exploits post-mortem...

Natural Selection in the Great Apes

Natural selection is crucial for the adaptation of populations to their environments. Here, we present the first global study of natural selection in the Hominidae (humans and great apes) based on genome-wide information from population samples representing all extant species (including most subspecies). Combining several neutrality tests we create a multi-species map of...

The Evolution of Silicon Transport in Eukaryotes

Biosilicification (the formation of biological structures from silica) occurs in diverse eukaryotic lineages, plays a major role in global biogeochemical cycles, and has significant biotechnological applications. Silicon (Si) uptake is crucial for biosilicification, yet the evolutionary history of the transporters involved remains poorly known. Recent evidence suggests that the...

Epistasis and Pleiotropy Affect the Modularity of the Genotype–Phenotype Map of Cross-Resistance in HIV-1

The genotype–phenotype (GP) map is a central concept in evolutionary biology as it describes the mapping of molecular genetic variation onto phenotypic trait variation. Our understanding of that mapping remains partial, especially when trying to link functional clustering of pleiotropic gene effects with patterns of phenotypic trait co-variation. Only on rare occasions have...

Loss and Gain of Human Acidic Mammalian Chitinase Activity by Nonsynonymous SNPs

Acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase) is implicated in asthma, allergic inflammation, and food processing. Little is known about genetic and evolutional regulation of chitinolytic activity of AMCase. Here, we relate human AMCase polymorphisms to the mouse AMCase, and show that the highly active variants encoded by nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) are...

Evolution of Protein Domain Repeats in Metazoa

Repeats are ubiquitous elements of proteins and they play important roles for cellular function and during evolution. Repeats are, however, also notoriously difficult to capture computationally and large scale studies so far had difficulties in linking genetic causes, structural properties and evolutionary trajectories of protein repeats. Here we apply recently developed methods...

Paternal Mitochondrial Transmission in Intra-Species Caenorhabditis briggsae Hybrids

To study mitochondrial–nuclear genetic interactions in the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae, our three laboratories independently created 38 intra-species cytoplasmic–nuclear hybrid (cybrid) lines. Although the cross design combines maternal mitotypes with paternal nuclear genotypes, eight lines (21%) unexpectedly contained paternal mitotypes. All eight share in common ancestry...

Evolution of Digestive Enzymes and RNASE1 Provides Insights into Dietary Switch of Cetaceans

Although cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) have multi-chambered stomachs, feeding habits of modern cetaceans have dramatically changed from herbivorous to carnivorous. However, the genetic basis underlying this dietary switch remains unexplored. Here, we present the first systematic investigation of 10 digestive enzymes genes (i.e., CYP7A1, CTRC, LIPC, LIPF, PNLIP, PGC...

Evolutionary Dynamics of Abundant Stop Codon Readthrough

Translational stop codon readthrough emerged as a major regulatory mechanism affecting hundreds of genes in animal genomes, based on recent comparative genomics and ribosomal profiling evidence, but its evolutionary properties remain unknown. Here, we leverage comparative genomic evidence across 21 Anopheles mosquitoes to systematically annotate readthrough genes in the malaria...

The Effects of Population Size Histories on Estimates of Selection Coefficients from Time-Series Genetic Data

Many approaches have been developed for inferring selection coefficients from time series data while accounting for genetic drift. These approaches have been motivated by the intuition that properly accounting for the population size history can significantly improve estimates of selective strengths. However, the improvement in inference accuracy that can be attained by modeling...

Comparative Methylome Analyses Identify Epigenetic Regulatory Loci of Human Brain Evolution

How do epigenetic modifications change across species and how do these modifications affect evolution? These are fundamental questions at the forefront of our evolutionary epigenomic understanding. Our previous work investigated human and chimpanzee brain methylomes, but it was limited by the lack of outgroup data which is critical for comparative (epi)genomic studies. Here, we...

Genomic Imprinting in the Endosperm Is Systematically Perturbed in Abortive Hybrid Tomato Seeds

Hybrid seed failure represents an important postzygotic barrier to interbreeding among species of wild tomatoes (Solanum section Lycopersicon) and other flowering plants. We studied genome-wide changes associated with hybrid seed abortion in the closely related Solanum peruvianum and S. chilense where hybrid crosses yield high proportions of inviable seeds due to endosperm...

Venom Insulins of Cone Snails Diversify Rapidly and Track Prey Taxa

A specialized insulin was recently found in the venom of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus geographus. Here we show that many worm-hunting and snail-hunting cones also express venom insulins, and that this novel gene family has diversified explosively. Cone snails express a highly conserved insulin in their nerve ring; presumably this conventional signaling insulin is finely tuned...

Novel Ciliate Genetic Code Variants Including the Reassignment of All Three Stop Codons to Sense Codons in Condylostoma magnum

mRNA translation in many ciliates utilizes variant genetic codes where stop codons are reassigned to specify amino acids. To characterize the repertoire of ciliate genetic codes, we analyzed ciliate transcriptomes from marine environments. Using codon substitution frequencies in ciliate protein-coding genes and their orthologs, we inferred the genetic codes of 24 ciliate species...

Membrane Proteins Are Dramatically Less Conserved than Water-Soluble Proteins across the Tree of Life

Membrane proteins are crucial in transport, signaling, bioenergetics, catalysis, and as drug targets. Here, we show that membrane proteins have dramatically fewer detectable orthologs than water-soluble proteins, less than half in most species analyzed. This sparse distribution could reflect rapid divergence or gene loss. We find that both mechanisms operate. First, membrane...

Survival and Evolution of a Large Multidrug Resistance Plasmid in New Clinical Bacterial Hosts

Large conjugative plasmids are important drivers of bacterial evolution and contribute significantly to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Although plasmid borne multidrug resistance is recognized as one of the main challenges in modern medicine, the adaptive forces shaping the evolution of these plasmids within pathogenic hosts are poorly understood. Here we study...

Deciphering the Wisent Demographic and Adaptive Histories from Individual Whole-Genome Sequences

As the largest European herbivore, the wisent (Bison bonasus) is emblematic of the continent wildlife but has unclear origins. Here, we infer its demographic and adaptive histories from two individual whole-genome sequences via a detailed comparative analysis with bovine genomes. We estimate that the wisent and bovine species diverged from 1.7 × 106 to 850,000 years before...

Conserved but Attenuated Parental Gene Expression in Allopolyploids: Constitutive Zinc Hyperaccumulation in the Allotetraploid Arabidopsis kamchatica

Allopolyploidization combines parental genomes and often confers broader species distribution. However, little is known about parentally transmitted gene expression underlying quantitative traits following allopolyploidization because of the complexity of polyploid genomes. The allopolyploid species Arabidopsis kamchatica is a natural hybrid of the zinc hyperaccumulator...

PoPoolationTE2: Comparative Population Genomics of Transposable Elements Using Pool-Seq

The evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) are still poorly understood. One reason is that TE abundance needs to be studied at the population level, but sequencing individuals on a population scale is still too expensive to characterize TE abundance in multiple populations. Although sequencing pools of individuals dramatically reduces sequencing costs, a comparison...

Reverse Transcription Errors and RNA–DNA Differences at Short Tandem Repeats

Transcript variation has important implications for organismal function in health and disease. Most transcriptome studies focus on assessing variation in gene expression levels and isoform representation. Variation at the level of transcript sequence is caused by RNA editing and transcription errors, and leads to nongenetically encoded transcript variants, or RNA–DNA differences...

Mapping Phylogenetic Trees to Reveal Distinct Patterns of Evolution

Evolutionary relationships are frequently described by phylogenetic trees, but a central barrier in many fields is the difficulty of interpreting data containing conflicting phylogenetic signals. We present a metric-based method for comparing trees which extracts distinct alternative evolutionary relationships embedded in data. We demonstrate detection and resolution of...