Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Deciphering relationships among the orders of placental mammals remains an important problem in evolutionary biology and has implications for understanding patterns of morphological character evolution, reconstructing the ancestral placental genome, and evaluating the role of plate tectonics and dispersal in the biogeographic history of this group. Until recently, both molecular and morphological studies provided only a limited and questionable resolution of placental relationships. Studies based on larger and more diverse molecular datasets, and using an array of methodological approaches, are now converging on a stable tree topology with four major groups of placental mammals. The emerging tree has revealed numerous instances of convergent evolution and suggests a role for plate tectonics in the early evolutionary history of placental mammals. The reconstruction of mammalian phylogeny illustrates both the pitfalls and the powers of molecular systematics.
BMC Genomics. 2012 ;13 :261 22716473
Anthony T Papenfuss, Michelle L Baker, Zhi-Ping Feng, Mary Tachedjian, Gary Crameri, Chris Cowled, Justin Ng, Vijaya Janardhana, Hume E Field, Lin-Fa Wang
CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, PO Bag 24, Geelong, VIC, 3220, Australia. Michelle.Baker@csiro.au.
UNLABELLED ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Bats are the natural reservoir host for a range of emerging and re-emerging viruses, including SARS-like coronaviruses, Ebola viruses, henipaviruses and Rabies viruses. However, the mechanisms responsible for the control of viral replication in bats are not understood and there is little information available on any aspect of antiviral immunity in bats. Massively parallel sequencing of the bat transcriptome provides the opportunity for rapid gene discovery. Although the genomes of one megabat and one microbat have now been sequenced to low coverage, no transcriptomic datasets have been reported from any bat species. In this study, we describe the immune transcriptome of the Australian flying fox, Pteropus alecto, providing an important resource for identification of genes involved in a range of activities including antiviral immunity. RESULTS Towards understanding the adaptations that have allowed bats to coexist with viruses, we have de novo assembled transcriptome sequence from immune tissues and stimulated cells from P. alecto. We identified about 18,600 genes involved in a broad range of activities with the most highly expressed genes involved in cell growth and maintenance, enzyme activity, cellular components and metabolism and energy pathways. 3.5% of the bat transcribed genes corresponded to immune genes and a total of about 500 immune genes were identified, providing an overview of both innate and adaptive immunity. A small proportion of transcripts found no match with annotated sequences in any of the public databases and may represent bat-specific transcripts. CONCLUSIONS This study represents the first reported bat transcriptome dataset and provides a survey of expressed bat genes that complement existing bat genomic data. In addition, these data provide insight into genes relevant to the antiviral responses of bats, and form a basis for examining the roles of these molecules in immune response to viral infection.
PLoS One. 2012 ;7 (3):e32410 22479325
Phylogeny and taxonomy of the round-eared sengis or elephant-shrews, genus Macroscelides (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Macroscelidea).
Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, United States of America. email@example.com
The round-eared sengis or elephant-shrews (genus Macroscelides) exhibit striking pelage variation throughout their ranges. Over ten taxonomic names have been proposed to describe this variation, but currently only two taxa are recognized (M. proboscideus proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus). Here, we review the taxonomic history of Macroscelides, and we use data on the geographic distribution, morphology, and mitochondrial DNA sequence to evaluate the current taxonomy. Our data support only two taxa that correspond to the currently recognized subspecies M. p. proboscideus and M. p. flavicaudatus. Mitochondrial haplotypes of these two taxa are reciprocally monophyletic with over 13% uncorrected sequence divergence between them. PCA analysis of 14 morphological characters (mostly cranial) grouped the two taxa into non-overlapping clusters, and body mass alone is a relatively reliable distinguishing character throughout much of Macroscelides range. Although fieldworkers were unable to find sympatric populations, the two taxa were found within 50 km of each other, and genetic analysis showed no evidence of gene flow. Based upon corroborating genetic data, morphological data, near sympatry with no evidence of gene flow, and differences in habitat use, we elevate these two forms to full species.
Int J Biol Sci. 2012 ;8 (4):486-97 22457604
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China.
Although mammals have long been regarded as a successful radiation, the diversification pattern among the clades is still poorly known. Higher-level phylogenies are conflicting and comprehensive comparative analyses are still lacking. Using a recently published supermatrix encompassing nearly all extant mammalian families and a novel comparative likelihood approach (MEDUSA), the diversification pattern of mammalian groups was examined. Both order- and family-level phylogenetic analyses revealed the rapid radiation of Boreoeutheria and Euaustralidelphia in the early mammalian history. The observation of a diversification burst within Boreoeutheria at approximately 100 My supports the Long Fuse model in elucidating placental diversification progress, and the rapid radiation of Euaustralidelphia suggests an important role of biogeographic dispersal events in triggering early Australian marsupial rapid radiation. Diversification analyses based on family-level diversity tree revealed seven additional clades with exceptional diversification rate shifts, six of which represent accelerations in net diversification rate as compared to the background pattern. The shifts gave origin to the clades Muridae+Cricetidae, Bovidae+Moschidae+Cervidae, Simiiformes, Echimyidae, Odontoceti (excluding Physeteridae+Kogiidae+Platanistidae), Macropodidae, and Vespertilionidae. Moderate to high extinction rates from background and boreoeutherian diversification patterns indicate the important role of turnovers in shaping the heterogeneous taxonomic richness observed among extant mammalian groups. Furthermore, the present results emphasize the key role of extinction on erasing unusual diversification signals, and suggest that further studies are needed to clarify the historical radiation of some mammalian groups for which MEDUSA did not detect exceptional diversification rates.
Sequencing of 21 varicella-zoster virus genomes reveals two novel genotypes and evidence of recombination.
Department of Virology and Antiviral Therapy, Jena University Hospital, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Genotyping of 21 varicella-zoster virus (VZV) strains using a scattered single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) method revealed ambiguous SNPs and two nontypeable isolates. For a further genetic characterization, the genomes of all strains were sequenced using the 454 technology. Almost-complete genome sequences were assembled, and most remaining gaps were closed with Sanger sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of 42 genomes revealed five established and two novel VZV genotypes, provisionally termed VIII and IX. Genotypes VIII and IX are distinct from the previously reported provisional genotypes VI and VII as judged from the SNP pattern. The alignments showed evidence of ancient recombination events in the phylogeny of clade 4 and recent recombinations within single strains: 3/2005 (clade 1), 11 and 405/2007 (clade 3), 8 and DR (clade 4), CA123 and 413/2000 (clade 5), and strains of the novel genotypes VIII and IX. Bayesian tree inference of the thymidine kinase and the polymerase genes of the VZV clades and other varicelloviruses revealed that VZV radiation began some 110,000 years ago, which correlates with the out-of-Africa dispersal of modern humans. The split of ancestral clades 2/4 and 1/3/5/VIII/IX shows the greatest node height.
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, UK. email@example.com
Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future.
BMC Evol Biol. 2010 ;10 :369 21118501
Institute of Evolutionary Biology, CSIC-UPF, Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta 37, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
BACKGROUND Multilocus phylogenies can be used to infer the species tree of a group of closely related species. In species trees, the nodes represent the actual separation between species, thus providing essential information about their evolutionary history. In addition, multilocus phylogenies can help in analyses of species delimitation, gene flow and genetic differentiation within species. However, few adequate markers are available for such studies. RESULTS In order to develop nuclear markers that can be useful in multilocus studies of mammals, we analyzed the mammalian genomes of human, chimpanzee, macaque, dog and cow. Rodents were excluded due to their unusual genomic features. Introns were extracted from the mammalian genomes because of their greater genetic variability and ease of amplification from the flanking exons. To an initial set of more than 10,000 one-to-one orthologous introns we applied several filters to select introns that belong to single-copy genes, show neutral evolutionary rates and have an adequate length for their amplification. This analysis led to a final list of 224 intron markers randomly distributed along the genome. To experimentally test their validity, we amplified twelve of these introns in a panel of six mammalian species. The result was that seven of these introns gave rise to a PCR band of the expected size in all species. In addition, we sequenced these bands and analyzed the accumulation of substitutions in these introns in five pairs of closely related species. The results showed that the estimated genetic distances in the five species pairs was quite variable among introns and that this divergence cannot be directly predicted from the overall intron divergence in mammals. CONCLUSIONS We have designed a new set of 224 nuclear introns with optimal features for the phylogeny of closely related mammalian species. A large proportion of the introns tested experimentally showed a perfect amplification and enough variability in most species, indicating that this marker set can be very helpful in multilocus phylogenetics of mammals. Due to the lower variability and stronger stochasticity of nuclear markers with respect to mitochondrial genes, studies should be designed to make use of several markers like the ones designed here.
MetaPIGA v2.0: maximum likelihood large phylogeny estimation using the metapopulation genetic algorithm and other stochastic heuristics.
Department of Biology of Namur University, Belgium.
Université de Montréal, Département de Sciences Biologiques, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7, Canada.
TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES CAN BE USED IN PHYLOGENOMICS: combined or separate analysis. In the first approach, different datasets are combined in a concatenated supermatrix. In the second, datasets are analyzed separately and the phylogenetic trees are then combined in a supertree. The supertree method is an interesting alternative to avoid missing data, since datasets that are analyzed separately do not need to represent identical taxa. However, the supertree approach and the corresponding consensus methods have been highly criticized for not providing valid phylogenetic hypotheses. In this study, congruence of trees estimated by consensus and supertree approaches were compared to model trees obtained from a combined analysis of complete mitochondrial sequences of 102 species representing 93 mammal families. The consensus methods produced poorly resolved consensus trees and did not perform well, except for the majority rule consensus with compatible groupings. The weighted supertree and matrix representation with parsimony methods performed equally well and were highly congruent with the model trees. The most similar supertree method was the least congruent with the model trees. We conclude that some of the methods tested are worth considering in a phylogenomic context.
Laboratory of Artificial and Natural Evolution, Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, Genève, Switzerland.
Recent analyses indicated that genes with larger effect of knockout or mutation and with larger probability to revert to single copy after whole genome duplication are expressed earlier in development. Here, we further investigate whether tissue specificity of gene expression is constrained by the age of origin of the corresponding genes. We use 38 metazoan genomes and a comparative genomic application system to integrate inference of gene duplication with expression data from 17,503 human genes into a strictly phylogenetic framework. We show that the number of anatomical systems in which genes are expressed decreases steadily with decreased age of the genes' first appearance in the phylogeny: the oldest genes are expressed, on average, in twice as many anatomical systems than the genes gained recently in evolution. These results are robust to different sources of expression data, to different levels of the anatomical system hierarchy, and to the use of gene families rather than duplication events. Finally, we show that the rate of increase in gene tissue specificity correlates with the relative rate of increase in the maximum number of cell types in the corresponding taxa. Although subfunctionalization and increase in cell type number throughout evolution could constitute, respectively, the proximal and ultimate causes of this correlation, the two phenomena are intermingled. Our analyses identify a striking historical constraint in gene expression: the number of cell types in existence at the time of a gene appearance (through duplication or de novo origination) tends to determine its level of tissue specificity for tens or hundreds of millions of years.
BMC Evol Biol. 2010 ;10 :64 20193073
Chaperonin genes on the rise: new divergent classes and intense duplication in human and other vertebrate genomes.
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, College of Medicine, 1660 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
BACKGROUND Chaperonin proteins are well known for the critical role they play in protein folding and in disease. However, the recent identification of three diverged chaperonin paralogs associated with the human Bardet-Biedl and McKusick-Kaufman Syndromes (BBS and MKKS, respectively) indicates that the eukaryotic chaperonin-gene family is larger and more differentiated than previously thought. The availability of complete genome sequences makes possible a definitive characterization of the complete set of chaperonin sequences in human and other species. RESULTS We identified fifty-four chaperonin-like sequences in the human genome and similar numbers in the genomes of the model organisms mouse and rat. In mammal genomes we identified, besides the well-known CCT chaperonin genes and the three genes associated with the MKKS and BBS pathological conditions, a newly-defined class of chaperonin genes named CCT8L, represented in human by the two sequences CCT8L1 and CCT8L2. Comparative analyses from several vertebrate genomes established the monophyletic origin of chaperonin-like MKKS and BBS genes from the CCT8 lineage. The CCT8L gene originated from a later duplication also in the CCT8 lineage at the onset of mammal evolution and duplicated in primate genomes. The functionality of CCT8L genes in different species was confirmed by evolutionary analyses and in human by expression data. Detailed sequence analysis and structural predictions of MKKS, BBS and CCT8L proteins strongly suggested that they conserve a typical chaperonin-like core structure but that they are unlikely to form a CCT-like oligomeric complex. The characterization of many newly-discovered chaperonin pseudogenes uncovered the intense duplication activity of eukaryotic chaperonin genes. CONCLUSIONS In vertebrates, chaperonin genes, driven by intense duplication processes, have diversified into multiple classes and functionalities that extend beyond their well-known protein-folding role as part of the typical oligomeric chaperonin complex, emphasizing previous observations on the involvement of individual CCT monomers in microtubule elongation. The functional characterization of newly identified chaperonin genes will be a challenge for future experimental analyses.
Other papers by authors:
Mark S Springer, Mark Scally, Ole Madsen, Wilfried W de Jong, Christophe J Douady, Michael J Stanhope
Molecular phylogenetic evidence confirming the Eulipotyphla concept and in support of hedgehogs as the sister group to shrews.
Christophe J Douady, Pascale I Chatelier, Ole Madsen, Wilfried W de Jong, Francois Catzeflis, Mark S Springer, Michael J Stanhope
Queen's University of Belfast, Biology and Biochemistry, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7BL, UK.
For more than a century, living insectivore-like mammals have been viewed as little removed from the ancestral mammalian stock based on their retention of numerous primitive characteristics. This circumstance has made "insectivores" a group of special interest in the study of mammalian evolution. included hedgehogs, moles, shrews, solenodons, golden moles, tenrecs, flying lemurs, tree shrews, and elephant shrews in Insectivora. Subsequently, morphologists excluded flying lemurs, tree shrews, and elephant shrews from Insectivora and placed these taxa in the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, and Macroscelidea, respectively. The remaining insectivores constitute Lipotyphla, which is monophyletic based on morphology. In contrast, molecular data suggest that lipotyphlans are polyphyletic, with golden moles and tenrecs placed in their own order (Afrosoricida) in the superordinal group Afrotheria. Studies based on nuclear genes support the monophyly of the remaining lipotyphlans (=Eulipotyphla) whereas mitochondrial genome studies dissociate hedgehogs from moles and place the former as the first offshoot on the placental tree. One shortcoming of previous molecular studies investigating lipotyphlan relationships is limited taxonomic sampling. Here, we evaluate lipotyphlan relationships using the largest and taxonomically most diverse data set yet assembled for Lipotyphla. Our results provide convincing support for both lipotyphlan diphyly and the monophyly of Eulipotyphla. More surprisingly, we find strong evidence for a sister-group relationship between shrews and hedgehogs to the exclusion of moles.
Molecular phylogeny of living xenarthrans and the impact of character and taxon sampling on the placental tree rooting.
Frédéric Delsuc, Mark Scally, Ole Madsen, Michael J Stanhope, Wilfried W de Jong, François M Catzeflis, Mark S Springer, Emmanuel J P Douzery
Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Paléobiologie et Phylogénie, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université Montpellier II, Montpellier, France.
Extant xenarthrans (armadillos, anteaters and sloths) are among the most derived placental mammals ever evolved. South America was the cradle of their evolutionary history. During the Tertiary, xenarthrans experienced an extraordinary radiation, whereas South America remained isolated from other continents. The 13 living genera are relics of this earlier diversification and represent one of the four major clades of placental mammals. Sequences of the three independent protein-coding nuclear markers alpha2B adrenergic receptor (ADRA2B), breast cancer susceptibility (BRCA1), and von Willebrand Factor (VWF) were determined for 12 of the 13 living xenarthran genera. Comparative evolutionary dynamics of these nuclear exons using a likelihood framework revealed contrasting patterns of molecular evolution. All codon positions of BRCA1 were shown to evolve in a strikingly similar manner, and third codon positions appeared less saturated within placentals than those of ADRA2B and VWF. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of a 47 placental taxa data set rooted by three marsupial outgroups resolved the phylogeny of Xenarthra with some evidence for two radiation events in armadillos and provided a strongly supported picture of placental interordinal relationships. This topology was fully compatible with recent studies, dividing placentals into the Southern Hemisphere clades Afrotheria and Xenarthra and a monophyletic Northern Hemisphere clade (Boreoeutheria) composed of Laurasiatheria and Euarchontoglires. Partitioned likelihood statistical tests of the position of the root, under different character partition schemes, identified three almost equally likely hypotheses for early placental divergences: a basal Afrotheria, an Afrotheria + Xenarthra clade, or a basal Xenarthra (Epitheria hypothesis). We took advantage of the extensive sampling realized within Xenarthra to assess its impact on the location of the root on the placental tree. By resampling taxa within Xenarthra, the conservative Shimodaira-Hasegawa likelihood-based test of alternative topologies was shown to be sensitive to both character and taxon sampling.
Microbat paraphyly and the convergent evolution of a key innovation in Old World rhinolophoid microbats.
Emma C Teeling, Ole Madsen, Ronald A Van den Bussche, Wilfried W de Jong, Michael J Stanhope, Mark S Springer
Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
Molecular phylogenies challenge the view that bats belong to the superordinal group Archonta, which also includes primates, tree shrews, and flying lemurs. Some molecular studies also challenge microbat monophyly and instead support an alliance between megabats and representative rhinolophoid microbats from the families Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats, Old World leaf-nosed bats) and Megadermatidae (false vampire bats). Another molecular study ostensibly contradicts these results and supports traditional microbat monophyly, inclusive of representative rhinolophoids from the family Nycteridae (slit-faced bats). Resolution of the microbat paraphyly/monophyly issue is essential for reconstructing the temporal sequence and deployment of morphological character state changes associated with flight and echolocation in bats. If microbats are paraphyletic, then laryngeal echolocation either evolved more than once in different microbats or was lost in megabats after evolving in the ancestor of all living bats. To examine these issues, we used a 7.1-kb nuclear data set for nine outgroups and twenty bats, including representatives of all rhinolophoid families. Phylogenetic analyses and statistical tests rejected both Archonta and microbat monophyly. Instead, bats are in the superorder Laurasiatheria and microbats are paraphyletic. Further, the superfamily Rhinolophoidea is polyphyletic. The rhinolophoid families Rhinolophidae and Megadermatidae belong to the suborder Yinpterochiroptera along with rhinopomatids and megabats. The rhinolophoid family Nycteridae belongs to the suborder Yangochiroptera along with vespertilionoids, noctilionoids, and emballonuroids. These results resolve the apparent conflict between previous molecular studies that sampled different rhinolophoid families. An important implication of rhinolophoid polyphyly is independent evolution of key anatomical innovations associated with the nasal-emission of echolocation pulses.
Rodent phylogeny and a timescale for the evolution of Glires: evidence from an extensive taxon sampling using three nuclear genes.
Dorothée Huchon, Ole Madsen, Mark J J B Sibbald, Kai Ament, Michael J Stanhope, François Catzeflis, Wilfried W de Jong, Emmanuel J P Douzery
Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Paléobiologie et Phylogénie-CC064, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution UMR 5554/CNRS, Université Montpellier II, Place E. Bataillon, Montpellier Cedex 05, France.
Rodentia is the largest order of placental mammals, with approximately 2,050 species divided into 28 families. It is also one of the most controversial with respect to its monophyly, relationships between families, and divergence dates. Here, we have analyzed and compared the performance of three nuclear genes (von Willebrand Factor, interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, and Alpha 2B adrenergic receptor) for a large taxonomic sampling, covering the whole rodent and placental diversity. The phylogenetic results significantly support rodent monophyly, the association of Rodentia with Lagomorpha (the Glires clade), and a Glires + Euarchonta (Primates, Dermoptera, and Scandentia) clade. The resolution of relationships among rodents is also greatly improved. The currently recognized families are divided here into seven well-defined clades (Anomaluromorpha, Castoridae, Ctenohystrica, Geomyoidea, Gliridae, Myodonta, and Sciuroidea) that can be grouped into three major clades: Ctenohystrica, Gliridae + Sciuroidea, and a mouse-related clade (Anomaluromorpha, Castoridae + Geomyoidea, and Myodonta). Molecular datings based on these three genes suggest that the rodent radiation took place at the transition between Paleocene and Eocene. The divergence between rodents and lagomorphs is placed just at the K-T boundary and the first splits among placentals in the Late Cretaceous. Our results thus tend to reconcile molecular and morphological-paleontological insights.
Biomolecular Chemistry, 271 Nijmegen Center of Molecular Life Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The orientation of closely linked genes in mammalian genomes is not random: there are more head-to-head (h2h) gene pairs than expected. To understand the origin of this enrichment in h2h gene pairs, we have analyzed the phylogenetic distribution of gene pairs separated by less than 600 bp of intergenic DNA (gene duos). We show here that a lack of head-to-tail (h2t) gene duos is an even more distinctive characteristic of mammalian genomes, with the platypus genome as the only exception. In nonmammalian vertebrate and in nonvertebrate genomes, the frequency of h2h, h2t, and tail-to-tail (t2t) gene duos is close to random. In tetrapod genomes, the h2t and t2t gene duos are more likely to be part of a larger gene cluster of closely spaced genes than h2h gene duos; in fish and urochordate genomes, the reverse is seen. In human and mouse tissues, the expression profiles of gene duos were skewed toward positive coexpression, irrespective of orientation. The organization of orthologs of both members of about 40% of the human gene duos could be traced in other species, enabling a prediction of the organization at the branch points of gnathostomes, tetrapods, amniotes, and euarchontoglires. The accumulation of h2h gene duos started in tetrapods, whereas that of h2t and t2t gene duos only started in amniotes. The apparent lack of evolutionary conservation of h2t and t2t gene duos relative to that of h2h gene duos is thus a result of their relatively late origin in the lineage leading to mammals; we show that once they are formed h2t and t2t gene duos are as stable as h2h gene duos.
Natural selection and mammalian BRCA1 sequences: elucidating functionally important sites relevant to breast cancer susceptibility in humans.
Biology Department, University of California, Riverside, 92521, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Comparison of orthologous gene sequences is emerging as a powerful approach to elucidating functionally important positions in human disease genes. Using a diverse array of 132 mammalian BRCA1 (exon 11) sequences, we evaluated the functional significance of specific sites in the context of selection information (purifying, neutral, or diversifying) as well as the ability to extract such information from alignments that index varying degrees of mammalian diversity. Small data sets of either closely related taxa (Primates) or divergent placental taxa were unable to distinguish sites conserved due to purifying selection from sites conserved due to chance (false-positive rate = 65%-99%). Increasing the number of placental taxa to 57 greatly reduced the potential false-positive rate (0%-1.5%). Using the larger data set, we ranked the oncogenic risk of human missense mutations using a novel method that incorporates site-specific selection level and severity of the amino acid change evaluated against the amino acids present in other mammalian taxa. In addition to sites undergoing positive selection in Marsupialia, Laurasiatheria, Euarchontoglires, and Primates, we identified sites most likely to be undergoing divergent selection pressure in different lineages and six pairs of potentially interacting sites. Our results demonstrate the necessity of including large numbers of sequences to elucidate functionally important sites of a protein when using a comparative evolutionary approach.
The platypus is in its place: nuclear genes and indels confirm the sister group relation of monotremes and Therians.
Department of Biochemistry, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Morphological data supports monotremes as the sister group of Theria (extant marsupials + eutherians), but phylogenetic analyses of 12 mitochondrial protein-coding genes have strongly supported the grouping of monotremes with marsupials: the Marsupionta hypothesis. Various nuclear genes tend to support Theria, but a comprehensive study of long concatenated sequences and broad taxon sampling is lacking. We therefore determined sequences from six nuclear genes and obtained additional sequences from the databases to create two large and independent nuclear data sets. One (data set I) emphasized taxon sampling and comprised five genes, with a concatenated length of 2,793 bp, from 21 species (two monotremes, six marsupials, nine placentals, and four outgroups). The other (data set II) emphasized gene sampling and comprised eight genes and three proteins, with a concatenated length of 10,773 bp or 3,669 amino acids, from five taxa (a monotreme, a marsupial, a rodent, human, and chicken). Both data sets were analyzed by parsimony, minimum evolution, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods using various models and data partitions. Data set I gave bootstrap support values for Theria between 55% and 100%, while support for Marsupionta was at most 12.3%. Taking base compositional bias into account generally increased the support for Theria. Data set II exclusively supported Theria, with the highest possible values and significantly rejected Marsupionta. Independent phylogenetic evidence in support of Theria was obtained from two single amino acid deletions and one insertion, while no supporting insertions and deletions were found for Marsupionta. On the basis of our data sets, the time of divergence between Monotremata and Theria was estimated at 231-217 MYA and between Marsupialia and Eutheria at 193-186 MYA. The morphological evidence for a basal position of Monotremata, well separated from Theria, is thus fully supported by the available molecular data from nuclear genes.
Asynchronous colonization of madagascar by the four endemic clades of primates, tenrecs, carnivores, and rodents as inferred from nuclear genes.
Department of Biochemistry 161, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, PO Box 9101, The Netherlands.
Madagascar harbors four large adaptive radiations of endemic terrestrial mammals: lemurs, tenrecs, carnivorans, and rodents. These rank among the most spectacular examples of evolutionary diversification, but their monophyly and origins are debated. The lack of Tertiary fossils from Madagascar leaves molecular studies as most promising to solve these controversies. We provide a simultaneous reconstruction of phylogeny and age of the four radiations based on a 3.5-kb data set from three nuclear genes (ADRA2B, vWF, and AR). The analysis supports each as a monophyletic clade, sister to African taxa, and thereby identifies four events of colonization out of Africa. To infer the time windows for colonization, we take into account both the divergence from the closest noninsular sister group and the initial intrainsular radiation, which is a novel but conservative approach in studies of the colonization history of Madagascar. We estimate that lemurs colonized Madagascar between 60 million years ago (Mya)(split from lorises) and 50 Mya (lemur radiation)(70-41 Mya taking 95% credibility intervals into account), tenrecs between 42 and 25 Mya (50-20 Mya), carnivorans between 26 and 19 Mya (33-14 Mya), and rodents between 24 and 20 Mya (30-15 Mya). These datings suggest at least two asynchronous colonization events: by lemurs in the Late Cretaceous-Middle Eocene, and by carnivorans and rodents in the Early Oligocene-Early Miocene. The colonization by tenrecs may have taken place simultaneously with either of these two events, or in a third event in the Late Eocene-Oligocene. Colonization by at least lemurs, rodents, and carnivorans appears to have occurred by overseas rafting rather than via a land bridge hypothesized to have existed between 45 and 26 Mya, but the second scenario cannot be ruled out if credibility intervals are taken into account.[Bayesian analyses; endemic mammals; island colonization; Madagascar; maximum likelihood; molecular dating; molecular phylogeny.].
Sequence and functional conservation of the intergenic region between the head-to-head genes encoding the small heat shock proteins alphaB-crystallin and HspB2 in the mammalian lineage.
Linda Doerwald, Teun van Rheede, Ron P Dirks, Ole Madsen, Remco Rexwinkel, Siebe T van Genesen, Gerard J Martens, Wilfried W de Jong, Nicolette H Lubsen
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
An unexpected feature of the large mammalian genome is the frequent occurrence of closely linked head-to-head gene pairs. Close apposition of such gene pairs has been suggested to be due to sharing of regulatory elements. We show here that the head-to-head gene pair encoding two small heat shock proteins, alphaB-crystallin and HspB2, is closely linked in all major mammalian clades, suggesting that this close linkage is of selective advantage. Yet alphaB-crystallin is abundantly expressed in lens and muscle and in response to a heat shock, while HspB2 is abundant only in muscle and not upregulated by a heat shock. The intergenic distance between the genes for these two proteins in mammals ranges from 645 bp (platypus) to 1069 bp (opossum), with an average of about 900 bp; in chicken the distance was the same as in duck (1.6 kb). Phylogenetic footprinting and sequence alignment identified a number of conserved sequence elements close to the HspB2 promoter and two farther upstream. All known regulatory elements of the mouse alphaB-crystallin promoter are conserved, except in platypus and birds. The lens-specific region 1 (LSR1) and the heat shock elements (HSEs) lack in birds; in platypus the LSR1 is reduced to a Pax-6 site, while the Pax-6 site in LSR2 and a HSE are absent. Most likely the primordial mammalian alphaB-crystallin promoter had two LSRs and two HSEs. In transfection experiments the platypus alphaB-crystallin promoter retained heat shock responsiveness and lens expression. It also directed lens expression in Xenopus laevis transgenes, as did the HspB2 promoter of rat or blind mole rat. Deletion of the middle of the intergenic region including the upstream enhancer affected the activity of both the rat alphaB-crystallin and the HspB2 promoters, suggesting sharing of the enhancer region by the two promoters.
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A multi-gene phylogeny of Cephalopoda supports convergent morphological evolution in association with multiple habitat shifts in the marine environment.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The marine environment is comprised of numerous divergent organisms living under similar selective pressures, often resulting in the evolution of convergent structures such as the fusiform body shape of pelagic squids, fishes, and some marine mammals. However, little is known about the frequency of, and circumstances leading to, convergent evolution in the open ocean. Here, we present a comparative study of the molluscan class Cephalopoda, a marine group known to occupy habitats from the intertidal to the deep sea. Several lineages bear features that may coincide with a benthic or pelagic existence, making this a valuable group for testing hypotheses of correlated evolution. To test for convergence and correlation, we generate the most taxonomically comprehensive multi-gene phylogeny of cephalopods to date. We then create a character matrix of habitat type and morphological characters, which we use to infer ancestral character states and test for correlation between habitat and morphology. RESULTS: Our study utilizes a taxonomically well-sampled phylogeny to show convergent evolution in all six morphological characters we analyzed. Three of these characters also correlate with habitat. The presence of an autogenic photophore is correlated with a pelagic habitat, while the cornea and accessory nidamental gland correlate with a benthic lifestyle. Here, we present the first statistical tests for correlation between convergent traits and habitat in cephalopods to better understand the evolutionary history of characters that are adaptive in benthic or pelagic environments, respectively. DISCUSSION: Our study supports the hypothesis that habitat has influenced convergent evolution in the marine environment: benthic organisms tend to exhibit similar characteristics that confer protection from invasion by other benthic taxa, while pelagic organisms possess features that facilitate crypsis and communication in an environment lacking physical refuges. Features that have originated multiple times in distantly related lineages are likely adaptive for the organisms inhabiting a particular environment: studying the frequency and evolutionary history of such convergent characters can increase understanding of the underlying forces driving ecological and evolutionary transitions in the marine environment.
Arthropod Struct Dev. 2012 May 11;: 22583793
Department of Entomology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom.
We review morphological characters considered important for understanding butterfly phylogeny and evolution in the light of recent large-scale molecular phylogenies of the group. A number of the most important morphological works from the past half century are reviewed and morphological character evolution is reassessed based on the most recent phylogenetic results. In particular, higher level butterfly morphology is evaluated based on a very recent study combining an elaborate morphological dataset with a similar molecular one. Special attention is also given to the families Papilionidae, Nymphalidae and Hesperiidae which have all seen morphological and molecular efforts come together in large, combined works in recent years. In all of the examined cases the synergistic effect of combining elaborate morphological datasets with ditto molecular clearly outweigh the merits of either data type analysed on its own (even for 'genome size' molecular datasets). It is evident that morphology, far from being obsolete or arcane, still has an immensely important role to play in butterfly (and insect) phylogenetics. Not least because understanding morphology is essential for understanding and evaluating the evolutionary scenarios phylogenetic trees are supposed to illustrate.
Diversity and evolution of ectomycorrhizal host associations in the Sclerodermatineae (Boletales, Basidiomycota).
Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, MA 01610, USA. email@example.com
• This study uses phylogenetic analysis of the Sclerodermatineae to reconstruct the evolution of ectomycorrhizal host associations in the group using divergence dating, ancestral range and ancestral state reconstructions. • Supermatrix and supertree analysis were used to create the most inclusive phylogeny for the Sclerodermatineae. Divergence dates were estimated in BEAST. Lagrange was used to reconstruct ancestral ranges. BayesTraits was used to reconstruct ectomycorrhizal host associations using extant host associations with data derived from literature sources. • The supermatrix data set was combined with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) data sets for Astraeus, Calostoma, and Pisolithus to produce a 168 operational taxonomic unit (OTU) supertree. The ensuing analysis estimated that basal Sclerodermatineae originated in the late Cretaceous while major genera diversified near the mid Cenozoic. Asia and North America are the most probable ancestral areas for all Sclerodermatineae, and angiosperms, primarily rosids, are the most probable ancestral hosts. • Evolution in the Sclerodermatineae follows the biogeographic history of disjunct plant communities associated with early Cenozoic mesophytic forests and a boreotropical history. Broad geographic distributions are observed in the most promiscuous Sclerodermatineae (those with broad host ranges), while those with relatively limited distribution have fewer documented ectomycorrhizal associations. This suggests that ectomycorrhizal generalists have greater dispersal capabilities than specialists.
J Hum Evol. 2012 Jan ;62 (1):146-54 22189427
Edouard-Georges Emonet, Paul Tafforeau, Yaowalak Chaimanee, Franck Guy, Louis de Bonis, George Koufos, Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Institut international de Paléoprimatologie, Paléontologie Humaine: Evolution et Paléoenvironnements, UMR-CNRS 6046, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Poitiers, 40 Avenue du Recteur Pineau, Poitiers, France. firstname.lastname@example.org
Although often preserved in the fossil record, mandibular dental roots are rarely used for evolutionary studies. This study qualitatively and quantitatively characterizes the three-dimensional morphology of hominoid dental roots. The sample comprises extant apes as well as two fossil species, Khoratpithecus piriyai and Ouranopithecus macedoniensis. The morphological differences between extant genera are observed, quantified and tested for their potential in systematics. Dental roots are imaged using X-ray computerized tomography, conventional microtomography and synchrotron microtomography. Resulting data attest to the high association between taxonomy and tooth root morphology, both qualitatively and quantitatively. A cladistic analysis based on the dental root characters resulted in a tree topology congruent with the consensus phylogeny of hominoids, suggesting that tooth roots might provide useful information in reconstructing hominoid phylogeny. Finally, the evolution of the dental root morphology in apes is discussed.
PLoS One. 2011 ;6 (10):e24851 22022365
Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
In the past two decades, molecular systematic studies have revolutionized our understanding of the evolutionary history of ferns. The availability of large molecular data sets together with efficient computer algorithms, now enables us to reconstruct evolutionary histories with previously unseen completeness. Here, the most comprehensive fern phylogeny to date, representing over one-fifth of the extant global fern diversity, is inferred based on four plastid genes. Parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses provided a mostly congruent results and in general supported the prevailing view on the higher-level fern systematics. At a deep phylogenetic level, the position of horsetails depended on the optimality criteria chosen, with horsetails positioned as the sister group either of Marattiopsida-Polypodiopsida clade or of the Polypodiopsida. The analyses demonstrate the power of using a 'supermatrix' approach to resolve large-scale phylogenies and reveal questionable taxonomies. These results provide a valuable background for future research on fern systematics, ecology, biogeography and other evolutionary studies.
Syst Biol. 2012 Jan ;61 (1):127-37 21856628
Yann Moalic, Daniel Desbruyères, Carlos M Duarte, Alejandro F Rozenfeld, Charleyne Bachraty, Sophie Arnaud-Haond
Département Etude des Ecosystèmes Profonds (DEEP), IFREMER, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, Centre de Brest, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France.
Defining biogeographic provinces to understand the history and evolution of communities associated with a given kind of ecosystem is challenging and usually requires a priori assumptions to be made. We applied network theory, a holistic and exploratory method, to the most complete database of faunal distribution available on oceanic hydrothermal vents, environments which support fragmented and unstable ecosystems, to infer the processes driving their worldwide biogeography. Besides the identification of robust provinces, the network topology allowed us to identify preferential pathways that had hitherto been overlooked. These pathways are consistent with the previously proposed hypothesis of a role of plate tectonics in the biogeographical history of hydrothermal vent communities. A possible ancestral position of the Western Pacific is also suggested for the first time. Finally, this work provides an innovative example of the potential of network tools to unravel the biogeographic history of faunal assemblages and to supply comprehensive information for the conservation and management of biodiversity.
INRIA Lille-Nord-Europe, Université Lille 1, LIFL, UMR CNRS 8022, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Villeurbanne, France.
MOTIVATION The ancestor of birds and mammals lived approximately 300 million years ago. Inferring its genome organization is key to understanding the differentiated evolution of these two lineages. However, detecting traces of its chromosomal organization in its extant descendants is difficult due to the accumulation of molecular evolution since birds and mammals lineages diverged. RESULTS We address several methodological issues for the detection and assembly of ancestral genomic features of ancient vertebrate genomes, which encompass adjacencies, contiguous segments, syntenies and double syntenies in the context of a whole genome duplication. Using generic, but stringent, methods for all these problems, some of them new, we analyze 15 vertebrate genomes, including 12 amniotes and 3 teleost fishes, and infer a high-resolution genome organization of the amniote ancestral genome, composed of 39 ancestral linkage groups at a resolution of 100 kb. We extensively discuss the validity and robustness of the method to variations of data and parameters. We introduce a support value for each of the groups, and show that 36 out of 39 have maximum support. CONCLUSIONS Single methodological principle cannot currently be used to infer the organization of the amniote ancestral genome, and we demonstrate that it is possible to gather several principles into a computational paleogenomics pipeline. This strategy offers a solid methodological base for the reconstruction of ancient vertebrate genomes. AVAILABILITY Source code, in C++ and Python, is available at http://www.cecm.sfu.ca/~cchauve/SUPP/AMNIOTE2010/ CONTACT email@example.com SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Palaeobiogeographic reconstructions are underpinned by phylogenies, divergence times and ancestral area reconstructions, which together yield ancestral area chronograms that provide a basis for proposing and testing hypotheses of dispersal and vicariance. Methods for area coding include multi-state coding with a single character, binary coding with multiple characters and string coding. Ancestral reconstruction methods are divided into parsimony versus Bayesian/likelihood approaches. We compared nine methods for reconstructing ancestral areas for placental mammals. Ambiguous reconstructions were a problem for all methods. Important differences resulted from coding areas based on the geographical ranges of extant species versus the geographical provenance of the oldest fossil for each lineage. Africa and South America were reconstructed as the ancestral areas for Afrotheria and Xenarthra, respectively. Most methods reconstructed Eurasia as the ancestral area for Boreoeutheria, Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatheria. The coincidence of molecular dates for the separation of Afrotheria and Xenarthra at approximately 100 Ma with the plate tectonic sundering of Africa and South America hints at the importance of vicariance in the early history of Placentalia. Dispersal has also been important including the origins of Madagascar's endemic mammal fauna. Further studies will benefit from increased taxon sampling and the application of new ancestral area reconstruction methods.
PLoS One. 2011 ;6 (6):e21206 21738621
The first molecular phylogeny of strepsiptera (insecta) reveals an early burst of molecular evolution correlated with the transition to endoparasitism.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
A comprehensive model of evolution requires an understanding of the relationship between selection at the molecular and phenotypic level. We investigate this in Strepsiptera, an order of endoparasitic insects whose evolutionary biology is poorly studied. We present the first molecular phylogeny of Strepsiptera, and use this as a framework to investigate the association between parasitism and molecular evolution. We find evidence of a significant burst in the rate of molecular evolution in the early history of Strepsiptera. The evolution of morphological traits linked to parasitism is significantly correlated with the pattern in molecular rate. The correlated burst in genotypic-phenotypic evolution precedes the main phase of strepsipteran diversification, which is characterised by the return to a low and even molecular rate, and a period of relative morphological stability. These findings suggest that the transition to endoparasitism led to relaxation of selective constraint in the strepsipteran genome. Our results indicate that a parasitic lifestyle can affect the rate of molecular evolution, although other causal life-history traits correlated with parasitism may also play an important role.
Am J Bot. 2011 Jul ;98 (7):1201-21 21730340
Marcelo F Simon, Rosaura Grether, Luciano P de Queiroz, Tiina E Särkinen, Valquíria F Dutra, Colin E Hughes
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3RB, U.K.
• Premise of the study: Large genera provide remarkable opportunities to investigate patterns of morphological evolution and historical biogeography in plants. A molecular phylogeny of the species-rich and morphologically and ecologically diverse genus Mimosa was generated to evaluate its infrageneric classification, reconstruct the evolution of a set of morphological characters, and establish the relationships of Old World species to the rest of the genus. • Methods: We used trnD-trnT plastid sequences for 259 species of Mimosa (ca. 50% of the total) to reconstruct the phylogeny of the genus. Six morphological characters (petiolar nectary, inflorescence type, number of stamens, number of petals, pollen type, and seismonasty) were optimized onto the molecular tree. • Key results: Mimosa was recovered as a monophyletic clade nested within the Piptadenia group and includes the former members of Schrankia, corroborating transfer of that genus to Mimosa. Although we found good support for several infrageneric groups, only one section (Mimadenia) was recovered as monophyletic. All but one of the morphological characters analyzed showed high levels of homoplasy. High levels of geographic structure were found, with species from the same area tending to group together in the phylogeny. Old World species of Mimosa form a monophyletic clade deeply nested within New World groups, indicating recent (6-10 Ma) long-distance dispersal. • Conclusions: Although based on a single plastid region, our results establish a preliminary phylogenetic framework for Mimosa that can be used to infer patterns of morphological evolution and relationships and which provides pointers toward a revised infrageneric classification.