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Molecular biology and evolution [journal]
- The Early Expansion and Evolutionary Dynamics of POU Class Genes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 25.
The POU genes represent a diverse class of animal-specific transcription factors that play important roles in neurogenesis, pluripotency, and cell-type specification. Although previous attempts have been made to reconstruct the evolution of the POU class, these studies have been limited by a small number of representative taxa, and a lack of sequences from basally branching organisms. In this study, we performed comparative analyses on available genomes and sequences recovered through "gene fishing" to better resolve the topology of the POU gene tree. We then used ancestral state reconstruction to map the most likely changes in amino acid evolution for the conserved domains. Our work suggests that four of the six POU families evolved before the last common ancestor of living animals-doubling previous estimates-and were followed by extensive clade-specific gene loss. Amino acid changes are distributed unequally across the gene tree, consistent with a neofunctionalization model of protein evolution. We consider our results in the context of early animal evolution, and the role of POU5 genes in maintaining stem cell pluripotency.
- Comparing phylogeographic hypotheses by simulating DNA sequences under a spatially explicit model of coalescence. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 26.
Computer simulations of genetic data are increasingly used to investigate the impact of complex historical scenarios on patterns of genetic variation. Yet, in most empirical studies, relatively large portions of species ranges are often treated as panmictic populations, ignoring the underlying spatial context. In some cases, however, a more accurate spatial model is required. We use a spatially explicit model of coalescence (easily constructed by overlaying a 2-dimensional grid on maps displaying an estimate of past and current species ranges) to evaluate the potential of several summary statistics to differentiate three typical phylogeographic scenarios. We first explore the variation of each summary statistic within the boundaries of each phylogeographic scenario, and identify those that appear most promising for a comparison of historical scenarios and/or to infer historical parameters. We then combine a selected set of summary statistics in a single chi-square statistic and evaluate whether it can be used to differentiate past geographic fragmentation or range expansion from a simple scenario of isolation by distance. We also investigate the benefits of using a spatially explicit model by comparing its performance to alternative models that are less spatially explicit (lower geographic resolution). The results identify conditions in which each summary statistic is useful to infer the evolution of a species range, and allow us to validate our spatially explicit model of coalescence and our procedure to compare simulated and observed sequence data. We also provide a detailed description of the spatially explicit model of coalescence used, which is currently lacking.
- Adaptations to Climate-Mediated Selective Pressures in Sheep. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 23.
Following domestication, sheep (Ovis aries) have become an essential farmed animals across the world through adaptation to a diverse range of environments and varied production systems. Climate-mediated selective pressure has shaped phenotypic variation and has left genetic "footprints" in the genome of breeds raised in different agro-ecological zones. Unlike numerous studies that have searched for evidence of selection using only population genetics data, here, we conducted an integrated co-analysis of environmental data with SNP variation. By examining 49,034 SNPs from 32 old, autochthonous sheep breeds that are adapted to a spectrum of different regional climates, we identified 230 SNPs with evidence for selection that is likely due to climate-mediated pressure. Among them, 189 (82%) showed significant correlation (P ≤ 0.05) between allele frequency and climatic variables in a larger set of native populations from a worldwide range of geographic areas and climates. Gene ontology analysis of genes co-located with significant SNPs identified 17 candidates related to GTPase regulator and peptide receptor activities in the biological processes of energy metabolism and endocrine and autoimmune regulation. We also observed high linkage disequilibrium and significant extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH) for the core haplotype TBC1D12-CH1 of TBC1D12. The global frequency distribution of the core haplotype and allele OAR22_18929579-A showed an apparent geographic pattern and significant (P ≤ 0.05) correlations with climatic variation. Our results imply that adaptations to local climates have shaped the spatial distribution of some variants and they are candidates to underpin adaptive variation in sheep.
- Differential Effects of a Mutation on the Normal and Promiscuous Activities of Orthologs: Implications for Natural and Directed Evolution. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 21.
Neutral drift occurring over millions or billions of years results in substantial sequence divergence among enzymes that catalyze the same reaction. Although natural selection maintains the primary activity of orthologous enzymes, there is, by definition, no selective pressure to maintain physiologically irrelevant promiscuous activities. Thus, the levels and the evolvabilities of promiscuous activities may vary among orthologous enzymes. Consistent with this expectation, we have found that the levels of a promiscuous activity in nine gamma-glutamyl phosphate reductase (ProA) orthologs vary by about 50-fold. Remarkably, a single amino acid change from Glu to Ala near the active site appeared to be critical for improvement of the promiscuous activity in every ortholog. The effects of this change varied dramatically. The improvement in the promiscuous activity varied from 50- to 770-fold, and, importantly, was not correlated with the initial level of the promiscuous activity. The decrease in the original activity varied from 190- to 2,100-fold. These results suggest that evolution of a novel enzyme may be possible in some microbes, but not in others. Further, these results underscore the importance of using multiple orthologs as starting points for directed evolution of novel enzyme activities.
- Hsp90 promotes kinase evolution. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 21.
Heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) promotes the maturation and stability of its client proteins, including many kinases. In doing so, Hsp90 may allow its clients to accumulate mutations as previously proposed by the capacitor hypothesis. If true, Hsp90 clients should show increased evolutionary rate compared to non-clients; however, other factors, such as gene expression and protein connectivity, may confound or obscure the chaperone's putative contribution. Here, we compared the evolutionary rates of many Hsp90 clients and non-clients in the human protein kinase superfamily. We show that Hsp90 client status promotes evolutionary rate independently of, but in a small magnitude similar to that of gene expression and protein connectivity. Hsp90's effect on kinase evolutionary rate was detected across mammals, specifically relaxing purifying selection. Hsp90 clients also showed increased nucleotide diversity and harbored more damaging variation than non-client kinases across humans. These results are consistent with the central argument of the capacitor hypothesis that interaction with the chaperone allows its clients to harbor genetic variation. Hsp90 client status is thought to be highly dynamic with as few as one amino acid change rendering a protein dependent on the chaperone. Contrary to this expectation, we found that across protein kinase phylogeny Hsp90 client status tends to be gained, maintained, and shared among closely related kinases. We also infer that the ancestral protein kinase was not an Hsp90 client. Taken together, our results suggest that Hsp90 played an important role in shaping the kinase superfamily.
- Structural Molecular Components of Septate Junctions in Cnidarians Point to the Origin of Epithelial Junctions in Eukaryotes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 21.
Septate junctions (SJs) insure barrier properties and control paracellular diffusion of solutes across epithelia in invertebrates. However, the origin and evolution of their molecular constituents in Metazoa have not been firmly established. Here, we investigated the genomes of early branching metazoan representatives to reconstruct the phylogeny of the molecular components of SJs. Although Claudins and SJ cytoplasmic adaptor components appeared successively throughout metazoan evolution, the structural components of SJs arose at the time of Placozoa/Cnidaria/Bilateria radiation. We also show that in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata, the structural SJ component Neurexin IV colocalizes with the cortical actin network at the apical border of the cells, at the place of SJs. We propose a model for SJ components in Cnidaria. Moreover, our study reveals an unanticipated diversity of SJ structural component variants in cnidarians. This diversity correlates with gene-specific expression in calcifying and noncalcifying tissues, suggesting specific paracellular pathways across the cell layers of these diploblastic animals.
- Evaluating the Use of ABBA-BABA Statistics to Locate Introgressed Loci. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Sep 22.
Several methods have been proposed to test for introgression across genomes. One method tests for a genome-wide excess of shared derived alleles between taxa using Patterson's D statistic, but does not establish which loci show such an excess or whether the excess is due to introgression or ancestral population structure. Several recent studies have extended the use of D by applying the statistic to small genomic regions, rather than genome-wide. Here, we use simulations and whole-genome data from Heliconius butterflies to investigate the behavior of D in small genomic regions. We find that D is unreliable in this situation as it gives inflated values when effective population size is low, causing D outliers to cluster in genomic regions of reduced diversity. As an alternative, we propose a related statistic [Formula: see text], a modified version of a statistic originally developed to estimate the genome-wide fraction of admixture. [Formula: see text] is not subject to the same biases as D, and is better at identifying introgressed loci. Finally, we show that both D and [Formula: see text] outliers tend to cluster in regions of low absolute divergence (dXY), which can confound a recently proposed test for differentiating introgression from shared ancestral variation at individual loci.
- Subscription page. [Journal Article]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Oct; 31(10):i4.
- SMBE Editors and Council. [Journal Article]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Oct; 31(10):i3.
- Associate editors. [Journal Article]
- Mol Biol Evol 2014 Oct; 31(10):i2.