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Bibliography on: Evolution of Multicelluarity

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Feb 2024 at 01:46 Created: 

Evolution of Multicelluarity

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-02-22

Ratajczak MZ, J Ratajczak (2024)

Leukemogenesis occurs in a microenvironment enriched by extracellular microvesicles/exosomes: recent discoveries and questions to be answered.

Leukemia [Epub ahead of print].

In single-cell organisms, extracellular microvesicles (ExMVs) were one of the first cell-cell communication platforms that emerged very early during evolution. Multicellular organisms subsequently adapted this mechanism. Evidence indicates that all types of cells secrete these small circular structures surrounded by a lipid membrane that may be encrusted by ligands and receptors interacting with target cells and harboring inside a cargo comprising RNA species, proteins, bioactive lipids, signaling nucleotides, and even entire organelles "hijacked" from the cells of origin. ExMVs are secreted by normal cells and at higher levels by malignant cells, and there are some differences in their cargo. On the one hand, ExMVs secreted from malignant cells interact with cells in the microenvironment, and in return, they are exposed by a "two-way mechanism" to ExMVs secreted by non-leukemic cells. Therefore, leukemogenesis occurs and progresses in ExMVs enriched microenvironments, and this biological fact has pathologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic implications. We are still trying to decipher this intriguing cell-cell communication language better. We will present a current point of view on this topic and review some selected most recent discoveries and papers.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Ilker E, M Hinczewski (2024)

Bioenergetic costs and the evolution of noise regulation by microRNAs.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(9):e2308796121.

Noise control, together with other regulatory functions facilitated by microRNAs (miRNAs), is believed to have played important roles in the evolution of multicellular eukaryotic organisms. miRNAs can dampen protein fluctuations via enhanced degradation of messenger RNA (mRNA), but this requires compensation by increased mRNA transcription to maintain the same expression levels. The overall mechanism is metabolically expensive, leading to questions about how it might have evolved in the first place. We develop a stochastic model of miRNA noise regulation, coupled with a detailed analysis of the associated metabolic costs. Additionally, we calculate binding free energies for a range of miRNA seeds, the short sequences which govern target recognition. We argue that natural selection may have fine-tuned the Michaelis-Menten constant [Formula: see text] describing miRNA-mRNA affinity and show supporting evidence from analysis of experimental data. [Formula: see text] is constrained by seed length, and optimal noise control (minimum protein variance at a given energy cost) is achievable for seeds of 6 to 7 nucleotides in length, the most commonly observed types. Moreover, at optimality, the degree of noise reduction approaches the theoretical bound set by the Wiener-Kolmogorov linear filter. The results illustrate how selective pressure toward energy efficiency has potentially shaped a crucial regulatory pathway in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Hesse E, S O'Brien (2024)

Ecological dependencies and the illusion of cooperation in microbial communities.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 170(2):.

Ecological dependencies - where organisms rely on other organisms for survival - are a ubiquitous feature of life on earth. Multicellular hosts rely on symbionts to provide essential vitamins and amino acids. Legume plants similarly rely on nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. In some cases, dependencies can arise via loss-of-function mutations that allow one partner to benefit from the actions of another. It is common in microbiology to label ecological dependencies between species as cooperation - making it necessary to invoke cooperation-specific frameworks to explain the phenomenon. However, in many cases, such traits are not (at least initially) cooperative, because they are not selected for because of the benefits they confer on a partner species. In contrast, dependencies in microbial communities may originate from fitness benefits gained from genomic-streamlining (i.e. Black Queen Dynamics). Here, we outline how the Black Queen Hypothesis predicts the formation of metabolic dependencies via loss-of-function mutations in microbial communities, without needing to invoke any cooperation-specific explanations. Furthermore we outline how the Black Queen Hypothesis can act as a blueprint for true cooperation as well as discuss key outstanding questions in the field. The nature of interactions in microbial communities can predict the ability of natural communities to withstand and recover from disturbances. Hence, it is vital to gain a deeper understanding of the factors driving these dynamic interactions over evolutionary time.

RevDate: 2024-02-21

Mikhailovsky GE (2024)

Life, its definition, origin, evolution, and four-dimensional hierarchical structure.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(24)00043-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The main unique features of biological systems are reviewed, and four necessary and sufficient attributes of life are formulated, based on the ideas of Ervin Bauer. The possibility of the occurrence of each of these attributes during the origin of life is analyzed. As a result, different scenarios for the origin of life are presented, with all their pros and cons. Next, the mainstream of biological evolution is discussed, considering it as a special case of general complexification, and structuredness is defined as a quantitative measure of structural complexity. By introducing the concepts of post-dissipative structure and ratcheting process based on "frozen" patterns, their role in the generation of biological structures underlying biological evolution is demonstrated. Furthermore, it is proposed that all living things can be divided into micro- (unicellular) and macro- (multicellular) creatures, which differ from each other even more radically than the difference between prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. Then the fifth, sufficient, but not necessary attribute of life, hierarchicality, is formulated, which is fully applicable only to macrolife. It is also shown that living organisms are primarily chemodynamic rather than thermodynamic systems, and three basic laws of biochemodynamics are formulated. Finally, fifteen basic features of living beings, grouped into four basic blocks, are summarized.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Kidner RQ, Goldstone EB, Laidemitt MR, et al (2024)

Host lipids regulate multicellular behavior of a predator of a human pathogen.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

As symbionts of animals, microbial eukaryotes benefit and harm their hosts in myriad ways. A model microeukaryote (Capsaspora owczarzaki) is a symbiont of Biomphalaria glabrata snails and may prevent transmission of parasitic schistosomes from snails to humans. However, it is unclear which host factors determine Capsaspora's ability to colonize snails. Here, we discovered that Capsaspora forms multicellular aggregates when exposed to snail hemolymph. We identified a molecular cue for aggregation: a hemolymph-derived phosphatidylcholine, which becomes elevated in schistosome-infected snails. Therefore, Capsaspora aggregation may be a response to the physiological state of its host, and it may determine its ability to colonize snails and exclude parasitic schistosomes. Furthermore, Capsaspora is an evolutionary model organism whose aggregation may be ancestral to animals. This discovery, that a prevalent lipid induces Capsaspora multicellularity, suggests that this aggregation phenotype may be ancient. Additionally, the specific lipid will be a useful tool for further aggregation studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Edelbroek B, Kjellin J, Biryukova I, et al (2024)

Evolution of microRNAs in Amoebozoa and implications for the origin of multicellularity.

Nucleic acids research pii:7611030 [Epub ahead of print].

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important and ubiquitous regulators of gene expression in both plants and animals. They are thought to have evolved convergently in these lineages and hypothesized to have played a role in the evolution of multicellularity. In line with this hypothesis, miRNAs have so far only been described in few unicellular eukaryotes. Here, we investigate the presence and evolution of miRNAs in Amoebozoa, focusing on species belonging to Acanthamoeba, Physarum and dictyostelid taxonomic groups, representing a range of unicellular and multicellular lifestyles. miRNAs that adhere to both the stringent plant and animal miRNA criteria were identified in all examined amoebae, expanding the total number of protists harbouring miRNAs from 7 to 15. We found conserved miRNAs between closely related species, but the majority of species feature only unique miRNAs. This shows rapid gain and/or loss of miRNAs in Amoebozoa, further illustrated by a detailed comparison between two evolutionary closely related dictyostelids. Additionally, loss of miRNAs in the Dictyostelium discoideum drnB mutant did not seem to affect multicellular development and, hence, demonstrates that the presence of miRNAs does not appear to be a strict requirement for the transition from uni- to multicellular life.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Kriete A (2024)

Dissipative scaling of development and aging in multicellular organisms.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(24)00042-X [Epub ahead of print].

Evolution, self-replication and ontogenesis are highly dynamic, irreversible and self-organizing processes dissipating energy. While progress has been made to decipher the role of thermodynamics in cellular fission, it is not yet clear how entropic balances shape organism growth and aging. This paper derives a general dissipation theory for the life-history of organisms. It implies a self-regulated entropy production facilitating exponential growth within a hierarchical and entropy lowering self-organization. The theory predicts ceilings in energy expenditures imposed by geometric constrains, which promote thermal optimality during development, and a dissipative scaling across organisms consistent with ecological scaling laws combining isometric and allometric terms. The theory also illustrates how growing organisms can tolerate damage through continuous extension and production of new dissipative structures low in entropy. However, when organisms reduce their rate of cell division and reach a steady adult state, they become thermodynamically unstable, increase internal entropy by accumulating damage, and age.

RevDate: 2024-02-16
CmpDate: 2024-02-16

Doré H, Eisenberg AR, Junkins EN, et al (2024)

Targeted hypermutation of putative antigen sensors in multicellular bacteria.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(9):e2316469121.

Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs) are used by bacteria, archaea, and viruses as a targeted mutagenesis tool. Through error-prone reverse transcription, DGRs introduce random mutations at specific genomic loci, enabling rapid evolution of these targeted genes. However, the function and benefits of DGR-diversified proteins in cellular hosts remain elusive. We find that 82% of DGRs from one of the major monophyletic lineages of DGR reverse transcriptases are encoded by multicellular bacteria, which often have two or more DGR loci in their genomes. Using the multicellular purple sulfur bacterium Thiohalocapsa sp. PB-PSB1 as an example, we characterized nine distinct DGR loci capable of generating 10[282] different combinations of target proteins. With environmental metagenomes from individual Thiohalocapsa aggregates, we show that most of PB-PSB1's DGR target genes are diversified across its biogeographic range, with spatial heterogeneity in the diversity of each locus. In Thiohalocapsa PB-PSB1 and other bacteria hosting this lineage of cellular DGRs, the diversified target genes are associated with NACHT-domain anti-phage defenses and putative ternary conflict systems previously shown to be enriched in multicellular bacteria. We propose that these DGR-diversified targets act as antigen sensors that confer a form of adaptive immunity to their multicellular consortia, though this remains to be experimentally tested. These findings could have implications for understanding the evolution of multicellularity, as the NACHT-domain anti-phage systems and ternary systems share both domain homology and conceptual similarities with the innate immune and programmed cell death pathways of plants and metazoans.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

Iwaï H, Beyer HM, Johansson JEM, et al (2024)

The three-dimensional structure of the Vint domain from Tetrahymena thermophila suggests a ligand-regulated cleavage mechanism by the HINT fold.

FEBS letters [Epub ahead of print].

Vint proteins have been identified in unicellular metazoans as a novel hedgehog-related gene family, merging the von Willebrand factor type A domain and the Hedgehog/INTein (HINT) domains. We present the first three-dimensional structure of the Vint domain from Tetrahymena thermophila corresponding to the auto-processing domain of hedgehog proteins, shedding light on the unique features, including an adduct recognition region (ARR). Our results suggest a potential binding between the ARR and sulfated glycosaminoglycans like heparin sulfate. Moreover, we uncover a possible regulatory role of the ARR in the auto-processing by Vint domains, expanding our understanding of the HINT domain evolution and their use in biotechnological applications. Vint domains might have played a crucial role in the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Wang R, Meng Q, Wang X, et al (2024)

Comparative genomic analysis of symbiotic and free-living Fluviibacter phosphoraccumulans strains provides insights into the evolutionary origins of obligate Euplotes-bacterial endosymbioses.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis is a widespread and important phenomenon requiring diverse model systems. Ciliates are a widespread group of protists that often form symbioses with diverse microorganisms. Endosymbioses between the ciliate Euplotes and heritable bacterial symbionts are common in nature, and four essential symbionts were described: Polynucleobacter necessarius, "Candidatus Protistobacter heckmanni," "Ca. Devosia symbiotica," and "Ca. Devosia euplotis." Among them, only the genus Polynucleobacter comprises very close free-living and symbiotic representatives, which makes it an excellent model for investigating symbiont replacements and recent symbioses. In this article, we characterized a novel endosymbiont inhabiting the cytoplasm of Euplotes octocarinatus and found that it is a close relative of the free-living bacterium Fluviibacter phosphoraccumulans (Betaproteobacteria and Rhodocyclales). We present the complete genome sequence and annotation of the symbiotic Fluviibacter. Comparative analyses indicate that the genome of symbiotic Fluviibacter is small in size and rich in pseudogenes when compared with free-living strains, which seems to fit the prediction for recently established endosymbionts undergoing genome erosion. Further comparative analysis revealed reduced metabolic capacities in symbiotic Fluviibacter, which implies that the symbiont relies on the host Euplotes for carbon sources, organic nitrogen and sulfur, and some cofactors. We also estimated substitution rates between symbiotic and free-living Fluviibacter pairs for 233 genes; the results showed that symbiotic Fluviibacter displays higher dN/dS mean value than free-living relatives, which suggested that genetic drift is the main driving force behind molecular evolution in endosymbionts.IMPORTANCEIn the long history of symbiosis research, most studies focused mainly on organelles or bacteria within multicellular hosts. The single-celled protists receive little attention despite harboring an immense diversity of symbiotic associations with bacteria and archaea. One subgroup of the ciliate Euplotes species is strictly dependent on essential symbionts for survival and has emerged as a valuable model for understanding symbiont replacements and recent symbioses. However, almost all of our knowledge about the evolution and functions of Euplotes symbioses comes from the Euplotes-Polynucleobacter system. In this article, we report a novel essential symbiont, which also has very close free-living relatives. Genome analysis indicated that it is a recently established endosymbiont undergoing genome erosion and relies on the Euplotes host for many essential molecules. Our results provide support for the notion that essential symbionts of the ciliate Euplotes evolve from free-living progenitors in the natural water environment.

RevDate: 2024-02-14
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Zhang C, Zhu Z, Jiang A, et al (2023)

Genome-wide identification of the mitogen-activated kinase gene family from Limonium bicolor and functional characterization of LbMAPK2 under salt stress.

BMC plant biology, 23(1):565.

BACKGROUND: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are ubiquitous signal transduction components in eukaryotes. In plants, MAPKs play an essential role in growth and development, phytohormone regulation, and abiotic stress responses. The typical recretohalophyte Limonium bicolor (Bunge) Kuntze has multicellular salt glands on its stems and leaves; these glands secrete excess salt ions from its cells to mitigate salt damage. The number, type, and biological function of L. bicolor MAPK genes are unknown.

RESULTS: We identified 20 candidate L. bicolor MAPK genes, which can be divided into four groups. Of these 20 genes, 17 were anchored to 7 chromosomes, while LbMAPK18, LbMAPK19, and LbMAPK20 mapped to distinct scaffolds. Structure analysis showed that the predicted protein LbMAPK19 contains the special structural motif TNY in its activation loop, whereas the other LbMAPK members harbor the conserved TEY or TDY motif. The promoters of most LbMAPK genes carry cis-acting elements related to growth and development, phytohormones, and abiotic stress. LbMAPK1, LbMAPK2, LbMAPK16, and LbMAPK20 are highly expressed in the early stages of salt gland development, whereas LbMAPK4, LbMAPK5, LbMAPK6, LbMAPK7, LbMAPK11, LbMAPK14, and LbMAPK15 are highly expressed during the late stages. These 20 LbMAPK genes all responded to salt, drought and ABA stress. We explored the function of LbMAPK2 via virus-induced gene silencing: knocking down LbMAPK2 transcript levels in L. bicolor resulted in fewer salt glands, lower salt secretion ability from leaves, and decreased salt tolerance. The expression of several genes [LbTTG1 (TRANSPARENT TESTA OF GL1), LbCPC (CAPRICE), and LbGL2 (GLABRA2)] related to salt gland development was significantly upregulated in LbMAPK2 knockdown lines, while the expression of LbEGL3 (ENHANCER OF GL3) was significantly downregulated.

CONCLUSION: These findings increase our understanding of the LbMAPK gene family and will be useful for in-depth studies of the molecular mechanisms behind salt gland development and salt secretion in L. bicolor. In addition, our analysis lays the foundation for exploring the biological functions of MAPKs in an extreme halophyte.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Bowles AMC, Williamson CJ, Williams TA, et al (2024)

Cryogenian origins of multicellularity in Archaeplastida.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7604131 [Epub ahead of print].

Earth was impacted by global glaciations during the Cryogenian (720-635 million years ago; Ma), events invoked to explain both the origins of multicellularity in Archaeplastida and radiation of the first land plants. However, the temporal relationship between these environmental and biological events is poorly established, due to a paucity of molecular and fossil data, precluding resolution of the phylogeny and timescale of archaeplastid evolution. We infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of early archaeplastid evolution based on a revised molecular dataset and reappraisal of the fossil record. Phylogenetic topology testing resolves deep archaeplastid relationships, identifying two clades of Viridiplantae and placing Bryopsidales as sister to the Chlorophyceae. Our molecular clock analysis infers an origin of Archaeplastida in the late-Paleoproterozoic to early-Mesoproterozoic (1712-1387 Ma). Ancestral state reconstruction of cytomorphological traits on this time-calibrated tree reveals many of the independent origins of multicellularity span the Cryogenian, consistent with the Cryogenian multicellularity hypothesis. Multicellular rhodophytes emerged 902-655Ma while crown-Anydrophyta (Zygnematophyceae and Embryophyta) originated 796-671Ma, broadly compatible with the Cryogenian plant terrestrialisation hypothesis. Our analyses resolve the timetree of Archaeplastida with age estimates for ancestral multicellular archaeplastids coinciding with the Cryogenian, compatible with hypotheses that propose a role of Snowball Earth in plant evolution.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Gupta P, Bermejo-Rodriguez C, Kocher H, et al (2024)

Chemotherapy Assessment in Advanced Multicellular 3D Models of Pancreatic Cancer: Unravelling the Importance of Spatiotemporal Mimicry of the Tumor Microenvironment.

Advanced biology [Epub ahead of print].

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a challenge for global health with very low survival rate and high therapeutic resistance. Hence, advanced preclinical models for treatment screening are of paramount importance. Herein, chemotherapeutic (gemcitabine) assessment on novel (polyurethane) scaffold-based spatially advanced 3D multicellular PDAC models is carried out. Through comprehensive image-based analysis at the protein level, and expression analysis at the mRNA level, the importance of stromal cells is confirmed, primarily activated stellate cells in the chemoresistance of PDAC cells within the models. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that, in addition to the presence of activated stellate cells, the spatial architecture of the scaffolds, i.e., segregation/compartmentalization of the cancer and stromal zones, affect the cellular evolution and is necessary for the development of chemoresistance. These results highlight that, further to multicellularity, mapping the tumor structure/architecture and zonal complexity in 3D cancer models is important for better mimicry of the in vivo therapeutic response.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Glass DS, Bren A, Vaisbourd E, et al (2024)

A synthetic differentiation circuit in Escherichia coli for suppressing mutant takeover.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(24)00061-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Differentiation is crucial for multicellularity. However, it is inherently susceptible to mutant cells that fail to differentiate. These mutants outcompete normal cells by excessive self-renewal. It remains unclear what mechanisms can resist such mutant expansion. Here, we demonstrate a solution by engineering a synthetic differentiation circuit in Escherichia coli that selects against these mutants via a biphasic fitness strategy. The circuit provides tunable production of synthetic analogs of stem, progenitor, and differentiated cells. It resists mutations by coupling differentiation to the production of an essential enzyme, thereby disadvantaging non-differentiating mutants. The circuit selected for and maintained a positive differentiation rate in long-term evolution. Surprisingly, this rate remained constant across vast changes in growth conditions. We found that transit-amplifying cells (fast-growing progenitors) underlie this environmental robustness. Our results provide insight into the stability of differentiation and demonstrate a powerful method for engineering evolutionarily stable multicellular consortia.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Donoghue PCJ, JW Clark (2024)

Plant evolution: Streptophyte multicellularity, ecology, and the acclimatisation of plants to life on land.

Current biology : CB, 34(3):R86-R89.

Land plants are celebrated as one of the three great instances of complex multicellularity, but new phylogenomic and phenotypic analyses are revealing deep evolutionary roots of multicellularity among algal relatives, prompting questions about the causal basis of this major evolutionary transition.

RevDate: 2024-02-05

Bingham EP, WC Ratcliff (2024)

A nonadaptive explanation for macroevolutionary patterns in the evolution of complex multicellularity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(7):e2319840121.

"Complex multicellularity," conventionally defined as large organisms with many specialized cell types, has evolved five times independently in eukaryotes, but never within prokaryotes. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, most of which posit that eukaryotes evolved key traits (e.g., dynamic cytoskeletons, alternative mechanisms of gene regulation, or subcellular compartments) which were a necessary prerequisite for the evolution of complex multicellularity. Here, we propose an alternative, nonadaptive hypothesis for this broad macroevolutionary pattern. By binning cells into groups with finite genetic bottlenecks between generations, the evolution of multicellularity greatly reduces the effective population size (Ne) of cellular populations, increasing the role of genetic drift in evolutionary change. While both prokaryotes and eukaryotes experience this phenomenon, they have opposite responses to drift: eukaryotes tend to undergo genomic expansion, providing additional raw genetic material for subsequent multicellular innovation, while prokaryotes generally face genomic erosion. Taken together, we hypothesize that these idiosyncratic lineage-specific evolutionary dynamics play a fundamental role in the long-term divergent evolution of complex multicellularity across the tree of life.

RevDate: 2024-02-05
CmpDate: 2024-02-05

Siljestam M, I Martinossi-Allibert (2024)

Anisogamy Does Not Always Promote the Evolution of Mating Competition Traits in Males.

The American naturalist, 203(2):230-253.

AbstractAnisogamy has evolved in most sexually reproducing multicellular organisms allowing the definition of male and female sexes, producing small and large gametes. Anisogamy, as the initial sexual dimorphism, is a good starting point to understand the evolution of further sexual dimorphisms. For instance, it is generally accepted that anisogamy sets the stage for more intense mating competition in males than in females. We argue that this idea stems from a restrictive assumption on the conditions under which anisogamy evolved in the first place: the absence of sperm limitation (assuming that all female gametes are fertilized). Here, we relax this assumption and present a model that considers the coevolution of gamete size with a mating competition trait, starting in a population without dimorphism. We vary gamete density to produce different scenarios of gamete limitation. We show that while at high gamete density the evolution of anisogamy always results in male investment in competition, gamete limitation at intermediate gamete densities allows for either females or males to invest more into mating competition. Our results thus suggest that anisogamy does not always promote mating competition among males. The conditions under which anisogamy evolves matter, as does the competition trait.

RevDate: 2024-02-01

Mihalič F, Arcila D, Pettersson ME, et al (2024)

Conservation of affinity rather than sequence underlies a dynamic evolution of the motif-mediated p53/MDM2 interaction in ray-finned fishes.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:7596109 [Epub ahead of print].

The transcription factor and cell cycle regulator p53 is marked for degradation by the ubiquitin ligase MDM2. The interaction between these two proteins is mediated by a conserved binding motif in the disordered p53 transactivation domain (p53TAD) and the folded SWIB domain in MDM2. The conserved motif in p53TAD from zebrafish displays a 20-fold weaker interaction with MDM2, compared to the interaction in human and chicken. To investigate this apparent difference, we tracked the molecular evolution of the p53TAD/MDM2 interaction among ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii), the largest vertebrate clade. Intriguingly, phylogenetic analyses, ancestral sequence reconstructions, and binding experiments showed that different loss-of-affinity changes in the canonical binding motif within p53TAD have occurred repeatedly and convergently in different fish lineages, resulting in relatively low extant affinities (KD = 0.5-5 μM). However, for eleven different fish p53TAD/MDM2 interactions, non-conserved regions flanking the canonical motif increased the affinity 4 to 73-fold to be on par with the human interaction. Our findings suggest that compensating changes at conserved and non-conserved positions within the motif, as well as in flanking regions of low conservation, underlie a stabilizing selection of "functional affinity" in the p53TAD/MDM2 interaction. Such interplay complicates bioinformatic prediction of binding and call for experimental validation. Motif-mediated protein-protein interactions involving short binding motifs and folded interaction domains are very common across multicellular life. It is likely that evolution of affinity in motif-mediated interactions often involves an interplay between specific interactions made by conserved motif residues and non-specific interactions by non-conserved disordered regions.

RevDate: 2024-01-26

Krämer U (2024)

Metal Homeostasis in Land Plants: A Perpetual Balancing Act Beyond the Fulfilment of Metalloproteome Cofactor Demands.

Annual review of plant biology [Epub ahead of print].

One of life's decisive innovations was to harness the catalytic power of metals for cellular chemistry. With life's expansion, global atmospheric and biogeochemical cycles underwent dramatic changes. Although initially harmful, they permitted the evolution of multicellularity and the colonization of land. In land plants as primary producers, metal homeostasis faces heightened demands, in part because soil is a challenging environment for nutrient balancing. To avoid both nutrient metal limitation and metal toxicity, plants must maintain the homeostasis of metals within tighter limits than the homeostasis of other minerals. This review describes the present model of protein metalation and sketches its transfer from unicellular organisms to land plants as complex multicellular organisms. The inseparable connection between metal and redox homeostasis increasingly draws our attention to more general regulatory roles of metals. Mineral co-option, the use of nutrient or other metals for functions other than nutrition, is an emerging concept beyond that of nutritional immunity. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Volume 75 is May 2024. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2024-02-01
CmpDate: 2024-02-01

Dadras N, Hasanpur K, Razeghi J, et al (2024)

Different transcription of novel, functional long non-coding RNA genes by UV-B in green algae, Volvox carteri.

International microbiology : the official journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology, 27(1):213-225.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are identified as important regulatory molecules related to diverse biological processes. In recent years, benefiting from the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technology, RNA-seq, and analysis methods, more lncRNAs have been identified and discovered in various plant and algal species. However, so far, only limited studies related to algal lncRNAs are available. Volvox carteri f. nagariensis is the best multicellular model organism to study in developmental and evolutionary biology; therefore, studying and increasing information about this species is important. This study identified lncRNAs in the multicellular green algae Volvox carteri and 1457 lncRNAs were reported, using RNA-seq data and with the help of bioinformatics tools and software. This study investigated the effect of low-dose UV-B radiation on changes in the expression profile of lncRNAs in gonidial and somatic cells. The differential expression of lncRNAs was analyzed between the treatment (UV-B) and the control (WL) groups in gonidial and somatic cells. A total of 37 and 26 lncRNAs with significant differential expression in gonidial and somatic cells, respectively, were reported. Co-expression analysis between the lncRNAs and their neighbor protein-coding genes (in the interval of ± 10 Kb) was accomplished. In gonidial cells, 184 genes with a positive correlation and 13 genes with a negative correlation (greater than 0.95), and in somatic cells, 174 genes with a positive correlation, and 18 genes with a negative correlation were detected. Functional analysis of neighboring coding genes was also performed based on gene ontology. The results of the current work may help gain deeper insight into the regulation of gene expression in the studied model organism, Volvox carteri.

RevDate: 2024-01-29
CmpDate: 2024-01-29

Pennisi E (2024)

Tiny fossils upend timeline of multicellular life.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 383(6681):352-353.

Eukaryotes organized into multicellular forms 1.6 billion years ago.

RevDate: 2024-01-26
CmpDate: 2024-01-26

Briolay T, Fresquet J, Meyer D, et al (2024)

Specific Targeting of Mesothelin-Expressing Malignant Cells Using Nanobody-Functionalized Magneto-Fluorescent Nanoassemblies.

International journal of nanomedicine, 19:633-650.

INTRODUCTION: Most current anti-cancer therapies are associated with major side effects due to a lack of tumor specificity. Appropriate vectorization of drugs using engineered nanovectors is known to increase local concentration of therapeutic molecules in tumors while minimizing their side effects. Mesothelin (MSLN) is a well-known tumor associated antigen overexpressed in many malignancies, in particular in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), and various MSLN-targeting anticancer therapies are currently evaluated in preclinical and clinical assays. In this study, we described, for the first time, the functionalization of fluorescent organic nanoassemblies (NA) with a nanobody (Nb) targeting MSLN for the specific targeting of MSLN expressing MPM cancer cells.

METHODS: Cell lines from different cancer origin expressing or not MSLN were used. An Nb directed against MSLN was coupled to fluorescent NA using click chemistry. A panel of endocytosis inhibitors was used to study targeted NA internalization by cells. Cancer cells were grown in 2D or 3D and under a flow to evaluate the specificity of the targeted NA. Binding and internalization of the targeted NA were studied using flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.

RESULTS: We show that the targeted NA specifically bind to MSLN-expressing tumor cells. Moreover, such functionalized NA appear to be internalized more rapidly and in significantly larger proportions compared to naked ones in MSLN+ MPM cells, thereby demonstrating both the functionality and interest of the active targeting strategy. We demonstrated that targeted NA are mainly internalized through a clathrin-independent/dynamin-dependent endocytosis pathway and are directed to lysosomes for degradation. A 3D cell culture model based on MSLN-expressing multicellular tumor spheroids reveals NA penetration in the first superficial layers.

CONCLUSION: Altogether, these results open the path to novel anticancer strategies based on MSLN-activated internalization of NA incorporating drugs to promote specific accumulation of active treatments in tumors.

RevDate: 2024-01-24

Chapman H, Hsiung KC, Rawlinson I, et al (2024)

Colony level fitness analysis identifies a trade-off between population growth rate and dauer yield in Caenorhabditis elegans.

BMC ecology and evolution, 24(1):13.

BACKGROUND: In the evolution from unicellular to multicellular life forms, natural selection favored reduced cell proliferation and even programmed cell death if this increased organismal fitness. Could reduced individual fertility or even programmed organismal death similarly increase the fitness of colonies of closely-related metazoan organisms? This possibility is at least consistent with evolutionary theory, and has been supported by computer modelling. Caenorhabditis elegans has a boom and bust life history, where populations of nematodes that are sometimes near clonal subsist on and consume food patches, and then generate dauer larva dispersal propagules. A recent study of an in silico model of C. elegans predicted that one determinant of colony fitness (measured as dauer yield) is minimization of futile food consumption (i.e. that which does not contribute to dauer yield). One way to achieve this is to optimize colony population structure by adjustment of individual fertility.

RESULTS: Here we describe development of a C. elegans colony fitness assay, and its use to investigate the effect of altering population structure on colony fitness after population bust. Fitness metrics measured were speed of dauer production, and dauer yield, an indirect measure of efficiency of resource utilization (i.e. conversion of food into dauers). We find that with increasing founder number, speed of dauer production increases (due to earlier bust) but dauer yield rises and falls. In addition, some dauer recovery was detected soon after the post-colony bust peak of dauer yield, suggesting possible bet hedging among dauers.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest the presence of a fitness trade-off at colony level between speed and efficiency of resource utilization in C. elegans. They also provide indirect evidence that population structure is a determinant of colony level fitness, potentially by affecting level of futile food consumption.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Choi SW, Graf L, Choi JW, et al (2024)

Ordovician origin and subsequent diversification of the brown algae.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01769-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Brown algae are the only group of heterokont protists exhibiting complex multicellularity. Since their origin, brown algae have adapted to various marine habitats, evolving diverse thallus morphologies and gamete types. However, the evolutionary processes behind these transitions remain unclear due to a lack of a robust phylogenetic framework and problems with time estimation. To address these issues, we employed plastid genome data from 138 species, including heterokont algae, red algae, and other red-derived algae. Based on a robust phylogeny and new interpretations of algal fossils, we estimated the geological times for brown algal origin and diversification. The results reveal that brown algae first evolved true multicellularity, with plasmodesmata and reproductive cell differentiation, during the late Ordovician Period (ca. 450 Ma), coinciding with a major diversification of marine fauna (the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event) and a proliferation of multicellular green algae. Despite its early Paleozoic origin, the diversification of major orders within this brown algal clade accelerated only during the Mesozoic Era, coincident with both Pangea rifting and the diversification of other heterokont algae (e.g., diatoms), coccolithophores, and dinoflagellates, with their red algal-derived plastids. The transition from ancestral isogamy to oogamy was followed by three simultaneous reappearances of isogamy during the Cretaceous Period. These are concordant with a positive character correlation between parthenogenesis and isogamy. Our new brown algal timeline, combined with a knowledge of past environmental conditions, shed new light on brown algal diversification and the intertwined evolution of multicellularity and sexual reproduction.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Gazzellone A, E Sangiorgi (2024)

From Churchill to Elephants: The Role of Protective Genes against Cancer.

Genes, 15(1): pii:genes15010118.

Richard Peto's paradox, first described in 1975 from an epidemiological perspective, established an inverse correlation between the probability of developing cancer in multicellular organisms and the number of cells. Larger animals exhibit fewer tumors compared to smaller ones, though exceptions exist. Mice are more susceptible to cancer than humans, while elephants and whales demonstrate significantly lower cancer prevalence rates than humans. How nature and evolution have addressed the issue of cancer in the animal kingdom remains largely unexplored. In the field of medicine, much attention has been devoted to cancer-predisposing genes, as they offer avenues for intervention, including blocking, downregulating, early diagnosis, and targeted treatment. Predisposing genes also tend to manifest clinically earlier and more aggressively, making them easier to identify. However, despite significant strides in modern medicine, the role of protective genes lags behind. Identifying genes with a mild predisposing effect poses a significant challenge. Consequently, comprehending the protective function conferred by genes becomes even more elusive, and their very existence is subject to questioning. While the role of variable expressivity and penetrance defects of the same variant in a family is well-documented for many hereditary cancer syndromes, attempts to delineate the function of protective/modifier alleles have been restricted to a few instances. In this review, we endeavor to elucidate the role of protective genes observed in the animal kingdom, within certain genetic syndromes that appear to act as cancer-resistant/repressor alleles. Additionally, we explore the role of protective alleles in conditions predisposing to cancer. The ultimate goal is to discern why individuals, like Winston Churchill, managed to live up to 91 years of age, despite engaging in minimal physical activity, consuming large quantities of alcohol daily, and not abstaining from smoking.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Skene KR (2024)

Systems theory, thermodynamics and life: Integrated thinking across ecology, organization and biological evolution.

Bio Systems, 236:105123 pii:S0303-2647(24)00008-X [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper we explore the relevance and integration of system theory and thermodynamics in terms of the Earth system. It is proposed that together, these fields explain the evolution, organization, functionality and directionality of life on Earth. We begin by summarizing historical and current thinking on the definition of life itself. We then investigate the evidence for a single unit of life. Given that any definition of life and its levels of organization are intertwined, we explore how the Earth system is structured and functions from an energetic perspective, by outlining relevant thermodynamic theory relating to molecular, metabolic, cellular, individual, population, species, ecosystem and biome organization. We next investigate the fundamental relationships between systems theory and thermodynamics in terms of the Earth system, examining the key characteristics of self-assembly, self-organization (including autonomy), emergence, non-linearity, feedback and sub-optimality. Finally, we examine the relevance of systems theory and thermodynamics with reference to two specific aspects: the tempo and directionality of evolution and the directional and predictable process of ecological succession. We discuss the importance of the entropic drive in understanding altruism, multicellularity, mutualistic and antagonistic relationships and how maximum entropy production theory may explain patterns thought to evidence the intermediate disturbance hypothesis.

RevDate: 2024-01-22

Corrales J, Ramos-Alonso L, González-Sabín J, et al (2024)

Characterization of a selective, iron-chelating antifungal compound that disrupts fungal metabolism and synergizes with fluconazole.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Fungal infections are a growing global health concern due to the limited number of available antifungal therapies as well as the emergence of fungi that are resistant to first-line antimicrobials, particularly azoles and echinocandins. Development of novel, selective antifungal therapies is challenging due to similarities between fungal and mammalian cells. An attractive source of potential antifungal treatments is provided by ecological niches co-inhabited by bacteria, fungi, and multicellular organisms, where complex relationships between multiple organisms have resulted in evolution of a wide variety of selective antimicrobials. Here, we characterized several analogs of one such natural compound, collismycin A. We show that NR-6226C has antifungal activity against several pathogenic Candida species, including C. albicans and C. glabrata, whereas it only has little toxicity against mammalian cells. Mechanistically, NR-6226C selectively chelates iron, which is a limiting factor for pathogenic fungi during infection. As a result, NR-6226C treatment causes severe mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to formation of reactive oxygen species, metabolic reprogramming, and a severe reduction in ATP levels. Using an in vivo model for fungal infections, we show that NR-6226C significantly increases survival of Candida-infected Galleria mellonella larvae. Finally, our data indicate that NR-6226C synergizes strongly with fluconazole in inhibition of C. albicans. Taken together, NR-6226C is a promising antifungal compound that acts by chelating iron and disrupting mitochondrial functions.IMPORTANCEDrug-resistant fungal infections are an emerging global threat, and pan-resistance to current antifungal therapies is an increasing problem. Clearly, there is a need for new antifungal drugs. In this study, we characterized a novel antifungal agent, the collismycin analog NR-6226C. NR-6226C has a favorable toxicity profile for human cells, which is essential for further clinical development. We unraveled the mechanism of action of NR-6226C and found that it disrupts iron homeostasis and thereby depletes fungal cells of energy. Importantly, NR-6226C strongly potentiates the antifungal activity of fluconazole, thereby providing inroads for combination therapy that may reduce or prevent azole resistance. Thus, NR-6226C is a promising compound for further development into antifungal treatment.

RevDate: 2024-01-20

Bierenbroodspot MJ, Darienko T, de Vries S, et al (2024)

Phylogenomic insights into the first multicellular streptophyte.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01770-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Streptophytes are best known as the clade containing the teeming diversity of embryophytes (land plants).[1][,][2][,][3][,][4] Next to embryophytes are however a range of freshwater and terrestrial algae that bear important information on the emergence of key traits of land plants. Among these, the Klebsormidiophyceae stand out. Thriving in diverse environments-from mundane (ubiquitous occurrence on tree barks and rocks) to extreme (from the Atacama Desert to the Antarctic)-Klebsormidiophyceae can exhibit filamentous body plans and display remarkable resilience as colonizers of terrestrial habitats.[5][,][6] Currently, the lack of a robust phylogenetic framework for the Klebsormidiophyceae hampers our understanding of the evolutionary history of these key traits. Here, we conducted a phylogenomic analysis utilizing advanced models that can counteract systematic biases. We sequenced 24 new transcriptomes of Klebsormidiophyceae and combined them with 14 previously published genomic and transcriptomic datasets. Using an analysis built on 845 loci and sophisticated mixture models, we establish a phylogenomic framework, dividing the six distinct genera of Klebsormidiophyceae in a novel three-order system, with a deep divergence more than 830 million years ago. Our reconstructions of ancestral states suggest (1) an evolutionary history of multiple transitions between terrestrial-aquatic habitats, with stem Klebsormidiales having conquered land earlier than embryophytes, and (2) that the body plan of the last common ancestor of Klebsormidiophyceae was multicellular, with a high probability that it was filamentous whereas the sarcinoids and unicells in Klebsormidiophyceae are likely derived states. We provide evidence that the first multicellular streptophytes likely lived about a billion years ago.

RevDate: 2024-01-12

Nakamura YT, Himeoka Y, Saito N, et al (2024)

Evolution of hierarchy and irreversibility in theoretical cell differentiation model.

PNAS nexus, 3(1):pgad454.

The process of cell differentiation in multicellular organisms is characterized by hierarchy and irreversibility in many cases. However, the conditions and selection pressures that give rise to these characteristics remain poorly understood. By using a mathematical model, here we show that the network of differentiation potency (differentiation diagram) becomes necessarily hierarchical and irreversible by increasing the number of terminally differentiated states under certain conditions. The mechanisms generating these characteristics are clarified using geometry in the cell state space. The results demonstrate that the hierarchical organization and irreversibility can manifest independently of direct selection pressures associated with these characteristics, instead they appear to evolve as byproducts of selective forces favoring a diversity of differentiated cell types. The study also provides a new perspective on the structure of gene regulatory networks that produce hierarchical and irreversible differentiation diagrams. These results indicate some constraints on cell differentiation, which are expected to provide a starting point for theoretical discussion of the implicit limits and directions of evolution in multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2024-01-11
CmpDate: 2024-01-11

Howe J, Cornwallis CK, AS Griffin (2024)

Conflict-reducing innovations in development enable increased multicellular complexity.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2014):20232466.

Obligately multicellular organisms, where cells can only reproduce as part of the group, have evolved multiple times across the tree of life. Obligate multicellularity has only evolved when clonal groups form by cell division, rather than by cells aggregating, as clonality prevents internal conflict. Yet obligately multicellular organisms still vary greatly in 'multicellular complexity' (the number of cells and cell types): some comprise a few cells and cell types, while others have billions of cells and thousands of types. Here, we test whether variation in multicellular complexity is explained by two conflict-suppressing mechanisms, namely a single-cell bottleneck at the start of development, and a strict separation of germline and somatic cells. Examining the life cycles of 129 lineages of plants, animals, fungi and algae, we show using phylogenetic comparative analyses that an early segregation of the germline stem-cell lineage is key to the evolution of more cell types, driven by a strong correlation in the Metazoa. By contrast, the presence of a strict single-cell bottleneck was not related to either the number of cells or the number of cell types, but was associated with early germline segregation. Our results suggest that segregating the germline earlier in development enabled greater evolutionary innovation, although whether this is a consequence of conflict reduction or other non-conflict effects, such as developmental flexibility, is unclear.

RevDate: 2024-01-10

Pequeno PACL (2024)

Resource adaptation drives the size-complexity rule in termites.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2014):20232363.

The size-complexity rule posits that the evolution of larger cooperative groups should favour more division of labour. Examples include more cell types in larger multicellular organisms, and more polymorphic castes in larger eusocial colonies. However, a correlation between division of labour and group size may reflect a shared response of both traits to resource availability and/or profitability. Here, this possibility was addressed by investigating the evolution of sterile caste number (worker and soldier morphotypes) in termites, a major clade of eusocial insects in which the drivers of caste polymorphism are poorly understood. A novel dataset on 90 termite species was compiled from the published literature. The analysis showed that sterile caste number did increase markedly with colony size. However, after controlling for resource adaptations and phylogeny, there was no evidence for this relationship. Rather, sterile caste number increased with increasing nest-food separation and decreased with soil-feeding, through changes in worker (but not soldier) morphotype number. Further, colony size increased with nest-food separation, thus driving the false correlation between sterile caste number and colony size. These findings support adaptation to higher energy acquisition as key to the rise of complex insect societies, with larger size being a by-product.

RevDate: 2024-01-09

Hall R, Bandara A, D Charlebois (2024)

Fitness effects of a demography-dispersal trade-off in expandingSaccharomyces cerevisiaemats.

Physical biology [Epub ahead of print].

Fungi expand in space and time to form complex multicellular communities. The mechanisms by which they do so can vary dramatically and determine the life-history and dispersal traits of expanding populations. These traits influence deterministic and stochastic components of evolution, resulting in complex eco-evolutionary dynamics during colony expansion. We perform experiments on budding yeast strains genetically-engineered to display rough-surface and smooth-surface phenotypes in colony-like structures called ``mats''. Previously, it was shown that the rough-surface strain has a competitive advantage over the smooth-surface strain when grown on semi-solid media. We experimentally observe the emergence and expansion of segments with a distinct smooth-surface phenotype during rough-surface mat development. We propose a trade-off between dispersal and local carrying capacity to explain the relative fitness of these two phenotypes. Using a modified stepping-stone model, we demonstrate that this trade-off gives the high-dispersing, rough-surface phenotype a competitive advantage from standing variation, but that it inhibits this phenotype's ability to invade a resident smooth-surface population via mutation. However, the trade-off improves the ability of the smooth-surface phenotype to invade in rough-surface mats, replicating the frequent emergence of smooth-surface segments in experiments. Together, these computational and experimental findings advance our understanding of the complex eco-evolutionary dynamics of fungal mat expansion.

RevDate: 2024-01-09

Schuster CD, Salvatore F, Moens L, et al (2024)

Globin phylogeny, evolution and function, the newest update.

Proteins [Epub ahead of print].

Our globin census update allows us to refine our vision of globin origin, evolution, and structure to function relationship in the context of the currently accepted tree of life. The modern globin domain originates as a single domain, three-over-three α-helical folded structure before the diversification of the kingdoms of life (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya). Together with the diversification of prokaryotes, three monophyletic globin families (M, S, and T) emerged, most likely in Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, displaying specific sequence and structural features, and spread by vertical and horizontal gene transfer, most probably already present in the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Non-globin domains were added, and eventually lost again, creating multi-domain structures in key branches of M- (FHb and Adgb) and the vast majority of S globins, which with their coevolved multi-domain architectures, have predominantly "sensor" functions. Single domain T-family globins diverged into four major groups and most likely display functions related to reactive nitrogen and oxygen species (RNOS) chemistry, as well as oxygen storage/transport which drives the evolution of its major branches with their characteristic key distal residues (B10, E11, E7, and G8). M-family evolution also lead to distinctive major types (FHb and Fgb, Ngb, Adgb, GbX vertebrate Gbs), and shows the shift from high oxygen affinity controlled by TyrB10-Gln/AsnE11 likely related to RNOS chemistry in microorganisms, to a moderate oxygen affinity storage/transport function controlled by hydrophobic B10/E11-HisE7 in multicellular animals.

RevDate: 2024-01-08

Petreš M, Loc M, Budakov D, et al (2024)

First report of brown spot on stored apple fruits caused by Stemphylium vesicarium in Serbia.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Apple is one of the most economically important fruit crops worldwide, and fungal postharvest diseases can cause significant losses during storage (Petreš et al. 2020). Apple fruits (cultivar Fuji) with necrosis symptoms were collected during the fall of 2022 from the cold storage facility (ULO - Ultra Low Oxygen) in Titel, Serbia. The fruits originated from the apple orchard in Titel, Serbia (45°12'47.1"N, 20°15'23.6"E). The pathogens were isolated from collected fruit samples using standard phytopathological techniques. Fruits were surface-sterilized, rinsed with sterile water, aseptically cut in half, and small fragments collected from the border of healthy and diseased tissue were placed into Petri dishes on Potato Dextrose Agar medium (PDA) and incubated at 25±1 °C in dark for seven days. The obtained 11 isolates were identified to the genus level as Alternaria (incidence 46%), Penicillium (36%), Fusarium (9%) and Stemphylium (9%) based on morphological characteristics. Pathogenicity of all isolates was confirmed on apple fruits of cultivars Fuji and Golden Delicious. The fruits were surface-sterilized, sprayed with 5 ml conidial suspension (1×10[5] conidia/ml) and incubated at room temperature for 21 days. Symptoms developed on inoculated fruits were the same as symptoms observed on apple fruit samples collected from cold storage. Reisolation from artificially inoculated fruits resulted in colonies that morphologically corresponded with the colonies used for inoculation. Stemphylium isolate was the only one included in further research. Initial symptoms and symptoms on artificially inoculated apple fruits caused by Stemphylium sp. occurred as circular dark brown necrosis located near the calyx, without visible sporulation on the fruit surface. The isolate and reisolate formed aerial, white to light brown mycelia. The pigmentation of the culture medium was pale to dark brown. Conidia were singular, cylindrical and multicellular, brown to dark brown, 22-35.1 long and 12.6-18.9 μm wide. Based on morphological properties, isolate and reisolate were identified as Stemphylium vesicarium which is in line with the description reported by Sharifi et al. (2021) and Gilardi et al. (2022). The identification of S. vesicarium isolate was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by amplifying and sequencing three regions using following primer pairs: Bt2a (5'- GGT AAC CAA ATC GGT GCT GCT TTC -3') and Bt2b (5'-ACC CTC AGT GTA GTG ACC CTT GGC-3') for β-tubulin region (Nasri et al. 2015), ITS1 (5'-TCC GTA GGT GAA CCT GCG G - 3') and ITS4 (5'- TCC TCC GCT TAT TGA TAT GC-3') for ITS region (White et al. 1990), and EF1 (5' - ATG GGT AAG GAG GAC AAG AC - 3') and EF2 (5'- GGA AGT ACC AGT GAT CAT GTT - 3') for TEF-1α region (O'Donnell et al. 1998). PCR products were separated by horizontal gel electrophoresis in 1.5% agarose gel, stained with ethidium bromide, and visualization under UV light revealed amplified fragments of the expected size of 500 bp for Bt2a/ Bt2b primer pair, 600 bp for ITS1/ITS4 primer pair, and 700 bp for EF1/EF2 primer pair. The obtained amplicons were Sanger sequenced (Macrogen Europe BV) in both directions. BLASTn analysis showed the identity of amplified fragments of the isolates with sequences of S. vesicarium present in the GenBank of 100% (MT881940.1 and JQ671944.1) for the β-tubulin region, 99.40% (MT520589.1 and OR256793.1) for the ITS region, and 99.49% (DQ471090.2 and MT394642.1) for the TEF-1α region. The sequences were deposited to NCBI GenBank (Accession No. OQ653540 for the β-tubulin region, OQ678016 for the ITS region, and OR232710 for the TEF-1α region). To our knowledge, this is the first finding of S. vesicarium on apple fruits in the Republic of Serbia, and the finding of a new causal agent of postharvest apple fruit rot.

RevDate: 2024-01-08

Roggenbuck EC, Hall EA, Hanson IB, et al (2024)

Let's talk about sex: Mechanisms of neural sexual differentiation in Bilateria.

WIREs mechanisms of disease [Epub ahead of print].

In multicellular organisms, sexed gonads have evolved that facilitate release of sperm versus eggs, and bilaterian animals purposefully combine their gametes via mating behaviors. Distinct neural circuits have evolved that control these physically different mating events for animals producing eggs from ovaries versus sperm from testis. In this review, we will describe the developmental mechanisms that sexually differentiate neural circuits across three major clades of bilaterian animals-Ecdysozoa, Deuterosomia, and Lophotrochozoa. While many of the mechanisms inducing somatic and neuronal sex differentiation across these diverse organisms are clade-specific rather than evolutionarily conserved, we develop a common framework for considering the developmental logic of these events and the types of neuronal differences that produce sex-differentiated behaviors. This article is categorized under: Congenital Diseases > Stem Cells and Development Neurological Diseases > Stem Cells and Development.

RevDate: 2024-01-08
CmpDate: 2024-01-08

Qi Z, Lu P, Long X, et al (2024)

Adaptive advantages of restorative RNA editing in fungi for resolving survival-reproduction trade-offs.

Science advances, 10(1):eadk6130.

RNA editing in various organisms commonly restores RNA sequences to their ancestral state, but its adaptive advantages are debated. In fungi, restorative editing corrects premature stop codons in pseudogenes specifically during sexual reproduction. We characterized 71 pseudogenes and their restorative editing in Fusarium graminearum, demonstrating that restorative editing of 16 pseudogenes is crucial for germ tissue development in fruiting bodies. Our results also revealed that the emergence of premature stop codons is facilitated by restorative editing and that premature stop codons corrected by restorative editing are selectively favored over ancestral amino acid codons. Furthermore, we found that ancestral versions of pseudogenes have antagonistic effects on reproduction and survival. Restorative editing eliminates the survival costs of reproduction caused by antagonistic pleiotropy and provides a selective advantage in fungi. Our findings highlight the importance of restorative editing in the evolution of fungal complex multicellularity and provide empirical evidence that restorative editing serves as an adaptive mechanism enabling the resolution of genetic trade-offs.

RevDate: 2024-01-04

Lyman GH, Lyman CH, NM Kuderer (2024)

THE NATURE, ORIGIN, AND EVOLUTION OF LIFE: Part IV Cellular Differentiation and the Emergence of Multicellular Life.

RevDate: 2023-12-28

Kong Z, Zhu L, Liu Y, et al (2023)

Effects of azithromycin exposure during pregnancy at different stages, doses and courses on testicular development in fetal mice.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 170:116063 pii:S0753-3322(23)01861-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Azithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic during pregnancy, but some studies have suggested its potential developmental toxicity. Currently, the effects and mechanisms of prenatal azithromycin exposure (PAzE) on fetal testicular development are still unclear. The effects of prenatal exposure to the same drug on fetal testicular development could vary depending on different stages, doses, and courses. Hence, in this study, based on clinical medication characteristics, Kunming mice was administered intragastrically with azithromycin at different stages (mid-/late-pregnancy), doses (50, 100, 200 mg/kg·d), and courses (single-/multi-course). Fetal blood and testicular samples were collected on GD18 for relevant assessments. The results indicated that PAzE led to changes in fetal testicular morphology, reduced cell proliferation, increased apoptosis, and decreased expression of markers related to Leydig cells (Star), Sertoli cells (Wt1), and spermatogonia (Plzf). Further investigation revealed that the effects of PAzE on fetal testicular development were characterized by mid-pregnancy, high dose (clinical dose), and single course having more pronounced effects. Additionally, the TGFβ/Smad and Nrf2 signaling pathways may be involved in the changes in fetal testicular development induced by PAzE. In summary, this study confirmed that PAzE influences fetal testicular morphological development and multicellular function. It provided theoretical and experimental evidence for guiding the rational use of azithromycin during pregnancy and further exploring the mechanisms underlying its developmental toxicity on fetal testicles.

RevDate: 2023-12-29
CmpDate: 2023-12-29

Bich L (2023)

Integrating Multicellular Systems: Physiological Control and Degrees of Biological Individuality.

Acta biotheoretica, 72(1):1.

This paper focuses on physiological integration in multicellular systems, a notion often associated with biological individuality, but which has not received enough attention and needs a thorough theoretical treatment. Broadly speaking, physiological integration consists in how different components come together into a cohesive unit in which they are dependent on one another for their existence and activity. This paper argues that physiological integration can be understood by considering how the components of a biological multicellular system are controlled and coordinated in such a way that their activities can contribute to the maintenance of the system. The main implication of this perspective is that different ways of controlling their parts may give rise to multicellular organizations with different degrees of integration. After defining control, this paper analyses how control is realized in two examples of multicellular systems located at different ends of the spectrum of multicellularity: biofilms and animals. It focuses on differences in control ranges, and it argues that a high degree of integration implies control exerted at both medium and long ranges, and that insofar as biofilms lack long-range control (relative to their size) they can be considered as less integrated than other multicellular systems. It then discusses the implication of this account for the debate on physiological individuality and the idea that degrees of physiological integration imply degrees of individuality.

RevDate: 2023-12-25

Wu W, Yang R, Liu J, et al (2023)

Origins of the Ediacaran Doushantuo High-Grade Primary Phosphorites at Kaiyang, Guizhou Province, China.

ACS omega, 8(50):47938-47953.

The Ediacaran Doushantuo phosphate deposit in Kaiyang, Guizhou Province, China, contains thick phosphate ores. Most of the ores are reconstituted phosphorite, and there have been few studies of the primary phosphorites, which has led to controversy regarding the origins and nature of mineralization of these phosphate-rich deposits. We identified high-grade primary phosphorites in the Kaiyang area and undertook a stratigraphic, petrological, sedimentological, geochemical, and isotopic study of these rocks. Moving up-section, the Longshui phosphate ore deposit comprises granular, micritic, stromatolitic, honeycomb, and sandy phosphorites. The first four types of phosphorite contain abundant biological structures, such as spherical, lobe-like, and amorphous forms. These are mainly fossils of benthic multicellular red algae, along with other types of algae. These fossils comprise >70% of the phosphorites, indicating that these are protist phosphorites. The ores are massive, unstratified, and contain numerous layered cavity structures, indicating that the ore bed was originally a reef. The phosphorites have P2O5 contents of 38.6-40.2 wt %, with an average of 38.9 wt %. The Al2O3 + TiO2 values are 0.02-0.44 wt %. The δ[18]O values of the samples vary from 13.76 to 16.57‰, with an average of 14.60‰, and δ[13]C values range from -15.789 to -8.697‰, with an average of -13.133‰. The samples exhibit rare-earth element patterns that are enriched with middle rare-earth elements and have strongly negative Ce anomalies. The geochemical features show that the reef was deposited in clear and oxidized waters. The discovery of this high-grade protist phosphorite shows that the involvement of algae was key to the formation of the Kaiyang phosphate-rich deposit.

RevDate: 2023-12-28
CmpDate: 2023-12-28

Pinion AK, Britz R, Kubicek KM, et al (2023)

The larval attachment organ of the bowfin Amia ocellicauda Richardson, 1836 (Amiiformes: Amiidae) and its phylogenetic significance.

Journal of fish biology, 103(6):1300-1311.

Larval attachment organs (LAOs) are unicellular or multicellular organs that enable the larvae of many actinopterygian fishes to adhere to a substrate before yolk-sac absorption and the free-swimming stage. Bowfins (Amiiformes) exhibit a sizable LAO on the snout, which was first described in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this study, we document the LAO of Amia ocellicauda (Richardson, 1836) using a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy, and histochemistry. We examined material representing three stages with SEM ranging in size from 5.8 to 11.2 mm in notochord length and one stage histochemically. We compare the LAO of A. ocellicauda to that of the lepisosteid Atractosteus tropicus Gill, 1863 and show that although the LAOs of A. ocellicauda and A. tropicus are both super-organs, the two differ in the ultrastructure of the entire organ. A. ocellicauda possesses two distinct lobes, with the organs arranged on the periphery with none in the middle, whereas A. tropicus also possesses two lobes, but with the organs scattered evenly across the super-organ. The individual organs of A. ocellicauda possess adhesive cells set deep to support cells with the adhesive substance released through a pore, whereas A. tropicus possesses both support cells and adhesive cells sitting at a similar level, with the adhesive substance released directly onto the surface of the organ. We additionally provide a table summarizing vertebrate genera in which attachment organs have been documented and discuss the implications of our study for hypotheses of the homology of attachment organs in the Holostei.

RevDate: 2023-12-19

Kotarska K, Gąsior Ł, Rudnicka J, et al (2023)

Long-run real-time PCR analysis of repetitive nuclear elements as a novel tool for DNA damage quantification in single cells: an approach validated on mouse oocytes and fibroblasts.

Journal of applied genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Since DNA damage is of great importance in various biological processes, its rate is frequently assessed both in research studies and in medical diagnostics. The most precise methods of quantifying DNA damage are based on real-time PCR. However, in the conventional version, they require a large amount of genetic material and therefore their usefulness is limited to multicellular samples. Here, we present a novel approach to long-run real-time PCR-based DNA-damage quantification (L1-LORD-Q), which consists in amplification of long interspersed nuclear elements (L1) and allows for analysis of single-cell genomes. The L1-LORD-Q was compared with alternative methods of measuring DNA breaks (Bioanalyzer system, γ-H2AX foci staining), which confirmed its accuracy. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the L1-LORD-Q is sensitive enough to distinguish between different levels of UV-induced DNA damage. The method was validated on mouse oocytes and fibroblasts, but the general idea is universal and can be applied to various types of cells and species.

RevDate: 2023-12-18

Wong W, Bravo P, Yunker PJ, et al (2023)

Examining the role of oxygen-binding proteins on the early evolution of multicellularity.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.12.01.569647.

Oxygen availability is a key factor in the evolution of multicellularity, as larger and more sophisticated organisms often require mechanisms allowing efficient oxygen delivery to their tissues. One such mechanism is the presence of oxygen-binding proteins, such as globins and hemerythrins, which arose in the ancestor of bilaterian animals. Despite their importance, the precise mechanisms by which oxygen-binding proteins influenced the early stages of multicellular evolution under varying environmental oxygen levels are not yet clear. We addressed this knowledge gap by heterologously expressing the oxygen binding proteins myoglobin and myohemerythrin in snowflake yeast, a model system of simple, undifferentiated multicellularity. These proteins increased the depth and rate of oxygen diffusion, increasing the fitness of snowflake yeast growing aerobically. Experiments show that, paradoxically, oxygen-binding proteins confer a greater fitness benefit for larger organisms under high, not low, O 2 conditions. We show via biophysical modeling that this is because facilitated diffusion is more efficient when oxygen is abundant, transporting a greater quantity of O 2 which can be used for metabolism. By alleviating anatomical diffusion limitations to oxygen consumption, the evolution of O 2 -binding proteins in the oxygen-rich Neoproterozoic may have been a key breakthrough enabling the evolution of increasingly large, complex multicellular metazoan lineages.

RevDate: 2023-12-16

Yu Y, Li YP, Ren K, et al (2023)

A brief history of metal recruitment in protozoan predation.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(23)00326-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Metals and metalloids are used as weapons for predatory feeding by unicellular eukaryotes on prokaryotes. This review emphasizes the role of metal(loid) bioavailability over the course of Earth's history, coupled with eukaryogenesis and the evolution of the mitochondrion to trace the emergence and use of the metal(loid) prey-killing phagosome as a feeding strategy. Members of the genera Acanthamoeba and Dictyostelium use metals such as zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu), and possibly metalloids, to kill their bacterial prey after phagocytosis. We provide a potential timeline on when these capacities first evolved and how they correlate with perceived changes in metal(loid) bioavailability through Earth's history. The origin of phagotrophic eukaryotes must have postdated the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) in agreement with redox-dependent modification of metal(loid) bioavailability for phagotrophic poisoning. However, this predatory mechanism is predicted to have evolved much later - closer to the origin of the multicellular metazoans and the evolutionary development of the immune systems.

RevDate: 2023-12-13

Miklós M, Cseri K, Laczkó L, et al (2023)

Environmental bacteria increase population growth of hydra at low temperature.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1294771.

Multicellular organisms engage in complex ecological interactions with microorganisms, some of which are harmful to the host's health and fitness (e.g., pathogens or toxin-producing environmental microbiota), while others are either beneficial or have a neutral impact (as seen in components of host-associated microbiota). Although environmental microorganisms are generally considered to have no significant impact on animal fitness, there is evidence suggesting that exposure to these microbes might be required for proper immune maturation and research in vertebrates has shown that developing in a sterile environment detrimentally impacts health later in life. However, it remains uncertain whether such beneficial effects of environmental microorganisms are present in invertebrates that lack an adaptive immune system. In the present study, we conducted an experiment with field-collected Hydra oligactis, a cold-adapted freshwater cnidarian. We cultured these organisms in normal and autoclaved lake water at two distinct temperatures: 8°C and 12°C. Our findings indicated that polyps maintained in sterilized lake water displayed reduced population growth that depended on temperature, such that the effect was only present on 8°C. To better understand the dynamics of microbial communities both inhabiting polyps and their surrounding environment we conducted 16S sequencing before and after treatment, analyzing samples from both the polyps and the water. As a result of culturing in autoclaved lake water, the polyps showed a slightly altered microbiota composition, with some microbial lineages showing significant reduction in abundance, while only a few displayed increased abundances. The autoclaved lake water was recolonized, likely from the surface of hydra polyps, by a complex albeit different community of bacteria, some of which (such as Pseudomonas, Flavobacteriaceae) might be pathogenic to hydra. The abundance of the intracellular symbiont Polynucleobacter was positively related to hydra population size. These findings indicate that at low temperature environmental microbiota can enhance population growth rate in hydra, suggesting that environmental microorganisms can provide benefits to animals even in the absence of an adaptive immune system.

RevDate: 2023-12-11

Schaible GA, Jay ZJ, Cliff J, et al (2023)

Multicellular magnetotactic bacterial consortia are metabolically differentiated and not clonal.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.27.568837.

UNLABELLED: Consortia of multicellular magnetotactic bacteria (MMB) are currently the only known example of bacteria without a unicellular stage in their life cycle. Because of their recalcitrance to cultivation, most previous studies of MMB have been limited to microscopic observations. To study the biology of these unique organisms in more detail, we use multiple culture-independent approaches to analyze the genomics and physiology of MMB consortia at single cell resolution. We separately sequenced the metagenomes of 22 individual MMB consortia, representing eight new species, and quantified the genetic diversity within each MMB consortium. This revealed that, counter to conventional views, cells within MMB consortia are not clonal. Single consortia metagenomes were then used to reconstruct the species-specific metabolic potential and infer the physiological capabilities of MMB. To validate genomic predictions, we performed stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments and interrogated MMB consortia using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) combined with nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). By coupling FISH with bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) we explored their in situ activity as well as variation of protein synthesis within cells. We demonstrate that MMB consortia are mixotrophic sulfate reducers and that they exhibit metabolic differentiation between individual cells, suggesting that MMB consortia are more complex than previously thought. These findings expand our understanding of MMB diversity, ecology, genomics, and physiology, as well as offer insights into the mechanisms underpinning the multicellular nature of their unique lifestyle.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The emergence of multicellular lifeforms represents a pivotal milestone in Earth's history, ushering in a new era of biological complexity. Because of the relative scarcity of multicellularity in the domains Bacteria and Archaea , research on the evolution of multicellularity has predominantly focused on eukaryotic model organisms. In this study, we explored the complexity of the only known bacteria without a unicellular stage in their life cycle, consortia of multicellular magnetotactic bacteria (MMB). Genomic and physiological analyses revealed that cells within individual MMB consortia are not clonal and exhibit metabolic differentiation. This implies a higher level of complexity than previously assumed for MMB consortia, prompting a reevaluation of the evolutionary factors that have led to the emergence of multicellularity. Because of their unique biology MMB consortia are ideally suited to become a model system to explore the underpinnings of bacterial multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-12-09

Chen H, Shi H, Chen C, et al (2023)

Effects of static magnetic field on the sulfate metabolic pathway involved in Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 cell growth and magnetosome formation.

Journal of applied microbiology pii:7464061 [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) can use their unique intracellular magnetosome organelles to swim along the Earth's magnetic field. They play important roles in the biogeochemical cycles of iron and sulfur. Previous studies have shown that the applied magnetic fields could affect the magnetosome formation and antioxidant defense systems in MTB. However, the molecular mechanisms by which magnetic fields affect MTB cells remain unclear. We aim to better understand the interactions between magnetic fields and cells, and the mechanism of MTB adaptation to magnetic field at molecular levels.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed microbiological, transcriptomic and genetic experiments to analyze the effects of a weak static magnetic field (SMF) exposure on the cell growth and magnetosome formation in MTB strain Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1. The results showed that a 1.5 mT SMF significantly promoted the cell growth but reduced magnetosome formation in AMB-1, compared to the geomagnetic field. Transcriptomic analysis revealed decreased expressions of genes primarily involved in the sulfate reduction pathway. Consistently, knockout mutant lacking adenylyl-sulfate kinase CysC did no more react to the SMF and the differences in growth and Cmag were disappeared. Together with experimental findings of increased reactive oxidative species in the SMF-treated Wild-type strain, we proposed that cysC, as a key gene, can participate in the cells growth and mineralization in AMB-1 by SMF regulation.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that the magnetic field exposure can trigger a bacterial oxidative stress response involved in AMB-1 growth and magnetosome mineralization by regulating sulfur metabolism pathway. CysC may serve as a pivotal enzyme in mediating sulfur metabolism to synchronize the impact of SMF on both growth and magnetization of AMB-1.

RevDate: 2023-12-07

Romei M, Carpentier M, Chomilier J, et al (2023)

Origins and Functional Significance of Eukaryotic Protein Folds.

Journal of molecular evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Folds are the architecture and topology of a protein domain. Categories of folds are very few compared to the astronomical number of sequences. Eukaryotes have more protein folds than Archaea and Bacteria. These folds are of two types: shared with Archaea and/or Bacteria on one hand and specific to eukaryotic clades on the other hand. The first kind of folds is inherited from the first endosymbiosis and confirms the mixed origin of eukaryotes. In a dataset of 1073 folds whose presence or absence has been evidenced among 210 species equally distributed in the three super-kingdoms, we have identified 28 eukaryotic folds unambiguously inherited from Bacteria and 40 eukaryotic folds unambiguously inherited from Archaea. Compared to previous studies, the repartition of informational function is higher than expected for folds originated from Bacteria and as high as expected for folds inherited from Archaea. The second type of folds is specifically eukaryotic and associated with an increase of new folds within eukaryotes distributed in particular clades. Reconstructed ancestral states coupled with dating of each node on the tree of life provided fold appearance rates. The rate is on average twice higher within Eukaryota than within Bacteria or Archaea. The highest rates are found in the origins of eukaryotes, holozoans, metazoans, metazoans stricto sensu, and vertebrates: the roots of these clades correspond to bursts of fold evolution. We could correlate the functions of some of the fold synapomorphies within eukaryotes with significant evolutionary events. Among them, we find evidence for the rise of multicellularity, adaptive immune system, or virus folds which could be linked to an ecological shift made by tetrapods.

RevDate: 2023-12-06

Shelake RM, Pramanik D, JY Kim (2023)

CRISPR base editor-based targeted random mutagenesis (BE-TRM) toolbox for directed evolution.

Directed evolution (DE) of desired locus by targeted random mutagenesis (TRM) tools is a powerful approach for generating genetic variations with novel or improved functions, particularly in complex genomes. TRM-based DE involves developing a mutant library of targeted DNA sequences and screening the variants for the desired properties. However, DE methods have for a long time been confined to bacteria and yeasts. Lately, CRISPR/Cas and DNA deaminase-based tools that circumvent enduring barriers such as longer life cycle, small library sizes, and low mutation rates have been developed to facilitate DE in native genetic environments of multicellular organisms. Notably, deaminase-based base editing-TRM (BE-TRM) tools have greatly expanded the scope and efficiency of DE schemes by enabling base substitutions and randomization of targeted DNA sequences. BE-TRM tools provide a robust platform for the continuous molecular evolution of desired proteins, metabolic pathway engineering, creation of a mutant library of desired locus to evolve novel functions, and other applications, such as predicting mutants conferring antibiotic resistance. This review provides timely updates on the recent advances in BE-TRM tools for DE, their applications in biology, and future directions for further improvements.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Mulvey H, L Dolan (2023)

RHO of plant signaling was established early in streptophyte evolution.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01520-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The algal ancestors of land plants underwent a transition from a unicellular to a multicellular body plan.[1] This transition likely took place early in streptophyte evolution, sometime after the divergence of the Chlorokybophyceae/Mesostigmatophyceae lineage, but before the divergence of the Klebsormidiophyceae lineage.[2] How this transition was brought about is unknown; however, it was likely facilitated by the evolution of novel mechanisms to spatially regulate morphogenesis. In land plants, RHO of plant (ROP) signaling plays a conserved role in regulating polarized cell growth and cell division orientation to orchestrate morphogenesis.[3][,][4][,][5][,][6][,][7][,][8] ROP constitutes a plant-specific subfamily of the RHO GTPases, which are more widely conserved throughout eukaryotes.[9][,][10] Although the RHO family originated in early eukaryotes,[11][,][12] how and when the ROP subfamily originated had remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that ROP signaling was established early in the streptophyte lineage, sometime after the divergence of the Chlorokybophyceae/Mesostigmatophyceae lineage, but before the divergence of the Klebsormidiophyceae lineage. This period corresponds to when the unicellular-to-multicellular transition likely took place in the streptophytes. In addition to being critical for the complex morphogenesis of extant land plants, we speculate that ROP signaling contributed to morphological evolution in early streptophytes.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Arnoux-Courseaux M, Y Coudert (2023)

Re-examining meristems through the lens of evo-devo.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(23)00362-X [Epub ahead of print].

The concept of the meristem was introduced in 1858 to characterize multicellular, formative, and proliferative tissues that give rise to the entire plant body, based on observations of vascular plants. Although its original definition did not encompass bryophytes, this concept has been used and continuously refined over the past 165 years to describe the diverse apices of all land plants. Here, we re-examine this matter in light of recent evo-devo research and show that, despite displaying high anatomical diversity, land plant meristems are unified by shared genetic control. We also propose a modular view of meristem function and highlight multiple evolutionary mechanisms that are likely to have contributed to the assembly and diversification of the varied meristems during the course of plant evolution.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Liu N, Jiang T, Cui WP, et al (2023)

The TorRS two component system regulates expression of TMAO reductase in response to high hydrostatic pressure in Vibrio fluvialis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1291578.

High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) regulated gene expression is one of the most commonly adopted strategies for microbial adaptation to the deep-sea environments. Previously we showed that the HHP-inducible trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) reductase improves the pressure tolerance of deep-sea strain Vibrio fluvialis QY27. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of HHP-responsive regulation of TMAO reductase TorA. By constructing torR and torS deletion mutants, we demonstrated that the two-component regulator TorR and sensor TorS are responsible for the HHP-responsive regulation of torA. Unlike known HHP-responsive regulatory system, the abundance of torR and torS was not affected by HHP. Complementation of the ΔtorS mutant with TorS altered at conserved phosphorylation sites revealed that the three sites were indispensable for substrate-induced regulation, but only the histidine located in the alternative transmitter domain was involved in pressure-responsive regulation. Taken together, we demonstrated that the induction of TMAO reductase by HHP is mediated through the TorRS system and proposed a bifurcation of signal transduction in pressure-responsive regulation from the substrate-induction. This work provides novel knowledge of the pressure regulated gene expression and will promote the understanding of the microbial adaptation to the deep-sea HHP environment.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Yoshida K, Kato D, Sugio S, et al (2023)

Activity-dependent oligodendrocyte calcium dynamics and their changes in Alzheimer's disease.

Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 17:1154196.

Oligodendrocytes (OCs) form myelin around axons, which is dependent on neuronal activity. This activity-dependent myelination plays a crucial role in training and learning. Previous studies have suggested that neuronal activity regulates proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and myelination. In addition, deficient activity-dependent myelination results in impaired motor learning. However, the functional response of OC responsible for neuronal activity and their pathological changes is not fully elucidated. In this research, we aimed to understand the activity-dependent OC responses and their different properties by observing OCs using in vivo two-photon microscopy. We clarified that the Ca[2+] activity in OCs is neuronal activity dependent and differentially regulated by neurotransmitters such as glutamate or adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Furthermore, in 5-month-old mice models of Alzheimer's disease, a period before the appearance of behavioral abnormalities, the elevated Ca[2+] responses in OCs are ATP dependent, suggesting that OCs receive ATP from damaged tissue. We anticipate that our research will help in determining the correct therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases beyond the synapse.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Digel L, Mierzwa M, Bonné R, et al (2023)

Cable Bacteria Skeletons as Catalytically Active Electrodes.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) [Epub ahead of print].

Cable bacteria are multicellular, filamentous bacteria that use internal conductive fibers to transport electrons over centimeter distances from donors within anoxic sediment layers to oxygen at the surface. We extracted the fibers and used them as free-standing bio-based electrodes to investigate their electrocatalytic behavior. The fibers catalyzed the reversible interconversion of oxygen and water, and an electric current was running through the fibers even when the potential difference was generated solely by a gradient of oxygen concentration. Oxygen reduction as well as oxygen evolution were confirmed by optical measurements. Within living cable bacteria, oxygen reduction by direct electrocatalysis on the fibers and not by membrane-bound proteins readily explains exceptionally high cell-specific oxygen consumption rates observed in the oxic zone, while electrocatalytic water oxidation may provide oxygen to cells in the anoxic zone.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhang Y, Fu M, Wang H, et al (2023)

Advances in the Construction and Application of Thyroid Organoids.

Physiological research, 72(5):557-564.

Organoids are complex multicellular structures that stem cells self-organize in three-dimensional (3D) cultures into anatomical structures and functional units similar to those seen in the organs from which they originate. This review describes the construction of thyroid organoids and the research progress that has occurred in models of thyroid-related disease. As a novel tool for modeling in a 3D multicellular environment, organoids help provide some useful references for the study of the pathogenesis of thyroid disease.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Bingham EP, WC Ratcliff (2023)

A non-adaptive explanation for macroevolutionary patterns in the evolution of complex multicellularity.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.11.566713.

"Complex multicellularity", conventionally defined as large organisms with many specialized cell types, has evolved five times independently in eukaryotes, but never within prokaryotes. A number hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, most of which posit that eukaryotes evolved key traits (e . g ., dynamic cytoskeletons, alternative mechanisms of gene regulation, or subcellular compartments) which were a necessary prerequisite for the evolution of complex multicellularity. Here we propose an alternative, non-adaptive hypothesis for this broad macroevolutionary pattern. By binning cells into groups with finite genetic bottlenecks between generations, the evolution of multicellularity greatly reduces the effective population size (Ne) of cellular populations, increasing the role of genetic drift in evolutionary change. While both prokaryotes and eukaryotes experience this phenomenon, they have opposite responses to drift: mutational biases in eukaryotes tend to drive genomic expansion, providing additional raw genetic material for subsequent multicellular innovation, while prokaryotes generally face genomic erosion. These effects become more severe as organisms evolve larger size and more stringent genetic bottlenecks between generations- both of which are hallmarks of complex multicellularity. Taken together, we hypothesize that it is these idiosyncratic lineagespecific mutational biases, rather than cell-biological innovations within eukaryotes, that underpins the long-term divergent evolution of complex multicellularity across the tree of life.

RevDate: 2023-11-27
CmpDate: 2023-11-27

Ongenae V, Kempff A, van Neer V, et al (2023)

Genome sequence and characterization of Streptomyces phages Vanseggelen and Verabelle, representing two new species within the genus Camvirus.

Scientific reports, 13(1):20153.

Despite the rising interest in bacteriophages, little is known about their infection cycle and lifestyle in a multicellular host. Even in the model system Streptomyces, only a small number of phages have been sequenced and well characterized so far. Here, we report the complete characterization and genome sequences of Streptomyces phages Vanseggelen and Verabelle isolated using Streptomyces coelicolor as a host. A wide range of Streptomyces strains could be infected by both phages, but neither of the two phages was able to infect members of the closely related sister genus Kitasatospora. The phages Vanseggelen and Verabelle have a double-stranded DNA genome with lengths of 48,720 and 48,126 bp, respectively. Both phage genomes contain 72 putative genes, and the presence of an integrase encoding protein indicates a lysogenic lifestyle. Characterization of the phages revealed their stability over a wide range of temperatures (30-45 °C) and pH values (4-10). In conclusion, Streptomyces phage Vanseggelen and Streptomyces phage Verabelle are newly isolated phages that can be classified as new species in the genus Camvirus, within the subfamily Arquattrovirinae.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Goehring L, Huang TT, DJ Smith (2023)

Transcription-Replication Conflicts as a Source of Genome Instability.

Annual review of genetics, 57:157-179.

Transcription and replication both require large macromolecular complexes to act on a DNA template, yet these machineries cannot simultaneously act on the same DNA sequence. Conflicts between the replication and transcription machineries (transcription-replication conflicts, or TRCs) are widespread in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and have the capacity to both cause DNA damage and compromise complete, faithful replication of the genome. This review will highlight recent studies investigating the genomic locations of TRCs and the mechanisms by which they may be prevented, mitigated, or resolved. We address work from both model organisms and mammalian systems but predominantly focus on multicellular eukaryotes owing to the additional complexities inherent in the coordination of replication and transcription in the context of cell type-specific gene expression and higher-order chromatin organization.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Toch K, Buczek M, MK Labocha (2023)

Genetic Interactions in Various Environmental Conditions in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Genes, 14(11): pii:genes14112080.

Although it is well known that epistasis plays an important role in many evolutionary processes (e.g., speciation, evolution of sex), our knowledge on the frequency and prevalent sign of epistatic interactions is mainly limited to unicellular organisms or cell cultures of multicellular organisms. This is even more pronounced in regard to how the environment can influence genetic interactions. To broaden our knowledge in that respect we studied gene-gene interactions in a whole multicellular organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. We screened over one thousand gene interactions, each one in standard laboratory conditions, and under three different stressors: heat shock, oxidative stress, and genotoxic stress. Depending on the condition, between 7% and 22% of gene pairs showed significant genetic interactions and an overall sign of epistasis changed depending on the condition. Sign epistasis was quite common, but reciprocal sign epistasis was extremally rare. One interaction was common to all conditions, whereas 78% of interactions were specific to only one environment. Although epistatic interactions are quite common, their impact on evolutionary processes will strongly depend on environmental factors.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Spradling AC (2024)

The Ancient Origin and Function of Germline Cysts.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 71:3-21.

Gamete production in most animal species is initiated within an evolutionarily ancient multicellular germline structure, the germline cyst, whose interconnected premeiotic cells synchronously develop from a single progenitor arising just downstream from a stem cell. Cysts in mice, Drosophila, and many other animals protect developing sperm, while in females, cysts generate nurse cells that guard sister oocytes from transposons (TEs) and help them grow and build a Balbiani body. However, the origin and extreme evolutionary conservation of germline cysts remains a mystery. We suggest that cysts arose in ancestral animals like Hydra and Planaria whose multipotent somatic and germline stem cells (neoblasts) express genes conserved in all animal germ cells and frequently begin differentiation in cysts. A syncytial state is proposed to help multipotent stem cell chromatin transition to an epigenetic state with heterochromatic domains suitable for TE repression and specialized function. Most modern animals now lack neoblasts but have retained stem cells and cysts in their early germlines, which continue to function using this ancient epigenetic strategy.

RevDate: 2023-11-23
CmpDate: 2023-11-23

Jin H, Zhang W, Liu H, et al (2023)

Genome-wide identification and characteristic analysis of ETS gene family in blood clam Tegillarca granosa.

BMC genomics, 24(1):700.

BACKGROUND: ETS transcription factors, known as the E26 transformation-specific factors, assume a critical role in the regulation of various vital biological processes in animals, including cell differentiation, the cell cycle, and cell apoptosis. However, their characterization in mollusks is currently lacking.

RESULTS: The current study focused on a comprehensive analysis of the ETS genes in blood clam Tegillarca granosa and other mollusk genomes. Our phylogenetic analysis revealed the absence of the SPI and ETV subfamilies in mollusks compared to humans. Additionally, several ETS genes in mollusks were found to lack the PNT domain, potentially resulting in a diminished ability of ETS proteins to bind target genes. Interestingly, the bivalve ETS1 genes exhibited significantly high expression levels during the multicellular proliferation stage and in gill tissues. Furthermore, qRT-PCR results showed that Tg-ETS-14 (ETS1) is upregulated in the high total hemocyte counts (THC) population of T. granosa, suggesting it plays a significant role in stimulating hemocyte proliferation.

CONCLUSION: Our study significantly contributes to the comprehension of the evolutionary aspects concerning the ETS gene family, while also providing valuable insights into its role in fostering hemocyte proliferation across mollusks.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Nicolas E, Simion P, Guérineau M, et al (2023)

Horizontal acquisition of a DNA ligase improves DNA damage tolerance in eukaryotes.

Nature communications, 14(1):7638.

Bdelloid rotifers are part of the restricted circle of multicellular animals that can withstand a wide range of genotoxic stresses at any stage of their life cycle. In this study, bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga is used as a model to decipher the molecular basis of their extreme tolerance. Proteomic analysis shows that a specific DNA ligase, different from those usually involved in DNA repair in eukaryotes, is strongly over-represented upon ionizing radiation. A phylogenetic analysis reveals its orthology to prokaryotic DNA ligase E, and its horizontal acquisition by bdelloid rotifers and plausibly other eukaryotes. The fungus Mortierella verticillata, having a single copy of this DNA Ligase E homolog, also exhibits an increased radiation tolerance with an over-expression of this DNA ligase E following X-ray exposure. We also provide evidence that A. vaga ligase E is a major contributor of DNA breaks ligation activity, which is a common step of all important DNA repair pathways. Consistently, its heterologous expression in human cell lines significantly improves their radio-tolerance. Overall, this study highlights the potential of horizontal gene transfers in eukaryotes, and their contribution to the adaptation to extreme conditions.

RevDate: 2023-11-19

Rossi SA, García-Barbazán I, Chamorro-Herrero I, et al (2023)

Use of 2D Minilungs from Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Study the Interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with the Respiratory Tract.

Microbes and infection pii:S1286-4579(23)00163-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Organoids can meet the needs between the use of cell culture and in vivo work, bringing together aspects of multicellular tissues, providing a more similar in vitro system for the study of various components, including host-interactions with pathogens and drug response. Organoids are structures that resemble organs in vivo, originating from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) or adult stem cells (ASCs). There is great interest in deepening the understanding of the use of this technology to produce information about fungal infections and their treatments. This work aims the use 2D human lung organoid derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), to investigate Cryptococcus neoformans-host interactions. C. neoformans is an opportunistic fungus acquired by inhalation that causes systemic mycosis mainly in immunocompromised individuals. Our work highlights the suitability of human minilungs for the study of C. neoformans infection (adhesion, invasion and replication), the interaction with the surfactant and induction of the host's alveolar pro-inflammatory response.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Zou Y, Sabljić I, Horbach N, et al (2023)

Thermoprotection by a cell membrane-localized metacaspase in a green alga.

The Plant cell pii:7424679 [Epub ahead of print].

Caspases are restricted to animals, while other organisms, including plants possess metacaspases (MCAs), a more ancient and broader class of structurally related yet biochemically distinct proteases. Our current understanding of plant MCAs is derived from studies in streptophytes, and mostly in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) with nine MCAs with partially redundant activities. In contrast to streptophytes, most chlorophytes contain only one or two uncharacterized MCAs, providing an excellent platform for MCA research. Here we investigated CrMCA-II, the single type-II MCA from the model chlorophyte Chlamydomonas (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii). Surprisingly, unlike other studied MCAs and similar to caspases, CrMCA-II dimerizes both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, activation of CrMCA-II in vivo correlated with its dimerization. Most of CrMCA-II in the cell was present as a proenzyme (zymogen) attached to the plasma membrane (PM). Deletion of CrMCA-II by genome editing compromised thermotolerance, leading to increased cell death under heat stress. Adding back either wild-type or a catalytically dead CrMCA-II restored thermoprotection, suggesting that its proteolytic activity is dispensable for this effect. Finally, we connected the non-proteolytic role of CrMCA-II in thermotolerance to the ability to modulate PM fluidity. Our study reveals an ancient, MCA-dependent thermotolerance mechanism retained by Chlamydomonas and probably lost during the evolution of multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Tissot S, Guimard L, Meliani J, et al (2023)

The impact of food availability on tumorigenesis is evolutionarily conserved.

Scientific reports, 13(1):19825.

The inability to control cell proliferation results in the formation of tumors in many multicellular lineages. Nonetheless, little is known about the extent of conservation of the biological traits and ecological factors that promote or inhibit tumorigenesis across the metazoan tree. Particularly, changes in food availability have been linked to increased cancer incidence in humans, as an outcome of evolutionary mismatch. Here, we apply evolutionary oncology principles to test whether food availability, regardless of the multicellular lineage considered, has an impact on tumorigenesis. We used two phylogenetically unrelated model systems, the cnidarian Hydra oligactis and the fish Danio rerio, to investigate the impact of resource availability on tumor occurrence and progression. Individuals from healthy and tumor-prone lines were placed on four diets that differed in feeding frequency and quantity. For both models, frequent overfeeding favored tumor emergence, while lean diets appeared more protective. In terms of tumor progression, high food availability promoted it, whereas low resources controlled it, but without having a curative effect. We discuss our results in light of current ideas about the possible conservation of basic processes governing cancer in metazoans (including ancestral life history trade-offs at the cell level) and in the framework of evolutionary medicine.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Mukherjee A, Huang Y, Elgeti J, et al (2023)

Membrane potential mediates an ancient mechano-transduction mechanism for multi-cellular homeostasis.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.11.02.565386.

Membrane potential is a property of all living cells [1] . However, its physiological role in nonexcitable cells is poorly understood. Resting membrane potential is typically considered fixed for a given cell type and under tight homeostatic control [2] , akin to body temperature in mammals. Contrary to this widely accepted paradigm, we found that membrane potential is a dynamic property that directly reflects tissue density and mechanical forces acting on the cell. Serving as a quasi-instantaneous, global readout of density and mechanical pressure, membrane potential is integrated with signal transduction networks by affecting the conformation and clustering of proteins in the membrane [3,4] , as well as the transmembrane flux of key signaling ions [5,6] . Indeed, we show that important mechano-sensing pathways, YAP, Jnk and p38 [7-121314] , are directly controlled by membrane potential. We further show that mechano-transduction via membrane potential plays a critical role in the homeostasis of epithelial tissues, setting tissue density by controlling proliferation and cell extrusion of cells. Moreover, a wave of depolarization triggered by mechanical stretch enhances the speed of wound healing. Mechano-transduction via membrane potential likely constitutes an ancient homeostatic mechanism in multi-cellular organisms, potentially serving as a steppingstone for the evolution of excitable tissues and neuronal mechano-sensing. The breakdown of membrane potential mediated homeostatic regulation may contribute to tumor growth.

RevDate: 2023-11-14
CmpDate: 2023-11-14

Fulda FC (2023)

Agential autonomy and biological individuality.

Evolution & development, 25(6):353-370.

What is a biological individual? How are biological individuals individuated? How can we tell how many individuals there are in a given assemblage of biological entities? The individuation and differentiation of biological individuals are central to the scientific understanding of living beings. I propose a novel criterion of biological individuality according to which biological individuals are autonomous agents. First, I articulate an ecological-dynamical account of natural agency according to which, agency is the gross dynamical capacity of a goal-directed system to bias its repertoire to respond to its conditions as affordances. Then, I argue that agents or agential dynamical systems can be agentially dependent on, or agentially autonomous from, other agents and that this agential dependence/autonomy can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, strong or weak. Biological individuals, I propose, are all and only those agential dynamical systems that are strongly agentially autonomous. So, to determine how many individuals there are in a given multiagent aggregate, such as multicellular organism, a colony, symbiosis, or a swarm, we first have to identify how many agential dynamical systems there are, and then what their relations of agential dependence/autonomy are. I argue that this criterion is adequate to the extent that it vindicates the paradigmatic cases, and explains why the paradigmatic cases are paradigmatic, and why the problematic cases are problematic. Finally, I argue for the importance of distinguishing between agential and causal dependence and show the relevance of agential autonomy for understanding the explanatory structure of evolutionary developmental biology.

RevDate: 2023-11-13

Gavrilov-Zimin IA (2023)

Ancient reproductive modes and criteria of multicellularity.

Comparative cytogenetics, 17:195-238.

It is demonstrated that the initial method of fertilization in animals (Metazoa), embryophyte plants (Embryophyta), most groups of multicellular oogamous algae, oogamous and pseudoogamous multicellular fungi was internal fertilization (in the broad meaning) in/on the body of a maternal organism. Accordingly, during the bisexual process, the initial method of formation of a daughter multicellular organism in animals was viviparity, and in embryophyte plants and most groups of oogamous multicellular algae - the germination of a zygote in/on the body of maternal organism. The reproductive criteria of multicellularity are proposed and discussed. In this regard, the multicellularity is considered to subdivide terminologically into three variants: 1) protonemal, the most simple, characteristic of multicellular prokaryotes, most groups of multicellular algae and gametophytes of some higher plants; 2) siphonoseptal, found among multicellular fungi, some groups of green and yellow-green algae; 3) embryogenic, most complicated, known in all animals (Metazoa), all sporophytes and some gametophytes of higher plants (Embryophyta), charophyte green algae Charophyceae s.s., oogamous species of green and brown algae, some genera of red algae. In addition to the well-known division of reproduction methods into sexual and asexual, it is proposed to divide the reproduction of multicellular organisms into monocytic (the emergence of a new organism from one cell sexually or asexually) and polycytic (fragmentation, longitudinal / transverse division or budding based on many cells of the body of the mother organism), since these two ways have different evolutionary and ontogenetic origins.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Liu D, Vargas-García CA, Singh A, et al (2023)

A cell-based model for size control in the multiple fission alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01409-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding how population-size homeostasis emerges from stochastic individual cell behaviors remains a challenge in biology.[1][,][2][,][3][,][4][,][5][,][6][,][7] The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlamydomonas) proliferates using a multiple fission cell cycle, where a prolonged G1 phase is followed by n rounds of alternating division cycles (S/M) to produce 2[n] daughters. A "Commitment" sizer in mid-G1 phase ensures sufficient cell growth before completing the cell cycle. A mitotic sizer couples mother-cell size to division number (n) such that daughter size distributions are uniform regardless of mother size distributions. Although daughter size distributions were highly robust to altered growth conditions, ∼40% of daughter cells fell outside of the 2-fold range expected from a "perfect" multiple fission sizer.[7][,][8] A simple intuitive power law model with stochastic noise failed to reproduce individual division behaviors of tracked single cells. Through additional iterative modeling, we identified an alternative modified threshold (MT) model, where cells need to cross a threshold greater than 2-fold their median starting size to become division-competent (i.e., Committed), after which their behaviors followed a power law model. The Commitment versus mitotic size threshold uncoupling in the MT model was likely a key pre-adaptation in the evolution of volvocine algal multicellularity. A similar experimental approach was used in size mutants mat3/rbr and dp1 that are, respectively, missing repressor or activator subunits of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor complex (RBC). Both mutants showed altered relationships between Commitment and mitotic sizer, suggesting that RBC functions to decouple the two sizers.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Wang X, Xu X, Z Wang (2023)

The Post-Translational Role of UFMylation in Physiology and Disease.

Cells, 12(21): pii:cells12212543.

Ubiquitin-fold modifier 1 (UFM1) is a newly identified ubiquitin-like protein that has been conserved during the evolution of multicellular organisms. In a similar manner to ubiquitin, UFM1 can become covalently linked to the lysine residue of a substrate via a dedicated enzymatic cascade. Although a limited number of substrates have been identified so far, UFM1 modification (UFMylation) has been demonstrated to play a vital role in a variety of cellular activities, including mammalian development, ribosome biogenesis, the DNA damage response, endoplasmic reticulum stress responses, immune responses, and tumorigenesis. In this review, we summarize what is known about the UFM1 enzymatic cascade and its biological functions, and discuss its recently identified substrates. We also explore the pathological role of UFMylation in human disease and the corresponding potential therapeutic targets and strategies.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Johnson JAI, Stein-O'Brien GL, Booth M, et al (2023)

Digitize your Biology! Modeling multicellular systems through interpretable cell behavior.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.09.17.557982.

Cells are fundamental units of life, constantly interacting and evolving as dynamical systems. While recent spatial multi-omics can quantitate individual cells' characteristics and regulatory programs, forecasting their evolution ultimately requires mathematical modeling. We develop a conceptual framework--a cell behavior hypothesis grammar--that uses natural language statements (cell rules) to create mathematical models. This allows us to systematically integrate biological knowledge and multi-omics data to make them computable. We can then perform virtual "thought experiments" that challenge and extend our understanding of multicellular systems, and ultimately generate new testable hypotheses. In this paper, we motivate and describe the grammar, provide a reference implementation, and demonstrate its potential through a series of examples in tumor biology and immunotherapy. Altogether, this approach provides a bridge between biological, clinical, and systems biology researchers for mathematical modeling of biological systems at scale, allowing the community to extrapolate from single-cell characterization to emergent multicellular behavior.

RevDate: 2023-11-07
CmpDate: 2023-11-07

Lamża Ł (2023)

Diversity of 'simple' multicellular eukaryotes: 45 independent cases and six types of multicellularity.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 98(6):2188-2209.

Multicellularity evolved multiple times in the history of life, with most reviewers agreeing that it appeared at least 20 times in eukaryotes. However, a specific list of multicellular eukaryotes with clear criteria for inclusion has not yet been published. Herein, an updated critical review of eukaryotic multicellularity is presented, based on current understanding of eukaryotic phylogeny and new discoveries in microbiology, phycology and mycology. As a result, 45 independent multicellular lineages are identified that fall into six distinct types. Functional criteria, as distinct from a purely topological definition of a cell, are introduced to bring uniformity and clarity to the existing definitions of terms such as colony, multicellularity, thallus or plasmodium. The category of clonal multicellularity is expanded to include: (i) septated multinucleated thalli found in Pseudofungi and early-branching Fungi such as Chytridiomycota and Blastocladiomycota; and (ii) multicellular reproductive structures formed by plasmotomy in intracellular parasites such as Phytomyxea. Furthermore, (iii) endogeneous budding, as found in Paramyxida, is described as a form of multicellularity. The best-known case of clonal multicellularity, i.e. (iv) non-separation of cells after cell division, as known from Metazoa and Ochrophyta, is also discussed. The category of aggregative multicellularity is expanded to include not only (v) pseudoplasmodial forms, such a sorocarp-forming Acrasida, but also (vi) meroplasmodial organisms, such as members of Variosea or Filoreta. A common set of topological, geometric, genetic and life-cycle criteria are presented that form a coherent, philosophically sound framework for discussing multicellularity. A possibility of a seventh type of multicellularity is discussed, that of multi-species superorganisms formed by protists with obligatory bacterial symbionts, such as some members of Oxymonada or Parabasalia. Its inclusion is dependent on the philosophical stance taken towards the concepts of individuality and organism in biology. Taxa that merit special attention are identified, such as colonial Centrohelea, and a new speculative form of multicellularity, possibly present in some reticulopodial amoebae, is briefly described. Because of insufficient phylogenetic and morphological data, not all lineages could be unequivocally identified, and the true total number of all multicellular eukaryotic lineages is therefore higher, likely close to a hundred.

RevDate: 2023-11-06

Dupouy G, Cashell R, Brychkova G, et al (2023)

PICKLE RELATED 2 is a Neofunctionalized Gene Duplicate Under Positive Selection With Antagonistic Effects to the Ancestral PICKLE Gene on the Seed Transcriptome.

Genome biology and evolution, 15(11):.

The evolution and diversification of proteins capable of remodeling domains has been critical for transcriptional reprogramming during cell fate determination in multicellular eukaryotes. Chromatin remodeling proteins of the CHD3 family have been shown to have important and antagonistic impacts on seed development in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, yet the basis of this functional divergence remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that genes encoding the CHD3 proteins PICKLE (PKL) and PICKLE-RELATED 2 (PKR2) originated from a duplication event during the diversification of crown Brassicaceae, and that these homologs have undergone distinct evolutionary trajectories since this duplication, with PKR2 fast evolving under positive selection, while PKL is subject to purifying selection. We find that the rapid evolution of PKR2 under positive selection reduces the encoded protein's intrinsic disorder, possibly suggesting a tertiary structure configuration which differs from that of PKL. Our whole genome transcriptome analysis in seeds of pkr2 and pkl mutants reveals that they act antagonistically on the expression of specific sets of genes, providing a basis for their differing roles in seed development. Our results provide insights into how gene duplication and neofunctionalization can lead to differing and antagonistic selective pressures on transcriptomes during plant reproduction, as well as on the evolutionary diversification of the CHD3 family within seed plants.

RevDate: 2023-11-05

Fung L, Konkol A, Ishikawa T, et al (2023)

Swimming, Feeding, and Inversion of Multicellular Choanoflagellate Sheets.

Physical review letters, 131(16):168401.

The recent discovery of the striking sheetlike multicellular choanoflagellate species Choanoeca flexa that dynamically interconverts between two hemispherical forms of opposite orientation raises fundamental questions in cell and evolutionary biology, as choanoflagellates are the closest living relatives of animals. It similarly motivates questions in fluid and solid mechanics concerning the differential swimming speeds in the two states and the mechanism of curvature inversion triggered by changes in the geometry of microvilli emanating from each cell. Here we develop fluid dynamical and mechanical models to address these observations and show that they capture the main features of the swimming, feeding, and inversion of C. flexa colonies, which can be viewed as active, shape-shifting polymerized membranes.

RevDate: 2023-11-03

Dai J, Li XG, Zhang WJ, et al (2023)

Tepidibacter hydrothermalis sp. nov., a novel anaerobic bacterium isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(11):.

A novel anaerobic heterotrophic bacterium, designated strain SWIR-1[T], was isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent field sample collected from the Southwest Indian Ridge at a depth of 2700 m. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain SWIR-1[T] belongs to the genus Tepidibacter, and the most closely related species are Tepidibacter mesophilus B1[T] (99.1 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), Tepidibacter formicigenes DV1184[T] (94.6 %) and Tepidibacter thalassicus SC562[T] (93.9 %). Strain SWIR-1[T] shares 77.3-87.2 % average nucleotide identity and 21.5-35.7 % digital DNA-DNA hybridization values with the three type strains of Tepidibacter species. Cells of strain SWIR-1[T] were Gram-stain-positive, motile, short straight rods. Endospores were observed in stationary-phase cells when grown on Thermococcales rich medium. Strain SWIR-1[T] grew at 15-45 °C (optimum, 30°C), at pH 5.5-8.0 (optimum, pH 7.0) and with 1.0-6.0 % (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 2.0 %). Substrates utilized by strain SWIR-1[T] included complex proteinaceous, chitin, starch, lactose, maltose, fructose, galactose, glucose, rhamnose, arabinose, ribose, alanine, glycine and glycerol. The major fermentation products from glucose were acetate, lactate, H2 and CO2. Elemental sulphur, sulphate, thiosulphate, sulphite, fumarate, nitrate, nitrite and FeCl3 are not used as terminal electron acceptors. The main cellular fatty acids consisted of iso-C15 : 0 (28.4 %), C15 : 1 iso F (15.4 %) and C16 : 0 (9.8 %). The major polar lipids were phospholipids and glycolipids. No respiratory quinones were detected. Genomic comparison revealed a distinctive blended gene cluster comprising hyb-tat-hyp genes, which play a crucial role in the synthesis, maturation, activation and export of NiFe-hydrogenase. Based on the phylogenetic analysis, genomic, physiologic and chemotaxonomic characteristics, strain SWIR-1[T] is considered to represent a novel species within the genus Tepidibacter, for which the name Tepidibacter hydrothermalis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is strain SWIR-1[T] (=DSM 113848[T]=MCCC 1K07078[T]).

RevDate: 2023-11-02

Ekdahl LI, Salcedo JA, Dungan MM, et al (2023)

Selection on plastic adherence leads to hyper-multicellular strains and incidental virulence in the budding yeast.

eLife, 12: pii:81056 [Epub ahead of print].

Many disease-causing microbes are not obligate pathogens; rather, they are environmental microbes taking advantage of an ecological opportunity. The existence of microbes whose life cycle does not require a host and are not normally pathogenic, yet are well-suited to host exploitation, is an evolutionary puzzle. One hypothesis posits that selection in the environment may favor traits that incidentally lead to pathogenicity and virulence, or serve as pre-adaptations for survival in a host. An example of such a trait is surface adherence. To experimentally test the idea of 'accidental virulence', replicate populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were evolved to attach to a plastic bead for hundreds of generations. Along with plastic adherence, two multicellular phenotypes- biofilm formation and flor formation- increased; another phenotype, pseudohyphal growth, responded to the nutrient limitation. Thus, experimental selection led to the evolution of highly-adherent, hyper-multicellular strains. Wax moth larvae injected with evolved hyper-multicellular strains were significantly more likely to die than those injected with evolved non-multicellular strains. Hence, selection on plastic adherence incidentally led to the evolution of enhanced multicellularity and increased virulence. Our results support the idea that selection for a trait beneficial in the open environment can inadvertently generate opportunistic, 'accidental' pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-10-31

Page-McCaw PS, Pokidysheva EN, Darris CE, et al (2023)

Collagen IV of basement membranes: I. Origin and diversification of COL4 genes enabling animal evolution.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.10.18.563013.

Collagen IV is a primordial component of basement membranes, a specialized form of extracellular matrix that enabled multi-cellular epithelial tissues. In mammals, collagen IV assembles from a family of six α-chains (α1 to α6), encoded by six genes (COL4A1 to COL4A6), into three distinct scaffolds: the α121, the α345 and a mixed scaffold containing both α121 and α565. The six mammalian COL4A genes occur in pairs that occur in a head-to-head arrangement on three distinct chromosomes. In Alport syndrome, variants in the COL4A3, 4 or 5 genes cause either loss or defective assembly of the collagen IV [α345] scaffold which results in a dysfunctional glomerular basement membrane, proteinuria and progression to renal failure in millions of people worldwide. Here, we determine the evolutionary emergence and diversification of the COL4A genes using comparative genomics and biochemical analyses. Using syntenic relationships to genes closely linked to the COL4A genes, we determine that the COL4A3 and COL4A4 gene pair appeared in cyclostomes (hagfish and lampreys) while the COL4A5 and COL4A6 gene pair emerged in gnathostomes, jawed vertebrates. The more basal chordate species, lancelets and tunicates, do not have discrete kidneys and have a single COL4A gene pair, though often with single isolated COL4 genes similar to those found in C elegans . Remarkably, while the six COL4A genes are conserved in vertebrates, amphibians have lost the COL4A3 and COL4A4 genes. Our findings of the evolutionary emergence of these genes, together with the amphibian double-knockout, opens an experimental window to gain insights into functionality of the Col IV [α345] scaffold.

RevDate: 2023-10-31

Balasubramanian RN, Gao M, J Umen (2023)

Identification of cell-type specific alternative transcripts in the multicellular alga Volvox carteri.

BMC genomics, 24(1):654.

BACKGROUND: Cell type specialization is a hallmark of complex multicellular organisms and is usually established through implementation of cell-type-specific gene expression programs. The multicellular green alga Volvox carteri has just two cell types, germ and soma, that have previously been shown to have very different transcriptome compositions which match their specialized roles. Here we interrogated another potential mechanism for differentiation in V. carteri, cell type specific alternative transcript isoforms (CTSAI).

METHODS: We used pre-existing predictions of alternative transcripts and de novo transcript assembly with HISAT2 and Ballgown software to compile a list of loci with two or more transcript isoforms, identified a small subset that were candidates for CTSAI, and manually curated this subset of genes to remove false positives. We experimentally verified three candidates using semi-quantitative RT-PCR to assess relative isoform abundance in each cell type.

RESULTS: Of the 1978 loci with two or more predicted transcript isoforms 67 of these also showed cell type isoform expression biases. After curation 15 strong candidates for CTSAI were identified, three of which were experimentally verified, and their predicted gene product functions were evaluated in light of potential cell type specific roles. A comparison of genes with predicted alternative splicing from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular relative of V. carteri, identified little overlap between ortholog pairs with alternative splicing in both species. Finally, we interrogated cell type expression patterns of 126 V. carteri predicted RNA binding protein (RBP) encoding genes and found 40 that showed either somatic or germ cell expression bias. These RBPs are potential mediators of CTSAI in V. carteri and suggest possible pre-adaptation for cell type specific RNA processing and a potential path for generating CTSAI in the early ancestors of metazoans and plants.

CONCLUSIONS: We predicted numerous instances of alternative transcript isoforms in Volvox, only a small subset of which showed cell type specific isoform expression bias. However, the validated examples of CTSAI supported existing hypotheses about cell type specialization in V. carteri, and also suggested new hypotheses about mechanisms of functional specialization for their gene products. Our data imply that CTSAI operates as a minor but important component of V. carteri cellular differentiation and could be used as a model for how alternative isoforms emerge and co-evolve with cell type specialization.

RevDate: 2023-10-30
CmpDate: 2023-10-30

Wang K, Li W, Cui H, et al (2023)

Phylogenetic Analysis and Characterization of Diguanylate Cyclase and Phosphodiesterase in Planktonic Filamentous Cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(20):.

Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is a second messenger of intracellular communication in bacterial species, which widely modulates diverse cellular processes. However, little is known about the c-di-GMP network in filamentous multicellular cyanobacteria. In this study, we preliminarily investigated the c-di-GMP turnover proteins in Arthrospira based on published protein data. Bioinformatics results indicate the presence of at least 149 potential turnover proteins in five Arthrospira subspecies. Some proteins are highly conserved in all tested Arthrospira, whereas others are specifically found only in certain subspecies. To further validate the protein catalytic activity, we constructed a riboswitch-based c-di-GMP expression assay system in Escherichia coli and confirmed that a GGDEF domain protein, Adc11, exhibits potential diguanylate cyclase activity. Moreover, we also evaluated a protein with a conserved HD-GYP domain, Ahd1, the expression of which significantly improved the swimming ability of E. coli. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay also showed that overexpression of Ahd1 reduced the intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP, which is presumed to exhibit phosphodiesterase activity. Notably, meta-analyses of transcriptomes suggest that Adc11 and Ahd1 are invariable. Overall, this work confirms the possible existence of a functional c-di-GMP network in Arthrospira, which will provide support for the revelation of the biological function of the c-di-GMP system in Arthrospira.

RevDate: 2023-10-28

Ashouri A, Zhang C, F Gaiti (2023)

Decoding Cancer Evolution: Integrating Genetic and Non-Genetic Insights.

Genes, 14(10): pii:genes14101856.

The development of cancer begins with cells transitioning from their multicellular nature to a state akin to unicellular organisms. This shift leads to a breakdown in the crucial regulators inherent to multicellularity, resulting in the emergence of diverse cancer cell subpopulations that have enhanced adaptability. The presence of different cell subpopulations within a tumour, known as intratumoural heterogeneity (ITH), poses challenges for cancer treatment. In this review, we delve into the dynamics of the shift from multicellularity to unicellularity during cancer onset and progression. We highlight the role of genetic and non-genetic factors, as well as tumour microenvironment, in promoting ITH and cancer evolution. Additionally, we shed light on the latest advancements in omics technologies that allow for in-depth analysis of tumours at the single-cell level and their spatial organization within the tissue. Obtaining such detailed information is crucial for deepening our understanding of the diverse evolutionary paths of cancer, allowing for the development of effective therapies targeting the key drivers of cancer evolution.

RevDate: 2023-10-28

Wang X, Zhang J, Li Q, et al (2023)

In Situ Observation of Cellular Structure Changes in and Chain Segregations of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 on TiO2 Films under a Photocatalytic Device.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(20): pii:molecules28207200.

Cyanobacteria outbreaks are serious water pollution events, causing water crises around the world. Photocatalytic disinfection, as an effective approach, has been widely used to inhibit blue algae growth. In this study, a tiny reaction room containing a TiO2 film was designed to fulfill in situ optical observation of the destruction process of a one-dimensional multicellular microorganism, Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, which is also a typical bacterial strain causing water blooms. It was found that the fragment number increased exponentially with the activation time. The fracture mechanics of the algae chains were hypothesized to be the combining functions of increased local tensile stress originated from the cell contracting as well as the oxidative attacks coming from reactive oxygen species (ROSs). It was assumed that the oxidative species were the root cause of cellular structure changes in and chain fractures of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 in the photocatalytic inactivation activity.

RevDate: 2023-10-27

Pentz JT, MacGillivray K, DuBose JG, et al (2023)

Evolutionary consequences of nascent multicellular life cycles.

eLife, 12: pii:84336.

A key step in the evolutionary transition to multicellularity is the origin of multicellular groups as biological individuals capable of adaptation. Comparative work, supported by theory, suggests clonal development should facilitate this transition, although this hypothesis has never been tested in a single model system. We evolved 20 replicate populations of otherwise isogenic clonally reproducing 'snowflake' yeast (Δace2/∆ace2) and aggregative 'floc' yeast (GAL1p::FLO1 /GAL1p::FLO1) with daily selection for rapid growth in liquid media, which favors faster cell division, followed by selection for rapid sedimentation, which favors larger multicellular groups. While both genotypes adapted to this regime, growing faster and having higher survival during the group-selection phase, there was a stark difference in evolutionary dynamics. Aggregative floc yeast obtained nearly all their increased fitness from faster growth, not improved group survival; indicating that selection acted primarily at the level of cells. In contrast, clonal snowflake yeast mainly benefited from higher group-dependent fitness, indicating a shift in the level of Darwinian individuality from cells to groups. Through genome sequencing and mathematical modeling, we show that the genetic bottlenecks in a clonal life cycle also drive much higher rates of genetic drift-a result with complex implications for this evolutionary transition. Our results highlight the central role that early multicellular life cycles play in the process of multicellular adaptation.

RevDate: 2023-10-27

Choi J, Lee EJ, Jang WB, et al (2023)

Development of Biocompatible 3D-Printed Artificial Blood Vessels through Multidimensional Approaches.

Journal of functional biomaterials, 14(10): pii:jfb14100497.

Within the human body, the intricate network of blood vessels plays a pivotal role in transporting nutrients and oxygen and maintaining homeostasis. Bioprinting is an innovative technology with the potential to revolutionize this field by constructing complex multicellular structures. This technique offers the advantage of depositing individual cells, growth factors, and biochemical signals, thereby facilitating the growth of functional blood vessels. Despite the challenges in fabricating vascularized constructs, bioprinting has emerged as an advance in organ engineering. The continuous evolution of bioprinting technology and biomaterial knowledge provides an avenue to overcome the hurdles associated with vascularized tissue fabrication. This article provides an overview of the biofabrication process used to create vascular and vascularized constructs. It delves into the various techniques used in vascular engineering, including extrusion-, droplet-, and laser-based bioprinting methods. Integrating these techniques offers the prospect of crafting artificial blood vessels with remarkable precision and functionality. Therefore, the potential impact of bioprinting in vascular engineering is significant. With technological advances, it holds promise in revolutionizing organ transplantation, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. By mimicking the natural complexity of blood vessels, bioprinting brings us one step closer to engineering organs with functional vasculature, ushering in a new era of medical advancement.

RevDate: 2023-10-26

Morreale DP, St Geme Iii JW, PJ Planet (2023)

Phylogenomic analysis of the understudied Neisseriaceae species reveals a poly- and paraphyletic Kingella genus.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Taxonomic classification and phylogenetic analysis of the Neisseriaceae family have focused on the pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Less is known about the relationships of commensal Neisseria species and other Neisseriaceae genera, raising the possibility that the phylogeny of this family may not agree with current taxonomy. In this study, we used available nucleotide sequences and a phylogenetic approach to assess the Kingella genus and its relatives. We found that this genus is both paraphyletic and polyphyletic. Kingella potus is more closely related to Neisseria bacilliformis than to other Kingella species. The Alysiella and Simonsiella genera form a distinct clade within the Kingella genus that is closely related to the pathogens K. kingae and K. negevensis. We find a phylogenetic relationship between Conchiformibius, Alysiella, Simonsiella, and Kingella, which we name the CASK clade. Finally, we define the gene sets that differentiate each genus of the CASK clade from one another and from the rest of the Neisseriaceae family. IMPORTANCE Understanding the evolutionary relationships between the species in the Neisseriaceae family has been a persistent challenge in bacterial systematics due to high recombination rates in these species. Previous studies of this family have focused on Neisseria meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae. However, previously understudied Neisseriaceae species are gaining new attention, with Kingella kingae now recognized as a common human pathogen and with Alysiella and Simonsiella being unique in the bacterial world as multicellular organisms. A better understanding of the genomic evolution of the Neisseriaceae can lead to the identification of specific genes and traits that underlie the remarkable diversity of this family.

RevDate: 2023-10-24

Paterlini A (2023)

A year at the forefront of plasmodesmal biology.

Biology open, 12(10):.

Cell-cell communication is a central feature of multicellular organisms, enabling division of labour and coordinated responses. Plasmodesmata are membrane-lined pores that provide regulated cytoplasmic continuity between plant cells, facilitating signalling and transport across neighboring cells. Plant development and survival profoundly depend on the existence and functioning of these structures, bringing them to the spotlight for both fundamental and applied research. Despite the rich conceptual and translational rewards in sight, however, the study of plasmodesmata poses significant challenges. This Review will mostly focus on research published between May 2022 and May 2023 and intends to provide a short overview of recent discoveries, innovations, community resources and hypotheses.

RevDate: 2023-10-22
CmpDate: 2023-10-22

Arenzon JJ, L Peliti (2023)

Emergent cooperative behavior in transient compartments.

Physical review. E, 108(3-1):034409.

We introduce a minimal model of multilevel selection on structured populations, considering the interplay between game theory and population dynamics. Through a bottleneck process, finite groups are formed with cooperators and defectors sampled from an infinite pool. After the fragmentation, these transient compartments grow until the maximal number of individuals per compartment is attained. Eventually, all compartments are merged and well mixed, and the whole process is repeated. We show that cooperators, even if interacting only through mean-field intragroup interactions that favor defectors, may perform well because of the intergroup competition and the size diversity among the compartments. These cycles of isolation and coalescence may therefore be important in maintaining diversity among different species or strategies and may help to understand the underlying mechanisms of the scaffolding processes in the transition to multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-10-21

Liu Y, Liu Y, Chen S, et al (2023)

Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen at different doses, courses and time causes testicular dysplasia in offspring mice and its mechanism.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(23)02766-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Epidemiological investigation suggested that the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy may cause offspring testicular dysplasia, but no systematic study has been conducted. In this study, Kunming mice were given acetaminophen at different doses (100/200/400 mg/kg.d), courses (single/multiple), time (second/third trimester) during pregnancy. Fetal blood and testes were collected on gestaional day 18 for detection. The results indicated abnormal testicular development in the PAcE (prenatal acetaminophen exposure) groups. The maximum diameter/cross-sectional area decreased, the interstitial space widened, and decreased proliferation/increased apoptosis were observed, especially in the high-dose, multi-course and second-trimester groups. Meanwhile, the serum testosterone level decreased in PAcE groups, and the steroid synthesis function in Leydig cells, Sertoli and spermatogenic cell function were inhibited, it was more significant in high-dose, multi-course and second-trimester groups. Furthermore, Wnt signal pathway was activated but Notch signal pathway was inhibited in the PAcE groups. Finally, in vitro experiment, acetaminophen could inhibit spermatogonial cell proliferation, enhance apoptosis, and change Wnt/Notch signal pathway. In conclusion, this study confirmed that PAcE can change fetal testicular development in a dose, course and time-dependent manner, and found that multicellular function impaired. This study provides theoretical and experimental basis for systematically elucidating the developmental toxicity of acetaminophen in testis.

RevDate: 2023-10-20

Mishina T, Chiu MC, Hashiguchi Y, et al (2023)

Massive horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of nematomorph-driven behavioral manipulation of mantids.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01301-5 [Epub ahead of print].

To complete their life cycle, a wide range of parasites must manipulate the behavior of their hosts.[1] This manipulation is a well-known example of the "extended phenotype,[2]" where genes in one organism have phenotypic effects on another organism. Recent studies have explored the parasite genes responsible for such manipulation of host behavior, including the potential molecular mechanisms.[3][,][4] However, little is known about how parasites have acquired the genes involved in manipulating phylogenetically distinct hosts.[4] In a fascinating example of the extended phenotype, nematomorph parasites have evolved the ability to induce their terrestrial insect hosts to enter bodies of water, where the parasite then reproduces. Here, we comprehensively analyzed nematomorphs and their mantid hosts, focusing on the transcriptomic changes associated with host manipulations and sequence similarity between host and parasite genes to test molecular mimicry. The nematomorph's transcriptome changed during host manipulation, whereas no distinct changes were found in mantids. We then discovered numerous possible host-derived genes in nematomorphs, and these genes were frequently up-regulated during host manipulation. Our findings suggest a possible general role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the molecular mechanisms of host manipulation, as well as in the genome evolution of manipulative parasites. The evidence of HGT between multicellular eukaryotes remains scarce but is increasing and, therefore, elucidating its mechanisms will advance our understanding of the enduring influence of HGT on the evolution of the web of life.

RevDate: 2023-10-20

Yin S, L Mahadevan (2023)

Contractility-Induced Phase Separation in Active Solids.

Physical review letters, 131(14):148401.

Experiments over many decades are suggestive that the combination of cellular contractility and active phase separation in cell-matrix composites can enable spatiotemporal patterning in multicellular tissues across scales. To characterize these phenomena, we provide a general theory that incorporates active cellular contractility into the classical Cahn-Hilliard-Larché model for phase separation in passive viscoelastic solids. Within this framework, we show how a homogeneous cell-matrix mixture can be destabilized by activity via either a pitchfork or Hopf bifurcation, resulting in stable phase separation and/or traveling waves. Numerical simulations of the full equations allow us to track the evolution of the resulting self-organized patterns in periodic and mechanically constrained domains, and in different geometries. Altogether, our study underscores the importance of integrating both cellular activity and mechanical phase separation in understanding patterning in soft, active biosolids in both in vivo and in vitro settings.

RevDate: 2023-10-19

Kapsetaki SE, Compton Z, Dolan J, et al (2023)

Life history and cancer in birds: clutch size predicts cancer.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Cancer is a disease that affects nearly all multicellular life, including birds. However, little is known about what factors explain the variance in cancer prevalence among species. Litter size is positively correlated with cancer prevalence in managed species of mammals, and larger body size, but not incubation or nestling period, is linked to tumor prevalence in wild birds. Also, birds that produce more elaborate sexual traits are expected to have fewer resources for cancer defenses and thus higher cancer prevalence. In this study, we examined whether cancer prevalence is associated with a wide variety of life history traits (clutch size, incubation length, body mass, lifespan, and the extent of sexual dimorphism) across 108 species of managed birds in 25 different zoological facilities, sanctuaries, and veterinary clinics. We found that clutch size was positively correlated with cancer and neoplasia (both benign and malignant) prevalence, even after controlling for body mass. Cancer prevalence was not associated with incubation length, body mass, lifespan, or sexual dimorphism. The positive correlations of clutch size with cancer prevalence and neoplasia prevalence suggest that there may be life-history trade-offs between reproductive investment and somatic maintenance (in the form of cancer prevention mechanisms) in managed birds.

RevDate: 2023-10-18

Ma Q, Li Q, Zheng X, et al (2023)

CellCommuNet: an atlas of cell-cell communication networks from single-cell RNA sequencing of human and mouse tissues in normal and disease states.

Nucleic acids research pii:7321072 [Epub ahead of print].

Cell-cell communication, as a basic feature of multicellular organisms, is crucial for maintaining the biological functions and microenvironmental homeostasis of cells, organs, and whole organisms. Alterations in cell-cell communication contribute to many diseases, including cancers. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) provides a powerful method for studying cell-cell communication by enabling the analysis of ligand-receptor interactions. Here, we introduce CellCommuNet (, a comprehensive data resource for exploring cell-cell communication networks in scRNA-seq data from human and mouse tissues in normal and disease states. CellCommuNet currently includes 376 single datasets from multiple sources, and 118 comparison datasets between disease and normal samples originating from the same study. CellCommuNet provides information on the strength of communication between cells and related signalling pathways and facilitates the exploration of differences in cell-cell communication between healthy and disease states. Users can also search for specific signalling pathways, ligand-receptor pairs, and cell types of interest. CellCommuNet provides interactive graphics illustrating cell-cell communication in different states, enabling differential analysis of communication strength between disease and control samples. This comprehensive database aims to be a valuable resource for biologists studying cell-cell communication networks.

RevDate: 2023-10-17

Horinouchi Y, T Togashi (2023)

Unicellular and multicellular developmental variations in algal zygotes produce sporophytes.

Biology letters, 19(10):20230313.

The emergence of sporophytes, that is, diploid multicellular bodies in plants, facilitated plant diversification and the evolution of complexity. Although sporophytes may have evolved in an ancestral alga exhibiting a haplontic life cycle with a unicellular diploid and multicellular haploid (gametophyte) phase, the mechanism by which this novelty originated remains largely unknown. Ulotrichalean marine green algae (Ulvophyceae) are one of the few extant groups with haplontic-like life cycles. In this study, we show that zygotes of the ulotrichalean alga Monostroma angicava, which usually develop into unicellular cysts, exhibit a developmental variation producing multicellular reproductive sporophytes. Multicellular development likely occurred stochastically in individual zygotes, but its ratio responded plastically to growth conditions. Sporophytes showed identical morphological development to gametophytes, which should reflect the expression of the same genetic programme directing multicellular development. Considering that sporophytes were evolutionarily derived in Ulotrichales, this implies that sporophytes emerged by co-opting the gametophyte developmental programme to the diploid phase. This study suggests a possible mechanism of sporophyte formation in haplontic life cycles, contributing to the understanding of the evolutionary transition from unicellular to multicellular diploid body plans in green plants.

RevDate: 2023-10-17

Baluška F, Miller WB, AS Reber (2023)

Sentient cells as basic units of tissues, organs and organismal physiology.

The Journal of physiology [Epub ahead of print].

Cells evolved some 4 billion years ago, and since then the integrity of the structural and functional continuity of cellular life has been maintained via highly conserved and ancient processes of cell reproduction and division. The plasma membrane as well as all the cytoplasmic structures are reproduced and inherited uninterruptedly by each of the two daughter cells resulting from every cell division. Although our understanding of the evolutionary emergence of the very first cells is obscured by the extremely long timeline since that revolutionary event, the generally accepted position is that the de novo formation of cells is not possible; all present cells are products of other prior cells. This essential biological principle was first discovered by Robert Remak and then effectively coined as Omnis Cellula e Cellula (every cell of the cell) by Rudolf Virchow: all currently living cells have direct structural and functional connections to the very first cells. Based on our previous theoretical analysis, all cells are endowed with individual sentient cognition that guides their individual agency, behaviour and evolution. There is a vital consequence of this new sentient and cognitive view of cells: when cells assemble as functional tissue ecologies and organs within multicellular organisms, including plants, animals and humans, these cellular aggregates display derivative versions of aggregate tissue- and organ-specific sentience and consciousness. This innovative view of the evolution and physiology of all currently living organisms supports a singular principle: all organismal physiology is based on cellular physiology that extends from unicellular roots.

RevDate: 2023-10-16

Kapsetaki SE, Cisneros LH, CC Maley (2023)

Cell-in-cell phenomena across the tree of life.

Research square

Cells in obligately multicellular organisms by definition have aligned fitness interests, minimum conflict, and cannot reproduce independently. However, some cells eat other cells within the same body, sometimes called cell cannibalism. Such cell-in-cell events have not been thoroughly discussed in the framework of major transitions to multicellularity. We performed a systematic review of 508 articles to search for cell-in-cell events across the tree of life, the age of cell-in-cell-related genes, and whether cell-in-cell events are associated with normal multicellular development or cancer. Out of the 38 cell-in-cell-related genes found in the literature, 14 genes were over 2.2 billion years old, i.e., older than the common ancestor of some facultatively multicellular taxa. Therefore, we propose that cell-in-cell events originated before the origins of obligate multicellularity. Cell-in-cell events are found almost everywhere: across some unicellular and many multicellular organisms, mostly in malignant rather than benign tissue, and in non-neoplastic cells. Thus, our results show that cell-in-cell events exist in obligate multicellular organisms, but are not a defining feature of them. The idea of eradicating cell-in-cell events from obligate multicellular organisms as a way of treating cancer, without considering that cell-in-cell events are also part of normal development, should be abandoned.

RevDate: 2023-10-14

Borodulina OR, Ustyantsev IG, DA Kramerov (2023)

SINEs as Potential Expression Cassettes: Impact of Deletions and Insertions on Polyadenylation and Lifetime of B2 and Ves SINE Transcripts Generated by RNA Polymerase III.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(19): pii:ijms241914600.

Short Interspersed Elements (SINEs) are common in the genomes of most multicellular organisms. They are transcribed by RNA polymerase III from an internal promoter comprising boxes A and B. As transcripts of certain SINEs from mammalian genomes can be polyadenylated, such transcripts should contain the AATAAA sequence as well as those called β- and τ-signals. One of the goals of this work was to evaluate how autonomous and independent other SINE parts are β- and τ-signals. Extended regions outside of β- and τ-signals were deleted from SINEs B2 and Ves and the derived constructs were used to transfect HeLa cells in order to evaluate the relative levels of their transcripts as well as their polyadenylation efficiency. If the deleted regions affected boxes A and B, the 5'-flanking region of the U6 RNA gene with the external promoter was inserted upstream. Such substitution of the internal promoter in B2 completely restored its transcription. Almost all tested deletions/substitutions did not reduce the polyadenylation capacity of the transcripts, indicating a weak dependence of the function of β- and τ-signals on the neighboring sequences. A similar analysis of B2 and Ves constructs containing a 55-bp foreign sequence inserted between β- and τ-signals showed an equal polyadenylation efficiency of their transcripts compared to those of constructs without the insertion. The acquired poly(A)-tails significantly increased the lifetime and thus the cellular level of such transcripts. The data obtained highlight the potential of B2 and Ves SINEs as cassettes for the expression of relatively short sequences for various applications.

RevDate: 2023-10-14

Hellman L (2023)

Phenotypic and Functional Heterogeneity of Monocytes and Macrophages.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(19): pii:ijms241914525.

Macrophages are likely to be the first immune cells to have appeared during the evolution of multicellular organisms [...].

RevDate: 2023-10-13

Walker LM, Sherpa RN, Ivaturi S, et al (2023)

Parallel evolution of the G protein-coupled receptor GrlG and the loss of fruiting body formation in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum evolved under low relatedness.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:7313569 [Epub ahead of print].

Aggregative multicellularity relies on cooperation among formerly independent cells to form a multicellular body. Previous work with Dictyostelium discoideum showed that experimental evolution under low relatedness profoundly decreased cooperation, as indicated by the loss of fruiting body formation in many clones and an increase of cheaters that contribute proportionally more to spores than to the dead stalk. Using whole-genome sequencing and variant analysis of these lines we identified 38 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 29 genes. Each gene had one variant except for grlG (encoding a G protein-coupled receptor), which had ten unique SNPs and five structural variants. Variants in the 5' half of grlG-the region encoding the signal peptide and the extracellular binding domain-were significantly associated with the loss of fruiting body formation; the association was not significant in the 3' half of the gene. These results suggest that the loss of grlG was adaptive under low relatedness and that at least the 5' half of the gene is important for cooperation and multicellular development. This is surprising given some previous evidence that grlG encodes a folate receptor involved in predation, which occurs only during the single-celled stage. However, non-fruiting mutants showed little increase in a parallel evolution experiment where the multicellular stage was prevented from happening. This shows that non-fruiting mutants are not generally selected by any predation advantage, but rather by something - likely cheating - during the multicellular stage.

RevDate: 2023-10-11

Bourke AFG (2023)

Conflict and conflict resolution in the major transitions.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2008):20231420.

Conflict and conflict resolution have been argued to be fundamental to the major transitions in evolution. These were key events in life's history in which previously independently living individuals cooperatively formed a higher-level individual, such as a multicellular organism or eusocial colony. Conflict has its central role because, to proceed stably, the evolution of individuality in each major transition required within-individual conflict to be held in check. This review revisits the role of conflict and conflict resolution in the major transitions, addressing recent work arguing for a minor role. Inclusive fitness logic suggests that differences between the kin structures of clones and sexual families support the absence of conflict at the origin of multicellularity but, by contrast, suggest that key conflicts existed at the origin of eusociality. A principal example is conflict over replacing the founding queen (queen replacement). Following the origin of each transition, conflict remained important, because within-individual conflict potentially disrupts the attainment of maximal individuality (organismality) in the system. The conclusion is that conflict remains central to understanding the major transitions, essentially because conflict arises from differences in inclusive fitness optima while conflict resolution can help the system attain a high degree of coincidence of inclusive fitness interests.

RevDate: 2023-10-08

Germano DPJ, Zanca A, Johnston ST, et al (2023)

Free and Interfacial Boundaries in Individual-Based Models of Multicellular Biological systems.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 85(11):111 pii:10.1007/s11538-023-01214-8.

Coordination of cell behaviour is key to a myriad of biological processes including tissue morphogenesis, wound healing, and tumour growth. As such, individual-based computational models, which explicitly describe inter-cellular interactions, are commonly used to model collective cell dynamics. However, when using individual-based models, it is unclear how descriptions of cell boundaries affect overall population dynamics. In order to investigate this we define three cell boundary descriptions of varying complexities for each of three widely used off-lattice individual-based models: overlapping spheres, Voronoi tessellation, and vertex models. We apply our models to multiple biological scenarios to investigate how cell boundary description can influence tissue-scale behaviour. We find that the Voronoi tessellation model is most sensitive to changes in the cell boundary description with basic models being inappropriate in many cases. The timescale of tissue evolution when using an overlapping spheres model is coupled to the boundary description. The vertex model is demonstrated to be the most stable to changes in boundary description, though still exhibits timescale sensitivity. When using individual-based computational models one should carefully consider how cell boundaries are defined. To inform future work, we provide an exploration of common individual-based models and cell boundary descriptions in frequently studied biological scenarios and discuss their benefits and disadvantages.

RevDate: 2023-10-07

Sarabia-Sánchez MA, M Robles-Flores (2023)

WNT Signaling in Stem Cells: A Look into the Non-Canonical Pathway.

Stem cell reviews and reports [Epub ahead of print].

Tissue homeostasis is crucial for multicellular organisms, wherein the loss of cells is compensated by generating new cells with the capacity for proliferation and differentiation. At the origin of these populations are the stem cells, which have the potential to give rise to cells with both capabilities, and persevere for a long time through the self-renewal and quiescence. Since the discovery of stem cells, an enormous effort has been focused on learning about their functions and the molecular regulation behind them. Wnt signaling is widely recognized as essential for normal and cancer stem cell. Moreover, β-catenin-dependent Wnt pathway, referred to as canonical, has gained attention, while β-catenin-independent Wnt pathways, known as non-canonical, have remained conspicuously less explored. However, recent evidence about non-canonical Wnt pathways in stem cells begins to lay the foundations of a conceivably vast field, and on which we aim to explain this in the present review. In this regard, we addressed the different aspects in which non-canonical Wnt pathways impact the properties of stem cells, both under normal conditions and also under disease, specifically in cancer.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )