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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 May 2023 at 01:42 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-05-25

Hengge R, Pruteanu M, Stülke J, et al (2023)

Recent advances and perspectives in nucleotide second messenger signaling in bacteria.

microLife, 4:uqad015.

Nucleotide second messengers act as intracellular 'secondary' signals that represent environmental or cellular cues, i.e. the 'primary' signals. As such, they are linking sensory input with regulatory output in all living cells. The amazing physiological versatility, the mechanistic diversity of second messenger synthesis, degradation, and action as well as the high level of integration of second messenger pathways and networks in prokaryotes has only recently become apparent. In these networks, specific second messengers play conserved general roles. Thus, (p)ppGpp coordinates growth and survival in response to nutrient availability and various stresses, while c-di-GMP is the nucleotide signaling molecule to orchestrate bacterial adhesion and multicellularity. c-di-AMP links osmotic balance and metabolism and that it does so even in Archaea may suggest a very early evolutionary origin of second messenger signaling. Many of the enzymes that make or break second messengers show complex sensory domain architectures, which allow multisignal integration. The multiplicity of c-di-GMP-related enzymes in many species has led to the discovery that bacterial cells are even able to use the same freely diffusible second messenger in local signaling pathways that can act in parallel without cross-talking. On the other hand, signaling pathways operating with different nucleotides can intersect in elaborate signaling networks. Apart from the small number of common signaling nucleotides that bacteria use for controlling their cellular "business," diverse nucleotides were recently found to play very specific roles in phage defense. Furthermore, these systems represent the phylogenetic ancestors of cyclic nucleotide-activated immune signaling in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2023-05-26
CmpDate: 2023-05-26

Bozdag GO, Zamani-Dahaj SA, Day TC, et al (2023)

De novo evolution of macroscopic multicellularity.

Nature, 617(7962):747-754.

While early multicellular lineages necessarily started out as relatively simple groups of cells, little is known about how they became Darwinian entities capable of sustained multicellular evolution[1-3]. Here we investigate this with a multicellularity long-term evolution experiment, selecting for larger group size in the snowflake yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) model system. Given the historical importance of oxygen limitation[4], our ongoing experiment consists of three metabolic treatments[5]-anaerobic, obligately aerobic and mixotrophic yeast. After 600 rounds of selection, snowflake yeast in the anaerobic treatment group evolved to be macroscopic, becoming around 2 × 10[4] times larger (approximately mm scale) and about 10[4]-fold more biophysically tough, while retaining a clonal multicellular life cycle. This occurred through biophysical adaptation-evolution of increasingly elongate cells that initially reduced the strain of cellular packing and then facilitated branch entanglements that enabled groups of cells to stay together even after many cellular bonds fracture. By contrast, snowflake yeast competing for low oxygen[5] remained microscopic, evolving to be only around sixfold larger, underscoring the critical role of oxygen levels in the evolution of multicellular size. Together, this research provides unique insights into an ongoing evolutionary transition in individuality, showing how simple groups of cells overcome fundamental biophysical limitations through gradual, yet sustained, multicellular evolution.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Lipińska-Zubrycka L, Grochowski M, Bähler J, et al (2023)

Pervasive mRNA uridylation in fission yeast is catalysed by both Cid1 and Cid16 terminal uridyltransferases.

PloS one, 18(5):e0285576.

Messenger RNA uridylation is pervasive and conserved among eukaryotes, but the consequences of this modification for mRNA fate are still under debate. Utilising a simple model organism to study uridylation may facilitate efforts to understand the cellular function of this process. Here we demonstrate that uridylation can be detected using simple bioinformatics approach. We utilise it to unravel widespread transcript uridylation in fission yeast and demonstrate the contribution of both Cid1 and Cid16, the only two annotated terminal uridyltransferases (TUT-ases) in this yeast. To detect uridylation in transcriptome data, we used a RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) library preparation protocol involving initial linker ligation to fragmented RNA-an approach borrowed from small RNA sequencing that was commonly used in older RNA-seq protocols. We next explored the data to detect uridylation marks. Our analysis show that uridylation in yeast is pervasive, similarly to the one in multicellular organisms. Importantly, our results confirm the role of the cytoplasmic uridyltransferase Cid1 as the primary uridylation catalyst. However, we also observed an auxiliary role of the second uridyltransferase, Cid16. Thus both fission yeast uridyltransferases are involved in mRNA uridylation. Intriguingly, we found no physiological phenotype of the single and double deletion mutants of cid1 and cid16 and only minimal impact of uridylation on steady-state mRNA levels. Our work establishes fission yeast as a potent model to study uridylation in a simple eukaryote, and we demonstrate that it is possible to detect uridylation marks in RNA-seq data without the need for specific methodologies.

RevDate: 2023-05-24
CmpDate: 2023-05-24

Iyer J, Pillai S, Munguia-Lopez JG, et al (2023)

Salivary gland bioengineering - yesterday, today, tomorrow!.

Histology and histopathology, 38(6):607-621.

Salivary glands are specialized structures developed as an extensively compact, arborized design through classical embryogenesis, accompanied by a cascade of events channelized by numerous growth factors and genetic regulatory pathways. Salivary secretions maintain oral homeostasis and, when diminished in certain conditions, present as xerostomia or salivary hypofunction, adversely impacting the patient's quality of life. The current available treatments primarily aim at tackling the immediate symptoms providing temporary relief to the patient. Despite scientific efforts to develop permanent and effective solutions to restore salivation, a significant permanent treatment is yet to be established. Tissue engineering has proven as a promising remedial tool in several diseases, as well as in xerostomia, and aims to restore partial loss of organ function. Recapitulating the physiological cellular microenvironment to in vitro culture conditions is constantly evolving. Replicating the dynamic multicellular interactions, genetic pathways, and cytomorphogenic forces, as displayed during salivary gland development have experienced considerable barriers. Through this review, we endeavour to provide an outlook on the evolution of in vitro salivary gland research, highlighting the key bioengineering advances and the challenges faced with the current therapeutic strategies for salivary hypofunction, with an insight into our team's scientific contributions.

RevDate: 2023-05-18

Sobala ŁF (2023)

Evolution and phylogenetic distribution of endo-α-mannosidase.

Glycobiology pii:7171919 [Epub ahead of print].

While glycans underlie many biological processes, such as protein folding, cell adhesion and cell-cell recognition, deep evolution of glycosylation machinery remains an understudied topic. N-linked glycosylation is a conserved process in which mannosidases are key trimming enzymes. One of them is the glycoprotein endo-α-1,2-mannosidase which participates in the initial trimming of mannose moieties from an N-linked glycan inside the cis-Golgi. It is unique as the only endo-acting mannosidase found in this organelle. Relatively little is known about its origins and evolutionary history; so far it was reported to occur only in vertebrates. In this work, a taxon-rich bioinformatic survey to unravel the evolutionary history of this enzyme, including all major eukaryotic clades and a wide representation of animals, is presented. The endomannosidase was found to be more widely distributed in animals and other eukaryotes. The protein motif changes in context of the canonical animal enzyme were tracked. Additionally, the data show the two canonical vertebrate endomannosidase genes, MANEA and MANEAL, arose at the second round of the two vertebrate genome duplications and one more vertebrate paralog, CMANEAL, is uncovered. Finally, a framework where N-glycosylation co-evolved with complex multicellularity is described. A better understanding of the evolution of core glycosylation pathways is pivotal to understanding biology of eukaryotes in general, and the Golgi apparatus in particular. This systematic analysis of the endomannosidase evolution is one step towards this goal.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2023-05-19

Mawaribuchi S, Shimomura O, Oda T, et al (2023)

rBC2LCN-reactive SERPINA3 is a glycobiomarker candidate for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Glycobiology, 33(4):342-352.

Early detection is urgently needed to improve the patient's pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) survival. Previously, we identified a novel tumor-associated glycan, H-type3, which is expressed on PDAC cells and is detected by rBC2LCN (recombinant N-terminal domain of BC2L-C identified from Burkholderia cenocepacia) lectin. Here, we identified that SERPINA3 is an rBC2LCN-reactive glycoprotein (BC2-S3) secreted from PDAC cells into the blood in patients with PDAC by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis and lectin blotting. In immune staining, BC2-S3 was detected specifically in the tumor but not in normal tissues of PDAC. Lectin-ELISA was then developed to measure the serum level of BC2-S3 in healthy control (HC, n = 99) and patients with PDAC (n = 88). BC2-S3 exhibited higher in patients with PDAC than in those with HC. BC2-S3 showed similar diagnostic performance in all stages of PDAC (stages IA-IV, true positive rate = 76.1%, true negative rate = 81.8%) to CA19-9 (72.7%, 75.8%). Remarkably, BC2-S3 showed a significantly higher detection rate (89.7%) for early stage PDAC (IA-IIA) than CA19-9 (62.1%, P = 0.029). The combination of BC2-S3 and CA19-9 further improved the diagnostic ability for all stages of PDAC (81.8%, 87.9%). In conclusion, BC2-S3 is a glycobiomarker candidate for PDAC.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Fernandes J (2023)

Virus-Induced Lysis of Tumor and Other Pathogenic Unicellular Entities and Its Potential to Treat Leishmaniasis.

DNA and cell biology [Epub ahead of print].

This article is focused on the main pathways used by viruses to achieve infection and lysis of unicellular eukaryotes described as pathogenic for multicellular organisms. In light of the recent discussions on how tumor cells exhibit unicellular behavior, highly malignant cells can be considered as another unicellular pathogenic entity, but with endogenous origin. Thus, a comparative panel of viral lysis of exogenous pathogenic unicellular eukaryotes such as Acanthamoeba sp., yeast, and tumors is presented. The important intracellular parasite Leishmania sp is also presented, which, in contrast, has its virulence improved by viral infections. The possible exploitation of viral-mediated eukaryotic cell lysis to overcome infections of Leishmania sp is discussed.

RevDate: 2023-05-17
CmpDate: 2023-05-16

Kaucka M (2023)

Cis-regulatory landscapes in the evolution and development of the mammalian skull.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1880):20220079.

Extensive morphological variation found in mammals reflects the wide spectrum of their ecological adaptations. The highest morphological diversity is present in the craniofacial region, where geometry is mainly dictated by the bony skull. Mammalian craniofacial development represents complex multistep processes governed by numerous conserved genes that require precise spatio-temporal control. A central question in contemporary evolutionary biology is how a defined set of conserved genes can orchestrate formation of fundamentally different structures, and therefore how morphological variability arises. In principle, differential gene expression patterns during development are the source of morphological variation. With the emergence of multicellular organisms, precise regulation of gene expression in time and space is attributed to cis-regulatory elements. These elements contribute to higher-order chromatin structure and together with trans-acting factors control transcriptional landscapes that underlie intricate morphogenetic processes. Consequently, divergence in cis-regulation is believed to rewire existing gene regulatory networks and form the core of morphological evolution. This review outlines the fundamental principles of the genetic code and genomic regulation interplay during development. Recent work that deepened our comprehension of cis-regulatory element origin, divergence and function is presented here to illustrate the state-of-the-art research that uncovered the principles of morphological novelty. This article is part of the theme issue 'The mammalian skull: development, structure and function'.

RevDate: 2023-05-15
CmpDate: 2023-05-15

Suwannachuen N, Leetanasaksakul K, Roytrakul S, et al (2023)

Palmelloid Formation and Cell Aggregation Are Essential Mechanisms for High Light Tolerance in a Natural Strain of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(9):.

Photosynthetic organisms, such as higher plants and algae, require light to survive. However, an excessive amount of light can be harmful due to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause cell damage and, if it is not effectively regulated, cell death. The study of plants' responses to light can aid in the development of methods to improve plants' growth and productivity. Due to the multicellular nature of plants, there may be variations in the results based on plant age and tissue type. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular green alga, has also been used as a model organism to study photosynthesis and photoprotection. Nonetheless, the majority of the research has been conducted with strains that have been consistently utilized in laboratories and originated from the same source. Despite the availability of many field isolates of this species, very few studies have compared the light responses of field isolates. This study examined the responses of two field isolates of Chlamydomonas to high light stress. The light-tolerant strain, CC-4414, managed reactive oxygen species (ROS) slightly better than the sensitive strain, CC-2344, did. The proteomic data of cells subjected to high light revealed cellular modifications of the light-tolerant strain toward membrane proteins. The morphology of cells under light stress revealed that this strain utilized the formation of palmelloid structures and cell aggregation to shield cells from excessive light. As indicated by proteome data, morphological modifications occur simultaneously with the increase in protein degradation and autophagy. By protecting cells from stress, cells are able to continue to upregulate ROS management mechanisms and prevent cell death. This is the first report of palmelloid formation in Chlamydomonas under high light stress.

RevDate: 2023-05-15
CmpDate: 2023-05-15

Foo YZ, Lagisz M, O'Dea RE, et al (2023)

The influence of immune challenges on the mean and variance in reproductive investment: a meta-analysis of the terminal investment hypothesis.

BMC biology, 21(1):107.

Finding the optimal balance between survival and reproduction is a central puzzle in life-history theory. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts that when individuals encounter a survival threat that compromises future reproductive potential, they will increase immediate reproductive investment to maximise fitness. Despite decades of research on the terminal investment hypothesis, findings remain mixed. We examined the terminal investment hypothesis with a meta-analysis of studies that measured reproductive investment of multicellular iteroparous animals after a non-lethal immune challenge. We had two main aims. The first was to investigate whether individuals, on average, increase reproductive investment in response to an immune threat, as predicted by the terminal investment hypothesis. We also examined whether such responses vary adaptively on factors associated with the amount of reproductive opportunities left (residual reproductive value) in the individuals, as predicted by the terminal investment hypothesis. The second was to provide a quantitative test of a novel prediction based on the dynamic threshold model: that an immune threat increases between-individual variance in reproductive investment. Our results provided some support for our hypotheses. Older individuals, who are expected to have lower residual reproductive values, showed stronger mean terminal investment response than younger individuals. In terms of variance, individuals showed a divergence in responses, leading to an increase in variance. This increase in variance was especially amplified in longer-living species, which was consistent with our prediction that individuals in longer-living species should respond with greater individual variation due to increased phenotypic plasticity. We find little statistical evidence of publication bias. Together, our results highlight the need for a more nuanced view on the terminal investment hypothesis and a greater focus on the factors that drive individual responses.

RevDate: 2023-05-13
CmpDate: 2023-05-11

Conlin PL, WC Ratcliff (2023)

Evolution: Understanding the origins of facultative multicellular life cycles.

Current biology : CB, 33(9):R356-R358.

Multicellular organisms exhibit a fascinating diversity of life cycles, but little is known about the factors governing life-cycle evolution. New studies of wild yeast and cyanobacteria provide insight into how and why facultative multicellular life cycles arise.

RevDate: 2023-05-16
CmpDate: 2023-05-16

Hiraki HL, Matera DL, Wang WY, et al (2023)

Fiber density and matrix stiffness modulate distinct cell migration modes in a 3D stroma mimetic composite hydrogel.

Acta biomaterialia, 163:378-391.

The peritumoral stroma is a complex 3D tissue that provides cells with myriad biophysical and biochemical cues. Histologic observations suggest that during metastatic spread of carcinomas, these cues influence transformed epithelial cells, prompting a diversity of migration modes spanning single cell and multicellular phenotypes. Purported consequences of these variations in tumor escape strategies include differential metastatic capability and therapy resistance. Therefore, understanding how cues from the peritumoral stromal microenvironment regulate migration mode has both prognostic and therapeutic value. Here, we utilize a synthetic stromal mimetic in which matrix fiber density and bulk hydrogel mechanics can be orthogonally tuned to investigate the contribution of these two key matrix attributes on MCF10A migration mode phenotypes, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and invasive potential. We develop an automated computational image analysis framework to extract migratory phenotypes from fluorescent images and determine 3D migration metrics relevant to metastatic spread. Using this analysis, we find that matrix fiber density and bulk hydrogel mechanics distinctly contribute to a variety of MCF10A migration modes including amoeboid, single mesenchymal, clusters, and strands. We identify combinations of physical and soluble cues that induce a variety of migration modes originating from the same MCF10A spheroid and use these settings to examine a functional consequence of migration mode -resistance to apoptosis. We find that cells migrating as strands are more resistant to staurosporine-induced apoptosis than either disconnected clusters or individual invading cells. Improved models of the peritumoral stromal microenvironment and understanding of the relationships between matrix attributes and cell migration mode can aid ongoing efforts to identify effective cancer therapeutics that address cell plasticity-based therapy resistances. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Stromal extracellular matrix structure dictates both cell homeostasis and activation towards migratory phenotypes. However decoupling the effects of myriad biophysical cues has been difficult to achieve. Here, we encapsulate electrospun fiber segments within an amorphous hydrogel to create a fiber-reinforced hydrogel composite in which fiber density and hydrogel stiffness can be orthogonally tuned. Quantification of 3D cell migration reveal these two parameters uniquely contribute to a diversity of migration phenotypes spanning amoeboid, single mesenchymal, multicellular cluster, and collective strand. By tuning biophysical and biochemical cues to elicit heterogeneous migration phenotypes, we find that collective strands best resist apoptosis. This work establishes a composite approach to modulate fibrous topography and bulk hydrogel mechanics and identified biomaterial parameters to direct distinct 3D cell migration phenotypes.

RevDate: 2023-05-10
CmpDate: 2023-05-10

Cooney DB, Levin SA, Mori Y, et al (2023)

Evolutionary dynamics within and among competing groups.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(20):e2216186120.

Biological and social systems are structured at multiple scales, and the incentives of individuals who interact in a group may diverge from the collective incentive of the group as a whole. Mechanisms to resolve this tension are responsible for profound transitions in evolutionary history, including the origin of cellular life, multicellular life, and even societies. Here, we synthesize a growing literature that extends evolutionary game theory to describe multilevel evolutionary dynamics, using nested birth-death processes and partial differential equations to model natural selection acting on competition within and among groups of individuals. We analyze how mechanisms known to promote cooperation within a single group-including assortment, reciprocity, and population structure-alter evolutionary outcomes in the presence of competition among groups. We find that population structures most conducive to cooperation in multiscale systems can differ from those most conducive within a single group. Likewise, for competitive interactions with a continuous range of strategies we find that among-group selection may fail to produce socially optimal outcomes, but it can nonetheless produce second-best solutions that balance individual incentives to defect with the collective incentives for cooperation. We conclude by describing the broad applicability of multiscale evolutionary models to problems ranging from the production of diffusible metabolites in microbes to the management of common-pool resources in human societies.

RevDate: 2023-05-11
CmpDate: 2023-05-11

Cadart C, Bartz J, Oaks G, et al (2023)

Polyploidy in Xenopus lowers metabolic rate by decreasing total cell surface area.

Current biology : CB, 33(9):1744-1752.e7.

Although polyploidization is frequent in development, cancer, and evolution, impacts on animal metabolism are poorly understood. In Xenopus frogs, the number of genome copies (ploidy) varies across species and can be manipulated within a species. Here, we show that triploid tadpoles contain fewer, larger cells than diploids and consume oxygen at a lower rate. Drug treatments revealed that the major processes accounting for tadpole energy expenditure include cell proliferation, biosynthesis, and maintenance of plasma membrane potential. While inhibiting cell proliferation did not abolish the oxygen consumption difference between diploids and triploids, treatments that altered cellular biosynthesis or electrical potential did. Combining these results with a simple mathematical framework, we propose that the decrease in total cell surface area lowered production and activity of plasma membrane components including the Na[+]/K[+] ATPase, reducing energy consumption in triploids. Comparison of Xenopus species that evolved through polyploidization revealed that metabolic differences emerged during development when cell size scaled with genome size. Thus, ploidy affects metabolism by altering the cell surface area to volume ratio in a multicellular organism.

RevDate: 2023-05-11
CmpDate: 2023-05-11

Barrere J, Nanda P, AW Murray (2023)

Alternating selection for dispersal and multicellularity favors regulated life cycles.

Current biology : CB, 33(9):1809-1817.e3.

The evolution of complex multicellularity opened paths to increased morphological diversity and organizational novelty. This transition involved three processes: cells remained attached to one another to form groups, cells within these groups differentiated to perform different tasks, and the groups evolved new reproductive strategies.[1][,][2][,][3][,][4][,][5] Recent experiments identified selective pressures and mutations that can drive the emergence of simple multicellularity and cell differentiation,[6][,][7][,][8][,][9][,][10][,][11] but the evolution of life cycles, particularly how simple multicellular forms reproduce, has been understudied. The selective pressure and mechanisms that produced a regular alternation between single cells and multicellular collectives are still unclear.[12] To probe the factors regulating simple multicellular life cycles, we examined a collection of wild isolates of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae.[12][,][13] We found that all these strains can exist as multicellular clusters, a phenotype that is controlled by the mating-type locus and strongly influenced by the nutritional environment. Inspired by this variation, we engineered inducible dispersal in a multicellular laboratory strain and demonstrated that a regulated life cycle has an advantage over constitutively single-celled or constitutively multicellular life cycles when the environment alternates between favoring intercellular cooperation (a low sucrose concentration) and dispersal (a patchy environment generated by emulsion). Our results suggest that the separation of mother and daughter cells is under selection in wild isolates and is regulated by their genetic composition and the environments they encounter and that alternating patterns of resource availability may have played a role in the evolution of life cycles.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Krasovec M, Hoshino M, Zheng M, et al (2023)

Low spontaneous mutation rate in complex multicellular eukaryotes with a haploid-diploid life cycle.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:7151258 [Epub ahead of print].

The spontaneous mutation rate µ is a crucial parameter to understand evolution and biodiversity. Mutation rates are highly variable across species, suggesting that µ is susceptible to selection and drift and that species life cycle and life history may impact its evolution. In particular, asexual reproduction and haploid selection are expected to affect mutation rate, but very little empirical data is available to test this expectation. Here, we sequence 30 genomes of a parent-offspring pedigree in the model brown alga Ectocarpus sp.7, and 137 genomes of an interspecific cross of the closely related brown alga Scytosiphon to have access to the spontaneous mutation rate of representative organisms of a complex multicellular eukaryotic lineage outside animals and plants, and to evaluate the potential impact of life cycle on mutation rate. Brown algae alternate between a haploid and a diploid stage, both multicellular and free living, and utilize both sexual and asexual reproduction. They are therefore excellent models to empirically test expectations of the effect of asexual reproduction and haploid selection on mutation rate evolution. We estimate that Ectocarpus has a base substitution rate of µbs = 4.07 × 10-10 per site per generation, whereas the Scytosiphon interspecific cross had µbs =1.22 × 10-9. Overall, our estimations suggest that these brown algae, despite being multicellular complex eukaryotes, have unusually low mutation rates. In Ectocarpus, effective population size (Ne) could not entirely explain the low µb. We propose that the haploid-diploid life cycle, combined with extensive asexual reproduction may be additional key drivers of mutation rate.

RevDate: 2023-05-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-08

Kumar T, Sethuraman R, Mitra S, et al (2023)

MultiCens: Multilayer network centrality measures to uncover molecular mediators of tissue-tissue communication.

PLoS computational biology, 19(4):e1011022.

With the evolution of multicellularity, communication among cells in different tissues and organs became pivotal to life. Molecular basis of such communication has long been studied, but genome-wide screens for genes and other biomolecules mediating tissue-tissue signaling are lacking. To systematically identify inter-tissue mediators, we present a novel computational approach MultiCens (Multilayer/Multi-tissue network Centrality measures). Unlike single-layer network methods, MultiCens can distinguish within- vs. across-layer connectivity to quantify the "influence" of any gene in a tissue on a query set of genes of interest in another tissue. MultiCens enjoys theoretical guarantees on convergence and decomposability, and performs well on synthetic benchmarks. On human multi-tissue datasets, MultiCens predicts known and novel genes linked to hormones. MultiCens further reveals shifts in gene network architecture among four brain regions in Alzheimer's disease. MultiCens-prioritized hypotheses from these two diverse applications, and potential future ones like "Multi-tissue-expanded Gene Ontology" analysis, can enable whole-body yet molecular-level systems investigations in humans.

RevDate: 2023-05-05
CmpDate: 2023-05-05

Isaksson H, Brännström Å, E Libby (2023)

Minor variations in multicellular life cycles have major effects on adaptation.

PLoS computational biology, 19(4):e1010698.

Multicellularity has evolved several independent times over the past hundreds of millions of years and given rise to a wide diversity of complex life. Recent studies have found that large differences in the fundamental structure of early multicellular life cycles can affect fitness and influence multicellular adaptation. Yet, there is an underlying assumption that at some scale or categorization multicellular life cycles are similar in terms of their adaptive potential. Here, we consider this possibility by exploring adaptation in a class of simple multicellular life cycles of filamentous organisms that only differ in one respect, how many daughter filaments are produced. We use mathematical models and evolutionary simulations to show that despite the similarities, qualitatively different mutations fix. In particular, we find that mutations with a tradeoff between cell growth and group survival, i.e. "selfish" or "altruistic" traits, spread differently. Specifically, altruistic mutations more readily spread in life cycles that produce few daughters while in life cycles producing many daughters either type of mutation can spread depending on the environment. Our results show that subtle changes in multicellular life cycles can fundamentally alter adaptation.

RevDate: 2023-05-02
CmpDate: 2023-05-01

Grochau-Wright ZI, Nedelcu AM, RE Michod (2023)

The Genetics of Fitness Reorganization during the Transition to Multicellularity: The Volvocine regA-like Family as a Model.

Genes, 14(4):.

The evolutionary transition from single-celled to multicellular individuality requires organismal fitness to shift from the cell level to a cell group. This reorganization of fitness occurs by re-allocating the two components of fitness, survival and reproduction, between two specialized cell types in the multicellular group: soma and germ, respectively. How does the genetic basis for such fitness reorganization evolve? One possible mechanism is the co-option of life history genes present in the unicellular ancestors of a multicellular lineage. For instance, single-celled organisms must regulate their investment in survival and reproduction in response to environmental changes, particularly decreasing reproduction to ensure survival under stress. Such stress response life history genes can provide the genetic basis for the evolution of cellular differentiation in multicellular lineages. The regA-like gene family in the volvocine green algal lineage provides an excellent model system to study how this co-option can occur. We discuss the origin and evolution of the volvocine regA-like gene family, including regA-the gene that controls somatic cell development in the model organism Volvox carteri. We hypothesize that the co-option of life history trade-off genes is a general mechanism involved in the transition to multicellular individuality, making volvocine algae and the regA-like family a useful template for similar investigations in other lineages.

RevDate: 2023-05-01
CmpDate: 2023-05-01

Casotti MC, Meira DD, Zetum ASS, et al (2023)

Computational Biology Helps Understand How Polyploid Giant Cancer Cells Drive Tumor Success.

Genes, 14(4):.

Precision and organization govern the cell cycle, ensuring normal proliferation. However, some cells may undergo abnormal cell divisions (neosis) or variations of mitotic cycles (endopolyploidy). Consequently, the formation of polyploid giant cancer cells (PGCCs), critical for tumor survival, resistance, and immortalization, can occur. Newly formed cells end up accessing numerous multicellular and unicellular programs that enable metastasis, drug resistance, tumor recurrence, and self-renewal or diverse clone formation. An integrative literature review was carried out, searching articles in several sites, including: PUBMED, NCBI-PMC, and Google Academic, published in English, indexed in referenced databases and without a publication time filter, but prioritizing articles from the last 3 years, to answer the following questions: (i) "What is the current knowledge about polyploidy in tumors?"; (ii) "What are the applications of computational studies for the understanding of cancer polyploidy?"; and (iii) "How do PGCCs contribute to tumorigenesis?"

RevDate: 2023-04-27
CmpDate: 2023-04-27

Colgren J, P Burkhardt (2023)

Evolution: Was the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio a key factor in the origin of animal multicellularity?.

Current biology : CB, 33(8):R298-R300.

The ichthyosporean Sphaeroforma arctica, a protist closely related to animals, displays coenocytic development followed by cellularization and cell release. A new study reveals that the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio drives cellularization in these fascinating organisms.

RevDate: 2023-04-27
CmpDate: 2023-04-26

Stéger A, M Palmgren (2023)

Hypothesis paper: the development of a regulatory layer in P2B autoinhibited Ca[2+]-ATPases may have facilitated plant terrestrialization and animal multicellularization.

Plant signaling & behavior, 18(1):2204284.

With the appearance of plants and animals, new challenges emerged. These multicellular eukaryotes had to solve for example the difficulties of multifaceted communication between cells and adaptation to new habitats. In this paper, we are looking for one piece of the puzzle that made the development of complex multicellular eukaryotes possible with a focus on regulation of P2B autoinhibited Ca[2+]-ATPases. P2B ATPases pump Ca[2+] out of the cytosol at the expense of ATP hydrolysis, and thereby maintain a steep gradient between the extra- and intracytosolic compartments which is utilized for Ca[2+]-mediated rapid cell signaling. The activity of these enzymes is regulated by a calmodulin (CaM)-responsive autoinhibitory region, which can be located in either termini of the protein, at the C-terminus in animals and at the N-terminus in plants. When the cytoplasmic Ca[2+] level reaches a threshold, the CaM/Ca[2+] complex binds to a calmodulin-binding domain (CaMBD) in the autoinhibitor, which leads to the upregulation of pump activity. In animals, protein activity is also controlled by acidic phospholipids that bind to a cytosolic portion of the pump. Here, we analyze the appearance of CaMBDs and the phospholipid-activating sequence and show that their evolution in animals and plants was independent. Furthermore, we hypothesize that different causes may have initiated the appearance of these regulatory layers: in animals, it is linked to the appearance of multicellularity, while in plants it co-occurs with their water-to-land transition.

RevDate: 2023-04-27
CmpDate: 2023-04-27

Olivetta M, O Dudin (2023)

The nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio drives cellularization in the close animal relative Sphaeroforma arctica.

Current biology : CB, 33(8):1597-1605.e3.

The ratio of nuclear content to cytoplasmic volume (N/C ratio) is a key regulator driving the maternal-to-zygotic transition in most animal embryos. Altering this ratio often impacts zygotic genome activation and deregulates the timing and outcome of embryogenesis.[1][,][2][,][3] Despite being ubiquitous across animals, little is known about when the N/C ratio evolved to control multicellular development. Such capacity either originated with the emergence of animal multicellularity or was co-opted from the mechanisms present in unicellular organisms.[4] An effective strategy to tackle this question is to investigate the close relatives of animals exhibiting life cycles with transient multicellular stages.[5] Among these are ichthyosporeans, a lineage of protists undergoing coenocytic development followed by cellularization and cell release.[6][,][7][,][8] During cellularization, a transient multicellular stage resembling animal epithelia is generated, offering a unique opportunity to examine whether the N/C ratio regulates multicellular development. Here, we use time-lapse microscopy to characterize how the N/C ratio affects the life cycle of the best-studied ichthyosporean model, Sphaeroforma arctica. We uncover that the last stages of cellularization coincide with a significant increase in the N/C ratio. Increasing the N/C ratio by reducing the coenocytic volume accelerates cellularization, whereas decreasing the N/C ratio by lowering the nuclear content halts it. Moreover, centrifugation and pharmacological inhibitor experiments suggest that the N/C ratio is locally sensed at the cortex and relies on phosphatase activity. Altogether, our results show that the N/C ratio drives cellularization in S. arctica, suggesting that its capacity to control multicellular development predates animal emergence.

RevDate: 2023-04-27
CmpDate: 2023-04-27

Cont A, Vermeil J, A Persat (2023)

Material Substrate Physical Properties Control Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Architecture.

mBio, 14(2):e0351822.

In the wild, bacteria are most frequently found in the form of multicellular structures called biofilms. Biofilms grow at the surface of abiotic and living materials with wide-ranging mechanical properties. The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa forms biofilms on indwelling medical devices and on soft tissues, including burn wounds and the airway mucosa. Despite the critical role of substrates in the foundation of biofilms, we still lack a clear understanding of how material mechanics regulate their architecture and the physiology of resident bacteria. Here, we demonstrate that physical properties of hydrogel material substrates define P. aeruginosa biofilm architecture. We show that hydrogel mesh size regulates twitching motility, a surface exploration mechanism priming biofilms, ultimately controlling the organization of single cells in the multicellular community. The resulting architectural transitions increase P. aeruginosa's tolerance to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic. In addition, mechanical regulation of twitching motility affects P. aeruginosa clonal lineages, so that biofilms are more mixed on relatively denser materials. Our results thereby establish material properties as a factor that dramatically affects biofilm architecture, antibiotic efficacy, and evolution of the resident population. IMPORTANCE The biofilm lifestyle is the most widespread survival strategy in the bacterial world. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms cause chronic infections and are highly recalcitrant to antimicrobials. The genetic requirements allowing P. aeruginosa to grow into biofilms are known, but not the physical stimuli that regulate their formation. Despite colonizing biological tissues, investigations of biofilms on soft materials are limited. In this work, we show that biofilms take unexpected forms when growing on soft substrates. The physical properties of the material shape P. aeruginosa biofilms by regulating surface-specific twitching motility. Physical control of biofilm morphogenesis ultimately influences the resilience of biofilms to antimicrobials, linking physical environment with tolerance to treatment. Altogether, our work established that the physical properties of a surface are a critical environmental regulator of biofilm biogenesis and evolution.

RevDate: 2023-04-26
CmpDate: 2023-04-26

Ros-Rocher N, Kidner RQ, Gerdt C, et al (2023)

Chemical factors induce aggregative multicellularity in a close unicellular relative of animals.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(18):e2216668120.

Regulated cellular aggregation is an essential process for development and healing in many animal tissues. In some animals and a few distantly related unicellular species, cellular aggregation is regulated by diffusible chemical cues. However, it is unclear whether regulated cellular aggregation was part of the life cycles of the first multicellular animals and/or their unicellular ancestors. To fill this gap, we investigated the triggers of cellular aggregation in one of animals' closest unicellular living relatives-the filasterean Capsaspora owczarzaki. We discovered that Capsaspora aggregation is induced by chemical cues, as observed in some of the earliest branching animals and other unicellular species. Specifically, we found that calcium ions and lipids present in lipoproteins function together to induce aggregation of viable Capsaspora cells. We also found that this multicellular stage is reversible as depletion of the cues triggers disaggregation, which can be overcome upon reinduction. Our finding demonstrates that chemically regulated aggregation is important across diverse members of the holozoan clade. Therefore, this phenotype was plausibly integral to the life cycles of the unicellular ancestors of animals.

RevDate: 2023-04-15
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Leitner N, Ertl R, Gabner S, et al (2023)

Isolation and Characterization of Novel Canine Osteosarcoma Cell Lines from Chemotherapy-Naïve Patients.

Cells, 12(7):.

The present study aimed to establish novel canine osteosarcoma cell lines (COS3600, COS3600B, COS4074) and characterize the recently described COS4288 cells. The established D-17 cell line served as a reference. Analyzed cell lines differed notably in their biological characteristics. Calculated doubling times were between 22 h for COS3600B and 426 h for COS4074 cells. COS3600B and COS4288 cells produced visible colonies after anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. COS4288 cells were identified as cells with the highest migratory capacity. All cells displayed the ability to invade through an artificial basement membrane matrix. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed the mesenchymal origin of all COS cell lines as well as positive staining for the osteosarcoma-relevant proteins alkaline phosphatase and karyopherin α2. Expression of p53 was confirmed in all tested cell lines. Gene expression analyses of selected genes linked to cellular immune checkpoints (CD270, CD274, CD276), kinase activity (MET, ERBB2), and metastatic potential (MMP-2, MMP-9) as well as selected long non-coding RNA (MALAT1) and microRNAs (miR-9, miR-34a, miR-93) are provided. All tested cell lines were able to grow as multicellular spheroids. In all spheroids except COS4288, calcium deposition was detected by von Kossa staining. We believe that these new cell lines serve as useful biological models for future studies.

RevDate: 2023-04-14
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Vinogradov AE, OV Anatskaya (2023)

Systemic Alterations of Cancer Cells and Their Boost by Polyploidization: Unicellular Attractor (UCA) Model.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(7):.

Using meta-analyses, we introduce a unicellular attractor (UCA) model integrating essential features of the 'atavistic reversal', 'cancer attractor', 'somatic mutation', 'genome chaos', and 'tissue organization field' theories. The 'atavistic reversal' theory is taken as a keystone. We propose a possible mechanism of this reversal, its refinement called 'gradual atavism', and evidence for the 'serial atavism' model. We showed the gradual core-to-periphery evolutionary growth of the human interactome resulting in the higher protein interaction density and global interactome centrality in the UC center. In addition, we revealed that UC genes are more actively expressed even in normal cells. The modeling of random walk along protein interaction trajectories demonstrated that random alterations in cellular networks, caused by genetic and epigenetic changes, can result in a further gradual activation of the UC center. These changes can be induced and accelerated by cellular stress that additionally activates UC genes (especially during cell proliferation), because the genes involved in cellular stress response and cell cycle are mostly of UC origin. The functional enrichment analysis showed that cancer cells demonstrate the hyperactivation of energetics and the suppression of multicellular genes involved in communication with the extracellular environment (especially immune surveillance). Collectively, these events can unleash selfish cell behavior aimed at survival at all means. All these changes are boosted by polyploidization. The UCA model may facilitate an understanding of oncogenesis and promote the development of therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2023-04-14
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Li G, Chen L, Pang K, et al (2023)

Tonian carbonaceous compressions indicate that Horodyskia is one of the oldest multicellular and coenocytic macro-organisms.

Communications biology, 6(1):399.

Macrofossils with unambiguous biogenic origin and predating the one-billion-year-old multicellular fossils Bangiomorpha and Proterocladus interpreted as crown-group eukaryotes are quite rare. Horodyskia is one of these few macrofossils, and it extends from the early Mesoproterozoic Era to the terminal Ediacaran Period. The biological interpretation of this enigmatic fossil, however, has been a matter of controversy since its discovery in 1982, largely because there was no evidence for the preservation of organic walls. Here we report new carbonaceous compressions of Horodyskia from the Tonian successions (~950-720 Ma) in North China. The macrofossils herein with bona fide organic walls reinforce the biogenicity of Horodyskia. Aided by the new material, we reconstruct Horodyskia as a colonial organism composed of a chain of organic-walled vesicles that likely represent multinucleated (coenocytic) cells of early eukaryotes. Two species of Horodyskia are differentiated on the basis of vesicle sizes, and their co-existence in the Tonian assemblage provides a link between the Mesoproterozoic (H. moniliformis) and the Ediacaran (H. minor) species. Our study thus provides evidence that eukaryotes have acquired macroscopic size through the combination of coenocytism and colonial multicellularity at least ~1.48 Ga, and highlights an exceptionally long range and morphological stasis of this Proterozoic macrofossils.

RevDate: 2023-04-13
CmpDate: 2023-04-13

Herold J, Behle E, Rosenbauer J, et al (2023)

Development of a scoring function for comparing simulated and experimental tumor spheroids.

PLoS computational biology, 19(3):e1010471.

Progress continues in the field of cancer biology, yet much remains to be unveiled regarding the mechanisms of cancer invasion. In particular, complex biophysical mechanisms enable a tumor to remodel the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), allowing cells to invade alone or collectively. Tumor spheroids cultured in collagen represent a simplified, reproducible 3D model system, which is sufficiently complex to recapitulate the evolving organization of cells and interaction with the ECM that occur during invasion. Recent experimental approaches enable high resolution imaging and quantification of the internal structure of invading tumor spheroids. Concurrently, computational modeling enables simulations of complex multicellular aggregates based on first principles. The comparison between real and simulated spheroids represents a way to fully exploit both data sources, but remains a challenge. We hypothesize that comparing any two spheroids requires first the extraction of basic features from the raw data, and second the definition of key metrics to match such features. Here, we present a novel method to compare spatial features of spheroids in 3D. To do so, we define and extract features from spheroid point cloud data, which we simulated using Cells in Silico (CiS), a high-performance framework for large-scale tissue modeling previously developed by us. We then define metrics to compare features between individual spheroids, and combine all metrics into an overall deviation score. Finally, we use our features to compare experimental data on invading spheroids in increasing collagen densities. We propose that our approach represents the basis for defining improved metrics to compare large 3D data sets. Moving forward, this approach will enable the detailed analysis of spheroids of any origin, one application of which is informing in silico spheroids based on their in vitro counterparts. This will enable both basic and applied researchers to close the loop between modeling and experiments in cancer research.

RevDate: 2023-04-10
CmpDate: 2023-04-10

Darras H, Berney C, Hasin S, et al (2023)

Obligate chimerism in male yellow crazy ants.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 380(6640):55-58.

Multicellular organisms typically develop from a single fertilized egg and therefore consist of clonal cells. We report an extraordinary reproductive system in the yellow crazy ant. Males are chimeras of haploid cells from two divergent lineages: R and W. R cells are overrepresented in the males' somatic tissues, whereas W cells are overrepresented in their sperm. Chimerism occurs when parental nuclei bypass syngamy and divide separately within the same egg. When syngamy takes place, the diploid offspring either develops into a queen when the oocyte is fertilized by an R sperm or into a worker when fertilized by a W sperm. This study reveals a mode of reproduction that may be associated with a conflict between lineages to preferentially enter the germ line.

RevDate: 2023-04-12
CmpDate: 2023-04-12

Little JC, Kaaronen RO, Hukkinen JI, et al (2023)

Earth Systems to Anthropocene Systems: An Evolutionary, System-of-Systems, Convergence Paradigm for Interdependent Societal Challenges.

Environmental science & technology, 57(14):5504-5520.

Humans have made profound changes to the Earth. The resulting societal challenges of the Anthropocene (e.g., climate change and impacts, renewable energy, adaptive infrastructure, disasters, pandemics, food insecurity, and biodiversity loss) are complex and systemic, with causes, interactions, and consequences that cascade across a globally connected system of systems. In this Critical Review, we turn to our "origin story" for insight, briefly tracing the formation of the Universe and the Earth, the emergence of life, the evolution of multicellular organisms, mammals, primates, and humans, as well as the more recent societal transitions involving agriculture, urbanization, industrialization, and computerization. Focusing on the evolution of the Earth, genetic evolution, the evolution of the brain, and cultural evolution, which includes technological evolution, we identify a nested evolutionary sequence of geophysical, biophysical, sociocultural, and sociotechnical systems, emphasizing the causal mechanisms that first formed, and then transformed, Earth systems into Anthropocene systems. Describing how the Anthropocene systems coevolved, and briefly illustrating how the ensuing societal challenges became tightly integrated across multiple spatial, temporal, and organizational scales, we conclude by proposing an evolutionary, system-of-systems, convergence paradigm for the entire family of interdependent societal challenges of the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2023-04-11
CmpDate: 2023-04-11

Trivedi DD, Dalai SK, SR Bakshi (2023)

The Mystery of Cancer Resistance: A Revelation Within Nature.

Journal of molecular evolution, 91(2):133-155.

Cancer, a disease due to uncontrolled cell proliferation is as ancient as multicellular organisms. A 255-million-years-old fossilized forerunner mammal gorgonopsian is probably the oldest evidence of cancer, to date. Cancer seems to have evolved by adapting to the microenvironment occupied by immune sentinel, modulating the cellular behavior from cytotoxic to regulatory, acquiring resistance to chemotherapy and surviving hypoxia. The interaction of genes with environmental carcinogens is central to cancer onset, seen as a spectrum of cancer susceptibility among human population. Cancer occurs in life forms other than human also, although their exposure to environmental carcinogens can be different. Role of genetic etiology in cancer in multiple species can be interesting with regard to not only cancer susceptibility, but also genetic conservation and adaptation in speciation. The widely used model organisms for cancer research are mouse and rat which are short-lived and reproduce rapidly. Research in these cancer prone animal models has been valuable as these have led to cancer therapy. However, another rewarding area of cancer research can be the cancer-resistant animal species. The Peto's paradox and G-value paradox are evident when natural cancer resistance is observed in large mammals, like elephant and whale, small rodents viz. Naked Mole Rat and Blind Mole Rat, and Bat. The cancer resistance remains to be explored in other small or large and long-living animals like giraffe, camel, rhinoceros, water buffalo, Indian bison, Shire horse, polar bear, manatee, elephant seal, walrus, hippopotamus, turtle and tortoise, sloth, and squirrel. Indeed, understanding the molecular mechanisms of avoiding neoplastic transformation across various life forms can be potentially having translational value for human cancer management. Adapted and Modified from (Hanahan and Weinberg 2011).

RevDate: 2023-04-03

Morehouse BR (2023)

Phage defense origin of animal immunity.

Current opinion in microbiology, 73:102295 pii:S1369-5274(23)00032-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The innate immune system is the first line of defense against microbial pathogens. Many of the features of eukaryotic innate immunity have long been viewed as lineage-specific innovations, evolved to deal with the challenges and peculiarities of multicellular life. However, it has become increasingly apparent that in addition to evolving their own unique antiviral immune strategies, all lifeforms have some shared defense strategies in common. Indeed, critical fixtures of animal innate immunity bear striking resemblance in both structure and function to the multitude of diverse bacteriophage (phage) defense pathways discovered hidden in plain sight within the genomes of bacteria and archaea. This review will highlight many surprising examples of the recently revealed connections between prokaryotic and eukaryotic antiviral immune systems.

RevDate: 2023-04-06
CmpDate: 2023-04-06

Nishizawa H, Yamanaka M, K Igarashi (2023)

Ferroptosis: regulation by competition between NRF2 and BACH1 and propagation of the death signal.

The FEBS journal, 290(7):1688-1704.

Ferroptosis is triggered by a chain of intracellular labile iron-dependent peroxidation of cell membrane phospholipids. Ferroptosis is important not only as a cause of ischaemic and neurodegenerative diseases but also as a mechanism of cancer suppression, and a better understanding of its regulatory mechanism is required. It has become clear that ferroptosis is finely controlled by two oxidative stress-responsive transcription factors, NRF2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) and BACH1 (BTB and CNC homology 1). NRF2 and BACH1 inhibit and promote ferroptosis, respectively, by activating or suppressing the expression of genes in the major regulatory pathways of ferroptosis: intracellular labile iron metabolism, the GSH (glutathione) -GPX4 (glutathione peroxidase 4) pathway and the FSP1 (ferroptosis suppressor protein 1)-CoQ (coenzyme Q) pathway. In addition to this, NRF2 and BACH1 control ferroptosis through the regulation of lipid metabolism and cell differentiation. This multifaceted regulation of ferroptosis by NRF2 and BACH1 is considered to have been acquired during the evolution of multicellular organisms, allowing the utilization of ferroptosis for maintaining homeostasis, including cancer suppression. In terms of cell-cell interaction, it has been revealed that ferroptosis has the property of propagating to surrounding cells along with lipid peroxidation. The regulation of ferroptosis by NRF2 and BACH1 and the propagation phenomenon could be used to realize anticancer cell therapy in the future. In this review, these points will be summarized and discussed.

RevDate: 2023-04-04
CmpDate: 2023-04-04

Guan X, Zhang L, Lai S, et al (2023)

Green synthesis of glyco-CuInS2 QDs with visible/NIR dual emission for 3D multicellular tumor spheroid and in vivo imaging.

Journal of nanobiotechnology, 21(1):118.

Glyco-quantum dots (glyco-QDs) have attracted significant interest in bioimaging applications, notably in cancer imaging, because they effectively combine the glycocluster effect with the exceptional optical properties of QDs. The key challenge now lies in how to eliminate the high heavy metal toxicity originating from traditional toxic Cd-based QDs for in vivo bioimaging. Herein, we report an eco-friendly pathway to prepare nontoxic Cd-free glyco-QDs in water by the "direct" reaction of thiol-ending monosaccharides with metal salts precursors. The formation of glyco-CuInS2 QDs could be explained by a nucleation-growth mechanism following the LaMer model. As-prepared four glyco-CuInS2 QDs were water-soluble, monodispersed, spherical in shape and exhibited size range of 3.0-4.0 nm. They exhibited well-separated dual emission in the visible region (500-590 nm) and near-infrared range (~ 827 nm), which may be attributable to visible excitonic emission and near-infrared surface defect emission. Meanwhile, the cell imaging displayed the reversibly distinct dual-color (green and red) fluorescence in tumor cells (HeLa, A549, MKN-45) and excellent membrane-targeting properties of glyco-CuInS2 QDs based on their good biorecognition ability. Importantly, these QDs succeed in penetrating uniformly into the interior (the necrotic zone) of 3D multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) due to their high negative charge (zeta potential values ranging from - 23.9 to - 30.1 mV), which overcame the problem of poor penetration depth of existing QDs in in vitro spheroid models. So, confocal analysis confirmed their excellent ability to penetrate and label tumors. Thus, the successful application in in vivo bioimaging of these glyco-QDs verified that this design strategy is an effective, low cost and simple procedure for developing green nanoparticles as cheap and promising fluorescent bioprobes.

RevDate: 2023-03-31
CmpDate: 2023-03-30

Han M, Ren J, Guo H, et al (2023)

Mutation Rate and Spectrum of the Silkworm in Normal and Temperature Stress Conditions.

Genes, 14(3):.

Mutation rate is a crucial parameter in evolutionary genetics. However, the mutation rate of most species as well as the extent to which the environment can alter the genome of multicellular organisms remain poorly understood. Here, we used parents-progeny sequencing to investigate the mutation rate and spectrum of the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori) among normal and two temperature stress conditions (32 °C and 0 °C). The rate of single-nucleotide mutations in the normal temperature rearing condition was 0.41 × 10[-8] (95% confidence interval, 0.33 × 10[-8]-0.49 × 10[-8]) per site per generation, which was up to 1.5-fold higher than in four previously studied insects. Moreover, the mutation rates of the silkworm under the stresses are significantly higher than in normal conditions. Furthermore, the mutation rate varies less in gene regions under normal and temperature stresses. Together, these findings expand the known diversity of the mutation rate among eukaryotes but also have implications for evolutionary analysis that assumes a constant mutation rate among species and environments.

RevDate: 2023-03-31
CmpDate: 2023-03-31

Furumizu C, RB Aalen (2023)

Peptide signaling through leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases: insight into land plant evolution.

The New phytologist, 238(3):977-982.

Multicellular organisms need mechanisms for communication between cells so that they can fulfill their purpose in the organism as a whole. Over the last two decades, several small post-translationally modified peptides (PTMPs) have been identified as components of cell-to-cell signaling modules in flowering plants. Such peptides most often influence growth and development of organs not universally conserved among land plants. PTMPs have been matched to subfamily XI leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases with > 20 repeats. Phylogenetic analyses, facilitated by recently published genomic sequences of non-flowering plants, have identified seven clades of such receptors with a history back to the common ancestor of bryophytes and vascular plants. This raises a number of questions: When did peptide signaling arise during land plant evolution? Have orthologous peptide-receptor pairs preserved their biological functions? Has peptide signaling contributed to major innovations, such as stomata, vasculature, roots, seeds, and flowers? Using genomic, genetic, biochemical, and structural data and non-angiosperm model species, it is now possible to address these questions. The vast number of peptides that have not yet found their partners suggests furthermore that we have far more to learn about peptide signaling in the coming decades.

RevDate: 2023-03-31
CmpDate: 2023-03-31

Brown Y, Hua S, PS Tanwar (2023)

Extracellular matrix in high-grade serous ovarian cancer: Advances in understanding of carcinogenesis and cancer biology.

Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology, 118:16-46.

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is notoriously known as the "silent killer" of post-menopausal women as it has an insidious progression and is the deadliest gynaecological cancer. Although a dual origin of HGSOC is now widely accepted, there is growing evidence that most cases of HGSOC originate from the fallopian tube epithelium. In this review, we will address the fallopian tube origin and involvement of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in HGSOC development. There is limited research on the role of ECM at the earliest stages of HGSOC carcinogenesis. Here we aim to synthesise current understanding of the contribution of ECM to each stage of HGSOC development and progression, beginning at serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC) precursor lesions and proceeding across key events including dissemination of tumourigenic fallopian tube epithelial cells to the ovary, survival of these cells in peritoneal fluid as multicellular aggregates, and colonisation of the ovary. Likewise, as part of the metastatic series of events, serous ovarian cancer cells survive travel in peritoneal fluid, attach to, migrate across the mesothelium and invade into the sub-mesothelial matrix of secondary sites in the peritoneal cavity. Halting cancer at the pre-metastatic stage and finding ways to stop the dissemination of ovarian cancer cells from the primary site is critical for improving patient survival. The development of drug resistance also contributes to poor survival statistics in HGSOC. In this review, we provide an update on the involvement of the ECM in metastasis and drug resistance in HGSOC. Interplay between different cell-types, growth factor gradients as well as evolving ECM composition and organisation, creates microenvironment conditions that promote metastatic progression and drug resistance of ovarian cancer cells. By understanding ECM involvement in the carcinogenesis and chemoresistance of HGSOC, this may prompt ideas for further research for developing new early diagnostic tests and therapeutic strategies for HGSOC with the end goal of improving patient health outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-03-30
CmpDate: 2023-03-30

Merino MM, JA Garcia-Sanz (2023)

Stemming Tumoral Growth: A Matter of Grotesque Organogenesis.

Cells, 12(6):.

The earliest metazoans probably evolved from single-celled organisms which found the colonial system to be a beneficial organization. Over the course of their evolution, these primary colonial organisms increased in size, and division of labour among the cells became a remarkable feature, leading to a higher level of organization: the biological organs. Primitive metazoans were the first organisms in evolution to show organ-type structures, which set the grounds for complex organs to evolve. Throughout evolution, and concomitant with organogenesis, is the appearance of tissue-specific stem cells. Tissue-specific stem cells gave rise to multicellular living systems with distinct organs which perform specific physiological functions. This setting is a constructive role of evolution; however, rebel cells can take over the molecular mechanisms for other purposes: nowadays we know that cancer stem cells, which generate aberrant organ-like structures, are at the top of a hierarchy. Furthermore, cancer stem cells are the root of metastasis, therapy resistance, and relapse. At present, most therapeutic drugs are unable to target cancer stem cells and therefore, treatment becomes a challenging issue. We expect that future research will uncover the mechanistic "forces" driving organ growth, paving the way to the implementation of new strategies to impair human tumorigenesis.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Barrera-Redondo J, Lotharukpong JS, Drost HG, et al (2023)

Uncovering gene-family founder events during major evolutionary transitions in animals, plants and fungi using GenEra.

Genome biology, 24(1):54.

We present GenEra (, a DIAMOND-fueled gene-family founder inference framework that addresses previously raised limitations and biases in genomic phylostratigraphy, such as homology detection failure. GenEra also reduces computational time from several months to a few days for any genome of interest. We analyze the emergence of taxonomically restricted gene families during major evolutionary transitions in plants, animals, and fungi. Our results indicate that the impact of homology detection failure on inferred patterns of gene emergence is lineage-dependent, suggesting that plants are more prone to evolve novelty through the emergence of new genes compared to animals and fungi.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Ebinghaus M, Dos Santos MDM, Tonelli GSSS, et al (2023)

Raveneliopsis, a new genus of ravenelioid rust fungi on Cenostigma (Caesalpinioideae) from the Brazilian Cerrado and Caatinga.

Mycologia, 115(2):263-276.

The multicellular discoid convex teliospore heads represent a prominent generic feature of the genus Ravenelia. However, recent molecular phylogenetic work has shown that this is a convergent trait, and that this genus does not represent a natural group. In 2000, a rust fungus infecting the Caesalpinioid species Cenostigma macrophyllum (= C. gardnerianum) was described as Ravenelia cenostigmatis. This species shows some rare features, such as an extra layer of sterile cells between the cysts and the fertile teliospores, spirally ornamented urediniospores, as well as strongly incurved paraphyses giving the telia and uredinia a basket-like appearance. Using freshly collected specimens of Rav. cenostigmatis and Rav. spiralis on C. macrophyllum, our phylogenetic analyses based on the nuc 28S, nuc 18S, and mt CO3 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 3) gene sequences demonstrated that these two rust fungi belong in a lineage within the Raveneliineae that is distinct from Ravenelia s. str. Besides proposing their recombination into the new genus Raveneliopsis (type species R. cenostigmatis) and briefly discussing their potentially close phylogenetic affiliations, we suggest that five other Ravenelia species that are morphologically and ecologically close to the type species of Raveneliopsis, i.e., Rav. corbula, Rav. corbuloides, Rav. parahybana, Rav. pileolarioides, and Rav. Striatiformis, may be recombined pending new collections and confirmation through molecular phylogenetic analyses.

RevDate: 2023-03-27
CmpDate: 2023-03-27

Nofech-Mozes I, Soave D, Awadalla P, et al (2023)

Pan-cancer classification of single cells in the tumour microenvironment.

Nature communications, 14(1):1615.

Single-cell RNA sequencing can reveal valuable insights into cellular heterogeneity within tumour microenvironments (TMEs), paving the way for a deep understanding of cellular mechanisms contributing to cancer. However, high heterogeneity among the same cancer types and low transcriptomic variation in immune cell subsets present challenges for accurate, high-resolution confirmation of cells' identities. Here we present scATOMIC; a modular annotation tool for malignant and non-malignant cells. We trained scATOMIC on >300,000 cancer, immune, and stromal cells defining a pan-cancer reference across 19 common cancers and employ a hierarchical approach, outperforming current classification methods. We extensively confirm scATOMIC's accuracy on 225 tumour biopsies encompassing >350,000 cancer and a variety of TME cells. Lastly, we demonstrate scATOMIC's practical significance to accurately subset breast cancers into clinically relevant subtypes and predict tumours' primary origin across metastatic cancers. Our approach represents a broadly applicable strategy to analyse multicellular cancer TMEs.

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Li Y, Kim EJ, Voshall A, et al (2023)

Small RNAs >26 nt in length associate with AGO1 and are upregulated by nutrient deprivation in the alga Chlamydomonas.

The Plant cell pii:7083138 [Epub ahead of print].

Small RNAs (sRNAs) associate with ARGONAUTE (AGO) proteins forming effector complexes with key roles in gene regulation and defense responses against molecular parasites. In multicellular eukaryotes, extensive duplication and diversification of RNA interference (RNAi) components have resulted in intricate pathways for epigenetic control of gene expression. The unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii also has a complex RNAi machinery, including three AGOs and three DICER-like (DCL) proteins. However, little is known about the biogenesis and function of most endogenous sRNAs. We demonstrate here that Chlamydomonas contains uncommonly long (>26 nt) sRNAs that associate preferentially with AGO1. Somewhat reminiscent of animal PIWI-interacting RNAs, these >26 nt sRNAs are derived from moderately repetitive genomic clusters and their biogenesis is DICER-independent. Interestingly, the sequences generating these >26-nt sRNAs have been conserved and amplified in several Chlamydomonas species. Moreover, expression of these longer sRNAs increases substantially under nitrogen or sulfur deprivation, concurrently with the downregulation of predicted target transcripts. We hypothesize that the transposon-like sequences from which >26-nt sRNAs are produced might have been ancestrally targeted for silencing by the RNAi machinery but, during evolution, certain sRNAs might have fortuitously acquired endogenous target genes and become integrated into gene regulatory networks.

RevDate: 2023-03-22
CmpDate: 2023-03-22

Rusin LY (2023)

Evolution of homology: From archetype towards a holistic concept of cell type.

Journal of morphology, 284(4):e21569.

The concept of homology lies in the heart of comparative biological science. The distinction between homology as structure and analogy as function has shaped the evolutionary paradigm for a century and formed the axis of comparative anatomy and embryology, which accept the identity of structure as a ground measure of relatedness. The advent of single-cell genomics overturned the classical view of cell homology by establishing a backbone regulatory identity of cell types, the basic biological units bridging the molecular and phenotypic dimensions, to reveal that the cell is the most flexible unit of living matter and that many approaches of classical biology need to be revised to understand evolution and diversity at the cellular level. The emerging theory of cell types explicitly decouples cell identity from phenotype, essentially allowing for the divergence of evolutionarily related morphotypes beyond recognition, as well as it decouples ontogenetic cell lineage from cell-type phylogeny, whereby explicating that cell types can share common descent regardless of their structure, function or developmental origin. The article succinctly summarizes current progress and opinion in this field and formulates a more generalistic view of biological cell types as avatars, transient or terminal cell states deployed in a continuum of states by the developmental programme of one and the same omnipotent cell, capable of changing or combining identities with distinct evolutionary histories or inventing ad hoc identities that never existed in evolution or development. It highlights how the new logic grounded in the regulatory nature of cell identity transforms the concepts of cell homology and phenotypic stability, suggesting that cellular evolution is inherently and massively network-like, with one-to-one homologies being rather uncommon and restricted to shallower levels of the animal tree of life.

RevDate: 2023-03-21
CmpDate: 2023-03-21

Luque LM, Carlevaro CM, Llamoza Torres CJ, et al (2023)

Physics-based tissue simulator to model multicellular systems: A study of liver regeneration and hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence.

PLoS computational biology, 19(3):e1010920.

We present a multiagent-based model that captures the interactions between different types of cells with their microenvironment, and enables the analysis of the emergent global behavior during tissue regeneration and tumor development. Using this model, we are able to reproduce the temporal dynamics of regular healthy cells and cancer cells, as well as the evolution of their three-dimensional spatial distributions. By tuning the system with the characteristics of the individual patients, our model reproduces a variety of spatial patterns of tissue regeneration and tumor growth, resembling those found in clinical imaging or biopsies. In order to calibrate and validate our model we study the process of liver regeneration after surgical hepatectomy in different degrees. In the clinical context, our model is able to predict the recurrence of a hepatocellular carcinoma after a 70% partial hepatectomy. The outcomes of our simulations are in agreement with experimental and clinical observations. By fitting the model parameters to specific patient factors, it might well become a useful platform for hypotheses testing in treatments protocols.

RevDate: 2023-03-14
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

Ouyang X, Wu B, Yu H, et al (2023)

DYRK1-mediated phosphorylation of endocytic components is required for extracellular lumen expansion in ascidian notochord.

Biological research, 56(1):10.

BACKGROUND: The biological tube is a basal biology structure distributed in all multicellular animals, from worms to humans, and has diverse biological functions. Formation of tubular system is crucial for embryogenesis and adult metabolism. Ascidian Ciona notochord lumen is an excellent in vivo model for tubulogenesis. Exocytosis has been known to be essential for tubular lumen formation and expansion. The roles of endocytosis in tubular lumen expansion remain largely unclear.

RESULTS: In this study, we first identified a dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1 (DYRK1), the protein kinase, which was upregulated and required for ascidian notochord extracellular lumen expansion. We demonstrated that DYRK1 interacted with and phosphorylated one of the endocytic components endophilin at Ser263 that was essential for notochord lumen expansion. Moreover, through phosphoproteomic sequencing, we revealed that in addition to endophilin, the phosphorylation of other endocytic components was also regulated by DYRK1. The loss of function of DYRK1 disturbed endocytosis. Then, we demonstrated that clathrin-mediated endocytosis existed and was required for notochord lumen expansion. In the meantime, the results showed that the secretion of notochord cells is vigorous in the apical membrane.

CONCLUSIONS: We found the co-existence of endocytosis and exocytosis activities in apical membrane during lumen formation and expansion in Ciona notochord. A novel signaling pathway is revealed that DYRK1 regulates the endocytosis by phosphorylation that is required for lumen expansion. Our finding thus indicates a dynamic balance between endocytosis and exocytosis is crucial to maintain apical membrane homeostasis that is essential for lumen growth and expansion in tubular organogenesis.

RevDate: 2023-03-14
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

Davidescu MR, Romanczuk P, Gregor T, et al (2023)

Growth produces coordination trade-offs in Trichoplax adhaerens, an animal lacking a central nervous system.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(11):e2206163120.

How collectives remain coordinated as they grow in size is a fundamental challenge affecting systems ranging from biofilms to governments. This challenge is particularly apparent in multicellular organisms, where coordination among a vast number of cells is vital for coherent animal behavior. However, the earliest multicellular organisms were decentralized, with indeterminate sizes and morphologies, as exemplified by Trichoplax adhaerens, arguably the earliest-diverged and simplest motile animal. We investigated coordination among cells in T. adhaerens by observing the degree of collective order in locomotion across animals of differing sizes and found that larger individuals exhibit increasingly disordered locomotion. We reproduced this effect of size on order through a simulation model of active elastic cellular sheets and demonstrate that this relationship is best recapitulated across all body sizes when the simulation parameters are tuned to a critical point in the parameter space. We quantify the trade-off between increasing size and coordination in a multicellular animal with a decentralized anatomy that shows evidence of criticality and hypothesize as to the implications of this on the evolution hierarchical structures such as nervous systems in larger organisms.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Lu B, Hu X, Warren A, et al (2023)

From oral structure to molecular evidence: new insights into the evolutionary phylogeny of the ciliate order Sessilida (Protista, Ciliophora), with the establishment of two new families and new contributions to the poorly studied family Vaginicolidae.

Science China. Life sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Ciliated protists represent one of the most primitive and diverse lineages of eukaryotes, with nuclear dimorphism, a distinctive sexual process (conjugation), and extensive genome rearrangements. Among divergent ciliate lineages, the peritrich order Sessilida includes members with a colonial lifestyle, which may hint to an independent evolutionary attempt for multicellularity, although they are still single-celled organisms. To date, the evolution and phylogeny of this group are still far from clear, in part due to the paucity of molecular and/or morphological data for many taxa. In this study, we extend taxon sampling of a loricate group of sessilids by obtaining 69 new rDNA (SSU rDNA, ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2, and LSU rDNA) sequences from 20 well-characterized representative species and analyze the phylogenetic relationships within Sessilida. The main findings are: (i) the genera Rhabdostyla and Campanella each represents a unique taxon at family level, supporting the establishment of two new families, i.e., Rhabdostylidae n. fam. and Campanellidae n. fam., respectively, the former being sister to a morphologically heterogeneous clade comprising Astylozoidae and several incertae sedis species and the latter occupying the basal position within the Sessilida clade; (ii) the structure of infundibular polykinety 3 is likely to be a phylogenetically informative character for resolving evolutionary relationships among sessilids; (iii) differences between sparsely and the densely arranged silverline systems could be a suprageneric taxonomic character; (iv) the monophyly of Vaginicolidae is confirmed, which is consistent with its specialized morphology, i.e., the possession of a typical peritrich lorica which might be an apomorphy for this group; (v) within Vaginicolidae, the monotypic Cothurniopsis sensu Stokes, 1893 is a synonym of Cothurnia Ehrenberg, 1831, and a new combination is created, i.e., Cothurnia valvata nov. comb.; (vi) Vaginicola sensu lato comprises at least two distinctly divergent clades, one affiliated with Thuricola and the other with a systematically puzzling clade represented by Vaginicola tincta.

RevDate: 2023-03-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Lambros M, Sella Y, A Bergman (2023)

Phenotypic pliancy and the breakdown of epigenetic polycomb mechanisms.

PLoS computational biology, 19(2):e1010889.

Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms allow multicellular organisms to develop distinct specialized cell identities despite having the same total genome. Cell-fate choices are based on gene expression programs and environmental cues that cells experience during embryonic development, and are usually maintained throughout the life of the organism despite new environmental cues. The evolutionarily conserved Polycomb group (PcG) proteins form Polycomb Repressive Complexes that help orchestrate these developmental choices. Post-development, these complexes actively maintain the resulting cell fate, even in the face of environmental perturbations. Given the crucial role of these polycomb mechanisms in providing phenotypic fidelity (i.e. maintenance of cell fate), we hypothesize that their dysregulation after development will lead to decreased phenotypic fidelity allowing dysregulated cells to sustainably switch their phenotype in response to environmental changes. We call this abnormal phenotypic switching phenotypic pliancy. We introduce a general computational evolutionary model that allows us to test our systems-level phenotypic pliancy hypothesis in-silico and in a context-independent manner. We find that 1) phenotypic fidelity is an emergent systems-level property of PcG-like mechanism evolution, and 2) phenotypic pliancy is an emergent systems-level property resulting from this mechanism's dysregulation. Since there is evidence that metastatic cells behave in a phenotypically pliant manner, we hypothesize that progression to metastasis is driven by the emergence of phenotypic pliancy in cancer cells as a result of PcG mechanism dysregulation. We corroborate our hypothesis using single-cell RNA-sequencing data from metastatic cancers. We find that metastatic cancer cells are phenotypically pliant in the same manner as predicted by our model.

RevDate: 2023-03-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Yu L, Stachowicz JJ, DuBois K, et al (2023)

Detecting clonemate pairs in multicellular diploid clonal species based on a shared heterozygosity index.

Molecular ecology resources, 23(3):592-600.

Clonal reproduction, the formation of nearly identical individuals via mitosis in the absence of genetic recombination, is a very common reproductive mode across plants, fungi and animals. To detect clonal genetic structure, genetic similarity indices based on shared alleles are widely used, such as the Jaccard index, or identity by state. Here we propose a new pairwise genetic similarity index, the SH index, based on segregating genetic marker loci (typically single nucleotide polymorphisms) that are identically heterozygous for pairs of samples (NSH). To test our method, we analyse two old seagrass clones (Posidonia australis, estimated to be around 8500 years old; Zostera marina, >750 years old) along with two young Z. marina clones of known age (17 years old). We show that focusing on shared heterozygosity amplifies the power to distinguish sample pairs belonging to different clones compared to methods focusing on all shared alleles. Our proposed workflow can successfully detect clonemates at a location dominated by a single clone. When the collected samples involve two or more clones, the SH index shows a clear gap between clonemate pairs and interclone sample pairs. Ideally NSH should be on the order of approximately ≥3000, a number easily achievable via restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing or whole-genome resequencing. Another potential application of the SH index is to detect possible parent-descendant pairs under selfing. Our proposed workflow takes advantage of the availability of the larger number of genetic markers in the genomic era, and improves the ability to distinguish clonemates from nonclonemates in multicellular diploid clonal species.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Bernardo N, Crespo I, Cuppari A, et al (2023)

A tetramerization domain in prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription regulators homologous to p53.

Acta crystallographica. Section D, Structural biology, 79(Pt 3):259-267.

Transcriptional regulation usually requires the action of several proteins that either repress or activate a promotor of an open reading frame. These proteins can counteract each other, thus allowing tight regulation of the transcription of the corresponding genes, where tight repression is often linked to DNA looping or cross-linking. Here, the tetramerization domain of the bacterial gene repressor Rco from Bacillus subtilis plasmid pLS20 (RcopLS20) has been identified and its structure is shown to share high similarity to the tetramerization domain of the well known p53 family of human tumor suppressors, despite lacking clear sequence homology. In RcopLS20, this tetramerization domain is responsible for inducing DNA looping, a process that involves multiple tetramers. In accordance, it is shown that RcopLS20 can form octamers. This domain was named TetDloop and its occurrence was identified in other Bacillus species. The TetDloop fold was also found in the structure of a transcriptional repressor from Salmonella phage SPC32H. It is proposed that the TetDloop fold has evolved through divergent evolution and that the TetDloop originates from a common ancestor predating the occurrence of multicellular life.

RevDate: 2023-03-03
CmpDate: 2023-03-03

Kuzdzal-Fick JJ, Moreno A, Broersma CME, et al (2023)

From individual behaviors to collective outcomes: fruiting body formation in Dictyostelium as a group-level phenotype.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 77(3):731-745.

Collective phenotypes, which arise from the interactions among individuals, can be important for the evolution of higher levels of biological organization. However, how a group's composition determines its collective phenotype remains poorly understood. When starved, cells of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum cooperate to build a multicellular fruiting body, and the morphology of the fruiting body is likely advantageous to the surviving spores. We assessed how the number of strains, as well as their genetic and geographic relationships to one another, impact the group's morphology and productivity. We find that some strains consistently enhance or detract from the productivity of their groups, regardless of the identity of the other group members. We also detect extensive pairwise and higher-order genotype interactions, which collectively have a large influence on the group phenotype. Whereas previous work in Dictyostelium has focused almost exclusively on whether spore production is equitable when strains cooperate to form multicellular fruiting bodies, our results suggest a previously unrecognized impact of chimeric co-development on the group phenotype. Our results demonstrate how interactions among members of a group influence collective phenotypes and how group phenotypes might in turn impact selection on the individual.

RevDate: 2023-03-02
CmpDate: 2023-03-02

Tang S, Pichugin Y, K Hammerschmidt (2023)

An environmentally induced multicellular life cycle of a unicellular cyanobacterium.

Current biology : CB, 33(4):764-769.e5.

Understanding the evolutionary transition to multicellularity is a key problem in biology.[1][,][2][,][3][,][4] Nevertheless, the ecological conditions driving such transitions are not well understood. The first known transition to multicellularity occurred 2.5 billion years ago in cyanobacteria,[5][,][6][,][7] and today's cyanobacteria are characterized by enormous morphological diversity. They range from unicellular species; unicellular cyanobacteria with packet-like phenotypes, e.g., tetrads; and simple filamentous species to highly differentiated filamentous species.[8][,][9][,][10] The cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, an isolate from the intertidal zone of the U.S. Gulf Coast,[11] was classified as a unicellular species.[12] We report a facultative life cycle of Cyanothece sp. in which multicellular filaments alternate with unicellular stages. In a series of experiments, we identified salinity and population density as environmental factors triggering the phenotypic switch between the two morphologies. Then, we used numerical models to test hypotheses regarding the nature of the environmental cues and the mechanisms underlying filament dissolution. While the results predict that the observed response is likely caused by an excreted compound in the medium, we cannot fully exclude changes in nutrient availability (as in Tuomi et al.[13] and Matz and Jürgens[14]). The best-fit modeling results show a nonlinear effect of the compound, which is characteristic of density-dependent sensing systems.[15][,][16] Furthermore, filament fragmentation is predicted to occur by connection cleavage rather than cell death of each alternating cell, which is supported by fluorescent and scanning electron microscopy results. The switch between unicellular and multicellular morphology constitutes an environmentally dependent life cycle that is likely an important step en route to permanent multicellularity.

RevDate: 2023-03-02
CmpDate: 2023-03-02

Dang CC, LS Vinh (2023)

Estimating amino acid substitution models for metazoan evolutionary studies.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 36(3):499-506.

Amino acid substitution models represent the substitution rates among amino acids during the evolution of protein sequences. The models are a prerequisite for maximum likelihood or Bayesian methods to analyse the phylogenetic relationships among species based on their protein sequences. Estimating amino acid substitution models requires large protein datasets and intensive computation. In this paper, we presented the estimation of both time-reversible model (Q.met) and time non-reversible model (NQ.met) for multicellular animals (Metazoa). Analyses showed that the Q.met and NQ.met models were significantly better than existing models in analysing metazoan protein sequences. Moreover, the time non-reversible model NQ.met enables us to reconstruct the rooted phylogenetic tree for Metazoa. We recommend researchers to employ the Q.met and NQ.met models in analysing metazoan protein sequences.

RevDate: 2023-03-01
CmpDate: 2023-03-01

Göbel T, Goebel B, Hyprath M, et al (2023)

Three-dimensional growth reveals fine-tuning of 5-lipoxygenase by proliferative pathways in cancer.

Life science alliance, 6(5):.

The leukotriene (LT) pathway is positively correlated with the progression of solid malignancies, but the factors that control the expression of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), the central enzyme in LT biosynthesis, in tumors are poorly understood. Here, we report that 5-LO along with other members of the LT pathway is up-regulated in multicellular colon tumor spheroids. This up-regulation was inversely correlated with cell proliferation and activation of PI3K/mTORC-2- and MEK-1/ERK-dependent pathways. Furthermore, we found that E2F1 and its target gene MYBL2 were involved in the repression of 5-LO during cell proliferation. Importantly, we found that this PI3K/mTORC-2- and MEK-1/ERK-dependent suppression of 5-LO is also existent in tumor cells from other origins, suggesting that this mechanism is widely applicable to other tumor entities. Our data show that tumor cells fine-tune 5-LO and LT biosynthesis in response to environmental changes repressing the enzyme during proliferation while making use of the enzyme under cell stress conditions, implying that tumor-derived 5-LO plays a role in the manipulation of the tumor stroma to quickly restore cell proliferation.

RevDate: 2023-02-28
CmpDate: 2023-02-28

van Oosten-Hawle P (2023)

Organismal Roles of Hsp90.

Biomolecules, 13(2):.

Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a highly conserved molecular chaperone that assists in the maturation of many client proteins involved in cellular signal transduction. As a regulator of cellular signaling processes, it is vital for the maintenance of cellular proteostasis and adaptation to environmental stresses. Emerging research shows that Hsp90 function in an organism goes well beyond intracellular proteostasis. In metazoans, Hsp90, as an environmentally responsive chaperone, is involved in inter-tissue stress signaling responses that coordinate and safeguard cell nonautonomous proteostasis and organismal health. In this way, Hsp90 has the capacity to influence evolution and aging, and effect behavioral responses to facilitate tissue-defense systems that ensure organismal survival. In this review, I summarize the literature on the organismal roles of Hsp90 uncovered in multicellular organisms, from plants to invertebrates and mammals.

RevDate: 2023-02-24
CmpDate: 2023-02-24

Samuel V, Rajeev T, Ramesh L, et al (2023)

Integrin receptor trafficking in health and disease.

Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 196:271-302.

Integrins are a family of 24 different heterodimers that are indispensable for multicellular life. Cell polarity, adhesion and migration are controlled by integrins delivered to the cell surface which in turn is regulated by the exo- and endocytic trafficking of integrins. The deep integration between trafficking and cell signaling determines the spatial and temporal output from any biochemical cue. Integrin trafficking plays a key role in development and many pathological conditions, especially cancer. Several novel regulators of integrin traffic have been discovered in recent times, including a novel class of integrin carrying vesicles, the intracellular nanovesicles (INVs). The tight regulation of trafficking pathways by cell signaling, where kinases phosphorylate key small GTPases in the trafficking pathway enable coordination of cell response to the extracellular milieu. Integrin heterodimer expression and trafficking differ in different tissues and contexts. In this Chapter, we discuss recent studies on integrin trafficking and its contribution to normal physiological and pathophysiological states.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Horjales S, Li Calzi M, Francia ME, et al (2023)

piRNA pathway evolution beyond gonad context: Perspectives from apicomplexa and trypanosomatids.

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1129194.

piRNAs function as genome defense mechanisms against transposable elements insertions within germ line cells. Recent studies have unraveled that piRNA pathways are not limited to germ cells as initially reckoned, but are instead also found in non-gonadal somatic contexts. Moreover, these pathways have also been reported in bacteria, mollusks and arthropods, associated with safeguard of genomes against transposable elements, regulation of gene expression and with direct consequences in axon regeneration and memory formation. In this Perspective we draw attention to early branching parasitic protozoa, whose genome preservation is an essential function as in late eukaryotes. However, little is known about the defense mechanisms of these genomes. We and others have described the presence of putative PIWI-related machinery members in protozoan parasites. We have described the presence of a PIWI-like protein in Trypanosoma cruzi, bound to small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) as cargo of secreted extracellular vesicles relevant in intercellular communication and host infection. Herein, we put forward the presence of members related to Argonaute pathways in both Trypanosoma cruzi and Toxoplasma gondii. The presence of PIWI-like machinery in Trypansomatids and Apicomplexa, respectively, could be evidence of an ancestral piRNA machinery that evolved to become more sophisticated and complex in multicellular eukaryotes. We propose a model in which ancient PIWI proteins were expressed broadly and had functions independent of germline maintenance. A better understanding of current and ancestral PIWI/piRNAs will be relevant to better understand key mechanisms of genome integrity conservation during cell cycle progression and modulation of host defense mechanisms by protozoan parasites.

RevDate: 2023-02-23
CmpDate: 2023-02-23

Smith BP, Edie SM, WW Fischer (2023)

Tracing energy inputs into the seafloor using carbonate sediments.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(9):e2215833120.

Carbonate rocks provide unique and valuable sedimentary archives for secular changes in Earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes. However, reading the stratigraphic record produces overlapping, nonunique interpretations that stem from the difficulty in directly comparing competing biological, physical, or chemical mechanisms within a common quantitative framework. We built a mathematical model that decomposes these processes and casts the marine carbonate record in terms of energy fluxes across the sediment-water interface. Results showed that physical, chemical, and biological energy terms across the seafloor are subequal and that the energetic dominance of different processes varies both as a function of environment (e.g., onshore vs. offshore) as well as with time-varying changes in seawater chemistry and with evolutionary changes in animal abundance and behavior. We applied our model to observations from the end-Permian mass extinction-a massive upheaval in ocean chemistry and biology-revealing an energetic equivalence between two hypothesized drivers of changing carbonate environments: a reduction in physical bioturbation increased carbonate saturation states in the oceans. Early Triassic occurrences of 'anachronistic' carbonates-facies largely absent from marine environments after the Early Paleozoic-were likely driven more by reduction in animal biomass than by repeated perturbations to seawater chemistry. This analysis highlighted the importance of animals and their evolutionary history in physically shaping patterns in the sedimentary record via their impact on the energetics of marine environments.

RevDate: 2023-02-23
CmpDate: 2023-02-23

Rangarajan ES, Smith EW, T Izard (2023)

The nematode α-catenin ortholog, HMP1, has an extended α-helix when bound to actin filaments.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 299(2):102817.

The regulation of cell-cell junctions during epidermal morphogenesis ensures tissue integrity, a process regulated by α-catenin. This cytoskeletal protein connects the cadherin complex to filamentous actin at cell-cell junctions. The cadherin-catenin complex plays key roles in cell physiology, organism development, and disease. While mutagenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans cadherin and catenin shows that these proteins are key for embryonic morphogenesis, we know surprisingly little about their structure and attachment to the cytoskeleton. In contrast to mammalian α-catenin that functions as a dimer or monomer, the α-catenin ortholog from C. elegans, HMP1 for humpback, is a monomer. Our cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) structure of HMP1/α-catenin reveals that the amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of HMP1/α-catenin are disordered and not in contact with the remaining HMP1/α-catenin middle domain. Since the carboxy-terminal HMP1/α-catenin domain is the F-actin-binding domain (FABD), this interdomain constellation suggests that HMP1/α-catenin is constitutively active, which we confirm biochemically. Our perhaps most surprising finding, given the high sequence similarity between the mammalian and nematode proteins, is our cryoEM structure of HMP1/α-catenin bound to F-actin. Unlike the structure of mammalian α-catenin bound to F-actin, binding to F-actin seems to allosterically convert a loop region of the HMP1/α-catenin FABD to extend an HMP1/α-catenin FABD α-helix. We use cryoEM and bundling assays to show for the first time how the FABD of HMP1/α-catenin bundles actin in the absence of force. Collectively, our data advance our understanding of α-catenin regulation of cell-cell contacts and additionally aid our understanding of the evolution of multicellularity in metazoans.

RevDate: 2023-02-22
CmpDate: 2023-02-22

Leptos KC, Chioccioli M, Furlan S, et al (2023)

Phototaxis of Chlamydomonas arises from a tuned adaptive photoresponse shared with multicellular Volvocine green algae.

Physical review. E, 107(1-1):014404.

A fundamental issue in biology is the nature of evolutionary transitions from unicellular to multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae are models for this transition, as they span from the unicellular biflagellate Chlamydomonas to multicellular species of Volvox with up to 50,000 Chlamydomonas-like cells on the surface of a spherical extracellular matrix. The mechanism of phototaxis in these species is of particular interest since they lack a nervous system and intercellular connections; steering is a consequence of the response of individual cells to light. Studies of Volvox and Gonium, a 16-cell organism with a plate-like structure, have shown that the flagellar response to changing illumination of the cellular photosensor is adaptive, with a recovery time tuned to the rotation period of the colony around its primary axis. Here, combining high-resolution studies of the flagellar photoresponse of micropipette-held Chlamydomonas with 3D tracking of freely swimming cells, we show that such tuning also underlies its phototaxis. A mathematical model is developed based on the rotations around an axis perpendicular to the flagellar beat plane that occur through the adaptive response to oscillating light levels as the organism spins. Exploiting a separation of timescales between the flagellar photoresponse and phototurning, we develop an equation of motion that accurately describes the observed photoalignment. In showing that the adaptive timescales in Volvocine algae are tuned to the organisms' rotational periods across three orders of magnitude in cell number, our results suggest a unified picture of phototaxis in green algae in which the asymmetry in torques that produce phototurns arise from the individual flagella of Chlamydomonas, the flagellated edges of Gonium, and the flagellated hemispheres of Volvox.

RevDate: 2023-02-15
CmpDate: 2023-02-15

Godfroy O, Zheng M, Yao H, et al (2023)

The baseless mutant links protein phosphatase 2A with basal cell identity in the brown alga Ectocarpus.

Development (Cambridge, England), 150(4):.

The first mitotic division of the initial cell is a key event in all multicellular organisms and is associated with the establishment of major developmental axes and cell fates. The brown alga Ectocarpus has a haploid-diploid life cycle that involves the development of two multicellular generations: the sporophyte and the gametophyte. Each generation deploys a distinct developmental programme autonomously from an initial cell, the first cell division of which sets up the future body pattern. Here, we show that mutations in the BASELESS (BAS) gene result in multiple cellular defects during the first cell division and subsequent failure to produce basal structures during both generations. BAS encodes a type B″ regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and transcriptomic analysis identified potential effector genes that may be involved in determining basal cell fate. The bas mutant phenotype is very similar to that observed in distag (dis) mutants, which lack a functional Tubulin-binding co-factor Cd1 (TBCCd1) protein, indicating that TBCCd1 and PP2A are two essential components of the cellular machinery that regulates the first cell division and mediates basal cell fate determination.

RevDate: 2023-02-14
CmpDate: 2023-02-14

Debit A, Charton F, Pierre-Elies P, et al (2023)

Differential expression patterns of long noncoding RNAs in a pleiomorphic diatom and relation to hyposalinity.

Scientific reports, 13(1):2440.

Long non-coding (lnc)RNAs have been shown to have central roles in stress responses, cell identity and developmental processes in multicellular organisms as well as in unicellular fungi. Previous works have shown the occurrence of lncRNAs in diatoms, namely in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, many of which being expressed under specific stress conditions. Interestingly, P. tricornutum is the only known diatom that has a demonstrated morphological plasticity, occurring in three distinct morphotypes: fusiform, triradiate and oval. Although the morphotypes are interchangeable, the fusiform is the dominant one while both the triradiate and the oval forms are less common, the latter often being associated with stress conditions such as low salinity and solid culture media, amongst others. Nonetheless, the molecular basis underpinning morphotype identity in P. tricornutum remains elusive. Using twelve previously published transcriptomic datasets originating from the three morphotypes of P. tricornutum, we sought to investigate the expression patterns of lncRNAs (lincRNAs and NATs) in these distinct morphotypes, using pairwise comparisons, in order to explore the putative involvement of these noncoding molecules in morphotype identity. We found that differentially expressed lncRNAs cluster according to morphotype, indicating that lncRNAs are not randomly expressed, but rather seem to provide a specific (noncoding) transcriptomic signature of the morphotype. We also present evidence to suggest that the major differences in DE genes (both noncoding and coding) between the stress related oval morphotype and the most common fusiform morphotype could be due, to a large extent, to the hyposaline culture conditions rather than to the morphotype itself. However, several lncRNAs associated to each one of the three morphotypes were identified, which could have a potential role in morphotype (or cell) identity in P. tricornutum, similar to what has been found in both animals and plant development.

RevDate: 2023-02-13
CmpDate: 2023-02-13

Martinez P, Ustyantsev K, Biryukov M, et al (2023)

Genome assembly of the acoel flatworm Symsagittifera roscoffensis, a model for research on body plan evolution and photosymbiosis.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 13(2):.

Symsagittifera roscoffensis is a well-known member of the order Acoela that lives in symbiosis with the algae Tetraselmis convolutae during its adult stage. Its natural habitat is the eastern coast of the Atlantic, where at specific locations thousands of individuals can be found, mostly, lying in large pools on the surface of sand at low tide. As a member of the Acoela it has been thought as a proxy for ancestral bilaterian animals; however, its phylogenetic position remains still debated. In order to understand the basic structural characteristics of the acoel genome, we sequenced and assembled the genome of aposymbiotic species S. roscoffensis. The size of this genome was measured to be in the range of 910-940 Mb. Sequencing of the genome was performed using PacBio Hi-Fi technology. Hi-C and RNA-seq data were also generated to scaffold and annotate it. The resulting assembly is 1.1 Gb large (covering 118% of the estimated genome size) and highly continuous, with N50 scaffold size of 1.04 Mb. The repetitive fraction of the genome is 61%, of which 85% (half of the genome) are LTR retrotransposons. Genome-guided transcriptome assembly identified 34,493 genes, of which 29,351 are protein coding (BUSCO score 97.6%), and 30.2% of genes are spliced leader trans-spliced. The completeness of this genome suggests that it can be used extensively to characterize gene families and conduct accurate phylogenomic reconstructions.

RevDate: 2023-02-09
CmpDate: 2023-02-09

Zhang X, Chen S, Zhao Z, et al (2023)

Investigation of B-atp6-orfH79 distributing in Chinese populations of Oryza rufipogon and analysis of its chimeric structure.

BMC plant biology, 23(1):81.

BACKGROUND: The cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice is caused by chimeric mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that is maternally inherited in the majority of multicellular organisms. Wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) has been regarded as the ancestral progenitor of Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.). To investigate the distribution of original CMS source, and explore the origin of gametophytic CMS gene, a total of 427 individuals with seventeen representative populations of O. rufipogon were collected in from Dongxiang of Jiangxi Province to Sanya of Hainan Province, China, for the PCR amplification of atp6, orfH79 and B-atp6-orfH79, respectively.

RESULTS: The B-atp6-orfH79 and its variants (B-atp6-GSV) were detected in five among seventeen populations (i.e. HK, GZ, PS, TL and YJ) through PCR amplification, which could be divided into three haplotypes, i.e., BH1, BH2, and BH3. The BH2 haplotype was identical to B-atp6-orfH79, while the BH1 and BH3 were the novel haplotypes of B-atp6-GSV. Combined with the high-homology sequences in GenBank, a total of eighteen haplotypes have been revealed, only with ten haplotypes in orfH79 and its variants (GSV) that belong to three species (i.e. O. rufipogon, Oryza nivara and Oryza sativa). Enough haplotypes clearly demonstrated the uniform structural characteristics of the B-atp6-orfH79 as follows: except for the conserved sequence (671 bp) composed of B-atp6 (619 bp) and the downstream followed the B-atp6 (52 bp, DS), and GSV sequence, a rich variable sequence (VS, 176 bp) lies between the DS and GSV with five insertion or deletion and more than 30 single nucleotide polymorphism. Maximum likelihood analysis showed that eighteen haplotypes formed three clades with high support rate. The hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated the occurrence of variation among all populations (FST = 1; P < 0.001), which implied that the chimeric structure occurred independently. Three haplotypes (i.e., H1, H2 and H3) were detected by the primer of orfH79, which were identical to the GVS in B-atp6-GVS structure, respectively. All seventeen haplotypes of the orfH79, belonged to six species based on our results and the existing references. Seven existed single nucleotide polymorphism in GSV section can be translated into eleven various amino acid sequences.

CONCLUSIONS: Generally, this study, indicating that orfH79 was always accompanied by the B-atp6, not only provide two original CMS sources for rice breeding, but also confirm the uniform structure of B-atp-orfH79, which contribute to revealing the origin of rice gametophytic CMS genes, and the reason about frequent recombination of mitochondrial DNA.

RevDate: 2023-02-06
CmpDate: 2023-02-06

Tuohinto K, DiMaio TA, Kiss EA, et al (2023)

KSHV infection of endothelial precursor cells with lymphatic characteristics as a novel model for translational Kaposi's sarcoma studies.

PLoS pathogens, 19(1):e1010753.

Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a hyperplasia consisting of enlarged malformed vasculature and spindle-shaped cells, the main proliferative component of KS. While spindle cells express markers of lymphatic and blood endothelium, the origin of spindle cells is unknown. Endothelial precursor cells have been proposed as the source of spindle cells. We previously identified two types of circulating endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs), ones that expressed markers of blood endothelium and ones that expressed markers of lymphatic endothelium. Here we examined both blood and lymphatic ECFCs infected with KSHV. Lymphatic ECFCs are significantly more susceptible to KSHV infection than the blood ECFCs and maintain the viral episomes during passage in culture while the blood ECFCs lose the viral episome. Only the KSHV-infected lymphatic ECFCs (K-ECFCLY) grew to small multicellular colonies in soft agar whereas the infected blood ECFCs and all uninfected ECFCs failed to proliferate. The K-ECFCLYs express high levels of SOX18, which supported the maintenance of high copy number of KSHV genomes. When implanted subcutaneously into NSG mice, the K-ECFCLYs persisted in vivo and recapitulated the phenotype of KS tumor cells with high number of viral genome copies and spindling morphology. These spindle cell hallmarks were significantly reduced when mice were treated with SOX18 inhibitor, SM4. These data suggest that KSHV-infected lymphatic ECFCs can be utilized as a KSHV infection model for in vivo translational studies to test novel inhibitors representing potential treatment modalities for KS.

RevDate: 2023-02-01
CmpDate: 2023-02-01

Pandey T, DK Ma (2022)

Stress-Induced Phenoptosis: Mechanistic Insights and Evolutionary Implications.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(12):1504-1511.

Evolution by natural selection results in biological traits that enable organismic adaptation and survival under various stressful environments. External stresses can be sometimes too severe to overcome, leading to organismic death either because of failure in adapting to such stress, or alternatively, through a regulated form of organismic death (phenoptosis). While regulated cell deaths, including apoptosis, have been extensively studied, little is known about the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phenoptosis and its evolutionary significance for multicellular organisms. In this article, we review documented phenomena and mechanistic evidence emerging from studies of stress-induced phenoptosis in the multicellular organism C. elegans and stress-induced deaths at cellular levels in organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals, focusing on abiotic and pathogen stresses. Genes and signaling pathways involved in phenoptosis appear to promote organismic death during severe stress and aging, while conferring fitness and immune defense during mild stress and early life, consistent with their antagonistic pleiotropy actions. As cell apoptosis during development can shape tissues and organs, stress-induced phenoptosis may also contribute to possible benefits at the population level, through mechanisms including kin selection, abortive infection, and soma-to-germline resource allocation. Current models can generate experimentally testable predictions and conceptual frameworks with implications for understanding both stress-induced phenoptosis and natural aging.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Klure DM, Greenhalgh R, Parchman TL, et al (2023)

Hybridization in the absence of an ecotone favors hybrid success in woodrats (Neotoma spp.).

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:7008940 [Epub ahead of print].

Hybridization is a common process that has broadly impacted the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes; however, how ecological factors influence this process remains poorly understood. Here, we report the findings of a 3-year recapture study of the Bryant's woodrat (Neotoma bryanti) and desert woodrat (N. lepida), two species that hybridize within a creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) shrubland in Whitewater, CA, USA. We used a genotype-by-sequencing approach to characterize the ancestry distribution of individuals across this hybrid zone coupled with Cormack-Jolly-Seber modeling to describe demography. We identified a high frequency of hybridization at this site with ~40% of individuals possessing admixed ancestry, which is the result of multigenerational backcrossing and advanced hybrid-hybrid crossing. F1, F2 and advanced generation hybrids had apparent survival rates similar to parental N. bryanti, while parental and backcross N. lepida had lower apparent survival rates and were far less abundant. Compared to bimodal hybrid zones where hybrids are often rare and selected against, we find that hybrids at Whitewater are common and have comparable survival to the dominant parental species, N. bryanti. The frequency of hybridization at Whitewater is therefore likely limited by the abundance of the less common parental species, N. lepida, rather than selection against hybrids.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Forterre P, M Gaïa (2022)

[Viruses and the evolution of modern eukaryotic cells].

Medecine sciences : M/S, 38(12):990-998.

It is now well accepted that viruses have played an important role in the evolution of modern eukaryotes. In this review, we suggest that interactions between ancient eukaryoviruses and proto-eukaryotes also played a major role in eukaryogenesis. We discuss phylogenetic analyses that highlight the viral origin of several key proteins in the molecular biology of eukaryotes. We also discuss recent observations that, by analogy, could suggest a viral origin of the cellular nucleus. Finally, we hypothesize that mechanisms of cell differentiation in multicellular organisms might have originated from mechanisms implemented by viruses to transform infected cells into virocells.

RevDate: 2023-01-24
CmpDate: 2023-01-24

Townsend C, Ferraro JV, Habecker H, et al (2023)

Human cooperation and evolutionary transitions in individuality.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210414.

A major evolutionary transition in individuality involves the formation of a cooperative group and the transformation of that group into an evolutionary entity. Human cooperation shares principles with those of multicellular organisms that have undergone transitions in individuality: division of labour, communication, and fitness interdependence. After the split from the last common ancestor of hominoids, early hominins adapted to an increasingly terrestrial niche for several million years. We posit that new challenges in this niche set in motion a positive feedback loop in selection pressure for cooperation that ratcheted coevolutionary changes in sociality, communication, brains, cognition, kin relations and technology, eventually resulting in egalitarian societies with suppressed competition and rapid cumulative culture. The increasing pace of information innovation and transmission became a key aspect of the evolutionary niche that enabled humans to become formidable cooperators with explosive population growth, the ability to cooperate and compete in groups of millions, and emergent social norms, e.g. private property. Despite considerable fitness interdependence, the rise of private property, in concert with population explosion and socioeconomic inequality, subverts potential transition of human groups into evolutionary entities due to resurgence of latent competition and conflict. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-24
CmpDate: 2023-01-24

Davison DR, RE Michod (2023)

Steps to individuality in biology and culture.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210407.

Did human culture arise through an evolutionary transition in individuality (ETI)? To address this question, we examine the steps of biological ETIs to see how they could apply to the evolution of human culture. For concreteness, we illustrate the ETI stages using a well-studied example, the evolution of multicellularity in the volvocine algae. We then consider how those stages could apply to a cultural transition involving integrated groups of cultural traditions and the hominins that create and transmit traditions. We focus primarily on the early Pleistocene and examine hominin carnivory and the cultural change from Oldowan to Acheulean technology. We use Pan behaviour as an outgroup comparison. We summarize the important similarities and differences we find between ETI stages in the biological and cultural realms. As we are not cultural anthropologists, we may overlook or be mistaken in the processes we associate with each step. We hope that by clearly describing these steps to individuality and illustrating them with cultural principles and processes, other researchers may build upon our initial exercise. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that human culture has undergone an ETI beginning with a Pan-like ancestor, continuing during the Pleistocene, and culminating in modern human culture. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-17
CmpDate: 2023-01-17

Liu Y, Cao M, Yan X, et al (2023)

Genome-wide identification of gap junction (connexins and pannexins) genes in black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii): Evolution and immune response mechanism following challenge.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 132:108492.

Cell-to-cell communication through gap junction channels is very important to coordinate the functions of cells in all multicellular biological tissues. It allows the direct exchange of ions and small molecules (including second messengers, such as Ca[2+], IP3, cyclic nucleotides, and oligonucleotides). In this study, a total of 48 members of the gap junction (GJ) protein family were identified from Sebastes schlegelii. In S. schlegelii, GJ proteins were classified into two types, connexin, and pannexin, and then connexins were divided into five subfamilies. The naming of 48 genes was verified through phylogenetic analysis and syntenic analysis. The connexin proteins contained four transmembrane fragments and two extracellular loops, the lengths of the intracellular loop and C-terminal was quite different, and the C-terminal region was highly variable after post-translational modification. PPI analysis showed that GJs interacted with tight junctions, adhesive junctions, and cell adhesions to form a complex network and participated in cell-cell junction organization, ATP binding, ion channel, voltage-gated conduction, wnt signaling pathway, Fc-γ receptor signaling pathway, and DNA replication. In addition, the S. schlegelii GJ protein was highly expressed in intestinal tissues and remarkably regulated after Edwardsiella tarda and Streptococcus iniae infection. The expression of GJs in intestinal cells of S. schlegelii was significantly regulated by LPS and poly (I:C), which was consistent with the results of intestinal tissue stimulation by pathogens. In conclusion, this study can provide valuable information for further research on the function of S. schlegelii GJ proteins.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

McShea DW (2023)

Four reasons for scepticism about a human major transition in social individuality.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1872):20210403.

The 'major transitions in evolution' are mainly about the rise of hierarchy, new individuals arising at ever higher levels of nestedness, in particular the eukaryotic cell arising from prokaryotes, multicellular individuals from solitary protists and individuated societies from multicellular individuals. Some lists include human societies as a major transition, but based on a comparison with the non-human transitions, there are reasons for scepticism. (i) The foundation of the major transitions is hierarchy, but the cross-cutting interactions in human societies undermine hierarchical structure. (ii) Natural selection operates in three modes-stability, growth and reproductive success-and only the third produces the complex adaptations seen in fully individuated higher levels. But human societies probably evolve mainly in the stability and growth modes. (iii) Highly individuated entities are marked by division of labour and commitment to morphological differentiation, but in humans differentiation is mostly behavioural and mostly reversible. (iv) As higher-level individuals arise, selection drains complexity, drains parts, from lower-level individuals. But there is little evidence of a drain in humans. In sum, a comparison with the other transitions gives reasons to doubt that human social individuation has proceeded very far, or if it has, to doubt that it is a transition of the same sort. This article is part of the theme issue 'Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions'.

RevDate: 2023-01-23
CmpDate: 2023-01-23

Sakai D, Nishikawa J, Kakiuchida H, et al (2022)

Stack of cellular lamellae forms a silvered cortex to conceal the opaque organ in a transparent gastropod in epipelagic habitat.

PeerJ, 10:e14284.

BACKGROUND: Gelatinous zooplankton in epipelagic environments often have highly transparent bodies to avoid detection by their visual predators and prey; however, the digestive systems are often exceptionally opaque even in these organisms. In a holoplanktonic gastropod, Pterotrachea coronata, the visceral nucleus is an opaque organ located at the posterior end of its alimentary system, but this organ has a mirrored surface to conceal its internal opaque tissue.

RESULTS: Our ultrastructural observation proved that the cortex of the visceral nucleus comprised a stack of thin cellular lamellae forming a Bragg reflector, and the thickness of lamellae (0.16 µm in average) and the spaces between the lamellae (0.1 µm in average) tended to become thinner toward inner lamellae. Based on the measured values, we built virtual models of the multilamellar layer comprising 50 lamellae and spaces, and the light reflection on the models was calculated using rigorous coupled wave analysis to evaluate their properties as reflectors. Our simulation supported the idea that the layer is a reflective tissue, and the thickness of the lamella/space must be chirped to reflect sunlight as white/silver light, mostly independent of the angle of incidence.

CONCLUSIONS: In P. coronata, the cortex of the visceral nucleus comprised multicellular lamellae that form a chirped Bragg reflector. It is distinct in structure from the intracellular Bragg structures of common iridophores. This novel Bragg reflector demonstrates the diversity and convergent evolution of reflective tissue using reflectin-like proteins in Mollusca.

RevDate: 2023-01-20
CmpDate: 2023-01-20

Römling U (2023)

Is biofilm formation intrinsic to the origin of life?.

Environmental microbiology, 25(1):26-39.

Biofilms are multicellular, often surface-associated, communities of autonomous cells. Their formation is the natural mode of growth of up to 80% of microorganisms living on this planet. Biofilms refractory towards antimicrobial agents and the actions of the immune system due to their tolerance against multiple environmental stresses. But how did biofilm formation arise? Here, I argue that the biofilm lifestyle has its foundation already in the fundamental, surface-triggered chemical reactions and energy preserving mechanisms that enabled the development of life on earth. Subsequently, prototypical biofilm formation has evolved and diversified concomitantly in composition, cell morphology and regulation with the expansion of prokaryotic organisms and their radiation by occupation of diverse ecological niches. This ancient origin of biofilm formation thus mirrors the harnessing environmental conditions that have been the rule rather than the exception in microbial life. The subsequent emergence of the association of microbes, including recent human pathogens, with higher organisms can be considered as the entry into a nutritional and largely stress-protecting heaven. Nevertheless, basic mechanisms of biofilm formation have surprisingly been conserved and refunctionalized to promote sustained survival in new environments.

RevDate: 2023-01-20
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Nozaki H, Mori F, Tanaka Y, et al (2023)

Cryopreservation of two species of the multicellular volvocine green algal genus Astrephomene.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):16.

BACKGROUND: Astrephomene is an interesting green algal genus that, together with Volvox, shows convergent evolution of spheroidal multicellular bodies with somatic cells of the colonial or multicellular volvocine lineage. A recent whole-genome analysis of A. gubernaculifera resolved the molecular-genetic basis of such convergent evolution, and two species of Astrephomene were described. However, maintenance of culture strains of Astrephomene requires rapid inoculation of living cultures, and cryopreserved culture strains have not been established in public culture collections.

RESULTS: To establish cryopreserved culture strains of two species of Astrephomene, conditions for cryopreservation of the two species were investigated using immature and mature vegetative colonies and two cryoprotectants: N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and hydroxyacetone (HA). Rates of cell survival of the A. gubernaculifera or A. perforata strain after two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen were compared between different concentrations (3 and 6%) of DMF and HA and two types of colonies: immature colonies (small colonies newly released from the parent) and mature colonies (large colonies just before daughter colony formation). The highest rate of survival [11 ± 13% (0.36-33%) by the most probable number (MPN) method] of A. gubernaculifera strain NIES-4017 (established in 2014) was obtained when culture samples of immature colonies were subjected to cryogenic treatment with 6% DMF. In contrast, culture samples of mature colonies subjected to 3% HA cryogenic treatment showed the highest "MPN survival" [5.5 ± 5.9% (0.12-12%)] in A. perforata. Using the optimized cryopreservation conditions for each species, survival after freezing in liquid nitrogen was examined for six other strains of A. gubernaculifera (established from 1962 to 1981) and another A. perforata strain maintained in the Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (MCC-NIES). We obtained ≥0.1% MPN survival of the A. perforata strain. However, only two of the six strains of A. gubernaculifera showed ≥0.1% MPN survival. By using the optimal cryopreserved conditions obtained for each species, five cryopreserved strains of two species of Astrephomene were established and deposited in the MCC-NIES.

CONCLUSIONS: The optimal cryopreservation conditions differed between the two species of Astrephomene. Cryopreservation of long-term-maintained strains of A. gubernaculifera may be difficult; further studies of cryopreservation of these strains are needed.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Muñoz-Gómez SA (2023)

Energetics and evolution of anaerobic microbial eukaryotes.

Nature microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mitochondria and aerobic respiration have been suggested to be required for the evolution of eukaryotic cell complexity. Aerobic respiration is several times more energetically efficient than fermentation. Moreover, aerobic respiration occurs at internalized mitochondrial membranes that are not constrained by a sublinear scaling with cell volume. However, diverse and complex anaerobic eukaryotes (for example, free-living and parasitic unicellular, and even small multicellular, eukaryotes) that exclusively rely on fermentation for energy generation have evolved repeatedly from aerobic ancestors. How do fermenting eukaryotes maintain their cell volumes and complexity while relying on such a low energy-yielding process? Here I propose that reduced rates of ATP generation in fermenting versus respiring eukaryotes are compensated for by longer cell cycles that satisfy lifetime energy demands. A literature survey and growth efficiency calculations show that fermenting eukaryotes divide approximately four to six times slower than aerobically respiring counterparts with similar cell volumes. Although ecological advantages such as competition avoidance offset lower growth rates and yields in the short term, fermenting eukaryotes inevitably have fewer physiological and ecological possibilities, which ultimately constrain their long-term evolutionary trajectories.

RevDate: 2023-01-15

Barrenechea Angeles I, Romero-Martínez ML, Cavaliere M, et al (2023)

Encapsulated in sediments: eDNA deciphers the ecosystem history of one of the most polluted European marine sites.

Environment international, 172:107738 pii:S0160-4120(23)00011-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The Anthropocene is characterized by dramatic ecosystem changes driven by human activities. The impact of these activities can be assessed by different geochemical and paleontological proxies. However, each of these proxies provides only a fragmentary insight into the effects of anthropogenic impacts. It is highly challenging to reconstruct, with a holistic view, the state of the ecosystems from the preindustrial period to the present day, covering all biological components, from prokaryotes to multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we used sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) archives encompassing all trophic levels of biodiversity to reconstruct the two century-natural history in Bagnoli-Coroglio (Gulf of Pozzuoli, Tyrrhenian Sea), one of the most polluted marine-coastal sites in Europe. The site was characterized by seagrass meadows and high eukaryotic diversity until the beginning of the 20th century. Then, the ecosystem completely changed, with seagrasses and associated fauna as well as diverse groups of planktonic and benthic protists being replaced by low diversity biota dominated by dinophyceans and infaunal metazoan species. The sedaDNA analysis revealed a five-phase evolution of the area, where changes appear as the result of a multi-level cascade effect of impacts associated with industrial activities, urbanization, water circulation and land-use changes. The sedaDNA allowed to infer reference conditions that must be considered when restoration actions are to be implemented.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

von der Heyde B, A Hallmann (2022)

Cell Type-Specific Pherophorins of Volvox carteri Reveal Interplay of Both Cell Types in ECM Biosynthesis.

Cells, 12(1):.

The spheroidal green algae Volvox carteri serves as a model system to investigate the formation of a complex, multifunctional extracellular matrix (ECM) in a relatively simple, multicellular organism with cell differentiation. The V. carteri ECM is mainly composed of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) and there are diverse region-specific, anatomically distinct structures in the ECM. One large protein family with importance for ECM biosynthesis stands out: the pherophorins. The few pherophorins previously extracted from the ECM and characterized, were specifically expressed by somatic cells. However, the localization and function of most pherophorins is unknown. Here, we provide a phylogenetic analysis of 153 pherophorins of V. carteri and its unicellular relative Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Our analysis of cell type-specific mRNA expression of pherophorins in V. carteri revealed that, contrary to previous assumptions, only about half (52%) of the 102 investigated pherophorin-related genes show stronger expression in somatic cells, whereas about one-third (34%) of the genes show significant higher expression in reproductive cells (gonidia). We fused two pherophorin genes that are expressed by different cell types to yfp, stably expressed them in Volvox and studied the tagged proteins by live-cell imaging. In contrast to earlier biochemical approaches, this genetic approach also allows the in vivo analysis of non-extractable, covalently cross-linked ECM proteins. We demonstrate that the soma-specific pherophorin SSG185 is localized in the outermost ECM structures of the spheroid, the boundary zone and at the flagellar hillocks. SSG185:YFP is detectable as early as 1.5 h after completion of embryogenesis. It is then present for the rest of the life cycle. The gonidia-specific pherophorin PhG is localized in the gonidial cellular zone 1 ("gonidial vesicle") suggesting its involvement in the protection of gonidia and developing embryos until hatching. Even if somatic cells produce the main portion of the ECM of the spheroids, ECM components produced by gonidia are also required to cooperatively assemble the total ECM. Our results provide insights into the evolution of the pherophorin protein family and convey a more detailed picture of Volvox ECM synthesis.

RevDate: 2023-01-21
CmpDate: 2023-01-03

Lynch M, Trickovic B, CP Kempes (2022)

Evolutionary scaling of maximum growth rate with organism size.

Scientific reports, 12(1):22586.

Data from nearly 1000 species reveal the upper bound to rates of biomass production achievable by natural selection across the Tree of Life. For heterotrophs, maximum growth rates scale positively with organism size in bacteria but negatively in eukaryotes, whereas for phototrophs, the scaling is negligible for cyanobacteria and weakly negative for eukaryotes. These results have significant implications for understanding the bioenergetic consequences of the transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, and of the expansion of some groups of the latter into multicellularity. The magnitudes of the scaling coefficients for eukaryotes are significantly lower than expected under any proposed physical-constraint model. Supported by genomic, bioenergetic, and population-genetic data and theory, an alternative hypothesis for the observed negative scaling in eukaryotes postulates that growth-diminishing mutations with small effects passively accumulate with increasing organism size as a consequence of associated increases in the power of random genetic drift. In contrast, conditional on the structural and functional features of ribosomes, natural selection has been able to promote bacteria with the fastest possible growth rates, implying minimal conflicts with both bioenergetic constraints and random genetic drift. If this extension of the drift-barrier hypothesis is correct, the interpretations of comparative studies of biological traits that have traditionally ignored differences in population-genetic environments will require revisiting.

RevDate: 2023-01-09
CmpDate: 2022-12-26

Kozlov AP (2022)

The Theory of Carcino-Evo-Devo and Its Non-Trivial Predictions.

Genes, 13(12):.

To explain the sources of additional cell masses in the evolution of multicellular organisms, the theory of carcino-evo-devo, or evolution by tumor neofunctionalization, has been developed. The important demand for a new theory in experimental science is the capability to formulate non-trivial predictions which can be experimentally confirmed. Several non-trivial predictions were formulated using carcino-evo-devo theory, four of which are discussed in the present paper: (1) The number of cellular oncogenes should correspond to the number of cell types in the organism. The evolution of oncogenes, tumor suppressor and differentiation gene classes should proceed concurrently. (2) Evolutionarily new and evolving genes should be specifically expressed in tumors (TSEEN genes). (3) Human orthologs of fish TSEEN genes should acquire progressive functions connected with new cell types, tissues and organs. (4) Selection of tumors for new functions in the organism is possible. Evolutionarily novel organs should recapitulate tumor features in their development. As shown in this paper, these predictions have been confirmed by the laboratory of the author. Thus, we have shown that carcino-evo-devo theory has predictive power, fulfilling a fundamental requirement for a new theory.

RevDate: 2023-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-12-27

Bowman JL (2022)

The origin of a land flora.

Nature plants, 8(12):1352-1369.

The origin of a land flora fundamentally shifted the course of evolution of life on earth, facilitating terrestrialization of other eukaryotic lineages and altering the planet's geology, from changing atmospheric and hydrological cycles to transforming continental erosion processes. Despite algal lineages inhabiting the terrestrial environment for a considerable preceding period, they failed to evolve complex multicellularity necessary to conquer the land. About 470 million years ago, one lineage of charophycean alga evolved complex multicellularity via developmental innovations in both haploid and diploid generations and became land plants (embryophytes), which rapidly diversified to dominate most terrestrial habitats. Genome sequences have provided unprecedented insights into the genetic and genomic bases for embryophyte origins, with some embryophyte-specific genes being associated with the evolution of key developmental or physiological attributes, such as meristems, rhizoids and the ability to form mycorrhizal associations. However, based on the fossil record, the evolution of the defining feature of embryophytes, the embryo, and consequently the sporangium that provided a reproductive advantage, may have been most critical in their rise to dominance. The long timeframe and singularity of a land flora were perhaps due to the stepwise assembly of a large constellation of genetic innovations required to conquer the terrestrial environment.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-11

Baselga-Cervera B, Gettle N, M Travisano (2022)

Loss-of-heterozygosity facilitates a fitness valley crossing in experimentally evolved multicellular yeast.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1976):20212722.

Determining how adaptive possibilities do or do not become evolutionary realities is central to understanding the tempo and mode of evolutionary change. Some of the simplest evolutionary landscapes arise from underdominance at a single locus where the fitness valley consists of only one less-fit genotype. Despite their potential for rapid evolutionary change, few such examples have been investigated. We capitalized on an experimental system in which a significant evolutionary shift, the transition from uni-to-multicellularity, was observed in asexual diploid populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae experimentally selected for increased settling rates. The multicellular phenotype results from recessive single-locus mutations that undergo loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) events. By reconstructing the necessary heterozygous intermediate steps, we found that the evolution of multicellularity involves a decrease in size during the first steps. Heterozygous genotypes are 20% smaller in size than genotypes with functional alleles. Nevertheless, populations of heterozygotes give rise to multicellular genotypes more readily than unicellular genotypes with two functional alleles, by rapid LOH events. LOH drives adaptation that may enable rapid evolution in diploid yeast. Together these results show discordance between the phenotypic and genotypic multicellular transition. The evolutionary path to multicellularity, and the adaptive benefits of increased size, requires initial size reductions.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Nguyen NM, Merle T, Broders-Bondon F, et al (2022)

Mechano-biochemical marine stimulation of inversion, gastrulation, and endomesoderm specification in multicellular Eukaryota.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10:992371.

The evolutionary emergence of the primitive gut in Metazoa is one of the decisive events that conditioned the major evolutionary transition, leading to the origin of animal development. It is thought to have been induced by the specification of the endomesoderm (EM) into the multicellular tissue and its invagination (i.e., gastrulation). However, the biochemical signals underlying the evolutionary emergence of EM specification and gastrulation remain unknown. Herein, we find that hydrodynamic mechanical strains, reminiscent of soft marine flow, trigger active tissue invagination/gastrulation or curvature reversal via a Myo-II-dependent mechanotransductive process in both the metazoan Nematostella vectensis (cnidaria) and the multicellular choanoflagellate Choanoeca flexa. In the latter, our data suggest that the curvature reversal is associated with a sensory-behavioral feeding response. Additionally, like in bilaterian animals, gastrulation in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis is shown to participate in the biochemical specification of the EM through mechanical activation of the β-catenin pathway via the phosphorylation of Y654-βcatenin. Choanoflagellates are considered the closest living relative to metazoans, and the common ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans dates back at least 700 million years. Therefore, the present findings using these evolutionarily distant species suggest that the primitive emergence of the gut in Metazoa may have been initiated in response to marine mechanical stress already in multicellular pre-Metazoa. Then, the evolutionary transition may have been achieved by specifying the EM via a mechanosensitive Y654-βcatenin dependent mechanism, which appeared during early Metazoa evolution and is specifically conserved in all animals.

RevDate: 2023-01-19
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Barbosa FAS, Brait LAS, Coutinho FH, et al (2023)

Ecological landscape explains aquifers microbial structure.

The Science of the total environment, 862:160822.

Aquifers have significant social, economic, and ecological importance. They supply 30 % of the freshwater for human consumption worldwide, including agricultural and industrial use. Despite aquifers' importance, the relationships between aquifer categories and their inhabiting microbial communities are still unknown. Characterizing variations within microbial communities' function and taxonomy structure at different aquifers could give a panoramic view of patterns that may enable the detection and prediction of environmental impact caused by multiple sources. Using publicly available shotgun metagenomic datasets, we examined whether soil properties, land use, and climate variables would have a more significant influence on the taxonomy and functional structure of the microbial communities than the ecological landscapes of the aquifer (i.e., Karst, Porous, Saline, Geyser, and Porous Contaminated). We found that these categories are stronger predictors of microbial communities' structure than geographical localization. In addition, our results show that microbial richness and dominance patterns are the opposite of those found in multicellular life, where extreme habitats harbour richer functional and taxonomic microbial communities. We found that low-abundant and recently described candidate taxa, such as the chemolithoautotrophic genus Candidatus Altiarcheum and the Candidate phylum Parcubacteria, are the main contributors to aquifer microbial communities' dissimilarities. Genes related to gram-negative bacteria proteins, cell wall structures, and phage activity were the primary contributors to aquifer microbial communities' dissimilarities among the aquifers' ecological landscapes. The results reported in the present study highlight the utility of using ecological landscapes for investigating aquifer microbial communities. In addition, we suggest that functions played by recently described and low abundant bacterial groups need further investigation once they might affect water quality, geochemical cycles, and the effects of anthropogenic disturbances such as pollution and climatic events on aquifers.

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Vainshelbaum NM, Giuliani A, Salmina K, et al (2022)

The Transcriptome and Proteome Networks of Malignant Tumours Reveal Atavistic Attractors of Polyploidy-Related Asexual Reproduction.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(23):.

The expression of gametogenesis-related (GG) genes and proteins, as well as whole genome duplications (WGD), are the hallmarks of cancer related to poor prognosis. Currently, it is not clear if these hallmarks are random processes associated only with genome instability or are programmatically linked. Our goal was to elucidate this via a thorough bioinformatics analysis of 1474 GG genes in the context of WGD. We examined their association in protein-protein interaction and coexpression networks, and their phylostratigraphic profiles from publicly available patient tumour data. The results show that GG genes are upregulated in most WGD-enriched somatic cancers at the transcriptome level and reveal robust GG gene expression at the protein level, as well as the ability to associate into correlation networks and enrich the reproductive modules. GG gene phylostratigraphy displayed in WGD+ cancers an attractor of early eukaryotic origin for DNA recombination and meiosis, and one relative to oocyte maturation and embryogenesis from early multicellular organisms. The upregulation of cancer-testis genes emerging with mammalian placentation was also associated with WGD. In general, the results suggest the role of polyploidy for soma-germ transition accessing latent cancer attractors in the human genome network, which appear as pre-formed along the whole Evolution of Life.

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Aktas RG, Karski M, Issac B, et al (2022)

Long-Term Characteristics of Human-Derived Biliary Organoids under a Single Continuous Culture Condition.

Cells, 11(23):.

Organoids have been used to investigate the three-dimensional (3D) organization and function of their respective organs. These self-organizing 3D structures offer a distinct advantage over traditional two-dimensional (2D) culture techniques by creating a more physiologically relevant milieu to study complex biological systems. The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of establishing organoids from various pediatric liver diseases and characterize the long-term evolution of cholangiocyte organoids (chol-orgs) under a single continuous culture condition. We established chol-orgs from 10 different liver conditions and characterized their multicellular organization into complex epithelial structures through budding, merging, and lumen formation. Immunofluorescent staining, electron microscopy, and single-nucleus RNA (snRNA-seq) sequencing confirmed the cholangiocytic nature of the chol-orgs. There were significant cell population differences in the transcript profiles of two-dimensional and organoid cultures based on snRNA-seq. Our study provides an approach for the generation and long-term maintenance of chol-orgs from various pediatric liver diseases under a single continuous culture condition.

RevDate: 2022-12-21
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Sun H, Fang T, Wang T, et al (2022)

Single-cell profiles reveal tumor cell heterogeneity and immunosuppressive microenvironment in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.

Journal of translational medicine, 20(1):576.

BACKGROUND: Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare and incurable indolent B-cell malignancy. The molecular pathogenesis and the role of immunosuppressive microenvironment in WM development are still incompletely understood.

METHODS: The multicellular ecosystem in bone marrow (BM) of WM were delineated by single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) and investigated the underlying molecular characteristics.

RESULTS: Our data uncovered the heterogeneity of malignant cells in WM, and investigated the kinetic co-evolution of WM and immune cells, which played pivotal roles in disease development and progression. Two novel subpopulations of malignant cells, CD19[+]CD3[+] and CD138[+]CD3[+], co-expressing T-cell marker genes were identified at single-cell resolution. Pseudotime-ordered analysis elucidated that CD19[+]CD3[+] malignant cells presented at an early stage of WM-B cell differentiation. Colony formation assay further identified that CD19[+]CD3[+] malignant cells acted as potential WM precursors. Based on the findings of T cell marker aberrant expressed on WM tumor cells, we speculate the long-time activation of tumor antigen-induced immunosuppressive microenvironment that is involved in the pathogenesis of WM. Therefore, our study further investigated the possible molecular mechanism of immune cell dysfunction. A precursor exhausted CD8-T cells and functional deletion of NK cells were identified in WM, and CD47 would be a potential therapeutic target to reverse the dysfunction of immune cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study facilitates further understanding of the biological heterogeneity of tumor cells and immunosuppressive microenvironment in WM. These data may have implications for the development of novel immunotherapies, such as targeting pre-exhausted CD8-T cells in WM.

RevDate: 2023-01-04
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Nakabachi A, Inoue H, Y Hirose (2022)

High-resolution Microbiome Analyses of Nine Psyllid Species of the Family Triozidae Identified Previously Unrecognized but Major Bacterial Populations, including Liberibacter and Wolbachia of Supergroup O.

Microbes and environments, 37(4):.

Psyllids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Psylloidea) are plant sap-sucking insects that include important agricultural pests. To obtain insights into the ecological and evolutionary behaviors of microbes, including plant pathogens, in Psylloidea, high-resolution ana-lyses of the microbiomes of nine psyllid species belonging to the family Triozidae were performed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Analyses identified various bacterial populations, showing that all nine psyllids have at least one secondary symbiont, along with the primary symbiont "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" (Gammaproteobacteria: Oceanospirillales: Halomonadaceae). The majority of the secondary symbionts were gammaproteobacteria, particularly those of the order Enterobacterales, which included Arsenophonus and Serratia symbiotica, a bacterium formerly recognized only as a secondary symbiont of aphids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphidoidea). The non-Enterobacterales gammaproteobacteria identified in the present study were Diplorickettsia (Diplorickettsiales: Diplorickettsiaceae), a potential human pathogen, and Carnimonas (Oceanospirillales: Halomonadaceae), a lineage detected for the first time in Psylloidea. Regarding alphaproteobacteria, the potential plant pathogen "Ca. Liberibacter europaeus" (Rhizobiales: Rhizobiaceae) was detected for the first time in Epitrioza yasumatsui, which feeds on the Japanese silverberry Elaeagnus umbellata (Elaeagnaceae), an aggressive invasive plant in the United States and Europe. Besides the detection of Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) of supergroup B in three psyllid species, a lineage belonging to supergroup O was identified for the first time in Psylloidea. These results suggest the rampant transfer of bacterial symbionts among animals and plants, thereby providing deeper insights into the evolution of interkingdom interactions among multicellular organisms and bacteria, which will facilitate the control of pest psyllids.

RevDate: 2023-01-15
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Niculescu VF (2022)

A comment on the article Jaques et al. "Origin and evolution of animal multicellularity in light of phylogenomics and cancer genetics ".

Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England), 40(1):38.

For developmental biologists, the work of Jaques et al. is quite surprising. It suggests that cancer genetics and cancer phylogenomics may contribute to the origin and evolution of multicellularity in animals. My commentary complements the work of Jaques et al. from the perspective of evolutionary life cycle biology and recalls the statement of Douglas H. Erwin, who said that understanding life cycle evolution is (equally) crucial to subsequent steps [1].

RevDate: 2022-12-02
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Liu Y, Ma Y, Aray H, et al (2022)

Morphogenesis and cell wall composition of trichomes and their function in response to salt in halophyte Salsola ferganica.

BMC plant biology, 22(1):551.

BACKGROUND: To survive harsh environmental conditions, desert plants show various adaptions, such as the evolution of trichomes, which are protective epidermal protrusions. Currently, the morphogenesis and function of trichomes in desert plants are not well understood. Salsola ferganica is an annual halophyte distributed in cold deserts; at the seedling stage, its rod-shaped true leaves are covered with long and thick trichomes and are affected by habitat conditions. Therefore, we evaluated the trichomes on morphogenesis and cell wall composition of S. ferganica compared to Arabidopsis thaliana and cotton, related gene expression, and preliminary function in salt accumulation of the leaves.

RESULTS: The trichomes of S. ferganica were initiated from the epidermal primordium, followed by two to three rounds of cell division to form a multicellular trichome, while some genes associated with them were positively involved. Cell wall composition analysis showed that different polysaccharides including heavily methyl-esterified and fully de-esterified pectins (before maturation, probably in the primary wall), xyloglucans (in the mid-early and middle stages, probably in the secondary wall), and extensin (during the whole developmental period) were detected, which were different from those found in trichomes of Arabidopsis and cotton. Moreover, trichome development was affected by abiotic stress, and might accumulate salt from the mesophyll cells and secrete outside.

CONCLUSIONS: S. ferganica has multicellular, non-branched trichomes that undergo two to three rounds of cell division and are affected by abiotic stress. They have a unique cell wall composition which is different from that of Arabidopsis and cotton. Furthermore, several genes positively or negatively regulate trichome development. Our findings should contribute to our further understanding of the biogenesis and adaptation of plant accessory structures in desert plant species.

RevDate: 2023-01-05
CmpDate: 2023-01-05

Zhan A, Luo Y, Qin H, et al (2022)

Hypomagnetic Field Exposure Affecting Gut Microbiota, Reactive Oxygen Species Levels, and Colonic Cell Proliferation in Mice.

Bioelectromagnetics, 43(8):462-475.

The gut microbiota has been considered one of the key factors in host health, which is influenced by many environmental factors. The geomagnetic field (GMF) represents one of the important environmental conditions for living organisms. Previous studies have shown that the elimination of GMF, the so-called hypomagnetic field (HMF), could affect the physiological functions and resistance to antibiotics of some microorganisms. However, whether long-term HMF exposure could alter the gut microbiota to some extent in mammals remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of long-term (8- and 12-week) HMF exposure on the gut microbiota in C57BL/6J mice. Our results clearly showed that 8-week HMF significantly affected the diversity and function of the mouse gut microbiota. Compared with the GMF group, the concentrations of short-chain fatty acids tended to decrease in the HMF group. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that HMF promoted colonic cell proliferation, concomitant with an increased level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo finding that long-term HMF exposure could affect the mouse gut microbiota, ROS levels, and colonic cell proliferation in the colon. Moreover, the changes in gut microbiota can be restored by returning mice to the GMF environment, thus the possible harm to the microbiota caused by HMF exposure can be alleviated. © 2022 Bioelectromagnetics Society.

RevDate: 2022-12-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Kreider JJ, Janzen T, Bernadou A, et al (2022)

Resource sharing is sufficient for the emergence of division of labour.

Nature communications, 13(1):7232.

Division of labour occurs in a broad range of organisms. Yet, how division of labour can emerge in the absence of pre-existing interindividual differences is poorly understood. Using a simple but realistic model, we show that in a group of initially identical individuals, division of labour emerges spontaneously if returning foragers share part of their resources with other group members. In the absence of resource sharing, individuals follow an activity schedule of alternating between foraging and other tasks. If non-foraging individuals are fed by other individuals, their alternating activity schedule becomes interrupted, leading to task specialisation and the emergence of division of labour. Furthermore, nutritional differences between individuals reinforce division of labour. Such differences can be caused by increased metabolic rates during foraging or by dominance interactions during resource sharing. Our model proposes a plausible mechanism for the self-organised emergence of division of labour in animal groups of initially identical individuals. This mechanism could also play a role for the emergence of division of labour during the major evolutionary transitions to eusociality and multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-12-13
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Ojosnegros S, Alvarez JM, Grossmann J, et al (2022)

The Shared Proteome of the Apomictic Fern Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis and Its Sexual Relative Dryopteris oreades.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(22):.

Ferns are a diverse evolutionary lineage, sister to the seed plants, which is of great ecological importance and has a high biotechnological potential. Fern gametophytes represent one of the simplest autotrophic, multicellular plant forms and show several experimental advantages, including a simple and space-efficient in vitro culture system. However, the molecular basis of fern growth and development has hardly been studied. Here, we report on a proteomic study that identified 417 proteins shared by gametophytes of the apogamous fern Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis and its sexual relative Dryopteris oreades. Most proteins are predicted to localize to the cytoplasm, the chloroplast, or the nucleus, and are linked to enzymatic, binding, and structural activities. A subset of 145 proteins are involved in growth, reproduction, phytohormone signaling and biosynthesis, and gene expression, including homologs of SHEPHERD (SHD), HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN 90-5 (CR88), TRP4, BOBBER 1 (BOB1), FLAVONE 3'-O-METHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (OMT1), ZEAXANTHIN EPOXIDASE (ABA1), GLUTAMATE DESCARBOXYLASE 1 (GAD), and dsRNA-BINDING DOMAIN-LIKE SUPERFAMILY PROTEIN (HLY1). Nearly 25% of the annotated proteins are associated with responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli. As for biotic stress, the proteins PROTEIN SGT1 HOMOLOG B (SGT1B), SUPPRESSOR OF SA INSENSITIVE2 (SSI2), PHOSPHOLIPASE D ALPHA 1 (PLDALPHA1), SERINE/THREONINE-PROTEIN KINASE SRK2E (OST1), ACYL CARRIER PROTEIN 4 (ACP4), and NONHOST RESISTANCE TO P. S. PHASEOLICOLA1 (GLPK) are worth mentioning. Regarding abiotic stimuli, we found proteins associated with oxidative stress: SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE[CU-ZN] 1 (CSD1), and GLUTATHIONE S-TRANSFERASE U19 (GSTU19), light intensity SERINE HYDROXYMETHYLTRANSFERASE 1 (SHM1) and UBIQUITIN-CONJUGATING ENZYME E2 35 (UBC35), salt and heavy metal stress included MITOCHONDRIAL PHOSPHATE CARRIER PROTEIN 3 (PHT3;1), as well as drought and thermotolerance: LEA7, DEAD-BOX ATP-DEPENDENT RNA HELICASE 38 (LOS4), and abundant heat-shock proteins and other chaperones. In addition, we identified interactomes using the STRING platform, revealing protein-protein associations obtained from co-expression, co-occurrence, text mining, homology, databases, and experimental datasets. By focusing on ferns, this proteomic study increases our knowledge on plant development and evolution, and may inspire future applications in crop species.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-28

Sowa ST, Bosetti C, Galera-Prat A, et al (2022)

An Evolutionary Perspective on the Origin, Conservation and Binding Partner Acquisition of Tankyrases.

Biomolecules, 12(11):.

Tankyrases are poly-ADP-ribosyltransferases that regulate many crucial and diverse cellular processes in humans such as Wnt signaling, telomere homeostasis, mitotic spindle formation and glucose metabolism. While tankyrases are present in most animals, functional differences across species may exist. In this work, we confirm the widespread distribution of tankyrases throughout the branches of multicellular animal life and identify the single-celled choanoflagellates as earliest origin of tankyrases. We further show that the sequences and structural aspects of TNKSs are well-conserved even between distantly related species. We also experimentally characterized an anciently diverged tankyrase homolog from the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and show that the basic functional aspects, such as poly-ADP-ribosylation activity and interaction with the canonical tankyrase binding peptide motif, are conserved. Conversely, the presence of tankyrase binding motifs in orthologs of confirmed interaction partners varies greatly between species, indicating that tankyrases may have different sets of interaction partners depending on the animal lineage. Overall, our analysis suggests a remarkable degree of conservation for tankyrases, and that their regulatory functions in cells have likely changed considerably throughout evolution.

RevDate: 2023-01-19
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Sepp T, M Giraudeau (2023)

Wild animals as an underused treasure trove for studying the genetics of cancer.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 45(2):e2200188.

Recent years have seen an emergence of the field of comparative cancer genomics. However, the advancements in this field are held back by the hesitation to use knowledge obtained from human studies to study cancer in other animals, and vice versa. Since cancer is an ancient disease that arose with multicellularity, oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes are amongst the oldest gene classes, shared by most animal species. Acknowledging that other animals are, in terms of cancer genetics, ecology, and evolution, rather similar to humans, creates huge potential for advancing the fields of human and animal oncology, but also biodiversity conservation. Also see the video abstract here:

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-21

Pinskey JM, Lagisetty A, Gui L, et al (2022)

Three-dimensional flagella structures from animals' closest unicellular relatives, the Choanoflagellates.

eLife, 11:.

In most eukaryotic organisms, cilia and flagella perform a variety of life-sustaining roles related to environmental sensing and motility. Cryo-electron microscopy has provided considerable insight into the morphology and function of flagellar structures, but studies have been limited to less than a dozen of the millions of known eukaryotic species. Ultrastructural information is particularly lacking for unicellular organisms in the Opisthokonta clade, leaving a sizeable gap in our understanding of flagella evolution between unicellular species and multicellular metazoans (animals). Choanoflagellates are important aquatic heterotrophs, uniquely positioned within the opisthokonts as the metazoans' closest living unicellular relatives. We performed cryo-focused ion beam milling and cryo-electron tomography on flagella from the choanoflagellate species Salpingoeca rosetta. We show that the axonemal dyneins, radial spokes, and central pair complex in S. rosetta more closely resemble metazoan structures than those of unicellular organisms from other suprakingdoms. In addition, we describe unique features of S. rosetta flagella, including microtubule holes, microtubule inner proteins, and the flagellar vane: a fine, net-like extension that has been notoriously difficult to visualize using other methods. Furthermore, we report barb-like structures of unknown function on the extracellular surface of the flagellar membrane. Together, our findings provide new insights into choanoflagellate biology and flagella evolution between unicellular and multicellular opisthokonts.

RevDate: 2022-12-26
CmpDate: 2022-11-18

Huang J, Zhao L, Malik S, et al (2022)

Specification of female germline by microRNA orchestrated auxin signaling in Arabidopsis.

Nature communications, 13(1):6960.

Germline determination is essential for species survival and evolution in multicellular organisms. In most flowering plants, formation of the female germline is initiated with specification of one megaspore mother cell (MMC) in each ovule; however, the molecular mechanism underlying this key event remains unclear. Here we report that spatially restricted auxin signaling promotes MMC fate in Arabidopsis. Our results show that the microRNA160 (miR160) targeted gene ARF17 (AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR17) is required for promoting MMC specification by genetically interacting with the SPL/NZZ (SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE) gene. Alterations of auxin signaling cause formation of supernumerary MMCs in an ARF17- and SPL/NZZ-dependent manner. Furthermore, miR160 and ARF17 are indispensable for attaining a normal auxin maximum at the ovule apex via modulating the expression domain of PIN1 (PIN-FORMED1) auxin transporter. Our findings elucidate the mechanism by which auxin signaling promotes the acquisition of female germline cell fate in plants.

RevDate: 2022-12-04
CmpDate: 2022-12-02

Durbagula S, Korlimarla A, Ravikumar G, et al (2022)

Prenatal epigenetic factors are predisposing for neurodevelopmental disorders-Considering placenta as a model.

Birth defects research, 114(20):1324-1342.

The heterogeneous characteristics of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) have resulted in varied perspectives on their causation. The biology behind the phenotypic heterogeneity in NDDs is not yet well-defined, but a strong genetic basis has become well accepted as causal for NDDs. Alongside this, there is growing focus on epigenetic mechanisms. The evidence mounting for in-utero origins of NDDs has promoted research focused on epigenetic mechanisms that impact genes that program early brain development. Considering that placenta is a vital organ, this review emphasizes the prenatal factors and their effects on epigenetic changes influencing the normal functioning of the placenta, and factors mediating pathology in the developing fetus. Overall, it is an attempt to bring focus on the hypothesis that "Prenatal epigenetic factors in the placenta could be predisposing to NDDs (with special interest on autism spectrum disorders)." This review finds growing evidence for epigenetic modifications in the placenta that affect glucocorticoid, nutrient, and immune signaling pathways, eventually impacting fetal brain development. This evidence largely comes from animal models. Given the multicellular nature of placenta, we conclude that, there is a need for placental research focused on employing single-cell approaches and genome-wide methylation profiles to bring insights into specific molecular pathways in the placenta that regulate early brain development.

RevDate: 2022-11-21
CmpDate: 2022-11-21

Peterson AF, Ingram K, Huang EJ, et al (2022)

Systematic analysis of the MAPK signaling network reveals MAP3K-driven control of cell fate.

Cell systems, 13(11):885-894.e4.

The classic network of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) is highly interconnected and controls a diverse array of biological processes. In multicellular eukaryotes, the MAPKs ERK, JNK, and p38 control opposing cell behaviors but are often activated simultaneously, raising questions about how input-output specificity is achieved. Here, we use multiplexed MAPK activity biosensors to investigate how cell fate control emerges from the connectivity and dynamics of the MAPK network. Through chemical and genetic perturbation, we systematically explore the outputs and functions of all the MAP3 kinases encoded in the human genome and show that MAP3Ks control cell fate by triggering unique combinations of MAPK activity. We show that these MAPK activity combinations explain the paradoxical dual role of JNK signaling as pro-apoptotic or pro-proliferative kinase. Overall, our integrative analysis indicates that the MAPK network operates as a unit to control cell fate and shifts the focus from MAPKs to MAP3Ks to better understand signaling-mediated control of cell fate.


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
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Bellingham, WA 98226

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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 much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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