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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Oct 2021 at 01:47 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: 2021-10-21
CmpDate: 2021-10-21

McKenna KZ, Wagner GP, KL Cooper (2021)

A developmental perspective of homology and evolutionary novelty.

Current topics in developmental biology, 141:1-38.

The development and evolution of multicellular body plans is complex. Many distinct organs and body parts must be reproduced at each generation, and those that are traceable over long time scales are considered homologous. Among the most pressing and least understood phenomena in evolutionary biology is the mode by which new homologs, or "novelties" are introduced to the body plan and whether the developmental changes associated with such evolution deserve special treatment. In this chapter, we address the concepts of homology and evolutionary novelty through the lens of development. We present a series of case studies, within insects and vertebrates, from which we propose a developmental model of multicellular organ identity. With this model in hand, we make predictions regarding the developmental evolution of body plans and highlight the need for more integrative analysis of developing systems.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

Stüeken EE, Viehmann S, SV Hohl (2021)

Contrasting nutrient availability between marine and brackish waters in the late Mesoproterozoic: Evidence from the Paranoá Group, Brazil.

Geobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the delayed rise of eukaryotic life on Earth is one of the most fundamental questions about biological evolution. Numerous studies have presented evidence for oxygen and nutrient limitations in seawater during the Mesoproterozoic era, indicating that open marine settings may not have been able to sustain a eukaryotic biosphere with complex, multicellular organisms. However, many of these data sets represent restricted marine basins, which may bias our view of habitability. Furthermore, it remains untested whether rivers could have supplied significant nutrient fluxes to coastal habitats. To better characterize the sources of the major nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, we turned to the late Mesoproterozoic Paranoá Group in Brazil (~1.1 Ga), which was deposited on a passive margin of the São Francisco craton. We present carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotope data from an open shelf setting (Fazenda Funil) and from a brackish-water environment with significant riverine input (São Gabriel). Our results show that waters were well-oxygenated and nitrate was bioavailable in the open ocean setting at Fazenda Funil; the redoxcline appears to have been deeper and further offshore compared to restricted marine basins elsewhere in the Mesoproterozoic. In contrast, the brackish site at São Gabriel received only limited input of marine nitrate and sulphate. Nevertheless, previous reports of acritarchs reveal that this brackish-water setting was habitable to eukaryotic life. Paired with previously published cadmium isotope data, which can be used as a proxy for phosphorus cycling, our results suggest that complex organisms were perhaps not strictly dependent on marine nutrient supplies. Riverine influxes of P and possibly other nutrients likely rendered coastal waters perhaps equally habitable to the Mesoproterozoic open ocean. This conclusion supports the notion that eukaryotic organisms may have thrived in brackish or perhaps even freshwater environments.

RevDate: 2021-10-19
CmpDate: 2021-10-19

Saucedo LJ, Triolo RE, KE Segar (2021)

How Drosophila Can Inform the Emerging Paradigm of the Role of Antioxidants in Cancer.

Molecular cancer research : MCR, 19(1):38-41.

Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be an effective model system in uncovering both genetic and cellular contributions to human cancer. Many elusive genes and signaling pathways that control oncogenic growth were first identified using flies. In many cases, these discoveries were not driven by a direct search for novel genes involved in cancer but rather stemmed from research programs to uncover mechanisms that control growth and development. However, the bounty of genetic tools and the shared evolution of multicellular organisms places Drosophila in a powerful position to purposefully elucidate observations seen in human cancers. In the past decade, the role of antioxidants in cancer progression has shifted dramatically. This review highlights major findings driving this change in perspective and underscores an array of existing work and resources in laboratories using Drosophila that can make significant contributions to how the redox environment affects cancer progression.

RevDate: 2021-10-15
CmpDate: 2021-10-15

Wang X, Dong F, Liu J, et al (2021)

The self-healing of Bacillus subtilis biofilms.

Archives of microbiology, 203(9):5635-5645.

Self-healing is an intrinsic ability that exists widely in every multicellular biological organism. Our recent experiments have shown that bacterial biofilms also have the ability to self-heal after man-make cuts, but the mechanism of biofilm self-healing have not been studied. We find that the healing process of cuts on the biofilm depends on cut geometries like its location or direction, the biofilm itself like the biofilm age, the growing substrate properties like its hardness, and also the environments such as the competitive growth of multiple biofilms. What is more, the healing rate along the cut is heterogeneous, and the maximum healing rate can reach 260 μm/h, which is three times the undestroyed biofilm expansion rate. The cut does not change the rounded shape growth of biofilms. Further study of phenotypic evolution shows that the cut delays bacterial differentiation; motile cells perceive the cut and move to the cut area, while the cut only heals when there are enough matrix-producing cells in the cut area. Our work suggests new ideas for developing self-healing materials.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Wofford HA, Myers-Dean J, Vogel BA, et al (2021)

Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM): A Program to Predict Selectivity Determinants in Monosiga brevicollis PDZ Domains Using Human PDZ Data.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(19): pii:molecules26196034.

Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotes with complex signaling pathways. They are considered the closest non-metazoan ancestors to mammals and other metazoans and form multicellular-like states called rosettes. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis contains over 150 PDZ domains, an important peptide-binding domain in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya). Therefore, an understanding of PDZ domain signaling pathways in choanoflagellates may provide insight into the origins of multicellularity. PDZ domains recognize the C-terminus of target proteins and regulate signaling and trafficking pathways, as well as cellular adhesion. Here, we developed a computational software suite, Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM), that analyzes peptide-binding cleft sequence identity as compared with human PDZ domains and that can be used in combination with literature searches of known human PDZ-interacting sequences to predict target specificity in choanoflagellate PDZ domains. We used this program, protein biochemistry, fluorescence polarization, and structural analyses to characterize the specificity of A9UPE9_MONBE, a M. brevicollis PDZ domain-containing protein with no homology to any metazoan protein, finding that its PDZ domain is most similar to those of the DLG family. We then identified two endogenous sequences that bind A9UPE9 PDZ with <100 μM affinity, a value commonly considered the threshold for cellular PDZ-peptide interactions. Taken together, this approach can be used to predict cellular targets of previously uncharacterized PDZ domains in choanoflagellates and other organisms. Our data contribute to investigations into choanoflagellate signaling and how it informs metazoan evolution.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Pezzulo G, LaPalme J, Durant F, et al (2021)

Bistability of somatic pattern memories: stochastic outcomes in bioelectric circuits underlying regeneration.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1821):20190765.

Nervous systems' computational abilities are an evolutionary innovation, specializing and speed-optimizing ancient biophysical dynamics. Bioelectric signalling originated in cells' communication with the outside world and with each other, enabling cooperation towards adaptive construction and repair of multicellular bodies. Here, we review the emerging field of developmental bioelectricity, which links the field of basal cognition to state-of-the-art questions in regenerative medicine, synthetic bioengineering and even artificial intelligence. One of the predictions of this view is that regeneration and regulative development can restore correct large-scale anatomies from diverse starting states because, like the brain, they exploit bioelectric encoding of distributed goal states-in this case, pattern memories. We propose a new interpretation of recent stochastic regenerative phenotypes in planaria, by appealing to computational models of memory representation and processing in the brain. Moreover, we discuss novel findings showing that bioelectric changes induced in planaria can be stored in tissue for over a week, thus revealing that somatic bioelectric circuits in vivo can implement a long-term, re-writable memory medium. A consideration of the mechanisms, evolution and functionality of basal cognition makes novel predictions and provides an integrative perspective on the evolution, physiology and biomedicine of information processing in vivo. This article is part of the theme issue 'Basal cognition: multicellularity, neurons and the cognitive lens'.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Schaap P (2021)

From environmental sensing to developmental control: cognitive evolution in dictyostelid social amoebas.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1820):20190756.

Dictyostelid social amoebas respond to starvation by self-organizing into multicellular slugs that migrate towards light to construct spore-bearing structures. These behaviours depend on excitable networks that enable amoebas to produce propagating waves of the chemoattractant cAMP, and to respond by directional movement. cAMP additionally regulates cell differentiation throughout development, with differentiation and cell movement being coordinated by interaction of the stalk inducer c-di-GMP with the adenylate cyclase that generates cAMP oscillations. Evolutionary studies indicate how the manifold roles of cAMP in multicellular development evolved from a role as intermediate for starvation-induced encystation in the unicellular ancestor. A merger of this stress response with the chemotaxis excitable networks yielded the developmental complexity and cognitive capabilities of extant Dictyostelia. This article is part of the theme issue 'Basal cognition: conceptual tools and the view from the single cell'.

RevDate: 2021-10-04
CmpDate: 2021-10-04

Li B, Tian Y, Wen H, et al (2021)

Systematic identification and expression analysis of the Sox gene family in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus).

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics, 38:100817.

The Sox gene family encodes a set of transcription factors characterized by a conserved Sry-related high mobility group (HMG)-box domain, which performs a series of essential biological functions in diverse tissues and developmental processes. In this study, the Sox gene family was systematically characterized in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus). A total of 26 Sox genes were identified and classified into eight subfamilies, namely, SoxB1, SoxB2, SoxC, SoxD, SoxE, SoxF, SoxH and SoxK. The phylogenetic relationship, exon-intron and domain structure analyses supported their annotation and classification. Comparison of gene copy numbers and chromosome locations among different species indicated that except tandem duplicated paralogs of Sox17/Sox32, duplicated Sox genes in spotted sea bass were generated from teleost-specific whole genome duplication during evolution. In addition, qRT-PCR was performed to detect the expression profiles of Sox genes during development and adulthood. The results showed that the expression of 16 out of 26 Sox genes was induced dramatically at different starting points after the multicellular stage, which is consistent with embryogenesis. At the early stage of sex differentiation, 9 Sox genes exhibited sexually dimorphic expression patterns, among which Sox3, Sox19 and Sox6b showed the most significant ovary-biased expression. Moreover, the distinct expression pattern of Sox genes was observed in different adult tissues. Our results provide a fundamental resource for further investigating the functions of Sox genes in embryonic processes, sex determination and differentiation as well as controlling the homeostasis of adult tissues in spotted sea bass.

RevDate: 2021-09-27
CmpDate: 2021-09-27

Kwon HY, Kumar Das R, Jung GT, et al (2021)

Lipid-Oriented Live-Cell Distinction of B and T Lymphocytes.

Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143(15):5836-5844.

The identification of each cell type is essential for understanding multicellular communities. Antibodies set as biomarkers have been the main toolbox for cell-type recognition, and chemical probes are emerging surrogates. Herein we report the first small-molecule probe, CDgB, to discriminate B lymphocytes from T lymphocytes, which was previously impossible without the help of antibodies. Through the study of the origin of cell specificity, we discovered an unexpected novel mechanism of membrane-oriented live-cell distinction. B cells maintain higher flexibility in their cell membrane than T cells and accumulate the lipid-like probe CDgB more preferably. Because B and T cells share common ancestors, we tracked the cell membrane changes of the progenitor cells and disclosed the dynamic reorganization of the membrane properties over the lymphocyte differentiation progress. This study casts an orthogonal strategy for the small-molecule cell identifier and enriches the toolbox for live-cell distinction from complex cell communities.

RevDate: 2021-09-18

Roy SW (2021)

Digest: Three sexes from two loci in one genome: A haploid alga expands the diversity of trioecious species.

Multicellular eukaryotes exhibit a remarkable diversity of sexual systems; however, trioecy, the coexistence of male, female, and cosexual or hermaphrodite individuals in a single species, is remarkably rare. Takahashi et al. (2021) report the first known instance of trioecy in a haploid organism. In contrast to other known cases of trioecy, the authors report evidence for genetic control of all three sexes by two loci. These results complicate models for sexual system turnover and expand the known diversity of trioecy species in several ways.

RevDate: 2021-08-22

Leray M, Wilkins LGE, Apprill A, et al (2021)

Natural experiments and long-term monitoring are critical to understand and predict marine host-microbe ecology and evolution.

PLoS biology, 19(8):e3001322.

Marine multicellular organisms host a diverse collection of bacteria, archaea, microbial eukaryotes, and viruses that form their microbiome. Such host-associated microbes can significantly influence the host's physiological capacities; however, the identity and functional role(s) of key members of the microbiome ("core microbiome") in most marine hosts coexisting in natural settings remain obscure. Also unclear is how dynamic interactions between hosts and the immense standing pool of microbial genetic variation will affect marine ecosystems' capacity to adjust to environmental changes. Here, we argue that significantly advancing our understanding of how host-associated microbes shape marine hosts' plastic and adaptive responses to environmental change requires (i) recognizing that individual host-microbe systems do not exist in an ecological or evolutionary vacuum and (ii) expanding the field toward long-term, multidisciplinary research on entire communities of hosts and microbes. Natural experiments, such as time-calibrated geological events associated with well-characterized environmental gradients, provide unique ecological and evolutionary contexts to address this challenge. We focus here particularly on mutualistic interactions between hosts and microbes, but note that many of the same lessons and approaches would apply to other types of interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-03
CmpDate: 2021-08-30

Galindo LJ, López-García P, Torruella G, et al (2021)

Phylogenomics of a new fungal phylum reveals multiple waves of reductive evolution across Holomycota.

Nature communications, 12(1):4973.

Compared to multicellular fungi and unicellular yeasts, unicellular fungi with free-living flagellated stages (zoospores) remain poorly known and their phylogenetic position is often unresolved. Recently, rRNA gene phylogenetic analyses of two atypical parasitic fungi with amoeboid zoospores and long kinetosomes, the sanchytrids Amoeboradix gromovi and Sanchytrium tribonematis, showed that they formed a monophyletic group without close affinity with known fungal clades. Here, we sequence single-cell genomes for both species to assess their phylogenetic position and evolution. Phylogenomic analyses using different protein datasets and a comprehensive taxon sampling result in an almost fully-resolved fungal tree, with Chytridiomycota as sister to all other fungi, and sanchytrids forming a well-supported, fast-evolving clade sister to Blastocladiomycota. Comparative genomic analyses across fungi and their allies (Holomycota) reveal an atypically reduced metabolic repertoire for sanchytrids. We infer three main independent flagellum losses from the distribution of over 60 flagellum-specific proteins across Holomycota. Based on sanchytrids' phylogenetic position and unique traits, we propose the designation of a novel phylum, Sanchytriomycota. In addition, our results indicate that most of the hyphal morphogenesis gene repertoire of multicellular fungi had already evolved in early holomycotan lineages.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Kloareg B, Badis Y, Cock JM, et al (2021)

Role and Evolution of the Extracellular Matrix in the Acquisition of Complex Multicellularity in Eukaryotes: A Macroalgal Perspective.

Genes, 12(7):.

Multicellular eukaryotes are characterized by an expanded extracellular matrix (ECM) with a diversified composition. The ECM is involved in determining tissue texture, screening cells from the outside medium, development, and innate immunity, all of which are essential features in the biology of multicellular eukaryotes. This review addresses the origin and evolution of the ECM, with a focus on multicellular marine algae. We show that in these lineages the expansion of extracellular matrix played a major role in the acquisition of complex multicellularity through its capacity to connect, position, shield, and defend the cells. Multiple innovations were necessary during these evolutionary processes, leading to striking convergences in the structures and functions of the ECMs of algae, animals, and plants.

RevDate: 2021-08-03

Anda S, Boye E, Schink KO, et al (2021)

Cosegregation of asymmetric features during cell division.

Open biology, 11(8):210116.

Cellular asymmetry plays a major role in the ageing and evolution of multicellular organisms. However, it remains unknown how the cell distinguishes 'old' from 'new' and whether asymmetry is an attribute of highly specialized cells or a feature inherent in all cells. Here, we investigate the segregation of three asymmetric features: old and new DNA, the spindle pole body (SPB, the centrosome analogue) and the old and new cell ends, using a simple unicellular eukaryote, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. To our knowledge, this is the first study exploring three asymmetric features in the same cells. We show that of the three chromosomes of S. pombe, chromosome I containing the new parental strand, preferentially segregated to the cells inheriting the old cell end. Furthermore, the new SPB also preferentially segregated to the cells inheriting the old end. Our results suggest that the ability to distinguish 'old' from 'new' and to segregate DNA asymmetrically are inherent features even in simple unicellular eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-08-02

Ramalho JJ, Jones VAS, Mutte S, et al (2021)

Pole position: How plant cells polarize along the axes.

The Plant cell pii:6335687 [Epub ahead of print].

Having a sense of direction is a fundamental cellular trait that can determine cell shape, division orientation, or function, and ultimately the formation of a functional, multicellular body. Cells acquire and integrate directional information by establishing discrete subcellular domains along an axis with distinct molecular profiles, a process known as cell polarization. Insight into the principles and mechanisms underlying cell polarity has been propelled by decades of extensive research mostly in yeast and animal models. Our understanding of cell polarity establishment in plants, which lack most of the regulatory molecules identified in other eukaryotes, is more limited, but significant progress has been made in recent years. In this review, we explore how plant cells coordinately establish stable polarity axes aligned with the organ axes, highlighting similarities in the molecular logic used to polarize both plant and animal cells. We propose a classification system for plant cell polarity events and nomenclature guidelines. Finally, we provide a deep phylogenetic analysis of polar proteins and discuss the evolution of polarity machineries in plants.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Kożyczkowska A, Najle SR, Ocaña-Pallarès E, et al (2021)

Stable transfection in protist Corallochytriumlimacisporum identifies novel cellular features among unicellular animals relatives.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00890-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The evolutionary path from protists to multicellular animals remains a mystery. Recent work on the genomes of several unicellular relatives of animals has shaped our understanding of the genetic changes that may have occurred in this transition.1-3 However, the specific cellular modifications that took place to accommodate these changes remain unclear. To address this, we need to compare metazoan cells with those of their extant relatives, which are choanoflagellates, filastereans, ichthyosporeans, and corallochytreans/pluriformeans. Interestingly, these lineages display a range of developmental patterns potentially homologous to animal ones. Genetic tools have already been established in three of those lineages.4-7 However, there are no genetic tools available for Corallochytrea. We here report the development of stable transfection in the corallochytrean Corallochytrium limacisporum. Using these tools, we discern previously unknown biological features of C. limacisporum. In particular, we identify two different paths for cell division-binary fission and coenocytic growth-that reveal a non-linear life cycle. Additionally, we found that C. limacisporum is binucleate for most of its life cycle, and that, contrary to what happens in most eukaryotes, nuclear division is decoupled from cellular division. Moreover, its actin cytoskeleton shares characteristics with both fungal and animal cells. The establishment of these tools in C. limacisporum fills an important gap in the unicellular relatives of animals, opening up new avenues of research to elucidate the specific cellular changes that occurred in the evolution of animals.

RevDate: 2021-09-17
CmpDate: 2021-09-17

Bik HM (2021)

Just keep it simple? Benchmarking the accuracy of taxonomy assignment software in metabarcoding studies.

Molecular ecology resources, 21(7):2187-2189.

How do you put a name on an unknown piece of DNA? From microbes to mammals, high-throughput metabarcoding studies provide a more objective view of natural communities, overcoming many of the inherent limitations of traditional field surveys and microscopy-based observations (Deiner et al., 2017). Taxonomy assignment is one of the most critical aspects of any metabarcoding study, yet this important bioinformatics task is routinely overlooked. Biodiversity surveys and conservation efforts often depend on formal species inventories: the presence (or absence) of species, and the number of individuals reported across space and time. However, computational workflows applied in eukaryotic metabarcoding studies were originally developed for use with bacterial/archaeal data sets, where microbial researchers rely on one conserved locus (nuclear 16S rRNA) and have access to vast databases with good coverage across most prokaryotic lineages - a situation not mirrored in most multicellular taxa. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Hleap et al. (2021) carry out an extensive benchmarking exercise focused on taxonomy assignment strategies for eukaryotic metabarcoding studies utilizing the mitochondrial Cytochrome C oxidase I marker gene (COI). They assess the performance and accuracy of software tools representing diverse methodological approaches: from "simple" strategies based on sequence similarity and composition, to model-based phylogenetic and probabilistic classification tools. Contrary to popular assumptions, less complex approaches (BLAST and the QIIME2 feature classifier) consistently outperformed more sophisticated mathematical algorithms and were highly accurate for assigning taxonomy at higher levels (e.g. family). Lower-level assignments at the genus and species level still pose significant challenge for most existing algorithms, and sparse eukaryotic reference databases further limit software performance. This study illuminates current best practices for metabarcoding taxonomy assignments, and underscores the need for community-driven efforts to expand taxonomic and geographic representation in reference DNA barcode databases.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Loidl J (2021)

Tetrahymena meiosis: Simple yet ingenious.

PLoS genetics, 17(7):e1009627.

The presence of meiosis, which is a conserved component of sexual reproduction, across organisms from all eukaryotic kingdoms, strongly argues that sex is a primordial feature of eukaryotes. However, extant meiotic structures and processes can vary considerably between organisms. The ciliated protist Tetrahymena thermophila, which diverged from animals, plants, and fungi early in evolution, provides one example of a rather unconventional meiosis. Tetrahymena has a simpler meiosis compared with most other organisms: It lacks both a synaptonemal complex (SC) and specialized meiotic machinery for chromosome cohesion and has a reduced capacity to regulate meiotic recombination. Despite this, it also features several unique mechanisms, including elongation of the nucleus to twice the cell length to promote homologous pairing and prevent recombination between sister chromatids. Comparison of the meiotic programs of Tetrahymena and higher multicellular organisms may reveal how extant meiosis evolved from proto-meiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-24
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Bernardes JP, John U, Woltermann N, et al (2021)

The evolution of convex trade-offs enables the transition towards multicellularity.

Nature communications, 12(1):4222.

The evolutionary transition towards multicellular life often involves growth in groups of undifferentiated cells followed by differentiation into soma and germ-like cells. Theory predicts that germ soma differentiation is facilitated by a convex trade-off between survival and reproduction. However, this has never been tested and these transitions remain poorly understood at the ecological and genetic level. Here, we study the evolution of cell groups in ten isogenic lines of the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with prolonged exposure to a rotifer predator. We confirm that growth in cell groups is heritable and characterized by a convex trade-off curve between reproduction and survival. Identical mutations evolve in all cell group isolates; these are linked to survival and reducing associated cell costs. Overall, we show that just 500 generations of predator selection were sufficient to lead to a convex trade-off and incorporate evolved changes into the prey genome.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Vigneau J, M Borg (2021)

The epigenetic origin of life history transitions in plants and algae.

Plant reproduction [Epub ahead of print].

Plants and algae have a complex life history that transitions between distinct life forms called the sporophyte and the gametophyte. This phenomenon-called the alternation of generations-has fascinated botanists and phycologists for over 170 years. Despite the mesmerizing array of life histories described in plants and algae, we are only now beginning to learn about the molecular mechanisms controlling them and how they evolved. Epigenetic silencing plays an essential role in regulating gene expression during multicellular development in eukaryotes, raising questions about its impact on the life history strategy of plants and algae. Here, we trace the origin and function of epigenetic mechanisms across the plant kingdom, from unicellular green algae through to angiosperms, and attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary steps that influenced life history transitions during plant evolution. Central to this evolutionary scenario is the adaption of epigenetic silencing from a mechanism of genome defense to the repression and control of alternating generations. We extend our discussion beyond the green lineage and highlight the peculiar case of the brown algae. Unlike their unicellular diatom relatives, brown algae lack epigenetic silencing pathways common to animals and plants yet display complex life histories, hinting at the emergence of novel life history controls during stramenopile evolution.

RevDate: 2021-08-09
CmpDate: 2021-07-06

Machado SR, TM Rodrigues (2021)

Apoplasmic barrier in the extrafloral nectary of Citharexylum myrianthum (Verbenaceae).

Planta, 254(2):19.

MAIN CONCLUSION: The cytological changes underlying the formation of an apoplasmic barrier in the multi-layered extrafloral nectaries of Citharexylum myrianthum are compatible with the synthesis, transport and deposition of suberin. In terms of ontogenesis and function, the intermediate layers of these nectaries are homologous with the stalks of nectar-secreting trichomes. Anticlinal cell wall impregnations are common in trichomatic nectaries and their functions as endodermis-like barriers have been discussed because of possible direct effects on the nectary physiology, mainly in the nectar secretion and resorption. However, the cytological events linked to nectary wall impregnations remain little explored. This study documents the ontogenesis and the fine structure of the EFN cells, and cytological events linked to the wall impregnations of multi-layered extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) in Citharexylum myrianthum Cham. (Verbenaceae). EFNs are patelliform, and differentiated into (a) a multicellular foot, which is compound in structure and vascularised with phloem strands, (b) a bi-layered intermediate region with thickened cell walls and (c) a single-layered secretory region with palisade-like cells. EFNs are protodermal in origin, starting with a single protodermal cell and ending with the complex, multi-layered structure. The cell wall impregnations first appear in the very young EFN and increase towards maturity. Lipid patches (assumed to be suberin) are deposited on the inner faces of the primary walls, first along the anticlinal walls and then extend to the periclinal walls. On both walls, plasmodesmata remain apparently intact during the maturation of the EFNs. In the peripheral cytoplasm there are abundant polymorphic plastids, well-developed Golgi bodies often close to rough endoplasmic reticulum profiles, mitochondria and polyribosomes. Cytological events linked to the wall impregnations are consistent with suberin synthesis, transport and deposition. Our findings offer new insights into the structure-properties of specialised nectary cell walls and so should contribute to our knowledge of the physiological and protective roles of this structure in nectar glands.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Cricrì G, Bellucci L, Montini G, et al (2021)

Urinary Extracellular Vesicles: Uncovering the Basis of the Pathological Processes in Kidney-Related Diseases.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(12):.

Intercellular communication governs multicellular interactions in complex organisms. A variety of mechanisms exist through which cells can communicate, e.g., cell-cell contact, the release of paracrine/autocrine soluble molecules, or the transfer of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane-surrounded structures released by almost all cell types, acting both nearby and distant from their tissue/organ of origin. In the kidney, EVs are potent intercellular messengers released by all urinary system cells and are involved in cell crosstalk, contributing to physiology and pathogenesis. Moreover, urine is a reservoir of EVs coming from the circulation after crossing the glomerular filtration barrier-or originating in the kidney. Thus, urine represents an alternative source for biomarkers in kidney-related diseases, potentially replacing standard diagnostic techniques, including kidney biopsy. This review will present an overview of EV biogenesis and classification and the leading procedures for isolating EVs from body fluids. Furthermore, their role in intra-nephron communication and their use as a diagnostic tool for precision medicine in kidney-related disorders will be discussed.

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Shang-Guan XY, Cai YJ, Xu HZ, et al (2021)

A C-type lectin with a single CRD from Onychostoma macrolepis mediates immune recognition against bacterial challenge.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 115:160-170.

C-type lectins (CTL) are a large group of pattern-recognition proteins and to play important roles in glycoprotein metabolism, multicellular integration, and immunity. Based on their overall domain structure, they can be classified as different groups that possess different physiological functions. A typical C-type lectin (named as OmLec1) was identified from the fish, Onychostoma macrolepis, an important cultured fish in China. Open reading frame of OmLec1 contains a 570 bp, encoding a protein of 189 amino acids that includes a signal peptide and a single carbohydrate-recognition domain. The phylogenetic analysis showed that OmLec1 could be grouped with C-type lectin from other fish. OmLec1 was expressed in all the tissues in our study, and the expression level was highest in liver. And its relative expression levels were significantly upregulated following infection with Aeromonas hydrophila. The recombinant OmLec1 protein (rOmLec1) could agglutinate some Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria in vitro in the presence of Ca2+, showing a typical Ca2+-dependent carbohydrate-binding protein. Furthermore, rOmLec1 purified from E. coli BL21 (DE3), strongly bound to LPS and PGN, as well as all tested bacteria in a Ca2+-dependent manner. These results indicate that OmLec1 plays a central role in the innate immune response and as a pattern recognition receptor that recognizes diverse pathogens among O. macrolepis.

RevDate: 2021-08-05
CmpDate: 2021-08-05

Amaral-Zettler LA, Zettler ER, Mincer TJ, et al (2021)

Biofouling impacts on polyethylene density and sinking in coastal waters: A macro/micro tipping point?.

Water research, 201:117289.

Biofouling causing an increase in plastic density and sinking is one of the hypotheses to account for the unexpectedly low amount of buoyant plastic debris encountered at the ocean surface. Field surveys show that polyethylene and polypropylene, the two most abundant buoyant plastics, both occur below the surface and in sediments, and experimental studies confirm that biofouling can cause both of these plastics to sink. However, studies quantifying the actual density of fouled plastics are rare, despite the fact that density will determine the transport and eventual fate of plastic in the ocean. Here we investigated the role of microbial biofilms in sinking of polyethylene microplastic and quantified the density changes natural biofouling communities cause in the coastal waters of the North Sea. Molecular data confirmed the variety of bacteria and eukaryotes (including animals and other multicellular organisms) colonizing the plastic over time. Fouling communities increased the density of plastic and caused sinking, and the plastic remained negatively buoyant even during the winter with lower growth rates. Relative surface area alone, however, did not predict whether a plastic piece sank. Due to patchy colonization, fragmentation of sinking pieces may result in smaller pieces regaining buoyancy and returning to the surface. Our results suggest that primarily multicellular organisms cause sinking of plastic pieces with surface area to volume ratios (SA:V) below 100 (generally pieces above a couple hundred micrometers in size), and that this is a "tipping point" at which microbial biofilms become the key players causing sinking of smaller pieces with higher SA:V ratios, including most fibers that are too small for larger (multicellular) organisms to colonize.

RevDate: 2021-08-12
CmpDate: 2021-08-12

Badis Y, Scornet D, Harada M, et al (2021)

Targeted CRISPR-Cas9-based gene knockouts in the model brown alga Ectocarpus.

The New phytologist, 231(5):2077-2091.

Brown algae are an important group of multicellular eukaryotes, phylogenetically distinct from both the animal and land plant lineages. Ectocarpus has emerged as a model organism to study diverse aspects of brown algal biology, but this system currently lacks an effective reverse genetics methodology to analyse the functions of selected target genes. Here, we report that mutations at specific target sites are generated following the introduction of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins into Ectocarpus cells, using either biolistics or microinjection as the delivery method. Individuals with mutations affecting the ADENINE PHOSPHORIBOSYL TRANSFERASE (APT) gene were isolated following treatment with 2-fluoroadenine, and this selection system was used to isolate individuals in which mutations had been introduced simultaneously at APT and at a second gene. This double mutation approach could potentially be used to isolate mutants affecting any Ectocarpus gene, providing an effective reverse genetics tool for this model organism. The availability of this tool will significantly enhance the utility of Ectocarpus as a model organism for this ecologically and economically important group of marine organisms. Moreover, the methodology described here should be readily transferable to other brown algal species.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Miller WB, Enguita FJ, AL Leitão (2021)

Non-Random Genome Editing and Natural Cellular Engineering in Cognition-Based Evolution.

Cells, 10(5):.

Neo-Darwinism presumes that biological variation is a product of random genetic replication errors and natural selection. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) asserts a comprehensive alternative approach to phenotypic variation and the generation of biological novelty. In CBE, evolutionary variation is the product of natural cellular engineering that permits purposive genetic adjustments as cellular problem-solving. CBE upholds that the cornerstone of biology is the intelligent measuring cell. Since all biological information that is available to cells is ambiguous, multicellularity arises from the cellular requirement to maximize the validity of available environmental information. This is best accomplished through collective measurement purposed towards maintaining and optimizing individual cellular states of homeorhesis as dynamic flux that sustains cellular equipoise. The collective action of the multicellular measurement and assessment of information and its collaborative communication is natural cellular engineering. Its yield is linked cellular ecologies and mutualized niche constructions that comprise biofilms and holobionts. In this context, biological variation is the product of collective differential assessment of ambiguous environmental cues by networking intelligent cells. Such concerted action is enabled by non-random natural genomic editing in response to epigenetic impacts and environmental stresses. Random genetic activity can be either constrained or deployed as a 'harnessing of stochasticity'. Therefore, genes are cellular tools. Selection filters cellular solutions to environmental stresses to assure continuous cellular-organismal-environmental complementarity. Since all multicellular eukaryotes are holobionts as vast assemblages of participants of each of the three cellular domains (Prokaryota, Archaea, Eukaryota) and the virome, multicellular variation is necessarily a product of co-engineering among them.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Sheng Y, Pan B, Wei F, et al (2021)

Case Study of the Response of N6-Methyladenine DNA Modification to Environmental Stressors in the Unicellular Eukaryote Tetrahymena thermophila.

mSphere, 6(3):e0120820.

Rediscovered as a potential epigenetic mark, N6-methyladenine DNA modification (6mA) was recently reported to be sensitive to environmental stressors in several multicellular eukaryotes. As 6mA distribution and function differ significantly in multicellular and unicellular organisms, whether and how 6mA in unicellular eukaryotes responds to environmental stress remains elusive. Here, we characterized the dynamic changes of 6mA under starvation in the unicellular model organism Tetrahymena thermophila. Single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing reveals that DNA 6mA levels in starved cells are significantly reduced, especially symmetric 6mA, compared to those in vegetatively growing cells. Despite a global 6mA reduction, the fraction of asymmetric 6mA with a high methylation level was increased, which might be the driving force for stronger nucleosome positioning in starved cells. Starvation affects expression of many metabolism-related genes, the expression level change of which is associated with the amount of 6mA change, thereby linking 6mA with global transcription and starvation adaptation. The reduction of symmetric 6mA and the increase of asymmetric 6mA coincide with the downregulation of AMT1 and upregulation of AMT2 and AMT5, which are supposedly the MT-A70 methyltransferases required for symmetric and asymmetric 6mA, respectively. These results demonstrated that a regulated 6mA response to environmental cues is evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes. IMPORTANCE Increasing evidence indicated that 6mA could respond to environmental stressors in multicellular eukaryotes. As 6mA distribution and function differ significantly in multicellular and unicellular organisms, whether and how 6mA in unicellular eukaryotes responds to environmental stress remains elusive. In the present work, we characterized the dynamic changes of 6mA under starvation in the unicellular model organism Tetrahymena thermophila. Our results provide insights into how Tetrahymena fine-tunes its 6mA level and composition upon starvation, suggesting that a regulated 6mA response to environmental cues is evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-08-16
CmpDate: 2021-08-16

Kumari P, Dahiya P, Livanos P, et al (2021)

IQ67 DOMAIN proteins facilitate preprophase band formation and division-plane orientation.

Nature plants, 7(6):739-747.

Spatiotemporal control of cell division is essential for the growth and development of multicellular organisms. In plant cells, proper cell plate insertion during cytokinesis relies on the premitotic establishment of the division plane at the cell cortex. Two plant-specific cytoskeleton arrays, the preprophase band (PPB) and the phragmoplast, play important roles in division-plane orientation and cell plate formation, respectively1. Microtubule organization and dynamics and their communication with membranes at the cortex and cell plate are coordinated by multiple, mostly distinct microtubule-associated proteins2. How division-plane selection and establishment are linked, however, is still unknown. Here, we report members of the Arabidopsis IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) family3 as microtubule-targeted proteins that localize to the PPB and phragmoplast and additionally reside at the cell plate and a polarized cortical region including the cortical division zone (CDZ). IQDs physically interact with PHRAGMOPLAST ORIENTING KINESIN (POK) proteins4,5 and PLECKSTRIN HOMOLOGY GTPase ACTIVATING (PHGAP) proteins6, which are core components of the CDZ1. The loss of IQD function impairs PPB formation and affects CDZ recruitment of POKs and PHGAPs, resulting in division-plane positioning defects. We propose that IQDs act as cellular scaffolds that facilitate PPB formation and CDZ set-up during symmetric cell division.

RevDate: 2021-09-01
CmpDate: 2021-09-01

Schneider P, SE Reece (2021)

The private life of malaria parasites: Strategies for sexual reproduction.

Molecular and biochemical parasitology, 244:111375.

Malaria parasites exhibit a complex lifecycle, requiring extensive asexual replication in the liver and blood of the vertebrate host, and in the haemocoel of the insect vector. Yet, they must also undergo a single round of sexual reproduction, which occurs in the vector's midgut upon uptake of a blood meal. Sexual reproduction is obligate for infection of the vector and thus, is essential for onwards transmission to new hosts. Sex in malaria parasites involves several bottlenecks in parasite number, making the stages involved attractive targets for blocking disease transmission. Malaria parasites have evolved a suite of adaptations ("strategies") to maximise the success of sexual reproduction and transmission, which could undermine transmission-blocking interventions. Yet, understanding parasite strategies may also reveal novel opportunities for such interventions. Here, we outline how evolutionary and ecological theories, developed to explain reproductive strategies in multicellular taxa, can be applied to explain two reproductive strategies (conversion rate and sex ratio) expressed by malaria parasites within the vertebrate host.

RevDate: 2021-08-04
CmpDate: 2021-08-04

Maier BA, Kiefer P, Field CM, et al (2021)

A general non-self response as part of plant immunity.

Nature plants, 7(5):696-705.

Plants, like other multicellular lifeforms, are colonized by microorganisms. How plants respond to their microbiota is currently not well understood. We used a phylogenetically diverse set of 39 endogenous bacterial strains from Arabidopsis thaliana leaves to assess host transcriptional and metabolic adaptations to bacterial encounters. We identified a molecular response, which we termed the general non-self response (GNSR) that involves the expression of a core set of 24 genes. The GNSR genes are not only consistently induced by the presence of most strains, they also comprise the most differentially regulated genes across treatments and are predictive of a hierarchical transcriptional reprogramming beyond the GNSR. Using a complementary untargeted metabolomics approach we link the GNSR to the tryptophan-derived secondary metabolism, highlighting the importance of small molecules in plant-microbe interactions. We demonstrate that several of the GNSR genes are required for resistance against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Our results suggest that the GNSR constitutes a defence adaptation strategy that is consistently elicited by diverse strains from various phyla, contributes to host protection and involves secondary metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-06-03
CmpDate: 2021-06-03

Bozdag GO, Libby E, Pineau R, et al (2021)

Oxygen suppression of macroscopic multicellularity.

Nature communications, 12(1):2838.

Atmospheric oxygen is thought to have played a vital role in the evolution of large, complex multicellular organisms. Challenging the prevailing theory, we show that the transition from an anaerobic to an aerobic world can strongly suppress the evolution of macroscopic multicellularity. Here we select for increased size in multicellular 'snowflake' yeast across a range of metabolically-available O2 levels. While yeast under anaerobic and high-O2 conditions evolved to be considerably larger, intermediate O2 constrained the evolution of large size. Through sequencing and synthetic strain construction, we confirm that this is due to O2-mediated divergent selection acting on organism size. We show via mathematical modeling that our results stem from nearly universal evolutionary and biophysical trade-offs, and thus should apply broadly. These results highlight the fact that oxygen is a double-edged sword: while it provides significant metabolic advantages, selection for efficient use of this resource may paradoxically suppress the evolution of macroscopic multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2021-09-07
CmpDate: 2021-09-07

van Gestel J, A Wagner (2021)

Cryptic surface-associated multicellularity emerges through cell adhesion and its regulation.

PLoS biology, 19(5):e3001250.

The repeated evolution of multicellularity led to a wide diversity of organisms, many of which are sessile, including land plants, many fungi, and colonial animals. Sessile organisms adhere to a surface for most of their lives, where they grow and compete for space. Despite the prevalence of surface-associated multicellularity, little is known about its evolutionary origin. Here, we introduce a novel theoretical approach, based on spatial lineage tracking of cells, to study this origin. We show that multicellularity can rapidly evolve from two widespread cellular properties: cell adhesion and the regulatory control of adhesion. By evolving adhesion, cells attach to a surface, where they spontaneously give rise to primitive cell collectives that differ in size, life span, and mode of propagation. Selection in favor of large collectives increases the fraction of adhesive cells until a surface becomes fully occupied. Through kin recognition, collectives then evolve a central-peripheral polarity in cell adhesion that supports a division of labor between cells and profoundly impacts growth. Despite this spatial organization, nascent collectives remain cryptic, lack well-defined boundaries, and would require experimental lineage tracking technologies for their identification. Our results suggest that cryptic multicellularity could readily evolve and originate well before multicellular individuals become morphologically evident.

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-05-14

Orban A, Weber A, Herzog R, et al (2021)

Transcriptome of different fruiting stages in the cultivated mushroom Cyclocybe aegerita suggests a complex regulation of fruiting and reveals enzymes putatively involved in fungal oxylipin biosynthesis.

BMC genomics, 22(1):324.

BACKGROUND: Cyclocybe aegerita (syn. Agrocybe aegerita) is a commercially cultivated mushroom. Its archetypal agaric morphology and its ability to undergo its whole life cycle under laboratory conditions makes this fungus a well-suited model for studying fruiting body (basidiome, basidiocarp) development. To elucidate the so far barely understood biosynthesis of fungal volatiles, alterations in the transcriptome during different developmental stages of C. aegerita were analyzed and combined with changes in the volatile profile during its different fruiting stages.

RESULTS: A transcriptomic study at seven points in time during fruiting body development of C. aegerita with seven mycelial and five fruiting body stages was conducted. Differential gene expression was observed for genes involved in fungal fruiting body formation showing interesting transcriptional patterns and correlations of these fruiting-related genes with the developmental stages. Combining transcriptome and volatilome data, enzymes putatively involved in the biosynthesis of C8 oxylipins in C. aegerita including lipoxygenases (LOXs), dioxygenases (DOXs), hydroperoxide lyases (HPLs), alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) and ene-reductases could be identified. Furthermore, we were able to localize the mycelium as the main source for sesquiterpenes predominant during sporulation in the headspace of C. aegerita cultures. In contrast, changes in the C8 profile detected in late stages of development are probably due to the activity of enzymes located in the fruiting bodies.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the combination of volatilome and transcriptome data of C. aegerita revealed interesting candidates both for functional genetics-based analysis of fruiting-related genes and for prospective enzyme characterization studies to further elucidate the so far barely understood biosynthesis of fungal C8 oxylipins.

RevDate: 2021-08-23
CmpDate: 2021-08-23

Isaksson H, Conlin PL, Kerr B, et al (2021)

The Consequences of Budding versus Binary Fission on Adaptation and Aging in Primitive Multicellularity.

Genes, 12(5):.

Early multicellular organisms must gain adaptations to outcompete their unicellular ancestors, as well as other multicellular lineages. The tempo and mode of multicellular adaptation is influenced by many factors including the traits of individual cells. We consider how a fundamental aspect of cells, whether they reproduce via binary fission or budding, can affect the rate of adaptation in primitive multicellularity. We use mathematical models to study the spread of beneficial, growth rate mutations in unicellular populations and populations of multicellular filaments reproducing via binary fission or budding. Comparing populations once they reach carrying capacity, we find that the spread of mutations in multicellular budding populations is qualitatively distinct from the other populations and in general slower. Since budding and binary fission distribute age-accumulated damage differently, we consider the effects of cellular senescence. When growth rate decreases with cell age, we find that beneficial mutations can spread significantly faster in a multicellular budding population than its corresponding unicellular population or a population reproducing via binary fission. Our results demonstrate that basic aspects of the cell cycle can give rise to different rates of adaptation in multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2021-05-12
CmpDate: 2021-05-12

Romanova MA, Maksimova AI, Pawlowski K, et al (2021)

YABBY Genes in the Development and Evolution of Land Plants.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(8):.

Mounting evidence from genomic and transcriptomic studies suggests that most genetic networks regulating the morphogenesis of land plant sporophytes were co-opted and modified from those already present in streptophyte algae and gametophytes of bryophytes sensu lato. However, thus far, no candidate genes have been identified that could be responsible for "planation", a conversion from a three-dimensional to a two-dimensional growth pattern. According to the telome theory, "planation" was required for the genesis of the leaf blade in the course of leaf evolution. The key transcription factors responsible for leaf blade development in angiosperms are YABBY proteins, which until recently were thought to be unique for seed plants. Yet, identification of a YABBY homologue in a green alga and the recent findings of YABBY homologues in lycophytes and hornworts suggest that YABBY proteins were already present in the last common ancestor of land plants. Thus, these transcriptional factors could have been involved in "planation", which fosters our understanding of the origin of leaves. Here, we summarise the current data on functions of YABBY proteins in the vegetative and reproductive development of diverse angiosperms and gymnosperms as well as in the development of lycophytes. Furthermore, we discuss a putative role of YABBY proteins in the genesis of multicellular shoot apical meristems and in the evolution of leaves in early divergent terrestrial plants.

RevDate: 2021-06-28
CmpDate: 2021-06-28

Hage H, Rosso MN, L Tarrago (2021)

Distribution of methionine sulfoxide reductases in fungi and conservation of the free-methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase in multicellular eukaryotes.

Free radical biology & medicine, 169:187-215.

Methionine, either as a free amino acid or included in proteins, can be oxidized into methionine sulfoxide (MetO), which exists as R and S diastereomers. Almost all characterized organisms possess thiol-oxidoreductases named methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) enzymes to reduce MetO back to Met. MsrA and MsrB reduce the S and R diastereomers of MetO, respectively, with strict stereospecificity and are found in almost all organisms. Another type of thiol-oxidoreductase, the free-methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase (fRMsr), identified so far in prokaryotes and a few unicellular eukaryotes, reduces the R MetO diastereomer of the free amino acid. Moreover, some bacteria possess molybdenum-containing enzymes that reduce MetO, either in the free or protein-bound forms. All these Msrs play important roles in the protection of organisms against oxidative stress. Fungi are heterotrophic eukaryotes that colonize all niches on Earth and play fundamental functions, in organic matter recycling, as symbionts, or as pathogens of numerous organisms. However, our knowledge on fungal Msrs is still limited. Here, we performed a survey of msr genes in almost 700 genomes across the fungal kingdom. We show that most fungi possess one gene coding for each type of methionine sulfoxide reductase: MsrA, MsrB, and fRMsr. However, several fungi living in anaerobic environments or as obligate intracellular parasites were devoid of msr genes. Sequence inspection and phylogenetic analyses allowed us to identify non-canonical sequences with potentially novel enzymatic properties. Finaly, we identified several ocurences of msr horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to fungi.

RevDate: 2021-09-14
CmpDate: 2021-09-14

Menichelli C, Guitard V, Martins RM, et al (2021)

Identification of long regulatory elements in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum and other eukaryotes.

PLoS computational biology, 17(4):e1008909.

Long regulatory elements (LREs), such as CpG islands, polydA:dT tracts or AU-rich elements, are thought to play key roles in gene regulation but, as opposed to conventional binding sites of transcription factors, few methods have been proposed to formally and automatically characterize them. We present here a computational approach named DExTER (Domain Exploration To Explain gene Regulation) dedicated to the identification of candidate LREs (cLREs) and apply it to the analysis of the genomes of P. falciparum and other eukaryotes. Our analyses show that all tested genomes contain several cLREs that are somewhat conserved along evolution, and that gene expression can be predicted with surprising accuracy on the basis of these long regions only. Regulation by cLREs exhibits very different behaviours depending on species and conditions. In P. falciparum and other Apicomplexan organisms as well as in Dictyostelium discoideum, the process appears highly dynamic, with different cLREs involved at different phases of the life cycle. For multicellular organisms, the same cLREs are involved in all tissues, but a dynamic behavior is observed along embryonic development stages. In P. falciparum, whose genome is known to be strongly depleted of transcription factors, cLREs are predictive of expression with an accuracy above 70%, and our analyses show that they are associated with both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation signals. Moreover, we assessed the biological relevance of one LRE discovered by DExTER in P. falciparum using an in vivo reporter assay. The source code (python) of DExTER is available at

RevDate: 2021-07-01
CmpDate: 2021-06-28

Genau AC, Li Z, Renzaglia KS, et al (2021)

HAG1 and SWI3A/B control of male germ line development in P. patens suggests conservation of epigenetic reproductive control across land plants.

Plant reproduction, 34(2):149-173.

KEY MESSAGE: Bryophytes as models to study the male germ line: loss-of-function mutants of epigenetic regulators HAG1 and SWI3a/b demonstrate conserved function in sexual reproduction. With the water-to-land transition, land plants evolved a peculiar haplodiplontic life cycle in which both the haploid gametophyte and the diploid sporophyte are multicellular. The switch between these phases was coined alternation of generations. Several key regulators that control the bauplan of either generation are already known. Analyses of such regulators in flowering plants are difficult due to the highly reduced gametophytic generation, and the fact that loss of function of such genes often is embryo lethal in homozygous plants. Here we set out to determine gene function and conservation via studies in bryophytes. Bryophytes are sister to vascular plants and hence allow evolutionary inferences. Moreover, embryo lethal mutants can be grown and vegetatively propagated due to the dominance of the bryophyte gametophytic generation. We determined candidates by selecting single copy orthologs that are involved in transcriptional control, and of which flowering plant mutants show defects during sexual reproduction, with a focus on the under-studied male germ line. We selected two orthologs, SWI3a/b and HAG1, and analyzed loss-of-function mutants in the moss P. patens. In both mutants, due to lack of fertile spermatozoids, fertilization and hence the switch to the diploid generation do not occur. Pphag1 additionally shows arrested male and impaired female gametangia development. We analyzed HAG1 in the dioecious liverwort M. polymorpha and found that in Mphag1 the development of gametangiophores is impaired. Taken together, we find that involvement of both regulators in sexual reproduction is conserved since the earliest divergence of land plants.

RevDate: 2021-04-22
CmpDate: 2021-04-22

Baluška F, Miller WB, AS Reber (2021)

Biomolecular Basis of Cellular Consciousness via Subcellular Nanobrains.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(5):.

Cells emerged at the very beginning of life on Earth and, in fact, are coterminous with life. They are enclosed within an excitable plasma membrane, which defines the outside and inside domains via their specific biophysical properties. Unicellular organisms, such as diverse protists and algae, still live a cellular life. However, fungi, plants, and animals evolved a multicellular existence. Recently, we have developed the cellular basis of consciousness (CBC) model, which proposes that all biological awareness, sentience and consciousness are grounded in general cell biology. Here we discuss the biomolecular structures and processes that allow for and maintain this cellular consciousness from an evolutionary perspective.

RevDate: 2021-08-12
CmpDate: 2021-08-12

Kin K, P Schaap (2021)

Evolution of Multicellular Complexity in The Dictyostelid Social Amoebas.

Genes, 12(4):.

Multicellularity evolved repeatedly in the history of life, but how it unfolded varies greatly between different lineages. Dictyostelid social amoebas offer a good system to study the evolution of multicellular complexity, with a well-resolved phylogeny and molecular genetic tools being available. We compare the life cycles of the Dictyostelids with closely related amoebozoans to show that complex life cycles were already present in the unicellular common ancestor of Dictyostelids. We propose frost resistance as an early driver of multicellular evolution in Dictyostelids and show that the cell signalling pathways for differentiating spore and stalk cells evolved from that for encystation. The stalk cell differentiation program was further modified, possibly through gene duplication, to evolve a new cell type, cup cells, in Group 4 Dictyostelids. Studies in various multicellular organisms, including Dictyostelids, volvocine algae, and metazoans, suggest as a common principle in the evolution of multicellular complexity that unicellular regulatory programs for adapting to environmental change serve as "proto-cell types" for subsequent evolution of multicellular organisms. Later, new cell types could further evolve by duplicating and diversifying the "proto-cell type" gene regulatory networks.

RevDate: 2021-08-03
CmpDate: 2021-08-03

Patthy L (2021)

Exon Shuffling Played a Decisive Role in the Evolution of the Genetic Toolkit for the Multicellular Body Plan of Metazoa.

Genes, 12(3):.

Division of labor and establishment of the spatial pattern of different cell types of multicellular organisms require cell type-specific transcription factor modules that control cellular phenotypes and proteins that mediate the interactions of cells with other cells. Recent studies indicate that, although constituent protein domains of numerous components of the genetic toolkit of the multicellular body plan of Metazoa were present in the unicellular ancestor of animals, the repertoire of multidomain proteins that are indispensable for the arrangement of distinct body parts in a reproducible manner evolved only in Metazoa. We have shown that the majority of the multidomain proteins involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions of Metazoa have been assembled by exon shuffling, but there is no evidence for a similar role of exon shuffling in the evolution of proteins of metazoan transcription factor modules. A possible explanation for this difference in the intracellular and intercellular toolkits is that evolution of the transcription factor modules preceded the burst of exon shuffling that led to the creation of the proteins controlling spatial patterning in Metazoa. This explanation is in harmony with the temporal-to-spatial transition hypothesis of multicellularity that proposes that cell differentiation may have predated spatial segregation of cell types in animal ancestors.

RevDate: 2021-05-03

Porfírio-Sousa AL, Tice AK, Brown MW, et al (2021)

Phylogenetic reconstruction and evolution of the Rab GTPase gene family in Amoebozoa.

Small GTPases [Epub ahead of print].

Rab GTPase is a paralog-rich gene family that controls the maintenance of the eukaryotic cell compartmentalization system. Diverse eukaryotes have varying numbers of Rab paralogs. Currently, little is known about the evolutionary pattern of Rab GTPase in most major eukaryotic 'supergroups'. Here, we present a comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the Rab GTPase gene family in the eukaryotic 'supergroup' Amoebozoa, a diverse lineage represented by unicellular and multicellular organisms. We demonstrate that Amoebozoa conserved 20 of the 23 ancestral Rab GTPases predicted to be present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor and massively expanded several 'novel' in-paralogs. Due to these 'novel' in-paralogs, the Rab family composition dramatically varies between the members of Amoebozoa; as a consequence, 'supergroup'-based studies may significantly change our current understanding of the evolution and diversity of this gene family. The high diversity of the Rab GTPase gene family in Amoebozoa makes this 'supergroup' a key lineage to study and advance our knowledge of the evolution of Rab in Eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-06-23
CmpDate: 2021-06-23

Roudaire T, Héloir MC, Wendehenne D, et al (2020)

Cross Kingdom Immunity: The Role of Immune Receptors and Downstream Signaling in Animal and Plant Cell Death.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:612452.

Both plants and animals are endowed with sophisticated innate immune systems to combat microbial attack. In these multicellular eukaryotes, innate immunity implies the presence of cell surface receptors and intracellular receptors able to detect danger signal referred as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Membrane-associated pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), receptor-like kinases (RLKs), and receptor-like proteins (RLPs) are employed by these organisms for sensing different invasion patterns before triggering antimicrobial defenses that can be associated with a form of regulated cell death. Intracellularly, animals nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors or plants nucleotide-binding domain (NBD)-containing leucine rich repeats (NLRs) immune receptors likely detect effectors injected into the host cell by the pathogen to hijack the immune signaling cascade. Interestingly, during the co-evolution between the hosts and their invaders, key cross-kingdom cell death-signaling macromolecular NLR-complexes have been selected, such as the inflammasome in mammals and the recently discovered resistosome in plants. In both cases, a regulated cell death located at the site of infection constitutes a very effective mean for blocking the pathogen spread and protecting the whole organism from invasion. This review aims to describe the immune mechanisms in animals and plants, mainly focusing on cell death signaling pathways, in order to highlight recent advances that could be used on one side or the other to identify the missing signaling elements between the perception of the invasion pattern by immune receptors, the induction of defenses or the transmission of danger signals to other cells. Although knowledge of plant immunity is less advanced, these organisms have certain advantages allowing easier identification of signaling events, regulators and executors of cell death, which could then be exploited directly for crop protection purposes or by analogy for medical research.

RevDate: 2021-05-10
CmpDate: 2021-05-10

Barnett AM, Mullaney JA, Hendriks C, et al (2021)

Porcine colonoids and enteroids keep the memory of their origin during regeneration.

American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, 320(5):C794-C805.

The development of alternative in vitro culture methods has increased in the last decade as three-dimensional organoids of various tissues, including those of the small and large intestines. Due to their multicellular composition, organoids offer advantages over traditionally used immortalized or primary cell lines. However, organoids must be accurate models of their tissues of origin. This study compared gene expression profiles with respect to markers of specific cell types (stem cells, enterocytes, goblet, and enteroendocrine cells) and barrier maturation (tight junctions) of colonoid and enteroid cultures with their tissues of origin and colonoids with enteroids. Colonoids derived from three healthy pigs formed multilobed structures with a monolayer of cells similar to the crypt structures in colonic tissue. Colonoid and enteroid gene expression signatures were more similar to those found for the tissues of their origin than to each other. However, relative to their derived tissues, organoids had increased gene expression levels of stem cell markers Sox9 and Lgr5 encoding sex-determining region Y-box 9 and leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled rector 5, respectively. In contrast, expression levels of Occl and Zo1 encoding occludin and zonula occludens 1, respectively, were decreased. Expression levels of the cell lineage markers Atoh1, Cga, and Muc2 encoding atonal homolog 1, chromogranin A, and mucin 2, respectively, were decreased in colonoids, whereas Sglt1 and Apn encoding sodium-glucose transporter 1 and aminopeptidase A, respectively, were decreased in enteroids. These results indicate colonoid and enteroid cultures were predominantly comprised of undifferentiated cell types with decreased barrier maturation relative to their tissues of origin.

RevDate: 2021-03-23

Dhakshinamoorthy R, SP Singh (2021)

Evolution of Reproductive Division of Labor - Lessons Learned From the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum During Its Multicellular Development.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 9:599525.

The origin of multicellular life from unicellular beings is an epochal step in the evolution of eukaryotes. There are several factors influencing cell fate choices during differentiation and morphogenesis of an organism. Genetic make-up of two cells that unite and fertilize is the key factor to signal the formation of various cell-types in due course of development. Although ploidy of the cell-types determines the genetics of an individual, the role of ploidy in cell fate decisions remains unclear. Dictyostelium serves as a versatile model to study the emergence of multicellular life from unicellular life forms. In this work, we investigate the role played by ploidy status of a cell on cell fate commitments during Dictyostelium development. To answer this question, we created Dictyostelium cells of different ploidy: haploid parents and derived isogenic diploids, allowing them to undergo development. The diploid strains used in this study were generated using parasexual genetics. The ploidy status of the haploids and diploids were confirmed by microscopy, flow cytometry, and karyotyping. Prior to reconstitution, we labeled the cells by two methods. First, intragenic expression of red fluorescent protein (RFP) and second, staining the amoebae with a vital, fluorescent dye carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE). RFP labeled haploid cells allowed us to track the haploids in the chimeric aggregates, slugs, and fruiting bodies. The CFSE labeling method allowed us to track both the haploids and the diploids in the chimeric developmental structures. Our findings illustrate that the haploids demonstrate sturdy cell fate commitment starting from the aggregation stage. The haploids remain crowded at the aggregation centers of the haploid-diploid chimeric aggregates. At the slug stage haploids are predominantly occupying the slug posterior, and are visible in the spore population in the fruiting bodies. Our findings show that cell fate decisions during D. discoideum development are highly influenced by the ploidy status of a cell, adding a new aspect to already known factors Here, we report that ploidy status of a cell could also play a crucial role in regulating the cell fate commitments.

RevDate: 2021-06-25
CmpDate: 2021-06-25

Ramos-Martínez E, Hernández-González L, Ramos-Martínez I, et al (2021)

Multiple Origins of Extracellular DNA Traps.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:621311.

Extracellular DNA traps (ETs) are evolutionarily conserved antimicrobial mechanisms present in protozoa, plants, and animals. In this review, we compare their similarities in species of different taxa, and put forward the hypothesis that ETs have multiple origins. Our results are consistent with a process of evolutionary convergence in multicellular organisms through the application of a congruency test. Furthermore, we discuss why multicellularity is related to the presence of a mechanism initiating the formation of ETs.

RevDate: 2021-06-24
CmpDate: 2021-06-24

Vijg J (2021)

From DNA damage to mutations: All roads lead to aging.

Ageing research reviews, 68:101316.

Damage to the repository of genetic information in cells has plagued life since its very beginning 3-4 billion years ago. Initially, in the absence of an ozone layer, especially damage from solar UV radiation must have been frequent, with other sources, most notably endogenous sources related to cell metabolism, gaining in importance over time. To cope with this high frequency of damage to the increasingly long DNA molecules that came to encode the growing complexity of cellular functions in cells, DNA repair evolved as one of the earliest genetic traits. Then as now, errors during the repair of DNA damage generated mutations, which provide the substrate for evolution by natural selection. With the emergence of multicellular organisms also the soma became a target of DNA damage and mutations. In somatic cells selection against the adverse effects of DNA damage is greatly diminished, especially in postmitotic cells after the age of first reproduction. Based on an abundance of evidence, DNA damage is now considered as the single most important driver of the degenerative processes that collectively cause aging. Here I will first briefly review the evidence for DNA damage as a cause of aging since the beginning of life. Then, after discussing the possible direct adverse effects of DNA damage and its cellular responses, I will provide an overview of the considerable progress that has recently been made in analyzing a major consequence of DNA damage in humans and other complex organisms: somatic mutations and the resulting genome mosaicism. Recent advances in studying somatic mutagenesis and genome mosaicism in different human and animal tissues will be discussed with a focus on the possible mechanisms through which loss of DNA sequence integrity could cause age-related functional decline and disease.

RevDate: 2021-05-19
CmpDate: 2021-05-19

Darveau RP, MA Curtis (2021)

Oral biofilms revisited: A novel host tissue of bacteriological origin.

Periodontology 2000, 86(1):8-13.

The central theme of this volume of Periodontology 2000 is that the microbial dental plaque biofilm, specifically the subgingival dental plaque biofilm, mimics a human tissue in both structure and function. As a basis for this assertion we use the definition of a tissue as an aggregate of similar cells and cell products forming a defined structure with a specific function, in a multicellular organism. Accordingly, we propose that the dental plaque biofilm represents an acquired human tissue largely of bacterial origin that maintains the health of gingival tissue. Furthermore, we acknowledge that disease can be defined as a deviation from the normal structure or an interruption to the function of any body part, organ, or system, and that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown. Therefore, in this volume we present the concept that periodontitis is a disruption of the normal function of the healthy subgingival plaque biofilm with concomitant disruption to its functional properties in relation to innate defense surveillance and tissue maintenance, leading to excessive, deregulated inflammation and tissue destruction.

RevDate: 2021-08-20
CmpDate: 2021-08-20

Yang H, Shi X, Chen C, et al (2021)

Predominantly inverse modulation of gene expression in genomically unbalanced disomic haploid maize.

The Plant cell, 33(4):901-916.

The phenotypic consequences of the addition or subtraction of part of a chromosome is more severe than changing the dosage of the whole genome. By crossing diploid trisomies to a haploid inducer, we identified 17 distal segmental haploid disomies that cover ∼80% of the maize genome. Disomic haploids provide a level of genomic imbalance that is not ordinarily achievable in multicellular eukaryotes, allowing the impact to be stronger and more easily studied. Transcriptome size estimates revealed that a few disomies inversely modulate most of the transcriptome. Based on RNA sequencing, the expression levels of genes located on the varied chromosome arms (cis) in disomies ranged from being proportional to chromosomal dosage (dosage effect) to showing dosage compensation with no expression change with dosage. For genes not located on the varied chromosome arm (trans), an obvious trans-acting effect can be observed, with the majority showing a decreased modulation (inverse effect). The extent of dosage compensation of varied cis genes correlates with the extent of trans inverse effects across the 17 genomic regions studied. The results also have implications for the role of stoichiometry in gene expression, the control of quantitative traits, and the evolution of dosage-sensitive genes.

RevDate: 2021-06-18
CmpDate: 2021-06-18

Goldberg Y, J Friedman (2021)

Positive interactions within and between populations decrease the likelihood of evolutionary rescue.

PLoS computational biology, 17(2):e1008732.

Positive interactions, including intraspecies cooperation and interspecies mutualisms, play crucial roles in shaping the structure and function of many ecosystems, ranging from plant communities to the human microbiome. While the evolutionary forces that form and maintain positive interactions have been investigated extensively, the influence of positive interactions on the ability of species to adapt to new environments is still poorly understood. Here, we use numerical simulations and theoretical analyses to study how positive interactions impact the likelihood that populations survive after an environment deteriorates, such that survival in the new environment requires quick adaptation via the rise of new mutants-a scenario known as evolutionary rescue. We find that the probability of evolutionary rescue in populations engaged in positive interactions is reduced significantly. In cooperating populations, this reduction is largely due to the fact that survival may require at least a minimal number of individuals, meaning that adapted mutants must arise and spread before the population declines below this threshold. In mutualistic populations, the rescue probability is decreased further due to two additional effects-the need for both mutualistic partners to adapt to the new environment, and competition between the two species. Finally, we show that the presence of cheaters reduces the likelihood of evolutionary rescue even further, making it extremely unlikely. These results indicate that while positive interactions may be beneficial in stable environments, they can hinder adaptation to changing environments and thereby elevate the risk of population collapse. Furthermore, these results may hint at the selective pressures that drove co-dependent unicellular species to form more adaptable organisms able to differentiate into multiple phenotypes, including multicellular life.

RevDate: 2021-07-17
CmpDate: 2021-05-20

He S, Sieksmeyer T, Che Y, et al (2021)

Evidence for reduced immune gene diversity and activity during the evolution of termites.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1945):20203168.

The evolution of biological complexity is associated with the emergence of bespoke immune systems that maintain and protect organism integrity. Unlike the well-studied immune systems of cells and individuals, little is known about the origins of immunity during the transition to eusociality, a major evolutionary transition comparable to the evolution of multicellular organisms from single-celled ancestors. We aimed to tackle this by characterizing the immune gene repertoire of 18 cockroach and termite species, spanning the spectrum of solitary, subsocial and eusocial lifestyles. We find that key transitions in termite sociality are correlated with immune gene family contractions. In cross-species comparisons of immune gene expression, we find evidence for a caste-specific social defence system in termites, which appears to operate at the expense of individual immune protection. Our study indicates that a major transition in organismal complexity may have entailed a fundamental reshaping of the immune system optimized for group over individual defence.

RevDate: 2021-06-01
CmpDate: 2021-06-01

Pourhasanzade F, SH Sabzpoushan (2021)

A New Mathematical Model for Controlling Tumor Growth Based on Microenvironment Acidity and Oxygen Concentration.

BioMed research international, 2021:8886050.

Hypoxia and the pH level of the tumor microenvironment have a great impact on the treatment of tumors. Here, the tumor growth is controlled by regulating the oxygen concentration and the acidity of the tumor microenvironment by introducing a two-dimensional multiscale cellular automata model of avascular tumor growth. The spatiotemporal evolution of tumor growth and metabolic variations is modeled based on biological assumptions, physical structure, states of cells, and transition rules. Each cell is allocated to one of the following states: proliferating cancer, nonproliferating cancer, necrotic, and normal cells. According to the response of the microenvironmental conditions, each cell consumes/produces metabolic factors and updates its state based on some stochastic rules. The input parameters are compatible with cancer biology using experimental data. The effect of neighborhoods during mitosis and simulating spatial heterogeneity is studied by considering multicellular layer structure of tumor. A simple Darwinist mutation is considered by introducing a critical parameter (Nmm) that affects division probability of the proliferative tumor cells based on the microenvironmental conditions and cancer hallmarks. The results show that Nmm regulation has a significant influence on the dynamics of tumor growth, the growth fraction, necrotic fraction, and the concentration levels of the metabolic factors. The model not only is able to simulate the in vivo tumor growth quantitatively and qualitatively but also can simulate the concentration of metabolic factors, oxygen, and acidity graphically. The results show the spatial heterogeneity effects on the proliferation of cancer cells and the rest of the system. By increasing Nmm, tumor shrinkage and significant increasing in the oxygen concentration and the pH value of the tumor microenvironment are observed. The results demonstrate the model's ability, providing an essential tool for simulating different tumor evolution scenarios of a patient and reliable prediction of spatiotemporal progression of tumors for utilizing in personalized therapy.

RevDate: 2021-07-01
CmpDate: 2021-07-01

Bustamante DE, Yeon Won B, Wynne MJ, et al (2021)

Molecular and morphological analyses reveal new taxa additions to the tribe Streblocladieae (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta).

Journal of phycology, 57(3):817-830.

The recent segregation of 12 genera in the tribe Streblocladieae suggests that the taxonomy of some species belonging to Polysiphonia sensu lato is updated with the transfer and the proposal of new combinations. Accordingly, six new additions to the tribe Streblocladieae on the basis of morphological and molecular analyses are presented as a consequence of this new segregation. These additions include the description of the new species Carradoriella platensis sp. nov., the proposal of the following new combinations Eutrichosiphonia paniculata comb. nov., E. tapinocarpa comb. nov., and the reinstatement of Vertebrata curta, V. decipiens, and V. patersonis. Additionally, our morphological observations identified additional diagnostic features for two genera of the Streblocladieae. Carradoriella has branches with sexual reproductive structures arranged adaxially on branchlets, and the recently described Eutrichosiphonia has rhizoids with multicellular digitate haptera. Our study gives insights in regards to the distribution, the diagnostic features for delimiting genera morphologically, and the molecular evolutionary relationships in the Streblocladieae.

RevDate: 2021-02-19
CmpDate: 2021-02-19

Grum-Grzhimaylo AA, Bastiaans E, van den Heuvel J, et al (2021)

Somatic deficiency causes reproductive parasitism in a fungus.

Nature communications, 12(1):783.

Some multicellular organisms can fuse because mergers potentially provide mutual benefits. However, experimental evolution in the fungus Neurospora crassa has demonstrated that free fusion of mycelia favours cheater lineages, but the mechanism and evolutionary dynamics of this exploitation are unknown. Here we show, paradoxically, that all convergently evolved cheater lineages have similar fusion deficiencies. These mutants are unable to initiate fusion but retain access to wild-type mycelia that fuse with them. This asymmetry reduces cheater-mutant contributions to somatic substrate-bound hyphal networks, but increases representation of their nuclei in the aerial reproductive hyphae. Cheaters only benefit when relatively rare and likely impose genetic load reminiscent of germline senescence. We show that the consequences of somatic fusion can be unequally distributed among fusion partners, with the passive non-fusing partner profiting more. We discuss how our findings may relate to the extensive variation in fusion frequency of fungi found in nature.

RevDate: 2021-04-12
CmpDate: 2021-02-15

Gostner JM, Fuchs D, K Kurz (2021)

Metabolic Stress and Immunity: Nutrient-Sensing Kinases and Tryptophan Metabolism.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1275:395-405.

The tryptophan catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO-1) has gained major attention due the immunoregulatory nature of this pathway. Both depletion of tryptophan concentrations as well as the accumulation of downstream metabolites are relevant for the mediation of the manifold consequences of increased tryptophan metabolism. Increased tryptophan catabolism is indicative for several chronic inflammatory disorders such as infections, autoimmune diseases or cancer. Low tryptophan availability is likely to be involved in the manifestation of a variety of comorbidities such as anemia, cachexia, depression and neurocognitive disturbances.Several nutrient sensing kinases are implicated in the downstream effects of dysregulated tryptophan metabolism. These include mechanisms that were conserved during evolution but have gained special features in multicellular eukaryotes, such as pathways regulated by eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2)-alpha kinase (GCN2, also named general control nonderepressible 2 kinase), 5'-adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and target of rapamycin (TOR).The interplay between IDO-1 and above-mentioned pathway seems to be highly context dependent. A better understanding of the crosstalk is necessary to support the search for druggable targets for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

RevDate: 2021-05-26
CmpDate: 2021-05-20

Berger D, Stångberg J, Baur J, et al (2021)

Elevated temperature increases genome-wide selection on de novo mutations.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1944):20203094.

Adaptation in new environments depends on the amount of genetic variation available for evolution, and the efficacy by which natural selection discriminates among this variation. However, whether some ecological factors reveal more genetic variation, or impose stronger selection pressures than others, is typically not known. Here, we apply the enzyme kinetic theory to show that rising global temperatures are predicted to intensify natural selection throughout the genome by increasing the effects of DNA sequence variation on protein stability. We test this prediction by (i) estimating temperature-dependent fitness effects of induced mutations in seed beetles adapted to ancestral or elevated temperature, and (ii) calculate 100 paired selection estimates on mutations in benign versus stressful environments from unicellular and multicellular organisms. Environmental stress per se did not increase mean selection on de novo mutation, suggesting that the cost of adaptation does not generally increase in new ecological settings to which the organism is maladapted. However, elevated temperature increased the mean strength of selection on genome-wide polymorphism, signified by increases in both mutation load and mutational variance in fitness. These results have important implications for genetic diversity gradients and the rate and repeatability of evolution under climate change.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Naimark E, Kirpotin D, Boeva N, et al (2021)

Taphonomic experiments imply a possible link between the evolution of multicellularity and the fossilization potential of soft-bodied organisms.

Ecology and evolution, 11(2):1037-1056.

The reliability of evolutionary reconstructions based on the fossil record critically depends on our knowledge of the factors affecting the fossilization of soft-bodied organisms. Despite considerable research effort, these factors are still poorly understood. In order to elucidate the main prerequisites for the preservation of soft-bodied organisms, we conducted long-term (1-5 years) taphonomic experiments with the model crustacean Artemia salina buried in five different sediments. The subsequent analysis of the carcasses and sediments revealed that, in our experimental settings, better preservation was associated with the fast deposition of aluminum and silicon on organic tissues. Other elements such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which can also accumulate quickly on the carcasses, appear to be much less efficient in preventing decay. Next, we asked if the carcasses of uni- and multicellular organisms differ in their ability to accumulate aluminum ions on their surface. The experiments with the flagellate Euglena gracilis and the sponge Spongilla lacustris showed that aluminum ions are more readily deposited onto a multicellular body. This was further confirmed by the experiments with uni- and multicellular stages of the social ameba Dictyostelium discoideum. The results lead us to speculate that the evolution of cell adhesion molecules, which provide efficient cell-cell and cell-substrate binding, probably can explain the rich fossil record of soft-bodied animals, the comparatively poor fossil record of nonskeletal unicellular eukaryotes, and the explosive emergence of the Cambrian diversity of soft-bodied fossils.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Kjellin J, Avesson L, Reimegård J, et al (2021)

Abundantly expressed class of noncoding RNAs conserved through the multicellular evolution of dictyostelid social amoebas.

Genome research, 31(3):436-447.

Aggregative multicellularity has evolved multiple times in diverse groups of eukaryotes, exemplified by the well-studied development of dictyostelid social amoebas, for example, Dictyostelium discoideum However, it is still poorly understood why multicellularity emerged in these amoebas while the majority of other members of Amoebozoa are unicellular. Previously, a novel type of noncoding RNA, Class I RNAs, was identified in D. discoideum and shown to be important for normal multicellular development. Here, we investigated Class I RNA evolution and its connection to multicellular development. We identified a large number of new Class I RNA genes by constructing a covariance model combined with a scoring system based on conserved upstream sequences. Multiple genes were predicted in representatives of each major group of Dictyostelia and expression analysis confirmed that our search approach identifies expressed Class I RNA genes with high accuracy and sensitivity and that the RNAs are developmentally regulated. Further studies showed that Class I RNAs are ubiquitous in Dictyostelia and share highly conserved structure and sequence motifs. In addition, Class I RNA genes appear to be unique to dictyostelid social amoebas because they could not be identified in outgroup genomes, including their closest known relatives. Our results show that Class I RNA is an ancient class of ncRNAs, likely to have been present in the last common ancestor of Dictyostelia dating back at least 600 million years. Based on previous functional analyses and the presented evolutionary investigation, we hypothesize that Class I RNAs were involved in evolution of multicellularity in Dictyostelia.

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-05-14

Miele L, S De Monte (2021)

Aggregative cycles evolve as a solution to conflicts in social investment.

PLoS computational biology, 17(1):e1008617.

Multicellular organization is particularly vulnerable to conflicts between different cell types when the body forms from initially isolated cells, as in aggregative multicellular microbes. Like other functions of the multicellular phase, coordinated collective movement can be undermined by conflicts between cells that spend energy in fuelling motion and 'cheaters' that get carried along. The evolutionary stability of collective behaviours against such conflicts is typically addressed in populations that undergo extrinsically imposed phases of aggregation and dispersal. Here, via a shift in perspective, we propose that aggregative multicellular cycles may have emerged as a way to temporally compartmentalize social conflicts. Through an eco-evolutionary mathematical model that accounts for individual and collective strategies of resource acquisition, we address regimes where different motility types coexist. Particularly interesting is the oscillatory regime that, similarly to life cycles of aggregative multicellular organisms, alternates on the timescale of several cell generations phases of prevalent solitary living and starvation-triggered aggregation. Crucially, such self-organized oscillations emerge as a result of evolution of cell traits associated to conflict escalation within multicellular aggregates.

RevDate: 2021-07-31
CmpDate: 2021-04-27

Kruger AN, JL Mueller (2021)

Mechanisms of meiotic drive in symmetric and asymmetric meiosis.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 78(7):3205-3218.

Meiotic drive, the non-Mendelian transmission of chromosomes to the next generation, functions in asymmetric or symmetric meiosis across unicellular and multicellular organisms. In asymmetric meiosis, meiotic drivers act to alter a chromosome's spatial position in a single egg. In symmetric meiosis, meiotic drivers cause phenotypic differences between gametes with and without the driver. Here we discuss existing models of meiotic drive, highlighting the underlying mechanisms and regulation governing systems for which the most is known. We focus on outstanding questions surrounding these examples and speculate on how new meiotic drive systems evolve and how to detect them.

RevDate: 2021-05-21
CmpDate: 2021-02-09

Stadler T, Pybus OG, MPH Stumpf (2021)

Phylodynamics for cell biologists.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 371(6526):.

Multicellular organisms are composed of cells connected by ancestry and descent from progenitor cells. The dynamics of cell birth, death, and inheritance within an organism give rise to the fundamental processes of development, differentiation, and cancer. Technical advances in molecular biology now allow us to study cellular composition, ancestry, and evolution at the resolution of individual cells within an organism or tissue. Here, we take a phylogenetic and phylodynamic approach to single-cell biology. We explain how "tree thinking" is important to the interpretation of the growing body of cell-level data and how ecological null models can benefit statistical hypothesis testing. Experimental progress in cell biology should be accompanied by theoretical developments if we are to exploit fully the dynamical information in single-cell data.

RevDate: 2021-04-06
CmpDate: 2021-04-06

Takahashi T (2021)

Multiple Roles for Cholinergic Signaling from the Perspective of Stem Cell Function.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(2):.

Stem cells have extensive proliferative potential and the ability to differentiate into one or more mature cell types. The mechanisms by which stem cells accomplish self-renewal provide fundamental insight into the origin and design of multicellular organisms. These pathways allow the repair of damage and extend organismal life beyond that of component cells, and they probably preceded the evolution of complex metazoans. Understanding the true nature of stem cells can only come from discovering how they are regulated. The concept that stem cells are controlled by particular microenvironments, also known as niches, has been widely accepted. Technical advances now allow characterization of the zones that maintain and control stem cell activity in several organs, including the brain, skin, and gut. Cholinergic neurons release acetylcholine (ACh) that mediates chemical transmission via ACh receptors such as nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. Although the cholinergic system is composed of organized nerve cells, the system is also involved in mammalian non-neuronal cells, including stem cells, embryonic stem cells, epithelial cells, and endothelial cells. Thus, cholinergic signaling plays a pivotal role in controlling their behaviors. Studies regarding this signal are beginning to unify our understanding of stem cell regulation at the cellular and molecular levels, and they are expected to advance efforts to control stem cells therapeutically. The present article reviews recent findings about cholinergic signaling that is essential to control stem cell function in a cholinergic niche.

RevDate: 2021-02-02
CmpDate: 2021-02-02

Sagova-Mareckova M, Boenigk J, Bouchez A, et al (2021)

Expanding ecological assessment by integrating microorganisms into routine freshwater biomonitoring.

Water research, 191:116767.

Bioindication has become an indispensable part of water quality monitoring in most countries of the world, with the presence and abundance of bioindicator taxa, mostly multicellular eukaryotes, used for biotic indices. In contrast, microbes (bacteria, archaea and protists) are seldom used as bioindicators in routine assessments, although they have been recognized for their importance in environmental processes. Recently, the use of molecular methods has revealed unexpected diversity within known functional groups and novel metabolic pathways that are particularly important in energy and nutrient cycling. In various habitats, microbial communities respond to eutrophication, metals, and natural or anthropogenic organic pollutants through changes in diversity and function. In this review, we evaluated the common trends in these changes, documenting that they have value as bioindicators and can be used not only for monitoring but also for improving our understanding of the major processes in lotic and lentic environments. Current knowledge provides a solid foundation for exploiting microbial taxa, community structures and diversity, as well as functional genes, in novel monitoring programs. These microbial community measures can also be combined into biotic indices, improving the resolution of individual bioindicators. Here, we assess particular molecular approaches complemented by advanced bioinformatic analysis, as these are the most promising with respect to detailed bioindication value. We conclude that microbial community dynamics are a missing link important for our understanding of rapid changes in the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems, and should be addressed in the future environmental monitoring of freshwater ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-09
CmpDate: 2021-09-09

Costa M, Blaschke TF, Amara SG, et al (2021)

Introduction to the Theme "Old and New Toxicology: Interfaces with Pharmacology".

Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology, 61:1-7.

The theme of Volume 61 is "Old and New Toxicology: Interfaces with Pharmacology." Old toxicology is exemplified by the authors of the autobiographical articles: B.M. Olivera's work on toxins and venoms from cone snails and P. Taylor's studies of acetylcholinesterase and the nicotinic cholinergic receptor, which serve as sites of action for numerous pesticides and venoms. Other articles in this volume focus on new understanding and new types of toxicology, including (a) arsenic toxicity, which is an ancient poison that, through evolution, has caused most multicellular organisms to express an active arsenic methyltransferase to methylate arsenite, which accelerates the excretion of arsenic from the body; (b) small molecules that react with lipid dicarbonyls, which are now considered the most toxic oxidative stress end products; (c) immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which have revolutionized cancer therapy but have numerous immune-related adverse events, including cardiovascular complications; (d) autoimmunity caused by the environment; (e) idiosyncratic drug-induced liver disease, which together with the toxicity of ICIs represents new toxicology interfacing with pharmacology; and (f) sex differences in the development of cardiovascular disease, with men more susceptible than women to vascular inflammation that initiates and perpetuates disease. These articles and others in Volume 61 reflect the interface and close integration of pharmacology and toxicology that began long ago but continues today.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Fritsche E, Haarmann-Stemmann T, Kapr J, et al (2021)

Stem Cells for Next Level Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century.

Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), 17(15):e2006252.

The call for a paradigm change in toxicology from the United States National Research Council in 2007 initiates awareness for the invention and use of human-relevant alternative methods for toxicological hazard assessment. Simple 2D in vitro systems may serve as first screening tools, however, recent developments infer the need for more complex, multicellular organotypic models, which are superior in mimicking the complexity of human organs. In this review article most critical organs for toxicity assessment, i.e., skin, brain, thyroid system, lung, heart, liver, kidney, and intestine are discussed with regards to their functions in health and disease. Embracing the manifold modes-of-action how xenobiotic compounds can interfere with physiological organ functions and cause toxicity, the need for translation of such multifaceted organ features into the dish seems obvious. Currently used in vitro methods for toxicological applications and ongoing developments not yet arrived in toxicity testing are discussed, especially highlighting the potential of models based on embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells of human origin. Finally, the application of innovative technologies like organs-on-a-chip and genome editing point toward a toxicological paradigm change moves into action.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Giam M, Wong CK, Low JS, et al (2020)

P53 induces senescence in the unstable progeny of aneuploid cells.

Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 19(24):3508-3520.

Aneuploidy is the condition of having an imbalanced karyotype, which is associated with tumor initiation, evolution, and acquisition of drug-resistant features, possibly by generating heterogeneous populations of cells with distinct genotypes and phenotypes. Multicellular eukaryotes have therefore evolved a range of extrinsic and cell-autonomous mechanisms for restraining proliferation of aneuploid cells, including activation of the tumor suppressor protein p53. However, accumulating evidence indicates that a subset of aneuploid cells can escape p53-mediated growth restriction and continue proliferating in vitro. Here we show that such aneuploid cell lines display a robust modal karyotype and low frequency of chromosomal aberrations despite ongoing chromosome instability. Indeed, while these aneuploid cells are able to survive for extended periods in vitro, their chromosomally unstable progeny remain subject to p53-induced senescence and growth restriction, leading to subsequent elimination from the aneuploid pool. This mechanism helps maintain low levels of heterogeneity in aneuploid populations and may prevent detrimental evolutionary processes such as cancer progression and development of drug resistance.

RevDate: 2021-01-26
CmpDate: 2021-01-26

Ruiz-Trillo I, A de Mendoza (2020)

Towards understanding the origin of animal development.

Development (Cambridge, England), 147(23): pii:147/23/dev192575.

Almost all animals undergo embryonic development, going from a single-celled zygote to a complex multicellular adult. We know that the patterning and morphogenetic processes involved in development are deeply conserved within the animal kingdom. However, the origins of these developmental processes are just beginning to be unveiled. Here, we focus on how the protist lineages sister to animals are reshaping our view of animal development. Most intriguingly, many of these protistan lineages display transient multicellular structures, which are governed by similar morphogenetic and gene regulatory processes as animal development. We discuss here two potential alternative scenarios to explain the origin of animal embryonic development: either it originated concomitantly at the onset of animals or it evolved from morphogenetic processes already present in their unicellular ancestors. We propose that an integrative study of several unicellular taxa closely related to animals will allow a more refined picture of how the last common ancestor of animals underwent embryonic development.

RevDate: 2021-03-08
CmpDate: 2021-03-08

Lyall R, Nikoloski Z, T Gechev (2020)

Comparative Analysis of ROS Network Genes in Extremophile Eukaryotes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(23):.

The reactive oxygen species (ROS) gene network, consisting of both ROS-generating and detoxifying enzymes, adjusts ROS levels in response to various stimuli. We performed a cross-kingdom comparison of ROS gene networks to investigate how they have evolved across all Eukaryotes, including protists, fungi, plants and animals. We included the genomes of 16 extremotolerant Eukaryotes to gain insight into ROS gene evolution in organisms that experience extreme stress conditions. Our analysis focused on ROS genes found in all Eukaryotes (such as catalases, superoxide dismutases, glutathione reductases, peroxidases and glutathione peroxidase/peroxiredoxins) as well as those specific to certain groups, such as ascorbate peroxidases, dehydroascorbate/monodehydroascorbate reductases in plants and other photosynthetic organisms. ROS-producing NADPH oxidases (NOX) were found in most multicellular organisms, although several NOX-like genes were identified in unicellular or filamentous species. However, despite the extreme conditions experienced by extremophile species, we found no evidence for expansion of ROS-related gene families in these species compared to other Eukaryotes. Tardigrades and rotifers do show ROS gene expansions that could be related to their extreme lifestyles, although a high rate of lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer events, coupled with recent tetraploidy in rotifers, could explain this observation. This suggests that the basal Eukaryotic ROS scavenging systems are sufficient to maintain ROS homeostasis even under the most extreme conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-12
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Kaczanowski S (2020)

Symbiotic Origin of Apoptosis.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:253-280.

The progress of evolutionary biology has revealed that symbiosis played a basic role in the evolution of complex eukaryotic organisms, including humans. Mitochondria are actually simplified endosymbiotic bacteria currently playing the role of cellular organelles. Mitochondrial domestication occurred at the very beginning of eukaryotic evolution. Mitochondria have two different basic functions: they produce energy using oxidative respiration, and they initiate different forms of apoptotic programmed/regulated cell death. Apoptotic programmed cell death may have different cytological forms. Mechanisms of apoptotic programmed cell death exist even in the unicellular organisms, and they play a basic role in the development of complex multicellular organisms, such as fungi, green plants, and animals. Multicellularity was independently established many times among eukaryotes. There are indications that apoptotic programmed cell death is a trait required for the establishment of multicellularity. Regulated cell death is initiated by many different parallel biochemical pathways. It is generally accepted that apoptosis evolved during mitochondrial domestication. However, there are different hypothetical models of the origin of apoptosis. The phylogenetic studies of my group indicate that apoptosis probably evolved during an evolutionary arms race between host ancestral eukaryotic predators and ancestral prey mitochondria (named protomitochondria). Protomitochondrial prey produced many different toxins as a defense against predators. From these toxins evolved extant apoptotic factors. There are indications that aerobic respiration and apoptosis co-evolved and are functionally linked in extant organisms. Perturbations of apoptosis and oxidative respiration are frequently observed during neoplastic transition. Our group showed that perturbations of apoptosis in yeasts also cause perturbations of oxidative respiration.

RevDate: 2021-05-10
CmpDate: 2020-12-14

McEvoy E, Han YL, Guo M, et al (2020)

Gap junctions amplify spatial variations in cell volume in proliferating tumor spheroids.

Nature communications, 11(1):6148.

Sustained proliferation is a significant driver of cancer progression. Cell-cycle advancement is coupled with cell size, but it remains unclear how multiple cells interact to control their volume in 3D clusters. In this study, we propose a mechano-osmotic model to investigate the evolution of volume dynamics within multicellular systems. Volume control depends on an interplay between multiple cellular constituents, including gap junctions, mechanosensitive ion channels, energy-consuming ion pumps, and the actomyosin cortex, that coordinate to manipulate cellular osmolarity. In connected cells, we show that mechanical loading leads to the emergence of osmotic pressure gradients between cells with consequent increases in cellular ion concentrations driving swelling. We identify how gap junctions can amplify spatial variations in cell volume within multicellular spheroids and, further, describe how the process depends on proliferation-induced solid stress. Our model may provide new insight into the role of gap junctions in breast cancer progression.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

König SG, AM Nedelcu (2020)

The genetic basis for the evolution of soma: mechanistic evidence for the co-option of a stress-induced gene into a developmental master regulator.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1940):20201414.

In multicellular organisms with specialized cells, the most significant distinction among cell types is between reproductive (germ) cells and non-reproductive/somatic cells (soma). Although soma contributed to the marked increase in complexity of many multicellular lineages, little is known about its evolutionary origins. We have previously suggested that the evolution of genes responsible for the differentiation of somatic cells involved the co-option of life history trade-off genes that in unicellular organisms enhanced survival at a cost to immediate reproduction. In the multicellular green alga, Volvox carteri, cell fate is established early in development by the differential expression of a master regulatory gene known as regA. A closely related RegA-Like Sequence (RLS1) is present in its single-celled relative, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. RLS1 is expressed in response to stress, and we proposed that an environmentally induced RLS1-like gene was co-opted into a developmental pathway in the lineage leading to V. carteri. However, the exact evolutionary scenario responsible for the postulated co-option event remains to be determined. Here, we show that in addition to being developmentally regulated, regA can also be induced by environmental cues, indicating that regA has maintained its ancestral regulation. We also found that the absence of a functional RegA protein confers increased sensitivity to stress, consistent with RegA having a direct or indirect role in stress responses. Overall, this study (i) provides mechanistic evidence for the co-option of an environmentally induced gene into a major developmental regulator, (ii) supports the view that major morphological innovations can evolve via regulatory changes and (iii) argues for the role of stress in the evolution of multicellular complexity.

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-05-14

Retzinger AC, GS Retzinger (2020)

Mites, ticks, anaphylaxis and allergy: The Acari hypothesis.

Medical hypotheses, 144:110257.

Anaphylaxis is a poorly understood immune process in which a Th2-/IgE-mediated adaptive response commandeers cellular machinery, typically reserved for defense against multicellular ectoparasites, to activate against otherwise benign molecules. Its clinical manifestations consist of rapid pathophysiological reflexes that target epithelial surfaces. The galactose-α-1,3-galactose hypersensitivity response is a compelling model of anaphylaxis for which causation has been demonstrated. At the core of the model, a tick bite sensitizes a recipient to a tick foodstuff. As proposed herein, the model likely informs on the origin of all allergic inflammation; namely, allergy is not intended to protect against seemingly harmless and irrelevant materials, but is, instead, intended to rid epithelial surfaces of pathogen-bearing Acari, i.e., mites and ticks. The demonstrated adjuvant activity of acarian gastrointestinal secretions, when paired with the polyphagous diet of mites, renders acarians eminently suited to accounting, mechanistically, for many, if not all, human allergies.

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Chi S, Wang G, Liu T, et al (2020)

Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analysis of Mannitol-metabolism-associated Genes in Saccharina japonica.

Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics, 18(4):415-429.

As a carbon-storage compound and osmoprotectant in brown algae, mannitol is synthesized and then accumulated at high levels in Saccharina japonica (Sja); however, the underlying control mechanisms have not been studied. Our analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data from Sja shows that mannitol metabolism is a cyclic pathway composed of four distinct steps. A mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (M1PDH2) and two mannitol-1-phosphatases (M1Pase1 and MIPase2) work together or in combination to exhibit full enzymatic properties. Based on comprehensive transcriptomic data from different tissues, generations, and sexes as well as under different stress conditions, coupled with droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and proteomic confirmation, we suggest that SjaM1Pase1 plays a major role in mannitol biosynthesis and that the basic mannitol anabolism and the carbohydrate pool dynamics are responsible for carbon storage and anti-stress mechanism. Our proteomic data indicate that mannitol metabolism remains constant during diurnal cycle in Sja. In addition, we discover that mannitol-metabolism-associated (MMA) genes show differential expression between the multicellular filamentous (gametophyte) and large parenchymal thallus (sporophyte) generations and respond differentially to environmental stresses, such as hyposaline and hyperthermia conditions. Our results indicate that the ecophysiological significance of such differentially expressed genes may be attributable to the evolution of heteromorphic generations (filamentous and thallus) and environmental adaptation of Laminariales.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-11

Xu Z, Wang S, Zhao C, et al (2020)

Photosynthetic hydrogen production by droplet-based microbial micro-reactors under aerobic conditions.

Nature communications, 11(1):5985.

The spontaneous self-assembly of multicellular ensembles into living materials with synergistic structure and function remains a considerable challenge in biotechnology and synthetic biology. Here, we exploit the aqueous two-phase separation of dextran-in-PEG emulsion micro-droplets for the capture, spatial organization and immobilization of algal cells or algal/bacterial cell communities to produce discrete multicellular spheroids capable of both aerobic (oxygen producing) and hypoxic (hydrogen producing) photosynthesis in daylight under air. We show that localized oxygen depletion results in hydrogen production from the core of the algal microscale reactor, and demonstrate that enhanced levels of hydrogen evolution can be achieved synergistically by spontaneously enclosing the photosynthetic cells within a shell of bacterial cells undergoing aerobic respiration. Our results highlight a promising droplet-based environmentally benign approach to dispersible photosynthetic microbial micro-reactors comprising segregated cellular micro-niches with dual functionality, and provide a step towards photobiological hydrogen production under aerobic conditions.

RevDate: 2021-06-29
CmpDate: 2021-06-29

Coelho SM, JM Cock (2020)

Brown Algal Model Organisms.

Annual review of genetics, 54:71-92.

Model organisms are extensively used in research as accessible and convenient systems for studying a particular area or question in biology. Traditionally, only a limited number of organisms have been studied in detail, but modern genomic tools are enabling researchers to extend beyond the set of classical model organisms to include novel species from less-studied phylogenetic groups. This review focuses on model species for an important group of multicellular organisms, the brown algae. The development of genetic and genomic tools for the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus has led to it emerging as a general model system for this group, but additional models, such as Fucus or Dictyota dichotoma, remain of interest for specific biological questions. In addition, Saccharina japonica has emerged as a model system to directly address applied questions related to algal aquaculture. We discuss the past, present, and future of brown algal model organisms in relation to the opportunities and challenges in brown algal research.

RevDate: 2021-02-01
CmpDate: 2021-01-04

Aubier TG, Galipaud M, Erten EY, et al (2020)

Transmissible cancers and the evolution of sex under the Red Queen hypothesis.

PLoS biology, 18(11):e3000916.

The predominance of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes remains paradoxical in evolutionary theory. Of the hypotheses proposed to resolve this paradox, the 'Red Queen hypothesis' emphasises the potential of antagonistic interactions to cause fluctuating selection, which favours the evolution and maintenance of sex. Whereas empirical and theoretical developments have focused on host-parasite interactions, the premises of the Red Queen theory apply equally well to any type of antagonistic interactions. Recently, it has been suggested that early multicellular organisms with basic anticancer defences were presumably plagued by antagonistic interactions with transmissible cancers and that this could have played a pivotal role in the evolution of sex. Here, we dissect this argument using a population genetic model. One fundamental aspect distinguishing transmissible cancers from other parasites is the continual production of cancerous cell lines from hosts' own tissues. We show that this influx dampens fluctuating selection and therefore makes the evolution of sex more difficult than in standard Red Queen models. Although coevolutionary cycling can remain sufficient to select for sex under some parameter regions of our model, we show that the size of those regions shrinks once we account for epidemiological constraints. Altogether, our results suggest that horizontal transmission of cancerous cells is unlikely to cause fluctuating selection favouring sexual reproduction. Nonetheless, we confirm that vertical transmission of cancerous cells can promote the evolution of sex through a separate mechanism, known as similarity selection, that does not depend on coevolutionary fluctuations.

RevDate: 2021-08-18
CmpDate: 2021-08-18

Castillo SP, Keymer JE, PA Marquet (2021)

Do microenvironmental changes disrupt multicellular organisation with ageing, enacting and favouring the cancer cell phenotype?.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 43(2):e2000126.

Cancer is a singular cellular state, the emergence of which destabilises the homeostasis reached through the evolution to multicellularity. We present the idea that the onset of the cellular disobedience to the metazoan functional and structural architecture, known as the cancer phenotype, is triggered by changes in the cell's external environment that occur with ageing: what ensues is a breach of the social contract of multicellular life characteristic of metazoans. By integrating old ideas with new evidence, we propose that with ageing the environmental information that maintains a multicellular organisation is eroded, rewiring internal processes of the cell, and resulting in an internal shift towards an ancestral condition resulting in the pseudo-multicellular cancer phenotype. Once that phenotype emerges, a new local social contract is built, different from the homeostatic one, leading to tumour formation and the foundation of a novel local ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-03-10
CmpDate: 2021-03-10

Konarska A, B Łotocka (2020)

Glandular trichomes of Robinia viscosa Vent. var. hartwigii (Koehne) Ashe (Faboideae, Fabaceae)-morphology, histochemistry and ultrastructure.

Planta, 252(6):102.

MAIN CONCLUSION: Permanent glandular trichomes of Robinia viscosa var. hartwigii produce viscous secretion containing several secondary metabolites, as lipids, mucilage, flavonoids, proteins and alkaloids. Robinia viscosa var. hartwigii (Hartweg's locust) is an ornamental tree with high apicultural value. It can be planted in urban greenery and in degraded areas. The shoots, leaves, and inflorescences of this plant are equipped with numerous persistent glandular trichomes producing sticky secretion. The distribution, origin, development, morphology, anatomy, and ultrastructure of glandular trichomes of Hartweg's locust flowers as well as the localisation and composition of their secretory products were investigated for the first time. To this end, light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy combined with histochemical and fluorescence techniques were used. The massive glandular trichomes differing in the distribution, length, and stage of development were built of a multicellular and multiseriate stalk and a multicellular head. The secretory cells in the stalk and head had large nuclei with nucleoli, numerous chloroplasts with thylakoids and starch grains, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum profiles, Golgi apparatus, vesicles, and multivesicular bodies. Many vacuoles contained phenolic compounds dissolved or forming various condensed deposits. The secretion components were transported through symplast elements, and the granulocrine and eccrine modes of nectar secretion were observed. The secretion was accumulated in the subcuticular space at the trichome apex and released through a pore in the cuticle. Histochemical and fluorescence assays showed that the trichomes and secretion contained lipophilic and polyphenol compounds, polysaccharides, proteins, and alkaloids. We suggest that these metabolites may serve an important function in protection of plants against biotic stress conditions and may also be a source of phytopharmaceuticals in the future.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-04

Du K, Luo Q, Yin L, et al (2020)

OsChz1 acts as a histone chaperone in modulating chromatin organization and genome function in rice.

Nature communications, 11(1):5717.

While the yeast Chz1 acts as a specific histone-chaperone for H2A.Z, functions of CHZ-domain proteins in multicellular eukaryotes remain obscure. Here, we report on the functional characterization of OsChz1, a sole CHZ-domain protein identified in rice. OsChz1 interacts with both the canonical H2A-H2B dimer and the variant H2A.Z-H2B dimer. Within crystal structure the C-terminal region of OsChz1 binds H2A-H2B via an acidic region, pointing to a previously unknown recognition mechanism. Knockout of OsChz1 leads to multiple plant developmental defects. At genome-wide level, loss of OsChz1 causes mis-regulations of thousands of genes and broad alterations of nucleosome occupancy as well as reductions of H2A.Z-enrichment. While OsChz1 associates with chromatin regions enriched of repressive histone marks (H3K27me3 and H3K4me2), its loss does not affect the genome landscape of DNA methylation. Taken together, it is emerging that OsChz1 functions as an important H2A/H2A.Z-H2B chaperone in dynamic regulation of chromatin for higher eukaryote development.

RevDate: 2021-06-21
CmpDate: 2021-06-21

Willman S, Peel JS, Ineson JR, et al (2020)

Ediacaran Doushantuo-type biota discovered in Laurentia.

Communications biology, 3(1):647.

The Ediacaran period (635-541 Ma) was a time of major environmental change, accompanied by a transition from a microbial world to the animal world we know today. Multicellular, macroscopic organisms preserved as casts and molds in Ediacaran siliciclastic rocks are preserved worldwide and provide snapshots of early organismal, including animal, evolution. Remarkable evolutionary advances are also witnessed by diverse cellular and subcellular phosphatized microfossils described from the Doushantuo Formation in China, the only source showing a diversified assemblage of microfossils. Here, we greatly extend the known distribution of this Doushantuo-type biota in reporting an Ediacaran Lagerstätte from Laurentia (Portfjeld Formation, North Greenland), with phosphatized animal-like eggs, embryos, acritarchs, and cyanobacteria, the age of which is constrained by the Shuram-Wonoka anomaly (c. 570-560 Ma). The discovery of these Ediacaran phosphatized microfossils from outside East Asia extends the distribution of the remarkable biota to a second palaeocontinent in the other hemisphere of the Ediacaran world, considerably expanding our understanding of the temporal and environmental distribution of organisms immediately prior to the Cambrian explosion.

RevDate: 2020-11-20
CmpDate: 2020-11-20

Katoh T, M Satoh (2020)

[Environment and immunity-Allergies and autoimmune diseases from epidemiological perspective].

Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene, 75(0):.

Immunity, which denotes the protection of multicellular organisms against various bacterial and viral infections, is an essential protective mechanism for living organisms. Allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance existing in the environment that is basically not a component of the self. Additionally, autoimmune diseases are associated with the dysfunction in the recognition of self and non-self, and are pathological conditions caused by immune cells attacking their own tissues and cells. In this paper, we outline the current status of immunity with respect to the environment from the epidemiological perspective with regard to the following: (1) evolution and immunity, (2) allergy, (3) autoantibodies, (4) autoimmune diseases, (5) relationships of immunity with the environment, allergy, autoantibodies, and autoimmune diseases, and (6) celiac disease.

RevDate: 2021-03-26
CmpDate: 2021-03-26

Petrushin I, Belikov S, L Chernogor (2020)

Cooperative Interaction of Janthinobacterium sp. SLB01 and Flavobacterium sp. SLB02 in the Diseased Sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21):.

Endemic freshwater sponges (demosponges, Lubomirskiidae) dominate in Lake Baikal, Central Siberia, Russia. These sponges are multicellular filter-feeding animals that represent a complex consortium of many species of eukaryotes and prokaryotes. In recent years, mass disease and death of Lubomirskia baicalensis has been a significant problem in Lake Baikal. The etiology and ecology of these events remain unknown. Bacteria from the families Flavobacteriaceae and Oxalobacteraceae dominate the microbiomes of diseased sponges. Both species are opportunistic pathogens common in freshwater ecosystems. The aim of our study was to analyze the genomes of strains Janthinobacterium sp. SLB01 and Flavobacterium sp. SLB02, isolated from diseased sponges to identify the reasons for their joint dominance. Janthinobacterium sp. SLB01 attacks other cells using a type VI secretion system and suppresses gram-positive bacteria with violacein, and regulates its own activity via quorum sensing. It produces floc and strong biofilm by exopolysaccharide biosynthesis and PEP-CTERM/XrtA protein expression. Flavobacterium sp. SLB02 utilizes the fragments of cell walls produced by polysaccharides. These two strains have a marked difference in carbohydrate acquisition. We described a possible means of joint occupation of the ecological niche in the freshwater sponge microbial community. This study expands the understanding of the symbiotic relationship of microorganisms with freshwater Baikal sponges.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Ingargiola C, Turqueto Duarte G, Robaglia C, et al (2020)

The Plant Target of Rapamycin: A Conduc TOR of Nutrition and Metabolism in Photosynthetic Organisms.

Genes, 11(11):.

Living organisms possess many mechanisms to sense nutrients and favorable conditions, which allow them to grow and develop. Photosynthetic organisms are very diverse, from green unicellular algae to multicellular flowering plants, but most of them are sessile and thus unable to escape from the biotic and abiotic stresses they experience. The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway is conserved in all eukaryotes and acts as a central regulatory hub between growth and extrinsic factors, such as nutrients or stress. However, relatively little is known about the regulations and roles of this pathway in plants and algae. Although some features of the TOR pathway seem to have been highly conserved throughout evolution, others clearly differ in plants, perhaps reflecting adaptations to different lifestyles and the rewiring of this primordial signaling module to adapt to specific requirements. Indeed, TOR is involved in plant responses to a vast array of signals including nutrients, hormones, light, stresses or pathogens. In this review, we will summarize recent studies that address the regulations of TOR by nutrients in photosynthetic organisms, and the roles of TOR in controlling important metabolic pathways, highlighting similarities and differences with the other eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-03-25
CmpDate: 2021-03-25

Combarnous Y, TMD Nguyen (2020)

Cell Communications among Microorganisms, Plants, and Animals: Origin, Evolution, and Interplays.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21):.

Cellular communications play pivotal roles in multi-cellular species, but they do so also in uni-cellular species. Moreover, cells communicate with each other not only within the same individual, but also with cells in other individuals belonging to the same or other species. These communications occur between two unicellular species, two multicellular species, or between unicellular and multicellular species. The molecular mechanisms involved exhibit diversity and specificity, but they share common basic features, which allow common pathways of communication between different species, often phylogenetically very distant. These interactions are possible by the high degree of conservation of the basic molecular mechanisms of interaction of many ligand-receptor pairs in evolutionary remote species. These inter-species cellular communications played crucial roles during Evolution and must have been positively selected, particularly when collectively beneficial in hostile environments. It is likely that communications between cells did not arise after their emergence, but were part of the very nature of the first cells. Synchronization of populations of non-living protocells through chemical communications may have been a mandatory step towards their emergence as populations of living cells and explain the large commonality of cell communication mechanisms among microorganisms, plants, and animals.

RevDate: 2021-03-02
CmpDate: 2021-03-02

Véron E, Vernoux T, Y Coudert (2021)

Phyllotaxis from a Single Apical Cell.

Trends in plant science, 26(2):124-131.

Phyllotaxis, the geometry of leaf arrangement around stems, determines plant architecture. Molecular interactions coordinating the formation of phyllotactic patterns have mainly been studied in multicellular shoot apical meristems of flowering plants. Phyllotaxis evolved independently in the major land plant lineages. In mosses, it arises from a single apical cell, raising the question of how asymmetric divisions of a single-celled meristem create phyllotactic patterns and whether associated genetic processes are shared across lineages. We present an overview of the mechanisms governing shoot apical cell specification and activity in the model moss, Physcomitrium patens, and argue that similar molecular regulatory modules have been deployed repeatedly across evolution to operate at different scales and drive apical function in convergent shoot forms.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Soubigou A, Ross EG, Touhami Y, et al (2020)

Regeneration in the sponge Sycon ciliatum partly mimics postlarval development.

Development (Cambridge, England), 147(22): pii:dev.193714.

Somatic cells dissociated from an adult sponge can reorganize and develop into a juvenile-like sponge, a remarkable phenomenon of regeneration. However, the extent to which regeneration recapitulates embryonic developmental pathways has remained enigmatic. We have standardized and established a sponge Sycon ciliatum regeneration protocol from dissociated cells. Morphological analysis demonstrated that dissociated sponge cells follow a series of morphological events resembling postembryonic development. We performed high-throughput sequencing on regenerating samples and compared the data with that from regular postlarval development. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed that sponge regeneration is as equally dynamic as embryogenesis. We found that sponge regeneration is orchestrated by recruiting pathways similar to those utilized in embryonic development. We also demonstrated that sponge regeneration is accompanied by cell death at early stages, revealing the importance of apoptosis in remodelling the primmorphs to initiate re-development. Because sponges are likely to be the first branch of extant multicellular animals, we suggest that this system can be explored to study the genetic features underlying the evolution of multicellularity and regeneration.

RevDate: 2020-12-18
CmpDate: 2020-12-18

Hammarlund EU, Flashman E, Mohlin S, et al (2020)

Oxygen-sensing mechanisms across eukaryotic kingdoms and their roles in complex multicellularity.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 370(6515):.

Oxygen-sensing mechanisms of eukaryotic multicellular organisms coordinate hypoxic cellular responses in a spatiotemporal manner. Although this capacity partly allows animals and plants to acutely adapt to oxygen deprivation, its functional and historical roots in hypoxia emphasize a broader evolutionary role. For multicellular life-forms that persist in settings with variable oxygen concentrations, the capacity to perceive and modulate responses in and between cells is pivotal. Animals and higher plants represent the most complex life-forms that ever diversified on Earth, and their oxygen-sensing mechanisms demonstrate convergent evolution from a functional perspective. Exploring oxygen-sensing mechanisms across eukaryotic kingdoms can inform us on biological innovations to harness ever-changing oxygen availability at the dawn of complex life and its utilization for their organismal development.

RevDate: 2020-10-20

Teulière J, Bernard G, E Bapteste (2020)

The Distribution of Genes Associated With Regulated Cell Death Is Decoupled From the Mitochondrial Phenotypes Within Unicellular Eukaryotic Hosts.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 8:536389.

Genetically regulated cell death (RCD) occurs in all domains of life. In eukaryotes, the evolutionary origin of the mitochondrion and of certain forms of RCD, in particular apoptosis, are thought to coincide, suggesting a central general role for mitochondria in cellular suicide. We tested this mitochondrial centrality hypothesis across a dataset of 67 species of protists, presenting 5 classes of mitochondrial phenotypes, including functional mitochondria, metabolically diversified mitochondria, functionally reduced mitochondria (Mitochondrion Related Organelle or MRO) and even complete absence of mitochondria. We investigated the distribution of genes associated with various forms of RCD. No homologs for described mammalian regulators of regulated necrosis could be identified in our set of 67 unicellular taxa. Protists with MRO and the secondarily a mitochondriate Monocercomonoides exilis display heterogeneous reductions of apoptosis gene sets with respect to typical mitochondriate protists. Remarkably, despite the total lack of mitochondria in M. exilis, apoptosis-associated genes could still be identified. These same species of protists with MRO and M. exilis harbored non-reduced autophagic cell death gene sets. Moreover, transiently multicellular protist taxa appeared enriched in apoptotic and autophagy associated genes compared to free-living protists. This analysis suggests that genes associated with apoptosis in animals and the presence of the mitochondria are significant yet non-essential biological components for RCD in protists. More generally, our results support the hypothesis of a selection for RCD, including both apoptosis and autophagy, as a developmental mechanism linked to multicellularity.

RevDate: 2021-05-19
CmpDate: 2021-05-19

Palazzo AF, EV Koonin (2020)

Functional Long Non-coding RNAs Evolve from Junk Transcripts.

Cell, 183(5):1151-1161.

Transcriptome studies reveal pervasive transcription of complex genomes, such as those of mammals. Despite popular arguments for functionality of most, if not all, of these transcripts, genome-wide analysis of selective constraints indicates that most of the produced RNA are junk. However, junk is not garbage. On the contrary, junk transcripts provide the raw material for the evolution of diverse long non-coding (lnc) RNAs by non-adaptive mechanisms, such as constructive neutral evolution. The generation of many novel functional entities, such as lncRNAs, that fuels organismal complexity does not seem to be driven by strong positive selection. Rather, the weak selection regime that dominates the evolution of most multicellular eukaryotes provides ample material for functional innovation with relatively little adaptation involved.

RevDate: 2020-11-26
CmpDate: 2020-11-26

Liu XB, Xia EH, Li M, et al (2020)

Transcriptome data reveal conserved patterns of fruiting body development and response to heat stress in the mushroom-forming fungus Flammulina filiformis.

PloS one, 15(10):e0239890.

Mushroom-forming fungi are complex multicellular organisms that form the basis of a large industry, yet, our understanding of the mechanisms of mushroom development and its responses to various stresses remains limited. The winter mushroom (Flammulina filiformis) is cultivated at a large commercial scale in East Asia and is a species with a preference for low temperatures. This study investigated fruiting body development in F. filiformis by comparing transcriptomes of 4 developmental stages, and compared the developmental genes to a 200-genome dataset to identify conserved genes involved in fruiting body development, and examined the response of heat sensitive and -resistant strains to heat stress. Our data revealed widely conserved genes involved in primordium development of F. filiformis, many of which originated before the emergence of the Agaricomycetes, indicating co-option for complex multicellularity during evolution. We also revealed several notable fruiting-specific genes, including the genes with conserved stipe-specific expression patterns and the others which related to sexual development, water absorption, basidium formation and sporulation, among others. Comparative analysis revealed that heat stress induced more genes in the heat resistant strain (M1) than in the heat sensitive one (XR). Of particular importance are the hsp70, hsp90 and fes1 genes, which may facilitate the adjustment to heat stress in the early stages of fruiting body development. These data highlighted novel genes involved in complex multicellular development in fungi and aid further studies on gene function and efforts to improve the productivity and heat tolerance in mushroom-forming fungi.

RevDate: 2021-03-24
CmpDate: 2020-10-27

Toda S, McKeithan WL, Hakkinen TJ, et al (2020)

Engineering synthetic morphogen systems that can program multicellular patterning.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 370(6514):327-331.

In metazoan tissues, cells decide their fates by sensing positional information provided by specialized morphogen proteins. To explore what features are sufficient for positional encoding, we asked whether arbitrary molecules (e.g., green fluorescent protein or mCherry) could be converted into synthetic morphogens. Synthetic morphogens expressed from a localized source formed a gradient when trapped by surface-anchoring proteins, and they could be sensed by synthetic receptors. Despite their simplicity, these morphogen systems yielded patterns reminiscent of those observed in vivo. Gradients could be reshaped by altering anchor density or by providing a source of competing inhibitor. Gradient interpretation could be altered by adding feedback loops or morphogen cascades to receiver cell response circuits. Orthogonal cell-cell communication systems provide insight into morphogen evolution and a platform for engineering tissues.

RevDate: 2021-03-05
CmpDate: 2021-03-05

Dyrka W, Coustou V, Daskalov A, et al (2020)

Identification of NLR-associated Amyloid Signaling Motifs in Bacterial Genomes.

Journal of molecular biology, 432(23):6005-6027.

In filamentous fungi, amyloid signaling sequences allow Nod-like receptors (NLRs) to activate downstream cell-death inducing proteins with HeLo and HeLo-like (HELL) domains and amyloid RHIM and RHIM-related motifs control immune defense pathways in mammals and flies. Herein, we show bioinformatically that analogous amyloid signaling motifs exist in bacteria. These short motifs are found at the N terminus of NLRs and at the C terminus of proteins with a domain we term BELL. The corresponding NLR and BELL proteins are encoded by adjacent genes. We identify 10 families of such bacterial amyloid signaling sequences (BASS), one of which (BASS3) is homologous to RHIM and a fungal amyloid motif termed PP. BASS motifs occur nearly exclusively in bacteria forming multicellular structures (mainly in Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria). We analyze experimentally a subset of seven of these motifs (from the most common BASS1 family and the RHIM-related BASS3 family) and find that these sequences form fibrils in vitro. Using a fungal in vivo model, we show that all tested BASS-motifs form prions and that the NLR-side motifs seed prion-formation of the corresponding BELL-side motif. We find that BASS3 motifs show partial prion cross-seeding with mammalian RHIM and fungal PP-motifs and that proline mutations on key positions of the BASS3 core motif, conserved in RHIM and PP-motifs, abolish prion formation. This work expands the paradigm of prion amyloid signaling to multicellular prokaryotes and suggests a long-term evolutionary conservation of these motifs from bacteria, to fungi and animals.

RevDate: 2021-03-02
CmpDate: 2021-03-02

Kurakin GF, Samoukina AM, NA Potapova (2020)

Bacterial and Protozoan Lipoxygenases Could be Involved in Cell-to-Cell Signaling and Immune Response Suppression.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 85(9):1048-1071.

Lipoxygenases are found in animals, plants, and fungi, where they are involved in a wide range of cell-to-cell signaling processes. The presence of lipoxygenases in a number of bacteria and protozoa has been also established, but their biological significance remains poorly understood. Several hypothetical functions of lipoxygenases in bacteria and protozoa have been suggested without experimental validation. The objective of our study was evaluating the functions of bacterial and protozoan lipoxygenases by evolutionary and taxonomic analysis using bioinformatics tools. Lipoxygenase sequences were identified and examined using BLAST, followed by analysis of constructed phylogenetic trees and networks. Our results support the theory on the involvement of lipoxygenases in the formation of multicellular structures by microorganisms and their possible evolutionary significance in the emergence of multicellularity. Furthermore, we observed association of lipoxygenases with the suppression of host immune response by parasitic and symbiotic bacteria including dangerous opportunistic pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-06-24
CmpDate: 2021-06-24

Essen LO, Vogt MS, HU Mösch (2020)

Diversity of GPI-anchored fungal adhesins.

Biological chemistry, 401(12):1389-1405.

Selective adhesion of fungal cells to one another and to foreign surfaces is fundamental for the development of multicellular growth forms and the successful colonization of substrates and host organisms. Accordingly, fungi possess diverse cell wall-associated adhesins, mostly large glycoproteins, which present N-terminal adhesion domains at the cell surface for ligand recognition and binding. In order to function as robust adhesins, these glycoproteins must be covalently linkedto the cell wall via C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors by transglycosylation. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the structural and functional diversity of so far characterized protein families of adhesion domains and set it into a broad context by an in-depth bioinformatics analysis using sequence similarity networks. In addition, we discuss possible mechanisms for the membrane-to-cell wall transfer of fungal adhesins by membrane-anchored Dfg5 transglycosidases.

RevDate: 2021-04-29
CmpDate: 2021-04-29

Jiang L, Lu Y, Zheng L, et al (2020)

The algal selenoproteomes.

BMC genomics, 21(1):699.

BACKGROUND: Selenium is an essential trace element, and selenocysteine (Sec, U) is its predominant form in vivo. Proteins that contain Sec are selenoproteins, whose special structural features include not only the TGA codon encoding Sec but also the SECIS element in mRNA and the conservation of the Sec-flanking region. These unique features have led to the development of a series of bioinformatics methods to predict and research selenoprotein genes. There have been some studies and reports on the evolution and distribution of selenoprotein genes in prokaryotes and multicellular eukaryotes, but the systematic analysis of single-cell eukaryotes, especially algae, has been very limited.

RESULTS: In this study, we predicted selenoprotein genes in 137 species of algae by using a program we previously developed. More than 1000 selenoprotein genes were obtained. A database website was built to record these algae selenoprotein genes ( These genes belong to 42 selenoprotein families, including three novel selenoprotein gene families.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals the primordial state of the eukaryotic selenoproteome. It is an important clue to explore the significance of selenium for primordial eukaryotes and to determine the complete evolutionary spectrum of selenoproteins in all life forms.

RevDate: 2021-09-09
CmpDate: 2021-04-15

Ibrahim-Hashim A, Luddy K, Abrahams D, et al (2021)

Artificial selection for host resistance to tumour growth and subsequent cancer cell adaptations: an evolutionary arms race.

British journal of cancer, 124(2):455-465.

BACKGROUND: Cancer progression is governed by evolutionary dynamics in both the tumour population and its host. Since cancers die with the host, each new population of cancer cells must reinvent strategies to overcome the host's heritable defences. In contrast, host species evolve defence strategies over generations if tumour development limits procreation.

METHODS: We investigate this "evolutionary arms race" through intentional breeding of immunodeficient SCID and immunocompetent Black/6 mice to evolve increased tumour suppression. Over 10 generations, we injected Lewis lung mouse carcinoma cells [LL/2-Luc-M38] and selectively bred the two individuals with the slowest tumour growth at day 11. Their male progeny were hosts in the subsequent round.

RESULTS: The evolved SCID mice suppressed tumour growth through biomechanical restriction from increased mesenchymal proliferation, and the evolved Black/6 mice suppressed tumour growth by increasing immune-mediated killing of cancer cells. However, transcriptomic changes of multicellular tissue organisation and function genes allowed LL/2-Luc-M38 cells to adapt through increased matrix remodelling in SCID mice, and reduced angiogenesis, increased energy utilisation and accelerated proliferation in Black/6 mice.

CONCLUSION: Host species can rapidly evolve both immunologic and non-immunologic tumour defences. However, cancer cell plasticity allows effective phenotypic and population-based counter strategies.

RevDate: 2021-06-21
CmpDate: 2021-06-21

Rochman ND, Wolf YI, EV Koonin (2020)

Deep phylogeny of cancer drivers and compensatory mutations.

Communications biology, 3(1):551.

Driver mutations (DM) are the genetic impetus for most cancers. The DM are assumed to be deleterious in species evolution, being eliminated by purifying selection unless compensated by other mutations. We present deep phylogenies for 84 cancer driver genes and investigate the prevalence of 434 DM across gene-species trees. The DM are rare in species evolution, and 181 are completely absent, validating their negative fitness effect. The DM are more common in unicellular than in multicellular eukaryotes, suggesting a link between these mutations and cell proliferation control. 18 DM appear as the ancestral state in one or more major clades, including 3 among mammals. We identify within-gene, compensatory mutations for 98 DM and infer likely interactions between the DM and compensatory sites in protein structures. These findings elucidate the evolutionary status of DM and are expected to advance the understanding of the functions and evolution of oncogenes and tumor suppressors.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Michalakis Y, S Blanc (2020)

The Curious Strategy of Multipartite Viruses.

Annual review of virology, 7(1):203-218.

Multipartite virus genomes are composed of several segments, each packaged in a distinct viral particle. Although this puzzling genome architecture is found in ∼17% of known viral species, its distribution among hosts or among distinct types of genome-composing nucleic acid remains poorly understood. No convincing advantage of multipartitism has been identified, yet the maintenance of genomic integrity appears problematic. Here we review recent studies shedding light on these issues. Multipartite viruses rapidly modify the copy number of each segment/gene from one host species to another, a putative benefit if host switches are common. One multipartite virus functions in a multicellular way: The segments do not all need to be present in the same cell and can functionally complement across cells, maintaining genome integrity within hosts. The genomic integrity maintenance during host-to-host transmission needs further elucidation. These features challenge several virology foundations and could apply to other multicomponent viral systems.

RevDate: 2021-04-19
CmpDate: 2021-04-19

Petre B (2020)

Toward the Discovery of Host-Defense Peptides in Plants.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:1825.

Defense peptides protect multicellular eukaryotes from infections. In biomedical sciences, a dominant conceptual framework refers to defense peptides as host-defense peptides (HDPs), which are bifunctional peptides with both direct antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. No HDP has been reported in plants so far, and the very concept of HDP has not been captured yet by the plant science community. Plant science thus lacks the conceptual framework that would coordinate research efforts aimed at discovering plant HDPs. In this perspective article, I used bibliometric and literature survey approaches to raise awareness about the HDP concept among plant scientists, and to encourage research efforts aimed at discovering plant HDPs. Such discovery would enrich our comprehension of the function and evolution of the plant immune system, and provide us with novel molecular tools to develop innovative strategies to control crop diseases.

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2020-09-30

Kinsella CM, Bart A, Deijs M, et al (2020)

Entamoeba and Giardia parasites implicated as hosts of CRESS viruses.

Nature communications, 11(1):4620.

Metagenomic techniques have enabled genome sequencing of unknown viruses without isolation in cell culture, but information on the virus host is often lacking, preventing viral characterisation. High-throughput methods capable of identifying virus hosts based on genomic data alone would aid evaluation of their medical or biological relevance. Here, we address this by linking metagenomic discovery of three virus families in human stool samples with determination of probable hosts. Recombination between viruses provides evidence of a shared host, in which genetic exchange occurs. We utilise networks of viral recombination to delimit virus-host clusters, which are then anchored to specific hosts using (1) statistical association to a host organism in clinical samples, (2) endogenous viral elements in host genomes, and (3) evidence of host small RNA responses to these elements. This analysis suggests two CRESS virus families (Naryaviridae and Nenyaviridae) infect Entamoeba parasites, while a third (Vilyaviridae) infects Giardia duodenalis. The trio supplements five CRESS virus families already known to infect eukaryotes, extending the CRESS virus host range to protozoa. Phylogenetic analysis implies CRESS viruses infecting multicellular life have evolved independently on at least three occasions.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


ESP now offers a 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 )