ResearchPad - phylogenetic-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Polyploidy breaks speciation barriers in Australian burrowing frogs <i>Neobatrachus</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16332 Polyploidy or whole genome duplication is rare in animals and usually polyploid animals reproduce asexually. The Australian burrowing frogs of the genus Neobatrachus form an interesting exception amongst vertebrates with multiple independently originated autotetraploid sexual species. We generated population genomic data from 87 animals representing all six diploid and three tetraploid species of Neobatrachus. We show that, while diploid Neobatrachus species seem to be isolated from each other, their sister tetraploid species experience substantial levels of gene flow, and have wider distributions. Furthermore, we observe asymmetric gene flow from diploids to tetraploids. Based on our genomic and climate analyses we suggest that such inter-specific hybridization mediated by whole genome duplication rescues species diversity and allows tetraploids to more easily avoid impacts of climate-induced habitat loss.

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<![CDATA[Single-cell amplicon sequencing reveals community structures and transmission trends of protist-associated bacteria in a termite host]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14746 The hindgut protists of wood-feeding termites are usually colonized by prokaryotic symbionts. Many of the hurdles that have prevented a better understanding of these symbionts arise from variation among protist and termite host species and the inability to maintain prominent community members in culture. These issues have made it difficult to study the fidelity, acquisition, and differences in colonization of protists by bacterial symbionts. In this study, we use high throughput amplicon sequencing of the V4 region of 16S rRNA genes to determine the composition of bacterial communities associated with single protist cells of six protist species, from the genera Pyrsonympha, Dinenympha, and Trichonympha that are present in the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. By analyzing amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the diversity and distribution of protist-associated bacteria was compared within and across these six different protist species. ASV analysis showed that, in general, each protist genus associated with a distinct community of bacterial symbionts which were conserved across different termite colonies. However, some ASVs corresponding to ectosymbionts (Spirochaetes) were shared between different Dinenympha species and to a lesser extent with Pyrsonympha and Trichonympha hosts. This suggested that certain bacterial symbionts may be cosmopolitan to some degree and perhaps acquired by horizontal transmission. Using a fluorescence-based cell assay, we could observe the horizontal acquisition of surface-bound bacteria. This acquisition was shown to be time-dependent, involve active processes, and was non-random with respect to binding locations on some protists.

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<![CDATA[Traditional milk transformation schemes in Côte d’Ivoire and their impact on the prevalence of <i>Streptococcus bovis</i> complex bacteria in dairy products]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14743 The Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) and possibly Streptococcus infantarius subsp. infantarius (Sii) are associated with human and animal diseases. Sii predominate in spontaneously fermented milk products with unknown public health effects. Sii/SBSEC prevalence data from West Africa in correlation with milk transformation practices are limited. Northern Côte d’Ivoire served as study area due to its importance in milk production and consumption and to link a wider Sudano-Sahelian pastoral zone of cross-border trade. We aimed to describe the cow milk value chain and determine Sii/SBSEC prevalence with a cross-sectional study. Dairy production practices were described as non-compliant with basic hygiene standards. The system is influenced by secular sociocultural practices and environmental conditions affecting product properties. Phenotypic and molecular analyses identified SBSEC in 27/43 (62.8%) fermented and 26/67 (38.8%) unfermented milk samples. Stratified by collection stage, fermented milk at producer and vendor levels featured highest SBSEC prevalence of 71.4% and 63.6%, respectively. Sii with 62.8% and 38.8% as well as Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. macedonicus with 7.0% and 7.5% were the predominant SBSEC species identified among fermented and unfermented milk samples, respectively. The population structure of Sii/SBSEC isolates seems to reflect evolving novel dairy-adapted, non-adapted and potentially pathogenic lineages. Northern Côte d’Ivoire was confirmed as area with high Sii presence in dairy products. The observed production practices and the high diversity of Sii/SBSEC supports in-depth investigations on Sii ecology niche, product safety and related technology in the dairy value chain potentially affecting large population groups across sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the accuracy of phylogenetic rooting methods on prokaryotic gene families]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14731 Almost all standard phylogenetic methods for reconstructing gene trees result in unrooted trees; yet, many of the most useful applications of gene trees require that the gene trees be correctly rooted. As a result, several computational methods have been developed for inferring the root of unrooted gene trees. However, the accuracy of such methods has never been systematically evaluated on prokaryotic gene families, where horizontal gene transfer is often one of the dominant evolutionary events driving gene family evolution. In this work, we address this gap by conducting a thorough comparative evaluation of five different rooting methods using large collections of both simulated and empirical prokaryotic gene trees. Our simulation study is based on 6000 true and reconstructed gene trees on 100 species and characterizes the rooting accuracy of the four methods under 36 different evolutionary conditions and 3 levels of gene tree reconstruction error. The empirical study is based on a large, carefully designed data set of 3098 gene trees from 504 bacterial species (406 Alphaproteobacteria and 98 Cyanobacteria) and reveals insights that supplement those gleaned from the simulation study. Overall, this work provides several valuable insights into the accuracy of the considered methods that will help inform the choice of rooting methods to use when studying microbial gene family evolution. Among other findings, this study identifies parsimonious Duplication-Transfer-Loss (DTL) rooting and Minimal Ancestor Deviation (MAD) rooting as two of the most accurate gene tree rooting methods for prokaryotes and specifies the evolutionary conditions under which these methods are most accurate, demonstrates that DTL rooting is highly sensitive to high evolutionary rates and gene tree error, and that rooting methods based on branch-lengths are generally robust to gene tree reconstruction error.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of plastid genomes within the Campanulaceae and phylogenetic implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14639 The conflicts exist between the phylogeny of Campanulaceae based on nuclear ITS sequence and plastid markers, particularly in the subdivision of Cyanantheae (Campanulaceae). Besides, various and complicated plastid genome structures can be found in species of the Campanulaceae. However, limited availability of genomic information largely hinders the studies of molecular evolution and phylogeny of Campanulaceae. We reported the complete plastid genomes of three Cyanantheae species, compared them to eight published Campanulaceae plastomes, and shed light on a deeper understanding of the applicability of plastomes. We found that there were obvious differences among gene order, GC content, gene compositions and IR junctions of LSC/IRa. Almost all protein-coding genes and amino acid sequences showed obvious codon preferences. We identified 14 genes with highly positively selected sites and branch-site model displayed 96 sites under potentially positive selection on the three lineages of phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Cyananthus was more closely related to Codonopsis compared with Cyclocodon and also clearly illustrated the relationship among the Cyanantheae species. We also found six coding regions having high nucleotide divergence value. Hotpot regions were considered to be useful molecular markers for resolving phylogenetic relationships and species authentication of Campanulaceae.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a new R3 MYB type repressor and functional characterization of the members of the MBW transcriptional complex involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis in eggplant (<i>S</i>. <i>melongena</i> L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14583 Here we focus on the highly conserved MYB-bHLH-WD repeat (MBW) transcriptional complex model in eggplant, which is pivotal in the transcriptional regulation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. Through a genome-wide approach performed on the recently released Eggplant Genome (cv. 67/3) previously identified, and reconfirmed by us, members belonging to the MBW complex (SmelANT1, SmelAN2, SmelJAF13, SmelAN1) were functionally characterized. Furthermore, a regulatory R3 MYB type repressor (SmelMYBL1), never reported before, was identified and characterized as well.

Through a qPCR approach, we revealed specific transcriptional patterns of candidate genes in different plant tissue/organs at two stages of fruit development. Two strategies were adopted for investigating the interactions of bHLH partners (SmelAN1, SmelJAF13) with MYB counterparts (SmelANT1, SmelAN2 and SmelMYBL1): Yeast Two Hybrid (Y2H) and Bimolecular Fluorescent Complementation (BiFC) in A. thaliana mesophylls protoplast. Agro-infiltration experiments highlighted that N. benthamiana leaves transiently expressing SmelANT1 and SmelAN2 showed an anthocyanin-pigmented phenotype, while their co-expression with SmelMYBL1 prevented anthocyanin accumulation. Our results suggest that SmelMYBL1 may inhibits the MBW complex via the competition with MYB activators for bHLH binding site, although this hypothesis requires further elucidation.

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<![CDATA[Comparative mitochondrial genome analysis of <i>Dendrolimus houi</i> (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) and phylogenetic relationship among Lasiocampidae species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14575 Dendrolimus houi is one of the most common caterpillars infesting Gymnosperm trees, and widely distributed in several countries in Southeast Asia, and exists soley or coexists with several congeners and some Lasiocampidae species in various forest habitats. However, natural hybrids occasionally occur among some closely related species in the same habitat, and host preference, extreme climate stress, and geographic isolation probably lead to their uncertain taxonomic consensus. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of D. houi was extracted and sequenced by using high-throughput technology, and the mitogenome composition and characteristics were compared and analyzed of these species, then the phylogenetic relationship was constructed using the maximum likelihood method (ML) and the Bayesian method (BI) based on their 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs) dataset, which were combined and made available to download which were combined and made available to download among global Lasiocampidae species data. Mitogenome of D. houi was 15,373 bp in length, with 37 genes, including 13 PCGs, 22 tRNA genes (tRNAs) and 2 rRNA genes (rRNAs). The positions and sequences of genes were consistent with those of most known Lasiocampidae species. The nucleotide composition was highly A+T biased, accounting for ~80% of the whole mitogenome. All start codons of PCGs belonged to typical start codons ATN except for COI which used CGA, and most stop codons ended with standard TAA or TAG, while COI, COII, ND4 ended with incomplete T. Only tRNASer (AGN) lacked DHU arm, while the remainder formed a typical “clover-shaped” secondary structure. For Lasiocampidae species, their complete mitochondrial genomes ranged from 15,281 to 15,570 bp in length, and all first genes started from trnM in the same direction. And base composition was biased toward A and T. Finally, both two methods (ML and BI) separately revealed that the same phylogenetic relationship of D. spp. as ((((D. punctatus + D. tabulaeformis) + D. spectabilis) + D. superans) + (D. kikuchii of Hunan population + D. houi) as in previous research, but results were different in that D. kikuchii from a Yunnan population was included, indicating that different geographical populations of insects have differentiated. And the phylogenetic relationship among Lasiocampidae species was ((((Dendrolimus) + Kunugia) + Euthrix) + Trabala). This provides a better theoretical basis for Lasiocampidae evolution and classification for future research directions.

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<![CDATA[Are pangolins the intermediate host of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14545 Recently, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, caused a still ongoing pandemic. Epidemiological study suggested this virus was associated with a wet market in Wuhan, China. However, the exact source of this virus is still unknown. In this study, we attempted to assemble the complete genome of a coronavirus identified from two groups of sick Malayan pangolins, which were likely to be smuggled for black market trade. The molecular and evolutionary analyses showed that this pangolin coronavirus we assembled was genetically associated with the SARS-CoV-2 but was not likely its precursor. This study suggested that pangolins are natural hosts of coronaviruses. Determining the spectrum of coronaviruses in pangolins can help understand the natural history of coronaviruses in wildlife and at the animal-human interface, and facilitate the prevention and control of coronavirus-associated emerging diseases.

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<![CDATA[An Out-of-Patagonia migration explains the worldwide diversity and distribution of <i>Saccharomyces eubayanus</i> lineages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14503 Lager yeast history has intrigued scientists for decades. The recent isolation of S. eubayanus, the lager yeast ancestor, represents an unprecedented opportunity to extend our knowledge on yeast phylogeography and the origins of the S. pastorianus lager hybrid. However, the genetic, phenotypic and evolutionary history of this species remains poorly known. Our work demonstrates that S. eubayanus isolates from Patagonia have the greatest genetic diversity, comprising the largest number of lineages within a single geographic region and experienced ancestral and recent admixture between lineages, likely suggesting co-occurrence in Patagonia. Importantly, some isolates exhibited significant phenotypic differences for traits such as high temperature and ethanol tolerance, together with fermentation performance, demonstrating their potential in the brewing industry for the generation of new styles of lager beers. Furthermore, our results support the idea of colonization from peripheral glacial refugia from the South, as responsible for the high genetic diversity observed in southern Chilean Patagonia. Our results allow hypothesizing a successful physiological adjustment of the species to the local conditions in Patagonia, explaining its wide distribution in the southern hemisphere.

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<![CDATA[Codon Pairs are Phylogenetically Conserved: A comprehensive analysis of codon pairing conservation across the Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14487 Identical codon pairing and co-tRNA codon pairing increase translational efficiency within genes when two codons that encode the same amino acid are translated by the same tRNA before it diffuses from the ribosome. We examine the phylogenetic signal in both identical and co-tRNA codon pairing across 23 428 species using alignment-free and parsimony methods. We determined that conserved codon pairing typically has a smaller window size than the length of a ribosome, and codon pairing tracks phylogenies across various taxonomic groups. We report a comprehensive analysis of codon pairing, including the extent to which each codon pairs. Our parsimony method generally recovers phylogenies that are more congruent with the established phylogenies than our alignment-free method. However, four of the ten taxonomic groups did not have sufficient orthologous codon pairings and were therefore analyzed using only the alignment-free methods. Since the recovered phylogenies using only codon pairing largely match phylogenies from the Open Tree of Life and the NCBI taxonomy, and are comparable to trees recovered by other algorithms, we propose that codon pairing biases are phylogenetically conserved and should be considered in conjunction with other phylogenomic techniques.

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<![CDATA[Isolation of a novel species in the genus <i>Cupriavidus</i> from a patient with sepsis using whole genome sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14469 Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has become an accessible tool in clinical microbiology, and it allowed us to identify a novel Cupriavidus species. We isolated Gram-negative bacillus from the blood of an immunocompromised patient, and phenotypical and molecular identifications were performed. Phenotypic identification discrepancies were noted between the Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, Marcy-l’Étoile, France) and Vitek MS systems (bioMérieux). Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, it was impossible to identify the pathogen to the species levels. WGS was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform (Illumina, San Diego, CA), and genomic sequence database searching with a TrueBacTM ID-Genome system (ChunLab, Inc., Seoul, Republic of Korea) showed no strains with average nucleotide identity values higher than 95.0%, which is the cut-off for species-level identification. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the bacteria was a new Cupriavidus species that formed a subcluster with Cupriavidus gilardii. WGS holds great promise for accurate molecular identification beyond 16S rRNA gene sequencing in clinical microbiology.

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<![CDATA[Chloroplast genomes of Rubiaceae: Comparative genomics and molecular phylogeny in subfamily Ixoroideae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11231 In Rubiaceae phylogenetics, the number of markers often proved a limitation with authors failing to provide well-supported trees at tribal and generic levels. A robust phylogeny is a prerequisite to study the evolutionary patterns of traits at different taxonomic levels. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized biology by providing, at reduced cost, huge amounts of data for an increased number of species. Due to their highly conserved structure, generally recombination-free, and mostly uniparental inheritance, chloroplast DNA sequences have long been used as choice markers for plant phylogeny reconstruction. The main objectives of this study are: 1) to gain insight in chloroplast genome evolution in the Rubiaceae (Ixoroideae) through efficient methodology for de novo assembly of plastid genomes; and, 2) to test the efficiency of mining SNPs in the nuclear genome of Ixoroideae based on the use of a coffee reference genome to produce well-supported nuclear trees. We assembled whole chloroplast genome sequences for 27 species of the Rubiaceae subfamily Ixoroideae using next-generation sequences. Analysis of the plastid genome structure reveals a relatively good conservation of gene content and order. Generally, low variation was observed between taxa in the boundary regions with the exception of the inverted repeat at both the large and short single copy junctions for some taxa. An average of 79% of the SNP determined in the Coffea genus are transferable to Ixoroideae, with variation ranging from 35% to 96%. In general, the plastid and the nuclear genome phylogenies are congruent with each other. They are well-resolved with well-supported branches. Generally, the tribes form well-identified clades but the tribe Sherbournieae is shown to be polyphyletic. The results are discussed relative to the methodology used and the chloroplast genome features in Rubiaceae and compared to previous Rubiaceae phylogenies.

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<![CDATA[Specific clones of Trichomonas tenax are associated with periodontitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c900d3bd5eed0c48407e3b6

Trichomonas tenax, an anaerobic protist difficult to cultivate with an unreliable molecular identification, has been suspected of involvement in periodontitis, a multifactorial inflammatory dental disease affecting the soft tissue and bone of periodontium. A cohort of 106 periodontitis patients classified by stages of severity and 85 healthy adult control patients was constituted. An efficient culture protocol, a new identification tool by real-time qPCR of T. tenax and a Multi-Locus Sequence Typing system (MLST) based on T. tenax NIH4 reference strain were created. Fifty-three strains of Trichomonas sp. were obtained from periodontal samples. 37/106 (34.90%) T. tenax from patients with periodontitis and 16/85 (18.80%°) T. tenax from control patients were detected by culture (p = 0.018). Sixty of the 191 samples were tested positive for T. tenax by qPCR, 24/85 (28%) controls and 36/106 (34%) periodontitis patients (p = 0.089). By combining both results, 45/106 (42.5%) patients were positive by culture and/or PCR, as compared to 24/85 (28.2%) controls (p = 0.042). A link was established between the carriage in patients of Trichomonas tenax and the severity of the disease. Genotyping demonstrates the presence of strain diversity with three major different clusters and a relation between disease strains and the periodontitis severity (p<0.05). More frequently detected in periodontal cases, T. tenax is likely to be related to the onset or/and evolution of periodontal diseases.

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<![CDATA[The draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii and mitochondrial phylogenomics of angiosperms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1f661d3e-d0c0-407e-92c0-bb72cd78029d

The mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants are well known for their large size, variable coding-gene set and fluid genome structure. The available mitochondrial genomes of the early angiosperms show extreme genetic diversity in genome size, structure, and sequences, such as rampant HGTs in Amborella mt genome, numerous repeated sequences in Nymphaea mt genome, and conserved gene evolution in Liriodendron mt genome. However, currently available early angiosperm mt genomes are still limited, hampering us from obtaining an overall picture of the mitogenomic evolution in angiosperms. Here we sequenced and assembled the draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii Pamp. from Magnoliaceae (magnoliids) using Oxford Nanopore sequencing technology. We recovered a single linear mitochondrial contig of 967,100 bp with an average read coverage of 122 × and a GC content of 46.6%. This draft mitochondrial genome contains a rich 64-gene set, similar to those of Liriodendron and Nymphaea, including 41 protein-coding genes, 20 tRNAs, and 3 rRNAs. Twenty cis-spliced and five trans-spliced introns break ten protein-coding genes in the Magnolia mt genome. Repeated sequences account for 27% of the draft genome, with 17 out of the 1,145 repeats showing recombination evidence. Although partially assembled, the approximately 1-Mb mt genome of Magnolia is still among the largest in angiosperms, which is possibly due to the expansion of repeated sequences, retention of ancestral mtDNAs, and the incorporation of nuclear genome sequences. Mitochondrial phylogenomic analysis of the concatenated datasets of 38 conserved protein-coding genes from 91 representatives of angiosperm species supports the sister relationship of magnoliids with monocots and eudicots, which is congruent with plastid evidence.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic analysis of polyketide synthases in a highly ciguatoxic dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus polynesiensis and low toxicity Gambierdiscus pacificus, from French Polynesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca210627-69b7-4a50-96ce-ecb4ce1a2ae1

Marine dinoflagellates produce a diversity of polyketide toxins that are accumulated in marine food webs and are responsible for a variety of seafood poisonings. Reef-associated dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus produce toxins responsible for ciguatera poisoning (CP), which causes over 50,000 cases of illness annually worldwide. The biosynthetic machinery for dinoflagellate polyketides remains poorly understood. Recent transcriptomic and genomic sequencing projects have revealed the presence of Type I modular polyketide synthases in dinoflagellates, as well as a plethora of single domain transcripts with Type I sequence homology. The current transcriptome analysis compares polyketide synthase (PKS) gene transcripts expressed in two species of Gambierdiscus from French Polynesia: a highly toxic ciguatoxin producer, G. polynesiensis, versus a non-ciguatoxic species G. pacificus, each assembled from approximately 180 million Illumina 125 nt reads using Trinity, and compares their PKS content with previously published data from other Gambierdiscus species and more distantly related dinoflagellates. Both modular and single-domain PKS transcripts were present. Single domain β-ketoacyl synthase (KS) transcripts were highly amplified in both species (98 in G. polynesiensis, 99 in G. pacificus), with smaller numbers of standalone acyl transferase (AT), ketoacyl reductase (KR), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), and thioesterase (TE) domains. G. polynesiensis expressed both a larger number of multidomain PKSs, and larger numbers of modules per transcript, than the non-ciguatoxic G. pacificus. The largest PKS transcript in G. polynesiensis encoded a 10,516 aa, 7 module protein, predicted to synthesize part of the polyether backbone. Transcripts and gene models representing portions of this PKS are present in other species, suggesting that its function may be performed in those species by multiple interacting proteins. This study contributes to the building consensus that dinoflagellates utilize a combination of Type I modular and single domain PKS proteins, in an as yet undefined manner, to synthesize polyketides.

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<![CDATA[Chalcone synthase (CHS) family members analysis from eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway and expression patterns in response to heat stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0c4703df-5c43-4557-a077-ba839b092c8d

Enzymes of the chalcone synthase (CHS) family participate in the synthesis of multiple secondary metabolites in plants, fungi and bacteria. CHS showed a significant correlation with the accumulation patterns of anthocyanin. The peel color, which is primarily determined by the content of anthocyanin, is an economically important trait for eggplants that is affected by heat stress. A total of 7 CHS (SmCHS1-7) putative genes were identified in a genome-wide analysis of eggplants (S. melongena L.). The SmCHS genes were distributed on 7 scaffolds and were classified into 3 clusters. Phylogenetic relationship analysis showed that 73 CHS genes from 7 Solanaceae species were classified into 10 groups. SmCHS5, SmCHS6 and SmCHS7 were continuously down-regulated under 38°C and 45°C treatment, while SmCHS4 was up-regulated under 38°C but showed little change at 45°C in peel. Expression profiles of key anthocyanin biosynthesis gene families showed that the PAL, 4CL and AN11 genes were primarily expressed in all five tissues. The CHI, F3H, F3’5’H, DFR, 3GT and bHLH1 genes were expressed in flower and peel. Under heat stress, the expression level of 52 key genes were reduced. In contrast, the expression patterns of eight key genes similar to SmCHS4 were up-regulated at a treatment of 38°C for 3 hour. Comparative analysis of putative CHS protein evolutionary relationships, cis-regulatory elements, and regulatory networks indicated that SmCHS gene family has a conserved gene structure and functional diversification. SmCHS showed two or more expression patterns, these results of this study may facilitate further research to understand the regulatory mechanism governing peel color in eggplants.

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<![CDATA[First description of a herpesvirus infection in genus Lepus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2b9a02c7-7220-4716-8700-9456c07e4236

During the necropsies of Iberian hares obtained in 2018/2019, along with signs of the nodular form of myxomatosis, other unexpected external lesions were also observed. Histopathology revealed nuclear inclusion bodies in stromal cells suggesting the additional presence of a nuclear replicating virus. Transmission electron microscopy further demonstrated the presence of herpesvirus particles in the tissues of affected hares. We confirmed the presence of herpesvirus in 13 MYXV-positive hares by PCR and sequencing analysis. Herpesvirus-DNA was also detected in seven healthy hares, suggesting its asymptomatic circulation. Phylogenetic analysis based on concatenated partial sequences of DNA polymerase gene and glycoprotein B gene enabled greater resolution than analysing the sequences individually. The hare’ virus was classified close to herpesviruses from rodents within the Rhadinovirus genus of the gammaherpesvirus subfamily. We propose to name this new virus Leporid gammaherpesvirus 5 (LeHV-5), according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses standards. The impact of herpesvirus infection on the reproduction and mortality of the Iberian hare is yet unknown but may aggravate the decline of wild populations caused by the recently emerged natural recombinant myxoma virus.

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<![CDATA[Diversity of A(H5N1) clade 2.3.2.1c avian influenza viruses with evidence of reassortment in Cambodia, 2014-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf51e501a-7d3b-493b-bbd9-bf4dbc27c932

In Cambodia, highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) subtype viruses circulate endemically causing poultry outbreaks and zoonotic human cases. To investigate the genomic diversity and development of endemicity of the predominantly circulating clade 2.3.2.1c A(H5N1) viruses, we characterised 68 AIVs detected in poultry, the environment and from a single human A(H5N1) case from January 2014 to December 2016. Full genomes were generated for 42 A(H5N1) viruses. Phylogenetic analysis shows that five clade 2.3.2.1c genotypes, designated KH1 to KH5, were circulating in Cambodia during this period. The genotypes arose through multiple reassortment events with the neuraminidase (NA) and internal genes belonging to H5N1 clade 2.3.2.1a, clade 2.3.2.1b or A(H9N2) lineages. Phylogenies suggest that the Cambodian AIVs were derived from viruses circulating between Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry. Molecular analyses show that these viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) gene substitutions D94N, S133A, S155N, T156A, T188I and K189R known to increase binding to the human-type α2,6-linked sialic acid receptors. Two A(H5N1) viruses displayed the M2 gene S31N or A30T substitutions indicative of adamantane resistance, however, susceptibility testing towards neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir, lananmivir and peramivir) of a subset of thirty clade 2.3.2.1c viruses showed susceptibility to all four drugs. This study shows that A(H5N1) viruses continue to reassort with other A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) viruses that are endemic in the region, highlighting the risk of introduction and emergence of novel A(H5N1) genotypes in Cambodia.

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<![CDATA[The evolution and genetic diversity of avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses in Cambodia, 2015 – 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncf402c92-86f9-4684-b431-03c7c64bd7da

Low pathogenic A(H9N2) subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) were originally detected in Cambodian poultry in 2013, and now circulate endemically. We sequenced and characterised 64 A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian poultry (chickens and ducks) from January 2015 to May 2016. All A(H9) viruses collected in 2015 and 2016 belonged to a new BJ/94-like h9-4.2.5 sub-lineage that emerged in the region during or after 2013, and was distinct to previously detected Cambodian viruses. Overall, there was a reduction of genetic diversity of H9N2 since 2013, however two genotypes were detected in circulation, P and V, with extensive reassortment between the viruses. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship between A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry, highlighting cross-border trade/movement of live, domestic poultry between the countries. Wild birds may also play a role in A(H9N2) transmission in the region. Some genes of the Cambodian isolates frequently clustered with zoonotic A(H7N9), A(H9N2) and A(H10N8) viruses, suggesting a common ecology. Molecular analysis showed 100% of viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) Q226L substitution, which favours mammalian receptor type binding. All viruses were susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals; however, 41% contained the matrix (M2) S31N substitution associated with resistance to adamantanes. Overall, Cambodian A(H9N2) viruses possessed factors known to increase zoonotic potential, and therefore their evolution should be continually monitored.

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<![CDATA[Reticulate evolution in eukaryotes: Origin and evolution of the nitrate assimilation pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fefd5eed0c484007967

Genes and genomes can evolve through interchanging genetic material, this leading to reticular evolutionary patterns. However, the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, and in particular of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), remains controversial. Given that metabolic pathways with taxonomically-patchy distributions can be indicative of HGT events, the eukaryotic nitrate assimilation pathway is an ideal object of investigation, as previous results revealed a patchy distribution and suggested that the nitrate assimilation cluster of dikaryotic fungi (Opisthokonta) could have been originated and transferred from a lineage leading to Oomycota (Stramenopiles). We studied the origin and evolution of this pathway through both multi-scale bioinformatic and experimental approaches. Our taxon-rich genomic screening shows that nitrate assimilation is present in more lineages than previously reported, although being restricted to autotrophs and osmotrophs. The phylogenies indicate a pervasive role of HGT, with three bacterial transfers contributing to the pathway origin, and at least seven well-supported transfers between eukaryotes. In particular, we propose a distinct and more complex HGT path between Opisthokonta and Stramenopiles than the one previously suggested, involving at least two transfers of a nitrate assimilation gene cluster. We also found that gene fusion played an essential role in this evolutionary history, underlying the origin of the canonical eukaryotic nitrate reductase, and of a chimeric nitrate reductase in Ichthyosporea (Opisthokonta). We show that the ichthyosporean pathway, including this novel nitrate reductase, is physiologically active and transcriptionally co-regulated, responding to different nitrogen sources; similarly to distant eukaryotes with independent HGT-acquisitions of the pathway. This indicates that this pattern of transcriptional control evolved convergently in eukaryotes, favoring the proper integration of the pathway in the metabolic landscape. Our results highlight the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, by showing the crucial contribution of HGT and gene fusion in the evolutionary history of the nitrate assimilation pathway.

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