Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: phylogenetics

9 Genomics of Aquatic Adaptation

Authors: Agostinho Antunes


The completion of the human genome sequencing in 2003 opened a new perspective into the importance of whole genome sequencing projects, and currently multiple species are having their genomes completed sequenced, from simple organisms, such as bacteria, to more complex taxa, such as mammals. This voluminous sequencing data generated across multiple organisms provides also the framework to better understand the genetic makeup of such species and related ones, allowing to explore the genetic changes underlining the evolution of diverse phenotypic traits. Here, recent results from our group retrieved from comparative evolutionary genomic analyses of selected marine animal species will be considered to exemplify how gene novelty and gene enhancement by positive selection might have been determinant in the success of adaptive radiations into diverse habitats and lifestyles.

Keywords: comparative genomics, adaptive evolution, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, genome mining

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8 Subfamilial Relationships within Solanaceae as Inferred from atpB-rbcL Intergenic Spacer

Authors: Syeda Qamarunnisa, Ishrat Jamil, Abid Azhar, Zabta K. Shinwari, Syed Irtifaq Ali


A phylogenetic analysis of family Solanaceae was conducted using sequence data from the chloroplast intergenic atpB-rbcL spacer. Sequence data was generated from 17 species representing 09 out of 14 genera of Solanaceae from Pakistan. Cladogram was constructed using maximum parsimony method and results indicate that Solanaceae is mainly divided into two subfamilies; Solanoideae and Cestroideae. Four major clades within Solanoideae represent tribes; Physaleae, Capsiceae, Datureae and Solaneae are supported by high bootstrap value and the relationships among them are not corroborating with the previous studies. The findings established that subfamily Cestroideae comprised of three genera; Cestrum, Lycium, and Nicotiana with high bootstrap support. Position of Nicotiana inferred with atpB-rbcL sequence is congruent with traditional classification, which placed the taxa in Cestroideae. In the current study Lycium unexpectedly nested with Nicotiana with 100% bootstrap support and identified as a member of tribe Nicotianeae. Expanded sampling of other genera from Pakistan could be valuable towards improving our understanding of intrafamilial relationships within Solanaceae.

Keywords: systematics, solanaceae, phylogenetics, intergenic spacer, tribes

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7 Morphology, Chromosome Numbers and Molecular Evidences of Three New Species of Begonia Section Baryandra (Begoniaceae) from Panay Island, Philippines

Authors: Rosario Rivera Rubite, Ching-I Peng, Che-Wei Lin, Mark Hughes, Yoshiko Kono, Kuo-Fang Chung


The flora of Panay Island is under-collected compared with the other islands of the Philippines. In a joint expedition to the island, botanists from Taiwan and the Philippines found three unknown Begonia and compared them with potentially allied species. The three species are clearly assignable to Begonia section Baryandra which is largely endemic to the Philippines. Studies of literature, herbarium specimens, and living plants support the recognition of the three new species: Begonia culasiensis, Begonia merrilliana, and Begonia sykakiengii. Somatic chromosomes at metaphase were determined to be 2n=30 for B. culasiensis and 2n=28 for both B. merrilliana and B. sykakiengii, which are congruent with those of most species in sect. Baryandra. Molecular phylogenetic evidence is consistent with B. culasiensis being a relict from the late Miocene, and with B. merrilliana and B. sykakiengii being younger species of Pleistocene origin. The continuing discovery of endemic Philippine species means the remaining fragments of both primary and secondary native vegetation in the archipelago are of increasing value in terms of natural capital. A secure future for the species could be realized through ex-situ conservation collections and raising awareness with community groups.

Keywords: conservation, endemic , herbarium , limestone, phylogenetics, taxonomy

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6 A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogenetic Signal in Ramp Sequences in 211 Vertebrates

Authors: Lauren M. McKinnon, Justin B. Miller, Michael F. Whiting, John S. K. Kauwe, Perry G. Ridge


Background: Ramp sequences increase translational speed and accuracy when rare, slowly-translated codons are found at the beginnings of genes. Here, the results of the first analysis of ramp sequences in a phylogenetic construct are presented. Methods: Ramp sequences were compared from 211 vertebrates (110 Mammalian and 101 non-mammalian). The presence and absence of ramp sequences were analyzed as a binary character in a parsimony and maximum likelihood framework. Additionally, ramp sequences were mapped to the Open Tree of Life taxonomy to determine the number of parallelisms and reversals that occurred, and these results were compared to what would be expected due to random chance. Lastly, aligned nucleotides in ramp sequences were compared to the rest of the sequence in order to examine possible differences in phylogenetic signal between these regions of the gene. Results: Parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses of the presence/absence of ramp sequences recovered phylogenies that are highly congruent with established phylogenies. Additionally, the retention index of ramp sequences is significantly higher than would be expected due to random chance (p-value = 0). A chi-square analysis of completely orthologous ramp sequences resulted in a p-value of approximately zero as compared to random chance. Discussion: Ramp sequences recover comparable phylogenies as other phylogenomic methods. Although not all ramp sequences appear to have a phylogenetic signal, more ramp sequences track speciation than expected by random chance. Therefore, ramp sequences may be used in conjunction with other phylogenomic approaches.

Keywords: codon usage bias, phylogenetics, phylogenomics, ramp sequence

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5 Nuclear Mitochondrial Pseudogenes in Anastrepha fraterculus Complex

Authors: Pratibha Srivastava, Ayyamperumal Jeyaprakash, Gary Steck, Jason Stanley, Leroy Whilby


Exotic, invasive tephritid fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are a major threat to fruit and vegetable industries in the United States. The establishment of pest fruit fly in the agricultural industries and produce severe ecological and economic impacts on agricultural diversification and trade. Detection and identification of these agricultural pests in a timely manner will facilitate the possibility of eradication from newly invaded areas. Identification of larval stages to species level is difficult, but is required to determine pest loads and their pathways into the United States. The aim of this study is the New World genus, Anastrepha which includes pests of major economic importance. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene sequences were amplified from Anastrepha fraterculus specimens collected from South America (Ecuador and Peru). Phylogenetic analysis was performed to characterize the Anastrepha fraterculus complex at a molecular level. During phylogenetics analysis numerous nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes (numts) were discovered in different specimens. The numts are nonfunctional copies of the mtDNA present in the nucleus and are easily coamplified with the mitochondrial COI gene copy by using conserved universal primers. This is problematic for DNA Barcoding, which attempts to characterize all living organisms by using the COI gene. This study is significant for national quarantine use, as morphological diagnostics to separate larvae of the various members remain poorly developed.

Keywords: tephritid, Anastrepha fraterculus, COI, numts

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4 Molecular Epidemiology of Circulating Adenovirus Types in Acute Conjunctivitis Cases in Chandigarh, North India

Authors: Mini P. Singh, Jagat Ram, Archit Kumar, Tripti Rungta, Jasmine Khurana, Amit Gupta, R. K. Ratho


Introduction: Human adenovirus is the most common agent involved in viral conjunctivitis. The clinical manifestations vary with different serotypes. The identification of the circulating strains followed by phylogenetic analysis can be helpful in understanding the origin and transmission of the disease. The present study aimed to carry out molecular epidemiology of the adenovirus types in the patients with conjunctivitis presenting to the eye centre of a tertiary care hospital in North India. Materials and Methods: The conjunctival swabs were collected from 23 suspected adenoviral conjunctivitis patients between April-August, 2014 and transported in viral transport media. The samples were subjected to nested PCR targeting hexon gene of human adenovirus. The band size of 956bp was eluted and 8 representative positive samples were subjected to sequencing. The sequences were analyzed by using CLUSTALX2.1 and MEGA 5.1 software. Results: The male: female ratio was found to be 3.6:1. The mean age of presenting patients was 43.95 years (+17.2). Approximately 52.1% (12/23) of patients presented with bilateral involvement while 47.8% (11/23) with unilateral involvement of the eye. Human adenovirus DNA could be detected in 65.2% (15/23) of the patients. The phylogenetic analysis revealed presence of serotype 8 in 7 patients and serotype 4 in one patient. The serotype 8 sequences showed 99-100% identity with Tunisian, Indian and Japanese strains. The adenovirus serotype 4 strains had 100% identity with strains from Tunisia, China and USA. Conclusion: Human adenovirus was found be an important etiological agent for conjunctivitis in our set up. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the predominant circulating strains in our epidemic keratoconjunctivitis were serotypes 8 and 4.

Keywords: conjunctivitis, human adenovirus, molecular epidemiology, phylogenetics

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3 Phylogenetic Inferences based on Morphoanatomical Characters in Plectranthus esculentus N. E. Br. (Lamiaceae) from Nigeria

Authors: Otuwose E. Agyeno, Adeniyi A. Jayeola, Bashir A. Ajala


P. esculentus is indigenous to Nigeria yet no wild relation has been encountered or reported. This has made it difficult to establish proper lineages between the varieties and landraces under cultivation. The present work is the first to determine the apormophy of 135 morphoanatomical characters in organs of 46 accessions drawn from 23 populations of this species based on dicta. The character states were coded in accession x character-state matrices and only 83 were informative and utilised for neighbour joining clustering based on euclidean values, and heuristic search in parsimony analysis using PAST ver. 3.15 software. Compatibility and evolutionary trends between accessions were then explored from values and diagrams produced. The low consistency indices (CI) recorded support monophyly and low homoplasy in this taxon. Agglomerative schedules based on character type and source data sets divided the accessions into mainly 3 clades, each of complexes of accessions. Solenostemon rotundifolius (Poir) J.K Morton was the outgroup (OG) used, and it occurred within the largest clades except when the characters were combined in a data set. The OG showed better compatibility with accessions of populations of landrace Isci, and varieties Riyum and Long’at. Otherwise, its aerial parts are more consistent with those of accessions of variety Bebot. The highly polytomous clades produced due to anatomical data set may be an indication of how stable such characters are in this species. Strict consensus trees with more than 60 nodes outputted showed that the basal nodes were strongly supported by 3 to 17 characters across the data sets, suggesting that populations of this species are more alike. The OG was clearly the first diverging lineage and closely related to accessions of landrace Gwe and variety Bebot morphologically, but different from them anatomically. It was also distantly related to landrace Fina and variety Long’at in terms of root, stem and leaf structural attributes. There were at least 5 other clades with each comprising of complexes of accessions from different localities and terrains within the study area. Spherical stem in cross section, size of vascular bundles at the stem corners as well as the alternate and whorl phyllotaxy are attributes which may have facilitated each other’s evolution in all accessions of the landrace Gwe, and they may be innovative since such states are not characteristic of the larger Lamiaceae, and Plectranthus L’Her in particular. In conclusion, this study has provided valuable information about infraspecific diversity in this taxon. It supports recognition of the varietal statuses accorded to populations of P. esculentus, as well as the hypothesis that the wild gene might have been distributed on the Jos Plateau. However, molecular characterisation of accessions of populations of this species would resolve this problem better.

Keywords: clustering, lineage, morphoanatomical characters, Nigeria, phylogenetics, Plectranthus esculentus, population

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2 DNA Barcoding for Identification of Dengue Vectors from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh: North-Eastern States in India

Authors: Monika Soni, Shovonlal Bhowmick, Chandra Bhattacharya, Jitendra Sharma, Prafulla Dutta, Jagadish Mahanta


Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are considered as two major vectors to transmit dengue virus. In North-east India, two states viz. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are known to be high endemic zone for dengue and Chikungunya viral infection. The taxonomical classification of medically important vectors are important for mapping of actual evolutionary trends and epidemiological studies. However, misidentification of mosquito species in field-collected mosquito specimens could have a negative impact which may affect vector-borne disease control policy. DNA barcoding is a prominent method to record available species, differentiate from new addition and change of population structure. In this study, a combined approach of a morphological and molecular technique of DNA barcoding was adopted to explore sequence variation in mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene within dengue vectors. The study has revealed the map distribution of the dengue vector from two states i.e. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, India. Approximate five hundred mosquito specimens were collected from different parts of two states, and their morphological features were compared with the taxonomic keys. The analysis of detailed taxonomic study revealed identification of two species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The species aegypti comprised of 66.6% of the specimen and represented as dominant dengue vector species. The sequences obtained through standard DNA barcoding protocol were compared with public databases, viz. GenBank and BOLD. The sequences of all Aedes albopictus have shown 100% similarity whereas sequence of Aedes aegypti has shown 99.77 - 100% similarity of COI gene with that of different geographically located same species based on BOLD database search. From dengue prevalent different geographical regions fifty-nine sequences were retrieved from NCBI and BOLD databases of the same and related taxa to determine the evolutionary distance model based on the phylogenetic analysis. Neighbor-Joining (NJ) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) phylogenetic tree was constructed in MEGA6.06 software with 1000 bootstrap replicates using Kimura-2-Parameter model. Data were analyzed for sequence divergence and found that intraspecific divergence ranged from 0.0 to 2.0% and interspecific divergence ranged from 11.0 to 12.0%. The transitional and transversional substitutions were tested individually. The sequences were deposited in NCBI: GenBank database. This observation claimed the first DNA barcoding analysis of Aedes mosquitoes from North-eastern states in India and also confirmed the range expansion of two important mosquito species. Overall, this study insight into the molecular ecology of the dengue vectors from North-eastern India which will enhance the understanding to improve the existing entomological surveillance and vector incrimination program.

Keywords: COI, dengue vectors, DNA barcoding, molecular identification, North-east India, phylogenetics

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1 Multilocus Phylogenetic Approach Reveals Informative DNA Barcodes for Studying Evolution and Taxonomy of Fusarium Fungi

Authors: Alexander A. Stakheev, Larisa V. Samokhvalova, Sergey K. Zavriev


Fusarium fungi are among the most devastating plant pathogens distributed all over the world. Significant reduction of grain yield and quality caused by Fusarium leads to multi-billion dollar annual losses to the world agricultural production. These organisms can also cause infections in immunocompromised persons and produce the wide range of mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes, fumonisins, and zearalenone, which are hazardous to human and animal health. Identification of Fusarium fungi based on the morphology of spores and spore-forming structures, colony color and appearance on specific culture media is often very complicated due to the high similarity of these features for closely related species. Modern Fusarium taxonomy increasingly uses data of crossing experiments (biological species concept) and genetic polymorphism analysis (phylogenetic species concept). A number of novel Fusarium sibling species has been established using DNA barcoding techniques. Species recognition is best made with the combined phylogeny of intron-rich protein coding genes and ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the internal transcribed spacer of (ITS), which is considered to be universal DNA barcode for Fungi, is not suitable for genus Fusarium, because of its insufficient variability between closely related species and the presence of non-orthologous copies in the genome. Nowadays, the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (TEF1α) gene is the “gold standard” of Fusarium taxonomy, but the search for novel informative markers is still needed. In this study, we used two novel DNA markers, frataxin (FXN) and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) to discover phylogenetic relationships between Fusarium species. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of TEF1α, FXN, HSP90, as well as intergenic spacer of ribosomal DNA (IGS), beta-tubulin (β-TUB) and phosphate permease (PHO) genes has been conducted for 120 isolates of 19 Fusarium species from different climatic zones of Russia and neighboring countries using maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum parsimony (MP) algorithms. Our analyses revealed that FXN and HSP90 genes could be considered as informative phylogenetic markers, suitable for evolutionary and taxonomic studies of Fusarium genus. It has been shown that PHO gene possesses more variable (22 %) and parsimony informative (19 %) characters than other markers, including TEF1α (12 % and 9 %, correspondingly) when used for elucidating phylogenetic relationships between F. avenaceum and its closest relatives – F. tricinctum, F. acuminatum, F. torulosum. Application of novel DNA barcodes confirmed the fact that F. arthrosporioides do not represent a separate species but only a subspecies of F. avenaceum. Phylogeny based on partial PHO and FXN sequences revealed the presence of separate cluster of four F. avenaceum strains which were closer to F. torulosum than to major F. avenaceum clade. The strain F-846 from Moldova, morphologically identified as F. poae, formed a separate lineage in all the constructed dendrograms, and could potentially be considered as a separate species, but more information is needed to confirm this conclusion. Variable sites in PHO sequences were used for the first-time development of specific qPCR-based diagnostic assays for F. acuminatum and F. torulosum. This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant № 15-29-02527).

Keywords: DNA barcode, fusarium, identification, phylogenetics, taxonomy

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