The evolutionary origins of new lineages of pathogens are fundamental to understanding emerging diseases. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on DNA sequences has revealed the sister taxa of human pathogens, but the timing of host-switching events, including the human malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum, remains controversial. Here, we establish a rate for cytochrome b evolution in avian malaria parasites relative to its rate in birds. We found that the parasite cytochrome b gene evolves about 60% as rapidly as that of host cytochrome b, corresponding to ~1.2% sequence divergence per million years. This calibration puts the origin of P. falciparum at 2.5 million years ago (Ma), the initial radiation of mammalian Plasmodium at 12.8 Ma, and the contemporary global diversity of the Haemosporida across terrestrial vertebrates at 16.2 Ma.
Simmonds P, Adams MJ, Benko M, Breitbart M, Brister JR, Carstens EB, Davison AJ, Delwart E, Gorbalenya AE, Harrach B, Hull R, King AM, Koonin EV, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Lefkowitz EJ, Nibert ML, Orton R, Roossinck MJ, Sabanadzovic S, Sullivan MB, Suttle CA, Tesh RB, van der Vlugt RA, Varsani A,Zerbini FM (2017) Consensus statement: Virus taxonomy in the age of metagenomics. Nature Reviews Microbiology 15(3): 161-168.
The number and diversity of viral sequences that are identified in metagenomic data far exceeds that of experimentally characterized virus isolates. In a recent workshop, a panel of experts discussed the proposal that, with appropriate quality control, viruses that are known only from metagenomic data can, and should be, incorporated into the official classification scheme of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Although a taxonomy that is based on metagenomic sequence data alone represents a substantial departure from the traditional reliance on phenotypic properties, the development of a robust framework for sequence-based virus taxonomy is indispensable for the comprehensive characterization of the global virome. In this Consensus Statement article, we consider the rationale for why metagenomic sequence data should, and how it can, be incorporated into the ICTV taxonomy, and present proposals that have been endorsed by the Executive Committee of the ICTV.
Zhang T, Hu Y, Jiang W, Fang L, Guan X, Chen J, Zhang J, Saski CA, Scheffler BE, Stelly DM, Hulse-Kemp AM, Wan Q, Liu B, Liu C, Wang S, Pan M, Wang Y, Wang D, Ye W, Chang L, Zhang W, Song Q, Kirkbride RC, Chen X, Dennis E, Llewellyn DJ, Peterson DG, Thaxton P, Jones DC, Wang Q, Xu X, Zhang H, Wu H, Zhou L, Mei G, Chen S, Tian Y, Xiang D, Li X, Ding J, Zuo Q, Tao L, Liu Y, Li J, Lin Y, Hui Y, Cao Z, Cai C, Zhu X, Jiang Z, Zhou B, Guo W, Li R, Chen ZJ (2015) Sequencing of allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1) provides a resource for fiber improvement. Nature Biotechnology 33(5): 531-537.
Upland cotton is a model for polyploid crop domestication and transgenic improvement. Here we sequenced the allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1 genome by integrating whole-genome shotgun reads, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-end sequences and genotype-by-sequencing genetic maps. We assembled and annotated 32,032 A-subgenome genes and 34,402 D-subgenome genes. Structural rearrangements, gene loss, disrupted genes and sequence divergence were more common in the A subgenome than in the D subgenome, suggesting asymmetric evolution. However, no genome-wide expression dominance was found between the subgenomes. Genomic signatures of selection and domestication are associated with positively selected genes (PSGs) for fiber improvement in the A subgenome and for stress tolerance in the D subgenome. This draft genome sequence provides a resource for engineering superior cotton lines.
Li S, Tighe SW, Nicolet CM, Grove D, Levy S, Farmerie W, Viale A, Wright C, Schweitzer PA, Gao Y, Kim D, Boland J, Hicks B, Kim R, Chhangawala S, Jafari N, Raghavachari N, Gandara J, Garcia-Reyero N, Hendrickson C, Roberson D, Rosenfeld J, Smith T, Underwood JG, Wang M, Zumbo P, Baldwin DA, Grills GS, Mason CE (2015) Multi-platform assessment of transcriptome profiling using RNA-seq in the ABRF next-generation sequencing study. Nature Biotechnology 32(9): 915-925.
High-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) greatly expands the potential for genomics discoveries, but the wide variety of platforms, protocols and performance capabilitites has created the need for comprehensive reference data. Here we describe the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities next-generation sequencing (ABRF-NGS) study on RNA-seq. We carried out replicate experiments across 15 laboratory sites using reference RNA standards to test four protocols (poly-A-selected, ribo-depleted, size-selected and degraded) on five sequencing platforms (Illumina HiSeq, Life Technologies PGM and Proton, Pacific Biosciences RS and Roche 454). The results show high intraplatform (Spearman rank R > 0.86) and inter-platform (R > 0.83) concordance for expression measures across the deep-count platforms, but highly variable efficiency and cost for splice junction and variant detection between all platforms. For intact RNA, gene expression profiles from rRNA-depletion and poly-A enrichment are similar. In addition, rRNA depletion enables effective analysis of degraded RNA samples. This study provides a broad foundation for cross-platform standardization, evaluation and improvement of RNA-seq
Hamann E, Gruber-Vodicka H, Kleiner M, Tegetmeyer HE, Riedel D, Littmann S, Chen J, Milucka J, Viehweger B, Becker KW, Dong X, Stairs CW, Hinrichs KU, Brown MW, Roger AJ, Strous M (2016) Environmental Breviatea harbour mutualistic Arcobacter epibionts. Nature 534(7606): 254-258.
Breviatea form a lineage of free living, unicellular protists, distantly related to animals and fungi. This lineage emerged almost one billion years ago, when the oceanic oxygen content was low, and extant Breviatea have evolved or retained an anaerobic lifestyle. Here we report the cultivation of Lenisia limosa, gen. et sp. nov., a newly discovered breviate colonized by relatives of animal-associated Arcobacter. Physiological experiments show that the association of L. limosa with Arcobacter is driven by the transfer of hydrogen and is mutualistic, providing benefits to both partners. With whole-genome sequencing and differential proteomics, we show that an experimentally observed fitness gain of L. limosa could be explained by the activity of a so far unknown type of NAD(P)H-accepting hydrogenase, which is expressed in the presence, but not in the absence, of Arcobacter. Differential proteomics further reveal that the presence of Lenisia stimulates expression of known 'virulence' factors by Arcobacter. These proteins typically enable colonization of animal cells during infection, but may in the present case act for mutual benefit. Finally, re-investigation of two currently available transcriptomic data sets of other Breviatea reveals the presence and activity of related hydrogen-consuming Arcobacter, indicating that mutualistic interaction between these two groups of microbes might be pervasive. Our results support the notion that molecular mechanisms involved in virulence can also support mutualism, as shown here for Arcobacter and Breviatea
Chen ZJ, Sreedasyam A, Ando A, Song Q, De Santiago LM, Hulse-Kemp AM, Ding M, Ye W, Kirkbride RC, Jenkins J, Plott C, Lovell J, Lin Y-M, Vaughn R, Liu B, Simpson S, Scheffler BE, Wen L, Saski CA, Grover CE, Hu G, Conover JL, Carlson JW, Shu S, Boston LB, Williams M, Peterson DG, McGee K, Jones DC, Wendel JF, Stelly DM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J (2020) Genomic diversifications of five Gossypium allopolyploid species and their impact on cotton improvement. Nature Genetics 52(5): 525-533.
Paterson AH, Wendel JF, Gundlach H, Guo H, Jenkins J, Jin D, Llewellyn D, Showmaker KC, Shu S, Udall J, Yoo MJ, Byers R, Chen W, Doron-Faigenboim A, Duke MV, Gong L, Grimwood J, Grover C, Grupp K, Hu G, Lee TH, Li J, Lin L, Liu T, Marler BS, Page JT, Roberts AW, Romanel E, Sanders WS, Szadkowski E, Tan X, Tang H, Xu C, Wang J, Wang Z, Zhang D, Zhang L, Ashrafi H, Bedon F, Bowers JE, Brubaker CL, Chee PW, Das S, Gingle AR, Haigler CH, Harker D, Hoffmann LV, Hovav R, Jones DC, Lemke C, Mansoor S, Rahman M, Rainville LN, Rambani A, Reddy UK, Rong JK, Saranga Y, Scheffler BE, Scheffler JA, Stelly DM, Triplett BA, Van Deynze A, Vaslin MF, Waghmare VN, Walford SA, Wright RJ, Zaki EA, Zhang T, Dennis ES, Mayer KF, Peterson DG, Rokhsar DS, Wang X, Schmutz J (2012) Repeated polyploidization of Gossypium genomes and the evolution of spinnable cotton fibres. Nature 492(7429): 423-427.
Polyploidy often confers emergent properties, such as the higher fibre productivity and quality of tetraploid cottons than diploid cottons bred for the same environments. Here we show that an abrupt five- to sixfold ploidy increase approximately 60 million years (Myr) ago, and allopolyploidy reuniting divergent Gossypium genomes approximately 1-2 Myr ago, conferred about 30-36-fold duplication of ancestral angiosperm (flowering plant) genes in elite cottons (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), genetic complexity equalled only by Brassica among sequenced angiosperms. Nascent fibre evolution, before allopolyploidy, is elucidated by comparison of spinnable-fibred Gossypium herbaceum A and non-spinnable Gossypium longicalyx F genomes to one another and the outgroup D genome of non-spinnable Gossypium raimondii. The sequence of a G. hirsutum A(t)D(t) (in which 't' indicates tetraploid) cultivar reveals many non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between subgenomes that may have contributed to phenotypic innovation and/or other emergent properties such as ecological adaptation by polyploids. Most DNA-level novelty in G. hirsutum recombines alleles from the D-genome progenitor native to its New World habitat and the Old World A-genome progenitor in which spinnable fibre evolved. Coordinated expression changes in proximal groups of functionally distinct genes, including a nuclear mitochondrial DNA block, may account for clusters of cotton-fibre quantitative trait loci affecting diverse traits. Opportunities abound for dissecting emergent properties of other polyploids, particularly angiosperms, by comparison to diploid progenitors and outgroups.
Dasmahapatra KK, Walters JR, Briscoe AD, Davey JW, Whibley A, Nadeau NJ, Zimin AV, Hughes DST, Ferguson LC, Martin SH, Salazar C, Lewis JJ, Adler S, Ahn SJ, Baker DA, Baxter SW, Chamberlain NL, Chauhan R, Counterman BA, Dalmay T, Gilbert LE, Gordon K, Heckel DG, Hines HM, Hoff KJ, Holland PWH, Jacquin-Joly E, Jiggins FM, Jones RT, Kapan DD, Kersey P, Lamas G, Lawson D, Mapleson D, Maroja LS, Martin A, Moxon S, Palmer WJ, Papa R, Papanicolaou A, Pauchet Y, Ray DA, Rosser N, Salzberg SL, Supple MA, Surridge A, Tenger-Trolander A, Vogel H, Wilkinson PA, Wilson D, Yorke JA, Yuan F, Balmuth AL, Eland C, Gharbi K, Thomson M, Gibbs RA, Han Y, Jayaseelan JC, Kovar C, Mathew T, Muzny DM, Ongeri F, Pu LL, Qu J, Thornton RL, Worley KC, Wu YQ, Linares M, Blaxter ML, Ffrench-Constant RH, Joron M, Kronforst MR, Mullen SP, Reed RD, Scherer SE, Richards S, Mallet J, Owen McMillan W, Jiggins CD (2012) Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species. Nature 487(7405): 94-98.
The evolutionary importance of hybridization and introgression has long been debated. Hybrids are usually rare and unfit, but even infrequent hybridization can aid adaptation by transferring beneficial traits between species. Here we use genomic tools to investigate introgression in Heliconius, a rapidly radiating genus of neotropical butterflies widely used in studies of ecology, behaviour, mimicry and speciation. We sequenced the genome of Heliconius melpomene and compared it with other taxa to investigate chromosomal evolution in Lepidoptera and gene flow among multiple Heliconius species and races. Among 12,669 predicted genes, biologically important expansions of families of chemosensory and Hox genes are particularly noteworthy. Chromosomal organization has remained broadly conserved since the Cretaceous period, when butterflies split from the Bombyx (silkmoth) lineage. Using genomic resequencing, we show hybrid exchange of genes between three co-mimics, Heliconius melpomene, Heliconius timareta and Heliconius elevatus, especially at two genomic regions that control mimicry pattern. We infer that closely related Heliconius species exchange protective colour-pattern genes promiscuously, implying that hybridization has an important role in adaptive radiation.
Brown MW, Tice AK (2020) A genetic toolbox for marine protists. Nature Methods 17(5): 469-470.
Alfoldi J, Di Palma F, Grabherr M, Williams C, Kong L, Mauceli E, Russell P, Lowe CB, Glor RE, Jaffe JD, Ray DA, Boissinot S, Shedlock AM, Botka C, Castoe TA, Colbourne JK, Fujita MK, Moreno RG, ten Hallers BF, Haussler D, Heger A, Heiman D, Janes DE, Johnson J, de Jong PJ, Koriabine MY, Lara M, Novick PA, Organ CL, Peach SE, Poe S, Pollock DD, de Queiroz K, Sanger T, Searle S, Smith JD, Smith Z, Swofford R, Turner-Maier J, Wade J, Young S, Zadissa A, Edwards SV, Glenn TC, Schneider CJ, Losos JB, Lander ES, Breen M, Ponting CP, Lindblad-Toh K (2011) The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals. Nature 477(7366): 587-591.
The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations.
Edelman NB, Frandsen PB, Miyagi M, Clavijo B, Davey J, Dikow RB, Garcia-Accinelli G, Van Belleghem SM, Patterson N, Neafsey DE, Challis R, Kumar S, Moreira GRP, Salazar C, Chouteau M, Counterman BA, Papa R, Blaxter M, Reed RD, Dasmahapatra KK, Kronforst M, Joron M, Jiggins CD, McMillan WO, Di Palma F, Blumberg AJ, Wakeley J, Jaffe D, Mallet J (2019) Genomic architecture and introgression shape a butterfly radiation. Science 366(6465): 594-599.
Mimicry--whereby warning signals in different species evolve to look similar--has long served as a paradigm of convergent evolution. Little is known, however, about the genes that underlie the evolution of mimetic phenotypes or to what extent the same or different genes drive such convergence. Here, we characterize one of the major genes responsible for mimetic wing pattern evolution in Heliconius butterflies. Mapping, gene expression, and population genetic work all identify a single gene, optix, that controls extreme red wing pattern variation across multiple species of Heliconius. Our results show that the cis-regulatory evolution of a single transcription factor can repeatedly drive the convergent evolution of complex color patterns in distantly related species, thus blurring the distinction between convergence and homology.
Natarajan C, Hoffmann FG, Weber RE, Fago A, Witt CC, Storz JF (2016) Predictable convergence in hemoglobin function has unpredictable molecular underpinnings. Science 354(6310): 336-339.
To investigate the predictability of genetic adaptation, we examined the molecular basis of convergence in hemoglobin function in comparisons involving 56 avian taxa that have contrasting altitudinal range limits. Convergent increases in hemoglobin-oxygen affinity were pervasive among high-altitude taxa, but few such changes were attributable to parallel amino acid substitutions at key residues. Thus, predictable changes in biochemical phenotype do not have a predictable molecular basis. Experiments involving resurrected ancestral proteins revealed that historical substitutions have context-dependent effects, indicating that possible adaptive solutions are contingent on prior history. Mutations that produce an adaptive change in one species may represent precluded possibilities in other species because of differences in genetic background.
Green RE, Braun EL, Armstrong J, Earl D, Nguyen N, Hickey G, Vandewege MW, St John JA, Capella-Gutierrez S, Castoe TA, Kern C, Fujita MK, Opazo JC, Jurka J, Kojima KK, Caballero J, Hubley RM, Smit AF, Platt RN, Lavoie CA, Ramakodi MP, Finger JW, Suh A, Isberg SR, Miles L, Chong AY, Jaratlerdsiri W, Gongora J, Moran C, Iriarte A, McCormack J, Burgess SC, Edwards SV, Lyons E, Williams C, Breen M, Howard JT, Gresham CR, Peterson DG, Schmitz J, Pollock DD, Haussler D, Triplett EW, Zhang G, Irie N, Jarvis ED, Brochu CA, Schmidt CJ, McCarthy FM, Faircloth BC, Hoffmann FG, Glenn TC, Gabaldon T, Paten B, Ray DA (2014) Three crocodilian genomes reveal ancestral patterns of evolution among archosaurs. Science 346(6215): 1254449.
To provide context for the diversification of archosaurs--the group that includes crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds--we generated draft genomes of three crocodilians: Alligator mississippiensis (the American alligator), Crocodylus porosus (the saltwater crocodile), and Gavialis gangeticus (the Indian gharial). We observed an exceptionally slow rate of genome evolution within crocodilians at all levels, including nucleotide substitutions, indels, transposable element content and movement, gene family evolution, and chromosomal synteny. When placed within the context of related taxa including birds and turtles, this suggests that the common ancestor of all of these taxa also exhibited slow genome evolution and that the comparatively rapid evolution is derived in birds. The data also provided the opportunity to analyze heterozygosity in crocodilians, which indicates a likely reduction in population size for all three taxa through the Pleistocene. Finally, these data combined with newly published bird genomes allowed us to reconstruct the partial genome of the common ancestor of archosaurs, thereby providing a tool to investigate the genetic starting material of crocodilians, birds, and dinosaurs.