Evolutionary Applications (EVOL APPL )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


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Publications in this journal

  • Nevra Özer, Ayşegül Özen, Celia A. Schiffer, Türkan Haliloğlu
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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is caused by mutations that change the balance of recognition favoring substrate cleavage over inhibitor binding. Here, a structural dynamics perspective of the re-gained wild-type functioning in mutant HIV-1 proteases with coevolution of the natural substrates is provided. The collective dynamics of mutant structures of the protease bound to p1-p6 and NC-p1 substrates are assessed using the Anisotropic Network Model (ANM). The drug-induced protease mutations perturb the mechanistically crucial hinge axes that involve key sites for substrate binding and dimerization and mainly coordinate the intrinsic dynamics. Yet with substrate coevolution, while the wild-type dynamic behavior is restored in both p1-p6 (LP1′Fp1-p6D30N/N88D) and NC-p1 (AP2VNC-p1V82A) bound proteases, the dynamic behavior of the NC-p1 bound protease variants (NC-p1V82A and AP2VNC-p1V82A) rather resemble those of the proteases bound to the other substrates, which is consistent with experimental studies. The orientational variations of residue fluctuations along the hinge axes in mutant structures justify the existence of coevolution in p1-p6 and NC-p1 substrates, that is, the dynamic behavior of hinge residues should contribute to the interdependent nature of substrate recognition. Overall, this study aids in the understanding of the structural dynamics basis of drug resistance and evolutionary optimization in the HIV-1 protease system.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The rate of biological invasions is expected to increase as the effects of climate change on biological communities become widespread. Climate change enhances habitat disturbance which facilitates the establishment of invasive species, which in turn provides opportunities for hybridization and introgression. These effects influence local biodiversity that can be tracked through genetic and genomic approaches. Metabarcoding and metagenomic approaches provide a way of monitoring some types of communities under climate change for the appearance of invasives. Introgression and hybridization can be followed by the analysis of entire genomes so that rapidly changing areas of the genome are identified and instances of genetic pollution monitored. Genomic markers enable accurate tracking of invasive species’ geographic origin well beyond what was previously possible. New genomic tools are promoting fresh insights into classic questions about invading organisms under climate change, such as the role of genetic variation, local adaptation and climate pre-adaptation in successful invasions. These tools are providing managers with often more effective means to identify potential threats, improve surveillance, and assess impacts on communities. We provide a framework for the application of genomic techniques within a management context, and also indicate some important limitations in what can be achieved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Colletotrichum truncatum is an extremely important fungal pathogen. It can cause diseases both in humans and in over 460 plant species. However, little is known about its genetic diversity within and among populations. One of the major plant hosts of C. truncatum is pepper and China is one of the main pepper producing countries in the world. Here we propose the hypotheses that geography has a major influence on the relationships among populations of C. truncatum in China and that infections in different populations need to be managed differently. To test these hypotheses, we obtained and analyzed 266 C. truncatum isolates from 13 regions representing the main pepper-growing areas throughout China. The analysis based on nine microsatellite markers identified high intra-population genetic diversity, evidence of sexual recombination, and geographic differentiation. The genetic differentiation was positively correlated with geographical distance, with the southern and northern China populations grouped in two distinct clusters. Interestingly, isolates collected from the pepper-breeding center harbored the most private alleles. The results suggest that the geographic populations of C. truncatum on peppers in China are genetically differentiated and should be managed accordingly. Our study also provides a solid foundation from which to further explore the global genetic epidemiology of C. truncatum in both plants and humans.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Domestication has resulted in selection upon seed traits found in wild populations, yet crop-wild hybrids retain some aspects of both parental phenotypes. Seed fates of germination, dormancy, and mortality can influence the success of crop allele introgression in crop-wild hybrid zones, especially if crop alleles or crop-imparted seed coverings result in out-of-season germination. We performed a seed burial experiment using crop, wild, and diverse hybrid sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cross types to test how a cross type's maternal parent and nuclear genetic composition might affect its fate under field conditions. We observed higher maladaptive fall germination in the crop- and F1- produced seeds than wild-produced seeds and, due to an interaction with percent crop alleles, fall germination was higher for cross types with more crop-like nuclear genetics. By spring, crop-produced cross types had the highest overwintering mortality, primarily due to higher fall germination. Early spring germination was identical across maternal types, but germination continued for F1-produced seeds. In conclusion, the more wild-like the maternal parent or the less proportion of the cross type's genome contributed by the crop, the greater likelihood a seed will remain ungerminated than die. Wild-like dormancy may facilitate introgression through future recruitment from the soil seed bank.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, genetic strategies aimed at controlling populations of disease-vectoring mosquitoes have received considerable attention as alternatives to traditional measures. Theoretical studies have shown that female-killing (FK), antipathogen (AP), and reduce and replace (R&R) strategies can each decrease the number competent vectors. In this study, we utilize a mathematical model to evaluate impacts on competent Aedes aegypti populations of FK, AP, and R&R releases as well as hybrid strategies that result from combinations of these three approaches. We show that while the ordering of efficacy of these strategies depends upon population life history parameters, sex ratio of releases, and switch time in combination strategies, AP-only and R&R/AP releases typically lead to the greatest long-term reduction in competent vectors. R&R-only releases are often less effective at long-term reduction of competent vectors than AP-only releases or R&R/AP releases. Furthermore, the reduction in competent vectors caused by AP-only releases is easier to maintain than that caused by FK-only or R&R-only releases even when the AP gene confers a fitness cost. We discuss the roles that density dependence and inclusion of females play in the order of efficacy of the strategies. We anticipate that our results will provide added impetus to continue developing AP strategies.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Urbanization profoundly impacts animal populations by causing isolation, increased susceptibility to disease, and exposure to toxicants. Genetic effects include reduced effective population size, increased population substructure, and decreased adaptive potential. We investigated the influence that urbanization and a disease epizootic had on the population genetics of bobcats (Lynx rufus) distributed across a highly fragmented urban landscape. We genotyped more than 300 bobcats, sampled from 1996-2012, for variation at nine neutral and seven immune gene-linked microsatellite loci. We found that two freeways are significant barriers to gene flow. Further, a 3-year disease epizootic, associated with secondary anticoagulant rodenticide exposure, caused a population bottleneck that led to significant genetic differentiation between pre- and post-disease populations that was greater than that between populations separated by major freeways for > 60 years. However, balancing selection acted on immune-linked loci during the epizootic, maintaining variation at functional regions. Conservation assessments need to assay loci that are potentially under selection in order to better preserve the adaptive potential of populations at the urban-wildland interface. Further, inter-connected regions that contain appropriate habitat for wildlife will be critical to the long-term viability of animal populations in urban landscapes.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of antibiotic resistance carries a fitness cost, expressed in terms of reduced competitive ability in the absence of antibiotics. This cost plays a key role in the dynamics of resistance by generating selection against resistance when bacteria encounter an antibiotic-free environment. Previous work has shown that the cost of resistance is highly variable, but the underlying causes remain poorly understood. Here, we use a meta-analysis of the published resistance literature to determine how the genetic basis of resistance influences its cost. We find that on average chromosomal resistance mutations carry a larger cost than acquiring resistance via a plasmid. This may explain why resistance often evolves by plasmid acquisition. Second, we find that the cost of plasmid acquisition increases with the breadth of its resistance range. This suggests a potentially important limit on the evolution of extensive multidrug resistance via plasmids. We also find that epistasis can significantly alter the cost of mutational resistance. Overall, our study shows that the cost of antimicrobial resistance can be partially explained by its genetic basis. It also highlights both the danger associated with plasmidborne resistance and the need to understand why resistance plasmids carry a relatively low cost.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the transition of bacterial species from commensal to pathogen, or vice versa, is a key application of evolutionary theory to preventative medicine. This requires working knowledge of the molecular interaction among hosts and bacteria, ecological interactions among microbes, spatial variation in bacterial prevalence or host life history, and evolution in response to these factors. However, there are very few systems for which such broad datasets are available. One exception is the gram-negative bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which infects upwards of 50% of the global human population. This bacterium is associated with a wide breadth of human gastrointestinal disease, including numerous cancers, inflammatory disorders, and pathogenic infections, but is also known to confer fitness benefits to its host both indirectly, through interactions with other pathogens, and directly. Outstanding questions are therefore why, when and how this bacterium transitions along the parasitism-mutualism continuum. We examine known virulence factors, genetic predispositions of the host, and environmental contributors that impact progression of clinical disease and help define geographical trends in disease incidence. We highlight the complexity of the interaction and discuss future therapeutic strategies for disease management and public health in light of the longstanding evolutionary history between the bacterium and its human host.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The emerging field of ecological genomics contains several broad research areas. Comparative genomic and conservation genetic analyses are providing great insight into adaptive processes, species bottlenecks, population dynamics and areas of conservation priority. Now the same technological advances in high throughput sequencing, coupled with taxonomically broad sequence repositories, are providing greater resolution and fundamentally new insights into functional ecology. In particular we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA. This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology for example, allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics. As they develop, these analyses will no doubt provide significant advances in the field of restoration ecology and the identification of appropriate locations for species reintroduction, as well as highlighting species at ecological risk. Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The evolutionary potential of natural populations to adapt to anthropogenic threats critically depends on whether there exists additive genetic variation for tolerance to the threat. A major problem for water-dwelling organisms is chemical pollution, and among the most common pollutants is 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), the synthetic estrogen that is used in oral contraceptives and that can affect fish at various developmental stages, including embryogenesis. We tested whether there is variation in the tolerance to EE2 within Alpine whitefish. We sampled spawners from two species of different lakes, bred them in vitro in a full-factorial design each, and studied growth and mortality of embryos. Exposure to EE2 turned out to be toxic in all concentrations we tested (≥1 ng/L). It reduced embryo viability and slowed down embryogenesis. We found significant additive genetic variation in EE2-induced mortality in both species, that is, genotypes differed in their tolerance to estrogen pollution. We also found maternal effects on embryo development to be influenced by EE2, that is, some maternal sib groups were more susceptible to EE2 than others. In conclusion, the toxic effects of EE2 were strong, but both species demonstrated the kind of additive genetic variation that is necessary for an evolutionary response to this type of pollution.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Flowering time divergence can be a crucial component of reproductive isolation between sympatric populations but few studies have quantified its actual contribution to the reduction of gene flow. In this study, we aimed at estimating pollen-mediated gene flow between cultivated sunflower and a weedy conspecific sunflower population growing in the same field, and at quantifying how it is affected by the weeds’ flowering time.For that purpose, we extended an existing mating model by including a temporal distance (i.e. flowering time difference between potential parents) effect on mating probabilities. Using phenological and genotypic data gathered on the crop and on a sample of the weedy population and its offspring, we estimated an average hybridization rate of approximately 10%. This rate varied strongly from 30% on average for weeds flowering at the crop flowering peak to 0% when the crop finished flowering, and was affected by the local density of weeds. Our result also suggested the occurrence of other factors limiting crop-to-weed gene flow. This level of gene flow and its dependence on flowering time might influence the evolutionary fate of weedy sunflower populations sympatric to their crop relative.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 09/2014;