Aleš Buček

Aleš Buček
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology | OIST · Evolutionary Genomics Unit

PhD

About

54
Publications
12,944
Reads
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304
Citations
Citations since 2016
33 Research Items
291 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Introduction
Insect transcriptomics, phylogenetics and phylogenomics. Termite chemical defense. Evolution of pheromone communication.
Additional affiliations
March 2013 - April 2013
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Position
  • Research stay - investigation of pheromone biosynthesis in tobacco hornworm
February 2013 - March 2013
Position
  • Field research campaign in French Guiana
Description
  • Participated in: collecting termite specimens and preparation of long-term storage samples, termite behavioral assays.
August 2009 - present
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Position
  • PhD student researcher

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Background Termites primarily feed on lignocellulose or soil in association with specific gut microbes. The functioning of the termite gut microbiota is partly understood in a handful of wood-feeding pest species but remains largely unknown in other taxa. We intend to fill this gap and provide a global understanding of the functional evolution of t...
Article
Full-text available
Termites are major decomposers in terrestrial ecosystems and the second most diverse lineage of social insects. The Kalotermitidae form the second-largest termite family and are distributed across tropical and subtropical ecosystems, where they typically live in small colonies confined to single wood items inhabited by individuals with no foraging...
Article
Termites are social cockroaches distributed throughout warm temperate and tropical ecosystems. The ancestor of modern termites roamed the earth during the early Cretaceous, suggesting that both vicariance and overseas dispersal may have shaped the distribution of early diverging termites. We investigate the historical biogeography of three early di...
Article
Machadotermes is one of the basal Apicotermitinae genera, living in tropical West Africa. Old observations suggested the presence of a new gland, the intramandibular gland, in Machadotermes soldiers. Here, by combining micro-computed tomography, optical and electron microscopy, we showed that the gland exists in Machadotermes soldiers only as an ac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Madagascar is home to many endemic plant and animal species owing to its ancient isolation from other landmasses. This unique fauna includes several lineages of termites, a group of insects known for their key role in organic matter decomposition in many terrestrial ecosystems. How and when termites colonised Madagascar remains unknown. In this stu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites primarily feed on lignocellulose or soil in association with specific gut microbes. The functioning of the termite gut microbiota is partly understood in a handful of wood-feeding pest species, but remains largely unknown in other taxa. We intend to feel this gap and provide a global understanding of the functional evolution of termite gut...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites are social cockroaches distributed throughout warm temperate and tropical ecosystems. The ancestor of modern termites (crown-Isoptera) occurred during the earliest Cretaceous, approximately 140 million years ago, suggesting that both vicariance through continental drift and overseas dispersal may have shaped the distribution of early diver...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites are major decomposers of organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems and the second most diverse lineage of social insects. The Kalotermitidae, the second-largest termite family, are widely distributed across tropical and subtropical ecosystems, where they typically live in small colonies confined to single wood items inhabited by individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their ecological importance, nothing is known about the diversity and abundance of RNA viruses in termites (Termitoidae). We used a metatranscriptomics approach to determine the RNA virome structure of 50 diverse species of termite that differ in both phylogenetic position and colony composition. From these samples, we identified 67 novel R...
Article
Full-text available
Oceans host communities of plankton composed of relatively few abundant species and many rare species. The number of rare protist species in these communities, as estimated in metagenomic studies, decays as a steep power law of their abundance. The ecological factors at the origin of this pattern remain elusive. We propose that chaotic advection by...
Article
Full-text available
Membrane fatty acyl desaturases (mFAD) are ubiquitous enzymes in eukaryotes. They introduce double bonds into fatty acids (FAs), producing structurally diverse unsaturated FAs which serve as membrane lipid components or precursors of signaling molecules. The mechanisms controlling enzymatic specificity and selectivity of desaturation are, however,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Oceans host communities of plankton composed of relatively few abundant species and many rare species. The number of rare protists species in these communities, as esti- mated in metagenomic studies, decays as a steep power law of their abundance. The ecological factors at the origin of this pattern remain elusive. We propose that oceanic currents...
Article
Termitidae comprises ∼80% of all termite species [1] that play dominant decomposer roles in tropical ecosystems [2, 3]. Two major events during termite evolution were the loss of cellulolytic gut protozoans in the ancestor of Termitidae and the subsequent gain in the termitid subfamily Macrotermitinae of fungal symbionts cultivated externally in "c...
Article
Full-text available
Fatty acyl reductases (FARs) are involved in the biosynthesis of fatty alcohols that serve a range of biological roles. Insects typically harbor numerous FAR gene family members. While some FARs are involved in pheromone biosynthesis, the biological significance of the large number of FARs in insect genomes remains unclear. Using bumble bee (Bombi...
Article
Termites are the principal decomposers in tropical and subtropical ecosystems around the world. Time-calibrated molecular phylogenies show that some lineages of Neoisoptera diversified during the Oligocene and Miocene, and acquired their pantropical distribution through transoceanic dispersal events, probably by rafting in wood. In this paper, we i...
Preprint
Full-text available
The conserved fatty acyl reductase (FAR) family is involved in biosynthesis of fatty alcohols that serve a range of biological roles. In moths, butterflies (Lepidoptera), and bees (Hymenoptera), FARs biosynthesize fatty alcohol pheromones participating in mate-finding strategies. Using a combination of next-generation sequencing, analysis of transp...
Article
Production of nitro compounds has only seldom been recorded in arthropods. The aliphatic nitroalkene (E)-nitropentadec-1-ene (NPD), identified in soldiers of the termite genus Prorhinotermes, was the first case documented in insects in early seventies. Yet, the biosynthetic origin of NPD has long remained unknown. We previously proposed that NPD ar...
Article
Full-text available
There are more than one million described insect species. This species richness is reflected in the diversity of insect metabolic processes. In particular, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, such as defensive compounds and chemical signals, encompasses an extraordinarily wide range of chemicals that are generally unparalleled among natural prod...
Article
The aliphatic nitroalkene (E)-nitropentadec-1-ene (NPD), reported in early seventies in soldiers of the termite genus Prorhinotermes, was the first documented nitro compound produced by insects. Yet, its biosynthetic origin has long remained unknown. Here, we investigated in detail the biosynthesis of NPD in P. simplex soldiers. First, we track the...
Article
Full-text available
Male marking pheromones (MPs) are used by the majority of bumblebee species (Hymenoptera: Apidae), including a commercially important greenhouse pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), to attract conspecific females. MP biosynthetic processes in the cephalic part of the bumblebee male labial gland (LG) are of extraordinary comple...
Article
Full-text available
Males of closely related Bombus terrestris and Bombus lucorum attract conspecific females by completely different marking pheromone (MP) for mating. MP of B. terrestris and B. lucorum contains mainly isoprenoid (ISP) compounds and fatty acid derivatives, respectively. Here, we studied regulation of ISP biosynthesis in both bumblebees. RNA-seq and q...
Article
Full-text available
In termites, as in many social insects, some individuals specialize in colony defense, developing diverse weaponry. As workers of the termite Neocapritermes taracua (Termitidae: Termitinae) age, their efficiency to perform general tasks decreases, while they accumulate defensive secretions and increase their readiness to fight. This defensive mecha...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The diversity of sex pheromones (SPs) is pivotal to insect reproductive isolation and speciation. However, knowledge of molecular mechanisms of pheromone evolution is limited. The Manduca sexta SP contains unique triunsaturated fatty acid (3UFA) derivatives and represents thus a suitable model for the investigation of chemical communic...
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##Assembly-Data-START## Sequencing Technology :: Sanger dideoxy sequencing ##Assembly-Data-END##
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Article
Full-text available
Numerous Δ12-, Δ15- and multifunctional membrane fatty acid desaturases (FADs) have been identified in fungi, revealing great variability in the enzymatic specificities of FADs involved in biosynthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Here, we report gene isolation and characterization of novel Δ12/Δ15- and Δ15-FADs named CpFad2 and CpFad3,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fatty acid desaturases (FADs, E.C. 1.14.19.1) are integral enzymes of endoplasmic reticulum membrane which introduce double bonds into aliphatic chains of fatty acids (FA). They are present in all eukaryotic organisms and contribute to the maintenance of cell membranes physical properties by increasing the unsaturation of membrane-bound FAs. Howeve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bumblebee males use marking pheromones (MPs) produced in cephalic labial gland to attract conspecific females. The major components of MP vary dramatically among closely related Bombus sp.: Bombus terrestris, an established greenhouse pollinator, uses terpenoid compounds, whereas B. lucorum (both Bombus s.s.) uses C14-fatty acid derived ethyl ester...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Morphological transitions and formation of biofilms is in pathogenic Candida spp. directly associated with the virulence in the host. These morphological changes are accompanied by changes in the composition and overall level of unsaturation of cellular membrane fatty acids [1]. Candida parapsilosis is able to produce not only monounsaturated fatty...

Questions

Questions (3)
Question
Is TreeGraph2 supporting export of tree with added support values from multiple other trees into nwk format? Thanks!
Question
There have been long discussions on RNAlater composition, how to make a home-made RNAlater etc. but I'm wondering - and I would love to hear especially from those scientists who actually tried to compare some of the RNA preservants and then they checked the quality of the isolated RNA - how do they compare? Especially, I'm curious which one is the best for storage of field samples - that is for storing the samples for RNA isolation at ambient temperature for up to several days?
To share my recent observation - I have always used TRIzol preserved samples but now I was handling home-made RNAlater samples which spend several days at ambient temperature and I was surprised how degraded it was (when analyzed on Agilent Bioanalyzer). I have to stress that my comparison of the two preservants is far from being perfect since other conditions could have also influenced the my RNA integrity: the tissues were not exactly the same (although quite similar in both cases - insect whole bodies) and I also used slightly modified procedure for the isolation from samples stored in RNAlater vs. TRIzol.
It is easy to find the manufacturers description of the preserving capacity of the preservants but I was not able to really find any kind of comparison of the two procedures and I would be really interested in your experience! Thanks for any hints and pieces of info which will be hopefully useful also for others.
Question
When reconstructing a ML tree in MEGA 6 software with a specific set of sequences,  I obtained a tree which is not strictly bifurcating at several nodes (please find attached a screenshot with marked multifurcations). Is that indeed an error in the tree visualization or am I rather interpreting the tree incorrectly? I would expect the tree to be strictly bifurcating.

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