Erich Bornberg-Bauer

Erich Bornberg-Bauer
University of Münster | WWU · Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity

Mag rer nat, Dr. rer. nat.

About

257
Publications
42,940
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11,457
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2013 - July 2013
University of Lyon
Position
  • Professor
March 2009 - July 2009
EMBL-EBI
Position
  • Researcher
September 2003 - December 2013
University of Münster
Position
  • Full Professor of Molecular Evolution and Genome Informatics
Education
October 1992 - July 1995
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Computational Theoratical Biochemistry
October 1991 - June 1992
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Biochemistry

Publications

Publications (257)
Article
Directed evolution (DE) is a widely used method for improving the function of biomolecules via multiple rounds of mutation and selection. Microfluidic droplets have emerged as an important means to screen the large libraries needed for DE, but this approach was so far partially limited by the need to lyse cells, recover DNA, and retransform into ce...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated that new protein‐coding genes can emerge de novo from previously non‐coding DNA. Most studies have focused on large scale computational predictions of de novo protein‐coding genes across a wide range of organisms. In contrast, experimental data concerning the folding and function of de novo proteins ar...
Article
The ecological success of social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps) depends on the division of labour between the queen and workers. Each caste exhibits highly specialised morphology, behaviour, and life‐history traits, such as lifespan and fecundity. Despite strong defences against alien intruders, insect societies are vulnerable to social parasites,...
Preprint
Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated that new protein coding genes can emerge de novo from previously non-coding DNA. Most studies have focused on large scale computational predictions of de novo protein coding genes across a wide range of organisms. In contrast, experimental data concerning the folding and function of de novo proteins is...
Article
Full-text available
De novo genes are novel genes which emerge from non-coding DNA. Until now, little is known about de novo genes’ properties, correlated to their age and mechanisms of emergence. In this study, we investigate four related properties: introns, upstream regulatory motifs, 5′ Untranslated regions (UTRs) and protein domains, in 23,135 human proto-genes....
Preprint
Full-text available
De novo gene emergence provides a route for new proteins to be formed from previously non-coding DNA. Proteins born in this way are considered random sequences, and typically assumed to lack defined structure. While it remains unclear how likely a de novo protein is to assume a soluble and stable tertiary structure, intersecting evidence from rando...
Article
Full-text available
Kings and queens of eusocial termites can live for decades, while queens sustain a nearly maximal fertility. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying their long lifespan, we carried out transcriptomics, lipidomics and metabolomics in Macrotermes natalensis on sterile short-lived workers, long-lived kings and five stages spanning twenty ye...
Preprint
De novo genes are novel genes which emerge from non-coding DNA. Until now, little is known about de novo genes properties, correlated to their age and mechanisms of emergence. In this study, we investigate four properties: introns, upstream regulatory motifs, 5 prime UTRs and protein domains, in 23135 human proto-genes. We found that proto-genes co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Balancing selection describes evolutionary processes that maintain genetic diversity. To date, the number of impacted genes and underlying biological functions remain elusive. Using 60 three-spined stickleback genomes (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from five recently diverged lake-river population-pairs, we performed genome-wide scans across two levels o...
Preprint
Balancing selection describes evolutionary processes that maintain genetic diversity. To date, the number of impacted genes and underlying biological functions remain elusive. Using 60 three-spined stickleback genomes ( Gasterosteus aculeatus ) from five recently diverged lake-river population-pairs, we performed genome-wide scans across two levels...
Article
Evolutionary relationships of protein families can be characterized either by networks or by trees. Whereas trees allow for hierarchical grouping and reconstruction of the most likely ancestral sequences, networks lack a time axis but allow for thresholds of pairwise sequence identity to be chosen and, therefore, the clustering of family members wi...
Preprint
The ecological success of social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps) depends on the division of labour between the queen and workers. Each caste is highly specialized in their respective function in morphology, behaviour and life history traits, such as lifespan and fecundity. Despite strong defences against alien intruders, insect societies are vulner...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of an obligate parasitic lifestyle often leads to the reduction of morphological and physiological traits, which may be accompanied by loss of genes and functions. Slave-making ants are social parasites that exploit the work force of closely related ant species for social behaviours such as brood care and foraging. Recent divergence b...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative genomics has enabled the identification of genes that potentially evolved de novo from non-coding sequences. Many such genes are expressed in male reproductive tissues, but their functions remain poorly understood. To address this, we conducted a functional genetic screen of over 40 putative de novo genes with testis-enriched expression...
Article
lncRNAs are at the core of many regulatory processes and have also been recognized to be involved in various complex diseases. They affect gene regulation through direct interactions with RNA, DNA or proteins. Accordingly, lncRNA structure is likely to be essential for their regulatory function. Point mutations, which manifest as SNPs (single nucle...
Article
Comparative evolutionary genomics has revealed that novel protein coding genes can emerge randomly from non-coding DNA. While most of the myriad of transcripts which continuously emerge vanish rapidly, some attain regulatory regions, become translated and survive. More surprisingly, sequence properties of de novo proteins are almost indistinguishab...
Preprint
The evolution of an obligate parasitic lifestyle often leads to the reduction of morphological and physiological traits, which may be accompanied by loss of genes and functions. Slave-maker ants are social parasites that exploit the work force of closely related ant species for social behaviours such as brood care and foraging. Recent divergence be...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary theories of ageing predict a reduction in selection efficiency with age, a so-called ‘selection shadow’, due to extrinsic mortality decreasing effective population size with age. Classic symptoms of ageing include a deterioration in transcriptional regulation and protein homeostasis. Understanding how ant queens defy the trade-off betw...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative genomic studies have repeatedly shown that new protein-coding genes can emerge de novo from noncoding DNA. Still unknown is how and when the structures of encoded de novo proteins emerge and evolve. Combining biochemical, genetic and evolutionary analyses, we elucidate the function and structure of goddard , a gene which appears to have...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolutionary theories of ageing predict a reduction in selection efficiency with age, a so-called ‘selection shadow’, due to extrinsic mortality decreasing effective population size with age. Classic symptoms of ageing include a deterioration in transcriptional regulation and protein homeostasis. Understanding how ant queens defy the trade-off betw...
Preprint
lncRNAs are at the core of many regulatory processes and have also been recognized to be involved in various complex diseases. They affect gene regulation through direct interactions with RNA, DNA or proteins. Accordingly, lncRNAs structure is likely to be essential for their regulatory function. Point mutations, which manifest as SNPs (single nucl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Comparative genomic studies have repeatedly shown that new protein-coding genes can emerge de novo from non-coding DNA. Still unknown is how and when the structures of encoded de novo proteins emerge and evolve. Combining biochemical, genetic and evolutionary analyses, we elucidate the function and structure of goddard , a gene which appears to hav...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Modularity is important for evolutionary innovation. The recombination of existing units to form larger complexes with new functionalities spares the need to create novel elements from scratch. In proteins, this principle can be observed at the level of protein domains, functional subunits which are regularly rearranged to acquire new...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change can influence organismic interactions like those between hosts and parasites. Rising temperatures may exacerbate the exploitation of hosts by parasites, especially in ectothermic systems. The metabolic activity of ectotherms is strongly linked to temperature and generally increases when temperatures rise. We hypothesised that...
Article
Full-text available
In addition to known genes, much of the human genome is transcribed into RNA. Chance formation of novel open reading frames (ORFs) can lead to the translation of myriad new proteins. Some of these ORFs may yield advantageous adaptive de novo proteins. However, widespread translation of non-coding DNA can also produce hazardous protein molecules, wh...
Article
Full-text available
In addition to known genes, much of the human genome is transcribed into RNA. Chance formation of novel open reading frames (ORFs) can lead to the translation of myriad new proteins. Some of these ORFs may yield advantageous adaptive de novo proteins. However, widespread translation of non-coding DNA can also produce hazardous protein molecules, wh...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Eukaryotic genomes frequently acquire new protein-coding genes which may significantly impact an organism’s fitness. Novel genes can be created, for example, by duplication of large genomic regions or de novo, from previously non-coding DNA. Either way, creation of a novel transcript is an essential early step during novel gene emergence. Most stud...
Article
Full-text available
The tremendous diversity of Hymenoptera is commonly attributed to the evolution of parasitoidism in the last common ancestor of parasitoid sawflies (Orussidae) and wasp-waisted Hymenoptera (Apocrita). However, Apocrita and Orussidae differ dramatically in their species richness, indicating that the diversification of Apocrita was promoted by additi...
Article
Full-text available
Orphan genes, lacking detectable homologs in outgroup species, typically represent 10–30% of eukaryotic genomes. Efforts to find the source of these young genes indicate that de novo emergence from non-coding DNA may in part explain their prevalence. Here, we investigate the roots of orphan gene emergence in the Drosophila genus. Across the annotat...
Article
Full-text available
Social insects dominate arthropod communities worldwide due to cooperation and division of labor in their societies. This, however, makes them vulnerable to exploitation by social parasites, such as slave‐making ants. Slave‐making ant workers pillage brood from neighboring nests of related host ant species. After emergence, host workers take over a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Arthropods comprise the largest and most diverse phylum on Earth and play vital roles in nearly every ecosystem. Their diversity stems in part from variations on a conserved body plan, resulting from and recorded in adaptive changes in the genome. Dissection of the genomic record of sequence change enables broad questions regarding gen...
Article
Directed evolution of enzymes toward improved catalytic performance has become a powerful tool in protein engineering. To be effective, a directed evolution campaign requires the use of high-throughput screening. In this study we describe the development of an ultra high-throughput lysis-free procedure to screen for improved sulfatase activity by c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Occasionally during protein synthesis, the ribosome bypasses the stop codon and continues translation to the next stop codon in frame. This error is called translational readthrough (TR). Earlier research suggest that TR is a relatively common error, in several taxa, yet the evolutionary relevance of this translational error is still unclear. By an...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing the adaptive landscapes that encompass the emergence of novel enzyme functions can provide molecular insights into both enzymatic and evolutionary mechanisms. Here, we combine ancestral protein reconstruction with biochemical, structural and mutational analyses to characterize the functional evolution of methyl-parathion hydrolase (M...
Article
Full-text available
The success of social insects is largely intertwined with their highly advanced chemical communication system that facilitates recognition and discrimination of species and nest-mates, recruitment, and division of labour. Hydrocarbons, which cover the cuticle of insects, not only serve as waterproofing agents but also constitute a major component o...
Article
Full-text available
Repeated and independent emergence of trait divergence that matches habitat differences is a sign of parallel evolution by natural selection. Yet, the molecular underpinnings that are targeted by adaptive evolution often remain elusive. We investigate this question by combining genome-wide analyses of copy number variants (CNVs), single nucleotide...
Article
Full-text available
Even in the era of next generation sequencing, in which bioinformatics tools abound, annotating transcriptomes and proteomes remains a challenge. This can have major implications for the reliability of studies based on these datasets. Therefore, quality assessment represents a crucial step prior to downstream analyses on novel transcriptomes and pr...
Article
The geographical mosaic theory of coevolution predicts that species interactions vary between locales. Depending on who leads the coevolutionary arms race, the effectivity of parasite attack or host defence strategies will explain parasite prevalence. Here, we compare behaviour and brain transcriptomes of Temnothorax longispinosus ant workers when...
Article
Analysis of genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes from recently diverged rice species provides mechanistic insight into the process of de novo gene origination.
Chapter
Protein domains are reusable segments of proteins and play an important role in protein evolution. By combining the elements from a relatively small set of domains into unique arrangements, a large number of distinct proteins can be generated. Since domains often have specific functions, changes in their arrangement usually affect the overall prote...
Article
Full-text available
Transcriptional regulation is crucial for all biological processes and well investigated at the molecular level for a wide range of organisms. However, it is quite unclear how innovations, such as the activity of a novel regulatory element, evolve. In the case of transcription factor (TF) binding, both a novel TF and a novel binding site would need...
Preprint
Full-text available
Characterizing the adaptive landscapes that encompass the emergence of novel enzyme functions can provide molecular insights into both enzymatic and evolutionary mechanisms. Here, we combine ancestral protein reconstruction with biochemical, structural, and mutational analyses to characterize the functional evolution of methyl-parathion hydrolase (...
Preprint
Directed evolution of enzymes toward improved catalytic performance has become a powerful tool in protein engineering. To be effective, a directed evolution campaign requires the use of high-throughput screening. In this study we describe the development of a high-throughput lysis-free procedure to screen for improved sulfatase activity by combinin...
Article
Full-text available
A recent surge of studies have suggested that many novel genes arise de novo from previously noncoding DNA and not by duplication. However, most studies concentrated on longer evolutionary time scales and rarely considered protein structural properties. Therefore, it remains unclear how these properties are shaped by evolution, depend on genetic me...
Article
Full-text available
During protein synthesis genetic instructions are passed from DNA via mRNA to the ribosome to assemble a protein chain. Occasionally, stop codons in the mRNA are bypassed and translation continues into the untranslated region (3'-UTR). This process, called translational readthrough (TR), yields a protein chain that becomes longer than would be pred...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Arthropods comprise the largest and most diverse phylum on Earth and play vital roles in nearly every ecosystem. Their diversity stems in part from variations on a conserved body plan, resulting from and recorded in adaptive changes in the genome. Dissection of the genomic record of sequence change enables broad questions regarding genom...
Article
The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, is a worldwide pest that infests buildings, including homes, restaurants, and hospitals, often living in unsanitary conditions. As a disease vector and producer of allergens, this species has major health and economic impacts on humans. Factors contributing to the success of the German cockroach include it...
Article
ON THE COVER: The cover image, by Lukas Peter Maria Kremer et al., is based on the Research Article Reconstructed evolution of insulin receptors in insects reveals duplications in early insects and cockroaches, DOI 10.1002/jez.b.22809. Photo Credit: Ayako Wada‐Katsumata.
Article
Social insects show an extreme degree of phenotypic plasticity. In highly eusocial species, this manifests in the generation of distinct castes with extreme differences in both morphology and life span. The molecular basis of these differences is highly entangled and not fully understood, but several recent studies demonstrated that insulin/insulin...
Article
Over long time scales, protein evolution is characterised by modular rearrangements of protein domains. Such rearrangements are mainly caused by gene duplication, fusion and terminal losses. To better understand domain emergence mechanisms we investigated 32 insect genomes covering a speciation gradient ranging from ~ 2 to ~ 390 my. We use establis...
Article
The evolution of division of labor between sterile and fertile individuals represents one of the major transitions in biological complexity. A fascinating gradient in eusociality evolved among the ancient hemimetabolous insects, ranging from noneusocial cockroaches through the primitively social lower termites—where workers retain the ability to re...
Article
Full-text available
Around 150 million years ago, eusocial termites evolved from within the cockroaches, 50 million years before eusocial Hymenoptera, such as bees and ants, appeared. Here, we report the 2-Gb genome of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and the 1.3-Gb genome of the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus. We show evolutionary signatures of termi...
Article
Hydrolysis of organic sulfate esters proceeds by two distinct mechanisms, water attacking at either sulfur (S-O bond cleavage) or carbon (C-O bond cleavage). In primary and secondary alkyl sulfates attack at carbon is favored, whereas in aromatic sulfates and sulfated sugars attack at sulfur is preferred. This mechanistic distinction is mirrored in...
Article
Background: Microsporidia are obligate parasites that possess some of the smallest eukaryotic genomes. Several insect species are susceptible to infections by microsporidian parasites. Paranosema whitei frequently infects young larvae of Tribolium castaneum and obligately kills the host whereupon transmission to subsequent hosts is accomplished vi...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrolysis of organic sulfate esters proceeds by two distinct mechanisms, water attacking at either sulfur (S-O bond cleavage) or carbon (C-O bond cleavage). In primary and secondary alkyl sulfates attack at carbon is favored, whereas in aromatic sulfates and sulfated sugars attack at sulfur is preferred. This mechanistic distinction is mirrored in...