Michael P. Cummings's research while affiliated with University of Maryland, College Park and other places

Publications (192)

Preprint
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Platyhelminthes (flatworms) are a diverse invertebrate phylum that are useful for exploring life history evolution. Within Platyhelminthes, only two clades develop through a larval stage: freeliving polyclads and parasitic neodermatans. Neodermatan larvae are considered evolutionarily derived, whereas polyclad larvae are hypothesized to be retained...
Article
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Motivation: Microbial gene catalogs are data structures that organize genes found in microbial communities, providing a reference for standardized analysis of the microbes across samples and studies. Although gene catalogs are commonly used, they have not been critically evaluated for their effectiveness as a basis for metagenomic analyses. Resul...
Article
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BEAGLE is a high-performance likelihood-calculation library for phylogenetic inference. The BEAGLE library defines a simple, but flexible, application programming interface (API), and includes a collection of efficient implementations for calculation under a variety of evolutionary models on different hardware devices. The library has been integrat...
Article
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Background A number of shelled and shell-less gastropods are known to use multiple defensive mechanisms, including internally generated or externally obtained biochemically active compounds and structures. Within Nudipleura, nudibranchs within Cladobranchia possess such a special defense: the ability to sequester cnidarian nematocysts – small capsu...
Article
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Background The impact of predator-prey interactions on the evolution of many marine invertebrates is poorly understood. Since barriers to genetic exchange are less obvious in the marine realm than in terrestrial or freshwater systems, non-allopatric divergence may play a fundamental role in the generation of biodiversity. In this context, shifts be...
Article
Background: Amplified copy number in the plasmepsin II/III genes within Plasmodium falciparum has been associated with decreased sensitivity to piperaquine. To examine this association and test whether additional loci might also contribute, we performed a genome-wide association study of ex vivo P. falciparum susceptibility to piperaquine. Method...
Conference Paper
We describe our approach in augmenting the beagle library for high-performance statistical phylogenetic inference to support concurrent computation of independent partial likelihoods arrays. Our solution involves identifying independent likelihood estimates in analyses of partitioned datasets and in proposed tree topologies, and configuring concurr...
Article
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Background Microbiome sequencing projects typically collect tens of millions of short reads per sample. Depending on the goals of the project, the short reads can either be subjected to direct sequence analysis or be assembled into longer contigs. The assembly of whole genomes from metagenomic sequencing reads is a very difficult problem. However,...
Article
Classic morphological studies of the oldest, so-called nonditrysian lineages of Lepidoptera yielded a well-resolved phylogeny, supported by the stepwise origin of the traits characterizing the clade Ditrysia, which contains over 98% of extant lepidopterans. Subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular studies have robustly supported m...
Article
Until recently, deep-level phylogeny in Lepidoptera, the largest single radiation of plant-feeding insects, was very poorly understood. Over the past two decades, building on a preceding era of morphological cladistic studies, molecular data have yielded robust initial estimates of relationships both within and among the ∼43 superfamilies, with uns...
Article
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Major progress has been made recently toward resolving the phylogeny of Noctuoidea, the largest superfamily of Lepidoptera. However, numerous questions and weakly supported nodes remain. In this paper we independently check and extend the main findings of multiple recent authors by performing maximum-likelihood analyses of 5–19 genes (6.7–18.6 kb)...
Article
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We describe a scheme for subdividing long-running, variable-length analyses into short, fixed-length boinc workunits using phylogenetic analyses as an example. Fixed-length workunits decrease variance in analysis runtime, improve overall system throughput, and make boinc a more useful resource for analyses that require a relatively fast turnaround...
Article
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Cladobranchia (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) is a diverse (approx. 1000 species) but understudied group of sea slug molluscs. In order to fully comprehend the diversity of nudibranchs and the evolution of character traits within Cladobranchia, a solid understanding of evolutionary relationships is necessary. To date, only two direct attempts have been...
Article
The Gelechioidea (>18 000 species), one of the largest superfamilies of Lepidoptera, are a major element of terrestrial ecosystems and include important pests and biological model species. Despite much recent progress, our understanding of the classification, phylogeny and evolution of Gelechioidea remains limited. Building on recent molecular stud...
Technical Report
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Cladobranchia is a clade of charismatic and exclusively marine slugs (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia). Though Cladobranchia and its sister taxon, Anthobranchia, have been supported by molecular data, little resolution among the higher-level groups within these two clades has emerged from previous analyses. Cladobranchia is traditionally divided into thre...
Article
Within the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), the so-called nonditrysian superfamilies are mostly species-poor but highly divergent, offering numerous synapomorphies and strong morphological evidence for deep divergences. Uncertainties remain, however, and tests of the widely accepted morphological framework using other evidence are...
Article
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Multiple transcontinental waves of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum have originated in Southeast Asia before spreading westward, first into the rest of Asia and then to sub-Saharan Africa. In vitro studies have suggested that hypermutator P. falciparum parasites may exist in Southeast Asia and that an increased rate of acquisition of new mu...
Conference Paper
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Lepidoptera are one of the most diverse phytophagous insect groups (Scoble, 1992). In spite of their importance in terrestrial ecosystems, the evolutionary history of the Lepidoptera remains poorly known. Divergence time estimation over a robust phylogeny is a prerequisite for understanding their evolutionary biology. Recent empirical studies have...
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Article
The Tineoidea are the earliest-originating extant superfamily of the enormous clade Ditrysia, whose 152 000+ species make up 98% of the insect order Lepidoptera. Though more diverse than all non-ditrysian superfamilies put together (3719 vs 2604 species), the tineoids are not especially species-rich among ditrysian superfamilies. Their phylogenetic...
Article
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Background: The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia threatens malaria treatment efficacy. Mutations in a kelch protein encoded on P. falciparum chromosome 13 (K13) have been associated with resistance in vitro and in field samples from Cambodia. Methods: P. falciparum infections from artesunate efficacy tri...
Article
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We introduce molecularevolution.org, a publicly available gateway for high-throughput, maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis powered by grid computing. The gateway features a garli 2.0 web service that enables a user to quickly and easily submit thousands of maximum likelihood tree searches or bootstrap searches that are executed in parallel on...
Article
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Recent molecular phylogenetic studies of the insect order Lepidoptera have robustly resolved family-level divergences within most superfamilies, and most divergences among the relatively species-poor early-arising superfamilies. In sharp contrast, relationships among the superfamilies of more advanced moths and butterflies that comprise the mega-di...
Data
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